Running with Skunks

Skunk Update:  You may recall we’ve trapped eight skunks?  Neighbor Spider shot one more.  Neighbor Mike has trapped a bunch, bringing the total of skunks downed on our road to twenty-one now!

This is within a radius of about 1/10 mile.  I don’t know what the typical skunk population for a given area might be, but this seems like a lot of skunks to me?

We’re leaving this morning for Fairfield, a little more than a two-hour drive without traffic delays.  It will be a warm day, and I’m taking lighter clothing with us in case I must change for the weather anticipated.  The forecast is 91° there today.  We expect to be out of there by noon.
Travis AFB

We left at 8:00am, and we got to Travis AFB at 10:30am for our 10:30am appointment with Dr. Eastam, an Oncologist.  This is to be a consultation appointment.

We find him a very compassionate man, and I trust him.  He discussed the procedure recommended for radiation of the remaining tumors in my chest.|

The plan is we’ll spend two weeks staying on the base in the Fisher House across the street from the hospital.  We will get radiation treatments each day, five-days a week for the two-week period.  We’ll come back home on the weekend in between each week.

We’ve been told how it is common, and almost assuredly this “Small Cell Lung Cancer” will return sometime after the successful chemo treatments we had.  The idea is to stave this off for as long as possible.  He also said there is a 60% chance for this cancer to move to the brain.

Options for that include having brain radiation as a preventative measure, or waiting until this happens, then get the radiation.  He explained radiation of the brain causes mental degradation to the extent, I’d end up with memory problems, and unable to think through working with numbers as if I was 80 years old.  What?  I’m too young to be that old.  At least for now.

Not having to make that decision right away, we’ll think about it for awhile longer.  I’m inclined to not have the brain radiation in advance.

After an hour of discussion, we’re informed we must return at 1:00pm today.  we’ll have a CT Scan and get prepped for this future radiation treatment at that time.

We left to eat in the cafeteria on the base.  Unlike Mather’s canteen with a large choice of lunches on their menu, Travis only had pizza or teriyaki tofu as choices.  We both chose the tofu with rice and veggies.  It was my first time ever having tofu.  I liked it.  Although I believe without the teriyaki it wouldn’t taste good at all.


Patty paid for it and commented it was only $3.60 for lunch.  I thought that was pretty good, then I found she meant for both our lunches.  $1.80 each for lunch!  Of course I had a chocolate chip brownie afterward that cost half that.

During the time we must stay there the VA provides me $5.00 a day for food.  That will cover lunch.  We’re on our own for dinner and breakfast.  The choices of lodging are the on-base hotel, which we stayed in last Spring for a night, or The Fisher House.

After lunch we returned for the scan.  This required laying on a hard surface gurney, placing my hands above my head holding onto a couple of handles, and relaxing so my arms lay flat as possible.

Due to my back and neck surgeries, I couldn’t get my arms down far enough to fit through the opening of the scanning machine.  They had us wait a little longer to use one with a larger rabbit hole to put me through.

It was uncomfortable to do this, but we got’r done.  Next, they tattooed three dots on me to guide where to shoot the radiation.  The tattoos were painful, but not as much as when the male attending nurse, a large man, grabbed me by my upper body to shift me on the gurney without warning.

Moaning with a sharp pain he asked if there’s something going on with me he should know about?  Being used to having pain, I assumed it was just that, and I simply said, “no, it’s alright”, but on the way out I remembered I had those broken ribs that caused the agony.  I had forgotten about that, and therefore, didn’t mention this as “a going on with me”.  He said, “no wonder you cried out”.

Before leaving, we made reservations to stay at the hotel.  The hotel has immediate occupancy, while the Fisher House requires us being on a waiting list for a room.  We’ll reserve the hotel room, and get on the waiting list for the other.  They will let us know if and when a room opens up and we can transfer at that time.  There is no cost to us to stay in either facility.  I will say again, the VA takes good care of us, for which I’m grateful.

The Fisher House is like a frat house.  There’s a large communal lounging area near the entrance with an extensive library of books to read, and a large kitchen with a number of refers to store food in to cook while there.  The sleeping rooms are upstairs.

Fisher House

There are two of these houses on the base.  They are supported by charitable donations, and were developed for military personnel to have a place for their families to stay near them while recovering from illness or injury.  It is available to veterans also.

Strangely enough, the Fisher House is a charity we’ve contributed to over the years, not knowing we would ever need to use such a facility.  Maybe it’s a karma thing?

Heading home there was a ton of traffic from Fairfield on through Sacramento.  Not being used to the traffic, it was a tiring trip, and a long day for us.  We got home just before 6:00pm.

Patty cooked up a pork roast with sides, and we had a late dinner.  Turning on a chick flick for Patty, we didn’t last long, and went to bed at 8:30pm.  We’ll finish that movie some other time.

There is no WiFi at the base, and I couldn’t update today’s adventure.  There’s not much to do there, or any more to show you, so we’ll catch you tomorrow.  Goodnight.



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