Cancer Treatment Ends and Recovery Begins

Hi. This is what happened, on some levels, during the last week of my treatment and the three and a half weeks since. The good news is they all say I’m doing great, except for the medical oncologist, the one in charge of the chemo. She pointed out that I’d lost weight, and that my white counts were low, so I need to do something about that. Well, I have been, gained a bit of weight since then.  I mentioned that sort of “pilly” vibe to another of the doctors, and was advised that that was kind of par for the course, any #2 doctor on a team was going to tend to go strictly by the numbers. Generally only peers will argue. When I was a chiropractor working in an office I encountered all sorts of fanciful invisible fences in the way we treated each other that I’ve mostly managed to avoid in most of my life. Anyway, the … Read more

Cancer Treatment, Fifth Week

They way it’s been is I see the radiation Doc who’s supervising the treatment and right afterwards some new side effect starts to develop. In this case, after the Wednesday appointment of the fourth week my saliva started to get thick and ropy. It got to a point of I’ll call it moderate intensity and stayed there. I can still swallow but it begins to be a chore. Appetite decreased. Diet has been going toward liquid. Soups, juices, commercial nutrient shakes. I can still chew, but it’s a chore. Lost about 10 pounds in 5 weeks. Abdomen is experiencing periods of minimal queasiness. I’m supposed to wait for “severe nausea” to take compazine. This isn’t even quite nausea. But going in that direction. White cells and platelets are down but “not too bad.” They are suspending one of the chemo drugs, taxol, because they don’t like one of my liver numbers. This will slightly change the possibility of metastases in … Read more

Cancer Treatment Update

We’re three weeks and 4 days in on a six and a half week course. They’re doing radiation on my throat 5 days a week and chemo once a week. The Taxol chemo has a possible side effect of peripheral neuropathy, which is altered sensation in the fingers and toes. To forestall that we used ice gloves and booties. First time we went straight through for an hour and a half. That was rough. I devised a meditative “distraction” routine: breathe this way, then that way, etc. and then we were convinced that we could take breaks. So next time we went twenty minutes ice then five minutes break. Stopped being a problem. Then this last blood test the bilirubin was high so they suspended the Taxol for next week, so we won’t need to use cold gloves anyway. The big difference in the first two weeks was the time. It’s been basically twelve hours per week of doctor stuff. … Read more

I Have Cancer

11/20/2022 The health stuff. As I wrote before, the responses have ranged from “I don’t want details” to “Give me details.” This is my middle of the road response. “If there’s anything I can do…” some of you have written. Yes, buy stuff. Keep that wheel turning. Now: what’s happening here. Yes, it’s cancer. Throat cancer. The “better” kind. Very treatable, they say. They’ve decided that they’ll give me radiation and chemo for 6 weeks. There are side effects. Not all people have them, or some of them. Some have permanent problems. You can’t really tell until you do it. There are non-standard treatments for the cancer. The ones I looked into have anecdotal data only. It’s difficult to get data about how often they didn’t work. I’m kind of not interested in those. My treatment team told me I should keep doing everything I can do as long as I can. I can go out to to the post … Read more

Feeling Drawn To

Artists Hands Drawing a Robot

When I was a kid, I felt drawn to visual art. I spent hours and hours perfecting different self-developed techniques. Teachers scolded me to stop drawing during class. Other teachers asked me to design the class bulletin boards or decorations our classrooms. I won art awards. My teachers featured my art in school-wide showcases, fundraiser calendars, and even art events around the city in which we lived. As a high schooler, my art teacher facilitated some of us students exhibiting in a public art show downtown. I actually scored a private commission from someone who saw my piece at this event. I took home my school art pieces and worked on them at night, putting many more hours into my pieces than the other kids. I don’t think I was trying to be competitive. I just felt like the piece called for that much attention. So why did I feel so drawn to drawing?? (pun slightly intended) The truth is: … Read more

Feeling comfortable in your own skin

duck feeling good in its own skin

I find myself spending more time on exercise and meditation recently. I am reading an interesting book, The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk, MD. There is a lot in it, and a good amount of unpleasantness. The same can be said about life on Earth. I cannot speak to other planets. The thing that keeps sticking in me as I read it is that humans (all animals?) store a kind of emotional physical memory of trauma in our bodies when trauma occurs. And our reactions to future events are often dictated by the same feelings and physical sensations which were first brought on by the environmental stimuli of the past event, but which are then re-felt (as in “to feel again”) at the future event. The most classic example of this is a war veteran. Say the soldier developed a strong affinity with the other guys in his unit, and then one day in the field … Read more

Cold Mess

Bunch of fragments: poetry and butterfly raving in the breeze Because wife and I started doing Tai Chi and they have allusive flowery names for movements and what they call “posts,” what in yoga they call poses. Like White Crane Cools Wings is a “post.” It doesn’t have to be white, or a crane, but there it is, they say that and we know what we’re supposed to do with our bodies. Butterfly maybe has an opinion about the wind. Poetry in prose. Observation in action. Step with left foot lift left hand at same time. Ooh, that was a good one. I remember I spent hours at a time writing Faith and Foolishness after 9/11. Where are those hours now. Comprehensively not available. Too many things on the list. Too much to do. Too busy to get anything done. In Praise of Factions/Doctrines/Movements/etc. They tell the same storyThey went and did this and thatIn this situation or thatAnd the same … Read more

Being, awareness, power interactions

Ruminations #1, by Bob Reis, a work in progress, 29 May 2022 Always a tendency to go on too long. At least I don’t do it too often. I was writing about my principles i use to do my “social” work. Not social work, the people who guide other people through the social system bureaucracy. I mean social in the sense of interacting with other people in any way. I’m not a natural shmoozer, not the life of the party. For me social is like crossing a rushing stream by jumping from rock to rock. “Work” in a sense. I read that left and right came about in the early days of the French Revolution, where the Deputies sorted themselves politically by sitting on different sides of the meeting hall. Did they think about the linguistic confusion of the word “right,” in which it means the right side of something and the correct answer? Probably, it’s the same in French, … Read more

Why WordPress Works For Us

Covid Changes the Face of Business We are living in interesting times right now.  Brick-and-mortar businesses everywhere have been shut down due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.  In the future, we will look back at this time and know that it was a turning point for business and the internet. It is unfortunate that many businesses are not going to reopen.  I live in a booming city in the Southeastern United States, and some of the businesses that I used to frequent have already closed their doors permanently.  Others are worried that they might not be able to reopen. Not only are the business owners in crisis, the workers no longer have jobs.  So perhaps you are not a business owner, but a worker who lost their job and is looking to make money online.  Whoever you are, we are all in this together.  And here at What Do I Want to Do?, we have skills that may benefit you. … Read more