Well, that didn’t work

The prednisone plan didn’t work.  I went to instant jerk and full of hate for nothing.  I took the prednisone like I was ordered, and nothing changed.  So, the great plan to fix my blood numbers is a failure.  As a matter of fact, now I have to go in monthly for blood work to check my platelets (specifically) and other numbers as well.  I still only see the doctor every 3 months (we will get it back to 4 months) but I get to pay for a visit every month to talk to a nurse.   Heh, what a racket.


Prednisone did help my back pain.  Steroids are great for aches and pains.  With the exceptions of a new problem (which I will get into shortly) my back hasn’t felt this good in ages.   Shame that the prednisone make me a jerk, cuz I could stay on it forever to feel as good as I do.


Regardless of its good effect and its not working for the main reason we put me on it, we are bringing me off it rather quickly.  This is causing more moodiness on my part.   But hey, the only one that has to live with it is Teresa and she has seen me much worse than this.


New development (or old development finally identified), I have a kidney stone.   My right kidney hurts and sitting for long periods makes it worse.  I have hyperparathyroidism, which is a huge cause of kidney stones.  I had chemo, which is a huge cause of kidney stones.  I had the gastric bypass surgery, a third and final major cause of kidney stones.   So, I am guessing that its a kidney stone.   I will be going to a new doctor next week.  Since my favorite CNA has left my regular doctor’s office, I have no reason to stay with my regular doctor, so I am switching to a local office of the same company.  Heck, I can walk to their office as long as the weather is nice.  Funny thing, I used to see a Dr O’Donoghue, now I am gonna see a Dr Donahue.


I am not looking forward to passing said kidney stone.   I have heard that this is an extremely painful thing.   And that they don’t do a whole lot for you unless the stone is really big.  Then they just bust it up to let it pass naturally.  Only if it’s really huge and they can’t bust it up will they actually do something drastic to get rid of it.  But they probably wouldn’t do that for me, cuz I am a bleeder now.


On the good news front.   I ordered a new gaming laptop today.   I mentioned that my old laptop has been dying for a long time.   As a matter of fact, it never worked quite right.  Well, this is a true gaming laptop.   Got a really good deal thru ibuypower.com.   We have bought many desktop’s thru them, this is the first laptop, but hey its and ASUS ROG, how bad can it be.   They are just configuring some of the stuff for me (more ram, bigger SSD).  It should arrive right before….


My mom is coming to visit.  She arrives on September 19th and leaves on September 26th.  It will be so nice to see her.  I miss her so much.  She is coming just because she wants to.  Which is the coolest reason to visit someone I think.  And since Teresa (we) cleaned the spare room, mom will even have a place to sleep.


I should be back to running my D&D games in a couple weeks.   I shouldn’t go back into a funk when I come out of this steroid induced anger period.   I hope that is the case.  Would totally suck if I went back to where I was before the steroids started.  But that would be my luck.


Today I feel like crap.  I feel like the weight of the world is on my chest.   I took a 2 hour nap, because I didn’t feel like facing the world.  I may take another nap here before long.   Today is just sucking wind and I want to break things.  But everything within range is expensive or valuable in other ways.  I should just sleep and wake up tomorrow and hope for a better day.


Oh yeah, tomorrow is Summerslam, I hope it doesn’t suck.   I haven’t watched any WWE since the last PPV and really any WWE between the PPV before that PPV and that one.  In reality, I haven’t watched any weekly WWE stuff since WrestleMania and even then I was only sort of watching occasionally.  I haven’t watch Impact Wrestling either, definitely not since they broke up the wolves and hired Alberto Del (Rio) Patron and made him champion.

I have watched ROH almost every week though.  I like Ring of Honor, really does remind me of what got me hooked on wrestling in the first place.  Less showy, more show.


Teresa is gonna shave my head again tonight.  Down to a 2.  This is our break even shaving.  The razor will officially have paid for itself vs what it would have cost at Supercuts.  I never thought I would like really short/shaved head, but hey, it’s nice.  And Teresa lets me get away without really shaving (my beard is down to a 1ish).


My cancer doc says that come year 5 or 6, you are declared cured of AML.  But then is when you run into another form of (sort of) leukemia caused by the chemo you had to get those 5 or 6 years.  BLAH.   What doesn’t kill you still has a chance to kill you.   Fun Fun.  Not.


2 weeks until I don’t win the Publisher’s Clearing House big prize again.   The drawing for 15 million dollars is August 31st.  I hope whoever does win has a good life with it and doesn’t blow it all immediately and end up broke.  That is what happens to like 90% of people who win big anyway.   Spend it all real quick, then have nothing to live on.   Heh, karma can only do some much.


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A Leukemia scare and a lot of pain

Since last I posted to this blog.  I have been in a lot of pain.  My back is still messed up royally.  Luckily I don’t have to wait til August 17th anymore, I am seeing the pain doc this morning (not why I was up at 4:30am, that was cuz of pain, not to get ready to see the doc).  The nerve damage in my neck/shoulder area is really working me over.  At times a pain level of 7 or 8.  It also messes with my right arm and causes my right hand to tingle.  Really annoying.  The rest of my back is doing ok on Flexeril, but my regular doc only gave me like 10 days of the stuff and my original appointment was a month away.  Oy.  Anyhow, I get to see pain doc today.  Hope to get some relief from that.


Seems I am not getting enough sun (surprise).  Furthermore, for some reason my hemoglobin, white blood cells, and platelets all decided to do a downer.  Combine the two and ta da you have a pale guy.  This prompted my cancer doc to order a bone marrow biopsy.  This one didn’t hurt like the last few.  Nice tall doc had leverage to get in and get it done without all the moving around.  It was achy for a few days, but its better now.   The results of the biopsy said my blood contains 4% blasts.  Blasts are the bad white blood cells that come with being leukemic.  According to my cancer doc’s nurse 4% is normal for a leukemia patient so I dodged a real bullet this time.   I wonder what the %age is that prompts concern?  And if this means that I will have problems in the future?


I put my D&D games on hold during this leukemia business.  I couldn’t think of anything else.  But we are set to resume August 2nd and August 4th respectively.  Gives me time to think and be prepared.  Even though it was only a week we missed, it seemed like longer.  I really enjoy running these games.  I know I have mentioned that many times before, but it’s true.


Teresa had decided that if I did end up back in the hospital she was gonna buy me a new gaming laptop.  I found what I wanted for 1299 at http://www.ibuypower.com a really nice Asus Rogue 15″ laptop, 17″ laptops are just too unwieldy.  Well, I guess that I won’t be getting a new laptop any time soon.


I am thinking of cancelling my vacation plans for next year.  Get the money I have invested back.  Leukemia is a real concern and I really don’t know if next year I will be able to go.  I have other things I could use that money for (see aforementioned gaming laptop).   And I wouldn’t have to worry about if I get sick between now and then.  I know it’s a once in a lifetime chance for me to go on this trip, but what fun would it be if I got all excited and ready and then life smacks me upside the head again and says No, you can’t go.  I hate planning my life around potential health issues, but this one is seriously a when and not an if.  I need to talk to my cancer doc, I need to talk to my mom.  Cancer doc to see if he thinks there is any chance of problems within the next year (hmmm, he just did a bone marrow biopsy, so I think his answer would be yes).  Mom because this is her once in a lifetime chance to do the cruise too and I would be squishing it for her as well.


Teresa is in New York again for work.  She went even before we got the good news about the biopsy results.   Her work told her if they came back bad they would fly her back immediately.  I thought that was cool of them.  Mediacom has treated us good over the years.  I know why Teresa is against the idea of starting over anywhere else.  Facebook offered her a lot more money to come work for them in Altoona.  She politely said “No”.


The little office area we set up for me in the bedroom is working out great.   Plenty of storage for all my stuff and all the electronic stuff (computer, printer, etc…) is now up off the floor.  Which is a good thing.  Even old(er) computer stuff is being put to use or will be rather.  Gonna set up an apache server (http/web) and mumble server on an old(er) pc which had a problem running dual monitors.  Well, since I only need it to run 1 monitor, it’s all good.


Been playing Skyrim a lot again.  I really love the game.  I think it’s the best PC RPG to come out in a long time and I don’t think any have come out since.  Yeah, the graphics are kind of outdated, but its a 6 year old game.  I tell ya, it still holds it’s own.  I picked it up cheap last Christmas and I have probably 2000+ hours logged into it.  I am a Skyrim junky.  I am currently playing the highest level character I have played and still having fun with him.  I normally have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to games like this, but I think I found the guy I want to play to the end so to speak.  A dual wielding lizard with dragonscale armor and dragonbone swords.  He started as a thief, but has evolved into so much more.


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The dark dots are Blasts in a leukemia patients blood.  Blasts are immature white blood cells which are released in the blood stream.   It takes 20%(or more)  blasts to be considered having leukemia, I was at 4%.  So, for now, I am good.

Actually got off my butt and went out with Teresa this afternoon/evening.  She asked several times today if I was up to going to HuHot and I kept saying No.  Still really depressed, still in a lot of pain.  But come 4:10pm or so, I decided that going out is what I really needed to do.  So, out we went.

First stop was HuHot, was good as per usual.  Only complaint I had was the cook burned my noodles a bit.  Happens from time to time. Also though, the pain in the back got worse.  That happens from time to time too.

Second stop was Penzey’s Spices.  55 bucks for the smaller bottle of double strength Pure Vanilla seems excessive to me.  But hey, it is what Teresa wanted, so its all good.  Teresa also go whatever it is that makes pastrami, she plan to make some for me.  I love homemade pastrami, so I look forward to this.

Then we went to Office Depot, Teresa wanted a new shelf for the front closet.  Office Depot had exactly what she wanted for 10 dollars less than Amazon.  Go figure.  I guess sometimes it pays to shop around.  I got 2 new surge protectors for my computer, the ones I have are OLD and have long sense became power strips.  So now, when I get set up with my desk and everything, I will be set.

Last stop was HyVee (which is a grocery store for those that don’t know).  Why?  Cuz eggs were on sale for 69cents a dozen.  And we got some Adel Dierdorf corn, happen to be some of the smallest ears I have ever seen, but Dierdorf corn is gonna taste good anyway.  Teresa kept asking if there was anything I wanted, by this point I was still very full from HuHot and in a whole new dimension of pain.  So I said no to everything, I am sure I will regret that later.

All in all, my depression is better, my pain is worse but it’s getting better cuz the 6pm ibuprofen is kicking in.


We have decided to hire movers to move all the stuff from my storage unit to the house.  50sq ft storage 80% full.  Only took them 2 hours to move my stuff from my office to the storage unit, should take them less to move from the storage unit to my house as my house is a good 20 miles closer.  So with tip it should cost us about 250 bucks.   Not too bad if it keeps me from melting when the temperature goes up this week.  Gotta call the movers tomorrow if they are open or Monday and get an appointment.


I have decided that I am gonna hold of on starting a Sunday game until after I have run the Wednesday night game for a few weeks along with the ongoing Friday night game.  Just makes sense to make sure I can handle 2 games before going into a 3rd.  I’m sure I can, but want to make sure.

I am going to be advertising for the game on reddit’s Looking for Group page.  And on a couple of Facebook groups.  Should have no problem getting players once I decide to start looking.  The Sunday group will be the first group I run without someone I know playing in it, EVER.  A little intimidating, but its all good.

And I have decided that I do not like roll20.net .  Well, it’s definitely not for me.  All the games being advertised on reddit seem to use roll20 and Discord.  I know I don’t care for Discord.   Roll20 is a website that lets you track all the players and rolls dice and shows maps and so forth.  Lazy DMmanship.  I can pain the picture in my players heads and I trust my players to roll dice and I trust players to keep track of stuff themselves.  I talked about Discord yesterday I think, does things I don’t know how, but I can’t record it.  And I really like having the option to record the game sessions.  So I will use pencil and paper (computer) and good old D&D Dice for playing and Mumble for the talking part cuz it allows me to record.


Oh, I am thinking of taking my wife’s old computer (remember I mentioned she commandeered my Mac) and turning into a mumble server.  Then I wouldn’t have to worry about using my friend’s mumble server.  Not that he minds, he offered actually.  But I would feel better running it on my own.


This weekend we are cleaning the rest of the back 40.  Most people use the term to refer to their yards, we use it to refer to the back half of our bedroom.  Yes, it’s that big.  We cleaned 1/2 for my set up now.  Need the other half cleaned out to bring my Desk and stuff from storage.  Lots of junk is piled there as of now as its been a collecting point of “stuff” for the 13 years we have lived here.

It shouldn’t take too long too clean out.  Throwing most of this junk away.  Just need to sort of the few gems in the pile and find a home for them.  I figure we will be done in about 3 hours like the first half of the back 40 took.


Slowly taking a class from Udemy.com (they have video classes for just about everything).  The class is on web development.  Supposedly, it will give me the ability to get a job as a website designer.  Don’t want a job.  Don’t need a job.  Do want to build at least 1 really cool website, which I will talk about in another post or six later.


Ah, the ibuprofen has fully kicked in.  The only pain that is still severe in the pain in my neck/shoulder area.  NOTHING I have ever done has taken care of that pain when it has decided to hurt.  Not acupuncture, not shots, not dilaudid, NOTHING.  I hurts and it hurts severely when it does.  The rest of the back feels ok now.


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Need a new desk

Painwise I have hurt most of the day.  My back can’t take sitting or standing very well.  Only recourse is to lay down, which will lead to excessive napping, which will mean I won’t sleep at night, which means I will disturb Teresa. oh, this goes on and on.  Basically, any way I work this I end up hurting.  I’m hoping that the pain doc’s office will call soon so I can get the pain taken care of.


My mood took a turn down today.  I guess I look forward to the D&D games more than I realized and it thru my bipolar brain into a not so slight downswing.  Everything is going so well in my life, got nothing else to complain about.  Has to be cuz of the stupid D&D games being cancelled.  Trying to look forward to next week, but its blah this week.


We did get a second monitor hooked up to my system today.  That was a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy day.  Now I can be doing stuff on one screen while reading Facebook on the other.  Cool Cool, so very cool.


My new computer set up is kind of nice.  Although my desk is entirely too short (hey, it was free).  Gotta replace the cardboard box table with another table from the Family Dollar store.  But beyond those 2 little things, its very comfy and very practical.  Maybe for Christmas or my Birthday I will get a big boy desk (craigslist) and then I wouldn’t need so many small tables.


I think I may be crazy, but I am thinking seriously about setting up 1 more online D&D game.  This time on Sunday afternoons, so that my west coast friends that play have the option of joining the game.  Gonna probably switch to DISCORD for voice chat software.  Then I won’t be tying up my friend mumble server and using his bandwidth.  DISCORD is free and somehow runs locally on everyone’s computer.  Really beyond my feeble brain capacity to figure out how it works.  Anyhow, if we use DISCORD we won’t be able to record the sessions.  So, I gotta think about this.  And furthermore, gotta think about if I really can handle a 3rd session a week.  Heh, it’s not like I have anything else to do with my time, might as well play D&D.


Our dogs are definitely getting used to me not being in bed all the time.   They still get confused when Teresa tells them to “Go see Daddy” for a treat.  They start to run to the bed, then turn around slowly, and then run back to me.


I still miss my Mom and Brother, but not as much as I have recently.  It’s right after seeing them when it’s bad, now its just a generalized miss.  I tell ya though, if Jet Blue flew in to/out of Des Moines, I would have flown to see them again on Jet Blue’s special they are having.  But nope, no Jet Blue around here.  So, it’ll be November when I see them again.


We LOVE the new stove.  It rocks.  We have barely touched what it’s capable of doing, but it’s wonderful.  Had to cut down cooking times of everything we cooked in our old stove.  3 to 5 minutes usually.  The difference from the old stove which wasn’t close to correct temp or the new stove which holds the correct temp like a champion.  Whirlpool made a great product there.


Oh hell, I almost forgot.  I got a big adult type desk in storage.  Don’t really know how to get it here or how to put it together.  But hey, I own a big desk that would hold all this stuff and then some.   It’s totally the wrong color for this room, but hey, it’s already paid for.  I guess it might be time to bug Drew to come do me a solid.  Below is the desk I have in storage.  Would be nice to put it back in use somewhere… why not here?


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Blah… with promise

In what promised to be an excellent week of D&D gaming, both games get cancelled.  Yup, the Wednesday night game was cancelled due to 2 people having family emergency issues and the Friday night game was cancelled due to the main player of the storyline’s computer being ill.  Technically we could still play on Friday but I don’t have time to redo the storyline so it would just kinda be a blah ending to 3 weeks of good adventure.  I’m glad it was decided to cancel.


Teresa is going on travel again the end of the month.  I hate when she goes on travel, and since I “got better” she has been going on more and more travel.  I guess I shouldn’t complain too much, she is getting paid good money to do her job and I think her work looks at travel as kind of an award for doing good work.  I forgot to ask her where she was going, probably New York again.


My back is still thrashed.  I don’t know if I can take this level of pain until August 17th.  I hope they call me in sooner, wish people would cancel appointments.  It’s not like I need much notice, 2 hours notice is good enough for me, but they always give at least 24 hours, so it’s all good.  I hurt, I hurt badly, but I will get thru it, I always do.


My new nightstand/bookshelf arrived today.  Teresa assembled it.  It’s the perfect size for D&D books.  And the top is big enough to hold all my stuff that I kept of my desk that I use.  CPAP, fan, wallet, keys, ipad, cell phone.  All of it fits on top just fine with room for extra stuff.  I’m happy.


I still am trying to find an in person D&D game locally that I can play in.  Yeah, I love DMing, but I miss playing.  I will find one eventually, there has to be one somewhere for a forty something gamer who loves to play.


Teresa ordered me a cable so I can have a second monitor on my computer.  Have a nice 24″ Acer monitor which would very much fill the bill.  Just don’t have the proper cable at this time.  The proper cable will be here Friday.


Pucky and Mojo are a bit confused with me not being in bed all day.  They come rushing in to the room and run onto the bed, do a quick look for me, then it dawns on them that I am over at the computer area and they come over for treats.  It’s funny, it’s cute.


Our first payment on the house cleared the bank today.  YAY.  Payments are still less than what we were paying in rent and we will own the house in less than 15 years.  Yeah buddy.


I still haven’t called to make a payment towards the vacation.  Gotta get on that for this month, just feeling lazy.


Yesterday was Pucky’s birthday.  He turned 7.  So happy to have him and Mojo in my life.

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Pain and happier things

Yeah, this post is gonna be about Pain and me (and maybe some other stuff).  It’s not a great topic, but hey, I am getting older and pain is becoming a real daily thing it seems.


Firstly, the shot the pain doc game me did wonders for the spot he shot me in.  However, I did not think and he did not suggest that other spots were gonna freak out when I started sitting.  So now, as I sit here, I have 3 distinct trigger points going ape on my back.  One a little lower than the original, one a little higher on the other side, and then my neck/shoulder one decided it was gonna hurt like hell too.  So I called to get an appointment with the pain doc, she was all “we saw you last week”, and I am on the schedule for August 17th.  August 17th is a LONG way away, luckily they have a cancellation list and she says I should get in a lot sooner.  Let us hope, cuz I don’t want to be in pain for a month and a half.


The second pain is my stomach.  Weird thing, not sure what I did or ate.  But it has been in pain for a week now.  No, it’s not a stomach ache.  It’s constant moderate to severeish pain.  So, luckily, my regular doc has an opening at 3:15 today.  Find out if its some whacked food poisoning or something else.  All I know is that I want my stomach to not be in pain.


Oh, the last little pain thing is I can’t sit up in bed anymore.  This is gonna make watching TV very difficult.  For those that don’t know, we have a 55″ TV at the foot of our bed.  Anyhow, this is a new pain.  Not a severe pain, just a real annoyance.  Sitting propped up was my go to position in life.  Now I am gonna sit (uncomfortably, painfully) at my desk, until I can get thing straightened out with the pain doc.


On a cheerier note, Wednesday night D&D is a definite go.  Have 5 players now, and 1 more joining in August.  It’s gonna be cool.  I have the first adventure ready to roll.  I can’t tell you about it, cuz Cori is about the only person who reliably reads this blog and she is one of the players.  Lets just say, that the party is over geared so I am gonna boost the difficulty of every encounter.  I was worried it was gonna be too easy BEFORE I over geared them, now I am sure it’s gonna be too easy.  So more monsters are called for.  It’s all good.


I have decided, after talking about it for so long, that I am not going to join the gym.  I know myself, for a week or two I will go religiously, then other things will come up and I will just stop going.  Yup, that is how it always goes.  So I am gonna save some money and NOT join the gym.

Still thinking about weight watchers though.  I have lost about 9 pounds (according to Dr. scales) since I started eating more and smaller meals.  I might just be able to do that to lose my 20 more pounds and not need to bother with weight watchers.   I just don’t know.


Pucky and Mojo are confused that I am not in bed all the time anymore.  They look for me there and then come find me like wanting me to come back to where I belong.  It’s cutely funny.


If money is in my account, today I will be making my first payment towards the cruise.  I am so very much looking forward to it and it’s a year and a month and a half away.  Alaska in August… Woot Woot.  While people are melting here, I will be pulling on a sweater.  lol.  Yeah, buddy, gonna go on a cruise.


Pre-ordered the Tomb of Annihilation from Amazon, 45 bucks.  Little screwy for a D&D adventure book.  The price will probably drop here soon though and Amazon always guarantees the lowest price.  That will be good.  More ideas to steal and warp into my own special world.

 


 

We also ordered a new 81″ lamp to light up the computer area.  And a new nightstand for my bed, since I moved the desk.  These will be here on Wednesday, the 5th.  Teresa is gonna have fun putting them together while I run the first D&D session.  Amazon got a good chunk of money from us this weekend, but it’s all good.  Stuff we need at good prices…  well, I didn’t need the Tomb book, but still.  More stuff.


Tomorrow I say goodbye to Amazon Prime.  And then Hello to Teresa’s Amazon Prime.  Yeah, I have been the Prime holder since Prime started but Teresa wants it for some reason and since I don’t use it for anything but free shipping to here.  It’s all good, Teresa wants to use some of the features of Prime beyond the free shipping, who am I to argue with the logic of her being the main person.  And it just so happens that my account expires of July 4th.


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My brother put a very short introduction of his character on the Facebook group page.  Glorg, Priest of Dunder the God of Thunder.  He has a whole lot more backstory than that, but this is about all he has shared so far.  It’s all good.

I look forward to playing D&D with my brother again.  I would never have gotten into it back in the 80s if not for him bringing it home.  He used to DM all the time for our collective friends.  Now I get to DM for him for the first (I can’t remember another real game I was DM for him) time.

It’s a bit different playing over mumble than in person.  People sometimes talk over other people, and you can’t see dice rolls.  But it works in its own way.  And lets us get our gaming fix with friends from all over.  As a matter of fact, the game I am running is for 6 people in 4 locations in Indiana, while I am in Iowa.  We were to have 1 from California originally, but he backed out, his loss.


Teresa still doesn’t know if she is definitely losing her Mac at work or not.  I wish they’d make up their minds and tell her one way or the other.  It has to be getting a bit frustrating for her too… is today the day she loses her laptop.  Smartly, she backed everything up.  So if she does lose her Mac laptop and get a new one, it’ll be a no brainer to get it re-setup.


My back is still hurting, if it is hurting tomorrow I will reschedule my dentist appointment on Wednesday.  The angle they will put my back at to get at the old crown would likely hurt too much.  And to be honest, I am in no rush to have this work done as its been 15+ years dentists have wanted to do it.


The dodge dealership who had my car in the shop less than 1 week ago sent me an email saying it was time for an oil change.  DOH.  Why didn’t they think of that when they had my car already.  I am like 1500 miles below when the little sticker says it needs it, so it can wait too.


Still waiting to hear back from Sam and Shel as to whether or not Pucky and Mojo can come to Thanksgivingfest this year.  I am under the assumption that the answer will be yes, but don’t know for sure.   We’ll figure something out if they say no.  Teresa just won’t want to leave them anywhere for that long.


Still missing Mom and Jim a lot.  The first few weeks after seeing them are the toughest.  I do not get to see them nearly enough.  June and November are just about it.  Mom was talking about making a trip here, but with our vacation plans next August and her having to seriously save money to pay for her part of the trip I don’t think she is coming anytime soon.  I could be wrong.


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