A year ago I had just reached my year-long diet goal for attaining my perfect Body Mass Index (BMI) and was feeling really healthy. I could climb the four levels of our local parking structure to the rooftop two steps at a time and then walk across the top level to my parked car in comfort. Breathing hard of course, but comfortable. Then came a diagnosis of prostate cancer and I participated in forty-four radiation treatments. Here is an article in the Bend Bulletin, with photos, about the very device I laid in and the nurse that controlled my treatments. It was actually a pleasant experience and while in the waiting room I had many wonderful conversations with people experiencing similar life-threatening situations. I survived very well, some didn’t!
In my follow-up visit with my radiation doctor a month later I mentioned a new lump in my lower right abdomen. He checked it and declared I had an advanced inguinal hernia. I then visited my VA personal doctor within the week, and he began the paperwork for me to get the appropriate operation. That was completed eight days ago, and I am on the mend and feeling good and doing heavy-duty things like shoveling a lot of snow off my house roof, and chopping with a pick-ax through six-inch thick ice to clear things like street drains with huge water puddles around them.
I make a point of doing those things in such a way that there isn’t the slightest strain on my hernia stitches. With the forty degrees weather, the snow is melting and the main streets are dry, and our residential street is clearing up nicely, but there are many eight-foot high piles of snow about the city, and lots of puddles. My house has five-foot piles of snow continuously around all four sides. That snow is mixed with slabs of inch-thick ice that I pried off the roof. That is necessary to prevent ice dams that force water through the roof into the house. There are many cases of that problem with people I know. I wouldn’t be surprised if as many as ten percent of homes here in Bend had water intrusions and roof collapses. But who’s counting? The insurance companies I suspect are being hit hard.
I have never missed any of my daily social meetings during these months of “trials and tribulations,” and if I hadn’t mentioned them I suspect that no one would have guessed I had the slightest problem. Hopefully, these potentially horrible things are in abeyance for a while and I can spend more time with my philosophers.
My problems are trivial compared to Seneca‘s and the more carefully I read his writings the more orderly and quiet my life becomes.