Diary of a Lung Cancer Patient – Day 314 (7/22/2021)

The ‘cold’ I’ve been fighting for about a month has settled into my right lung, and my right lung only. I can feel the rattle every time I breathe and I’ve tried about every medicine I can think of to get rid of it.

Two days ago (day 312), I tried to stand up and fell on the floor. I thought it strange and laughed at my clumsiness. I tried again and fell back down again, so I threw on the blood pressure cuff and my blood pressure was low (low for me anyway). I tried one more time and was successful at standing up, but felt really light headed..

Yesterday (day 313), my blood pressure was still low and that light headedness still existed, but I didn’t fall down. I’ll ask my oncologist about it when I see her today for my weekly chemotherapy.

The heat has arrived in Iowa. We’re getting the usual August temperatures in July. So, I ask my readers that have outdoor pets or livestock, Please make sure they have shade and plenty of fresh water! We have two dogs that we got when we were on the farm that we have a very large misting fan blowing for them with a fully shaded deck. We change their water at least once an hour all day long, and one of them likes ice cubes, so she gets ice cubes every time we change the water.

Also, if you know of people who have no escape from the heat, give them a fan or window air conditioner (if you can). If that is not possible, take them to an air conditioned space, like a mall, to give them relief from the heat. Mrs.. Iowegian and I purchase either fans or a window AC every year and then donate them to those in need. One AC unit or 3 to 4 fans does not make a big difference when so many are in need, but to those who receive, it is a big difference.

Remember, charity comes from the heart, not the government. If we all take care of each other, communities become stronger and differences are not important any more.

God Bless,

R. I.

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Diary of a Lung Cancer Patient – Day 309 7/17/2021

If someone you love or care for has cancer, is going through chemo, or has some other debilitating illness, think about what you say or do to them. As far as I am concerned, this should be a no-brainer, but there are those who evidently need to be told!

In my case, I don’t need to be told:

  • I have bad breath, even though I brush frequently;
  • I have odiferous perspiration, even though I bathe at least once a day;
  • When I don’t have the energy to go shopping with you, it is not laziness, I can barely walk to the end of the block and back;
  • I am not carrying my weight with the strenuous activities at home, like mowing, cleaning out gutters, carrying in the dog food, bags of rice, cases of water, walking the dog, etc., I know I spend most of my completely sapped of energy; and
  • The bedroom has an odor, I am fully aware that my night sweats frequently soak the sheets and need changed daily.

My cancer is NOT harder on you than it is on me. It is an inconvenience to you, but it is killing me.

Think BEFORE you show through your words that you are a crass ass!

God Bless,

R. I.

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Diary of a Lung Cancer Patient – Day 308 (7/16/2021)

Yesterday I started round 3 of chemotherapy. Since the pathologist could not get all the factors from the last biopsy, I was told that they will be surgically removing a lymph gland that has the cancer in it to do a thorough examination of it. (Fun, fun, fun….)

The lab forgot about mixing up my chemo, so I sat there in the chair waiting for 3.5 hours before one of the nurses checked on it (after I politely asked what the holdup was). Once checked on, I had my cocktail flowing into my veins within minutes. Overall, it took 4 hours total for a 10 minute chemo.

I was tired by the time I got home and went to bed immediately. I woke up this morning feeling like any other day.

I am grateful to my medical staff, my supporters, and most of all God for letting me continue on my journey through life, even with cancer trying to cut my journey short.

God Bless,

R. I.

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Critical Race Theory Lacks Critical Thinking Skills

A few days ago, I saw a show on PBS about the removal of four confederate statues from New Orleans.  The father of the person making the documentary stated in multiple places during the documentary that it was “white people” that were responsible for slavery and “white people” needed to be held accountable.

This bothers me because this speaker was stereotyping a whole race for the actions of very few.  The other part that bothered me is the claim that the roots of slavery in America.

The vast majority of all African slaves were sold into slavery by other Africans.  When tribes or nations fought in Africa, the people on the losing side were taken as slaves.  The rest were sold into slavery by Arabs on the African continent, where it was acceptable. Before the international slave trade, the slaves of the losing tribe or nation were sold to families on the winning side, who treated them more as indentured servants than as slaves.  At some point, the slaves were taken to the coast where they were sold to European traders in exchange for rifles and ammunition.

The European traders loaded the slaves onto slave ships and brought them to Americas and sold them for not only cash, but for tobacco, sugar, and other commodities.  In the Americas, the slaves were not treated as favorably as they would have been in Africa. Of the 10.7 million that lived through the journey to the Americas, 388,000 were sold to people in The United States.  That is 3.59% of all people sold into slavery, ended up in America. 

Another fact that has been quietly hidden away is that there were 2200 emancipated slaves who owned slaves of their own. 

This does not alleviate the injustices done to slaves in America, but it does call for a shared responsibility of slavery by Africans themselves, emancipated African Americans who became slave owners, the white slave owners (who happen to be all dead) and Europeans. 

But, what part of “white” Americans were slave holders?  In 1860, the population of America was 31,443,321.  In the 15 slave states, the free population was 8,289,782.  Of that population, there were 393,475 slave holding households.  That means 4.75% of the free people in the slave states had slaves in their households.  If you look at the whole population of America at that time, only 1.25% of the population had slaves.  The vast majority of people in the non-slave states were against slavery.

During the Civil War, there were Union deaths equating to approximately 1 soldier for every slave in the slave states. 

So, for someone to blame the white race for slavery is stereotypical bigotry.  That makes the statement not only racist, but ignorant too. Had a white person blamed the black race for violent crime in America (for example), that person would be castigated by the media and politicians. 

It is funny how easy it is to look up all this data just by asking questions like:

  1. Who sold Africans into slavery?
  2. Who transported those slaves to the Americas?
  3. Where did the Africans sold into slavery end up?
  4. How many slave owners were there in the Slave states?
  5. How many slaves were sold in America?
  6. What was the population of America in 1860?
  7. How many Union soldiers died during the Civil War?
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Diary of a Lung Cancer Patient – Day 294 (07/02/2021)

It’s been a week of uncertainty and deflation.

Monday – I was scheduled for my last dose of chemotherapy. After two and half hours of inability to draw blood through my port, chemo was cancelled and steps had to be taken to get blood flow into the port again.. A PET scan was scheduled for for yesterday.

Tuesday – I woke up with massive congestion, headache and a fever. Looks like the PET scan may have to be rescheduled.

Wednesday – Congestion still there, but headache and fever gone, feeling good about the PET scan.

Yesterday – I woke up with a great glucose level and good spirits. Went to the hospital for the PET scan. During the scan, the technician spent an inordinate amount of time in two different areas. I was told my oncologist would call by noon Friday.

Today – Oncologist finally called at 3:30 PM. The cancer is gone from my lung and two lymph nodes noted in last PET Scan. The markers that showed up in my heart last time were completely gone. There were no indications of cancer in my bones, kidney, liver, pancreas, and other major organs. There are indications of cancer in other lymph nodes throughout my chest. Oncologist wants biopsies (not needle biopsies) done before next round of chemo.

After 10 months of fighting this, the news resulted in the Missus Iowegian breaking down in depression. My daughter is somewhat distraught too. I am keeping a stiff upper lip, but I have to admit I am tired of poison being pumped into my body to only have the cancer show up elsewhere. This will be the 3rd type of cancer being fought in this battle and I need a break.

God Bless,

R. I.

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There is Nothing More Comfortable Than….

When I was in high school, as long as there wasn’t inches of snow on the ground, I wore sandals and bib overalls to school.

When I went into the Navy, I wore bib overalls and sandals to report in to basic training. After boot camp I came home and got my bibs and sandals plus a few other civilian clothes, before reporting in to my first duty assignment aboard the USS Paiute (ATF 159).

When I left to become a linguist in the Army, my bibs were in the top of the duffel bag.

While I was in Korea for five years, I wore them frequently until I met, married and impregnated my bride. During her pregnancy, she rolled up the pant legs and wore my bibs almost daily..

Back in the states, after a 3 year tour in Germany, my bibs were the go to whenever I was off duty.

In 2008, I retired and could wear bibs every day (if I wanted), but limited myself to 2 or 3 days a week.

In 2013, both pairs of my bibs disappeared. My wife had lost that loving feeling towards my bibs and had disposed of them!

I mean I had photos of me in bibs from 1970’s until 2008 and her in bibs throughout the 80’s! Those photos, for thee most part came up missing too. It turns out one of her friends had told her that only country bumpkins wore bibs.

A well worn pair of bibs allows one to walk freely, almost as if you weren’t wearing anything at all. They allow air to circulate and for me, are soothing.

Today, I drove with my wife to Ames and purchased two pairs of bibs. I told her after the purchase that only I can decide if they should be discarded as long as I am still living!! After I’m gone, she can do with them as she pleases.

After the purchase, we visited the Korean store on the North side of Ames so she could buy some groceries. Once that was done, we started towards home, until my blood sugars started to drop. There was a McD’s up ahead and even though I don’t care for them, we hit the drive through to get some food in my stomach.

When we got home, I looked over the receipt and was initially shocked, but then realized I should have expected as much. Printed on the receipt was “Rate us HIGHLY SATISFIED and receive a BUY ONE GET ONE FREE ANY SANDWICH!”

So they are saying “Compromise your integrity, and next time you buy a sandwich, we’ll give you a free sandwich that you already paid for in your first sandwich with the profit message.”

My integrity is not for sale and especially not for $2 to $3 dollars.

God Bless,

R. I.

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Let Me Know What You Think

I have 3 questions that I ask you, the reader, to ponder and then tell me what you think on each one.

  1. If a person’s words consistently do not match their actions, is their word viable?
  2. If a person is pro-choice, but anti-death penalty, is there hypocrisy present?
  3. If a person is pro-life, but also pro-death penalty, is there hypocrisy present?

Patiently awaiting your views.

God Bless,

R. I.

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Diary of a Lung Cancer Patient – Day 284 (06/22/2021)

It’s been 15 days since I last wrote, and it is a great way to lose readers.

I made it through the last two chemo’s only to find out the oncologist wants to pump one more toxic solution through my body before the next PET scan. So, next Monday I get my 19th chemo treatment in 9.5 months.

To add to all the chemo treatments, my blood sugars aren’t responding to the insulin so they have doubled the insulin shot dosages in hopes of getting my glucose level down to an acceptable level of less than 150.

My oncologist mentioned that my liver enzymes were high but did not seem concerned. I looked at them and then went back through all my labs and find they have been more than double the acceptable amount since this latest round of chemo started back in April. If the chemo kills the cancer, but in the process damages the the liver or some other important organ, is that a win, or a loss?

The cardiologist says she is considering a pacemaker for the heart because even though my resting rate is down to a normal pace, my heart still likes to take off and race whenever it so desires.

On the lighter/brighter side, my white blood cell count and platelets are back within normal limits.

I am now looking at one more chemo next Monday and then a PET scan next month. Hopefully, the PET scan results will say I get a break from chemotherapy for a while.

It would be nice to tackle one physical issue at a time instead of being inundated with multiple issues at once.

God Bless,

R. I.

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Diary of a Lung Cancer Patient – Day 269 (6/7/2021)

What a roller coaster cancer and cancer treatment can be.

Today, as in every other day I get chemo, they take labs to make sure the body can take the treatment. My white blood cell count has gotten to be on the edge of dangerously low. It was still high enough that the oncologist said I could get chemo at half strength, but if it falls any lower, I’ll have to wait until it gets back in the safe zone before I can receive any more treatments. The oncologist told me to stay at home and do not put myself in any situation where I might get an infection as the WBC is too low to fight it while trying to maintain my body during chemo.

The only thing I can find to help boost the white blood cell count is vitamin C. I am already at 2000mg per day, but I’m going to double that and see if it will help.

Looking at my glucose, the oncologist called the diabetes pharmacist and requested I be started on insulin until my blood sugars drop back into the acceptable range. I go for my insulin training next Monday. (Whoopee)

I do appreciate all the support from you all and pray that God bless each and every one of you.

God Bless,

R. I.

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Diary of a Lung Cancer Patient – Day 268 (6/6/2021)

It’s been a little over two weeks since I’ve spoken about this cancer thing. I recently found out that the lymph node cancer is a different cancer than what was in the lung.

I’ve been kind of busy doing other stuff too, so I’ll try and cover everything.

Started off two weeks ago Department of Natural Resources sent me the annual email concerning tree sales. Looking over their website, I ended up purchasing 150 berry bushes that are native to Iowa. I thought that hopefully I would be up to taking these 30″ bushes down to the property in Southern Iowa to plant them when they came in.

The chemo has attacked my immune system and my White Blood Cell count dropped down way down to where I had to be really careful how and who I came in contact with. With the lower WBC, I also found my energy level to be non-existent, and my glucose levels went sky high.

The diabetes pharmacist prescribed an additional drug to try and bring the glucose down. After a week of taking the new med, my level is still in the upper 200’s. Looks like I will have to start Insulin (bummer).

To address the energy level, I have forced myself to be more active. Where I used to be one to enjoy projects, now I have no desire to do anything. Thank goodness the bushes came in and gave me the choice of getting busy, or losing money. Those 150 bushes cost me $100, so if I didn’t get them planted soon, I wasted $100.00. Mrs. Iowegian and I drove down last week and planted all 150 plants. She doubted that more than one or two would survive, I had no clue what the outcome would be.

Once home again, the missus mentioned for the 10,000th time that she wants a persimmon tree in the backyard. I looked online and found Korean Persimmon trees that could be ordered. Korea is growing zones 5-11 and I have seen persimmon trees growing all over Korea, even though the website says Korean persimmons only grow zones 7-11. I ordered two trees and figure we’ll just have to cover the bases with a healthy layer of straw during the winters. The trees arrived 2 days late and all the leaves had dried and dropped off. The nursery said they’ll come back. We will have to wait and see. I had also ordered two different bamboo plants to plant in the timber. They arrived on time, and still green.

Yesterday, we went down to plant the bamboo, hang trail cameras, and check on the berry bushes. We checked the bushes first, and they were all flourishing! All had either started to show blooms or had already or completely leafed out!

As far as trail cameras go, I only hung 5 of my usual 15 and I was worn out. So we called it a day and came home.

This morning, my glucose was way high again? I can’t figure that one out. My body is not reacting the way it should to the meds, exercise, and diet. It is frustrating, but I am not going to give in and surrender.

On a positive note, my resting pulse in the past was up to 92 beats per minute, now it is down to 56 beats a minute.

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