Archive for chemotherapy

2 Aug 2013: Silly from lack of rest, chemo

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 2, 2013 by spinoza1111

Turns out I am unable, being half silly from chemotherapy brain and pain medication to trouble shoot a problem in building my blog: this is that I cannot keep PhotoBooth from blurring everything when I hold up Grand-Daughter’s latest portrait. I am endangering this computer when I use it. I shall sleep tonight from 6:00 to 5:30!

Change Record

04 08 2013 Corrections/clarifications


For Thou Didst Not Leave His Soul In Hell

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 30, 2013 by spinoza1111

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“For thou didst not leave his soul in hell, nor did thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption.”


Absolutely no pain today and walking everywhere assisted only by walking stick as a result of yesterday’s chemo, my workouts (2/day one first thing), spirituality expressed by return to Catholic sacraments (while not subscribing to the hierarchy’s hatred of women or false additional teaching), lovely fellow patients, aides, techs, nurses, and doctors.

16 Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.

2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;

3 But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.

4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.

5 The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

6 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.

7 I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.

8 I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

This is only a remission but life itself is a remission. Now I gotta figure out how to best USE my pension and this additional life for Tikkun, for making my world a better place, probably by reconciling with my kid Peter (jungly Peter). A return to running may be feasible.

17 April 2017: Rückenengel befreien Sie Tanz

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 17, 2013 by spinoza1111

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First-thing workout: 20 minute Rückenengel befreien Sie Tanz (supine Angel Freedance, flat on back, cycling and air dancing) Congee, King Lear acts 3 and part of 4 (reading the 1623 Folio “Tragedy” in addition to the 1608 Quarto “History”, read last week.) Altho I prefer the 1608 History because it has more incident (servants plotting to aid Gloucester and a more elaborate reunion scene), the 1623 version more focused (the servants plot in 1608, but then are heard no more).

Then, off to QM for chemo. PSA down but not significantly, as a result of chemo. The usual rough trip in an omnibus ambulance used not for emergency but rather for transporting patients, strapped in, Rückenlage, contemplating the sky.

The physio isn’t changing the can’t walk deal at this time, trying to accept the possibility of permanent lameness. That’s like death only, as Laurie Anderson would say, “much, much…Better”.

10 PM. Had Taxotere drip at five PM. No side effect reaction at this time.

27 March 2012: I vant Accurate damage reports.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 27, 2013 by spinoza1111

“To suffer”, at the time of the King James Bible and Shakespeare, may have been closer in meaning to today’s “experience” where we have things that take the “suffering” out of “experience”. “Experience the little children to come to me”. “Experience the possible side effects of Taxotere including healthy cell destruction, for as a Patient your dignity is as the calm data gatherer who asks amidst the clangor for ACCURATE damage reports.”

“Wiseguy”: a person in a Benthamite, military or police situation who is well-advised to conceal the fact that he or she is smarter than the top sergeants, the military or police situation being designed for leadership in a way that would suppress truth to power even while repealing don’t ask don’t tell.

13 March 2013

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 13, 2013 by spinoza1111

Struggling to stay awake as chemo’s principal side effect, in my case, an extreme tiredness, slows everything down. I spent the morning in a daze worrying about the fact that my first social security payment has been lost and my Internet dongle may be unusable because as usual it has become bent through heavy use.

Then found code number and what I need to do for social security, got online right here. Trying to focus on simple tasks. CheersMeUp to get them done.

No pain, morphine dosage was increased by the doctor. Just exhaustion. Trying to eat. Today’s Mystery Meat was a chicken with intermixed veggies for lunch.

Yesterday, some friends from Lamma snuck in a perfectly wonderful McDonald’s cheeseburger, chocs and two strong coffees; the burger and half the first coffee triggered a dramatic bowel movement. The nurses are always demanding poo, but what they do not realize that for years I used coffee to keep me regular tous les jours.

These vacations into the past in the form of fantasy food such as McDonald’s are good as a rare treat but the cheeseburger and chocolate burn my mouth a bit, mouth sensitivity being another side-effect of chemo.

Cluster of Rainbows for the Angel Who Spreads Rumours

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 3, 2013 by spinoza1111

Unknown Helper Face-Off

Edward G. Nilges, “Angels Spreading Rumours”, pencil, pen, Gimp modifications and colourization, A4 size. Copyright (c) 2010. Moral rights asserted.


A simple prayer, I stick my hand in the air
Letting *porte de jambe” and its grace
Relive the pain which twitches my face
Relieve the pain which bleeds into space

My hand holds rainbows now

I’ve been sitting, more truthfully lying, watching free movies and “The Young Turks” because the hormone treatnent has failed and I must start chemo. Cenk Uygur is a funny guy but like the Incomprehensible Maestro I have neglected my affairs undt meinem Kindern  (seinem being Max undt Moritz, meinem being angels with one on earth, one in heaven, two but newly borne.).

Let me tell you how the sun rose! But now I have a new song for both of my grand-daughters already have, it is evident from photographs sent by my thoughtful son alone, personalities.

One is, sleeping or waking, happy with a smile as wide as the Ocean and she bears the burden of dreaming, She seems protective for t’other always will be snuggling. It is a mystery how for the most part babies are safe without us. Without us they have a fraternal twin or like Romulus a reasonably friendly wolf.

The Maestro and I yok yuk it up, how funny it is the Republicans have lost, with the Ottoman. So I need to apologize to the community of people who log in here to find me working OUT, only to find me gorked, “out” or “out” to lunch. I need to arrange something and hope to have done so after first chemo.

But physio will take some caution. My left sciatic nerve was screaming earlier today.

Ta Pocketa, then.

Workout 24 Jan 2012: O Voyager

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 24, 2013 by spinoza1111

20 minutes steady and intense rowing machine movement and a nice bath: on the downside, bad news on the cancer front.

The lassitude and reduced appetite I’ve felt over the past week at Grantham may not be due solely to too much bed rest. The cancer manifestation has returned with high PSA levels, in addition to lassitude and reduced appetite. Cancers tend to figure out our treatments in a systematic stepwise way. The next step for me may be chemo, or a sudden lifting of the hormone barrage (daily flutamide, and Leuprorelin Acetate injection every three months) which in some patients, surprises (?) the cancer cells so they diminish in number and strength.

I had great hopes for a hormone barrage even as WWI infantry were cheered by real barrages only to find that there were plenty of enemy left and they were pissed off. The cancer response may be, strangely, similar.

The complexity of cancer’s response is fascinating and Kantian-sublime to the philosopher even if the cancer is attacking him. The incurability of the disease, along with reports of people who at death’s door then survive like the Fisher King, with the Peacock’s beak poised to slay them, teaches us not, in Kant’s words, to build our hopes and fears on vanity; Kant had seen the consequences of such construction in the Lisbon earthquake of 1745.

As Doctor gave me this news I was seriously waiting for the fear to kick in but only felt my usual pain in the butt, the PITB that’s been my constant companion for several months, like the Companions of the Ritter (Knight) in the Durer engraving, Todt (Death) and Teufel (Devil). I only found my smile, my disgusting, long-suffering, Eric-or-Little-by-Little smile as I try instinctively to charm females with me being so brave and all. So where’s my Panic Room, and where does my true self emerge?

Durer Ritter Todt undt Teufel

Well perhaps my true self might be that smile and the Rager my father or more precisely a manifestation, and a singularly unfortunate one, of my Dad. I myself hate the Rager too.

As I was writing this the handless nurse dumped a glass of cold water on me by accident. The whole secret of life seems to be in how you react to something like that. There is a deeper meaning, for me anyway, in “the gates of Hell shall not prevail”.

…and as I was revising this the handless orderly dropped a mini cup of that damnable laxative that tastes vile and does not work on me. I used his error, however, to snag some alcohol pads useful for hand cleaning.

This tendency to be on balance reasonably cheerful could be just morphine’s euphoria. But I don’t think so, for endorphins have the same effect and the saint has her endorphins when she calls to mind the Noble Truth: that in suffering is the release from suffering at least for the purged.

Heavy matters. But you sure can construct a nice little Limerick based on those three words, morphine, endorphin and euphoria:

A disgusting old chap of Albania
Said, this Morphine gives me no end of Euphoria
But should I run out
I shall be Stout
And run about to generate Endorphins in Albania

Besides, I am on prescribed dosages. They are high as witness my tendency to get nauseous, and I don’t know how hopheads push the dosage to start seeing things…although my visions last Oct were benign when I used improper dosages I certainly don’t want to go back to that confusion.

Doctor allayed my fears about chemo as has Dr Siddharta Mukherjee in his excellent recent book about cancer and its treatment. Our media view of cancer is formed by the treatment of patients prior to 2000 such as Gilda Radner, and their sufferings under crude chemo which does try to destroy the weaker cancer cells by attacking all cells. The thought of getting this type of chemo, BARFOLA or something like that, as an out patient and then a jolly ferry ride o’er the billow with me spewing me guts windward is itself barfoprogenetive.

Thinking philosophically about pain seems a useful way to endure at least mild pain. Pain is not “sense data” because pain is incommensurate with sense data in that pain seems to be a type of knowledge. But there are even types of pain incommensurate with other types of pain, most famously, nausea. I believe Wittgenstein deals thoroly with these conundrums in Philosophical Investigations. Might be worth a reread as opposed to idle speculation and reinventing the wheel.

But precisely because of the suffering of Ms Radner and many other chemo patients, since 2000 many less intense and less barfy therapies have been introduced. The key ratio m/n is m=number of days on chemo and n=number of days off and so we focus on reducing that number. I think that further, n could be analyzed into g+b: “good” days without cancer symptoms and “bad” days so we could also reduce b. The “sweet spot” in m/(g+b) would be m and b equal to zero, of course: nothing but g. We could then evaluate treatments as to how close they came to m and b=0. Of course, I would do this only for myself on entering chemo-land; I do not know if it’s already in use.

But, “them helpis no conclusionis slee” as Dunbar says of “surrigianis”, “art-magicianis” and “astrologgis”: so,just like him, I have to trust in God when all is said and done:

Sith for the deid remeide is none
Best is we for death dispone
After death that live may we!

Details at eleven: we have to Turn It Over. We’re not constituted any other way. To be reassured is to need further reassurance, so we need to take the first reassurance and then act or be still as the situation warrants.

“O voyagers, O seamen,
You who came to port, and you whose bodies
Will suffer the trial and judgement of the sea,
Or whatever event, this is your real destination.”
So Krishna, as when he admonished Arjuna
On the field of battle.
Not fare well,
But fare forward, voyagers.

TS Eliot