Thursday, October 31, 2013

Journey To Crusoe's Island, Dougloid Style.

You know how you hear about something and you start feeling the ground quivering under your feet? I guess it's like an earthquake, and having lived in southern California for a number of years you know when you feel it, there's little to do at that point but ride it out.

There's something tectonic going on with my life.

A few weeks ago I went to the dentist for my semi annual teeth cleaning and almost as an after thought I asked the dentist to look at a sort of small squishy lump in my right cheek. He looked, and said "Well, I dunno what it is but it shouldn't be there." That led to a trip to an oral surgeon, which led to a CAT scan of my head, which led to an ENT guy, which led to a biopsy.

The biopsy itself was no walk in the park either, as it involved being knocked out and poked and prodded. I woke up an hour or so later and for a few days I looked like I'd been bashed by Mike Tyson.

All of this led to the phone ringing Monday morning and being told I had lymphoma. How bad it is, I'll find out today and it will probably involve having a host of toxic chemistry pumped into my arm and losing my hair-what's left of it.

Right away, everything looked different. I mean, I don't feel different, except that I noticed I've been getting tired a lot lately and a couple hours in the rack in the middle of the day looks mighty nice, as does retiring early. I'm told it is mostly curable and early detection is the key.

The feeling is akin to being on the ferryboat from Vineyard Haven. One moment you're connected and engaged, and the next, you're pulling away from the pier on a journey. All you've ever known is standing on the quay as you set out into dark and uncharted waters.

That's what I'm on. A journey with an unknown destination. I don't know what's it going to be like, but sitting here in the silence of early morning after Judy has left for the salt mines, I'm a bit apprehensive.

When Selkirk was put ashore on what is now known as Crusoe's Island, having decided that his ship was unseaworthy,  he didn't know how long he was likely to be marooned-it might have been forever.

Everything looks and feels different today, just the same as what Selkirk, sitting on the beach and watching the Cinque Ports set sail and disappear over the horizon , saw.

Update: 11/2  I had a bone marrow biopsy and a consult, it's second stage which means it's in more than one place.  but not below my neck. I'll have a PET scan which I think is a cat scan with dye and then next week a consult about the course of treatment which is likely to be challenging. I always wanted to be a veteran of something dangerous but this is a little bit more than I wanted.


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