Existential No Man's Land Part Deux » The Chunks-of-Flesh Biopsy

Rad note » I am calling today's entry its own, separate entry .. but it is actually a continuation of this entry » The Existential No Man's Land Between Biopsy & Diagnosis - Part 2/2.

Beginning a week or two later. Things move quickly once you get diagnosed.

Here is the latest. Biopsies part deux. What I call the » 'chunks-of-flesh' biopsies.

» He lives! Had surgery earlier today. I am actually in no condition to to write. I have a wadded tissue stuffed up my right nostril. By now it is probably soaked with blood .. like the others.

Remind me to discuss the difference(s) in biopsy-methods between "fine-needle aspiration" .. and "chunks of flesh."

No, they dont call today's biopsies "chunks of flesh" .. but they could.

Way back on that (seemingly) fateful day in July .. when the dentist said, "This is not a tooth problem. You need to have a doctor look at this lymph node .. today!"

The day when a (seeming, hopefully, simply) tooth problem became a potential (then an actual, medically-diagnosed) malignant tumor ..

.. uh, it was on that day that a doctor was calling around to other (more specialized) doctors .. asking which route would represent the most bang for the diagnostic buck.

This is where the notions of "fine-needle aspirations" vs "chunks of flesh" first presented itself to me.

If this what I'm discussing here is grossing you out .. think how *I* feel.

Seeing it in Her Eye, Hearing it in Her Voice » My Asian Anesthesiologist

But there is a method to the biopsy-madness, which I may discuss at some other time.

Here is something I learned today » the "Michael Jackson drug" only lasts for a few minutes (depending on the dose, of course). But they use it to knock you out and then they KEEP you out .. with » gas.

[ You learn something new every day .. it seems. ]

I told my anesthesiologist » "If I was gonna be a doctor, I would like to be an anesthesiologist .. taking away people's pain."

The anesthesiologist said » "During your surgery, which is scheduled for an hour, I will stay with you the whole time."

[ That made me feel good. Very good indeed.

Because I passed-the-fuck-out during my previous biopsy, and my surgeon / doctor said » "You stopped breathing for fifteen seconds. I was not ready for that. Good thing that you told me that you were getting light-headed. How much do you weigh, anyway? [168.2] You are heavier than you look. You are solid. Dont do that any more." ..

(.. I am paraphrasing from an obviously compromised central nervous system and therefore memory. But that is (a part of) the gist that I got .. lying there on the floor.) ..

.. which he says as he's mixing up another batch of biopsy receptical-thingie, or something like that.

Most impressive skill-set. A pleasure to watch him work .. even from the freaking floor.

I actually felt safe with him. You can somehow sense competence. It's actually rarer than we-the-people might prefer. Sad to say.

Long Island Boys » A Tribute

Remind me to share with you my tribute about / to » Long Island boys.

My surgeon is a Long Island boy .. now a grown man, of course. He used to run the whole hospital. 'Chief-of-Staff' was the title he held .. rather recently.

But while it may appear that you can take the boy out of Long Island .. well, you know how the saying goes.

I know more than a few Long Island boys .. primarily from the four (4) years I spent station aboard a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine .. as a reactor plant operator [ Mechanical / ELT ] ..

.. I dont know if the Navy actually PLANNED it this way .. but the Gold crew contained a lot of New England boys .. and the Blue crew contained a lot of Texans. Maybe it just happened that way randomly. Who knows?

Before I document my tribute to Long Island boys .. let me first note that .. if you found yourself a really big pole vault ..

.. and you RAN (real fast) right down the middle of Long Island .. and POLE-VAULTED OVER New York City .. so that you cleared the Hudson River ..

.. you would LAND smack-dab in Hoboken (Springsteen country) .. where the Dog grew up .. overlooking "the City." [ Yes, I have BEEN THERE, both to Hoboken and the City .. with the Dog, who knows his way around .. as you might imagine. ]

So, I ask you .. how different can they be?

Sure, there are differences. You could break-up the group like so:

  1. NYC boys (the Boroughs), which could be sub-divided again.
  2. Long Island boys.
  3. Northern Jersey boys.

[ I have LIVED WITH members of all three groups. ] But there are more similarities. And I find myself focusing on » the similarities.

What ARE these similarities, you ask? Good question. The most obvious similarity is the sense of street smarts that members of all three groups grow up with .. from their environment.

My parents tried to shelter me from the big, bad world. So, when I got away from home, I was not as street savvy as these New York City slicksters. But I learned from them, and they took care of me where I was not doing such a great job myself.

Anyway .. here is what I told my totally-impressive surgeon / doctor » "I know we can't stereotype .. but if we could .. and I had an important job to do .. that I needed to get done .. and they let me choose somebody to help .. from anywhere in the country .. I would choose a Long Island boy. They're smart. They're motivated. They're well-educated. And they're hard-working. They might not talk as pretty as you like .. but they know their shit and they know how to get the job done. And get it done right. At least, that has been my experience. From working all around the country. For a few decades."

He proceeded to tell me some interesting stories from his childhood, growing up there in Long Island, which resonated agreeably with my observation. But I will keep those private. ]

My Asian anesthesiologist .. you could tell that she was smart and knew her shit. You could see it in her eye and hear it in her voice.

She had an awareness that reminded you of a sixth sense, where it seemed like she would read your mind and state plainly exactly what you needed to hear.

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••• today's entry continues here below •••

A petite Asian girl. Kinda young. Her last name consisted of (only) two letters. A consonant followed by a vowel. So you get (something like) » Dr. Xu [ not her real name ]

She also said » "I am going to breathe for you .. the whole time while you are in surgery." [ Which made me feel good. Safe. Protected. Watched over. Cared for. By a competent care-giver. Very competent ..

.. particularly when you consider that my doctor said » "You stopped breathing for 15 seconds," when I passed the fuck out following the 3rd fine-needle aspiration biopsy of the lymph node tumor on Sept 30th. ]

And she also said » "When your doctor is done, I will turn off the gas and you will gradually come out of it. I will give you only oxygen at that point."

As they started wheeling me to operating room, she said » "I am going to give you a cocktail on the ride over."

I said » "This is my favorite part" .. cleverly meaning both the gurney-ride [ "You wanna take the scenic route?" ] and the cocktail.

I could feel it 'taking me'. Very nice. Super clean. Subtle at first. Then swirling. Like when you go skinny-dipping in a heated pool on a tropical moonlit night with somebody you love and respect .. and who knows how to 'take you there.' My sense of anxiety waned and the playful joker in me came out.

I counted backward from 100. I made it to » 94. Better than bro did. Next thing you know, they are saying » "You're done."

When I got to 95 .. my ego said » "Dude, surely this girl is impressed with you now. She has probably never seen anyone make it this far before."

Very trippy experience. I remember absolutely nothing after "ninety-four."

I am sooo glad that (multiple) "chunks of flesh" biopsies are done. You have no idea. Or maybe now you do.

My doc said » "I didnt find anything obvious. We will wait-n-see how the biopsies turn out."

I've been eating lots of Haagan Dazs coffee ice-cream. Quart size container. Rock-n-roll.

The worst part was when I had to put on the lace-top thigh-highs. They are not really lace-top, but they are definitely thigh-highs. "This totally sucks," I thought.

"Take all the chunks of my flesh that you want .. but please dont make me wear these thigh-highs." Seems they are merely designed to keep your legs warm in the chilly operating room.

Over these thigh-highs (white), you wear socks (gray) with sticky pads for the feet, so you dont slip and fall and crack your coconut on your way to the bathroom.

Afterwards, I could not wait to get out of there. I mean, people there are very nice, yes. But hospitals are not my cup of tea .. especially when I am the 'patient'. There is a reason why they call you a 'patient'.

I mean, I wanted out of there so badly that I LIED. Well, I didnt actually lie .. I merely replied with an » alternate truth. But they naturally feel a sense of responsibility for their patients.

The hospital told me that I needed to get my doctor to write (document) a waiver .. in order for me to be released to the care of the (untrained, medically speaking) ride home with the transportation service that has been provided for me. (To me?)

They told me this when I went there for my pre-surgery appointment on Monday. That was also, by the way, the day that I received a call from the » Moores Cancer Center. [ A message that was kinda surreal, yeah. ]

His #1 nurse actually does that. Writes those waivers. "I can do that for you," she said. The office manager.

He has a handful of people who help him run his practice. Each with their own bailiwick. Their own domain. And it works well. That is not an easy thing to pull off, I would imagine.

Anyway, they accepted my alternate-truth and a cute candy-striper showed up to wheel me out .. to where a ride was waiting to take me home. "I see you got a haircut," said the driver.

"Gotta look good for surgery," I said.

One of the chunks-of-flesh they took was from my larynx (voice box) .. so talking was/is uncomfortable. When I got out of surgery, they told me not to talk. Tho whispering is no problem.

They also took chunks from my sinuses, esophagus .. and who knows where else.

Every time a new doctor or nurse greets you, they want to look at your wrist ID band and they want you to tell them the following:

  1. you name
  2. your birth date
  3. your doctor's name
  4. what your doctor is going to do

After the first five or six times, you get good at this drill. "He's gonna take various chunks of my flesh for biopsies."

Three or four nurses mentioned that I was the healthiest-looking patient that they had seen all week. Perhaps they were just blowing sunshine up my butt ..

.. but they seemed genuinely surprised to learn that my tumor had been diagnosed as malignant. You could watch their countenance fall on their face. They didnt know what to say. What can you say to that? My point is that I still look reasonably good .. considering.

The Existential No Man's Land Part Deux » Chunks-of-Flesh

UPDATE Oct 17, 2014 »

I can feel myself vibing off of Burroughs for today's update .. who is not my favorite writer. .. but who is famous for trying to make his pain go away.

Burroughs broke up his writing in strange ways .. to mimic his broken personality. I mean, he used real scissors. But that's another story. But you have been fore-warned, alerted, updated, briefed.

I received my copy of » Junkie .. from the Dog. In Hollywood. Feel me? Strong yellow cover with bold black letters.

I slept for 12-straight hours last night. I dont think I moved very much, either. Beyond tired.

When your body is already struggling to fight cancer, which is trying its darnedest to kill you .. and then you go cut out chunks of flesh ..

.. you can FEEL it laboring .. to try to heal. But you can feel your systems are being taxed, tested. Laboring is the best word, probably.

And you can feel Mr. Death .. laboring against you. A persistent fuck-head .. if ever there were one.

So you try not to give him an advantage .. but they are cutting out chunks of your flesh.

When I first heard about the concept .. uh, I did not say these words to the doctor .. but I was thinking them » "You're kidding me, right?"

[ Going back three months .. to that day when a sore tooth suddenly became a potential for cancer ...

.. uh, when I got home on that day .. one of the first things that I did .. was to » RUN THE HILL. Four times .. walk down, run up .. enough to know that I didnt (yet) have a foot in the grave.

But I dont think I could do that .. run the hill .. not right now, anyway. ]

I mean, you body is already being (severely?) taxed / threatened .. and the LAST thing you want .. as you struggle to keep the nostrils of your physical life-force above water ..

.. the last thing you need is .. somebody cutting out chunks of your flesh.

I am now (Oct 17) two days from the cuts .. and they are making themselves known better, more prominently.

I was thinking of how I was gonna tell the dog about how I feel .. and this here is the best description I could come up with »

» It feels like somebody cut out chunks of my flesh all up in my sinuses and my throat and under my tongue and at my tumor .. while cancer is trying to kill me.

Here's my point » you definitely know something is up. Physically speaking. You are not guessing » "Umm, does my head hurt? Does my tummy ache?" No. You are beyond tummy aches and head aches. And you know it. In a truly remarkably way. Ah, the virtues of clarity.

But here's my point .. if you are dying .. you can write whatever the fuck you want .. and nobody is gonna give you much shit about it .. no?

As a writer, I mean. As an artist. As somebody who is exploring the limitations of his art. Of his craft. Of his soul. As an artist who is obviously already OUT OF his comfort zone (.. as a cancer diagnosis tends to do). You know.

And I can bring thunder .. especially when I feel the spirit moving me.

But here's my point » if you have cancer and are dying and you feel like shit (like you are dying) and tired like a mo fo .. » you are not going to write .. unless you have something to say. [ I am totally vibing off of, thinking of » Proust right now.

Because he wrote while he knew he was dying and he felt like shit pretty much all the time. And writing, as physically challenging as it was .. at least it gave him a bit of respite (memories of days past that were undoubtedly more pleasant) ..

.. from the otherwise life-sucking demands that writing can present .. I mean, the writer must give something of himself .. in order for his writing to merit a meaningful and worthwhile appraisal. Otherwise the reader has better things to do.

But when you are dying .. you dont have the physical stamina required to give of yourself.

When my mom was dying, I was working four hours away in Lancaster. PA. And if you have made the trip .. to New Haven .. then you know that I was speeding .. to get there in only 4 hours.

But mom, when she started getting chemo, I heard that she said (something like) » "Oh my God. Stop it now. It so bad. It's killing me." She had always been sensitive to drugs.

The most freaked out that I have ever been in my whole, entire life (no shit) .. was when I called my mom at the hospital ... after she had been home, sounding very positive (.. will power, fighter-spirit) ..

.. and I said (making small talk) » "Hi mom. What are you doing back in the hospital?"

And she gave me an answer that made my blood run cold. (Do you know that phrase? I would hope you dont.) And her answer basically revealed that she had lost her mind. My mom .. who was very much about the mind.

She eventually got it back .. but more weakly. Almost feebly, but not quite.

And here is what I learned (from cold blood) » will-power and determination are NOT ENOUGH to beat cancer.

Notice in this article, titled » What if Age Is Nothing but a Mind-Set? (Oct 22, 2014) .. where it says (~3/4ers the way down) »

» "Positive psychology doesn't have a great track record as a way to fight cancer. Indeed, when James Coyne and colleagues followed 1,093 people with advanced head-and-neck cancer over nine years, they found even the most optimistic subjects lived no longer than the most pessimistic ones."

From an article about the work of Ellen Langer, who reminds me of Daniel Kahneman.

You need more. (Whatever that 'more' might be.)

Now I have learned .. among other things .. that technology .. can be a part of that 'more'. Yes, sir.

There are other things that cold blood taught me .. but perhaps I will elaborate later .. given I shall live and not die. But right now we got bigger fish to fry. Feel me? (I know you do .. if you made it this far. You crazy reader, you.)

I can sense that the restrictions that were imposed on my artistic limitations .. have now been lowered, have receded. Not totally, but definitely nicely.

Wow, that was an expensive ticket, if you ask me. An expensive writer's ticket. An expensive artist's ticket.

Tonight I went for a short (Friday eve) walk. And my neighbor's were droving by .. Ralph & Karen. It was just-turned dark out. And they slowed as they approached. Very slowly. I could see that they were going to stop.

[ This is hard to write. I can feel myself laboring, rather severely. ]

And they asked » "Any news?" [ This was tonight .. just an hour or two ago. ]

Ralph was driving. Karen the passenger. Karen on my side of the road.

I said » "No. I was in the shower. They left to get Judge's son, so I was home alone .. and I heard the phone ring. Last time, the doctor called, he called the HOUSE phone (after no luck wth my cell, which can be temperamental) ..

.. and I was in the shower .. soaking wet .. soaped up, even .. and I ran out .. cuz I did not want to miss the call. We get four rings. But it wasnt him."

And Karen said » "Looks like its gonna be a long weekend."

I said » "Next week they're sending me down to La Jolla .. Moores Cancer Center .. some of the best doctors in the world.

I called my son yesterday and told him that .. it may have taken a while .. but I now have two of the best doctors in the state working on me. The one who took care of me yesterday used to run the whole hospital .. they called him the 'Chief-of-Staff' ..

.. and the one who I am seeing next week is even smarter than him. He has two boys .. one a little older than you and one a little younger."

As Ralph & Karen drove off .. I said, "Thanks for asking." And I meant it.

What a sobering conversation.

» The Judge Starring Robert Downey Jr

By the way, I so badly want to see the movie The Judge .. with the Judge .. and his son. (I shit you not.) Because it deals with » a father/son relationship .. and not a good one, either. Right up my alley.

But the Judge himself does not really wanna see it. For reasons that will remain a secret. But his son is working him for me, with me.

You should heard the stimulating conversation we had trying to talk him into going to see it. I mean, everybody is asking him everywhere we go, "Have you seen The Judge yet? What did you think? Do tell. Do please share your innermost thoughts with us. It is like they made this movie JUST FOR YOU!"

[[ Update » I saw The Judge with the Judge and his (oldest) son. Uh .. if I had known that cancer and chemo-therapy were going to play such a prominent part of the movie ..

.. I dont think I would have been so eager to see it. We go to movies as a form of escapism. So it was very real .. almost surreal, for me. Especially the part where they started talked about the side effects of chemo-therapy. I really did not want to hear that ..

.. not then. I was not ready to hear that. I was not prepared. Ugh. I could feel the anxiety crawling over me. Because I have found myself thinking recently .. about » quality of life. Vis a vis treatment (Chemo).

In fact, the Moores Cancer center called this morning to move back my scheduled appointment to next week.

My Judge was the one who took the call. I felt my heart pause a beat or two .. as he said, "Yes. Can I tell him whose calling, please?"

I thought it was my surgeon with chunks-of-flesh biopsy results, But when he said "Cathy from Moores," I started breathing again.

So they (it, cancer, chemo, side-effects, quality-of-life, sanity, etcetera, etc.) were (was) on my mind. So the movie, at parts, was anti-escapism for me. I was totally not ready. Unprepared. Yes, I thought of walking out .. for a different movie. But I couldnt leave.. I felt tears coming. "Now, it not a good time for me, Mr. Tears" I thought.

But everybody liked the movie. As I was walking out of the theater at the end, I heard one guy telling two of his friends » "Of the three movies I've seen recently, this was the best."

The cinematography was done by » Janusz Kaminski. A true stud. There is a shot near the beginning where Robert Downey Jr first arrives in Indiana ..

.. a helicopter shot of the road and country-side .. where you see Downey's SUV, then the shot climbs and turns .. so that you the viewer finish the shot by looking forward. Beautiful. Hard to describe, but obviously a masterful, breathtaking shot.

When I saw that shot, I said, "I need to see who shot this film. That shot totally kicked ass." It was THAT good.

I could easily easily recommend this film. Rather ambitious. Some early contrivances for plot, but the whole second half definitely makes it worth it.

There is another P-O-V shot of Billy-Bob right after the Judge basically confesses something serious .. where you the viewer become Robert Downey Jr. That was another 'wow' shot for me.

Everybody agreed that the acting was first rate.

My Judge is exactly the SAME AGE (real-life age) as Robert Duvall. [ A coincidence? ] They were born ~ six weeks apart.

My Judge spent 38 years on the bench, as opposed to Robert Duvall's character, who had spent 42. So they both spent » 40 years, plus-or-minus two.

Update » The morning after the movie » the Judge is leaving to take his son up to LA, where his son's wife lives .. with their two grade-school boys.

And the Judge says to me, while waiting for the truck to be finished loaded » "I was thinking about the movie. I usually dont. But since you showed so much interest ..

.. the father and the son didnt understand each other. They were very different people.

[[[ Here is where I quickly inject a comment » "Like me with MY dad."

The Judge and I have more-than-one father/son discussion / conversation / debate / thoughtful dialogue.

He is a GOOD DAD. More than once, I have found myself thinking » "What if I had had a dad like this. A dad who is not like Fyodor Karamazov."

Which makes me think of the privileges afforded to someone like, say, for example » George Bush.

So I cannot help but respect him (my Judge) as a father. So this may be my tribute to the Judge. I have previously written tributes for the likes of Mandela and Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Aaron Swartz and Julie Allen ..

And he knows how I feel. He knows very well.

I let him know when I think he is exhibiting a contradiction. I call him on other things. Personal integrity and (what I see as) incongruency issues.

But dont let me stray too far down that cobblestone alley .. because my main avenue here is so good.

We may actually find our way to some (all too rare) » father/son reconciliation healing.

And really, truth be told, that is what the movie is about.

And my dad is dead. Long dead.

Remind me to tell you the story about the FINAL PHOTO of my (real) dad and I. Taken by hs wife. At the airport.

My dad should not have gone with me back to the airport. He was not well or strong enough. But he wanted to. He insisted.

Yes, he had this bull-headed side to him. Which I could not help but see as childish. Especially for a parent.

Wow. This is some serious shit I am writing here. There is a part of me that cannot believe I am actually writing this.

I will get you for this Robert Downey Jr. Your ass is mine.

That scene where your (movie) dad shits himself .. Oh. My. Gawd.

Whose idea was that? "Dont slip." With the granddaughter/daughter at the door. That scene spun my head around a turn or two.

The scene with the niece in the bar .. something in me was resonating strongly. But now is not the time to discuss that.

Tho the hard-body mom made me feel comfortable with the story. And how you tune her out as you are leaving and she is giving you shit the whole way out. Following you. Down the stairs and out the front door .. into the driveway.

Dude, do I ever have stories for you. I knew at that point that I was going to enjoy the movie. Something seemed to say » "Notice that he's wrestling with a python."

The scene where you carry on a personal conversation with your father while he is ON THE STAND .. that (for me) was where the father/son relationship first transcended the law.

And the Judge who was siting there on the bench .. did not interrupt .. even tho their conversation was about a personal topic. [ Good casting on that bench-sitting judge. ]

The scene where the Judge comes out of prison .. whoa. Very believable make-up artist you have there. The shot from a distance. Something about that shot was challenging for me to deal with.

So lets change the subject. To something a bit more rosy. But your movie seems to have given me voice. Or an opportunity to express and exercise mine.

In that final photo that I have .. of me-with-my-dad .. at the Dulles airport in Washington .. taken by his (new) wife .. I asked a close friend (.. long ago) .. someone whose opinions of such things I had come to appreciate ..

.. someone about whom I have not yet written .. and I have written about many people .. written intimately .. which is not always easy. (Rarely easy?) ..

.. what she thought of (her impressions of) that final photo. And she said (most perceptibly) » "I see DISTANCE."

She did not hesitate. She did not stutter. Rather » full-throated confidence.

I did not want her to be right. But she was. Unfortunately.

And distance there was indeed. A step. My dad stayed a step away from me .. during that final photo. About which I could write volumes. But I will spare you.

My mother told me that my dad was not happy with me .. because I was not present at the funeral (in Connecticut) of his mother. My grandmother.

I said » "I was underway on a nuclear submarine. Was the military supposed to interrupt a ballistic missile deployment?"

Mom said » "I know. I dont understand why he was upset. But, you know your father."

My point here, tho » Look at the (unreal, unrealistic) » expectations.

Perhaps it might be worth noting here .. that I dont feel a man can be a good dad to his own children .. unless he first forgives his own father the dysfunctional shortcomings his own father might have brought to his parenting techniques.

Tho this point would seem to be debatable. What say ye? What say ye o' thoughtful parent?

True or untrue? Take your time. Because I feel this would make for an interesting conversation.

Nevertheless, I still feel that my father had unrealistic expectations of me  While at the same time trying to sabotaging and belittling the expectations that I set for myself. Talk about life's great mysteries. ]]]

My Judge continues talking here .. I apologize for that detour. Wait 'til chemo starts. You aint seen nothing yet.

.. "And when the son brought his daughter to meet her grandfather .. and he warned her about him .. but the grandfather embraced his granddaughter so warmly .. [ here is where my Judge starts to get weepy ]

.. that showed that the son was wrong about his dad. He was 180-degrees wrong. [ Here my inner voice says to me » "I dont know about 180-degrees. That is probably exaggerating it."

But I dont want him to stop talking or lose his train of thought." ] And did you hear what that dad said was the reason WHY he gave such a light sentence to the bad guy?"

I said » "He saw his son in him."

"Right!" says my Judge. My Judge said a few other things, but everybody was climbing into to truck to leave at this point.

I *love* when my Judge shares his thoughts on these kinds of things. I can feel almost enthralled at his words .. like they are precious things. Because they are.

This seems to be forming itself into a tribute.

The reason that he did not want to see the movie .. is because he does not like Robert Downey Jr. I said, "Judge, give this man credit for turning his life around and kicking his addiction problems .. problems that many people dont surmount."

My Judge's real-life son also chimed in here to echo his respect for RD Jr and his acting skills. But if my Judge does like the the actor as a person, he will not go see a movie by that actor .. no matter how talented that actor or director might be.

Yes, I give him shit about that approach, but rarely does it do any good.

Only when his wife insists that he sees a certain movie will he acquiesce .. and then only reluctantly. Very reluctantly. You can tell he is not happy about it. He does not hide his displeasure.

» The Most Impressive Lady Harvard Law Judge

I actually know quite-a-few judges. Certainly more than I would ordinarily care to know .. at least, as it pertains to the professional level. (In court.)

The most impressive judge I ever had .. was this lady-judge. You could definitely see it in her eye .. and hear it in her voice.

It was a privilege to watch her work. Unfortunately, I did not have her for very long.

I remember asking her, "What does stipulate mean?"

I said, "Oh, yeah. I agree. Of course."

They make you say out loud even the most obvious things .. because a stenographer is recording your words. And if you dont say anything, they have nothing to record. You know.

If I recall correctly, the question was something like » "Do you stipulate to this psychologist's 730 evaluation if the mom agrees to pay for it?"

She was Harvard Law. And I was totally impressed. You could feel her intelligence.

And it was a good feeling .. while it lasted. (Which was not very long.)

She was sitting the bench during the one-and-only time I ever took the Bug to court with me. They told me that I needed "to make an appearance" .. in order to get a continuance.

Which I found odd, because it was the other side who could not attend that particular day.

Anyway, they have a place for kids on the second floor, but he did not want me to leave him there. And they normally dont allow children in the courtroom. (I've never seen one in a courtroom. Ever.)

But since it was going to be so brief, the bailiff, an Orange county sheriff, talked to the judge and made an exception for us.

I set him down in a chair in the back and set a book in his hands. He was very good. (I was proud of him.) He understood that he couldnt talk. We were in-n-out in five minutes.

When you see so little of your kids, you dont want to hand them over to other people to watch them for you.

But when the other side DID show up, it was impressive to watch her work.

She comes out and sits down and says good morning, you know, and says to opposition counsel (I am there by myself because I have no more money) ..

.. she says to opposition counsel (I am paraphrasing loosely) » "Dude, I normally read the paperwork the night before. I see that you just submitted this paperwork this morning. Which is why it took me a little longer to get out here today. Have you even had a chance to serve the plaintiff?"

» Fucknut's Copy

And he slides across the table a fat copy of some new paperwork [ I have literally multiple boxes full of court paperwork stashed away that has been used to trick-fuck me one way or the other ] .. so across the table he slides to me this paperwork without looking at me and with a demeanor that says » "Here ya go, fuck-nuts."

And he scribbles across the top » Fucknut's Copy. Not really, but that's what he might've written.

And she quickly goes to picking apart this thing, saying things like, "Dude, you went all the back to 1964 to cite this case?"

And the stenographer-girl cannot hold it together and lets out a little laugh.

To be honest, I know next to nothing about the law and certainly not what constitutes a laughable tactic.

Because these lawyers were trick-fucking me left and right for years on end.

I mean, they took everything I had. And then, when I had nothing left, they threw me in jail for not paying what they said I owed. Twice! Even tho I had nothing.

This type of stress cannot be good for people with cancer.

So this lady judge from Harvard Law was my only respite from the trick-fucking that went on regularly in court.

I called the Dog when I got out of there. "Dog," I said, "this Harvard Law judge kicks ass. She is a thing to behold.

And she is very smart. You can actually see it in her eye and hear it in her voice."

I remember reading up on her and learning that she had six kids of her own and thinking, "I dont know how she does it."

You could not help but respect her. I was downright dazzled.

This is why I was not surprised when I received the letter in the mail, notifying me that she had been transferred elsewhere .. to some other court (Civil, I think it was) .. long before the normal 3-year period was up.

Even I could see that her considerable talents were being wasted in Family Law.

» That Can't Be Good

My judge-friend was there in court with me on one of the days when this lady Harvard Law judge was there. (Because he was going to testify for me.) He agreed that she indeed was clearly very smart.

When I showed him the letter from the court saying that she had been moved and that I was getting a new judge, he said, "Oh, that can't be good."

Which I did not really understand .. because I figured that the facts surrounding the case are the same from judge to judge .. and the laws are the same. They dont change. So how much different can one judge be from another?

A lot, as it turns out.

Little did I know at the time the understatement his comment represented. ]]

Cuz Karen had called the house yesterday (day after surgery). She was the one who had called also just after my first biopsy and PET-scan. That morning when I woke two days after receiving the news. The Big-C news.

And the window came down ..


And you dont feel like you have much to give (.. again, physically-speaking) .. when you have cancer eating at you.

So .. this is really what I want to tell you .. during, perhaps, my last week-end of true lucidity (before chemo begins).

My mother, when they started chemo on her .. I was not there .. because I was in Lancaster, PA working at a reactor plant there. The five-week job that turned into a 5-year job.


You basically feel like (physically speaking) like you are on an conveyor-belt-like ESCALATOR .. going DOWN at a slight down angle ..

.. and if this conveyor-belt that you are on keeps going the way it has been going these last few months .. uh, » not good for you, my friend.

Yes, this commentary is very raw, but give me points for brutal honesty. Because I am paying dearly for it, right now.

But if the conveyor-belt keeps going down .. well, you can see where that takes you. Very clearly.


I heard Dylan's song playing in my head .. in a way I have never heard it play before. Like it had some newer, deeper meaning.

But I am reluctant to say » a 'better' way. But certainly in a deeper way. You relate more. You resonate more thoroughly.

Now, if such a ticket were required in order to make that journey .. in order to see that insight .. I would say » that is one expensive ticket. Feel me?

I wasnt trying to hear it. Feel me? Not that song. Not at that time. And I find it telling .. that it was the original Dylan version .. and not the Avril version .. which is actually my favorite .. cuz she sings for kids .. with her heart .. for a Pavarotti thing called War Child.

And the thought came to me » "What does does *that* mean?" [ that the song came to me uncalled .. and played itself in the original Dylan version. There was definitely something about it that something in me sought to reject. I can feel myself being careful with words right now. ]

Obviously, the song still resonates today. Notice how they use in the Blackhat trailer (2015).

I thought of the verse where Jesus says » "My soul is troubled within me."

You know something is up when Job starts to resonate .. see here »

» "Man born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continues not."

"Full of trouble and continues not" .. these references somehow seem to take on new meaning.

If they are gonna start giving me chemo .. will this be my last truly lucid weekend? Or am I losing it already? Or have I already lost it?


I am seeing a LOT of things more clearly .. things that most polite folks would rather not see.


So here I find myself in existential no-man's land between my second biopsy and diagnosis.

When I got home from the hospital and looked in the mirror .. I thought » "Whoa, dude. You look PALE."


Quantum Entanglement » Connecting on a Level Beyond Physical

The reason why I was walking past Ralph's & Karen's place .. was because I had been imagining that my girl-friend was living there. That was very nice.

In real-life, I was walking up the steep hill, and it seemed more physically challenging to walk up that hill .. than I could remember.

But in my imagination, she came out of her house and walked down the hill toward me. As she approached, she did not say anything, but instead simply held out her arms with her palms toward me.

I reached out toward her hands and met her palms with mine. We locked fingers, palm-to-palm, and I could feel her electricity flowing into me. "Wow," I said, "that's really good. I needed that."

Soon as I was filled with her energy, she disappeared. Vanished.

Now, call me a wack-o, but I could walk up the steep hill more easily.

I could breathe easier. More energy. A few minutes later, Ralph & Karen drove up.

While I am thinking about this girl .. let me tell you about her. She seems to come visit me on Fridays .. from 6-til-9. During my shooting-star night walks.

The last time I was strongly feeling her, I accidentally kicked or stepped on a rattler. Whoa. Got the heart pumping nicely. Let me tell you.

"Is anybody trying to tell me something?"

But snakes are associated with healing .. in scripture. I find it curious how God tells Moses .. NOT that he is going to remove the snakes, no. (As they had asked / petitioned / requested.)

But rather that » he would heal them WHEN THEY GOT BIT. (By the "fiery serpents".)

See .. I have "been bit" you might say .. by a fiery serpent. You can feel the heat of cancer. It has a fiery quality to it. And NOT the good kind, either. ( Scripture doesnt say that bad stuff won't befall the believer, no.)

My surgeon said » "We will give you six weeks radiation & chemo. If it's still hot, it needs to come out."

Notice his use of the word 'hot'. There is a reason he chose that term .. I am learning. Which takes us back to those fiery serpents.

So this is another discussion, entirely. But worth mentioning here, anyway.

I want to ask the "perfect" girl from Yahoo Finance » "Did you see Yellen's speech? A penny for your thoughts." Cuz that's about all I have left.

Where have you gone? I miss you. ♥ Every day I look for you .. but nothing. I have even resorted to going back and re-watching your old episodes.

The end-of-week weekly round-tables .. you dont realize how good you made them look .. until you were gone.

It's like those pictures they give you in first grade .. where they ask you » "What's wrong with this picture?"

Who is this new girl? Is she your replacement? She's good.

Did you see the interview that Aaron did with Huntsman Sr? A cancer guy. Hard not to like that guy. You can tell he gets it. Huntsman Sr. I like him. What a beautiful man. What a noble soul. What an inspiration.

Have you ever seen Aaron reach out like that and shake a guy's hand at the end of an interview? Me neither. That definitely gave Huntsman some bona fides in my book.

» Help Getting Exercise

Perhaps I should mention that .. I asked my ENT surgeon about » exercise. He said » "All you can get."

And there is one type of exercise in particular that I have not been able to get, lately. Perhaps you could help with that.

See, this is the kind of flirting where you let the flirtee reveal their thoughts .. because I can be thinking about most any partner-based exercise, here.

Yoga, for example, is a great partner-based exercise.

Speaking of flirting and partner-based exercise, have you seen » this?

Or even better, how about this article about » quantum entanglement. I kinda feel quantum-ly entangled with you. (Feels good, doesnt it?)

Tho few people with whom I have become quantum-ly entangled are able to withstand the severe electro-magnetic fields that I routinely pass thru.

Speaking of things quantum .. we should go see » this movie .. about the life of Stephen Hawking. A love story of sorts. A nerd and a hottie.

And not just any kind of hottie .. no, sir. But rather the best kind of hottie » the intelligent hottie. The educated hottie. The smart hottie. (I can feel my pulse strenghtening.)

Certified Fresh (.. just like you). Is it a date?

I am going to finish that Flirting entry yet. I just need to copy-n-paste the text/gfx contained on the home page into movable type pages. There is some adjustment in the conversion, but once you have the writing done, that hardest part is behind.

Now that you are no longer posting any new videos, I can no longer write about you.

But .. what did you think about my panther throw-down? It surprised me that I could feel the thing so .. vividly. In such detail. Because it was obviously only imagination.

Tho it seemed to have come unbidden. And come strongly. But smoothly. As you can see, I am trying to figure that out. You know how geeks are.

I went for a walk tonight [ Nov 15 ] and found myself thinking about (among other things) the article about quantum entanglement .. and then I thought about you. Without even trying to.

And I thought » wow. Maybe later I will return to tell you what 'wow' means. But .. maybe a teaser. Quantum theory says there is nothing to prevent time from going backwards. In the opposite direction. To reverse the vector.

I have no idea of what I am talking about, but I heard that smart girls like you dig smart guys. So, how am I doing faking it?

So now we are talking about both time and space. If you throw in a pretty, smart girl .. you find yourself in a place not to far from where Einstein used to hang out.

If you think about it, this is not so very different from the phrase » "Let me show you worlds you could never imagine."

This is the male dilemma, I will share this intimate secret with you .. in order to really please a woman, you must first » understand them. No?

But, this is impossible. And you will go crazy even trying. Like Freud .. who needed drugs to help him cope with the insanity.

I can feel myself right now very far over into » experimental mode writing. I am channeling a vein from someplace you rarely get to go.

I dont know how much longer I can hang here, but I want to try .. cuz it feels so new, so different. I am thinking if I want to use the phrase » so foreign. But I cannot decide.

You are getting the thoughts behind the thoughts.

This writing should probably go in the entry titled » Verifying the Pathology ..because that happened two days ago. And I am still rocked. Both physically and emotionally. And probably a few other ways.

This text here is not even in the Flirting entry. How did you get here? Oh, yes. I remember » exercise. That was flirting, yes. That was mature flirting. Mature honest flirting.

But now I am just kind of talking to you. Bouncing things off you.

For example, how would you imagine it feels .. when you feel another person .. way down deep inside. Sort of on an intuitive basis. What do you reckon that feels like?

I mean, yes, of course, it is very cool when you are 'feeling' someone up close and personal .. no doubt ..

.. but you cant always be with the one you love (to be with). This seems obvious to me.

But how do you develop that connection that transcends the (mere) physical? You can call it an intuitive connection .. as a reasonable place to start.

When you find yourself talking about transcending the physical in order to establish a deeper, more meaningful relationship with a pretty, smart, kind, educated girl .. you know the Twilight Zone cant be far.

But you are more than just a pretty, smart, kind, educated woman. You are something of a muse.

Remind me to tell you more about that. But this is not the place for that.

What do you think of this for a title » Quantum Entanglement and the Twenty-First Century Muse. Catchy, no?

You can only write about biopsies and cancer for so long. Ya know?

But you will believe me when I say that I never imagined writing anything like this. How did I get here? "It's that girl's fault. She's the reason why I'm here."

Update January 2015 - I finally found you at CBS News. Wow. CBS News. That's as good as it gets for a journalist. They do 60 Minutes .. the holy grail of reporting. The sky's the limit, now. Your folks must be very proud.

(I heard Fox News offered you a small fortune but that you turned them down.)

Good for you, girl. You are totally kicking ass. I still miss seeing you at Yahoo Finance, tho. The good ol' days. Does Aaron ever call to say, "Hey" ?

Ooh, I saw this, too. Nice. You make them look good. They are lucky to have you. I like your lively tempo better in this piece.

</update found you at CBS News>

Russell Brand » the Natural Charmer

Speaking of guys flirting with women and being charming .. have you see » this with Russell Brand?

I totally found myself vibing with and agreeing with him there. When you are young, you are more clumsy and intimidated by women who you find particularly attractive and especially those you find sexually stimulating ..

.. because it can be challenging to sound genuine when you are riding a stallion at full gallop.

But when you grow up a little, you simply resort to expressing your true thoughts and feelings .. telling this person WHAT you like about them and WHY you appreciate them.

I dont know anyone who is able to resists honest and sincere appreciation. (Do you?)

And then he grabs her face and kisses it .. twice. He is obviously very confident. But when you are just BEING YOURSELF .. it's not like you have to try to be something you're not.

You dont have to worry about performing .. because you are » just being yourself. Your true self. Your honest, true self.

Look at the girl's face afterwards. She seemed to respond well.

My point is that it should be a very natural thing. Not artifice. Isnt that what I have been saying all along?

And if somebody cant appreciate you for who you are .. then you probably dont want to be with that (short-sighted) person anyway.

So, instead of being offended, you (rather) feel grateful .. that you are seeing more clearly who they really are.

Or maybe it is just time in your life to learn different things from different people. Times change.

When you vibe beautifully with a beautiful women who appreciates you in a way that is very similar to how you appreciate her ..

.. that is such a rare and beautiful thing that you feel like the gods are smiling down on you. And like you're exactly where you should be .. and that nothing else in the universe matters.

<end nov 15 text injection on quantum entanglement and russell brand the natural charmer>

<return to oct 15>


I had also been thinking of my anesthesiologist .. and her skill set .. and her choice of words. "I will breathe for you .. I will stay with you the whole time you are in surgery .. monitoring you blood-oxygen." .. and the feeling that gave me ..

.. like when the Spirit Himself witnesses with you. The Comforter Himself. Subtle yet powerful. Hard to describe. But surely you see the parallel.

Okay, those cuts .. are really getting annoying. I may have to grab the Advil. They gave me no pain meds. I didnt feel so ouchie after surgery .. more spacey than oowie.

Watermelon is nice. Popsicles. Cold fruit. Cold anything. The yogurt with the cream at the top very good. Thick coating.

I shoulda bought another box of those popsicles. I can eat two without even trying.

I like that the doctor CALLS YOU HIMSELF .. with the news. And doesnt pawn that off on the secretary or one of his nurses.

Today's existential no-man's land is different from that of the first .. in that, now, you already KNOW that you have cancer .. now you are learning about HOW DEEP in you are. Is it just bad? Or is it really, really bad?

The end. For now. ■

Uh, the theme of this entry continues here » The Moores Cancer Center in La Jolla (Oct 28, 2014). The beat goes on. Two weeks later.

You can return to the very beginning of the existential no-man's land here » The Existential No Man's Land Between Biopsy & Diagnosis - Part 1/2 (Oct 1, 2014) .. tho I would not advise it.

You can examine the HTML-profile of this web page here » web site optimization.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rad published on October 15, 2014 10:15 AM.

The Existential No Man's Land Between Biopsy & Diagnosis - Part 2/2 was the previous entry in this blog.

The Moores Cancer Center in La Jolla is the next entry in this blog.

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