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Lunch with Kevin

Planning world domination with old friend Kevin. 

How 1,600 People Went Missing from Our Public Lands Without a Trace | Outside Online

Great article. Kinda scary really. I’m in wilderness areas a couple of times a year and only ever got lost once with no cell coverage or an amateur radio handy-talky. Luckily I was also mobile so I drove around in circles, for what seemed forever, until I luckily found a family camping in the middle of nowhere. My way out was less than a mile away, but If I had run out of gas and gone on foot God knows what would have happened.

And this was just me going fishing, about ten miles from Santa Fe.

One question I had early on was, Are you better or worse off going missing in a national forest than from a Walmart parking lot? I thought I knew the answer. You can see an aerial view of my firewood pile from space on your smartphone. I thought that in the wild, someone would send in the National Guard, the Army Rangers, the A-Team, and that they wouldn’t rest until they found you. Now I’m not so sure.

Source: How 1,600 People Went Missing from Our Public Lands Without a Trace | Outside Online

The Roots of Cowboy Music

Oakland writer Carvell Wallace travels to Elko, Nevada, for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and reflects on what it means to be black and American.

via The Roots of Cowboy Music: ‘This Is the Music We Made. This Is the Land We Made.’ — Longreads

How they made Soft Cell’s Tainted Love

softsell

“Don’t go on dressed like that – you’ll put people off”… Marc Almond, right, with Dave Ball. Foto: Finn Costello

 “The song was just played in clubs at first – but then it took off, reaching No 1 in 17 countries. Girls would chase us in the street. We were living in a dodgy little housing association flat in Leeds and being flown about in Concorde. Then we’d get home to find neighbours had put graffiti over our door and superglued the locks shut.”

Read the whole crazy story at Guardian Music.

NYTimes: Norway Is No. 1 in Happiness. The U.S., Sadly, Is No. 14. No wonder I feel depressed. Need to visit my chums in Oslo.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/20/world/worlds-happiest-countries.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share

Trump-Russia collusion is being investigated by FBI, Comey confirms

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/20/fbi-director-comey-confirms-investigation-trump-russia?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

The Story Emporium

My pal Phil has a site full of stories, read by Phil in videos. They are for children mostly. He is a very talented orator and kids love him.

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 4.11.43 PM

Check it out The Story Emporium.

Leaving Facebook.

Facebook used to be fun. But I’m not finding it much fun these days.

So I’m going to give it a break and just post here for now.

Seven Months Later – June 2014

Hard to believe that it’s almost six months since my last post. This is indicative of how better I feel and how sickness no longer takes center stage. I will try and get caught up.

The end of 2013 was fairly miserable. My two favourite holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, were sad affairs at Blaylock Manor. I had vain hopes of being able to taste food normally but it was not to be. Everything still tasted and smelled terrible. There was one shining bright star revealed on the final day of 2013. I was in remission. The last scan of the year revealed no signs of cancer whatsoever. It was a wonderful way to end our annus horribillis.

In the early part of 2014 I started vomiting daily. I would feed myself through the tube and then seconds later vomit it up in a most spectacular way. It was a wonderful display of human plumbing. I’m not quite sure why this went on for so long, but there were times where all I would do is feed and puke, feed & puke. By this stage I had lost 100lbs. I weighed less than I did when I arrived in the USA. The Doctors prodded and stuck scopes down my gullet, took tests and then finally just chalked it up to a side-effect of treatment and prescribed Ondansetron and anti-nausea patches much like the kind used for sea sickness.

As long as I used them everything was fine. But I would forget occasionally and I would start puking again. Finally I got into the habit of including them in my daily medicine regimen. I still found it hard to eat by the mouth but try I would. We visited Eva’s Father and, instead of taking cans of Osmolite, I vowed to eat normally. I did, but hated pretty much everything and was on the verge of nausea many times. Restaurants in rural Georgia tend to have a lot of fried foods and the smell, and taste made me very queazy.

fish

Reel Recovery

In April I was very lucky to be invited to a weekend fly-fishing retreat hosted by Reel Recovery. They are an organization that invites men who have cancer or have had cancer and takes them on a weekend long trip into the country, with lodging, food and fishing all for free.

I’ve been a fly-fisher for about 30 years so I didn’t need to learn the basics, but you are hooked up with a guide, typically somebody who has attended before, and they help you get onto fish. I caught this large sunfish, biggest I’ve ever caught, and also a catfish. Catfish fight like hell and are lots of fun on a fly rod.

All that weekend I tried to eat the food on offer, only resorting to cans a few times. The weekend was a lot of fun with the camaraderie and laughs and a few tears. A couple of times a day we would have a guided discussion about our sickness and our lives before, during and after. For some it was obvious that they had never shared how they felt in public or maybe even in private. It was gratifying to see over the weekend how some who had been recalcitrant were now willing to speak. I’m an old hand at ‘group’ so it was nothing new for me. But I left the weekend feeling more connected after spending a weekend with people who didn’t think it was weird that I could not eat whatever was on offer.

The long slog

When we first discussed the course of treatment I was going to follow my surgeon warned me that for every week of radiation it was going to take a month to recover. So sometime in April 2014 I should be feeling like my old self. Jeez.

I can’t begin to tell you how depressed I am after being discharged. In hospital you don’t have time to think about your lot. There’s always somebody coming in who wants to draw blood, or change some drip, or give you meds etc. Now at home the reality of how I felt hit hard.

My neck had a lot of burns from the radiation so that was fun for the first ten days or so – looked really gross too. That has cleared up now and my skin is as smooth as a baby. I hardly need to shave. I have some odd hairline at the back of my head. I haven’t bothered looking as I just don’t need to. Oddly, both my eyebrows have gone nuts and now I sport these curly old man eyebrows that shoot up into space. My hands shake more. They always shook but now it is very noticeable.

I still cannot taste or smell anything. Well I can but it is totally unrelated to how they really taste. Everything can have an odd chemical smell, everything. I try little niblets of food to see how they taste but they are usually foul. My saliva glands are shot so as soon as you put something in your mouth it dries up and makes it very hard to swallow.

My jaw, unless I am careful, can be clenched tight all day Something to do with the radiation and the surgery. I try and remember the exercises I need to keep it working right. That and the burns inside my mouth have changed my voice. I am much quieter and don’t seem to have the range i remember.

Maybe the worst of all is that i have to feed myself through a PEG device. Basically this is a tube that goes into my abdomen and through to my stomach. I feed myself a liquid food three times a day. That is what is keeping me going. I can have it removed after two weeks of only eating via my mouth. I pray for that day.

So there we are, the current state of affairs. I have started seeing a therapist and I have an appointment with a psychiatrist next week. I feel better today than the day I left hospital, but I still feel nothing like normal. I keep on having to remember that recovery takes time.

Oh the upside. I have lost over 50lbs. None of my clothes look right. We went to Nordstrom Rack yesterday and I got two beautiful jackets and two shirts. I have lost six inches round my waist. I look marvellous.