Chemo, Digestion Tests

I was going to get chemo on November 24 but we found our minivan’s battery was totally flat. It wouldn’t start so we cancelled. To make up for it I came into the hospital at 7am on Monday the 29th. That was not so fun. Wake at a stupid early time, plow the early morning rush hour, all to enjoy the full joy of receiving chemo.

I talked with my oncologist about a hypothesis I had concerning my chronic digestive issues. He decided that we should at least eliminate any chances of certain physical causes, so I went back to the hospital the next day, a little later in the day thank dog. They found nothing physically blocking my food flow, from stomach to the lowest of the lower GI. Barium is not very palatable.

OK then, back to hunting again. I’m accommodating things better and right now and I have more energy. I’m a bit concerned that my doc is missing something, but I am totally in the dark about what is going on inside. I do know what has been working and what has not, so that’s guiding me.

I’ve also found that I’m withdrawing from social contact a lot. I just took on some deep studying material around shortwave and ham radio, and getting familiar with the software defined radio (SDR) that I just bought. Our house is like all others, full of artificially produced radio noise. My radio cannot get a shortwave signal inside the house at all.

I have an antenna coming that might do the trick. It’s a wide band magnetic loop, consisting of a 1 meter diameter aluminum tube formed into a circle, and a rather nifty dynamic amplifier that tunes the antenna for what your receiver is trying to get. Unlike most antennas, it gets its signal mostly from the magnetic component of electromagnetic radio waves. It is also very directional with a very deep rejection of any kind of radio noise or signal coming from the “front” or “rear” sides of the antenna. To get great reception, you have to rotate the antenna so its edge faces what you want to receive. I’m setting it up in the back yard so I have a remote rotator too, to turn the antenna while I’m inside, warm and toasty.

I’m up at least a couple of times every night, dealing with digestion and pain. It’s a perfect study time so reading manuals, ARRL stuff, and learning what all those buttons mean in the SDR user interface that runs on my laptop. I spend some time watching YouTube too. I’ve been marinading in ham and shortwave folks who’ve been making YouTube videos about the craft. Also most of the information about my Software Defined Radio is on YouTube also.

It’s not photography though, and before these last few months that was where I was putting what little focus I had available. Now I just seem to be turning my back on it, almost like avoidance behavior. I’ve been putting it down to 2 factors; I’m ADD and retired so I can do what I flipping well want to do, and that once I get the whole shortwave & maybe ham stuff set up I can use it when I going to be bedridden again. Let’s not fool ourselves, I will become bedridden in the future. How much, how long, who knows? It’ll be nice to have all that stuff ready to use.

Really, I just think I need to sprint forward with this radio stuff sooner than later.

…and hey, I mean to get better.