Another December, another scan – sometimes cancer lingers…. even though we expect it gone.

What I-131 pills come in.

What I-131 pills come in.

When you take one, your body replaces the lead container. May your December be glowing.

do you dream

Do you dream? Read the rest of this entry »

happy day

Was thinking of presents. Read the rest of this entry »


The waiting in the office is always hard. Reviewing an old magazine with cover ripped asunder allows me to keep hopes and fears in that quiet place inside my heart. People come and go ahead of me, flawed or damaged, just like me incapable of self determination. Instead we wait for counsel from this oracle of health, while I pretend last year’s news intrigues me.

Finally they call my name, and the dance of protocol ensues, a history, weight, blood pressure recorded, so many little steps while the one big question remains unstated.

Tell me good news
Cancer vanquished in the spring
Hope follows darkness

I feel a softness flow over me, relief so tangible I can almost see it move over my body. Yet there is no giddiness, no celebration. I can feel my wife smile, and hear her sigh of relief. But my thoughts are with others who will not hear this same news. How odd, not what I expected to feel. Perhaps I am not the man I was before.

Your shadow lingers
I have stepped into the light
hold my hand tightly

Perhaps tomorrow I will be. There is a stillness, a zen state that comes to me.

Stillness surprises man
The trap escaped, key in hand
dreams live, if he dares

Back at work, a deep exhaustion overcomes me. The day ends. Once home, I lie on the floor and close my eyes while my wife reads patiently nearby.

If you have prayed or hoped for me, I thank you. You have proved to me John Dunne’s words that no man is an island.


Hard to really make a a true haiku verse in English since there are so many requirements specific to Japanese. However it is such a delightful form of expression, almost like linguistic Sudoku.

Glorious dogwood

Now arrayed in purest white

Spring, Ah, Ah, Ah, Choo!



White glistening pill

Toxic poison,  fervent hope

Cold, Spring illusions



Mayhem, carnage, blood

Fulfilling heroic quests

Joy, PlayStation Three

great moments in radiation

The registration line moves quickly at Edward Hospital. I stand back a bit, arms crossed, a bit grungy in my blue hoodie and jeans. I have that dry salty smell a man gets in the gym, for I have not showered yet today.

He comes up and stands immediately behind me, like we are in line for free tickets, and the closer he gets the better the resulting seats will be. I turn and give him a knowing glance, smiling through my closely cropped grey beard.

“I wouldn’t stand this close to me.” I tell him softly.

He is in his fifties like me, clean shaven, grey glasses, unlike my IT stink, he is all Naperville executive.  His eyes open and we stand man to man, my knowing glance with my slight smile, and his serious expression with wide worried eyes.

“You wouldn’t?”, he questions

Just the slightest move of my head, telling him no.

He stiffens, I can see his flesh pull away, his shoulders roll back and he slowly steps back, one, two, three until I again nod, the smallest of affirmatives and we stand at peace.

living in jello

I love red jello.  Rich and colorful with ripe white yellow slices of banana suspended like tiny spaceships caught by a tractor beam.  It melts on the tongue and then the burst of banana flavor with it’s soft texture makes me smile.   Gelatin is fun. It wiggles and wobbles on your spoon, cool and tasty.

When your thyroid runs off to the vivisectionist, and the replacement pills are on hold, the experience is like living in jello, sans the delightful bananas and red color.  Hard to keep warm, little foggy, just can’t get up the energy to do it, describes it best.

The body stores a reservoir of thyroid hormone in the cells, and prior to radiation therapy ( actually managed radiation poisoning ) the goal is to drain that resource and make any thryoid/cancer cells hyperactive.  Starving and needing to perform their function of regulating the amount of hormone in the body, they will gobble up the poison and poof.

The first week with no thyroid hormone is pretty normal.  Good energy levels may make you think that willpower overcomes microbiology every time, ( or at least in my case ).   However as week two starts, things begin to change.   Microbiology starts to laugh back.  And willpower boy becomes jello boy which is still better than mud boy, or block of ice boy.

So if you haven’t heard from me in a while…. I’ll get around to it…..