Friday, March 30, 2018

Well, it didn't hurt as badly as I thought

The results from the 3-22-2018 biopsy are in.

Before I tell you just what happened (what the biopsy revealed, that is) on the eve of the eighth anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act becoming law, here's a confession:

The whole procedure took only 45 minutes, wasn't as painful as I'd first imagined the biopsy would be.  

A little after 8:30 AM, Cynthia (the nurse on duty at Omaha's Urology Center) had me fill out another form, then instructed me to strip down (I could keep my T-shirt on if I wanted to...and it stayed on my back), then gave me a surgical gown to put on.

She then had me lie down on my left side on the inject an anesthetic into my hind end. (I didn't even want to see the needle. After all, it and the syringe housing the needle added up to the length of my arm.) 

That turned out to be the worst part of the procedure.

Next, Dr. Michael Kroeger came into the procedure room to team up with Cynthia. 

They joined forces to put a probe into my rectum in order to take twelve pictures of my prostate, all to find out if there was any trace of cancer in it. (I got through that phase of the procedure by counting to twelve with each click of the probe.)

And by a little after 9:15 AM, I was out of there...and ready to spend the rest of the day at home.

No strenuous exercising or heavy lifting for another 24 hours (and that meant a trip to the supermarket was out)...I finished taking the antibiotic Michael prescribed (one tablet before the biopsy and the other three afterwards)...and I got plenty of opportunities to watch some NCAA Division 1 men's basketball tournament games.

Finally got the word this past Tuesday (and, knowing my luck, it came while I was still at my factory job).

The results of the biopsy trace of prostate cancer at all.

Next time I meet up with the Urology Center staff will be Monday, 10-1-2018, at 8:45 AM, for a blood test.
All I can say is: We'll see what happens next, now that the biopsy is...behind me.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Forty long days...and forty long nights

It all started on the morning of 2-10-2018.

I woke up that Saturday with a dull pain in my left shoulder.

Taking a page from legendary middle-distance runner Glenn Cunningham (whose mom and dad massaged his legs when he was a little boy who'd survived a schoolhouse fire), I thought that massaging my left shoulder would help out. If not that, then letting the shower water hit that shoulder would take the pain away. 

No dice.

So I started taking ibuprofen. (It helped a little...but not nearly enough.)

The following Monday, I called my doctor and made an appointment...and it was going to double as a checkup.

And so, on 2-22-2018, I was on the receiving end of a checkup for the first time in...70 months.

Yeah, I know. It was MY fault I stayed away.

In April 2012, my previous checkup showed that I needed to improve my cholesterol score- or else I'd have to get put on a prescription medicine to lower that cholesterol. So...I traded my beloved snack cakes for cereal bars, and I started eating less beef and less pork while going for more chicken and more turkey.

Well, the February 2018 results demonstrated that my cholesterol was where it needed to be.

The bad news was my 10.4 PSA. (A 4.9 PSA is considered healthy.)

Next thing I knew, I was given an appointment to Omaha's Urology Center (111 S. 90th St., 68114). 

I reported there on 3-5-2018...and ended up finding out, through the center's own lab tests, that the doctors and nurses had me at 1-in-3 to 1-in-2 odds of developing prostate cancer.

Result: Tomorrow at 8:30 AM, I've got to undergo a biopsy.

The biopsy will take place at the Urology Center's surgery facility (105 S. 90th St., 68114). Once that procedure's finished, I'll know in five to seven days whether I've got the Big C.

At least prostate cancer's treatable.  

Meanwhile, my left shoulder had been getting better, thanks to Diclofenac sodium tablets (two 75-MG pills a day...and they've got to be taken with food).

I had to stop taking Diclofenac on order to get ready for tomorrow's biopsy. (And I can't wait to get back on the pills again, 'cause my left shoulder's feeling the pain again!) 

Here's hoping everything goes fine tomorrow. (Don't worry...I'll fight to get a checkup every year from now on.)

And here's hoping all the very best for you, too.  

Sunday, February 25, 2018

And the freshmen take over...

Sorry about not being able to post this sooner. (Well, you know those pesky-yet-vital life events...)

The 2017 NCAA Division 1-A "Shoulda-Woulda-Coulda" football playoffs are finished, and here's what happened (seeding in parentheses):

FIRST ROUND: Penn State (9) 28, Washington State (24) 0; Boise State (16) 16, Auburn (17)14; South Florida (20) 21, San Diego State (13) 14; Notre Dame (21) 29, Miami (FL) (12) 28; Troy (14) 42, Florida Atlantic (19) 32; Washington (11) 28, Michigan State (22) 7; TCU (18) 37, Memphis (15) 21; Oklahoma State (23) 53, USC (10) 28

SECOND ROUND: Penn State 42, Central Florida (1) 34; Toledo (8) 20, Boise State 15; Wisconsin (5) 21, South Florida 7; Clemson (4) 28, Notre Dame 21; Alabama (6) 59, Troy 13; Washington 28, Oklahoma (3) 25; Ohio State (7) 35, TCU 14; Georgia (2) 35, Oklahoma State 7

QUARTERFINAL ROUND: Penn State 44, Toledo 21; Wisconsin 14, Clemson 7; Alabama 35, Washington 0; Georgia 15, Ohio State 14

SEMIFINAL ROUND: Wisconsin 28, Penn State 14; Georgia 35, Alabama 14

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Georgia 28, Wisconsin 17

Well, how about some highlights?

FIRST ROUND: Darius Anderson's three touchdowns helped Horned Frogs spoil Tigers' playoff debut...Brandon Silvers fired four TD passes to key Trojans' win over Owls...109,990 filled up Beaver Stadium as Saquon Barkley scored three times in Nittany Lions' rout of Cougars...Fighting Irish won because Brandon Wimbush (who also tossed three air scores) tallied the game-winning two-point conversion after Kevin Stepherson scooted in from 79 yards out with 2:27 to go in the fourth quarter...Broncos pulled it out with just 18 seconds to play in regulation when LB Desmond Williams sacked Tiger QB Jarrett Stidham in the end zone...Bulls won it on Quinton Flowers' 25-yard scoring strike to Tyre McCants with 5:42 left in the third period...Huskies wiped out a 7-0 Spartan lead; Myles Gaskin led the way with two TDs...Cowboys shocked Trojans because Mason Rudolph went 24-42-399 yards-2 TDs-2 INTs while Justice Hill ran for four TDs on a 15-rush, 121-yard night and James Washington caught seven balls for 124 yards and a score.

SECOND ROUND: Buckeyes rained 28 unanswered points on Frogs to erase a 14-7 TCU lead; J.K. Dobbins (20-83-2 TDs) led the way...Jonathan Taylor got 128 yards and two TDs (he ran 28 times) to help Badgers stop Bulls, who had 12 penalties for 77 yards...Logan Woodside flipped a one-yard TD pass to Jon'Vea Johnson with 2:07 remaining in regulation to enable Rockets to sideline Broncos...Tavien Feaster brought it in from the Irish one-yard line with 57 ticks to go in the fourth to let Tigers give Notre Dame a taste of its own medicine...Lavon Coleman's two scores (and another by Gaskin) allowed Huskies to overcome Sooners' 505-yard offensive display...Crimson Tide outrushed Trojans, 297-38, with Jalen Hurts going 15-108-1 TD (while passing for 270 yards and another score)...Sony Michel (15-105-2 TDs) and Nick Chubb (19-78-1 TD) keyed Bulldogs' lassoing of Cowboys, while Jake Fromm threw for two more scores...Golden Knights wasted McKenzie Milton's 28-35-309 yards-5 TDs-0 picks passing effort (and became the second top seed in as many seasons to go one-and-done) when Barkley scooted for 99 yards (on 20 carries) and three touchdowns.

QUARTERFINAL ROUND: Taylor's one-yard score with 5:21 left in the fourth lifted Badgers over Tigers...Trace McSorley ran for three TDs and tossed an air score as Nittany Lions capitalized on 11 Rocket penalties that totaled 56 yards...Tide rolled, all right, nearly doubling up Huskies in yardage (521-267) while Damien Harris picked up three TDs (two on the ground, the other on a catch) and Hurts ran 10 times for 115 yards and connected on 11 of 21 throws for 205 yards and that TD pass...Fromm found Terry Godwin in the end zone from nine yards out with 1:25 to go in the fourth, and the Bulldogs won it on D'Andre Swift's two-point conversion run.

SEMIFINAL ROUND: Badgers held Nittany Lions to 128 total yards (38 on the ground) and sacked McSorley seven times (twice each by Alec James and D'Cota Dixon) while Taylor ran it 26 times for 137 yards and three tallies...Chubb scored twice on an 18-tote, 57-yard effort to put the Tide away. 

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: At Atlanta's brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Badgers coughed up a 14-7 halftime lead because Fromm went right to work, firing three scoring strikes, with the second TD toss- a ten-yarder to Riley Ridley- proving to be the winning score. 

Result: Kirby Smart became just the third head coach to take an SEC team to the top of these D-1-A playoffs and, in the process, the 'Dogs ended the Big Ten's control of the championship trophy.

And, on top of that, not one, but two- two- TWO freshmen got the playoff MVP award: Taylor (for running 96 times for 399 yards and six touchdowns) and Fromm (because he completed 45 passes in 73 tosses for 814 yards and seven TDs against three picks...good for a rating of 177.1).

This season- well, at least on this computer- came down to the first Division 1-A championship game involving a pair of first-time participants since 2013 (when Baylor topped Louisville, 35-28).

What about next season?

Well, we'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Dear Jeffrey Toobin:

You recently told Larry Wilmore that you now find yourself regretful about your role in pushing a "false equivalence" between Hillary Clinton's actions and those of Donald Trump during Big Media's coverage of the 2016 US presidential race.


There's just one thing:

You're too freakin' late!  

The whole problem is that you, your buddies at CNN, and counterparts at America's other newsgathering television networks pushed this "false equivalence" to begin with.

After all, Jeffrey, you work for Jeff Zucker...the same man who, when he headed up NBC Entertainment, helped Trump's The Apprentice get on the air in the first place.

You people were so smitten over the prospect of one of your medium's biggest stars landing the most talked-about job in politics that you failed to see the danger signs...such as his studying Adolf Hitler's speeches for ideas on how to handle things.

By telling your viewers that Clinton- one of the most politically-experienced major-party nominees in a long, long time- is just as wretched as Trump, you helped usher in a period where, when Trump, Pence, McConnell, Ryan, and Co. are through doing their damage to this country's government, we won't have a constitutional republic anymore...let alone a shot at a real democracy.

You helped usher in a time where America's now the laughingstock of Planet Earth.


Instead of going for truth, you folks in Big Media wasted the 6-15-2015/11-8-2016 period going strictly for ratings...and you consistently think the way to get those good-looking Nielsen numbers is to portray every US political campaign as a horse race.

The way I see it, we stopped having presidencies on 1-20-2017.

Instead, we've got an emperor/king/dictator/premier/generalissimo. 

I hope you're happy, Jeffrey.   


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Are you ready?

Well, here they are...the 24 teams, top seed to bottom, that would've made the 2017 NCAA Division 1-A football playoffs had the NCAA decided to stage such an event:

1. Central Florida (12-0; AAC champ)/2. Georgia (12-1; SEC champ)/3. Oklahoma (12-1; Big 12 champ)/4. Clemson (12-1; ACC champ)/5. Wisconsin (12-1; Big Ten at-large)/6. Alabama (11-1; SEC at-large)/7. Ohio State (11-2; Big Ten champ)/8. Toledo (11-2; MAC champ)

9. Penn State (10-2; Big Ten at-large)/10. USC (11-2; Pac-12 champ)/11. Washington (10-2; Pac-12 at-large)/12. Miami (FL) (10-2; ACC at-large)/13. San Diego State (10-2; Mountain West at-large)/14. Troy (10-2; Sun Belt champ)/15. Memphis (10-2; AAC at-large)/16. Boise State (10-3; Mountain West champ)

17. Auburn (10-3; SEC at-large)/18. TCU (10-3; Big 12 at-large)/19. Florida Atlantic (10-3; Conference USA champ)/20. South Florida (9-2; AAC at-large)/21. Notre Dame (9-3; independent at-large)/22. Michigan State (9-3; Big Ten at-large)/23. Oklahoma State (9-3; Big 12 at-large)/24. Washington State (9-3; Pac-12 at-large)

All the won-lost records you see don't include the bowl games.

Can't wait to play these games (I'll be using Lance Haffner Games' 3-in-1 Football again)...and when they're all done and a new champion is crowned (unless Penn State repeats!), I'll get the scores and highlights posted.

I'm Jim Boston...thanks for reading this blog! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Please give this man a chance!

Well, it finally happened.

That's right: The one thing University of Nebraska-Lincoln football fans (okay, Nebraskans in general) had been on their knees begging for almost all season long.

University of Central Florida head football coach Scott Andrew Frost is coming back to Lincoln to take the same job from Mike soon as the Knights get through taking on Auburn in the 1-1-2018 Peach Bowl.

Maybe he's the savior the average Nebraskan's been looking for ever since Tom Osborne hung up his own whistle after the 1997 campaign...the one where Frost (at that time Big Red's starting quarterback) and teammates won the final ESPN-USA Today Division 1-A football poll (AKA coaches' poll).

That season's final Associated Press 1-A football survey went to Michigan. 

Coming into this season's Peach Bowl, the Wood River, NE native (he'll blow out 43 candles three days after the bowl game in Atlanta, GA) has logged a mark of 18-7 at the Orlando, FL school.

And ever since his hiring became official on 12-2-2017, Frost (a man who played in the NFL from 1998 to 2003; he was a defensive back for the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers) has been calling for unity. 

His first news conference upon getting hired at UNL was packed; lots of former and current Huskers attended, as did plenty of current and former UNL officials...including Osborne. 

One telling thing SAF said was: "I know what I'm getting myself into."

I sincerely hope rank-and-file Nebraskans do, too. 

At one time or another, the previous seven (or more) UNL head football coaches have faced citizen calls for the pink slip...beginning with Bill Jennings (1918-2002), who had the job from 1957 to 1961, only to go 15-34-1 in the Star City. 

People from Scottsbluff to North Platte to Kearney to Grand Island to Lincoln to right here in Omaha had called for the head of the legendary Bob Devaney (1915-1997), who went 136-30-7 overall (101-20-2 with Nebraska, his gig from 1962 to 1972).

They wanted Frank Solich (Osborne's successor who's now Ohio's head football coach) out. They called for Bill Callahan's firing. They wanted Bo Pelini to get shown the door. 

And, of course, they just got through calling for Riley's head. (He went 19-19 with the Cornhuskers.)

Yep...they even, at one time, decided that Osborne wasn't good enough as Devaney's successor

All Tom did was log a 255-49-3 record...all of that at UNL (for the fifth-best winning percentage of all time, .836).

With that in mind, how long will it take for disgruntled Nebraskans (not just gridiron lovers) to say it's time for Frost to go? 

Every team there is has its ups and downs.

Nebraska football is no exception.

I just hope people around here will give Scott a chance to show the magic he gave UCF football fans.

And yes, it's going to take time.

This son of husband-and-wife high school football coaches (Larry and Carol) has the time...and that's what counts. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Just desserts?

I read this on the Internet yesterday:

"Matt Lauer fired from Today for sexual harassment" 

I couldn't believe it.

I'm still, to this very day, thinking about his role in helping to create the garbage going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. (Do you remember the MSNBC special he hosted last year, where Lauer threw hardball questions at Hillary Rodham Clinton, then turned around and gave softball inquiries to Donald Trump...a man who spent eleven years on Matt's main network, NBC?)

Late this past Tuesday, NBC News Chief Andrew Lack told the 59-year-old New York City native to clean out his desk. And as soon as Today came on yesterday morning, coanchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb gave viewers the news about Lauer's firing.

Lauer threw two decades as show cohost down the drain.

One of Lauer's colleagues turned in a detailed complaint against his inappropriate sexual behavior, and it triggered a serious review by Lack and his colleagues. 

It all stemmed from an incident the colleague reported took place in 2014, when NBC and most of the other Comcast networks were showing the 2014 Winter Olympics (held in Sochi, Russia). 

Lauer's victim reported this to NBC's human resources department this past Monday; the next day, he got the pink slip.

Two years before the Sochi incident, Katie Couric (who cohosted Today from 1991 to 2006) was interviewed on Bravo's Watch What Happens. 

Host Andy Cohen asked Couric to describe Lauer's "most annoying trait."

Couric's reply: "He pinches me on the [posterior] a lot." 

'Nuff said. 

From what I've read, it's not so surprising that Lauer would help deliver a proven sexual predator to the very top of American politics. 

Compared to what just happened with Lauer, it's going to be very hard to remove Trump from the most talked-about political office there is...but we really need to be up to it. 

Some of this information came from Jen Hayden's 11-29-2017 Daily Kos article about Matt's removal from the job he's best known for. (Jen, many, many, many thanks!)