Random Thoughts And Other Things I Think About

Sometimes things just pop into your world of things you think about. They can come from any direction, for any reason. Things that trigger memories are sometimes subtle, it could be a photo or something you do. Other times they are overt, they jump right out when someone or something reminds you of something.

Here is one, just heard Sam Cooke singing “Fly Me To The Moon”, my instant vision was of Tommy Lee Jones in Space Cowboys. If you have seen the movie you know what scene I am talking about.

Another thing, does Asparagus trigger any memories for you? Well, it sure does for me. I was preparing this recipe and I remembered a time when an acquaintance of mine took me to gather asparagus from a vineyard in the Fresno California area. It really wasn’t a big deal but then I thought of John and the turkey he was going to have for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a live turkey that he intended to remove from the planet to serve his family on Thanksgiving day. To his chagrin, the damned bird became attached to him and likewise he became attached to the bird so much so that when Thanksgiving rolled around, the bird was still around. A frozen turkey from somewhere around Turlock was the birds replacement.

In June 1961 the song “Things” by Bobby Darin was recorded and released in 1962. I just heard it and it reminded me that “things just show up sometimes.

So songs and artists can bring up memories, Lionel Ritchie songs remind me of Wayne Holder a guy I worked with that had just separated from his wife and whenever Still came on the radio it damned near killed him.

What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong just brings up pictures of the destruction of a village in my mind as depicted in Good Morning Vietnam.

A little while ago, while it wasn’t raining (like it is now), I was outside moving some flower pots under the benches on our deck and when I stopped to catch a breather a bully of a hummingbird flew up to me and started chittering like he was thinking that I was invading his space and I needed to go away. It made me think of the movie “The Birds” and erased the memory of a “Wonderful World”.

Funny how things just pop up.

It’s A Diet Thing

OK, here’s the deal.  We live (Nancy and I) in unincorporated Beaverton, Oregon, a suburb of Portland.  Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance between Beaverton and Portland (7 miles) is actually the “great circle” distance, or “as the crow flies” which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula. Of course, we can’t fly like the crows so we hopped in our car and drove to our daughters place (in road miles it’s 14).  I bring this up because while we do go visit our daughter, we seldom venture deep into Portland, until yesterday.

  Yesterday we, and by we I mean myself, my wife (Nancy) and my daughter (Cami Kaos) did something we don’t normally do and some things we do once in awhile.  First, we went to lunch, we normally will do that on occasion. After a nice lunch at Jade, I had a very good Won Ton soup and a sesame ball, we traversed to our first stop.

This is Bob.

  No not me, that is Bob Moore, the founder of Bob’s Red Mill.  We went there because Nancy (you remember her, I mentioned her above)  has to eliminate  gluten from her diet and Bob’s Red Mill is the shopping omphalos for gluten free products in Portland.  $51.00 later we were out the door with no gluten and a pizza stone(?).

 Our next adventure takes us to a nice little Italian deli in North East Portland, Providore Fine Foods.  I blame Stanley Tucci for this trip because one of the episodes of Stanley Tucci: searching for Italy had me looking for a place to get some authentic mortadella.  A short Google search later, voilà, Providore.

 On a side note I told Cami Kaos (that you will remember is my daughter and no, she did not marry someone with that last name) about Providore and she mentioned it to Rick (maybe someday I can tell you about him).  Rick knew of the place and from what I gather he kept it a secret for he knew what a trip there would lead to ($120 out the door for Ms. Kaos).

We almost equaled that amount but escaped with only $119 missing from our checking. We bought about 6 different kinds of cheese, 3 different kinds of salami, a $20.00 shopping bag (proceeds went to charity) some breakfast sausage and oh yeah, some mortadella.

 I digress for a moment in this story to explain that I am really not used to spending the amount of time that has elapsed in a driving position so as we are leaving Providore my hopes of heading home are dashed because we now have to go to New Seasons to buy a gluten free baguette an avocado and a tomato..  So I ignore the pain in my left shoulder and many other parts of my body for one more stop.  $92.00 later we exit with gluten free soup, wafers and God knows what else.

There was some talk about more adventures to markets like Providore in the future.  I hope I have the strength in my fingers to report them when they happen.

Final Treatment

This where it starts

For 20 minutes a day, Monday through Friday at 3:20PM for 28 days I have settled my body down on the platform for radiation therapy (above).  Today was the final treatment, it’s done, finis, complete, no more.  Now all that is left is to continue hormone therapy until October,  riding the dragon for another 6 months.

I have to say, other than the disruption of having to do this every afternoon, making it difficult to plan anything else, there was really nothing to it.  I go in, take off my Crocs, position myself on the platform, grab the rubber donut (I have to do this to keep my hands positioned) lower my trou (I am covered by a warm blanket) and lay there and listen to the music of my choice for the day (list from April).



Delbert McClintonSimon & Garfunkel
Commander Cody
2nd Covid shot
Glenn MillerMerle HaggardQueen
Dixie ChicksBlues BrothersChicagoDoobie BrothersDoors
Bob Wills & The Texas PlayboysJohn DenverNathaniel Ratliff & the Night SweatsSantanaBeach Boys
Traveling WilburysEric Clapton

April Play List

It was a variety of selections of some of my favorite artists (the 2nd Covid Shot is not a performer or group). I think I introduced the staff to a few new artists and it seemed they did like my selections over the mostly “Spa” music other patients seemed to prefer (one said they had no trouble staying awake with my selections). Sometimes it was hard for me to stay still, as Nancy frequently says, the music makes her want to butt dance.

The radiation oncology staff at the Beaverton OHSU clinic, Hilary, Hannah and Linea (not pictured) made the process, well I won’t go far as to say enjoyable but, bearable. It must be difficult having to see patient after patient with cancer come in for treatment. I know there would be times when it would get me down yet they are always upbeat. I can’t thank them enough for their kindness throughout the process.

Riding the Hormone Dragon

Men will not get this and I’m not writing this for them for they will never understand unless they get the shot. On February 16th I was blessed with a shot of Eligard, which reduces the production of testosterone and increases the opportunity to become a moody bitch suffering from hot flashes and night sweats. Now 2 months into this treatment that inhibits the growth of prostate cancers which rely on testosterone to grow I firmly believe that at some point in time in the life of every married man or any man in a relationship with a person of the female persuasion should get a shot of Eligard or any similar product.

I say this because every man needs to understand what it is like to wake up in the middle of the night sweating from every pore in your body. Not just that, but just sitting around during the day the “flashes” come on and result in quick bursts of hot skin and often drenching sweat that last anywhere from 30 seconds to about five minutes. Of course you also have to understand the mood change that can lead to some uncomfortable moments. That is where the bitch comes in. One wrong word can trigger a major disruption in the universe and believe me it is not something you want to experience. Best if you can keep your mouth shut and walk away until the moment is over.

In conclusion, when it is your ladies time, look up “hot flashes” on Google, do the research, learn and treat her kindly. If you do your life will be be much better.

28 Days

Tomorrow I begin my next adventure in my fight against cancer. My first journey began in the summer of 2015. While using the facilities at a local golf course I passed a stream of blood. Being the avid golfer that I was I finished the next 2 holes and only then decided that I should be concerned about what had just transpired so I left my playing partners standing on the 9th tee and off to the emergency room. During my visit there I was advised to make an appointment with a Urologist and was provided a name. When I called for an appointment I was told that I could see the doctor in 3 months. Since that didn’t really work for me I asked about any other doctor in the group (not really how I phrased my request) and was in turn asked if I minded if the doctor was a woman. Considering that it had not occurred to me that gender played a role health care I quickly replied no and set up an appointment for the following day.

After a procedure that I would rather not think about, the doctors initial diagnosis was not cancer. After the test result came back that changed significantly, I had kidney cancer and treatment was not really an option. So after a New England Cruise in late September (we had already paid for the trip and the doctor wasn’t real happy about my waiting) I said goodbye to my right kidney.

Now about tomorrow. My prostate cancer was discovered after a PSA test came back above where it should be for someone my age. So my primary care physician ordered another and it also was high. Then I got to go back to the one that performed painful acts on my body for more of the same (on more than one occasion). The result was cancer that thankfully had not spread.

So tomorrow I start 28 days of radiation treatment, 5 days a week. I will have to miss a couple of days, one to get my second Covid vaccine and another to go back to see the one that causes pain (she is really a nice person).

A look back to yesterday

Ever since this shitstorm started a year ago I have found myself watching way too much TV, especially the news.  There is often a lot of yelling at the guests, sometimes the anchors and of course there is naturally discussion on what we see and hear. Sometimes the conversation makes sense, sometimes not.

 Since many news shows now have contact with guests through remote applications, we are exposed to a view of homes we would not ordinarily get to see.  One such conversation during a news show yesterday evolved into a discussion of door knobs and how the doors open.  The knobs appear to conflict, one opens in, one out and life interferes. If you open one, you can’t open the adjacent door.  What we did not do was listen to what the guest had to say, instead we discussed how we have evolved during our lockdown mode, missing the entire interview with the guest.

And then I watch an episode of NCIS and at the end I hear:

When I die
Give what’s left of me away
To children
And old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
Cry for your brother
Walking the street beside you.
And when you need me,
Put your arms
Around anyone
And give them
What you need to give to me.

I want to leave you something,
Something better
Than words
Or sounds.

Look for me
In the people I’ve known
Or loved,
And if you cannot give me away,
At least let me live on your eyes
And not on your mind.

You can love me most
By letting
Hands touch hands,
By letting
Bodies touch bodies,
And by letting go
Of children
That need to be free.

Love doesn’t die,
People do.
So, when all that’s left of me
Is love,
Give me away.

I’ll see you at home
In the earth.

Epitaph by Merrit Malloy

So I cry and I can’t stop.  This is a little slice of my life.