Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Another Year’s Reprieve

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Monkey which is in the late afternoon or 5:20 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

I’m not going to die.

Well, at least, I’m not going to die of cancer.  Not this year, anyway.
Today, the oncologist told me my lymphoma is in full remission still.  In fact, the scar tissue has shrunk even more, from 14cm to 11cm, which I think is kind of amazing, but didn’t seem to illicit any special notice from the doctor.  Some people are just impossible to please, I guess!
He was a little worried because my blood pressure was high, but, then again, I’d just driven though rush-hour traffic to wait around for more than an hour for results on whether or not I was going to have to let them poison me for another six months.  All things considered, I think it’s pretty normal that I might have a slightly elevated BP!  But, I will keep an eye on it and make sure it normalizes again.
He did say, also, that I’ve made it to the point where less than 10% of the people have a likely recurrence of lymphoma.  And, according to his Physician’s Assistant, the five-year mark is where I can be officially considered “cured”, which is the first time anyone has actually told me that.  Everyone else keeps telling me that I’ll never really be “cured”, per se, but always in remission with a smaller, and smaller, and smaller chance of reoccurence every year.  So, today, I got a little more hope than I had before, which is actually pretty nice.

All in all, a pretty good result.  I’ll go back in another 10 months for another scan, which is not quite as long as I’d like, but, better than going again sooner because they found something to be concerned about.  At that time, they will start me on a course of annual visits for this scan, which I’m not incredibly happy about, but will do until a better option comes along.  And, based on what his PA told me, I think it will be something negotiable.  The doctor may not realize that, but, well, I suspect he’s not quite used to dealing with a patient like me.  My last doctor and I joked about the fact that I wouldn’t pay my bills until I knew she was going to do her job and save my life.  We agreed that it seemed only fair!  Of course, she did, in fact, save my life, so I did pay those bills.  That is, however, one concern I have for the long-term; paying those bills.  This gets to be a pretty expensive process and if I don’t really need to keep doing it every year, I may chose to opt for a slightly modified plan.
The doctor may not be excited by that, but I have ten months to sharpen my bargaining skills, while he’s completely in the dark about my plans.  It’ll be interesting to see how that turns out!

Until then, though, I continue to work on my general health and wellness.  I was pleasantly surprised to weigh in at a mere 216, fully clothed and laden down with my ridiculous “daily carry” of keys and flash drives and over-stuffed wallet and all the other pocket litter, as the spies call it, that I usually have on me.  As I mentioned, my blood pressure was a bit high, but I’ll work on that.  A little Zen meditation, and maybe some yoga, ought to bring that under control again.
Oh, don’t be so shocked by the yoga!  No, I haven’t started doing it yet, but several people have suggested it and I decided to start looking into it.  I’m getting older and starting to tighten up some.  My knees in particular seem to get stiffer faster than they did.  Besides, I hear yoga class is a great place to meet women who are physically fit!

I do still struggle a bit with depression.  Nothing too bad, but, well, it is something that cycles around on a semi-regular basis.  I figure the yoga and meditation would help with that, too.  Speaking about my psychological well-being…
My oncologist tells me I should get married.  I thought it might be better to start with dating, but I’m pretty sure I can work the “doctor’s orders” into a decent and semi-original opening line.  I think a bit of laughing in the face of death might help some, too.  I hear chicks dig that.  Of course, I also hear that magnets can cure joint pain and people pay huge money for the kind of rough treatment my poor colon got last week for “health reasons”.  Frankly, I find it hard to believe that a regular course of high colonics could possible be good for me, so I’ll take the things Men’s Health tells me about women with a grain of salt.  (Though, I have started to edit my Match.com profile again in preparation for stepping out in the wild world of dating again.  Seriously.  Lock up your daughters!  Seriously!)

So, yeah, after all my angst last week about the physical side-effects of chemotherapy, I’ve been spared that.  I even got better than expected news, frankly!  So, I admit, I do feel a bit foolish for getting so worked up about it.  I mean, I should have more faith than that, shouldn’t I?  Well, that’s something else I’m still working on.
Thankfully, it seems I have the time.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build it."
   --Sam Rayburn


Hitting the Cardio

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Life Goals,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:52 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I hate it when the doctors are right.

No, I don’t have cancer again or anything like that. No, I just hate it when someone, especially a doctor, tells me that I can’t do something and they turn out to be right.


Originally uploaded by Network Geek

In this particular case, I’m talking about running and my knees.
I was pretty well prepared to ignore my oncologist’s advice against taking up running because I’m tired of having even a small gut, even at my age. I know, as I creep up on forty, I should lower the bar, drop my personal standard and just accept that I’m probably always going to carry a “little extra” weight. Except, I just can’t. I hate the pudge that’s built up around my middle. Also, according to an article I read in Men’s Health while I was in the hospital, that “spare tire” could have been part of the reason I actually had cancer in the first place! So, one way or another, that gut has got to go.
Running may be out, but I know aerobic exercise is the best way to drop that weight, so I’ve been walking. Four days a week, weather permitting, I walk. The past month or so, I’ve walked at least a mile and, by my calculations, up to a mile and a-half most of the times I’ve been out. And, that’s good, but it’s not taking the weight off fast enough for me and, well, just not really enough to satisfy me in general. I feel the same about bicycling, though that might still be better than just walking. Not that I’d stop walking, but I feel like I need something more. So, as you can see in the picture, I got my old heavy bag out of the garage and cleaned it up.

Back in the “old days” when I was in something that resembled good shape, I hit the heavy bag twenty minutes, or more, at least three times a week. Of course, I also did some weight training with dumbbells and push-ups and sit-ups or crunches in the morning five days a week. But, I know it was going after that heavy bag that got me and kept me in shape. Thankfully, I still have some of the callouses and the bag gloves and wraps to start up again. I know it won’t be easy, but I’ve got to do something. Besides, I did like being in shape. I seem to recall more than one woman I knew at the time appreciated it, too, and well, my long-time readers will know, nothing motivates me like the opposite sex.
If you’ve never tried it, boxing and kickboxing are great ways to stay in shape. I wasn’t overly lean when I did it, but I certainly carried a lot less weight in general and fat in particular. I mean, I wasn’t like a cast member from 300, but I know I looked better than I do now. Also, I eat better now than I did when I was in my late twenties and thirties. I’m no vegetarian, but I do try to avoid eating whole boxes of Twinkies, no matter how much I love them.

Well, I guess there’s nothing to it, but to do it. So, I’ve got the heavy bag out there and my bag gloves are by the back door. I only managed three minutes after my walk on Sunday, but, well, I’ve got to start somewhere! I’m sure if I keep at it, I’ll be back to twenty minute workouts in no time!

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