Posted by: cg00n | April 3, 2012

A View to a Future

It has been only a week since my last posting.  Usually a short interval like this means something has unexpectedly unraveled but sometimes a bunch of relatively benign things happen and thus it is on this occasion.

P and I recently spent two days at a workshop entitled Making Friends with Death led by the author of the eponymous book.  It was useful and comforting, in an odd way, to be able to spend time with forty or so others who want to reconnoiter the territory ahead of time.  The central message from the workshop is to see life as being completely interwoven with death in every moment.  Life is the process of dying.  That may sound very sombre but I think it helps me to see my death as simply the end of that process.  Nothing special.  In the meantime I hope to be able to live better.  The Raptitude blog has a good posting on this too.   The workshop was a little short on practical content (e.g. meditations or contemplations that would help) but we both felt it was worth the effort.

While we were at the workshop my long time friend, Mr. K.O’C of Calgary arrived for a short stay.  It has been a few years since we were last face to face.  As a result a lot more beer got consumed than usual and I had a good excuse to get out and show off the scenery around here.  It was a great week and really got my mind out of its rut.  We did pretty well on a pub trivia quiz too, which was quite unexpected.  Perhaps it helps to be sozzled.

Then there was the visit to Dr. C, the psychiatrist.  I was feeling a bit sad that day, a feeling we spent some time exploring.  She feels quite comfortable with my rather heavier use of Clonazepam.  The fact that I am concerned about the amount I take is, from her point of view, a Good Thing since it means I am unlikely to develop any sort of dependence on it.  We did discuss the possibility of medical marijuana too (first mooted on this blog some years ago) but decided this is not the time.  A party to look forward to, then.  She also made me write down and highlight one of my immemorable utterances: “As things come along I will manage reasonably well.”  This is quite true, in general.  For the next little while she wants me to pay particular attention to positive things, especially notable or unusual ones.  So far I’m managing to average about three per day.  It was a good visit and I felt much lighter when we left.

All of which brings us to yesterday and an appointment with Dr. G.  Given the current state of my leg (which is mostly held together with sutures and sticking plaster) I was expecting him to offer another limb perfusion or possibly an amputation.  Much to my surprise he suggested something quite different:  Interleukin-2 injected directly into melanoma lumps.  I asked him about something similar about a year-and-a-half ago.  Apparently this was a fairly hot topic at a recent conference about melanoma so he is trying to make this treatment available here.  The idea is to provoke a heightened immune response right where it is needed.  50-70% of patients respond to this, which is to say that the injected lump goes away and sometimes others shrink as well.  If this works on me, that works for me.  Not having surgery and sutures to look after almost every month would be a pleasant change of pace.  Whether or not this will have any effect in the long term is still unknown but Dr. G seemed quite upbeat about drugs “in the pipeline”.

So it is that this posting ends on a more positive note than has been the case in the recent past.  Don’t expect me to turn into an optimist any time soon but I keep working on it.  Someday I may surprise you – and myself!

Stay well, everyone.

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Responses

  1. It sounds like an interesting week; glad that things are overall looking up! Next time we drop by, we’ll join you for a game of pub trivia (and we can take you out playing, next time you’re in town :-).

  2. I like trying new things and innovation. For me innovation is provides hope especially when same old isn’t working. Your patchwork leg sounds like a shout to try something different. Directly injecting the lumps sounds like a worthwhile try. Then as you’ve said … you may be able to limp along with treatments for several decades. By then many of us will be in situations similar to yours with whatever our health deficit list is comprised of. We can get together and humming those were the days, or something like that.


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