Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hospital Chronicles Part 11 - 4 Years Later!














Today I had a commercial audition for a drug called Keytruda. It is prescribed to those with non-small cell lung cancer. I tried out for the part of Shannon, who was successfully taking Keytruda to treat her advanced lung cancer. Wow. It brought up so many memories of my hospitalization back in the Spring of 2012. More than four years ago! A lot has happened since then, but I have never finished chronicling my hospital stay.  So I'm attempting to do so now. Of course since it was so long ago some of the details have become fuzzy. Which is kind of a good thing. I guess I'll just start from where I left off in October, 2012:  (Hospital Chronicles, Part 10 - Family At Last!)

The next day was Monday, my seventh day of being in the hospital. Seven days. Seven. Lucky number seven. (Seven is supposedly the world's most favorite number. There are seven days of the week, seven seas, seven continents, seven colors in the rainbow, seven wonders of the ancient world, and seven deadly sins. There's 7 Up, 7-Eleven, 7 for all Mankind, Jack Daniel's Old No. 7, and the Boeing 747. While we are at it, don't forget about Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, 007, The Seven Year Itch, the Seventh Seal, and the Seven Stranded Castaways on Gilligan's Island. A park ranger named Roy Sullivan was hit by lightning seven times and survived all of them! But I digress.) It turned out to be my last day in the hospital, so perhaps it is a special number after all. Upon waking up on that magical Monday, I was told that I was to have a mammogram in order to rule out breast cancer. They whisked me off in a wheelchair before breakfast, and I soon found my self waiting, again, in another hospital corridor. After what seemed like forever, I was wheeled in to get my mammogram. The very annoying thing is that I was quite capable of walking, I guess they just thought it was faster to wheel me around everywhere.  The damn mammogram really hurt, in fact it hurt so badly that I almost fainted and they had to sit me down and give me a cookie and some juice to drink. I think the lack of breakfast also had something to do with almost fainting; all in all it was the most unpleasant mammogram I've ever had.

Back in my hospital room, I was finally fed my breakfast, albeit a very bland one, which I probably ate in like three bites. My doctor showed up, the one I really liked, and told me that they were now discharging me! They still didn't know what was wrong with me, but she reassured me that she didn't think it was cancer, and that she would call me in a day or so to let me know if it was, or not. Shit. But at least I'd be out of the hospital! Sparky, my mother and sister soon arrived with Bee to get me the hell out of there. I remember that Sparky and I had to talk to the hospital money people, and fill out numerous forms in order to obtain my release. We weren't sure how we were going to pay for this very expensive hospital stay as we were both lacking health insurance. We filled out paperwork to see if we qualified for any assistance. A few hours later I was finally officially discharged. They wheeled me out of the hospital - and that was that.

A couple of days later, all of us were having lunch at some restaurant in Hollywood. Sparky and I had taken my mother, sister, little brother (who arrived the night I was released from the hospital) out sight seeing along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I always like taking out of town visitors there because it is fun, cheesy, and slightly shady. And full of tourists. While we were eating, Sparky received a call from my doctor. I'm not sure why she called him instead of me, but she told him that she had good news and what a joy it was to call a patient with good news.  He handed the phone to me and she told me that all the tests had come back negative, and that I was perfectly healthy, and there was no sign of cancer about. It was a relief beyond imagination, and something I still dream about.

I walked around in a daze for the next couple of days. For instance, we all went to the beach and I forgot to pack things, like towels, food, water, etc. But I didn't have cancer! It was such a load off my mind, such a rush to be outside again, to be home again, to be with my family again, to be myself again. And I tried not to worry about the hospital bills that were darkly looming over us.

(to be continued...)
   


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Be Kind

I'm thinking about reading all of Kurt Vonneguts books again, in the order in which they were written. He was one of my favorite writers when I was a teenager and his books meant a lot to me. The first book I read of his was "Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death".  

Lately though I can't stop thinking about the baptismal speech from "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater:  "Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind."

 I  sort of want to get a tattoo of that but its pretty long so maybe I'll just get one that says "be kind." Words to live by.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Raku Tiles

Dragonfly Tile, Raku, 4x4

Hummingbird Tile, Raku, 4x4

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Acorn

4x4 Inch Porcelain Tile






Monday, December 29, 2014

Something to Think About for the New Year


Everything is perfect, dear friend.
-Kerouac

Get some sleep.

Don't give advice.

Take care of your teeth and gums.

Don't be afraid of anything beyond your control. Don't be afraid, for
instance, that the building will collapse as you sleep, or that someone
you love will suddenly drop dead.

Eat an orange every morning.

Be friendly. It will help make you happy.

Raise your pulse rate to 120 beats per minute for 20 straight minutes
four or five times a week doing anything you enjoy.

Hope for everything. Expect nothing.

Take care of things close to home first. Straighten up your room
before you save the world. Then save the world.

Know that the desire to be perfect is probably the veiled expression
of another desire—to be loved, perhaps, or not to die.

Make eye contact with a tree.

Be skeptical about all opinions, but try to see some value in each of
them.

Dress in a way that pleases both you and those around you.

Do not speak quickly.

Learn something every day. (Dzien dobre!)

Be nice to people before they have a chance to behave badly.

Don't stay angry about anything for more than a week, but don't
forget what made you angry. Hold your anger out at arm's length
and look at it, as if it were a glass ball. Then add it to your glass ball
collection.

Be loyal.

Wear comfortable shoes.

Design your activities so that they show a pleasing balance
and variety.

Be kind to old people, even when they are obnoxious. When you
become old, be kind to young people. Do not throw your cane at
them when they call you Grandpa. They are your grandchildren!

Live with an animal.

Do not spend too much time with large groups of people.

If you need help, ask for it.

Cultivate good posture until it becomes natural.

If someone murders your child, get a shotgun and blow his head off.

Plan your day so you never have to rush.

Show your appreciation to people who do things for you, even if you
have paid them, even if they do favors you don't want.

Do not waste money you could be giving to those who need it.

Expect society to be defective. Then weep when you find that it is far
more defective than you imagined.

When you borrow something, return it in an even better condition.

As much as possible, use wooden objects instead of plastic or metal
ones.

Look at that bird over there.

After dinner, wash the dishes.

Calm down.

Visit foreign countries, except those whose inhabitants have
expressed a desire to kill you.

Don't expect your children to love you, so they can, if they want to.

Meditate on the spiritual. Then go a little further, if you feel like it.
What is out (in) there?

Sing, every once in a while.

Be on time, but if you are late do not give a detailed and lengthy
excuse.

Don't be too self-critical or too self-congratulatory.

Don't think that progress exists. It doesn't.

"Walk upstairs.

Do not practice cannibalism.

Imagine what you would like to see happen, and then don't do
anything to make it impossible.

Take your phone off the hook at least twice a week.

Keep your windows clean.

Extirpate all traces of personal ambitiousness.

Don't use the word extirpate too often.

Forgive your country every once in a while. If that is not possible, go
to another one.

If you feel tired, rest.

Grow something.

Do not wander through train stations muttering, "We're all going to
die!"

Count among your true friends people of various stations of life.

Appreciate simple pleasures, such as the pleasure of chewing, the
pleasure of warm water running down your back, the pleasure of a
cool breeze, the pleasure of falling asleep.

Do not exclaim, "Isn't technology wonderful!"

Learn how to stretch your muscles. Stretch them every day.

Don't be depressed about growing older. It will make you feel even
older. Which is depressing.

Do one thing at a time.

If you burn your finger, put it in cold water immediately. If you bang
your finger with a hammer, hold your hand in the air for twenty
minutes. You will be surprised by the curative powers of coldness and
gravity.

Learn how to whistle at earsplitting volume.

Be calm in a crisis. The more critical the situation, the calmer you
should be.

Enjoy sex, but don't become obsessed with it. Except for brief periods
in your adolescence, youth, middle age, and old age.

Contemplate everything's opposite.

If you're struck with the fear that you've swum out too far in the
ocean, turn around and go back to the lifeboat.

Keep your childish self alive.

Answer letters promptly. Use attractive stamps, like the one with a
tornado on it.

Cry every once in a while, but only when alone. Then appreciate
how much better you feel. Don't be embarrassed about feeling better.

Do not inhale smoke.

Take a deep breath.

Do not smart off to a policeman.

Do not step off the curb until you can walk all the way across the
street. From the curb you can study the pedestrians who are trapped
in the middle of the crazed and roaring traffic.

Be good.

Walk down different streets.

Backwards.

Remember beauty, which exists, and truth, which does not. Notice
that the idea of truth is just as powerful as the idea of beauty.

Stay out of jail.

In later life, become a mystic.

From How to be Perfect by Ron Padgett

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Horseshoe

4x4 Inch Porcelain Tile