One bar in Sacramento was a little bit on the rough side but they happened to serve fairly decent food at odd hours of the night. Our company was doing a renovation at a plant that required us to do a shift of approximately 24 hours with a five hour break for a few days. Our group got hungry during this entertaining experience so we went to the bar to get some food a few times. It makes people a little odd when they stay up for 24 hours at a time and we were no exception.
The most senior member of our company also happened to have a black belt in Kung Fu and taught martial arts. He was a very refined and sophisticated individual but another person in our company was sort of a rowdy hillbilly. Their personalities tended to have minor conflict while they worked together.
The crowd in this bar at three in morning consisted of us and a bunch of tough looking individuals. The rowdy hillbilly found out about our co-workers black belt in Kung Fu. The hillbilly jumped up on a chair and loudly exclaimed “This guy here can take anybody in this bar! You know why? He has a black belt in Kung Fu!”. Our Kung Fu expert looked like he was going to have a panic attack when this announcement was made.
The waitress looked petrified when she realized what was happening and she quickly asked us to be quiet or leave. I rarely went to bars because I don’t normally drink alcohol but I found this situation highly amusing. There was no bar fight that night but that was the last time we went to a bar in Sacramento. That was a pity because they had some good food at that bar.
I am getting ready for my trip to Mayo Clinic. I have done a lot of traveling around this country and Canada while I was working. I always thought that the one thing nice about traveling for work is that it is unlikely that the company would fire me while I was traveling. Several of my friends had been let go due to lack of work over the years. One person was fired while in another state on a service call and the company didn’t pay for his return ticket. I was always careful to make sure I had a return airline ticket or cash advance before I left on a work trip after seeing his example.
It is about a four hour car trip to Mayo Clinic and I made sure that I have a return ride. Driving myself that long distance is not an option with my current health conditions. Air travel would also be problematic. My ostomy appliance has a mind of its own and it can make a big mess at a moments notice. Coloplast makes the best ostomy equipment that I have been able to find but even Coloplast appliances require care in my case.
I have a gigantic hernia at the site of my ostomy which bulges out at least eight inches. The surgeons at St Lukes do not want to operate on that area to correct all the problems. They said that area on my belly is like a nest of snakes. Operating could cause the cancer to become more active or the Crohn’s disease to form multiple fistulas. I have to live with the situation the way it is which makes a lot of activities difficult to do. Traveling anywhere requires vigilance to avoid problems.
Mayo Clinic is worth the effort. My Aurora doctor said that we should leave no stone unturned in investigating my cancer. Mayo Clinic may have some additional medications that could be added to the PICRAY medication. PICRAY should attack the genetic mutation that my cancer has shown. The urologist said I should also have Mayo Clinic take a look at my prostate and see if it that coring out operation should be done at at Mayo also.
Grim stuff. Hopefully everything will work out with God’s help.
The balloon procedure on my urethra partially worked but my prostate has become uncooperative. The doctor recommended the next surgery should be to “core out” the prostate opening. This surgery has a 50% chance of allowing me to void normally. I have had worse odds in the past in many situations so the surgery is worth a try. The doctor is also giving me a new drug to reduce the size of the prostate and relieve pressure. There is a small chance that the new drug by itself may even allow me to void normally. The drug plus the surgery seem to be the best option at this time.
If this second operation fails to produce results there are some other less attractive options. I could simply continue to wear a catheter for the rest of my life and have it switched out once a month by medical personnel. Every time this switch is done it hurts like a short crucifixion. Christs death on the cross was worse and lasted longer but I have never had greater pain than when they insert a catheter through my prostate. Inserting a catheter myself is simply too painful in my case so that is not an option for me. Normally inserting a catheter into a person does not hurt this much so my involuntary loud screams of pain come as a shock to the medical people doing the procedure. I try to warn them in advance but they don’t seem to believe me until it happens.
Another option would be to make a bypass opening to the bladder with some type of port. This would allow a catheter to go into the bladder without all the excess pain I experience. It may come down to this procedure which would allow me to live without extreme pain when a catheter is inserted. We are going to try the “coring out” procedure first and see how effective it is.
Mayo clinic may review the situation while I am in Rochester but they typically don’t handle these types of problems unless there is a complicating factor that is unusual. Any competent surgeon should be able to do this prostate operation. There is a small chance Mayo might do some type of operation or unique radiation treatment while I am there. They do have capabilities that other medical facilities can’t equal.
I believe that God is with me in all things. All these medical procedures seem somewhat gruesome to me but I have read of worse things in the Bible that happened to people. The final outcome for these believers in God encourages me that I too will be delivered from pain and suffering. Ultimately I believe that God will even raise my body from the dead and give me a new body without weakness. I look forward to that day.
Farmers are the backbone of this country but many farmers are going out of business. That’s a real problem for everyone because we all consume food. You get hungry without it. My ebook “The Family Farm Crisis Solution!” will be free on Amazon for one day – July 2, 2021. The ebook contains my thoughts on reversing the loss of family farms. Why not get a free copy at http://amazon.com/author/glennsellnow. It’s an easy read. The book will give you something to read during the Independence Day holiday!
I was thinking of cancelling the Mayo Clinic because I can get my PICRAY medication in Oconomowoc. Dr Siegel talked me out of cancelling. Apparently Mayo Clinic has some radiation capabilities and med trial access that the Oconomowoc (Summit) hospital can’t do. Better to check under every rock for the best treatment while I can. You can’t do any checking from your grave. I intend to be cremated for cost efficiency because Judy will be able to use burial money for other things but that thought may be premature. Fortunately I bought life insurance when I was in college so Judy should be able to live a financially healthy life after I pass. I’m not in a hurry.
I will be having three more chemo treatments for a total of twelve. They seem to be very effective for me. They stopped giving me Avastin because it may have caused my recent sepsis hospital stay.
My bladder is going to be punctured to make a passageway for a more painless catheter bypassing the urethra. It’s not pretty but it will work. That’s an important point to me. I can’t handle the pain of catheter insertion the way it is now. Most people don’t have that level of pain and I can’t handle it. The operation will be done after my Mayo Clinic trip.
The South Korean PICRAY drug trial is using another drug in combination with PICRAY. Caucasians can’t easily take the other drug but Asians seem to tolerate it. I have full access to PICRAY because my new insurance pays for it. The Aurora specialty pharmacy will deliver PICRAY directly to my house. Maybe they don’t trust other pharmacies with these expensive pills.
Is there intelligent life in the universe? I occasionally doubt that there is intelligent life on earth but that’s another story. A prominent conservative minister recently said that the Bible rules out intelligent life on other planets. I respect many things this minister says and I would like to visit his ark replica someday but I strongly suspect he is mistaken about his interpretation of Genesis. Both angels and demons are intelligent and they exist in this universe according to the Bible. Besides angelic beings, God is not obligated to tell us everything he knows even if we had the mental capacity to grasp it.
The catholic church used to believe that all celestial bodies orbited around the earth and anyone who disagreed might be burned at the stake for witchcraft. Science proved that the earth orbited the sun and the catholic church eventually changed its rigid dogma. It would not shake my faith in Christ to find out that intelligent alien life existed but currently there is not any scientific proof that it does.
The Bible is God’s message to humanity but it does not say it is the sum total of everything God knows. I believe it is a mistake to rule out things based on our limited capability to interpret the Bible. God has given mankind the ability to use reason to deal with many circumstances. Many conservative Christians have been rigidly indoctrinated with particular interpretations of Biblical passages and that’s fine if you know why you interpret the passage that way. Blind adherence to traditional dogma without understanding it is a mistake. I believe that there is no need for any type of conflict between science and a correct interpretation of the Bible. Scientific theory may need modification when it is proven wrong but that’s to be expected.
I don’t know if intelligent life exists elsewhere but I don’t see anywhere in the Bible that says it does not exist. Christians should be careful when they make absolute statements about the Bible because it may cause people to fall away if they are proven incorrect.
My new health insurance will cover PICRAY like any other drug. Pretty sweet. The PICRAY still needs to work on my specific cancer and a perfect outcome is not a guaranty. I plan to take advantage of this opportunity to potentially prolong my life. It is a gift from God and an answer to prayer in my opinion.
It seems a little odd to me that the other Medicare insurance I had did not also cover PICRAY. Both insurance programs are based on the same Medicare rules. It may be possible that having two senators investigating the situation may have caused a new favorable interpretation of the Medicare rules in my case. That is a guess on my part but the PICRAY coverage by insurance was a surprise to the Aurora people working on my case.
I’m just happy to have access to my medication by any means. Mayo Clinic may also have additional options for me so my Oncologist wants me to keep my appointment. I found out that my cancer mutation happens to be a little more common in South Korea and a study has been started in that country. They probably don’t want me in that study because I don’t fit the demographics of the target population. The South Koreans appear to be testing some type of combination therapy for this problem that includes PICRAY. Perhaps Mayo Clinic has access to this information and could look at the possibility of similar treatment for my cancer.
When my Oncologist told me about the South Korean study, my immediate response was that I would travel to South Korea if it would help me live longer. That was a spontaneous joke on my part but in retrospect it may not have been such a bad idea as a last resort.
I thank God for this fortunate opportunity to try PICRAY and any other prescribed medications. Most people in the developing nations do not have access to the good medical care we enjoy in the United States. I sympathize with the suffering of anyone with cancer or other diseases. I admire the work of medical missionaries and secular doctors that volunteer their time to help people in the developing world with medical problems. My ability to get PICRAY was an answer to prayer and so I also pray for anyone with these diseases.