Monday, March 21, 2011

BCNU in the books, and a visit by Ifni

We finished up the first session of chemo today (BCNU) with no problems. A fairly long day at the clinic (in at 9:05, out at 4:50). As a job, those aren't bad hours but if you think of it as a doctor's visit, it's pretty grinding. I walked around a few times with my friendly infusion pole and changed seats through the day. Susan went out and got us nice veggie bagel sandwiches for lunch and she escaped for a walk in City Park (where she encountered some "interesting" folk. Look for a blog post on that experience...)

So the day was very successful from a chemo perspective. So to mix it up a bit,  here comes Ifni. I refer to the fictional goddess that David Brin describes in one of my favorite sci-fi space operas, The Uplift Novels. Here's a quote from a genetically modified dolphin that's a space pilot (I did mention that it was scifi, yes?):

'It might seem presumptuous to invoke the goddess of chance and destiny, capricious Ifni, who always seemed ready to plague Streaker's company with one more surprise. Another unexpected calamity, or miraculous escape. But Kaa had always felt an affinity with the informal patron deity of spacers. There might he better pilots than himself in the Terragens Survey Service, but none with a deeper respect for fortuity."

So our little present from Ifni today was that our cat Socrates was diagnosed with feline diabetes. He's been listless the last few days, has lost some weight and has been peeing in non designated areas in the house. And just about the worst time for it, given how immune system challenged I will be next week and considering all the hard work we've done over the last few weeks to get the house ready. Kyle took him into the vet this morning and we got the diagnose this afternoon. It's usually a very treatable ailment and we'll find out over the next couple of weeks how we'll keep his blood sugar regulated. The kidney panel they did suggests that his kidneys are ok so we're hoping he doesn't have any other issues related to the diabetes. We may be able to control this with a change in diet or we may end up giving him subcutaneous insulin injections. And I can imagine how psyched he's going to be when he starts getting those shots...
So when I heard the news, I just thought: "You have GOT to be kidding me." So somebody, somewhere has quite the twisted sense of humor. Ifni, the Cosmic Jester, Loki. Somebody, something, pick the name from your culture of choice. Nothing terrible and fatal. Just a little medical zinger. Kind of like a karmic bee sting or skunking. And then my next thought was "WTF!!!" I mean, I know somebody would find this ironic and funny in a twisted way but certainly none of us in the Socrates fan club. So now we've got another patient in the family. We'll muddle through it but at some point you just have to shake your head and wonder why the universe is such a twisted little place. Can't we just have a couple of months of peace and quiet to get my health under control? Looks like the early answer may be no.

Soc is going back in to the vet hospital tomorrow to get some antibiotics for a bladder infection he's picked up as a side effect of the diabetes. We'll get that under control and then work out a plan of action. So although he frequently sits under my desk when I'm blogging, he's not so good at typing so it looks like I'll be blogging for two for a little while.

ttfn. Off to put my new bike trainer together and then to bed. We're on the job at 07:30 in the morning for Etoposide. 


  1. George, I'm shedding some "man tears" myself right now. I so much admire the way you have gone about this with grace and courage. You are an inspiration to far more people than you know. I'll stick with the good old fashioned "God", that's OK, but I do know that the cosmic forces of all persuasions are with you right now, in this great episode where you are showing such magnificent strength of heart.

    So do know that I love you, and I love the way you have been good to my sister Susan. I know that you were so good to her, during her cancer episode, and I know that she is there for you, during yours. This is such a blessing, and is proof that love is the most powerful force in the universe.

    Deus Caritas Est. God Is Love. That is the source and summit of all of our courage, in the face of all that we are called to be.

  2. jim, now you are making ME cry. You're right, George was there for me and now it is my turn to be there for him.we all learn love from each other. it is like a giant feedback loop. It is the most powerful force in the universe.