Sunday, July 31, 2011


6AM - Decisions
I've got some decisions to make and walked to the Natural Bridges viewpoint to think.  In about four days the Tioga Team's web counter crosses 6 million visits.  Little Mavicita wants to publish a six million visit video.  So, while looking down at the bridge, the birds and the waves, I was thinking about what to talk to you about in the video.

Soon September will arrive bringing the first anniversary of my Son David's passing.  We plan to scatter David's ashes on that anniversary.  It has fallen on me to decide where that scattering place is to be.  So, I have been thinking about that too.

I've come to understand that my life follows a chaotic path.  And strangely, I've found comfort in that understanding.  I've had to adjust to the wild chaotic extremes of my past year.  And guess what?  I believe that I figured out a way to do that.

Little Mavicita would like me to talk about adjusting to chaos in the six million visit video.


Saturday, July 30, 2011


7AM - Stories
There is no doubt in my mind that a great love of my life is to watch a story told in a movie.  When movies began being available on VHS tape, I collected them.  Then came CDs and DVDs.  I collected those too.  Finally came the ultimate movie format available online.  I was able to watch an online movie and many times could even save the streaming video to my computer's hard drive.  Wow!  That is Heaven for me.

It seems to me that it is a true miracle that I am able to watch a movie while inside the comfort of MsTioga by using electronic gadgets.  Watching online movies is not free.  I've got to pay for them.  But that's OK by me!

3PM - Playing in the surf
I've been watching some guys playing in the surf. MsTioga is next to West Cliff Drive. Looking at these guys with binoculars, it seems to me that what they are doing is dangerous. But they have been messing around there for about an hour! I guess that it's safe.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Santa Cuz2

6AM - Santa Cruz
Yesterday afternoon MsTioga and I headed south out of Half Moon Bay.  We nite camped in Santa Cruz.  This morning I have an 8am breakfast date with an old friend at Santa Cruz Diner.  Really looking forward to that.

We left our nite camp a little while ago and drove to West Cliff Drive.  MsTioga is parked only a few hundred yards from the surf.  I walked over near the cliff and watched the waves coming in.

It is not possible for me to completely understand the wonder of my life.   When I think about all the things that I've gone thru lately, it blows me away.  Yet thru all of that, I am still OK.  Still doing fine.  Living the good life.

7AM - The bandage
Yesterday when I talked to Doctor Bortz's office I asked if it was OK to remove the bandage.  I told them that my wound appears to be doing fine.  "Yes, it is OK.  Keep the Polysporin Ointment on the wound."  So, the bandage is now off.  In fact I slept last nite without the bandage and it is off right now.

I am a fast healer!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bandage day

8AM - New bandage day
My post-operative instructions read:
"Keep the initial bandage in place and wound completely dry for two days.  Once you remove the initial pressure bandage, the wound should be kept emolliated with ointment several times daily.  You may use Polysporin Ointment.  The wound should then be covered with a dressing such as Band-aid non-stick gauze secured with paper tape."

Would you like to see before and after pics?   Hmmmmm?

Note: The brown areas in front of the wound are where pre-cancers were removed by freezing with liquid nitrogen.  These brown spots will soon heal and go away.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

No pain

6AM - No pain
When I woke up this morning, the first thing that came to me was that I felt no pain where the surgery was performed yesterday.  That's weird!  There were two anesthetics injected.  One was quick acting and the other long lasting.  It must be that the long lasting one must still be active.  Eventually, there must be pain where a bunch of tissue was cut out with a scissors!

Remember yesterday that a taxi took me from Doctor Bortz to my hotel?  I believe that I left all my doctor papers in that taxi.  These included my next appointment and instructions for post surgical care.  So, today MsTioga and I will drive back to Doctor Bortz to get replacements for those lost papers.  I'll find out then why I have no pain.

5PM - At the Ocean
After we went to the doctor's office, MsTioga and The Team traveled to the Ocean.  We are here on the coast because the weather is so nice.  Not blue sky nice.  Overcast and cool nice!

The people at Doctor Bortz's office told me that it is not unusual for my kind of surgery to have little or no pain.  I was lucky.  My surgery to remove the skin cancer did not go very deep.  That is why I have no pain.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pill works

7AM - The pill works!
My Xanax tranquilizer prescription advises to take one pill at bedtime the nite before surgery.  I am able to tell you that the pill works!  I feel a little punchy even this morning and do not even walk right yet.  I take a 2nd tranquilizer 30 minutes before the procedure.

Some readers advised me to ask the hotel for shuttle service to the doctor's office.  So, I asked and found out that shuttle service is available.  I will not need to take a taxi.

My skin cancer surgery is scheduled for 1pm.  This is an out-patient procedure.  My surgeon, Doctor Jeffrey Bortz, will perform the Mohs micrographic surgery in his office.  As the tissue in the cancer area is removed, the doctor himself examines the tissue to determine if all cancer cells are removed.  And finally after it has been determined that all margins are cancer free, the doctor does the surgery to cover the wound by the use of adjacent skin.

4PM - Surgery done!
After surgery, the doctor's office called me a taxi for the ride back to the hotel. I went to my room in order to write to you about the operation. And then I fell asleep! Wow!

It is now 8pm. I just woke up still sitting in front of my computer. Would you believe that I could NOT recall if I had written to you about my operation or not?!  How completely weird!

8PM - Surgery story
For me the surgery was easy.  That Xanex pill really works great.  I had no worries or anxiety during the procedure.

During the preparation and actual operation, I was reclining back in a large doctor's chair that reminded me of an adjustable recliner.  Prepping me and the actual operation only took 40 minutes.  I waited another 20 minutes in the waiting room for the results of the tissue examination.

When the results came in I was told that the tissue margins showed that all of my cancer had been removed!  I would not need anymore tissue to be removed.  Isn't that great?

The wound was closed with internal stitches.  Then the skin from the top and bottom of the wound was stretched closed and stitched together.  When I was shown the site of the procedure with a mirror, all that I saw was a horizontal line less than 3/4" long.

During the procedure I had no pain and absolutely no anxiety.  However, right now it is 8pm and I am still pretty punchy from the Xanex anti-anxiety medication.  Right after this post to you I am going to bed for another nap!

Clear sky

Monday, July 25, 2011

Concord hotel

6AM - Concord hotel
Today MsTioga and The Team are heading inland to get ready for my skin cancer surgery tomorrow.  I've booked a room in a City of Concord hotel for two nites.

This afternoon there are a couple of things to be done.  First thing is my tranquilizer prescription must be picked up.  I asked the doctor for this tranquilizer.  I want to be mellowed out during the surgery.  The doctor is going to be working near my right ear.  This means that my head will be draped.  The tranquilizer should insure that I do not get bothered by feelings of claustrophobia or other anxiety during the surgery.

The second thing is to get a haircut.  The patient information received from Doctor Bortz's office recommends getting a haircut and trimming the hair around the surgery site.  My surgery is in the area of my right sideburn.  .

4PM - Got haircut and drug
I am checked into the Crowne Plaza Hotel and just returned from getting my haircut and tranquilizer drug.  The hotel has a pretty fast internet connection.  Do you know what that means?!  It means that it is movie time for me!

Blue sky

Sunday, July 24, 2011


8AM - Cloudy days
MsTioga and I have come to believe that some of the most attractive things about Half Moon Bay are its cloudy days and low temperature.  Many visitors come to Half Moon Bay on the weekends just to escape the heat of interior valleys.  In fact, that is the exact reason why MsTioga and I are here.

Of course there are other reasons why Half Moon Bay is attractive.  The town's center is really a nice place to walk around.   Half Moon Bay is also a nice place to put your boat in the water!

All cloudy aky

Saturday, July 23, 2011


8AM - Booked hotel
I am going to need a place to stay before and after the operation to remove my skin cancer.  So, I just booked a hotel room in the City of Concord.  MsTioga is large and most parking places at hotels are small.  The hotel that I'll be staying at has space at the rear where MsTioga will fit in and be safe.

When I confided in my doctor that I get anxious when I have to undergo medical procedures like this one, he prescribed Xanex.  I am trusting that Xanex will do the trick for me!

6PM - Generators
During the afternoon a big class-A RV pulled in next to MsTioga.  Soon their loud generator was running.  So, we moved our camping spot to the other end of the lot.

The skies were grey all day long.   Not good weather for solar panels.  We got Little Honda Generator out.  In about 2-3 hours, the solar battery bank was all charged up.
Little Honda

All cloudy aky