:: markku is a member since 02/28/2003 --- this profile has been viewed 151,958 times
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Since last Friday, pain has taken me to a whole new level where I've never been before. Pain is relentless and will work constantly to break down a person's will. It will take you to a very dark place hard to get out from. You will learn something about yourself very quickly. I learned that I am much stronger mentally and will not get down a path it's trying to force me to follow. Yes I thought about cleaning out my sinuses with a bullet but quickly realized what was happening. My mind was just not focused considering I've not slept in days due to pain. I was off guard.

Yesterday, I was remembering how I felt after a couple of cups of coffee with my breakfast. I didn't have the intense pain, it was down to a manageable level. Could this be the answer to my pain situation, 2 cups of coffee? Last night was another sleepless night and the pain was unbearable. I was so tired and could barely walk due to pain, I decided to go for some coffee but that didn't quite work out and had to go back and lie down.

Fortunately a few minutes later my wife brought me a cup of coffee and some toast. Bout 20 minutes later after finishing my simple breakfast she came in and re-filled my cup. It didn't take long for the caffeine to take affect, when I noticed I was somewhat pain free. Just to be sure I wanted to try some coffee again later once the pain comes back. Oh yeah it came back with a vengeance after about 4 hours. I had another cup of java and sure enough the pain left me.

This is most definitely a breakthrough for me cutting down on some of my pain. Who knew? 1 cup of strong coffee = 2 hrs painless. 2 cups = 4 hrs pain free. Let's see how this is going to play out tonight!
posted by markku on Tue Feb 20, 2018 @ 10:28 PM     post a comment
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I finally got around to getting my echo-cardiogram and stress test. That was a half day ordeal as most of the time involved sitting and waiting. Sitting and me don't get along as it feels like my ass is getting penetrated by broken glass. That is one problem one encounters with prostate cancer. Another is upper thigh pain which prevents putting any stress on the muscles while standing/walking. Trying to balance myself with all that pain is a bit difficult. Taing any kind if a step without some sort of support could easily cause me to fall creating more difficulties.

The upper thigh pain has diminished considerably from a month ago but still am in need of a cane for support. I did a lot of walking around at the hospital waiting for this and that and when I got home, I was sore,exhausted and had to lie down for the rest of the day.

I received a phone call from my cardiologist office regarding the test results, the following day. There was a sigh of relief when I was told that the ultra sound was negative and things looked normal as my heart goes. I still have the anurism in the aorta as far as I know since nothing about it was mentioned. As for that info along with the stress test results, I'll have to wait until March when I have my appointment.

Wednesday, I go see my pulmonary doctor to get the results from a cat scan taken back in the beginning of December. It's been a long time of being stuck in bed unable to stand, walk or sit for any length of time. It's been a very slow process getting to the point where I'm at today but at least things are improving even though today is a bad day and I'm stuck here in bed.

posted by markku on Sun Feb 11, 2018 @ 04:52 PM     post a comment
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Had the wife drive me to the dentist Wednesday. That was an hour of sitting in agony. I felt as if I as sitting on broken glass there and back. But it had ti be done because as I found out from my dentist, my wisdom tooth in question was still infected even tho it felt fine.

Not too long ago if you read my earlier post, there was no way I was able to go to my dentist an hours drive away while I was stuck in bed for the last six weeks due to my cancer situation. I was barely able to sit let alone walk due to pain. I couldn't even get an antibiotic for the infected tooth if my life depended on it from my dentist because of the law. My daughter ended up getting me a prescription only because she had connections.

So my dentist had a new modern office, had me sit in a very comfortable dentist chair which did not hurt my ass, numbed me up and yanked the tooth. Didn't feel a thing until the nova cane wore off. I must have been in there for only about 20 min for the whole thing. She even gave me a 50% discount for having to go thru so much agony and crap with my tooth during my situation.

Just as i was leaving I did ask her if she would numb my ass for the drive home but just laughed. Hey I was serious.

So how are things progressing these days? Aside from Wednesday, I've been getting out and driving to my studio 8 miles away, going up and down a flight of stairs several times a day and painting, painting a lot. Painting keeps my mind occupied and away from the pain. Some days are better than others but I force myself to get out no matter how bad I feel. When I get home after my day, I end up back in bed to rest. I often wonder if this is my new norm I'm going to have to live with until my demise.
posted by markku on Sat Jan 27, 2018 @ 10:03 PM     post a comment
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When I got home Sunday late afternoon, I ended back in bed laying down and in pain, resting from an awesome day. I drove to the studio with the wife and I had her drive us back.

Got a painting done, took a sauna, a shower, which I haven't done in months and ate pizza afterwards. Going up and down the flight of stairs is definitely a work out in endurance and re-builder of muscle which I so badly need after losing so much weight and muscle tone. There's just skin and bone left of me.

The light at the end of the tunnel seems yet so far, but getting ever closer. Everything I do from getting dressed to walking is a challenge, having to deal with Piriformis Syndrome, an extra bonus added to my 3rd stage metastatic prostate cancer along with several other issues slowing me down has not been fun. But these little victories of my normal past daily routines, keeps making me looking forward to tomorrow, knowing that things will get relatively better in time.

As long as I can paint and work a little with my music to keep my mind off my troubles, I can deal with these inconveniences much better. The last 8 months has definitely been a hell of a ride.
posted by markku on Mon Jan 22, 2018 @ 10:18 PM     post a comment
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Yesterday, I decided to kick things up a few notches and decided to get out. I'm tired of being couped up in bed and indoors for the last 6 weeks so I decided to do something about it, after all it was a nice, relatively warm day with temps in the 40's F. I didn't know how I going to be able to sit thru an 8 mile ride to my studio, but I just had to see how it was going to play out and got into my vehicle and drove off.

By the time I got to my studio, I was in a lot of pain and just ignored it. It was a bit difficult getting out and having to walk up some stairs to the front door as the pain increased. Before doing that, I decided to go feed my birds. I built 3 bird feeders and have been feeding them since last summer. During the last six weeks, I've had my wife and daughter go feed them as feeding them have been important to me and have enjoyed watching the approximately 150 birds flock into my yard along with 3 squirrels. Yup I'm an animal lover if you haven't noticed, always have been.

I managed to climb up some stairs to get in but managed to do so. I looked around inside a bit and turned up the heat as it was a bit chilly in there and then came the big moment; going down a steep flight of stairs to my studio located in the basement. Grasping on to the hand rail in one hand and a cane in the other, it must have taken me at least ten minutes to get down those stairs. But I made it safely and looked around to see if anything was out of place. Things were as I remembered and my easel was waiting for me.

But I had to rest as I was beat from the drive and walk down the stairs. I sat down for just a few minutes when I heard someone at the door. Oh cripe! I really didn't feel like climbing up those stairs and was already in pain. Fortunately, it was my daughter. My wife had called her to check up on me, she lived fairly close and had my keys. I had given them to her several weeks and had her check on things. I had taken my wife's set. We sat there for about 5 minutes and then she had to leave and me? maaan I had to go to the bathroom upstairs. Damn!

That climb took me almost 15 minutes and was surprised I was able to hold things in without a mishap. So once I got business taken care of, back down I went. It too took a bit of work and time to get back to my resting place. I stayed there for about an hour and then got hungry and back up the stairs I go to make a sandwich. Well you know what happened next, yup back down I go to my resting area with the sandwich; a lot more time spent going down those stairs. I had to rest another hour before the pain subsided.

When it did, I decided to do a painting. That only took about an hour and felt great. I had no pain my concentration was only on the task at hand while the painting came out great. So now what? I could have done another painting but decided to take it over my resting area and scrutinize it for a while as I do with all my paintings for improvement and fixes. No fixes needed as I was happy with the outcome. I figured that after 6 weeks of not painting I would need to practice my chops as I would have in music but it wasn't needed.

It was time to go home as I had spent more than enough time at my studio to see what my limitations were and headed back up the stairs and into my vehicle for the 8 mile trip home. That took about an hour. When I got home, I got undressed, took some pain killers and climbed into bed.

Today, I'm going to do the same thing all over again except with the idea of using my sauna and shower which I desperately need to do. Wish me luck!
posted by markku on Sun Jan 21, 2018 @ 11:20 AM     post a comment
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I was already up at 5 A.M this morning as usual feeling the intense pain kicking in after my pain killers wore off. I figured that it was going to be just another grueling day of pain with no signs of improvement. Once my pain killers kicked in about an hour later, things began to change. It seems to me that from the time I actually take my pain pills and the time I start feeling any relief, gets longer and longer. There was a time when it only took 20 minutes.

This morning I can say that I am celebrating 3 small victories with a slice of cake my daughter brought over last night and a cup of coffee. She had a birthday yesterday and brought over an entire cake to celebrate her day last night and left us a half of her cake.

I've been suffering from a tooth infection on top of everything else that's going due to cancer for several days now and have been unsuccessful in getting my dentist to call in a prescription without me going to have it checked out first. Considering I've been stuck in bed for the last 5+ weeks, driving to her location 30+ miles away is not in the cards. I can't sit long enough even to go see a local dentist 10 minutes away let alone getting to her and having to sit in her office, examination room and the drive back without me screaming in pain for the duration. To catch up on my story you can read my last post. Go ahead, I'll wait 'til you get back!

My daughter called in to a friend involved in the dental field, who within an hour secured me a prescription from a dentist for my infection, which is ready for my wife to pick up this morning. Included was even a renewal in-case I was stuck in bed a while longer and the infection came back. So now at-least I can get that problem resolved.

The 2nd thing to celebrate this morning was the fact that I actually sat up at the edge of my bed for the first tine for 2 minutes rather than the 30 secs. I'm accustomed to before intense pain kicks in and have to lay back down for an hour.

Up until now walking has been extremely difficult. Any moving around which has been a must to prevent blood clots in my legs and muscle loss has been aided using crutches or a cane for support. This morning I was able to walk from my bedroom to the kitchen and back with-out any aid. It was just me and my legs! I didn't say that it was easy but never the less it was an accomplishment to celebrate.

In the scheme of things we all must celebrate small victories regardless of how insignificant they may be to others because we realize that we are making some progress, even tho little. It's a great way to keep your spirits up in hope for some sort of recovery!
posted by markku on Sun Jan 14, 2018 @ 06:50 PM     post a comment
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So on top of everything else I'm going thru, I now have an infected wisdom tooth which adds to the pain I'm already in. I get a hold of my dentist and explain my situation to her. She won't do anything unless she sees me. Easier said than done as I had explained I'M STUCK IN BED! I can't sit for more than 30 secs. w/o climbing the walls in pain. Her office is 30+ miles away.

So I was directed to get a hold of my oncologist who happens to be my urologist for an antibiotic for my tooth. Hmmmmmmm urologist=dentist yeah okay close enough right? So I decided to humor them along already knowing the end results and called my urologist yesterday and explained my entire predicament once again to some idiot working there because the doc was at one of his other several locations instead of there. She says that she will get in touch with the doc and explain everything.

I get a call this morning from her telling me his response. His response had nothing to do with my infected tooth and prescribed a med, I'm not allowed to take due to drug interaction (in the past the med had made my stomach bleed also), for something else I've already got under control. WHAT?
posted by markku on Fri Jan 12, 2018 @ 11:27 AM     post a comment
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After several weeks of research in trying to find out why my keister feels like it's bruised up with burning and pricking sensations, pain to the point where left leg can hardly move, I finally found a name and a fix for it.

Trying to get any kind of an answer from my doctors was futile as each one simply tried to pass the buck on each other. It was obvious that I had to do my own research and diagnosis. I sure as hell wasn't going to get it from my doctors. You gotta love our healthcare system here in the USA.

What I found was piriformis syndrome was the culprit probably aggravated by the hormone injection to my keister for fighting my prostate cancer. There were several with similar symptoms but not exactly which can throw anyone off the track giving one the wrong conclusion.

I just kept at it until I found the exact symptoms. I went over hundreds of possibilities and narrowed them down to two. Sciatica and piriformis syndrome are almost identical except for just a few minor details. After taking the test for both everything pointed to the latter.

So now I at-least have a name for one of my ailments. I even found a fix for it which involves just 3 exercises, 3x's a day for a month. The exercises are fairly easy but with such a tight ass and leg muscles, the workout is grueling. But, I will do what it takes to be able to sit and walk again for any length of time even if it is only for a short journey.

We really take our bodies for granted and neglect possible problems that could be easily avoided until we lose certain functions or end up with severe pain. That being said, I'm going into my 6th wk coming Fri stuck in bed, getting up occasionally to use the bathroom and walk around a bit so my leg muscles won't turn into jelly and to prevent blood clots due to lack if movement.
posted by markku on Wed Jan 10, 2018 @ 04:56 PM     post a comment
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We ended up staying home during Christmas, with me stuck in bed, in pain and unable to sit or walk without the use of crutches. It was disappointing as this was the first time ever that we missed a family function. The most difficult aspect of this hormone treatment has been the side effects. I can deal having to use crutches to walk or even a wheel chair if I had to but unable to sit for more than 5 minutes, puts a damper on doing anything. Going to the doctors creates a huge challenge since we have to drive several miles to get there which ha a prerequisite for the ability to sit.

On the liter side, I have noticed a huge change in other functions pertaining to the prostate and urinary track. My prostate is shrinking from the size of a large orange to its normal walnut size. Except for the keister and leg pain, everything else feels back to normal except for constipation. My frame of mind even under my circumstances is very good. My energy levels are back as well after they were depleted from lack of sleep and constant 24/7 pain. Pain is still there but with less intensity and controllable with pain killers. I got myself a 3" thick foam mattress topper making sleep have some quality and having to lay in bed most of the time more comfortable.

I get up as often as I can to use my know the old saying, "use em or lose em!"
posted by markku on Fri Dec 29, 2017 @ 11:59 AM     post a comment
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I had a feeling that my additional pain was either caused by side effects or rebound. I was right on both. The biggest culprit were the pain killers....causing a rebound effect. That's when you've taken them for too long they end up causing more pain rather than easing pain. I had to stop taking any meds for 36 hrs. one at a time. The withdrawal symptoms were brutal and increased the pain. But once I was done and then getting back to my routine, I got an almost full night sleep after 7 months.

There are still issues with walking and sitting, I don't know how things will pan out for Christmas.For months I have complained about the pain in my left groin radiating to the ligaments of my leg making walking a huge challenge. I've also complained about the burning,pricking and throbbing pain in my butt and pelvis to my doctors and yet none of them seem to want to address this. All of my scans show that there is a problem which needs to be addressed. What the hell is wrong with doctors these days?

So...I'm curious in knowing if any of you have gone thru this hormone treatment for prostate cancer and your experience with it.
posted by markku on Wed Dec 20, 2017 @ 02:02 PM     post a comment
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Completed my 2 wk hormone treatment yesterday. The treatment itself along with the injection at half way point would have been a piece of cake. What made it so damn difficult were the side effects I ended suffering from. I ended up in bed the entire duration trying to alleviate pain from areas of my lower back, butt,groin and pelvis. The pain was intense with throbbing, burning and pricking making it difficult to find a comfortable position. I probably get only about 2-3 hrs of sleep a night.

With 3 of my grandkids living with us, two toddlers and a baby, screaming and yelling all day have not helped matters at all during the days. It gets even worse when my wife and daughter get into yelling matches with the grandkids. Doing any kind of a task while in bed, is a challenge because of the position I have to lay in just to get a tiny fraction of relief.

I would have thought that I would get some type of relief today since the treatment is done with but no, it was too much to expect. I should have went with my old motto in life, "expect nothing and you won't be disappointed!" Maybe tomorrow will be a better day......or not!
posted by markku on Mon Dec 18, 2017 @ 12:41 PM     1 comment    post a comment
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Went to see my doc Monday for my hormone injection part of the therapy where we also went over my bone scan. Fortunately, it was clear and although it showed plenty of Osteo arthritis deterioration from shoulders on down to my toes, we were pleased to see the lack of cancer presence there. The hormone treatment therapy idea is to cut out what feeds prostate cancer, testosterone, starving it putting it in remission. An injection lasts for 6 months however it's expensive as hell.

My P.S.A level was 10x's higher than normal enlarging the prostate from the size of a walnut to a large orange. You can imagine the pain due to the prostate squeezing the nerves and muscles not to mention the piss tube. Once I received an injection of a drug called Lupron along with taking a daily pill of Bicalutamide, a drug used in fighting prostate cancer, for 7 days prior and another 7 days after the injection, the prostate began shrinking. I have another 5 daily pills to take until I'm done. In the meantime, the pain has diminished to a much more manageable state. In March I need to get another P.S.A test to see how I'm doing and if another treatment is needed.

It's nice to finally after 7 months of 24/7 serious pain to get some relief. The only problem is since I also just found out that I have incurable lung cancer with maybe, maybe 5 yrs tops left on this planet, how effective will this be for my mental state later on as the disease gets worse.

Currently, I've accepted the disease and the outcome but I have not accepted the damn boredom that comes with not having the energy to do much of anything except lay around trying to manage the pain levels. Yes, I have to get up and move around otherwise my leg muscles will end up as putty. I do this regardless of the pain level as I know it's necessary. For a guy like me who's been constantly active doing anything from music, art, to woodworking daily for years, not being able to do any of that is making me climb the walls.
posted by markku on Wed Dec 13, 2017 @ 11:40 AM     post a comment
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I was sitting in the exam room of my doctor when he came in and told me that I had stage 3 prostate cancer which was inoperative,incurable and had spread. That alone is a lot to digest for anyone but rather than giving me a few minutes to process all of this, he just kept yip yapping about something I couldn't hear let alone understand.

I was in a daze and trying to digest the bad news. I already knew that it was cancer because I had seen the test results but didn't know how bad it really was. The only thing going thru my mind was that it was inoperative, incurable and that it had already spread elsewhere, so his yip yapping about something which may have been important, I totally missed out on because of his inconsideration. He was more worried about his own agenda and getting to his next patient rather than trying to understand what I was going thru. He could have easily left me alone for a few minutes and then come back and ask me how I was doing like a real caring doctor would.

Before I knew it, I was waiting up at the front desk for an appointment for a bone scan and then out the door. There was something about a prescription and knew that I needed to pick it up. It was at the pharmacy where I found out about my treatment to either stopping or slowing down the cancer. That's all we could hope for as it's only a short term fix. I was still in a bit of a daze at the pharmacy but found out that the med that I picked up was the first step of the treatment and something about an injection was the second. Anything beyond that I have no clue.

Wednesday morning I had to go in for an injection of radiation which was to travel thru my body and in two hours it would show up in affected bones had the cancer traveled there. I was sent home after the injection and 2 hrs later returned for the bone scan. I am now waiting to hear about the results. I wonder if it'll go the same way!
posted by markku on Fri Dec 1, 2017 @ 06:53 PM     2 comments    post a comment
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so it's now official, I have 3rd stage inoperable prostate cancer which has spread. Before treatment begins with some new innovative treatments, I have to go through a full bone scan to make sure that they can handle what's to come. That comes tomorrow morning. If it looks good, treatment begins the following Monday.

There is still the question about it spreading into my lungs and have to go through some more testing which I may hear more about later today. I've been a high risk for cancer as both of my parents and my sister died from it.

As a realist I don't expect anyone feeling sorry for me nor do I feel so for myself. It is what it is and I simply have to deal with it a day at a time for good or bad!
posted by markku on Tue Nov 28, 2017 @ 09:46 AM     post a comment
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I was once asked during an interview who I was and what made me, me. I didn’t hesitate in saying that my music and the instruments I play makes me who I am. It’s probably what you might say or say something similar or that your work makes you who and what you are. Today however my thinking is quite different and if I was asked the same question again, I would undoubtedly say that I am a man of diversity. Being versatile in anything I do is what makes me tick.

My mentor once told me that diversity in life is the best way to keep active, keep interest and about learning not only about one-self but the world around you. I never really thought about that but as I grew older, subconsciously I stuck with that idea. I was always uneasy about just sticking to one thing and searched for new discoveries within me. I wasn’t one to just jump around at different ideas or tasks and tried to put all my efforts to learning as much as I can about the subject I was on. I wasn’t one for just tinkering with things. Although earlier in life for many a decade concentration for me wasn’t easy, you see I had A.D.D. Somehow I learned to work around it and went through a different learning process than normal. This learning curve, if you will, taught me everything I have done up to this day.

Music was my main thing in life and do have a few degrees to show that I was a success in it. Not only did I become a professional musician but also became a salesman and then professional re-modeler which had nothing to do with music. It was the opposite but the learning process was the same. As a pro re-modeler, I dealt with everything involved with fixing up your house from top to bottom. My expertise included plumbing, electrical, carpentry, tile, roofing, siding but not concrete even though I did know a bit about it. I also became quite good at photography and built my own dark room to develop the film. I even became an expert sport fisherman, entered some fishing contests and won some money.

I had an opportunity to travel around the world and all over the US, parts of Canada, learn about different cultures and more about myself. I’ve been married for 43 years to the same woman and had 5 children together. We now have 10 grand-kids to keep us busy with. Recently, I discovered another talent within me which had to do with art. One day I just gave it a try, enjoyed it and here I am 3 years later doing some incredible paintings. No, I never had an interest in art nor lessons in it. The last time I did anything with art was back in grade school.

As I continue to crash and burn, burn and crash, I am always reminded that you can’t take stuff to the grave with you and was never into acquiring a whole mess of stuff. I saved my money for memories and experiences. If I ended up in a hospice tomorrow or when ever, as did my sister recently, I can look back at all of the experiences I had along with some incredible memories in life. Life is all about the experiences. Experience as much as you can. Try something different.
posted by markku on Wed Nov 8, 2017 @ 07:28 PM     post a comment
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As I notice my health crashing and burning, burning and crashing to a more deteriorated level, I often think about my past life and what a great life I’ve had for the most part. Sure there were many a time when things were rough but as I grew older and perhaps a little wiser, I learned a few things which, as I look back, had made a huge impact on how my life turned out.

Often times as children we get conditioned by our parents and society into thinking that we should only pursue one thing in life, concentrate on it and become as good as you can and successful at it. We are led to believe that we can’t do other things equally well and shouldn’t even bother trying. That’s the way it was for me, anyway, while growing up. My parents had the insight to start me playing the accordion at an early age. I studied it for eight years and totally sucked at it. When I was a teenager, I decided that I wanted to play guitar. I eventually went out and purchased my own guitar, took a few lessons to get the basics and taught myself the rest. I could do that because I had the musical knowledge and it was a matter of applying what I knew to the guitar.

Learning to play the guitar got me interested in playing; other keyboards and saxophone, which ended up getting me into Music College. While in Music College, I ended up learning to play all instruments. Music was just one of the things which helped me remove the brainwashed ideas out of my head. I learned that if I applied myself and gave each instrument my full attention one at a time which was not easy for someone who had A.D.D., I could be equally good on each instrument. Sure it took a lot of commitment, effort and sacrifice but in the end I met my goals. This idea became a habit for any other project which I took on later in life.

I suppose that I have to give some credit to my mentor, my best friend’s dad who took me under his wing and taught me a lot about life in general. He taught me diversity. He believed that he could do anything a professional can and equally well, but it may take him a bit longer. He taught me about electronics, plumbing, auto mechanics and cabinet making. I learned to repair my own cars, make my own amplifiers and speaker cabinets saving me from having to pay someone else to do this. All of this built self esteem and gave me the confidence and courage to try other things in life. He also helped in teaching me kindness because of his efforts in being my mentor.

More on crashing and burning next time.
posted by markku on Tue Oct 31, 2017 @ 08:33 PM     post a comment
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anytime someone tells you that shoving a camera up your urethra won't hurt is a liar. Even tho it was to have been numbed, by the time it got in to my bladder, it hurt like hell. Fortunately, the bladder was okay. I bled for days afterwards.

The CT scan showed much more which also included my heart, lungs, stomach and the rest of my plumbing parts. Yup, I'm screwed. Not only do I end up with problems with the prostate but cancer has spread to my lungs and there seems to be a an aneurysmal dilation of the aorta which obviously can lead to a heart attack. Course of attack has not been determined yet by my doctor nor a final prognosis, however, after losing both of my parents a while back and my sister to cancer about a month ago, I can see the end results.
posted by markku on Sun Oct 8, 2017 @ 10:58 AM     4 comments    post a comment
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It’s been a rough spring and summer, while fall hasn’t been a great start either. It all started back in March as I was working out on my exercise bike. I couldn’t understand why I was getting tired and out of breath from only a half mile into my workout. Normally I do about 5 miles and don’t get tired until the fifth mile. For a while I just let it go and figured that I needed to work up slowly to the 5 mile mark, but each time I got to the half mile mark or somewhere around there I’d end up with shortness of breath and pain in my right chest.

I stopped exercising for a while and then discovered that I had an umbilical chord hernia. It was followed by blood in my urine and a lot of pain. I went to see my doctor and discussed my problems. Naturally the first thing he did after finding out that the sample was negative for an infection, was prescribe some meds for an enlarged prostate. He didn’t even mention what may be going on in my lung until several months later after pressing for some answers. Here he was saying that it’s possibly pleurisy but never made any commitments in trying to find out, even after I pressed the matter.

In the meantime, after he prescribed some meds for an enlarged prostate, without any tests especially a psa for cancer; I almost died from the damn meds as they had a severe reaction. While all this was going on my sister was dying in a hospice 250+ miles North West of me of cancer and I was her health power of attorney and needed to travel up there several times a month and sometimes a week. Not only was the 500+ miles round trip getting to me physically, but mentally I was exhausted. Having pain 24/7 and unable to sleep the stress levels sky rocketed it. This was in July.

I decided to make an appointment with a different doctor but couldn’t get one for 7 weeks which took me into September. During this time I was idle and couldn’t do much of anything except sit and lay around except when called to go see my sister. The pain was on and off and so was the blood in my urine but the pain in my chest and shortness of breath continued. I couldn’t even do what I loved the best to take my mind off the pain; paint or drink wine. The odors would make matters more difficult, so no painting. Alcohol would aggravate my kidneys and bladder so that was a no. All I could drink was water, lots of it. I spent a little time in the woods recording nature sounds to kill some time. I enjoyed that.

When a person is idle, the mind starts to think about scenarios worse than what they appear and life becomes hell especially when in constant pain. When September finally rolled in, we had to bury my sister; I got to see my new doctor who had me go through a CT scan, full specimen test and a psa test for prostate cancer. There will be one other which entails shoving a camera up the old piss tube. The results of the ct scan etc. won’t be revealed until my next appointment in October, same goes for shoving the camera up my urethra. More suspense and stress is on the way. Still nothing has been found out about my right lung as the pain continues along with shortness of breath.
posted by markku on Wed Sep 27, 2017 @ 05:47 PM     post a comment
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a craft project
I often get bored quickly and find my-self needing some kind of a project to occupy my brain. For the last 4 wks I've been working on a craft project which has kept me busy mentally more than physically. I’ve often been asked why? Why bother building custom, elaborate bird-houses when birds could care less what they look like? Someone interested in acquiring a bird house could easily go to the store and buy one for a few bucks or if they were handy, making one is fairly easy, with the right tools. So, why spend all that labor and time building something that could be purchased for a few bucks?

There are several reasons why I do it: 1; It’s relaxing. 2; it’s challenging, 3; it’s creative, 4; it’s fun, 5; it’s an art-form/craft, 6; a great feel of accomplishment, 7; teaches you patience. 8; keeps me more focused. 9; it’s a great diversion…after painting my 300th painting; I needed a diversion from it and from my usual daily routine. 10; it involves a great ego trip after others see it and are blown away by it. I have one more which was an unexpected surprise while working on this project, 11; I lost enough weight to lose two pant sizes.

My recent project started out with the idea of making a bird house but ended up a craft project which can be easily converted into a bird house by simply drilling a few holes in strategic areas where I had built cubicles for nests. The project turned into a log home which was made mostly of cedar. The decking on the roof was from a piece of ¼” scrap birch plywood I had on hand. The roof was made from real asphalt shingles, cut and adhered to the deck using roof cement. The logs were 3/16” dowels I picked up at a local home improvement store and stained with an exterior stain, then glued individually using an exterior adhesive. Everything else was cut from stock cedar, stained to match the logs, and then glued into place using exterior, waterproof wood glue. The grass was made from cedar saw dust glued and then painted and sealed. The stone landscaping was from various collections I gathered during my travels. They are from lakes and rivers. They too were glued in place and sealed so that the sandy parts would not come loose. Now I just have to figure out where and how I’m going to display it.
posted by markku on Sat Jun 24, 2017 @ 08:53 PM     post a comment
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I had forgotten some of the problems solo artists such as classical pianist and guitarists may end up having, until recently. Other instrumentalists such as string, brass and woodwinds may not acquire the same problems as they usually play with others. Unless a pianist is accompanying another instrumentalist he/she is on their own. One of the problems I’m talking about is a sense of timing.

In a classical composition you are the one that makes up the tempo. Words like andante, allegro, moderato, vivace, largo etc. all give the artist only an idea of the tempo which is often somewhere in between two points on the metronome. In a single composition, there could be as many as twenty tempo changes some of which may be up to the artist to execute as fit. Often times a single tempo throughout a composition is merely for the beginners. Dynamics are extremely important in the interpretation of a composition as they tell you the volume to play at any given measure or series of measures. These volumes can be anywhere on the scale from very soft to very loud. Some single notes can be accented or played staccato-quick short notes even though they may be marked as quarter or half notes.

With all of that in mind a piano soloist or guitarist can become used to making up their own tempos throughout a composition as a way of adding feeling or better yet they are painting a picture using tempos and dynamics. Tempo changes can even occur in the middle of a measure which is called a ritardando usually followed by the term a tempo. In the pop world dynamics and tempo changes during a song are very rare let alone in the middle of a measure.

Because one might become complacent in doing what is normal in the classical world, an artist switching from the classical side to pop may have some serious difficulties playing along and keeping a simple tempo throughout a song. It’s not that they lack a sense of rhythm it’s simply something they have become accustomed to doing in their own process of painting a picture through music.

I’ve known several artists with this affliction to rhythm or timing which is very hard to break but doable. I was one of those and after a lot of work can easily go from one genre to another. Next time you hear someone with a lousy sense of timing just remember he may have been someone who switched sides and will become better in time…give em a break. On the other hand if after a few years nothing has gotten better, you can bet that the individual just plainly has no sense of timing and perhaps should get into basket weaving instead.
posted by markku on Sun May 14, 2017 @ 12:16 AM     post a comment
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