May 27 Still still here

We are all still here despite the coronavirus fun. We have been isolated in our house except for periodic trips to the grocery store, my visits to the hospital for immunotherapy and occasional forays out into the rural parts of San Diego County, just to see if they are still there.

I am the most boring of the family members, so I get to go first. I have had a couple immunotherapy forays to the hospital in the second phase of my treatment. Due to the challenges of Covid-19 on local hospital facilities in San Diego. my therapy sessions are now monthly instead of every other week. My latest CT scan, performed in late April, indicated that the miserable cancerous guest on my right kidney is stable and some of the nodules of renal cell carcinoma in my lungs have been reduced or eliminated. Maybe the cancer treatment I have recently endured will keep me alive a bit longer. All I know is I ain’t dead yet.

My beloved, tortured spouse, Peggy, has been engaging in heroic efforts to make my life less miserable. She is an amazing person; when not taking care of my miserable carcass she almost single-handedly emptied out our travel trailer and stowed the stuff here at the house, cleaned up the yard, planted a garden, did the taxes (although we have not seen our refund despite sending in the 1040 in February), acquired and used a lawn mower and additionally did most of the cooking and the laundry. I am amazed that I was clever enough to find such a superb partner, particularly when we selected each other when we were young and stupid.

Dana has been on extended leave from Starbucks in an effort to avoid bring coronavirus home to her immune-challenged dad. It may be that she allows the leave to run out without returning to work and will need to find another job in the bleak environment left over after the pandemic. Fortunately, due to dedicated thrift when we were younger, we have enough money to support the family for the foreseeable future without anybody being obliged to sacrifice their health to survive. Another added recent development for Dana is that the beaches are now reopened so she can bodysurf again. She was beginning to go postal without being able to get in the surf but now she can rip up the waves with reckless abandon.

Sam continues at school but all the college lectures are now remotely offered over the internet so he doesn’t have to drive to the campus for classes. We bought him a new car about 10 minutes before social distancing kicked in but, fortunately, the mileage will remain low for a while. However, on-line classes just are not the same as the real thing so Sam is really knuckling down to keep up with his physics, calculus and linear algebra demands. Fortunately, he is amply supported by his wonderful spouse, Kate, and seems to be doing just fine. Tragically for our waistlines, Kate is an extraordinary cook but we certainly do eat well.

The coronavirus continues to rage outside. The political administration in the US right now is guided by an egomaniac with thin skin who has elected to adhere to wacky conspiracy theories of the right wing instead of logic, contemporary medicine and science. The result has made the USA the world leader in infections and deaths through policies of inaction and tomfoolery. The birdbrain policies have resulted in 1.4 million people having been diagnosed with Covid-19 and deaths are approaching 100,000 since late March. Trump fans have been the first to bolt from reason under gradual reopening and are now out and about, hopefully infecting their similarly thinking compatriots. The dedicated leader and noisy numbskull has embarked on a strange procedure of eating hydroxychloroquine, an effective remedy for the bacterial infection malaria, to combat Covid-19, a virus unaffected by bacteriologic cures. Hopefully, the foolishly self-prescribed drugs will generate organ failure inside his disgusting body and we will be rid of the narcissistic megalomaniac before he kills us all.

April 23 Scary stuff

A month has passed since the last entry and there is little news to report. On the family front, there has been little change. I went over to the hospital a couple times to see my oncologist and start what was referred to as “maintenance” immunotherapy, an apparent second phase. It seems about the same as the first phase except the drugs are only $10K per visit instead of $100K and they can give them quicker because I get fewer doses. Peggy has settled into a role of puttering about outside the house, trimming overgrown plants and picking an abundant variety of weeds and grasses. Sam continues his college pursuits supported by Kate but classes are now delivered via the internet due to the coronavirus pandemic. Our daughter, Dana, has probably had the worst self-isolating effects of any of us because she was amply employed, single, a social butterfly and vehemently opposed to being cooped up with some college students and Social Security recipients. Her efforts to overcome her misery have been stunning.

After my primary phase of immunotherapy, Kaiser was supposed to call me with a time to report and get a CT scan. They definitely dropped the ball so, when I recently chatted with my oncologist, she said for me to call Kaiser and see if I couldn’t shake things loose. I will be going to the hospital tomorrow for a CT scan that will hopefully show remission but I anticipate results somewhat less wonderful. I am glad I have Kaiser Part C Medigap because the stuff they have been doing to me is pricey but my fraction has been very small. I think I’m only in a couple hundred dollars but treatment costs are about a half million.

Our glorious leader, His Malevolence Donald Trump was completely full of shit on every aspect of the coronavirus pandemic when he stated that the U.S. had nothing to worry about, the government was prepared for any eventuality, the virus will go away in the spring and malaria drugs will cure viral infections. The magnitude of His Flatulence’s lies are stunning. A month ago, there were 43,500 cases of Covid-19 and 540 deaths in the U.S. Primarily due to Trump’s bungling and complete disregard of science at the outset, there are now 875,000 cases and nearly 50,000 deaths. His Royal Twit Don has fired all the scientists at the CDC, FEMA and associated entities and replaced them with wankers like Jared Kushner, son-in-law and business failure or chief-of-staff and crybaby, Mark Meadows. There remains no viable coronavirus diagnostic tests, ICUs nationwide are jammed with the dying, and it remains unknown if the asymptomatic can transmit the disease without knowing they are ill. Federal emergency supplies to bolster the hospitals were non-existent and King Trump established embargoes against countries that could help fill the materials gaps. It has been like living in a crazy dream where insane people have the controls of the aircraft and they only stop to pick up more lunatics and bullies. I fear a long decline until the plane dives into the tarmac. I started out the month mostly worried about cancer but a narcissistic megalomaniac has been running the show and the results during the last month have been absolutely dreadful with a quite grim outlook.

March 24 Out of the pan into the fire

Today I finished the first phase of immunotherapy intended to stymie the cancer on my kidney and in my lungs. According to the oncologist, Kaiser will call me and set up another CT scan soon in an attempt to see if the very pricey drugs they have been giving me have had the intended effect. According to the statements furnished by my health plan, it costs some entity more than $100K every time I walk in the door to the hospital. I’m glad I have good insurance.

Our family seems to have flopped out of the pan and directly into the fire this month. My wife and kids have been bending over backwards to make the aging father comfortable after my hospital and immunotherapy fun when the miseries of pandemic swept the globe. After a family meeting filled with hopes but devoid of reliable information, we chose to self-isolate from the rest of the possibly infectious and asymptomatic humans, at least to the greatest extent possible.

Our not popularly elected idiot leader, Donald Trump, says that we have nothing to worry about and the U.S.A. is adequately prepared, properly supplied and has all the personnel capabilities necessary to combat a worldwide pandemic. We will soon see. Hint: Trump has put his slithering daughter and nincompoop son-in-law into pandemic response leadership roles, a truly inauspicious beginning.