Sunday, October 16, 2011

Retirement? What's That?

Me meeting the daughter of my first cousin Barbara K. for the first time at the reunion

Last Sunday I had my family reunion.  I asked my friend Mark to take pictures for me.  He took over 800 photos.  I had planned to post these photos to my blog and Facebook account in the next few weeks.  But again my part-time job has interfered with my activities in retirement.

The original plan was for me to work two nights a week at the hotel.  I said I would fill in as needed.  I'm flexible that way.  However, due to circumstances this past month I've effectively been working full-time.  Even worse, I  can't plan anything because almost every day I get a call from my boss asking if I can come into work to take over the shift for one of my co-workers.  I again got that call today.  I just got off from working this weekend plus last week.  One of my shifts ran back to back (3 pm to 11 pm then 7 am to 3 pm).  Talk about a sleep pattern being disrupted.

I just got up from my nap this afternoon and I had another text message from my boss asking me if I could work the next three nights.  I don't even get two days off like normal people.  I said "yes" but I will have to have a talk and resolve this situation.  I don't need this stress while I'm trying to decide how far I want to go with invasive tests to determine if I have prostate cancer.

Just today I read an article in Time magazine entitled:

 "Just Say No - The case against PSA."  The article said:

The PSA test is the most common way to screen for prostate cancer, and millions of men over 50 currently get at the blood-based test at every yearly checkup.

But in many of these men, positive PSA tests may signal slow-growing tumors that don't need treatment or may be false positives; PSA levels can also rise when the prostate simply gets bigger as part of the aging process.  These men often undergo unnecessary and invasive biopsies and surgeries which can be dangerous: the panel noted that from 1986 to 2005, 1 million men who would not otherwise have been rested had surgery, radiation therapy of both after positive PSA results.  Of those, 5,000 died because of complication from those procedure and 300,000 developed importance or incontinence.  

One thing I know for sure is that when I was 17 years old I had a hernia operation that was unnecessary from which I developed a staph infection which almost killed me.  So I have to think this through.  Being on call at work like a fireman doesn't help.  I need to lower the stress levels in my life.  


  1. If there is a history of prostate cancer in your family, maybe you should have the biopsy. I just hope everything will be fine, and so far, it seems like it might be.

  2. Anonymous4:45 PM

    Hi Ron,

    I'm glad you are through with this part of the testing & got such good news. I was going to tell you about the same article you saw in Time magazine. I had cancer when I was 34 but it was easy to correct by removal of the organ. You have a hard decision to make about whether to do the biopsies or not after reading this. It's like you are damned if you do & damned if you don't.
    You are in my thoughts as you comtemplate this matter.


  3. It is all rather complicated. I have to have a similar talk with my own doctor this month. Meanwhile, I will stick to what I know is useful - digital exam.

  4. Dr. Spo,

    Today I have a talk with my manager. This has to end. I don't have time to do anything and time is running out!

  5. Ron, is your plan to work yourself to death? Honestly, you work more hours than I do and I am full-time. Or maybe my generation is just lazy? Remember to "live"!
    Take care.

  6. Mark,


    I have been working six days a week. What makes it even harder is that every day I don't know whether or not that I have to go in that day. I'm always "on call." I have to have a talk with my manager. This has to change. Like today, I was supposed to go in but he called me and said "Maybe you won't have to go in, I'll call you back." Then he calls back and says I don't have to go in but could I come in tomorrow and Thursday instead. I feel like a fireman.

    4:27 PM


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