Friday, November 10, 2006

11.10.06 Daze and Continue, Dysphoria

Things continue, this series of most bizarre events that I don't doubt any more, nor do I stand in relation of denial to, but still these which I cannot help but wonder at, stupidly. How? Not so much, as: Still?

Franky Scale, 6. Where else can the scale go. Number wise. I can't go too low for fear that I'll instill fear (in you), also for fear that I'll run out of room when the numbers need to take a dive in order to more accurately reflect the overreality of what I'm going through. The range of too low(er) is for later. So, that is the daze. Not that "this can't be happening," but "jesus, this is still going on, and there does seem to be a progression to it."

More thought on this. I only wanted to pass on a few end of week words and give a number. Further, there is not much to report on my condition, other than that it continues. There have been many more questions of late about "how I'm doing" — supposedly this is becuase I've been trying the glyconutrients and people are curious to know whether things are better — but I still can't offer much new information. No marked improvements, nor significant changes to pass on. Except the biggest visible change which is the spots or the acne-like bumps I now have about my face and neck. That's a change? A positive one, who knows? It means that at least one of the new drugs in this chemotherapy regimin is having some effect, but what kind of effect?

Like so much life, come more truisms, it's simply of matter of wait and see. Live another day and see how it stacks up to the day before. For me, it feels like the series of days merely increases or continues and their nature as an unbroken string of more or less the same becomes an increasing or continued tedium. Dramatic change for the worse wouldn't solve the problem, of course, but some change . . . I wish I had something more for you.

For now, another Friday, another weekend, another . . . I'll be off to see a Beckett play this weekend — there I will see if I can't rekindle some of that good old existential angst I used to enjoy so much. What used to be such a crucial yet live-giving inconvenience now stands on a far horizon (if the horizon can stand behind one), a figure draped in nostalgia, a figure I'd like to say that is beckoning. But is it? Existential angst, who would have thought this could be missed? Who would have thought there could be so much comfort in a subject-constituting dis-ease or un-ease, in the constant waiting for a guy name Godot . . . who might not even be a guy for all we know?

Existential dysphoria, or gender dysphoria, or cogito dysphoria, or all of the above. What precisely am I getting at? Good question. Hopefully it will produce some angst in attemtps at the answering.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

11.08.06 Shaking Your Head from Side to Side

About all one can do after seeing the Democrats with their success last night, and still this morning. Rumsfeld's departure, apart from being 6 years late, was the best goddam thing that's happened in US politics in a long time. That raises my Franky Scale a full point, regardless of my health. I just read that Bob Woodward book that came out recently, State of Denial, and the thing outlines Rumsfeld's below-the-belt, unethical, sucker punch Machiavellianism quite effectively. Reading it was a strange exercise in slow masochism. One of the greatest problems, I'd say ethically but many of you might call it morally, with this — he never gave two shits about how many lives his megolomaniacal decisions and behavior cost. He was a breed apart.

Let the subpoenas begin!

A different note. One point up on the quality of life for a day. I'd been planning of writing about a new side effect — some genuinely exciting blog news, right? Something I thought a few of you would want to follow, however. As a result of one of my new drugs, I believe it's the oxaliplatin (or is the targtargetedrapy drug tarceva? I'd better check), I've been getting some increasingly sensitive skin issues. Acne like spots appearing to provide me with a (false) bloom of youth, reddish blotches too. The latter are small enough to look almost like acne, and both types of spots, if left alone, are inconspicuous enough to not cause a stir, but rather they seem to give me more color. Or just draw a second glance.

Why do I focus on this? One reason is that I was warned about it, but also told that -if- these side effects occur there is a greater likelihood the drug is working. No promises, mind you. We never get those. But I definitely have the side effects and they are conspicuous enough for me. Therefore I'm hoping for some positive effect from that one drug at least. To have some success in my treatment/s right now would be quite a pleasant surprise.

After the shake-up of Washington's primary evil cabal (yeah, don't get too comfy with the Dem's either I'd say), maybe there is some bit of room to hope. In any event, I almost shit myself this morning when they threw in the bit about resignation among the standard election talk.

Franky Scale = 7.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

11.07.06 Update..Hope for Elections....?

OK, who knows about the elections? We're all hearing the predictions and the worries, the hopes that there might be some alternative to the Republico-Fascist powers that be. Just go vote, or send in your ballot. The gesture that seems increasingly futile on the one hand is all we've got, for the moment, on the other.

For me, let's say Franky Scale is 6ish. There's been some lesser discomfort lately — both a good and a bad thing — which I think is coming from the "new" bed, the standard expensive mattress option that I recently went for. Sore shoulders and strangeness from not being able to sleep on my back or front. All, I hope, just minor adjustments of learning how to sleep and get by under my "new" circumstances.

Now, I've been offline for a few days, quite busy with this graduate student's PhD defense that took place yesterday. She passed, by the way. Congratulations to you! It was great to see, to have that bit of progress, to have someone's life take a positive step forward. And though I wasn't able to play an enormous role in the process, it was immensely satisfying to help out a bit. Passing on something like mentoring, some kind of knowledge through experience: these things have taken on a new importance to me now that my capacities to contribute are diminished. Which is all to say, though it was physically very challenging to stand up and post yesterday, it was good.

And the point of that paragraph, as it began, was to say that though I've been offline, my guilt-trip about overwhelming response post had some effect. I did get a long comment from Slarry, surprise :-), more questions, and requests to fill in gaps in my story of late. The overall story hasn't changed, the treatments are largely the same, the issues of pain and managing life are similar, but I suppose there are some details that are new.

The glyconutrients, I don't know. Do they work? No one will know that, unless there is some "miracle" that occurs. So I can't say I'd recommend them, nor for what. Nor can I really take the time to tell people how they're supposed to work or why they are worth me trying them. That's not a satisfying answer, I'm sure, but all I can offer for now. I suppose any of you can request info (they have these DVD infomercial things) from, but beware of the sales pitch and the MLM craziness. I know "hope" is a good thing, but make mistake that these people lose their rationality and they definitely try to sell it to you. Their slogan is "Hope, Health, Opportunity." But if you watch the infomercials, they give you the impression that it's really just about health and hope for relief from disease.

Do we fault them? They're capitalists like most of the rest of us; or like all of us in terms of our socioeconomic participation. It'd be great to escape that enchanted, evil loop, but I, too, need to rely on the traditional medical establishment; I, also, need their drugs, their treatment, their medical degrees. So it goes. We may make a bit of history but only within the situations we're given. Anyway, I take these supplements now almost every two hours.

I still do chemotherapy too. Despite the fact that some of the MLM people say things like "That'll kill ya faster than the cancer. You should rely only on glyconutrients." Well, when it's your life on the line, you do it then. But please stop telling me about it. Chemo does suck, you're right, side effects like nausea, diarrhea, no appetite, wasting away, depression no doubt, etc. But it's also the only route that has any empeempiricaldence that it has helped some people, to some degree. My first round of chemo, at least, brought me a few extra months. That wasn't from taking extra multivitamins. Not to say the latter will be worthless, but they have to be part of a larger integrative approach. Do what's known to "help," even if only a little, and also do what is more risky and unproven.

So I haven't given all the details, I've stayed away from the increasingly complex psychology I experience daily, there are appointments I haven't described, but it's an update none the less.