Hi there folks,
I hope this finds all of you well. It has been a little while since I have last written, but that is due to the fact that I had a doctors appointment yesterday and wanted to share with you whatever he said. So…here is the latest from my Chemo Doctor……
I am on schedule of where I need to be.
My throat still hurts in the morning and the evening. To get it to quit hurting, I am still taking pain medication. Methadone twice a day and two “shots” (10ml) of liquid oxycodone. I am going to start slowly reducing the amount of medication I am taking. An example would be to skip an oxy shot every now and then or take only 5ml (1 teaspoon) instead of 10ml.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will also begin to start weaning myself off the methadone. An example would be every third day, reducing intake by one sort of thing.
Anti-nausea… done. No need to take any more medication.
Saturday night is my last in-home IV. I’ve been taking IV’s in the morning and evening (administered by the Nurses Finley….)
These IV’s are for the staph infection. I will complete those Saturday night. Yay!
I’ve completed my dosage of TammiFlu and no temperature so that’s done as well.
In addition to the sore throat, I’m still dealing with mucous build-up. It’s not as bad as it was but is still present. Because it is still present, it prevents me from having any milk-related product, like those chocolate shakes. Bummer.
Which brings me to ISSUE #2…. weight loss. When I was in the hospital, they would bring in a portable scale and I would weigh myself and stay around 172 lbs. Unknown to me, due to all the fluid I was receiving, it was throwing my true weight off. When I went to the Dr yesterday, I used their scale and the nurse told me what it was (converted from kilos) and I couldn’t believe her. I asked her to verify so we weighed again and the same number came up. I still didn’t believe it was correct so after the Dr’s visit, I went down to another part of the radiation clinic where I weighed every Monday and Thursday, including my first day of treatment. Son of a gun if it didn’t confirm…. my official weight, as of yesterday is….. 159 lbs. I have lost a total of 30 lbs. My hospital stay resulted in about a 12-13 lb loss. Holy schmoley. The last time I weighed this was 25 years ago. I went to GNC while ago and got some soy / protein mix to hopefully drink separately and/or add to oatmeal.
My meals consist of …. basically….. oatmeal. It’s easy to make and to get down. I’m trying to find out other things I can get down. I had eggs last night which weren’t bad. The search continues…..
So I’m on schedule for recovery. I have a CT Scan scheduled for 5/2 which will tell us if treatment was successful. The Chemo Dr said in about 3 weeks I should start seeing some major improvement. Now if I can just get my own internal clock to mesh with the realistic one and not be impatient, I’ll be in good shape.
That’s about all there is to report… I guess there is only one thing left….
UNRELATED STORY TIME…..
This story has to do with the boredom of SWAT work. Now most might think that there can’t be any boredom, but there is. I’ve heard SWAT work described as 95% boredom and 5% sheer terror. I don’t think I would agree with that, but you get the idea. For SWAT guys, you train and train and train for the “big one” and rarely experience anything that comes close. When something big does happen, it happens so quickly, that if you blink, you miss it.
Training – there is all sorts of training. There is weapons training. Each officer, of course, is armed with a pistol so you stay proficient as you can with that. You practice with your pistol about once a week (if you can) and due to peer pressure, you better be pretty doggone good at marksmanship. You also have to be proficient at the other weapon you carry. For “Entry” guys, the guys that enter structures with the intent of getting the bad guy, you are armed with an entry weapon. At the time, mine was a Heckler and Koch, MP5 sub-machine guy. It fires 9mm at a rate of about 13 rounds per second. Because it is “only” a 9mm, it doesn’t kick very much and you can hold it down much like those BB guns at the State Fair when you are shooting out the red star. It is such a fun weapon to shoot.
Other training consists of trying to keep your skills up on entry, perimeter, etc. During the week, we would train about one or two days a week.
Your time was also taken up by actual operations. Again, there are all sorts of operations. We could have a VIP visit like the President. (For some reason, the Secret Service gets awful nervous when they have to come to Dallas). We could have a barricaded person…some of the stories I have related are “BP’s”. Basically a bad guy that has barricaded themselves in a structure and we have to get them out.
Another “mission” is a “Buy Bust” This is where our undercover Narcotics Division has made a drug deal with a drug dealer, like X amount of money for X amount of cocaine. It usually involves a large amount. not like something you would buy on the street. So say this particular deal is for a kilo of cocaine. The undercover “UC’s” would make the deal for the parking lot at such and such place at a specific time and the drug dealer would agree. The UC’s would inform us and we would be in a van about 2 blocks away. The UC’s on the scene would be “miked up” (have a microphone on them) and would also be under surveillance by other UC’s. When the drug dealers would arrive, we would be informed, and when the UC said the key words over he microphone … “That looks like good stuff”, that would be our signal to swoop in and arrest everyone.
Now this is all well and good except…. drug dealers are NEVER on time. We have waited three hours or more for them. Now imagine your SWAT team of 6-7 guys, in a van, with an air conditioner that doesn’t work well, in the summertime in Dallas, TX and you are wearing 40-50 lbs of gear. Not a good combination. So naturally, while you are waiting, you get extremely bored. With this van full of Type A personalities, you can imagine the testosterone flows pretty freely. Everyone….. and I mean EVERYONE, gets picked on for some thing or another. The key is to A) act like it doesn’t bother you and B) as quickly as you can, deflect it to someone else. As soon as the round-robin of insults finishes, another way to combat boredom may be the “Movie Line Game”. SWAT guys are notorious for knowing movie lines…. especially those from shoot-em-up movies, that your knowledge gets tested. The way it works is, someone would give a movie line, the rest of the guys would guess. If they can’t get it, a 2nd movie line is required. If the movie guessed is still not correct, then the person giving the line is acknowledged.
An example would be….. “Take me to bed or lose me forever!” What movie? Give up? Ok..here is an easy one from the same movie…. “I feel the need, the need for speed.” So this is an easy one. It’s “Top Gun”.
As I said, most of the movies are from the same genre. Top Gun, Die Hard, etc.
One day, we were bored and in the van playing and a guy named “Bob” who NEVER played decided he was ready. Now a few words about Bob…. he is big into weights…. very quite….. hardly talks….. when he does, he uses very few words….. and kept to himself mostly. So when he said… “I have one…” We were all thinking… Holy Cow… BOB has one? Wow…
So the van gets absolute quite. This is the first time Bob has ever done this. This is momentous! Ok Bob….. give us the movie line. Bob clears his throat and says….
“La la la la la”
“I’m sorry, what?
He repeats….. “La la la la la”
Looks of bewilderment spreads on everyone’s faces. We are all looking at each other. What movie is this? No one has a clue. Finally, someone says… “Bob… how about a second line?”
Bob thinks for a moment and says…. “That will do pig.”
It is so quiet in the van, you can hear a pin drop. Time stretches on. Finally, someone says, ….. “um…. Babe?”
Bob grins and says,….”yeah”
BABE? BABE???!!?? You mean the kids movie, BABE?
By now, Bob has realized his error by offering a kids movie in this group. It doesn’t matter that probably everyone in the van had seen the movie with their kids… that didn’t matter at all….what mattered is that one of the macho guys offers up a kids movie in this extreme Type A personality setting and actually thinks he is going to get away with it……
BABE? BABE??? Everyone in the van starts laughing. Not a chuckle but a full belly laugh, where tears come out of your eyes, full blown laugh that is part ridiculing and part joy.
Bob attempts to explain why he picked that movie but is drowned out. He will never be able to explain.
It got so bad, we missed the call that the bad guys were pulling up. By the time we collected ourselves, the deal had gone down and those drug dealers were probably wondering why we were laughing so hard while arresting them.