Nine Years Glowing
Nine years ago today I was strapped in the stirrups and nuked. There’s still no sign of the cancer recurring, and life is good. Thinking the ten year mark would be a good time for a party. Maybe a little beach party pilgrimage for the seeds to San Onofre with lots of glow sticks for everyone. Gonna have to work on that.
Eight Years Plus
It’s been more than eight years since the radiation, and there are still no signs of cancer returning. So why do I dread this afternoon’s checkup so much?
Still A Survivor
Prostate cancer, eight years and counting.
Forgetting Is Good
Almost forgot that Wednesday was the seventh anniversary of getting my prostate nuked. One hundred fifty-three little seeds getting injected up there to kill cells that were trying to kill me. While there wasn’t much to say on that day (yay ‘conscious sedation’) the posts immediately following are still up in the archives. Going to assume the forgetfulness isn’t just a sign of aging but of moving on. Seven years without a hint of life out of the evil little mutants is a good thing, and I have no need to dwell on the dead.
Alas, No New Pictures
Spent the morning at BorgHealth getting scoped. I’d hoped to have some photos to share – some frontal organs to match the images from the rear in 2003. Alas, it was not to be.
The procedure (a cystoscopy for you technical types) was not fun. Flat on my back in a stylish little gown, fiber optics were run up the urethra (yes, inserted through that little hole there) and my amazing doctor took a little virtual tour of my urinary tract all the way up to the bladder. While touring the bladder he grabbed a little souvenir – something to remember me by, and study and test and such. Then in a flash, both in sense of time and the blazing pain, the fiber optics were removed and I was free to clean myself up and skedaddle. Which I quickly did before they could change their minds and run that camera anywhere else.
I have no idea what, if anything, is wrong. Due to the history of prostate cancer and the diverticulitis my great doctors are opting for that ‘abundance of caution’ thing, and I let them do their thing. Failing lab tests is nothing new. It’s the reason I was a liberal arts major. BorgHealth takes it seriously though, and I like that they have a purpose. I was just hoping to get some photos out of the procedure to use for this year’s holiday cards. Now we’re going to have to go with ‘puppy on the beach’ and be like every other couple.
Pardon Our Interruption
An otherwise great weekend is being marred by news of the death of J.G. Ballard and the imminent death of a friend’s beloved pet of 15 years. I haven’t explored Ballard’s writings as much as I should, but was a huge fan of the film of his autobiography, Empire of the Sun. Prostate cancer deaths always twist my emotions just a little bit harder; going to have to find some of his other books at the library this week. As for the other, spending time with Diego now and planning for the consumption of alcohol is very near future.
The Drones Are Back
The downside to having a good doctor on the cancer is that word got out, and now it’s nearly impossible to see him. The nom de blog Borghealth kept popping back into my mind while on hold this morning. Yes, you’ve been on the wait list for a month and a half. No, we don’t know when he’ll be available again. The drones used to tell you when new dates on the calendar would be released for scheduling, but now all they’ll say is to call back ‘periodically.’ I think my six-month checkup is going to be closer to a year this time around. At least I have a lab slip to get my bloodwork done – good results there should relieve some of the semi-annual stress.
Sequels Always Suck, As Does Cancer
It’s been more than five years since Howling Point proudly presented Ultrasounds Of A Prostate. Now we regret to show you, via excessive and overflowing linky love, Henry: Portrait of a Would-Be Chad Killer over at the Untitled Chad Darnell Project. Go wish Chad well.
Still Alive, And Blissfully Exhausted
Five years ago today I was flat on my back with my feet up in stirrups, doped to the gills and getting nuked like a pig on a spit. Now I just look like I’ve been nuked as the weekend sunburn turns into the periodic leprosy commonly know as ‘peeling.’
The reception on Saturday went great. There were a few panic attacks, and the last minute move of about 100 yards (just like at the wedding itself), but those aren’t what I want to remember. Sure, it wasn’t exactly what we planned, but there have been so many plans on the table the last few months I’m not sure what the final plan was anyways, and what we had was beautiful.
What I want to remember are one hundred family and friends gathered together to celebrate an event that would have been legally impossible just a few months ago. Kind, loving, accepting and caring people who traveled distances ranging from hundreds of yards to hundreds of miles to raise their glasses of carbonated fruit juice with us and celebrate our new life together.
I think the smash hit of the day (besides our matching hawaiian shirts) was the dessert, a cake by a brand new chocolatier(?) bakery(?) in San Diego named Millle Feuille (don’t ask me how to pronounce it – I simply can’t). Their Apricot Summer cake was exquisite. For the record, and because a lot of people asked but I didn’t have the answer Saturday, that is:
Coconut-pineapple and carrot sponge cake layered with orange-apricot cream cheese filling topped with a marbled glaze.
But even that doesn’t do it justice, because it neglects the fresh blueberry and gold glitter garnish.
The lunch from Pacific Island Catering also went over very, very well, and Ellis, the owner, went above and beyond in making everything right. Not just great food, but amazing presentation and the possibly the best service I’ve seen in my seven years in San Diego. All along he exuded the experience and confidence that helped us relax and go with the process, and our trust paid off big time when not only did the lunch go off without a hitch, but he was able to make the phone calls necessary to get extra chairs and tables on two hours notice on a Saturday morning when our original plan was overrun by kiddie volleyball players.
The official photos were posted Saturday evening at Island Pix. The recyclable cameras we put on each table for the guests’ later humiliation are still awaiting processing on our coffee table and will be posted eventually. My camera, despite a few fleeting moments of temptation, stayed safely at home.
On a final note, we came home with two carloads of bubble wrap, packing peanuts, wrapping paper and Crate & Barrel boxes (not to mention leftovers) that have made Diego the happiest puppy alive. While I’m sure he’s disappointed he missed the big day, he’s sure enjoying a living room full of consolation stuffing.
Meandering Sunday Swim
Got in a nice swim this morning. OK, it was short and mostly an excuse for me to find myself in front of my preferred garden supply store, but the laps were plural and it did feel good to stretch things out.
Two good swimming articles in print edition of this morning’s Times though:
- Grevers opting to fight be on the U.S. team rather than accept an invitation to swim for the Netherlands.
- Shanteau deciding to swim rather than seek immediate cancer treatment.
No breaking news, just good write-ups of interesting things. Good writing and good editorial choices just reinforce the decision that the only print newspaper we get here is the Sunday New York Times. OK, the crossword puzzle helps in that decision.
On a semi-related note, I crossed the statistical five-year line last Monday. I’m now a five-year survivor of prostate cancer. Going through treatment was probably when I really started to appreciate the meditative aspects of swimming. Sometimes tuning everything out except for the little black line you’re following works, and everything else just seems to go away. That can be a very good thing.