Saturday, September 13, 2014

You Have Cancer: You WILL Beat This

So far so good.

Cancer treatment is orders of magnitude better these days as they are much better with dosing in chemo. Radiation is still a bitch. There are a few pointers.

Attitude is everything.

People will hear and become somewhat death obsessed. If you are the patient, the first day you are told is just... awful. Scary. And the next week or so aren't much better. Then attitude kicks in, the sense of humor and that is good. But people start dropping by who think they are seeing you for the last time and you want to be polite but don't listen. Get this fixed in your mind: YOU are going to beat this.

And the odds are good you will.

You have a long stretch of the legs to travel, so this is a time that it is ok to put yourself first. Selfish isn't.

Steroids: if your treatment includes steroids, they don't call them rage roids for nothing. Word. I took a good friend's head off one night on FB for nothing important. Soooo... when taking roids, social media isn't.

Depending on the treatment, it's mostly inconvenient but what you will see at a cancer institute is often worse than what you are enduring. I won't get into it here but if you are even mildly empathetic, some of it is heartbreaking. On the other hand, the staff at these centers do the work of saints and you'll be treated as well as you ever will be in your life. Keep in mind they are seeing what you are seeing every day. Appreciate that. Attitude is everything,

Last and touchy for some, if medical marijuana ever comes up in your state, vote for it. It works. Enuff said.

Treatment is not without side effects. The main one is fatigue. Over the course of typically six months it will wear you down. Get sleep, don't fret about it. You need it. Not everyone loses all their hair. Agains it depends on the treatment. Most thin out but that comes back. There was a lady in our group who had a box of wigs and every one was named. She pulled out one long red haired wig and said "My husband really likes Raquel" and smiled.

Attitude is everything.

Another problem is your immune system will go to zero. Some people choose to stay home for most of the treatment. I worked in a surgical mask because I had a job where people needed to know I could be there. Some can; some can't. Choose for yourself but this is a good time to have a hobby you can do alone because you do need to control who has close access to you. I composed a Latin mass (with full orchestration and four part harmony in the spirit of Arlo Guthrie). When asked why, I said that when I die I don't want the funeral home to play bad Amazing Grace and at my last gig, dammit, it would be MY music. If that seems odd, the point is simply take this time to do the work that makes you feel most satisfied. That way you keep anxiety down and you will feel better. Whatever you do best, whatever makes you feel that you are in control of your life, do that.

Attitude is everything.

Cheers. It is tough but you are going to beat this and when you do, you will change and for the better. This is a disease that will get your attention, make you cherish what is worth cherishing, and rise up.

Good hunting!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Forest In A Wasteland: The Challenge of Decency

One person making a huge difference. All by himself, slow and steady. (Thanks, Katy!)

Decency manifests one man, one seed at a time. Yet one man's work can disappear in a single year if other decent men do not value and protect it.

This is the great question before us. We believe we are a nation of decent people and that this decency is our most valuable asset as we stand before the world offering leadership. But I look at the behavior of our elected leaders, I see the corruption from Wall Street, I experience the fraud and lieing of even local organizations, established companies and I ask myself if this is still true, if this decency has become a feint, a means to exploit us and take the work of single men, the profits of local initiative and give it to others to add to their own accounts?

A man can plant a forest. Another man can cut the wood and sell it to light the fires that forge the weapons that kill decent men everywhere, and who will stop them without the same weapons until at last there are no trees to burn, and no decent men to plant more?

Comment Policy

If you don't sign it, I won't post it. To quote an ancient source: "All your private property is target for your enemy. And your enemy is me."