Ludicrous. Skip gave me an iPad for Christmas and I’m reading a terrific book and I managed to leave both of them at home. So I spent an hour at the Southern Indiana Radiation Center (SIRA) with nothing but a bunch of Tennis magazines and Web MD issues to read. I was there to get my annual mammogram and also-- because Skip’s cancer caught us so off-guard-- a chest and lung X-ray (I’m an ex-smoker, too and suffer now from mild asthma). It all went well—or at least as well as they’d tell me at the time; and now I’m back home. I have work to do, but I’m restless so thought I catch up on the blog posts.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Dec 3, 2011
On the cancer front, the news is good. Last Weds (Nov 23) Skip had a CT Scan to see how the cancer was progressing--or not-- and the results are terrific. The carcinoma (cancer cell growth) in his spine is reduced and the soft tissue in the bone is starting to heal. The lymph nodes in his chest are smaller. The spot on his lung and the one on his liver are unchanged, but no larger. And there are no new spots or lesions. So for now at least, the cancer's progress has been substantially slowed.
He had new labs this past Weds (Nov 30)-- also good. White blood cell count and immature white blood cell count are still fabulous (he could share with the entire family). His platelet count is high. The hemoglobin count is still 9.8-despite the valiant attempts of a dedicated acupuncturist and her arsenal of chinese herbs (thanks, Eliie!) and the sacrifices of several local grass-fed cows. So, the hemoglobin count is not quite the perfect 10 that continues to elude us, but it’s no worse than 3 weeks ago.
Skip had his 4th chemo treatment Weds-- still using two drugs: alimta and carboplatin. When he returns to the center in 3 weeks, he'll be starting a milder "maintenance" chemo therapy, just using alimta —and spending only about 45 minutes in the still pretty depressing infusion center. Dr. Dayton was obviously pleased with himself and twirled his mustache with even more élan than usual.
Asked about travel, Doc D said that if Skip feels well enough to travel in April, we can work his chemo treatment around a plane trip. So--as of now at least, we plan to fly to Stayton for Edith (Skip’s mom)’s 100th birthday in April. The invisible band around my chest has loosened. I feel as though I can breathe again and for the first time in months I feel as though we can make plans.
Back to Godard-- Stayed up late watching Olivier Assayas’s Demonlover, just one of the films that would have not been possible without him.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
In March we went to New Orleans—I was there for the Society of Cinema Studies Conference, and Skip wanted to see New Orleans again, post Katrina, and to see friends. Large, rambling hotel largely organized around the bar. Easy to find people from the conference, but also easy to eat and drink far too much. The first night there, we put off trying to find conference friends and instead went to Magazine Street, and had dinner at the Bon Ton Restaurant. With our bill, we received a recipe card—the restaurant’s signature vinaigrette recipe on one side, bread pudding with whiskey sauce on the other.
The card ended up on the sink in my bathroom—and I see it every morning. Bread pudding with whiskey sauce. Before Skip was diagnosed, it was friendly and amusing. Now I keep it there, hoping there will be a time when he can eat such things again—when we can go to New Orleans together, eat oyster sandwiches and walk down the street sipping drinks. Strange the things that take on importance. A trip to New Orleans, a place we rarely visited. Bread pudding with whiskey sauce—something I’ve eaten maybe 5 times in my entire life.
Laurie Stone sent me the ms for her new book today—My Life as an Animal. Started reading as I downloaded it to my desktop and was captured immediately. Her prose always hits me like that—just reaches out and grabs me right away. Smart, provocative, honest. Talked to her Sunday—long, funny conversation, and a good one to have. Afterwards I mentioned to Skip that Laurie asks me questions like nobody else in my life does. He just smiled.
“She offered to come when I start teaching again,” I told him. “To help.”
“That would be a good thing, don’t you think?”
“Yes,” I said—getting that catch in my voice as I wondered what shape he’ll be in come January. Right now he fatigues quickly and is prone to stomach upset--but basically he is doing well. My friend Tamar tells me she admires the way I take things one day at a time. She doesn’t know how my mind races ahead into the future during these long white nights.
It’s late—early in the morning, really—Picasso’s birthday. I’m looking at a very bad painting I did when I was 20 years old and living in Sweden. A Picasso-esque woman with her eyes closed. It’s propped on my desk, underneath the very good graphite sketch that Skip did shortly after we started living together—a large picture of Virginia Woolf that still hangs on my study wall. I hear Skip getting up to go to the bathroom again. Time for bed.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
We made it through the first 4 treatments, with few noticeable effects. After last weekend and the extreme fatigue that Skip experienced after chemo, I was very nervous about how he’d react. But his energy is good and, thanks to herbs and acupuncture, he’s eating well.