My New Oncologist — Preliminary Appointment

I met my new Oncologist and his Czech nurse this afternoon. And the Infusion nurse.

While my hormone therapy is technically a form of chemotherapy, the medical establishment doesn’t see it that way. Doc wants to stop my current hormone suppression to confuse my cancer and then throw some Zometa at it, too. Zometa will help my bones get stronger while helping suppress my cancer.

There are supposed to be few side effects so I consented to the treatment. I know I didn’t want to get chemotherapy but my objection was to the debilitating effect of the therapy.

Since I already had an appointment with my GP next Wednesday, we piggybacked my infusion (A method of putting fluids, including drugs, into the bloodstream. Also called intravenous infusion. ) for the same day.

And Doc wanted my catheter removed. My Urologist had mentioned a surgical solution in his comments to my new Doc. So, as soon as I got home, I called and set up an appointment for tomorrow.

Then the icing on my medical cake: I am having sharp abdominal pain. It seems familiar. Like I am passing the kidney stone found during my January CATscan. And my pee bag has pink liquid.

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My New Oncologist — Intro

This will be the first time I have had a real oncologist since August 2010! That was when I switched my cancer therapy to my urologist. But  my rapidly rising PSA scared him off!

The new guy has decades of experience and I got two good reviews of him. He only works one day a week in Salida but normally that is adequate for cancer treatment. My appointment today is called a  “preliminary”, a legal requirement for us to actually meet before our relationship is official.

My appointment is at 2 PM.

The unemployment rate: 19.9% or 8.3%?

This is a long, math-strewn article I am basing this on and will quote sparingly from it. But statistically it is quite accurate. Basically it analyzes where 9 million US working people went from the Labor Department statistics.

 

 

As we will explore herein, a detailed look at the government’s own data base shows that about 9 million people without jobs have been removed from the labor force simply by the government defining them as not being in the labor force anymore.  Indeed – effectively all of the decreases in unemployment rate percentages since 2009 have come not from new jobs, but through reducing the workforce participation rate so that millions of jobless people are removed from the labor force by definition.

In an extraordinarily cynical act, the government is effectively saying that because the job situation has been so bad for many millions of unemployed people in their 40s, 30s, 20s and teens, they can no longer be considered to be potential participants in the work force at all.  Because there is no hope for them – they no longer need to be counted.  And it is this steady statistical cleansing from the workforce of the worst of the economic casualties – of these very real millions of individual tragedies – that is being presented as a rapidly improving jobs picture.

Us geeks have long known that the commonly quoted U-3 employment figures the BLS presents are skewed. This began under the Clinton Administration and Washington so liked it, they have amped it up. Essentially, those who are long-term unemployed are simply declared “unemployable” and not counted. A more accurate measure of un- and under-employment is U-6

 

But the U-6 chart looks very different.

 

 

The gummint is blaming the Boomers even though they really aren’t retiring much right now. It is the young people taking the hit.

 

There is a lot here to digest but the main point, IMO, is that there are a lot more hungry people out of work than the Gummint wants to admit. And someday there will be a reckoning.

Water

Donna has scheduled a load of water today because my future is murky at this point. It is hard to manage the transfer of over 1000 gallons of water with just one of us and the truck driver. And our water supplier has a new truck and driver; who we get is the luck of the draw. Or the whim of the owner! Lol. If it is the new guy, we will have some [minimal] training time.

 

We have no idea what my new doctor will do or how I will feel after he does it! So she has a “better safe than sorry” attitude. In any case, tomorrow will be a pivotal day in my life as we meet him in Salida. It has “only” taken a month for this appointment to come to fruition!

 

Anyway that is the big deal of the day around here. I feel as if I am on hold which I guess I am. Sucks.

We Meant Well

This is about a book,We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People telling of Peter Van Buren’s experiences in Iraq. I loved his writing style, both descriptive and snarky. But now, years later, the State Department is trying to fire him! How dare he actually tell the truth!

From a TV interview:

JUAN GONZALEZ: We end today’s show with an update on a story we first covered in November. The State Department has taken steps to fire a longtime employee who publicly criticized the U.S. government’s so-called reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The employee, Peter Van Buren, has worked at the State Department for 23 years. In 2009 and ’10, he headed two Provincial Reconstruction Teams in rural Iraq.

AMY GOODMAN: After returning from Iraq, he wrote a book called We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. Van Buren has also exposed State Department waste and mismanagement on his blog, wemeantwell.com. He has been facing a State Department investigation for over six months, but it appears the Department only moved to fire him once he filed a whistleblower reprisal complaint with the Office of Special Counsel.

 

When I bought this book, little did I realize I would be watching history unfold as the DC bureaucrats tried to cover their asses!  You go, Peter!

Update

I am still struggling with blogging with my laptop. Anyway here is an update.

Yesterday PM, my catheter plugged and off the to ER we went again! Donna is becoming a good “ambulance” driver for these crises! By the time we got to the ER, I was in a lot of pain and I had taken one of my Vicodines az we were leaving! I was surprised to see the same nurse there who treated me earlier! She had had a couple of days off but was still ill.

This time she was able to clear the cath with a back flush and I was soon good to go. She also gave Donna a kit for doing this at home ans instruction in how to do it without injuring me. Th place was busier than our other visits but we got done quickly. Once I was functional again, I was ravenous for, of all things, a chili cheese dog! So Donna took me to the drive up at Dairy Queen and treated me to dinner! Even with all that, we got home about dark, Sure beat getting home at 3 AM! Lily was happy too!

Donna went and got the mail which had two surprises in it: a card from my Boss and the office staff up in Salida. And a bottle of pills! I have no idea who sent them but will try them. They are Astaxanthin, an antioxidant. I have no idea who bought them for me but will give them a try. One claim for them is wrinkle removal! I assume one of my friends ordered me the bottle; whoever it was, I appreciate it!

I got my doctor appointments sorted out. My next one is with my new oncologist Wednesday PM; will he be surprised to learn about my cath! I hope he can bail me out on that!

I am still kicking

but medical problems are preventing me from updating my Blog! I can’t sit!! I cannot figure out how to lay in my bed and use my laptop! I have two days off from my problem then it will start again Thursday.

I have some prostate scar tissue blocking my plumbing and my urologist can’t get it to clear. We are gonna try again Thursday. I think using a corkscrew or something. And another catheter will be inserted.

I am getting a lot of reading done! And texting.

I WILL be back!

Giant Formerly Extinct Bugs

Well, almost extinct; at one time there were only 24 in the whole world, on an island in the South Pacific.

Not real cute! And they are rumored to smell bad, too! But their survival is a great story.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2012/02/24/147367644/six-legged-giant-finds-secret-hideaway-hides-for-80-years

And romantic, too.

Cotopaxi Cell Tower

This project is on again! The AllTel contract never went anywhere and everything they did has expired. Then the school got word that AT&T had transferred rights for the cell tower to Mercury Towers of Frisco, TX. This site is on school property overlooking the “city” of Cotopaxi (pop. 47).

The school campus is at upper left; the county road wanders through it. The town is across the bottom with the commercial district south of the river. Southwest of the school is a faint blue “T” which marks where the new cell tower will be.

The green circle is approximately where the tower will be. The original permit called for an eighty foot tower but Mercury wants to make it a 100′ tower if the county will approve it. I think so they can hang more antennas on it later! Any carrier can use the tower.

Looking east (or downcanyon), the power source is visible through the trees at bottom. On the next ridge, the tall white pole is a radio mast for the Sheriff’s office and the CDOT facility on the other side of the ridge.

This is the back of the school; the closest building is a utility building and the field to the right is the leach field for our septic system.

The school will get a lease payment for the plot of land and Cotopaxi will get cell service (AT&T) for the first time!

Our Escape Non-Repair

I had an appointment to get another front axle bearing replaced on Wednesday. I was early so had even more time to sit in their waiting area. Then I heard Mark, the manager, talking about MY vehicle on the phone! He hung up and said they sent the wrong part.

Later they had another conversation and I was sure this was not good news. And it wasn’t. The bearing is called the “RH axle Carrier Bearing”. Except it isn’t replaceable by even mechanics! It only comes pressed onto the shaft. Along with the LH one!

And they didn’t have any in stock. And cost $200 instead of $70. I will be going back next week for another try.

The noise, to me, is very annoying especially at 45 MPH when ear plugs would be nice! But Mark assured me it was OK to keep driving the vehicle!