Thursday, September 07, 2006

9.07.06, Chemo Just Keeps Happening

[3:22 am]
Ambien works, on occasion. Temazepam seemed to work for a while. But not lately. So there are times when midnight bathroom, water, or popsicle breaks turn into more than I had planned. Like now. Nothing to report, no dreams, no impressions, no epiphanies. Just simple insomnia with a splash of nausea. Just a record of life's simplest events. Does is bore you to tears? It does me, though those tears I can usually hold back. What constitutes boredom? I used to feel very confident that boredom was impossible for me to experience. There was simply too much, always, to do. Now with my future out of joint, boredom does seem to hold its place occasionally. It's a surprise. Life's curves. It's rife with deep thinking, sructured around the avoidance of other thoughts, too often. It's often what brings me here after I've had my water, once my popsicle is finished.

So what does it all mean? Nothing, still. (You see, it's not just questions only, but answers too.) That remains the fact to face, the one that requires the most courage. And thinking of what I'll miss, this is part of the "boredom" thinking I experience sometimes now. If I'm feeling more buddhistic and enlightened then I can tell myself my attachments are mostly taken care of. That I'm close. The trivia having become just trivia, miinutiae minutiae. The days continue to roll out however. From a day of freedom to the next when my body is disciplined with toxic anti-cancer drugs. The days in between when my mind turns at times to wondering whether . . . whether it's working, how much it's working, whether it matters, or it's just a time-filler.

Yesterday I spoke with a good friend who's been out of the loop for a while, one with whom I share quite a few values, and it was odd to hear — don't look too hard for a seque here — her take on immortality. Not any religious kind, I assure you, but rather a good old-fashioned literary kind. Also a kind I've not held much faith in lately since I question the good of what's left behind that you as subject will not be able to read or evaluate. If there is any response you won't know. Is that a kind of immortality? No next life means, quite simply, lots of silence. Despite her confidence, and there's no reason to overestimate my abilities in this regard. This is not lament, nor metaphor, just observation, the return to a question that had slipped off-stage for quite some time. Why does it arise now? Because the strangest things come to fill the sleepless brain.

Enough somnambulant wandering on my part. It's only just a bit entertainment for those moments stolen from your work. Pieces of the random thrown into the record, if record this becomes. Other than that, life is still suffering, as if was before cancer too, and we just try to alleviate it as best we know how. Tomorrow day what, 22 of the chemo cycle, or 23, or does it matter? Another day it keeps moving. Hopefully with a little sleep between now and then. I hope no one's up to read this now.

BTW, a book recommendation in Korean. There is a newish book of poetry out in Korea called "Anak'ist'u (The Anarchist)" by Chang Sogwon, published this year by Munji. The latest in their unofficial "Wangtta" series. Go read it, those friends who are in Korea or have access otherwise. It points the way for much of what's solid and forward among the newest Korean poetic voices. And Sogwon is a great guy, too, which doesn't hurt. (Minjok Kodae!)

* * *

Every Thursday — was Tuesdays previously — the same thing happens. I wake up and wonder "Do I want to eat? Well I really should." and then "Do I want to get up? Not really, but what choice?" and I ask some similar questions as means of slowly getting my brain to work, my body clean enough to go out in public, then myself clothed and packed up so I can have that last five minutes to wait before Mme X comes to get me in her superhero car. Chemo just keeps on going, every week, seemingly with or without me.

It becomes habitual, as it feels it has already, but whenever that happens a surprise is usually waiting right around the corner, no? Hm. Better be good.

* * *

Lethargy sets in. Fatigue might be a better word for it, a benzodizapine induced physical whammy. I think there is no help for me but a serious spell checking and sleep. Bringing the Franky Scale somewhere off 5.

* * *

Not a lot to add today, in terms of today events, however I did have a conversation with the GI people from the UW Medical Center the day before that's worth recounting. They called to tell me I missed my EUS procedure for the NCPB, the nerve block to reduce my "belly" pain, as they kept putting it. I said "What procedure?" And realized that the size of the UW hospital and its nature due to that size unavoidably cause Kafka-esque problems. If I were quicker to think on my feet, I would have replied like K, "Ah yes, my procedure. How did it go? Do I feel better now? Was it successful?" Just to taunt the scheduler who processed "me," and decided my appt time, and scheduled me into the doctor's morning schedule without ever consulting the real me. Very interesting.

I informed her of this, to her confusion. Then we started over and I suggested that maybe if they actually planned it with me and found out if I wanted to do the procedure than we might get somewhere. So later I was called and it started over. I am pencilled in for Oct 2, Monday late morning. I refused the 7:20 slot since I want my doctor to be fully caffeinated and to be able to practice on a few people before he gets to me. Which means I think I'm going through with it. Low risk, relatively high success rate. All to the reduction of pain.


Slarry said...

Hey Spot:
Did you get your surprise around the corner?
If not, one is coming FEDEX tomorrow in the morning. You will love it.

Hope today went smoothly-- at least you had the company of Mme X to entertain and chat with.
I had no idea about the superhero car. I hope it matches your
cape. : )

We love and appreciate Mme X and send greetings from Zion. Hope to see you soon, as well.

Just big, fat wishes for No pain for you and smooth movements.
Get some good rest-- hopefully it will help with the lethargy and fatigue.

You are so so strong.

As always, much love.
My thoughts and heart are with you always.


tossing salads said...

thats part of the problem for me brother. is that most everyones life is so boring or the sameness. and you have never felt that way or thought your life would be that way cuz thats the way you have lived your life. which is way beyond cool. im sure you cant imagine how all of us live your lives this way forever ;) the other part of the dilema is you sometimes thinking about what youll be missing. as i try to not project my feelings and wanting to be here for you. thats the thoughts that i have. what well be missing without you when were all together. what your presence brings to those affairs. depressing the shit out of me. please keep fighting even tho you have the blaughs. i see it quite a bit with my patients. everyday for 3 months at a time for radiation. sometimes from different states, not seeing family, etc. and the wasting away of their bodies. just, at times, to much for me to bear. then i think of you and i renew my efforts to be their for them and what they are going thru. hoping that in some mysterious way a bolt of something will make it all go away. sorry about the no sleep and the uneasiness. would that i could. i love you and miss you.