Friday, October 28, 2011

It's a Victory for the Heartland

Oh man! That game tonight--those boys played so hard, and were rightfully jubilant in their win. St. Louis Cardinals, World Champions of Baseball.

More than a half century ago I scooted up next to the recliner of my dear old Granddad, in the pine room of an old house in a little town in the middle of Missouri, listening, summer nights, to Harry Carey calling the plays, with color by Dizzy Dean.

This one's for you, dear Granddad, and for so many, many others. Thanks, guys.

The happy tears flowed.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Preoccupied Seattle

My dear wife and I went downtown this afternoon with a bag of oranges and another of apples.  Our plan was to donate the fruit to the several hundred mostly young people who, for the past week, have been occupying a small park in the middle of our commercial district.  Calling themselves "The 99 Percent" (the other 1% being the monied elite who pull most of the strings in this country), they are rallying in solidarity with the many groups that have sprung up recently, inspired by Occupy Wall Street. 

From a block away, there was no sign of the rally, and I was feeling self conscious with my bulging bag of food.  But as we rounded the shoulder of Westlake Center, we could hear drums, an unintelligible amplified voice, and vigorous chants of support.

We found the thousand or so folks at the rally to be much more heterogeneous than expected; there was a mix of people such as you might see almost anywhere about town, a few professional revolutionaries, and a lot of unionists.  About two thirds were listening to a rotating group of speakers, and the other third--mostly the young occupiers--were lounging and eating. A lot of pictures were being taken.  We walked around the park, listened, watched, and took pictures ourselves, applauded, and left our donation.  It was inspiring to see the commitment, good feeling, and energy.

We're back to thinking we might just stick around.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

First Week of School

This week, after a summer of fun and relaxation it's back to work.  That involves getting up at five, five days a week, and driving seven miles on I-5 to get ready to go on stage for six hours in front of thirty squirrelly ten-year-olds looking for guidance, entertainment and knowledge.   

It's good, in the sense that these are all mostly sweet kids trying to do their best, and that I'm trying to help out.  It sucks, in that I have to get up so early and do something I wouldn't necessarily do if I had my druthers.

Wednesday I went to the all-school assembly with my new class.  I ran across many of last year's students, now with their new teacher, who all hollered out, "Hey, Mr. D,"  and smiled and waved.  That feels good.

Thursday was a marathon.  I called off building security at o-dark hundred, made lesson plans for two classes, prepped for art, and went to an hour-long staff meeting before greeting students.  This was Picture Day, as well as PE and messy art project day, so you can imagine the conflict that brings to a few of the fashion-conscious young girls. 

Since we're still getting to know one another, there was also sharing of stuffed sea horses, rubber elephants, and soccer trophies.  During lunch break, I distributed thirty sets of paper, brushes and water colors for the first stage of making the Name Posters that will encircle the room. 

One student was asked to please leave the class and sit out in the hall  Two other students put a petition in my "Notes to Teacher" basket to have the aforementioned student moved because he talks and bothers them.  He and I have had several heart-felt talks--a good kid with no impulse control.

Wednesday, after the anti-bullying assembly, I listened to a long, halting and whispered complaint by a wee wisp of a girl about a classmate named Gladys (I didn't know kids had been named Gladys for the past fifty years).  Julia wanted to play with just Ellie, but Gladys insisted upon joining their game.  I said I'd talk to Mrs. B____ about Gladys, but I doubt if I'll get to that for awhile.

There were also lessons in place value of numbers through the millions, how to write a good sentence and how to decode unfamiliar multi-syllabic words.

I checked out Craigslist Puerto Vallarta on my laptop at lunch, and didn't see much of anything except $1200/month condos.  I sat, mesmerized, in front of the laptop looking at my screensaver:  all the pics I took this summer in Guanajuato. 

Now, at the end of the first week of school, I remember last night's dream was about work.  I woke up thinking about how I might impress upon these young people the importance and joy of learning.  Later today--Saturday--I'll grade papers, and tomorrow I'll go in to school so I can put up the completed Name Posters and laminate the Rats.

Friday, September 9, 2011


In addition to enjoying the last few days of a late, late summer, and before the weeks of preparing for what might well become our final year of work, my dear wife and I have spent a lot of time talking about what our next pre-retirement step should be.  Soon after our kind of disillusioning visit to Guanajuato, we seemed to decide that we should just stay in the States, in a small Oregon or Washington town near the coast, and work for progressive political change in this country.  I began to channel Airstreams, and radical RV caravans  to demonstrations on the Mall in DC.

The Little Virgin's Basilica in Talpa
A few days later, our feelings had changed.

First, BFW said that she'd checked Craigslist and even the tiniest of local towns had decent rentals that were too expensive.  Although I privately disagreed with her--my research showed the rents were about the same in Seaside as Puerto Vallarta--I didn't argue because, second, neither of us really wanted to hang around in the same ol'-same ol' U S of A.  Last, and most importantly, we really wanted the adventure of moving to a foreign land.

After realizing that we would like to maintain our connections with friends in the Puerto Vallarta area, we turned our sights to high up in the mountains above the bay, where it's cooler in the summer.  We're thinking right now of a little town called Talpa de Allende, which is about 3 hours by bus from PV, and the home of the miraculous Little Virgin of Guadalupe, to whom infirm from all over Mexico and the world come to be healed.

Friday, July 29, 2011


A week ago we returned from vacation in a city in the very center of Mexico. Guanajuato gained incredible riches and was the scene of almost irredeemable cruelty in the pursuit of silver 400 years ago, cradled the bloody beginning of the revolt against Spanish rule, was a beneficiary of Porfirio Diaz's excess, and then languished for the next three generations.

In the past thirty or forty years, the city rebuilt itself as global repository of appreciation for the Spanish author Cervantes and his greatest creations, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. It became a summer tourist magnet for middle class Mexicans, making the most of its UNESCO designation as world heritage site, its enterprising University students, and its old, quirky, and picturesque cityscape.

We went there for 8 days with the idea of a possible move when we retire next year, checking the place against our imagination of what we wanted it to be. The jury is still out, but, with me at least, it lost its idealized shine. We realize that a smaller, friendlier place would suit us better.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


My two daughters and I have made it a Fourth of July tradition to join tens of thousands of other revelers at Gasworks Park to witness, against a backdrop of the city's downtown towers, the incredible fireworks show over Lake Union .

We went again this year.

Hours spent sitting on a small blanket next to hundreds of good-natured, though occasionally raucous, neighbors, suffering severe sneezing attacks from the over-abundant allergens, remembering what a blessing it has been to not be downwind of smokers, enduring a never-ending stream of bumbling, stumbling late comers looking for their square yard of earth...this, and the good company, is what made it all worth the wait:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Solstice Sunrise

I got up at 4:30 to witness sunrise on this auspicious day. The idea came from the "How-to of the Day" app on my home page, yesterday entitled, "How to Celebrate Solstice...No. 1. Witness sunrise." The perfect place to do it popped into my head immediately: on top of Zodiac Hill at Gasworks Park. The man-made hill is topped with an intricate mosaic zodiac, in a park that has dramatic displays of rusting boilers and cracking columns from the days when energy was created here, across a lake from downtown.

From the north, the park pedundas into Lake Union whose south end is rimmed with office towers. I took a picture of the rising sun reflecting off one of the thousands of windows. It's not so dramatic as the top one, but I like the form and muted colors.

It was before 5 when I arrived at the park, a short drive from home. I'd imagined that there would be dozens of druids there to await the moment, but as I began to trudge up the hill, I only saw one man, walking around with short steps, making small gestures as if talking to himself. As I went up one side, he must have gone down the other, for the place was empty when I arrived. But not for long.

As I stood at the edge of the hill and sussed out the spot where the sun would rise, I saw three women headed my way. Looking at them out of the corner of my eye, I was prepared to nod a greeting as they drew closer, but they didn't look in my direction. A few minutes later I glanced behind me and saw that they had joined hands, with eyes closed, in the center of the zodiac sculpture that is inlaid on the small plaza at the hilltop.

A few minutes later a young couple began making their way in our direction under the lightening sky. I heard them laugh as they dallied upwards, hand in hand. Only a few other people were then visible on the grounds of the park, maybe a hundred yards away, all of us in some way awaiting sunrise with a casual, but private, expectancy. Around us were the sounds of a city beginning to come to life for another day, and one that promised to be beautiful.

It was hard to define the exact moment. A point on the horizon got brighter and brighter, behind an occasional truck on the I-5 bridge. Then there came a time when the brightness became a gleam and the longest day of the year had officially begun.

I took in the scene and snapped pictures, the couple chatted quietly, yet playfully, as he shot a video on his iPhone. On top of the zodiac, the trio stood shoulder-to-shoulder, with burning punks in their hands, facing the rising sun. Time stretched slowly, ineluctably, into a new season.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Fine Performance

What a great year-end performance each of my 4th grade students gave as a young person living on an English manor in 1255. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! is the name of the piece--a Newbery book in 2007.

To the compliments from parents, I responded with the truth: all I told the kids was to speak loud enough, slow enough, and tell your story. They did.

It was one of those times when I felt exceptionally gratified to be a teacher. What a great group of kids I had this year--so much care for each other and for learning.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Four Weeks After Surgery

Yesterday, concerned about a hard bulge above the main incision on my belly, I called the young doc, and he told me what it was. Nothing to worry about, he said, it's just a seroma, some fluid that'll disperse over the next couple of months.

It's been two days since I've been back to work, not counting Memorial Day when I went in for six hours. The kids put up a big WELCOME BACK banner. Many of the girls gave me a hug. Boys yelled and gave me high fives.

My stamina is there--11-hour days, both--but I'm leaking and getting sore.

The month I took for recovery is like a dream now, in the past. Now, it's about getting through the last few weeks of school, getting a trainer to help me get back in shape, and then vacationing and looking for the future in Mexico.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Three Weeks After Surgery

Take a couple of days and It's been three weeks since surgery. Since the beginning of this week, the only thing I've been able to really focus on is prepping for the medieval play my class will start working on in six days, Good Masters, Sweet Ladies, Voices From a Medieval Village.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hello From Recovery

Click on the pic

This short video was shown to my class today by my substitute, Shereen. At least I hope it was; that was the plan, but I haven't heard from her today. She is a really good person to have teaching my class, but communication is not her strong suit.

I enjoyed putting together this piece together, shot it on my digital camera, and edited a little on iMovie.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Two Weeks After Surgery

Two weeks since I went under the robot scalpels and I'm feeling pretty good. Improvements in the past week include ability to sit without discomfort, and only occasionally being bothered by pain from the incision sites.

The erection issue is coming along.

I'm still not able to fully control my peeing, but I am now allowed to do kegels to strengthen those sphincters. I've finally come around to seeing that the disposable diapers I have to wear are actually kind of a fashion plus with their contrast in textures and transparency. In addition, I get what looks like a pretty big package. So, there's an upside right there, but because of the incontinence that's especially evident when I go for a walk, I have, unfortunately, cut back on that exercise...

It's a beautiful, if chilly, day. Using the toy trebuchet BFF gave me, I've been launching gravel at targets in the garden.

And I've been planning our summer vacation in Mexico.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Last summer I wrote a poem, "Incontinence as Metaphor." Yesterday, I experienced incontinence as a bladder reality, and it was not pleasant.

The incontinant feels a warm loosening at the opening of the urethra to signal his lack of control. With repetition, this feeling is joined by a spreading wetness and warmth within the disposable diaper. Walking becomes difficult as one imagines oneself a large baby with one of those leaden loads, emitting that cloyingly sweet acidic smell familiar to all parents.

In the incontinant, this does encourage empathy for babies and new parents, but on a more immediate physical plane, it also results in great discomfort, especially when one is five cock-clutching blocks from home.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


The rain for the past couple of months has felt biblical, and not in a good way. Unfortunately the saturating gray pall has also been accompanied by wind, and temperatures ten degrees below normal...Jesus, it's wearing.

But at least we have flowers, like this lilac in our back yard.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

One Week After Surgery - Good News

All that cancer they found in February is gone! It took up the space of about 4 pennies, nestled inside a walnut-sized prostate gland. All gone now, along with the two seminal vesicles. Picture a fleshy bulb with two pigtails suspended above.

Clean margins.

The effect is that I can't make any more sperm, nor as much cum, as before. The docs saved most of the erection nerves, though, so there's still that. Which is a lot.

And, thank God, no more cancer.

Prescription: take antibiotics for three days to prevent bladder infection; over the next week, wean off mild pain medication; walk for exercise; wear disposable diaper to contain leakage; take it easy, like no kegels for the next two weeks, and no lifting or sex for five.

They gave me a chart to keep track off the number of diapers or pads used each day, suggesting it might take 6-9 months before I didn't need them anymore. Jesus! I'm hoping for less than three.

As far as getting it up, Viagra is prescribed, or using a vacuum pump (like the guy I've been corresponding with), but that's still down the road a bit.

The stitches will come out on their own.

I'll have a PSA test in a couple of months, a follow-up with the surgeon in three.

As to the other issue I was concerned about coming into this appointment:

Taking out the catheter was easier, and less painful than I had imagined. The procedure: the nurse cuts the catheter tube just above the shunt to the bladder's balloon. She injects 250mL of saline solution into the tube, thus into my bladder. While I try to hold this in, she deflates the balloon through the shunt. I get set over a basin as she counts to 3. On 2, I take a deep breath, and on 3 I let it out, along with the pee, as she simultaneously jerks out the tube and balloon. Whoa!

(They have a monitor measuring the flow rate to assess the strength of my bladder muscles. Mine looks pretty strong.)

During this first week of recovery, my perceptive wife reminds me that what I call being lazy is what many people mean by healing.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Tomorrow will be a week since surgery. I got a two-fer, and a gift, since the doc discovered and repaired a surprisingly large hernia in my gut before taking out the prostate.

My dear wife and I had taken the bus to the hospital that day, and then walked two blocks in a heavy rain. We sat together and made the same kinds of jokes and avowals of support, in the same room where I had waited with her, nearly four years earlier, for her mastectomy. So, deja vu from both points of view.

A short, broad and friendly Hispanic man, who introduced himself as "RJ," wheeled me into the ward where people undress and wait. Sweet wife stays right by my side.

On reflection, it's odd how I lay there feeling, for all intents and purposes, perfectly healthy, yet completely resigned to the scalpel. I had totally--with alacrity, even--accepted the medical diagnosis, as well as the prescribed removal of the infected body parts.

I had found out only a week earlier that the surgery had been rescheduled, from first thing in the morning to sometime around noon because my surgeon was assisting in a kidney operation. I figure that's because he's such a deft guy with the DaVinci (which is the brand name (?!) of the robotic hardware and software used to perform both surgeries).

We waited an overlong time in that taking-off-your-clothes room, to finally be told by a concerned and friendly nurse, an attractive redhead, that the kidney surgery was lasting longer than anticipated, so the doc would be delayed at least another hour. BFF was famished, so we agreed she'd go to the hospital cafe for lunch.

Of course, it wasn't long after she left that a new nurse came and whisked me upstairs to the ward where they take away your robe as you lay down on a gurney, waiting for the team to come greet you.

The friendly-faced operating room nurse arrived to reassure me that she and the doc have done a thousand of these surgeries, and everything will be OK. At that point, my concerned and mildly chagrined wife is shown in as this other attractive woman, who will be all over my body in another hour, says goodbye, and a laconic, older than expected, and still strangely attractive, anesthesiologist hooks me up to an intravenous drip as he tells me about the cocktail of knockout drugs he will be administering. Barely an ouch.

And then, The Guy Himself. I'd seen him at a computer station a few minutes earlier as I went to the bathroom (possibly entering his charges for the kidney op), but I didn't exist for him them. Now, though, I was the sole object of his attention.

The Guy Himself is average height, built solidly, in his mid-forties, face tanned with freckles. He exudes such gravitas, I am now completely confident of a favorable outcome, whatever the situation. And as a bonus for the patient, Himself had this very same procedure to remove his own prostate a couple of years ago; so he was able to share stories with me of his own recovery in a brief, frank, yet encouraging manner. I'm totally psyched.

We shake hands and he gives me a rare, for him, and reassuring smile. Not long after that another friendly and attractive middle-aged nurse comes to take me away (was it the rose-colored glasses, my helpless state, or were these women all, really, so good looking?).

My dear wife and I exchange our love, as we always do when we part.

I am wheeled into the nearby operating room, which I noticed was smaller (about as big as a medium-sized living room) and more crowded with equipment and purposeful professionals than I had expected. It was quiet though; the lighting seemed dim, and the ceiling low.

Two scrubs were prepping some monitors. The robot control console--the DaVinci--was in one corner, and the operating cart in another, with its three or four robotic arms articulated like a praying mantis, their business ends covered with clear plastic bags.

I chatted with the assisting surgeon (a smooth and attractive (!) Chicagoan of Asian descent who had spent an hour talking me through this process several weeks ago) as he, the anesthesiologist and a new nurse moved me off the gurney and strapped my legs down on two rectangular foam blocks that were covered with a shiny black plastic skin, and scissored off a larger, square block of tan-colored foam for my corpus. The latter was stained the blood-orange of iodine.

I looked up at the array of multi-bulbed lights, not yet fully lit. I felt a little buzzing in my blood, and asked the anesthesiologist if he had started the juice. Affirmative. That's all I remember until about four hours later.

I must have started thrashing, trying to remove tubes, whatever, as I groggily came to, because I have a vague recollection of several people moving to restrain me. For the next twelve hours, my greatest discomfort was from where I had scratched my cornea during that brief struggle. My wife told me that when she saw me a little later, up in my room, she was saddened to see that my arms were in restraints.

I had the sweetest nurse--Jenn--that first night. Maybe you always fall a little in love with the ones who give you morphine. Jenn checked in often, but was very quiet so as not to disturb me. If she heard that I was awake; she offered me a couple of Tylenol and a tab of oxycodone about every three hours.

The pain now is pretty manageable without all that. I'm still taking some though, most consistently in the evening, but am weaning off.

I was dismissed about noon the day after surgery after my vitals checked out, no infections found, and I proved I could eat without getting nauseous, and walk without getting dizzy.

The catheter is more of a bother than a pain. After realizing the strap-on bag filled up in less than a couple of hours (it sprayed urine all over my sweats, slippers and the bathroom floor when I first tried to empty it), I've been carrying around the nighttime bag all week. Taking a dump is an awkward, unpleasant, and time-consuming task, graphically described here in a poem.

My uniform all week has been a robe over loose-fitting shorts and a t-shirt. The catheter bag hooks conveniently on the robe's pocket. I've walked around the house a fair amount, but because of the weather, haven't done much more than duck my head outside, although today I cut some lilacs to give my sweetie for Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Which Medicine Doesn't Belong in This Picture?

Answer: There are several ways to look at this. All the medications except the one on the right (Oxycodone) are over-the-counter. On the other hand, all except the one in front (stool softener) are directly for pain relief. Of course, in a larger sense they all belong, as they work together to keep me as comfortable as possible.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Checked Out

No blood in urine? Check

No infection at incisions? Check

Manageable pain? Check

Can eat solid food without nausea? Check

Can walk without dizziness? Check

Shortly after noon on Tuesday, about 18 hours after completion of surgery, I am dismissed from the hospital. Wheeled to the front door by a garrulous Jamaican immigrant, accompanied by my dear wife. She and I try to sleep during the bumpy 20 minute trip home; the only sound from within the taxi is the driver murmuring in Farsi on his phone.

Shortly after tucking in to my nest on the couch, my sweet daughters arrive with flowers and cupcake. It's an unusual occasion for them to see me laid up like this, and they express this realization in very different ways, one with barely suppressed tears, the other with awkward laughter.

After they leave, and before a needed nap, I notice the bag of urine strapped to my leg is full almost to bursting. Over the toilet, as I fumble with the bag's spigot, the pee sprays out uncontrollably, over my sweatpants, slippers and floor. Ugh.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pre-Surgery Prep

Early this afternoon I had my last solid food until after the surgery--sushi. Then, several hours later I chugged a small bottle of Magnesium Citrate, well-chilled.

I filled the in-between time by running up to Best Buy and getting a new modem for the house. This afternoon, the old one sputtered to the end of its five-year-old line, according to Qwest tech support.

I have no way to prove it, but believe I might give off a disruptive electrical charge that is especially evident during times of stress. For example, back in December, just after I got news that Mom was dying, our power went out, for no apparent reason. I think that's what happened to the old modem.

Back online, eating green jello now, appetizer for my chicken broth dinner. To be followed by red jello dessert, and then the first of two enemas. That joy broken up by a Chlorhexidine Gluconate sponge bath.

After midnight, "nothing further by mouth," advises my patient information sheet.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cancer Boy

When my wife and BFF was diagnosed with breast cancer about four years ago, she fashioned for herself a character called "Cancer Girl" who could get whatever she wanted, from whomever, in almost any situation, because of the eponymous disease. In slavish imitation I have adopted a similar nickname.

At Trader Joe's today, I grabbed the pre-made Carne Asada, and when BFF looked askance, I answered that it was for Cancer Boy. Similarly with the chocolate bar, and salt and pepper potato chips. An extra 6-pack of beer? Cancer Boy. Fresh scallops? Cancer Boy.

The expensive fifth of bourbon? You know who. Lounging in front of the NBA playoffs with a glass of same? Ditto.

After a big breakfast tomorrow, it will be chicken broth and jello until Monday's surgery. After that, I hope to be Cancer Boy no longer.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Twelve More Days

It's 12 days until my prostate gland will be surgically removed. The extent to which it is infested with cancer is not exactly known, but believed to be contained within a quadrant, where the little buggers may, or may not, be nibbling at the shell of the gland. A complete biopsy will be available a week after the surgery.

Most of my thoughts lately have been focused on those two medical events--surgery and biopsy...well, not exactly true. I am also thinking about sex and my ability to give and receive pleasure without that walnut-sized secretor of semen, and without whatever portion of the bundle of nerves that stimulate an erection must be removed.

For now, though, it's spring break until next Monday.

As prescribed, I do Kegels, kind of fitfully. Take late showers.

Erections, and preparing lesson plans for next month's substitute teacher, have become the obsessive driver of my actions.

Twelve more days to have all the body parts I was born with...not that I want to be dramatic about it...

I look at brochures and video testimonies featuring the brotherhood of prostate cancer survivors. The visuals alone are encouraging. All these guys look confident, wryly humorous, attractive in an athletic sort of way, in short, virile. But, "That's going to be me," morphs into a questioning whine.

And then there's the daunting specter of the catheter...I'll think of it as torture: a healthy man caught spying behind the front lines of disease. I'll grin and bear it, soldier on, man up!...Won't I?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Good News

My dear wife was--HOORAY!--clean of any new cancer. I am still blithely optimistic about my upcoming surgery. However, the weather has been awfully gray, rainy, and cold.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

C'est la Vie

On the same day, in a couple of weeks, my wife and I are seeing respective doctors to check in on our cancers. March twenty-second.

I don't think of myself as someone whose self-definition normally includes reference to a medical problem, especially one so iconically extreme.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Prostate Cancer Treatment Plan

My urologist recommended my recently diagnosed prostate cancer be treated within the next four months. As far as he could tell from his digital exam, it had not yet escaped the gland, and my PSA was relatively low, but the biopsy showed it was moderately aggressive, though not advanced.

My father had prostate cancer and opted for radiation. It messed him up and bowel problems resulted, making the rest of his life pretty hellish. Even if I could get past Dad's experience, it doesn't seem like a good choice. For one thing, if radiation didn't work, the only further option would be hormone treatment, and that just doesn't sound good. Plus, I can't get over the fact that you don't get visual feedback on how effective the treatment has been.

After surgery, you know pretty clearly how clean you are, and radiation is then an option to kill any worrisome outliers that couldn't be surgically removed.

I'm planning on having a robotic laparoscopic prostatectomy, which has been described as the new "gold standard" for treating prostate cancer.

Having it done laparoscopically means much smaller incisions and faster recovery time. The robotic part of the surgery is desirable because it allows for extremely precise excisions.

Since this is a relatively new procedure, it's especially important to have an experienced surgeon, and I'll have someone who's performed several thousand of these surgeries. I read 25 reviews from those he has treated, and they all gave him 5 out of 5 stars, across the board (except for one patient who gave him a 4, for punctuality). He's the guy the doctors go to to be treated, and he both opted for, and was satisfied with, this type treatment for his own recently diagnosed prostate cancer.

The surgery couldn't be scheduled until early May, which my urologist says will be OK, but I'm on the waiting list for moving into a cancellation.

Sloan-Kettering has a nomogram--a predictive model that takes into account different variables--that tells me I have a darned good probability of not only surviving this but living for a good many years yet, most likely succumbing to something other than these damned spots.

At this point, the main thing that scares me is having, for a week, that damned catheter. I've got an idea what's involved, but I can't quite bear yet to fully look into it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


"You have prostate cancer," the urologist just told me by phone. Biopsy, et cetera: seven on the Gleason scale of six to ten.

"Oh, shit," is my first reaction, and then, "Well, I can get through this."

And I can, although I was surprised by the diagnosis. When my doctor first told me in December that my PSA, although not exceptionally high, had been consistently creeping up over the past two years, making an appointment with the urologist was more a way of assuaging his and BFF's concern than any alarm on my part.

So...we'll see what this brings, but I'm not too worried. Yet.