Tuesday, May 23, 2006

5.23.06, A Day in the Cancer Life, Pt. 2, Daytime, or Shits and Giggles

[...zero, a P.P.S. Special greetings to friends in Maracaibo and Instanbul; based on guesses only but two songs to dedicate, to the former Skatalites' "Guns of Navarone" and to the former Tom Waits' "Telephone Call from Instanbul." Say hello to Uncle Hugo & fight the power, -Mr. J]

[...first, a P.S.: It's "Melfi," with an "e," I checked. Didn't we cover this already? And I suppose it's too confusing to have more than one Melfi, even though she's more metonym than reality. So I'll use "Dr. A" instead; sounds kind of Ian-Flemingish, the sinister villain! Of course, no one wants an evil villain to reduce their head size. -Mr. J]

Last time I covered what goes on every morning, today I’ll try to bore you with the trivial activities of the “average” day in the life. In a more creative mood this could be material for a list poem, but I’ve been an other-people’s-poetry groove (see below).

--Reading something: poetry here and there, but mainly fiction, e.g., Kafka, Faulkner, Burroughs, Hemingway even, then non-fiction Pascal, getting after him, Althusser, now I’ve decided he stands out as the most significant philosopher of the twentieth century, noteworthy because I’m not usually one to pick favorites, but his work appears in a more particular light to me now. Why is that, I wonder?

--Questioning my motivation to do everything, the consequences, why do it at all, what is worth doing, etc.

--Some doctor shit every day: shrink, labs (poop, blood, anemia, pneumonia, ulcers, fevers, ), or a nurse phone call, or the scheduler, or a mail-order pharmacy (forced by insurance, good enough though), going to the pharmacy

--A run. I still imagine running six days a week with my new day off being Tuesday since that’s the infusion chemo day during the weeks when I’m on cycle; the reality is more like five times a week because, so far, at least one extra day has been sucked away by maladjustment to the chemo afterdays, fevers, nausea, some hectic craziness that often involves physically having to head in to work, and so on.

--Related to Causes of Missed Runs, there is usually some rather pragmatic task that needs doing -- legal paperwork, you know; financial paperwork, not that I have a lot; some school-related tasks which I’ve already pissed and moaned about, & btw, who uses the profile name “Piss and Moan” to post comments? I wonder…

--No poetry being written during this period. It could be my Blue Period…? Some other color? Struggle Period? I should think of a name for it. I’ll take suggestions for a really good title to this phase of my life, you can all post them in the comments section; the winner will get something special -- I’ll let the winner decide what! -- then I will break my dry spell by writing a piece that uses that as its title. (It’s like a daytime activity for overgrown toddlers with rhyming dictionaries.)

--At least three or four times a week I try to get to one of my cafes to do some work or just read.

--Libido check ☺.

--Musing about nearly-complete projects: primarily, one chapbook, one full-length book of poetry translated and just waiting to be “sold,” one academic book nearly done, thoughts of a narrative version of “A Foreshortened Life” or some such thing…

--Phone call to my mom, I’ve become an official Mama’s Boy. My mom would be so proud.

--I usually always get in some Music Appreciation time, as long as I’m home or in my office: most recent sessions, Tom Waits, Brad Mehldau, Erik Satie (earlier misspelled first name), Monk, The Clash, The Mekons, Elvis Costello, Counting Crows (mostly only when Frank was here).

--Some blog writing & writing a more extended piece about Pascal’s Wager and the period when I came across it at 18, though I didn’t know who Pascal was then nor did I know the formal aspects of or reasons for the Wager; and so, now I’ve been writing about the uncanny making of the Wager on my part, then, and the consequences of my act -- it all leans toward a critique of Pascal an the notion of a rational choice approach to belief /or faith/ in God.

--Trying to keep medical bills and records in some semblance of order.

--I try to talk to one friend or family member for a bit every day, more than a few minutes.

--Hydrating, attempting to stay hydrated; eating, same scenario; and pill taking, which can get complicated with anywhere from 10 to 20+ different pills or times for taking them, depending on where I am in the chemo cycle and what the day’s symptoms / side effects are. This can get complicated when affected by “chemo brain” and though keeping a chart or list would make very good sense, I still just record it all after the fact and rely on memory to get it done.

--A few times a week, also, I watch DVDs on the new TV left by the Easter Bunny.

--There’s almost surely one bout of “sudden” fatigue every day, so when it arrives I try to nap or chill somehow deal with it.

Overall, it’s just shits and giggles. Kisses from Seattle. Time to head out this morning for my infusion. Pick a good book so you can hold it and not really read but kind of sleep and loll about instead. AND, don't forget the period/poetry naming contest!

Franky Scale: 6


piss & moan said...

you're not really wondering who "piss & moan" is, are you? my guess is that you already know. ;)

here's my submission for the contest! i hope i win, but was wondering if there's a runner-up prize? you know me. always looking for a prize (even last place) :) ok. here goes:
-rather simple, but...

"Protonix Man's Imbroglio - the caped adventures"

don't flunk me!!! you can edit it...you prob will, professor!!!

david said...

Gobbled by the BLOG.

(A post disappeared.)

In Fusion

Atomic Power

... maybe too close to Protonix Man?

lefty said...

i like david....witty.
Bloggeled by the GOB.

hi spottie. i just sent off a fed ex for you-arrival time is tomorrow morning. look for a fed ex envelope full of love.

can i read the pascal's wager piece? your take on the Wager would be so interesting at this point in your life. i don't mean to sound nonchalant about this/your reality but your ability to create at this point is amazing-just like you've always been. are you seriously "wagering"? now, that will be an interesting conversation. i can't wait.

so, what to think about the melfi and the chaplain? strange assumption on your melfi's part.

i can't wait to see you again.
true love always :)

Frarella said...


the feds found you - i found the diss copywrite letter. I'll pass it on. Also found the dsyphoric version of HARD CANDY! I've been reading "A Transient Nihilist" I'm in NY with mad honeys - should be in paperback soon. love you bro ---- page 279 - oh the guilt! (5) The kitchen - your back pain - it was with you then! MotherFucker!

MsDean2 said...

I am not even going to try to pretend to enter the contest, we all know I suck at this.. besides I know the competition.

Besides sending hugs and kisses, wanted to pass this along; live music Elvis Costello & the Imposters with special guest Allen Toussaint
Sunday, June 25 - 7:00 PM

tossing salads said...

sorry about not commenting for a few days. its been very hectic, havent even been able to read. loved the poetry on previous blog. have not read that one. you never cease to amaze me bro. i know that ive had to deal with things and keep everything 'straight' i know the challenges to find enjoyment, reasons to do. but its the strength of character that comes out in times like these and your doing a job that any mother would be proud (reference 'mommas boy' ;)) im not sure about this wager but ill ponder a title, thought you know im not very creative. hope infusion was infusing.

love and shits and giggles

spacely said...

Hi Spot ...just saw mom she says hello and so does dad. I'm obviously no good at writing, but it's one of many ways to keep in touch. Hope I didn't disturb you too much yesterday but it's always good to hear your voice even if I am deaf! Your little nephew totally killed his solos on his sax last night. I was so proud you will have to have a listen. Over and out luv u ( I guess my new name is nut?)

piss & moan said...

i've learned that the term "imbroglio" can take on different meanings, esp. in the literary world...the definition i referred to was that of the original latin word, "in broglio"-"entangled in a bush". hope i didn't raise eyebrows or anything.
p.s. mr. jones? was wondering if you rec'd my letter? if not, i need to "correct" the situation; if so, what's wrong? were you offended? i hope not.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that one who spends his precious time thinking about Pascal's wager and the meaning for his own life doesn't use the same decision analysis approach when choosing how to spend his disposable income...