A reprieve from side-effects, for now.


First, I apologize for inadvertently misleading some of you: I am not going blind; I am not losing my eyesight. My focal distances have and are shifting, the result of differences in pressure caused by the chemo, but it is, so far, a minor annoyance. A month or so after the last chemo is over, I’ll check with my eye doc because my vision has changed, but it is nothing to worry about.  And I’m not succumbing to cataracts, either. Sorry for any unnecessary alarm.

Let’s see: the supposed yeast infection isn’t, which is kinda bad news because it means that this discomfort (and I use the term in the same way a dentist does) is with me until the radiation treatments stop, and maybe a bit beyond that. I now have a barrage of prescription goops to get me through this.

My bitching about the apparent uselessness and true misery of the treatments made its way to medical ears. The radiation oncologist took a look last Tuesday and proclaimed that the tumor is smaller (yay!) . I saw my regular oncologist last week, who re-assured me that all is well, he is satisfied with my progress, and he loaded me up with all the prescription meds I had been asking for.

He is, by the way, a child. Dr. Dipak Ghelani, DO, looks no more than 18 and much like Steve Buschemi around the ears. Very knowledgeable, very assured, very convincing, very young. Most of these medical people are very young. Caitlin and I added it up: college, pre-med, medical school, clinical training, internship, residency, specialty board exams, building enough of a resume to land a good job in Hawai’i — still liable to be half my age. Oy!

This past week has been a relatively good one, made better by Caitlin’s presence. I had my hair cut short, because it’s still coming out but this way is less likely to clog the drain. Fingernails starting to flake a bit. Skin so dry my fingertips are shedding little dry patches, which combined with my bad habit of picking at my cuticles is neither a good nor lovely thing.

But the sores in the mouth and the chancy stomach are gone and my appetite is back. I’m still bone-weary and more likely to nap than I have been, but Caitlin and I ate at various nifty restaurants and munched various nifty things, and sat in the shade on beaches to watch the waves come in (one never tires of watching the Pacific). No dolphin, but we did watch honu sporting in the waves off Black Sand Beach, and we shopped for souvenirs for Caitlin’s employees back in NYC. I’m feeling pretty damned good.


Up a tree at Whittington Beach.

This all stops next Tuesday, when they hit me with the second round of chemo. But my beloved daughter-in-law Etta arrives on the 4th so I know I’ll be well taken care of; she leaves on the 12th and beloved son Richard arrives on the 13th. And, of course, Peg and Burny, my stalwarts, are nearby and on call.

So, nap time. See y’all.