Archive for March, 2009

I found a paperweight yesterday that my Nana had given to me about thirty-five years ago.

Too-many years earlier, it sat on her desk when she worked at the Department of Something-or-Other. I should have paid more attention to what department it was. I vaguely remember her pointing out the building to me whenever we drove past it.

I put Nana’s paperweight on my desk next to another paperweight. The other paperweight is clear and has an owl inside of it. It’s not a real owl because that would be really freaky and probably illegal. I wouldn’t even like owls except that my mom collected them when she was alive (not to be confused with what she is collecting while she is dead).

I’m not even sure what a paperweight is meant to do. Unless you have an outdoor office, I doubt the papers need to be weighted down.

For me, they are a constant reminder of the two women that had the most impact on my formative years. Come to think of it, they had quite an impact on me as an adult right up until the day that each of them left.

Maybe paperweights were invented to help with keeping some of our most precious memories in place.

As the years pile up, I can use all the help that I can get.

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Yup it’s back into the OR on Friday (that’s OPERATING ROOM for those of you that do not frequent them often).

This time it’s for a simple I & D. That, my friends, is surgical people talk for INCISION and DRAINAGE.

The sharp, pointy things didn’t work very well last week and the lump beneath my scar came back and is bigger and better than ever!

We are officially calling the lump a “mass”. The plan is to go in and clean everything out from beneath the scar. Cultures will then be taken of the “mass” and that’s about the time I spaced-out and don’t recall what else he said.

As long as “biopsy” and “tumor” aren’t a part of the discussion, I don’t really care what the hell he does in there.

I don’t even know how long I’ll need crutches this time. I’m thinking by Monday I’ll be back in two sneakers again.

My cycling partner, Lance (Armstrong), broke his collarbone and just had surgery on it yesterday. So we both expect to be back on our bikes in time for the Giro and then I’ll help Lance win his 8th Tour de France in July.

I hope you’ll tune in and watch the race. Just so you’re not confused, I’ll be the chubbier of the two.

5000 hits!

Posted: March 23, 2009 in Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

WOW! First I’d like to thank all of you that have clicked onto this blog a total of 5086 times so far. I’m going to take the time out here to mention all of you.

So here goes: My wife, Shelley; my sister, Karen; my daughter, Danielle; and two of my dear friends, Amy and Eileen (both of which coincidentally grew up in Yonkers about the same time).

That’s about 1000 hits per person!

I’ve always had a high threshold for pain and in the past year and a half it’s actually increased.

I should first mention that I am not comparing any of this to the grandfather of all pain: childbirth. I’ve been in the labor room four times and would never have survived being the one in the bed.

But let me tell you something. What I went through today was nothing short of cruel and unusual punishment. And it all took place in a doctor’s office.

One end of the incision on my ankle had become puffy and there was a small mass beneath the surface. Tumor Doc told me to come back if it got any worse, which of course it did.

So he starts to pull out gauze and scissors and tweezers and other things with very pointy tips on them.

He explained that one of the stitches inside of the incision had caused an absess and he needed to remove that stitch and drain the yucky stuff out.

So I waited for the needle filled with the good stuff that would numb the area. It never came.

I told him I’d enjoy the whole experience much more if I could go na-night. He said numbing it probably wouldn’t do too much considering the area he needed to work on.

He told me it would hurt a little. He was wrong. IT HURT A LOT!

He dug right in there with the sharp, pointy objects. He kept asking me if I has OK. I kept lying to him and saying that I was fine.

I wanted my mommy. I wanted a baseball bat to hit him with. I tried reaching for one of the sharp, pointy objects to stab him back with.

He kept digging and plucking and pulling and I think I cracked a couple of teeth from clenching so hard.

His nurse kept giving me looks of sympathy and I tried fantasizing that she was flirting with me. But if she had gotten close enough I’d probably have taken her hostage and made him stop the torture.

This went on for hours… or at least ten to fifteen minutes. And when he had finished, I thanked God and everyone in his circle.

The lump and mass were gone. There was a little hole where he inserted a wick so that the remaining fluid could escape the area. He wrapped the area, wrote me a prescription and sent me on my way.

So yeah… I’m resting comfortably now that I’m not being jabbed with sharp, pointy things.

So I unexpectedly found a dear friend this morning that I have not seen in over five years. We are getting together Sunday morning for breakfast. I’m not going to divulge the meeting spot in this forum. And remember, I have Secret Service agents protecting me now and they WILL use force if necessary.

I’ve been on two sneakers for a week now. My ankle is still very tender and I’m walking with a limp but I think it’s getting better. Well… there is one little problem now… at one end of the scar there is a huge lump. The tumor doc said not to worry about it unless it began to ooze junk out of it. So wouldn’t you know, last night I reached down and discovered it was leaking. I’m going in to see him tomorrow and I have a feeling he is going to stick a needle in it… or slice it open… or something that will make me freaking queasy. He says it’s no big deal but this is a doctor that pulls tumors out of people all day. If I don’t have a panic attack and pass out, I’ll let you know what happens tomorrow.

Dad is still in the hospital and I don’t even want to go into all of his issues. They’re doing tests and surgical procedures and who knows what else. I just know that as long as the doc doesn’t call to say he died, he’ll probably be at my son’s baseball games this spring.

Oh, like a fool I tried to ride my bike last Saturday. The doctor didn’t say not to, so I figured it would be OK. Yes I know I’m a stubborn, impatient moron so please keep those comments to yourself. Anyway, it hurt. I tried using mostly my left leg for pedaling but the right one still had to go through the motions. If you are familiar with the terrain around my house, you know that there is nothing flat about it. So that didn’t help the situation at all. I rode between 3-5 miles. I’m not sure exactly because the batteries in my bicycle computer were dead.

Just a reminder that I will be doing a 100-mile bike ride sometime in early September (as long as another tumor doesn’t appear) to celebrate my good fortunes of having three tumors, none of which were cancerous. I have at least one friend riding with me but want as many people as possible to join in the fun (and pain, sweat, blood, etc). I’ve chosen a course that is FLAT to ROLLING HILLS. There are no killer hills. I’m also thinking of having a 50-mile route for those that don’t want to attempt the 100-mile ride. I just think it will be a great way to push our bodies further than we think they will go. Why? Because we are healthy and we CAN! I’ve only done it once before and I can tell you that it’s something you’ll always remember and something that most of your friends will have a hard time believing. I’ll pass along more info as I figure it out.

Help me out with this one. So you are beautiful, blond, great body, and can sing… so what do you do? You have this huge freaking tattoo stamped onto your shoulder and most of your arm… a really, really dark tattoo. If you watch American Idol you know what I’m talking about. And I hate to say this but if the blind guy wasn’t blind, do you think he would have gotten this far in the competition?

OK… you’ve just wasted five minutes of your life reading this stupid blog… soooo… will you come back again? Please?

So the news was mostly good today at the tumor doc’s office.

The Xrays looked fine. It was very cool being able to see the bigger wad of bone cement from the first surgery and then the second smaller area behind it.

The good news about the second attack of bone eating tumors was that they stayed away from the ankle joint. There’s not much of it left so it was very, very good news about the location of the latest tumors.

My ankle is still swollen and super sore. It hurts to walk on. I have a major limp and I’m sure it will be a while before I’m ready for prolonged physical activity. But it’s a start and I’m THRILLED!!!

The only bad news is that we are still within the two year window where this type of tumor is most aggressive. There is a very good chance that it will come back for an encore performance.

But for now I’m on schedule to train for my 100-mile bike ride in September. I hope to start riding my bike in a week or two.

Time to go and look for my right-footed sneaker!

When you spend all day in a wheelchair, you are susceptible to bedsores. When you are a paraplegic, you have no way of feeling these sores and often times if you do not see them, they can turn into open, infected wounds.

It’s happened a couple of time to my father over the past ten years and it is happening again.

He drove himself to the ER this morning with a very high temperature. He is now being treated with antibiotics in the hopes that his temp will return to normal.

They had hoped that he’d be on his way home by now but he has just been admitted because his status hasn’t changed since he arrived.

Hopefully he’ll be doing much better by morning.