Thursday, June 15, 2017

061517d — cancer post 2

So yesterday we met with my doctor to discuss the results of the bone scan and the CAT scan. In such situations, I always picture myself weeping and moaning, or screaming, tearing my hair and pounding on things. But that's just not me. Nothing is to be gained as far as I can see from what would be, for me, overacting.

So, he explained that the biopsies from one side of my prostate came in at Gleason scale 9, and those from the other side at 7. "Okay," I said. The two main choices are radiation and surgery, which he said were equally likely to be successful. Surgery sounded like the better option, because it is much quicker and most of the potential side effects are already symptoms of my quadriplegia. Then he said that we might need to do both (about a 30% chance, if I recall correctly), and surgery is much more difficult after radiation. I doubt that the reverse would be true. He almost tried to talk me into speaking to a radiation oncologist by way of a second opinion, and I decided to do that. I don't know what such a person would say, but it might be worth hearing. Also, it is unlikely to delay the surgery, which I can't do for a few weeks anyway. I guess it takes a while to heal from the biopsy and my tender flesh ought to be all good before cutting again!

In the meantime, it is kind of unreal. I don't feel any different than usual. Today I spent the day traveling to one of the many campuses of Coastal Alabama Community College. The one I visited is more than two hours from the coast. It seems that most of the South Alabama community colleges have banded together for mutual support. I helped out with a summer program in which elementary school children from a nearby town's summer program travel to various places that are within a round-trip day's drive.

I brought a bunch of small fossils and they got a big pile of sand from somewhere. Then it turned out there were only seven children: it was a lot of sand for such a small group. But actually, it worked out very well. They only got in each other's way on purpose, not by accident, and everybody was able to find quite a few fossils, which they got to keep. Most of the fossils came from Morocco and all of them had been purchased for the purpose of doing things like this with them. The first time we bought fossils for a fossil dig we found some one- and two-pound bags of inexpensive small fossils. When those were used up and I looked for replacements, I think I had to buy five or 10 kg at a time to get a good price. That was at least 15 years ago and we still have quite a few of them! Anyway, at first the kids were hesitant, but they soon got into raking through the sand and loudly proclaiming each discovery. Some sand was thrown, but not into anybody's eye. Then we went inside, asked and answered questions for a while, gave out postcards with mosasaurs and sea turtles and things like that and ate a snack. A week from tomorrow I do something similar, but without the sand, and it's here in town. In the meantime, I have to send fossils to two different educators. This summer is already the most rife with fossil-related activity in a long time. And this increase in activity is more than timely, because our long-time benefactor of all things fossilized has been sending us boxes of fossils again. A few of these go into our museum collection, but most are to give away and we have many of them to give away. We like to give them to educators and we don't have an efficient method of meeting a whole lot of educators who want fossils. Needless to say, we want to hand deliver these, not mail them.

A poem by me was featured at haikuniverse today. I still haven't quite figured out the aesthetic sought by that site. It is not helped by the fact that most of the poems they publish leave me cold. Most of the ones I write appeal a lot more to the editor of Scifaikuest. I like her selections better too, which is convenient.

A looming task is to proof my latest book of poetry, which was sent to me by the publisher yesterday. A pleasant but tiring task. And one of those about which you realize that if you don't do it very well, you will not be happy later, and you will have no one to blame but yourself

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