Just another average sunset in paradise!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Knee Replacement Surgery!

My brother Rick had his right knee replaced on April 16th and is already walking without a walker or cane.  The reason I have delayed returning to Aticama until the 7th is to stick around and help him with his recuperation but I am required to do very little with his quick recovery.  A cool thing is that when I return for my PET scan in late June, he will have his other knee replaced and I will be here to help him.

Funny how the mind works.  For seven months I have been here in Bakersfield and I almost never thought about Aticama.  Just as soon as I bought my ticket that all changed.  Now I find myself remembering all sorts of things that I love about my life south of the border.  Here in no particular order are the things I am missing:  my dogs, the view, the sound of the waves, my friends, the sunsets from the patio, the iguanas, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner on the dining patio, outdoor showers and just relaxing and watching the flowers grow!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Heading Home

Yes! I am finally going back to the house on the cliff in Aticama.  On Monday the 6th of May I will be taking a bus from Bakersfield to the Tijuana airport to catch an early morning (1:45 a.m.) flight to Guadalajara and then a bus to Aticama.

When I arrived at my brother Rick's house the last week in September, I thought I would be back in Aticama for the holidays but that was not to be.   What could have been a simple surgery to remove a lesion from the top of my head turned out to be way more complicated.  With all the red tape involved in getting my Medicare card the surgery was delayed until December 10th and then with the holidays everything took longer than it should have.

My brother Rick and his wife Karen welcomed me into their home and there was never any discussion about  wearing out my welcome; it was made clear that I could stay as long as it took.  My proposed visit of a few weeks turned out to be over 7 months.  Thanks, Bro!

Also, thanks to Rick and Karen, I have a new laptop computer to keep up with the blog and email.  You know how they say "You can pick your friends but you can't pick your family?", even if I could pick my family I think you all know it would be an easy decision!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Good News!

Cancer Update

On Tuesday the 16th I had appointments with the three doctors responsible for my cancer treatment.  The ENT who first discovered the tumor on my tongue told me he couldn't find any remaining evidence of the tumor and after feeling my neck he pronounced the affected lymph node to be back to normal.  The doc that handled the 7 weekly chemo treatments checked me out and simply said "Congratulations!".  The doc who supervised the 7 weeks of daily radiation therapy agreed with the other two doctors and feels the cancer is all gone.  He did say that he was surprised at how well I came through the radiation and when I asked him why he said "Very few patients come through as well as you did".

The radiation treatments covered the area from just below my nose to about two inches below my shoulders and there was some skin irritation involved but it was light.  Out of all of the side effects that I read about on the internet, mine were few and not that bad at all.

The bad:  My taste buds were affected so that I had a bad taste in my mouth constantly and most things I ate tasted like cardboard.  My saliva glands were affected to my mouth was extremely dry at times.  Nothing to complain about as most people who have the same treatment I did cannot swallow and wind up with a feeding tube.

The good:  All of the hair follicles in the treatment area have temporarily gone dormant.  Why is this listed under "The good"?  No shaving for now and no trimming of those annoying "old man" hairs on my ears!

My next appointment is during the last week of June for a full body PET scan which is the only way to be sure the cancer is all gone.  I will have to have a scan every 4-4 months for the next 5 years!