Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Always Room For Improvements

Went to Home Depot, Hobo, Lowe's for more supplies, going to replace the back door, reconfigure the fence, besides doing the retaining wall and landscaping at Doug's. I offered my help and he sure is taking me up on that offer. On the way back, driving down Layton Ave past the airport, we noticed flashing lights and TV crews, wondered what was happening, pulled into the observation lot and watched as Senator John McCain's airplane landed. That was kind of cool to see.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

and pollen, and dander, and ragweed, and whatever I am now allergic to. My eyes are red, itchy, burning, feel like I'm being stabbed, irritated. I couldn't even put in my contacts this morning. I took some allergy medicine, which helped a little, bought an eye irrigation solution, and drops, which seem to help greatly. Most of the morning my eyes watered every five minutes or so it seemed. I've developed a number of allergies lately. Some to candles that I used to burn, some to cleaning supplies, Febreeze, laundry detergent. The body is a wondrous thing!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tear Down The Wall, Build Up The Wall

Once we started on the wall, we realized we had to reconfigure one corner, so we tore part of it out and reconstructed it. That took a good amount of time so we only got one additional layer added to the entire wall today. Luckily, there is no rush to get it completed and we want to do it properly, so I didn't mind starting over. The wall looks much better now and we seem to have gotten the hang of laying brick so it should go much smoother as we progress. I am enjoying the whole process, the feeling of accomplishment, and the hard work involved.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Break By Break

Doug and I have knocked off for the day. It was definitely hard work, but the retaining wall is taking shape. We had to stop to get a wheelbarrow, more leveling sand, and need to pick up a masonry saw to cut bricks in half. We're going to pick up again tomorrow, but not until after we get to German Fest for a couple of hours. It's going to take a bit longer than anticipated, but it'll get finished in the next couple of days. We took plenty of breaks, kept ourselves hydrated and fed, and worked a good number of hours. I am beat, exhilarated, but tired. I will sleep good tonight.

Brick By Brick

Last night, a trip to Lowe's, Menard's, and Hobo (plus a stop at Culver's too), and everything is set for building the retaining wall. The brick is being delivered this morning, then the work shall begin. I will be toiling today, tomorrow. Depending on how far we get, it should be completed this weekend. I want to fit in a run down to German Fest at some point too, but the yard work takes precedent over anything else this weekend.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Under Construction

I am going to be helping build a retaining wall and doing some landscaping in the next couple of weeks as part of Doug's patio project. Been going to different home improvement stores, checking out materials and tools, getting ideas, preparing for the work ahead. It's very educational to be involved in the process. I'm actually looking forward to the physical labor too. Living in an apartment I do not have this opportunity often, so getting a chance to do something constructive is rather intriguing to me. Of course I like the stopping to eat part of it as well, tonight it was Gyros. When it's all done, I'll be able to enjoy my labors by sitting on the patio with a cold beer and food from the grill. That's a few weeks off though.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

News To Me

I spoke with the oncologist and there is no sign of lymphoma in my marrow. He believes that I am anemic and wants to monitor my blood for the next few weeks. He explained that my body has trouble producing blood cells properly and I will probably contend with this on a reoccurring basis. Trust me when I tell you that I am relieved. The thought of facing cancer once again was unnerving.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I attempted to go on a bike ride tonight. The back tire needed air, so I walked back up to the apartment, grabbed my tire pump and headed back to the basement. Much to my chagrin, the nozzle does not fit the tire valve. I tried a few times and decided that it wasn't going to happen tonight. I will have to take the bike over to the gas station and fill the tire up. I hadn't planned on this, so my bike ride has been delayed. Now that I know what I have to do prior to getting on my bike, I can plan accordingly. So I'm off to the couch instead to do some reading.

No News Is Good News, Right?

I had an extremely nice, restful, busy weekend. It kept me distracted from the persistent fevers. If I'm active, I don't notice them. I had reached the 100.6 degree mark, but wonder if it was because of the humidity, being overheated. Mostly they are in the 99.1 range. I have not gotten the results back from the last set of blood tests and the marrow biopsy. I don't know what to expect seeing how every other test has come back fine, yet I'm still experiencing the fevers and night sweats. I'll just have to wait and see and keep myself active and distracted. Since I feel fine despite the internal combustion, I see no problems keeping busy.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dark Nights and Rainy Days

I went to see the new Batman movie last evening with Doug. It was a very good movie. Long though, over two and a half hours. I got home about 10:45pm, realized I couldn't find my wallet. A frantic call to Doug, a check on his couch and in his vehicle and it was found. I had to drive back over to pick it up and head home again. This morning I got my haircut and spent some time hanging out with Kim at the salon. If it ever stops raining, I just might get down to Festa Italiana. Otherwise, I'll just lounge on the couch, read and watch TV. Weekends are meant to be lazy days.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

*Crystal Cathedral

After a couple of days of running around to hardware stores, book stores, sub shops, burger joints, pet shops and of course a stop for ice cream, I am lounging for the evening. It's been hot out, enjoying the heat and summer, enjoying the coolness of the fans and fit of the couch too. I'll run more again this weekend. Feeling good, still encountering low grade fevers, waiting for results from the marrow biopsy. Not much else going on, just hanging out, reading, doing puzzles, watching TV.

*Homage to one of the best Simpson's episodes produced to date

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just As Expected

Everything went fine. Had the blood tests, all counts normal, an EKG, normal, temperature 98.4, blood pressure 102/68, weight is down since last week. I slept through the bone marrow biopsy, awoke shortly afterward, good vitals, then home. Now to wait for the results.

This Is A Test

I'm up now. Going to spend the morning getting ready for the blood work and bone marrow biopsy. I have to be at the hospital at 10:00am. I have been fasting since 10:00pm. Late last night I read some old posts from last July and August to see how I managed these tests back then and I discovered that I had all the same symptoms before being diagnosed with anemia. I had the fevers, the night sweats, the muscle cramping, the head aches, the tiredness. I find it interesting. Maybe that could be what's going on with my body. We'll have to see what the doctor says.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Bugs Life (and Impending Death)

On the morning walk, Judy and I noticed something blowing across the pavement. I approached it and saw that it was a huge moth with a wingspan about 12 inches if not bigger. It was injured and lay dying, being carried on the wind. We thought of putting it out of it's obvious misery, but there was something beautiful about it that neither one of us could kill it. The moth fought valiantly to recover but whatever injury it had, the moth could not overcome. I have never seen a moth this size before so I snapped a picture of it on my cell phone. It was being carried away by the wind as we continued our walk.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My Surroundings

I'm getting out and discovering the areas around my neighborhood this weekend, which happens to be part of the old stomping grounds. Friday night I went to the south shore frolics for a fish fry, then a walk through Bay View for ice cream. Today I'm going to watch the frolics parade and see what else the locale has to keep me entertained.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Five Flags

It was a late night yesterday. Went to Six Flags Great America for Coasters After Dark from 10:00pm to Midnight. In between the storms here and in Gurnee, Doug and I got to jump on our favorite roller coasters. While on Superman, I lost my keys. Fortunately, Mom and Dad keep a spare set so I didn't have to worry about getting into my apartment or driving the Jeep. The ground crew located my keys and they are being mailed back to me. As soon as we left the park, it started raining again. I had about four hours sleep before I had to get moving for work. I'm ragged around the edges, but nothing a nap or sleeping in won't take care of.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Saving The Tree Frogs

Over the last few days, there has been a swarm of tiny tree frogs frantically hopping the streets of the industrial park near work. I noticed them on the walk this morning, after Christine had mentioned them the other day. There is a creek running past the building and adjacent lots. For some reason, the frogs are leaving the marshy wooded area and end up in the roadway and can not get up the curbs. They then are drying up and dying. They are tiny. So today when I was walking, I noticed a number of them attempting to jump up the curb. I assisted a number of them get back onto the grassy area. It was a nice diversion, made the walk interesting this morning. I washed my hands once I got back to work.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Clean and Clear

The latest scans have come back clean, clear. No sign of lymphoma. I am surprised, but glad to have gotten good scans. The oncologist is talking to the hematologist to decide how to proceed since I am still symptomatic. I wasn't anticipating these results but will take them without hesitation. It is relieving, yet puzzling. Why is my body going through this? I'll wait to see what the next step is. And yes, I am smiling about the outcome.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Down Time

After three days of running, my body let me know it wanted time to rest. Just hanging out, lounging on the couch. Been reading, doing puzzles, watching TV. Got my laundry done and took a long nap earlier. It's nice to be able to take a day to myself now and then. I didn't notice any fever the last couple of days, but I was busy having fun. Tonight I notice it, so it's still there. As I stated, it is not going to stop me from enjoying the Summer. Tomorrow I plan on running around again, so today is my day on the couch.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Let The Celebration Begin

it already has . . . the fireworks were incredible, one of the best displays I have seen. The temperature was cool, and I was wearing shorts, so I ended up wrapping a blanket around me. I did share it with Kim though. The fireworks were being shot off from four different locations, so it seemed like there were fireworks everywhere you looked. Now I'm all set to head out to Kim's to go watch the Waukesha parade, then back to her house for food, sun, swimming, and more fireworks. Enjoy the Holiday!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

070306 Now

I found out that I had Hodgkin's two years ago. That night I went to the fireworks down by the lakefront as a defiant act, I wasn't going to let it stop me. Last year I went to the fireworks as a courageous act, having gotten through months of chemotherapy, radiation, transfusions, and a blood clot. Tonight I will go both defiantly and bravely, It's been one hell of a Summer and I want to keep it going, no matter what. I have lots to celebrate, all my family and friends are the best. And how I enjoy fireworks!!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Out In The Rain

Despite all that I'm going through, I'm still running around. Tonight I am meeting Jody and heading to Summerfest for music, food, and people watching. Of course the weather is spotty, but that's not going to stop us from enjoying the festivities.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Office Visit

Getting CT and PET Scans is always interesting. First, there's the visit to the blood lab, several vials of blood drawn. Then you get put into a small room, with a recliner and warmed blankets. You drink lemon flavored contrast materials and are given the radioactive dye. You rest for about 45 minutes to let everything circulate through your system, then off to the scans. They take about 45 minutes to complete. You have to fast for 12 hours prior, so by the time the scans are done, I am starving. Tim and I went to Steak-N-Shake to eat, then I headed home to rest, the materials always make me feel blah. I'm rested and beginning the nightly fever. I will find out the results of the scans next week. Until then, I'll just get through the symptoms as they come.