Sunday, July 21, 2013


I really do owe anyone who is still trying to keep up with my situation yet another apology.  I am so bad at doing this in a timely manner.  I'm computerly challenged, old and busted and sometimes just plain lazy!  What a bum.  So now you'll just have to put up with my long posting this time, or not.  For those who have lost interest...I'm still alive, doing reasonably well under the circumstances and am having some fun.  There.  You may go if you want to. For those who want more details, here we go...

These lovely ladies are the X-ray technicians that started me on the trip I'm on for my back issues.  Quick reminder, I have 7 collapsed vertebra.  They do not sit flat/even back there.  Had the ablation 1 1/2 yrs ago.  Pain back about 6 months ago.  Got bad.  Got worse... From here to MRI then to UCSF with Dr Burch and his "students".. twice.  Below is Tiffany,a 3rd year and as you can see by her smile, LOVING her work.
So, to make a long story short, the MRI showed degeneration in the vertebra with increased stenosis (closing), with arthritis in a the left facet of the 12th (bottom) thorasic vertebra (which is also one of the collapsed vertebra & one that has the kyphoplasty cement in it), which makes it, along with T-11 and L-1  candidates for the radio frequency ablation again.  We were supposed to start the process Aug 19th.  No wait, they changed it to Aug 16th.  No, can't do it on that day... Well, I'll let you know.  Probably after.
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!  The MRI also showed why I was having more lower pain on the left side.  2 herniated disks between L-4,5 and L-5, S-1.  Bones still too weak to consider surgery, so?  Yes, we just zap those nerves like the upper ones to remove the pain.  Now I've noticed that some of you are looking worried, but don't.  This will likely not hurt my "golf" game, so you can breathe easier again.  If you need a refresher on ablation, go back to the Feb. '12 post about it.  It's really not bad at all and works pretty well.

So this is a wall thingy on the wall of my great buddy Dan's house.  He's going to figure prominently here in the next post, and you must know that his wife, CYNTHIA, is the one who picked it out and placed it, but I should have this on every wall in my house.  So I get the less than stellar news about my back, BUT, I also get a call from Dr. Malone's office. But before I tell you about that, let me remind you also that my cancer numbers had been going up with every test, even to the point where I was instructed to put on 30 lbs in preparation of going back on the chemo any time. I had gotten my quarterly infusion for my bones with the regular side effects.  Then the call... cancer numbers HAD GONE DOWN SLIGHTLY, but down is down.  And that never happens.  What a spoiled rotten blessed person I am. You may be asking, why?  I still don't know.  But what my blessings of relative health and well being have allowed me to do is this...

 Take a sideways picture that I couldn't figure out how to straighten out of the windmill that was a gift to San Francisco's Golden Gate Park from the Queen of Denmark about 100 years ago.  It was operational until recently, but has been closed due to safety reasons.  But my good friends, DAN and JOAN MURPHY, who are also the kind people who open their home to me for my many visits that require multiple day visits, recently had the opportunity to climb all through it and go up top.  Cool.  In case you don't remember, Joan is the sister to Marie Lozano, the sister-in-law to Dennis Lozano my one and only room mate at UCSF.  The next pictures are of Hwy 1 that runs along the ocean and the sea wall. It was deserted.  Actually, it was blocked off for the SF Marathon that was being run the next morning.  Had a chance to stop and walk along the beach a little on my way out of town and to San Jose.  Quiet.  Peaceful.  Wierdos there too.  Funny.

These two are just great, fun people.  Can't you see it in their faces?  The first night I was there we stayed up until 1 a.m. before we knew it!  Such a gracious Irish couple, who took me to their Irish Cultural Center for their usual Friday night dinner.  That is the hall where the gathering part of Dennis' memorial service was, which is upstairs over the dining hall.  So here's the dining host, Tommy.  Full of Irish, and some golf, jokes. Wasn't too thrilled with me when I told him that my heritage is Scottish and Welsh, but he didn't spit in my food, I think.  Just kidding.  It was a delightful evening with more great and colorful people.
So that's it for now.  But soon, I promise, I'm going to continue this tale with the great 2nd trip to Washington State courtesy of that same friend Dan Stuart that is mentioned above.  After being at UCSF for Weds, Thurs and Fri, I headed down to San Jose to fly out to Washington on Sat morning. 'Til then, thank you for your continued support, prayers and friendship.  We're nearing the 4 year mark since my diagnosis... Wow.