After a year, a month, or a week from now will most know anything or something about Amber Heard, Johnny Depp, Eva Mireles, or Ruben Ruiz?
On this 31st day of May, 2022, we remember and honor those who died in active military service.
There may have been others, but Walter Trisko was the only high school classmate I remember dying while serving Vietnam.
I’m not sure if other cousins served, but Ron and Gary Benson were in the Army and Roger Benson was in the Coast Guard.
So, many went, many came back, but none were the same. This is for all who went to serve and didn’t survive. Any one of us who served could have been one of them, and any family could be related.
Nearly every school spring break, usually the first week of April, I’ve started the garden. Rototilling comes first, then raking, then careful alignment of the rows before planting.
Blame the weather: there were some dry seasonably warm days in February and March, so I rototilled, but didn’t rake. Then it got too wet to rake out the grass root clods, but the Walla Walla Sweet starts showed up in the store. They are in high demand, so I bought them, let them set a few days, raked a space, and planted them.
Then there was the late heavy snow, but for whatever reason the onions survived. Continuous rain followed making the garden a water reservoir. But does anyone think weeds and grass clods will die off under that condition. And the smell of growing onions does not cause weeds to wilt either.
I usually grow corn and have learned to germinate and sprout the plants under cover to keep the crows from flipping them out of the starter pots or ground. It has been too wet and too cold to sprout corn outside, and for whatever reason none of the plants sprouted by the window in the garage.
Now it’s the last Thor’s Day in May and the only things in the garden are some potatoes coming up from a granddaughter’s composted peelings, the annual rhubarb, the survivor onions, and a forest of weeds. Too wet and cold to rototill a second time also makes it too wet to do other de-winterizing.
Now and then, when weeding, or trimming, or just looking at what I perceive to be done, I think of something I read or heard.
OK, nothing to do with garden, but I like the story and the point of it.
Being in the middle of octogenarianism, this year I’m playing the 85 card as an excuse and attempt eradicate to my self-diagnosed borderline1Outside observers might have covertly said it is/was more than borderline. anal-retentiveness with my garden.
Thursday means Thor’s day in Old English. The Norse or many decedents of them among us probably know Thor the god of thunder is represented riding a chariot drawn by goats and wielding the hammer. I’ve met many Norse decedents and very few could conger up that image in my mind. Well, when I was more of a football fan, Merlin Olson could model for the image.1For his entire 15-year professional football career he was a defensive tackle with the Los Angeles Rams in the National Football League. Well, perhaps he was a Swede, but still a Scandinavian. Both sides of my family emigrated from Norway, so I am also a Norse or Scandinavian-American.
Regular readers of this blog will certainly remember I said something about making posts on this day every week. I know and have evidence or hearsay that many of you are Scandinavian of the Norwegian-kind, so you might be be forgiving of procrastinators of the same kind.
Forgive me as I offer this for my not posting on a schedule excuse:
In respect to specific blogging goals and based on non-professional clinical observations in parallel with a constant flow of effective information modified by a social media flow of ineffective information which is further complicated by a primary interrelation between system and subsystem technologies, requires considerable opinion analysis and trade-off studies, thus adding overriding performance constraints to arrive at the evolution of concept specifications over a given time period, and in this regard, must be integrated with the format design, based on language-engineering vocabulary imposition by a sovereign authority and the obligation of obedience on the part of all subject to any self-appointed authority on blogging.
That didn’t learn me nothing! How about you?
Seriously, I had nothing of quality or substance of quality to say this Thor’s Day. – perhaps next week.
Five years ago today a skilled surgeon removed a tangerine size malignant growth from my upper intestine.
I stood to greet the doctor as he entered the examining room. Without any other greeting Dr. Moroye said, “John you’re sick!” Later he told me his reactive comment was because my facial pallor was as white as his lab coat.
The concern in his face was obvious to me. And having known him for over 20 years, I knew he wasn’t kidding like he sometimes did. I told him how I’d been feeling for the last month or so, he did the routines, and explained he may have to schedule some do some heart and lung stress testing. Then he said, “After listening, I’m guessing something else, so I’m sending you up to the lab for blood work, and I’ll have the results expedited.”
The next afternoon I got a call saying I had a referral to a gastroenterologist would get a call for a time. I got the call in the morning for a Thursday afternoon appointment. I had a prior commitment and asked to have it postponed to the following week. Dr. Joo’s nurse said with emphasis, “You need to be here this afternoon! Your hemoglobin is only seven – that’s half of normal!” Her tone and something about my strength seeming half of normal gave me a degree of angst.
Dr. Joo explained that Dr. Moroye had made a good call, prescribed iron tablets, and scheduled a colonoscopy and endoscopy for the next Wednesday.
I was driving home from the procedure when the gastroenterologist called. My wife took the cell-phone call and asked me to pull over.1It’s against Washington law to be on the phone while driving.
“Mr. Benson,” Dr. Joo said, “Dr. Moroye saved your life! There is a large mass in your colon, but we found nothing in the small intestine. We need to get a CAT scan and schedule surgery and after that decide if further treatment is necessary.”
We notified family, friends, and our church.
The next Monday, I had the scan. Which was followed up by my meeting with surgeon Dr. Hayes on Friday. He suggested that I stay out of public places to lessen the possibility of catching cold, etc. so I’d be well for surgery.
Mid-April to May 17 went by quickly: review exam by my primary, pre-surgery exam and lab work, hospital, surgery, and hospital. When asked about the size of the tumor by my family, the surgeon said, “The size of a tangerine.”
On June first, 2017. I met oncologist Dr. Hu. She agreed that surgery was enough. There was no detectable spread of cancer to organs or any area surrounding the mass and no indicators in my blood. Thus, no chemo or radiation was ordered.
Five follow up CAT scans, each on on the anniversary of detection, lab results, colonoscopy, and examinations have confirmed the surgeon’s analysis, “I got it all!”
I I believe the discovery, quick action by the team of doctors, and results are by the grace of God through prayer.