Update 06/17/2013

Que pasa?

It has been a couple of weeks since my last post.  I promise I’m not ignoring anyone or refusing to post… its just that there is really not a whole lot to report.

During my last post, I reported that I was still feeling some dizziness when I stand up, which is a result from a drop in blood pressure.  The question is/was… why the drop in blood pressure?  Well, we think we have figured it out.

Usually…. whenever a patient exhibits those symptoms, it is a result of dehydration.  I’ve been drinking over three liters a day (over 90 oz) of water.  Some of it has been because I get very dry mouthed, and will forever, but I’ve been pounding the water because the doctors have told me that I am dehydrated.  One of the results of this is that during the night, welllll… lets just say that I don’t get a full nights sleep.  Getting up 3 or 4 times a night gets old.

Anyway, in the meantime, I have been weaning myself off the methadone.  I had been taking 2 pills a day.  For two weeks, I cut back to one a day and now I’m taking one every 2-3 days.  Amazingly, my dizziness is dissipating as well.  If one were to look under “methadone side effects” (as the missus did), one of the first one it mentions is… “may experience a drop in blood pressure”.  Well imagine that.  Maybe this was something the doctors would have told me?

I went to see my chemo Dr this past week.  It had been about 5 weeks since I had seen him.  He is the one that prescribed methadone to me.  I had told him about the dizziness during my last visit and he joked that it might be “old age”.  When I told him that the dizziness has been going away coinciding with the reduction in methadone usage, he said….. “well I thought you knew that.”  Great.

Anyway… quick update on my Dr visit…

WEIGHT… 153 lbs.  They told me it is not like losing weight like you are on a diet and immediately gain it all back.  If my appetite returns to what it was pre-cancer, then I can expect to gain my weight back in 6 months to a year.  Wow.  Thought it would be sooner than that.  I guess I need to go out and buy some more skinny clothes.  I would guess that about 3/4 of the clothes in my closet do not fit.  I know… 1st world problems….right?

FATIGUE – still an issue and again was told that it would be 6-12 months before I’m back to as much of my old self as possible.  I’ve been going to the gym and that has been depressing.  Only able to do about 1/4 to 1/3 of time or weight of what I did pre-cancer.  As I was complaining about this to my Doctor…. remember… he is the smart aleck one…. he listened to me bitch and moan for a little while and when I was done… he said… “Mr. Finley… you just battled cancer and survived.  Do you know how many people can’t say that?  You are able to go to the gym and work out and you will get stronger and better, it’s just going to take some time.  I would suggest you quit focusing on what you can’t do now and focus more on what you will be able to do in the future because you survived cancer.”

Ummm… yes sir.  Message received.

Then he said I didn’t need to see him anymore.  (I’m not sure if its because there was no need or if he was just fed up with me.)

So current status?  Between 150-155 lbs.  I don’t want to gain the 35 lbs I lost back but maybe about 20.  Hair will eventually fill in (I h0pe).  Fatigue will eventually go away (I hope) and the other stuff I will just learn to deal with, because the doctor is right… I’ve become fixated on whats not right or “normal” compared to my life pre-cancer instead of being grateful that I survived this ordeal with only minor issues and have received many, many, many prayers and good thoughts from all of you along the way.  So basically… I need to take a big ole drink of shut the “heck” up.

There is a movie line I am reminded of…. (for those that know me… this is no surprise.  Just about everything reminds me of a movie line.)  It is from the movie “Shawshank Redemption”.  (HIGHLY recommend if you’ve never seen it.)  Anyway.. the line in the movie is…. “Get busy living or get busy dying.”  Basically, I need to move on with my life.  My body is not the same as it was.. and it may never be…. but you know what?  I’m alive and still have my warped brain intact.  Physically, I will continue to push forward, knowing that I may never reach the goals I have set for myself, but it won’t stop me from moving forward.

OK… enough of that.  Next on the agenda is a PET scan in early July.  This is the 3-4 hour in-depth scan for cancer that I will go through every 4 months or so.  Also on the agenda is the removal of my Port.  That is the thing they inserted into my chest for shots and infusions.  Since I won’t be getting those with the same frequency as I have been, they will schedule a procedure to remove that soon.  Other than those things, its just living my life.  There won’t be much to report.  I’m not sure what to do with this blog.  It has been a great way to keep everyone informed and it has been therapeutic for me to use to express myself.  I still enjoy doing that.  I may keep this up just to tell stories.  I’ll let you know.

One last thing before we get to the unrelated story…  there is no way I can ever express to all of you how grateful I have been for the prayers and well-wishes I have received.  People I don’t even know have been praying for me and it has been a humbling experience.  Thank you all so much.  I am truly blessed.

UNRELATED STORY

As you know, I like to finish these posts with an unrelated story.  I’ve tried to keep them PG-13 and for the most part, believe I have succeeded.  However, while I still have many, many stories in my memory… I’m starting to run out of the PG-13 ones.  I might have to start a different blog to share the others.  I’ll let you know.

This particular story is true….you can look it up if you don’t believe me. My dad used to comment that “you never let the truth get in the way of a good story” and I agree… but this is factual.

If you are a primate, you don’t want to live in Dallas.

Back in 2000, while I was still with the Dallas Police Department and on the SWAT Team, the SWAT team received a call on a Sunday from the Dallas Zoo asking for help.  It seems that the Zoo was preparing to open a chimpanzee exhibit the following Monday featuring “Judy” a 13 year old chimpanzee.  While they were getting stuff prepared, Judy escaped.  At first, they thought they had her contained within the zoo but eventually realized that the had escaped the confines of the zoo and they needed help locating her.  Typical of the police department, they didn’t want to pull patrol officers off the street so they called the SWAT team for this duty.  So the guys drive to the zoo neighborhood and are given assigned areas to search for this chimp and are told that if they locate Judy, to call one of the zoo vets with the tranquilizer gun.  So the SWAT guys are walking around the neighborhoods when they hear a commotion and sure enough, Judy is on top of a house.  The neighbors start to gather and bring their kids out to see Judy.  Judy sees the crowd and having been in captivity for a long time, knows the value of a crowd and starts putting on a show.  She starts walking back and forth across the roof, hitting her chest.  The crowd gets larger, especially with kids.  They are thrilled to see Judy and Judy is thrilled to see them.  The SWAT guys notify the zoo  officials and they say they will be right there.  By now, the crowd has gathered to about 40-50 people, half of them kids, when the zoo official arrives.  He gets close to the house, sights in his tranquilizer gun and pulls the trigger.  He is a good shot and the dart hits Judy right where he aimed.  Unfortunately, it freaks Judy out and she immediately jumps from the roof to the nearest item…. which happens to be electrical wires.  Judy lands on the wires and is immediately electrocuted.  I say immediate… it probably kills her immediately.. but Judy’s body remains on the wires and continues to get electrocuted….. big buzzing sound… sparks shooting out of her body… burning flesh…. BBBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…. all for the kids to see.  Parents begin hollering… kids are crying and screaming.. and there is nothing anyone can do.  Judy’s corpse remains on the wires for over 30 seconds continuing to fry.  Eventually, this smoldering mass falls to the ground… again.. in front of the kids.

The next day.. the newspaper headlines read… “Dallas SWAT Team Kills Zoo Chimpanzee”.  The SWAT guys had nothing to do with it.. but you know how the media is.

So that is enough for one story.. and a pretty good one… but it doesn’t end there.

With this chimpanzee escaping, a zoo official begins wondering… what would happen if a larger, more dangerous animal escaped?  The Dallas Zoo had no plan for that so this guy begins working on one.  He goes through all the necessary procedures they need to do but when it comes to how to stop the animal, he is drawing a blank.  So he decides to call the experts in killing… that’s right… the Dallas SWAT Team.  He eventually gets in contact with my Sergeant, Sgt. Newton, who is also in charge of the Dallas SWAT snipers.  As you know, the snipers are equipped with high caliber rifles that are effective from long distance.  Sgt Newton has a brief conversation with the zoo official and tells him he would love to help but is too busy, thank you very much.  The zoo official is determined so he calls his boss, who calls the Chief of Police, who calls the Deputy Chief over Special Operations, who calls Sgt Newton and tells Newton to help out in any way he can.  Meanwhile, we are eating this up and giving Sgt Newton grief.  Calling him Marlin Perkins (from old Mutual of Omaha shows) and just making his life miserable. Eventually, Newton calls the zoo official back.   During this conversation the zoo official tells Sgt Newton of his plan.  He is naming it… “Plan Alpha”.  He describes Plan Alpha to Sgt Newton and gets to the stopping of the animals part.  He wants Sgt Newton to teach his zoo people how to operate and utilize sniper rifles.  By now, Sgt Newton has had enough of this and tells the zoo official that, yes, he would love to help, but gosh darn it, it takes years and years of practice to become proficient enough to use a sniper rifle and plus the zoo people aren’t legally authorized to use a sniper rifle so wish he could help but he can’t… bye bye.  Again, we are hooting and hollering over this and making up as many jokes as you can imagine.  Newton thinks this is over but the zoo official is one determined SOB.  He calls Newton back and said that he has revised his plan and now the Dallas SWAT team is responsible for shooting any escaped animal.  Newton is ready for this and tells him that yes, legally that would work but gosh darn it, the Dallas SWAT team is just not prepared to do that because their rifles are made to shoot humans not animals.  The SWAT rifles just don’t have the stopping power to kill a large animal.  When the zoo official asked what kind of rifle they need, Newton told him the Winchester .458 magnum.  These are the rifles people use to shoot elephants and rhinos.  Newton is chuckling to himself knowing that there is no way the City of Dallas would consider buying such a rifle for the SWAT team.  Again, Newton tells the zoo guy.. so sorry I couldn’t help.  Good luck.. bye bye.  We congratulate Newton.

Two weeks later, the zoo official calls Newton back.  GREAT NEWS…. the zoo official has used the zoo budget to buy four! of these rifles for the SWAT Team.  When can they start?

This is too much for all of us.  Other members of the department are stopping by the office asking when the safari is…. safari pictures are posted on the walls..   pictures of elephants and cheetahs are reproduced with a target site over them… everyone is having a great time with this.  Meanwhile, Newton is a defeated man so he assigns these four elephant guns to four of his snipers and they get trained on them, waiting for the “Plan Alpha” call that will never happen.

However, a few years later, in 2004… yep … you guessed it… a large animal escapes its enclosure.  And its just not any large animal… its a 350 lb lowland gorilla named Jabari.  Jabari gets out of his cage, hurts a zoo person and swoops down on the main walkway and knocks some lady aside and takes a bite out of a kid.  Word goes out and the zoo official, probably not without a little bit of smugness, initiates “Plan Alpha”.  The call goes out to the SWAT team… officers respond Code 3 (Lights and sirens) and the snipers are called and told to bring their elephant guns.  The zoo is evacuated and somewhere inside, lurks Jabari.

The first SWAT guys on scene gear up and are sent inside to locate Jabari and wait for the snipers as well as the zoo official with the tranquilizer gun.  Everyone is on their way, just locate and wait.

So these three SWAT guys start walking through the deserted zoo and eventually end up near the scene of the attack on the kid.  They see a kids shoe and blood on the ground.  They hold their position, listening for any noise.  About 75 yards away, one of them sees bushes moving.  Jabari steps out of the bushes and begins looking at the SWAT guys.  They get on the radio and report but don’t move as Jabari stares at them.  Jabari takes a step forward and to the side, and without taking its eyes off the SWAT guys, rips up a bench set in concrete and throws it about 30 feet…. basically saying…. “This is what I can do..what do you have?”  My buddy there told me he looked down at his 9mm sub-machine gun and thought to himself… that is only going to piss him off.

During this stare-down, behind the SWAT officers one of the snipers is running toward them and rounds the corner and asks… “What do we have?” when his actions apparently startle Jabari and Jabari begins leaping towards them.  Originally the distance between them was 75 yards and in a little over one second, Jabari has covered over 1/3 that distance and is coming fast.  The sniper skids to a halt and without time to get into a prone, sitting or kneeling position, raises the rifle to his cheek and gets off one shot when Jabari is about 40 yards away, on a dead run.  The shot hits Jabari in the shoulder.  Jabari stops, lets out a bellow and begins charging again.  The sniper gets off a second shot, this time, a little more accurate.  Jabari stops, takes about two steps and falls to his death, all within 25-30 yards of the SWAT guys.  Of course, 10 seconds later, the zoo vet with the tranquilizer gun arrives and begins screaming at the SWAT guys,…. “You didn’t have to kill him!”

That night… and I am not making this up… grieving citizens of Dallas held a candlelight vigil for Jabari and the next days headlines read, “Dallas SWAT Kills Zoo Favorite”.

That was almost 10 years ago.  Lots of people have come and gone.  Sgt Newton is retired… the zoo official is retired.. I believe all the SWAT guys that were present that day have moved on.. but I believe Plan Alpha is still in place and new snipers are now proficient on the elephant guns.

So be warned if you are a primate… there is just no monkeying around in Dallas.

Follow up to Status Quo

Just a quick follow up to my visit to my GP yesterday.  They took my blood pressure from three positions:  Prone, sitting and standing, to see if there was any variance and if so, how much.

Prone, my BP was 110/60.  Sitting, 90/60 and Standing, 80/60.  Juuuusssstttt a little bit of change.  :-)  Dang, no wonder I’m getting dizzy.

My GP Dr. also believes that is is due to dehydration, along with the methadone I am taking.  If you look up side effects to taking methadone, one of the first things you see is, “May cause low blood pressure.”  However, my Dr wants to make sure there aren’t other factors involved,  such as anemia, so I’m taking a blood test tomorrow.  Guess I better study hard tonight.

Oh…. and he also said… “Mr Finley, since you just turned 50 and with all that you’ve had going on recently, I strongly suggest you get a colonoscopy as well.”  Super.  Great.  Thanks Doc.

I’ve often wondered how people get so educated on medical terms and procedures and how I didn’t know what this or that really meant.  I must say that in the last few years, with a pacemaker and now cancer, and getting older, my knowledge of medical terms and procedures has definitely increased!

Status Quo…and quo…and quo

Howdy all,

It has been awhile since my last post and figured I would bring you all up to speed on the latest.  (It won’t take that long.)

In no meaningful order…..

Overall, I’m doing OK.  My throat is not hurting as much so I’m weaning myself off methadone, taking one pill a day instead of two.  I will do this for a couple of weeks and go to an every other day kind of thing.  So throat is doing OK.

Hair – my hairdresser is doing what she can to blend in the absence of hair at the back of my head with what is there.  It still sort of looks like Johnny Knoxville from Jackass buzzed my head with a razor but maybe its not so noticeable now?  (Thanks Deanna!)

Appetite – The good news is that my appetite is returning.  I can eat most things I used to eat.  The bad news is that my taste buds are still out of whack.  What is delicious this week tastes horrible the next.  Also, ketchup tastes like Tabasco to me.  I was not an exotic food kind of guy before all this started but I’m sure not one now.  Spicy is a no-no.

Weight – While my appetite is returning, the weight is still staying off.  I still weigh around 155 lbs, about 30 lbs less than my normal weight and about 35 lbs less than I weighed when all this started back in February.  People tell me that it will come back and I’m sure it will.  I’m not really worried about how much I weigh.  I figure about 175-180 is probably where I need to be.  What is aggravating me right now about all of this is the lack of muscle mass.  I wasn’t Charles Atlas when this began but my arms and legs have atrophied to the point where I can lift about half of what I used to.  The muscles in my back scream at me toward the end of the day because I am slumping over and this is causing them to be out of whack due to the lack of support.  I’m able to go to the gym 2-3 times a week and am slowly trying to build up some strength.  At the end of the day, I am very fatigued and, no pun intended, am very tired of that. Also, a side effect of the side effect… (a side-side effect?) is that with the lack of weight, I get cold awful quickly.  My kids laugh at me for wearing a sweatshirt when it is 75 degrees outside.  I envy Mr Rogers for wearing those cardigans.

Dry Mouth – still here… always will be.  I look like I have a water bottle permanently glued to my hand.  Sometimes I feel like Tom Hanks at the end of the movie “Castaway” when he is driving around in his Jeep with about three cases of different kinds of water with him.  It’s become part of my check routine whenever I go somewhere… KEYS?  Check!  Billfold? Check!  Phone?  Check!  Water?  Check!

ISSUES

As mentioned… fatigue is one of them. I’m working on that and hopefully will be able to build up some muscle fitness over the next few weeks and am thinking this will not be an issue in the near future.  (Right?)

Dizziness – this is probably the main issue I’m dealing with right now and the most aggravating.  Whenever I am sitting and stand up to go somewhere, a wave of dizziness comes over me.  Usually, I have to grab onto something for some support.  I asked my Chemo Dr about this when I saw him last about three weeks ago and he laughed and said it was due to old age.  Thanks Doc.  Great diagnosis.  It has become troublesome enough that I reached out to my cardiologist last week.  I wanted to make sure it wasn’t heart related.  It’s not.  My heart is fine.  My Cardiologist believes it is due to dehydration.  While I am drinking 2-3 liters of water a day, he wants me to drink more Gatorade due to the electrolytes.  That is all well and good but anything acidic like Gatorade tastes horrible to me.  It has been suggested that I use the powder kind to dilute it and make it more palatable.  I still haven’t found the magic formula yet.  This issue has drastically risen up the “Need to be Addressed” scale as last night when I got up from the couch to go into the kitchen, the wave of dizziness started to wash over me and I grabbed onto one of the kitchen stools and the next thing I know, my daughter is standing over me while I am on the floor asking me if I’m OK.  I don’t remember falling, or bringing the kitchen stool with me or the noise I’m sure I made.  Soooo… appt to see my GP later today and probably will start a series of IV fluids to bring my levels back up to where they need to be.  Nothing like passing out to get your attention!

The other minor things are things like every night, I have to put this fluoride gel into an upper and lower mouthpiece and wear them for five minutes…. every day…. for the rest of my life.  They told me the radiation pretty much killed the white blood cells in my jaw and if I don’t do this, within a couple of years my jaw becomes necrotic and will eventually fall off.  Five minutes a day you say??  That’s not so bad.

Overall, I’m doing pretty well.  Especially when you consider the alternative.  Whenever I start having a pity party for myself I think about some of the people i met in Gainesville that were worse off and two of my friends that are going through a worse ordeal than I did so it humbles me pretty quickly.

What’s next?

I go for a regular check up with my Chemo Dr in about three weeks.  Just a routine check up.  I’m sure he will monitor the methadone intake and make suggestions.  I have a PET scan scheduled for the first week in July.  As I said in a previous post, a CAT scan takes about 5-10 minutes to complete.  A PET scan takes about 3-4 hours to complete and is more in-depth. I will have to get one of those every four months.

I think that is it.  Nothing really more to report.  Oh…one other small thing… I had my first beer in over 4 months this past weekend.  It did not burn my throat but it also didn’t glide down it either.  However, I think that is a significant step forward.  Right?  Anyway, I haven’t been writing because of things being busy at home and there really hasn’t been anything to report but I will try and write more regularly.  Which brings us to….

UNRELATED STORY TIME!

As you know, these stories have absolutely nothing to do with my cancer treatment or recovery.  They are all PG-13 or below.  They do help me emotionally, as they make me laugh when I think of them.  I hope you find them entertaining as well.

In the last story, I wrote how in the Dallas Police Department when an incident occurs of possible wrong-doing by an officer, the officer involved is usually ordered to “write a letter”.  This letter is his side of the story and is an official government document.  It is used by the primary supervisor to determine if the incident is dismissed, handled at the station level (not involving Internal Affairs) or needs to be upgraded to a more serious level and involve Internal Affairs.  ”Writing a letter” is an art form.  For the officer involved, a good letter can be the difference in a dismissed incident or some possible days off.  Usually, the younger officers write waaayyy more than they should and sometimes make things worse.  Of course ,the senior officers, referred to as “Old Heads” can usually write one hell of a letter. This is a story about such a letter……

In past blogs, I have written about one of my trainers, “Dirty” Joe McCrary.  Dirty Joe was a legend before he trained me.  Almost in an infamous way.  He was a scoundrel.  Everyone knew who he was because he always wore “his lid” (hat) when no one else did.  Of course, he made his rookies wear theirs as well. When I pointed out that the Dallas Police General Orders outlined the times when an officer was supposed to wear “his lid” and it did not include regular patrol, Joe replied, “Them ain’t Joe’s orders.” I asked him one day why he wore his lid all the time and he told me the story about how one day long ago when a police officer was supposed ot wear his hat all the time, even while driving, there was a bank robbery that involved two suspects and through some magnificent feats of heroism, he captured both of them.  He was given a commendation for capturing the suspects and a written reprimand for doing it without wearing his hat.  This was his way to thumb his nose at the system.

(For past stories about Dirty Joe, you can go back and look at previous blogs)

One day, long after I was done with training, Dirty Joe was working by himself.  As he was patrolling during the day on a road called Harry Hines Blvd, he noticed a female in distress.  (Joe seemed to always find females in distress.)  He stopped and got out of his car to assist her.  It turns out, the female had locked her keys in her car and could this nice, brave, handsome officer possibly help her?  Well absolutely!  Even though it was frowned upon for police officers to help people by using a “slim jim” to open the doors of locked cars because with newer cars. the slim jim can damage the electric locks and the officer and department can be, and has in the past, be sued for damages.  Now while this was frowned upon, that was not going to stop Joe from being the hero for the day.  (As Joe was telling me this story, I asked him if the girl was cute?  He gave me “that look” and said…. “Have you ever known me to help a girl that wasn’t cute?”)

So while Joe is helping the distressed female unlock her car, another car quickly pulled up to a stop by Joe and a man jumped out and approached Joe and said… “Officer Officer, there has been a bad wreck up the road,.  People are hurt.  You must leave now and go help!”  Now a couple of things… first… Joe never got in a hurry to do anything.  Secondly, no citizen EVER told Joe what to do and how fast he should do something.  Besides, as Joe told me later, he still had not gotten the phone number of the female in distress.  However, Joe did get on his radio and tell the dispatcher about what the citizen reported, ordered an ambulance, and an Accident Investigator came over the radio and said he was enroute.

Just a quick note… the Dallas Police Department has a Traffic Division.  It consists of “Motor Jocks”.  These guys ride the motorcycles, have the big shiny boots, mirrored sunglasses, and write a whole bunch of tickets.  Also in the Traffic Division is the DWI squad as well as “Accident Investigators”.  These A&I’s work major accidents (those with injuries).  There aren’t a whole lot of them and if they are unavailable, then the patrol officer is required to work the accident.  However, in this case, an A&I said he was on his way.  Usually when that happened, the patrol officer helps him out but the A&I does the majority of the work.

So Joe orders an ambulance, hears that an A&I is on his way, so he decides to take a few more minutes to get this lovely female’s phone number.  Meanwhile the citizen that originally told Joe about the accident is some kind of perturbed that Joe does not seem to be in a big hurry so he decides to wait for Joe.  Joe sees him but again, this citizen is not going to rush Joe.  After a few minutes… Joe, having opened the females locked door and probably has received her phone number, gets in his car and drives up the road to the scene of the accident.  Sure enough, there was one there.  The ambulance has already come and gone to the hospital with one of the people involved, the Accident Investigator has been there for awhile and is working the wreck, and there is not a lot for Joe to do so he begins laying out flares and generally helping out.  Meanwhile the citizen has followed Joe to the scene and is none too happy and decides to call the station to complain on Joe.

After Joe is finished with the accident, he gets a call to report to the station.  He gets there and is greeted by the station Sergeant, Sgt. “Shaky” Mays.  (Whenever a supervisor has a hard time making a decision, he is known as being “shaky”.)  Sgt Mays confronts Joe and tells him about the citizens call and how the citizen is outraged at Joe’s response,or lack thereof, just so he could flirt with a female when people are injured right up the road and this officer had the GALL to do nothing and he should be strung from the highest yardarm and flogged and …..

Joe interrupted Sgt Mays and said, “Shaky (Mays hated that he was called that), if you would just hold on a #$%$ minute, I will tell you what happened.”

Sgt Mays has just gotten his butt reamed by this citizen and he wants to make sure he is protected from any fallback and is upset that Joe is disrespecting him and hollers at Joe…. “JOE!  Go write a letter!”  Again Joe attempted to quell this and said, “Sarge (no more “Shaky) if you would just listen….”

Mays yelled, “JOE!  I AM ORDERING YOU TO WRITE ME A LETTER!  NOW GO AND WRITE ME ONE RIGHT NOW!”

Joe realized that he wasn’t going to win this argument and said, “Fine Sarge.  I will write you a letter.”

Joe grabbed a pad of paper and a pen and went back into the report writing room at the station and began writing.  Sgt Shaky Mays returned behind his desk with a smug look on his face and with the satisfaction of finally getting some respect from Joe.

After about 10-15 minutes, Joe approached the front desk, flipped the pad of paper on the desk and said, “Here is your damn letter Shaky.” And with that, walked outside, got into his patrol car, and drove off.

Sgt Mays picked up the pad of paper and began reading….

“Dear Mom.  This is your son Joe.  I hope you are doing well.  My Sergeant just ordered me to write a letter and I could think of no one I would rather write than to you.  I hope you are doing well.  Your loving son, Joe.”

People at the station said that Sgt Mays’ face began transforming into different shades of red, finally reaching crimson, when he picked up the microphone and screamed into it for Joe to return to the station immediately!

There was a long pause, and Joe casually picked up the microphone and in his gravelly voice said, “571 to 501, …. turn the page.”

Under the letter to his Mom was the real letter that Joe was ordered to write.

I asked Joe if there was ever a formal investigation and Joe said that he thinks Shaky made such a scene that the Lieutenant intervened and decided Joe did everything fine and no investigation was needed.

It’s all in how you write the letter.