Happy Hour


Mother, Mother Ocean

Mother, Mother Ocean, I've heard you call
Wanted to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall
You've seen it all, you've seen it all
Watched the men who rode you, switch from sails to steam
In your belly you hold the treasures, few have ever seen
Most of 'em dream, most of 'em dream
Yes, I am a pirate, two hundred year's too late
The cannons don't thunder, there's nothin' to plunder
I'm an over-forty victim of fate
Arriving too late, arriving too late


"Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is."
―Yoda, to Luke Skywalker

Counted the Stars

Counted the stars on the 4th of July
Wishing we were rockets bursting in the sky
Talking about redemption and leaving things behind
I have these pictures and I keep these photographs
To remind me of a time
These pictures and these photographs
Let me know I'm doin' fine
We used to be so happy once upon a time
Once upon a time
But the sun sank west of the Mendocino County Line
And the sun sank west of the Mendocino County Line


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Up Chit/Release

I had to go to the other side of town to pick it up. But it has been faxed to Edwards AFB! Sometimes the paperwork for something is downright amazing. AHHHHHHHH the federal bureaucracy, ain't it amazing sometimes?

The day I went home from the hospital

On the 24th of September, I got to go home. The doc showed up about mid morning to let me know about the pathology. That was when I was told that it was cancer that was on my kidney. But it had been isolated to the kidney itself. And he said I would get a prescription for pain relievers.
The missus and I did stop for lunch on the way home, I had fun with the waitress. She asked us how our day was going. When we told her splendid due to I get to hang around many more years, the young lady almost fell over. It was rich.
We stopped at our local neighborhood convenience store to grab some smokes for the missus and some gatorade for me. I did sort of a rotten thing and showed the gal who works there my stomach with all those wonderful incisions and staples that were yet to come out. She turned a bit pale! The missus was none too impressed. I thought it was kind of funny. Sailors have rather sick and twisted senses of humour, ya know.
As of tomorrow, things may be thin for awhile as the Missus and I are heading west either tomorrow afternoon or Friday morning.
So, until I get settled and have internet service, see ya then!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Staples out and a new look

I told you I would let you know about the staples coming out of my belly! It took about 15 minutes. It was a metallic sound for each one. The ones really close to the belly button did hurt a little bit and I could feel the strain as the nurse cut them but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.
I finally found the template that doesn't cut my ribbons off on the right side(as viewed). So I think I will stay with this one. Bet it was making some of you wonder, wasn't it? I am having fun with it ya know.

Monday, October 26, 2009


As you can see in the sidebar is the Navy widget and connection to The Valour-IT project from Soldier's Angels. It is for voice operated laptops and other tech devices to allow OUR wounded warriors the ability to communicate when wounds have impared that ability. The Old Retired Petty Officer's recent cancer thing ain't shit next to most of these guys and gals conditions. And most of them are on average younger than my kids.
It your service preference is other than Navy then go to Soldiers Angels and donate, whatever amount you can. It will be appreciated. God bless you.

Monday and five weeks since the surgery

Five weeks today. The scars are slowly receeding. The smaller three that were part of the actual laprosocpic/robotic part of the operation are down to just little lines and dots! The big one that was used to take the kidney out is still red/reddish-pink. All the scabs are completely gone. The pain of excessive situps is slowly fading. I will have my release/up chit in hand tomorrow. It gets faxed to Edwards in short order after that.
Just something else to ponder. When the doc says I have good news and bad news doesn't just happen on TV and in the movies. That is how this all got started!
Tomorrow, staple removal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New stuff on the blog!

A Gold First Class Rating Badge and Crossed Mauls and Wings! Getting more nautical as we go!Well as nautical as an Airdale can get, anyway! And they are mauls according to the Bluejacket's Manual, not hammers. Even though they are refered to as hammers and wings. It is the Rating Device of the Aviation Structural Mechanic. It was for all service ratings, S, H and E. S was actual sheetmetal/structural, H was for hydraulic systems and E for canopies and egress systems.
Fair Warning! See what happens when I don't have anything constructive to do!!!!!!!!!!! And as soon as I find that medal and ribbon site, I will put all my junk on the site!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I went and found the stuff as you can see.
And the EA-6B Prowler is assigned to VAQ-140, my last command. It is the unit that I was assigned to at retirement from active duty on 30 September 1993 at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington.

Hospital routine

The best part was cable TV. I was on the clear diet for chow........Jello, broth, tea and coffee. The best part was the coffee. And young student nurses doing the vitals and such during the day. On the second day the cathater finally came out and I could pee in a relief bottle! They had to keep track of how much and how often. Isn't that exciting! And the dressing came off. First look at the ugly! I have never had staples before, unique sensation when brushed by clothing. And the doc came by and said everything was cool and we were waiting on the pathology. The other lab stuff said that so far so good. In case you are wondering, there is no sensation of the kidney being gone. Really. None. Nada. Oh did I mention the magic button? Yeah, the belly still hurt, alot at times. Then they decided to pull the IVs and go with pills, Percosette!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Say hello to my little friends!!!!!!!!!!! The third day, Wednesday was basically uneventful, I slept on and off, watched alot of Discovery Channel, TLC, A&E, History Channel and Fox News. And more jello and broth for meals. The missus said everyone had gotten back home after the wedding of the number two son. She had her hands full for awhile with a house full of company and me going in for surgery, so her visit was short and sweet. I told her to go home and sack out. She had a very busy and stressfull period with doing the wedding cake, company coming and me. She deifinitely needed the day to herself. And shortly after I sacked out for the night, I was awakened to do the vitals and meds! I told them to just take the BP and to do the temp with an ear probe and wait till morning for the meds. Not impressed. And I did take an unassisted walk around the square made by the elevators and nurses station! The best description is way too many sit-ups! Getting to the vertical was a bit of a chore.
More goodness to follow tomorrow, if it suits me.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Red White and Blue!

I think I found the colour palette for this adventure.
For some reason the incision does hurt around the edges. Could be the coughing from the cold/fu that hit me a couple of days ago. I did quit smoking due to the hospitalization but that will be five weeks on this coming Sunday. It could be that I am cleaning out? Possible, ya think?
Anyway on the day of the surgery, it was one of those early mornings. Like the ducks don't even get up this early!(I was a passionate waterfowler) Figure it out, OK?! I hit the check-in desk at 0530 on the morning of September 21. Having been on a clear liquid diet and downing a ten ounce bottle of magnesium citrate the day before, I was in a stirling mood. Hackles up and teeth bared! It went rather assembly line like from that point. Upstairs, shave the belly. Into the nightie and on to preop for all the IV's and then the lights went out! I was in recovery longer than surgery. The surgery started at exactly 0800 and was done at 0945. I didn't get out of recovery until about 1200-1230. I sleep long after general anasthesia.
In the room and hooked up to all kinds of stuff. The Missus was there for the entire show. The nurses were pushing me to take a walk as soon as possible. I had two IVs and a catheter in, for crying out loud! And they wanted me to walk. When I did, it took one RN and two RN students to handle all the tubes! At least when in bed I had a little button to push for pain. Morphine Sulfate, Rah Rah! Push button and feel better! I had visits from two of the kids later that evening. The oldest son and his bride were still in town after the younger son's wedding so they paid me visit before heading home to upstate NY. And the youngest daughter, with granddaughter Piper and the kids' real Dad also stopped by. I can't say I was real good company, if you get my drift. And then there were vitals to be taken. Plus the nexium and zocor that I take regular. The staff had me taking my regular scrips during the wee hours. I finally told them that when they just wanted BP and such to get it and let me sleep. That went over like a lead balloon.
Well that's enough fun for tonight dear readers!

Playing with the blog

Just messing around today. I am trying to find a template that I would be able to say is distinct and Naval Air style? Maybe? Help request goes out to Pinch and Lex. I could always steal from the site of a squadron I was in 30 years ago. I am still looking for good A-6 shots. I could even use my rock train stuff from that adventure. What do you think?
BTW, I had my last cigarette on the 20th of September. The night before I had the surgery. Does it show?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Up Chit/Progress Report

The visit to the urologist was uneventful. He said the incision is doing just fine and I am waiting for him to fill out the three pages that the Air Force sent me. It is the same SF that I had for the initial physical for the job. Gotta love Uncle Sam and the endless paperwork. I guess that comparison to sitting on the porcelain throne comes to mind. The job isn't finished until the paperwork is done! Those of ou who have been in the Armed Forces will completely understand.
Now I wait to get the paperwork back. But the part that actually screwed up the day was waking up with a fever, sore throat and such. In awhile it will be Walmart brand nighttime cold/flu medicine and Powerade.
Thanks to all for the support and encouragement! It is kind of cool being a part of this blogging thing.
As soon as I get this thing to upload my photos, I will toss a few in. It doesn't seem to want mine for some reason.
To Karla, Perri and Ann, Thanks a million. Now all I have to do is twist Pinch's arm and get on the instapinch blogroll!


Please be patient as I am very green at this. Perri, I got you on the roll!!!!!!
As I said the primary purpose of this blog is to give my own perspective of having kidney cancer and getting through it. But on occasion, I may toss something out just because. The Old Retired Petty Officer doesn't need a reason.
Such as this week, as I am looking after my youngest grand-daughter, Piper. The daughter went back to work so Papa gets the call. However she will have to find other help pretty soon. Mom and Dad are moving to California. Yeah. Go figure. It is a job and it pays well. It is an aircraft pneudraulic system mechanic position at Edwards Air Force Base. The retired airdale thing helped but the initial cut was the 30 percent service connected disabled rating. Imagine, an old A6 and A7 tailhook guy at Edwards!
Today is the big day! I should get my release from the doc!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The mass is found on the Left Kidney

On the fourth of September, I went to the doc. I was having digestive issues. It was like lingering intestinal flu. After the pushing on the abdomen, the doc ordered up a CT Scan. About 45 minutes after it was done, I got the good news-bad news thing. The good news was the intestinal thing was diverticulitus. Easily treated at it's early stage. The bad news: You have a mass/tumour on your left kidney.
You know that literative thing about a mule kick to groin? Yeah, it was there. I was seven days shy of my 55th birthday and ten days from starting a new job at Edwards AFB in California. Needless to say it was almost panic mode. I had to go see a urologist the following week on the 10th. The Missus went along with me. Both of us were basically scared shitless. Natural, considering the circumstances, don't ya think. The mass was isolated to the left kidney and no where else. It was however very close to the artery, necessitating it's removal. I had to call Edwards to let them know about the situation and to see if the job would be kept available for me. It is. I start the 9th of November. My appointment to get my release is tomorrow.
It has been just over a month since the surgery. I have soreness around the large incision that was made to take the kidney out. I will add more details in another post. I have come down with a head cold. Itchy eyes, throat, cough and general soreness and feeling like crap.
Wow, Here I am. This is my first attempt at doing this by myself. I owe a great deal to Jeff at Parrothead Jeff and Friends. I will still post there as he gave me the shot! This is just a try for myself. If it works, I will keep it up. If not, I won't do it anymore.
I will not go down and tell my children I didn't have the courage, the conviction, the commitment or the character to fight for this country...Don't go home and let your children down~~ LTC Allen West

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus

‎"Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.("Therefore, he who desires peace, let him prepare for war")" from "Epitoma Rei Militaris," by Vegetius (Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus)