Random Stuff from My Life

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Well, that was easy

Got to the hospital at 7:00. They had already done most of the admission paperwork. Went up to the room and got changed. Got to keep my jeans on. Nurse came and put the IV in (one poke!). Mom called to check on me. Then I waited...

Finally, at about two minutes 'til 9:00, the surgical nurse that I remembered from my two previous bouts with this came in and rolled me down to the ER. He hooked me up with oxygen and heart monitors. I asked when they were going to put the drugs in my IV. He said you might start feeling sleepy now. The doctor came in and we exchanged pleasantries.

All of a sudden, Stan is there, the doctor is there, and a nurse is shaking me awake... in the recovery room, at nearly 11:00! Doctor says the ulcers have healed but there's still some stomach irritation, so I have to stay on meds for now. (But hopefully no more of these scopes for awhile.)

We got home. I woke up at 2:42 p.m. to the sound of Stan snoring on the couch. I went to fix myself my first food since 10:00 last night. The sound of the oven door closing wakes him up.

The back of my throat doesn't hurt as much as the two previous times. I am starving, even after a bowl of soup and some pretzel bites. I would much preferred if the doctor had said I could cut back on the medicine, but I guess it's a generally good report.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

June Gloom Blooms

It was foggy last night. "Duh," you say. "You live on the coast of northern California." Well, yeah, sure, but it was FOGGY last night. Like, zero visibility. After the absolutely glorious weekend we had, the fog has returned with a vengeance. The sun peeked through for a few hours late this afternoon, but the fog has returned once again.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Busy But Good

Well, the whole week turned out to be good. Dad got his stitches out and got an appointment with the oncologist for next month. We made another casino run (different casino) and won again. I got caught up on a lot of stuff at work, and my boss even sent me flowers!

Seems like we've been really busy, especially with friends. We're in a new Bible study now, hosted by a couple of our friends. We saw them Wednesday night at the Bible study, then Thursday night at dinner, then spent the day with them on Saturday (driving along the coast and through the redwoods), then went over to their house last night and watched a video, then saw them at church this morning, then met them at the mall this afternoon for haircuts. That's a lot of togetherness! The one day out of the last five that we DIDN'T see them (Friday), we invited over a couple of other friends for a barbeque.

Now I'm organizing our photos. I bought a new photo box at Michael's, so I'm going through all the shots we've taken since 2003. One of those things you just never seem to get around to doing...

Next week is my follow-up endoscopy. Hope all goes well. I've been feeling fine, but for the last two weeks I've been having heartburn again. :-(

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A good day, even if you're not a father

Well, we got home shortly before 2:00 this morning. We had been out playing cards at some friends' house. Stan wanted to leave and just call the game before the last hand, but I said no--and ended up with a come-from-behind victory! I should have known then it was going to be a good day.

After we woke up, I called my dad for the obligatory Father's Day phone call. He got home from the hospital yesterday. He and Mom were giving each other a hard time, so I figure that's a good sign that he's on his way to recovery. Apparently he goes back Thursday to get the stitches out. The oncologist is on vacation, so he's not sure when he'll get that appointment, but he does sound like he's prepared to undergo chemo.

After church, we headed over to Arcata for a Crabs game. The local home store bought out the ballpark today to honor the former coach, and was giving away free tickets. Since we needed some hedge clippers anyway, I sent Stan over there earlier in the week to score some tickets. We also got free ball caps, so I can take one home next month for Dad. It was a beautiful day for a ballgame, and the Crabs won 9-5 (lead off by a third-inning homer that I missed standing in line to get Stan a hot dog).

We came home and took naps, then went to one of the local casinos after dinner. My $10 quickly shrank to $3 before rebounding. I ended up with $30! I was feeling pretty proud of myself until I found Stan. The $1 he had started with had grown to $51.25!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

World Traveling/Blogging

We got the rest of our photos from the Bridge Walk developed today. As I was downloading those and some photos my niece had sent of her son (who's having his first birthday party today), I noticed something else in my "My Pictures" folder. This:

This is a map of the world, with the countries I have visited (so far) colored in. One of my high school classmates has a really cool blog, wherein he posts stuff like a link to a website where you can click on a world map and color in the countries you've visited. Or a "create your own South Park character" website. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to save the latter. The former, however, I did (several months ago) and rediscovered it today. So there you have it. Like the title says, "Random Stuff from My Life."

Friday, June 16, 2006

Sorry I've been away

You know, I always have the best intention of posting stuff on a regular basis. But this time I have a good excuse: my dad has cancer.

Last Thursday night, we were out to dinner and my cell phone rang. It was my dad's cell phone. This is by definition not good news. I had called home earlier in the week and Mom mentioned that my brother was taking Dad in for a colonoscopy. She acted like it was a routine thing. "Well," my dad says to me on my cell phone, "the doctor found a little bit of cancer. They're going to operate on Monday."

Okay, going from seemingly routine health check to cancer surgery in less than a week: this does not sound good. (Of course, I found out later the colonoscopy was anything but routine: he had been waking up at 4 a.m. with abdominal pain and had been passing blood; that's why he scheduled the scope.) So when we got home I started looking for flights. (I was scheduled to be off work on Monday anyway, to participate in interviews for a non-profit board I'm on.) Turns out United was running a last-minute weekend special into Wichita! (What are the chances of that? Must mean I'm meant to go.)

On Friday night, Stan and I drove down to the Bay Area. On Saturday morning, he dropped me at SFO and I headed for Kansas while he started the long drive home. When I land in Wichita, my dad is there to meet me. (This was a surprise; I had made arrangements for my sister-in-law to pick me up. Dad said, "I wanted to come get you. Jane's helping her brother cut wheat.")

On Monday, I got up at 6:00 (Central) to take Mom & Dad over to the hospital. He was supposed to check in by 7:15. They got him into surgery about 9:20 and he was done by about 11. The doctor came and talked to the family (me, Mom, my sister, my uncle, my sister-in-law, my niece and her two kids) very briefly. I talked to my sister later and she said she did not think the doctor's message was very positive.

Dad was back in his room around 12:30, so I got to see him before I had to leave for the airport again. My sister and cousin took me to Wichita at 2:00 so I could catch my 4:15 flight back to Denver, where... the flight to SFO was already posted as an hour and twenty minutes late! (It's NEVER a good sign when a delay is posted early; the actual delay will ALWAYS be longer than the original posting.)

I got back to SFO a full two hours after the original schedule that would have already given me a very late night. At 11 p.m., I was on the road. By midnight I was in Santa Rosa. By 1 a.m., a little north of Ukiah. I got home about 3:45, and into bed at exactly 4:00 a.m. (Pacific) Tuesday morning--exactly 24 hours after I had awakened. (Meanwhile, my intention to sleep on the flight was dashed by having brought along a good book; it seems like I never get to read anymore.)

I had three hours and 47 minutes worth of sleep before heading off to work. Needless to say, I have gone to bed early every night this week, which is why I haven't posted anything before now. Yesterday, we learned the results of Dad's operation: The doctor removed 34 "nodes," two of which were malignant. He is going to be referred to an oncologist for follow-up, which may or may not be chemotherapy.

So, I think everything is fine. My mom is (understandably) having a difficult time. (I knew she would; she just about broke down when my dad went in for heart bypass surgery several years ago, which is one of the reasons I felt like I should go this time.) I probably won't know for sure until we go back again in July for their wedding anniversary.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

After the walk

Oh, wow. Yeah, this really is much easier than the Yahoo! page maker program. Okay, so after we got done walking for Marriage Equality (or, more accurately, against permanent marriage inequality) on Saturday, we met up for lunch with a couple friends from the Couples Club that we belonged to in the Bay Area. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory atop Macy's Union Square, where Stan was pleased to discover that they now have sugar-free cheesecake with Splenda.

Afterwards, we went to the Macy's Mens' Store, where I found an outfit for our upcoming trip to Montreal. There is NOTHING like a good sale at Macy's. Then we went down to the Castro to see the new HRC Shop that has opened since we left the metro.

For dinner, we met another couple of friends in Bernal Heights. It was a nice meal, and we were happy to see them, but after all the running around of the day, we could not wait to get back to our motel room in Marin (which, by the way, was not bad: I managed to find a place in the Bay Area for $55/night on a summer weekend, and although it was not fancy it did feature working plumbing and an absence of visible insects) and CRASH.

When we (finally) got on the road this morning, we hit the Factory Outlets in Petaluma. Good men's clothing stores (or even bad ones, for that matter) just do not abound in Humboldt. I must say, though, that I dread going to the Bay Area now because we have become accustomed to the lack of traffic here--and because of the six butt-numbing hours it takes to get down there. Thus, by the time we got back to Garberville I was sick of being on the freeway. And since we had no particular reason to get home at a certain time, I decided to take the scenic alternate through the redwoods. We stopped and did something new: wine tasting in Humboldt. Bought a cabernet that the guy assured us would be worth something in a few years. Don't know if that's true or not; I was more impressed with the olive oil selection. But at least we now have a local bottle in our collection (which has heretofore consisted largely of Two-Buck Chuck).

Marriage Equality Walk

The Marriage Equality USA walk across the Golden Gate Bridge was great. It was the most incredible day (weather-wise) I think I have ever seen in San Francisco. Imagine this: a light breeze, but no stiff wind, on the Golden Gate Bridge under CLEAR blue skies! Quite a contrast, apparently, to the experience at the companion walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

The walk itself turned out to be more of a challenge than I thought. We didn't just walk "across" the bridge. We hiked up the cliff from Crissy Field to the bridge, then across the bridge and BACK, and then back down the cliff to the finish line. Stan was a real trooper. He made it across the bridge and back without his knee giving out (although he did avail himself of the shuttle service on the way up the cliff and I had to go get the car to get him back down the hill). I am very proud of him.

The walk received good media coverage in the Bay Area: "KCBS all-news radio ran the bridge walk in their newscasts all through Saturday afternoon and evening. Ch. 4 KRON featured the bridge walk as their 2nd news story on their evening news... Ch. 7 KGO (ABC affiliate) ran the bridge walk story on their evening and late night newscasts... Ch. 2 KTVU (FOX affiliate) ran the bridge walk in their 10pm newscast." Here's the link from Channel 11. It was apparently also picked up by CNN, and we raised nearly $12,000!

Here are some of our photos:

Setting up at Crissy Field (note the Bridge in the background) .

The South Tower.

Stan half-way across.

Walkers approaching the North Tower.

Thanks to everyone who sent money (we raised our goal amount from $250 to $400, and we hit it!) and moral support.

First post

I've been using Yahoo! Geocities for publishing thoughts for awhile now, but the process is so daunting that I tend not to post regularly. I'm addicted to a few Blogger sites, so thought I'd try this out for myself and see if it's easier.