Back in the Saddle

Hi. It’s me, Rip Van Somerstein. I haven’t posted here for a year. I’ve avoided reading, listening and watching any real or fake news for most of that time. I’ve been distracted by the single worst year of my life. That’s the past. It’s time to bring my cynical and critical eyes/fingers back to the keyboard and the so-called real world. Unfortunately it’s a lot of the same crap I left a year ago only in many cases it’s worse. What’s-his-name (whn) is still squatting in the Oval Office surrounded by his criminal buddies, many of whom have been indicted. I can’t wait to see which one will flip first. It seems like school shootings are more frequent – if that's even possible. I’m constantly seeing flags at half-staff. It sickens me. I have no thoughts and prayers going out to the victims’ families. That’s bullshit. SOMEBODY PLEASE DO SOMETHING!

Which reminds me, Congress still has its collective head up its ass with the 2018 mid-term election fast approaching. From my perspective, both …

Exit The Valley

©2017 by Lee Frederick Somerstein (Author's note: This is my first post-surgery piece. Hopefully it's my last on this subject, if not forever, at least for a long, long time. I hope I'm not beating a dead cancer cell to death but I am compelled to write because of the magnitude of thoughts and feelings as my brain and body reboot. May 16 was three weeks post surgery. It's been a physical and emotional roller coaster. Hang on!)
--- May 5th was much more than my 70th birthday; it was the beginning of the next chapter(s) of my life. It was the first day post-prostate cancer surgery (4/25) that I got out of bed - weak as a newborn. It was the day Dr. Surgeon's nurse pulled staples from the six small incisions spread across my abdomen. I will tell people they are bullet wounds - so much more exciting. I’m slowly recovering physically and mentally. I’ve been pushing myself because that’s what I do and the slightest activity still drains me. I checked with the doc’s office an…

Quick Shot

Sixteen days since surgery. Steady recovery but, as usual, not at my pace. Shoveled a few days of double canine defacation đź’© this morning, wiped me out for the day.  Dang!
Reference book - an actual book - says recovery is about a month.  

Ok, time to sleep off my nap.

Dancin’ With Mr. C: Dr. Surgeon Cuts In

©2017 by Lee Frederick Somerstein
(Author’s note: This is the last in my series, “Dancin’ With Mr. C,” at least for now. I hope this was as enlightening for you as it was for me. Do know that your Good Vibrations worked, I know they did!)
Let’s get it out of the way, okay. I am officially a cancer survivor, at least for now. Pathology returned from my prostate surgery shows nothing escaped. “The best outcome possible!” exclaimed one doc. They’ll check my PSA number in three months. I am making no assumptions. We weren’t certain of anything at 7:30am April 25th when Dr. Surgeon moved swiftly across the dance floor “Excuse me, may I cut in?” asked Dr. Surgeon as he tapped on Mr. C’s shoulder and grabbed him around the throat. Even while Mr. C did his best to keep me between he and the Doc, there was no getting away from the determined Surgeon. He went in there like a man on a mission. Even as Mr. C’s grip on me tightened, Dr. Surgeon thrashed away like a mad man. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that d…

Dancin' With Mr. C: Zero Minus Three

--> ©2017 by Lee Frederick Somerstein

I didn’t think I had anymore to say before my prostate cancer surgery this coming Tuesday. As is often the case, I’m wrong. Three days out and my mind is moving fast, in every direction. Thankfully, it remains mostly positive. When those scary, negative thoughts inevitably emerge, I acknowledge them let them pass by like a fart in a windstorm. I can’t allow them to take hold in my head. Then, I focus on the best things in my life. I am grateful for everything I have. Still, I face a rough few weeks. I’m successfully dealing with the anxiety but, today, I’m struggling with the tension of it all. It doesn’t feel like “I’m scared” tension. I’m struggling with the unknown. Maybe it’s my ADHD in high gear but it drives me crazy. Sure, the docs are very positive and I don’t think they train ‘em to soften the news. Still, shit happens and I want the results NOW! As usual I rely on my 19-years of sobriety and the quiver of tools I have to handle t…

Dancin' with Mr. C: And the Band Begins to Play

©2017 by Lee Frederick Somerstein
(AUTHOR’S NOTE: Please take note of my surgery date referenced below. On that date please gather around your radio’s, TVs, mobile devices, places of worship or anywhere else and crank up The Beach Boys "Good Vibrations." I am grateful for all of you.) A friend asked me today, “Do you still have that same attitude about your prostate cancer?” I said, “Read my Hat!” ----- The Dance is about to begin; the orchestra is tuning up. I feel my anxiety levels rising. I will stop to consider these feelings after the next few events. This week I met my surgeon. He is my urodoc’s[1] partner and an ace at robotic surgery, which is the first option.Dr. Surgeon is in his early 50s, blondish hair, has a surfer’s suntan, is devilishly handsome and sports a build chiseled out of cinder blocks. I hate him! He studied at Johns Hopkins University and The Mayo Clinic – pretty decent creds. He’s performed more than 1,000 robotic surgeries. I trust him, especially after …

Dancin' with Mr. C - The Outing

©2017 by Lee Frederick Somerstein

Am I crazy? I’m actually looking forward to April 25th, my prostate cancer surgery. Bring it! I’m in the best place I can be in a shitty situation. As far as we know the cancer is contained within the prostate and an earlier MRI shows nothing in the surrounding lymph nodes. They’ll check that under a microscope after they get that sucker out. But they have to get it out fast before it spreads and 4/25 is the soonest they can do it. I’ve reserved an extra room at the hospital for a prostate going away party. As you can tell, my energy and my attitude remain high and I am astounded by the wave of good vibes flowing in from all of you. My humblest thanks; you have no idea how powerful you are. Now, let’s move to the business at hand. ----- You’ve read in my earlier posts that I am eliminating whatever negativity remains in my life. Except for my closest friends/family, I've never written or spoken about the only major remaining source of bad and it is time…