Thursday, August 10, 2006

8.10.06, In the Belly of a Large Marine Mammal

[1 pm] Slick City. Day two. Where do I begin? The arrival and the afternooon of the first day were, well, something to make one speachless. So I will remain speachless on that for now. In my infinite wisdom I had sat down the night before SL and prepared my weekly pill box organizer so that I would have all the drugs I need for morning, midday, afternoon, and evening—no mean task. The scene reminds me of a scene in book I of Art Spiegelman's MAUS, My Father Bleeds History, in which Art is sitting at his father's dinner table and inerviewing him on his experiences with the Holocaust. His father is simultaneously telling his history and filling his own pill box, carefully counting out his pills and making sure he gets the right kind, the right number, for the right day. At emotionally strenuous moments his father knocks over his pills and screws up the whole process, so he'll have to start over each time. The son offers to do the recounting but the father assures him it's too complicated, and that he himself is a pro at this.

So that was me two nights ago. I did the job, prepared everything, put the pill box on my desk, and then I got my bags together and left for the airport. Pills on the desk. Infinite wisdom in tact. Needless to say I had to make an emergency call to G, my savior (if only I pray to her and ask forgiveness my cancer will be taken away), and she fedexed the necessary items which I got this morning. Thank you cheebus. My chances for GI regularity, "regularity," are greatly enhanced now.

There is still the issue of emotional stability while one waits for a miracle inside a large marine mammal, streamlined and hairless with horizontal tailfin for swimming, and a blowhole. A difficult balance to maintain, gastric juices all around.... More to come.

Let's put the Franky Scale at 6 and moving, up we hope.


[begun at 9 pm, returned to after midnight] My mother, Frank, and I had dinner at the Market Street Broiler here in Salt Lake this evening. Rather cute, dare I say it?, to watch Frank and my mother flirting, Frank just being very polite, and so much less sassy that I, so that she could extol his virtues and mockingly chide me; she was happy to be out, to be free for those few moments,—I’m overstepping bounds here, but—free to be who she is and just sit back and relax for a little while, to talk about something besides “What’s for dinner?” and you know, sadly, the rest. Too, Frank has not see her for long enough and he’s civilized or well-bred (?) enough to ask the old questions, the basics, to get the old stories out, some of which I’d never heard before. A charmer. One resulted in the most quote worthy line of the evening, my mother speaking about her suitors when she was young: “Boy, I would show those boys who thought they were special. And I’d bite hard! . . . Come to think of it, I think some of them did like it.”

The comment is far better without all of context. Then the night moved into a comfortable slowness, watching clips of Triumph, what is he called, the offensive dog correspondent? Then job talk, politics, the ever depressing topic of US foreign policy, and the like.

Another day with no chemo drugs, that part is a joy. It’s far more pleasant to worry about “easy” pills like stomach protectants, anti-reflux pills, and the ever-present pain meds. Still there is the psychological dimension of pain meds, the paradox: you need to keep up to speed on them all the time, if the pain gets a head start it’s very hard to catch up and the time till you do is lost to enduring and waiting; but then you worry a bit about what it means to need to up your pain meds. I’m taking at least 60 mg a day now whereas I was taking only 40+ mg two months ago. Thinking about what it means to need to increase the dosage. And as the opiates increase the GI function becomes more problematic. Which adds another dimension. Which is what it is.

Once more, out of left field it might seem but I’ve been having experiences and thoughts to motivate this, I’d like to say an enormous thank you to all of you. For reading and commenting, for taking part in a journey that isn’t always fun, for being supportive, and basically just “being there” for lack of a better phrase. It means more to me than I can adequately say, so please just take the thanks. I wish there were more to give in return. You’re all huge.

With that goodnight till next time I can steal away to the keyboard again.


tossing salads said...

well thank all those people for getting your pills. vip's ya know! cant wait to see you. please enjoy and take care. love you

david said...

there's a new song, "Everyone seems to be going to Salt Lake City." Ok, not everyone. Some people are. Songs exaggerate that way to make a point. But our daughter and her husband were there a week or so ago, then drove on down to Colorado Springs. Which probably makes that the second verse of the song, "Lots of people driving down from SLC to Colorado Springs." But then some wise-ass wrote and asked, so what's that make the town, a mattress? Why not just call the town Box Springs instead? But what I'm gettin' at here (point! point!) is we had dinner with them last night, and they were saying how incredibly beautiful it is out there in SLC-land.

tossing salads said...

i know twice in one blog. but i just had to comment on what visit i had with mr. jones and mr. franky. i will tell all you dear readers and commenters, he looks good, he sounds good. for those whove never had the opportunity to hear mr. jones speak. its melodic (sp) so articulate and thoughtful and so funny, and has a wonderful sense of the absurd and the funny. my other thought is this is soooo fucked up! cheebus help me.