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Here's the " RTOW " story.       " Roberts Tale Of Woe "

      Quite some time ago, as Marilyn was getting ready for bed, She collapsed, falling on top of the bed.   My son, Todd, and I got her up to a standing position, but she could not stand on her own.   We got her in bed and covered up for the night.   I stewed about that a long time.   The next morning I concluded that it might have been a stroke.   I called an ambulance and she was transported to the North St. Anthony hospital where she underwent a variety of tests.   The hospital doctor finally gave his diagnosis:   There was NO evidence of stroke.  NO stroke."   I accepted that but did not believe it.   The hospital contracted with " Abode Home Health'' to care for her at home.   Initiaally she was given a set of excercises to perhaps gain strength.   But, she could not do them per their satisfaction.   So, she was transferred to the " Abode Hospice" section, where she currently is.   She has an RN that stops here at the house twice per week to check vital signs and general health.   Also she has an Aid that somes here once per week to help with washing hair and getting in and out of the shower.   And last, about once every 2 weeks, the Abode Chaplain pays a visit.   Marilyn and her have become friends.   Marilyn just cannot do very much and is somewhat bed-bound.   All other tasks like, "the morning coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, mail, cigaretts, reading supplies, attending to the bedside commode are left up to myself and Todd.   I know she gets frustrated but still is in fairly good spirits.

      And now for my story.   Some weeks ago I began loosing weight.   Did not know why.   Down, down, down went the scale numbers.   Currntly I've lost about 50 pounds.   Skinny as a rail at only 117 pounds present.   My doctor was very concerned, and not knowing the reason she sent me to the 'Rocky Mountain Cancer Center' for a check.   She was worried that perhaps the esophageal cancer had re-appeared.   There I underwent a PET scan and the resultant image was not pretty.   There in the top lobe of my left lung was a fairly large tumor.   I was sent to the North ST. Anthony hospital to have a needle biopsy done.   With adequate anounts of anesthesia they stabbed me with this large horse needle.   I don't remember much of that at all.   But the result was in:   the tumor was NOT esophagesl cancer but rather a squameous cell cancer.   Not good.   3 proceedures were recommended: Cyberknife, Surgery or the normal radiology & chemo.   The Cyberknife doctor refused treament based on risk.   Risk?   He explained:   The tumor is much too close to the aorta.   If the Cyberknife radiation would nick the aorta and cut a hole ... well that's curtains for me.   On to the surgeon.   He explained the major operation and what to expect during recovery.   Perhaps being admitted to a rehab center for 1-2 weeks.   No-no.   So I opted for the normal routine.     At the end of the radiology treatments, taken 1 per day, every day (except the weekends), they have scheduled another PET scan to see the extent of progress.   I may need more or if not, I'll get a clean bill of health.   All for now.   I will add some new information later as it becomes available.   So check back.

      Thus far I've had 21 out of 30 or so radiology treatments and 4 chemo treatments out of 8 that are on the schedule.   More can be added as the doctor sees fit.   All of those went without incident or illness.

      Meanwhile the diagnosis, made some time ago, of "acquired" scoliosis is still causing some undue and unwanted pain.   Thank heavens for some really good pain pills (opiods).   NO, I'm not adicted ... just dependent.