Good Days = Still Remarkable

Today was a nice, uneventful day. Having caught up on my sleep over the past couple of days, I woke up in a pretty good mood so I decided to head in town to wash the car and pick up some pop, bread, and other misc. $13 seems a little steep for a car wash, but I’ll give the place credit – as cruddy as she was when she went in, she came out shining as if someone had washed her by hand. 😎

Next time I’ve just gotta remember to spray on some wheel cleaner that I’ve got, and let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes, because that’s the only part that remained somewhat cruddy. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ Even the dryer section completely dried her off, unlike the freebie wash that I sometimes get from the dealership. Oh, for reference, it’s that barn shaped car wash out by the mall… can’t remember its name at the moment. πŸ€”

I also took the opportunity to stop in at the new Ohio Thrift there in the Plaza shopping center. It started as a furniture place, then turned into a thrift, and then it was vacant for several years before this new one moved in. Nice place, lots of variety – likely due to it being part of one of the bigger chains from around Columbus. πŸ˜ƒ I doubt that much of their inventory came from the area, with as much as they had in there.

I had the 360 camera in the car with me, just in case my motivation held up, but walking around the thrift store ended up being enough exercise for me. πŸ€• So I just took a short drive through the fairgrounds and Rising Park before heading back home, but that did give me the chance to stick the camera to my roof and get two recordings. πŸ€“ I’ve had that camera for quite a while but haven’t put it to much use due to this or that, so now I’ve at least got a couple of clips to mess around with as I re-remember how it all works.

Trying to think of a use for that camera did make me kinda “meh” again, thinking about not being able to ride a motorcycle anymore. πŸ˜’ Using the fairly heavy duty selfie-stick that it came with, if it was mounted off the back seat or fender of a bike (sort of like a kid would have a goofy orange flag waving off the back of a bicycle) it would result in some impressive looking footage. 🀨 The stick is digitally removed automatically, so it would look as if I had a drone following behind me the entire time – but with the ability to “look around” in any direction that you wanted at any time. Meh…

It’s weird how there are things, things that I can’t do anymore due to my shoulder, that I’ve gotten over… and this is a good example. I tried a short ride a few years after my surgery, but I could tell that if anything unexpected happened, I just couldn’t count on my left shoulder to do what it might need to do. πŸ˜³πŸ˜• And for those who aren’t aware, bikes are friggin’ heavy… so not only would riding hurt, but it would have just been a really bad idea anyway. πŸ˜’ So yeah, having that bike / camera idea pop into my head for a split second, before remembering that I can’t ride anymore… those unexpected reminders just suck sometimes. 😟

But no worries with all that. πŸ™‚ Like I said, I’m quite happy with how today went. Grabbed some kitchen supplies, hit a thrift store for a few “new” shirts, took a joyride through the parks, and got to mess around with yet another camera. And with the way people drive in this town, I wouldn’t trust half of those assholes to be around me while I was on a motorcycleΒ anyway. πŸ˜› Similar to my dash cam, I bet most riders these days have some sort of camera on their bike or helmet. I know that I sure wouldn’t ride without one.

Hoping that “good days” keep coming along, to where they no longer merit entire blog entries… 😏

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Method To My Madness

You may or may not have noticed, but over the past many weeks – especially in the time right before and after my scan – I’ve been posting a lot more entries to the blog than usual. Even if not in quantity, I’ve definitely been ramblingΒ more than I typically do. Now that I’m most of the way past that phase, I’m probably gonna end up slowing a little with my postings – not necessarily on purpose, but because as things start to feel like they’re returning to normal I have a feeling I just won’t feel like I need to post quite as much.

There’s no way to explain to someone who hasn’t gone through it, how it feels to sit with an unspecified amount of cancer in your body, jumping through all of the hoops for the tests, which includes gradually wearing down your energy levels to nothing, and then just sitting there, not knowing, waiting, worrying, hoping, etc. 😟 There isn’t an emotion that you don’t experience, ranging from hoping that it’s completely gone – to hoping that if it isn’t gone, that you at least get an expiration date… just to finally get rid of the uncertaintyΒ more than anything else. 😞 I suppose I can only speak for myself, but I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t feel most of the things / ways that I’ve felt. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

But my way of dealing with all of that (or distracting myself from all of that) was by posting here. Didn’t necessarily want to talk to anyone about it in person, or in any detail or whatever… but also couldn’t just sit here and stay all bottled up about it. So whether my posts had something to do with my medical stuff or not, it’s been a big reason why I’ve been so active lately. Now, I’m not saying that I’m gonna stop blogging… I mean, rambling is sort of my thing, it’s more that I just wanted to come here and finally explain.

Of course it doesn’t help when in the middle of all that, I get new “neck stuff” (unrelated to cancer) to eventually be concerned about. πŸ˜’ It’s hard to stay positive and try to get back to normal when just as you’re finishing up with one thing, something else fairly big comes along right on the tail of the last thing. And that’s what a lot of my postings have been, whether they seem like it or not… trying to find the silver linings, trying to reassure or even convince myself that I have the ability to take the good for what it is, and work around whatever negatives are left after that. (Bleh… that sounds cheezy.)

I’m still not back to normal, but I’m definitely getting there. I found out, thanks to the festival, that even though my energy levels are a whole lot better – there’s still a wall there to be hit, and I still don’t get a sign when I’m approaching it. I’m assuming that’ll just continue to get better though, because it has so far. I’ve barely been doing anything with friends yet, and still haven’t been on Facebook for over a month now… so I’ve still got a few of those types of hurdles to get over, but it’ll all come in time. πŸ™‚ I’m not setting goals or time-frames or anything like that… just trying to always make sure that I keep moving forward with all of it. And as for the stuff that I’ll have to face in the future, whether it is spine related or cancer related (or something as of yet unforeseen), I can’t let it chew up all my thoughts and actions between now and whenever that will be.

So whether it helps me because I’m just getting stuff out, or because it also helps to reinforce the positive thoughts… whatever it is, it’s just what I’ve needed to do during this more-uncertain time in my life. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But as I continue to get better, it should require less energy (or rambling about it) in order to keep the progress going. I made it up and over the most recent hill, so now I can hopefully start to coast a little more if that’s what I decide to do.

Meh… I could obviously continue with more on this topic, but this basically explains what I wanted to be explained. We’re all works in progress, and I’m no different. And if it’s not one of the issues that I’m currently focused on, there’s always gonna be something else that tries to damage my calm and toss some grenades in my life’s direction. 😟 I’m just hoping that I can take the things that I’ve learned from dealing with the current situations and apply them to those other things when needed. πŸ™‚ Maybe get a little better with the “ups and downs” since we all seem to come with an endless supply.

Predicted? Or Jinxed…

Stayed up late last night, not only trying to get some pics of the lightning, but also watching the delayed Southern 500 which didn’t finish until 2am. I had a feeling… wasn’t really sleepy even at that hour, my neck was feeling different, so I didn’t end up falling asleep for good until around 4a – and at that, it was with the idea of trying to “sleep carefully” so I didn’t wake up with my neck feeling even worse. πŸ˜’ It worked, but only because every time I would stir in my sleep, I’d wake up a little too much – making sure that I wasn’t being rough on my neck. Meh… so five hours of not-so-solid sleep… not in the greatest mood today.

And even using a “lightning capture” app to cheat a bit, I still wasn’t able to capture a single decent photo last night. If I didn’t have the ISO and exposure either too high or too low, resulting in images that were too dark or too blown out – the other problem was just the thickness and multiple layers of the clouds. πŸ˜‘ When the lightning wasn’t bright enough it was just obscured by the clouds, and when it was bright enough – it was like a strobe light going off in the middle of a huge ball of cotton. Just no definition.

So I think today I’ll do the bills, catch up on laundry, just general meh stuff around the house. Once the week actually starts tomorrow, that’s when I’ll have to start worrying about oil changes, glasses, haircuts, and all the other “out and dealing with people” stuff… so keeping to myself and just getting some minor chores done around here actually sounds like the most appealing way to spend my time today, believe it or not. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜•

I’m sure as my morning meds kick in I’ll start to feel better, along with mentally feeling better about getting some random shit done around here. πŸ™‚ I’m just never good when I first wake up, especially when I basically predicted last night that my neck would be an issue and that I’d be glad that today was still part of the 3-day weekend. πŸ™„ Just gonna tune the world out as much as possible, put on some music, and do my thing.

It Shouldn’t Be This Challenging

Today’s been kind of a flop. I didn’t have anything on the schedule really, but even after not getting much sleep – I still woke up with some motivation to work on one or two of my extra projects around the house. Also, between the lack of sleep and the shitty weather, I knew today wasn’t a car or glasses day either… so I’ve spent most of the day waiting for my upset stomach to go away so I could do a little of the work that I wanted to do without feeling like I was gonna yack. 🀒

It did make for a nice lazy day though, something that I sometimes struggle with allowing. Texted with Dad quite a bit, along with a few other friends, and then finally decided to go in the kitchen to chop up some green peppers to make some tuna salad for sammiches – to hopefully settle my belly, which it did. πŸ™‚ And to be honest, I was glad to just wake up today without my back being screwed up… something that it was showing signs of before I ended up falling asleep early this morning. 😯😬

So it wasn’t really that today was a flop… it was just unremarkable for the most part, so I wasn’t looking at it in the right way. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ And now that I’m feeling better since this afternoon, I know it’ll help my mood to get some more of my “unessential” stuff done before whenever I fall asleep tonight. Normally my lack of productivity would have made me a little twitchy, but I think I’m still riding along on the thyroid med train – still seeming to get back a little more energy with each day that passes. πŸ€’πŸ€žπŸ» I wish I could explain how bad the bad days really were just a few weeks ago, to emphasize how these little improvements are still a big deal.

I think I might go ahead and pull out the 360 cam and charge it up, in case I feel up to shooting any video at the SCF here in a few days. If not that, I plan on taking a lot more regular pictures this year. It’s been a few years since I’ve bothered, especially since last year’s trip was kind of a shit show from the start. πŸ˜’ And with my mood being decent lately (for the most part anyway…) I’m hoping that it’ll also nudge me towards getting interested in my hobbies like video and photography again. 😟

Every now and then Jim will post one of goofy our old videos on Twitter and I’ll come across it, where we were just goofing off and having fun for random Squirtman themed videos, and it makes me realize how long it’s been since I could truly say that I was having fun at anything, or that I was in a good mood for more than a couple hours out of one day. 😞 I’ve gotta start trying to figure out how to get a little more of that back, despite all of the other non-fun stuff I’ll obviously have to be working on (or facing) as well. 🀨 It wasn’t that many years ago that I was a totally different person, and it’d be nice if I could find my way back toward that at least a little bit. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ If my body will just stay physically un-fucked for a while, I might have a shot at it.

Meh… just thinking out loud again I guess…

I Forgot That “I Know A Guy”

I was just gonna do a drive-by and throw those pet stairs out of my car as I passed Amy’s house… heh… well, maybe not quite like that – but I was gonna just set it in her driveway so she wouldn’t have to come out and deal with company or “outside” until she wanted to. 😏🐩 But I ended up walking it up to her porch so she came out for a while, just about the same time that Rick got home – so we sat there for a while catching up on school stuff, kid/family stuff, medical stuff, home repair stuff, etc. πŸ™‚

Now, I knew that Rick is a handyman, and then some… but for whatever reason it didn’t even cross my mind to ask him what he thought about the garage door. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I think when I see something that makes me go “oof” so hard, it’s just something that I figure is beyond the typical person’s ability to repair. But that’s the thing, Rick’s not typical… the same way I’ve absorbed all sorts of nerd skills and knowledge over the years, he’s done the same with probably almost any type of contracting work that you could think of. πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ‘·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ The other thing is that I subconsciously don’t wanna “put my shit” onto someone I know, even if I’m paying them.

But after looking at the damage in more detail myself, he might be right… a repair is probably possible – and maybe just the initial overwhelming aspect of it made me think otherwise. Replacing the door would be ideal, and will still need to be done at some point, but if I can get it fixed to where it works at least as well as it has been – then I think I’m gonna try to go that route. Lessen the “ugh” of another potential “big thing” to deal with, as I described it earlier. And he’d probably be out here tomorrow night if I asked, but I think I’m still gonna wait until after my dose and scan. It would just be a little too much “stuff” going on for my twitchy and tired brain to wanna deal with.

But knowing all the big projects that he’s done, either as part of a crew or completely on his own, hearing him talk with such confidence about all of it… it reminded me that I see problems a lot differently than someone with two well-functioning arms, let alone even more differently than someone who does that type of shit every day for a living. So I’m glad that Amy found that pup, which had me go donate the stairs, where I ended up talking to Rick, which now has me feeling a little more optimistic about my options. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Glad I’m home now, though. πŸ˜“ Didn’t take the extra socializing into account when I left the house (since it wasn’t planned) so by the time I made it in town, did my things, and got back home – it was taking everything I had to not yack up today’s lunch. 🀒 But it was still nice, hanging out with them for a bit anyway.

Little Things

Believe it or not, I actually slept pretty good last night. Fell asleep almost immediately after I vented about the garage door here in the blog, and slept a solid six hours… which is much better than the current usual. I startled myself when I woke up though, glancing at the security cameras and seeing a car sitting in my driveway – forgetting for a moment that it is my car, and not some rando that had just showed up.

Before my brain had a chance to fully wake up and start fighting me, I grabbed my phone and checked the voice mail from my thyroid doctor. My labs showed numbers that will allow the next step to proceed on schedule, so that was a big relief. Not too much longer now. I know that I’m focused more on just being able to take my thyroid meds again, but that’s because it’s the current pressing concern regarding how I feel.

So I’m looking forward to the radiation and scan, but then even though I’ll be back on my meds and on the way to feeling better, that’s when the focus will be what the test results are going to say. I am starting to get really nervous again… and that waiting time between the scan being completed and my followup appointment with my doctor to let me know what they found… time feels like it runs in slow motion.

But the lawn d00ds actually hit the yard (and the rear weed whacking, without me even having to ask) yesterday while I was out, so I’ll have to run in town sometime today to grab some cash for whenever he comes by and pick it up. And Amy, she has adopted an aging “one of those little white dogs with all the teefs” after seeing posts about it just wandering around in Sugar Grove for days, so I’m gonna drop off the extra set of “pet stairs” that I’ve got, so her new critter won’t have as much trouble getting up on the couch with her.

I’m still internally cringing at going back into the garage to look at the damage and take some pics, but I’ll probably go out and do that first. Already been talking to Gen, since they (by choice) had their garage door replaced earlier this year, to start getting ideas of where and how to look for a good place to handle the project, and how much I might be looking at by time it’s done. So, a few small things on the to-do list today, but as long as I take my time none of it should be much trouble.

Garage Door Springs

After having a good start to the day yesterday, it was actually going back home that fucked up the rest of my day, evening, night, and now into the early morning hours. πŸ˜’ It’s a little after 2am right now, and I’ve tried just pushing it out of my head for the night, but that’s not gonna work. I need to ramble. 😏

Had a good visit with Dad, Toni, and Anna as planned. πŸ™‚ Skipped the drive across town to the hospital afterwards, also as planned before I even left the house, because I could just tell that I wasn’t gonna have the oomph for both. Not a big deal. I don’t think Toni prepared Anna for how I’ve been feeling lately though… 😏 because more than a couple times she asked if I just woke up, if I was tired, and looked at me like I was a weirdo when I was wetting a towel and cooling off my head. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But again, no big deal… it was a nice and long overdue visit, and we stayed about two hours.

Had just enough oomph for the drive back home, like I figured… but when I clicked to open the garage door, only the right side went up – and just a little bit – so I quickly hit the clicker again to stop it from whatever it was trying to do. 😠 And this is a little ironic, because in the past few weeks I’ve only been on Facebook a couple of times. The most recent time was to let people know I was here and okay, and the time before that I remember leaving a comment on someone’s post about garage door springs. πŸ™„ Such a random topic, I know, but I think she was looking to have hers replaced, and I commented something about how Dad and Grandpa B both said that you definitely didn’t wanna be standing next to one of them if they decided to go.

Well, that’s what happened yesterday. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Not awesome. Also, completely mentally and physically draining, at the push of a clicker and lurch of a busted garage door. Nothing I can do about it though, so I was hoping to just go “Nope” and go inside and not think about it for at least the rest of the night. But yeah, one of the springs popped in the middle, and with such force that there’s even broken pieces of wood on the floor of the garage from where things broke apart in the supporting rafters. 😯 (The door itself looks mostly okay from the outside) I’ll have to go out and get some shots of the damage whenever I wake up later today, not that I’m gonna be able to do anything about it for a while. Perfect timing, so to speak.

And it wasn’t even something that I had been slacking on. I bought a thing of grease that I specifically used for the tracks, rollers, and parts of the drive motor that function better with grease on it. But the shit is old… really old… so I can’t be that mad. I just wish it broke in a way that made it look more like a “repair” than a “replace.” But the door is crazy heavy, the old opener has struggled with it for a while, so replacement will be the best route when I’m able to get to it. And luckily, with that, there’s no huge hurry.

Silver linings: I wasn’t standing near it when it broke. Nobody else was standing near it when it broke. My car wasn’t underneath it (the door or the spring) when it broke. And it broke when the door was down instead of up, where it probably would have slammed down and shattered. 😬 So it could have been a heck of a lot worse. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€ All it means for now is that nothing will be entering or leaving the garage, which is fine – car’s already outside, and even though I’ve got a mower, I’ve also got my lawn d00ds that handle that right now. It’s just one of those “defeating” things where I know there’s not a damn thing I can do about it by myself, which means I’ll have another “big thing” to add to the schedule at some point. 😟 But like the AC install, it’ll be new, it’ll work better, it’ll fit better… and since most garage doors are steel molded to look like wood or vinyl siding, it’ll be a hell of a lot lighter.

Something that needed to be done eventually anyway… it just forces my hand at a really inconvenient time. πŸ˜• But now that I’ve barfed it out here, it should help me to put it out of my immediate thoughts for a little while… at least until the medical stuff is done or nearly done.