Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

I’m going to need to skip a couple years, a lot happened that I just can’t place.  I’ll refer to things as I go along.  But for right now, I’ve copied a FB post to explain the past 3-years…


Dead Man Walking

This will be my last post/update on the subject and a synopsis to bring others up to speed. I didn’t expect I’d still be here… pretty sure no one else did either

In a nutshell…

It’s now been 2-years (Aug. 2016) since the 3rd time my BP dropped to 50- (maybe 4th, never told anyone about the freeway). Even though I heard a paramedic say “think we lost him” I refused to go to the hospital. The next was an ambulance ride to the hospital but they obviously didn’t find anything.

Instead of behaving myself, and being an adventurous type, I packed up the bike a month or two later and headed east to do a couple make-a-wish kind of things (ironically cancer/leukemia patients) and maybe play some town parks as I do from time to time on the road while touring (I’ve done all my touring by motorcycle since 2009 renting/borrowing/shipping equipment as needed – usually speakers). I stopped in the Ozarks to wait out a wall of some nasty storms sitting between me and the coast, but while sitting there something told me I needed to get home.

Wouldn’t let me go, so I cancelled everything and headed back West through the desert with 2 of the only breakdowns I’ve ever had traveling on a bike. But a couple days after I got home it happened again. Good timing eh? This wasn’t like the others though and I was given no choice, they said I was making no sense (yeah, like I ever do, right?) and I had the biggest headache of my life. Off we went to Dignity’s Chandler Regional.

As it turned out I had 6 brain cancer tumors and stage 4 incurable/inoperable lung cancer. Terminal all the way around. I’m told the Neurosurgeon spent 2 days talking me into removing the largest tumor (fortunately it was also the easiest to get to). I don’t remember most of that week nor a lot of the month that followed. I do remember him saying that if left alone I’d be paralyzed within the week and dead in a couple more. Having nothing to lose I signed the paper & agreed; I mean who would want to be taken care of in a paralyzed state if you have a choice? I still don’t understand how he did it – talk about the detail that must have been involved! 7-hours later they took me back to my room.

What was left is that type of cancer that gives a max life expectancy of 6-months, which in my mind kinda says that, statistically, I should have died 5 times by now and maybe add a couple for those blood pressure drops.

Anyway, a medical Oncologist and a brain Oncologist got hold of me and once the surgeon released me they went to work. I was put through radiation for the tumors and then chemotherapy & immunotherapy to shrink the cancers. As time went by, bone cancer and an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm were found. Also along the way had 2 cataracts removed (prompted by the radiation), and an emergency Pericardiocentesis to drain some 700ml+ (?!) of fluid from that sack around the heart, which added a Cardiologist to the mix.

I had a lung deflate somewhere along the road, fortunately they had a bicycle pump handy. Have osteoporosis and osteoarthritis from 3 fractures in my back (kept touring) Also had other things to deal with but I won’t go there, don’t want to sound like I’m whining… It’s quite a list. Let’s just say I was pretty useless for a few months and dyslexic… yeah that was fun

Fast forward to today…

All my scans say I’m doing well and stable. After dealing with a couple untreated vertebrae fractures the past 10-years and kidney stones for 20, maybe that’s what drove me on, I was already accustomed to pain and wasn’t about to give in to a bunch of petty crap.

We’ve gotten the Chemo down to once a month and I go in for MRI/PET/CAT scans every 3-months for the rest of my life. I should thank Dr. Anita, Dr. Alice and all the nurses & techs at the Ironwood Cancer and Research Centers (Chandler) for looking out for me and ignoring my comments of “we have to stop sometime”, not to mention a flow of some generally bad jokes. Of course other Doctors have some fun with me too – “you’ve beaten the odds”, “are you still alive?”. LOL

And of course my three lovely girls who shifted their schedules to keep a watch over me deserve more thanks than I can give but they still won’t take me to buy a car/truck or go anywhere alone. Working way too much to keep ahead of the game, Lynda was able to telecommute for the first few months and now often for my appointments, spending that much time with me cannot be easy But hey, it was their idea so I stay out of it. Now I hardly ever see them and I’m still equilibrium challenged, keeping me off the bike

My weight keeps going up & down and I could stand to gain a few pounds and more exercise, so still don’t have that internal strength or balance to get an 800-lb bike back out on the road, but hey, everyone needs a goal, right? Also, thanks to the help of friends and past unreleased recordings, I have 3+ CD’s worth of songs I’m trying to get release-worthy. Not my best work but it does occupy the times when I can focus – which is less often than I like to think. My creative side has taken a nose-dive but shows up now & then for a couple days.

Still just hanging around to see what happens next. A born philosopher, I’m doing fine. Who knows, I could still be around for a long time but I go to sleep every night not expecting to wake up. I’m pretty sure I must have angels looking out for me, I’ve dodged way too many bullets over the years, but I’ve aged considerably this past year.

But for when the morning comes that I don’t wake up, I’ll just thank everyone now for humoring me all these months. If something should cross your path along your trip through life, have faith in yourself and keep on keeping on.

Sometimes being stubborn works!