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Retired Engineer Bob

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Milwaukee
Home country: USA
Current location: Carmel, IN
Member since: Wed Apr 14, 2021, 09:08 PM
Number of posts: 759

Journal Archives

Cancer sucks

Iíve been pondering for a while whether I should create this post. The probability of it turning into a pity party seems high, not something (I donít think) it is intended to be. Perhaps it is an attempt to bare my feelings, hopes, and fears to an understanding group, a cheap form of group therapy if you will. Perhaps it can be a warning to others to take care of themselves. Perhaps it is a cry for pity; when I was much younger I enjoyed having my friends stay the weekend. We would smoke some doobies, cook and eat, and drink too much. Iíd get up hung over the next morning, ďRita, feel sorry for meĒ Iíd cry, Rita would tell me to shut up, get up, and letís cook breakfast. She never did tolerate my BS.

Perhaps 10 years or so ago I would notice an occasional difficulty in swallowing while eating, immediately followed by nausea. If I sat back and waited 5 minutes it would pass and I could continue my meal. This would happen about once every 6 months. My friend Ed noticed one time and suggested I see a doctor. I would attribute it to eating too fast or the richness of the food. Never did see a doctor about this.

About two or three years ago things got a bit worse. Iíd get up early for work, have my coffee, and have a cigarette. About every two weeks nausea would hit me, I would end up getting the dry heaves into the kitchen sink. Again I would not think much of it, one too many drinks the night before. After 5 minutes at the sink it would pass and I continued with my morning routine.

As you can tell I certainly did not have the healthiest lifestyle. Too much alcohol, a pack of Kools daily, and an occasional cigar were my hobbies.

I am breaking up the timeline a bit, but 1996 was the year I was diagnosed HIV positive. Up to that time the diagnosis was pretty much of a death notice. My doctor did mention the availability of new drugs that appeared to be affective against HIV. He asked if I would be interested in trying, it took me all of 5 seconds to say hell yes. Nonetheless I was pretty much resigned to kicking the bucket. My biggest (unfounded) concern was the shame my parents would feel. I remember having the thought ďwhy canít this be something respectable like a heart attackĒ?

Fast forward to a month ago. At every meal I felt full after 4 or 5 bites of food, if I tried to eat more I would be running to the bathroom. The morning kitchen sink routine became a daily ritual. I havenít seen a general practitioner since 2017, needed to find a new doctor. Ended up seeing a nurse practitioner (NP) she could get me in the next day.

So the next day I go to see her. She noted two items of concern. My weight was down to 152, from a very steady normal of 165. She also felt an abnormality on the upper part of my stomach. She ordered at CT scan at a nearby facility, and a combination colonoscopy and endoscopy along with an appointment with a Gastroenterologist.

The following Tuesday I went in for the CT scan. The NP called Thursday morning and discussed the results. I honestly donít remember the entire conversation, but she mentioned spots on my liver and some surrounding lymph nodes. For the first time I heard the word cancer applied to me. She ordered a liver biopsy, this is happening tomorrow.

Meanwhile the colonoscopy/endoscopy happened last Thursday April 14th. Holy crap, prepping for a colonoscopy when you have difficulty keeping things down is an adventure. Fourteen doses of a powdered laxative mixed with 64 onces of Gatorade, yum. The doctor was there as I came to. Good news, the colonoscopy was fine, removed two polyps. Bad news, I have three malignant esophageal tumors that were biopsied. Gastroenterologist made an appointment for me to see an oncologist, this appointment is this week Thursday. He put me on a liquid diet, even though my weight is now down to 145.

If anyone shows any interest I will post more regarding how I am feeling, coping, and my support.

Posted by Retired Engineer Bob | Tue Apr 19, 2022, 08:20 PM (72 replies)

Road trip 2021, September 21st to October 2nd

Indianapolis to coastal Maine. Renting VRBO (similar to Air B&B) at each stop. This replaces an ill conceived, and thankfully failed (was unable to book) Memphis to New Orleans Mississippi River cruise. Probably not a good time to hang out with Delta hitting the south so hard.

My husband, the dogs Roxy and Amy, and I will be going.

Weíll be taking the truck. Bought it used in 2016, my dad and I used it for our yearly Canadian fishing trips. Since we are taking dogs, bikes, and an ever growing list of stuff (yes, I need my French press) itís nice to have room for everything.

Basic itinerary:

Leave home September 21st

Stay 9/21 and 9/22 in Geneva on the Lake, OH. Perhaps an hour east of Cleveland. Lake Erie is in our backyard.

Leave Geneva on the Lake 9/23, arrive Niagara Falls NY. Stay 9/23 and 9/24. My passport is recently renewed, but checking Canadaís Covid website Iím doubting we will cross over. Iím paranoid but I can see us getting stuck at the border, the dogs home alone. Not worth it for a 1/2 day. Plenty of tourists traps on the US side. Anyway, Jose has never seen the Falls. I hear Niagara Falls State Park is dog friendly.

Leave Niagara Falls 9/25, drive to Hampton, NH where we stay 9/25, 9/26. We are just across the road from North Beach. Iím sure we will find something to do.

Leave Hampton 9/26, arrive Harpswell ME. Again, we are on the ocean. We will need to keep an eye on hurricane forecasts. Other than stuffing ourselves with lobster we have no real plans.

Leave Harpswell 9/28, drive to the Finger Lakes area. We have a place rented on the east shore of Seneca Lake. This is where I messed up, we only have one night here. Perhaps a winery tour is in order.

Leave Seneca lake 9/29, drive to Huron/Sandusky OH. We are staying here through 10/2. We have tickets for Cedar Point 10/1, hope the weather is decent.

Leave Huron/ Sandusky on 10/2 for the return home.

Posted by Retired Engineer Bob | Thu Sep 16, 2021, 07:21 PM (12 replies)

Who here remembers the leatrile controversy?

It was the miracle cure for cancer. Pushed by snake oil salespersons, demanded by the sheep - despite it being proven by science to be useless.

I see a lot of similarities to the ivermectin craze we are now experiencing.
Posted by Retired Engineer Bob | Tue Sep 7, 2021, 12:03 PM (20 replies)

The internet is a dangerous and costly habit, thinking of Jamaica February 2022

Weather looks fantastic for February, average low 70, average high 86. A one week getaway from the cruel Indianapolis winter.

My husband and I are mid to late 50ís. Weíre not really into the nightlife/bar scene. Relaxing and being pampered is more our speed. We previously spent 4 nights in Cozumel at Secrets, an all inclusive resort that we adored. We didnít want a gay resort, just a place where we were accepted and made to feel welcome, and at Secrets that is what we found.

Been looking at Couples San Souci in Ocho RŪos. All inclusive, drinks and meals included in the cost. A bit pricey but our budget will allow.

My folks went to Jamaica yearly and stayed at this resort once or twice. They thought it was great.

Anyone care to comment on Couples, or suggest alternatives?

Posted by Retired Engineer Bob | Sun Sep 5, 2021, 10:48 PM (10 replies)

Talking to a fiduciary Monday

I listed the things I wanted to discuss.

1. Overall balance, things gotta move.
2. Consolidation, Iím almost losing track of accounts.
3. Estate planning. Mom has $$ in Dadís estate. He died late 2019, still not resolved. I refuse to leave such a burden on my husband.

Iíll need to understand their fee structure. They (fiduciary) are not free.

Anything else I should ask?
Posted by Retired Engineer Bob | Thu Aug 5, 2021, 01:52 AM (8 replies)

Pondering the despair of the Karen's and Kevins, the Q freaks, the BLM and antifa paranoid-

I recalled a scene from MASH. Perhaps just a sitcom, but once in a while it hit home for me.

Posted by Retired Engineer Bob | Tue Jul 27, 2021, 01:44 AM (2 replies)

Can someone please help me identify a weed?

Weíve neglected a small raised bed garden, planning on clearing it out. Iím a little concerned it could be poisonous. The things are about 6 feet tall.

Posted by Retired Engineer Bob | Sun Jul 25, 2021, 12:47 PM (44 replies)

I have a brilliant money making idea

Notice to potential government monitoring, this is a twisted attempt at humor, never intended to be implemented. An exercise in in satire only.

I recall hearing about some parents that would organize chickenpox parties for their children. Kids that had chickenpox would be given lollipops and consume for a period. The partially eaten lollipops would then be packaged for delivery to other folks that would bring their kids to the chickenpox parties. The kids at the party would pass around the lollipops amongst themselves to ensure infection. I guess the idea was to ďget the problem over withĒ.

Tens of millions of folks will never get the vaccine out of fear that it will kill them. They also believe that ďnatural immunityĒ is the true method of protecting themselves. They firmly believe that COVID is 99.9 percent survivable, ďitís just the flu broĒ, and a fear porn hoax. Many yearn to be infected with COVID to obtain natural immunity.

If a company could be set up to produce COVID en mass, it could be packaged in nasal sprayers and distributed over the Internet. Each sprayer would contain enough shots to infect 10 folks or so, and be sold at a price to ensure massive profits. 50 cents to produce, $200 to purchase. Millions of dollars could be realized.

There are issues of how to mass produce COVID, and how to ensure its viability during production and distribution. I suspect, unfortunately, these can be easily overcome.

Again, I am speculating the mindset of the anti vaxers, and good old fashioned greed of the likes of Alex Jones and others who would be happy to push such a thing. I understand if the moderators of this site pull this post.
Posted by Retired Engineer Bob | Sat Jul 24, 2021, 09:56 PM (7 replies)

Now that the Olympics are running

Iím wondering if Hide and Seek is still in the competition. Always enjoyed watching this sport.

Highlights from a previous Olympics:

Posted by Retired Engineer Bob | Fri Jul 23, 2021, 01:18 PM (4 replies)

The '96 Camaro F1 is in the shop

Had her at Loweís to pick up a few things. We came out and climbed into the car. It started but I could tell there was a problem. It idled down the parking lot, but if I tried to give it throttle it hesitated, soon died. We had to push it into a parking space and call a tow.

Had it towed to my local mechanic, dropped it off with keys and a filled out form through the mail slot. Diagnosed with a bad fuel pump. Funny thing was the shop did not want to do the work due to aftermarket exhaust, suggested a different shop that specializes in high performance/modified cars. Another tow from shop 1 to shop 2.

Stopped in at shop 2 and explained. I am about 2 weeks out, they are busy.

Meanwhile I had ordered new shocks/struts, and a total bushing replacement set from Summit. The car is 25 years old, shocks are worn and bushings have stiffened, original parts have over 100,000 miles. The goodie package arrived today sans 2 shocks/struts expected next week. Probably going to have shop 2 install the new goodies. Hereís hoping my sloppy suspension and steering get corrected.

Posted by Retired Engineer Bob | Thu Jul 22, 2021, 11:53 PM (8 replies)
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