It’s been a while

Hey guys, sorry it has been a while since I posted here.  My bipolar kicked in and my mood went into the crapper.  I didn’t have anything new to say, or if I did I blew it off as non-important and went on with my life as it is.


So my blood numbers all went down and that freaked my regular doctor out.  She contacted my cancer doctor who ordered a bone marrow biopsy to find out that I do NOT have leukemia again.  He had no valid reason as to why my numbers all dropped at the same time, but at least he had some sort of plan.  And boy does his plan suck.  —-  100mg of Prednisone a day for a week, then go in for a blood test, then 90mg for a week, another blood test and so forth and so one til I finally go down to 10mg a day for a week, then maybe my blood production will go back to behaving like it is supposed to.

Prednisone is my instant-asshole med.  Turns me into a total jerk.  Makes me want to destroy things.  100mg is causing severe stomach pains.  I can’t eat enough in the morning to circumvent this pain.  Or so it sure seems, today I ate more than I ate for dinner last night and still had the pain.  So maybe food isn’t the answer and the answer is just deal with it.  I really do want my blood numbers to go back to normal normal, as opposed to the weird normal that had settled into.

Anyhow, I am fighting really hard to not take it out on my wife, my mother, my brother, my friends, my dogs, anyone I have to deal with.  It is being really difficult.  I want to scream and shout and break things, instead I am just cruising thru life, trying not to offend.


To that end, I have put both of my Mumble D&D games on hold.  Initially because of the depression I was in…  now because of the pent up rage I am feeling.  I hope that the people who didn’t know me before don’t bail on me.  As soon as I level out I plan to resume the games.


I cancelled the cruise next year for lots of reasons.  The biggest being my fear that the leukemia would come back right before we were supposed to sail.  That would be my luck.  Holland American Cruise Lines rocks though.  They could have kept 20% of everything I put in (I did read the paperwork).  Instead the refunded the whole amount or are refunding the whole amount rather.  That is super nice of them if you ask me.  I would guess that were I feeling physically and mentally better now, I wouldn’t have cancelled.  But with such extremes going on now, things could still be worse.


Oh yeah, remember my complaining about my back hurting.  Well it still hurts.  Of course it is my own damn fault for moving my desk into the bedroom and my computer from beside my bed.  Although, I do have to say that the desk setup looks marvelous.  Anyhow, my point I was making, it hurts my back to sit.  Lounging back on pillows with a keyboard in my lap was much better on making my back not hurt.  —  So, I start physical therapy next week.  Goody.  While dealing with pent up rage issues, I get a therapist telling me how I am supposed to stretch and move and sit and stuff.  This physical therapy is to make my pain doctor shut up.  He did give me a short in my nerve damage area of my neck and that feels 110% better, he did nothing for the rest of my back.  Not even pain pills of a minor form.  He said, physical therapy so off I am gonna go.


Skyrim is still my go to game to pass the day away.  I lost interest in the character I was playing last time, when I said this would be the one I would play to beat the game.  Heh.  I started an Orc Warrior who is now Master of the Assassins guild, Master of the Thieves guild, Archmage of the Mage school, and a Bard, oh yeah, he also collected all 24 special gems and the crown for the game killer quest.  That quest was not fun.  The resulting Prowler’s Promise or whatever it was called like that is an amazing result.  All the gems that keep showing up, where there used to be maybe 2 on a whole dungeon, there would be 40 or so for a run.  Not silly little cheap gems either, but flawless ones worth big bucks.  But I am bored with him now too.

Tried to play a caster AGAIN.  A Breton Conjurer.  Someone online posted it was the most fun he had playing the game ever.  I say he levels too ridiculously slow.  He is level 17 now and if he were a warrior or thief that did the same quests, I would have been level 30.  It’s the way you gain xp in the game that is screwy.  You don’t get xp for completing quests, you get it when you skill up any skill.  Well a Conjurer, conjures, the rest of his skills just kind of flounder.   There is no armoring to do.  Enchanting has minimal usage.  It was fun, but I am definitely a results for time spent kind of guy I guess.

I don’t know right now what new class/race I am going to try.  But I seriously doubt it will be a caster from the go.  Since anyone can learn to cast spells.  And even with a base starting out magic ability you can become Archmage of the mage school, even while carrying a 2 handed axe and wearing a full suit of dragonplate armor.    Heh, the game is a little screwy I guess.


I have given up on the diet and exercise thing I was going to try.  Well, the physical therapy will include some exercise I am sure.  But not joining a gym is part of my plan.  And not going on weight watchers is also part of the plan.  Why?  Because I don’t like brown rice.


So anyhow, to sum up my life.  I am an angry, sick, pained, Skyrim Junky, who would rather just be left alone right now.


Normally, I would be off to find a picture to put here.   But laziness has claimed the call.  So, no pic today.  Just a honest hope that everyone who reads this is having a better life than I am right now.

 

 

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.

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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Too Hot

Yeah, since chemo I have not had the ability to control my internal body temperature.  So when it gets hot, I get really hot and when it gets cold, I freeze.  This has led to me becoming a homebody, especially while my car is in the shop.  The heat index today will be over 100 again, no way am I going outside.  Teresa says I have become a weather wimp, well duh, yeah, you have your internal body temperature system totally thrown out of whack and see how well you handle hot and cold.


No word and no idea on how long my car is going to be in the shop.  Not that I want to go anywhere, it’d just be nice to have the option to go somewhere.  This reminds me of when we were a one car household, I became a shut-in.  So easy when you don’t have anything going on and can’t go anywhere to get things going on.


Mumble D&D game starts again this Friday.  I have a multi-session storyline already in the works.  I’m pretty happy with what I have planned, but am prepared to scramble if the party goes the other way.  I had a hard time deciding how tough I was going to make it, the party had chewed thru everything I had put up against them so far, so I increased the difficulty, just a little concerned I went to high.  They is only so much fudging of rolls that I can do.  It should be fun anyway it comes out.  If I wipe the party, its all about a simple do over.  If I just kill a few, the others can drag the corpses back to civilization.  It’s all good.  I just have to remember they are only 3rd level.


I miss my mom and brother a lot.  It’s always the hardest right after I leave.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being home.  But something just feels right about being with Mom and Jim.  That is how I grew up.  The 3 of us.  Sure Dad was around, but my relationship with Dad wasn’t very good when I was young.  So, it was always the 3 of us going out to dinner, the 3 of us going here, the 3 of us going there.  It just feels comfortable.


Being home has been great too.  I missed Teresa while I was gone.  Skype is a poor substitute for human contact.  Here we are 25 years together, married over 24 of those years, and still madly, hopelessly in love.  Funny though, I hate when she goes on travel, but she loves when I do.  I get a lot of alone time, she rarely gets any.  So I can see her side.  She finally gets some just her time.  I wish I could go more often for her, but money is rarely ever cooperative.  You know how that is.


My back is worse than I can ever remember it being before.  Dimensions of pain.  Hard to get out of bed.  Hurts to sit, hurts to lay, hurts to stand.  I need to get my butt to the acupuncturist and hopefully get some relief.  But again, I am car less, so here I sit in pain.  I should never have agreed to binding arbitration from that car accident in 1999. My back has been getting progressively worse and it’s costing more and more to get it pain free or at least at lot less painful.


Fireworks become legal for sale tomorrow.  Iowa Fireworks Company is being run by an acquaintance and a friend of mine has a stake in it too.  I hope people go ape buying fireworks.  I hope that everyone involved make a tone of money.  I hope this 4th of July is full of bottle rockets and roman candles.

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Home

Got back to Des Moines a little after 11.  Got to leave the airport at 11:24.  Got home shortly after midnight.  1st flight I was next to a guy who didn’t speak English, no chatting there.  2nd flight was next to a lawyer who spent the whole time with his nose in his phone reading an email article so not chatting there either.  So, the flights were fairly quick and exceptionally boring.


The buckle on my belt sets off the machines at the airport.  On the way there, it was a quick pat down along the back of my belt.  On the way back, the guy checked front back sides, all around, including checking the package to make sure I didn’t have anything extra hidden there.  But heh, I got thru it, so it’s all good.  But for the record I don’t plan on flying into Midway again unless Delta makes a direct flight from Des Moines (which is highly unlikely to happen).  I had my 2nd rudest treatment by an airline person ever by a southwest baggage check lady.  Bad enough I am tempted to write southwest a bitchfest letter.  The worst still goes to the collective bunch at United.


Had Leukemia chat tonight.  The regular moderator was absent, the replacement moderator is an old friend.  Either she has notes or one hell of a memory.  But she remembered all sorts of things about the chatters that I had totally forgotten.  But all the moderators of Leukemia chat are great.


Made the reservation for the room the day before the cruise next August.  It’s all about getting a much pre-secured as possible.  So I don’t have to worry about it later.  I would book our flights too, but airlines don’t release the info for flights til 11 months before.  So, I can’t book the flights til September, which is also about when I will get current excursion information.  Holland America gives a slight discount if you book your excursions before the cruise.  So, that is the plan.  Have everything all ready and paid for so we can just get on the boat and go.


The doggies seemed to have missed me.  I haven’t been without at least one of them since I woke up today for more than 5 minutes.  I missed them too.  I love my Chihuahuas, they are such good doggies.


Some day I might make it to England and/or Scotland, but for now that dream is put on the backburner.  My back is just too thrashed to even consider riding on a bus for 14 days, let alone the long flights to and back.  I really do want to go.  Hopefully once I get myself together, I will get to the acupuncturist and start a real treatment plan.  That costs money though that is currently being diverted to paying for the cruise.  So, for now, back treatments happen when I hurt too much to think and not a real plan to permanently fix my problems.  Plus I am not sure I trust either acupuncturist that I have seen here to do the job right.  Oh well, I am gonna have to trust one I guess.  Probably little Chinese guy, cuz the White guy never once suggested herbs or anything else.


I’m gonna start back to Ant’s bipolar chat tomorrow.  Today was mostly spent asleep.


My car is sick again.  Most annoying.  Won’t back up.  Goes into reverse real fine, just the parking break is messed up.   So they will rebuild that again, charge us a small fortune, and it’ll make my 12 year old car good for a few more years, I hope.


I was right,  I have a couple pissed off players in my Mumble D&D game.  It was bound to happen and it was nothing personal.  Wizards just made that one expansion too powerful as a whole.  So I banned the expansion, the good news for the players should be that I am not using it against them either.


I had my first experience using the new stove tonight.  ooooooooooooooooooooooooo fancy.  Having a stove actually cook at the right temperature was a pleasant experience.  It has way too many buttons and features, but hey the price was right and it’s what Teresa wanted.  So, happy wife, happy life.


After my car gets fixed, I will be joining the gym I mentioned a few blog posts ago.  With the weather getting really hot and really humid here, I have no intention of walking there.  So, when my car gets fixed, I will go.  Don’t want to be wiped out before even getting to the gym.  As for the diet part, it’s being put off a little bit too, because I have a bunch of frozen stuff I need to eat that I don’t have points for.  But the diet is going to start sooner and opposed to later.


Thanks to my brother, I am discovering late 90s music for basically the first time.  After we moved to Iowa we got cable immediately and I listened to either 80s stuff or classic rock or alternative.  Music Choice 90s is exposing me to stuff I haven’t heard before.   I had written the 90s off as bad rap and other crap music.  Turns out there really was some nice music in the 90s.  Go figure.


It feels really great to be home, even though I am missing my mom and brother really bad right now.  Home is where I feel the most comfortable.  Home is where the love of my life is.  I just wish my mom and brother still lived close.  But then my brother wouldn’t have the job he has now and both he and mom would be pretty much miserable.  So the best I can do right now is go see them twice a year and hope that one or both of them come to visit here.


Jimmy turns 50 next year, mom actually thought I would miss that.  NOT A CHANCE.  Have to be there for the big 50 for my bro.  And I have to out due my gift to him for 49, which was a gargoyle toilet paper dispenser.  Hmmm, I got a little less than a year to come up with something EPIC.

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Last night in the Region

You read that right, tonight is my last night in the Region until November.  I look back at this visit with an overall happiness.  I actually had a really good time overall.  I love spending time with my mom and brother.  Jimmy worked last night and works tonight, so I will say good bye to him when he leaves for work tonight as I won’t see him in all likelihood tomorrow.  Mom is taking me to the bus at 4:55pm to get me to the airport on time.  I almost for to do check-in for the airline, would be silly if I did.


Watching yet another Cubs game with my mom.  I still can care less about baseball but I think it makes mom happy for me to sit here with her.  It’s all good, I sit and enter these blog posts while she yells at the bad guys and cheers on the Cubs.


Well, today we decided that with my back, I couldn’t do 14 days sitting in a bus.  Nor could my mom’s knees handle doing stairs or steps.  So we have decided not to do England and Scotland next summer.  Instead we decided to take a cruise to Alaska on Holland America Line.  Already made our reservation, we will be sailing August 18, 2018. I know the lady at Holland America is paid to say this, but she said that we chose the best time of the year to take this trip.  I believe her somewhat though cuz Carnival and Princess were sold out for the same week.


My back is thrashed again.  Tomorrow’s plane trips are gonna be painful.  But I do have all sorts of info for my acupuncturist when I get back.  Armed with the info I now have, he should be able to fix me up good.


Congrats to my friend Drew and his wife Bridgette.  She is having their 2nd child on Friday.  I found out cuz I asked if Drew wanted to do lunch on Tuesday and he said that he couldn’t.  Understandable.


I really think I pissed off one if not two of my players from my Mumble D&D game.  I outlawed the Elemental Evil stuff cuz later stuff is over powered.  This is unintentionally taking away their normal attacking plan.  I said I was sorry, but I’m not gonna change my mind.  I am also thinking of removing the feat that the Ranger has, the dungeon delver feat is just too powerful.  But I think I will give it one more session and see if at 3rd level it doesn’t even out.


Cori just wants to smash things.  I can get behind that totally.


Looking forward to being home tomorrow night.  It’s been a nice visit, but there is no place like home.


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Seattle to Glacier Bay and back to Seattle.  I would’ve posted a picture of the boat, but those are blocked from copying.  BLEH.

 

 

Shocking…

I grabbed my laptops plug while it was partially plugged in and zap.  My mom laughed.  It didn’t feel good.  Heh, I guess it is kinda funny since I didn’t get hurt.


Still enjoying my vacation here in the Region.  Sitting here now relaxing with mom watching another Cubs game while my brother is getting ready for work.  Well, I am relaxing and she is all keyed up for the game.  Like said yesterday, she is funny while she cheers the Cubs on.


Mom and I have a plan for next August.  We are hoping to go on a 14 day tour of England and Scotland thru Gate1Travel.com.  I already ran it by Teresa once and she said I could go, but I don’t know if she thought I was really serious.  And I asked her if she wanted to go and she said no.  So mom stepped in and said she’d go with me.  It sounds like a really fun trip and I am really looking forward to it.  Also I will get to meet Ant on Day 2 of the tour and Nun on Day 13 of the tour, both of which will be cool to actually meet.


My brother decided that his party will not be held in Ruby’s clubhouse next year.  He figures that that the camaraderie that exists in the backyard would be lost in the more formal setting of the clubhouse.  So back to the backyard next year.  I think backyard is a better idea, but I will still stay inside until the sun goes down.  So most of my brother’s friends will continue to think I am anti-social.  Oh yeah, he also decided to not start his party til 5pm instead of noonish, this is good too.


I’m almost ready to head home.  Got things to do, people to see, places to go all back home.  Plus I am really missing Teresa and the dogs.  I forget how much I miss her when I am gone from home, even more than I do when she is gone and I am home.  Skype is goodly, but its not the same as face to face.  In case you didn’t know, or you need a refresher, I really love my wife.


I think I am ready for the Mumble D&D game to resume.  I have stuff planned out for about 3 sessions.  I just hope I didn’t make all these encounters too tough for the party.  Cuz as much as they have chewed thru what I have laid out before them, I don’t want to just kill them outright.  Cori approved a CR6 encounter, we shall see if that is too tough.

I am thinking of changing a ruling I made for the first 3 sessions, this will probably make 2 of the players very unhappy.  But I think will remove something that is annoying me somewhat.  I probably wouldn’t mind 1 of them doing this, but 2 is 1 too many.  So, I might be removing the Elemental Evil add on spells from the game.  I have to think a little more on this though.


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