12 Oct 2013

20 minutes first thing (5:30 AM): 100 midrise steps in stairwell, walking. Went back to sleep, woke up realising that this is the real deal. Barring a miracle my lifespan may be measured in months, there will be much pain, and I have moved too far away to make it possible for most of my family, with kids and responsibilities of their own, to come see me.

I need to face this steadily. I hope to prolong my life since as my father was, I am “pro-life” in the good sense. I believe in women’s right to choose while I believe Dad was mostly opposed to abortion, but like my Dad I do believe that old people should be allowed to prolong their lives however they can, and like him, I believe that assisted suicide is evil.

It’s wrong in my view to loudly assault women’s rights to autonomy (“if men could get pregnant abortion would be a sacrament”) while throwing white men on the scrap heap in their fifties and blacks in their thirties or much earlier in the case of incarceration rates at insane levels.

I closely identify with my gay friends who have AIDS or are HIV positive:the frustration of their desire to stay alive and flourish. I mean, just when you think you’ve cut yourself a SLICE, the worm turns, you get some crazy spots or sweats and the Doctor says “the news is not good”.  Just when you think you’ve got it all, the big fat quivering SLICE, it’s all gone, the Enlightenment reversed and you find yourself, either in AIDS or what I have, you’re in the Seventeenth Century, a darkling plain of threats and fears.

To be “pro-life” in this sense is to be  pro your own life.



3 Responses to “12 Oct 2013”

  1. I have been told there are drugs that can relieve the pain. I’m frankly not sure these docs said this to comfort me or if it’s true.

    • spinoza1111 Says:

      Morphine and Fentanyl definitely, provably reduce pain. The former is “organic” (whatever that means): the latter is a synthetic clone of Morphine that can be made at a much higher potency than the former, which tends to avoid some of the floor-shows of Morphine: my guess is that being organic might entail impurities in the organic drug.

      • spinoza1111 Says:

        Once you’re at “palliative” care, this is the last stop but I’ve been at the station bar of palliative care for more than year, with symptoms that so far fluctuate rather than trend down (worsen).

        What I have is “incurable” but recall that I worked with John Nash the “Beautiful Mind” whose form of schizophrenia is also “incurable”. By the time I worked with Nash, he was asymptomatic while he did manifest weird behaviors when I first started working at Princeton…those behaviors becoming more and more attenuated during the time I was at Princeton.

        But well-educated medical doctors will indeed admit that their statements are “empirical”, meaning they have non-zero probability p such that 0<p<1, therefore they can at any time be wrong. Therefore, schizophrenia *might* be curable. Cancer *might* be curable, perhaps by way of the immune system and nanotechnology.

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