On the Medicinal Value of Some Bucket List Items

The secret of being a bore… is to tell everything.
Voltaire

And yet, there I go. This is my blog, which no one reads, so I can go bonkers.

During a short hiatus, we (this is not a royal “We”, this “we” is actually we—my wife and I; I am not allowed to meet alone with the people who gave the Hippocratic Oath, for it is evident to everyone—but me—that I am chronically unable to understand them correctly) met with the team, treating me—A.K.A., The Mandarin Factory—several times.

At the first of these meetings (the negotiations with the pharmaceutical company that develops the immunotherapeutic drug my doctor decided to try on me since my current chemo cocktail was doing a much better job on the host than my Cancer Al tenant/pet, were at that time not yet complete) my doctor looked at the results of my blood test and became noticeably confused.

“Have you had a blood transfusion?” he asked, “I do not recall ordering one for you…”

“Nope.”

He checked my file. I had not had a blood transfusion.

“But your numbers are within or even better than normal, how is this possible?”

I had no choice but to confess.

Continue reading “On the Medicinal Value of Some Bucket List Items”

On Smoking and Other Indulgences

Recently—a week ago—on June 1st, 2017 and (as one of the countless apps I have on my phone informed me) the 20014th day of my life—I finally received full absolution to do whatever I wish.

I can drink (which I never stopped), smoke (which I stopped—not quit, mind you, stopped—eleven years, four months and four days ago to date, but can start over with no effort whatsoever*), talk (if I suddenly want to), leave the toilet seat in an upright position, touch art in museums, and cross the street on a red light.

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On the Scale from Zero to Ten

I stumbled upon this picture on Unsplash and simply could not resist posting it. This is how Castle Stormhold should look from the shore, assuming the architecture of the castle itself is adjusted to fit my description and all the clouds are removed from the sky (it has been a drought there, so the air is extremely arid). Small details aside, the feel is, nevertheless, perfect.

Back to the title of this post, however (and trying to stay on-topic).

I could never figure out how to effectively challenge the cretinism of the question “please, rate your pain on a scale from zero to ten“.

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On The Writing Process (if what I do can be called that)

Well, it is writing, of course, even if the procedural aspect of it is reduced to poking the keys on the iPhone’s keyboard (wrong ones more often than not, recently) with numb fingers (or picking more or less right keys with a stylus—while struggling to keep it from slipping out of my numb grip).

And yet the velocity of soiling the virtual paper with the magical symbols is not as important as deciding which they are and what they say. Continue reading “On The Writing Process (if what I do can be called that)”

The Rumors of My Resurrection Were Slightly Exaggerated

Last Monday’s upper endoscopy showed that my tumor is NOT gone, as I was led to believe by my doctor earlier.

Now, another six sessions of chemo later—although it has decreased in size (by about 30% in the esophagus and 50% in the stomach area)—it is still pretty much there. Small wonder I still cannot swallow without chewing everything but drinks to mash.

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Another Milestone: 500,000 Words

And counting. I nearly missed this one—only yesterday I was still three or four hundred words away from it, and I do write slowly—but another scene is in and all of a sudden I am past 500K.

This is what happens when you start with a five-bullet-point outline, a strong sense of direction and absolutely no idea what you are doing.

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On the Holiday Season

As much as I love the nation’s favorite Pagan’s holiday, I have to admit (damn, I fear I need to watch for that particular expression—I have to admit—or all my characters might start to sound alike, er… like me?) that ’tis the time to be worried.

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