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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Two Years Later

On March 20th of 2021, two years ago Monday, I rolled into Mass General for the brain surgery which would steal all strength, most feeling and the vast majority of movement from my left leg and foot. Sure, the complete loss was temporary. I needed intense, long term physical therapy and even with that, no one in the med community was making any promises.

Here I am, two years on, in 2023:

  • I can walk (freestyle—no walker, no brace or hand needing to be held) 10—20 feet at a go, without falling over.
  • I can walk half to three quarters of a mile at one time with my rollator (again, NO toppling over).
  • I can pump for 20 minutes straight on the recumbent elliptical now.
  • I no longer need to use the walker to go across the hall to the can, man. I can get up to pee in the middle of the night without waking Ten to help me. I can stand while I brush my teeth too.
  • I can go up and down the stairs on my own (though I appreciate Ten standing at the bottom of the stairs to break my fall if need be). The stair lift? It’s still here but, for now, folded up and unneeded.
  • On five out of seven days a week, I’m doing a combo of one to 1.3 miles of walking and ellipticalling. I'd hoped to be much further along by now but winter was hard—all the cold and dark did a number on me. That shit’s a real energy and motivation depleter.

It’s hard to remember OR give myself the credit I deserve for how far I’ve come. I've GOT to keep in mind all the setbacks I’ve had since that melon surgery: 

  • There was the giant hyper-delicate surgery to trim down the alien locked around my thoracic spine (I was in hospital and then rehab for more than a month).
  • Two broken teeth (anesthesiologist's parting gifts)
  • Proton radiation (to limit or halt further growth of the thoracic spine motherfucker).
  • COVID (would’ve sucked giant stone gargoyle wang to have survived the surgeries only to die from Trump’s plague)
  • Chemo (to, hopefully, stop the growth of the mondo meningioma on my bean’s frontal lobe)

And now?

Monday I went in for a quick check-in with Doc Plotkin’s nurse practitioner. My blood pressure was high—a common side effect of the chemo med I’m on. We, Ten and I, were told to keep a close watch on it. Yesterday morning as I was taking my morning crateful of pills, Ten took my BP. It was
230/120. Fucking YIKES! My first words to Ten? Is that number even possible?!

Just in case the home BP cuff, which is old, was outta whack and just in case I needed to get to the ER STAT, Jen called the EMTs. They came out and, yup, using their cuff, my BP was in fact 230/120. Jesus.

I felt totally, absolutely fine though. After some basic tests and a convo with the med crew, I said I wanted to stay home (versus zipping into the ER where I’d sit for three hours before a medic even looked at me) and email Plotkin’s office. The EMT’s felt this was safe and a good plan but told me they could be right back if I changed my mind. Really wonderful team.

Nurse Practitioner Christina called a ‘script into the pharmacy for me, Ten picked it up moments later. Boom—my numbers began their descent.

My other Monday appointment was a bone density test. Yes, I do indeed have bones. Just like the rest of me however, they’re old and fragile. I’m now the proud owner of a new little condition called osteoporosis. Yes, this on top of everything else. Am I special or am I fucking special?!

Here’s the other anniversary—four year ago yesterday, Ten and I jumped in his jam-packed pickup and drove cross country from Oregon’s high desert to Valhalla, Massachusetts. It’s been a hell of an action packed four years. I swear, the man's a fucking saint.


  1. You did all the work ... TB

    (blogger is weird)

  2. You are a tough mudda trucker! But really, is any Copper that one you surprised?

    Ray C

  3. This is Bob , you are doing Great , keep going everyday, the testimony of progress is good to hear, drop me a line sometime