This has not been a stellar day. I have been very tired. I am guessing the Neulasta is taking its toll, quietly exercising its options on the bone marrow. The end result is good, more white blood cells. The trip is nothing short of horrific. I have to say that the last couple of shots have not been so bad. Hard to tell where each iteration of the drug will take you.

I sat in the backyard this morning, reading the paper, cup of coffee in hand. So cliche. So necessary. Why do we insists on living in a cold country? Warm climates are so much more hospitable, except for the deadly bugs and incessant hurricanes. Put that aside though, and you end up with a beautiful place to live.

There has been a lot of talk lately about global warming and rising sea levels. The possibility of islands disappearing and lives changing since the original habitat is about to disappear. There are always articles that prove the contrary, all going to show that we are really not certain about what is going on. There was an article recently that talked about an island that was changing to adapt itself to rising sea levels. I forget where I read the excerpt, but the original is here. Makes for an interesting read, if only you subscribe to the magazine. An island that is changing itself? Coral reefs reacting to rising sea levels?

Just goes to show that we, humans, as part of a natural species can also morph and change with the times. We have proven over and over again that we have the ability to adapt. We get sick and our bodies somehow change and adapt to the new conditions. We get tired and the body goes into overtime attempting to rectify the situation. Time and again, we discover how little we know. The more information we have, the more confused we get.

Malcolm Gladwell talks in one of his books about doctors being given information about patients and asked to provide a diagnosis. The more information they were given the more incorrect the diagnosis. The exercise found, in fact, that only four pieces of relevant information was required for a correct diagnosis. I think relevant is the operative word here. Only four pieces of information? We are now providing diagnostics on people with thousands of pieces of information. A CT-Scan creates 300 pictures with one click of the button. The technologist has to go through them and pick put the relevant picture that depicts the information he wants. Is there too much information?

I am not sure it would make much of a difference in my case. Reading the report is always a bit of a puzzle being deciphered. The last report mentioned the lack of tumor activity in the pancreas and kidneys. I did not know that was a concern, and it apparently is not. But the technician noticed the lack of activity and decided it was worth mentioning. By the way, no brain tumors either, not that we were looking there. And none in … Too much information.

The body has adapted. It is compensating for the drugs and allowing them to control things, but not have an effect on them. I was at the St Lawrence Market this past Saturday. One of the shop keepers who is aware of my situation asked how I was. I have developed immunity I said. Good thing no? No, bad. I explained why. He started laughing. It sounded like a good thing. Who knew developing immunity can be a bad thing.

I have been tired all day. Did some laundry, but am unable to finish it. Slept in the afternoon in spite of the construction next door. Still tired. Resting. Watching TV. I cried watching the opening scenes of Star Trek. I have seen this movie many times. There is really nothing to cry over. There I was, sitting on the couch crying. Weakness all around.

I am going to see a friend tomorrow who has melanoma. She was supposed to be dead three years ago. She says it is hard to kill a bitch. She has been so determined to stay alive that I am now forced to go see her. Not very considerate of her. I am looking forward to the visit. We are both putting on weight because of the steroids that are part of out diet. I wish I was building abs or something. I am, instead ballooning. I am up to 190lbs and rising. This after going from 210 to 180. I think there is a rest coming from the Chemo treatments, and therefore from the steroids. Weight should go back down. Hard to know what to wish for.

My new Chemo cocktail is called FOLFOX. It is comprised of three drugs. Always three. This regimen is given over a two day period. How do they come up with these things? One drug one day followed by 5FU over 22 hours. A second drug the second day followed by more infusion. Sounds exciting no? More side effects, though nothing new, White, red blood cell depletion along with platelets being affected. Nothing I am not going through now. All I need now is to develop immunity to Neulasta.

I get 5FU now. The attach the tube to your chest. Turns out the heat from the body improves the flow of the infusion. I give off a lot of heat. The 46 hour process of the infusion is usually done in 40 hours, and sometimes less, depending on my level of activity. The 22 hour process with the new regiment should also run for a shorter time period. Two days of treatment. Not looking forward to that.

This entry has rambled a bit. I am tired and will use that as my excuse.

7 Responses to “Blazing the trail”

  1. I was so struck by that Gladwell story (I forget which book it was in). Interesting observation, the too much information thing. The world is overwhelming. Your words were comforting, somehow. Hope tomorrow brings more pep Farokh. But you on a tired day are still a wonderful writer. Thanks again for sharing.

  2. how's the garden? should i come and visit?

  3. It was so very lovely to come round the other night. I should have peeked out into the garden! Never mind, just another (unnecessary) excuse for a visit.

    With regards to the idea of islands and coral reefs adapting, Chris recently mentioned the Gaia Theory (I'd never heard of it), where the Earth will protect herself so that she can thrive. That means that we'll be allowed to live here as long as it suits her, and if we can't change to stop ravaging her, she'll get rid of us.

    I like to think about the theory, but were it to be true all I can say is that she's got the ultimate patience with us!

    Hope to see you soon.

  4. Thanks for introducing me to "The Rooster" coffee shop two days after this posting. I so enjoyed listening to your wisdoms and spending some time with you. As a matter of fact, the earth moved when I returned home–what an impact you had! I'd like to take you up on your offer of lending me one of your Gladwell books. Perhaps I can lend you something in return?

  5. Hey Farokh, while you may have been rambling even your rambling is interesting. While you wrote about many topics in post I'm going to pick up on one that was barely mentioned, crying.

    I don't feel crying is a sign of weakness; I cry when I'm both happy and sad and coincidently I also have cried while watching Star Trek. I find crying to be very cathartic and in many cases I feel stronger after a good cry. So go a head and have a good cry; IMHO the world would be a better place if more people let their emotions out instead of keeping them bottled up where they ferment and fester.

    Love Cynthia
    PS. Give me a call sometime. I miss you!

  6. Hi Farohk,

    I hope your energy comes back soon, would love to have you come to the farm. No mandatory riding for you but definitely for Janet.

    Your writing is so touching and humorous all at the same time. Thanks for reminding me not to take every damned thing so seriously.

    I hope Janet brings some great stories home with her today, she has been with our G(irls)20 Girls :)

    Lots of Love,


  7. hi Farokh,
    am sorry to hear you were having a trying time, and hope that is still not the case. think you may have been having a weak moment when you considered crying to be part of a weakness! to me crying mostly feels like a river washing through, inside out.
    thinking of you from the rice paddies of Bali, as the night frogs orchestrate, sounding like goats, ducks, and chirping birds.

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