Hello friends. It has been a while. Ten days, to be exact. The longest period of time I’ve gone without blogging.
I think this is a good thing: The less I’m writing on my cancer blog, the better. But on the other hand, I really enjoy writing, especially the type of stuff I write around here, and I don’t like that I’m not able to do it as much. So I’m experimenting with things. And by “experimenting,” I mean I’m thinking of how much and in what way I want to continue around here. The answer there could be anywhere from “frequently” to “not at all.” I’m not sure yet. Part of the problem is that when I open my mouth about non-cancer things, I want to have some idea of what I’m saying. I’m quite obviously not afraid to voice my opinion on subjects, but I’m very much not comfortable with running my mouth about things I don’t know very much about. Cancer, I can write all day about that. The financial crisis, not so much.
That said, a lot has happened since I last posted. So my thoughts on things I have in the queue:
1) Recovery from Death, Part Deux. Has been going pretty well. I came back to work on April 18th and I’ve been pretty busy there. But I’m still working my way back into normal human shape. If you think about it, I was pretty jacked up for about a month and a half. That’s about half the time I spent in actual chemo. That’s a long time. I pretty much did another, more intense half round of chemo for no particular reason months after I got myself into remission. It’s odd to think of it that way, but that’s the reality.
2) They gave my office to a homeless guy. Not really. But they might as well have done that, since I wasn’t there for a long time. But now that I’m living again, I’m expected to go into the office and do things on a daily basis. And things have been picking up there, which is actually good. I feel a hell of a lot productive now than I did in early April. There’s not much I can possibly deal with at work that could suck more than what I just went through. But work is the main reason I haven’t been filling the blog on a regular basis lately – if I’m reading and writing and staring at a computer screen all day, the last thing I want to do when I get home is read, write, and stare at a computer screen.
3) We killed a guy with a beard. And everybody was happy. Now we’re into “things Nick considered blogging over the past couple weeks but didn’t.” Anyway: Osama. We killed him. I went to the White House:
On one side, we had a lot of “Amurrrica! F YEAH!” and on the other side we had fake MLK Jr. quotes. I was probably somewhere in the middle: I was happy he was gone, but disappointed that it took President Bush three terms to kill him. I went down to the White House because I don’t live very far and I wanted to see what it was like. It was a giant frat party. I wouldn’t read too much into it. Those kids were 8 when the twin towers fell. Excessive celebration didn’t seem to be the dominant emotion throughout most of the country. But hey: Better Osama than me, right?
4) Michigan students protested things. Right up there with “hey, the sun came up today” on the surprise scale. The little ones protested Michigan Governor Rick Snyder at the undergraduate ceremony, because he listened to what these little rugrats had been screaming for the past four years and took a little bit of money away from a bunch of rich white kids. Sadly, no such protests were lodged against the bajillion-plus administrators the damn University has hired in the past decade, or the 58 massive, brand new buildings that have gone up in the middle of a recession. Meanwhile, the law students walked out on their commencement speaker, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, because he doesn’t support gay marriage. Which is totally different from the last Michigan commencement speaker who didn’t support gay marriage. Or something. Portman is now on the crowded list of things Michigan students have protested, where he joins water bottles.
5) I forgot to thank y’all, Wayne County residents. For sending me your hard earned money. I know you’re all rollin’ in dough out there, so I really do appreciate you sending your tax dollars to my friends who work for the federal government, then sending more money to my lawyer friends to try to get your tax dollars back. It’s nice to see the wealthy, spoiled residents of Wayne County finally help out the less fortunate. Also, I will expect you all to thank me and all your government officials for whatever fraction of the many-strings-attached dollars you get back.
6) Speaking of Detroit: They’ve finally figured out how to revive that city. The answer: Cruise ships!
7) Dog. We’re getting one. And by “we,” I mean Emily and I. And by “Emily and I” I mean, “Emily is getting a dog and I am allowing it to live with us.” Which we had to do, since if you are a young white urban professional living in an apartment in Washington, DC, you are required to obtain a dog within six months of moving in. We got an extension, but by the terms of our lease, we had to get a puppy or else we would be evicted and shunned by the Caucasian community. Don’t believe me? Here he is:
To tell you the truth, I think a dog – or anything both members of a couple can yell at together – is a vital addition to any young couple living together for the first time. It’s less labor-intensive than a child, less expensive than an engagement ring, and serves the purpose of both of those things. Plus, it loves you no matter what, is always happy to see you, is a great conversation starter. Aside from the occasional turd in your shoes, what’s not to like about this thing?
Only real question: What do we name this thing? Suggestions welcomed.
8) A stunning upset. As the sister graduated in only four years.
Of course, I obtained two degrees in the time it took her to get one, but that’s not the point. The point is I’m about a foot taller thanks to some fine step-work by me in this photo. She now hustles out to NYC for a two-month internship, and then on to Baltimore and then Cornell University (you might have heard of it) to work in Ithaca for a year. I don’t think she quite knows about Ithaca. But she’ll figure it out soon enough.
9) Tha roof. I’m doing some sort of abbreviated “boot camp” on the roof of our building at 6am. This is entirely unlike me, but after all the shit I’ve been through – primarily the utter inactivity for the past couple months – I needed to do something to get moving again. After very honestly nearly vomiting during the warmup of session one, I have rebounded admirably and can now outperform the middle aged women in the group. The real endgame here is beer league softball this summer. I need to recover from my “offseason shoulder surgery.”
10) Tha weight. I hadn’t weighed myself for most of the winter, but I had been hovering around 145 for most of my recent pre-cancer era. I stayed between 140-145 during chemo. The day I left the hospital in April I had dropped about 10 pounds. Yikes. I’m inching up from there, but the problem is I’m significantly more active now – I walk to and from work a lot more, I’m moving again, and I’m burning a lot more calories. If you eat nothing more than a banana a day for a couple weeks, you’ll drop weight pretty quickly since you’re still burning over a thousand calories a day just by existing. But now, I’m burning a lot more calories (2400 today, to be exact), so gaining weight requires eating enough to achieve a net gain of calories every day. In short, it’s a hell of a lot easier to drop weight quickly when you don’t move and eat nothing than it is when you move a lot and try to eat more.
Of course, try telling this to any female and you get punches thrown at you. Geez ladies. Everyone’s trying to diet all the time and getting all frustrated. Don’t hate on me because I figured out the secret to weight loss. I’ll happily jam a needle in your spine if you like.
11) Next scan. Since I died for a month and a half, my next scan isn’t that far away. I’ll be scanned up in Baltimore on May 27. So…guess we’ll know more then. I’m still uneasy, but I’m doing ok with things. I’m not terribly comfortable being smack dab in the middle of that 5-12 month “danger zone” that Dr. Li mentioned. But there’s not much I can do about things. I trust the folks up at Hopkins, and whatever happens…well there’s not much I can do about all that. Just gotta wait and see what happens at the end of the month.
All for now. More when I feel like posting.