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.

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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The return of the CPAP and weird sleep

Yeah, I was without my CPAP for 3 weeks cuz the mask pads had stretched too much and it leaked all over the place, including into my eye.  Finally got 2 replacement pads and 1 new mask with pad.  So it was back to CPAP for me starting two nights ago.  Well, the same thing happened to me when I first started with the full mask, I slept like 4 hours and then WOKE UP.  Not groggy or anything, just wide awake.  Then I would get tired and take a nap later.  It’s happening again.  It’ll take about a week for my body to get used to it and I will be able to sleep normally again.  I can’t wait.


Finally got enough players for my Wednesday night higher level D&D game.  Will take a while to get everyone set up, but we are hoping to start running by July 5th if everyone is in town.  Due to scheduling issues instead of 6 to 8 central time we are running 5:05 to 7:05pm central time.  This is gonna put a crunch on me eating dinner, but heh, I want to play, so I will deal.

So far we have a Cleric and a Sorcerer and 3 unknown classes.  10 days to get characters made and magic items distributed and make sure everyone can connect to the mumble server.  It’s all good, if I have to make their characters for them, I will.  I actually enjoy making characters so it’d be fun.  But right now, we are waiting on 2 of the players to pick their classes so the 3rd will pick his.  He wants to fill the hole, I can respect that.

I am debating sending an NPC along with them.  As long as I don’t have to play an NPC healer, it’s cool.  With a full blown life cleric I don’t think healing is an issue.  Having a permanent NPC in the party is actually kinda useful, any info that they need to know the NPC can just supply it.  But this is gonna be a well balanced party, so I may not run an NPC along.  We shall see how they gel before I get to into the idea.


Thursday is trigger point injection day.  Thank the gods for small miracles.  Get a couple shots with really big needles then be on my way.  Hopefully pain free.


I totally missed Chipolte day for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I meant to go get a burrito and the next thing I knew it was the next day.  Oh well, they still get my smile.amazon.com money.


We are about to make our first payment on the house.  It gets withdrawn on July 1.  I would say I was excited, but I am not really.  Autopay is autopay and I just watch to make sure there is enough money in the account for it, and that is not an issue anymore.


I will also be making my first payment (well second, but first since the deposit) for my mom and my vacation next August.   I figure my share will be paid off in 8 months.  So it’s all good.


I haven’t went on my diet yet, but I can tell just in how I have changed how and when I eat, I have lost some weight.  Not a whole lot, but enough to notice.


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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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All that and a new MacBook Air too (maybe)

The Mumble D&D resumed well enough.  Only 1 character almost died.  Why?  Because the party did that thing that DMs hate and always turns out bed.  The party split up.  Luckily, the part of the party that went traipsing off could do enough damage and still get a healing spell off to save the almost dead character.  The 3 (no “Healer”) went off and randomly ran into a Wight and a few Zombies.  Not a big deal really, but for 3 instead of 6 it was a good fight.  Perhaps they learned not to split up in the future.  Perhaps not.  Time will tell.

We got a late start do to hardware failure.  And then things just never got moving so there was only the 1 fight the entire time.  But I think they might have caught on to what they are supposed to be doing.  And hopefully next week things will be smoother and we won’t have technical difficulties.  Did remember that I forgot to set my brother’s mumble up to be key activated to talk, gonna have to walk him thru setting that up.  My brother will be joining the Mumble D&D group next week.


Ibuprofen has been a godsend.  Doc said 600mg 3x day.  I was taking 600mg 4x a day and I hardly had any pain at all after the first day.  Today I went back to 3x a day and I have some pain.  So I will be going back to 4x a day regardless of what the doctor said.  I checked with Dr. Google and he said 2400mg is max daily.  So I am gonna do the 2400mg a day until the 29th and then hopefully not have to take it anymore for a few months.  I am very much looking forward to the trigger point injections and getting rid of this pain for a few months.  Back pain sucks.


Due to the back pain I still haven’t made my way over to the gym.  No surprise there.  I still plan on joining once I am able to.  And I am slowly making my way thru the frozen foods in the basement, then I will go on Weight Watchers.  I have already started working on portion sizes, and I am eating more times a day, these are things which need to be done to lose weight.  According to my doc’s scale, since I started working on portion sizes and eat more times, I have already lost some weight.  At high point I was 235 pounds, day before yesterday I was 220, now a lot of that way clothing difference.  Jeans and a thick sweatshirt vs shorts and a t-shirt.  But some of that had to be lost weight.  Gonna buy a scale for the house once I get serious about losing weight, I want to track it, and I want to lose back down to 200 pounds.  I will need to buy new clothes, but that is ok, Teresa won’t mind much.


I hope to not be in pain when I go see the dentist on Wednesday.  They are just gonna pull an old crown and get a mold for a new one and temp crown me.  Should by a no-brainer, quick in and out and then on my way.  I have 2 crowns that I got in Vegas that need to be replaced.  They, of course, are side by side.  One or both of them were misplaced, and they both gotta go according to every dentist I have seen since Vegas.  Finally 18 years or so later, I am going to get this done.  There should be no blood, and should be quick.


In 1 year and 2 months, my Mom and I will be in Seattle in a fancy hotel getting ready for a cruise on the ms Eurodam to the Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.  Yup, way cool.  So happy that Mom decided to go with me.  If she hadn’t, I wouldn’t be going at all.  I wouldn’t be planning a vacation at all.  Next summer would be the same as always.  Sit at home doing nothing.  So next August will definitely be something to remember.  I am happy about this.


We may be buying Teresa a new MacBook laptop for work.  Her work has decided they are going to take away her old one.  And she feels she needs one.  It’s all good, we can afford one for her.  I just think it’s stupid they are taking her old one away when it works and is making her job easier.  But they “don’t support macs” so all the macs have to go.  BAH.


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