Cancer Update
My Battle With Esophageal Cancer!

(Diagnosed September 29th, 2014, Updates from my Facebook Page: 'Leominster, Memories from the Past'

* * * With 'Photos!'... 'Anecdotes'...'My Memories from these times!'...'Esophageal Cancer Facts!'...'Other!' * * *
{Not just about Cancer!}

Written By James J. Tansey, Jr
Sierra Vista, Arizona

[Born and Raised in Leominster, Massachusetts till Joining USAF Oct 1960]
[Lived in Ipswich, England and RAF Bentwaters/RAF Woodbridge US Air Force Apr 1961-Apr 1965
Then moved to Sierra Vista, Arizona in Sep 1993 from Leominster]
[I will be 75 years old on January 20th 2017 {Born 1941}]

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[Warning: Esophageal Cancer...Diagnosis when not found for several months, Survival...8-12 months!]
[Trouble Swallowing...See a doctor and Get an Endoscopy Right Away!]
[Incidense of this type cancer has gone up 600% in the past 7 years]

Links
Facebook Page: Leominster, Memories from the Past
Facebook Page: My Esophageal Cancer Site
Our menu to all the webpages

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All my Love to my Wife Maureen

For the many Days and Nights waiting in the Hospitals and Doctors Offices!
For the times she thought she may never see me alive again?
For all the 'hard times' I gave her during this illness!

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Especially grateful for all the support from all my Facebook Friends for their Prayers and Good Wishes!
They have got me through these awful and trying times!

Thanks to all my Doctors and Nurses and Medical personnel!
Especially:
Surgeon - Dr Samuel Kim, Outstanding
(His wonderful Admin - Liz)
Cardiologist - Dr Shetty
Endoscope - Dr Daly, Wonderful Woman
Primary Care - Mr Harris PO, Great Friend
Banner University Hospital, Tucson, AZ
Canyon Vista Hospital, Sierra Vista, AZ
Cochise Oncology and great staff
All doctors, nurses and others that treated me!

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This Is Me After Op!

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I may not have gone where I intended to go,
but I think I have ended up where I needed to be!
. . . Jim Tansey

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Cancer UPDATE 2014

UPDATE_PLEASE READ: (Around September 29th)
An unfortunate and unexpected 'thing' happened to me recently? Cancer! As I mentioned early, a lot of people asked me to keep them informed? I am doing that and if you want you can just skip over my posts? I think it is a subject that never entered my mind in all these years, 'could never happen to me as I never smoked, don't drink (much?) and no cancer in my family) Well, I never take it for granted? Maybe some of you will learn something from my experience, others have already or are involved with it and are giving me good advice which is much appreciated! Every 'friend' on this page, and my other FB pages have been terrific! Can't ask for a better 'bunch' of people! No matter what happens I will always remember you? Of course I plan to be in my Nineties then? Please put up with my posts and maybe we can all learn something very important together? I will continue this FB page, until I reach 90 and hopefully more if God permits and I hope you will still enjoy the posts?
I started Chemo today Also with a 45 day 24/7 pump that continually drips it into my blood: There is a long road ahead? There may be some difficult days ahead and I may not be posting every day(?) I appreciate that you are now posting some of your own 'Memories' which I had hoped from, the start? I enjoy others posts immensely! Please keep it up! You may notice I am not using '?' at the end of the sentences here...lol! I, and my wife Maureen, with to thank everyone here for their support! Keep posting we love it! Love you all! Cheers! Seems that I keep 'getting into trouble' with some of the pictures that I post here? Fortunately, people are looking out for me and correct me! Would like everyone to know that I collect all old pictures of Leominster and the surrounding community that I can find??? The internet is great and pictures are abundant, but some are copyrighted? Not always marked when you find them? Many of my pictures are from the 'Leominster Historical Society' and I try to make that known? They are great in letting me post them! My intention for these pages it just to 'inform' all of you of Leominster's Past Days? Back when I was growing up and beyond that? I hope you enjoy the pages and I look forward to continuing them? If I step on many 'toes' I apologize for it! I believe these pictures would not be seen by many people otherwise and hope they enjoy seeing them? Looking for all of you out there to post YOUR Memories from the pasts in Leominster! Pictures from the past of your family, friends and Leominster would be appreciated! Dig out those old photos, etc and post them here! Anything from your past days is fine! We all like to know what Leominster was like 'way back then'!
Times have changed?
40th reunion
Cancer found with
Endoscope by Dr Daly!

UPDATE: 11/10/14:
2 1/2 hrs of Chemo today. 46 hours with the pump administrating chemo (attached to me)! Will be getting a feeding tube tomorrow morning (Hospital at 5:30 am...lol)! will keep you informed, as I stated? I never knew what 'life changing' problems cancer has? Financially, time wise, the new technology, feeling good and bad, How great friends react, the impact on family, great doctors, just to name a few! Since it had never occurred in my family, and with my lifestyle, it was a big surprise! I thought people would like to know more about it as I had not a clue, except what people say, usually negative! Just skip my posts if you want? You never know when a family member may be in this predicament? Read where 1 of 2 people will get cancer in their lifetime (Don't believe it to be that high...re: Cancer Mag?). But it can happen to the best of us......... without any warning! Thanks again everyone!

UPDATE: 11/11/14
Today was a disaster! Hospital at 5:30 am left at about 12:30pm! My fault as below! But feeling terrible the rest of the day, stomach hurts! Feeding Tube keeps filling up? Says what to do if it leaks, but not filling? Went to Supermarket after hospital for a few items and front of my pants were...lol From the Tube but could still be embarrassing...lol. Called Doc and have 8:3am Appt. Slept quite a bit when I got home as hurting quite a bit? Funny, could not sleep at the hospital all that time laying down in hospital bed! Another day tomorrow, also Cancer clinic to remove 46 hr Pump and get more shots? Maybe have the rest of the week free???

Esophageal Cancer Fact...Symptoms:
Although esophageal cancer does not always produce obvious symptoms, signs of the disease may include difficulty swallowing, unexplained weight loss, chest pain, pressure or burning, fatigue, frequent choking while eating, indigestion or heartburn, and coughing or hoarseness. The chance of getting esophageal cancer increases with age, and men have a three- to four-fold higher rate of the disease.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can cause heartburn, and Barrett’s esophagus, which is caused by chronic acid reflux, pose a risk for the cancer, as well. Use of tobacco , alcohol and obesity all put people at higher risk for esophageal cancer.
Fortunately, new treatment approaches have lowered the death rate from esophagus cancer, which at one time killed 95 percent of those diagnosed with the disease. Today, about 16 percent of all esophageal cancer patients will survive five years or more. As with most types of cancer, survival odds increase when the disease is caught and treated early.

UPDATE: 11/11/14, 4:53pm AZ Time: Bit better, actually slept some last night! Went to doc this morning about feeding tube, they gave me no kit or instructions at hospital? OK now...lol Hurting bad this morning, but got a couple hours sleep around noon? Maureen had appt with eye doc we almost missed? Good news though her eye will be fully covered by Insurance...big surprise! Maybe things are looking up? Has cataract surgery on Monday! Finally may settle down on Appts have lab tests tomorrow! Feeling a bit better but still hurting...lol! Hope none of you ever have to go through this...eat a lot of raw garlick...lol (advice given me). Another good thing, I guess, Endoscopy went to my stomach this time! Could not get by the cancer before in esophagus? Learned one thing yesterday...Do not eat or drink anything before surgery...lol 6 hours in a hospital bed waiting for surgery is just too much...lol!

Update 11/12/14
for those interested in my situation? Just got back from the U of Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson...10 minutes to late to have this pump removed ...lol? (Appt was for 2:00, but 1:30 for paper work,and seen the doc about 2:30 or so?) Have to get there 1st thing in the morning? Seen the Surgeon and found out a lot of information? Tumor has not spread from what the CAT and PET scans reveal? Recommended to my doctor Radiology Mon - Friday for several weeks, Plus Chemo? Also have to have a feeding tube as an emergency, if the Rad blocks my esophagus? Chance of that happening? It is the most popular kind of esophagus cancer, and is getting more common now? If it had spread to lymph nodes, maybe 5 years otherwise very optimistic for full recovery, with surgery? Will be meeting with the doc for the feeding tube and also for the surgery later on again in Tucson? Surgery will be performed at Tucson as they seem to have the most experience? Guess there is still hope of my reaching 90...lol?

Wedding 40th reunion
Wedding, Oct 5th 1993, Ipswich, Suffolk, England<> 50th Reunion

UPDATE: Sunday, 10:02pm AZ time;
Just watched the Patriots Win...Yea Pats...Watched the AZ Cardinals win earlier...go Cards, best win record in the league)! You know how my day went....lol. Did spend a couple hours at my Softball League, bunch of great guys/gals...all of them! Still hurting some from the 'tube', It's a pain. Maureen's Cataract surgery tomorrow pm! No Appts this week, so far! My Oncology Doc called me again this evening to see how I was doing! He is great! Still have hair! Box of hat's ready in case? Time for Bed I guess? Cheers!

UPDATE: 11/15/14 0830 hrs
Still have hair! getting a little thinner? Never will wear a wig? Always had lot's of hair...lol! Wonder how this would be if I do lose all of it? Feeling better, but this feeding tube is a pain, only there as a precaution, not using it? I'm done, that I know of, till the 24th with appts, except lab tests! Chemo again then! Now Maureen has cataract surgery on Monday! Had one eye done in Sep! At last good news, it is 100% paid for by insurance, I hope there right! Other eye was done and paid at a $600 as requested full cost and then wanted $1300 More...Different Eye place doing the second eye! plus anesthesia? Not paying it! Paid Other, so so, good news is my 'out of pocket costs' are met...$5K! Still have to pay it! Start again in Jan! Cheers
Sorry about this page but my mind seems to be elsewhere and not on the computer? I have the phone (Galaxy S5...anyone have one, I love it, hated the IPhone!) and tablets but hate typing on them...lol...but do see your posts there! Love to see your memories here and old pics, etc! Will try to pick it up in the future and not just have these health updates! Cheers!

Update 11/23/14 6:00 pm AZ Time:
I'm still here! Feel pretty good today! Ate quite a bit, sticking to soft foods and ensure...lol! Went to my Softball game with Maureen, cold wind at the game...lol. Of course I cannot play. Patriots won, Cardinals lost their 2nd Game? Chemo Tomorrow then 46 hour pump! See the Surgeon at U of Arizona Cancer Center on the 2nd. Hope to find out more information? Still have hair...no Hat...lol? Hope this week is better than last week! Although good news about Allie! Cheers!

Update 11/25/14 10:55 AZTime:
Good day today! Have the 'pump on till tomorrow morning, happy to get it off! At the Oncology for it! Getting used to it though! Feeding Tube is better but still a pain! Shopped for Thanksgiving Dinner with a few of my family! I will be cooking! Will be consulting with a Surgeon at U of Arizona Cancer Center on Tuesday. Should find out more? Granddaughter Kelley will be home with us till Saturday from the U of Arizona. Will pick her up tomorrow PM in Benson, about a 30 minute ride!

Update 11/26/14 7:40 AZ time:
Oncologist today setting up for a Cat Scan. Also trip to hospital for an infusion for anemia. Tucson, on Tuesday to see Surgeon Samuel Kim whose Education includes Tufts University Good old New England background...lol! Continue Chemo in 2 weeks. Maybe Radiation in December? One thing we are keeping busy with appointments...lol! Happy Thanksgiving all!

Update 11/28/14 10:21 AZ Time:
Eating a bit better today! Not much else! Watched Arizona beat Arizona State for the Pac 12 Trophy! Great Game! Now they have to beat #2 Oregon? Notre Dame tomorrow ??? Another weekend, no appts the last couple of days...Wow! 27 Days till Christmas! 'Cancer is not a Death Sentence...It is a will to Live!'

Update 2 Dec 9:55 AZ Time:
Went to Tucson today to see the Surgeon. Left home before 10 am got back after 3 pm? Seen doc for about 15 minutes, just to see me and say Hi...lol Took vitals then seen doc (about 30 plus minutes late) and he said to call him after I finish with the radiology...lol Could have done it over the phone instead of going over 150 miles round trip...lol But guess that's the way he wants it? He practiced at Tufts and Boston General and others. At least a New England guy, he lived in Malden? Stopped at a great place for lunch and could not eat a thing! Had a little to eat just now. Maureen says I should sleep all day and eat at night...lol. Found out the op is not simple...6 hours and 2 weeks in hospital, 3 in Intensive care, etc??? Actually wish I could get it over with but doc says about end of Jan or Feb? Still waiting for an appointment to the local hospital for the 'infusion (iron?)' for Anemia? Guess I could just 'chew on some rusty nails'...lol Should be getting a Cat Scan soon? And should be starting Radiation soon? 4th Chemo is on the 8th! Day by day as it goes! Cheers Only 23 Days till Christmas!!! Reminds me I have to put up the House Decorations...lol
40th reunion
Jim as a 'Cute' Baby!

Update Dec 3rd 7:55 pm AZ Time:
Spent the day at home....for a change! Put up the icycle lights around the house! Fun as I had to trim some trees in Front! Still unable to eat or drink anything! Will go to the Oncology doctor tomorrow to see what I can do? Could not even eat broth today? Cheers 22 Days till Christmas...lol

Update Dec 4th 6:00 pm AZ Time:
Went to Cochise Oncology today. Have appointments for a 'Scan' at the hospital! Apts for starting Radiology soon! Also a few more days with apts, chemo etc...lol Monday they are changing my Chemo and I will not have the pump for 3 days...lol Another busy week! Was able to drink Ensure today after not being able to eat or drink anything yesterday? Going to try some soup now? Guess I can use the 'feeding tube' if I have to? Hope it continues? Had the Great Grandson over and he spent some time at the Cochise Oncology with us, he was great...lol. Have Appointments the next 4 weekdays...lol. Never a let up on doctors! Guess that's a good thing! 21 more days to wait for Christmas...lol Thanks everyone for the interest in my 'Cancer'! I appreciate all your good wishes and prayers (I will need all of them...lol). If you are not aware it is Esophageal Cancer! The type is Adenocarcinoma! It is quite rare for Cancers but I'm finding out that it is on the increase in the US. The percentage has gone way up in the past few years! If you think you have trouble swallowing, I urge you to get an Endoscope from your Doc! (It does not hurt one bit as they put you out...lol) I waited several months but think I got lucky as it has not spread? They say Smoking, Drinking, Gerts, Male, are the most susceptible. Only 'Male' applied to me? It is a cancer that is not caught early because people do not realize what they may have? It is a very serious cancer! I have been taking Chemo, 4th time come Monday. They are changing the chemo then. I will also be getting Radiation very soon! Hopefully next late January or February I will be able to have an operation, at the U of Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson (or hospital?)? It is a 5 or 6 hour op, maybe 2 weeks in hospital, 3 days in intensive care! They will make 2 cuts and cut out a piece of my esophagus and attach the rests to my stomach? Say I will be able to eat normal meals after that? So if you think you may have a problem...see your doctor, I advise it! Luckily Cochise Oncology is about 5 minutes from my home and they have all the latest equipment. The doctors there are great as well as all the staff! When have you had a doctor call you on Sunday evening to see how you were doing! It sure beats going 80 miles to Tucson, and 80 miles back, for the treatments...lol. Hope this enlightens someone to this cancer and it's effects! Cheers

Update Dec 5th 7:15 AZ Time:
Went to the Oncology Clinic today and met with the Radiation people. Gave me a cat scan and made sure the 'pillow' was still correct?. Will start Radiation on Monday at 2:40 pm! Guess it will be 15 minutes. Use the TomoTherapy, reduces radiation exposure, and is the latest! Will be going for 28 sessions not counting weekends. Also changing my Chemo on Monday morning and will not have the pump. Having a 'Scan' at the hospital on Tuesday morning. Still waiting for the 'Infusion' Appointment at the hospital? Cheers

Update Dec 6th 8:15 pm AZ Time:
Not a bad day today. Started using the Feeding Tube...lol. At least to drink Ensure as I have trouble with anything else? When I left hospital with tube they gave me nothing? Still trying to find out how to use it 'Bolus Method'? Looked at YouTube videos and got some info? Luckily the doctor the next day gave me a 30ml Syringe and I can use that for now. Went to 3 drug stores today trying to buy a 60ml...they don't sell them. Medical stores here (2) that I tried won't be open till Monday? Ordered one off EBay and should get it in a few days? Did try my own mixture of things tonight and got it down...lol. New experience and so far on my own...lol. Any Ideas! Pizza party at Softball tomorrow...just my luck...lol! Can't play but like to go for awhile to see everyone. Last game of the season. Miss playing but since I have lost 30 pounds don't know how I could do? Maureen won't let me anyway and the players won't also? Well, 'Life goes on', we take it as we get it! Cancer Is Not A Death Sentence...It Is A Will to Live!

Update 7 Dec 7:50 pm:
Not much today! Still cannot swallow? Using my Feeding Tube for Ensure and some concoction I put together...lol. Went to my Softball with Maureen and they had 15 pizzas plus other food. Looked good but neither of us can eat it...lol. Tomorrow morning 4th Chemo (New) and Starting Radiation in the afternoon! Actually looking forward to it! Wait to see how it works out! Still have hair...but with the new Chemo??? Cheers and still very much appreciate all your Prayers and Good Wishes!

Anecdote Memory from my past!
I can remember several months after first leaving my 'beautiful' Leominster and finally arriving at my duty station for the next 3 years with the US Air Force (Which was actually 4 Years and 14 days with an extension). After an 18 hour trip that started in New Jersey, landing in Labrador, heading to Scotland, where the weather prevented our landing, and finally landing at RAF Bentwaters in England. This was on a MATS C-118 equipped for passengers. I was seated next to a Colonel's wife who was very kind to this new recruit. My first vivid memory was from the Snack Bar. I left my seat and went to a window of this old Nissen Hut building. Looking out this Spring day of April 1961, at beautiful, maybe a foot high, dark green grass. Popping up were the heads of Cock Pheasants, then quickly down for more food. I could see the hens scrambling for food at the ground level. A beautiful first sight of a beautiful country. Cheers

Update Dec 8th 07:30 AZ Time:
Spent about 4 hours at Cochise Oncology. Met with my Chemo Doctor and he changed my Chemo and also now every Monday, think for about 8 sessions? Maybe about 2 1/2 hours? No more 46 hr Pump to take home...lol. About an hour and a half later back for my first Radiology session! There for about 1/2 hour and the session under the machine about 15 minutes, never felt a thing! Girl that does the Chemo got me a 60ml Syringe that I picked up at the hospital! That helps a lot and it was FREE! Tomorrow starts another day with another PET Scan at the hospital, truck comes every Tuesday to Sierra Vista! (probably another $6569.00 for the insurance. Got the paper today for the last one at that price, my responsibility ZERO, Hooray! Insurance paid $1,740.00. Wonder what an uninsured person would pay? ' satisfied my 'Out of Pocket or $5,000.00, which is great when I pay it...lol. But is starts all over again in January! Wednesday again at Cochise Oncology with consult? with Radiology Doc! Friday back there for Lab Tests. But is starts all over again in January! Using the Feeding Tube now and doc feels that is best? Made another of my own 'receipe'. Didn't taste bad but who cares...lol. Doc says I need at least 2K calories daily? Well that's the way it's going with me! Cheers!

Update Dec 11th 8:10 pm AZ Time:
Chemo today, 4th session, 24 more to go! Nothing much happening today! Had Ashton, our Great Grandson over for the day. Usually have him on Thursdays! Still putting up Christmas Decorations. Trying to take it easy! Haven't really felt anything from the Chemo, yet! Still have my hair, but it is thinner, don't need to get a haircut! Eating totally with the tube, think that is the best way! /some of our decorations...lol. Only 14 days to shop for Christmas...lol

Update 12/12/14 10:45 pm AZ Time:
Quiet day! Not much happening. Tucson to Surgeon tomorrow. Hoping for some good news? Still having problems eating. Cheers 24 days till Christmas!

Update Dec 12th 6:45 pm AZ time:
Well, went for Lab tests today and then was Radiation, except the machine was down! Next Radiation on Monday now. Quiet day otherwise! Still feeding with the tube...had a frozen dinner for 'suppah'

UPDATE AGAIN 12th Dec 7:20 pm:
May be able to get operated on around February? Thought it was a simple op but learned different! 2 cuts in chest/abdomen, remove tumor/esophagus, stitch to stomach, 5-6 hour op, 3 days intensive care, up to 2 weeks in hospital! Again, if you ever have trouble swallowing SEE YOUR DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY! Would not want anyone to go through what I am! Can't eat, feeding tube only now (my choice)! Chemo and Radiation treatments and medical appointments galore! I do feel good though! Lost about 30 pounds which I hope to gain some back! No really bad ill effects from the chemo or radiation...yet! Still have my hair...lol! Esophagus is about 10 inches of trouble...lol. The cancer is relatively rare as cancers go! But is increasing in incidence the last few years in the US!

Daily Update Dec 13th 0800 PM AZ time:
Dull day today, nothing much to do but wait till Monday...lol! Watched a Great Army/Navy Football game...Navy Won!...Yea! !3 Wins in a Row for them! Trying to get my 2000 calories in by mixing and liquefying my meals...lol! Supplementing with Ensure Plus and Boost, both have about 350 calories per 8 oz! Think I will buy a case of 27 Boost Very High Calorie drinks at about $40 per 27! Cheapest I can find as some want from $70 up to well over a hundred for the same 27...lol. Only 12 more days till Christmas! Picture is of the very First Christmas Card sent in 1843!

Update Dec 15th 7:40 AZ time:
Had 2nd Chemo with new drug today. Had 5th Radiology Treatment out of 28! Doctor had GOOD news that Cat Scan showed improvement! Spent most of the day at the Cochise Oncology with both treatments. Over 2 1/2 hours with Chemo and about 45 minutes with RT as they were squeezing others in that could not have it on Friday as the machine was down (as they were getting out of Chemo also)! That's OK...Retired and not much else to do...lol! For some reason I get the hicups when I lay down for the RT? Did not throw up though this time...lol Still feeling good most of the day with no major ill effect from treatment? Went to Softball practice on Sunday, and Maureen would not let me even hit a few balls! She is watching over me! Cheers! ONLY 10 more days to Christmas! And then comes New Years! Remember........'Cancer is not a Life Sentence. . .It is a Will to Live!' Watch for signs and catch it early,it's worth it! Nobody wants to go through what a Cancer victim does! Stay Healthy!

Update Dec 15th 7:40 AZ time:
Had 2nd Chemo with new drug today. Had 5th Radiology Treatment out of 28! Doctor had GOOD news that Cat Scan showed improvement! Spent most of the day at the Cochise Oncology with both treatments. Over 2 1/2 hours with Chemo and about 45 minutes with RT as they were squeezing others in that could not have it on Friday as the machine was down (as they were getting out of Chemo also)! That's OK...Retired and not much else to do...lol! For some reason I get the hickups when I lay down for the RT? Did not throw up though this time...lol Still feeling good most of the day with no major ill effect from treatment? Went to Softball practice on Sunday, and Maureen would not let me even hit a few balls! She is watching over me! Cheers! ONLY 10 more days to Christmas! And then comes New Years! Remember........'Cancer is not a Life Sentence. . .It is a Will to Live!' Watch for signs and catch it early,it's worth it! Nobody wants to go through what a Cancer victim does! Stay Healthy!

Update Dec 16th, 9:50 pm AZ time:
Today was Chemo day and as usual Radiology, 5 down 23 to go but the doctor said today it could be more like 33! Guess that is the norm from what others have told me! Had a Stuffed Pepper dinner today, of course could not taste it...lol Been trying all kinds of things to eat, whatever I find in the Fridge or pantry! Just throw it in the Blender! It seems to work? As long as it goes down the tube...lol! Should have at least 2000 calories per day! Have to gain some weight back as I am down about 30 lbs since beginning of year! Miss the taste but getting used to it! Tomorrow it's Maureen, to the Eye Doctor for a check on her Cataract Surgery in the Morning! And of Course The RT #6 at 2:40 pm (Every Week Day)! Still feeling good! Had a couple bouts of throwing up this morning from the chemo. First in a long time? Just dry though, nothing came up? Still have hair...lol! Weathers getting colder, in the 60's here? Have to wear a jacket or sweatshirt now to go out...lol! Cheers! Only 9 more days till Santa arrives!

Anecdote Memory from my past!
My Memories. Lets have yours. I was in England for 4 years and 14 days with the USAF at RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge (Twin Bases). About 20 plus miles of back road and farmland from Ipswich, Suffolk. On Oct 4th, a Sunday, I had just got my 1954 American Ford Customline back from my mechanic. It had stalled and failed to start the Friday going to work. He said it was running but he would take it back in a few days as he was busy. That evening, about 11:30 pm, which was probably the foggiest day I had seen in England, Maureen had to go to the hospital. I had a fog light to place on the car and was to do it on that Sunday, but it never got done. Well rushed her into the car, made a phone call at the booth down the corner and told them at the hospital we were coming out. The car still was not running right and I was trying to keep it over 35 mph afraid it might stall again. Long ride in the fog, very little visability, now out in the farmlands of Suffolk. Had one turn I just had to make. Luckily the roads had 'cats eyes' reflectors and I could see it veering off to the right and made the turn. We somehow arrived at the base hospital at midnight! Amazing and the staff could not believe it. Well, she was admitted and spent the night in Labor. Early morning I had breakfast in the hospital and was joined by the doctor that was to deliver. He had the biggest breakfast you could imagine, he was a big guy! I was thinking he is now going in and deliver my baby, but guess it is just routine to him. My son was born about 8: am that morning. I got into my car to drive back home and deliver the news to her family. Made it about 1/4 mile, still in the fog, and the car quit. Never to run again for about 8 weeks. Seems my mechanic, who is still good friends with us, got into a major accident that day and almost died. Long recouperation and lost his garage. I had to find another mechanic that was good with American cars. Turned out the Timing Chain had jumped 8 pins! The Ford was a V8. Just another day in my life in England. Usual day, Radiation treatment this afternoon! 7 down and at least 21 more to go! Maureen went to Eye Doc's and said she is doing great after the Cataract Surgery! Cheers! 8 More days till the Reindeer land on our roofs!

Update Dec 18th 10:35 AZ time:
Had my Eighth Radiation treatment today! Getting pretty routine...Get there at about 2:30, onto the Tomo machine by 2:40 and out by 2:55...lol. Had the munchkin again today, Thursday, Ashton is very good while here...sometimes...lol. Took him shopping at Staples and he was hiding under the desks and did not want to go. Had to carry him out to the car as I had about 10 minutes to RT! He had messed his pants and Maureen had no diaper, so had to drop me off and go home and change him! Not much else to my day! Cheers 7 More days till Santa comes! One week from today...would you believe it?
Jim
Early Jim 1950's

Update Dec 19th, 9:15 pm AZ time:
Labs, blood tests today, 9th Radiology treatment. Picked up Granddaughter in Benson off Greyhound Bus from Tucson. She will stay with us for about a week and a half! Nice to have here visit for Christmas! She is attending the University of Arizona! About all that happened today! Watching #3 Arizona Basketball at the moment...lol Just 6 more days to Go for 'you know who' to make a visit!

Kind of an Update Dec 20th 11:52 AZ Time:
Food! You never realize how much food plays a role in your life until you cannot eat it! Now that I am using a feeding tube, seems that all I see is food! Television commercials seem to be all fast food and restaurants advertising their food! I am not a 'burger' or 'fast food' person? But seeing all these ads on TV...well? Stopped at Wendy's yesterday after picking up our Granddaughter! Of course I just watched as they ate their burgers or chicken sandwiches! I ordered a 'Frostie' at $.99 but could not even eat that? Even the TV has several 'Food Shows' on the Food Channel! Where was all this great looking 'stuff' when I could eat? Subway, Burger King, McDonalds, Wendys and my favorite Carl Jr's and all the rest never had such good looking food when I could eat it, at least the pictures! Well the Blender has become my 'friend'! I can mix up anything my little heart desires and force it down the tube...lol. Get's kinda fun looking in the Fridge, Freezer and Cupboard to see what I can add to the mix! Surprising what you can add when you can't taste it? Need plenty of calories, at least 2000+ per day, probably one McDonalds hamburger and fries...lol. Used to own a Pizza and Grinder shop on the John Fitch Hwy a long time ago. Never crazy for Pizza but love Grindas! Would I love to have a #9 from DeAngelos right now, smothered in Onions, lettuce and tomatoes...the large one of course! Or Kimball's Fish and Chips or even better Scallops! Well I could always put it in the Blender...lol! Anyone have a Vitamix that they want to get rid of...lol? Wow, It's time to eat already! Cheers! Oh,if anyone needs extra calories, try Boost Very High Calorie...530 Calories in an 8 oz box! Don't see it in stores but ordered it from Amazon for under $40 for 27 boxes free shipping! Arrived in about 3 days! Watch though as some are getting $12 shipping and some are priced way over $100 dollars for the same 27 boxes!

Update, Dec 21st, 9:30 pm, AZ Time:
Start of another week! Chemo Tomorrow, and Radiation Treatment #10. Hey, It's Christmas Week! Oh, got a free 21 lb Turkey today plus a bag of groceries...lol. Granddaughter called and told me they were giving them away at the park? Was gone 20 minutes and came back with the goods! Nice gesture here, with my bills I can use it...lol Actually already bought a 12 lb Butterball at Walmart ($21) that is ready to cook. Take it out of the bag and it is in a sack. put the turkey, sack and all, in oven for 3 hours, no need to defrost, and wait 30 minutes! Had this for Thanksgiving and it was delicious, so they said, as I could not eat any of it...lol! It is so easy and believe it had more meat than an 18 lb, but I could be exaggerating? For those that may be interested, this pic is a Tomo Radiology Machine! Just 4 more days till the man in the red suit and white beard arrives! Are you ready for him? Don't forget to buy/make cookies for him and don't forget the reindeer...lol

Update: Dec 22nd, 10:55 AZ time:
Today was Chemo in the morning and Radiation in the afternoon with 20 minutes between. All went well! Third session with new chemo and 10th Radiation therapy! Been feeling good, almost as I could swallow something...lol? But sticking with the 'tube'! Still have my hair, but it is a bit thinner...no need for haircuts! 'Thats All Folks!' Wow, Three, yes 3 more days till the big day! Don't hold your breath yet!

Update Dec 23rd, 11:00 AZ Time:
Had my 11th Radiology treatment this afternoon. Went Well! Not much else happened today. Just hung around the house and did not do too much. Watched Arizona Wildcats Basketball game. They lost first game and probably dropped from 3rd place in the country? Played real bad and deserved to lose. Not very exciting day! Two more days to go till Christmas! Coming fast! Santa should be leaving the North Pole real soon...lol Update, Dec 25th, 8:53 AM AZ time: Santa has finally arrived! Hope you all got all the 'toys' you wanted? Enjoy a wonderful dinner with family and friends! Yesterday was my 13th Radiation treatment! Still a lot more to go? Not too bad as it is 5 minutes away and only there for 15-20 minutes. Still not eating through my mouth...lol Christmas Dinner for me will be from the Blender! I don't mint to much now...getting used to it! Seems to me that my Esophagus is getting better...I can hope so anyway! No Radiation today but will be back there at 8:30 in the morning on Friday! Changed from 2:30 PM as a lot of people cannot make it? Well. I still have Hair...lol! Well enjoy your day with family and friends and wishing you all a 'Very Merry Christmas'! I wish to thank you all for your continued support for me and Maureen Cormier. We both appreciate it very much! We will beat this together! I know it is, and will, make a difference! If my remarks can prevent even one person from Cancer, especially Esophagus, I would be very happy! This type cancer is not the greatest to have! Not that any Cancer is! But for me, just not being able to eat and enjoy food is quite a change in my life! I would not wish this on anyone! Also looking forward to a very complicated operation in the future! Up to 2 weeks in hospital (3 days intensive care)! Not what I expected to hear? Cheers No more days till Christmas...lol

Update, 25th Dec 9::35 pm AZ time
Well cooked the dinner today...could not eat it at least through the mouth! Had all the trimmings from the Blender! Not feeling great but think it is the radiation...although not to bad...lol Radiation at 8:30 am in the morning...lol! Christmas Dinner with my family and our 2 Great Grandsons, Riley 2 and Ashton 3! Allison could not make it and she is 1 (she is doing great!)! Great to have them all here! Riley lives in Peoria, AZ and Grandson Matt came here from Syracuse where he is attending Cornell. Granddaughter Kelley Marie lives in Tucson, going to U o Arizona! Well the Old man arrived right on schedule! Hope you got everything you wanted? Should be back at the North Pole by now...lol?

Update Dec 26th, 11:20 pm:
Today is/was Boxing Day! A big English holiday! Day the servants got their gifts (Boxes?) Ok, less than a week and it will be 2015! Had Radiation at 8:30 am this morning! It was #14, maybe halfway through! Time is going by fairly fast! Going to be cold this part of Arizona tonight! Into the 20's! Cheers

Update Dec 27th, 10:35 pm AZ time:
Not much doing today. Got up a bit later than usual. Radiation treatments taking effect, I guess! Just trying to get my 2000 calories plus in each day! Think I gained a few pounds in recent days? That's good, if I did, about 20 more to go...lol! No radiation till Monday! Also Chemo, meet with Chemo doc then. Keep looking for good news! Still not trying to feed through my mouth, just keep up with the tube for now...lol! Cheers! Five more days till 2015! Hope you all made your New Year resolutions! And: 'Cancer is not a Death Sentence. . .It is a Will to Live!

Anecdote Memory from my past!
My life in England back in 1961-65! Met Maureen at the new Bowling Alley. Life was different there than Leominster! My wife, Maureen, grew up on Cemetery Road, Ipswich, Suffolk England, on the very cold North Sea.Ipswich was bombed, being a Port City. She slept in a dresser draw until a crib could be had. We married on 5 Oct 63 in the Catholic Church. Married twice as the English Church did not recognize the Catholic wedding. Middle of ceremony we were also married by a Justice of the Peace. {Cemetery Road Webpage} I was there from 1961-65. They had no hot water, no bathtub, so water had to be heated and dumped into a galvanized tub for a bath. Small coal fireplaces. There were several vendors that came up the street selling their goods. TV was B & W and you had a tax to pay for it. Fish and Chip shops competed in all the neighborhoods for customers. They were mostly British owned and only sold F & C. It was cooked in 'lard' not oil. Placed in newspaper which became illegal. Remember several types of fish: Rock Eel, Haddock, Cod, Plaice, etc. The Rock Eel was not really Eel but shark fin. Pickled Onions, Bangers done in the same oil as the fish. Remember stopping late one night going to visit Maureen and getting a shilling of fish, shilling of chips, couple Pickled Onions, and the Sausage for all of us, her Mum of course. It cost the equivalent of $.75 each. Remember a vendor on a bike selling Harwich Shrimp. They were so small...? Remember downtown with the main shopping street filled with people. Parking was almost impossible especially with an American car. Maureen worked at Footmans Dept Store in the Patterns and Fabrics. Met her at the new Bowling Alley on London Road. She refused a ride home so we walked across town to her home. Then I had to walk back. Start of a wonderful marriage of going on 53 years. Remember the 'Prams'. Bought this Wilson 'Versailles' for my son in 1963. We still have it. From Ipswich to Massachusetts, now here in Arizona. Remember the bus ride back to the base. Believe it was Express at 10:30 with another at 11 that went through Woodbridge . Caught it at the Cattle Market. There was a F&C shop there and if lucky it was open. Otherwise a vendor sold Steak and Kidney Pies. Very welcome treat after a long day in Ipswich. Remember the Rendezvous. Favorite of Airmen. Had my first F&C with malt vinegar there. Use it all the time since. Remember paying a penny for an ice cube in a mixed drink. Remember getting warm Coca Cola and warm beer. Remember Wimpy's for 'hamburgers'. How about rides on the double decker buses. Fun trying to drive on the 'wrong' side of the road until you got used to it. Especially with a left hand drive car. Remember Bobbie lights when parking at night (changed over the years). Where you had to park with a white light forward, red to the rear. Remember there was one Chinese Restaurant in the whole town. Then there was the YMCA, there my first day in town. First day I missed the bus back and took a taxi. Paid with all the change I had in my pocket as everything I bought I gave a big bill. Did not know what the money was. Remember Shillings, Pence Crowns, etc. Ha 'penny, Thruppney Bit, Quid, Bob, sixpence, funny money to us airmen with all the slang. Sixpence slot machines that took American pennies. Rounding off change on base, no pennies. Real Hamburgers at Snack Bar. Airmens Club with drinks for a quarter. There were twenty (20) shillings per pound. The shilling was subdivided into twelve (12) pennies. The penny was further sub-divided into two halfpennies or four farthings (quarter pennies). 2 farthings = 1 halfpenny 2 halfpence = 1 penny (1d) 3 pence = 1 thruppence (3d) 6 pence = 1 sixpence (a 'tanner') (6d) 12 pence = 1 shilling (a bob) (1s) 2 shillings = 1 florin ( a 'two bob bit') (2s) 2 shillings and 6 pence = 1 half crown (2s 6d) 5 shillings = 1 Crown (5s) Rented a bungalow that had hot water in kitchen and bath. Still fireplace heat that burned coal on St Augustine Rd. Radio Luxemburgh, Radio Caroline off shore a Pirate Radio station with popular songs. Never listened to BBC! First transistor radios. Paying extra tax for a 'wireless' in your 'motor (car)'. MOT ( car inspection)! 3rd Air Force license to drive on the roads, not British. Car Parks! Walls Ice Cream. Christchurch Mansion. Ancient House.Gondola Coffee shop. Cinemas! Pictures: Pram 1965 and recent. Maureens Home. Our little bungalow. Bombing of the street.

Update Dec 28th, 7:25 pm AZ Time:
Pats Lost! AZ Cardinals Lost! Bad Day! One thing about eating through a feeding tube...you can have anything you want to eat and not taste it! I just had a Salisbury Steak Frozen dinner with corn and potatoes, Leftover stuffing, Broccolie, Meatballs, Leftover Turkey, Chicken broth, Milk, maybe a few other things...lol! Gets fun just seeing what I can blend to add calories that I need! Just look in the Fridge, cupbord and freezer for whatever...lol Throw in different fruits and even candy and Peanut Butter! Will really miss it if I can eat through my mouth again...NOT! Tomorrow is Chemo in morning and radiation in afternoon! Just another 'normal' day! Four (4) more days and it will be 2015!

Update: Dec 29th, 10:15 PM AZ Time:
Had Radiation first today as the Doc was behind time and we were there a little early! Worked out good as I got out of chemo at about 3:30 pm. All good, my blood work was good. Got after me for not using my glucose meter 3 times a day...lol. Have to give him a chart, 3 times a day, for next week! Guess I should be doing it, he said because of the Chemo? 'Thats All Folks' THREE more days to go!

Update Dec 30th, 10:15 pm AZ Time:
Only Radiation Treatment today and another talk with Doc. She is new And just wanted to meet her! Very nice as are all the people there! Had to order a new Glucose meter today as mine stopped working this morning! Probably because the doc wants me to check 3 hrs every day and then give him the report...lol! Have to get Insurance OK and my Pharmacy changes from Express Scripts to Care M mart on the 1st! Have had CareMart for years but my provider for this year used Express Scripts now changing! It's a pain as I need all new prescriptions again! A pain, but still cheaper be mail than the local pharmacy (Target)! Oh, weather predicts snow here tomorrow and preparing for it on our 2 main highways through the town! Says starting around noon? My radiation tomorrow is at 8:10 am instead of 2:40 pm, the usual time! Because New Years Eve they give you the choice on not going that day, and also Friday (10:30 for me then). I don't want to miss it as I only have 5 minutes ride to there! Think it's #16 of at least 28 treatments? Kinda lost track? May just get snowed in here tomorrow...lol! Heard for 21 years that Sierra Vista has a plow...never seen it? Think it's a rumor! Only remember 1 day here that the roads were bad to drive on with ice or snow! I could have gone to work at 12 that day but Maureen had to be there around 8. So we had to drive and I went early as I was half way there anyway! We get below freezing many nights bu warms up, usually, by 10! Have even got a little snow sometimes but it does not last long! Cheers! Only 2 more days left to enjoy 2014! Unfortunately it has been a bad year for us! Hoping 2015 will be a lot better! Hoping same for all of you that it is a great year! ***Cancer is Not a Death Sentence. . . . .It Is a Will To Live!***

Last Update of the year 2014, 9:25 pm AZ Time!
Had Radiation early today at 8:10 am! Not much after that. Just waiting for the New Year to arrive. Watching some of the Bowl Games! Did not get my new Glucose Meter from Target today...? Been trying to gain weight and today weighed a couple of pounds more than I expected??? Happy New Year 2015 to all of you! Wishing you all the best in the New Year! Hoping mine will be a lot better than 2014...lol! Cheers Let's find a cure for Cancer this new year! I know it's wishfull thinking, but we can all hope! About a half hour to New Year in Leominster, still have 2 more hours here in Arizona!

Anecdote Memory from my past!
Remember the great times of 'Parking' with your girl friend, or boy friend, in Leominster? Low Street and there was also Airport Road as a familiar parking spot! Others also? Anyone remember 'Bushwacking' at the favorite spots. Today you would surly be arrested! My time was more in England but times were the same. Of course Maureen was my only girl! Remember there parking at a favorite spot at a golf course. Drove in and there were cars on the left, cars on the right, but managed to find a lonley spot. After a few minutes there was a knock on the 'steamy' window and a face with a high helmet and flashlight was showing through. The 'Bobbie' just happened to mention the 'assigned' parking area ended just before were we parked and there was a sign there to prove it! Well guess we just had to move to another area! England was not much different for our young selves. Our favorite spot over there was a flat area of land overlooking cliffs leading down to a pebble beach on the North Sea. About a 25 mile drive but worth it. Even nicer than Lowe St? Remember once being stopped at a traffic light and had my right arm around Maureen's shoulder when the Jaguar car in back pulled over in front of me with a flashing sign on the rear which said 'Police Stop'. The 'Bobbie' got out of the car and approached my widow (actually Maureen's window as it was a left hand drive car?). He said "don't they teach you anything out at the Airodrome, etc, etc. Well I tried to tell him that it was impossible to drive a LHD and shift with my arm in that position, that it was only while I was stopped...to no avail. Never got a ticket there but was stopped many times? Kinda lucky for being an American? That was with my old 1950 Ford Consul. Junky car with no heater/defrosters. Used to stop and buy a shilling worth of greasy, the best, chips (French Fry's to you), wrapped in newspaper, and place them in my lap to keep warm the 20 miles back to the base. Guess I missed a lot of the 'Parking' in Leominster but that was during the mid to late 1950's. Knew most of the good places though! I was a very shy boy! Times have certainly changed and what we did then, we would most certainly be in trouble for today. But to say, teens were all the same then, but think we had more fun. Favorite spot ws the Rec Center, Old Rialto/YMCA. Always dancing in the window to the right with a snack bar in the left window between the doors. Remember my favorite song, played over and over on the Jukebox was Jim Lowe's 'Green Door' People shopping downtown would walk by and watch through the windows.


Cancer UPDATE 2015

Update, Jan 1st, 8:50 pm AZ time:
Nothing unusual today! Had a visit from our Grandson Matt! He is going to Cornell University! Still have our Granddaughter Kelley Marie staying with us! Both will be leaving on the 7th! Nice to have them here for the Holidays! Radiation at 10:10 in the morning. Think is is #17? Losing count! Then nothing for the weekend. Getting bored without all the medical appointments...lol! But at least it does not cost dollars! Tried eating Cream of Wheat today...no problem. But not going to push it. Happy now with the 'feeding tube'. Getting used to it, only the fact that I have to eat about 6 times per day! Have been blending soup and frozen dinners and adding extras to it! Need the Calories! Have gained a few pounds the last week, which is great and surprised me! Trying to get well over the 2K calories per day, and think I am doing it! Several bottles of Ensure and Boost help! Have the High Calorie Boost w/530 Calories in 8 Oz! Had problem with syringe when feeding as it kept slipping out of the tube??? Got messy and my hand would hurt trying to hold it in? Think I solved the problem as I filed down the syrnge end a bit and made it rough and have had no problem since...lol! Read that others had the same problem 'Ensure Shower'? Makes it a lot easier now to use the 'Bolus' method with the syringe! Where there's a Will, there's a Way...lol. Have to be innovative! Cheers! Anyone out there with Cancer feel free to post! There are a lot of very nice people here to help and it is very Appreciated! Thanks for letting these pages be an 'offshoot' for this important subject. I never thought about it until.....! Something you never expect to happen...but it can to you or family or friends! Got to prevent it the best way possible! 'Cancer is not a Death Sentence. . .It is a Will to Live!' One Last Time! It's the start of another year! Hope it is a great year for all of us! Keep in Good Health and Spirits throughout the year!

Update, Jan 2nd, 11:25 pm AZ time: Had my 17th Radiation Treatment today! They are still saying total of 28? Nothing else happening today or over the weekend! Catch ya again on Monday! Cheers! 'Cancer is not a Death Sentence. . .It is a Will to Live!' Just something to think about over the weekend...Beer Trucks!

Update Jan 4th, 11:00 pm AZ time: Another dull day! Stayed in the house all day and watched football and some basketball! Weekends we do not have to leave the house unlike weekdays, Radiation every day. Just enjoy staying home...lol! Chemo tomorrow morning and Radiation in the afternoon, #18! Still feeling pretty good with no real after effects from either? Hope it keeps this way till I finish probably at the end of the month? Then looking forward to Tucson for the operation...lol! Actually, the sooner the better! Would like to get back to normal, especially eating...lol I have faith in the hospital and the Dr Kim that will be doing the op! Top ratings for both from what I hear and read! Cheers

Update Jan 54th, 11:20 pm AZ time:
Missed getting my lab tests on Friday? Had to go to the hospital to get them today. Had radiation while waiting to see doctor for chemo (late getting lab tests). Started Chemo after 3:00 pm instead of about 12 noon as usual! Got home about 4:30 pm...long day! That was #18 Radiation! Only Radiation tomorrow! Cheers!

Update Jan 6th, 10:40 PM AZ Time:
Only Radiation today...Number 20 of 28...maybe? Seen the doc today for a talk! Everything looks good. Said to call Surgeon when nearing the end of radiation. Probably have to have some tests and a PET Scan. Said it is usually 6 to 8 weeks after radiation before they will operate? Could be March? But, it is up to the Surgeon to make the decisions! Again, the op is very complicated and dangerous with a lot of hospital time, 2 weeks? Maureen is all set as she can stay in Tucson with our Granddaughter who is attending U of Arizona and living off campus! Not a problem with staying there! Cheaper than a hotel for 2 weeks even at a discount rate they give! Will just wait and see how it goes from here on! This is not a cheap thing to have! Getting bills every day practically! Everything with insurance just started over n Jan 1st? Deductible and Out of Pocket costs begin anew! Glad I don't have Affordable Care (Obama)! Even though I don't have Medicare either? Hey, in 14 days I will be 74! Time is really flying...lol Cheers! All cancers are important and life threatening! Let's work to prevent it! I never expected it to happen to me! Don't know why? But it happened? Any doubts medically...please see your doctor right away. Short Update Today Jan 7th, 11:10 PM AZ Time: Just been tired today! Slept a bit before and after Radiation? No AZ sun today, cloudy in the 60's! Maybe the problem...lol? Yes, 21 Radiation treatments finished so far! Goes pretty fast? Possibility of Op maybe in April? I think I am in pretty good shape, physically, so far so it should not be a problem? That's depending on the Chemo and Rad of course! Hasn't been too bad so far, bearable! From what I hear about the treatments from others, I am doing well! Still upbeat and optimistic! Must be from all the prayers and good wishes from all you fine people! Just hoping that what I post may sometime help someone else prevent cancer! Early is best! Not like me waiting about 8 months before going to the Doc's...lol! Will be 74 in 13 days, can't believe that...lol! Still going to make it to my 90's though...lol!!!! Cheers! Any trouble with swallowing...see your doctor right away! Believe Me! It is worth it! Also keep Maureen Cormier in your wishes and prayers also. We are in this together and will beat it with your help!!! Also, any relative or friend you may know with the big 'C'! We are praying for all of you! Cancer can be beat!
Jim USAF

Jim USAF Lackland AFB
October 1960

Update Jan 8th, 11:55 PM AZ Time:
Radiology today! Great Grandson Ashton came to the Oncology with us! Thursday we usually have him for the day! He is really good! Well they brought him into the Tomo machine and he seen me on it and they raised the table and in I went! Then they showed him on the computers! He is too young to realize what is happening at 3 years old! They gave him a glow in the dark bracelet that they use for something...lol? When a person graduates from the Radiation they congratulate them with a little celebration and they have a bubble machine, which fascinated Ashton! A woman finished today just before my turn! They also give the person a handmade quilt? Thought that was very nice of them? I thought my #28 would be next Friday but it may be on the Monday? Guess I can't keep track too good! Although I think I am right...lol? Well, Radiation and lab tests tomorrow. Chemo again on Monday! The time does go by fast though! It's about 2 1/2 hours for the chemo on Mondays and 10 minutes for the radiation Monday thru Friday! Glad I only have to go 5 minutes to the center. Cochise Oncology only takes patients over 21! I wondered why I had not seen young children as patients. Well I am at least nearing the end of treatments, I hope? It will depend on the doctors and the surgeon on what happens next? Probably have to make a few trips to U of Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson? Hoping some of the tests, etc can be done here? Maureen won't drive there as she has not been driving for the last couple of years because of her eyes. The cataract surgery was great for her! Just have to wait to see what will happen next. Don't think they will operate before April? Cheers! 'Cancer Is Not A Death Sentence. . .It Is A Will To Live!'

Update Jan 10th, 10:50 PM AZ Time:
Not much going on since returning from Tucson. Watched the Patriots win with my Grandson Jason and his 2 children Great Grandson Ashton and Great Granddaughter Allison! Ali is looking good since her operation! Nothing much tomorrow. Back to the routine on Monday! Cheers Cancer is not a Death Sentence. . .It is a Will to Live!
40th reunion
Great Granddaughter Allison
Open Heart Surgery

Update Jan 11th 11:10 PM AZ time;
Again, weekend, no place to go...lol Stayed home and watched sports, etc! All I can say for now! Busy tomorrow with Chemo and Radiation! Cheers Enjoy all your posts...keep them up!

Update, Jan 12th, 10:00 PM AZ time:
My 'Heroes'! Some really great people! Very people oriented! The whole staff included! The 2 radiation pics are the ones that work with me! Dr Nettleton is the owner and started the Clinic. She is with the Radiation! Dr Klarnet is my Chemo Doc! Very casual and reminds people of 'House'! Can't beat these people at a hospital! Had Chemo and Radiation today! My last Radiation (and Chemo) may be next Monday the 19th! The day before my 74th Birthday!...lol! Going to have to get one or two shots soon for Anemia. Still have that problem, I guess! But hear it 'goes with the territory'...lol Catch ya all tomorrow! Good Luck to Maureen Cormier starting her Treatments tomorrow! We all know she will come through this excellently! You all know my Motto by now...lol!

Update 13 Jan 10:25 pm AZ Time:
24th Radiation today! Next Monday will be my last one #28! Also my last Chemo! Won't have to go back to the Oncology for a month, and just to let the Doctor know what is happening! Have to call the surgeon end of this week for further instructions about the Surgery! Could be another 6 to 8 weeks before it will be done? So, starting the second phase of treatments ! Guess this is all good news? Have not found the chemo or radiation very bad like many people claim! Not many side effects from either that I could complain about! Always felt pretty good and the doctor said I look good, that's enough for me! Only real problem has been eating. I had some Cream of Wheat by mouth today! They say I should try to eat something like that! Still not ready for Lobster! Made 2 large pots of Spaghetti Sauce to freeze. Still had a lot of tomatoes from the garden to use up! Gave a lot away as I could not eat them! It was a surprise as I never had much luck before growing anything. Had a lot of Bell peppers also! Have some Butternut squash put away! Maybe later I will be able to eat some of this...lol! Well glad to get some good news anyway. Cheers Ending treatments on Monday and my 74th Birthday is Tuesday! Some Birthday Gift...lol! Update Jan 14th, 08:40 pm AZ time: Twenty Fifth Radiation today! Three more to go and I am done with Cochise Oncology! Will really miss going there with all there fine staff! Monday also last Chemo! Today several mentioned that they discussed me in their meeting this morning. The staff gets together once a week and discusses all the patients. Tomorrow I call the Surgeon for further treatments! Good news today when I went to pay, part, of my Anesthesia bill for me and Maureen! Over $900 total on the sent bill and found my insurance had paid all but $114.00! Sounded good to me...lol. Hoping more of my bills end up like that...lol! Cheers for now! Five more days till I turn 74 Years Old!

Anecdote Memory from my past!
What was your favorite day when you were very young. I think mine was Saturday. I would wake up in my little room, which was more like a passageway between two rooms. Not very wide, with a twin bed on one side and a window facing it. In the winter the window would be iced over and you could draw on it. Summer the sun shone slightly as it was in the back of the house.It was a small house and later my dad bought a house 3 doors away. 2 family, up and down. Had a regular bedroom then. Got up and had breakfast that my Mom would have ready. Usually Eggs, bacon, pancakes, oatmeal, cereal an milk, not all at the same time. Cereal box came with somewhat of a surprise inside or to cut out of the box. Then it was playtime since there was no school. I would often go to Grandma Caisse a couple houses from Seligs on Grand St. Then off to Doyle Field. The playground was supervised and had a nice open building behind the large wooden stands for games. The Leominster Lions football games were played inside the track . Remember a huge sandbox just behind the stands and when we were brave, used to jump from the stands into it. There was the usual 'rides' and also games. My favorite was horseshoes. Then there was the usual baseball game where the covered stands were. Selig's lumber was the other side of the backstop and a fun place to play. Climbing on and between the stacks of lumber. The workers were not impressed. And I was well know to most of the people that worked there. It was either home with my parents for noon lunch or visit with Grandma again for a sandwich and milk, cookies or cake, or maybe even a piece of pie. Winter was different. Grandma would always have sporting gear from her son's and maybe a pair of skates or a baseball glove. Used to go to the Scar on the ice there. Very dangerous and not let my parents know. Doyle Field was flooded by the tennis courts also for skating. Used to build a snow fort in front of Seligs where they stacked the snow in a large pile. Winter at Doyle Field was not the greatest. Remember 'Stiff' Picoussi (sp). He kept the field in excellent shape. As the caretaker of Doyle. He was always on his tractor. He kept the field in excellent shape.Since it was Saturday maybe that afternoon would go to the Plymouth Theater or even the Metropolitan Theater for a movie. They had cartoons and a serial and usually gave prizes away at intermission. Mostly westerns were playing. Home again after for Supper. Mom would prepare a meal and we all sat at the table to eat it. No watching TV in those days. No fast food restaurants either. Just good home made food. We had a TV around 1950. A 10" Round Screen Stromberg Carlson. Watched Howdy Doody, Space Cadet, Beany and Cecil, etc. Saturday was also 'Bath Time'. My dad put in a shower so it was better than a tub. Remember when you had to fill it with hot water? Well, back to my little bedroom for some sleep. Had a radio and used to fall asleep listening to a Red Sox or Celtics game. Sunday came and it was just another day. Cheers.

Update Jan 15th, 10:40 pm AZ time:
Twenty Sixth Radiation today...two more to go! Monday I am through with the Oncology treatments! Will have to go back in a month! Got a call from the Surgeon's office in Tucson this morning! I now need to have a PET Scan and MRI of the Brain...lol! They should be scheduling them sometime? Next would be the decision whether to operate! I guess if the tumor is gone...no operation? Really don't think that will happen? Aslo my physical condition counts! Will just have to wait and see? Hopefully after the Radiation my esophagus will open more and I can eat! The radiation apparently closes it some? That is why they put in the feeding tube originally! Wow, the education you can get in 3 months when something like this happens! Learned a lot about Cancer that I had never ever thought about before! Cheers! ...Lol!...Living Will!

Update Jan 16th, 09:15 pm AZ time:
Labs for the last time and radiation #27 today! One more #28 to go on Monday along with last Chemo! Visited the doc to check my feeding tube today also! Said it looks OK! Radiation person said the tumor has shrunk considerably from Grapefruit size! That from the look she had with the Tomo Machine that also does a Cat Scan before the radiation! Sounds good to me! Will be missing going there daily for the radiation and weekly for the Chemo! Almost a second home for us! No clinical atmosphere there just a lot of friendly faces! Wonderful place for the treatments and so close to home also! Next is the PET and MRI when they can schedule it! Also trips to Tucson, U of Arizona Cancer Center and then University Hospital if all goes as planned! Lets hear it for Maureen Cormier also! We are both in this together. Maureen was given the OK the day I was diagnosed and that is how everyone heard about me, when I congratulated her! Now she is back for treatments! It's been a long.or short?, 3 1/2 months for me and Maureen. She has stuck with me all the way! It seemed to go by so fast! Only reminded of the time when I keep getting the bills...lol! I can see why people need benefits held for them when this happens, Bills are no fun when you are Retired and on a fixed income! Hope none of you, family or friends ever have to go through this! Hope these little updates may help people recognize that it can happen to anyone without warning! I had never thought of Cancer before as there was none in my family! Heed all the warnings and stay healthy!!!!! Cheers Short Update Jan 18th 8:20 pm AZ Time Short because I am feeling terrible, coughing and sneezing and a few other problems...lol? Watched the Pats! Getting off the computer and be in misery? Tomorrow is my last day of radiation and chemo...lol Cheers!

Update, Almost 20 Jan (my 74th Birthday)!!!!
Well, looks like I should make it to 74... plan on another 16 years or so...lol! Wonder if Maureen and the kids could put up with me that long? Last Chemo and Radiation today. Will miss going to the Oncology about every day! Small clinic with a great staff and you get to know them all, and them you, over close to 4 months (Wow it' been that long?). A little grad present from the Radiology (see pic) with a bubble machine and a wreath around my neck, with many hugs when coming out of the Tomo machine room! Do have to go back tomorrow PMN for a shot...Happy Birthday Present...lol! Follow up again next month also! PET and MRI for my Brain (lol, I can't resist adding brain??? they will find out if I have one?) should be in Feb as have to wait about a month! See what happens at that time? Hopefully (lol) the operation! Still a long way to go! Just would like to get rid of this feeding tube, not that it is that bad, but would like to taste some food and the TV ads don't help...lol. Will have to try eating through my again mouth soon. Just waiting till the radiation stops as it swells the esophagus and closes it more? Just taking my time in trying it! Let's not forget about Maureen Cormier as she is very much in need of your help with prayers and well wishes. Please keep her in your thoughts! Beth Lundigan from Leominster is just finishing her Radiation and also needs our prayers and well wishes that all goes well with her in the future! Also, to anyone else out there with any kind of cancer. We know these peoples prayers and wishes are getting us through this trying time in our lives! Probably should not bore all of you with daily updates now! Would be kind of boring? Will just update when there is 'news' that you might like to hear about. I enjoy writing these posts and really happy that you all like them since it is not 'Leominster Past'! I did not plan on doing it but your interest encouraged me! If anything, I hope it helps to add a little knowledge about Cancers and the problems and treatments it presents! If something I have posted helps to save a life or prevent it from becoming more serious it would make my day! (Like problems with swallowing, go to doctor early as possible) I know that all your prayers, etc have helped me through these trying times. It has been hard on me and especially Maureen who has had to put up with my actions from the cancer and stuck with me every day through appointments and treatments! And I/we will never forget the others I have mentioned here, Maureen and Beth, who will also need your help! Cheers


Update: Jan 24th 11:40 PM:
Still feeling terrible! Thought it would be better after the treatments! But this cold and 'wicked' cough is doing me in! Hoping for a better day tomorrow! Cheers!

Update 26 Jan, PM:
Been staying off the PC! To much coughing to concentrate? Among other things! Went to my Kidney Doc today, all looked good except my White Blood count? Gave me a couple of prescriptions and over the counter for my 'Cold'??? Lungs congested? Went to my Family Doc also, Maureen and I! Threw up while on his bench from coughing...lol! Has not been a good Day or week so far, gotta get better! Walmart screwed up the cost of my drugs, gotta go back tomorrow to check, but Maureen has to get a couple prescriptions also! Walmart Pharmacist was nice and recommended over the counter instead of expensive prescription! Clerk could not get it right...lol. Think I paid for the prescription and the over the counter both! Oh, well! Tomorrow's another Day! Got to stay alert to watch 'Son's of Liberty' Part 2 tonight on History Channel! As you know I love Mass and Leominster History. Am taping the series though! My Kind of show! Oh, Sam Adams is not just a good Beer...lol!

Esophageal Cancer Fact...Esophagectomy:
Surgery to remove some or most of the esophagus is called an esophagectomy. Often a small part of the stomach is removed as well. The upper part of the esophagus is then connected to the remaining part of the stomach. Part of the stomach is pulled up into the chest or neck to become the new esophagus. How much of the esophagus is removed depends upon the stage of the tumor and where it’s located
. If the cancer is in the lower part of the esophagus (near the stomach) or at the place where the esophagus and stomach meet (the gastroesophageal or GE junction), the surgeon will remove part of the stomach, the part of the esophagus containing the cancer, and about 3 to 4 inches of normal esophagus above this. Then the stomach is connected to what is left of the esophagus either high in the chest or in the neck.
If the tumor is in the upper or middle part of the esophagus, most of the esophagus will need to be removed to be sure to get enough tissue above the cancer. The stomach will then be brought up and connected to the esophagus in the neck. If for some reason the stomach can’t be pulled up to attach it to the remaining part of the esophagus, the surgeon may use a piece of the intestine to bridge the gap between the two. When a piece of intestine is used, it must be moved without damaging its blood vessels. If the vessels are damaged, not enough blood will get to that piece of intestine, and the tissue will die.
Esophagectomy may be done using either of 2 main types of techniques. In the standard, open technique, the surgeon operates through one or more large incisions (cuts) in the neck, chest, or abdomen. In minimally invasive surgery, the surgeon operates through several smaller incisions using special long, thin surgical instruments.

Update, Feb 3rd, 9:25 pm, AZ Time:
Feeling better today! Not 100%, but better...lol! Have my appointment for the MRI Brain Scan...Monday the 9th at 1:00 pm! Still working on the PET Scan with the insurance? Still taking it 'day by day'! Don't expect the operation before April...my thoughts! Cheers!

Update, Feb 5th, 8:15 pm AZ time:
Well not much going on in my life at the moment! Watching basketball at the moment! If you never had a feeding tube...you don't know what you have been missing...lol! I just had a meal of Stouffers Frozen Lasagna, delicious, just kidding! Well one advantage is you don't get asked to 'not talk with your mouth full'! I try to eat 5 times a day? Need the calories! Also have Boost and Ensure as a meal! Looking forward to the day when I can eat some real food and taste it! They want me to try, but I just have a problem with trying? MRI Brain Scan on Monday! Then a PET Scan! Things are moving kinda slowly so don't know when they will operate? Hey, keep Maureen and Me in your prayers! We will both need them! Cheers!

Update, Feb 7th, 9:55 Pm, AZ Time:
Not sure if I am looking forward to the MRI Brain Scan on Monday? Hear it could be 20 minutes to an Hour in the machine! Also that it is extremely noisy with many different sounds? I have RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) since at least my teens and am medication for it! Hard for me to keep still for that length of time? Made it through the PET Scan for 25 minutes! Think I will take extra meds before the scan? Well, just one more new experience to go through! Feeling a bit better each day, but still coughing a bit? Cheers Prayers for Maureen Cormier as she starts her treatments! She is expecting to lose her hair? I kept most of mine, just got a little thinner. Starting to grow back again, I think!

Update, Feb 10th, 5:20 pm AZ Time
Couple of days ago I discovered a small lump in my right armpit! Went to see the doc at the Oncology this afternoon and he is sending me for a Bi-opsy from my local surgeon? Just hoping it not a problem? Don't need any more problems! Hoping it is OK? Still trying to get the PET scan approved from my insurance. Not feeling too bad the last couple of days...lol? Here is a picture of the new Hospital they are building here in Sierra Vista AZ. This city is really growing and getting a lot of new growth! Now about the size of Leominster at about 45k population. It is the largest city in Cochise County! Cheers

Anecdote Memory from my past!
Fishing! A favorite with us kids in Leominster. We had our favorite 'fishing hole', and other places to catch fish. One of my favorites was Massapoag Pond in Lunenburg. Of course we had to get there? Would start up Main Street by hitching a ride to Pierce Street then across the farmland and cow flops to the pond. If we were lucky we would find someone with a car to drive us there. Remember an apple orchard on the way with huge apples that we would pick to eat during the day. We fished the little corner of the pond that bordered Lancaster Rd. We were happy just to catch Blue Gills' and sunfish. We used worms and nightcrawlers as bait, never a lure. They were big there and often close to a pound. Occasionally a pickerel or a bass would be caught. Of course we would always throw them back. Whalom was another place but we seldom fished there. Nighttime was the best time to catch 'hornpout' That is what they are called in New England, Catfish in some other parts of the country. Of course they are not as big as the catfish you hear about. Usually a pound one was a great catch. We could usually go home with 50 0r 60 on a good night. Never knew of a limit or a license...lol? Fun to catch but you had to watch out for the 'horns' or go home with sore hands. Would then clean them and fry them up and they made a great meal. My favorite place was Townsend Harbor. Had a rowboat and would carry it on the roof of the old 1940 Buick. Trout fishing was not my favorite. Usually in streams and not ponds. Squannacook River in Townsend was the favorite. Never caught many trout but 'Suckers' were popular. Never learned to fly fish either. Used a spinning real. Still have 2 Mitchel Garcia reels. It was good times as a youngster to go fishing. Lots of fun. What were your favorite 'fishing holes'? Cheers. Oh, those rainy nights in Leominster when we would go to the best neighbors lawns and 'pick' Nightcrawlers. Usually the favorites were on North Main St from Cousins Olds on up. Would come home with gallons of them and try to keep them alive in soil and coffee grounds. Needed them for fishing. Do kids today still pick nightcrawlers on the lawns? Maybe they just catch 'lightning bugs instead...lol?

Update Feb 11th, 10:50 pm, AZ Time:
Well my PET Scan was denied by my Insurance? Now it is between the Oncology and the U of Arizona surgeon to figure it out! In touch with both today...lol? Have an appointment with the local surgeon about the lump on armpit on Monday. Find out more then? That's about it! Just have to wait to find out what will happen? Cheers!

Update 12 Feb, 11:15 am AZ time
Just got a call from the surgeon's office in Tucson. Have to see Dr Kim on Tuesday and bring any 'scans' the oncology has? Another 3 hour round trip and hope I see him for more than 5 minutes this time! Should be able to get some Info on what will be happening? Sure glad I did not get treatments in Tucson? Oh, our 80 degree temps have lowered to a bit cool today and very windy...lol. No snow anyway!

Update, Feb 16th, 11:40 pm AZ time:
Heading to Tucson to see the surgeon in the morning! Hoping to find out more! Friday to hospital for a Biopsy! 3 doctors appointments today took most of the day! Cheers!

Update, Feb 17th, 10:15 pm AZ time:
Made the trip to Tucson today! Seen the Surgeon! Should operate on March 18th! 6 hr op and 7 days in hospital! Depends on the Biopsy I have on Friday? If it is OK all is a go! Need some tests first like a Stress and Echo Stress Test! Have to see how it goes on Friday! Cheers. Maureen Cormier and I still need your prayers and wishes! Cheers!

Update Feb 19th, 10:20 pm AZ time:
Will need all your prayers and good wishes in the morning! Having the Biopsy at 7:00 AM about 9:00 AM your time. Have made it this far and if it is OK I can have the op on March 18th! If not back to chemo and rad? Hoping for the best!!!!! Still trying to be optimistic!

Esophageal Cancer Fact
Facts about Cancer operation (Ivor Lewis Procedure):
Risks and side effects of esophagectomy Like most serious operations, surgery of the esophagus has some risks. Short-term risks include reactions to anesthesia, excess bleeding, blood clots in the lungs or elsewhere, and infections. Most people will have at least some pain after the operation, which can usually be helped with pain medicines. Lung complications are common. Pneumonia may develop, leading to a longer hospital stay, and sometimes even death. Some people might have voice changes after the surgery. There may be a leak at the place where the stomach (or intestine) is connected to the esophagus, which might require another operation to fix. This is not as common as it used to be because of improvements in surgical techniques. Strictures (narrowing) can form where the esophagus is surgically connected to the stomach, which can cause problems swallowing for some patients. To relieve this symptom, these strictures can be expanded during an upper endoscopy procedure. After the operation, the stomach may empty too slowly because the nerves that control its contractions can be affected by surgery. This can sometimes lead to frequent nausea and vomiting. After surgery, bile and stomach contents can enter the esophagus because the muscle that normally controls this (the lower esophageal sphincter) is often removed or changed by the surgery. This can cause symptoms such as heartburn. Sometimes antacids or motility drugs can help relieve these symptoms. Some complications from this surgery can be life threatening. The risk of dying from this operation is related to the doctor’s experience with these procedures. In general, the best outcomes are achieved with surgeons and hospitals that have the most experience. This is why patients should ask the surgeon about his or her experience: how often they operate on the esophagus, how many times they have done this procedure, and what percentage of their patients have died after this surgery. The hospital where the surgery is done is also important, and any hospital that you consider should be willing to show you their survival statistics.

Update, Feb 28th, 11:30 am, AZ Time:
Last day of February, times is going by fast! Monday apt with the doctor that did the biopsy. Hope to find out how it went! My denied PET is back on the schedule for 10 Mar at U of Arizona Imaging Center! Also same day for Pulmonary Test, Stress Test and Echo Stress Test, at the U of Arizona Medical Center! All to get ready for the operation on the 18th of March? All depends on the Biopsy results? Hoping for the best! Getting a little 'Fed Up (excuse the pun) with the Feeding Tube...lol Have gained some weight though lately, about 10 pounds more of less! After the op should be able to eat normal and normal diet with some restrictions which I can easily live with!Maureen Cormier seems to be doing well as can be expected! We are both keeping optimistic! Keep us in your prayers and good wishes! We need them more than ever! All your support has really be a big help to both of us!

Update: March 2nd, 3:40 AZ Time:
Not good news today. Biopsy was malignant. Everything has been cancelled! No operation possible even in the future! Should be starting Chemo again when it is approved! Nothing much else they can do??? Feeling disappointed? Both doctors were surprised at the results. Surgeon cancelled the operation! Still hoping that the PET Scan goes through for the 10th? Need prayers more than ever! Cheers!

Any of you living in Europe during WW II? England, and other countries, suffered much bombing. This is the street that my wife, Maureen, lived on until we married. Over 150 homes destroyed! Times were bad both here and there. She slept in a dresser draw when she was born. We living in the US never experienced anything like this.
bombing bombing
Bombing on Cemetery Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, England

Update, March 7th, 10:30 AZ Time:
Have an appointment with the head Dr at Cochise Oncology on Monday morning? Should be interesting! Probably more bad news? But, tomorrow afternoon I should be playing a little Softball again! Why Not! Maureen says it is OK? It is the first week of the spring season of 12 Sunday Doubleheaders! Will feel good just to get out and get some exercise again! Feel I have nothing to lose now! Supposed to be a nice day, around 70 degrees and dry! Should be fun? Still scheduled for the PET Scan on the 10th in Tucson! Hoping that goes OK! Cheers!

Update 10 Mar, 11:15 pm, AZ time:
Spent most of the day in Tucson getting the PET scan! Had to have it and my insurance still denied it (while we were going to Tucson)! Looks like I am responsible for the cost...lol! First was told about $1300 changed about 5 minutes later to double? Today they told me $3500 to almost $6000 when I got there! Will know when I get the bill! Will have to call the Insurance, I guess, and see what can be done, not hopeful! Not happy with that decision as I did need the PET scan! Not much 'good news' lately! Cheers!

Update March 14th, 7:40 PM AZ Time:
Got the Disk today from the U of Arizona Imaging! Oncology doctors have been waiting for it. Will bring it to them on Monday! Letter stated all was clear and no evidence for lymphadenopathy??? and no evidence of metastasis! Sounds good to me, but I am no doctor? Hoping for the best when they review the disk! The disk does not make much sense to me...lol? Tomorrow will play my second week of Softball! Great to be able to do it again! Feeling a bit more optimistic??? Feeling good also! Hope the doctors are the same with the disk...lol! Keep posting your memories on the pages! I have been a bit off lately...lol! Cheers

Update Mar 19th, 3:50 PM AZ Time:
More discouraging news just now! My Oncologist called and was on the phone with my insurance and they denied my Radiation! They could not get anywhere with the Insurance! I called and got a bit of a runaround but have left a message for there 'Care Management Dept' to call me back as they were closed when I called? Will have to see what I can find out from them? Will have to look into other options also? Can't understand why they refuse!

Update, Mar 23rd, 10:33 AM, AZ Time:
Well folks, finally got some good news! A few minutes ago I received a call from my insurance, whom I called on Friday, and she said they agreed to pay for my PET Scan! Still working on the radiation, and I have an appointment with Cochise Oncology doctor in an hour! See if we can get the radiation problem over with! It's one saying the other is wrong...lol? Cheers!

Anecdote Memory from my past!
Leominster Massachusetts, 1890 Leominster is a pleasant and flourishing town in the northeast part of Worcester County, 46 miles northwest of Boston on the Fitchburg Railroad. The station on this road is North Leominster. A branch of the Old Colony Railroad runs through the town, having stations at Gate's Crossing, Leominster Centre and West Leominster, and connecting with Fitchburg and the roads on the south. Fitchburg and Lunenburg lie on the north, the latter and Lancaster on the east, Sterling on the south, and Princeton and Westminster on the west.
The assessed area is 17,487 acres, of which 5,740 are in forest, consisting of walnut, oak, birch, maple, chestnut and pine. The northern and main branch of the Nashua River, issuing from ponds at the northwest, flows northward into Fitchburg, then southward through the eastern part of Leominster, receiving from the west the Monoosnook and Fall brooks, all of which furnish good mill powers. The natural ponds are White's and Rocky, with several reservoirs almost equally attractive. The land in the east, southeast, and a section in the west is level or undulating, the remainder being hilly. Sheldon's Hill, near the centre, is a beautiful eminence, and Monoosnock Hill, in the north, has an altitude of 1,020 feet above the level of the sea. Other hills of some prominence are Carter's, also near the centre, Bees in the south and Rocky in the southwest. The geological formation is Merrimack schist. There is also a plentiful supply of a dull blue or a dark gray granite. Good brick clay is found; and the soil is generally a mixture of gravel and clay.
The town has 218 farms; and the value of the aggregate product of these in the last census year was $188,754. The manufactories consist of two carriage factories (making baby-carriages chiefly), three or four piano factories, two woollen mills, a tannery, two furniture factories, a toy factory, button works, a shirt factory, several factories making combs and other horn goods, a paper box factory, a paper mill, a leather board mill, two shoe shops and others. Altogether, these employ upwards of 3,000 persons. The value of the aggregate product was $1,668,157. There is here a national bank with a capital of $150,000, and a savings bank, carrying, at the close of last year, $655,234 in deposits. The dwelling-houses number 1,155. The population is 5,297; and there are 1,478 legal voters. The valuation in 1888 was $4,069,045, with a tax-rate of $18 on $1,000
. Among the new buildings are a railway station, Allen's Block, at the centre; and at North Leominster a new Congregational church and a school building. The schools are graded, and include a high school; and are provided with 13 buildings, valued, exclusive of the last, at about $40,000. The public library has some 12,000 volumes. There are two weekly papers published here, the " Enterprise" and the "Leader." The Congregationalists have in the town two churches; the Baptists, the Methodists, the Unitarians and the Roman Catholics each one. Leominster and North Leominster are the post-offices.
This town was originally a part of Lancaster, and bore the name of "The New Grant" until its incorporation, June 23, 1740. It was named for the ancient town of Leominster, in England. As early as 1725 Gershom Houghton and James Boutelle erected houses in the south part of the town, and were soon followed by others. A church was organized September 14, 1743, over which Rev. John Rogers (H.U. 1732) was ordained pastor.
The first paper-mill in the town was erected by William Nichols and Jonas Kendall in 1796. The sons of Mr. Kendall made paper on a cylinder machine as early as 1825, and introduced in 1833 the Fourdrinier machine. For a long period this was the leading business of the place. The town suffered severely by fire on the night of July 19, 1873. The first physician of the town was Jacob Peabody, who settled here in 1746, and died in 1759. Dr. Daniel Adams, formerly well known as an author of school text-books, settled here in 1799, and edited for a while, the "Telescope," a weekly paper started here in January, 1800. Leominster was patriotic in the Revolution, announcing its spirit in an address to the people of Boston, in 1766, which closed with the laconic and startling words, "We must, we can, and we will be free !" In the late war it furnished 410 men for the Union armies; 38 of them losing their lives in the service. To the memory of these the town has erected a handsome monument.

Update on my Esophagus Cancer and treatments: Mar 23rd:
My chances for a very serious operation to remove the tumor and attach my stomach to my neck, is no longer an option! I found a malignancy under my armpit so it is a no go, forever! Doctors wanted a PET scan and MRI Brain scan. Got the MRI but the PET was denied, twice. Last when I was almost to Tucson to get it. Choice of having it and paying for it, I had it! Looked pretty good with no Metastasis(?). Still needed more radiology, Insurance denied it? Well got word today that the insurance is paying for the PET (which they told me would be between $3500-5000+?). But radiation is still up in the air (3 more treatments) and probably will not be accepted? Chemo is accepted and should start again (had 28 radiations and over 3 months of chemo before). It's tough with the insurance to get the treatments you need (MONEY!!!)? At 74 I don't have medicare, but have private insurance (NOT Obamacare) GEHA (Gov Emp Health Assoc) Through FEHB (Fed Emp Health Benefits)! Advising all of you, if you have any trouble swallowing...see your doctor! It may not be as serious as mine is? Esophagus Cancer is getting more popular and is very serious with low survivor rate if not caught quickly! Cheers Have a little more faith in my insurance provider. Called me early this morning to say my Radiation was denied again! Explaination was that I could not have more as I had reached the limit and it would damage the tissue if I had more. Guess the tissue they would treat are pretty delicate? When you get the right person on the phone, things happen! PET scan approved also! It is OK to go with the Chemo so I should be hearing from my oncologist soon about that! Cheers!

Update, 27 Mar, 8:55 PM AZ time
Feeling good at the moment! Waiting for Chemo treatments? Radiation was denied because they said it would injure tissues? PET scan was finally OK'd for payment...lol! Have been playing softball for the last three Sundays and also now during the week on Tuesday and Thursday mornings (practice)! Been working in the garden this PM! Trying again to grow vegetables, etc.(had some good luck with it last year, maybe learned a little bit more?). No operation now so have to go with the way it is! Still using feeding tube? Can drink some and eat like 'Cream of Wheat' but nothing solid? Just have to go 'one day at a time'? Hope that it does not spread (chances are good that it will with EC?). Surprising that I watch a lot of TV now. Seems like there is a lot about Cancer on it? Finding lot's of good cancer sites on the computer also! Never thought about it before last September! Also, even the fast food places, the food looks so good to me...lol Never much ate fast food before...lol! Unfortunately, can't eat it! Never noticed so many food ads before. Cheers

Update 30 Mar, 10:40 pm AZ time:
Well, still no Chemo yet. Problems getting it approved again??? Oncology is working on it! Played Softball Sunday, Doubleheader! Will practice in the morning! Bunch of great guys and gals that play! I pitched both games again. That was the 3rd week! Did a bit of work in the garden today! Still a lot more to do. Not sure what I will plant this year? Had a lot of tomatoes and peppers last year as well as Butternut Squash. Last year was an experiment (experience?)? Still feeling great, no pains (other than the usual 'old age'!!!). Guess that's good? Only pain is the feeding tube...lol! But it gets pretty 'exciting' figuring out what to put into the blender? Have cream soup with chocolate pudding...lol. Actually anything left in the fridge is game and makes for some unusual meals! But I cannot taste it anyway? Just that I need the calories! Unfortunately, Maureen cannot eat any dairy or even chocolate? So it is hard for her also! My Ice maker and freezer quit on Friday? Have a repairman coming on Wednesday! It is a Samsung Fridge and we love it and not really that old? Remember when appliances lasted 20 years??? Today they last a few years and they expect you to buy a new one...lol! Well Life goes on! Still optimistic and will live to be 90, at least! Cancer program on TV PBS Sunday featured the doctor I seen at the U of Arizona! About a woman, 42, with terminal Pancreatic Cancer! Seems to be a lot about cancer now on TV (60 minutes also on Sunday)! Keep remembering Robert Soucy and Maureen Cormier, we all still need all your wishes and prayers! My Esophagus Cancer has a 14% Survival rate for 5 years...lol But it can be beat!!! Cheers!

Update Apr 6th, 12:25 pm, AZ time!
Well, finally got a call this morning that I will start Chemo again on Wednesday! Have to go in later this afternoon to sign some papers? Beginning to wonder what was going on and that they may have 'forgotten' about me! Still no chance of an operation! Wife, Maureen, seems happy about that...lol. It would have been very serious, 7 hours on the table, and 7 days, at least, in hospital! I would then probably have to sleep elevated! Long process of recovery also. No real promise that that would prolong my life, but I have spoken to some who have survived 10 yrs or more and still going? Esophagus cancer is one of the worst survival rates with about 14% for 5 years??? Of course, as I said, I will make it to 90! Just take it one day at a time, or one year at a time! Keep Maureen and Bob as well as me in your Prayers and Well Wishes! Cheers

Update Apr 9th, 08:35 AM, AZ time:
Started Chemo again yesterday, about 2 hours! Have the Chemo pump on for another 46 hours! This will be every 2 weeks until they decide I have enough. (until my out of pocket is satisfied it is $185 per session...lol). Cheers!

Update 15 Apr, 7:40 PM, AZ time:
It never ends...lol Yesterday found our 6 year old Water Heater leaking. (Remember my Fridge...lol) Ended up buying one and installing it. Luckily I had the Neighbor Wife and her friend to help me lift it onto the stand about a foot high (It weighed 118 lbs)! And of course nothing goes smoothly even though it was virtually the same one I replaced, but newer! Not a fun job but had to be done...lol! Any of you ever replace one? Played Softball (practice) on Tuesday and same in the morning! Haven't been feeling all that well since Chemo...but could be worse? None of the chemo effects you hear about, just a bit tired? More to come next Wednesday, again with 2 hrs plus the 46 hour pump! Don't know how many I will be having, but it is getting expensive!!! Been working a bit on my garden also! Planted 2 Roses yesterday! Weather has been great, 80's most days. Rain the other day, not that much off and on! Remember Bob Soucy and Maureen Cormier also in your prayers and good wishes, we all still need them! Cheers!

Update: Apr 22nd, 3:55 pm, AZ Time!
Had my 2+ hours of chemo today! Kinda boring. Maureen always comes with me. Met some interesting people there. One old friend from Leominster, Colleen Figula, her daughter and Granddaughter! I worked with her husband Ted many years ago at Ft Devens. Nice talking with them! Unfortunately it was at the Cochise Oncology! Amazing who you can meet here in Sierra Vista? There are a lot of Leominster and area resident that live here! Well, took home the chemo pump for 46 hours again. Will be every 2 weeks with it. Chemo has not bothered me very much, so far? Maybe 'dry heavs' once or twice each treatment for about a minute or two? From what I have heard about chemo, can't complain? Do get more tired or exhausted for a while with it? The pump can be a pain to carry around, but not unbearable! Showers and sleeping only real problem...lol ! Played Softball on Sunday, won 2 games! Also to practice on Tues morn for an hour or so, but will skip tomorrow with the pump! Still working on my Garden! Planted a lot of seeds??? Also 3 different tomatoes and 2 pepper plants! My onions are coming up fast and good? Trying different things this year (2nd year). Will have to see if anything grows? Pictures, no captions yet, you will have to guess what they are...lol Remember Maureen Cormier, Robert Soucy, and of course your's truly in your prayers and wishes! We all know they help us a lot! Cheers!

Update: Apr 24th, 8:30 pm AZ Time!
Off the Chemo for awhile! Pump taken off this morning! Will have it again on May 6th...lol! Don't mind it too much, getting used to having it for the 46 hours! No after effects from the Chemo. Have been lucky that way! Another weekend and Softball again on Sunday! Working in my garden for something to do? Cheers! Thanks again for all your support!

Quick Update: Apr 25th at 6:30 PM AZ time:
Well I have not had a haircut since middle of 2014 or so...lol. Was figuring to get one a couple weeks ago but then started Chemo again! So, guess I will put it off for awhile? Did not loose it last time with the Chemo? It did thin out so all I had to do was trim it...lol? Probably the only way I have saved some money since the diagnosis? If I am 'lucky' it will thin out again and I won't need a haircut for quite some time! I guess at 74, I am just lucky to have 'Hair'! Still have a large box full of hats though! One of the softball players last Sunday had one of the hats with fake grey hair on top! It had to be grey because it was a New York Yankees hat...lol. Not feeling great the last couple of days? But, Softball again tomorrow!!! Cheers!
GFather Mom Dad
Grandfather James S Tansey
Mom Gladys M (Caisse) Tansey
Dad James J Tansey Sr

Update, May 6th 7:15 PM, AZ Time:
Have my little friend back, the Chemo Pump, for 46 hours. Almost did not get Chemo today as my white blood cell count is down! Said I wanted it and will get a shot for the cells on Friday when they remove the pump! Also been having pains in my shoulders and neck. Will have to get an MRI when they schedule it? Haven't felt great the last week of so? But still playing softball...lol. Guess the Chemo is making me tired, less energy? Hey, Robert Soucy, Maureen Cormier, and myself can still use your help. We know it helps us! Cheers!

Update, 14 May 11:10 pm, AZ Time:
Well, have not been feeling very good the last several days! Neck and Shoulder pain! Doctor gave me a prescription for the pain and it helps some. Haven't felt like eating much, feeding tube???, getting to be a pain! Call yesterday that my insurance approved my MRI...Amazing? Now they have to give me an appointment and the hospital is booked for the next couple of weeks...lol? Played softball last Sunday and had a great time! Pitched 2 games and felt real good...won both games! Got a few hits also! Skipped practice on Tuesday and Thursday? Last regular spring game will be next Sunday! Start again in the fall! But they have pickup games every Sunday so hope to make them? Some Softball Pics...Veterans Day Parade!

Update, May 17th 6:15 pm, AZ time:
Softball today! Pitched a doubleheader again! Last of the spring season games. Got 3 hits...not sure if this was one? Felt good to play but not feeling great this past week? Chemo again on Wed. Still waiting for MRI Appointment? Plenty of Pizza after the game, but can't eat it! Will put it in the blender....lol! Keeping Optimistic!

Quick Update, 19 May 2015, 8:35 AZ time:
Tomorrow is Chemo time again! Guess I will have my little 'buddy', the pump, again for 46 hours! Still waiting for the MRI to be scheduled? Don't know if I would like to hear the results? Go a pain prescription, liquid w/syringe, at Walmart and asked the price before ordering? $140.00, well lucky with my insurance I got 2 large bottles for 10.00! Thank goodness for Insurance! Skipping Softball till maybe Sunday? Tough to play with the pump...lol. Still hurting, off and on, shoulder/neck and a little more at times? 'Cancer is no Fun'? In the last year, in MA, 3 trips, Aug, Oct and Mar, I never expected this? Live life to the fullest, you never know.....???

Update, May 22nd, 5:55 pm, AZ Time:
Removed the 'pump' after it's 46 hours today! Don't miss it but don't mind it too much now? Next Chemo is June 3rd and I also have an MRI on the same day. Will be fun! Getting totally upset and confused with medical bills??? Got 2 bills in 3 days from the same place with 2 different lab names! Both asking for payment? Procedure was for my 'Biopsy' on 20 Feb and the first want's $1,179 for lab tests. Second (procedure on 23 Feb?) want's $768 for the same tests? One test is for 'Qty 5, Imunohisto Antibody Slide (???)' for $705 and the second bill the same slides and code for $895? (Same procedure, both bills one want's me to pay the $1,179, the other want's only $768 (but actually totals $1,017...same tests). So my insurance explains also that because the lab used a computer instead of a doctor for the results, I have to pay? (I had no choice as to who did this?) Do I have to pay both bills (somewhat duplicate?)? Will be making more calls!!! On top of all this (there are other bills that are almost this confusing as they did not send to MY insurance, but to some other unknown insurance)? When I started the new Chemo, the first 3 I was told, the cost to me was approx $185, every 2 weeks! My 4th last Wed, they corrected it to just under $400 every 2 weeks (about double?)? This is getting ridiculous? I am planning to sneak across the Mexican Border (less than 10 miles away) and come back to US as 'Jose Garcea', 74 years old gringo with no Birth certificate or ID!!! Should get all my medical free! Or I could just 'rob the local bank' and go to Prison....free medical! I am spending more time on the phone trying to correct all this mess of bills. Nothing seems to be right or understandable? If people don't watch and just pay well.....? You need to hire a professional bookkeeper or someone with a 'doctorate in medical billing' (know where I can find one...cheap...lol!) that can understand what these bills are? And when you are ill and feeling bad, you gotta go through all this BS to keep you awake nights! Wonder how Obamacare would be? Just Kidding! Cheers!

Anecdote Memory from my past!
How I miss being 'young'! Just think of the fun times we had. Not much responsibility that we could think of . We were not afraid to do the 'not so obvious' things that we often thought about doing. There was no danger to us. We did things that would be unthinkable to our own children today. And of course if they did these things we would not be very happy with them. Life was easy without all the problems you face as you get older. Money was not a big problem as there were always ways to make a few cents to buy some candy or baseball cards. Maybe a tonic to cool us off on the hot summer days. We could spend our time relaxing at the house and reading or playing with our toy soldiers or cowboys and indians or we could go to the field and play a pickup game of baseball. Even hang around a supervised playground and play Horseshoes or Ping Pong, or just play on the rides. No real worries and there was always a good meal waiting for you at home or maybe at Grandmas. No worry about playing in the 'dirt' with all them germs? No worry about getting a cut or scrape and dying from it. A neighbors or friends mom would apply Mercurochrome and a band aid and send us on our way. we knew all the neighbors and they knew us! We did not fear much. Heights, trains, strangers, roads, dirt were not our enemy. We just had fun. Of course there were rules? Home before dark or when the streetlights went on was the favorite. We played silly games like 'Kick the can'. 'Hiding seek' 'Jacks' and 'It'. Girls played 'hopscotch' and 'jumprope' . We were happy just 'flipping' baseball cards or playing board games like Checkers. Even 'Tic Tac Toe' or 'Blackjack', 'Crazy 8', and other card games would amuse us for hours. Rainy days, no problem. There was always someones porch to play on. Now we are old! Only have our memories of our youth! But no one can take them away!

Update: May 30th, 8:20 am, AZ time
Well, it's Saturday, about the end of another month. Summer is here? Not much going on lately. Been working in the garden and things are starting to bloom and vegetables starting to grow! Dug a couple trenches and planted another 20 or so Potatoes. Will see what happens? Must be the Irish in me! Last minute thought as the 5 plants I have growing are doing great! Have so much going on in the garden I will have to see what grows to find out what it is! Have beans, peas, corn, lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, squash, tomatoes, peppers and have no idea what else??? Planted most by seed which never had any luck with before? Getting close to another Chemo session, 2 hrs and 4 hrs with the pump again! Next Wed, the 2nd! Also have an MRI same morning! Will be fun! Doc said we might take a break in the Chemo after seeing how things go? At almost $400 per treatment, my cost?, it will be fine with me! Getting closer to my 'out of pocket' for this year which will be great! Haven't played softball since the last game. Have been skipping practice until they figure out what they are doing? It's OK as I have been a bit under the weather lately and extra tired, Chemo? As I have said before, prognosis is not very good for Esophageal Cancer! Especially Type IV! Statistics are grim! Say 8-12 months? But I am not believing in statistics! Will just keep on going best I can! I am not getting the neck/shoulder pain as much lately which may be a good sign? See what the MRI comes up with? Doc still want's a PET Scan? I would be surprised if they don't deny it again! Will wait and see as they are supposed to be putting in for it! Cheers! Remember all of us that are fighting cancer, we sure need your support. I know it helps! I can't thank all of you enough for your support! I will try to keep everyone updated on my progress or lack of it? It seems that many of you are interested in my 'problem' and maybe it will help someone? As I said before, Cancer was never a thought in my head before last September. None in my family! It comes as a shock when it is diagnosed? Now I realize that no one is exempt from this terrible disease! I am unable to express my feelings about how many persons have cancer of one kind or another. All I can say is it is not the end of the world! You must learn to live with it and always be optimistic and hope for the best even though the stats are against you! It is not a lot of fun with the insurance companies and doctors, hospitals, and Labs! Nothing is cheap! I am finding that I must check every bill that I receive for correctness. Then there are the phone calls to correct a problem with the bill? When you are 'ill' and under the weather you should not have to put up with this? Most persons are nice, but try to get an answer the first call...lol, or expect the call back when promised? I am lucky to have decent insurance...to a point? Most of my bills are manageable? May take years to pay,,,lol? Wishing you all the 'best of health', Cheers, Jim

Short Update, June 2nd, 2015
Getting ready for Wednesday, hate to see it come. Chemo and MRI will take most of the day? Feeling a bit better than I did a week or so ago! Been working in the garden. Dug trenches for about 30 potato plants. Ground had not been dug up before. Here you have to soak the ground with water and let it sink in, and continue doing it until you can dig deep enough. Or, you can use Dynamite...lol! Lot of work, for me, get tired easily w/chemo? Just kept at it several short times during the day. Total area was about 10' X 10 feet total! Also temps the last couple of days have been in the 90's! Hope the potatoes grow...lol! Have some coming up now and looking good! Don't know if the will produce potatoes though? Got to be the 'Irish' in me! Pic of Me, when we move here to Arizona...lol! Only time I grew a beard (my Arizona look!) and kept it for many years...don't miss it! Grew it on the drive out here! Cheers!

Update:
Well, Wednesday is here! Will be going for my MRI in about an hour! Followed by 2 hrs of chemo and of course the 46 hr pump! Going to be a long day. Been a bit warm here the last couple of days with temps mid 90's! But that is Arizona! Hasn't bothered me as I have been cold when the temp drops below 70...lol. We don't have Air Conditioning? We have what is called a 'Swamp Cooler' (Evaporative Cooler) which is cheap and works great. Have only used it a couple of days so far and have to turn it off by evening! Well, hoping for good news from the MRI! Can't get much worse, I guess! Cheers! A bit of Arizona!

Update Jun 11th 10:30 PM AZ time:
Nothing new. I'm just bored? Been watching TV and watching my garden grow...lol? Been very fatigued, but guess that's due to the Chemo? Picked my first yellow squash today! Potatoes, Squash and Beans seem to be doing good! Corn, (first time), has grown to be about a foot, long way to go? Will help when we get the monsoon rains, if we ever do? Have Lab work tomorrow at the Oncology center. Have it every Friday before chemo on Wednesday! They changed their procedure now and I see the doctor there on Monday. used to be on Wednesday before chemo. Gives them more time to diagnose what to do? Maybe find out how many more I will have? One good thing is that my 'out of pocket' with the insurance is almost there! That will be a relief, I hope! Had the Great Grandson, Ashton, over today, most every Thursday. Three and a half and he is great! Maureen sees to him most of the time. He loved it in the pool?! Bought a nice larger one that blows up last year (did not put it up) and don't think I feel like putting it up now, it's about 12 x 3. To much work right now? It was in the mid 90's today, as been the usual. Waiting for some rain...lol. Cheers!

Quick update on our lives...lol!
We have 3 Great Grandchildren! Next January we will be having 5! Just found out out grandson and his girlfriend will be having twins around Jan 29th! Life goes on! They now have a 2 1/2 year old and live in Peoria, Arizona!

Update, Sun, June 14th at 09:00 pm AZ time:
Getting warm here, temp was 102 degrees today! Still cooler than Tucson and Phoenix...lol Have to travel to Tucson on Thursday for an Appointment. Predict it will be 108 degrees there! Keeping cool with our cooler though. Cochise Oncology in the morning to see the doctor! Hoping for good results from the MRI! Should have chemo, #6, on Wednesday.Will probably have the 46 hr pump when I go to Tucson! Feeling a bit better, but it is days after the last chemo? Cheers!

Quick update June 15th 11:25 am, AZ time:
Just returned from the doctor and the MRI showed no more cancer! Good news. But the scan was for my neck and back? Said it was arthritis in my neck and shoulders. Well I was diagnosed in my early 30's with Generalized Osteoarthritis. Now they are requesting a CAT Scan? Not sure about chemo on Wednesday, they will get back to me? 'That's All Folks'! Cheers

Update June 17th, 09:45 PM, AZ Time:
No chemo today, will have it again next Monday! Good because we are off to Tucson tomorrow. Do not have to wear the pump...lol! Will be meeting our Granddaughter Kelley Marie there also! Should be about 109 degrees there...lol? Phoenix hit a record today of 114 degrees, hottest since 1896! All else is the same as ever? Cheers!

Update, Tuesday, June 23rd at 2:25 pm, AZ time:
Had my sixth chemo treatment yesterday. Have the chemo pump with me again. About halfway through the 46 hours! Will get it removed about noon tomorrow? Have the CT scan scheduled on Friday Morning at 8:30! Hoping for good news with this one! Will be my 2nd CT scan (first when I was diagnosed with the cancer. Two PET Scans and two MRI's! So far they all came out good with no Metastasis! Hoping for the same this time! It never ends! Another day with the temp at about 102 F! Guess we will stay at home today? No place to go anyway. Guess I will just be watching a lot of TV...lol? One thing about having the cancer, we have met some great and interesting people! Both here and on Facebook! 'Cancer is not a death sentence...It is a will to Live' Always keep Maureen, Bob and Sherryann, and me, in you thoughts and prayers...It is helping and we all appreciate it very much! It is so great to have all of you 'sticking' together with us!

Update, 29 June, 7:15 pm, AZ time:
Got the results of the CT Scan today! My esophagus is slightly thickened from the last time? Everything else seems 'grossly', their wording, normal? Red blood cells are lower? Going to do something about that? Putting me in for another Endoscope to see what is actually happening? It's all Greek to me...lol? At least it shows it has not spread! Have 4 pages of the report and can't understand most of it? Overall it looks 'good' for the most part? Still staying on chemo! Cheers! Oh, got my Glipizide prescription today at Walmart and it was FREE, no copay? Maybe things are looking up...lol?

Update, 8 July, 1:10 pm, AZ time:
Not much happening. Feeling OK! Had the 7th Chemo last Monday then the pump for the 46 hours! Just had the Chemo Pump removed a couple hours ago. Nice to not have it hanging around my neck for another 2 weeks? Trying to get the appointment for the Endoscope, the doctor has to get back to me...lol! No problem, just need the date. The same doctor that diagnosed me will be doing it. She is really great! Wish they could do something so that I could eat real food through my mouth...lol? The endoscope should show how much my esophagus has shrunk or grown since I was diagnosed? Lost one of our Cancer victims, Sherryann! Our condolences to her husband Bob and family! Grateful to all of you for your prayers and good wishes! As I said before, cancer was never a thought in my mind before last September. Amazing how it can change your life in just an instant! Learned a lot about it in the past months. It is on the rise so be careful and look for symptoms early, it could save your life! Cheers!

Anecdote Memory from my past!
Remember in the late 1960's at Leominter High School (not Carter). After school those with drivers license and a car cruised West St to the common picking up kids along the way, back and forth. I had a 1941 Buick Special and could hold a bunch of kids in it. No seat belts, etc. Some had hot rods to show off. We had fun but doubt you could do it today. When in high school the one thing you wanted was a license to drive. Just could not wait for that day to come. Before that I used to walk, rain or snow, or sun from my house at the intersection of Main and N Main through the Plymouth Garage, up Walnut St, through St Leo's Playground, down Church , or was it School st to Merriam Ave and to the school. I was lucky later as Sammy Martino, a Senior would pick me up on Merriam Ave. Never took a school bus. What would kids do today. That's the way it was for us!

Small Update:
Got my Cat-scan results today !! Because of only 50% of Chemo given (due to side effects) the Cancer is still there !!!!! The good news is it didn't SPREAD !!!!!!! S0 I need to get 6 more Chemo's to make up for it, then we'll see ! Keep your prayers coming and good wishes !!!

Quick Update, July 16th, 10:35 PM, AZ Time:
Well I am still alive! Not much happening with me. Been to the doctors and he changed one of my med's to a higher dose, for Thyroid? Also got the call for the Endoscope. Will be having it on Friday the 24th at ...5:45 AM (that's in the morning...lol)! Will be happy to get the results and hope they are good? Chemo again on Monday, 8th treatment! My Garden is getting out of control...lol? I have squash growing all over the place? Have been picking some Summer Squash and Tomatoes and today a couple of Cukes. Quite a few Butternut Squash now starting. Hard to look through the leaves to see what is growing. A lot of them I will have to see when something appears as to what it is...lol! Well my Fridge, another story! Just about stopped completely a couple days ago? Checked out the back and found, after all this time, a ground wire was not hooked up? Could not see it to easy and don't remember unhooking it? Guess what, the Fridge is working pretty good at the moment. But still don't trust it. Even making Ice Cubes again! It was quite some time since changing the Control Panel and the Refrigerator worked, kinda, off and on? Well now we have a new Fridge on order so it will have to go? Life goes on? So far Maureen Cormier's posts are looking pretty good! Mine also, so far! With the recent PET, MRI and CT scan all showing no Metastasis? We both still have a long way to go? As usual, it's day by day? One good thing happened, my 'out of pocket' with my insurance, is satisfied for this year! Still have lot's of bills to pay though (you know, $10 a month...lol?)! Got another prescription and it was also Free at Walmart? Like that a lot, even though they were not very expensive at cost? Thanks everyone for all your support and interest! The people on this site are Great! Pictures: Remember Allie, our Great Granddaughter who had the heart op? Visit from her the other day. She is doing great! Part of my garden a couple days ago...grown a lot since then...lol!

Update, Monday, 20 July 2014, 2:30 PM, AZ Time:
Couple more minutes.to finish chemo here at Cochise Oncology! Then a shot of Forfax ? Then I get the Chemo pump! Then get to go home...yea ! Home now! About 3 hours! And no shot? Will get it Wednesday when I have the pump removed! It always seems longer? But that's it for another 2 weeks and the 9th treatment, maybe? Still do not know how long he will keep me on the chemo? Think so far they must have a '55 Gal Drum' with the chemo just for me...lol! Now I have to look forward to the Endoscope on Friday! As long as she puts me out like last time, when I was diagnosed. They used the Endoscope to put in my Feeding Tube and I was only partially put out. He had to get past the tumor, which the first one could not do, and It was not a pleasant experience...he did it though! Just think, this Endoscopy is just the opposite of a Colonoscopy...lol? But you don't have to drink that awful stuff! Well I do have the pump for 46 hours! Wear it around your neck! Got pretty use to it on me for 46 hours
40th reunion
Just Jim!

Update: 22 July, 12:05 pm, AZ Time:
Just had the pump removed! Good for another 2 weeks. Chemo with the pump is Folfox! Been researching a bit and found I can have an Esophageal Stent! Placed inside the esophagus with an Endoscopy ! It would allow me to eat pretty normal? I am having an Endoscopy on Friday, not the Stent, but will ask the doctor about it then! Would be great to be able to eat again! Hoping it can happen? Watched the procedure on YouTube and it is relatively simple? Sorry if Graphic?

Update, July 24th, 9:20 AM, AZ Time:
Just returned from the hospital. Procedure took about 15 minutes but with all the prep...? Doctor seen me about the results after! When she came in she had a smile on her face. Last time it was bad news? She showed me the pictures and said there was NO Cancer! The pictures were nice and pink with no white masses? She took biopsies, so will wait for the results. Still not out of the woods because this cancer has a tendency to spread, but so far so good! She is going to check on the 'Stint'! My esophagus did show some swelling, for whatever reason, and that is why I cannot eat as it is too narrow. She could not get the endoscope through it? If I can get the 'Stint' it would be at University Hospital in Tucson! Still hoping for the best! Thanks again for all your prayers and good wishes, it sure must help! It was a wonderful day for me yesterday! But knowing cancer, It is still one day at a time? But the news was great and amazing for me! I know that all your prayers and wishes helped accomplish this! I still have to believe that someday, hopefully far in the future, it is possible that this cancer could return? I know how interested all of you have been in the following of my Esophageal Cancer and the progress I am making! So, I decided to show these two, of several pictures, showing my cancer! Do I believe in miracles? I sure do, now ! These pics are of when I was diagnosed in September 2014 and the present (less than 10 months)! My oncologist yesterday said there was only scarring left? I will now wait to see what my Oncologist is going to do? I have an appointment with him on Tuesday. All my research about this type cancer shows that this should not happen, or is very rare. For Type IV esophageal cancer and not having the operation, survival is very poor for even 2 years (even with the op?)? I know that I still have a ways to go? I cannot thank all of you enough! Will have to press onward now with renewed hope for my future! Hopefully a 'stint' will be there, and next I will be able to eat a meal with my wife at a restaurant! I will still keep with my updates! Cheers! Hope that this is not to graphic, but this is what cancer really looks like!
40th reunion
Cancer Free
Endoscope Picture

Anecdote Memory from my past!
Remember those hot humid summer days in Leominster. Not many of us had Air Conditioning in their home or especially in their car. What did you do to keep cool. Well, we opened the windows and let the cool breeze flow in,if we were lucky to have one. Usually there was no breeze...lol. Just sat around the house with an ice cold lemonade or iced tea, or even a ice cold tonic. It was impossible to move as you would just get hotter. Days like this you just did not wan't to move. Maybe dad would take you out for a car ride in the country with all the windows, including the vent window, open and rolled down? Maybe you would be able t go to Whitney pool to cool off. Not many of us had pools at our homes. Maybe a galvanized tub filled with cold water you could sit in, or you could always get under a sprinkler hose. Fan's helped a little and you could stand in front of it and talk funny. Sleeping was almost impossible. you stripped down and closed your eyes but it was still to hot. If you had a shower, a cold one might help for a short while. We just waited it out and hoped for cooler weather. Maybe a nice Thunder and LIghtning storm would come in and cool us off? Wasn't the Leominster weather always great?

Update, July 29th, 10:15 pm, AZ Time...Important!
I have always been trying to get my message across? If you have any problem with swallowing, see your doctor immediately! In the very recent past I have been informed of 2 friends and one friend of a friend who has just been diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer! One of the friends has been given only about 2 weeks to live! One other friend is one of my Softball players! If caught early it is very likely to be cured! If not the prognosis is usually 8 to 12 months! two year survival is less than about 2%! Even so, the operation is radical, very serious, long painful recovery, and still with the probability that the cancer will return very soon! Please if you or anyone you know complains about swallowing, see a doctor immediately! Sorry if I keep repeating this! Myself, the good news was unexpected and could not be any better! EC survivors are almost non-existent, with or without the operation! Believe me as I have been doing a lot of research on EC! Although this great news was a Happy Day for me and family, there is always the possability of return! I am not out of the woods yet. . .lol! I am sure that all your prayers and good wishes helped me get this far! I appreciate all of you, and keep it up for me, Maureen and Bob and all others with cancer of any type! It is a terrible thing to have? It can affect anyone, without a clue! Sorry if I bore you, but If this will help only one person, I would be very happy! Cheers

Update, July 31st, 12:25 pm, AZ Time
Just got back from the Oncology doctor and he was pleased with results although haven't received the report yet. Want's me to have 3 more Chemo's starting on Monday. Also checking on the 'stint' but he believes I should have the stretching first to see how it goes! Should be in Tucson! Got a call from my Gastro.... doctor to make an appt in Gilbert, AZ which is a 3 hour drive one way? Hope to just go to Univ Medical in Tucson, a lot easier for us! I get, and you probably also, an 'explanation of benefits' for everything medical that I do? Gives the cost, what insurance will pay, what I will pay, etc! Not a Bill! This picture is of the papers I got so far (since end of Sep 2014) for each procedure 2014 on Left and 2015 on right! l just received 4 today and the charge for the procedure was almost $4,000! You can imagine someone without insurance having medical problems! I am not going to count them...lol? But I get several each week in the mail? Cheers

Update, Aug 7th, Noon time:
Looking at my Oncology statement I just got! Had an injection in May and June for Pegfilgrastim (to stimulate the growth of white blood cells?)! Cost was $8100.00 per shot! What do you do if you don't have insurance...lol! It is amazing looking at the cost of the procedures and chemo and radiation treatments! You would have to be a millionaire to afford them on your own...lol. As it is, my cost is pretty high also, at least for my budget! Just got back from the Emergency Room as my feeding tube has been leaking,(not food) but from around the outside? Just have to let it go and see what happens? My doctor was not in (operating all day) so they suggested the Emergency Rm? Not bad, was there about an hour. Was seen to a room immediately but had to wait for the doctor, register and check out...not bad? First time at the new hospital. Not much news as of yet! Still waiting for biopsy results? Still waiting to hear more about the stint or stretching? Just a waiting game! Still happy about he Endoscopy results! Have 3 more Chemo's to go? Cheers!
40th reunion 40th reunion
Jim US Air Force and Gradation
Lackland AFB Texas &
Leominster High School Class of 1958

Update, Aug 15th, 2:50 PM, AZ time
Nothing much new lately! Still waiting for results from the Biopsy? Seeing doctor on Monday! Chemo again on Monday, I think? Missed a call from them on Friday so will wait and see? Have 3 more to go, according to doctor! Not looking for more $8100.00 shots though! Doc that put feeding tube in I seen the other day because it was leaking? Not much to do about it but wait. Has not been too bad though lately, just once in awhile ?That after also spending almost 2 hours in the emergency room for the same reason! He mentioned about me having the Esophagus surgery (Ivor-Lewis Procedure), as he is a surgeon? Don't think I want that, now! Still waiting for work about the 'Stint' or stretching of the esophagus? Medical is getting amazing! Had the Endoscopy procedure and the Anesthesia cost more than the procedure by a couple hundred dollars! Who would think that? Made another 170 mile round trip yesterday afternoon to Tucson. Brought Granddaughter and her scooter back there to U of Arizona! Getting used to driving the distance lately and figure we have about 4 more trips in the next few weeks there! About 1 1/2 hours either way, I-10 is 70 MPH most of the way! Temp when we were in Tucson yesterday was 107 and up to 112 today! Sierra Vista today hit at least 102? Getting a bit warm here again! Oh, got my new refrigerator the other day, it is great, French door? The old (7 year old) one still does not work (freezer), so we put it in the garage? Isn't life great!

Update, Aug 21st, 1:50 am, AZ time:
Not a great day yesterday? I have RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) and it bothered me most of the day? Have a hard time sitting at the PC when like that? Have had it since at least my teenage years? I do take medication (Requip) for it but sometimes it just does not work. Also been having a hard time with mucus in my throat that I have to keep 'hacking' up. Hoping this will be gone when I have my procedure to stretch my esophagus in about 2 weeks ( Aug 4th). Looking forward to it! Hoping that soon I will be able to eat normal, or somewhat normal? Even though my scope showed 'no cancer' it is still a waiting game? It is not a sure thing that it will not return? I am very optimistic, as usual, that it won't? I still believe that all your prayers and good wishes are responsible as this just does not happen with this type of cancer! Usual diagnosis is 8-12 months when diagnosed? With the operation, which I could not have, survival may be raised to several years, or not? I consider myself extremely lucky to have so many 'friends' here on Facebook! Please keep up your support for me and Robert Soucy and Maureen Cormier, we are all grateful for your support! As I said, it is now 2 am here! Guess I should try to get some more sleep...Lol? Slept for a couple hours and woke up to have my last meal of the day, yesterday?...lol

Update, Aug 24th, 7:10 pm AZ time:
Not much on the 'Cancer' front! Still 9 days till I get my Esophagus 'stretched'! Still have the 'mucus problem and not being able to drink anything? Well another quick trip to Tucson, 150 miles ! Just had to go to get Maureen's Fingerprints taken...lol! The first time they were not good enough? Practiced softball on Sunday afternoon. We start the season in about 2 weeks. Will be great to get back to playing again! 12 weeks, doubleheader each Sunday!

Update, Sep 3rd, 9:20 am, AZ time:
Well just had my 'breakfast', Boost VHC and an ISO Source, through the tube! Hopefully all will change some after tomorrow? Due to have my Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD for short) tomorrow! Have to drive to Tucson, University Hospital and have the procedure about 1:pm. Will be staying in a hotel overnight as Maureen will not drive home? I guess I could drive but even from the hospital to the hotel, 2 miles, they say I cannot drive. Instructions stated if I do not have a driver with me they cancel the procedure? Hoping all goes well and I will be able to eat 'something'...lol?

Update Sep 4th & 5th, 6:05 PM AZ time:
For those waiting to hear about my trip to Univ Hospital to 'stretch' my esophagus? All did not go as planned? We got to the hospital just before noon on the 4th. They have Valet parking! Right into the Endoscopy place and signed in and they almost immediately got me on a gurney and started an IV and took all the other stuff. Then told I was next? The doctor came in and asked me a lot of questions. Was not satisfied with my condition, not being able to get through the esophagus? I showed him the pics from the previous endoscopes which make him happy? Almost sent me home until he found out where we lived? He called my doctor also? But he was still not happy and I felt he was sending me back home? He then said it was pretty delicate for him to do so he consulted with another senior doctor. After everything got settled I went to the operating room about 4:30 PM! The senior doctor did the operation! As discussed with the doctors, I did not have the same procedure? So, after looking at my esophagus, and trying to dilate it, They called in Maureen to confirm doing a 'Stint'! I was told this was a possibility! Everything went very well! We got back to the hotel about 7:00 PM! I was feeling miserable! Told to sleep with my head elevated? I was full of 'air' which I could not get up? Hurting a bit. All normal! Tried almost immediately to sleep without any results! Could not get comfortable. About 2:15 AM I threw up and again a short time later.It seemed to help and I got a little sleep after, Visit from Granddaughter Kelley before checking out at 11:00 AM and heading home. Been sleeping since I got home till about 6:00 PM! Threw up again immediately getting to the house. Oh, stopped at Walmart for prescriptions. One has to be ordered and the other they did not have in liquid form? No luck there as they also had to call the hospital to verify or change prescriptions? All in all, I feel worse with this procedure than at any time since I was diagnosed? But it would all work out for the best? Have not eaten since before the op! Had half a Boost just before throwing up at 2:15 AM. Has been a long 2 days! 4 1/2 hours on a gurney was not my first time. With the feeding tube op I was on the gurney from about 6:00 AM to 11:30 AM as I had a Insure that morning and they could not operate right away, my fault! Cheers! Oh, they brought Maureen into the operating room and she said there was about 11 people in there. They showed her that they could not get through with the 'balloon'? Kind of unusual but they needed the permission for the stint!

Update Friday, Sep 10th 6:55 pm, AZ time:
Well still not feeling 100%? My first 'thing' down my throat since last Thanksgiving was Yogurt! Then some Sherbet and some Campbell's Cream of Asparagus soup? Really not all my favorite, but taking it slow! Was feeling pretty bad the first few days and don't want to push it! I probably lost 6 or 7 lbs since the operation? Nobody sent me a Maine Lobster or a Kimball's Special...lol? Have to go back for another endoscopy on Nov 11th? Not sure why?

Update, Tue, 13 Sep 8:24PM /az
Bad Day! Bad week, badly since I had the stent put in? This afternoon I called my doc for an appt, and was lucky to be fit in at 4:00 pm? I have had a sore throat for days and nothing seemed to help? Sent Maureen for Cloroaseptic spray and that was hopeless! Doc said I was anemic and sent me to get blood tests at the hospital right away as he did not want to wait. Will get them first thing in the morning? The hospital was a short walk next door, I drove? At the desk I was shivering and cold? The man at the desk got me 2 hot blankets while I waited and I was still shivering (got to take them home after the blood tests...lol)? Brought me to the car in a wheelchair? Very Tired Also! Think it is my white Blood Cells being Anemic?? Also not hydrated, need water...lol Guess I need that $8,100.00 shot again...lol Also he had a problem with the medicine from my kidney doc so he called to make an apt in the morning to make sure. Could get through only to an answering service so I will call in the morning! am pretty dumb, as I have been having trouble going to the bathroom since the operation. Put it down to the op? But today, an hour before seeing the doc I realized I had stopped taking a stool softener when I could not take them from my mouth or crush them? My Kidney doctor increased my iron to 4 per day instead of 1. I now realized the problem and my doc agreed! Should have thought of that weeks ago...lol I now have a medicine for the sore throat to take 4 times per day w/syringe. And another w/syringe for esophageal Candidiasis? (White spots on my Esophagus?) It Is a Yeast Infection and can infect from Brain to toenails, as some women may relate). Hopefully this medicine will get rid of it? Have an apt on Oct 16th for another endoscopy at Tucson! Whew! Am not too steady on my feet either when first standing up? Cheers! Remember the others we alll still need help!

Update: Fri, 25 Sep, 08:30 Pm AZ time:
May not be on the computer much for a few days? I feel like '2 cents after taxes!' Believe me, that ain't good! Taking so much medicine I just feel bad? Not feeling like putting anything down my throat? They want me to have 5 Boost VHC's per day ($205.00 per month at my cheap rate). Waited for a case today, UPS message said it was delivered to Douglas AZ today, 60 miles away (I live in Sierra Vista) at 12:05 pm? Called about 5:00 pm and spoke with 3 people and placed on hold? doorbell rang and it was delivered! UPS was great though and even called back. Then I ordered 2 more cases and checked my Bank Statement and it had me paying 3 times instead of 1? Actually 4 times as my cable bill was the same price. Called bank and they will straightening it out! Was $111.00 extra on my statement...lol. Not what I wanted to do feeling this bad! Maureen has been great with me and running around for medicine and food! It has been a lot of responsibility for her! I have my own room with computers, tablets, phone, 42" large screen TV, Futon bed, and just moved my Lazy Boy recliner in to sleep better...lol? Thanks Debbie LeBlanc, daughter, for the eating advice! Think Softball will be a 'no go' again this Sunday! Cheers everybody! 'I will survive this!"

Update of sorts!!!
Ramblings from my empty head??? CANCER! The BIG 'C'! Everyone has heard of it, no one thinks they will get it? 'A battle for Life'! Shocked when diagnosed! Family cannot believe? Death Sentence? Money! Doctors and Nurses! What will friends say? My family should not go through this? I will beat this! I will fight this! I will win this! My weapons are few? Cancer is huge! Cancer always wins...NOT! Keep optimistic! Don't give up! I am not ready to leave this earth! I will hold out to the end...many years away? It could happen to anyone? We are not immune! There is no cure? What do I do now? Never expected it to be me? Why Me? I now know friends that have it! Treatments, bad or good? What should I do! Prayer...the best! Keep up the humor side of me! My weapons are small? Prayer, medicine, hope, optimism, humor, never give in/up, live one day at a time! I will win! It can be beaten! Strength, though you are weaker! Great support from family and friends! Family sticks together! Treatments now! Radiation, can be awful? Chemo, may be worse? Operation! Many doctor visits! Hospitals I was never used to going to! Money! Bills you never thought were possible! Must have insurance, and do! Still more money to pay out! Several doctor visits per week! Do I feel different? Life goes on? Not bedridden! Cannot tell how I feel mentally or physically! Pretend it is not happening to me? Loosing weight! Sleeping more! Not so much energy now! Looking for good results from tests! Not always good news! Knowing you have a short time on this earth! Hoping for the best! Friends are important! Prayers are very important! Good Wishes are Welcome! They all help! Not wishing this on anyone! Not knowing what tomorrow will bring? Not knowing if you will see your next Birthday? Hoping! Trying to continue as if nothing happened? Life changing disease! No Cure! Try to stay normal mentally and physically...hard to do? Wishing that cancer will be gone from this earth someday! Not wanting your family or friends to go through this, ever! Enjoy the good days! Ignore the bad days! Hard to explain how you feel! Keep family happy! Maybe an operation will help? Maybe not! Maybe not able to have one? Don't loose faith and hope! Hospitals and doctors offices get to be like home...lol! Hoping someday you will be normal again! Hoping the future is brighter with no pain! Good quality of Life is important! It is a hope and dream! Hoping cancer will not spread! No cure, but hoping for many years free! Hoping your family can cope with any results, good or bad! Meeting patients that are worse than you, disturbing! Even though yours may be the worse! Medicines, Ugh! Shots and Blood tests every week or less? Feeling great one day, bad the next! Pretend to be feeling fine for your family and friends! Happy to have so many friends praying and wishing me good wishes! I am grateful to all of you! I may now be looking down upon all of you from a better place(?) without all your help! Looking forward to my 90th Birthday in about 15 years! Sticking with my motto from the beginning: Cancer is not a Death Sentence it is a Will to Live! Sorry, you can all say 'AMEN' now!

Update:
It's Tuesday & still in hospital! Have had many blood tests, 2 X-rays, CT SCAN (all good and clear). 2 blood transfusions (guess to feel ace the gallon they have taken out.lol). Have not eaten or been out of bed since Sunday at 11:00 pm! Now waiting for my Gastro...to come in about an hour? Endoscope about 5:00 pm? Not good typing on phone...lol. Thanks everyone!

Update, Oct 3rd, 1:45 pm, AZ time:
I am Home!! Got to the house about 10:30 pm last night! Feels good! An experience I never want to have again! The Hospitals and staff were all terrific! Did not have to use my Sheleighly on any of them? A long time to go without eating, drinking, or getting out of bed? Feeling a lot better. Say I have a Duodenal Ulcer and an Ulcer to take care of? Guess it is better than Esophageal Cancer! They found no Cancer with the CT Scan! The stent that slipped down because the Esophagus opened caused the bleeding. It also opened the Esophagus so now they say I can eat 'normally'? Take it slow to start. Still fed by tube 4 times a day with a nutritional during TwoCal HN. Hospital put me through to a company that supplies it and they will get back on Monday whether my Ins will pay. Quoted almost $14 per 8 ounce can, 4 cans per day ($1600 per month)? I checked with my company that I get my Boost VHC and they get $29.99 per case of 24 cans of Butter Pecan and $1 more for Vanilla ($150 per month). ($6 cheaper than the VHC?) Pays to shop around! That's with Free Shipping and 2-3 days delivery! I love MVS Discount Store! I did have 2 real meals before leaving Tucson hospital, all soft foods! Did not eat very much? It is a new experience and kinda scary to eat again! I can just imagine how much that Helicopter ride of 80 miles one way will cost? And I did not remember a thing...lol? Cheers

Update:
I have recently realized that some of you think that I live in Leominster? I Live in Sierra Vista, Arizona! I am a 'North Leominster Boy'! My Tansey family came from Ireland and settled in North Leominster. My Mother is Gladys Caisse, daughter of Maud and Louis of the 'Caisse Brothers Baseball team'. French Canadians they also settled in North Leominster. Dr LeBrecht brought me into this world on the 20th day of 1941 at Leominster Hospital. I lived in two houses near the RR Tracks at the Main and N Main St intersection. Doyle Field was my playground. I attended St Leo's, May A Gallagher, Leominster High School, Class of 1958. I then worked at Sportsmens Plastics and Selig's before enlisting in the US Air Force in 1960. My parents both worked at Seligs. I was stationed in England for 4 years. Met my wonderful wife Maureen, a war baby who remembers the bombing of her home town of Ipswich, Suffolk, a port city! We will have been married for 52 years on October 5th (tomorrow). We had my son born on the RAF Bentwaters/Woodbridge bases there.He lives in Leominster and has one daughter. Returned to Leominster in 1965 to Main St. Bought a new home on Dale Avenue in 1972. Have 2 daughters, one living in Leominster with 2 of our Grandchildren. The other lives here in Sierra Vista and our other five Grandchildren live in Arizona. We have 3 Great Grandchildren here in Arizona soon to be five (twins in Jan). I was the first Cubmaster for Pack 4, Southeast School for 6 years. I was with the Joanettes from 1972 for many, many years. Bus Driver, and all around worker, and member of their Board of Directors. Then with another Drum Corps in Chelmsford until leaving for Arizona. Moved to Arizona in 1993 when my job at Ft Devens transferred me to Ft Huachuca and we bought a home in Sierra Vista, 22 years ago. So, Yes I am a 'North Leominster Boy'. Leominster will always be in my heart! My memories are of Leominster. I was a very quiet and shy boy in my younger years. Some of you may remember me? I cannot express my appreciation to much to all of you for your support of my recent health problems. If my posts can help save one person from Esophageal Cancer, I will be very happy! 'Can't Swallow....See the Doc! Cheers!

Update, Oct 7th, 9:20 pm, AZ Time:
Had my first haircut today in almost 2 years! With Chemo starting twice my hair thinned and grew little. Also my doctor said I should eat 'spinach and Liver for the Iron content? Bought some Beef Liver today and had it with onions. Fortunately, I have always liked liver...lol! Feeling a bit better. Got to learn how to eat again? Still have doctors appointments, labs today, doctor tomorrow, primary doctor yesterday! Got a bit of good news on my Health Insurance. It will be going down about $.60 cents next year. At least that is less not more as most are going up. My plan with the government this year is starting Self Plus One a bit cheaper than Family Plan. Still wondering what the 80 mile helicopter ride is going to cost me? It should be covered 100% by my insurance but I am sure they will find a way to charge me? I keep hearing figures of $40K? Well life goes on! I feel pretty lucky at the moment! Maureen said I did not look like I would make it to Tucson when she left me at the Sierra Vista hospital, but she is far from an expert...lol? Cheers! Everyone keep healthy...Can't afford to get sick today (maybe Obamacare?). They keep advertising it on TV to call a number and you can get it free??? Maybe most of us worked to much during our working years as we have to pay for health care?

Funny Update:
When I went to the Emergency Room I was feeling pretty bad? I had PJ's on and changed into my Baseball pants as they were the easiest and most comfortable thing I could find to wear at the time. I just wanted to get to the hospital? After getting there, I was called to go in and started walking over and had both hands full. My pants fell down to my knees...lol It was about midnight and there were only 2 guys there. Maureen explained that I had lost a lot of weight and I did not put on a belt. Actually I could of cared less the way I was feeling. Maureen had to pull them up as my hands were still full! Just one of those things! Maureen enjoys mentioning this...lol? Cheers.

Update:
Going pretty good at the moment? 2 doctors appointments tomorrow. Eating a little bit, soft foods? Have to gain weight? Got my computer back! Working great! Now has Windows 10? Have to get used to it!

Update, 20th Oct: At least scroll down to the jokes...lol!
Still trying to get used to Windows 10...lol? It is quite a bit different...but the same? I do like it, it is much faster, at least for my computer?

Update, 20th Oct:
Had 2 doctors appointments today. Both went well! My primary doc is an old friend we have known for years. He just sat down and talked with us for about a half hour before he got out his stethoscope...lol. Have to gain weight though. Down to about 137 lbs? Before the cancer was about 160-65? Still trying to eat. Had spaghetti tonight? Nothing really tastes that good? It must be my taste buds but they say they will improve with time? After almost a year, what can I expect? But will keep trying! Still not eating solid food like steak, or Lobster...lol? bought Yogurt, puddings, fruit, etc and look good just doesn't taste right, not the cheap stuff either? Made a cake and a meatloaf also? Mashed potatoes and gravy is good? Had regular bread crumbs for the meatloaf, wish I had the Italian ones, kinda bland, even with a lot of spices added, since bought the Italian ones! Got to get back to my cooking again after a year or so? Thinking of making A cornmeal cake or muffing now? Maureen will 'kill' me? It's almost 9pm! All my doctors said I was lucky to go to Tucson when I did? I never thought it was that serious...lol? I was never in pain, but haven't been since diagnosed with the cancer? Lucky, I guess? Catch ya all later!

Note: About end of October:
This is when I went to the Emergency Room, admitted, had many tests as I was coughing up blood. Finally Air Evac to Banner University Hospital before waking up from Endoscopy. Stent removed there with Endoscopy and admitted for about 4 days. Esophagus clear and should be able to eat? Lasted a few days and closed up again.

Update, 26 Oct, 07:00 pm, AZ Time:
Got an explanation from my Gastro.... about my Air Evac to Tucson. When she did the endoscope she found my esophagus filled with blood. Apparently from the top of the mesh stent started the bleeding and had slipped down to my stomach? That is why I still had trouble eating after the stent was put in? Blocked with blood? It was not the ulcers that bled? She called the doctor in Tucson, during the endoscope, that put the stent in and they agreed on the seriousness and best to have me airlifted to Tucson. She would have had to have a Cardiac Surgeon available to pull the stent out? If something went wrong, I would have to have been 'opened up'? I was sent to Tucson as I was on the table for the endoscope in Sierra Vista. I was kept under the anesthesia with the breathing tube inserted. That is why I don't remember anything about the flight? At Tucson they immediately did another Endoscopy and removed the stent. All before I regained consciousness? My esophagus is wide open now! Guess it was much more serious than I ever thought! Could have been real bad if it had continued to bleed and I ignored it! Guess she and the doc in Tucson wore on the phone and sending pics. Maureen actually did not believe I would make it? She said I could not die as our 52nd Anniv was a couple of days away...lol! Amazing how doctors can communicate today with phones to save lives?

Update Oct 31st, 2015, 930 am, AZ time:
Diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer 13 months ago?! Believe in that time I have spent more of my waking hours in medical facilities, hospitals and doctors offices? Usually a lot of wait time...lol? I have had about 20 Chemo and 28 Radiation treatments. Several of each PET, CT and MRI scans. Several X-Rays about 8 units of blood. Lost count of Endoscopes, maybe 7 or 8? Stent put in Esophagus and then removed, both by endoscope. Doctors appointments, 4 doctors, about 40? Hospital stay, 6 days. Cancer is 'Hell'! Amazed to find out cancer has 'dissappeared'? Had 3 operations: Port for chemo, Feeding Tube and Biopsy under armpit. Emergency room 2 times? Air Evac to Tucson, 80 miles. Whew! For someone who had been in great health for over 72 years, it is an experience I would like to forget! It's not over yet? Been having a pain in left lower quadrant for about 10 days which could mean constipation? Nothing works! seen my 4 doctors about this. Still have pain? Now I will be going in for an Endoscopy and Colonoscopy on Nov 9th. Both at the same time. Hope they don't use the same scope for both...lol! It just never get's better? But, I am still optimistic and still have a sense of humor! It will not beat me! Was lucky to make it to Tucson when bringing up blood? Survivability statistics for my cancer are 6-12 months without an operation. I was denied the operation as I was Type IV. Even with the op, prognosis is not all that favorable? Thanks again for all your prayers and good wishes, they help! Cheers! Update: Maureen was sworn in and is now a United States Citizen! Ceremony was at Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson. 126 new citizens were sworn in from 31 countries! Maureen was the only one from the United Kingdom. No surprise that a majority were from Mexico, The usual 1 1/2 hour or less drive back to Sierra Vista took about 2 1/2 hour? Don't know the reason but traffic was backed up to about 2 mph for about 20 miles on this 75 MPH road? I am now getting ready for the GI Upper Endoscopy and the Colonoscopy on Monday...lol! Have been feeling better and no real pain at the moment?

Update Nov 9th:
Another chapter over! Just got back from the hospital for the Upper GI Endoscopy and the Colonoscopy. Colonoscopy went great!As I guessed the endoscope showed it to be blocked again? I suspected it as I have not been able to eat with my mouth the last few days? Doctor will check with to find out what is next. my doctor leaves for 3 weeks for the Solomon Islands where twice a year she goes and gives free medical to the people there. It is her own thing with her husband to do this at her expense! I think it is great! They were scuba diving there and realized there was no doctors there so they started their traveling there! Anyway she is going to check with the Tucson doctor to see what ca be done? Oh, they did the Colonoscopy first...lol? But was assured they used a different tube for the Endoscope! Guess it is quite common to do both now. And finally see something on the Air Evac ($45,000) and Insurance says my cost is $9,750. good luck, with all my other bills! Haven't got an actual bill yet though? One of the nurses today could not believe the cost and he thought it would be about $4-5,000, dreamer! Gotta get some rest now. Cheers.

Update 11 Nov:
Call from my doctor here and she spoke with my doctor in Tucson today. We agreed that I will have the stent replaced. This time he will 'stitch' it so that it will now drop down? Waiting to hear when this will be happening? They know that I want to start eating again. Hoping that it will work this time? Another Endoscopy, have had 6 in the last year! Cheers Please take some time to read this: Time for an update on my Esophageal Cancer diagnosed Sep 29th, 2014! A few months ago an endoscopy showed NO Cancer! Very unusual for this type to go away, but most likely can return from statistics which also state 6-12 month survivability? Since I could not have the very serious operation, this is great news! I had a stent put in my esophagus a couple months ago and did not feel to good after! Turned out the stent dropped down to my stomach as my esophagus opened up? I went to the emergency room and after X-rays, CT Scan, 3 blood transfusions, etc, and undergoing an Endoscope, was Air Evaced by helicopter 80 miles to Tucson, Banner Univ Hospital! Sedated all the way and then had stent removed with Endoscopy in Tucson. I had been bringing up blood as I found out later was filling my esophagus. Lucky to have made it? Drs were on phone and sending pics while I was having the first endoscope? Needed a Cardio Surgeon to be in room while stent was removed and my Dr could not do it without. If something went wrong, they would have to open me up...lol. Well they said I could eat from my mouth, but only lasted a few weeks? Now I am getting an appointment in Tucson to have another stent put in and this time it will be stitched? Cancer is Hell! Even when it is gone...lol? The Helicopter ride cost $45,000! Hospital and Doctors, etc another $60,000 or so total for the week was $103,000+ so far! My only cost should be the Air Evac and ins is not paying about $9,750 of it? Something is quite out of balance here. We have Illegals here at the border in AZ that get free rides and care? I am telling this story so you will realize what Cancer can do and what the Health care is like for us, ordinary working People all our lives, and veterans, have to put up with. Remember, this is only one week of my battle with Cancer? A small amount of the total cost? Warning, If you have trouble swallowing please see a doctor immediately! Not necessary Cancer! But if caught early is curable, later survivorability is the 4th worst for ALL types of cancer! This cancer is also on the rise in the last 7 or so years in this country, reason unknown? Since myself, I now know of at least 4 cases that are close to me with one dying in about a month after diagnosis! All cancers are bad! I may sound like I am preaching and I am! I have been lucky so far, but as I said it is very unusual and not many survivors of this cancer around? Cheers! ****Remember I am the Admin and I can post what I want...Lol). Just trying to save a life!

Anecdote Memory from my past!
How many of you brave souls did this when you were a teen. Me and my friend Gene Normandin one frosty winter day decided to venture through the 'tunnel' of the brook that goes under the town starting around Water St. It was cold and the water was just over our boots. It was dark but we trudged along until we seen daylight again. Don't remember seeing any rats or other unusual things, too cold. When we exited out legs were solid ice almost to our knees. An Experience I would not like to do again. Admit I don't remember much about it as it was a long time ago. Not sure exactly where the entrance and exit was either! Things we did in those days! Cheers

Update 11/9
Just made it to the motel. Did not go to good with the stent? Doc was not sure I should do it? Said it could lead to a 'life threatening' situation again? Last time was life-threatening! I agreed to do it anyway! Then he decided to go with the dilation, balloon, instead of stent. He tried, but could not get through? So I am back to square one again? But he said about doing it again, top and bottom??? And will let me know in a few days? The other option, he spoke of, is the operation to attach my stomach to my neck after removing the esophagus? Will talk with the surgeon about this? Well the 7th Endoscope did not go as planned! Still not able to eat! Cheers

Update, 11/12/2015, 5:50 pm AZ Time:
Doctors tried to dilate my esophagus...no luck? Nothing has changed? Options given are to go in 'top and bottom???' his words? and will let me know soon? Doctor also asked about the operation to remove esophagus and attach Stomach to Neck? May be my only option? I really want to eat! When I met with the doctor he did not seem to want to replace the stent. Cautioned me it could be 'life threatening' as before but could be worse if it slipped down again. My decision...I AGREED to have him do it! At this point I am desperate? Before the procedure he told me he would just try to dilate it with the balloon! It failed as he could not get through? So I am still with the feeding tube? Back at the motel and was tired and 'cold' and went to bed just after 6:00pm . Slept off and on till about 1:00am. Took a hot? shower to relax and back to bed till about 8:00 am. Maureen had breakfast while I watched...lol? Checked out about 9:30 am and I drove home. Then I went to sleep again until about 2:30...never slept that long in my life. Don't know what they gave me at the hospital...lol? The sleep was good though! Doctor was not happy as he had given me a prescription last time after the stent removal and I only took it for 14 days. First Walmart could not get it for me for about 2 weeks? I called Banner Hospital (Univ of Arizona) and they said take Nexium, same thing. Took it for the time listed on the box? He now said I should be taking it forever? Stopped to get it on the way home and both it and Prilosed are tablets that say don't crush? I cannot swallow them? I bought Galvastin and hope it does the same thing? 'Can't Win Lately'? I and Maureen are more into the operation now also if that is what I need. We know a person about my age in Chelmsford that just had it and is doing OK? It is very serious attaching neck to stomach after esophagus removal. Not sure if that is even an option as the doctor refused to do it last March because of the malignant spot I had? Now that the caner is 'gone' maybe it can be done? Has to be done by a very experienced doctor that has performed it a lot....according to all the literature I have read. There is a possibility of dying with this op! Guess I have been living with that possibility for about 14 months now anyway??? I have been lucky to have all you routing for me! Now it's on to the next step? If possible? I really want to be able eat real food again! Cheers

Quick Update:
Concerning my options 'to eat' again! The Doctors recommendations were one to have the op removing my esophagus? Second and more immediate was to discuss with interventional radiology the possibility of a rendezvous procedure through the patients PEG site (Feeding Tube) to relieve the obstruction? Guess that would be with the endoscope through my mouth and PEG site both? Now I have to wait to hear back from him? At least they are trying and thinking?

Update December 2nd at 10:05 am Arizona time (now 2 hours behind Leominster)
Guess it has not been a great week? I feel a great loss with the passing of Maureen Cormier! Many of us have also and will miss how brave she was fighting a terrible disease. Virus in my PC last Wednesday and still without it? Hopefully will get it back by tomorrow? Tablet is OK but does not have all my information on it? Still waiting for an appointment to have the Stent replaced at Tucson? Keep calling with no results? I have a problem with mucus in my throat and have to keep 'trying to hack it up'! Driving me crazy....lol? Not to say that I still cannot eat or drink anything even a sip of water? My cancer, according to the tests I have recently been given, X-rays, CT Scan, Endoscopy, etc have all shown no malignancy! Great news but not celebrating yet, maybe in 4 years? It has been one 'tough' year for me and my wonderful wife Maureen! All this is very hard for her! I do not wish cancer on anyone? Wishing you and your family good health! Weather here in Sierra Vista has cooled down. Bird bath froze last night...Lol. But being Arizona, warms up during the day. Have been using the heat quite a bit lately at night? But it is December! Trips to Tucson have been terrible? The I-10 was tied up for 18 miles last Sunday with 'bumper to bumper' traffic going west to Tucson? Luckily we were going east! We had about a 15 minute delay earlier going to Tucson. Fixing a bridge with one lane for about 100 yards is causing the problem on this 75 MPH road? Ridiculous! Hope you're week was better than ours?

Update. . . 'Praise the Lord' . . .
Finally got the appointment to have the Stent put in! After 3 weeks of trying it will be on December 10th! Another endoscopy, 7th in less than a year! I'm happy! Another trip to Tucson with the road blocked will be a lot of fun? Cheers

Anecdote Memory from my past!
I remember as a teenager growing up in Leominster and always needing a 'few bucks'? What did you do? One of the ways we made money during the summer months was at Monosenock Country Club. We would walk, or hitch, a ride up Main St to Burrage Ave and the golf course. We knew the best places to look and find golf balls. Along the streams that ran through the course were favorites. Anyplace off the fairway that held high grass was another. We would walk and search and then would spot the white object. Sometimes you had to dig it out, but we would then inspect it for the name and how nice it was. We would approach the golfers with our treasure and offer them for sale. They would look them over and if interested give us a dime or quarter or maybe even fifty cents if it was in excellent shape with a good name. The people that run the club were not always pleased with us but we got along with them anyway. We would usually bring along an old golf club and occasionally play a hole or two for the 'fun of it'. Often we did a little caddying also, but was not my favorite. Usually went home with a 'couple of bucks' each after a full day there? Would our children today do this for a 'couple of bucks'? What do you think?

40th reunion
Jim and Maureen

Update: 12/9/15, 7:57 pm AZ Time:
Well tomorrow is the day! Heading to Banner Univ Hospital in Tucson to have a Stent put into my Esophagus...Again? Hopefully there will be no Helicopter ride for $45K after this time? The doc is supposed to 'stitch' it in place? Waiting to see how he will get his hands down my throat...lol? Guess they can do wonders with an Endoscopy today! Will be spending the night at a motel again as I cannot drive home (they say) and Maureen will not drive on I-10 or highways? This has got to work! Don't know what options I will have otherwise? Guess I could have the serious operation to remove my esophagus and attach it to my stomach? I read that as an option when cancer has disappeared? Just in case there is any remaining cancer? One doc asked me about it earlier? (Not really an option with me?) When you think it is getting better life throws you a curve? But the one thing I want is to be able to eat normally again! Hopefully for Christmas? Without the tube right now I would starve as I cannot even take a sip of water? 'Ain't Life Great'? You can never understand how it is to not be able to eat food? Watching TV all they have is Food Ad's. Even McD's would look good! I see the Seafood ads, my favorite, and just have to wish, Not I see food but cannot eat food! So right now I need all your support to get through this next obstacle. Your prayers and good wishes have got me through so far and I really believe it! Will be 75 years old next month...20th day of the new year! Still hoping to make 90 and optimistic to do it...lol? Well finally got the bill from Air Evac! $9,750, can you believe that after the Insurance paid them about $35K! Well I don't have that kind of cash to pay them for an hour ride? Maybe they will take a dollar a week? Oh well, it's only money...lol? (Please Remember Maureen Cormier, a service at St Leo's is coming up!) Starting early and wishing all of you a 'Merry Christmas'! Just in case? Cheers! Enjoy (I'm on an Irish Spree this Christmas...lol!

Update, 12/18/2015, 4:30 pm AZ Time
Have an appointment with my Surgeon at Banner Univ Hospital in Tucson on Dec 29th! Talking about the operation on my esophagus so that I can eat again? Mentioned 'repair' so not sure what will happen? Although they asked me to bring an old inner tube with me when I go? Not sure what that means...lol? Not sure if it will mean the op to cut out my Esophagus and attach my stomach to my neck? That is the usual thing to do? Very serious! The Air Evac people I talked to the other day said I could pay $400 per month for 4 years...lol? Sorry, but that is beyond my fixed income! $10 per month would be a possibility...lol? Put some more Christmas Lights up today. Have to put the tree up next. Found a lot of old lights we had stored and just had to add them? But it is Christmas and never know if there will be another? Hey Jim, keep optimistic!!! Guess that's it for now. Another trip to Tucson tomorrow to pick up Granddaughter from the U of Arizona. Hope the traffic is not to tied up with the paving and bridge repairs on I-10! Wow, only 7 days till Christmas! Cheers

Update 12/23/15:
I think I already knew why my esophagus was blocked My primary doctor confirmed that it was fom the radiation. I had 28 radiation treatments. Before they started I had the feeding tube put in as a precaution? I needed it starting on Thanksgiving Day 2014. Been that long since I have been able to eat normally! I had no problems with the radiation, so I thought? Same with the chemo? Had about 3 months or so plus another 10 or 12 sessions the second time around. Have heard from so many people that they would not have either? Lot's of discussion here? But if it will save your life, well...? In my case, all told,I believe it was worth it? After all, I am still here! And I will be around for quite a few more years! I am optimistic and will not let this beat me. I am am a 'fighter' and will be always! You just cannot let a 'little thing' like cancer beat you! Probably should not have made it to this Christmas? But I expect to be around for many more! Thankful for being around for this Christmas and for my 75th birthday the 20th day of the new year of 2016!
Thanks everyone for the great year on the FB site! Met a lot of friends and learned a lot of things. As you might know I love the 'past'! We can never bring it back but it was great living it! Worth it to show how we, and our ancestors, lived in our youth in Leominster and how it was back then? Merry Christmas 2015 to you all! (It's not over yet, 2 more days...Lol!) Christmas 'Old and New'!
Well on my way to Tucson to see the Surgeon! Wish me luck! Will update when I get back later today. Cheers!

Update: Dec 29th, 4:45 pm:
Just returned from another 175 mile trip to Tucson! Seem my Surgeon for about 15 minutes? Have to go back on the 19th of Jan, Day before my 75th Birthday! Have to have a PET Scan to make sure there is no more cancer and also stress tests. Means two more trips at least not counting the Op. If all is clear I could have the operation in about a month or so? We took our Granddaughter back to the U of Arizona also a couple of days early so it was not just for the doctor. Love the I-10? 75 mph and they are repairing a bridge which backs up the westbound traffic for miles for a 1 lane repair of about 100 yards...lol. Will be finished around next July? My favorite road after the M25 in England which is known as 'England's largest parking lot'? It is supposed to be a high speed motorway...lol? Oh yes I still remember the Mass roads? Drove Bus for the Joanettes for many years on them as well as a Corps in Chelmsford? Well my old Explorer is still making it which is a good thing! But it is a V8 and gets bad gas mileage...lol! I also have an old Pontiac Ventura which is also a 350 V8 but have it off the road now. That gets about 10 MPG around town? Kinda regret selling my Cadillac even though that was a V8 but got better mileage? Was not doing much mileage on any of them until the Cancer thing? The Explorer has about 113K now which is low for Arizona, The Pontiac for a 1973 has 89K, the Caddy had only about 65K when I sold it. Oh well! Let's see, the Air Evac wants me to pay $400 a month for 2 years, I could buy a Luxury car for that? Cheers! Oh, had snow falling in Sierra Vista when we left for Tucson...You could count the flakes as they fell...lol?

Anecdote Memory from my past!
Just Thinking.....Again... Lol!
Been posting my 'problems' for you all for over a year now! Most seem to like this. It is kind of a therapy for me also. I hope it may help someone of you sometime now or in the future? I am often asked to 'update', if I fail to for quite some time? I also have become aware of the 'heartbreakes' of many of You? I realize that my life is really not so bad? Things can always get worse. But we must accept the facts and face them with reality. Life is fragile! It comes that we are brought into this world by a god who is described differently by many faiths? But who always ends up the same god? We start out 'brand new'. Our loving parents are responsible for shaping the rest of our lives, at least the early years. They nurture an love us! Give us Faith and maybe Religion? They teach us values. They play games with us. They try to instill a great future for us. They help choose our early decisions for our future. Then, we take over. We decide about out learning experiences. Hopefully with the thought of having a wonderful lifetime. We go to school to further our dreams. We chose an occupation in life that will fulfill and satisfy us through our later years. We chose to marry, or not. We chose to procreate, or not. If we do the cycle starts over. We bring up our children into this world with love and respect. We teach them what we have learned throughout our lifetimes...good and bad. We hope for a better world for them and for generations to come. We hope that when our life has ended we have fulfilled our dreams and made this world a better place. We hope to be at peace and hopefully, go to a better place to be with our family again. Of course this depends on your beliefs? But, either way life will always end for all of us here on this earth. That is destiny. We have our time here to do as we wish to further the betterness of our life and lives to follow. We will all be remembered by what we have accomplished in life, and by our children and family, and by our future generations? Life Goes On! Cheers, and have a 'Happy Life' with loving family! Keep optimistic and have a sense of humor and you will find life can be bearable even during the worst of times!

twins
Great Grandchildren Parker James & Peyton Lee
Born New Years Eve, 2015


Cancer UPDATE 2016

UPDATE Jan 5th 4:05 pm AZ time:
My dinner just arrived. I am supposed to have 5 per day. I also get a case of IsoSource. I also will blend a can of soup or whatever is around like fruit or pizza, muffins etc. Now you can realize why I am looking forward to the operation. I just want to eat. Oh, got an excuse from my doc not to go to jury duty. But will be going to Tucson for Pulmonary Stress Test on Thursday.

Update:
Tucson tomorrow for Pulmonary Function Testing? 90 minutes? I checked it on YouTube and it takes about 5. They said Echo Stress tests so if that is the case it could take 1 1/2 hours. That envolves a treadmill. Never a dull moment trying to figure out what they are going to do with me. They even predicted snow here tomorrow, but now changed to rain. Just have to wait and see. I guess I will live through it. Still need word on the PET Scan. Last time they ordered one it was denied and I said I would pay...just under $6K, but the ins finally agreed to pay it. Need the PET for the operation. Cheers for now.

Update from Tucson:
Well made it through the pulmonary tests. Breathing Tests. Took about 90 minutes. Not to bad? Said I did good. Not something I would want to do all the time. Left the hospital in pouring rain. Streets were full of water. Not like back there. Now at the 'Grand Lux Resort Hotel' Sounds expensive? Tried a new one as we usually stay at Quality Inn. This starts the high cost season here? Quality was $70 here we are paying $45 for double queen! Maureen worked many years here at Super Eight and said we could book this again. She is very fussy about 'little' things...lol. All I Need is a clean place for a night. Heading home to better weather tomorrow. Weather said it was snowing in Sierra Vista!

Update:
If all goes well with the CT Scan I could be eating real food in a couple of months. Scan and doctor visit on the 19th. If Scan is Ok he should be giving me a date, I hope. Looking at all the food and wondering what I will eat. Will have the feeding tube for a short while then I imagine soft foods. Fish and chips still seem good. The operation has many risks and bad things can happen. Does not sound to great when they remove your esophagus and attach your neck to your stomach...lol. I have watched the op on YouTube several times now? It is actually 2 procedures they do. I like to know what they will do to me. It is not for the faint at heart! I want to take the risk just to eat. Spoke with a few that have had it and they seem OK. Just hoping same for me. Guess I should worry after I know I can have it... Lol. Cheers

UPDATE:
Decided to check out the VA. Tomorrow morning I have an appointment here in Sierra Vista at their Clinic. I joined VA about two year ago and had a physical then. That's when I was having trouble swallowing. Discussed it with the VA doc and we decided to stay with my family doctor. The rest is history. I do not get free anything from the VA. I was a Vietnam Era Vet, never in Nam. They still go through my insurance. Just want to update them and maybe get some info for the future, if needed. Went in this afternoon to make an Appointment and was given one for 8:30 am in the morning. Pretty fast. It is nice to have it here but anything major is done in Tucson at a large VA hospital. Just to say Leominster is not the only snowy place. This is Carr Canyon here in Sierra Vista. It has a peak of over 9,000 ft. The foot of this Huachuca Mountain is about 5 miles from our house. In the summer you can go there and it is very much like New England, winter also I guess. I did not take this picture.

UPDATE:
Went to the VA this morning. Good visit. Updated everything that has happened over the past year and a half. Doctor was pleased with how I have been treated. Got a Pneumonia booster shot and was supposed to get the Shingles one. But when I mentioned some red spots on my back he checked them out and said they may be Shingles Guess I can't win. Have to have that checked out now. Being Thursday we have our Great Grandson Ashton. He enjoyed the VA office as they had some games for children. Took him to the park and playground and tired him out a bit, I thought. Stopped for lunch at Culvers, but not for me. Nice to get out with the 'kid'!
hospital
Hospital

Update
Off early morning to Tucson for a CT Scan and appointment with the Surgeon. Wish me luck, that the Scan is clear and he will give me a date for the operation. Mixed feelings but am really looking forward to having it. It is very serious and a long recovery. Maureen, I believe is still wary of me having it, but she understands. But, I do want to eat again. Also I have to get rid of this hacking up from my throat all the time and my mouth always tastes like a 'garbage pit', not funny. Even mouthwash or anything else does not help. Went to my family doc today about the spots on my back. Was not worried and gave me some cream to apply. It has almost gone anyway, not shingles. Morning ride may not be much fun as the construction on the bridge is usually bad early. Now they are also paving the East side all day so that will be fun coming home. Never a dull moment. I will need all the Prayers and good wishes for tomorrow so that I will be able to have the op. You all have been great. Will update tomorrow when I get back home. Cheers

Update:
Had the CT Scan. Seen the surgeon. Have to have a stress test in the morning, 8:00 am, at Banner University Hospital. So we are staying in the same hotel as last time instead of driving back home. Good news is that the operation is scheduled for Thursday, January 28th. I will be in hospital for 7 days. Then will have Rehab. Faster scheduling than we thought? Our granddaughter just left. She lives about a mile up the road. Cheers

UPDATE January 20th:
I wish to thank all of you that made my 75th Birthday a Happy one. After the disastrous day we spent in Tucson, etc. it was a pleasure to see and read all your posts. Things are happening fast for me, and Maureen. Hopefully it is all coming together. Should be all set for the operation next Thursday. It is kind of scary? A very serious decision that should make my quality of life much better. It will take a while? It will mean a long, about 7 hours on the operating table with very experienced doctors. It will the mean at least 7 days in the hospital. It will then be an unknown rehabilitation period. It will mean several months to totally be my 'old self' again. Hoping for this! I am 'up' for this operation. It is what I want. It is very serious. Maureen probably still has doubts but is sticking with me. She will be my support for some time to come. I appreciate all your prayers and good wishes. Keep them coming, my ordeal is still far from over. Keep in mind anyone you know that is battling cancer. It can invade anyone and devestates families. One good thing so far is that I will be able to watch the Cardinals and the Pats win their championships and compete in the 'Golden Super Bowl' on February 7th. Now for a winner...I guess I can't lose... lol? Cheers.

Esophageal Cancer Fact...Survival Rates
Survival rates are often used by doctors as a standard way of discussing a person’s prognosis (outlook). Some people may want to know the survival statistics for people in similar situations, while others may not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. If you decide that you don’t want to know them, stop reading here and skip to the next section.
The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is diagnosed. Of course, many of these people live longer than 5 years.
Five-year relative survival rates, such as the numbers below, assume that some people will die of other causes and compare the observed survival with that expected for people without the cancer. This is a more accurate way to describe the chances of dying from a particular type and stage of cancer.
To get 5-year survival rates, doctors look at people who were treated at least 5 years ago. Improvements in treatment since then may result in a better outlook for people now being diagnosed with esophagus cancer.
Survival rates are not readily available for each stage in the AJCC staging system for esophageal cancer. The survival rates below come from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, and are based on patients who were diagnosed with esophageal cancer between 2003 and 2009. The SEER database doesn’t divide survival rates by AJCC TNM stage. Instead, it divides cancers into 3 larger, summary stages:
Localized means that the cancer is only growing in the esophagus. It includes AJCC stage I and some stage II tumors (such as those that are T1, T2, or T3, N0, M0). Stage 0 cancers are not included in these statistics
. Regional means that the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or tissues. This includes T4 tumors and cancers with lymph node spread (N1, N2, or N3).
Distant means that the cancer has spread to organs or lymph nodes away from the tumor, and includes all M1 (stage IV) cancers.
Stage
5-Year Relative Survival Rate:
Localized 40%
Regional 21%
Distant 4%
These survival rates for esophageal cancer do not separate squamous cell carcinomas from adenocarcinomas, although people with adenocarcinomas are generally thought to have a slightly better prognosis (outlook) overall.
Survival rates are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had the disease, but they can’t predict what will happen with any particular person. Knowing the type and the stage of a person’s cancer is important in estimating their outlook. But many other factors are also important, such as the treatment received, how well the cancer responds to treatment, and a person’s overall health. Even when taking these other factors into account, survival rates are at best rough estimates. Your doctor can tell you how well these numbers may apply to you, as he or she knows your situation best.

UPDATE:
Off to Tucson to the motel for the night. Have to be at Banner University Hospital at 7:30 am tomorrow. The operation is scheduled for 9:00 am. Should take about 6 hours or more. Will be in hospital at least 7 days. May not be online for a few days. Intensive Care for about 3 days? Hoping for the best! Cheers.

Update:
Home again! In for another wait till Feb 10th for the operation. Can't complain as I guess I could have died on the operating table? Funny they took an EKG before the procedure and said it looked great. Then looking into my heart there was blockage and they put in 3 stents. Could have had a heart attack down the road or on the table? Guess you never know. No shortness of breath or chest pain ever. But, I should be OK for the surgery now. Have to go back to the Cardiologist on Feb 8 also. Did not get out of the hospital until almost 1:00 pm. Have to take Plavix pill every day or the stents could block and cause a heart attack. Always something new. I should be in great shape, for the shape I'm in, sometime in the future... Lol! Thanks again for all the posts, I will have to save them till the 10th. Disappointing, but guess it was worth it. What I thought was a simple test was quite elaborate. The Catheter is inserted through a major vein in the arm (me) or the groin (alternate). Then into the Aorta with a dye to show blockage. They put me on the table. placed a heavy pad across my stomach, then covered me neck to foot in plastic. Had a camera hovering over me that they also covered in plastic along with other equipment. Made an incision in my wrist which I had to hold steady and the pad was stuck to it. Then some cold stuff they kept putting on it. I guess something mild but no anesthesia. I was awake. Maybe about 15 minutes long. About 5 people in the room doing the procedure. The doctor was a female Dr Kim same name as my surgeon. New experience for me. Not what I expected even after watching on YouTube. Cheers. The Saga Continues!

Update:
Just called the hospital and my operation is now scheduled for February 24th. Need 3 weeks of taking the heart medication. Have to make 2 more trips to Tucson before then. Surgeon and Cardiologist. 8th and 9th? May get them both on the 8th if lucky. Depends on the doctors operating schedules. Update...Came through with seeing both doctors on the 8th. Only have to make one trip now.

UPDATE:
I was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer on September 29th, 2014. It was quite a shock! I am one who likes to know all about things that are happening to me. The internet is a great resource. My immediate thoughts were to never give up. I found out that it is one of the worst cancers with a very low survivor rate. Lucky in that other cancers can result in loss of a limb, breast, or other, but this is only the esophagus. Also that it is on the rise in the US with cause unknown. I also wanted to let people know about this cancer in hope that it may save at least one life. Cancer, all cancer, is hell for the patient and especially for the family. I have been through 3 PET scans, 3 CT scans, 1 MRI scan, several X-rays, 28 Radiation treatments, about 20 Chemo treatments, a stent placed in my esophagus, to many blood tests to count, to many IV's to count, just to many needles, operations to place a Port in my chest and for a P-Peg feeding tube into my stomach and 7 Endoscopes in 14 months and one Colonoscopy, and 3 stents placed in my heart. After less than 2 months I was unable to eat and had to use the tube. It has been tough times. Can't count all the doctor appointments I have had. If you think not being able to eat or drink is easy, try going without for a week...lol? Food is all you see and hear about. Watch TV ads, all food. Going to a restaurant is not fun, just watching others eat. All the foods you take for granted are there but not able to eat them. Even a beer or mixed drink or glass of wine is out of the question. As simple as a glass of ice cold water on a hot day is not possible. But I have survived so far? Now I was faced with one last option. An option that was refused me almost a year ago. A very serious operation. One with a higher mortality rate if done wrong. One that is very painful with a long recovery rate.One with many complications that can affect quality of life. One that is really two operations in one. One that will remove my esophagus and attach my stomach to my neck. Called the Ivor Lewis procedure. I was diagnosed with no more cancer a few months ago. Almost an impossible fact with this cancer. All tests since confirm it and no operation could be done if cancer is found. The reason is only because ' I want to EAT normal again'! Selfish, I don't think so. My wife Maureen was against it the first time it was suggested. Now she is OK about it, not fully though. The operation has been cancelled twice now. Second time recently, because the Anesthesiologist had a problem with my stress test. I had a Heart Catheter test done and they found blockage and implanted 3 stents in my heart. A good thing and now I can have the operation on February 24th. I appreciate all the prayers and good wishes from all of you on these pages. Please continue! I am forever grateful to all of you! I feel I owe you my life! My Catholic faith has been wonderful to me. Now I have to wait again...lol Again, for my sake, if you, or family or friends ever have trouble swallowing, please see a doctor immediately as it could save your/their life. Don't hesitate as time is in your favor for a cure. Chances are also slim that it is cancer. Thanks again. Cheers, Jim

Update???:
I seem to have a fixation with food lately. Probably because I can't eat it and hope I soon can? Been keeping my mind open to what I will eat first. It will be awhile after the operation before I can eat regular food, just soft foods to begin with. Do they have 'soft shell lobsters'? They say I cannot eat just before going to bed. I tend to go to bed counting 'Lobsters' instead of sheep. Also to have 5 or 6 small meals instead of 3. I take that to mean 5 or 6 one pound Lobsters instead of 3 Jumbo Lobsters per day. I also have been watching more of the Food Channel on TV. They have some great programs. Never seen so much of a variety of food in my life as they show there. Seems Lobster Mac and Cheese is becoming popular. And of course the Red Lobster has to have its 'Lobsterfest' about now. Why is there so much about Lobsters lately! Hear that Michelle wants Lobster served in the school cafeterias . . . just kidding...lol! One time they used to serve Lobsters to Prisoners because they were so cheap? And I have no Ill feelings about showing these pictures to you all. You can suffer along with me. But at least you can go down the road and feast on them...lol! Cheers

Update to Update: Jan 7th 2016
The other day, I disclosed 'my little story' about my battle with Esophageal Cancer. Failed to disclose a couple of important parts of that 'saga'. Seems that one of the outcomes of all this is the 'loss of many brain cells' that have apparently disappeared from the top of my head? The only way to describe my latest adventure. Every boy dreams of taking a ride in a helicopter? Yes! Well I have had a few 'almost' opportunities in my lifetime. First was when I was leaving the US Air Force. An opportunity arose for me to continue my enlistment, get a promotion, and live an adventurous life. I had the chance to re-up and spend a year of training with the Rangers in Florida that offered all these things. But at the end of the conversation I found out that 'life expectancy' for this job was less than a year. It was to become a 'Forward Observer'! As VietNam was now getting hot, the job was to be dropped in a rice paddy by helicopter with 3 other guys and looking around, and radioing back 'It's OK to come in now guys'! Well me, and Maureen and my baby Mark soon departed for life in the US of A. Next, how many of you have been to the Grand Canyon? Before entering the park you can see the opportunity to take a helicopter ride over the park...passed it many times...lol. Well, as most of you know my chance finally arrived. Flight from Sierra Vista to Tucson hospitals. But, I was asleep all the way, so never remembered it...lol. The opportunity of a lifetime! But will never forget the bill for $45K. Cheers!

Update Feb 8th:
Of to Banner Univ Hospital in Tucson in the morning. Have appointments with the Surgeon and the Cardiologist. Hoping all goes well for my operation on February 24th. One is 25 minutes the other 20 minutes. Did at least manage to get them both on the same day as they originally had one on the 9th. Long ride but nothing I can do about it. Guess I could take a helicopter? Cheers

Update Feb 8th 2:55 pm
Just returned from the doctors visits in Tucson. Operation has been changed again. Should be early March? Seems I have to be on Plavix for one month and then off for one week before they can operate. Will have another visit with the surgeon? More waiting. Cardio doc wants me to do more exercise like walking and mentioned rehab? Will wait for rehab after the operation? Seen the Assistant to the surgeon? The surgeon had a rough night...lol. He just mentioned how serious this operation was and asked If I had seen it on the web. All I get is that it is very serious! I just want to eat again! That's about it for now after another 175 mile drive. Cheers

Update. Feb 10th
Just woke up and out of bed for a minute! Started with a cough last evening and continued on till now. No energy. Got a prescription earlier so hoping that will help. Feeling tired also. Wanted to be careful of the stents with medication? Going back to bed! Cheers.

Update: Feb 13th:
Still not with it. Sleeping most of the day? Maureen and I attended a Viet Nam Veterans meeting this morning. Felt like an invalid while there. I have been hacking up mucus for months now. A few days ago, maybe the medicine I just started taking for coughs, has made my mouth totally dry and no hacking. If I open my mouth, it feels like someone is pouring sand into it? Terrible feeling and can't do much about it. I cannot swallow anything, use mouthwash, dry mouthwash, ice cubes, Power Aid to just rinse and spit out, but nothing lasts. Makes it hard to talk. Stopped the medicine and seeing if that helps. Going from one thing to the other. Just can't win. Get on the computer for a few minutes and have to lay down, and go to sleep? Not bad if I keep my mouth closed...lol? Kind of Update: Woke up at 4:00 am to religious music and the pope looking at me! Want a scary moment?

2/19/ 2016
Finally got a date, again, for my operation. Wednesday, March 16th. Let's hope all goes well till then. Still been a bit under the weather, not much energy but getting better. Bought a Hospital bed as I will have to sleep with my head raised after the op. Bought a Bed Wedge, but not so good, keep sliding down! Should be all set now. It is for acid reflex, as the sphincter muscle is removed and food can travel up to your mouth if laying flat. Well we have been in the 80's here lately and still there today. Nice and sunny and Maureen is after me to take a walk. Have to do it as the doctor advised. Been only sleeping and waking and back to sleep lately? I weighed about 165 two years ago, now down to about 130-33. Have to gain a few pounds back. I remind myself of a holocaust survivor! Cheers

Update: Feb 23rd about 3 am"
Can't sleep! Frustrated and feeling low! Fought cancer for a long time with no real complaints. Since I was told I was 'Cancer Free' everything has gone wrong. Stent failed and you know what happened there? Now able to have the operation and it keeps getting delayed. Still on for March 16th! I still can't eat a thing through my mouth. Can't sip water either. Mouth always tastes bad. Nothing helps even mouthwash. My quality of life was not bad with the cancer. Now my Q of L is pretty terrible, at least in my mind. I have 3 issues that bother me. First is I cannot play Softball...lol. Really not a big problem. But not eating is! Hard for people to understand the feeling. All you see all day is food! I can [see food] but not eat food, (I dream of food, wake up eating something nice...) get it as I love seafood! Second is the fact that most people don't even think of? How many times a minute do you swallow saliva. Just think of doing it but it never getting to your stomach? Yes and eventually it has to come up. Times when this happens every few minutes, sometimes it takes longer, but it comes up, you have to hack it up usually. It can be embarrassing when out somewhere. Also, it takes a lot out of me. The feeling of always having something in your throat that you can't get up. Hard to describe. But it is a terrible feeling. Only happened when my esophagus got really blocked. I want a better quality of life! That is why I pushed for the operation. I feel I cannot go through life like this! I lay in bed and get the feeling that it is blocking my breathing sometimes. I know it isn't? But it is how it feels? The operation will be tough. Long on the table and long time in hospital, and long recovery and they say very painful. But I am hoping that my Quality of Life will improve greatly? Just looking toward the future. I have been getting on Maureen's nerves lately, but she has been great. This will be quite an ordeal for her also. Hopefully, it will all be improved in a few months? That is my hope and dreams! Hoping I am not boring you? Your help has been greatly appreciated! Being able to vent my frustrations here is a form of help to me. Thanks again everyone! I have kept all my updates and have them together in book form for the future. When I can read them over and see how wonderful all you have been to put up with me!

Update, Feb 28th:
Went to Softball today. Actually hit about a dozen or so balls for the first time in months. Happy that I at least managed to hit the grass...lol. Not swinging for the fences...yet? Did not play, too much at the moment. Have lost about 35 lbs in the last year and a half! Maybe in another 6 months or less? It was hot and temp had to be about 90 degrees and sunny! My contact at Banner University Hospital asked if I had been playing. Said I could, but not ready for the running and pitching?

Funny Update:
Folks, we have to make eating great! We will make eating greater than ever! I will build a 8 inch cheeseburger! Say that 'F' word again and I will now make it 10 inches higher! He is a Liar! Liar, liar, liar, pant's afire! They call it a 'foot long'? Never seen a bottle of coke sweat so much! Just a puddle of water. If it was not for the big shape of the middle of the bottle it would just evaporate! Yes, he is a joke! Little he is just a joke! You need the 'king' size! He sprays so much PAM in the pan his pancake looks so unaturally brown! His claws are so small, you know what they say about small claws? Don't forget to vote! We all should be able to eat! .....Lol

Update Mar 1st, 4:00 pm AZ time:
Another bad day...my fault. Had a slight cough again. Took the medicine from before. Been sleeping off and on all day. Mouth is dry again. Feeling terrible. No more medicine! Hoping it will wear off soon. Not much else happening. Just keep'dozing' off! Not on the PC very much today. Cheers

UPDATE: March 8th 2016
Well, still not 'up to par'. Mouth is getting dry and hard to talk. Keep rinsing it out but only lasta a few minutes? Have a dry mouth rinse which helps a little. Can rinse, but cannot swallow. Must spit it out as it does not go down to my stomach. Only 8 more days till the operation. Just waiting and hoping all will be better after. Should be as nothing should be blocked. Sill will be awhile on a feeding tube after the op. But should start eating soft foods pretty quickly, I hope! Just heard from my Softball friend who has the same cancer. He will be having the same operation on March 14th, two days before me. He has had a tough time also. Actually practiced a bit, and played a game last Sunday. Hoping for another game next Sunday. Practice this morning at 8:00 am. Hoping to go. I was catcher as about all I felt like I could do. Use litle and big balls per age and sex. The big balls seem to have gained a pound as I was throwing them...lol Way out of shape and about 35 lbs lighter does not help. Going now, maybe back to bed and see if I can get a little more sleep before going to practice? Cheers

Update: Mar 8th 10:30 pm
You know I love all of you out there and really appreciate all your prayers and good wishes. Everyone with Cancer should have your support! But I have to admit there is one person I really admire! That is Maureen Tansey nee Jarrett! Yes my wife of 52 years. Met Maureen in a Bowling Alley in Ipswich, England back in 1962. We have never been separated, always do things together. Must thank the US Air Force for my 4 years in England. We have 3 wonderful children, 8 super Grand Children, and of course, our beautiful 5 Great Grandchhildren! What more can we ask for! It has been a great life. We have travelled a lot. Over this country and Canada and a little of Mexico. England and Ireland also. We have been in some great organizations such as the Joanettes, Cub Scouts, etc. Born and Raised in the great city of Leominster and now retired in Sierra Vista, Arizona. From the day I was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer Maureen has stood by me all the way. We may have not always been in agreement but we always stood together. Cancer is a terrible disease and it can bring families together or move them apart? My loving and beautiful wife for all these years has been the best I could ever hope for. She does not complain, at least some of the time, of the trips to the doctors, hospitals, tests, rides to Tucson, stays in hotels. Believe me it has not been easy for her. When I am down she will get me up! When we argue, I am usually in the wrong? No matter what happens with this operation I know she will stand by me. She is still not 100% sure I should be going through this. But she agrees I want a good 'quality of life'! She will be there when they take me in and will be there when I wake up! I know this is for the best. I am not scared, at least very much, of having this operation. It is one of the most serious and painful ops. I have always felt it will be for the best. I just cannot see myself going through the rest of my life (at least till age 90) the way I feel now. It has to get better, and will. There are drawbacks to this operation. Some very serious problems could be prominent after. Least of all having to sleep with my head elevated. But I know they say it will take time, maybe a year. But I won't let it go that long before my quality of life is back. I am optimistic, as usual. I have been very Lucky (Irish Luck) so far. Look at the humor in life, it helps. Don't let things get you down. Anyone interested in an old used esophagus, I will have one for sale soon, if they will give it to me...lol. Actually I mentioned the old days, with our old Flathead Fords and Chevy hotrods. Blew a radiator hose and patched it with an old bicycle inertube. Guess not possible with an Esophagus...lol. Just a few of my thoughts. About 8 more days.....! Love you all! Cheers! Jim

Anecdote Memory from my past!
Memories from the past. Many of us, our parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and other relatives and even friends, worked at one time in a Plastic Factory in Leominster. It was the biggest industry in the town. There were many factories working 3 shifts, 24 hours per day. The work was not easy and the pay was OK. Leominster started in the 1800's with the Comb Industry. By the mid-1800s, however, availability of the natural materials used to make combs, such as animal horns and hooves, was diminishing rapidly, and an alternative material was needed. The solution was a new plastic called celluloid in 1868. The largest plastic manufacturer in the 'Comb City' was the Viscoloid Company founded by Bernard Doyle in 1901.The company pioneered making toys out of pyroxylin plastic and was the largest employer in Leominster. Later sold to The DuPont Company and renamed the Dupont Viscoloid Company. A Leominster resident of German ancestry, Joseph Foster, established his own business, Foster Grant. In 1931, famous for sunglasses. Probably all of us had family that worked in either of these 2 factories. There were many more large and small factories scattered around the town. Tupperware and Pink Flamingoes (Union Products) were among the more famous items manufactured in Leominster. Leominster was called "The Pioneer Plastics City." The 'lucky' ones, got jobs in these factories after high school and made a career from Plastics. Since College was not always an option for most of us, these factories offered opportunities for the young boy or girl interested in hard work. I myself worked for about a year at Sportsmen's Plastics on Central Court. The 4 DiLibero brothers ran the business along with their wives and families. A true family business. When I started about 1959 they had 4 molding machines. Other than the owners, there was me and one other 'male' employee. The women did the molding, packing, and all things associated with molding things like Chick Pins. They also produced 'pins' related to sports and clubs. These pins were molded and then hand painted by a few women. My high paid 'mate' at the time was hired to setup the molding machines. My job was everything else. I mixed powder, filled the machines with powder to keep them going. Did some packing, Drove their small truck and 1954 Plymouth wagon/van. Had to get the mail and run errands. Moved inventory to a barn on West St and back. Did some reliefe molding even though I was under age? I did shipping and receiving with no actual dock. The 18 wheelers had to load/unload from trailer to a drop to the floor. Had to load the trucks the same way. No fork lift either, all lifting. If it was done in the factory I did it? But I was paid $1.00 per hour for a 40 hour week! And guess what, I also had to setup the molding machines! Shortly after I started working there, the owner and I looked at several other used molding machines, out of town, and he bought them. Upon arrival the 2 of us males were charged to get them ready for business. We did! This might sound like hard work? Well anyone that has worked in a Plastics Factory knew this to be a fact. But I enjoyed the work and learned a great deal about plastic manufacturing. At times it was 'fun', others very frustrating. Like loading/unloading hundreds of bags of powder from a truck that was about 5 feet higher than the floor. Then having to bring them to the proper storage place. I will say it was one of the most fulfilling jobs I had ever had. The owners and workers were all great people. You have to work hard to understand that there are easier jobs you can have. An education helps. But, there will always be jobs like this and people that are willing to do them. I went on to an office job in Selig's Furniture Factory for $2.00 per hour, and then the US Air Force for 4 1/2 years mostly in England. Later a short stay at INdependent Lock Co and then an Army Civilian at Ft Devens and then Ft Huachuca, AZ. Never again did I work as hard, physically, as Sportsmen's Plastics. The experience was memorable.

Update: Mar 11th, 6:05 am
Not on the computer very much last few days. Still not feeling very good. Dry mouth is a killer! Trying everything without too good results. Had to go out yesterday as my new phone arrived and had to get it set up by Verizon. Now have the Samsung Note 5. Maureen now has the Samsung S5. Got to get used to the new phone but it is almost the same. Same as my Samsung Tab A also. Makes it much easier to use. Wanted it before the operation. Not much longer for my operation. Cant wait! Friend from Softball, now living in Florida, has the same Esophagel Cancer. He is to be operated on Mar 14th, 2 days before me. Lots of Irish Luck going out to this fine Irishman. 2 of us in the same Softball league with the same cancer! But he had not played in a couple of years. Moved to Florida and was living on a boat. Hoping to feel better today...no energy lately? Surprising how this dry mouth and not 'coughing' (Maureen does not like the word 'hacking'?),up so much is taking out of me. Still feel like something is in my throat all the time. OH well, about 5 more days! Cheers Jim

Update: Mar 11, 8:45 pm:
Still have the Dry Mouth! Trying Biotene Mouth Spray and Dry Mouth Oral Rinse with mixed results. Coats my mouth and sometimes just as bad. Also a Dry Mouth mouthwash with same results. Been sucking on Ice Cubes which help for a very short time and cannot swallow them or water. Although I have been swallowing minute amounts of water and even tried teaspoon or so of Ginger Ale, mainly to just wash out my mouth. Eventually just have to 'throw it up'. Does not get by the blockage. Really nothing much helps for long. Nothing makes my mouth taste good either. Don't know why it suddenly started? But all should be better after the op. Funny, when you look forward to a very serious and painful operation! Fact of Life I Guess! Hope none of you ever have to experience what I have been going through. Please come soon March 16th! Got call today from the Banner Univ Hospital for my life history of my health. They will give me a time for the operation the day before. When to come in and to get ready which takes about an hour and a half. After a day or 2 in Intensive Care, they said to ask for a private room if available so Maureen can stay with me all night. She will be able to stay at my Granddaughters. We will be staying in a motel on the 15th to make it easier to get to the hospital. My daughter Kelley will also be there for the operation. All set, hopefully everything will go on schedule...this time! Had Ashton, our Great Grandson over as usual on Thursday. He was not to happy that he won't be over again for a couple weeks. He is just a great child when he is here. Love him and all out Children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren. Hoping for better times with all of them soon. Mark, Kelley, Debbie, Kelley Marie, Randy, Matheau, Jason, Zack, Markayla, Joey, Jake, Ashton, Allison, Riley, Peyton and Parker...We Love All of You! And of course everybody on these pages for their support and prayers! PS: Wishing my mate Jim McInerny, in Florida, best of Irish Luck on his same operation on the 14th! We played Softball together here in Sierra Vista. Us Irishmen must stick together! Cheers, Jim and Maureen.

Update 11 Mar, 11:00pm
In emergency room for the night! A1C over 1000. Maureen just left will be back in morning! Hoping for the best!

Update 12 Mar, 7:50 pm
Another night in hospital. Should be home tomorrow. In time to get to Tucson for the big surgery! Love ya all! Jim

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Following posts are my stay in Hospital for Esophageal Operation:
Banner University Hospital, Tucson, Arizona for Ivor-Lewis Surgery by Dr Samuel Kim! Surgery was about 8 hours with recovery in hospital for 10 days!
Had my Esophagus removed and Stomach attached to my Neck!

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Update, Mar 15th, 12:30 am:
Another incident in my life! Went to the Emergency Room because of the way I was feeling, dry mouth, dizzy, etc. As I was going I thought of Diabetes! Never had a problem before. Well they said my 'Sugar' was over 1000. Guess I could have gone into a coma if I waited? Found out the reason was that I was taking a cup of milk with Nestles Breakfast to try to gain some weight. Usually take water after I feed. The change caused the problem. Well with insulin etc, I am back to normal. Doctors say I should be OK for the operation. Not much time now as we will be heading for Tucson tomorrow. Came home and been sleeping a lot to make up for not sleeping last night in hospital. Feeling better and dry mouth seems to be better. Daughter Kelley will be going to Tucson with us. Have a motel, again, so we will be closer when they give me the time for the surgery. Said they would let me know tomorrow, that's the way they did it before and I was to report to hospital a 7:45 am then changed to 5:45 am. Will find out tomorrow? Came home to a problem with my Debit card. Had a charge of $99 form a computer company? This while I was in the hospital. Now they are checking it out and have blocked my card. I have to go to Wells Fargo tomorrow to get a Temp card while I wait 7 days for a new card. Fun because I have my bills taken out with that card and don't have much time to change everything. Good thing to have tablet and phone where I can do it. The Chief Clinical Dietitian was great at the hospital. Never before had I got much info about my eating. She put me on Glucerna 1.5 Cal which is for Diabetes. You cannot get it in the local stores so she dug up 17 can's for me to take home. All the staff at the hospital have been great as usual. Not sure about the next update. As soon as I can I will update. I want to have pictures when I come out of surgery if possible. I want to remember how it was! Will post ASAP. Big day Wednesday and hoping all goes as planned. Really will need all your prayers this time. And good wishes all help! Will try to post whenever I feel well enough. Hey, I will be able to eat again! Probably take a little while though! Cheers Jim

Update, Mar 17th
Still here. Every one has been great. Maureen and daughter Kelley will be here later. Hard to type here. Hurting but could be worse.

Everything went okay. Feeling better, will update more later.
Operation Operation Operation
Pictures after the operation on Mar 16th

Update:March 29
Well I am back home barely. Last evening had the 911 ambulance over to sort things out. A few hours later went into a coma and woke up with a bunch of EMC'S asking me questions, Spent about 3 hours or so In ER.
Today the feeding pump (kangaroo) was supposed to be set up to run from 7 to 1 instead of 12 hours. To make things worse my j-peg clogged. Unable to eat or take medicine. Trying to get home health was ridiculous B4 tomorrow.
Now visited my primary doc and he was a help. Trying to unclog tube and just managed a few minutes ago!
My daughter Kelley has been a great help. Have to get a ride to Tucson next Tuesday if all goes well. Need the scan and see the surgeon which was supposed to be today.
Will try to keep posted as things go. Not sure how much I will be able to do. It is my sugar that is the problem the op seems ok, to me anyway. Still very tired and In bed.
Love you all and the cards are great. Going to try to read your posts now? Cheers

Update from daughter Debbie:
Just talked with my Dad. He is doing well and the Drs are very pleased with how everything is going. He is very tired and keeps dozing off which is to be expected after such a big surgery. He is going to try to post later today when my niece goes to visit as she can help him with it (his fingers are a bit clumsy.) Thanks to everyone for the good wishes and prayers for his recovery.

Update; Easter Sunday:
Home, Tired. Trying to get organized with a million things to do. Diabetes the big problem also. Have a stand and pump for feeding from 7 pm to 7 am. On Insulin also. Getting off of PC and get some rest. Quite a bit of information to digest at the moment. Feeling as well as expected. Have to go back to see the surgeon Dr Kim on Tuesday, another trip to Tucson.Cheers for awhile. Never ends!

Update 3/31/16
Worst days of my life! And not the operation. Seems to be my sugar and my feeding that are the problem. Again yesterday to the ER after the Ambulance came to the house again. Drove there, no ambulance this time. Sugar again. Started feeding again at 7pm and 2 hours later it was leaking quite a bit. Where the food tube enters the J-Peg. Could not stop it so I decided to bolus feed. hope it is Ok. Had home health nurse in yesterday an she was great. Got most straightened out. Medicare Part A, she said, will pay for all care, equipment, and Two Cal HN. Syringes, bags for feed, etc. This 7 to 7 feeding is a 'bummer'?
They cut me to about 8 inches from my navel down, and another 8 or so across my right side and back. Plus the J-Peg and a new Port. With all that my pain is minimal. Hope all else works out soon. Going to be another long night. Maureen is getting a bit 'rattled' with everything. My daughter Kelley has been great with everything. This has to start improving soon. Will go now, fist time on Pc. Tablet and phone not as easy to use and kept screwing up, frustrating. Will try to update often as I can.
Been to the ER I think 4 times, Sugar from 1000 to 22. J Peg has been ridiculous. What next, Cheers.

Update 3/31/16 12:40pm:
It is just that when I think I have solved one problem another appears. Getting frustrated and not so optimistic. It is a big burden on Maureen also. There has to be a 'light at the end of the tunnel'! Just wan't to be back to some normality? Cheers. Love all your posts.

Update 3/31 16, 3:35 PM
Home Health spoke with Banner Univ Hosp and I am going to Tucson, leaving at 6:30 for the EM, to be admitted. Daughter Kelley will be taken me there with Maureen. Have to get this straigtened out. Worried about my sugar! Should get the imaging dobe and speak with Dr Kim While there?

Anecdote Memory from my past!
It's been a tough road lately. I often wonder what it would be like if my Mom was still alive. She died at the early age of 53 in July of 1968. I miss her. I miss all the things she could have enjoyed with my family. She missed my wedding in 1963 due to having had open heart surgery at Boston General Hospital. She could not make the trip to England. She missed the birth of my son in England also. After my return to Leominster in April 1965 with a wife and son, she was also able to enjoy a few years with our daughters born in 1967 and 1968. My youngest wondered if she had even seen her? She did, as she was about 2 months old when Mom died. Mom would have enjoyed being with my children as they grew to adulthood. Married and had children of their own. But as it was, the good Lord thought otherwise. We never know what life has for us and our loved ones. Mom was a daughter to Louis and Maude Caisse. One of 7 surviving children. She was the youngest of the 2 girls. She worked hard all her life, first as a housewife taking care of a family of 4. Then went to work at Seligs in the 'staining' department. She worked there until her death. My dad went off to war to serve on an LST in the Pacific Theater. It was not good times being alone with a young boy, me. Then having my sister while he was away. Bills had to be paid, never sure of getting a check. Lot's of support from the Tansey's and Caisse's at the time to get her through till he returned. That's the way families were during those WW II days. You never know what life will bring. Love your parents always as you never know if they will be there tomorrow. She is very much missed by her family. Only wish she could have know, played with, and enjoyed her Grandchildren. Cheers. Enjoy the tune and video Update April Fools Day
Just got back from 2 days in Banner Hospital. There has to be a heaven....I have been through hell lately. Hopefully I will be OK now. Still the sugar problem. Hope they solved it? Never want to be in another hospital gurney aka 'cage'. About a 2 foot wide bed with sides. Attached to spider of tubes and wires. With my restless Legs it is torture. Maureen and Kelley left me last night with just what I wore there. No phone or tablet, no way to make contact. Thought I would be there longer. My swallowing test failed again. Food down my airway instead of where it should go. Speech Therapy should help, I hope. Still on ensalyn, and feeding 7 to 7 at night. Operation not to bad, very little pain. Just tired now. Cheers

mom and me
Mom and Me

Update: 4/6/16
Same o', Same o'! 12 hours with the feeding pump from 7 to 7 am. Seem to sleep off and on but not a lot of it! Walked a half mile yesterday with my 80+ neighbor. He came over to get me to walk. Just about made it back to the house. Another few steps would have been it...lol. Wounds healing pretty good. Had staples (18) removed yesterday(?). Still have sutures under my right arm. All bandages removed! Worried about the Speech Therapist. I have Disphagia meaning the food will go down my airway. Had 3 Floral tests and flunked. Supposed to get the muscels that control it working. Just scared that they will not be able to do it and I will never be able to eat, after all of this? Should have speech therapist come over soon? Home Health car nurse has been terrific! She says all this Two Cal, equipment, her service, etc is covered by Medicaid Part A, Plus the hospital. That is a big help. Guess because I cannot eat anything. Never thought too much about Part A as I don't have Medicare Part B? Maureen has been great as usual. We still have our little disagreements. Don't know what I would do without her. Will be 53 years come 5 October! I still get tired quite often. Bought a Hospital bed which was a great investment! Have to sleep with head raised. Need all your continued prayers and good wishes for my Disphagia. You all know how much I want to eat again. Cheers

Update 4/8/16 1:05 pm
I have a new name for myself. I am now a 'nonasofagus' my spelling. Now I need a jingle and an Icon! Bored! Feeling a little better each day as far as the operation. The dry mouth is terrible, have bought everything Walmart has and no real relief. Getting used to the 12 hour feeding and all is going OK so far. Hoping for the Speech Therapist visit soon. Probably not till next week? Need some good news! Got another new Glucose meter that my Insurance recommended, One Touch Ultra Mini. Strips were $66! Lets have some pics or posts to make me feel better. Love ya all! Cheers.
nonasophagus

Update,4/11/16, 3:30am:
Well it was back to the ER here in Sierra Vista last night. Woke up from a nap about 4 pm and my J-Peg was not in my body. Slipped out during my nap. Since it is my only source of nourishment and taking meds, ER only choice. Three hours there and the doctor was great as she returned it ot my body, x-ray'd and sent me home again. Just when you think nothing else could go wrong? tried to get a med that is compound and liquid from Walmart, Target and Walgreens without any luck. I got it from Banner Univ and I guess there is one more place to try today that should be able to do it. Doctor at ER called my surgeon and he stated to her that i should be drinking 'juice, etc. Have to check that out as I failed the swallow test 3 times. He mentioned to her the Speech Therapist but I have only seen her twice. It is still a task to get on the computer for more than a short time even the middle of the night. Cheers

Update to Update:
After an hour, gave up trying to unclog the tube. Now morning and have to make some calls to get it right. The valve does not seem to be right for the new tube they put in at the emergency room? 2 separate problems to fix? This tube is much smaller diameter than the P Peg I had before. Hoping for help with it as I could not eat half my TwoCal last night. Cheers.

Anecdote Memory from my past!
The stable food product called French Fry? In the US they are crispy and come skinny and fat. Never the same whichever fast food place you visit. Now back in the early days in England it was very different. They were never called French Fry's (French ?) unless you were an American. But you soon learned to call them 'Chips'. Not like the chips in the US which the Brits call Crisps. Fish and Chip shops were in nearly all neighbourhoods in England. You did not have to walk very far to 'fill your face' with a sack of Fish and Chips. And they were not like the 'yankee' kind as you soon found out. They were limp, thick and long. Very greasy as they were cooked in grease not oil. For sixpence you could have a meal along with a sixpence of fish of your choice. Add a couple of Pickled Onions, and a Banger or two done in the same grease and you had a meal that would not leave you hungry. The proprietors were usually English. Working hard for a living. Sweating over the hot grease for your enjoyment. Not many restaurants here in the US can compare to the 'old' British Chip, wrapped in newspaper and served with Salt and Malt Vinegar. But today, the F & C shops are called 'take away' and serve burgers, and other 'foreign' foods. They are run by other than Brits. And they are expensive. Not served the old way cooked in grease and wrapped in newspaper either. I would go back to the old days and love the F & C done in the grease. Maybe not correct in todays healthy mode of eating. But they were delicious. People today think McDonalds or Burger King's fry's are great. Well they never had the 'best ones' from old England to compare. Fish and Chips is a stable when I travel to the UK. Could eat them every day. My car used to automatically head for the F &C shop about 5 o'clock. By the end of the month I was pretty fed up with them, but would have to have one more order before leaving for home in the US. When I was dating Maureen, back in the early 60's, I drove to Ipswich from the base after having KP. It was late so I stopped at the F &C shop and ordered a shilling of chips and same for fish. Along with the pork sausages and pickled onions. Believe today it cost me $.75 (US) per order. Could not get a small order of chips for that today...lol. http://www.federationoffishfriers.co.uk/…/facts-and-figures… Cheers

update 4/13/16
Here it is the middle of the night again. Did get the tube unblocked yesterday afternoon. Otherwise a pretty insignificant day for a change. Will have the Speech Therapist over today, 3 days per week. Same with the Nurse. Have a way to go to get my throat muscles working again. That is why the speech therapist. Have you ever tried to swallow with your tongue between your lips? My first exersize! It will be a while? Sugar is staying OK with the Insulin. Dry Mouth still there but finally found a product that seems to help some, Stopper4, I think is the name from Amazon. A spray. Cheers No one should have to go through this! If you have any trouble swallowing, see a doctor fast!

Quick Update:
Thanks everyone for 'sticking' with me through all of this. It helps a lot! Please keep posting your family pictures and stories. We love them! No matter how funny or sad they represent Leominster in the past and how it has changed. We all have favorite stories about growing up in Leominster? Cheers
Great Grandson Riley
Great Grandson Riley

Quick Update:
My Operation on March 16th? And if you do not have insurance...lol! $236,000 insurance billed for that day. Not counting hospital room and other doctors and procedures during the 10 day stay. My cost $0.00!

UPDATE: 4/25/16
Well tube fell out again about 7am. Went to my local surgeon this time. Another tube put in then to hospital next door for xray. Back to doctor, took wrong xray. Back now for another xray. Then home and they will notify me there if OK. Now 10:45 am. Back Home at 12 Noon!

Update: 4/30/16
Feeling a bit better. Still sore where they put the tube back in. Getting a bit fed up with hospital, but the doctors and nurses are great. Hope not to be going back soon...lol. Speech Therapist today. Dry mouth a little better? Due to being dehydrated they say. Sugar has been manageable? Hope to be able to drive to Tucson on May 10 and 12 for doctor appointments. Cheers. Oh, tube fell out 5 times?

Update: 5/4/16, 9:30 AZ Time:
It's been a wild ride for me the last year and a half! And it's still not over. I lost count of the visits to the ER and Hospitals, as well as doctors. Thanks again for all the support from all of you on these pages! Right now I am recovering OK from the actual operation. Healing is great. My dry mouth is getting a little better day by day. Need a lot of water and it is hard with the tube feed. Just dehydrated they say. My Diabetes is somewhat under control keeping around the 200 mark, more or less? Should be lower but not to much worry. J-Tube is staying in, so far! Sleeping has not been good. Have not been getting much sleep lately. With the pump and my RLS has not been fun. Have an appointment with the Cardiologist and the Surgeon on the 12th. My primary doctor won't commit to me driving on the highway. Worried about the 75-80 speed limit...lol. Would be his responsibility if something happened. But is allowing me to drive around town. Found out that VICAP will transport us to Tucson. They ask for $45 if you can afford it? Well worth it for me. So booked them for the 12th. So thing are a little better. Still not able to eat though. Speech Therapist should help but could take some time. I realize that it was my decision to have this major operation. It was so that I could eat again. Hopefully it will work out in the long run. Cheers

Update, 5/11/16, 4:20am
Another night trying to get some sleep. Find it hard and only get couple of hours at the most. Went to my Primary doctor today. A couple weeks ago he said I could drive in town. Today he lifted the restriction and can drive anywhere. Everything was fine. Only the swallowing now to contend with. Been driving around town when we go out. Seems OK to me but I always thought I could drive. Thursday we go to Tucson Banner Univ Hospital to see my Surgeon and Cardiologist. Will not be driving though. Feeding with the pump is not fun. The tube from the bag kept falling out...lol. Have to tape it now. Always something new happening. Gained a couple of more pounds. Guess I have come a long way from this pic day after op. Cheers
.....Great Grandson Ashton
Great Grandson Ashton

Update, 5/12/16, early morning.
A look at Health Care costs. You have to be Donald Trump to pay if you don't have insurance? But again, if you cannot afford it you probably would get it free. These is just Hospital Bills mostly. 1. Looking at my Health Insurance GEHA at what was billed by Banner Univ Medical Center Jan 1st up till Apr 27th. Grand Total is: $308,887.00. and.........
2. The Surgeon, Dr Kim: $22,715.00.
3. Plus the many doctors, tests, and everything else is to much to total. Probably at least 50 entries most in the several hundred dollar range. Total: Several Thousand dollars.
4. Plus Medicare paid for my hospital room each time I was admitted. Cost: ???
5. Local Canyon Vista Hospital in Sierra Vista: $17,032.00.

***Total from above: $348,634 plus.

They say MY cost for the above is: $4829.00. But I do not usually get billed for that amount?
A little more than my fixed income will allow! Anyone care to donate...lol Just Kidding!
One good thing is that my 'Out of Pocket' is satisfied and all network should be free as well as normal prescriptions the rest of the year
. Please do not get sick!
Cheers
On our way in the morning, leaving at 7:30, for Banner and appointments with the Surgeon Dr Kim and the Cardiologist Dr Shetty. 15 minute appointments? Getting a ride there with VICAP. My doctor has OK'd me to drive anywhere. I am not grounded. But already made the appointment with the driver. Wish me Luck!

Update 5/12/16 8;50 PM
Off to Tuscon this morning. See my Cardiologist and Surgeon. Got a ride with ACAP. Will be able to drive from now on. Both said everything was OK. Surgeon put stitches in my J Tube as a precaution. All went Well! Cheers.

Anecdote Memory from my past!
May 23rd, 2016 at 4:18am Remembering those days in Early April 1965. I had been in England at RAF Bentwaters/RAF Woodbridge twin bases for just over 4 years. I was serving the end of my tour. I had been home to Leominster for one month during that time. A lot had happened also while there. I met a British girl at the Bowling Alley in 1962. Walked her home across town as she would not ride in my car. I then had to walk back to get the car...lol. Must have been something there. Made a date for the following Saturday. As it was I had to work and my NCO would not let me leave even after my work was done. I was pretty mad at him and he apologised later. I was late arriving in Ipswich. All I knew was the large department store where she worked. I was determined to find her. I searched for her and eventually found her. Think it was 'love at first sight'. Convinced her to a date, and the rest is history. Met her Mum and 3 younger brothers, but not her Dad. It was several months before that. Maureen said he did not like Americans and warned her not to go out with one? I would park and wait down the street a couple evenings and he would walk past me to work before I ventured to the house. Finally one Saturday after returning from the beach with Maureen, Mum and brothers, I decided to meet him. So with all in the car, I proceeded to the Pub he frequented every day at the same time. We waited and he walked past the front of the car and into the Pub. We followed. Maureen and Mum were not to sure about this? We met and he bought me a beer. All was OK..Then we got engaged. I came home on leave to Leominster on Christmas. Not sure he liked me taking his only daughter to America eventually. We married on October 5th, 1963 in the Catholic Church, St Pancreas. We were married twice as the British church does not recognize a catholic wedding, so a Justice of the Peace also married us in the middle of the ceremony. Then on our first anniversary we made a hurried trip to the base hospital on the foggiest night I spent there. My 1954 American Ford had broken down a couple of days before. My mechanic said it was OK to drive until he could work on it. Well I had to keep the speed over 35 on narrow windy roads through the farmlands of Suffolk. We made it to the hospital in 30 minutes. Staff was waiting and surprised as I had called them from a phone booth when we left. No cell phones or any phone in those days. My son Mark was born early morning. I left to tell the news to Maureen's family and made it about a quarter mile, still foggy, broke down. We lived happily in a rented bungalow in Ipswich till April 1965. The start of this post. We had a going away party at the bungalow before leaving. Relatives of Maureen, Friends and Airmen all came for a good time We had to leave the house several days early and stayed in a guest house. Upon returning one evening from Mum's and buying 5 bottles of Canadian Club at the Class 6, the Taxi driver got to the 'boot' before I could and picked up the paper bag with the liquor. Bag was wet and bottles fell through. One broke. Well the British Customs does not like that as you are not supposed to open them till the US. What could I do. Well I had a bottle of Johnny Walker Red Label not opened. So I included it with the other at customs at RAF Mildenhall. I was worried as I knew of an airman that was missing a bottle and they shipped his British wife and baby and kept him in England. Hoping they did not have the kind of liquor I bought? But luckily all went well. I still have the unopened bottle Johnny Walker which was from our wedding. We landed in the chartered Boing 727 at McGuire AFB in New Jersey. I processed out in a hurry as it was now Easter time. My Mom, Dad and sister Barbara drove down to get us. Maureen was alone when they came to the door. First time they met. She had the baby and handed him to my Mom as he was getting fussy. We made the long ride home and that is the end of the story. Cheers
................. Johnny walker
(Pic of my Johnny Walker Red Label with
Official US Air Force Use imprinted on it.)

UPDATE, May 23rd, 12:15 am
Sorry for not updating recently. Not much happening. Lost my Home Health Nurse and Rehab. Will be loosing the Speech Therapist very soon. Due to Medicare Part A. Cannot figure out why they claim that I cannot eat anything I loose it for not being mobile. My insurance will cover it, maybe, if I can find an outpatient source? Hoping the progress with the Vital Stem has made some difference with my throat muscles. Will be going for a Swallow Test here in SV on June 1st. Don't expect much change as far as eating. There are no certified Vital Stem persons here in Cochise County other than the one treating me? Have been trying to find one in Tucson. Will make some calls tomorrow. Seems like not to many around. Seems that Medicare Part A qualifies me if I am immobile? After that no more. Also found out that my Two Cal HN will not be covered. They will cover insulin syringes and bags for the pump, etc, I guess. Will cost me over $240 per month for the Two Cal. Big expense for me with all my other medical bills. But it is all I can have for nurishment. Cannot eat or drink anything else? So it goes...! Started work on my garden. Planted some veggies today. Have more but it was to much to continue. Get tired easy. Have some flowers also to plant. Not going to do too much this year. Diabetes seems pretty well controlled now. Am not grounded anymore. Can drive anywhere. So far I am not very happy about my condition. Surgeon can't figure it out but not his job. Having my eye's examined on Friday as they have gotten pretty bad since the cancer. Tube is staying in but keeps stinging me, probably the stitches? Otherwise, life goes on, however it is...lol. Thanks again for all your support. Remember all others who have cancer! Cheers

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UPDATE: June 1st, 4:40 PM, AZ Time:
Well,let's see what has been happening lately. Just got back from the Eye doctor and my eyes still seem dialated? My eyes have been getting bad the past few months? He said I don't need eye glasses but have a cataract in the left eye. Will be seeing the doctor nest month to see about the surgery. Went to the local hospital for a 'swallow test' yesterday. The 3 I failed in Tucson were about a 32 seconds procedure. This one was longer. Had me swallowing different consistency of Barium, fruit, and cracker. Said it looked better and sending the report to my doctor and speech therapist. Seemed soft food was sorta OK but water, w little, still going down my airway. If I swallow it with my chin down it seems OK? hers hoping for the best and good news on that! Went to the VA the other day. Looked at my financial, which there requirements have changed, and I qualify for no deductables and $8 prescriptions. Mine are mostly free now and no deductable. Will be seeing my doctor there on the 13th about getting the Two Cal HN through them. The lady I spoke with in Tucson VA was encouraging. Otherwise it is about $250 per month or so? Hoping for good news than also!. Been spending an hour here and there on my garden. Have planted a few more veggies and a lot of seeds, most from last year. Some are coming up already. Still get tired and come in and lay down after the gardening or anything else like shopping. Could not play an inning of softball as of yet? Doctor said I could though. Heard about a friends, friend that was diagnosed with Esophagus Cancer months after me. He had the operation a few months ago but was not doing well. Probably not the op? They just gave him 3 months to live! Hat to hear that news. Please see a doctor, as I have been stating, before it is too late. Well you are finally getting hot weather? It is the norm here for most of the year. Had my Grandson geet my cooler ready and it is working great. Nice not to have AC as this keeps us really cool and we don't have to keep it on at night and a lot of the daytime also. Guess 'That's All Folks' Cheers
thats all folks

UPDATE June 6th 2:50 pm AZ time:
Don't have another doctors appointment until the 7th with my primary doctor. That's good! Gives us a break if nothing else happens. Been spending time in the garden. Decided to add to my sprinkler system so am digging a ditch about 80' long...lol. It was 98 degrees out there today! Just doing a little at a time. The soil here is very hard. You cannot get the tip of a shovel in it more than an inch. Have to keep watering it to soften it up. Once you do that it is relatively easy...lol? I am not in a hurry. Also going to put decorative blocks along one wall like the ones already there. Just continue it and fill with loam, or dirt as you get here? That's about it for now. Seem better each day. But still get exhausted and am loosing weight. See what the doc has to say. Cheers

Update June 4th, 12:10 pm AZ Time:
Had my eye exam the other day. My eyes have always been good just need cheap glasses for reading? Been having problems lately. Doctor said I have a cataract on my left eye, don't need glasses. You know, I never thought about it but when I close my right eye everything is real blurry. Like looking through frosted glass. Never noticed it. Right eye is perfect. You should try looking through just one eye and see how it goes? I would be blind if I just had my left eye...lol Have an appointment next month to see about the surgery and will have it done ASAP. Cheers. Note, Esophagus, heart, eyes what's next ...teeth...lol

Update, June 7th 3:15 pm AZ time:
Seen my primary doctor this afternoon. Got the results form my 'Swallow Test'. Said I can start eating soft foods...Great! Did not like me digging holes at 105 degrees. Have to go out early or late in the day...lol. You just know modern medicine has come a long way. Glad I opted for the 'zipper' instead of stitches in my stomach. For future use it is a lot easier if they need to get in for a Gall Bladder or something I still have. Just unzip and remove! Yes, temps been hitting over a hundred here in SV which is unusual. We only get a few days like that . Having my softball friend, who had the same op the day before me, over tomorrow. He is up here from Florida. Will be nice talking with him. He has been able to eat and not have the problems I have had. That's about all for now. Cheers.

Update, June 8th, @:2:13 pm:
Well got a call from my Speech Therapist. Maureen got the call as I was not here. She is to call back this PM. She said I cannot eat yet and has more info for me. Kinda disapointing. Don't know what to do until I can find out for sure. Here's Hoping! Cheers.

Update, June 9th:
Spoke with the Speech Therapist and she went over the report again on the phone and I guess I can eat soft foods. But, have to be careful and eat small amounts. Will be seeing her on Saturday and learn a little more when I see the report. She is also sending it to Dr Kim, the surgeon for his opinion. Seems no one has much experience with the complete Esophagus missing...lol. Had a great visit from my Softball buddy yesterday. He had the operation in Florida 2 days before me. He is doing well and can eat now. He did not have all his esophagus removed. But pretty much the same otherwise except for the other problems I have been experiencing. The difference is probably the year and a half in which I could not eat and the muscles stopped working properly. Life goes on..... Cheers

Update, June 12th, 3:25 am,
Finished my sprinkler project. Was just something to do. Maureen did not like me digging with the temperature over a hundred. But I just took it easy and did not overdo it. Have been eating a soft diet a couple times a day. Hope it is all going down the right place? Have an appointment with the VA doctor coming up. Anxious to hear what he has to say about my 'Two Cal HN' and weather they can help with getting it free or with a copay? Also have the Eye doctor to see about cataract surgery with my left eye. Speech Therapist was sick yesterday so will see her on Monday. Learn more about my eating then. Planning on visiting the Softball game this afternoon. Have not been for a couple of weeks or more? Otherwise, life goes on. Cheers.
softball
Softball

Update, June 18th, 2:55 am AZ time:
Not much going on. Wen't to the VA the other day. Will be seeing a Nutritionist on Monday through them. Took all my info and will find out if I can get 'deal on Two Cal HN? Will cost me about $250 a month if I have to buy it. Sugar has bee good. Will talk with the doctor next week about going back to tablets instead of insylyn. Have been eating soft foods. Had spaghetti yesterday. Have been trying different things but have to watch the sugar. Having Rice Krispies for breakfast. Been OK eating so far? Not overdoing it so far. Just small amounts a few times per day. Still feeding with the tube. Still spending time with my garden. It is going well. Something to do. Temp's been in the 90's lately...cooled down some? Not sure what to do about the Speech Therapist yet. Will see how the soft food goes? Cheers

Esophageal Cancer Fact...JoAnn Cannon — Getting back to a "new normal"
JoAnn also has resumed her very active lifestyle, which includes playing golf, skiing and playing tennis. Her reduced chest cavity means she becomes winded a bit more quickly than before, but she sees improvement and won’t let it stop her.
“It’s true that after surgery you have to figure out what among your normal activities you can return to, and what part of your life has to change,” Cannon said. “I feel very good. I am getting back to a ‘new’ normal.”
Her advice to other patients: “Be patient—you will get your appetite back—and stay positive. Try to return to any activities you are able to do; be sure to rely on a good network of family and friends; get out and walk, do whatever you can. I feel like I have done what they recommended to do, and it has paid off.”

Update, June 20th 2016, 8:00 pm AZ Time:
Well, got rid of the rat! Finished my sprinkler system. Garden doing OK except for a couple plants, Tomato and Pepper, that have wilted with the heat. Trying to nurse them back. Not growing the garden so much for food as for fun and something to do? Have different veggies growing just to see what will happen. Red, Yellow and Green Peppers, Several kinds of tomatoes, Different Eggplants, Cukes, Carrots, lettuce, Couple kinds of summer squash (Patti Pan and Spaghetti), Acorn and Butternut also. Onions, That's about it. Will wait and see if anything comes up...lol? Need the Monsoon Rains to start soon. Nothing but good rain to help with the plants. Started eating soft foods. My lowest weight a couple of weeks ago was 122, back up to 129. Long way to go. Visited the VA Nutritionist today and they will supply me with Two Cal HN. Great as it is expensive for what I need per day. But, hoping it will not be long before I can be off it and have the J-Tube removed. Can eat a lot of different things but still have to watch the sugar. Sugar has been OK with the Insulin. I want to go back to pills for my diabetes and will have to check with my doctor. Actually he was supposed to call me today about it...lol. Have an appt with doctor about cataract surgery next month. Guess that is all for now? You guys keep healthy and remember if you have trouble swallowing, go immediately to the doctor. Heard on TV that drinking very hot coffee (or other drink) can cause Esophageal Cancer. New Study? Nothing I ever did! Cheers. I keep this webpage updated? You or someone with cancer may enjoy reading about my battle.

Update, June 21st, 2016 12:25 pm AZ time:
We're 'Having a Heat Wave'! Temp was over a hundred early this morning. Glad we don't live in Phoenix as it is supposed to get close to 120 degrees F! Was going to start a little work at the front entrance but Maureen says it is too hot! Did a little digging first thing this morning to plant some flowers. Soil has not been worked in years. Had a rose bush there that was pathetic. Want to make it look a little better. Will have to wait till this evening. Supposed to be 'warm' for the next few days. We really could use some rain though. Been in a drought the last several years and not meeting our 13 inches per year of rain. Never have had a water ban here in our 23 years. Say that some of the AZ water is a million years old from under the desert? Should bottle it! Well will just have to stay indoors and eat, eat, eat...lol. Keep trying different things. Nice to be able to get something down my throat again. My stomach forgot what it is like to have food in it? So far so good and hope it stays that way. The nutritionist was helpful in what I can eat. Surprising what they call soft food? Still not ready for a Lobster or Steak. Cheers

Update, June 21st, 6:00 pm AZ time:
Cancer is a terrible disease. It affects to many people and their families and friends also suffer. I have been battling it for going on 2 years. As of now, I am cancer free? I have just started to eat soft foods after over a year and a half. I have gone from 165 lbs to low of 120. Currently since eating gained to about 128-9 lbs. No fun when you cannot eat and all you see and hear is about food. It has been a long battle with many stays in Hospitals here and Tucson. Many trips to ER's. Even a Helicoptor ride which I don't remember for $45K. Bills are horrendous and just keep piling up. Well they cannot get what you don't have...lol. Unreal when the operation I just had cost over $300,000? That's with Medicare Part A paying for my room and the Surgeon not included in the cost. My insurance has been billed over $500,000 since Jan 1st. Guess it doesn't matter if you have money and insurance or not? VA has just accepted to pay for my TwoCal HN that I feed overnight. Would cost over $200 a month otherwise. So, my advice 'Don't get Cancer...lol? Have seen a few friends die lately or been given a short time to live. How do you cope with it? I consider myself lucky the way things have gone. But you never know. Was visited by Softball friend, Jim McInerney, who has the same cancer and operation 2 days before me, and is doing fine, great to hear and see him. Then I hear about Pat..., another softball friend who just died of Colon Cancer? Please keep healthy and if you have a problem go to the doctor right away. You never know, but caught early there may be a cure. With my Esophageal Cancer they say 6-12 months as most are diagnosed after months of not being able to swallow. They now said on TV news the other day that drinking very hot coffee (or other drink at over 160 degrees) can cause Esophageal Cancer. No real cause is known? Still looking to play Softball! Still working on my Garden. Cheers.

Update June 24th 9:15 pm, AZ Time:
Well my worries about having to pay for my cans of nourishment, Two Cal HN, was relieved tonight. I had gone to the VA Monday and they said I was eligible for it. Tonight I had the door bell ring and the FedEx driver was at the door with 11 large boxes? He delivered about 300 bags for my feeding pump and stand. The other 8 boxes contained 13 cases or 312 cans of Two Cal HN! Been working on the garden, now the front of the house. Just have to have something to do all day. Even with temps in the 100's I was spending short times with gardening. Guess I was over doing it from what the doc and Maureen say...lol. But I would come in and rest quite often and did not overwork myself. Went to the doc this morning and he still wants me to stay on the Insulin as things are going good right now, maybe later with pills? Never a dull day, boring maybe!

Update, June 26th, 6:00 pm AZ time:
Probably been boring all of you with my 'Garden Antics'. When I came home from the hospital, end of March, my 'Garden (British Speak) or Back Yard (Leominster speak) was a total disaster. Weeds every where. Had not been able to keep up with it lately due to my medical condition? But as I improved a bit and kept looking at the yard, and wondering if a garden was possible, I decided it was. I do not have a green thumb, and personally don't care if the plants do great or die. Well, I do care actually but it is just the 'something to do' that I want. Also to see things grow. Get's boring watching TV and going on the computer, Hello Facebook! (Not all you guys, I love you all and can't thank you enough!) So, I started little by little to clean up everything, dig some holes, add some soil, plant some veggies and flowers. Weather was over 100 degrees most days, an unusual heat wave for Sierra Vista. But I continued, several short times each day. Planted much more than I had expected. Planted a lot of seeds also. Added the sprinkler addition with an 80 foot trench. I think I am about finished! But maybe not? Keep thinking of things to do that have been left out all these years. Meanwhile Maureen has taken to clean the inside of the house. I try to tell her not to do so much for the 2 of us to no avail. Guess I cannot complain. She bought a smaller vacuum cleaner and it makes it easier? My garden is not perfect and will win no rewards. But you have to think I am in Arizona and it looks different than Massachusetts Not so 'lush' here in the desert.I often wonder if Cochise ever wandered through my yard? After all this is Cochise County and he was buried a short ways from here. Of course no one knows the exact spot. We have been there but could not find it either...lol. I have been feeling better 'day by day'! My lowest weight was only a few weeks ago at 129, now pushing 131. Eating several times per day, like spaghetti, meat loaf, fish, eggs, potatoes, other frozen dinners, Ice Cream, Cottage Cheese w/Pinneapple, soup, yougert and anything else I can find to try to eat. still have to be careful and no Lobster yet, I mean a whole one. Still on the feeding tube at night, down to 3 cans now. Still on Insulin per doc's orders at least for awhile? Things are getting better!
Garden Garden Garden
(Garden June 26th 2016)

Update 6 Jul 10:20 pm AZ Time:
Seen my primary doctor, actually a PAC and he thinks everything is going great. No problems. Sounds good to me! Still eating and I am still living! No aspiration or pneumonia. Still on the Two Cal overnight. Not much else going on. Will be driving to Tucson on Friday. Picking up Granddaughter Kelley Marie. She will be coming back for a few days. Bringing a Futon up to her off campus dorm to replace bunk beds she has now. Takes up less space in small apt. Think it is just going to be one or two inches to long to close the liftback on the Explorer...lol. Will see when we put it in. May have to tie down the back. Nice to have her coming back with us. Garden has been going great. We have had some Monsoon Rain lately. Think the rain is better than city water for a garden? Doctor gets to like to talk to us about my garden and other things. We have known him for years. Spend some time just talking. Have found about a dozen 'Mexican Bean Beatles so far. Hope not too may this year. They ate all my squash leaves last year before I knew what they were? They look like 'ladybugs' but brown and destructive. Have been checking the plants a couple times per day to keep them at bay. None the last 2 days. Have dusted with Diatomaceous Earth and think that is helping. (Diatomaceous Earth (food grade): bug killer you can eat!). Amazing product, look it up on Google or Bing. Well better go now. I am actually feeding with the pump at the moment. Probably 5 more hours to go. Will be happy when I can just eat and not use the Tube. Cheers.
Mexican Bean Beattle Diatomaceous Earth
Mexican Bean Beatle and Larva
Diatomaceous Earth

Update, 10 Jul, 5:40 pm AZ time;
Drove the 150 mile round trip to Tucson last Friday to pick up Granddaughter. Had a meal of Fish with Mashed potatoes and had to get a cup of Chillie. Got through most of it but the fish did not seem quite done and was chewy. Today went to Tombstone and had dinner at the Longhorn Restaurant. I had to get my usual which I have not had for 2 years, a Chimichanga with refried beans and rice. Made it through about half. Trying to take it easy but you know how it is when you have not eaten real food for over a year and a half??? My sugar has been fine and no problem eating so far. Can't eat a big meal yet and probably never will. They suggest 6 per day, but I am still on the Two Cal HN at night. Had pizza yesterday but held off on the crust, just ate a little. Had a Subway sandwich also, ate half, it was tuna which is soft. Tomorrow it is back to driving to Tucson to bring our Granddaughter back. Bought some frozen Flounder, 2 lbs pack, and it was really good? Guess that is about it for the moment.
Longhorn restaurant
Longhorn Restaurant, Tombstone

Update, July 12th, 4:40am AZ Time:
Been busy! Trip to Tucson on Friday to pick up Granddaughter. Also bring her a Futon to sleep on instead of the Bunk Bed Futon she had been using. She changed rooms in the Off Campus dorm. Monday afternoon we took her back. It is about 85 miles 'door to door'. Ate at a Waffle House nearby to her apartment as it was getting late. Had to much to eat, I think, even though I left half. Had a glass of Orange Juice and when we left I was sick (orange juice?). Have to take it more easy. Just when I see something that looks good I want to eat it...lol. Made it home in 1 hr and 40 minutes at 9:00pm, good time. Highway, I-10, was clear and averaged a bit above speed limit all the way. Maureen kept reminding me I was doing 80, but that is normal on the I-10. Think she is getting a little worried about my driving since I was banned for awhile. But I am OK now. The rain, not a lot, we have been getting has been good for my garden. Starting to see some plants producing vegetables. Squash, several kinds, eggplant, Peppers, Tomatoes, onions, lettuce. Cukes and beans doing great but no fruit. I am just happy with keeping busy and not worrying about the production. No Mexican Bean Beatles, yet, last year they stripped all my squash leaves to a skeleton. Not good. Have found about a dozen so far and got them early...lol. Hope it keeps that way. Still on 3 cans of Two Cal HN at night. VA gave me 300 cans, which helps a lot. Plus 300 bags for my feeding pump. It was a surprise but I will take it. Went to Viet Nam Vets meeting Saturday morning. They have a breakfast then a meeting. Skipped breakfast. Interesting organization that I joined as well as the American Legion. Cheers.

Update, 14 July, 5:40pm AZ time: Went to the Eye doctor yesterday. 2 o'clock appointment and was seen after 3. Then for a few tests and more waiting as they dilated my eyes. Finally the doctor seen my and confirmed my left eye cataract. Said I would probably have to have the right one done after? Was to talk finances, but have to wait for a call. Remember the bills I got from 2 different eye doctors after they said it was covered by my insurance, and then said it was not? Don't want that problem again. Tried to cut my grass, I have so much...lol, with my old push rotary mower and it was too high and thick. Let it go a couple of days. Did about 1/4 and it was to much for me. Hard to push and not doing very good. So today I bough a push type mower, Husqvarna. What a difference even though you can still get a workout pushing it. Does a much better job on Maureen's 'little bit of Leominster, or England' grass. Looks better.Takes about 5 minutes, maybe 10 to mow? Old reel type took much longer and I could hardly push it the other day. Getting old! Still eating, but the thrill is not there now. Just go to the supermarket and pick up everything that looks good and things that I have thought about eating for a long time??? My grocery bill is going up! Just have to try things? Cheers

Garden Garden
Husqvarna & Maureen's 'Little Grass'

Update, July 17th, 3:00am, AZ Time
Got my appointment for Eye surgery for September 7th. Have to meet with them first on August 15th. Also need a physical (?) from my primary Doctor. They said my insurance is in their network??? Been through this twice before with Maureen. Think they got it right this time. Cheers.

Update July 25th, 7:50 am, AZ Time:
I have been eating. Also sipping juice and liquids. Still sipping with my chin held down. Eating pasta, baked beans, fish, ice cream, smoothies, most anything I can find that is kind of soft. So far so good. I do get filled up fast as my stomach is probably smaller? Still having Two Cal at night from the pump which also adds water flushes. Still hard to get used to eating. Everything looks good, then disappointed when I eat it. Just trying to do to much...lol. Waiting for the lobster...lol. Getting there slowly. Not trying to rush things. Since I still have the J Tube. Visit the surgeon August 9th and hope to find out more about removing the tube. I try to eat a few times during the day. Next on my list is Cataract Surgery on Sept 7th. Cheers.
Garden Shed Garden Shed
Latest Project

Not quite an Update, July 29th 2016, 7:30pm AZ Time:
Its only a comb! About 12 inches long. Not made from bone from an old Leominster maker. Not an expensive metal one. Maybe made more recent be a Leominster company that your ancestors may have made? It has no Mark of the maker on it. Well, why write about this nondescript item. I have been using it since my USAF days in England, Early 1960's. It got me through inspections. Got me through dates with Maureen. It travelled back to Leominster twice while in the Air Force. Then many trips across the 'Big Pond' round trips to England. Also many round trips across country from MA to/from AZ. It travelled in luggage under the plane quietly with no bad comments. It was, and still is always there for me for about 50 years. What a friend, always ready to do its job! Just a comb you say! Cheers

Nondescrept Item

Update 8/5/2016 4:50 pm, AZ Time:
Have an appointment with Dr Kim, Surgeon that did my op on Tuesday in Tucson. Still eating Ok. Still have the pump for Two Cal during the night. Hoping he may get rid of the tube? Now to get rid of the insulin and back to pills? Weight is around 133, lowest was 120. Weighed about 160-165 before the cancer. Surgery for cataract is tentative on September 7th. What else can I have done...lol. Heart, Esophagus, diabetes, eyes...lol. Keep buying food to eat to see how it is. Told Maureen we are going to Golden Coral where I can try everything at one meal and then I will know what I like and should buy. My one problem is my upper plate is loose with loosing weight and will have to have it checked and adjusted sometime. Makes it hard to chew? I have my own bottom teeth. Eating a peach given by a neighbor from their tree. They give us some every year, it is delicious! Still working on the shed. Bought a kit of 3 vents for $18. What a rip off. They are worth about $2, if that. Probably made in Leominster? Ridiculous price from Duramax sheds that say you must have them and ship one with there plastic sheds. Well Walmart, and others, has them marked down to $42 from about $72. Lowest price other places is in the $40 range, even on EBay? How ridiculous can you get? Only a molded piece of plastic with 2 plastic push pegs to hold them in. Installing them is another thing. For my metal shed I had to cut a rectangle about 4x7 1/2. Not the easiest thing. Used my Dremel with disk cutters. Used about 20 disc's, a whole package. They last about a minute each when cutting. Start about the size of a quarter then to a nickel, then to a dime, then nothing...lol. I have a hundred of them on order now. Had to cut with the dremel (actually Black and Decker) then use a hacksaw. This shed is turning into a lot of work. Added a small table in one corner with spare wood I have. Never throw away a piece of wood! Cheers

Shed with Vents

Update, 8/9/2016 5:10 pm, AZ Time:
NO MORE FEEDING TUBE! Just returned from the appointment with Dr Kim, Surgeon in Tucson and he removed the J-Tube! First time in well over a year and a half without a feeding tube. Was worth the trip and the 5 minutes or so with the doc. Seen his assistant for another 10 minutes or so. About 160 miles round trip...lol. Do not have to see him again! But, he want's me to have another scan, which is normal, to check on any more cancer. Going to be different now without the Tube? Was going to pick up Granddaughter in Tucson for lunch, but did not as there was a big storm in Tucson before we left. She said all the washes were flooded and it was torrential rains (Monsoon). So we went to 'Beyond Bread' to eat. Something like 'Panera Bread'. Have been there several times but first time I could eat. Cheers!


Jim After Tube Removal

List of replies from previous post! Showing how much people care! Thanking All of You!
145Brian Nylund, Debbie Harris Isabelle and 143 others 1 share Comments Linda George Linda George Great news!!! Like · Reply · 11 hrs Judi Membrino Madulka Judi Membrino Madulka I am so happy for you Jim that I could just hug you so tight!!! Look at that rosy cheeked healthy young man!! Chomp on, dear friend!!! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Rita Siciliano Rita Siciliano Looking good.🤗 Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Karen Mammone Karen Mammone Wonderful news! I have been keeping you in my prayers. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Carol Levine Carol Levine Awesome milestone. You look great. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Anne Tucker Anne Tucker Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Patty Minko Patty Minko Yay Jim, this is fantastic news to hear! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Barbara Marois Barbara Marois That's wonderful! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Terry Hibbert Terry Hibbert OMG! that is FANTASTIC news. So so happy for you! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Paul Bellefeuille Paul Bellefeuille Go Jim!! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Sandy Scarrci Sandy Scarrci THAT'S GREAT NEWS..CONGRATULATIONS!! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs · Edited Patty Kincaid Patty Kincaid So happy for you 😊 Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Gloria Lefebvre Gloria Lefebvre Woohoo great news, keep up the good works. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Mary Ann O'Leary Brassard Mary Ann O'Leary Brassard Congratulations Jim!! You not only look happy but you look healthy❤️😄🍴🍦🍺 I know those are lots of carbs but you can use your judgement! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs David Hess- Persuitte David Hess- Persuitte Very happy for you, Jim! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Dynise Bray Dynise Bray Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Dynise Bray Dynise Bray That's AWESOME!!!! I'm SO happy for you Jim!!! I bet you enjoyed every bite😊 Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Linda George Linda George Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Carolyn Eaton Carolyn Eaton That's super news Jim!!! So glad you are doing so well, its been a long hard and tedious road for you and your family to say the least. God will surely keep you close as He already has. Good luck on your new journey... EATING!!! 💗😀 Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Dennis Grammont Dennis Grammont Looking real good Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Marjorie Walline Marjorie Walline That is great. Just go slow..they had the Tucson storm on national tv tonight and I saw our good friends had a sand stormin Phoenix...we are just having boiling heat here in williamsville Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Elaine Gaudet Bechtholdt Elaine Gaudet Bechtholdt Great news! Enjoy, you've earned this! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs MaryAnn DiMarzio Baron MaryAnn DiMarzio Baron You look so healthy Jim and I hope you remain on the road to recovery! Elated all news is good! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Charlotte Peterson Charlotte Peterson Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Connie Letters Bauer Connie Letters Bauer Wonderful news..keep up the good work! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Lori Jimson Lori Jimson So happy for you!! <3 Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Paula Davis Paula Davis You look good, Jim! Bravo for you! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Peter Bernard Peter Bernard Great news Jim! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Lisa Whitney Smith Lisa Whitney Smith Awesome news Jim! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Peg Temple Peg Temple Look'n great!!! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Tammi Taralli Goguen Tammi Taralli Goguen That's great news Jim! You're looking great also. 😃 Like · Reply · 10 hrs Deb Damon Deb Damon Glad that tube is gone! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Jim Tansey Jim Tansey Me to! Like · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs Jim Tansey Write a reply... Choose File Phyllis Grammont Phyllis Grammont Yay!! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Diane Iannacone Diane Iannacone Good news -keep up the great job. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Lisa Fontaine Couture Lisa Fontaine Couture So very happy for you😀 Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Kevin Ganong Kevin Ganong Congratulations Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Eileen Benson Eileen Benson That is fantastic. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Peggy Palmer Noponen Peggy Palmer Noponen Fantastic news Jim. Just keep on fighting. I'm so happy for you and also so proud of you. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Joyce Tourigny Lucier Joyce Tourigny Lucier Wonderful news, Jim! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs Joan Maillet Joan Maillet That is great news.. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs Lorna Bolio Lorna Bolio Fantastic news very happy for you! You look good. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs Beth Lundigan Beth Lundigan Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs Beth Lundigan Beth Lundigan Congratulations I'm so happy for you. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs June Brosseau June Brosseau Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs June Brosseau June Brosseau Wonderful Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs Mary F Hatch Mary F Hatch You are truly amazing. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs Linda Dolan Linda Dolan Great news! Looking great too! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs Nancy Vaillette Grillo Tocher Nancy Vaillette Grillo Tocher That is just the absolute best news! I'm so happy for you that you can eat! God is good Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs Karen Comiskey Karen Comiskey Good news for you Jim. I remember the monsoon season and how quickly the washes filled up and dried out just as quickly! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 7 hrs John P Bulger John P Bulger You are so blessed and I for one am so happy for you and the extreme healing you have made!!! May God continue to bless your days, and keep up the good work!!!!! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 6 hrs Emily Federici Emily Federici Your looking great! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 5 hrs Linda Kastner Linda Kastner Wow.what a great attitude you have.im so happy for you.your looking alot happier.God bless you.Road Warrior.you look great. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 5 hrs Larry DiGeronimo Larry DiGeronimo You look like a new man, good for you Jim! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs Judy Mendolusky Judy Mendolusky So happy for you. Stay well. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 1 hr Laura Casker Laura Casker Unlike · Reply · 1 · 1 hr Debora Gallagher Lill Debora Gallagher Lill Great news. You look wonderful!! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 51 mins Debbie Harris Isabelle Debbie Harris Isabelle How wonderful!! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 23 mins 79Gloria Lefebvre, Mark Lois Normandin and 77 others Comments Pauline Doucette Pauline Doucette Wow, that's great news!! Looking good Jim--- Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Tammy LaBelle Tammy LaBelle Yipee!!!! So happy for you!! Looking Good!! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Patricia Barker Berry Patricia Barker Berry Way to go, congratulations. Onward and upwards. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Perrylee Lussier Perrylee Lussier Hip,Hip,Hooray😁 Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Anne Tucker Anne Tucker WOO HOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Neil Beirholm Sr Neil Beirholm Sr Good for you! Lookin good! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Laura Howard Burtschi Laura Howard Burtschi Yay! You look great!! :-) Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Linda Bixby Linda Bixby Great news! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Steve Krulin Steve Krulin So Glad to hear this Jim Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Kathleen McNally Petrullo Kathleen McNally Petrullo looking good Jim........... Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Katie Bergeron Katie Bergeron That is AWESOME news!! Thanks for sharing!! 😊 Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Donna Perkins Donna Perkins Good for you! So happy for you. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Ev DiPerri Ev DiPerri Yay, thanks be to God! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs Stephen Brassard Stephen Brassard Glad to hear , your in my prayer's brother ! .. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Dean Mazzarella Dean Mazzarella Boy do you look happy. I'm happy too! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Jim Tansey Jim Tansey Thanks Dean. We still need a good Mayor here in Sierra Vista. You would be surprised at how many Leominster and Local town folks are living here? Like · Reply · 9 hrs Jim Tansey Write a reply... Choose File Bruce Coulter Bruce Coulter Great news Jim. Looking damn good! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Jodee Lynne Burnell Jodee Lynne Burnell I shared your news with my mom Jeri Quinn - she says happy you are doing better! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Jim Tansey Jim Tansey Thanks, I always got their names mixed up...lol. Like · Reply · 9 hrs Jim Tansey Write a reply... Choose File Fran Richey Fran Richey You look great! Congratulations! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Bernadette Tax Bernadette Tax John and I are so happy to hear this good news! You are looking so well! John says you will be out playing ball soon! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Jim Tansey Jim Tansey Think it will be awhile yet. But they are starting next month. Like · Reply · 9 hrs Jim Tansey Write a reply... Choose File Nadine Hoy Nadine Hoy Great news...you have a lot of back up...cant lose with such support.. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Gloria Whitney Proietti Gloria Whitney Proietti awesome Jim... Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Steven M Chambers Steven M Chambers · Friends with Dean Mazzarella Good for you Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Catherine Caisse Catherine Caisse Hi Jim your looking good.😎🌴 Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Bradford Charles JH Bailey Bradford Charles JH Bailey woo hoo LOBSTER on the pate too Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs Glendene Miller-Newbill Glendene Miller-Newbill Sounds wonderful, will keep praying! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs Jeanette Mayes Jeanette Mayes Wonderful news jim Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs Patricia Singleton Jandt Patricia Singleton Jandt Praise God, I am so happy for you and your family. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs Violet Adlam Violet Adlam Wonderful news Jim and a big relief for Maureen . Unlike · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs Rita Lisciotti Calatrava Rita Lisciotti Calatrava Prayers answered! Keep fighting. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs Chaps Ect Chaps Ect So glade to hear your news Jim I get my Cataract surgery to morrow Unlike · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs Jim Tansey Jim Tansey Sept 7th for mine? Like · Reply · 25 mins Jim Tansey Write a reply... Choose File Jane Bulger Jane Bulger So glad to hear your good news Unlike · Reply · 1 · 7 hrs Wafa Hariri Wafa Hariri Happy for u. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 7 hrs Frank Mazzarella Frank Mazzarella Amazing Unlike · Reply · 1 · 5 hrs Elizabeth Smart Elizabeth Smart That's great news and your looking good. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs Glenna Tomlin Glenna Tomlin Congratulations brilliant news. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs Tom Bissonnette Tom Bissonnette Looking good mate ! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs Bryan Pearson Bryan Pearson Wow, you look so much better Jim, congrats on beating the big C. Unlike · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs Jennifer Hamilton Jennifer Hamilton · Friends with Jeanette Mayes Awesome, you look great.maybe a nice bit of steak, baked potato, Unlike · Reply · 1 · 3 hrs Margaret Brown Margaret Brown Wow, that is truly wonderful news. So happy for you!!!! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 1 hr Kathy Maffei-thompson Kathy Maffei-thompson That is just wonderful!!!!! Unlike · Reply · 1 · 1 hr David Harvey David Harvey Well done Jim you're a battler! Peter Cox replied · 1 Reply

Update, Aug 9th, 7:55 pm AZ time:
I Things have been going better than expected with my Esophageal Cancer. Outcome is not usually this good? A friend of a friend in MA had the operation several months ago...He just died! He had other problems and was not doing to well. But it was quick after he found out the worst. My friend in Florida who had the op 2 days before me is doing great also. Wishing him all the best. Thanking all of you for all your Prayers and Good Wishes and for sticking by me all these months. It has been hard, aka 'Hell', on me and Maureen but your cheerful posts have helped a lot. Wishing all the best for all out there that have been fighting cancer of all types.When you know what it can do to a family and friends and of course the victim it is nice to see what they are going through. That is why I keep updating my condition. Maybe someone reading it will understand what it means to have optimism and a bit of humor in the face of bad consequences. My appreciation cannot be told here for all of you that have had faith in me. These pages are supposed to be about Leominster Past. But you have put up with my updates and other things. There are only so many old pics of Leominster and stories to be told. Still would like to hear yours and old family pics that may have been hidden away in a chest in the attic? I still preach to all 'If you have a problem swallowing, see a doctor immediately!' My motto is still and has always been 'Cancer is not a death sentence, it is a will to live!' Although things have gotten better with me, there is still a chance of it showing up again? Hoping not, or at least till I reach my desired age of 90+! Just a 'glamor' pic from the past, March 17th, 2016 to show how far you can come if you put you mind to it and have a lot of faith from friends and relatives. Cheers
Cowboy Cowboy
Bad Cowboy.....Good Cowboy? By the Hat?

Update, Aug 17th, 4:30am, AZ Time:
Have appointment with the Eye doctor in the morning at 8:00pm. Missed the appointment the other day...lol? Will find out more about the Cataract Surgery. Got a call today asking if I could have it done next Tuesday instead of Sep 7th. Fine with me but I have to have an exam by my primary doctor first? Like I could not survive this op after what I just went through...lol. Hoping for next week and getting it over with. Not much else happening here. I bought a box of frozen Mussels yesterday and had them last evening. They were really good. You just place the bag in the microwave for 7 minutes and they open and are ready to eat. There were 30 in the package. I had bought 2 boxes at $2.50 each, on sale, and went back and bought 2 more. Not quite like the fresh ones you can get back there but they were good and cheap. Maureen does not like them and cannot remember having them or clams (remember she is English)? But she did one day at dinner at Paul Progins house. He steamed them. That's OK I will eat all of them...lol. Still no lobster. They have crayfish at the supermarket but not the same...to small. Used to have live Maine Lobster but have not seen them lately. Outrageous price! Can get frozen Lobster Tails but the same with the price. I think 2 @ about $9 or so. Nothing like fish in New England, or England.Cheers

Update, Aug 21st, 12:25 am, AZ Time:
Will be having Cataract Surgery on Tuesday.
When you have not eaten in almost 2 years it is an adventure to go to the supermarket! Everything you dreamed of for a long time is there and waiting. Look at the frozen food section and start drooling. Fruit section is looking great. Bought a round, green, seedless watermelon. Haven't tried the square ones yet? maybe next time. Wonder how they grow them? Did buy a 'Kiss Melon'. Have not cut it yet. Also, Maureen does not like melons so I get to eat the whole thing. Ice cream, have bought 3 different flavors. Coffee is my favorite right now. Juice is one of my favorites to sip on and have several kinds. Cereal for breakfast. Just walking down the aisles is a pleasure. Have to get over this as it costs me money and is filling up the pantry and fridge as well as the freezer, Good thing we have another freezer. Still have trouble chewing some things. Will have to go to the dentist and have my upper plate adjusted. Cheers.

Anecdote Memory from my past!
August 22nd, 2016. . . Just one of my rantings, not an update as such. How do you feel about this subject?
My opinion is copyrited 2016 and is available to all to do what they please with it. Don't believe that copyrite thing! Please read the whole thing, just to make me happy...lol!
I try to post from my own experiences as a young boy growing up in the 40's and 50s in Leominster. Sometimes I rely on my memory concerning friends, etc. I will admit to a few Playboy mags. It was the thing to have to show your buddies. Probably 'borrowed' from Dad's collection to show among your good friends. It was an icon to us young kids growing up and part of the process. Yes, it was daring and descrete to have one in those days. Made you popular with your friends. We are all adults now...? We can remember all the good things of growing up as well as the bad ones. I believe this mag was a good thing. Back in those days, things concerning the opposite sex was a bit different than today. We had no internet, some movies were not for the young and we were banned admittance, but much milder than today. Sex is popular today on TV, in school. movies, ads. stores, etc. Much different now. Swearing was not as prominent as today. Words we would never use publicly are used in common speech today. Are we better for our past experiences from our childhood. I believe the answer is 'yes'! My Catholic school experience was great, but I would never have been a priest. St Leo's in my day was with the nuns. What Sister Superior said, was word from God. I took my lickins with the plastic ruler and round marker, and I think I am better for it. We should all look back upon those years with pride! Tell our children and Grand Children how it was then. They deserve to know how the world and life changes from generation to generation. We lived through our childhood with all the perils that they 'have' today. We ate 'dirt', drank from a hose, got cuts and scrapes and lived to see another day. The neighbors were not afraid to apply a bandage or to critisize us for our actions. We knew all our neighbors and they knew us, and our parents. We cruised the city on our bikes until it was dark. We knew the limits set by our parents and we obeyed them, maybe! We knew what it was like to get a 'spanking' by our parent without the law arresting them for child abuse. We ate food, all kinds, sugar, calories, who cared. We all ate supper/dinner as a family after dad came home from work. No fast food. Some mom's worked to help support their family. Times were tough in those days. Family was always first though,just ask your parents or Grandparents if you can. Work was hard in the factories of Leominster. We had less, I believe, than the kids today expect. Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter, even Birthdays, were big family days. Stores were closed on Sunday. Merchants were well known by everyone that bought their wares. It was more personable then. Bought our groceries from the local corner store. Paid with a tab at the end of the week, no credit/debit, cards. No supermarkets, would you young people believe that. We watched movies in a theater with one screen that had a Saturday Matinee for us kids. We played sports and other games and did not depend on a 'phone' for friends. If we had a phone it was probably a 'party line' and we had to stay close to it. We played board games and card games without having to have batteries. We played 'Cowboys and Indians' and 'Soldiers' with toy guns. We admired the cowboys and cowgirls despite their actions on stage. Comedians were fun to listen to and watch. No bad language or subject then. Can name a lot of them from the TV and radio that are still known and famous today. TV was live and Black and White on a small screen with few channels. Even the ads were live and fewer. Oh to go back to those times. Of course all was not roses. Technology has taken over, probably for the best. Kids today have more than we would ever have hoped or dreamed to have. Are they better for it? We were happy with one toy even a homemade or second hand one! Same with a bike. Man has been to the moon, wars are still prominent around the world, Is our country safer?, Politics was not a worry to us, now we wonder what is happening to our country that the founders would probably frown at in wonder! Parenting is different now, maybe better, maybe worse. Schools, what can I say? We can go anywhere, almost, in the world in just a few hours now. Information about happenings in the world takes seconds to be heard by the masses. Good or Bad...? I am not sure if I would like to be growing up in today's world. But our ancestors probably thought the same? Was 'Playboy' really that bad! Cheers

Anecdote Memory from my past!
August 23rd, 2016...If you ever lived in a foreign country or even visited one, you find a big difference in the way we live here in the states. I spent 4 years of my young life,starting at age about 20, in the great old country of England. Of course this was way back in the early 60's, 1961-65. Quite an experience at that time of my life. I was in the US Air Force and it was the first time away from home. Also my first Airplane rides. A 4 engine commercial plane, a Super Conne of TWA, and a C118 Mat's plane. First leg down to Texas made me aware of prop planes. The TWA was the pride of the fleet at the time. It was awful! Arriving at Lackland AFB was a pleasure, at least for a few minutes? Then my military life began. Oh, those Drill Sergeants! Lived in the old wood barracks, KP for a week, drill all the time, no life of my own...lol. Well made it to Tech School at Amarillo AFB. For a Leominster boy a 12 hour ride in a Greyhound Bus was an experience. Amarillo AFB, first evening, Beer Hall and back to the barracks...Military again...lol. My squadron was the only one that went to school in the evening. After school about 12 midnight marched to breakfast then to barracks. Up at about 4 or 5 am to GI the barracks..completely. Only squadron that had to have flashlights, road guard belts, and in formation to go anywhere when it was possible. Even if there was 2 of you. Known as the toughest squadron. It was cold and windy at Amarillo. In those days the TI's got away with most everything including hitting an airman. Finally got my orders. Alphabetical by name we were given our assignments for the next 3 years if you were single, 2 if married. Some places you never heard of, others were great assignments. Waited for the T's and they were assigning places like Thule Greenland, Resolution Island (my friend), etc and my hopes dimmed. Then they started with England and I knew there would be several names for there. Mine was included. Happy Days! Home for Leave and then the C-118 flight of 18 hours to England.
My first impression of RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge, was being in the snack bar and looking out the window. Grass was green and quite high. Cock Pheasants kept popping their heads up. and the 'old lady's' were there also. Beautiful first scene. I found my new living area 'luxurious'.It was a Nissen Hut, you would think of Quanset, with 4 airman living in one half. No water, or latrine, or kitchen. Just a bed, locker, chair, and anything else you cared to have? Tele, sterio, table? Heat was by a tent stove fired by oil (kerosene?). A 55 gallon drum held the oil and a trailer with a drum was used to haul the oil to your hut after filling it up by gravity, you had to pump it into your drum. But, most of us loved th huts. I arrived at my new squadron and work place with Civil Engineers. Good duty and great people. The 'Bloaks' (English Civilians?) were all great and worked with a few of them. Loved the country right away. Came my first time to go to Ipswich Town about 2 miles away which seemed like 80. Money was strange and I missed the bus back and had to take a taxi. Came time to pay and I unloaded all the change from my pocket and gave it to him. If something was 10p I gave a pound, etc, so ended up with a bunch of change.I then worked at the Fire Department, Fire Prevention for awhile. Then the last 2 years at Personal Affairs. A wood building of our own away from Personnel. Greatest job I have ever held!. I processed all the Passport and Visa and also birth registrations for the 2 bases. I was a liaison to the American Embassy in London. Met Maureen at the Bowling Alley in Ipswich one day. She refused a ride home with me, so we walked across town to her house, then I had to walk back. Had a date planned the Saturday to meet her in Ipswich. I could not get away from work and arrived late. No phones in those days but I knew the Department store where she worked. Searched and found her! The rest is history...53 years of marriage Oct 5th.
Maureen's Dad was against Americans and did not want Maureen seeing one. Took about 3 months before I met him. Took her Mum, Audrey, and brothers out often and was at the house most nights while he was at work. Met Reggie at his pub after Maureen and I and her Mum and brothers came back from the beach. Followed him into the pub and he bought me a beer and all was OK. Maureen was his only daughter and the oldest so you can understand his reasons. We rented a bungalow for our time there. Did not want an apartment. Cost us $84.00 per month of 30 days (1 GBP was $2.89 and it was a pound per day rent). I was taking home all of $75.00 twice a month. That as an E-4, (Airman First Class), with over 4 years and overseas pay?. Along came my son, born at the RAF Bentwaters Hospital. We lived comfortable there. We had a heater for hot water in the kitchen and bathtub. Small coal fireplace in the living room to keep warm. A Nice area and neighbors. Had a 'motor' (car). Enjoyed my 4 years and 14 days there. It was quite different from Leominster. More like the way my Grandparents lived. People were great but reserved until they got to know you. It was a time in my life which would have been much different if I had been in the states.

Quick Update, 8/23/16, 4:20 pm:
All went well with the Cataract surgery. Almost no waiting when we got there, in and out quite fast. Not supposed to be on the computer today...Docs orders, ...lol. Have to go back in the morning for a follow up. It was 'a piece of cake' compared to what I have been going through! One of the nurses knew me from the hospital and said she looked up the Ivor Lewis procedure that I had. I have a black eye at the moment and feels like there is something in it, all normal. See how it goes. Supposed to take it easy, but you know me? Told Maureen I will only look with my right eye while on the computer. I can watch TV though? Maureen keeps after me to take it easy. Just not my nature. What's Next...not sure if there is anything else they can take out or put in...lol. Been quite a two year battle. Looking for that 90 years plus. Feeling lucky to be where I am right now. In all probability I should not be here typing this post? Take note if you have any trouble swallowing your 'supper'? Let's see, Boston Baked Beans and a bottle of Tonic, and a 'soup sandwich' would be good. Add a Lobster on the side.....?Thanks all for your prayers and good wishes, they sure do help. Will remember you all on my 90th Birthday. Golly Ge Wiz! I was surprised that no one commented on my previous post about the square watermelons. Makes them easier to ship. They are seedless so you cannot grow them in your garden. Have you seen them yet? Maybe they don't have them in Leominster? Better go now before the 'Cataract Police' come knocking at my door and take me away. Cheers.

Update: Aug 24th, 2016 after Cataract surgery on left Eye. You should have seen the other guy!...lol

Cataract Surgery

Anecdote Memory from my past!
I started working a real job, full time around Oct 1958. Made $1.00 per hour at Sportsman's Plastics doing all there was to do in a plastics shop. About a year later I started working at Selig's Mfg Co, on Green St. Now about $2.00 per hour! Started in Mail Room and then the Office working with my Uncle Roger 'Chubby' Caisse. My Mom and Dad were also working there.I took classes and graduated from Ward School in Worcester for Data Processing. The old Punch Card systems. It was a new career at the time. I decided to join the US Air Force Oct 1960. It had been my dream since High School. Although I waited quite awhile since HS, I finally enlisted. I was on the draft but was never worried about being chosen. My first Airplane ride and really out of state experience came immediately. I flew to Basic Training at Lackland AFB, Texas. After several months of 'torture', I was chosen to attend Admin School at Amarillo AFB, Texas. ALso a continuation of Basic Training. More worse 'torture'! I attended school from 6 pm to midnight. Only squadron to do that. Also the strictest squadron on the base. Quite an experience but worth it in the end. Came the day for my assignment and I was chosen for RAF Bentwaters, England. Happy Days! After a short leave at home I flew to England, via Labradore, no stop in Scotland due to weather, landing at RAF Mildenhall, England. An 18 hour trip in a C-118, 4 engine prop, MATS plane. First day at RAF Bentwaters was terrific. My new home was a 'Nissen Hut' similar to a Quonset hut in this country. Loved it for a lot of reasons, hated it for others. Four Airmen shared with no Latrine or Water and heated with a tent stove we supplied with oil. Country was beatiful life was good in my new job with the Civil Engineers. Problems at first were the money, Pounds, Shillings, Pence and having no transportation to go to town. Worked out eventually when I bought a 1951 Ford Counsel. Not much of a car but managed to get me anywhere I wanted to go, at least local. Then bought a 'beautiful' 1954 Ford Customline which eventually came back to the states with me. I eventually changed jobs from the Admin Office of CE to Fire Prevention at the Fire Station. Loved the job and the firemen were all great guys, I had them as roommates also. I was then transferred to the best job in my life with Personal Affairs, An old wood building with just our office away from the Personnel Office. I handled all the Passport and Visa and Birth registrations for the Wing. Did I mention there was 2 twin bases, RAF Woodbridge was the other about 4 miles away by air. RAF Bentwaters was often referred to as 'Crooked Creek'. I sometime worked and lived on both bases. I was also a liaison to the American Embassy in London and TDY'd their many times.After marriage and son being born I left England to return to Leominster, April 1965. It was not the best of times for servicemen with the Vietnam War brewing. I did not have any problems! After being out of work for a couple of months and still collecting Air Force money, I got a job at the Smoke Shop?, Upper Common, Fitchburg for a few months. Owned by my cousin's wife's Dad (Jinx McNally). Then a few months at Independent Lock. Promised everything but not allowed to do what they wanted me to do. It was an old employee that kept complaining about change? Got notice of a job with Data Processing at Ft Devens and took it. Worked there till 1993 when moved to Sierra Vista, Arizona to work at Ft Huachuca, Intel School, Retired in January 2003. I worked part time jobs at a catalog store, (don't remember the name....lol) on Water St, Fitchburg and then at the shopping center where the Victory Market was in Fitchburg? Also worked at MCM Furniture, Leominster. Bought the C & S Pizza on John Fitch Hwy, and ran it for about a year. Worst experience of my life! Sold Mazda/Subaru and other cars at North End in Lunenburg for about a year or so.This was during a 2 years out of a government job, which I returned to around 1978. After retiring, and Maureen still at work, I was bored and started working at Fry's Supermarket, Sierra Vista, as security. Later called 'greeter'. My boss at the time was in Tucson. Lasted a couple years till after Maureen retired...lol. Been retired and living happily since, until my diagnosis of Esophagel Cancer. Another story....???

Update, Sep 11th, 2:55 am, AZ time:
Not much happening lately. Getting ready for my Cataract Surgery next Tuesday. Another fun day? Not to bad though considering what I have gone through the last, almost 2 years. Will be nice to get it done so I can see clear out of both eyes. Still eating soft foods. Getting boring figuring out what to eat. Go to the supermarket and spend way to much money as everything seems so good. But somethings are disappointing. Went to Golden Coral the other day and picked up a little of everything I thought I would like and could eat. Only problem is that everything got cold before I could eat it...lol. Should, next time, make several trips to the food counter. Still no Lobster! Hard to find them around here in Sierra Vista? They have frozen Lobster tails that I seen for about $15 for 2...lol? Way out of my price range.
Softball starts today at 1:00 pm! Going to pass on it, per Maureen, as she is worried because I have the surgery on Tuesday? Says I can wait a week. I won't do to much, probably just catch and hit and not run. That is allowed in our games as you can have a courtesy runner. Staying away from pitching, at least for awhile till I see how it goes. I had lost about 45 pounds since the cancer. Have gained back some and now weigh about 137. I weighed about 165 before? I still have a bit of trouble eating. If I eat to much I can feel it and sometimes get an Stomach Ache? Should be eating several small meals per day.
Have appointments with the VA Nutritionist and the Oncology doctor tomorrow. Should be getting a Scan to see if the cancer is still gone? Hoping all is clear. My Surgeon asked about it and if I had a scan, which I did not? Hoping Oncology will set it up for me in Sierra Vista. Otherwise it will be another trip to Tucson.
One thing to say! Don't get Cancer. Other than the effect on family and me, bills are unreal. I would have to give several years total income just to pay them. On a fixed income, what can you do? I worked all my life. Never collected for being out of work. I am a Viet Nam Era Vet. I never got a penny benefit from the government for me or my children. But I am expected to pay tens of thousands of $$$, for medical expenses? If I was Illegal, in Jail, or just not working (and I could), not married but living together, etc, I could probably get some help, or just not get billed? It is not right in this country for someone that is honest and legal to not get some help with these bills. ...Amen! I guess if you are Donald Trump, you have no worries about Medical Bills! People 'play' the system and get away with it. There are honest people that deserve the benefits and it is right that they should get them. But there is a lot of Fraud. ...Amen again!
Well, keep on wishing me good wishes and prayers as I still need them. Cancer never goes away? It is always a fear in the back of your mind that someday it will return. Not a nice way to go through the rest of your life, I am going to reach 90+...lol.
Social Security must be fixed. Maureen and I only get a small amount of SS. Raises have been almost non existent and things like health premiums are not included in the COL, making the take home smaller each year? But you must realize, us old folks, only made a dollar or two when we started working and at 62 or 65 made a lot less than today's wages. Our SS, and pensions, are based on our earnings? Yes, people cannot live on $10 per at McDonalds? (should you be working there if you have a family?) Yes, they could make more. Yes, it is a starter job or a job for extra money for a Senior. Yes, they should better themselves with a real paying job/career/schooling/trade.Many do, but many are happy with the job but wan't to get paid like a professional? We old folks had no fast food places to work and we earned tiny wages to start with. But we worked to better ourselves. My point is, Minimum Wage goes up, SS/Pensions do not. It raises the prices on everything we buy or eat. Seniors will suffer. Others will suffer as jobs will be cut. Amen again and again, guess I am just preaching today?

Anecdote...Weeds When you are retired and bored, there is always something to do? Well I went out to the garden and had 2 choices. One was to 'Watch the Weeds Grow', Second was to 'Pull Out the Weeds'. My grass was looking nice, still. But along the edges the weeds start to grow. The middle is OK as that was put in with sod many years ago. I know there is a Weed Killer for the lawn, but why take the fun out of it? But I keep pulling the weeds every once in a while. This picture are the weeds I pulled in less than an hour. Oh, it's fun to be retired...lol? Cheers

Weeds

Update, Sep 13th, 5:30 am, AZ Time:
Today's the day! Cataract surgery in a couple of hours, at 8:00 am. Right eye being done. Left eye is great and quite an improvement! Will be happy to have it over with. Seen the VA Nutrition yesterday and stopped the Two Cal and will now get Ensure. Will be to help me gain some weight, etc. Also seen the Oncologist to make a date for a PET Scan. Probably take a couple weeks if they approve it. Chances are they will not but will want an MRI or CT scan instead...cheaper! Everything looking good so far? Eating is an adventure! A bit different than having an esophagus? But at least I can eat real food. Going to the supermarket and seeing all that food is a problem? I end up buying more than I want to and the bill goes up...lol. Everything looks good to me to at least to try, so I buy? It is quite an experience that I would not recommend to anyone. I mean not being able to eat or drink for over a year and a half? We take being able to eat for granted, until you are unable to do it. Well, have to get ready for the surgery now. Will be off line for awhile. At least this is not as bad and nowhere like the 8 hr surgery and 10 days in the hospital last March...lol. Cheers.

Update, Sep 15th, 5:15 am, AZ time:
All went well! Both eyes clear now. Checkup yesterday morning and I have another Black Eye. Explanation is that they gave me an injection just under my eye 'to put my eye to sleep' and the needle penetrates about one and a half inches...now they tell me...lol? But I never felt a thing. Guess not everyone is so lucky to get it?

Black Eye...Other Eye!

Update, Sep 17th, 8:45 pm, AZ time:
Still have the Black Eye. Doing good and can see excellent now! Spent some time in the garden again. Been spending an hour of so each day pulling weeds. My grass is excellent, hardly a weed in it. It is the outskirt that is getting the weeds. It is the area we did not put sod down years ago. The dod is the same as Chase Field, where the DBacks play? There are 2 kinds of weeds that are a problem and I have been fighting them for about 3 years. I think one is a straggler that made its way out from Leominster for the warm weather...lol? Get's better each year though. Better to pull them out than to watch them grow? Told Maureen, when it is time for me to go...Don't put Flowers on my grave, make it weeds? It will give me something to do...lol. May bve easier to pull them down than pull them up? Softball tomorrow. May play some? Will go but wait and see? Weather still nice here. Around the 90 degree. Garden about to close down. Have pulled up some plants. Have some Chocolate Sprinkle and Black Cherry still growing. A few squash also. Some onions. Not much luck this year, but I was in a hurry without much time to prepare after getting home from the hospital. But it has been fun! All you keep healthy! Cheers.

Anecdote Memory from my past!
Vietnam, No Honor, No Glory?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) states, "A Vietnam era veteran is a person who:
1. Served on active duty for a period of more than 180 days, any part of which occurred between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975, and was discharged or released with other than a dishonorable discharge.
2. Was discharged or released from active duty for a service connected disability if any part of such active duty was performed between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975.
3. Served on active duty for more than 180 days and served in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975."

Many of us left our homes during these times to join our choice of military branches of service. We were aware of the hostilities in the world and in particular, the area of Vietnam. But we signed up to defend our country.
Many stayed home, avoided the draft, and chose to protest the war. It was their choice to not advocate the politics of the time.
Going back in America's history there were many wars for freedom. There was also WW I, WW II and Korea fought to protect our country from foreign invasion or to keep other countries free. Many of our ancestors fought in these wars. Many came home a fraction of the way they left. Many did not come home! They came home to honor and glory for their service.
Not true for those who served honorably during the Vietnam Era. They were jeered and thought of as killers, and looked down upon by some members of this great country. They were ashamed to wear their uniforms. They were afraid to say they were part of this war. It was bad times for these vets. But they endured. Many did not make it back and died honoring their service to their country. It was a war with no victory. America had not seen this before.
Today, Vietnam Veterans are, and should be honored, as were the 'soldiers', 'sailors', 'airmen', and 'marines' before them! Finally the recognition they deserve is being appreciated by most Americans.
Not all Vietnam Era Veterans served 'Boots on the ground' in Vietnam, the warring neighboring countries, and the seas around them. But all served their country in support of this war. They, the Era Vets, served all over the world to help those Vietnam Vets, to defend the freedom of a country. No job was to small, whether a clerk, truck driver, medic, or combat troop. All did their job. Many wished for action in the war but never got the chance. Not all military could be 'boots on the ground'?

Honor and Glory is finally coming to these 'Vietnam Era Vets' !

Whether served in combat or supported those that did. Honor and Glory for those that gave their lives in a war that most would like to forget! Over 58K Americans died in this lost effort. They should be remembered, and now they are, for their dedicated service to their country. As well those that served should also be recognized.
When you see the American Flag passing, or standing, you should respect it for what it stands for. For all the lives lost during past wars to give us the Freedom we now have. Also to all the Police, Fire and Emergency people that help keep our country free. When you see a veteran of any war, please respect them! They deserve it for their dedication to our country.

I personally served as a Vietnam Era Vet with service from Oct 1960 to Apr 1965. I never got to the war zone. I have friends that did and I honor them! I served my country for 4 years in the great country of England. I came home to Leominster, MA in April of 1965. The war was still going on. Protesters were still active. I never received any bad times in Leominster. The people seemed to understand what was happening. The city was great! Cheers

Update on my Life! 9/20/16 at 6:40 pm, AZ time:
Yesterday was a rare day. I went 'Ten Pin Bowling'! Being an old 'Candlepin Bowler' in my youth, ten pins was not my thing. I have bowled a few Candlepins over the past several years while visiting Leominster. I had bowled Ten Pins in Lowell almost 2 1/2 years ago with my good Air Force buddy and Best Man. Bob Egan, from Chelmsford. Time before that was around 1962 in Ipswich, England about 54 years before. Bowling was just being introduced there at that time and the 'Brits' knew nothing about the game. I watched them throw the ball overhand! I probably only bowled there a couple of times. Last, I think was after my wedding day with some of the airmen in my wedding. Another thing is that I met Maureen at that Bowling Alley! She would not get into my car so I walked her across town to her home. A long walk, and then back to the car....lol .Met her again the following Saturday and we will be married 53 years on October 5th!
Getting back to the bowling, I have my score sheet from Lowell for the 4 games. I did pretty good for not bowling for about 54 years. Well I got a message to bowl in a senior league from a friend. They bowl on Mon and Wed, pick one or both days. I managed 3 games together with 3 other nice seniors. My scores were 94-129-144. Got quite a few strikes but missed a lot of spares...lol? Will be starting tomorrow and playing on Wednesdays. Was a lot of fun and I need the exercise. No alleys here in Sierra Vista? Closed down several years ago. I go to Ft Huachuca Army Base about a 15 minute ride. The next nearest are about 60 miles, one in Mexico.
The eye doctor this morning said I cannot play softball for another 3 weeks? Went there last Sunday and Maureen forbid me to play...lol. I did not play as I did not want another 'black eye' to match the one I still have...lol. Cheers

98-116-121-183
Bowling Score March 2014

Anecdote Memory from my past!
Nice to remember the 'great' old factories in Leominster that our ancestors worked in! Many are now closed and even torn down or made into apartments or condos? If it was not for them, we may not be here today? Started with he horn and comb shops, also Piano's, that were all over the city? Then into Plastics? Was it better then? Long hours for little pay but no credit cards and purchases were in cash or on the 'Tab'? Everyone knew each other and their neighbors? Today...? Most mom's stayed at home and they worked hard to tend to the house and kids, a full time job in itself? There was no need for most to work? (I might get some flak for this?, but it was the way 'way back then'?) Vacations out of town were an experience and well deserved? Food was healthy and fresh? Doctors were making house calls and not charging an 'arm and a leg' (literally?) Shopping was done 'downtown', closed on Wednesdays and open till 9:00 pm on Thursdays, not open on Sundays? Parking was free, if you had to drive? Cops walked the beat? Mike sold the best Hot Dogs? Movies were in two theaters, Plymouth and Metropoltan' (I know their was a third, anyone remember the name and place?....Rialto!) and had Saturday matinee for us children, with a serial and main feature usually a western, had a drawing for prizes also? We played outside till it was dark and nobody worried? We got cuts and scrapes and mom put Mercurochrome, not Iodine, on it and gave it a 'kiss'? Spent fun time at Grandma and Grandpas who adored us? Played at the 'supervised ' playgrounds which were all over town? Went swimming at Whitney Field Pool, YMCA, or at Lake Whalom? Dressed up to go to Church on Sunday? Dressed up for most 'special occasions' Never worried if it rained or even snowed...had fun in each? Hot, humid weather...no Air conditioning in house or car? Just lived with it with a nice cold Lemon aid or an Ice Cold Coke out of the Ice machine? Opened all the windows at night to catch a breeze, if there was one? People went to the 'old ball field' to watch a baseball game with the local teams each evening? Great games were played by some great Leominster people? Football also? TV was only 3 or 4 channels, no cable, and in Black and White? Ten inch screen, but it was great to watch the old favorites, live shows, few ads? Sports was great to watch even if hard to see with the cameras of the day? As kids we knew all the 'Red Sox' by name, average, home runs, etc, Ted Williams, Bobby Door, Johnny Pesky, etc? And then there was the 'Boston Braves at Braves Field, Warren Spahn? No instant replay...lol? The best education we could probably afford was High School? That was the goal, College was a plus! Lot's of families could not afford it? Boy's looked forward to joining the armed forces which offered a career and training? When old enough to get a 'car' it was a 'hot rod' at least to us? Three speed on the column, V8 engine and about 8 miles to the $.14 cents a gallon Regular and a little more for High Test, all with lead? The Service Station attendant was happy to wash your window and check your oil while pumping the gas? Just rambling on...what do you remember about those 'great old days of the past in Leominster? Would be nice to go back to those days for just a week...lol? Would probably miss today technology right away? Can you imagine what it will be like in the future maybe 50 years from now?
How times have changed since our youth? And how they will change for our Children and Grandchildren in the future?

Update Oct 4th 5:45 pm, AZ Time:
Tomorrow is our '53rd Wedding Anniversary'! It is also my son Mark's 52nd Birthday, and our Grandson Joey's birthday also!
Had the CT Scan yesterday.. Spent most of the day in Tucson. Just came home from the Oncology doctor. She reviewed the info and said there was not a problem. Some soft tissue but, I guess, no problem? Have to have another CT Scan in 4 months. So,I guess everything is OK? I feel pretty good. Eating quite a bit. Will be bowling again tomorrow. So 'Life goes on'? Cannot play softball for another couple of weeks. Getting a bit boring. Buying everything I see to eat at the supermarket...lol. Got to stop buying as it is getting expensive???. Still have a bit of a black eye. But it is going away slowly, been 3 weeks. Guess that is all for now. Cheers!
Coming soon! I hope!

It's Here!

Update Oct 13th, 8:20 am, AZ time:
Had a CT Scan and seems that all is OK. Seen my Oncologist, a new doctor, at the clinic. Will have another Scan in 4 months. Feeling pretty good lately. Eating pretty good. Not gaining much weight though?. Just a couple pounds now and again is fine with me. My pants keep falling down...lol. Went from a 36 waist at one time to a 32 now and still loose. Bought a bag of frozen lobster claws? Don't look like much, but is Lobster? Might have them today. They sell the frozen tails here for about $14, to much for me...lol! Will be able to play softball next Sunday. Will see how it goes. The league is not doing so well with players lately. Still bowling ten pins. Yesterday I got 422 for 3 games. Keep improving as the first 3 weeks I scored 310, 374, and 418. Fun game and a lot different than my favorite Candlepins. It is a senior league with a bunch of nice guys and gals. bowled with and 83 year old guy and his 80 year old wife. Each week you bowl with different people as it is for points even though you are on a team. The team gets split up on different alleys. Before bowling here a few weeks ago I had not bowled ten pins, but once in 56 years. Bowled in Lowell a year and a half ago, 4 games with the last being 186. A good friend here gave me a ball, bag and shoes which helps a lot with expenses.
My 'baby' the Miata has been in the shop for a couple of days. Having my mechanic check it out. Couple of problems to fix but the car is 17 years old...lol!
Have the Great Grandson Ashton here for the day, every Thursday when possible. He is great and fun to have around! Can't ask for a nicer kid! Cheers

Update Oct 21st, 5:15 pm, AZ Time.
Just a bit of rambling today? Doing pretty good at the moment. Eating most things but eating too much at one time...lol. The frozen lobster claws...were terrible. Guess you can't beat a good Maine Lobster! Oh, to be back in Leominster for a Lobster...lol! Been sleeping better without feeding with the pump most of the night. Still have a pain in my right side/back where they cut me open but the front cut of about 8 inches is fine. Would not want to go through these last 2 years again...lol! Love my little Miata, After about 27 years hoping to own one. Nice that when I go to the supermarket, I can just put it in my pocket and not have to park...lol? Gave the Great Grandson, Ashton, a ride around the block today. At 5 he said the car was 'cool'! Then asked for another ride which we did. Then came to me again later for another. Told him next week! He is really a great kid!
Bowling every Wednesday, 30 total weeks but i missed the first 2. Not as good last Wednesday but bowled my average. Played softball last Sunday. No game, just practice, have a long way to go to get back?
Was about mid 80's here today. Weather has been great! Keep the top down on the Miata...lol. Garden has about run the course. Not much left to pick. A lot of Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes still green. Still have lots of Flowers though? Life goes on, even one day at a time is wonderful! Cheers!

Anecdote Memory from my past!
Good old days! Back in 1989 we had sold our Pizza restaurant on the John Fitch Highway, after about a year, and I was out of a job? Had worked for the US Army at Ft Devens since 1995 and had quit a year before. Kinda desperate so took a job as salesman at North End Mazda. It was a fun job...lol! Especially working for the old man an his wife. She more of less ran the place? I learned a lot about the car business and could tell some stories. In the year I was there I was high salesman, for what it was worth. There was another older salesman that I worked with and we got along great. Mostly against the store policies. When the Miata's came out they limited the commission to $500. We could make more at the regular commission? Miatas were selling above sticker price. When we sold one at the least possible price we would add all the extras like a jacket, mud flaps and other things most would not think of adding. It was a fun time when the owner watched one being driven off and asked how much over sticker they paid...lol? Used cars was another story. I did not work the used car lot. That was where the money was! Lot's of profit in used! Sold a truck to a good friend. I knew the truck was in great shape and I took it in trade.I gave my friend the lowest price I thought they would take as I would only get $50 commission for a friend. When we went to try it out, the used car salesman gave me a much lower price which I told my friend. He bought the truck and I expected the minimum commission. Surprised when I made over $200 on the sale. Another favorite was radios. At the time the cheap cars they were an option. The first one I sold I asked the service dept how much they were. Quoted me $60 for the cheapest which I added to the price. Got chewed out when they found out that besides the $60 they also got another $60 or more? And they were installed by a Sterio shop at Kings corner at the time. So anyone else that wanted a radio I recommended they buy their own. Three times the radio at 1/2 the price or less! Lost a few dollars commission but I was happy. Had a woman with a bunch of kids in a Volvo wagon come in when the Miata's came out. Said her husband had been talking about them. She was going to buy him a Corvette but said he would be in to look at them? He came in with dirty work clothes and looked a bit poor? Tried out the Miata and ended up his wife came in and bought it. He explained that when he went to buy something salesmen ignored him. He owned an International Welding company in Leominster. Not that poor...lol! Maybe you will learn something from this? Times have changed since!
The job was fun and the owners were sometimes funnier? Would not like to do it again though. Got a job back with the US Army at Ft Devens and came here to Arizona to Ft Huachuca where I retired on January 3 1903!

Anecdote Memory from my past!
Update of sorts or maybe an anecdote from our past and present? Oct 29th, 2016:
My wonderful wife, Maureen, has an obsession with cleaning? My opinion? We have a 2000 sq ft home for just the 2 of us. It can keep her busy? But, she decided to clean my bathroom. We have 2 baths, each of us has our own...lol? I had installed a 'bowl sink' several years ago in mine. Would not do it again. But anyway she pushed down the stopper to fill the sink. It works by pushing down to close and pushing again to open. Well it would not open? Tried everything I could but did not work. Then went to the plumbing under the sink. Took apart and did get it open. But, screwed up and knew it would now leak if left. So had to remove the sink. I had wanted to change the sink for quite some time. Now was the time! Bought the sink and faucets and other supplies. Now to cut about a foot long oval out of the cabinet. Top was Ceramic Tile which I wanted to save. Tried my Dremel Rotary tool (actually Black and Decker) but had trouble with the tool not working right. So off to Home Depot and got a JigSaw blade for ceramics? Started cutting And seemed to go about an inch an hour...lol? It was slow. I was cutting through the tile and about 1 1/2 inches of wood. Broke the blade about half way through. Back to HD for another $8 blade! Finally finished the cutout! Now for the plumbing. PVC pipe is a lot of fun to use. You have to get the right pieces with the right Male and Female connections. I tried and tried for hours to get it together and lined up. It kept leaking each time I tried...lol? About to give up and finally stopped it from leaking, yea! What I thought was an easy project took hours. I have done this job many times before so it was not something new? But I am not a plumber...lol. Love the new sink much better than the bowl one that sat on top of the counter!
Owning a home can be frustrating. Especially when you wan't to do everything yourself. Maureen and I almost built a house that we had at 11 Dale Ave. We finished the basement of the split level into 2/3 In-Law-Apartment with 2 bedrooms, kitchen, living room, w/bath and 1/3 large family room, laundry room, w/bath. Did most of the design, planning and building ourselves. Later we added a 26 x 26 foot Garage with a room above. It had a cathedral ceiling, skylights, and a balcony on one end. Big enough that my son had 3 rooms there without dividers. (3 corners containing a water bed, pool table, large living room) No bathroom or kitchen (had an electric stove). But a 6 Ft sliding door to enter our kitchen. Again we did most of the work that we found possible and some we did not.
Them days are over, so we thought? Bought the house in Arizona 23 years ago with thoughts of doing nothing to it that was not necessary? Been pretty lucky so far. Did some modernizing, but nothing extreme. It is livable for us...lol! Any of you that own a home can well understand what it is like! I must say it was a lot of work and a lot of 'fun' doing these projects. But when you get older you just have to hire someone to do a lot of what you could do before? Pictures of the finished sink, Home at 11 Dale Ave.

New Sink and Home at 11 Dale Avenue, Leominster

IMPORTANT UPDATE, Nov 5th 2016, 'Guy Fawkes Day'!
Many of you have been following my 'Adventures' of my 'Battle with Esophagus Cancer'. Wow, would you believe it has been 2 years! (2 year survivor is less than 14%!) Back when I was diagnosed with the cancer, my life changed. Also changed for my Wife Maureen and my family. Cancer is one of the worst diagnosis you can get, especially Esophagus. It is a shock when you first hear that word 'Cancer'! There are many types of cancer, I hear over 200? Esophageal Cancer is among the worst for mortality. It is a cancer that was almost unknown several years ago. It has increased over 600% the last several years. Cause is really unknown? Now it is in the top 5 for mortality? You have all heard my warnings for this cancer!
When diagnosed, by endoscope, I was shocked and had never even heard of this type cancer. I had waited about a year before going to the doctor, huge mistake. I was sent to an Oncology Center where I was started on Chemotherapy and Radiation treatments. It is a scary thing with all that you hear about the treatments. I had about three and a half months of Chemo along with 28 Radiations. I had no real problems with the Chemo. I had a pump for 46 hours at times. Other times several hours at the center. Radiation was weekdays and only took about 15 minutes each time. I realize now that the radiation is what blocked my esophagus and made it impossible to eat or drink? I was scheduled to have the Ivor-Lewis procedure at Banner University Hospital in Tucson, AZ by renowned doctor Samuel Kim. A doctor, I found out from the nurses, treated patients from all over the world. Scheduled on March 2015 for op. A few weeks before I discovered a very tiny spot under my armpit? Biopsy proved malignant and removed. But Surgeon said "No Operation Ever!" Disappointed and without hope! Back to Chemo for about 3 months. Unable to have radiation as it would injure my tissues? Then had an Endoscope and showed 'No Cancer'? Found out recently at the Oncology center I was/am their 'miracle patient'! What now? Still not able to eat/drink? Opted for a stent to be placed in my esophagus. Had this done in Tucson, and after being home a short while started coughing up blood. Helicopter ride to Tucson to have stent, that slipped down, removed. Woke up in Tucson, surprised, stent removed. Opted to have stent replaced with clamp or stitches? Doctor tried to dilate but would not do stent as it could be life threatening...again? Unable to get through blockage! Only way to eat/drink again would be the operation. Maureen and other family members were originally against the operation after hearing about it and the effects of it? Seen surgeon and after tests showing no cancer. he agreed to do it. On March 16th, 2016 I had the, 8 hour, 10 days in hospital, operation! My Esophagus was removed and my stomach attached to my neck! Operation removed my P-Tube and replaced with a J-Tube. Tube slipped out about 6 times in just over a week, twice in one day. Several hours in ER each time. Finally back to Tucson to have it placed with X-Ray and camera, just like an operation, very sophisticated! Disappointed! I was still unable to eat/drink as swallow tests failed 3 times and let food enter my airway which could choke me or cause pneumonia? After going through all this, I was devastated. My only hope now was Speech Therapy? Started it and had sessions for a couple months. Then I was advised to eat, small meals, 6 times per day. This is where I am at at the moment?
It has been 'Hell' for the last 2 years! I have never given up, never thought about death, been always optimistic, and treated life with humor when I could! Try to live normally? Along with all the prayers and good wishes of all of you on Facebook, I am still here and 'alive and kicking'...lol. Hope to be around for another 15 years to reach age of 90+!
My life has changed dramatically with this cancer. Have spent much time in hospitals and doctors offices. Had several procedures. Diabetes got worse and now on Insulin. I have lost about 45 pounds, but gained a few back. I have now started bowling and playing softball again. I do eat regular and most foods, no Lobster yet, it is Arizona...lol? I am feeling good even at my new weight! I do have some problems with eating with my stomach . If I eat too much I get a full feeling or a stomach ache...lol. Feeling in my stomach is a bit different as I know something IS different? Through all of this, for the two plus years, I was never in any 'serious' pain? Thankful for that. They said the op would be very painful as they operate in 2 cavities? Two 8 inch cuts, front and side to back. Have met, heard of, or known several persons with this cancer. Not all results have been good for them, several have died? I do consider myself a 'Miracle Survivor'! There are not many that you read about with Esophageal Cancer. I live day by day, with hope of it never returning? It is a fact that this type does often return?
My Insurance has been billed over 500K this year. I am responsible for some of that? I could give my entire retirement pay for many years and still not pay my share? Life is great...lol?
Please heed my warnings! I know it gets boring at times, but if I can save only one life, my life will be worth it! All you have been great to me! Don't know if I could have made it this far without you all!
Thank you everyone! Cheers!

Update, Nov 18th, 4:30 am:
Yesterday made the 150 mile round trip to Tucson again. Had an appointment with my Cardiologist. About a 15 minute appointment. Everything seems to be OK. Have to see him again in 6 months. He was the one who placed 3 stents in my heart just weeks before me Ivor Lewis surgery for removing my Esophagus! Stopped at Culvers Restaurant and had Fish and chips! Still struggling with some foods and ate about half of it. It was not to bad. Had the rest when we got home.
Started playing Softball a few of weeks ago. Into the 10th week of 30, Ten Pin Bowling. Like it and it is a lot of fun! But miss my favorite Candlepins!
Still finding things to do around the house! Now installing a drop down ladder in the garage ceiling. More of a project than I anticipated? Bought it new, in the box, at a neighbors yard sale for $40, could not resist the price, he wanted $50? He was moving and had sold the house. Had to move some wires and caused a short circuit. No lights in my garage, bathrooms and part of the hallway? My neighbor, an electrician came to my rescue. Still have more to do with the electric and the ladder. Think I may have pulled on one wire and the staples holding it must have shorted it out?
Garden is about done. Still some cherry tomatoes to pick if they ripen? Couple of Squash, and that is it. Have been digging up the garden for next year. Removing the old plants, and cut down our beautiful Flowering Plum Tree that had died last spring? Then had to dig out the stump? It was a beautiful tree while it lasted. Life still goes on! Cheers!

Update, Nov 18th:
Yesterday made the 150 mile round trip to Tucson again. Had an appointment with my Cardiologist. About a 15 minute appointment. Everything seems to be OK. Have to see him again in 6 months. He was the one who placed 3 stents in my heart just weeks before me Ivor Lewis surgery for removing my Esophagus! Stopped at Culvers Restaurant and had Fish and chips! Still struggling with some foods and ate about half of it. It was not to bad. Had the rest when we got home.
Started playing Softball a few of weeks ago. Into the 10th week of 30, Ten Pin Bowling. Like it and it is a lot of fun! But miss my favorite Candlepins!
Still finding things to do around the house! Now installing a drop down ladder in the garage ceiling. More of a project than I anticipated? Bought it new, in the box, at a neighbors yard sale for $40, could not resist the price, he wanted $50? He was moving and had sold the house. Had to move some wires and caused a short circuit. No lights in my garage, bathrooms and part of the hallway? My neighbor, an electrician came to my rescue. Still have more to do with the electric and the ladder. Think I may have pulled on one wire and the staples holding it must have shorted it out?
Garden is about done. Still some cherry tomatoes to pick if they ripen? Couple of Squash, and that is it. Have been digging up the garden for next year. Removing the old plants, and cut down our beautiful Flowering Plum Tree that had died last spring? Then had to dig out the stump? It was a beautiful tree while it lasted. Life still goes on! Cheers!

Update, Nov 30th, 2016, 8:35 pm, AZ time:
Everything has been going fine with me lately. Can't ask for much more under the circumstances. Bowled again today and we had a large order of 'chips' afterwards and I ate most of them. More like the English ones! Been digging up the garden for next spring. Just keeping busy.
I would like to know if you know of anyone that has or had Esophageal Cancer? I never heard of it before I was diagnosed over 2 years ago. Now I am hearing a lot about people who have relatives or friends that had, or have, it. I would love to hear from anyone that knows of a person with this cancer. Please let me know about them. How they did with it or if they died of it? I have been very interested in this cancer and have been preaching about it for 2 years now. If you could tell me about them, name is not important, I would appreciate it. You can PM me here on Facebook or email me at [email protected] . Seems like a lot of people I speak with know someone. This cancer has gone up 600% in the last 7 years here in the US. If anyone would like to talk with me about it I can give them my telephone number, just ask. I still keep updating my webpage and it could help a person to understand that it can be beat? Hoping that a lot of you will answer my request. Cheers

Update Dec 10th, 9:40 pm, AZ Time:
Things have been going fine with me. Almost normal, at least physically. Mentally is a question mark! Have been trying to lead a more normal life now. Have been working on the garden for next year. Lot's of work to do. Things I wanted to do before but health issues prevented it. Been digging up the garden and the weather has been better than when it was 105 degrees? If all goes well maybe my garden will produce next summer...lol? Bowling is fun and I am not doing too bad for an old Candlepin bowler attempting Ten Pins? Got Maureen to come with me the last 2 Wednesdays, which I am glad. Have not played Softball the last couple of weeks, but thinking about it.
Had a Christmas party today at the Vietnam Vets whom I am a member of. Not a lot of people but was nice to go. Pot Luck and bring a gift for a child. The pastor of the church will get the presents to give out. Lot's of things happening with the Vets. At the meeting I spoke about my cancer as the reverend wanted people to tell what they have been thankful for. Of course I am! Found one of th members also has Esophageal Cancer and was operated on, same as me, six years ago and is doing fine! Unfortunately hearing just too much about people with this cancer? So be careful and If you have the symptoms, see a doctor immediately. First it was a couple of people diagnosed with it, now it seems like several every week. Must be the environment?
Also went to the VA the other day for my arms. They were looking terrible with bruises and thin skin. Guess it is an age thing and told to wear long sleeves and use cream! Can transfer my Diabetes from my primary doctor to the VA and get my insulin free instead of about $12 per month. Not sure if I want to do it though? Still have problem with eating too much? I kind of suffer after for about a half hour. Just have to eat that last little bit...lol?
Love the Miata! Bit of a problem for Maureen getting into it...lol. But we go most places in it. It is cheaper than the Explorer V8? A little to cool for having the top down though. But I still see convertibles here with it down! Daytime is nice, been in the high 60's and forcast is for 70's next few days. But nights have been going down to the 40's! That's how it is living in the desert...lol. Should be getting snow in the mountains soon. They just closed the road to the top of the 9K mountain as they do every winter as the snow makes it bad to drive there.
Soon it will be Christmas. Put the icycle lights up around the house and I think that will be it outside this year? Should put the tree up tomorrow? Almost the end to another year. That means I will have another birthday on the 20th day of the year. And you all know what else will happen on that day...lol
Maureen and I want to offer our prayers to all those people here that are suffering and battling Cancer or some other terrible disease. Think we have got to do something to stop this epidemic that is devastating to our families. Just too much of it going on lately and we don't know why?
Cheers.

Anecdote Memory from my past! Just some thoughts! Dec 11th, 2016
My Dad was stationed on USS LST-745 in the Pacific Theater during WW II! His ship was in many battles but made it to the end! LST (Long Slow Target) went onto the beaches to unload tanks and men...and then had to get back out to sea! They were a favorite target! He died many years ago and there are not that many surviving WW II military today. Pearl Harbor just remembered the attack of 70 years ago and there are, I believe, 11 survivors from that horrific day! Let's all remember the heroic men and women who served our country in a time of great need against the Japanese and the Germans! Our country united in this time of need and rallied to a victory! Men and women that did or could not join the military did their share at home. Victory gardens were popular at the time to feed the population. Everyone came together to win this battle! Time has healed the feelings between the countries, all for the best. My wife Maureen, remembers the bombing of her hometown of Ipswich, Suffolk, England. A large port on the North Sea across from France. It was a prime target for the German military. She was very young but over 150 homes were destroyed or damaged in her neighborhood. I served at RAF Bentwaters/RAF Woodbridge, 2 of many bases that served American and British forces during the war and after! We, in the US have never been subject to this wartime experience since the Civil War! The war in Japan ended in an horrific event, the Atom Bomb! May nuclear bombs never be used again! Cheers!

Anecdote Memory from my past! Dec 13th, 2016
Have you ever had moments when you just had thoughts about times when you were young? For me it was growing up in the 'little town' of Leominster in central Massachusetts. It was about 70 years or so ago. Times were much different in the Fifties? I don't remember much of what I wish I could? Sometimes you would like to review your life on a big cinemascope screen with full stereo sound? But it usually is more like the Plymouth or Metropolitan Theaters. I don't remember my Dad going into the Navy during those times of war and my Mom staying home, with me, and probably worrying if he was still alive. I know she had support from her family and my Dad's. Many young men were away from home in the Navy or Army or other service fighting for their country.
I hardly remember my schooling at St Leo's. I do remember the Nuns. Not by name, except Sister Superior. They are well embedded in my memories. Catholic school was different? But I would do it all over again!
Grandparents were a big part of my life, at least on my Mom's Caisse side. My Grandmother, Tansey, I never knew as she died before my birth. She was born in Ireland and how I wish I had gotten to know her! Never even a picture of her. The Caisse side was a big part of my life. My Grandparents lived near Doyle Field just a 'jump over the fence'. My parents worked at Selig's. I spent most of my younger days at Doyle Field playing ball and time at the playground. They were great days with my Grandparents. Maude would feed me, give me a glove or hockey skates, actually figure skates, and other things we could not afford. Those days most family lived nearby. My cousins lived in the same duplex house and we spent many rainy days playing cards and other games on the front porch. Never needed batteries! Simple games were fun and things you made yourself were better than store bought? Played baseball in the street with my Uncle Chubby Caisse and then off to Doyle Field for some high flies. He was a great player and hitter! Baseball games were popular most nights there. Many fans watched in the old wooden stands. Summer time was also swimming at Whitney Field. We could go all over Leominster without much worry as long as we were home when the streetlights went on! I spent a lot of my teen years at French Hill.
When I was old enough to ride a bike, my Dad bought a used one, painted it red and I had a Christmas present! Rode that bike for years, the only one I ever had. I always wanted a 10 speed English one but never got it. My parents worked hard at Selig's. I never remember wanting something that they could somehow manage to get me. Plenty of food as we did not starve? Supper was at 5pm and the family sat down together for the meal. Nol fast food in them days? They bought an old house on Main St and my Dad spent many hours and days fixing it up. Home ownership was a plus in those days. We had an old 1940 Buick for years that my Dad bought new. On weekends we would drive to some of the favorite areas around Leominster. And there was always Whalom Park for fun and adventure as well as swimming. Once a year we would go to Rhode Island to visit with a shipmate of my Dad. About the furthest I would travel until I joined the US Air Force.
Leominster was populated mainly by 3 nationalities then. The Irish lived in North Leominster, The French in 'French Hill'. The Italians settled around Lancaster Street. There were others also to make the city a fine place to live. Each section had it's own school. Everyone got along with each other, mostly...lol.
I attended Leominster HS after 3 years at MAG JHS. I was very quiet and shy. After graduation I went to Ward School of Business in Worcester. Then I finally joined the Air Force, another story.
Growing up in Leominster was a wonderful time in my life. The city has changed over the years but I still remember it the way it was in the 50's. Stores were closed on Sunday. Opened late on Thursday and closed early on Wednesday. Trucks lined up in New Hampshire on Sundays waiting for 8pm to travel in Massachusetts. Then you would see a convoy coming through Leominster. There were no highways as such? No Route 2. Route 12 was the way to Worcester. Boston was a longer ride.
Everything was 'downtown'. No Malls or supermarkets like today. Stores were friendlier then and you usually knew the workers and they knew you. There was Grants, Woolworths and Nickersons. Clothes from Shapley's, Rubins, Lubins and later there was Rockdales! You could get and Ice Cream cone, sundae, or a Root Beer Float. You could buy hardware or a bike. You could have lunch or just a coffee at one of the Diners. Monty's was the place for Italian food. You could buy a paper or magazine at a few stores. You could see a movie at one of the theaters. You could swim at the YMCA. You could buy your groceries at the markets or the neighborhood stores. You could buy a great hot dog from Mike. All in 'Downtown Leominster'! No credit cards then. You could usually have credit at the stores or the gas stations. Your charge was put on a tab and you paid at the end of the week on payday.
The police walked the beat. They were known by all! Much safer then. When there was a fire the whistle blew and you could tell where it was. Monument Square was a popular place to just sit and relax, maybe read a book and watch the people go by. TV was not quite the thing yet. Black and White on maybe a 10 inch screen. No Remote and an Antenna on the roof that maybe gave you a few channels. But if you were lucky enough to have one....? We had a Stromberg Carlson that my Grandad bought around 1950. Remember the occasional Red Sox game on the small screen. Started broadcasting around 5 pm with children's shows, Howdy Doody, etc. Then the live shows started like Milton Berl, etc! Signed off about midnight.
Life was simpler in those days! Families were together more. Children had real friends they were with every day! Phones were stationary in the home if you had one. Most people were lucky enough to have just one automobile and some only used it on weekends or vacations. Gas stations were full service with gas prices under $.20. Most cars had '3 on the tree' no automatics. Most homes had wringer washing machines and no dryers. Microwave ovens were non existent you cooked in the regular oven in the stove. You hung the clothes out to dry, Diapers were cloth. Mom made pies and cakes and not store bought. Meals were eaten together as a family around the dining or kitchen table. Mom's ruled the home and Dad worked for the money to support the family. (Some Mom's did work, mine did after awhile?). Radios were with tubes and not portable. I could go on forever!
Life was great! Do I miss those days? Yes! But yearn for the simpler times!

Update Dec 15th, 4:45pm, AZ time:
Just another Thursday! Have the Great Grandkid, Ashton over for the day. Justs been outside clearing the garden for next spring. Working up a sweat...lol, the temp was about 82F at 4:30pm. Beautiful day! Bowled yesterday and had a Pot Luck party. Always fun with some nice people. Bowled about my average again. Pretty dull lately. Getting ready for Christmas, little by little. Will be having several of the family here this Christmas. Will be nice. The first Christmas that I can eat the meal in about 2 years!


Cancer UPDATE 2017

Anecdote Memory from my past! Jan 6th, 2017
How about taking a stroll down memory lane in Leominster. I lived down Main Street next to where KFC was. Before that a couple houses toward Green St. You remember the big gas tanks on Mill St? They used t burn of the gas there quite often. Crossed the RR tacks where Main, N Main, High, Mill and a bit of Tremain streets all met met. Maybe wait for a train before crossing.There was Hapgood Motors with their new Dodge and Plymouth cars. The Shell station was their still. Walnut street was crossed and you were at St Leos Church and School and the Nuns home. Across the street you could see Pine Grove Cemetery and then Carter Park. crossed Summer Street. Continuing past the Priest House and the big barn in back where many events took place including Boy Scouts. You were met by a string of private homes, one of which was Dr McCue. Knew his son John and would stop in for cookies and milk from Mrs McCue. Booth Tire and the Post Office which has never changed. Cross Merriam Ave and who could forget Grants. Several stores later there was Shapley's and another clothing Store? Guarantee Bank and a Wallpaper place on the corner? Now you came to the wonderful Monument Square. With its rotary directing traffic. You could sit and rest awhile, read a book or speak with old friends. Busses, both yellow and gray (white?) would come and go. If you had a need you could use the restrooms at the old town hall bldg. If you ever used them you would remember. But, the only place in town? You could look out at the Library and City hall an head back to the square past the First National Store. Cross Pleasant St past the Leominster Savings Bank. Or take a few steps down Pleasant St to McCanns for a quick one? Just continue down past Rubins, Boston Fish Market and Monty's, past the Metropolitan Theater. Cross over Central St and the Trolly car diner is there. Then Sabatellies, Montagna's Barber Shop. Woolworths. Cross Mechanic past Giguers Drug an BC Boston Confetionary, Woolworths and the Church. Western Auto, was the Vogue Shop here? A place I never went in? Now you were at the Rialto Theater, known as the Recreation Center and YMCA. You could dance in the windows and the shoppers would watch. Or get a snack on the side next to Columbia St. Down there was the Newspaper Shop. Going past the Columbia Hotel which also had the Electric Company there. Back down to Water St with the Chevy Garage and was it Tim's Diner. A great cup of coffee. I used to get an Ice Cube in mine to cool it off. My wife for years complained about having to wait for it to cool down then one day discovered the ice cube. She was not too pleased when I told her I did that when I was a teen. Cross Mechanic to the Plymouth Theater or go across the street to the Mechanic St Bowling Alleys. 2 floors of bowling next to the Monosnock Brook which the players claimed the humidity ruined the game. So you just crossed the street to the Recreation Alleys and Pool Room.
It was a lot different in those days. But it does not matter if you are 20, 40, 60 or 80 it is still different when you go back! Cheers

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Cancers of the Esophagus

  • Adenocarcinoma

    The dysplasia associated with Barrett’s esophagus can become Adenocarcinoma, a cancer that originates in the glandular cells around the gastroesophageal junction. It has the notoriety of being one of the most rapidly proliferating types of cancer in the world. In the United States, it accounts for 50-80% of esophageal cancer cases.
    Adenocarcinoma may be either benign or malignant; however, as the tumors grow they typically pose problems by blocking the esophagus and cause considerable pain in the chest region. Unfortunately, many cases are not diagnosed until a later stage (III or IV) when the blockage of the esophagus is sufficient to cause problems with swallowing and digestion. By this time, the tumor is generally large and the primary treatment becomes removal of a section of the esophagus and surrounding tissue – an esophagectomy.

  • Squamous cell cancer

    The second type common to the esophagus. It accounts for about 90% of esophageal cancer worldwide (less so in developed countries). Unlike Adenocarcinoma, which is usually located in the lower thoracic section of the esophagus, squamous cell cancer typically affects the upper thoracic and cervical sections. This belies two of its common causes – smoking and drinking (alcoholic beverages). Again as the tumor increases in size, it may affect swallowing. With the location higher in the esophagus, a squamous cell tumor may also affect breathing, blood flow from the heart and movement in the neck. For larger tumors, an esophagectomy is often the primary recourse.

  • How will you know when an esophagectomy is required?

    Unfortunately, for esophageal cancer, by the time patients seek medical help, they are usually well aware of painful and difficult swallowing caused by a tumor. They may already be limiting the amount of food they eat and taking mostly liquids or soft foods, often accompanied by lack of hunger, poor nutrition and weight loss. Sometimes the location of the tumor causes nausea, bleeding, severe cough and pain in the upper chest. Of course, these symptoms are not unique to esophageal cancer, but the location and association with swallowing and digestion are strong clues for the diagnosing physician.

    With suspected esophageal cancer, the first step in confirming the diagnosis is usually examination by endoscopy, sending a flexible tube with camera and light down the esophagus. The condition of the wall of the esophagus, areas of blockage and the presence of lesions are enough to call for tissue biopsy to test for malignancy.

    Once confirmed, the diagnosis of cancer leads to one or more scans to determine the extent and nature of the cancer. This may involve a computed tomographic (CT) scan of the chest, abdomen and pelvis to see if the cancer has metastasized to other organs – especially the liver and lymph nodes. Positron emission tomography (PET scan) may obtain a more precise image of the cancer. An endoscopic ultrasound of the esophagus may reveal more information useful for staging, the level of tumor invasion, and the spread of cancer to lymph nodes in the area.
    Combining the scanned images with laboratory results, the diagnosing physician can usually identify the type of cancer and arrive at a close estimate of the cancer stage. The staging of cancer, with identification of how far the cancer has progressed in stages I through IV (with numerous sub-stages), is crucial to determining the course of treatment.
    As with most cancers, there are a variety of possible treatments including radiology, chemotherapy and surgery. Because diagnosis of esophageal cancer tends to happen late in the cancer’s development, when the tumor is already quite large, a relatively high percentage of treatments involve removal of a section of the esophagus and often much of the surrounding tissue, especially lymph nodes.
    Not all patients are candidates for this operation. As with all operations of this magnitude, a very thorough risk assessment considers the patient’s age, general condition, the stage of the cancer and any other complications to the surgery. Selection of the esophagectomy procedure is a crucial part of this risk assessment.

  • There are several surgical options

    An esophagectomy is a complex operation that usually requires several hours to perform. Management of airways and lung functioning, with the threat of lung collapse, is a significant concern during the operation and contributes to the difficulty of anesthesiology for the procedure. Likewise, the extent and duration of the operation may also affect the function of the diaphragm (recall that the esophagus crosses the diaphragm) and the spleen. Major complications occur in 10-20% of patients, which makes it desirable to limit the impact of the surgical procedure.
    Very often esophagectomies require two major phases: The removal (resection) of a portion of the esophagus and often surrounding tissue (especially lymph nodes), and the rebuilding of the esophagus, often by stretching a portion of the stomach or by grafting tissue from the colon, in the process of anastomosis, joining the replacement segment of the esophagus with the old.
    One traditional approach to removing a portion of the esophagus, the transthoracic esophagectomy(TTE), is an open form of surgery, meaning surgeons cut large incisions to expose the relevant areas. In TTE, the procedure opens a major segment of the chest (thorax). A similar procedure, the trans-hiatal esophagectomy (THE), makes open incisions on the neck and abdomen simultaneously. Both approaches provide the surgeon with a relatively clear field of operation (i.e. they can directly see and manipulate the tissue), but for the patient the extent of trauma is considerable and recovery can be lengthy.
    In roughly the past twenty years, the effort to decrease surgical trauma during esophagectomy resulted in the application of minimally invasive surgery (MIS)techniques. There are several variations, but in essence each of them seeks to reduce the size and number of incisions, perform the surgery using thorascopy or laparoscopy (video assisted), and reduce complications from infection and inflammation associated with the large surgical cuts of traditional open operations.
    For those patients fortunate to have their diagnosis while in the early stages (I and II), some may be candidates for endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), where a light, video camera and surgical tools are mounted on a tube and sent down the esophagus to remove small lesions or other cancerous formations on the walls of the esophagus. This is essentially the same technique used to make biopsies of the esophagus and by definition is minimally invasive.

    Minimally invasive esophagectomy

    Minimally invasive surgery adjusts the procedure to the location and size of the cancer tissue and the source of replacement tissue for rebuilding the esophagus. There are two main approaches: Ivor Lewis esophagectomy and the “Three Hole” or McKeown esophagectomy. Esophagectomy is a complex procedure performed by surgical teams, minimally with one primary or specialist surgeon (possibly one laparoscopic and one thorascopic surgeon), a surgical first assistant, and a laparoscopic/thorascopic camera specialist. Surgical teams tend to use one or the other of the basic approaches and then make variations, depending on the surgeon’s preferences and the patient’s requirements.

    Ivor Lewis esophagectomy

    One of the most popular of the MIE approaches, Ivor Lewis esophagectomy, is a two-stage operation, sometimes called a thoracolaparoscopic esophagectomy (TLE), involving thorascopy and laparoscopy.
    Over the last decade, minimally invasive esophagectomy has proven to be practical and safe for a wide variety of esophageal cancer cases, as well as a number of non-cancer conditions such as removal of physically damaged areas of the esophagus. It remains most effective for earlier stage cancer, up to Stage II and sometimes Stage III.

  • The most common symptoms of esophageal cancer include:

    Difficulty swallowing – feeling that your food is sticking in your throat or chest
    Weight loss
    Food coming back up before reaching the stomach (regurgitation) or being sick (vomiting)
    Pain when swallowing
    Indigestion or heartburn that doesn’t go away
    A cough
    A hoarse voice – caused by pressure on the nerve that supplies the voice box
    Dull pain or discomfort behind the breastbone or in the back.

    There are other conditions that can cause these symptoms, but you should always have them checked out by your doctor.
    If you have symptoms that don’t improve within a few weeks, it’s important that you’re referred to a specialist. They can arrange tests to find out what the problem is.

  • How surgery is used

    If the cancer is at an early stage, surgery may be used with the aim of curing the cancer. There are different types of operations used to treat oesophageal cancer. The operation you have will depend on the size and position of the tumour. You may need to stay in hospital for a few weeks for some types of surgery.
    Your doctor will talk to you about the most appropriate type of surgery for your situation. It’s important to discuss the operation fully with your doctor before it happens. It may help to make a list of any questions you want to ask.

  • There are two main types of operation:

  • Oesophagectomy

    The part of the oesophagus containing the cancer is removed. The stomach is then pulled up and joined to the bottom of the oesophagus.
    The diagram is a front view of the body. The part of the oesophagus and the part of the stomach where they join have been removed. The stomach has been pulled up and rejoined to the remaining oesophagus.

  • Oesophago-gastrectomy

    If the cancer is in the lower part of the oesophagus, or if it has grown into the stomach, you will need to have the top of your stomach removed along with the affected part of the oesophagus. The oesophagus and remaining stomach are then joined together.
    The diagram is a front view of the body. It shows the position of the stomach after part of the oesophagus has been removed. The upper part of the oesophagus remains. The stomach has been pulled up and joined to the oesophagus.
    Read a description of this image
    Rarely, the whole oesophagus needs to be removed (a total oesophagectomy). Your stomach will be pulled up into your chest to replace the removed oesophagus.
    Almost all of the oesophagus has been removed so that it stops at the same height as the collar bones. The stomach has been stretched up and joined to the remaining oesophagus.

    During your operation, the surgeon will check the area around the oesophagus. They will also remove some of the nearby lymph nodes. This is called a lymphadenectomy and is done because the nodes may contain cancer cells. The lymph nodes will be examined under a microscope by a pathologist. Removing them helps reduce the risk of the cancer coming back. It also helps the doctors find out the stage of your cancer.

  • How the operation is done
    Depending on where the cancer is in the oesophagus, your surgeon will use one of these two main techniques:
    Trans-thoracic oesophagectomy – Cuts are made in the tummy (abdomen) and chest so that the affected part of the oesophagus can be removed (known as a 2-stage oesophagectomy). Sometimes a third cut is also made in the neck (3-stage oesophagectomy).
    Trans-hiatal oesophagectomy – Cuts are made in the tummy and neck to remove the affected part of the oesophagus.
    After these operations, your stomach will be higher than it was before. It will be above, instead of below, the sheet of muscle (the diaphragm) that divides the chest from the tummy.
    The stomach will also be smaller as it has been stretched to fill the space made by removing part of the oesophagus. This may affect your eating and drinking.
    Sometimes it’s not possible to join your stomach to the remaining part of the oesophagus. In this case, a section of your large bowel (colon) will be used to replace part of the oesophagus. Your doctors will explain this in more detail if they think this type of surgery may be used.
    Sometimes during the operation, the surgeon discovers that the tumour can’t be removed. This may be because the tumour has spread or gone through the wall of the oesophagus, or because many lymph nodes are affected. If this happens, the surgeon may insert a tube (stent) instead. This is to make eating and swallowing easier for you.

  • Surgery

    Would be a 4-5 hour procedure. First, the surgeon would remove two-thirds of my esophagus and one-third of my stomach. Next he would pull the remainder of my stomach up into my chest and re-attach it to what was left of my esophagus. In the end, the top of my stomach would be positioned in the middle of my chest.
    This surgery is called an Ivor Lewis esophagectomy (named after the Welsh surgeon who first described this procedure in 1946.)
    The surgery required two large incisions, one running from my belly button to my chest bone, the second from under my right arm to the middle of my back. Although no bones would be broken during the esophagectomy surgery, one lung would be intentionally collapsed so the surgeon could reattach my stomach in its new location.
    When I woke up in the recovery room, I had a gastric drainage tube coming out of my nose to keep my stomach clear of any matter. I also had chest tubes on each side of my body to keep my chest cavity free of fluids, as well as a urinary catheter.
    The plan was for me to stay the first night after esophagectomy surgery in the recovery room, then I would be transferred to the hospital’s Thoracic Floor for the remainder of my hospital stay.
    Within one hour of arriving on the Thoracic Floor, they had me up and walking. They informed me that 14 laps around the floor equaled one mile, and I was expected to do that every day at a minimum.
    In addition, they gave me a breathing device called a Spirometer. Every hour I was expected to do ten reps on the device to see how high I could get the indicator to rise. I’d received a spirometer before entering the hospital, so I knew my pre-surgical lung capacity. Now I placed the indicator at my previous highpoint, and tried each day to see how close I could get. It was a work in progress.
    In addition to walking and using the spirometer, I was asked to deliberately cough ten times each hour. Although it sounds easy, it was the most difficult thing I had to do. When I coughed my stomach vibrated, and the incision I had from belly button to chest bone would jump with pain. I found that holding a pillow tight to my stomach eased the pain and suppressed some of the stomach vibrations.
    For seven days I did not eat or drink anything. Each day, the nurse would ask me to rate my pain. The focus of the post-surgical therapy was to reduce my pain to a tolerable level so that I could walk, breathe and cough without too much discomfort. At the end of seven days I underwent a barium swallow, a procedure designed to tell if the surgical connection was healing properly. The test confirmed that I did not have any leaks at the new connection between my stomach and esophagus
    The positive test results meant that I could be freed from the tubes that were inserted during the esophagectomy surgery. What a relief it was to be rid of all that excess baggage. Walking around the floor was so much easier that I was able to do more than the minimum daily goal of 14 laps around the Thoracic Floor.
    On the seventh day after esophagectomy surgery I also started on a liquid regimen. By the eighth day, I was promoted to a soft mechanical diet which included Jello, puddings and even scrambled eggs. By the ninth day, I was eating off of the menu!
    This rapid progression from liquids to solid food is rare today. New protocols are designed to promote fuller healing of the surgical join by keeping esophagectomy surgery patients on a feeding tube or a soft mechanical diet for a longer period of time. But I was grateful to have made such rapid progress that I was able to leave the hospital on the tenth day.

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    * Updates are from James J Tansey, Jr on his battle with Esophagus Cancer Diagnosed on Sept 29th 2014...FB Page!
    * It is fine to contact Jim about this webage and what he has gone through!

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    Jim lives at:
    5110 E. Calle Vieja
    Sierra Vista, Arizona

    Cell Phone: 520-678-2215
    Home Phone: 520-452-8107

    EMail: [email protected]

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