This story has a forward, two chapters and a conclusion. The chapters don’t seem related, but they are.

FOREWORD: Several months ago, I promised myself I wasn’t going to have any more operations. Whatever happened was going to happen.

I also decide that four months before I died, I was going to tear up all the diet restrictions given to me by a variety of doctors. Many of these restriction are at odds with previous recommendations. What’s good for one, is poison for the other.

kidneystoneCHAPTER ONE: A couple of days ago, I got the results back from some x-rays I had taken of my kidneys. Sure enough I have “bilateral stones of two to three millimeters.”

After passing over two dozen stones, this is extremely depressing news. I’ve also had four operations to either remove or shatter the dam things (they literally dam off the proper flow of urine).

But here is the thing that disgusts me and also brings me to tears – I have made the most sincere effort possible to AVOID future stones! I have drastically modified my diet. I have tried to keep myself hydrated. I have taken in volumes of lemonade and an occasional diet Coke to try to break up existing stones. I have been super-careful to take 3300 mg of potassium citrate powder every day.

I carry with me a list of all the “forbidden” food items that promote calcium oxalate stones. This diet argues with other diets recommending such otherwise healthy foods such as lettuce!

All in vain.

CHAPTER TWO: On Monday of this week (8/15/16), I had yet another operation involving cancer. Back in 2004, I had something like 35 radiation seeds implanted in my prostate. The miserable side effect of this cancer operation has been a swelling of my prostate. That makes urination difficult, to put it mildly. Follow that up with several procedures to get rid of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and even “melanoma in situ II!”

One would think I was some sort of tanning nut, but that is the furthest thing from my mind. I always wear caps, and sometimes I even wear my Indiana Jones hat. Lately, I won’t wear anything but long-sleeved shirts.

All in vain.

Head15Aug16oneMonday’s operation was for another basal cell carcinoma, but this time was not like any other. Previously, doctors have done a little scraping or a little digging. THIS time, they dug down several layers of skin to within one layer of my skull – the Periosteum. They used a MOHS system of removing one layer at a time, then looking at each layer in turn under a microscope. Properly stained, they can actually see the cancer cells. They keep digging until no cancer cells show up. They literally dug a hole in my head.

This picture is only the first one, I won’t show you the more graphic pictures unless you ask.

I had NO idea what was going to happen.  I’ve had other cuts before, and was expecting something similar.

I was awake, and had the nurse show me pictures as we progressed. Only a little pain during numbing shots.

Until the medications wore off.

Oh, I’m not screaming in pain. I haven’t taken the pain pills. But if I move just right, my scalp lets me know it has been pulled tight to cover the gaping wound. I’ve not yet returned to the gym for my usual treadmill walks, nor my sessions with some light medicine balls. On the second day home – or was it the third – I stood up and hit the corner of a cabinet door squarely on the wound.

The up side is the Home Health Nurse -Tori – who comes daily to change my dressing.  I could NOT do it without her!  She is a gem!

What I am going to miss most is playing basketball tomorrow. That hurts, if you will forgive the pun.

CONCLUSION: Where does it all end?

It doesn’t.

Other family members have had far worse. Far worse. So I am not complaining.

I thank God I am as healthy as I am.

Just explaining why I haven’t been jumping for joy lately.

Or shooting baskets.



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