Recently in cancer Category

Trying to be Like Ryan Gosling

[ This entry originated » here. It's a long story. ]

» Owie when Swallowing a Twizzler

Two weeks ago I was eating a piece of red Twizzlers twists (.. because I was trying to be like Ryan Gosling. I mean, what guy isnt? But there are some people that you simply cannot hang with) ..

.. when I swallowed and felt something in my throat hurt pretty badly. Like something jabbed me in my throat .. from the inside.

Twizzlers

I'm not sure if a piece of Twizzler got caught in there when I swallowed, but my throat was definitely hurting.

Perhaps I turned my head when I swallowed. I have some radiation scarring in there, so anything to do with my throat, such as talking and swallowing, is not as simple as it is for most people.

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This Election Killed Gwen Ifill

Rad note » this entry originated from another page. It was moved here to warrant its own, separate entry for reasons that are hard to describe.

At the end of this entry (that you're reading now) I have included a link that will return you to the exact spot from where this entry originated. Here ya go ...

» This Election Killed Gwen Ifill

Oh, look .. this election killed Gwen Ifill. She was only 61. I very much enjoyed watching the news with her.

» Throwing Up Blood

I went to the doctor myself today .. one of my doctors, anyway. I have been throwing up blood.

If you cough up blood, then they get excited. But if you are merely throwing up blood .. eh, not so much.

They gave me some purple pills and told me to try to eat more regularly.

Chemo does a number on your gut. My gut has never been the same since chemo .. especially that last one. It kicked me squarely in the balls.

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» Saw my radiation oncologist today .. to review the results of Friday's [ "most-important-test-of-your-life" ] PET scan. "How are you feeling?" he asked. "You tell me," I said. "What should I be feeling? What's the PET scan say?"

Butterfly Emerging from its CocoonThe Rad Butterfly Emerges from Treatment Cancer-Free

"Negative."

What a beautiful word. I love that word.

Both my arms shot straight up. Touchdown!

Cancer-free, baby!

Some folks might argue that I just passed the » biggest test of my life.

I have always been good at taking tests. Far back as I can recall. A chance to show my stuff .. to show what I know. To dazzle the professor.

Math and physics is where I can do this best. Tho none of these merely academic tests came with consequences quite so dire.

» First Things First

First thing I did when I got out of there was to call my son .. cuz I wanted him to know that .. just because I havent seen very much of him lately ..

.. doesnt mean that he's not important to me.

"I wanted to call you first, Pun'kin, and let you know. Tell mom for me. Now I'm gonna call everybody else .. and tell them the good news."

But before leaving the exam room, I told my oncologist that it was difficult for me to adequately express my gratitude [ uh, cuz so much is involved. i mean, what do you say to a man who saves your life? ] but that I didnt wanna let that stop me from saying that I do indeed appreciate him and the entire Moores organization.

Dude, I *do* appreciate them. Very much so. You cannot imagine.

The Scream by Edvard Munch (1893)I mean, you walk into their life with cancer .. and walk out withOUT it.

That is a very cool skill set .. I dont care who you are. They are literally saving lives.

"Come back and see me in 4 months," he said, shaking my hand. "We'll do another scope exam."

I also left a brief message for my ENT surgeon, who was the one who called me and told me that the biopsy was positive and that I had cancer. My message » Four-month PET scan negative.

Back when I was first diagnosed .. and my ENT surgeon said » "Seven weeks of radiation & chemo. If it's still hot, it needs to come out."

The phrase "come out" there refers to » surgery. So today's "all clear" means » no surgery. No knife. No slash.

Perfect Timing to Celebrate » Cancer Survivor Week (Beginning June 1st)

And just in time for next week's Cancer Survivor Week, which begins Monday, June 1st.

UCSD Moores Cancer Survivor Week Begins June 1st

I am soo happy. So relieved. Downright elated.

Tho of part of me is now very tired. You cannot relax very well you are are fighting cancer and dealing with the effects of the (brutal) treatment regimen. That part of me feels like it could sleep for two weeks.

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Cancer's Mind-Torquing Existential Threat

Rad note » this entry originated from another page. It was moved here because the subject drifted far enough to warrant its own, separate page, which lets me focus on and reference more easily the concepts under discussion here.

At the end of this entry (that you're reading now) I have included a link that will return you to the exact place from where this entry originated. Here ya go ...

And if all this sounds too strange, too bizarre, then we can always blame it on the chemo.

» The Effects of Existential Trauma Visited Upon the Cancer Patient

FrankensteinSure, I jest about the effects that chemo has on the brain ..

.. but do not think that I havent been observing the effects of this whole cancer dealy-o .. on my writing.

From a certain perspective I am an observer in what I do. (We all are, to a degree.)

Before treatment began, I was wondering out loud what effect "chemo brain" would have on my ability to write.

To focus. To concentrate. (Which takes mental energy.) To weave an intelligent, cogent narrative. Because I didnt know.

And this might be a good spot to mention that .. the thing with cancer that you deal with .. beyond the physical shitiness that comes from the treatment ..

.. the thing that you are really dealing with .. is an existential threat. An existential question posed by presence of (via diagnosis) the cancer » Will you live or will you die?

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Rad note » this entry originated from another page. It was moved here because the subject drifted far enough to warrant its own, separate page, which also lets me reference more easily the concept under discussion here.

At the end of this entry (that you're reading now) I have included a link that will return you to the exact place from where this entry originated. Here ya go ...

» Treating Myself for Completing a Difficult 7-Week Cancer Treatment

We need to reward ourselves for completing these major life challenges. So that's what I did .. for completeing perhaps the hardest thing I've ever done .. by ordering Joseph Frank's bio condensation on Dostoevsky (2009).

Dostoevsky | A Writer in His Time (2009) by Joseph FrankI've been wanting that bio for years now.

Joseph Frank (1918-2013, same years as Mandela, btw, with dual professorships at both Princeton and Stanford) ..

.. spent 30 years researching Dostoevsky the writer ..

.. from the early 1970's to the early 2000's). Researching a fascinating character, if you ask me.

Frank even learned the Russian language so he could gaze more deeply into Dostoevsky's world and his art. (That's dedication.)

Joseph Frank never intended to be Dostoevsky's biographer. No, sir. Rather he was simply (like me) reading a copy of Notes from Underground ..

.. when he noticed something about the novel. About the writing. About its subject.

"This Dostoevsky guy .. his writing .. there's something about it .. I cant quite put my finger on it, tho. Maybe I should look a little closer. Oh, lookie there .. aint that some shit. Wow. He's even more interesting than I thought."

That is exactly what happened to me. So, in that sense, I feel a certain kinship with Mr Frank, or at least, with his experience of reading Dostoevsky.

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