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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

1,2,3, Start

Mayo took me at my word that I needed to get these 15 treatments started and done by the end of the year.  A scheduler called me right before 4pm yesterday and asked when and where were my preferences.  I said, my preference was just to get finished by the end of the year, make it happen however.  I start tomorrow afternoon. 

I didn’t bounce very well to the news yesterday I am not in the study after all.  Normally I try hard to just let things roll along, but I had a bit of a down day.  So I went up and visited Mom, then came home and defrosted the refrigerator.  I know how to have a good time! 

I am so ready for this to be finished.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

If it’s not one thing….

I finally heard from my radiologist at Mayo that I am not in the 3 radiation treatment study after all.  My insurance won’t cover the study treatments.  Also, apparently I’m not a good candidate after all.  I’m wondering if the insurance issue didn’t cause them to go looking for a medical reason to give me as well.  So back to the 15 radiation treatments over 3 weeks.  Running out of time to get them in before the end of the year.  There are worse things I could hear, so I’m not getting too upset.

Think I’ll go for a walk.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Still in a holding pattern

I had my host of appointments at Mayo on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.  The upshot is that I am in the study that allows me to only need 3 radiation treatments rather than the standard 15.  I ultimately had a CAT scan of my breast, and now I wait while they figure the technicalities of the actual radiation treatments.  I should hear back and start the process in the next 2 weeks.  I’m told that I will have any reaction a week later.  Mostly I will feel tired and like my breast is sunburned.  I’m to keep lotion on my skin as much as possible starting now and continuing, well, the rest of my life.  That skin will also always be more sensitive to the sun, so I’m to keep 30 SPF lotion on it all (even under clothes) if I swim or am in the sun.  Living in Phoenix, that will be most of the time.  So, I wait.

In the meantime, I finally got back on the Buckminster Fuller Institute site and this morning was reading about their Challenge winners.  One of the ideas I really like of Buckminster Fuller’s is the idea that there are enough resources available on earth for everyone to live a good life.  On the institute site are several of his quotes.  He is not easy to read, as I’ve tried to get through a few of his books.  The listing of the Challenge winners, though is inspiring to check out.  I especially enjoyed last year’s winner.  If you like to read about new, different approaches to problems, check them out.

I still have not taken the tour at Arcosanti.  Maybe next week I’ll make a run up there if I don’t hear from Mayo about the radiation schedule.  I just need to get over the visual I got of the buildings after studying the likes of Bucky and Frank Lloyd Wright and their buildings.  Which reminds me I also need to go tour the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Scottsdale.  So much to do if I just look around.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Taking my time

I spent 3 days up at Mike’s for Thanksgiving.  He has some friends from Alaska visiting.  We had a good feast and a nice hike the next day.  I headed home yesterday as he needed to pack to be working out of state again for a couple of weeks, and he planned to leave very early this morning.  I was wearing pretty much all my layers of sweatshirt/sweater/jacket while up there, and begging for a fire in the woodstove even during the day.  I made one the first morning I was there, and after that the guys jumped up to make the fire whenever I started for the wood stove.  I’m out of practice.  A house can be expected to smell like smoke some when using a wood stove.  Right?

I’ve just been hanging out with the cats other than that.  And also healing.  I go in Tuesday to start the meetings and simulation for the radiation.  I don’t know if that is when they figure out the settings, or when they decide if I’ll need drugs to (mentally) get through this.  Actually, most of this has been much easier than I could have expected.  I almost feel like an imposter when I mention I’m a cancer survivor.  So, I will report here after the appointments on Tuesday.  I do believe I am in a radiation study where I will receive fewer but stronger treatments. 

Driving back down to Mesa from Williams I started out in several heavy layers of clothes.  First order of business when I got out of the car here was to peel out of most of them as it was 70* here.  The cats were happy to see me.  Tomorrow I plan to drive out to where I’m moving the RV in a couple of weeks and make sure all is still ok on that end.  Then more sorting and moving and getting rid of stuff in the storage units.  Plans only go out to December 15 at this point, the date I’m planning to move.  After that, I’ll start again attempting to figure out what I’m doing with the rest of my life.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Back Home

I was a bit disappointed in my stop at Arcosanti because it was not at all what I was expecting.  I was thinking Art Colony and I saw a place that looked more like a setting for a dystopia themed science fiction story.  The concrete buildings did not seem to go together well, and the metal looked more rusted than aged.  This bothers me as I am very much into architecture that has form following function and siting that takes the sun and other features of the area into consideration.  I enjoy reading about Buckminster Fuller and Frank Lloyd Wright and studying each of them in more depth is on my list of things to do.  Solving problems in new ways is a short version of what interests me.  Since I was having such a negative response to the site I declined to take the tour this time.  I am doing more reading on Paolo Soleri and his ideas and I’ll stop and take the tour next time I head up.  I may be too proletariat to appreciate all this, but I wonder how the issues of food, clothing and water are handled in this urban living experiment.  To me, selling over priced bells and ceramic tiles as the main industry lacks a certain sustainability.  Then again, it is near Scottsdale.

As an aside, one time I was staying at a hiker hostel in north Georgia prior to taking a hike on the AT.  At breakfast we were sitting around a table talking with one of the women who was new to the area.  She mentioned that she really liked the small town there as it looked like real people lived there.  “It looks like a place you can get real items you need, you know, like bullets, whiskey, tampons…”  The lone male at the table pondered the comment for a minute and suggested that sounded like a dangerous combination.  However, I tend to look at settings now to see how basic needs for commodities are handled, and that seems to indicate how long that setting can survive.

Everything else is going well.  I’m waiting to hear when I start the radiation treatments.  I’m feeling really good, and am walking a lot to get my overall health to where I want it to be.  Mike and I took a walk to some pictographs while I was up there this past weekend, and I was able to enjoy the walk.  This shows I’m getting into better shape.  Here are a couple of pictures of Mike taking a picture of the pictographs.  Say that one fast 3 times.


Friday, November 11, 2016

First Stop

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Everything is going great

I just realized I have not posted in awhile. My checkups went really well. Next week I should be called into a meeting with all involved to discuss my follow-up care. There are a few options on the radiation treatments. I met the oncologist who will oversee my cancer care from here on out. I like him. That helps a lot. He has a longish grey ponytail, a calm manner, a soft voice, and looks me in the eye when he talks to me. What's not to like?

I've made a couple of trips up to see Mom since the surgery. She is enjoying her new apartment. She is also having a difficult time finding room for everything she kept. A lot has found new homes.

I am off to see Mike today. I hope to take time on the way up to stop at places I usually drive by thinking I really want to see that 'sometime'. I'm declaring now as the 'sometime'. A few weeks ago Mike and I went to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum and I renewed my membership. More trips out there are on the agenda as well.

Time to get going. On many levels.