Monday, July 28, 2008

It seems like weeks, but in fact only a few days have passed. The surgery went well, it went quickly. My hospital stay, while event filled, was brief. I am, indeed, writing this from home. By Friday afternoon I was out of intensive care and into my own room, thanks to the amazing care of some nurses. We should all have that much love to give. I went from blacking out the 1st time I tried to sit up to walking down the hall way in a day, and by Saturday afternoon I was home. I am thankful for the company I had before the surgery and the friendly faces I saw that evening. It was the difference between hope and fear, humor and sadness. Now it's about taking walks, building strength, being patient. I won't know the results of the biopsy until the end of the week, but if anyone wants to take a slow walk in the woods until then, Im game. Scott

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ok folks, here it is short and sweet. I will be in the hospital starting Thursday for 4-5 days. My surgery is at 12 noon on Thursday, July 24th. It will take 4-5 hours and then I will be in the intensive care unit after that until the next day. Anyone who might come visit me would be very welcome. The waiting room is on the 5th floor. I don't know what condition I'll be in Thursday night, but I wouldn't mind seeing a familiar face. Friday and on, come entertain me!

Kaiser Permanente Hospital
2425 Geary Blvd 
There are cheap public parking garages on O'Farrell and on Geary, between the hospital and Divisadero.

This surgery, well, it's more than I want to admit, just google thoracotomy, so anyone who wants to come help take care of me at home is more than welcome. I'm sure Jen will appreciate it also. I just don't know what to tell you I might need.
Jen's cell phone: 415-517-9659
Jen's and Robert's home phone: 415-333-6092

I remember cutting the top of my toe off over a beer (or two) and a sharp rock at the Grand Tetons. I was so sad at being so stupid... had I lessened my experience of such a grand place?! I spent the next day floating in a canoe, looking at ripples of mineral sands in the glacial clear water of Jenny Lake, reflections of sky and mountains. The next day I put on an extra thick pair of socks and some river sandals (shoes pressed toe, made big pain) and hiked 4000 ft to see the remains of Teton's glaciers.
You never know how things will turn, how you will handle that turn, but they do and you do and time keeps going.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Monday, July 14th
Hello,  I must apologize for not writing sooner. It's as
if Ive farted and left the room, and the blame on someone else to bear. What do I say? By this time I thought I would know what 
to tell you, and by this time you would already know what that is.
Two biopsies, multiple acronymic scans and countless blood tests later and none of us knows what story to tell. It may not even be cancer,  but "fibrosing
mediastinitis": thats science for "tumor of unknown origin growing in the center of your chest".
     So I've been living life as before. The fevers have left and no other symptoms have shown themselves. I run, I hike, I eat lots of food, I gain weight, I yell at crappy drivers that almost run down pedestrians! ..and I wait. Next week Ill be undergoing a more intrusive biopsy, a "thoracotomy", otherwise known as surgery. It seems pretty serious- at least it will leave me knocked up in bed for a month with a serious dose of pain (and lets not forget the catheter).
     I just wanted to let you know where things stand, and what to expect... i.e. I will be in want of entertainment, be you a poet, an artist, a musician, a storyteller, a magician, a maker of bad jokes, a bearer of DVDs, or a just silly someone who cares, I will be calling you to come entertain me in the coming weeks. My surgery is Thursday, July 24th- I will be in the hospital for 3 or 4 days and then home in bed. Im bad at planning ahead, but in the next week I will try to post more information about visiting me in the hospital, when and where Ill be and how and who to contact to learn more. So stay tuned my friends, the sun rises everyday... Scott

From 5/28/08: We often watch nature as remote observers. We watch the processes and actions of seasons and organisms- the short lived flush of desert annual wildflowers after rain and the promise in a multitude of seeds, the dance of pollination each new generation of bees will perform, the regeneration of summer burned landscapes from winter rains- seldom discovering our own rhythms in these processes. We cycle through every day without noticing them... until one day something comes along to disturb them.
   Over a week ago I began having high fevers for no apparent cause. What was at first uncomfortable became disconcerting and so I went to the hospital. It turns out I have a large tumor in my chest. An aggressive and advanced stage of lymphoma may be likely. Soon I begin scheduling biopsies. The biopsies will determine the extent, the kind of cancer and what combination of treatments will ensue, though chemotherapy is almost certainly in the recipe.
   I don't know how to tell everyone, or what to expect in telling you all. I just wanted you to know. I might want to see you in the coming weeks and months. Its likely I'll need your help. Maybe I'll just need a letter or a phone call... but obviously I am no longer in a position to pretend that I don't need the help of the people around me. My biggest hope is to continue life as normally as possible over the coming weeks. That is all I know. I'm in a limbo where each day is what it is and comes when the sun rises and no more. I'm sorry about this letter and the news it contains. It almost seems unthoughtful to burden you with it. Its just one of those things I wanted to get out of the way now. Scott