My 2/9 Cancer Update — Supplemental

I got a reply from one of my friends about my update:

Cancer does indeed take you to unexpected places – and to a meeting with unexpected people.

I found that the other cancer patients were hard to get to know. It’s as if no one wants to make a friend that might be taken away before you go. But even causal contact is interesting – if you can get them to open up – and if you can open up. Sharing your experiences – and your concerns – seems to lessen the burden somehow.

Something about happiness shared is doubled and grief shared is halved.

This reminded me of one thing that happened on Wednesday. While I was at a meeting before my trip to my urologist, Donna got a call from a friend who lives up the river a ways. Bob is an artist who lives in Coaldale and also has prostate cancer. He went a different route than I did, driving to Denver to University Hospital for treatment. Our treatment was entirely different; he had his prostate frozen with liquid argon.

But we have now reached similar places: recurrence. He is gonna get refrozen. I have no idea what I am gonna do. But we can go on and on about art (“Christo is coming!), politics (He makes me look like a moderate!); and local politics. He runs a blog about local politics.

But our connection is our cancer and how we are coping. We talked for an hour. We originally met over our volunteer fire department and have kept in touch. But he is the only fellow patient I know.

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Over The River

We just had two hearings for our county in approving this massive ($50,000,000) art project. One hearing was in Canon City in the County Commissioner’s chambers and that one went on all day with between 150 – 200 people in attendance.

From the Salida Mountain Mail: Fremont Commissioners hear art project comments

From the Pueblo Chieftain: Economic boon

The second one was in Cotopaxi in the school’s Multi Purpose Room — the old gym, with about 80 in attendance in spite of an approaching storm.

From the Canon City Record: Local OTR hearings conclude. Also at http://www.themountainmail.com/news/article_9f337564-4dbe-11e1-8851-001a4bcf6878.html

From the Denver Post: Foes of Christo’s plan to drape over river make final stand .

Two news articles were more analytic.

From the Record: ‘Over the River’ Hearings Far From Over

And from the New York Times: Note to Christo: Don’t Start Hanging the Fabric Yet

More stuff:

Christos’ website with lots of artist sketches of the curtains.

and

ROAR’s website with lots of BS.

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The red areas are the locations of the curtains except for the one NE of milemarker 250 which is the staging area. This is in the Pinon Acres area as well as the BLM area across the river. On the right of the map is Canon City and the left is Salida.

The BLM Record of Decision page has more details.

I find this very entertaining. Except for the fact that Donna and I are opposite sides of this project! But this will make life more interesting up here!

A Stop at a Rest Area

On our way to Canon City from Salida, we stopped at the Canyon Trading Post Recreation Area near Cotopaxi to relax and enjoy the Arkansas River for a while; this is the same place where we watched the river go by white and the trees had fences. The humans used the vault toilet while Lily, in spite of the copious amount of water she had drank, did not stop sniffing.

So we went for a walk hoping Lily would HAVE to pee. We went down by the river and Lily walked into the water, drank some water, then jumped right into the river! We had no idea she liked to swim! I urged her out with the leash before the current carried her away. So we then had a completely wet dog! Who walked over and shook herself in front of us!

She has quit leaving streams of water but you can see wet footprints she is leaving.

She is very happy for being a wet dog! We all went over and sat down at a shady table to read, well, Donna and I did. She continued to sniff. Until an animal across the river began complaining about the presence of humans and dogs in the rest area! And got more emphatic when a group of float fishermen stopped there for lunch!

This video is designed to be listened to. The “chirping” noise is the [assumed] marmot barking at us. Both these and groundhogs make this noise to warn others of intruders.

We hung on to Lily’s leash for fear she would jump in the river again to get to it!

Finally we all settled down to read or watch for intruders while Lily dried off some. It was relaxing, listening to the murmur of the river, noises of the wildlife, even the traffic on the highway above us. But eventually we had to move on.

The White River

During Donna’s trip for her ultrasound, about halfway there the river turned white! On the way back we caught back up with the miles of white.

My first reaction was that this was industrial pollution. I remember when Fountain Creek in the Springs looked just like this. It turned out to be discharged fly ash from the power plant.

But we learned at the Cotopaxi Store, where we stopped for a snack, that this is from Chalk Creek above Salida and happens after every big rain.

Donna’s Doctor Appointment

It was an interesting day. The trip up the river was slow; lots of tourists in big campers and motorhomes were “cautious” about our mountain highways! We never went more than 10 MPH under the speed limit and one time were down to 20 MPH!! I am a cautious driver but this was nuts! We managed to get there early anyway.

She checked in and barely got settled when they called her. The nurse took her vitals then we started the wait for the doctor. He quickly arrived.

I had to adjust to his casual attire! But his knowledge and professionalism made his dress irrelevant.

His judgement was that Donna’s nausea was caused by something other than her gall bladder. So he scheduled her for three diagnostic tests, two of them nuclear: an ultrasound this week, a HIDA test for gall bladder function next week, and a gastric emptying test the following week. These are all fasting tests and early in the day! She is not gonna have fun!

After a stop for a lab draw, we went to lunch. She didn’t eat breakfast so was very hungry! We went to the Boat House which is a restaurant along the Arkansas with an open side overlooking the river.

Last time, the water was slower and we could watch trout snagging bugs on the water surface. Not this time!

This is cold water so we were surprised to see three girls repeatedly floating down the river!

The next table over had a family group, relationships unknown, but the high chair for the baby fascinated me!

It clamps onto the edge of the table! The woman in the green shirt on the left was our waitress; this was her fifth day! And I realized when I got home, I had stolen her pen!! Now we have to go back to return it! 😉

Tonight after she ate, Donna went into a full nausea attack! And we had salads after that big $40 lunch! One of her tests has gotta be a positive!