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Old 02-22-2021, 09:34 AM #721
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Had the mail brought home today from the post office box; my more recent labs were there (unfortunate they hadn't arrived this last Thursday, for the Zoom mtg. with the Doc I met more recently).

Some minor successes therein, in addition to a sense of defeat and concern, knowing only enough about this to worry myself at times.

On the positive side, my A1C score is down to a 6.1, as of the 02/09 draw, from a 6.3 in mid-December, 2020. The A1C had been higher than I had seen it, the end of this last August, 2020.

The disconcerting news was that my PSA is up to an 11.1; higher than I have seen it. It had been an 8 during the end of August 2020, then it was a 5.9 December 14, 2020. Now, a mere 2 months later, it's an 11.1. (***Any opinions to offer, Weez??).

My creatinine is now very slightly lower than normal range, but we believe we've figured that one out; loss of muscle mass and weight loss can result in low/lower creatinine. If it were high, it would be a greater concern, as that might mean loss or lessening of kidney function.

Obviously the many paths toward trying to get healthy again, abruptly, have contributed to positive and negative outcomes to some degree. "Shit happens." But the list is now getting longer, re. things I need to monitor.

And in the mail was a '2nd strike' for a radiological service billing me full fare for services my insurance company has already paid them for, for which I only owe less than 20% of what their bill says. And again, we have the electronic money transfer codes, dates, etc., for the payments these cretins received already. So they'll get a call tomorrow morning, early, telling them that I'm not certain if this is an effort toward fraud, or incompetence, but that I WILL be making a call to my insurance providers to bring it to their attention no matter what the reason for the repeated sub-par service, and next time they do similar, the '3rd strike rule' kicks in, and they get back-charged $50/hour plus materials for any time I or my wife have to put into fixing a job they got paid to do the first time.

Sometimes a curt reminder that "I'm the fucking patient, not your back-up book-keeper" goes a long way. Other times it seems to fall on deaf ears.

------------------------------------------------

We had a fairly intense family mtg. with my younger son and wife this evening, and again hashed out the details, risks, variables, numbers etc., of radiation versus surgery.

Aside form the medical factors in outcome probabilities, there are issues that OUGHT to weigh less in this decision, but that still matter... maybe a lot, in their own ways.

3 trips down for radiation, minimum, with the first 2 of those being 2-4 days each, and the third trip would be for about 38 days. That adds about $4,000 to $5,000 to the out-of-pocket expenses in this.

If I'm gone for over a month for the external beam radiation, then someone else would have to tend my garden, and everything else I normally take care of.

Radiation potentially leaves me with greater quality of life functions initially, or shortly there after, however, that can become worse as radiation-damaged tissue degrades over time, as well as other causes for things not going as well as possible.

Surgery is 1 trip down and back, less quality of life function coming out of surgery initially, and that may or may not improve over time.

Follow-up for recurring cancer after surgery allows more options. After radiation, it would either be the use of Cyber-Knife, or hormone suppression.

Either treatment path can involve hormone suppression as a control for the prostate cancer if it returns.

I need to write a message tonight to schedule one or the other, and at this time I think I need to lay down, again recycle the factors and thoughts, and find something in a dimly lit room, with quiet, where I again bring myself to the place of committing to something, do it, then try and put it on hold in my mind until something occurs to further our progress toward getting rid of this shit.

I really don't know at this second, and I am admittedly timid, if not frightened, re. making permanent decisions when I can't see around the metaphorical corner. But I can't afford to delay this any more, either.

So, meditation time...

--------------------------------------------------

Leonard Cohen

'Everybody Knows'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lin-a2lTelg

----------------------

'Hallelujah', Live in London

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrLk4vdY28Q

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Old 02-22-2021, 11:45 AM #722
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3ZgSUmuy74
Quote:
Down to You

Everything comes and goes
Marked by lovers and styles of clothes
Things that you held high
And told yourself were true
Lost or changing as the days come down to you
Down to you
Constant stranger
You're a kind person
You're a cold person too
It's down to you
You go down to the pick up station
Craving warmth and beauty
You settle for less than fascination
A few drinks later you're not so choosy
When the closing lights strip off the shadows
On this strange new flesh you've found
Clutching the night to you like a fig leaf
You hurry
To the blackness
And the blankets
To lay down an impression
And your loneliness
In the morning there are lovers in the street
They look so high
You brush against a stranger
And you both apologize
Old friends seem indifferent
You must have brought that on
Old bonds have broken down
Love is gone
Ooh, love is gone
Written on your spirit this sad song
Love is gone
Everything comes and goes
Pleasure moves on too early
And trouble leaves too slow
Just when you're thinking
You've finally got it made
Bad news comes knocking
At your garden gate
Knocking for you
Constant stranger
You're a brute, you're an angel
You can crawl, you can fly too
It's down to you
It all comes down to you
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:38 PM #723
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The disconcerting news was that my PSA is up to an 11.1; higher than I have seen it. It had been an 8 during the end of August 2020, then it was a 5.9 December 14, 2020. Now, a mere 2 months later, it's an 11.1. (***Any opinions to offer, Weez??).


Sure, opinions, I got.


I'm sure that you know that PSA levels can rise from pressure on the prostate. A long bike ride just before a test will spike the reading. It is not a direct indication of tumor size.
And I have just found that there is a +/- error percentage in the results.

So, the PSA reading is just a general indicator.
Just barely good enough to calculate a doubling rate,
Drugs like Lupron will lower the PSA but it does not shrink tumors.
That can make it hard to get an accurate doubling rate.

And the D.R. determines longevity basically.

Start a chart. Record your results on a timeline, and use that for a general progress tracking.
But, no freak out when you get an out of sequence reading (like I did).

My PSA was 13.3 just before surgery. Dropped to 0.0 for almost 18 months, then recurred.

In 13 years, with RSO, it has risen to 29.4. Sounds good, but logarithmic curves get very steep, very fast at the end, I have read about patient with PSA of >1300 still walking around, so our mileages will vary, yah?

Had a friend get diagnosed 3 years before I was. He did the radiation "seeds", hormonal, etc.
I chose the surgery.

He is now in much worse shape and his functionality continues to decline. My functionality has steadily improved in spite of my age.
What you have read about the choice is accurate. At least in our case.


Be well,
Weeze




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Old 02-23-2021, 12:00 AM #724
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Here's a before and during picture of mole removal with RSO;
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I goop 'em, then cover with scotch tape.
(keeps the oil from staining and does not absorb like a bandaid) Leave it for 24 - 48 hours.
It "pinches" a bit but is bearable. When I pull the tape, chunks of mole and "pearls" of sebum are stuck to it.
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Moles take a long time. Melanomas take about 10 days. Some warts are gone in a week. leaves no scar.
Usefull plant, this Cannabis.


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Old 02-23-2021, 03:12 AM #725
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weezard View Post
Here's a before and during picture of mole removal with RSO;
Attachment 559503Attachment 559504

I goop 'em, then cover with scotch tape.
(keeps the oil from staining and does not absorb like a bandaid) Leave it for 24 - 48 hours.
It "pinches" a bit but is bearable. When I pull the tape, chunks of mole and "pearls" of sebum are stuck to it.
Attachment 559501Attachment 559502

Moles take a long time. Melanomas take about 10 days. Some warts are gone in a week. leaves no scar.
Usefull plant, this Cannabis.


Aloha,
Wee zard




Thanks again, Weez.

I had a PSA of 8 in later August 2020, a 5.9 mid-December 2020, and now this 11.1 February 9.

No acute pressure on the PSA, or sex in the day or so before hand, etc., that would drive it upward.

Irritation or inflammation to the rectum area has also been known to cause spikes in PSA, to include infections.

No clue, other than seeing it in its higher count, left me worried.

I know that I was ingesting a greater amount of CBD AND THC when I was chewing whole decarbed flowers earlier on.

Not knowing if the spread of micro-cancer cells is currently a thing, or ??? is another worry, and I'm fresh out of a handy or affordable F17 PT Scan.

-------------------------------------

Part of the confusion or conflict in information in this has been the result of each clinician, whether a surgeon or a radiology oncologist, speaks highly of their own market/trade, while tending to see the alternative in a more dim light.

All but 2 have been of that mind-set.

The first most-skilled surgeon I spoke with, when asked re. his choice, were it his body with cancer, basically said, "If you want quality of life, go with radiation. If you want the whole package, to include better odds of being cancer free, then go with surgery."

The radiation oncologist at the same clinic, but in a different group, more or less inverted those numbers, saying there was a 35% chance of recurring cancer with radiation, and a 65% chance with surgery. I now wish that had been put into more specific context.

------------------------------------------

The second surgeon, who saw me for all of 10 minutes in Seattle, the first part of mid-January, who would not do Telehealth/Zoom, who basically wasted my time, and helped us to unnecessarily burn about 47,500 air miles, charged the insurance folks for a 'comprehensive intake for a new patient.' He also charged them/me just to receive my file/charts, and they billed at least 2 x's for their radiologist to look at scans done up North, by other facilities before my arrival there. Upon which time they had me do yet ANOTHER CT Scan (like I'm collecting the motherfuckers or something!!).

I guess the whiter the collar, the more immune when committing fraud, theft, or what ever it's called once a person enters that income bracket. But at least now I know. And can tell folks I know who might be seeking similar services, to avoid those folks like a bad plague, or maybe a bad pandemic. Slow-moving karma.

----------------------------------------

Upon further research of the erroneous (recycled) bills mentioned last evening, for services the local radiology folks had already been paid for (whose billing office is in Texas, oddly enough), it was noted that 2 of the 3 erroneous charges were a recycled effort for the SAME 2 charges that were supposed to be straightened out a month-and-a-half ago, when the SOBs did the same shit... the first time.

They were informed there should not be a 2nd performance like this one, and the insurers were put on notice that this is either evidence of an effort toward fraud, or an admission of incompetence. One or the other, no 2 ways about it.

Years ago, the prospect or mental imagery of <recreationally> shooting buzzards off a trash wagon, provided entertaining images. It still does.

-----------------------------------------

Our internet was down for almost 5 hours this AM, so no messages were sent, but my last question or 2 to the surgeon I saw last week has not been answered either. It's more difficult to move forward when anchored to unfinished business, or waiting for bits and pieces of information.

-----------------------------------------

Other than that, I'm just peachy. <SARCASM!!!>

Some blow-ups about relationship and communication last night. I'd grown tired of having to use extraction as a method to get folks to speak about thoughts, information, feelings, etc., and to remember details that TRULY matter at this time.

I'll admit that the stress in this, the newer and bigger numbers, and more, have me a fair bit reactionary where bullshit is concerned. Stuart Smalley or Mr. Rogers I am -NOT-, this week. Probably haven't been in many years, and maybe I'm the last to notice it?

-----------------------------------------

Stephen Stills

'4 & 20'

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Old 02-23-2021, 06:55 AM #726
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I submitted a request to the 3rd surgeon's scheduler, asking to be scheduled for a pre-op consult, in person, for April 12, and surgery on April 13, to fly down April 11..

May hopefully have a reply tomorrow or the next day.

My wife will be traveling with me, as we both will have had our 2 COVID-19 shots by then, though we'll still need to mask and wear gloves after those, for ourselves, and for those near us. We'll also have an extra empty seat in our rows, whether flying down together, or flying home separately.

She'll plan on staying through the Saturday after my surgery, so I'll be there by myself when they remove my catheter, and I become accustomed to post--op diapers/pads.

I didn't know what to do with my wedding ring and valuables, such as a credit cards, etc., and will need help getting Rx meds after the surgery upon discharge.

This schedule will also allow my younger son and I to head to the bush in early mid-March, for our annual trek into the mountains, for our lake trout and burbot ice-fishing 'church.'

My muscle mass has dramatically decreased, along with my weight in general, but I've never seen my own biceps this thin. I need to try and make more time for exercise; something that was always achieved simply by working on the property. That was then, and I guess, this is now.

I'm going to try and park this thing now. Try not to dream or think too hard. Try to increase the broccoli sprouts intake, increase the CBD intake, and get a more steady supply of the Turkey Tail mushrooms in me.

Next week we'll be packing for the mountains.

Thanks for tolerating the pages upon pages of this 'journal.'

I hope the outcomes are worthy of the time invested by others, and are worthy of my surgeon's reputation.

I hope that my body is resilient enough to kick this cancer's ass, once the greater tumors are removed.

I hope the cancer has not made any progress in escaping the right side of the prostate capsule.

I hope for the functions I wish to be with me when I come out the other end of this tunnel of worry, to be there.

I hope for this to be a healing, and not an immediate degrading of quality of life, though I know there may be as much as a year or more in trying to come back to former functions.

I hope my karma is good enough to merit the Cosmos smiling on me with these outcomes.

I hope that in the event that I am not returned to who I hope to be, physically, that I am able psychologically, and in disposition or temperament, to not become an embittered person, beyond who I am now, or to have such things affect those nearest me..

I have a lot of hopes.

--------------------------------------------------

Jesse Colin Young & The Youngbloods

'Darkness, Darkness'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORSD_u2upP4
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:08 AM #727
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And yes, our Christmas Tree is still up, decorated & lit up in the living room, and it's staying there for a long while to come, despite it displacing the glider rocking chair.

-----------------------------------------------

When I finally quit filling the role of 'hero-rescuer' for my mother, when I was 13, the first place I moved into, after spending the night in a church on a hardwood bench, listening to an older friend play beautiful piano into the night while we waited for answers through channels about my future abode, was as a Jesus Commune, back in the Godspell era.

Their Jesus wasn't about hell-fire and brimstone, but love. Many of the members in the commune were former combat veterans, disabled persons, former bikers, former junkies, former hookers, and many other colorful persons. Lots of smiles and hugs. Probably filled other voids in my life at that time, too.

They had 3 houses in Edinboro, Pennsylvania at that time; a men's home, a women's home, and a couples' home. All three of the houses were of that ancient East Coast, or near East Coast architecture, 3-4 stories tall, covered porches with broad decorative pillars, most or all of which spanned over a hundred years. There were thick concrete slabs in the sidewalk, abruptly raised by the giant roots of large old oak and maple trees.

It was from this place, the men's home, that one evening, the youthful-at-heart, God's own pranksters among us, dialed up a couple of members who were newly engaged.

The members present at that time gathered around an old-school, 1972 or 1973 hard-wired telephone, and sang the song below to the newly engaged couple, huddled around the phone like we were in a football game.

Reminded me of the old "Practice Random Acts of Kindness' bumper sticker that came later on in life.

-----------------------------------------------

Tommy James & The Shondells

'I Think We're Alone Now'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeGmP0E5bHE

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Old 02-23-2021, 12:26 PM #728
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I hope for you too.

Walking was the best exercise regimen I could muster during treatment and recovery.

I would suggest your wedding ring be entrusted to your wife's keeping.
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:55 PM #729
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I hope for you too.

Walking was the best exercise regimen I could muster during treatment and recovery.

I would suggest your wedding ring be entrusted to your wife's keeping.
Thanks, buzz.

Yes, initially, when I was going to be doing this alone, I had a conundrum re. where to put valuables, as my wife wouldn't be there. Now that's resolved.

At about 7:50 AM our time, this morning, the scheduler was on the phone, calling to arrange a series of appts; C-19 screening, consultation in person with the surgeon, then the deed.

Got on the computer, then the phone, for final travel arrangements with our most common airline, and for 5,000 miles more than my last scheduled (but cancelled) 2 seats down and 2 seats back (me and an empty seat each way), we got three seats down (one of them empty for space), my wife's 2 seats home (one empty & 1 for her) a week into the gig, and about 10 days after surgery, 2 seats home for me (one empty).

Now I just need to contact my lodging, make sure they've got a suitable room for us for a total of 12 nights. Then the town car service for several dates, and figure out how to get from our lodging to the COVID testing, and we're set, but for packing.

My gut still had a fair bit of feeling of electricity in it when this ball began rolling this morning, but it's wrapped up now, and I'm headed for some sort of breakfast.

Mild cheat last night, when I ate a small fillet of beer battered halibut, with a small amount of homemade tartar sauce. Tasted -really- good, but my gut was mildly upset afterward. Wondered if the relative absence of that kind of protein, followed by a small chunk of it, bathed in fresh (canola) fryer oil, might not have been the culprit, or (????).

Well, from here on out, it's mostly logistics, cussing under my breath as I heal, and later on we'll see what the post-op fairies leave me for body function.

------------------------------------------

John Prine

Six O'Clock News'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtEUbHRRvaY
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:33 PM #730
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Hoping this next while goes real well, Moose. You've set 'em up and now time to knock 'em down. You'll be on my mind as this stuff happens. Sending strength your way best I can.
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