Category Archives: San Francisco Giants

First Blush: Orange dawn forecasts a Giants victory

It’s always darkest before the Dawn. Some of us have waited a lifetime for the Giants to win the World Series. Tonight they did it. And all is well. But the female Dawn Jogger is pinching herself…


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Filed under Dawn Patrol, San Francisco Giants

A take me out to ball game break

Game three of NLCS October 19 2010

In the midst of dying there is living. Good friends Cathy and Mike decreed a break in the action (so to speak) and with friend David Perry in town, the female DG took the afternoon off and went to the ball park, where she meet Julie to see the Giants play the Phillies in game 3 of the National League Champion Series. There’s nothing like a day of baseball to lift the spirits. Especially when the Giants win…


Filed under Brain cancer, Living each day, San Francisco Giants, Support angels

First Blush (almost): Brains, Giants and horses

San Francisco Mounted PatrolFor years the male DG has remarked about the female DG: “There are three things you’ve never gotten bored with – the Giants, horses and me!”

It was a little bit of all three today for the female DJ/DG. It was a “UCSF” day, which means they headed up to UCSF early where the male DG stuck his head in a 3 Tesla MRI machine to check the status of his Stage 3 glioma. As is the usual drill, once the female DG had gotten him safely “tucked in,” she headed over to Golden Gate Park, just three blocks away from the Parnanssus campus. There had been rain showers all morning, but for her three-mile jaunt, it was nothing but sunshine. And an encounter with two members of the San Francisco Mounted Patrol. (Oh, the beauty of horses.)

It would have been a triple play kind of day – the MRI verdict was “no tumor growth” – is only Tim Lincecum had been allowed to complete his near flawless performance. Instead he got yanked in the 9th and the Giants fell to the Phillies. But two out of three isn’t bad…

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Filed under Brain cancer, Dawn Patrol, San Francisco Giants

Being a “fast healer” has its pitfalls

OK, this will make the most sense to people who understand the female DG’s passion for the San Francisco Giants, one of whom was coming out of Dr. Lawrence Oloff’s office as she was coming in today. In fact, she almost bumped into him.

It was well publicized last July when a certain Giants shortstop (playing in Triple A Fresno) had surgery to repair a broken toe on his left foot by the team’s foot specialist, who just happened to be the female DG’s surgeon. Toes and tendons are different deals, but it seems both need time to heal.

So, while Oloff pronounced the female DG “well ahead of the curve,” he cautioned her to not “overdue,” advice he said he’d just given to a previous patient who was also a fast healer. Strength exercises are to continue but walking is to remain limited. She’s itching to walk and the male DG needs a walking partner on Tuesday and Thursday. Doesn’t walking build strength? (She is sensible enough to get an opinion from physical therapist extraordinaire, Heidi.) But then again, like the more famous patient, what she really wants is to be ready for spring training – or in her case, jogging at dawn.

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Filed under Achilles tendon surgery, San Francisco Giants

The Giants beat LA

For something as important as baseball is to the female DG, there have been few posts, even though when she created this new blog she designated a “San Francisco Giants” category. It’s not that her Giants haven’t been an entertaining team all season long. But just a week ago she attended only the second game of the season (an all time low, counting even her years watching San Francisco play LA at Chavez Ravine), which was supposed to be the “most important game of the season” – a must win for the Giants.” But they lost – miserably. And that is what is intriguing about baseball (if not life). You give up all hope, and seven days later, after the bullpen comes through in a really big way, they’re still “in this thing” as the marketing campaign proclaims. You have to love baseball. Or as the male DG just proclaimed: “You’re still gimpy but at least you’re not grumpy.”

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Ready for 25% weight bearing

Joe at SOAR
MartyIf the female Dual G (gimpy and grumpy) is being truthful, she’d admit that she’s been on the look out for members of the local sports teams who take advantage of the all star cast of doctors at SOAR (Dillingham etc, and of course, her surgeon, Larry Oloff) – especially “her” San Francisco Giants. There seems to be a greater chance of an encounter since her appointments have been in the “cast room,” which shares three treatment tables. But it really was just as delightful to walk in yesterday morning and find  friend Marty on the next table – who later demonstrated what it’s like to be almost crutch free.

The female DG’s milestone was more incremental. She graduated to a new cast (all pink again) that allows her to be 25% weight bearing for the next week and 50% weight bearing the following week. She’s always been clear about “no weight bearing.” That means  “don’t you dare take a step or even touch down on the foot that’s now supported by a surgically repaired Achilles tendon.” And thanks to master caster extraordinaire Joe Bulcao (pictured), she now understands that 25% means you use the afflicted limb as one of three prongs,  the other two being crutches. Fifty percent means that foot/ankle takes a bit of weight as you step – but only if pain free.

On the pain issue, there was some today. Still mild – 3 on the “during childbirth” spectrum but more than the almost zero she’s had beginning the third day post surgery. To get the clearance to start some weight bearing, she had to get her foot in a 90-degree angle, which it hasn’t been for three weeks. Joe was good enough to reinforce thatwhat she was feeling wasn’t pain but a “stretch.” And the motivation was easy – start some weight bearing and continue on the path to recovery.

There is a downside to the new regime. It puts her on crutches, a slower form of navigation than her scooter and one that requires use of both hands/arms (a challenge when you’re already down one arm in the household; being down three out of four makes things tougher). There’s also a new bootie around the foot of her cast that elevates that side, so her legs are now uneven. She thinks she may have one shoe that has a bit of a platform – otherwise it’s back to the shoe shop.

All of this orthopedic news happened on the same day that the male DG had a conversation with his neuro-oncologist and decided another treatment round requiring infusion was the prudent course of action. That decision was fairly straightforward. Making it happen – with the necessary insurance authorization, blood work, and UCSF office visit –  takes time and patience.

Photos by Chris Gulker

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Filed under Achilles tendon surgery, Brain cancer, San Francisco Giants

Morning at UCSF Mission Bay and environs


BertJimenez1Today was both a “glioma day” and two weeks post Achilles tendon surgery.

The trek up to UCSF for MRIs and appointments with the neuro-oncology team headed by Dr. Susan Chang is a staple of the Dual G’s (gimpy and grumpy) life and not something that can be put on hold just because there’s another gimp in the house. So they headed up to UCSF’s Mission Bay advanced imaging facility this morning and were warmly greeted and well cared for by clinical research nurse coordinator Bert Jimenez. (pictured).  On tap was an MRI with MRS (magnetic resonance spectrum, which measures blood flow in the area; something you don’t want to see too much of going into a tumor). The male DG’s 90 minutes in the tube has been more frequent since March when his  of doctors  noticed “a change” on his scan.  Three scans later, they don’t believe it’s tumor growth but rather increased edema. Either would explain the decreasing functionality on his left side. While they usually get the results the same day, this time they won’t know until next week.

Thanks to WIFI throughout Mission Bay, the female usually retreats up to the pleasant cafe on the third floor of the Genentech building while the male DG’s brain is being scannd. But today, with no work assignments due, she decided to head out for a tour of the campus and scootered her way just south of the Left O’Doul/3rd St. bridge that spans McCovey Cove adjacent to the Giants ball park. Yes, she’s forever cheered by baseball, expecially the kind of ball the men in orange and black have been playing the last week or so. She broke no speed records and hardly a sweat, but it was at least moving – and the longest distance she’s covered since going under the knife. Any good she did was undone with s stop at Peasant Pies for a couple of its savory delights. More damage to come tonight – she brought some sweet pies to go.

Last thought: kudos to the “angel” aka UCSF employee who  happened to be visiting the advanced imaging center on her break and took the male DG’s two pies up to her  office to microwave so that he could have lunch.

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Filed under Achilles tendon surgery, Brain cancer, San Francisco Giants