Monday, July 05, 2010

06/24/10 - Journey, Accident, Repair, Rescue... Part 1 (of 3!)

Started 7/5, posted 7/7. First of all, I was NOT injured (maybe my pride), but my hog was, cutting my journey short. Oh well, the full story to follow...

GPS track of my full journey, click image for larger view

Before I started, I did have a potential destination, but early-on my goal was to see an orangutan (at the Chimp Farm) before 9AM. Very difficult to do when you leave the house around 9:55AM, :). I did see that orangutan and several chimps by 10:22AM, however. Not that I'm bragging, but I bet none of my readers has seen an orangutan that early...

Orangutan, he is a big boy...

Onward! I headed further North on the trail. I was able to talk to my brother on my cellphone as I rode along, which was nice. Why was that special? Before I left the house (one of the reasons I didn't leave until 9:55), I made an experimental "wind screen" for the microphone on my cell's headset. It worked very well, as I could talk and ride, and he heard no wind noise at the other end...

I stopped at an office just off of the trail on my way North. It was Michael Baker Planners and Land Surveyors. I thought they might have some relation to a Michael Baker Engineering building at Penn State Beaver Campus, where I started college. According to their receptionist, there was no relation, and people had posed that question before.

Michael Baker's Office

Back on to the trail. I reached its northern extent and transferred to a sidewalk that paralleled "big" Route 19. At that point, Rte 19 is at least a 6 lane highway, but it has traffic-light controlled intersections every few blocks. Ironically, it was just a couple of miles from my apartment in Pittsburgh (after college), and the same road is just a couple of miles from my house in Florida.

The sidewalk is where my journey went kind of bad. A pedestrian was approaching me head-on, so I slowed-down and focused on where he was. Unfortunately, I took my eyes off of the sidewalk's surface. The sidewalk had a large hole in it, which stopped my hog very quickly. Luckily because of the pedestrian, I was only going 1-2 mph. The sudden stop made my chain pop-off its front sprocket, but I thought, "At least I don't have a flat tire." A few minutes (and photos) later, I was on my way with two greasy hands and a reseated chain.

The broken sidewalk, note linear scrapes on concrete, likely evidence of other victims

Another minute later, I made a right turn towards Northern Tool, one of my destinations. As I made the right, my front tire slid, it was flat. I thought that turn may have severely damaged the tube... Luckily, Northern Tool was close, so I pushed my trike there. Once there, I locked my hog to a trailer on their shaded side walk and went into the store...

Northern Tool from where the "accident" occurred

Will my hog be repaired? Will I make it home? Stay tuned for Part 2...

06/23/10 - Radiation 5.17

Posted VERY early on 7/5. My 17th and final treatment in series 5! As usual, non-eventful, which is good! I am scheduled to follow-up with my Radiation-Oncologist on July 15th. Series 5 was meant to treat my L4 "lesion." I still call it a Lesion, because my doctors at Moffitt referred to it in that way, but in simpler terms, I believe it was a spread of cancer to my L4 vertebra (bone) in my spinal column. It was also suspected to be the main cause of my sometimes severe lower back pain. No one will no the true effect of the radiation until I have MRIs on July 22nd. In the meantime, the back pain is nearly gone, so that is a good sign that the radiation treatment was effective.

My tumors have so far been sensitive to (eliminated by) radiation treatments. The next step may very well be more radiation treatments focusing on a different area, or chemo. I'll most likely find out around July 22nd.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

06/22/10 - Ride, Radiation 5.16

Started 6/27. Seriously, I want to post more often to keep readers interested, but I have many other things to do. So, I will try to post about something at least once per week, hopefully more often! See, I already went rogue :), The true (post) date is now July 4th! As you can see from the above note, I started this post a week ago..

On Tuesday, 6/22, I went on a trike ride for fun and exercise and to visit a local business, Britton's Archery. Unfortunately, Britton's was closed when I got to it, because it has limited hours. A good reason to call before you go, especially if you are riding a bicycle/tricycle on a very hot day. No worries - I was going to ride my "hog" anyway...

My ride as a GPS track, 7.1 miles

So, I decide to head home sort of early, but I wanted to explore other businesses located along Alternate Route 19 (Alt 19), especially restaurants! I hadn't eaten lunch yet, and it was around 1:30PM. I just wanted to sit down and eat casually somewhere...

I stopped in at a consignment store because they had a 3-wheeled jogging-type of baby stroller on the sidewalk in front. I just mentioned in a comment (on the post titled 06/11/10 - Roofing, Riding, Radiation 5.9) "shopping cart" therapy - that pushing a shopping cart stabilizes me, supports me, and helps me walk better. So, I thought a jogging stroller would do the same... As a plus, the one at the shop had a handbrake for the front wheel, and "parking" brakes for both rear wheels, aditionally it folded-up. I was going to fabricate (make) one, but this one had a fair price, so I bought it.

My attempt to tow the jogging stroller

At the time, I only had a bungee cord in my rear basket - so, I used it to secure the "jogger." As an extra safety measure, I tied a nylon strap from the jogger to my trike frame. This attempt functioned poorly, whether I attached the jogger's front or rear wheels. The jogger bounced around excessively, and its wheels interfered majorly with the rear wheels of my hog.

Luckily the shop owner had an errand to run, and she said that she would deliver it to my house in her SUV. Phew!

I stopped on the way back to my house at the Chimp Farm and had a quick lunch of an energy bar and some water... The "casual" lunch would have to wait until another day. Surprisingly, I beat the shop owner to my house, but she had stopped at home to pick up one of her kids...

A semi-quick lunch break

Why a jogging stroller versus a walker? They make four wheel walkers with a handbrake and a place to sit if you get too tired. But the tires are too small for extended outdoor use. Hence the jogger. I will use it just to walk for now, maybe slowly building up to jogging (I "ran" in a 1 mile race nearly 2 years ago, needless to say, I ran through MANY front yards to avoid running people over on the street - I was like a 175lb wrecking ball).

My departure ~12:30PM

My return, sweating, ~3:00PM

Radiation 5.16. A couple of hours later, Laura took me to my next to last treatment in radiation series 5. No strange extra happenings, as usual... :)