Being thankful for suffering
I recently listened to a podcast and the interviewee was talking about one of his early mentors who was a doctor working with leprosy patients in India. He commented on how leprosy, the oldest recorded disease, is also one of the most feared because it robs the body of pain. Those patients lack the body's basic alarm system that tells them not to touch something hot or, even worse, that tiny impulse that makes them involuntarily blink every few seconds. Without that, their eyes dry out and millions of leprosy patients go blind because of it. The doctor said that [……]Continue reading →
Five years ago today I walked out of the Markey Cancer Center after my final radiation treatment. It was strangely bittersweet. I was certainly glad to be at the end of that journey and to get on with the business of healing, especially given the state my mouth was in at the time. I could see a light at the end of that cancer tunnel and that was encouraging. But there was another side of that coin.
Every day for six weeks I had been going through this routine and I had grown accustomed to it. I had subjected myself to [……]Continue reading →
Life Goes On
The only source of knowledge is experience.
La La, How the life goes on
John Lennon & Paul McCartney
You know, I'm gonna stop apologizing for taking so long between posts. Apparently, I'm immune to my own shaming so it's kinda pointless. Suffice it to say, however, that this time it was due to some technical difficulties and leave it at that. (That said, I really do want to post more frequently.)
This one's just going to be a quick life update but, during the aforementioned delay, I've been formulating my thoughts for a meatier (meteor?) post which will happen soon. [……]Continue reading →
Clean as a Whistle
In the fire that ignites my bones
It's in the water that brings life to my soul
It's in the blood that washes me clean
Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.
Cormac McCarthy — "All the Pretty Horses"
I went back into the office today after working at home for the past three months or so. It was good, I guess, to get back to something more normal but I gotta be honest. I'm gonna miss working from home. It's a pretty sweet gig. Hanging out in either jeans — or some days [……]Continue reading →
Vegetables and Broiled Meat
And my skin is burning with the fire of the world
Sometimes my eyes are tricking me
But when the words of His song
Are singing through the birds
I can't help but die, so He can take me higher
Burlap to Cashmere — "Skin is Burning"
Fast food feels fuzzy
'Cuz it's made from stuff that's scuzzy
I always thought I was such a nerd
I refuse to touch that strange bean curd
The Beets (from "Doug") — "Killer Tofu"
So. We're a month out from the end of treatments and everything seems to be going pretty well. The doctors and [……]Continue reading →
And there was much rejoicing...
Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little
now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.
Celebrate good times, come on!
Kool & The Gang
Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.
Dory — "Finding Nemo"
By all rights, this should have been written last Thursday afternoon but I got distracted. There was probably something shiny involved. BUT…
Treatments are over!
That's right. No more pumping drugs into my veins. No more sticking my head in the giant microwave.
I still have the aftermath to deal with, mind you. The side effects are still going strong and causing their [……]Continue reading →
Just tell me the truth
I'm not a baker. I don't sugarcoat things.
That's the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.
John Green — "The Fault in Our Stars"
Doctors, I've learned, seem to have a flair for understatement.
At least the ones I've been dealing with do. Here's a prime example. Everyone told me that my mouth and throat would get sore from the radiation and that it would be very difficult if not impossible to eat anything. That's why we put in the feeding tube — so I could still have a way to get nutrition in case it got that bad. But [……]Continue reading →
Good Days and Bad Days
If you had a different attitude
You'd still have good days and bad days
Kaiser Chiefs — "Good Days Bad Days"
You take the good, you take the bad,
You take them both and there you have
The facts of life.
When you're going through treatments like this you have good days and bad days. Yesterday was a bad day.
To be fair, up until now they have mostly been good. Up until now these treatments have been more like things that I had to do every day before I went back to being mostly normal. Intellectually I knew why, of course, but [……]Continue reading →
Medications and Emotions
You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease
Michael Guglielmucci — "Healer"
We are stretched to make room for wholeness.
Treatments started last week. A week ago today, to be exact. Today marks the beginning of week two. And all in all I can say, so far so good. Obviously I can't make any pronouncements about the entire process at this point. It is, after all, only one week. And the first of several, at that. Everyone involved, including common sense, has said that the first couple weeks [……]Continue reading →
Healing is not linear.
But we're O.K.
In old Bombay
It wasn't really my intent for this to become the Cancer Update Blog. There are other things to write about but this has been so seemingly all-encompassing that I've not spent much time thinking about them enough to put together a coherent thought stream about them, much less a decent blog post. Plus, I know that several of you use this as your only way to keep informed about what's going on with that aspect of my life so I'll gladly oblige.
Since last time, I [……]Continue reading →