The Cancer Bus

Posted July 8, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: cancer, Health-Care, Medical

Tags: , ,

This past Friday I finished my last radiation treatment at Kaiser in Hollywood. I know that most people relate Hollywood to the movie and TV industry, but there is a lot more to the city than that.

So for the past seven weeks or so, I rode the Kaiser bus every day from Harbor City (south of LA) up to the Kaiser Radiation Oncology facility in Hollywood. Bus leaves at about 11 AM and arrives in Hollywood at about Noon. Everyone piles out of the bus checks in and head down in the basement where all of the X-Ray machines are located.

When the last patient boards the bus at about 1 PM, we head back south to Harbor City. Nobody gets left behind. The driver has a count of the people on board. Sometimes patients are delayed by doctor visits or additional X-rays that are required.

For example, today I had to see the doctor and I was delayed. I finally board the bus at about 1:30 PM. No one complains. They have all been in that situation at some time or other.

So over my seven weeks I got to meet many people all of who are suffering from cancer of some sort or another. Some will survive and some will not. One lady told me that she was taking the bus a few years ago and the bus was much fuller than. Less people on the bus means people are surviving longer. A good sign.

A lot of people wear hats. Once Desmond took his hat off to show a nasty carcinoma on the top of his head. He finished his treatments a couple of weeks ago. Hope he does well.

2018-07-03 10.52.00So the group tends to be an unofficial support group. We tended to chat on the benches by the bus stop. It is good to get it out. It’s a bit tough to talk on the bus due to road noise.

I listened to the biography of Ulysses S Grant by Ron Chernow. I still  have a few hours to go. In seven weeks, I have learned more about the Civil War and Reconstruction than I ever knew.

2018-07-03 20.43.48Also, it seems that the length of treatment varies for each person. Some folks are up for only 5 treatments. Some like me are in for the long hall at 30.

So for now, I am done.  I have a follow-up scheduled for the end of August. For now, I am waiting for my wounds on my neck to heal and get my sense of taste back.

I hope to never have to ride the Cancer Bus ever again.

TTFN

Joe

1 Second Every Day for June

Posted July 1, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: 1 Sec Every Day, 1SE

Tags: ,

Without any ado, here is my 1 Second a Day video for June 2018. My goal is to take one or two pictures every day and create a video. At the end of the year, I will do one massive video for the entire year.

Sex and the City

Posted July 1, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Reviews, Television

Tags: ,

Sex and the CitySo last night I decided to start watching some old episodes of “Sex and the City” starring Sarah Jessica Parker et al.  Sex and the City first appeared in 1998 on HBO.

The series explored the sex lives of four unmarried young ladies in New York City. The first episode that I watched explored the ladies experience with dating younger men in their 20’s. Then, I watched the pilot episode.

One of the things that caught my eye was the set dressing. There were no cell phones, only land-lines. Sarah got up in the morning and had herself a cigarette. When was the last time that you saw an actor in a movie or TV show smoke a cigarette? It was interesting  to see the differences. Wherever they go for fun, there is smoking, a lot of smoking. At bars and nightclubs, there is smoking.

So the point of the story is that Sarah writes a column about sex for a New York City newspaper. Occasionally, we see her typing out her column on her computer. The computer was some laptop of a certain vintage. (Ie. Old and clunky) I thought she might be seen actually using a typewriter, but that was not the case. Hard to tell what brand it was though, but certainly not thin and sleek like today’s models. And, definitely not an Apple device. Nowadays, it seems that Apple has cornered the market on product placement.

Abbreviations

Posted June 25, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: California, Kids

Tags:

The other day I received a comment asking what “TTFN” stood for? So I thought I would do a post on abbreviations that I commonly use.

Winnie_the_Pooh_and_the_Blustery_Day_posterTTFN stands for Ta Ta For Now. The phrase first appeared on British radio back in the 1940’s. It also appears several “Winnie the Pooh” episodes spoken by “Tigger”. Here is the wikipedia entry.

Here is another pointer to all things about “Winnie the Pooh“. And stuff on IMDB.

Okay, that’s enough on TTFN. Here are some other abbreviations:

  • SP = San Pedro (Community south of Los Angeles)
  • RPV = Rancho Palos Verdes (West of SP)
  • LB = Long Beach
  • SB = South Bay (several LA communities around LA Harbor, SP, RPV, LB, Torrance, Harbor City, Lomita, etc.)

 

Solo

Posted June 24, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: Movies, Reviews

Tags: , , , ,

SoloLast  night was date night. We went out to see “Solo: A Star Wars Story” at the Regal theater in Rancho Palos Verdes. Paula liked it. I  had mixed emotions about it. It had lots of shooting and blasting. It had a new Han Solo and a new love interest. It had a new wookie and a new Lando Calrissian. It seems that all of the characters from the original were introduced. They seemed to be in some sort of battle for some contraband or something. I never quite figured it out. Just a lot of loud mayhem.

So the film was directed by Ron Howard. Howard sure has a large body of work.  He sure has grown since his days as “Opie”.

Woody Harrelson had a big part in the movie. When I first saw him in the movie, I thought. to myself, is he still working? First saw Woody in “Cheers” back in 1982. I had to ask Google, “How old is Woody Harrelson?”. The answer: “57”. Pretty good action for an old guy.

2018-06-23 20.27.51So we saw the film in the “Regal Cinema” in RPV. This theater is equipped with big, comfy recliners. Ticket price a bit more than the regular ticket prices, but worth it. If one pushes the seat all the way back one might fall asleep. Though, not likely with all the shooting and fire works.

One other thing about Regal. I had purchased tickets in error for Friday rather than Saturday. I talked with manager and he gave us two coupons for a future show.

Another thing. The theater seemed to run the audio real loud. To my mind, too loud. It makes a lot of the dialog muddy. My hearing aids don’t help. In fact, they make it worse. Luckily for this film, one doesn’t need to catch all of the dialog.

Picked up chicken at KFC on the way home. Didn’t taste very good. Hate to spend big money at a restaurant when I know it will probably taste like crap. Took it home. Had a glass of wine. To bed.

2 More Weeks

Posted June 23, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: cancer, Mary

Tags: ,

2018-06-22 12.21.46Two more weeks to go. Nine treatments. I get the 4th of July off for good behavior. We’ll probably go to lodge for a cook out and watch the fireworks over LA Harbor.

So this post is going to be a little bit about Mary. She continues her long descent into the abyss. She remembers nothing. I told Paula that I wish that Mary could at least once say to me, “How did your radiation treatments go today?. But she can’t, sigh.

On Friday, she asked Paula, “How did your day go?”. You see, Paula spent most of the day with Mary to take her for her hair appointment at the beauty shop and the ice cream place to get her a chocolate shake. (Frappe for you guys in Mass.)

Last week Thursday was cancelled due to all of the machines being down. So they added one additional day to my schedule. I’ve noticed some hair loss around my left cheek and under my left ear. I was just standing under my hot shower the other morning when I noticed that there wasn’t the usual morning stubble on my left cheek.

Doctor gave me a Rx for some sulfa cream for the infection under my left ear. Seems to be improving.

So today is date day. We went to the grocery store for shopping. Got my usual Starbuck’s iced coffee with a chocolate croissant. Very tasty. As I’ve said before, chocolate is one of the few things that still taste good.

We’re going out to the movies tonight to see “Solo”. Then tomorrow church, diner, crossword puzzles, etc. Then on Monday, back on the merry-go-round.

TTFN,

Joe

20 Down, 10 More To Go

Posted June 19, 2018 by joebowker
Categories: cancer

Tags: ,

Okay, I’ve reached another plateau. I’ve finished 20 radiation treatments and I have 10 more to go. My sense of taste as left the building. Most everything is bland and tasteless with one exception. Chocolate! Specifically, chocolate ice cream. I particularly enjoy Ben & Jerry’s “Chocolate Fudge Brownie“. I’ve lost about 12 lbs since I started the treatments.

CFB_1_Desktop

2018-06-18 12.32.12I took a picture of our bus driver on Monday. She is so sweet and encouraging. Her name is Thelma. She greets everyone with a beautiful smile.

Right now we have about a dozen people riding the cancer bus. About 2/3 of the riders are women, mostly being treated for breast cancer.

I was talking with one lady who told me that she had been on the bus about 8 years ago when the ridership was at about 20 people. Ridership count is an interesting metric of cancer treatment success.

So on my ride up to Hollywood and back I have been listening to “Ulysses S Grant” by Ron Chernow on the Audible app on my phone. I am at chapter 24 out of 45 chapters. It’s a very interesting book.

Oh, and a couple more thing that still tastes good. Martinis and wine.

I’ll sure be glad when this is all done.