Wednesday, November 25, 2015

HAPPY THANKSGIVING - What A Difference A Year Makes

Wednesday==>HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of my loyal and faithful readers and followers, friends and family members.

What a difference a year makes. This time last year I was still living in Penthouse C at 420 W. 42nd Street, in Midtown Manhattan. The weather was 37º, with wind chill down to 32º.

I was in the process of preparing for Thanksgiving Dinner the next day, for the 6th consecutive year with my AA buddies (you know who you are) at a posh apartment in the Upper West Side.

On Thanksgiving Day it would be my responsibility to lug a carton of Fresca on the 1 train.

As you may remember we had developed a really unique tradition. By agreement, when you arrive at the posh Upper Westside apartment you must, repeat MUST turn off your cell phone - not turn it to vibrate, but TURN IT OFF.

It is then placed in a drawer that is then locked and remains locked until we all get ready to leave the apartment. There is no running out to check for messages etc. Nothing. Total 100% disconnect for 5 hours. Not bad!!

Really going to miss you guys tomorrow up there in The Big Apple.

Further, looking at my notes from a year ago ... the day before Thanksgiving I was in great health and I walked 5.05 miles, for a total of 1,332.89 miles for the year (average 4.03 miles per day).

Fast forward to today ... it is 74º and cloudy.

My son Bill III aka The Bill and I will have Thanksgiving Dinner late at Bill’s new house located in Casselberry. He has insisted on doing all of the preparation and will pick me up around 5:00pm tomorrow.

Really looking forward to this first.

Now ... things haven’t turned out quite as I had expected as you know, all involving some major health issues.

Never-the-less, I know that I made the right decision to leave The Big Apple when I did and to move to Winter Park ... so ...

I won’t bore you with more heath details than I have given in past posting other than to say that the daily side-effects of the “chemical-castration” involving the daily pill, Bicalutamide, and the monthly shot, Leuprolide, next dose due on Monday, December 30th, and the self-insertion of a 16” plastic tube into my penis and then into my bladder 4 times a day, are really dragging me down, mentally, physically and emotionally.

Yeah, I know I could just attempt to  deal with everything without writing about it ... but ... the purpose of this blog is to record how Billi Pod is attempting to KICK CANCER’S ASS.

This morning, when I walked over to Publix for the papers I was physically tired when I got back to the apartment. It was only .38 miles. I had planned to walk to the post office for the first time in weeks, but I knew I couldn’t make the 1.3 mile round trip. I needed to mail the first of the month payments and stuff.

So ... I Ubered at a cost of $5.21, round trip.

Folks, those of you who have known Billi Pod for all of these years know what a major downer this was/is. I simply couldn’t walk 1.3 miles. What a fucking bummer.

OMFG!! And, now ... as I am writing this posting ... I am breaking out in a sweat, which means, in moments I will have chills ... so ...

On this happy note I better try to post this while I still can (I know that this posting will have a lot of typos and stuff ... sorry).




Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Update - John & Kathi

Friday==>A much belated “good afternoon” to all of my loyal and faithful readers and followers out there in the morass known as cyberspace.

I, hopefully, have found a window where I will feel well enough physically and emotionally to give you a brief update since the last posting back on Monday 11/16.

A lot has been going on ... so ... we will skip the reason(s) for no postings and just go right to the update ...

Photos/images will be basically omitted because the blog website is having problems with uploading ... anyway ...

First, my daughter Kathi Bendeck and her husband, Dr. John, of Columbia, SC, were in the Orlando area from Tuesday afternoon till Friday morning. We were able to spend time together and with my son Bill III aka The Bill, including an AWESOME dinner Tuesday night at The Cheesecake Factory in Winter Park Village, just across the street from my apartment building.

On Wednesday they went down to Polk County aka PFC aka Polk Fucking County to visit family and go to the cemetery in Lakeland to visit Chris’s grave site.

They headed back this morning.

On the health scene ...

As you know, on Friday the 13th I had an outpatient procedure where all sorts of things and stuff were inserted into each kidney. Luckily no drainage bags were necessary. It was still very uncomfortable and emotionally draining.

On Wednesday morning I went up to Florida Hospital in Altamonte Springs and had a X-ray of the area. This was done in preparation for a face-to-face appointment on Thursday @ 11:10am with my urologist, Thomas Cangiano, at his office way up in the Lake Mary area.

On Thursday morning I Ubered up to Lake Mary where I met up with John and Kathi. We had a brief wait and then were taken back. Dr. C removed the tubes and stuff and was pleased with the results. I do, however, still have some bandages on my back but they should come off over the weekend without any problem.

Dr. C is satisfied about the kidney blockage issue but still uncertain just how we will address the urinary blockage issue, which is, as you know, a result of my cancer-ridden prostate. At the moment I will continue to self-catheterize.

Dr. C wants to schedule another X-ray of the area, this time with dye. That will be done sometime next week.

John and Kathi drove me back to the apartment and that was great.

I have to admit to being totally emotionally drained when I got back. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening alternating between watching sports on my 42” flat screen TV and dozing off on the couch.

Thank God I had planned ahead and stocked the ‘fridge with pizza.

To add to all of the emotional baggage ... I also picked up my new glasses and they are taking some time getting used to.

Basically, I have almost no energy because of a total lack of appetite. I am forcing myself to eat. Thank God for Boost.

I have to admit that emotionally I am fighting an ever growing war with negativity. Yes, I remain positive ... but ... man ... it is getting tougher and tougher each day.

OK, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, I feel the window closing so ...

Will close with==>John & Kathi .... it was great seeing you and thanks so much for taking the time to come down here to be with me ... and ... Bill ... you continue to be my strength, you are a rock!!



Yesterday’s mileage==>1.69 miles (or, 3,631 steps)

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Update on Yet Another “Procedure.”

Monday==>A brief update from Winter Park.

On Friday I had the following outpatient procedure at Winter Park Memorial hospital: “Bilateral Nephrostomy Tube Placement with Stent(s).” I was zonked out and all sorts of things and stuff were inserted into each kidney, including tubes for bags to drain urine, if necessary.

Fortunately, the procedure was a success so I am not tied up to drainage bags, Thank You God!!

When it was completed Bill brought me back to the apartment. Frankly, I felt like and still feel like,  SHIT ... as if I had been kicked in the lower back multiple times.

On this Thursday morning I have a face-to-face appointment with my urologist, Thomas Cangiano, at his office way up in the Lake Mary area, to remove tubes and stuff and then begin addressing the remaining urinary blockage issue(s).

I am still having to self-catheterize.

My daughter Kathi Bendeck and her husband, Dr. John, of Columbia, SC, are due in the the Orlando area sometime tomorrow. I’m looking forward to seeing them, but, unfortunately, I’m not in the physical and/or mental condition to be their tour-guide, as I had anticipated.

Gonna post this and then probably crash early so I can be ready for company tomorrow.


Yesterday’s mileage==>1.66 miles (or, 3,628 steps)

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Next Procedure Is Now Scheduled

Wednesday==>I will now give my loyal and faithful readers and followers yet another health update from your favorite Sunshine State blogger ... tada ...

The procedure that I described in yesterday’s posting has now been scheduled for this coming Friday morning at Winter Park Memorial Hospital. I am to report at 9:00am. I will be zonked out and have been advised that I should be able to leave, with Bill, around 3:00pm.

For your further information, the procedure is: “nephrostomy tube insertion,” which will performed on my back, into both kidneys. I will have tubes and collection bags that should be removed in a week, hopefully.

In response to several questions asking why the enlarged cancerous prostate isn’t just surgically removed - well, two major reasons: (1) The current size of the prostate would mean the potential for major nerve damage and tissue damage with almost “catastrophic” side-effects, and, (2) my age.

I am currently undergoing chemotherapy to reduce the size of the prostate and that takes time.

Remember, on a very positive side==>the cancer has not to spread from the prostate. It is, however, causing the blockage issues that have been the problems that we have been addressing.

So ... moving on ...

I am also happy to report that I finally made myself find an ophthalmologist and I now have an appointment with Dr. Rebecca Kurzon for 10:45am tomorrow, Thursday. Whew!!

Moving on some more ...

Actually, it really isn’t moving on because I thought last night’s Republican Party Debate, hidden on Fox Business Network, was totally B O R I N G!! I am, however, more and more impressed with Marco Rubio. Jus sayin ...

So ... this pretty much brings you up-to-date and is all I am in the mood to write about now ... so together ... let’s continue to ...



Yesterday’s mileage==>1.66 miles (or, 3,628 steps)

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hello Again from Winter Park Village - Update.

Tuesday==>I have tried to sit down in front of my ‘puter to write a timely update but I have to admit that I just haven’t been in the proper frame-of-mind to do it ...

Yeah, in truth, the emotional impact of the past 6-8 weeks has taken its toll on your favorite blogger, it really has. This has been the longest time in my 81+ life that I have felt/been down heath wise and it has had an impact on my inner psyche, without a doubt.

Now, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, I am not reaching out for symphony or anything like that, so no need for supportive texts, posts, emails etc.  I just want to share with you what is going on inside my head at the moment ... so ...

Let’s move on, if we can ... with ...

On the positive side ... on Sunday I made a major step forward technology-wise by purchasing a new iPhone (the one on the right). Yep, in the early afternoon I went over to the AT&T store in Winter Park Village and got a 6s plus, with 128 of whatever, iPhone, the very very top of the line. Silver. I also purchased a screen shield and a protective case.

The staff helped me transfer everything from my ancient iPhone 4 and that has awesome.

Of course, the new iPhone is substantially larger than the old one and that is taking some getting use to but I am sure it will be OK, soon. What an AWESOME device. I have spent lots and lots of time just learning about it and all the new bells and whistles.

The two other major events since the last posting were: the Gators sloppy win over Vandy to move on to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta and dinner on Sunday night with Bill at our favorite Winter Park restaurant, Outback Steakhouse, on Aloma Avenue.

Now ... moving on ... to the health update ...

Yesterday I had a scheduled early morning appointment, 9:00am, with my urologist, Dr. Thomas Cangiano, at his office up in Altamonte Springs.

The day didn’t get off to a good start because, for the first time ever, I had a problem getting a Uber driver, due to high demand. There was also surge pricing due to the demand, so when I finally got one I paid 1.7 times the normal fare.

I still made it to the office on time, but then I had an hour long wait until I was finally able to see Dr. C.

Well, it wasn’t nearly as positive as I had hoped. After reviewing the results of the renal scan I had on November 5th, he is extremely concerned about the blockage problems involving my kidneys, which he had tried, unsuccessfully, to address back on October 26th. He had been unable to insert a stent as planned, “from below.”

Bottom line ... I will continue to do the “self-catheterizaton” 3 or 4 times a day and we will have another attempt to insert a stent(s), this time from my back.

This procedure will be performed at the Winter Park Memorial Hospital as an outpatient procedure by the Interventional Radiology Department, whatever in the fuck that is.

I expected to hear from the hospital today for a date, because this needs to be done ASAP, but I have just learned that they had communication problems with my cardiologist regarding my blood-thinner issues. I understand that will be corrected tomorrow and that the procedure will be scheduled for sometime next week. I will advise you when I know.

Of course, as you loyal and faithful readers and followers know, all of these issues are a result of my overly enlarged cancer ridden prostate.

So ... this pretty much brings you up-to-date and is all I am in the mood to write about now ... so ... let’s continue to ...


Yesterday’s mileage==>1.97 miles (or, 4,316 steps)

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Another Health Update and College Football

Saturday==>Well, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, my promise to myself that I would get back to timely posting on this blog didn’t last very long and I have no one to blame but myself ... oh well ... let’s move on and get started with a brief update from here in Winter Park, in the Sunshine State ...

Since the last posting I have had two major health events.

The first was on Wednesday with the staff of my urologist. With the approval of Dr. Cangiano they removed the catheter and then gave me instructions on what is known as “short term catheterization” which means you insert the catheter yourself on an “as needed basis” to empty your bladder and then take it out. Actually, the process is called “clean intermittent self catheterization” (CISC) and it has a very strict protocol to prevent urinary tract infections.

Unfortunately, I am still unable to empty my bladder so I have to use the process 3 or 4 times per day.

I am happy to report (now that you are through barfing) that the process itself is virtually painless.

The process has given me more freedom physically and emotionally.

The second health event was yet another scan performed at Winter Park Memorial Hospital on Thursday afternoon. This was a renal scan

All of this is in preparation for a sit-down appointment with my urologist on this coming Monday morning at his office in Altamonte Springs. I will Uber to and from the appointment. Hopefully Dr. C will have developed a plan to fully address the blockage issue(s).

I am happy to report that my appetite has improved and that I have made myself get out of the apartment to just walk a bit in my immediate ‘hood. Yesterday I recorded 3.00 miles, by far the best in 3 weeks. Now that is progress, IMHO.

Moving on ...

Today and this evening I will be ensconced in front of my 42” flat screen TV watching college football.

First, of course, with be the Gator/Vandy Homecoming game at noon, carried on ESPN. The Gators are favored by 21 points. With a win we will play in the SEC Championship game in Atlanta against either ‘Bama or LSU. GO GATORS!!

Then it will be ‘Noles/Clemson @ 3:30pm. I will be pulling for the ‘Noles to support Sandy Mullon.

At 8:00pm will be ‘Bama/LSU. I will pulling for the Crimson Tide because my son Bill III aka The Bill is a huge ‘Bama fan.

Speaking of The Bill ... on Sunday evening we will have our usual dinner at the Outback Steakhouse on Aloma Avenue in Winter Park.

OK, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, it is time to post this and then get ready for some college football.



Yesterday’s mileage==>3.00 miles (or, 6,556 steps)

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Update from Winter Park==>Billi Pod Is Alive

Monday==>There is so much to write about to bring you loyal and faithful readers and followers up-to-date on what has been going on with your favorite Sunshine State blogger, here in Winter Park, since his last posting way back on October 23rd.

In that brief posting I referenced having a catheter inserted in you-know-where on October 21st and that it had resulted in an ever increasing amount of blood in my urine. Well, it kept getting worse and worse, so much so that on Saturday morning, October 24th, I became concerned that I was bleeding to death, or setting myself up for a stroke or heart attack.

I felt like shit, to put it mildly. I was lightheaded and dizzy. I Ubered over to the Emergency Room at Winter Park Memorial Hospital and was immediately admitted. The admission process and room assignment was very protracted because there was a lot of other “stuff” going on in the ER. I was finally given a room. Bill was with me, of course, and remained with me through the entire developing process.

Now, folks, I just don’t have the energy to go into too many details about what happened for the next several days, so ... let’s kinda do it in summary form.

I remained in WP Hospital for Saturday and Sunday, with catheter in place.

On Monday morning I was transported via ambulance up to Florida Hospital in Altamonte Springs so my urologist, Thomas Cangiano, could attempt to perform the planned procedure a “ureteral cystoscopy - stent insertion with C arm.”

Dr. C. was only partially successful. He was unable to insert the stent. That will have to be done later.

The catheter was removed ... Thank God ... BUT ... there was still blockage and I was unable to urinate ... so ... another catheter was inserted. Man, did that hurt.

I spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the hospital waiting on my vital signs to improve and for my urine to be free of blood.

It was not a fun time, trust me. The clock stops moving when you are in the hospital. Thank God for Bill and for Dottie Harris who paid me a visit with some Gator stuff.

I was finally released on Thursday afternoon, catheter in place.

It was 3:22pm when I opened the door to my apartment. I was home at last.

I have a followup appointment with Dr. Cangiano on this coming Friday morning when, hopefully, the fucking catheter will be removed.

I have had almost no appetite and have forced myself to eat. Thank goodness for Boost. My energy level was pretty low but I was able to walk over to Publix every morning for the papers and then my favorite pizza place for ... tada ... pizza.

I spent a lot, and I mean, a lot of time on the couch watching sports on my 42” flat screen TV, which, some of you may remember was given to me by John Scott Reed aka Fabson, when I lived in NYC. Hold that name in your mind for a minute ...

One of the reasons I didn’t attempt to update this blog was because my computer had been acting crazy, especially my browser, meaning, I was virtually off-line. I asked Bill to do some research to find the name(s) of local computer repairmen who make house calls.

Friday night Bill texted me that he had been in touch with Scott Reed, who I knew was at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, and he might have a suggestion. Great thought I.

Midmorning Saturday I got a text from Bill that a repairman would arrive at the apartment in 30-60 minutes ... AWESOME!!

About 11:30am there was a knock at the door and ... I answered it ... and ... OMFG!! It was John Scott Reed aka Fabson.

Yeah .... he had changed his flight plans from CA back to NYC to include an overnight in the Orlando area so he would be with me. He and Bill worked together to pull it off and pull it off they did.

You know, it is amazing that I didn’t have a heart attack when I opened the door and there he was. WOW!!

We had some much needed catching up time and then ... OMFG!! ... he sat down in front of this ‘puter and with downloading, updating, deleting etc. he fixed everything in about 30 minutes. TOTALLY AWESOME.

Scott left around 2:00pm to drive to New Smyrna Beach to spend the night with his brother and his family and then he came back on Sunday for about a hour prior to his flight back to The Big Apple.

You know, folks, I just don’t have the words to express the depth of my appreciation for what Scott did and Bill’s efforts to make it happen ... so ... THANKS TO BOTH OF MY FABSONS!!

Moving on ...

Of course, I spent the afternoon watching the Gators kick Bulldog butt. It was a great game for the Gators but Georgia basically sucked in all aspects of the game.

I am totally in awe over what Coach Jim McElwain has done with the Gator program. The fact that we will probably play for the SEC Championship is almost unbelievable.

The World Series ... well ... I think the better team won.

Moving on ...

Sunday night Bill and I had our usual excellent dinner at The Outback Steakhouse on Aloma Avenue here in Winter Park. It felt really good for me to be out of the apartment.

After dinner we, of course, stopped by Krispy Kreme for the usual supply of chocolate glazed donuts.

Moving on ...

This morning I felt somewhat more energetic and my urine remains blood-free. It is time to really move on ...

BREAKING NEWS==>with the assistance of Bill I have been able to reschedule my next appointment with Dr. Cangiano to this coming Wednesday morning @ 8:30am when, hopefully, the catheter will be removed.

OK ... now I am tired ... so ...

THANK YOU to all of my loyal and faithful readers and followers and friends and family who have taken the time to be by my side, emotionally and physically. You mean soooooooooo much to me ... because ... together ... we are gonna ...



Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.