Tuesday, March 31, 2009

If you want to understand existentialism, don't read Sartre or Camus, just study the nearest dog. I thought this was a novel observation made possible by the unique lens of my cancer, only to learn that a blog in the New York Times had beaten me to the punch. NYT writer Dana Jennings, while describing his experience with prostate cancer, realized that his dog, like my housemate's dog Rosa, has no problems living in the moment. Something we struggle with every day. Most of us have seen some three legged pooch or some ancient canine hobbled by arthritis, still happily chasing balls, wagging tails, eating snacks and curling up in the sunshine, without pondering the meaning of and the limits imposed by their handicap. 
    Well, I've put off updating this blog in my attempt to live in the moment (and in denial) for the last month of any sort of normalcy I'm likely to experience for awhile, and in the process I was scooped. But tomorrow I start a new treatment regimen that will eventually lead to a month long stay at the Stanford Hospital in June for a Stem Cell Transplant. Tomorrow (Thursday, April 2) I will be admitted to Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco (2425 Geary Blvd 415-833-2000) for the first of 2 high dose salvage chemotherapy treatments that will last 4 days each. Salvage because my initial treatment failed to work, so a more toxic cocktail of drugs will be mobilized to knock it back a bit... a sort of arms escalation to buy me some time.
    This is the beginning of a long process, and I'll have plenty of time to tell you more. For now I only warn you that I'll be asking, sometimes begging, for help this summer- companionship, transportation, even care at home and more. Ill be dependent on others for so much and that bothers me as much as anything. But I'll learn to ask for it.  I thank everyone in advance... Scott