The plate Joyce and I created.



April 2, Group Email. Subject: Quickie Update.

Since I haven't written in a while, here's a quick list of what's up in chemoville:

Chemo on last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday was uneventful. I escaped the dark ensuing abyss successfully.

Last Tuesday I saw a chest x-ray of myself. Although I haven't heard an official Drs. report on it, it looked good. The tumor looked so small I didn't even recognize the picture as being of me. I'm used to identifying my own x-rays by the appearance of a large mass in the chest, but it wasn't there!

Chris bought me a new fleece, dramatically changing my look: I've been wearing the same old hand me down blue green fleece from the eighties almost every day since October. It's rather grown on me. It's become a security blanket for me, my adult shaped binkie, artificial color, tattered cuffs, pilled fuzz, bare threads and all. Christine, on the other hand, finally got sick of having to see me wear it every day, day in, day out. She drove me to the Patagonia outlet and wouldn't leave until I picked out a new fuzzy fleece. I gave in and I picked one that I'm sure will still look good another 20 years from now.

The web site is down. Down till Thursday. Of course since it's been down I've been getting extra requests to see it. Come back Thursday....

Miraculously,I still have eyebrows. All other hair: gone. But I still have eyebrows. All for now.



April 20, Group Email. Subject: April Showers

Well, I've been spending as much time outdoors as possible in preparation for my month long stay in a hospital room. It's been wonderful, and the weather has been perfect: cool enough for walking, and warm enough to strech out, relax in the sun, and wait for my gasping, shallow breath to end.

Today the weather has turned sour from sweet. It's cold and rainy. It's prime weather for one last bit of powder skiing before the resorts all close this weekend, but I can't go :( I had my platlets checked this morning and they are dangerously low, almost at the point of needing a transfusion. So the orders are "no activities where bruising is a possibility"

I can probably count the times I've been bruised from skiing on half of my right hand (most of which are from learning to telemark). But I also know that skiing while thinking "don't fall, don't fall, don't fall" is far more likely to throw me off balance and lead to a bad crash than normal. Darn. I guess this rules out rollerblading in the rain too.

But life has been pretty nice. My brain has lost it's sluggishness and my thoughts have sped back up to their normal, snappy speed. It's this that I cherish the most. My body, however, is still in slow mo. I get fatigued rapidly and have been spending much of the day reclined. Reading in the hammock in the back garden while Kuma chews sticks beneath me has been a favorite afternoon activity.

It's been hard hearing about the big springtime adventures my friends have been planning and going on while I have to sit back. Adventures I'd normally be going on or planning myself. So I'm looking at the walks I take and chores I do as adventures of their own. It'll have to do for now.

I read a quote in something that mom gave me that I really liked a lot. It's by Carl Jung: "The world into which we are born is brutal and cruel, and at the same time, one of divine beauty. Which element we think out weighs the the other - whether meaninglessness or meaning - is a matter of temperament.

Well, thanks again to everyone for the continued support. It's awesome. Now if someone can just make this rain go away!


Brother Kevin and I squeezing in a quick trip to Dead Horse Point.


April 23. Group Emailing. Subject: One more cycle

Yuck, I got the disappointing news this morning. My latest CT scan shows about a 2 inch mass still hanging out behind my sternum. Instead of moving on to the high dose chemo with stem cell rescue, I've gotta do one more round of R-ICE chemotherapy. Looks like I'll probably be in the university hospital this Thursday and Friday.

I've just been feeling so good and so positive lately that I really thought I'd be ready to move on. Now it looks like it won't be until the middle of may that I get admitted for the big one. Just one more little set back before the grand finale. I'm getting good at this.


Kevin scaling the walls on our secret island in the sky.


April 29th. Group Emailing. Subject: Down to the wire

Well, things are starting to happen now to prepare me for the big hospital stay. It's been there off in the distance all along, but now the reality of it is pressing down on me like dark, leaded clouds. To have actually put dates on the calendar is nothing short of unbelievable:

A month in a hospital room. Right in the middle of spring and everything.

The scheduled admit date is for May 9th. Up until then are more tests, scans, and something new for me this friday, a "lumbar puncture" which I believe is a new, friendlier way of saying spinal tap. My hopes are to squeeze in one more trip to the desert, one more little ski tour, tons of fresh non-hospital food, daily walks, a barbeque, and more time in the hammock out back before I actually have to go in. It's gonna be a busy week.


April 30. Email Message. No Subject

chemo thick in my head today. my brain's default emotion is crying at times like these, so I hafta keep busy. Too tired to walk or do anything in this beautious day. Eating meatloaf and grapefruit. trying to stay away from my default mode, damn, I'm bored. I took a nap for five hours: 2.5 on the couch and 2.5 in bed. It felt wonderful.