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Monday, July 23, 2018

DAY 018 -- "If You Can Get Through The Twilight"

Before leaving to accompany me to chemo today, Diane snapped this photo of an immature Broad-winged Hawk perched in the dead pine. (We're pretty sure of the bird, after checking our home bird book library).


The “dead pine” is an inside joke here. It is so dead (how…dead… IS IT?) Thanks for asking. It’s SO dead, that its needleless branches have become a modern art masterpiece, but it also sports ideal branches for lots of our other fly-in friends. All-size perches, with unlimited views into it and out of it. Good for preys. Good for predators.

For the hawks, it’s a prime overlook/launchpad for swoop-downs and keeping their role in the food chain intact: nesting birds, chipmunks, snakes, mice, insects, frogs, and other hawk fodder – all of which abound around here. Balance.

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**Warning! Liberal Blogger’s Political Privilege, Confidential To Everyone**:  Am I digressing? You betcha, but nobody digresses better than I do. Everyone will tell you that I digress longer and better and smarter than anyone anywhere in the world, that I can tell you. When I digress, no other digression even comes close in all of mankind! No, in all of history!

(See how stupid that sounds, Donald?)
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Okay, entering the infusion room for chemo today, and the nurse smiles, points to the corner of the room, and says: “All ready with your usual chair.”

“Nooooo! Not that!” I said, with all the mocking fun I could muster: “Please, can’t you switch me around and give me an unusual chair? I just don’t feel usual today, and I hate being a usual anything.”

Good laughs all around, then we got to the usuals: Insert IV port, blood draw, lab report reviews, twenty question weekly update, weight (gained 2 lbs!), pre-treatment nausea meds, then the big chemo guns, and later the best and most unusual hospital cheeseburger I’ve ever had. Food eaten during infusion, for some reason, is particularly satiating.

Later, on to my irradiation. New development (not permanent and not unexpected) as an itchy diffuse rash has appeared on my upper chest where the treatment is focused. I’m given moisturizers, anti-itchers, additional pain meds as needed. This is temporary, so I’ll quote directly from my favorite humorist, no frills: “If you can get through the twilight, you’ll live through the night.”

Both treatments otherwise uneventful today. Visit with oncologists: “We’re still going for a curative.” Yippee (I’ll hold the exclamation point for now. Wouldn’t want to provoke the cancer gods. They’re fidgety enough already).

Meanwhile, there’ll be a few more weeks of cancer treatment fallouts through these courses, all influencing appetite, bowels, skin, thinking, sleeping, effects, side effects, and yes, because medicine and our bodies are such capricious lovers, side effects of the side effects. Egads.

This sign in the bathroom, one we're all now accustomed to, just hit me as deeply funny and ironic and profound today as a metaphor for life, death, love, all in one sentence. I'll let you figure it out.

Oh, and the hawk that Diane spotted up there? She now informs me (her research biologist history slip is showing) of the marked variance between the sexes. She’s just played a recording of their respective voices for me. “Ah! Listen, El! The male voice is an octave higher than the female! What does that tell you?”

Hmm … I don’t know where she's going with that, but I’ll bet it’s great. I do know what I'll try to do with it tonight, however. Maybe, when she’s on her oboe and I’m at the piano, we’ll play an octave apart.

Balance.

Thanks again, Ma Nature.

More as we go, El



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