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    Homecoming PResent

    Nothing like a front page story to boost your post-op morale. This was written six weeks ago when the YouTube of the song was really moving. Ken Valenti did a pretty good job, I thought. No links to the song in the paper or online, though.

    For those who might have missed it, "Route 22":


    Out of the Woods

    Which is a pretty inapt phrase, considering I love the woods...but the surgery is over and all things being equal, I should be cancer free when they test in several months. The team headed up by Dr. Roger Riechers out of Mt. Kisco Medical Group was nothing short of HEROES to me. The Doc was the best and he wielded his cool confidence and wry humor like the very useful tools of his trade...his hands.

    Hero of the Day, Dr. Roger Riechers

    Technical title of the surgery was a robotic laproscopic radical prostatectomy. The "robot" is the da Vinci Surgical System that is "the next generation of surgeons will be working on 3-D high definition displays combined with augmented reality of articulating instruments and image fusion." In short, he peers through 3D glasses at a screen while his hands are in these "gloves" that offer him 360 manipulation of the tools. Regular laproscopy vs. da Vinci: think trying to open your card door with a coat hangar vs. your arm. And he is using several tools at once.

    I had read somewhere in the thousands of pages I scoured  about prostate cancer that the robotic system was developed for the military. Can't be, says Dr. Riechers. Although "telesurgery" is being touted and tried and pushed, he maintains that the surgeon must be next to the patient...especially when the computer freezes (no way...computers don't freeze) The robot (the surgical team affectionately refers to it as "Leo") more importantly assists the surgeon in fine-tuned twists and manipulations of the tiny tools at the end of each "arm." Watch the video from YouTube of the actual doctor's eye view   

    Here I am before...

    And during...

    And here is Dr. Riecher's team


    That's what you want, folks, happy people who are dealing with your survival. I can't thank them enough. 100% removal of the bad boy and all nerves were spared (IYKWIMAITYD.)


    By the way, the morning after Dr. Riechers came in my room to look me over and said the surgery took an hour but the photgraphy took 3. I had asked ahead of time if it was OK to bring a camera in and let a nurse or someone take some pix. Guess what? HE did all the photography. And by the way,  the surgery took 5 hours.


    Live with the Street Kid Band: "Route 22" & "Dixie Chicken"

    Benny Harrison: keys, Dave Webster: guitar, Andrew Caturano: drums, Tony Mercadante: bass, Jim Nowak: sound



    Get 'Er Done...Cleaning up the Oil

    Common Sense. It's in short supply. These good old boys have the solution. SImple is just mind boggling, isn't it?


    "The Guitar Show"

    Mike Byrnes has produced and starred in over 450 half hour live-to-tape shows where he invites guitar playing songwriters on to perform and jam. He is a picker (a la Chet Atkins) and plays along on all your songs. THIS WAS FUN. He saw the "Route 22" video and picked up the phone and booked me, all in two weeks time. We shot two half hour shows with 3-4 songs each show with interview. A great crew and easy atmosphere made it an absolute joy to be there. I was so ferklempt and not thinking that I forgot all my chords and even a working amp, but not to worry, all pitched in and we pulled off a couple of fun shows. A  youtube trailer should be up soon. Available on NY area CABLEVISION this Monday at 7 (or 7:30) and then again on Saturday evening. Check local listings. Here's Mike and the Cakeman on the set...


    Here's the "making of..." A behind-the-scenes POV by Derek Gedney