Cynthia “Cindy” Felicetti, 1969-2021

When I graduated from the police academy, I was sent to the 24th Police District, which was arguably the most violent, drug-filled district in the city. It was a war zone where shootings were the norm and homicides occurred daily.

I came the the 24th District during the summer vacation period, and since we were shorthanded. I was given a map, a car, and told to “have fun.” It was a harrowing experience, because I didn’t really know what I was doing, didn’t know the area, and didn’t know any of my fellow officers.

Then I met Cynthia “Cindy” Felicetti.

Cindy was pretty – as you can see above – funny, and one of the best police officers I have ever known. Cindy weighed about 100 pounds and was approximately 5’5″, but good lord could she fight. I saw her take down people twice her size one minute, then saw her comforting a victim the next minute. We worked the overnight shift, and when the radio slowed down, she and I would park our cars next to each other and talk, or in her case, catch a few winks.

Cindy was high-octane. She ran from job to job, never slacking, because she loved the job. So when she would pull into the Ruth Street parking lot, she would crash. It was always, “Make sure you wake me up,” as if I was going to leave her there…

Continue reading “Cynthia “Cindy” Felicetti, 1969-2021″

Cystem Of A Down

Normally I would be at work by now, entering jobs and yelling at Diego. Instead, I took the day off because I have yet another medical procedure. This time, my dermatologist needs to remove a cyst in the back of my head.

And yes, the cyst is likely larger than my brain.

This may be the fifth or sixth cyst I have had removed, all from the head. Apparently Mrs. Earp hits me with a hammer once every few years.

The procedure won’t take long, but I’m a big bleeder with things like this, and I’ll get stitched up afterward. The doc will send the cyst to the lab to see if its cancerous, and I should be back in work tomorrow.

While I’m at it, the Mohs surgery for my skin cancer is two weeks from today. I may be out longer for that, because the previous Mohs surgery cost me twelve stitches in my forehead. It’s not like I’m a handsome man, so bring on the stitches. I just hope they get all the cancer out.

So Much For Feelin’ Alright

Yesterday was my last day of work for two weeks. I am now on vacation, and I couldn’t be happier.

Well, that’s not entirely the case, since I received some news as I walked through the door.

Mrs. Earp was waiting for me, and as I dropped my bag on the floor, she said, “The dermatologist called. You need to make an appointment.” I replied, “Cancer is back?,” and she said yes.

About ten years ago, I was diagnosed with Basal-cell cancer. It was located at the top left part of my forehead, right near the hairline. The surgery was not fun; I bled a lot, and the surgeon slices off sections, tests to see if they’re cancerous, and slices off more skin until the cancer is out. After the first surgery, I walked out with twelve stitches in my forehead.

It seems Basal-cell cancer likes to come back for encores, and it decided to party on my forehead. Again. Despite the fact I try to keep my head covered when it’s really hot out. The cancer is almost never fatal, but the fact it returned is stress-inducing.

Obviously, I’ll make an appointment tomorrow, and hope they can hold off until after my vacation. I had to sit out of work for a few days last time, because of the stitches. I’ll keep you all updated.

My appointment is set for September 29th. Earliest day I could get.

Everything Old Is New, Yet Again

A few years ago, my dermatologist decided to retire. The doc was amazing, and caught a few spots of skin cancer while he was treating me. I never switched to another doctor in the practice, mostly because the Chinese Wuhan Virus meant appointments were few and far between.

I finally went back on Friday. I needed my psoriasis checked and figured I needed a skin cancer sweep. After prescribing the psoriasis medicine, the doctor took a look around. He wants to remove a cyst at the top of my head – fun – and before I left, he asked about the nick above my left eye.

You see, I had Mohs surgery about ten years ago for a three-inch long patch of skin cancer. It took an hour and twelve stitches, but it was worth it to be cancer-free.

When the doc was looking at it, he deadpanned, “It looks like your cancer has returned.”

The doc sliced off a piece of the skin and sent it to the lab to see if it is actually cancer, or just a false alarm. The doc thinks it is leaning toward cancer, but who knows? He also said if you get skin cancer, your chances of getting it again is ten-fold.

So, I’ll be stressing out for a week or so and I’ll let you know when the biopsy results come in. The cancer I had isn’t usually fatal, but the fact of getting this again is frustrating.

God Bless Ballistic Vests

Meet Meridian, Idaho police officer Erin Bustos. Erin was working hard keeping the streets safe when she noticed pain in her breast when she wore her ballistic vest. The pain may have saved her life.

In Idaho, Meridian Police Officer Erin Bustos was diagnosed with Stage 2 Grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma on March 5, 2021, shortly before her 30th birthday. That diagnosis came after Bustos sought answers for the consistent pain in her right breast while wearing her department-issued bulletproof vest.

Her diagnosis, already unexpected, was even more shocking considering Bustos is an otherwise healthy young adult with no previous history of breast cancer in her family.

I keep thinking about the irony of her last name: Bustos.

Before embarking on a series of chemotherapy treatments, Bustos was given more life-changing news. If she wished to start a family of her own, she would need to be cleared and start in-vitro fertilization immediately. By the end of her cycle, she and her husband had a record amount of embryos at their fertility clinic, writing in a Facebook post they had 33 viable embryos out of 48 eggs.

The good news is Bustos is likely to recover, and eventually be able to start a family. I cannot imagine what would have happened if she ignored the pain.

Rush Limbaugh: 1951-2021

Rush Limbaugh, the man who reinvented talk radio and defined conservative has passed away after complications of lung cancer. Rush was 70 years old.

One of the world’s most studious and influential broadcast personalities that has ever lived – Rush Limbaugh – has passed away aged 70.

Limbaugh announced his battle with lung cancer to his multi-million-a-day audience back in January 2020. Since then, the radio giant had battled to continue bringing his show to his beloved audience, throughout one of the most fraught and contentious electoral battles the U.S. has ever seen.

Limbaugh, an avowed conservative, had been broadcasting his show since 1988 and was entered into the Radio Hall of Fame and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Limbaugh was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald J. Trump in 2020.

My first contact with Rush was during his television show in the late 80’s. He was always entertaining, funny, and straight to the point. Rush made a deep impression upon me and shaped my political ideologies.

I’m extraordinarily proud that President Trump awarded Rush the Medal of Freedom when everyone knew each day could be Rush’s last. The man revolutionized conservatism, and he was a happy warrior, spouting facts instead of venom. Rush cannot be replaced, but I am thankful for the time he gave us all.

Rest if Peace, Rush. You will be terribly missed.

Eleven Years Gone

My friend Clay Marc Bond passed away eleven years ago, and I wanted to replay the original post from 2010 for you today.

My frequent commenter, fellow Penguins fan and blog friend Right Wing Prof lost his battle with cancer this morning. Xopher posted this comment on the Prof’s blog:

My beloved companion and dearest friend fell asleep in the Lord at 1:45 this morning, after a short struggle against an overwhelming foe, with the sweet acceptance that has characterized his gallant witness through this entire ordeal.

His brother Jan, sister-in-law Phyllis, and I were holding his hands at the moment of death.

It is no great understatement that the news is devastating.

I first met Clay Bond in person on July 23, 2007, when a few of us – including Sebastian and Bitter – met at Geno’s Steaks for lunch. I almost missed the opportunity. You know how you sometimes have a mental picture of someone that is completely different from the real picture? Well, that was the case that day. I had never seen a photo of the Prof before, and while I was walking around Geno’s looking for him, I walked right by without even knowing it. After searching for a bit, I decided that I would just go to the car and hope for the best. Thankfully, he and Sebastian saw me and flagged me down. I’m glad they did.

Clay was the exact opposite of what I expected. I pictured a tweed jacket with patches on the sleeves, flawlessly coiffed hair, and the perfect manicure. Instead, I got facial hair, tattoos, and more gun knowledge than most Marines.

Thankfully, I got the latter…

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Free And Clear… For Another Six Months

After sitting in a waiting room for an hour – the office computers all crashed – I finally received my biopsy results. The biopsy samples were benign. I guess that means there was at least the appearance of a small tumor? I’m a detective, not a doctor.

Since this is another win, I’d like to quote Sterling Archer, “Lana, I’ve never had a death wish, it’s just that I don’t believe that I personally even can die.”

I still have to see the urologist for tests every six months because my Prostate Specific Antigens (PSAs) are still higher than normal, and I’m sure this isn’t my final prostate biopsy, but if they catch cancer early, it’s more treatable.

I don’t get it. I’m sitting at 184 pounds, I go to the gym every other day, and I’m in the best shape in twenty-five years. Why is this happening?

I took a moment to break down in the car after I heard the news. I think it was the culmination of all the recent stress. Thank you all for the prayers and well-wishes.

Lumpy Old Men

Well, that was unpleasant.

In my fifty years on this planet, I have been subjected to two broken wrists, skin cancer surgery, an appendectomy, intestinal surgery, and countless stitches in the head and chin. Every invasive procedure hurt, but all of them combined are not as painful as a prostate biopsy.

This coming from the guy who has a very high threshold for pain. My sister the nurse actually brags about it to her medical pals. “Oh, he won’t ask for pain meds. He’ll just suck it up.”

This biopsy was less painful than the first, but it was still pretty excruciating. The ultrasound wand was much more painful than the biopsy tool. Mostly because it was larger. Not. A. Fan.

The biopsy went well from the doctor’s perceptive. They sliced a dozen samples from my prostate – every snip was uncomfortable – to send off to the lab. The doctor believes there is either a cyst or a lump on the prostate, but the tech thinks it’s a prostate stone. Who knows?

The aftermath was not fun. They had to clean up a lot of blood, but they said that would subside in an hour or so. My first urination looked like the elevator opening in The Shining, but after that, everything got immensely better.

I spent yesterday just lying around the house and today will be much of the same. They don’t want me doing much until Thursday, and for a change, I’mm actually going to listen to doctor’s orders.

Oh, I won’t get the results back until March 2nd, so here’s to two weeks of stressing out!

The Sword And The Groan

In a little more than two hours, I will be lying on an examination table with my pants around my ankles, bracing for pain.

In other words, a normal Saturday night for Alyssa Milano.

Today is my prostate biopsy – the second in fifteen months. My prostate specific antigens (PSAs) are high, and the doctor wants to make sure nothing down there is pulling in to Cancertown. I’m actually not worried about a cancer diagnosis, but I am deeply concerned about the biopsy. It is literally the most excruciating procedure I have ever gone through, and I am not looking forward to it.

For the first time in my life, I will follow doctor’s orders and take it easy for the next day or two. I likely won’t be around the blog much today, but I will have posts up for your reading displeasure.

Also, if you could ask The Big Guy for a favor, I would rally like to avoid cancer.