25 May 2013: Remarkable Improvement in Health, In Search of “THE” Table?: Is It All Right Now? It’s a gas….
An amazing day as we’ll see in terms better living through chemotherapy and my Chemo-Sabes, and I’ve just realized, long after drafting this celebratory note, “now bless thyself”, today’s one year to the day from my diagnosis as given by the skilled and compassionate Dr Sue Jamieson, the priestess of the Temple of Artemis among other things. God’s Truth, lad, before you ask for more thank the God of your understanding for what ye have been given! For thou didst not leave his soul in hell, nor didst thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption! You have been given a year of life and tragedy: celebrate it.
Up at 5:45, 20 minute walking/pullup/supine dance workout. A great if watery Congee with fluffy agglutinations of nourishing rice that redeemed all the water, and an egg with savory sauce. Green Tea to wake up, not the dregs of yesterday’s coffee. Breakfast reading was Kant’s Kritik der Reine Vernunft (Critique of Pure Reason): finished the Introduction, by Kant himself, to the Second edition, skipped Kant’s Introduction to the First edition.
Remember last year? I put up a good drawing of my son Peter (jungly Peter!) in a Hoodie with his two tinykins because I won’t put photographs of children not my own on the Web. But artwork likenesses are different; they just are. So, here are (1) Grampa’s Stories of Tessa and Esme and (2) the latest study for a portrait of Tessa and Esme.
Remarkable Improvement in Health
I get scared when I read of Aung San Syu Kyi’s late husband, Dr Michael Aris, and Frank Zappa. Both lived for only two years after the initial discovery of a stage IV prostate cancer, undetected before.
A lot of work and reconciliation can be accomplished in two years…for me, by May 2014.
But: in neither case did either Dr Aris or Zappa have any access to Docetaxl (trade name Taxotere) and the informal-so-far observations of the doctors here is that it’s caused a marked improvement. Nor were they as systematic or compulsive about continuing my exercise program as started in 1981 with its claptrap of written plans and diaries…regular, documented exercise is a key, for me, to good or better health.
Today, I am completing two workouts per day including a first-thing workout originally supine but increasingly based on a walk and stairs every day (tous les jours), (tlj), and a tough physio workout on workdays consisting of 20 minutes on a home-made rowing machine.
Friends, nurses, doctors and aides are all surprised at my daily increase in movement.
“I was drowned with a spike right through my head…but it’s all right now!”
The doctors credit Docetaxl/Taxotere, which was unknown at the time of Zappa’s or Aris’s death. In fact, since I seem so resistant to side effects, we may consider extending the treatment simply to “kill cells, kill cells, kill kill die die you cancer cells” if cancer cells in the lymph nodes are somehow more accessible to Docetaxl, such that few non-cancer cells die…which would explain my relative lack of side effects: I’ve lost no hair and seem to be in general full of beans.
I need scans, and hard numbers. This cancer, although “hormone refractory” which dashed my hopes in Feb that a painless or chemical deballing would be a cure, is apparently not chemo refractory. I had a grand total of one nice day from Leuproelin last Feb. My chemotherapy visits (with friends as required by the Hospital Authority and recruited from my Facebook page, and each I call my chemo-sabe har har get it? Oh never mind.
Notes on Kant
A Mad Professor said,
I must be off my head!
My butt hurts but the Itch
Is ontologically prior to the Pain, it’s a Ding an Sich
But the Pain is what’s the Bitch!
But the Mad Professor said,
Do not weep Wife when I am dead!
I go from a world Phenomenal
To one better since it’s Noumenal.
A bit confusingly, my Guyer-Wiid translation includes chapters from both the first and second editions of the Kritik. Kant does, in Edition 2, a better job of demonstrating that he’s a realist and not a naive idealist, ontologically, in the second edition. Therefore my reading will be of the second edition only; some parts of the second edition are identical to their first edition counterparts but some are not.
The First Edition, while seeking in Kant’s own words to be definitive and final, confused readers many of whom decided that Kant was like the thoroughly refuted English Bishop Berkeley who, in “Dialogues of Hylas and Philonus”, concluded that the “real world” was in our minds, essentially the same way a dream is completely in our minds, but with more vividness.
Therefore, Kant, in the Second Edition, tries to show how he’s “really” a “realist”. Objects, even objects so humble as a simple table painted by, say, Van Gogh, have a rather grand, if mysterious, if unique and possibly contrived “ontological status” in both editions (the second merely clarifies what Kant believed). They are out there, self-contained so as to pull no funny stuff such as disappearing, or making faces at us, when we turn away from them.
And note that the 19th century, the second epoch of the “still life” in art, where Cezanne’s and van Gogh’s still life paintings were appreciated at the same level as their portraits and their landscapes, saw still lives by both masters in which objects seem to quiver with life unseen.
The philosophically common, but still illimitably vulgar, critique of Kant is his apparent rage to invent ghostly metaphysical concepts which dazzle us and seem to be a positive metaphysics.
But Kant critically lacks a false humility. Scientists in Kant’s day didn’t deal in opinion because Newton had taught us that truth, not opinion, can be had using scientific method. Kant likewise claims of his arguments that (in Beethoven’s words, scribbled on a score of Beethoven’s last quartet, “Ess Muss Sein? Muss Ess Sein!”), it must be.
In a world where students are no longer expected even in geometry to make proofs or “geometric constructions” with straightedge and compass, everything seems to the eternal children of the Web to be an opinion and, as in the Army, “opinions are like assholes…everyone’s got one”. Ordinary people as a result claim sullenly a right to the most absurd of opinions such as Obama’s African birthing or the denial of climate change. They took “religious studies” to satisfy their uni requirements, not International Baccalaureate critical thinking or Logic: I was actually told to remove the word “logic” from my academic resume for apparently “logic” is for dead white males. Thank god for Social Security…I don’t need an academic job anymore, and I no longer have to nod my head in agreement to bullshit, such as contempt for logic.
For van Gogh, the table “in itself” and as he painted it had a Heideggerian reality and I’m not dropping names, for the table was the sum of its use-values over time: the human history of the table as he, van Gogh, wished to show.
05 27 2013 Minor corrections
06 10 2013 Minor correction, unbal parenthesis in the “Muss Ess Sein” chapter