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…

Continue reading “Eleven Years Gone”

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.

Ten Years Gone

Clay Marc Bond, professor (Indiana University and Penn State University), blogger (Right Wing Prof), Steelers fan, and my good friend, passed away on this date in 2010. He was only 53 years old.

Longtime readers may remember Right Wing Prof. He commented here often, and he traveled to Philly in 2007 for a meet and greet. Clay was one of the most kind, generous people you could ever meet. When I was diagnosed with skin cancer, he was more concerned with my meaningless little surgery than his Stage 4 lung cancer. It was that cancer which eventually bested him.

A month before he passed, I drove to Altoona to see him in hospice. When I walked in, he pointed to the whiteboard which read, “WYATT.” He asked me why I traveled all that way to see him, a question which made me well up in tears. He didn’t think he was worth the trouble. Had I known it would be the last time I would ever see him I probably would have stayed for a few days.

I miss Clay a lot. He was one of the first close friends I ever lost, and the first of a few who I lost to cancer.

God bless you, Clay. I hope they get Penguins and Steelers games in Heaven. It’s been ten years, and I will do my best to remember you on this date for the rest of my days.

I’m The Butt Of The Joke

Today is colonoscopy day!

After spending an hour or so on the toilet yesterday, and another hour at 5am prepping for today’s extravaganza, I should by now be in the medical center being scoped.

It’s a necessary procedure, especially for people fifty years and older, but considering it could very well save my life, I don’t mind the awful prep.

Obviously I will be pretty scarce today between the surgery and the anesthesia, but I have posts set up for your entertainment. If the posts aren’t enough, I assume the colonoscopy itself should entertain you immensely. Wish me luck, and hope they don’t find any lumps.

Baby Ruth

The fabulous Ruth Bader-Ginsburg will be absent from the Supreme Court indefinitely while she recovers from cancer surgery, leaving the Court with eight justices. (I know this is an old story, but I wanted to comment on it.)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is missing arguments for the first time in more than 25 years as she recuperates from cancer surgery last month, the Supreme Court said.

Ginsburg was not on the bench as the court met Monday to hear arguments. It was not clear when she would return to the court, which will hear more cases Tuesday and Wednesday, and again next week.

Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said the 85-year-old justice is continuing to recuperate and work from home after doctors removed two cancerous growths from her left lung on Dec. 21. Ginsburg was discharged from a New York hospital on Dec. 25.

There are few people on Earth who despise cancer as much as I do, and I think Bader-Ginsburg should take the time off to recover. That said, when does her prolonged absences become a hindrance to the Court overall?

I realize this is a lifelong position – a rule I think should be changed – but if she cannot physically perform her duties, shouldn’t we be considering other options?

Remembering Clay

My friend, fellow blogger, and fellow Pittsburgh Penguins fan Clay Marc Bond passed away nine years ago today, after a long bout with cancer. Clay was only 53 years old. I remember Clay every January 7th, and while the story is usually the same, today I wanted to post part of his obituary.

Clay Marc Bond, 53, of State College, Pa., died Thursday, January 7, 2010, at Valley View Nursing Home in Altoona, Pa. Born March 29, 1956, in Louisville, Ky., he was a son of the late James Elmer Bond and Nancy Jane Clay Bond.

Mr. Bond earned a B.A. in Anthropology and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Indiana University in Bloomington. He taught for many years at Indiana University and taught part time at the Smeal College of Business at Penn State.

Not only was Clay smarter than me about guns, he was smarter than me about everything.

He was a member of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in State College, and a member of the choir there.

One of the joys of Clay’s life was reconnecting with the Orthodox Church. His return gave him peace during his final days.

He is survived by his life partner, Christopher H. Walker of State College, Pa.; son, Nathan Bond of Crescent Springs, Ky.; two brothers, Jan Eric Bond and his wife, Phyllis, and their sons Eric and Max of Bloomington, and Rex Evan Bond and his wife, Pam, and their children Erin and Alex of Paoli, Ind.; nieces, Suzanna Bond of Elizabeth, Ind., and Danielle Bond, currently serving in the U.S. Air Force at Lackland AFB, Texas; and sisters-in-law Julie Bond of Elizabeth, Ind., and Marcy Bennett of West Baden, Ind.

Clay’s partner Christopher is a terrific person who took time out after Clay’s passing to tell me my visit to see Clay that November really made his day.

I cannot adequately express how despicable cancer is, and how it simply ruins lives. I’ll be 53 in four years, and I cannot imagine passing away so early. Someone, somewhere, needs to find a cure for this disgusting plague.

Rest easy, Clay. May your memory be eternal.

The Verdict Is In

So today is judgment day. I stayed up late, stressing about the appointment and the biopsy results, so I’m really tired. That said, I’ll try to keep this post on point.

I arrived fifteen minutes before the appointment, and the place was mobbed. My 9:15am appointment, combined with the unwashed masses, meant the doctor didn’t actually see me until almost 10am. So on top off the stress, I was dealing with frustration of the highest order. I made it to the on-deck circle; a smaller waiting room down the hall from the doctor. I was there with about ten other patients, and the doc would call their names and they would slouch down the hallway.

It was akin to being a Christian in the Roman Colosseum, waiting to be fed to the lions.

My name was called, the patients looked at me, and I slowly walked toward my fate. The doctor had me sit down, and went over my chart. It was a very painful minute and a half. He asked me about my medications, and then asked if I drink. I replied, “No.” The doctor said, “Really? never?” I responded with, “Not for a very long time.” The doctor smiled and said, “That’s too bad, because you could have celebrated your perfectly normal biopsy!”

I literally did not know whether to laugh or cry, but the latter took over. The doctor did say my PSAs are still really high, so I need to return every six months; but as of this moment, I am cancer-free.

Thank you all for your prayers, and please redirect them to Toothy’s bride. I believe in the power of prayer, and if they could help a wretch like me, a good person like Mrs. Toothy deserves them as well.

Calling In A Prayer Strike

Regular commenter, caption contest wizard, and my longtime internet friend Toothy received some bad news recently. It seems his lovely bride has been diagnosed with cancer.

I don’t need to remind everyone what a despicable disease that is, especially with my diagnosis arriving Monday. It destroys families, and wreaks havoc on not only the patients but their loved ones.

It’s taken me a long time to realize blog readers are not just random strangers looking for entertainment; they’re effectively family. I’ve come to know many of you both on and off the blog, and I consider you guys my friends and family. Toothy falls in the latter category. We met when I was running my original blog, way back in 2005. We’ve emailed and commented back and forth for thirteen years, and talked about everything from guns to babes to politics. He’s a good man.

Toothy’s wife is a good woman; someone who should never receive a diagnosis like this. Please take some time today – and every day from here on out – to pray for Mrs. Toothy. Please.

And Toothy, whatever you need from me, you got it. Say the word. I’ve already made it through the Ohio Turnpike once without a scratch. 🙂