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LOGGING IN FULL SWING, CHEMO BACK, 4 TO GO!

Last week another 4 loads (two on Friday) and a total of 5 for this season. The “Great Wall of Dolores” was completed on Friday and the first two layers laid under the new balcony. Gorgeous dry fir which I like as it burns beautifully and has a nice aroma.

Stage 1, the Great Wall is complete

This week return to the next 4 sessions of chemo, so have at it again and it seems the radiation  is off the table. Plans were a load on Monday and another on Tuesday before Chemo Round 9 ……. but this morning its been SNOWING overnight and about 1/2″ dusting on everything except the roads which are so far clear  …. temps on the rise from 22F when I left the house and its just made 30F at 0930.

The other side of pleasant, no load today!

Too cold for a load on Monday but determined action Tuesday and load No6 is home and unloaded and we should now be at the 1/2 way point for this winter. No more this week as its heads down into Chemo 9.

Temps way down on Wednesday morning at 9F so a full blast on all bus heaters. Home and just time for a splash of coffee before its off to Durango for Chemo Round 9. Good meeting with Julie the Nurse Practioner who does answer all my questions, blood wise, more bananas and avocados and the potassium index is up from 3.2 to 3.4 and no mention on the iron index so I guess that’s OK too. Onto the results from the Denver scans which I gleaned nothing from in my flash visit. Julie shows me the written words on the report which says the tumors are down in size by 40% which is the sort of stuff that I WANT TO HEAR.  4 sessions after we started the tumors were down 20%, so with any luck they should hopefully be at 60% after the last 4 sessions. So the game plan is another 3 sessions, wait the duty 2 weeks and take another scan. Redo the colonoscopy to see if we can get all the way round and then perhaps surgery after Christmas and onto a chemo pill regime to keep the liver in its current state.

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHEMO ROUND 8 ….. NOW WHAT?

10/1619 and round 8 of the Chemo is done! the last two weeks have been pretty miserable with a build up of all the side effects and a few days of nausea but without throwing up. Coldness, pins and needles, runny nose and weeping eyes have been constant debilitating effects throughout.

Over to Durango and despite my misery there is good news. The blood work they do has shown that the (chemo/tumor indicator) that they never told me about, has comedown from 87% to about 20% which they say is GOOD! …… also they now want me up in Denver for 10/23/24/19 to meet up with the Surgeon who will, post MRI, decide how we progress from here. More good news as they decide to take one of the poisons off the list in case he wants to go straight to surgery as “that” poison is not conducive to blood clotting and healing.  Of course there are more options including another 4 rounds of Chemo or a mix of Chemo and Radiation before putting my arse end back together.

Up to Denver on “Boutique” in the Swiss built Pilatus which I have to say has a fair turn of speed! Rough and bumpy flight and a storm is rolling in with forecasts of up to 8″ of snow.

Compact little cabin

Over to Hertz and collect the world’s most expensive I day rental!!!! I could of had a VW Jetta for a lease of $159 a month ……. and I end up paying $140 for this Jeep Cherokee …. a bit of a rip off but the second day was only $27 if I needed it.

Somewhere in here?

or here?

?

Hotel next in driving snow and darkness plus the fun of rush hour and now find the Hospital ……… yes, 6 BLOCKS of HOSPITALS but I eventually find what I’m looking for and finally endure the worst contraption I’ve come across on this Cancer adventure called the MRI ……. the session lasts 40 minutes and the noise is unbelievable with non stop banging at about 100 decibels. This finishes at 2240 and I wend my way back to the hotel in the snow.

The noise was unbelievable

Highlight of the evening is the local news where the Clown Prince (Trump) is telling a Rally in Colorado that they will soon have “his” border wall !!! He is quite insane and clearly thinks New Mexico is part of Mexico …… heaven help us, perhaps he’ll buy Finland next ?

Thursday and the Cancer fun just keeps coming! First on the menu is a CT scan at 0700 ……. well it doesn’t make all the ridiculous noises of the MRI …….. now some blood taking, and then a physical with all my life’s  history. A couple of hours sleep in the car and then the “way ahead” in the Lady Surgeon’s opinion.

From her discussion there is too much cancer in the liver to get it all in one operation so that would require two sessions about a month or more apart. She says 4 more sessions of Chemo, another local CT scan and then if that’s all good rectal surgery and arse reconnect and get rid of the bag. The liver surgery does not sound worthwhile and they can keep it where they want with Chemo Tablets once a day!

Return the Expensive Jeep having spent $1.96 to refuel it as Hertz charge $9.99 a gallon if they do it!! ……. back to the airport and the fun of security but eventually through and now 5 hours to waste before the flight. Up at the gate I see it is already delayed and I can get no answers or sense out of the check in girl.

Finally airborne at 2240,  1 hour 40 mins late but we come home around 5000′ and high speed covering to 280 miles in just under the hour. Well Thank God these two days are over. Cost a fortune to learn precious little but at least we have a way ahead.

 

TONY DOWN

LOGGING AND BLOGGING

Firewood Mountain

That time of the year again and time to get up to the Aspen Wall Wood Firewood mountain and start the collection for this year’s 12+ loads as Winter could be SEVERE judging by the freaky weather we have had all over the country!

Autumn/Fall is now here, colors beautiful, time for hay bales and pumpkins…….. better get on it. Need to fit a new tube on Brenda’s bike and get the downstairs lobby light changed over ready to accept the expensive LED lights.

Bicycle fixed, Route Data sheet completed, and even went for a ride, the first for a week. The total goes up but with the chemo and it’s side effects its more of a creep than a full blown attack on the distance with another 15.3 miles. Total so far in this miserable cycling year is only 1049.48 but I hope to be through 1100 miles by next weekend.

Now Wednesday and not much achieved this week as the side effects are the worst they have ever been and just to add to the misery “anal leakage” has returned!!!

Thursday 10/10/19 which is an anniversary, which I DID remember and we enjoy a haircut and a trip to Ocean Pearl for lunch and their cheese Wantons were the best ever! Actually went to bed early as the chemo side effects were at their worst and with two weeks of watering eyes they have become very sore.

My quest to find another Range Rover continues and a real beauty popped up on Tuesday ……

A 2008 model in a very dark blue with blue and cream interior and very nice accent woodwork which RR seems to have been going away from on their later models

This one was rapidly promoted on my list ……. but even though it was a new listing, at what would have been my price, it SOLD within a day!!

No matter, I’m not ready to purchase yet, but it was a very desirable car…….. strangely enough another one in the same color scheme pops up and has just arrived at a dealership!

Friday morning, seriously bloody cold with the temp down to 16F after yesterday’s 37F at the same time. We have bitter cold and its snowing in Denver. My chances of making the 1100 banner on the bicycle are looking pretty slim with the weather and ongoing chemo effects! you can only do what you can do.

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHEMO ROUND 7

 

Wednesday 10/2/19 and over to Durango for session No7 of this Chemo Poison. Doctor informs me it might need the full 12 sessions or we may go into radiation for 5 weeks and 5 sessions a week!!!???

The “thing” moves around you

He also tells me I need to go to Denver to see the Surgeon who will decide, when and what will go under the knife, …….. a lot of driving in the near future as Denver is 450 each way and the daily run to Durango will be 130 or 650 a week ……. better think of the Range Rover I’ve promised myself at the end of all this.

Just something about this one 

Here are a few more that also appeal

Same dealer, less miles …… Color???

Something different, owned by a giant basketball player over in California, special bodywork and exhaust, Special interior and  with the BMW engine 

Still all wishful thinking at this stage and I need to sell a few possessions first. I could be leaning towards this one for looks, preparation and novelty ….. and not too bad on price considering what has been done to it.

Friday morning, a better night’s sleep and only another 4 hours on the chemo poison bag! Feeling a bit better than the usual Friday but early so wait and see how those nice side effects cut in.

The bag is off, the nose and eyes are watering and I’m really getting pissed off with these side effects. On current review is the Radiation and the proposed visit to Denver to meet with the surgeon. Not sure what is to be gained from this as he/she has all the records but the next MRI won’t be scheduled until after session 8 when we can see how much the tumors have hopefully been reduced. The idea of a 900 mile drive and a night stop seems somewhat premature to me.

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUSHING ON

Waterfalls finished, pool played and it seems I’m still in there with a chance, now back to some cycling which has been this year’s big regret thanks to 4 months of lousy weather at the beginning of the year and then the less than pleasant discovery of Stage 4 Colon Cancer to kick off June!!

Sadly not much got achieved but now dogged determination has set in and miles WILL be knocked of the 24,902 target of “Once round the World. Before the big “C” arrived I had determined that 3000 would be my limit this year having lost the first 4 months to weather, and it was still snowing on the last day of school 5/23/19

A more realistic target would now seem to be 2000 for 2019 and this will require a lot of effort with the monthly two sessions of Chemo when I’m sidelined and definitely NOT in the mood. No matter back in the saddle today and another 22.24 comes off the total and I’m determined to crack the first 1000 this week.

Monday and another 10.29 goes in the bag between other missions and tasks. Tuesday, I want to go for some more but I’m very cold thanks to the Chemo shit along with the pins and needles and runny nose! What fun!!!! Eventually get out there once I’ve warmed up and hit another 18.22 which brings me ever closer to the first banner at 1000 miles!

Wednesday and cool this morning but with no wind to speak of. Pins and needles in the finger tips ( another ongoing chemo crap side effect, but it has to be said the same effect in the lips is not showing up so must be grateful for small mercies). Should be able to get out there soon and bang in a few more. Got out, got er’ dun! Another 15.31 in the books bringing the dismal total to 1007.35 which is about 2500 less than last year.

 

The month finishes up on 1034.18 as its windy again and much cooler in the mornings which the chemo doesn’t like. Oh well, another session on Wednesday which will be No 7 .

 

TONY DOWN

MORE GNOMES

With Chemo 6 behind me time to get back to what I was doing on the rockery and waterfall section of the garden. Well the waterfall flows are about where I wanted them.

Final gnomes get unpacked this morning, but my hands are suffering from the pins and needles effects from the last chemo! Seriously annoying but other than that pretty good for a Saturday.

Time for some “gallery” shots of the new boys before deciding where they go.

My favorite, and the biggest, “Sage”, ponders life smoking his pipe

The new head of “Wreck Restoration”,  Silus Mariner, and we have Mary Rose, Titanic and Bismark all awaiting repair, greets a new frog worker

Gnomes from “that” game

Smoking Joe

The Drunk

NEW head of Waterfall Security …. The Gnominator !

More rude Harley Bikers

A better gesture

Well now that everybody is here we can allocate some new placings and re-read the “Rules of the Rockery”. With  gnomes, frogs and turtles you know this won’t go well!

Merlin, King Midas, Death’s Head and Escalante Days Mushroom are all in their slots along with the Walmart Greeters and Travelocity Gnomes. Workers on the falls also stay put.

As Sage’s advice is constantly required he sits with the King

The Grumpy Gnomes of “Team Bigmouth” take their seats under the Elephant Man skull

Swinging Frog gets a new location facing the road

Gnominator takes up his position behind Merlin who will read the rules!

Say No, and Hear No, don’t like the rules any more than last time!

The motorcycle gang don’t like “the NO riding on the Rockery” clause and show their dissent with a Harley wave.

All looks good from where Sage is sitting

With everybody in place time for the Montezuma and some pool. Seems the Championship is NEXT week but the practice will be good after all this time off the tables.

It looks like I’ll be in the money this week as I knock up 2 good wins with some pleasing shots. Round three goes really well and my last 4 shots, and if you win this frame you can’t be worse than third. With some very pleasing cue ball control I’m on for a longish range cut at the black……… and with just the right amount the black rolls in …….. however, the cue ball travels back up the table and barely touches the 5 ball but manages to scratch for a loss. Needless to say I’m not pleased with the result but the series of shots were good.

Two more wins and I’m back in third place for the day. Hope it keeps going for next week.

Comments are invited on the layout

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

CHEMO 6

Here we go again

Wednesday and after the morning drive over to Durango for Session No 6 of the poison including the new one which takes 1 hour on this go around. First we get to see the Scans and their written reports.

The tumors were initially about 4-5 cms in size and after 4 sessions they have been shrunk by about 20% which is good and pleasing to know that the plan is working. The new drug, they tell me will cover the cancer cells and block their way to their food source which was explained as some sort of glucose.

The dark spots are cancer (not mine) 

The side effects from all this poison seem to be worse with weeping eyes and a non stop runny nose along with pins and needles in the finger tips and lips if you drink or touch anything cold. The tiredness and general lack of energy are fairly constant which each session and debilitating nonetheless, but reduces after the weekend.

Now its “dressing gown Thursday” when nothing happens as I’m dragging the infernal bag and pump around all day. Still I do have the last of my gnomes to unpack and plan their resting place among friends on the rockery.

Friday at last, just another few hours of the bag and pump and then recuperate over the weekend with side effects hopefully reducing. Better than being dead! …… but its a fight and on current information the body is winning although some days it doesn’t feel like it.

Only three hours left

Bag gone and I’m a free man again! Seems we might be playing pool again tomorrow as its a Championship Final which I didn’t even know I had qualified for ?

TONY DOWN

 

ALL THE “INGS” WEEDING, FISHING, CYCLING

Looks like a nice day

With the waterfalls completed time to get back into the “Ings” starting with some fishing, a little mowing, and now some cycling and of course the weeding!

A bit of fishing ….. missed the only bite I had while setting up rod 2

Couldn’t resist some extra gnomes for the rockery, should be here soon. Weather seems to be changing, cooler down in the 70’s, and some cloud build up and no doubt some showers coming in!

This mornings plans got curtailed as my bag was  becoming very uncomfortable so that had to be changed and plans for a ride got sidelined as wind and cloud moved in.

Wednesday and another “ing” joined the club as it has been raining and raining with nearly non-stop showers. Decidedly chilly as the temp has shot down from the mid 80’s to high 60’s ….. not in the big plan!

Thursday and Friday it warms up again, with Friday another no school day although I’m planned to take High School Football to an away game and don’t gt home till nearly midnight.

Saturday nice enough for another Lake day and I do manage to catch two small trout but then it gets very windy which makes fishing very difficult as we keep drifting towards the shore.

Capt not too happy with the “drift rate” but I caught two!

Not quite so nice this morning and rain in the forecast this afternoon. Might get a ride if I can get the mojo going again. Weight seems to be pretty steady at 175 and as time slips by I’m not making any progress on my cycling total despite all the good intentions …… maybe today?

Considering selling the NO Excuses Tiger Cub and then just maybe buying a NEW Bianchi E Arai road bicycle….. this cost is about the same as any new sport motorcycle which seems quite absurd to me but they are selling. There is also another really good road bike similar to my Roubaix but it might be a little small for me but without consulting a fitting expert I really don’t know.

Also in the thought process were strangely in consecutive  ads a Range Rover Sport and a Triumph Bonneville, both of which have a lot of appeal!  ……. its all in the mind at this stage ……

The “Bianchi” with the motor in the rear hub

Not a bad looking tool

A lot of appeal but the frame may be too small

Its very pretty!

The “Bonnie” in BRG and cream  ……. similar to my last one which got swapped for a Tiger Cub circa 1963!

The RR which has ME written all over it!

ME ME ME ME  ………yes 4 ME!

Back to reality and yes I finally got out on the Roubaix and clocked another 15.30 on my global run. Didn’t fall off or get dizzy so might try it again this morning before the blood session pre Chemo 6 which is on for tomorrow.

All set to go ……. and it starts pouring down. Wait 30 minutes and its dry again but then the next set of stair rods arrive …. not my day!

Into Cortez and the pre- chemo blood flows freely so all set for yet another session.

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

NEW DOC, NEW DRUG, NEW ROCKS

Arrive in Durango for Chemo No5 and meet my new Doctor who tells me about another drug that he wants to add to the chemo cocktail. This takes another 90 minutes which makes it 4 HOURS in the chair and on the drips. Can’t say that I’m pleased but if it helps then it has to be done. He tells me the scan was GOOD and the treatment is working. I’ll see the scans next time for my benefit.

Thursday, and my least favorite day as I’m on the bag and drip for the full 24 hours and it knocks the crap out of me as I really can’t do anything .

Maybe at the weekend I can get back and finish my layout. This is where I left it after the flow checks on Monday night.

First try with some of the sandstone

Russian vine cut back and upper pieces more or less in situ 

Flows about right ….. subject to minor adjustment

Getting there

Need to finish the backside and add a few more smaller rocks in the holes on the front.

Friday 1300, only about 30 minutes left on this tiresome bag and drip which drives me mad lugging it round. Hopefully I can spend the rest of the afternoon doing something useful.

Nice 86F to keep me warm and time to get on with it before I start feeling tired. Afternoon goes better than I expected. Some flows adjusted and pleasing rocks found for suitable holes in the structure and placement begins.

Somewhere along the way by moving various rocks the water loss rate, which was becoming alarming has been markedly reduced.

Anyhow, by 1830 I’ve done all I can do, and while I’m not saying everything is in its final place at least they are all on the edifice which is now about 18″taller …….. lets see how it looks?

The Walmart Greeters are in place

“Doofus” the lifeguard,  resting in the lily pads

Work continues on the “Mary Rose” but it should be renamed  HMS WASP !

The Travelocity Team monitor security

Good flows on the Bismark Falls

Flowing well

Inspection work continues

Colored rocks to fill in

“Merlin” under the umbrella tells the crowd the new rules

“Hear No, and See No” not happy with the rules

“King Midas” turns all into rock

Death’s Head in place with the Escalante Mushroom

Not a HARLEY section!!!

Turtle checks out last year’s dead fall

Views from the new summit

The Death’s Head…… reminds me a bit of “Elephant Man”

Well that’s it for the first attempt, I’m sure there will be some revision especially as the Dollar Store keeps selling off it’s frogs at a 75% discount.

Saturday, feeling better after the last round of chemo and all set for an afternoon on the lake.

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C’MON ROCKERY

After weeks of stating I’m working on the rockery and the last of my frog layout still nothing has been achieved!

A start was made and in the process of shifting rocks I managed to lose one of my rings! The rockery is a now a GOLD mine! With some rocks removed the plans get a little clearer as I see a “Y” split has sheared off caused by either freezing or the fall of the sign. Need to get into town and buy some irrigation parts to redirect flow and beef up the volume.

Went everywhere in town, totally unsuccessful, ended up buying some heavy whipping cream and good looking strawberries and completely forgot to try some 32×30 jeans from Walmart!

Looks like I’ll be making the flow adapters myself. First I’ll try a dry mock-up of the rock structure and then add the water and see if the flow is pleasing before installing on the upper section of the falls.

I found a new access hole for the mini pool pump hose so now just rebuilding of the storm damaged area and fill in all the holes and cracks.

Replaced the broken “Y” and now easy to see where the flow needs to go. Going to deal with this area first then load up the upper level with some bigger rocks before my sandstone flow pieces and not forgetting the unusual “Death’s Head” rock.

Most unusual rock that looks like a skull when upright

Saturday and it seems we are playing pool ? Well that’s a pleasant change and as we had a 5 day break from school I still have 3 days left to get some more work on the rockery. Once I complete that task it will be back to some biking which has been in the doldrums since the cancer took over.

Sunday September 1st and today I’m at last on the Rockery!!!Finally some progress as various gaps and holes get filled in where the sign fell down. Redesigned flow pattern completed in stage 1.

The backside gets cleaned, another load of usable rocks get hauled up from the Brewery, and as Labor Day arrives I’m ready to finish the top level.

Redesigned top and sign damage repaired

A long day! plenty of trial and error with a “jig-saw” of rocks to select from as only the right one will do!

The jigsaw …… only the right one will do!

By 1800 I’ve had enough and with the last test of flows it pleases me and now I’m left with the final phase of placing the remaining pieces of rock and figurines tomorrow.

Last of the jigsaw pieces

An early ring on the bell this morning, 0645, and I’m thinking a bit early to be ringing ….. its the Director who has misinformed me about today which IS a School day after all…… no matter I’ll be there this afternoon!

Now its Chemo week again so I’m off to hospital for yet more blood work and the CT scan to see if there is any progress.

 

TONY DOWN