15 July 2012

there's that and there's this

July 15, 2012

The yarkiness lingered for an eighth day this round—a depressing little day it was.  Gone, it would seem, are the predictable yarks.  What’s interesting about the last couple days of chemical duress is that for all of their milder symptoms they are not more mildly annoying.  After five or six days of irrepressible sickness, you would think two or three days of lingering gripes would come as a relief to the bothered body.  And physically, it does.  The body feels its health encroaching like a slow tide to a parched shore.  The body reassembles its vitality like a storm-downed satellite reacquires its signal.  Yes, the body is notoriously smarter than the mind.  The mind takes that gnawing burn in the stomach to be the clutches of satanic claws.  The mind assumes that the least wooze is the largest war ever waged on the flesh of man.

So now, today, 48 hours clear of my last real complaint, the body once again tells my mind that it told me so.  And I am glad for being wrong in this case.  In this case, I say, because I yield reluctantly, because I already know, know for certain something my body cannot yet know.  Next time will be the killer.  Next time I will not recover.  Just let’s wait and see you obdurate scaffold of bone, you importunate tangle of arteries, you pig-headed labyrinth of entrails.  Just let’s wait and see.

So  . . . there’s that and there’s this:

Rounds 7 and 8, July and August, the dog days of summer rounds, are being brought to you by the good people at Tropical Smoothie.  That’s right . . . a sponsorship.  Thanks in large part to the unrivalled sociability of the ever-considerate Andrea Powell (I do not have her permission to name her in this blog, I’m sure she’d rather her benefactoring to proceed in graceful anonymity; but this is me shooting first, apologizing later) who struck up a conversation with the owner of my local smoothie joint one day while having lunch with her equally generous husband, Kevin (oops, that was a misfire, sorry Kevin).  At some point in the conversation, she brought-up my situation and how on chemo-days my smoothie-sipping hour is greatly anticipated and often the only symptom-relief I’ll have all day.  (I believe I have mentioned this in my journal before.  If not, it’s true—deliciousness deliquesces distemper.)

Whether the owner was moved by my story or Andrea’s gregariousness or both, I’m not sure, I wasn’t there.  I am sure that my friend secured a 10-day supply (two-months) of smoothies in the form of a gift card.  As you may or may not know, smoothies don’t come none cheap so I count this one of those proverbial blessings.

In summation of today’s post, I am still a whiny baby and I am still a fortunate man.

03 July 2012

for tommy and gina, keep rockin'

July 3, 2012

In the immortal words of the venerable Jon Bon Jovi: “Whoa! we’re halfway thay-yer!”

Six months down, six to go.  

My MRI yesterday showed continued progress.  If I say a “modicum” of progress, you won’t think me too pessimistic will you?  The problem with my flavor of tumor (oligodendroglioma) is (as I’ve said before but not like this) that it is a chameleo-contortionist.  By “chameleo-contortionist” I obviously do not mean that it lacks the ability to make-up terms in the blink of an eye.   I mean that the tumor is both gray and noodly—it mimics its host in both form and color so it is difficult to calculate its surface area.  There are distinctions, yes.  Mostly visible to the trained-eye.  The MRI contrast dye is useful in lightening the tumor as a few minutes heat will begin to make ashen the charcoal briquette.  But the perimeter of the tumor is smudged into the darker grays in much the same manner as Bob Ross gently drags his brush from a cozy rock into a happy stream—you know the difference between stone and water, but the closer you look, the more you’re not so sure.

In addition to the chameleo-contortionality of the tumor itself, there is another gray area in the gray area that is the gray area of surface area.  Scars.  From my brain-burn.  Radiation left its mark.  What looks like (indistinguishably, I gather) tumor also looks like scarred tissue which means , in theory, some of what appears to be tumor on the scans could be scarring.  So, in theory, I’m relieved.  In practice . . . well . . . I could do without either.

Nonetheless . . . progress—jot, tittle, or not—it’s all I’ve got.  And as the venerable wisdom prescribes:

“We gotta hold on to what we’ve got ” yea, even “hold on, ready or not” for verily “you live for the fight when it’s all that you’ve got” so dearly beloved, believe me when I say unto you . . . [skin-cinching, hair-prickling key-change] “WHOA, WE’RE HALFWAY THAY-YER!”