Hotel Art

As Friday’s post featured a few works of art at the Radiotherapy Clinic, this post shows some of the art I’ve enjoyed being around at my hotel during this therapy time. It’s not a replacement for visiting the closed museums, but it is always enjoyable to be around good artwork anytime and anywhere!

Breakfast Bar Art

And a short slide show of more . . .

Continue reading “Hotel Art”

Clinic Art

With most museums closed for the pandemic and me now low on energy, it looks like I won’t be visiting Art Museums in San Jose during radiation. so I will share today just a few of the art pieces I photographed with cellphone at the clinic and tomorrow some more from the hotel.

These are from the waiting rooms and treatment hallway. I didn’t go into the doctors’ offices.

And in the parking lot I consider this sign a type of art: 🙂

TRANSLATION: We are life expectancy, for the cancer patient. Twenty-first Century Radiotherapy – Or most here translate “esperanza” as “hope,” making this “hope of life” but my online dictionary considered the context and used “expectancy” as a more modern translation. Languages cannot be translated word for word in every case. Spanish speakers know what it means! 🙂

And at 2:30 this afternoon I get the stitches removed from my left eyelid. Hoping for minimal pain.

¡Pura Vida!


Yep! Today, Wednesday, 19th of May 2021, I am halfway through my cancer radiation therapy and already on the downhill side of the mountain! 🙂 I will get 33 treatments and today was #17, a half treatment over the hill! 🙂

The photo is of the computer screen where I check in each day with my patient electronic card that I swipe over that little black box’s red screen that pulls up my name and appointment time, etc. This info also goes back into the treatment room where the therapists are thus notified that I’m entering the second waiting room for patients only.

Patient check-in station, Twenty-first Century Radiotherapy, San Jose, Costa Rica

For those not knowing Spanish, “Por favor, aguarde a ser llamado. Muchas gracias.” means “Please wait to be called. Much thanks.” They call me in over a PA system when ready. Depending on who calls, they call for “Mister Charles.” or “Señor Charles” or “Don Charles.” These young therapists are very professional, kind, friendly and helpful in every way, making it a much more pleasant experience.

Now before any of that, I walk up to the outside door and wash my hands at an outside sink with a hand soap dispenser. Then I am allowed in where my temperature is taken and of course I am wearing a mask – all part of the national Covid protocols. I will be doing the above electronic check-in just 16 more times now! 🙂

On the walk back to hotel today, two parakeets squawked congratulations to me from a telephone line! 🙂 Too high for good cellphone photos, but here’s a try:

Continue reading “Halfway!”

More Skilled Technicians

Yesterday’s post presented one team of skilled professionals who are administering my radiation treatments – that was Friday and this team was Monday, yesterday. I haven’t learned their shifts or schedules yet, but both of these pairs have worked on me and there may be others before this is finished! 🙂

Note that both yesterday and today the girls are wearing sweaters. It is pretty cold in that room because of the big computerized radiation machine which has to stay at a certain temperature without any humidity. It is cold for me too but I’m not in there as long as them. 🙂

Radiation therapists with my mask which now has a larger nose-hole because it was scrapping my nose.

It is noteworthy that Costa Rica’s higher education (free) leads all Latin American countries in training their young people for many different professions like this.

¡Pura Vida!

Skilled Technicians

And I almost added “young” to the headline, but then everyone seems young to me now! 🙂

Every day they help me get on that table and screw this mask over my face to the table. Then they carefully position my body in perfect alignment with the machine’s image of my head, then the computer does the rest of the work in two 30 second scans of the left side of my face and neck targeting certain programmed areas with cancer-killing radiation.

And by the way,

Costa Rica Beats the USA in Soccer (Again!)


¡Pura Vida!

Tired and Tasteless

Well, that second adjective is probably not used correctly, but I like alliterations! 🙂

By the end of the third week of radiation I am more tired than ever. And none of my food has a taste or very much of one. Over the weekend a neighbor brought me a spicy soup that had more flavor than most things now. And this is perfectly normal as radiation progresses. But they say in 5 or 6 weeks after completing treatments I will regain my taste. And I’m also sleeping later and later every morning with even nap in the day.

The photo was made by the technicians (their photo coming tomorrow) of me right after I completed the treatment Friday and put my shirt back on but no mask or eye patch! Just the one-sided smile! 🙂

Me in front of the big radiation machine by my treatment mask & table.

And you may have missed the post with me getting the treatment.

¡Pura Vida!

Oxen Art

At one point in the early 2000’s it seemed to have been a popular community art project to create a bunch of statues of something representing a community or state and have an art contest with local painters. Well, that was done in Costa Rica sometime prior to 2009 and the oxen animal (not the more famous ox cart) was chosen. A winner is chosen with his/her cash prize and then all the entries become “Public Art” placed around town in parks or other public places or businesses and individuals can buy with a large donation to “Public Art” in that community. (See below how that was done 3 times during my years in Nashville.)

Long story short, one of the “Art Ox” ended up in the gardens of Best Western Irazú it was called then, now Best Western Plus San Jose. FYI, that is coffee beans painted on the side of the oxen and the basket he is figuratively eating out of is one of the traditional coffee bean picking baskets used by workers to harvest coffee beans when ripe. The only other painted ox I have photographed was at Hampton Inn Airport and I can’t find that photo.

Ox Art, Best Western Plus, San Jose, Costa Rica

A Similar Public Art Project in Nashville 3 times

And with those three contests and additions of art I managed to photograph most if not all of the entries which are now public art like the oxen here in Costa Rica:

It is fun to live in places when neat things like these art projects happen! Just a small part of my many memories of 37 years in Nashville!

More Art in Costa Rica Galleries

¡Pura Vida!

“I love it when a plan comes together!”

Back when there were some really funny sitcoms on TV, one had a military (I thinks) team with unusual problems to solve in funny ways as a comedy. (May have been “Hogan’s Heroes?”) And after a quick, bizarre and hilarious way of solving their problem, they always ended with the Captain, Colonel or whatever saying “I love it when a plan comes together!”

I earlier told you about the plethora of “little problems” that were driving me crazy, one of which was my CPAP machine breaking down and the problems of ordering from the states and getting “medical equipment” through Customs here. Then I remembered my new favorite doctor, a geriatrics specialit, Dr. Coto. He had already solved a couple of problems that other docs were not helping me with, so why not the CPAP machine? There has to be a way to get one locally here in San Jose where I’m stuck for awhile. So Monday I checked his online appointments schedule and he had one vacant spot Tuesday which I took. Scheduling docs is quick and easy here! 🙂

He asked what brand I preferred and typed it in his computer, then where to get in San Jose, all in Spanish of course! He got to the screen of Anca médica with phone & web address and told me to photograph with my phone. This morning I called them and the receptionist transferred me to the salesman who spoke English (I can do in español but slow and painful for all). Francisco got on the phone and to make a long story short he delivered my new CPAP machine to the hotel by 4, bringing a therapist to adjust everything for me to get back on it tonight. It costs more than in the states because of Customs taxes, but it is them and not me having to deal with Customs! 🙂 And I will sleep better tonight! 🙂

My latest CPAP Machine from a company in San Jose

Dr. Coto also quizzed me about other health issues and he solved another problem because of his knowledge of practical things. He is not close to where I live, but he is now my new GP Doctor. 🙂 Yes! A geriatrics doctor as my main doc! It’s what I get for being old! 🙂

“Sometime things have to go wrong to go right. “

Sherrilyn Kenyon

¡Pura Vida!

Empty Nest

It could be either good news or bad news, and I hope good news! I just read that a baby Yigüirro can fly at one week of age (they were older) and are usually independent by three weeks old, thus, even if motivated a little early by the noise and lights of a rock concert Saturday night, I think they flew away and are safe somewhere.

Below is what the nest looks like mid-day Monday from Room 407 and the second photo what it looked like mid-day Friday from the same Room 407. The concert was Saturday night with the band only 30 meters away. so if the birds were still there then, the band could certainly have been their motivation to “grow up” and fly away. 🙂 I hope so! We will probably never know. But still glad I left my “nest” before the concert! Or I might have tried to fly away too. 🙂

Empty Nest Monday Mid-day
Full Nest Friday Mid-day

Other Birds at Best Western San Jose

¡Pura Vida!

Take an Urban Walk with Me

These are some of the houses and businesses that are along my 650 meter walk every day from the hotel to Radioterapia Siglo XXI clinic for my radiation treatments. Bear in mind that in the early days this neighborhood, called Uruca, was a “suburb” of downtown San Jose, a 10+ minute drive away now.

A mostly residential walk.

As in most urban development, some residential slowly turns to business and this neighborhood is no exception. I thought some readers would enjoy seeing what urban houses in this part of Latin America look like today. As a point of comparison, note that Costa Rica tends to be more modern and less traditional than Latin countries like Guatemala and Mexico. On this walk there is only one old house that would be considered “Spanish Colonial” with the tile roof and high compound wall. I think the neighborhood is interesting, but to help you not be bored, it’s a fast-moving slide show 🙂

Continue reading “Take an Urban Walk with Me”