Category: General


A landscaper is supposed to start work on my yard the week of June 9th. I say “supposed to” because, more often than not, contractors and others neglect to fulfill their promises. I don’t recall this happening with such great predictability when I lived in Ohio or California. It must be a North Carolina thing. What happens is, you hire someone to do a job. They may show up once or twice, but getting them to finish a job is a challenge. In the case of my yard, I had called several landscapers. Some promised to come by to give me a quote and never bothered. Some came to look it over and never came back with an estimate. One came a few times and did some work, but never came back again. I guess he had enough money already! You quickly learn not to pay a penny until it’s completely finished.

I spent a little time on the deck this afternoon. It will be nice to have the work done, so I have something nice to look at. I’m not much of an outdoors person at all. I don’t like getting dirty or sweaty. When I was a kid, I didn’t get sent to my room, I got sent out to play. That was punishment for me. Being outside is ok as long as it doesn’t involve dirt or bugs, or being too hot or too cold.


I have an appointment at UNC with Dr. Orlowski on June 11th at 8:30 am. I’m glad that’s been rescheduled and look forward to having someone knowledgable about MM to work with who’s closer than Boston. Dr. Richardson at Dana-Farber worked with Dr. Orlowski on a clinical trial before – Velcade, I think. I believe in one of the early phases.

Hard sell

If you ever watched one of those Craftmatic adjustable bed commercials and thought they looked cool, but wondered how much they cost, I can tell you. I went to their web site, looking for prices, and found none. I submitted my contact info online, and asked for pricing. Here’s what happened. One of the Craftmatic telemarketing reps called to set up an appointment for me to see a sales rep. They don’t give you any prices over the phone (or on the web, or on TV). I think I know why. The model I costs over $4,000. I think most of us would immediately lose interest. I’m sure it’s a really nice bed. Afterall, it does have a massage feature, and is adjustable for legs and upper body. I don’t know about spending that much money without even getting to try the thing out though. It’d almost be like buying a car you didn’t get to test drive. Anyway, after seeing the sales presentation, there really was a high pressure effort made to get me to put some money down on one of the beds. There were calls made back to headquarters, even! Could I write a check? Use a credit card? Do I need financing? After an hour and 45 minutes, the effort drew to a close. I guess I should have known!


I had an acupuncture session yesterday afternoon. It does help me feel better. It’s very relaxing, and does alleviate some of my back pain. I fall asleep sometimes while I’m there. The acupuncturist says that endorphins are released and that’s why I feel so relaxed. Since I’ll be in Boston next week, I’ll skip a week and then continue to go weekly.


2004 Toyota SiennaI had an appointment with my Pinehurst oncologist this morning. I called in to say I wouldn’t make it, and they gave me a later appointment time. I’ll be seeing Dr. R. in Boston in less than a week, and I’ll have an appointment with Dr. O. in Chapel Hill after I get back from Boston.

Yesterday was kind of a fun day. I got a Toyota Sienna. It’s a nice van. I got the van so I could take my dog places with me. She was never able to get herself into the back seat of my car. I always had to lift her. I don’t lift anything over 25 lbs anymore, so no more car rides. She doesn’t have trouble stepping up into a van though, so this problem is solved. I hope to take lots of trips over the next few years. I went many years without taking any vacations, and am going to catch up now.

I have an appointment for acupuncture later today. I kind of lost interest in a lot of things over the last 3-4 weeks. I need to get back to doing some of the things that helped me so much in the beginning, like acupuncture and guided visual imagery.


Jon Siegel is going to be having his stem cell transplant at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital when I’m in Boston, which is right next to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, so I’m going to see if I can stop by to say hello. He said he could have visitors, which is nice!

Dex misery

Monday was my dex day (down to 40mg once a week now). I was able to fall alseep at midnight, which was great! But I was awake at 3 am. This may have been due to two factors. Dex causes sleeplessnes and it also causes (in me) really severe indigestion. It’s known to cause ulcers in long term use. My friends are Xanax, Mylanta and OTC Zantac. Sometimes Alka-Seltzer helps, but I have to limit my use of aspirin products since I take some every day for blood thinning.