Sunday, December 4, 2011

Good news

Dec 3, 2011

Today is Jean- Luc Godard’s 81st birthday. Six years ago we did a weekend symposium here at IU, to celebrate his 75th birthday. Jonathan Rosenbaum came down from Chicago with a copy of JLG’s as yet unreleased Histoires du cinema; Jim, I, Nathan Carroll, and Jonathan gave talks; we showed a smattering of both old favorites and more recent films- -and at least one rare film from the Dziga Vertov period. I remember Skip lugging a case of wine we got from the Swiss Embassy to the reception and the great Champagne and Baklava bash we had to celebrate the end of the festivities and to fête the great man himself. This year I’ve been so distracted I would have missed Godard’s birthday entirely if not for Facebook postings from other cinephiles. But I did rally sufficiently to order Histoires, which is finally commercially available here, from Amazon. And I spent a wonderful hour last night trolling You Tube for my own FB Godard nuggets to post.

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.

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