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Rich Z's Blatherings Since Connie and I have retired the SerpenCo business, topics here will focus on topics of a more personal and general nature.

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Old 06-20-2022, 10:13 AM   #21
Dang Rich, I just logged on after a long spell away and saw this. I'm sorry for you and Connie, that's a lot of horrible stuff to deal with. I hope somehow things turn around for both of you in short order. Full remission!

Old 06-20-2022, 12:20 PM   #22
Rich Z
Thank you.

Connie did get a call from her oncologist late last week to let her know that her "tumor markers" (whatever those are) were down 1000% from what they were before the chemo treatments began. So I am taking that as a good sign. Connie has been getting a shot every week to help boost her white blood cell count, and one of the side effects is "flu like symptoms". So she is feeling a bit dragged out from coughing. Heck, because of one reason or another, she has had a nagging cough for a few months now. But hopefully that fluid won't build up around her right lung any more. Getting that drained can't be any picnic.

So far, I am still kicking. Trying to get back to normal gradually. I feel a bit winded, and not as strong as I think I should feel, but perhaps that is just being a touch psychosomatic. Feeling that maybe my heart is made of fragile eggshells. But I figure if I do some light work every day, to try to ease back into normalcy, that will be OK. For instance, today I went out and trimmed some weeds around some of the citrus and asian pear trees so I could run the irrigation for them. Been pretty hot lately, and about a week since the last rain. I went out early before temps built up, so it wasn't bad. Supposed to be getting up into the triple digits this week, so I think siestas will be in our future during mid day.

Glad we don't have the animals right now. That could have turned out REAL ugly.
Old 07-23-2022, 01:51 PM   #23
Rich Z
Well, had a stent put into my left coronary artery this past Tuesday. Surgeon said it was 70% blocked before he put in the stent. So I guess my left and right coronary arteries are now at 100%. But for now, I have to take it easy for a while, I suppose. But I can't let up taking care of Connie.

She has been feeling pretty well lately, but is due for the next chemo treatment this upcoming week. But she certainly isn't running on all cylinders. She got word that the "tumor markers" they monitor in her blood rests have dropped from 578 on 06-29 to 333 this past week, so that is definitely moving in the right direction. Sure would like to see that number reach zero as soon as possible.
Old 07-24-2022, 12:15 AM   #24
Frank Pinello
I have a strong feeling that you two will get through this and things will get back to “normal”. Glad to hear you got your heart checked and corrected and things are going in the right direction with Connie. Hang in there, I’m pulling for you two.
Old 07-24-2022, 01:07 PM   #25
Rich Z
Originally Posted by Frank Pinello View Post
I have a strong feeling that you two will get through this and things will get back to “normal”. Glad to hear you got your heart checked and corrected and things are going in the right direction with Connie. Hang in there, I’m pulling for you two.
Thank you. Hopefully your strong feeling will be accurate. "Normal" seems like such a distant place lately. Connie's hair has been falling out, and we both have marks on our arms from needles to draw blood and IV lines. I have puncture marks on my right wrist there the stents went in to be placed in my heart arteries. Blood thinner is making me bruise easily and Connie gets exhausted easily, along with various and sundry chemo side effects.

Half way through, 2022 REALLY sucks.
Old 07-28-2022, 02:17 PM   #26
Rich Z
Well, so much for taking it easy. Our well pump went out on Monday. I checked everything I could, and all indications were that the pump went bad. So that called for an expert. The REAL problem was that it had gotten so overgrown all around that well, that he wouldn't be able to get to it with his truck with the crane. Fortunately a friend here (Rickey) has a tractor so he was able to come over and do most of the clearing, but I still had to work with my extended hedge trimmer, holding it above my head to clear out grape vines and yaupon saplings that were overhanging the well. Connie was beside herself knowing I was out there working so soon after my coronary stent placement. Not that I was all that keen about it myself, but it had to be done.

Oh, it turned out that the pump itself wasn't bad. One of the wires going to it had broken. The well guys said it was because the piping was PVC instead of steel, and the flexing from the torque of the pump motor caused the wires to stretch because of the "give" of the PVC. So they just put in the steel piping, rewired the motor, and called it a day. They checked the windings on the pump and they looked right on the money, so they didn't feel replacing the pump motor was needed. They said the pump is an excellent brand and they see them lasting 20 years or so. It's been 10 to 12 on this one. Way things are going, I'm not expecting to have to worry about this problem 10 years from now. So that was a pretty stressful day. And to top it off, they JUST got done before it started to rain. I had to help Rickey guide his trailer with the tractor on it out of the driveway, and it was raining cats and dogs then. So I got soaked to the bone. Had to strip off all my wet clothes on the porch as I couldn't walk into the house with water just running off of me. So like I said, pretty darn stressful day. I guess this could be considered as a heart test after my surgeries.

But at least I haven't had another heart attack afterwards (yet), so hopefully no damage done. I sure hope I don't have to do something like that anytime soon, as I would like think I am recovering from all this without doing something that will cause long term damage. As it is, I think my earlier heart attack might have caused some damage to my heart, but my cardiologist has been noncommittal when I asked him about it. I have another appointment with him in a couple of weeks, so I am going to press him about it. I'm a big boy now, so just level with me. I tend to work hard doing yard work and I really need to know if I am skating on real thin ice now.

Connie had another chemo treatment yesterday and we have to run back to the oncology facility this afternoon so she can get a shot that is supposed to help raise her white blood cell count after the chemo treatment. So she is going to be taking it easy for a few days as the side effects knock her down a bit. Luckily she isn't having severe effects, but it is enough for her to just not feel all that spiffy. So I try to encourage her to take it easy and sleep as much as she can to pass the time that way till things subside.

So, just waiting for yet another shoe to drop in our lives....
Old 07-30-2022, 05:55 PM   #27
Rich Z
Connie has been feeling pretty wiped out all day, presumably from the chemo on Wednesday and that shot she had on Thursday.

But curiously enough, I have been feeling pretty wiped out myself. Taking a couple hour nap each day. Effects from my heart surgery last week?
Old 07-30-2022, 11:55 PM   #28
Frank Pinello
With everything you guys have been through lately, why wouldn’t you both feel wiped out?
Get the naps in as things settle down. Come out we’ll rested and energized later.
Old 07-30-2022, 11:56 PM   #29
Frank Pinello
With everything you guys have been through lately, why wouldn’t you both feel wiped out?
Get the naps in as things settle down. Come out we’ll rested and energized later.
Old 07-31-2022, 12:33 PM   #30
Rich Z
I think my mind is just recoiling from the situation and wants to go comatose. There are dark thoughts of a possible future eating at the edges of my mind that are wearing me out trying to keep them at bay. It is exhausting me worrying about Connie.

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