CANCER BLOG site on website including full text of medical memoir CANCER PATIENT; material deals with living with brain damage and degraded eyesight following remission of cancer after chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Blog entries about the aftermath of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, including brain damage and eyesight damage; a survivor's account of the aftermath of cns lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the large B-cell variety, in the author's case cancer of the brain and the spinal cord.
A HUGH COOK READER
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cancer Blog Entries
8888 Page 44 Item Seven
MOCKING THE DEAD
Children at a primary school (that is, an elementary school) in New Zealand are taught to mock the desecrated bodies of the dead. Nobody seems to question the appropriacy of this behavior, presumably because the culture which is being mocked is currently in no position to throw bombs.
Brain cancer has arrived so it is goodbye to politics, goodbye to war, goodbye to the fate of the whale and the future of the world. The self closes down, the wider world vaporizing, replaces by the narrow arena of brain cancer and its complications. One's personal death, possibly right on the doorstep, outweighing the deaths of the many millions. Here, insights into what happened to me when I was under the knife: the details of my neurosurgery.
DOOR TO AN ALTERNATIVE REALITY
There exists (this is my thesis) a door that I can step through to access an alternative reality. In this alternative reality, I am no longer the cancer patient. Instead, I am a married man with wife and daughter, living in a house in a tolerably prosperous city, going off to work in the morning and pursing my career. I have no idea whatsoever that this is the stuff of dreams and fiction. For me, the door is real, and so, too, is the promised world which lies just beyond it.
THE CANCELLATION OF MY LIFE
My life, the life I had planned for myself, has been canceled. On a temporary basis, perhaps. Or perhaps forever.
A JUNKIE AGAIN
Back on my familiar drug, dexamethasone.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF HAVING CANCER
So what is the immediate impact of this disease which is possibly back again? (Possibly, possibly not.)
FLYING HIGH ON DRUGS
The first lyrical honeymoon days of a good drug trip. Yes, this is not your quick ten-minute hike outside the boundaries of reality. This is a trip which is running for days.
Yeah, and everyone knows that I'm doing these drugs, and they're watching. Watching for my mental lapses, too.
BETRAYING MY DAUGHTER
My feeling is that, in large measure, my circumstances are out of my control. Even so, I feel bad about betraying my daughter.
The system will deliver a diagnosis in its own good time. In the meantime, my life is in a holding pattern.
TWO SCRIPTS: LIFE OR DEATH
Two scripts have been prepared for the movie of my life, one a kind of family comedy, the other a black-and-white movie about death and dying. I have no idea, at this stage, which script I am going to be handed. Whichever script I get, it gets played out for real in real time.
QUESTIONS ABOUT MY DEATH
Premature, because I don't yet know that I am dying. However, I have a window of opportunity, and questions I want to discuss, including, if it comes to that, the mechanism of my death.
SIDE EFFECTS MAY INCLUDE DEATH
If the cancer has returned, it seems that there is just one drug on planet Earth which may (possibly, perhaps) be the answer. An introduction to the pharmaceutical industry and its marketing strategies: life is a beach.
INFORMED CONSENT PROCEDURES ARE BROKEN
Why informed consent procedures are broken. What is broken, why it is broken, how it could be fixed, why it will not be fixed.
INFORMED CONSENT PROCEDURE FOR DEATH
And now let's take a look at an actual informed consent procedure ...
As the brain cancer patient I have suffered brain damage from the cancer itself, from chemotherapy and from radiation therapy. The state of play, as far as I can make it.
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING SCAN
SPECIAL LANGUAGE FOR TALKING TO BABIES
Meantime, life moves forward. An alphabet book by Edward Lear, A WAS ONCE AND APPLE PIE, is encountered and reviewed.
ME AND RAY BRADBURY
Nominally the cancer patient, I am, in practice, in Total Writer mode, at least for the moment. Working, right now, on preparing a book for publication. As I do so, a story keeps coming back to me, a story by Ray Bradbury, the American science fiction writer who is the author of, amongst other works, FAHRENHEIT 451. This piece deals with the emotions of craftsmanship, of being the builder, the maker, of creating and sustaining a world.
THE WITCHLORD AND THE WEAPONMASTER
I, the author of this book, become the publisher of its second edition. A blurb of the book plus some final words. May be a little early for final words, but it does not hurt to have them on the record.
THE SUCCUBUS AND OTHER STORIES
And, in February 2006, I publish another boo, this one a fairly solid short story collection, THE SUCCUBUS AND OTHER STORIES, over 600 pages of SF, fantasy, horror, weirdness and strangeness. The TABLE OF CONTENTS is given, showing an item-by-item breakdown of the book.
And here, to give a sample of the flavor of THE SUCCUBUS AND OTHER STORIES, is one of the items from the collection.
MRI RESULT IS READY
But I get it not now but in a week. My crisis, if I can call it that, moves at the speed of global warming.
MY FUTURE REVEALED:
LIVE WITH EYE DAMAGE OR DIE OF CANCER
The answer is whatever the answer is. One way or another, today I am going to get closure. Right?
THE SAGA OF MY ILLNESS
How things worked out for me on the medical front during the days in which this book was under construction.
BURN IN HELL YOU BASTARDS
The author gives his thoughts on his radiation oncologists.