RECAFFEINATED MONDAYS: The One Where I’m Vulnerable

One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.

Golda Meir, My Life

Ukrainian-Israeli educator and politician, 4th Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir, was born ont his day in 1898 (d. 1978)

It’s Monday, and I’ve spent the weekend facing some realities.

I’ve alluded to it here before, but I’ve not spent an entire post focusing on it.

I have prostate cancer.

I’ve seen this movie before, and I didn’t give it good reviews the first time.

I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1990 and (rather quickly) had surgery and radiation. I’ve been cancer free since then. Until…

Being ever so much more than twenty I dutifully have an annual physical. Two years ago my PSA numbers were elevated. Maybe it was denial but I ignored them.

By the time I went back a year later, the numbers had doubled. There was no avoiding the appointment with the urologist. A biopsy confirmed that yes indeed, I have cancer. Subsequent tests indicated that, fortunately, it has not spread.

The next steps were immediate surgery or radiation treatments. After much consultation with my doctors,

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with my friends and with the internet, I opted for seed radiation. That meant that first I went for hormone therapy and then for the radiation.

So far the worst of it has been the side effects from the hormone therapy. There’s a long list of possibilities and I got a good few of them including hot flashes, insomnia, fatigue, and weight gain.

As if the “COVID 19 pounds” weren’t enough.

Let’s just say the last few months haven’t been all that pleasant. A pain in the butt, literally, if you will. But I was making it through.

Then last week, as I put it to a friend, I realized that $#!+$ getting real.

You know I often lament about the needed yard work. I’d be doing that if there was nothing wrong.

Thursday I mowed the front yard at lunch. It only took thirty minutes, but it wiped me out the rest of the day.

Maybe it’s not just the cancer and the treatment. I mean I’m not as young as I used to be. And the weight and arthritis already are problematic.

But, this time was different.

Friday morning I had my pre-surgery appointment at the hospital where they did some additional labwork and talked about the protocols.

Oh. The. Protocols.

It’s not that I’m scared. I have known since the beginning that there is a path to take care of this. I just thought of it as something I have to get through.

This weekend it sort of all came crashing home that the getting through it is not going to be pleasant.

Oh, I plan to get through it.

Like Churchill said “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

I’m not sure this is hell…but it’s getting awfully warm.

I realize that I am blessed. I have the best of care. I have employers who are very understanding and supportive.

I have lots of people praying for me. And I know now that I’m talking about it more, I’ll have more.

I know this post is all about me because, well, this is my blog. But I also know that I’m not the only one going through a rough patch.

What’s that meme? Be kind because everyone is going through something. That’s a paraphrase, but you get the idea.

But for my loyal readers (both of you), I thought it was time to tell the story.

I won’t write about it every day, but I’ll keep you updated.

We’re four months into 2021. If all goes as planned, in another four months, this will all be behind me.

So to speak.

Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash







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It truly was the worst day ever. And I’d just come off the heels of what had been the worst month ever. Weeks earlier, my longtime dream of becoming a writer had been squashed—I’d been rejected from an academic writing program. (Read the whole thing, it will make your day better)


The British History Podcast

Chopped Bard




The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26


Circa 1964 – 1977

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NIV)

We’ve made it through another week, and another month. Here is today’s installment of Short Story Friday.

The Best Dog

It was Christmas Eve.

I think it was the year before I started school.

Family tradition always had us gathering at the home place where my grandfather and aunt lived. My aunt, also widowed, lived there to care for my grandfather as his health began to fail. The family, the aunts, uncles, and cousins in town, would gather with them on Christmas Eve as they opened their gifts.

My brother and I were ready to go. Anxious. The sooner we left and came home, the sooner Santa would come.

But my father wasn’t home yet from working at the garage he owned with a friend. In later years I might have thought that he was drinking, especially when he finally came in with an unusual smile on his face.

He finally made it home and we prepared to go.  But he stalled us.

With a grin that I still remember more than fifty years later, he reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a tiny bundle.

A puppy.

A little black and tan puppy.

We didn’t think we’d be getting another dog. Our collie Tucker ate the neighbor’s lawn furniture and we had

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(click the pic)

to give him to another family.

Our kitten had been backed over on our way to church one evening.

We hadn’t had the best of luck with pets.

But a puppy.

My father wanted to name her Queenie.

My brother and I named her Jill.

We wanted to stay home to play with her, but we had to be at the family gathering.

My father found a box and we made her a bed. I gave her one of my favorite stuffed animals. She cried, but we had to go.

A few hours later we returned and she was happy to see us. Unfortunately, she had peed on my stuffed animal. My Mother refused to wash it and it was gone.

Jill was with us for the next twelve or thirteen years.

She lived outside. She barked at the trash men. She barked at the mail man.

Sometimes she just barked.

Jill would walk with me to the park where I often went after school. I loved the big swings there.

She would stay close to me and never run off. She was never on a leash.

She would cross the street when I did.

But when I was going to school, or to the pool and she couldn’t come, I’d just have to tell her to stay.

And she did.

That didn’t mean she didn’t feel free to roam the neighborhood. But she knew where home was.

When I was in high school, Jill got sick and could no longer walk.

My father knew that the best thing for her was to put her down. He couldn’t bring himself to do it.

In geometry class, I would talk to my friend Diane about Jill. It was months before I realized that Diane thought Jill was my sister.

Well, in a way, she was.

Jill would spend the day in the yard and every evening I would carry her back up the hill from where she had drug herself to go to the bathroom.

This went on for weeks.

One day, she stood and walked. She was with us for another five years and her health began to fail again.

By that point we had moved across town. Neighbor complaints meant that we had to keep Jill tied or penned. My parents had not accepted indoor pets at the time other than when the weather turned too cold.

My brother had married and moved away. I was away in college.

Rather than put Jill down, my father took her to a friend’s farm hoping she could live her last days in the freedom we couldn’t give her in town.

The urge to be home with her people again was far too strong.

She left the farm and we never saw her again.

She was the best dog.

Don’t tell Tucker, or Sam, or Ted, or Nic, or Nola

Because if you asked any one of them, they’d tell you they were the best dog.

And they’d be right.






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With positive vibes. Read more.
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Banning menthol cigarettes would disproportionately hit black smokers. In a close race, that could be a big effin deal. Read more.

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That Polish pastor in Calgary who’s been warning us about totalitarianism now has a warrant out for his arrest!
Not the Bee
If you haven’t followed this story, Pastor Artur Pawlowski is a Polish immigrant to Canada who grew up under communism. Authorities have come to his church multiple times during worship to take pictures of those worshipping and look for reasons to shut down the church, as they have with others. Read more.


The British History Podcast

Chopped Bard




The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26