New Rule

I have to stop letting how I feel when I wake up each day be an indicator of how I’m going to feel for the rest of the day. 🤨 Especially since I usually have the luxury of waiting it out… taking my morning meds, giving it a little time, and eventually feeling at least somewhat better. And yeah, I know that this is such a “Yeah, no shit.” thing for normal people, so of course my brain just instinctively resists the idea. 🙄

I’m gonna be so bad at getting older and more broken if I don’t keep trying to recognize my flawed ways of thinking and trying to change them. 👨🏻‍🦳 The other thing that I have to work on is learning to accept that some of the physical things just aren’t going to get better. What’s that Garth Brooks song? Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old) 😏 Heh… I really hate that my blog is like 90% “bitching about things” these days though… like today, it was only four hours of sleep, waking up because I could feel my pulse in my friggin’ jaw, and then (when I got up to go to the bathroom) discovering that my back is trying to re-fuck itself.

I swear, there’s an invisible hat in my house somewhere, filled with bits of paper listing all of my various potential ailments or irritants for the day, and some unseen force just grabs three or four of them at random and there ya go. 🤕🤢😖😷😟🤒😓♿ The unending uncertainty of each day is such shit… so waking up depressed or mad is understandable, but I gotta stop letting it stick… especially if that’s the only thing that seems to be triggering it on that particular day.

But it’s been a few hours now since I woke up, my meds are kicking in, things are sucking a bit less, but I’m still gonna take it easy today. I’ve got another appointment tomorrow, plus I need to build up some positive juju because I wanna get back in to see Dad again next week, Bri is gonna be induced and have her baby next week as well – starting at 6 friggin’ AM, then on Saturday Jim’s going to Buckeye Lake to meet up with his dad, brother, and Adam at Pizza Cottage and I’ve also been invited. I’ve missed the last couple of hang-outs with them, so I really wanna try to make it this time. 😔🤞🏻

And that leads me back to the new rule. Well, let’s call it a guideline, since I know that I’m going to fail at it at least as often as I succeed…. but without being able to “shake off” how I feel when I wake up, none of that fun stuff on my potential to-do list will be possible. History has proven that more times than I’d like to admit. 😒 Trying to adjust my attitude each day will let me hopefully be less flakey to my friends and family, and being less flakey to my friends and family in itself will help keep my mood going in the right direction. I just have to hope that my meds decide to start pulling their weight again soon too.

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Sooner Than You Think

I actually ended up taking Brianna to her OB appointment today. 😯 Unfortunately it was one of the “not really fun” ones, not one of the ones where they do an ultrasound… but it still ended up being an exciting visit, for lack of a better term. Exciting, because they’ve actually decided that they are going to induce her and they scheduled the day. 😊 Our circles don’t really intersect, so it’s not that any of her friends would learn about it here, but I’m still not going to mention the day… just in case.

Somewhat like me, she’s got her own “other medical stuff” going on… and some of those things can’t be addressed as effectively when there’s a baby in her belly, so between it being “almost time” already, and her doctors wanting to be able to treat her other problems, the decision was made. But it was nice to be able to put my own “stuff” out of my head for a few hours, and just be with her and see her being all excited about her soon-to-be-arriving baby, with both of us noting how much more “real” it makes it feel when you know the moment that it’s going to happen. 🙂

Like I’ve been with most everyone else lately, I haven’t really spent much time with her… so after her appointment we went and got some ice cream and went to the park and did some people watching and talked about all of the changes that are coming up for her very soon. Her baby shower is actually coming up this weekend, so we hit a couple of thrift stores looking for an outfit that she could wear, but nothing really jumped out at her. But it was still a nice way for us to kill some time together.

Rather than getting her something for her shower, I decided to order some of the decorations that will be used. I’ll probably get those over to Chelsea by Thursday so they can figure out exactly what they wanna do with them and what kind of games they wanna come up with. She wants me there too, but what the hell do I know about baby showers? 😄 Actually, if Dez or Bub goes I’ll be fine… I just need a person to kinda glom onto a bit, since I won’t know most anyone else there, nor they me. 😐 (A couple of years ago I’d probably have seen this as “an opportunity” 😁 lol … these days, not so much)

I dunno… it was just a nice way to spend part of the day. Lots of “happy” and “anticipation” and the like. 😌 Not something that I get to see or experience a lot of these days. I just hope everything goes to plan, that the people who say they are coming will actually show up, and that she gets all the “goody” out of her day that she deserves. 🙂 But I’m back home now, gonna take a short break, then collect all the numbers and questions for the people that I need to call tomorrow morning, and will hopefully get into my email before the night is over so I can get caught up on my messages. Gonna try to ride the wave of this decent day…

Oh… My Scan / Blood Tests

I guess I never got back on here to update about my follow-up appointment with the endocrinologist. 🤔 Before the doctor even came in, the pre-doctor person took my blood pressure and asked me if a student and intern could join the doctor when he came in to talk to me. Meh… what do I care? Sure… all are welcome, all are welcome… 😏 Gotta let the young people learn so they can fix the old people like me in the future.

He’s an interesting guy… doesn’t seem bothered to convert “data” into user friendly word blurbs for the average schmo to understand, but that’s actually okay with me. 👨🏻‍⚕️ I’d much rather have a shitload of numbers and charts than a generic “You seem fine.” or whatever. 🤓 And with four tubes of blood, and more than four different comprehensive tests – I was surprised to hear him read off all of the numbers while also saying that almost all of them fall within the appropriate range for someone who is getting better. 🤷🏻‍♂️

And then the full-body scan, which looked for glowing remnants of thyroid tissue that had absorbed all of the radioiodine 131 or whatever it was… this one is more subjective than objective, since it’s looking at an image rather than something that produces numbers against a chart. 🤔 But on the scan, he said that he saw nothing that indicated that there were any stray thyroid cells left in my neck, which also means that if the cancer truly started in the thyroid and hasn’t spread to anywhere else… then it’s pretty good news, eh? 🙂

He did make sure that I understood that even though the results of the scan seemed ideal, that it doesn’t mean “Woohoo! Cancer free!” of course. But it does mean that as of right now I’m in pretty good shape, so when I go through my next round of treatment in about five months, I’m starting off in a better position than a lot of folks that have had the same surgery as me. But yeah… five months from now… 😳

This next round of treatment is actually going to be worse than the first. Something to do with having the thyroid medication in my body for so long, so I’ll have to actually stop taking it for at least three weeks before they can even consider moving on to the next step. 😒 Several more blood draws, another round of radioactive iodine treatment, another full scan… and at that point, if the results are the same as this last one, they can feel pretty confident about saying that I’m cancer free. I mean, as much as anyone, even a doctor, can really “declare” something like that. 😕

I’m sure it’ll be one of those deals where if I’m good on the next one, then we’ll probably wait a year until we do it all over again… I dunno, I’m just assuming at this point, but you’d figure that each time all this fuss comes back as “Looks good.” they’d let me wait a decent bit longer before we start at the beginning with the treatment and testing. So, yeah, pretty good news… I just wish I physically felt better than what I do. 😟 Seriously, the way I’ve been feeling over the past few months, I’d have put money on the results coming back with something concerning. But I’ll take the good news and try not to dwell on it too much. I’ll just put this one behind me, and when it’s time to worry about round two, that’s when I’ll start worrying about it.

Checking In

Haven’t been able to shake this funk. 😕 Started with that shitty low-iodine diet, then the self-imposed house arrest so I wouldn’t unintentionally expose anyone to radiation, and even now after the scan the other day I’m having a hard time bouncing back. And I was only hoping to bounce back to “meh” rather than “okay” or “good” since I know those two options are unavailable to my brain right now. 😔

It’s not even really about my own stuff… it’s just tough knowing that Mom has been having bad days recently, and knowing where things are eventually headed. 😟 It’s not even a conscious choice… but I have a hard time attempting a good mood when I know Mom’s going through things that certainly won’t allow her mood to be that great. And like I’ve mentioned, it’s not just her… my friend Christina just passed, another couple of friends are still fighting different types of cancer as well, dealing with my stuff, worrying about Mom and Dad… it’s just hard to break out of the “bleh” that I feel for all of those things, even though I know nobody would want me to be “bleh” on their behalf. 😏

But anyway… my scan… I think I may have mentioned that I really didn’t know the details before I went in, although all of my assumptions were correct. I don’t dare google anything about thyroid cancer, because I’m sure that I’d accidentally expose myself to horror stories that would make me stress more than I already am. 😳 But the imaging machine looked like an open MRI for the most part, although not only did it scan in that traditional method, but there were parts during the process where the entire thing would slowly rotate all around me as I was lying there. 😬

I didn’t have to get into a gown, and only needed to remove my keys, wallet, belt, ring, etc. The most difficult thing was lying flat on my back for an hour. 😣 Whether I’m sitting (usually on the floor) or sleeping (either flopping around or in one specific “good” position) I rarely maintain a posture where I’m completely straightened out and flat. Thankfully the machine made little noise, and nothing even close to the anxiety inducing buzzes and thunks of a damn MRI machine. So all-in-all it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

But it sounds like the scan was just a scan, since all of the current treatment had been ongoing since the week prior – as the radioiodine 131 was flowing through me and into any stray, dying thyroid bits that remained after the surgery. 🤕 The scan basically just documents any little glowing specks… at least I hope that specks are all that’s left… then in several months I’ll have to do it all over again, and the results then will be compared with the scan from the other day. 🙏🏻

I do have another appointment scheduled with the endocrinologist in a little more than a month, where I’ll have to do all my bloodwork again so they can check all of the various levels that indicate how good of a job they’ve all done to this point. 😷💉😐 It’s difficult knowing that there isn’t really an “Okay, we’re done. You’re good.” with this. 😔 They’re not able to tell me that I’m cancer free, because even if the scans show zero specks, it’s just one of those things that a person has to live with, have regular tests for, and if specks are found again in the next scan… then the cycle will start all over again. 😟

I’d say that I get a break from worrying about all of this for a while, but I don’t know if there could be something in the recent scan that would make my doctors go “Ahh, shit…” and require me to come in for something else before my already scheduled followup. 😒 Next on the agenda, though, is my first full appointment with the new shrink on Monday. 🙄 I’ll certainly have a variety of things to tell her about, which make me the way that I am right now.

Too Lengthy For People To Care

This is the post I made to Facebook yesterday. I guess it’s worth sharing here…


  • I dare you to read all of this 😏

  • Most of us were raised to not be assholes. To not be racists, not be sexist, conduct ourselves in the way that we’d like to be treated, etc. And for a good long time that worked, and people in general conducted themselves in a pretty respectable way.

  • But I don’t think people acted like that because they *wanted* to, or because that’s how they were programmed… I think a lot of folks acted that way because they assumed there would be a down side or backlash if they acted like selfish buttholes.

  • And that’s why we now have a *whole* lot more crappy people than we did even a decade ago, because the more that people have seen high profile people acting like nutsacks and not paying any price whatsoever – a lot of folks decided that “decent, kind human being” wasn’t for them.

  • It just fed on itself at that point… because the more you see shitty people getting away with shitty things, the more that other people will decide to follow that shitty path – since it’s working so well for the others. More shitty people breeds more shitty people, sometimes literally heh

  • It just seems that more and more, people are going to do what benefits them, with less consideration of others. If someone doesn’t agree with you, don’t bother discussing it with them… just put them down, make fun of them, get your friends in on it too.

  • Have you always wished that fewer darkies would move into the neighborhood? Go ahead and let your other racist friends know too, because there’s strength in numbers, right? Get enough people that agree with you and you won’t even need to hide it anymore.

  • Getting tired of your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend? Good news… you don’t actually have to split up with them. Keep them around for the few good things they can do for you, and just get yourself someone on the side for all the other stuff. Chances are, even if your significant other finds out, they’ll stay with you anyway. So why deprive yourself of other strange?

  • Oh, and if something doesn’t go your way, make sure you absolve yourself of any responsibility … because playing the victim is how we do things now. Nothing is actually your fault, and fuck anyone who even suggests it. This includes babies. Did your girl go and get herself pregnant? Well that shit sure wasn’t *your* idea, so why should *you* be expected to do anything to help out?

  • Another thing… if you ever actually *are* wrong about something, for God’s sake NEVER admit it! Admitting you’re wrong or have made a mistake… WEAKNESS. You don’t want to be a pussy, do you? And of course if you never admit you’re wrong about anything, ever, then you’ll never need to apologize for anything. Apologize to someone and they’ll have that to hold over your head forever.

  • Someone wants to merge in front of you on the highway? Fuck that guy. He should have planned ahead better. Someone taking too long with their order at McDonalds? Roll your eyes, bitch about it under your breath, and by all means make sure you take it out on the cashier once you finally get to order. And if you use the restroom first and accidentally piss on the seat… just leave it – someone “lesser than you” gets paid to clean up shit like that anyway.

  • At school or work, especially if you’re insecure about yourself, make sure you team up with as many other insecure people as you can – because then you can be an entire *gang* of insecure assholes who can lash out at anyone even weaker than you. Nothing makes a person feel *better* than making another person feel *worse*. And yes, I know you were probably raised to not do any of these things … but trust me, nobody cares anymore, so why waste your time trying to be “good?”

  • Agree? No?

Unrelated to Adulting

Okay, now that I’ve got all that other shit out of my brain for the moment… now I can write about the other stuff from the past week or so. Let me start off by talking about a new toy that I couldn’t resist. 😊 It was only $80 shipped, which isn’t too bad… and considerably less than what the original (with disk drive) would have cost new. It’s called The C64 Mini, and while it’s not an official Commodore product, it’s essentially an entire C64 emulated on a teeny board, in a teeny replica of the original “breadbin” style Commodore 64. 😃 And before you ask, no… the keyboard doesn’t actually work… but you can plug a USB keyboard into it and use it as an actual computer – and the company intends to come out with a full-sized, completely working replica soon. 😁

I’ve yet to even power the thing on, because I’m waiting for a spell when I’ll be able to do nothing but mess with the thing… which will include upgrading the firmware to allow me to load any program from a flash drive, and loading it up with all of my favorites from when I was a kid. It does have 64 licensed games built in, but most people are like me and get it so they’ll have the closest thing to an actual C64 – but with HDMI output – for the best looking Commodore 8-bit computer ever. 😊

I suppose everyone has a “thing” from their generation that they loved when they were younger, and therefore want to have again once they’re old. 😏 Classic video games and Commodore computing are definitely my thing, the same way that HAM radio is Dad’s thing… and like me, he’s still got a few toys as well that he plays with to this day. 🤓 I’m even learning how to take a C64 disk image, open it on a Windows 10 laptop, add or remove C64 programs as I see fit, and then export the new C64 disk image for use on this thing. 😯 That’s how it is with me though… give me something I’m genuinely passionate about, and my brain will start absorbing everything that it needs to know about it.

Okay, gotta keep this entry short-ish. 🤨 Maven is almost completely done with her home-grooming, which means my bathroom and living room carpet are covered with poofed hair for now. 😟 I’m lucky that she’s so cooperative though. In fact, for the most part she loves the process. Bri came for a visit right before Halloween, not only to hang out (she drew the face on the pumpkin and I carved it up 🎃😁) but to also distract from her mom’s deteriorating health. She’s actually had a couple of good days, so it was nice to see her have a little more energy. However, my friend Greg, his mother passed away this past week. 😢 She was having a rough time, so it’s one of those deals where you’re almost relieved.

Cassi came down to spend the night on one of her days off. Her life is so hectic, between all of the hours that she’s been putting in lately and then having her, her mom, and her (very opinionated) 17 year-old sister all there at her house, making noise at each other. 😏 So coming here, even if half of her time is spent sleeping… it really is like a teeny mental vacation for her. 🙂 Plus she helped me out with some chores, including the whole de-flea-ing process with the sprays and the carpet powder, etc. (Plus the most important and helpful thing… getting Maven to swallow that damn Capstar flea killin’ pill.)

As we sat in the living room watching the new “Charmed” show, we also each had our notebooks and were fastidiously jotting down the things that we intend to work on in the next few days. It’s strange how just having her here “working” in the same way that I was, how it helps to settle my brain and let me get down to business without getting as easily distracted by Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube. 😵

So there ya go… just so you don’t think my entire existence is grumping and bitching. 😐 There’s always some good sprinkled in there – and even when it isn’t “good” in general, I’m thankful that I have the right kind of friends to help me through those times, and vice versa. 🙂 Okay, carry on…

Sing, Sing A Song

My injury that resulted in the c5-c7 disk removal / spinal fusion over a decade ago… it stole so much from my life. 😞 Not the surgery itself so much, but the resulting nerve damage that made my left arm rather useless. There are still days when I’m surprised by the discovery of something else “new” that I’m no longer able to do. 🙁 I should have kept a running list… but boy would that have been depressing to have everything I’ve lost, all in one handy notebook.

Well, my most recent neck “thing” seems determined to steal something from me as well. I’m still in the middle of the whole “cancer treatment” thing, with the first step having been the removal of the thyroid… and now while I’m waiting for the radioactive iodine treatment in a couple of weeks, in the mean time I can’t help but be a little bitter about a particular side effect of this surgery. 😠

I dunno… for all I know, this might not be something permanent – but considering that I’m about a month and a half out from the surgery, it’s probably gonna stick. You may or may not know, but music is everything to me. 🤨 Whether listening to it, playing it on a keyboard, crafting it via Amiga / PC tracker programs, or just singing in the car or even at karaoke back in the day. Well I’ve lost a big chunk of that passion, because I can no longer sing. 😟 At least in no way that I used to.

At first I just couldn’t hit the notes at all. Songs that I’ve sung out loud or in my head a thousand times… I now sound like any other shlub that might try to sing it at karaoke somewhere, to the cringes of the peanut gallery. 😒 With a conscious effort, thankfully I’ve been able to get some of my “pitch” ability back – but I’ve lost a huge amount of my higher range. 😢 I’m not sure if it’s because things got tightened up inside my neck, the same way the skin has on the outside (due to the new incision and stitches), but during those moments when I’m not hitting the higher notes – I can actually feel it pulling. 😣 It’s a difficult sensation to describe without the listener having experienced it themselves.

And yeah, I know… considering that I lost some of my range as a side effect of trying to free my body of cancer… I know that it probably sounds silly or greedy for me to be complaining about something that many people would see as frivolous, given the situation. 🙄 But seriously, when so much has already been taken from me, and singing was one of the few things that I just endlessly enjoyed, whether by myself or in front of people… it’s just another kick in the nuts that life has decided to send my way. 😡 “So… that one thing you’ve always loved doing? Yeah, well that’s about enough of all that.” Fucking awesome.

Meh… it’s not gonna stop me from singing, at least not when I’m by myself, so maybe, hopefully, things may continue healing in a way where I can get a little more of my voice back. If I would have known this was coming my way, I definitely would have recorded as many songs as I could before going under the knife. Years ago I recorded enough songs to fill 3 CDs, which I then shared with Mom and Dad and a few other people… but I never thought those would be all that I’d ever do, at least not until now. 🙁

I’ve never claimed to be a great singer. I’ve never even really claimed to be a good singer. It was more that I was good enough, and I recorded the songs that I did because I just love singing, and trying to sound like I love singing. 😏 I wanted people to be able to hear me doing something I loved, because of how it made me feel. Meh… it sounds dumb when I try to put my thoughts about it to words. 😕 Oh, and I don’t care if anyone thinks that this is all self-pity… because it is, and I think I’ve earned it.