The Existential No Man's Land Between Biopsy & Diagnosis - Part 2/2

» This page is PART TWO, continued from » Part One. This entry was broken into TWO pages in order to adhere to principles of web site optimization. Here you go...

UPDATE - Saturday the 4th of October » The super-intense (downright exquisite) anxiety of the doctor's call finally wore off last night .. after a glass of chocolate milk and a long, hot candlelit bath. (I slept like krap Thurs night, as you might imagine.)

I woke today at 7 with the sun and got the paper but still felt tired. So I laid back down .. and woke again at 10. Nice. I almost feel normal again.

The neighbors called shortly after I woke the second time (Ralph's wife) to see "how things are going". They are both praying for me. Sometimes you dont really know about people, that they are pray-ers until something like this happens.

I had seen Ralph last week out while we were putting out our garbage cans. We sometimes race each other to see who will put out their garbage first. That is where I told him what is going on with me.

She said Ralph had been bothered when he came back from putting out the garbage cans that day and wanted to hear how things went with my biopsy.

Ralph is 66, but he is the picture of health.

I told her that I am reading » Christ the Healer (1925) .. because that may be my only option. Cuz once cancer has spread .. well, you know.

The book is really just a convenient packaging of all the scriptures that relate to healing. So it is very scriptural. Which I like. Cuz I like to get as close to the source as possible.

This guy (Bosworth, 1877-1958) .. he basically just points you to scriptures. "Look at this," he says. "And this verse, too." And he shares his own personal experiences .. regarding how those scriptures are congruent with his experiences. Rather convincingly .. if I do say so.

For example, the one I am looking at and thinking of right now .. is the verses in the Book of Numbers .. that talk about the bronze serpent. That has really got me thinking .. but not now.

I have always felt good, physically, so I never felt very much need to delve into that aspect of Christianity. But it is there.

But there is a lot contained there. I cant read more than a page or two without having to stop and lie down to think about what I just read.

Tho I can feel a good, calming 'therapeutic' thing flowing into me. It feels like (hard to describe) there is a large tank above me .. a 5-gallon tank .. with a small clear hose coming down to me ..

.. with a petcock in the line .. and when I 'get it' .. when I get what the book/scriptures is/are saying .. the petcock opens a little .. to give me a quick dose of this good, calming, therapeutic solution contained in the tank.

Of course, I want the whole tank. But I am only able to get a little dose at a time right now. But when you are in my situation .. that is enough .. to take the edge off. It definitely helps.

The unbeliever might say that this is just my imagination .. but when you are in the grips of the super-intense (exquisite) anxiety of a death sentence .. and you can hear the sound of Mr. Death sharpenng his sickle .. you will take whatever you can get. Trust me.

This kind of stuff is too personal for me to share here. But this is where I am right now. And I am still alive.

I already have an appt next week for a PET-scan. PET = proton emission. Protons are things that I happen to know a little about.

All in all, beyond the anxiety, I dont actually feeel that bad .. tho I seem to fatigue quickly.

I mean, I dont feel as bad as I do when I have the flu, or even a nasty cold. And I feel light-headed, at times .. particularly when I tire or feel hungry.

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

Speaking of which .. I have been eating a lot of these Amy's Soups. Easy to fix, yummy, and I feel good afterwards. I particularly like their Lentil Vegetable and their Southwestern Vegetable. But all of them work well for me.

I also drink a lot of water. It is like I am thirsty all the time. I really enjoy these herb teas by Traditional Medicinals. Particularly their Throat Coat (a best-seller). Naturally sweet. I can get a few big cups out of every tea bag .. before the sweetness is gone.

I seem to feel worst later in the day .. especially if I'm tired. That is when I find myself reaching for the Advil .. which doesnt seem to do very much.

I want to avoid drugs much as I can .. because I have seen what happens when you go that route. Seems like a one-way path.

Tho this thing (tumor) in my neck .. which has been there for 4 months now .. that gets to you after a while. The relentlessness of it. It is pretty big. Pressing on nerves.

Sometimes I feel like I am ABOUT TO get a wicked headache .. but I never do. (I rarely get headaches .. only when I quit drinking coffee. Usually the afternoon of the second day.)

Instead of headaches, my ability to focus, to concentrate wanes severely .. so I almost have to talk to myself. "Right now, we are doing such-n-such. Nice and easy .. take it slow. You can do this. Lie down if you want."

It seems like focused concentration requires a lot of effort. Coffee makes me feel good. But sometimes I just need to lie down, yes.

But the psychological stress seems worse than the physical stress. I mean, the stress of dealing with bureaucracies feels worse than physical exertion.

I can feel the spacey-ness that comes with the prolonged psychological stress of dealing with bureaucratic organizations.

I mean, it took a full month just to get a CT scan .. which, they told me was a prerequisite for the biopsy.

"They tell me," I said, when leaving a message, "that this could be a life-threatening thing. And that time is of the essence."

UPDATE - Sunday the 5th » The hills here in this neck of SoCal causes the sound to echo clearly across surprising distances. Like a natural amphitheater.

For example, last night (Saturday nite) there was a party down in the valley. A rather lively gig for these parts. Some place down in the valley below was lit up with lots of lights.

And they were playing lots of old, disco dancy music. It sound like they were having lots of fun. I could hear the music clearly. Hot night. Record-breaking heat. Felt like mid-summer.

Anyway, at one point later in the evening the DJ (live DJ) played Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees (.. which even Bill Gross likes). And something said to me » "They're playin' your song."

I have always had a strange sense of humor. And I use humor as a form of stress-relief during times of stress. Of which stage-4 cancer would apply .. seeing that there IS NO stage-5. Feel me?

I went for a moonlit walk pretty late and was surprised that a certain thought about a certain person .. (actually) made me feel happy. You know who you are. I had thought (inaccurately) that you could not feel happy with cancer.

So see? I am learning things already. (Notice that the second blood moon of the tetrad arrives in a few days.)

Later I heard the DJ say, "Where's the birthday boy? Somebody bring him up here." So it was somebody's birthday bash. "Good for him," I thought. "That's how you throw a birthday party."

I once threw a birthday party for my friend Matto in Lancaster, PA. People were coming up to me on the street some six months later and saying things like "That was the best party I've ever been to."

Even people I cant recall seeing there. We had ~120 people somebody guessed. And a roasted pig that I bought from some Amish farm early that morning. I still remember Matto coming into the closet where I was with that girl and saying, "The cops are here. Come on."

They were cool, saying, "Dude, we heard your music from two blocks away. You might wanna turn it down a little. It's 1AM." Only they didnt say dude.

Me » "Yes, officer. Thank-you. You're quite right about that. How time flies when you're having fun. We will send everybody home."

» PET Scan in Encinitas on October 7

UPDATE Oct 7, 2014 » I had the PET scan today. Piece of cake. They basically shoot you with a dose of a sugary radio-isotope with a short (90-min) half-life and then have you wait 45 mins for the stuff to work its way into your body.

Cancer loves sugar, so the theory is that the radioactive isotope will go to where the cancer is.

Then they put you in the big tube and scan you from skull to thigh for 20-25 mins.

While I was standing in line yesterday at the facility in Encinitas, waiting to check in .. a lady was in line behind me, eating what looked like oatmeal with a spoon out of a small plastic cup.

I hadnt had anything to eat since the previous night.

I turned around and said, "They told me not to eat for 6 hours prior to the test."

She said, "We may not be getting the same test."

As she scooped another spoonful, she said, "In fact, I'm pretty sure that you're not getting the same test as me." .. right before taking the bite.

"I see your point," I said, looking at the wall behind her, where a big poster listed the mammogram as one of the tests they do.

Encinitas is where the meditation gardens are located.

Tomorrow I go see my doc to review the results of the scan.

I had a bizarre dream last night. Probably too bizarre to publish.

UPDATE Oct 12, 2014 » It seems like all of my life people have been telling me » "I've been doing this a long time and I've never see that before."

One of the verses of scripture that has stuck with me since I was small is found in Matthew, who quotes Jesus as saying »

"Enter through the NARROW gate; for the gate is WIDE and the way is BROAD that leads to destruction, and there are MANY who enter through it. For the gate is SMALL and the way is NARROW that leads to life, and there are FEW who find it."

To me, that verse said » If you are going with the great mass of people, you're in trouble.

I did not know where the narrow gate was, but I knew that I had a better chance of finding it if I avoided crowds.

So maybe this is why I have been told all my life, "I've been doing this for many years and I've never seen *that* before."

Isnt there supposed to be safety in numbers? Maybe not as much as we thought. Maybe you're better off being the odd man out.

Anyway, the doctor told me » "I see cases like this about once every two years. I only wish it wasnt you."

One of the guys who frequents the Rad forums (he is a doctor himself, internal medicine) told me that his mother died of the exact same thing that I've been diagnosed with. (Tho that was many years ago and advances have since been made in medicine.)

For the longest time nothing was happening with the tumor. I mean, it took three months from the time that a doctor told me » "You need to get that thing biopsied TODAY." ..

.. until I actually got the biopsy (on Sept 30). But now things are moving quickly. Very quickly. Head-spinning quickly.

I go THIS WEEK for surgery and will meet with another doctor to begin radiation/chemo.

The first difference I have noticed is that » you appreciate each day more. You dont take them for granted.

I mean, nobody should take their days for granted, because tomorrow is promised to no man .. but we do (.. take them for granted). At least, I did.

I will admit .. that there is a part of me .. that enjoys a good challenge .. whatever it might be .. however gnarly it might look .. where ever it might take me.

Speaking of appreciating things more .. I have really been enjoying Blue Diamond Smokehouse almonds. If I were stuck on a desert-island with only one food .. Smokehouse almonds would probably be it.

I will try to remain alert and stay on the look-out for interesting insights .. gleaned from my new perspective .. standing here, closer to eternity. My intuition senses there will be many.

Regrets? Sure, I have some regrets. The first one that came to mind (beyond the obvious for anybody in my situation) was that ..

.. I havent yet finished » The Brothers Karamazov. It contains so much thought-provoking ideas that I read a page or two and need to put it down in order to ponder the implications.

UPDATE October 14, 2014 » I spent a few hours at the hospital yesterday for pre-surgery stuff .. paperwork, instructions, EKG. No big deal. Later this week, I go for surgery.

They give you this special soap (chlorhexidine gluconate 2%) that you have to wash with both the night before and the morning of the surgery. And they want you to sleep in freshly-washed sheets and wear freshly-washed clothes .. so I have been doing lots of laundry today.

While I was at the hospital yesterday, I received a call (left a message, no cell phone reception inside the hospital) today from the office of a Radiation Oncologist here at a certain local university.

They said that I was referred to them by my doctor and they asked me to return the call so I could set up an appoitment for an initial consultation with a certain doctor.

I looked him up online. Most impressive credentials. Wow. That appointment is scheduled for next week. So things seem to be moving at warp speed. I have already fax'ed them my release forms.

So one doctor refers you to another, who refers you to another .. who refers you to yet another.

One thing that I am seeing .. that I did not see before .. is that medicine is » very much about technology. This seems obvious now, but I did not see that before. Medicine makes much use of technology .. particularly as it applies to » biology. (The human body.)

Which only makes me even more curious and interested and fascinated .. in medicine. The a techie/geeky perspective .. it is fascinating shit. Very cool.

I slept very hard last night. I woke at ~2:30 with the laptop screen still shining brightly in my face. The thought came to me » "I need to turn this thing off" .. because my laptop fan makes a high-pitched whine.

But I must have fallen back asleep .. because I woke again at 5:30 .. with the stupid computer still on .. fan squeeling away .. bright light still shiing in my face. I must not have moved the entire night. No flipping over.

I think perhaps that the nervous energy of my condition makes me feel like I have more energy than I actually do. So that when I finally stop to rest .. I pass-the-fuck-out like there is no tomorrow.

When I finally woke, I was still pretty tired. Tho not exhausted. Bringing the garbage cans up after the trash guy empied them had me huffing and puffing pretty good. This actually felt nicely invigorating, but I must admit that my ass has been dragging today.

For surgery, they are going to give me "the Michael Jackson drug." The nurse with whom I spoke yesterday said, "Afterward, you are going to be feeling very good, very rested."

My brother got this when he got his tonsils out. He said, "Let me know when you start .. so I can count backwards from a hundred .. so I can see how far I get."

Then bro said, "The last thing I remember is them saying, 'Okay, you can staarrrr...'." =)

I made Bro and Nana my next-call people in case something goes wrong. I called Nana today and said, "Nana, if anything happens, don't let 'em pull the plug."

She said, "Dont worry, honey. I won't. Did you get my card?"

I am pleased to inform you .. that this entry .. this tale .. this saga .. continues here » Existential No Man's Land Part Deux » The Chunks-of-Flesh Biopsy.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rad published on October 1, 2014 10:01 AM.

The Existential No Man's Land Between Biopsy & Diagnosis - Part 1/2 was the previous entry in this blog.

Existential No Man's Land Part Deux » The Chunks-of-Flesh Biopsy is the next entry in this blog.

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