Monday, January 31, 2005

An Unexpected Joy

I have to admit that watching the Iraqi voters on TV this weekend filled me with an unexpected joy. It worried me at first that I would feel so emotional about this. My reaction up till now on any of the news clips coming out of Baghdad has been one of disgust and fear. But watching the obvious joy and relief on the faces of the Iraqi voters, both the ex-patriots and those still stuck there, I realized I was feeling all choked up because that is how they felt (filled with an almost unexplainable emotion) - the men dancing, the women ululating, the old people voting for the first time in their lives where there was more than one candidate to choose from. I've never been in a completely similar position. I've always had the right to vote, though often didn't have any option that represented my position. Maybe if John Kerry had won, I would have experienced some of the same joy these Iraqis did. But we're not talking about outcomes here, only participation, having a right, being seen as valid. It meant that in some small (or large) way these people had overcome the terrible oppression and barriers in their lives - at least for now. And a lot of us can relate to that - struggling along and waiting for a day when there is finally some hope, some relief. A day when you think that there may truly be a future.
Who knows what kind of weird shit will happen next. And, believe me, I don't give one ounce of credit for any of this to Bush, Rumsfeld, and their Fascist/Industrialist backers. Sometimes good things happen despite the self interest of others. But despite all the terrible waste that we (the U.S. government) has created in this strange and distant country, despite the inexcusable loss of lives, despite the crazy assed Muslim terrorists; I am uplifted by the courage of those people who went bravely to their polling places and claimed their own identity.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Support

I've said it before ( I can't say it often enough), you need good support to get through this. I've got the most supportive, most selfless person I've ever known in my wife, Beverly. She has been unfailingly there for me, even when I've been a royal pain in the rear end. It often feels like she cares more about my well being than I do. She provides me healthy food when I no longer have any interest in feeding myself. Not to be too Oedipal here, (I hope), but it's not unlike staying home from school with the flu and having your mother make you chicken soup and tuck you in for naps. I don't know, though, how my mother would have done if I had the flu every day for 11 months. That's what Bev and I are facing. Four down, seven to go. It still feels like trying to walk across the continent in bare feet carrying three overstuffed bags of bricks. Sure we get on each other's nerves on occasion. It's hard not to in the best of circumstances when you're occupying the same small space, but these are not the best. I don't get out much anymore because of the anemia, so we can end up some nights feeling a bit suffocated.
Now Bev's work is going to be taking her out of town for weeks at a time - we haven't had to deal with that too often up till now. And, of course, she's worried about how I'll manage on my own. I'm worried myself, but act like I'm not. I've still got that male fifties thing going on about being strong and self-sufficient and even being embarrassed by accepting help. I never realized I had so many hang-ups until I started chemo. Well, I knew I had a bunch, I just wasn't clear about what they were. In some dark place, I still believe that all of this is my fault. But Bev is helping me get past all that - at least for the now, when such behaviors are just down right silly and counter productive. I was resisting Bev's organizing some of our friends to stop by when she is gone and to check in on me and bring me dinner. I did everything short of stamping my foot to stop her. But eventually she convinced me to see the situation as it really is. Our friends really want to be of help and I, at this point in my life, really need their help. Yes, I admit it. And, most of all, Bev will feel better knowing that I have loving support in her absence. I am one very damn fortunate guy.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Getting On

I'm slogging through the mud this week. I'm tired all the time, even more so than I have been, and I'm worried that I've gotten into a funk I can't get out of. I don't mean to be a drama queen here, but there is lots of research that shows similar depressed feelings in a majority of interferon/ribivirin patients. One article I read last night on the net (I should probably stay away from these sites) also indicated that depressed patients (us funky folk) tend to have poorer overall results from the treatment as compared to those who manage to stay upbeat. My question now, is how the hell to stay positive and cheerful. I missed that class even before I was sick. Perky is not my thing, nor is letting a smile be my umbrella - that just gets you wet. I was doing fine for a while, but this damn thing is so relentless. There's never a good day, never a break in the action. Sometimes I just want to get in bed and quit. But, I ain't about to do that. I've invested too much already to give up now. At least I need to continue to put up the good fight. I've got some interesting books waiting for me at the library. And earlier this week when I was feeling at my lowest, Bev talked me into an excursion to a wildlife refuge where we drove around and marveled at cranes, and Trumpeter Swans and even a massive eagle sitting grandly in a tree. I wanted to be that eagle.
Some friends call regularly and some even come by. That helps a lot. To not feel so stuck, so isolated. And there are some people who just seem to have disappeared. I guess I'll see them again when I'm better. So that's the update, I'm feeling weak, mentally and physically and I don't care who knows it. Maybe the Procrit will help. You need heavy chemicals to battle other heavy chemicals. But as for my state of mind, absent of the drugs, that's my own responsibility. It's time to keep digging deep, find my resources, keep hanging in. Believe me, I'm trying.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Feeding the Dragon

I used to love to eat - and to cook. Which would occasionally necessitate a diet, where I would have to carefully watch what I ate and measure calories, give up sweets, stop eating carbohydrates or proteins or wheat or whatever the helll it was. Now I find myself in the opposite position. I'm losing weight every day and not because that is my intention. I want to eat, I'd love to be able to cook up a big steak and a baked potato with sour cream, but frankly the thought of that now makes me sick in my gut. I've lost almost thirty pounds since I started in on chemo, and like a lot of the fall out from these drugs, the conditions seem to get worse as time goes by. I guess that's not surprising, as the chemicals continue to accumulate. The weird thing is that I can't even take any particular pleasure in finally having a completely skinny body. Who cares. I'd give anything to have some good old fat and muscle surrounding my bones. When this ordeal is over, here's one boy who is not about to skimp on the calories. Like a lot of experiences, you don't realize how much you're going to miss something (or someone) until it's gone. Of course, everybody tells me, to just go ahead and eat, force myself. Try eating six or seven little meals a day, they say. Eat a big bowl of ice cream every day, the say. As if they think I'm holding out on them. Hell, I can't eat two little meals a day, how am I supposed to do six? Or cover it with chocolate syrup? Bottom line, I've got no appetite and no interest in food. And now I'm cold all the time, partially because I have no body fat to keep me warm. I'm sure if the geniuses at the drug companies could figure out a way to isolate the ingredient in these chemicals that causes weight loss and lack of appetite, they'd market it as the next miracle cure for obesity. Probably, though, they wouldn't remind folks about how much fun it really is to eat. I think I remember that. And going out to dinner at a nice restaurant. And having a gooey chocolate dessert. Snacking. Candy at the movies. Mexican food. These are good things. Truly good things, the staff of life. Sure, sure, moderation is good too. I should probably make that disclaimer. To tell you the truth, I can't really remember anything about eating.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Four Months and Counting

The Eagles won! We're going to the Super Bowl. Amazing! There is a balm in Gilead - or at least in Philadelphia. It surprises me how into all this football fever I've become. After all, I haven't lived in Philly for almost forty years. But I guess, your hometown always stays your hometown and the team you root for is the one you grew up with. Now if the Phillies could just get it together.
I started a new drug this weekend - as if I didn't have enough chemicals in my system already. But this one is supposed to help with the wreckage that the other poisons have created. The drug is Procrit and has to be injected once a week (more fear and loathing.) The idea is that it will battle the anemia that Interferon and Ribivirin have caused. Procrit is meant to produce more red blood cells, something I am noticeably lacking in these days. I look like Casper the Unfriendly Ghost. So maybe it will work. It would be a relief if I could feel less weak and unstable, but at this point I'm super wary of all drugs. It's not so much about their intended effects. All of these rotten chemicals, I sort of understand, are meant to help and cure me; but they seem to have such a scattershot impact that they destroy not only the disease, but everything else in their path. My hands were shaking so badly as I loaded up the syringe again last night that I was afraid I'd drop the whole thing - and you don't want to do that with a drug that costs ( I swear this is a true) over $500 a dose. It's insane. I don't pay that since I have prescription drug coverage, but for anyone else who finds themselves in need of these chemicals and doesn't have full coverage, they better either be quite well to do or not care about getting better. Bottom line, baby, in this country health insurance and prescription drugs are only available to the few.
Anyway, it's Monday and I made it through another week (week 16) and the Eagles (as I've pointed out quite clearly) are GOING TO THE DAMN SUPER-DUPER BOWL. Life goes on.

Friday, January 21, 2005

The New Boobs

I'm looking forward to watching the N.F.L. playoffs this weekend. I'm rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles, since Philly is my hometown and it's been many frustrating years since a major Philadelphia sports team has won any championship. Hey, if the Red Sox can do it, so can we. I feel like I'm watching too much television these days, but I also don't particularly care. Life is not normal of late and I indulge my weaknesses - at least some of them. When we decided to go ahead with this treatment, one of our ways to prepare and to ease the sting, was to go out and purchase a state of the art, LCD, HDTV. We spent a lot more money on it, than either of us would have been willing to do normally, but it's been sort of worth it. Even Bev has become a bit of a TV addict, where before she wouldn't have been able to tell you who Jerry Seinfeld is or when to watch NYPD Blue. But I've managed to pretty thoroughly ruin her cultural innocence. Not only do we regularly watch "The West Wing" and "Desperate Housewives," but also Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" (talk about a guilty pleasure). Then there's HBO and On Demand movies. I can watch almost anything in high definition - it's better than real life, reality lit perfectly. And don't forget "The Daily Show." I end my day with the fake news. It's much more real than the network news and I always get at least one good laugh out of it. So, hooray for the boob tube - at least when you're feeling disabled or discontent. It's our 21st century soma, something to get us through the dark days, ease the pain, loosen the tightness, or just bore us so badly we're ready to gratefully go to sleep. So on Sunday you know where I'll be. Sitting in front of my high powered boob tube, rooting for my home team and waiting for the time to pass.
Go Eagles

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Control?

I've been trying hard to feel that I'm still in control of my life. I know it's a bit of a delusion. No one is ever truly in control, though we like to think we are. But especially now, four months into this awful treatment, I find myself on some kind of edge. I could easily give in completely to the poisons swarming through my system and take to the bed. I know that's how some people get through it. Or I can continue to do what I've been trying to do this far - to take whatever actions I can to feel like I can have some effect on the course of the treatment. Probably either approach works equally well or not at all. But I still choose to put up a struggle - most days. On some days there's little I can do except give in to the poisons and roll around in bed moaning or staring off into space. Fortunately, on the majority of days, I get up out of bed at a reasonable hour - even though I have no particular reason to be up - I take my first set of pills - vitamins and supplements. I read the paper, then have as much breakfast as I can manage and take the first dose of Ribavirin, three innocent looking white capsules that are actually wildly powerful. Then I sit down where I am now and work on this blog. I make it feel like a job. The work has to get done, you know. Later, I'll have medical appointments to keep, more drugs to take, and hopefully will have some social meeting planned. Today, Rabbi Joey is coming to visit and I have plans to meet my daughter, Gabrielle, for dinner. Seems like a pretty full day - and I may very well find myself exhausted at times. It takes all the energy I can muster to climb a flight of stairs. But I continue to believe that these efforts on my part and on the part of my family and friends are what is going to get me through this ordeal. I can't give up and sink into despair and anger. Which is not to say that I don't have days where anger seems like the only logical response and days where I can barely rouse enough energy to feel sorry for myself. I accept those days too. I'm not silly enough to believe I truly am in complete control. Hepatitis C took care of that.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

On My Political Despair

So Bush is being inaugurated - again - and the headline in today's Oregonian proclaims that 1 in 6 residents of the state has no health insurance. (If you look at effective medical coverage, the numbers are much higher.) Never have I felt more despair about who is running this country and what we have become. Not even during Vietnam or during the Nixon regime did I feel as powerless and as stunned as I do now. At least back in the 60's and 70's protest seemed viable. Despite all the blockheads, we still believed in the possibility of change. I thought that when we reached the 21st century, people would have come to their senses, that we would acknowledge as a society that we had to do the things that were necessary in order to survive on this planet. I remember going to Earth Day celebrations back in the late sixties. The celebrations have continued year after year, but George and Dicky just smirk as they sell off the wilderness to corporate interests. It's hard not to feel pessimistic - if you can manage to feel anything at all. Shit, where is this all headed? Are corporate thieves, fundamentalist religious crackpots, and weirdly patriotic dumbasses truly now in charge of what it means to be an American? One insane idea after another becomes reality as good people sit idly by and shake our heads. No matter how many lies they are caught telling, this administration never deigns to make explanations. Why should they? Mistakes are for losers and debate is the province of ineffectual academics and intellectuals. Do you imagine for a second that little Georgie has even the tiniest bit of curiosity or introspectiveness? Do you imagine that he's ever read a book more challenging than a Tom Clancy novel - if that, and, come to think of it, with apologies to Clancy. Does anyone imagine there will be a positive change in the next four years? Will we still be in Iraq? Come on. Will our young men and women be sent into yet other distant countries to intervene in and bludgeon their social order? Will every court be packed with flag waving, gun toting, right wing cronies? Will health insurance and a secure lifestyle become the right of only the white and wealthy? When will we be able to take a deep breath again? What ever happened to the dream of a fair and just world?

Monday, January 17, 2005

Stumbling Out the Door.

I'm looking forward to getting out of the house today. The big ice storm of the weekend kept us mostly stuck inside the whole time. Not that I was about to go anywhere anyway (weekends I'm knocked flat), but it's nice to think you can. Actually, on Sunday we finally bundled up and ventured out for a short walk, Bev leading the way. I had to take tiny, careful steps down our icy front steps. I felt like an old man, like an invalid. Think about that word. Once we got going though, I felt a ton better. Hard as it is sometimes to move, to get out, it's the best thing for me. Doesn't matter if I go slow, doesn't even matter if I stumble and feel dizzy, the point is the moving. It's too easy to get stuck in one place and just settle in for the duration. And I'm not here making reference only to dealing with illness. I had the same struggles before I started chemo. Granted there wasn't quite so much to overcome, but I still would often find myself stuck, without the energy or inclination to get up off my ass and go out in the world. The television was too seductive (still is) and why not take a nap while you can. After all, life is generally disappointing, isn't it? But eventually, then as now, I would drag my sorry rear end up off the couch and get moving. And, when I did, I would inevitably feel a whole lot better and more inclined to believe there was, indeed, something worth living for. Though my options now are greatly diminished, the same principle holds true. You gotta do the best you can with what you got. Is the glass half full or half empty? Neither. It's a half a glass of water. Have a drink, boy-o.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Waiting

Here we go, heading in to another weekend. I used to look forward to those lovely two days of relaxation and hope to again, but for now the weekend means chills, fevers, headaches, curling up in a little ball and hiding out from the storm. I'd like to say it's gotten better after almost four months of this torture, but it hasn't and it won't and so maybe I should just shut up and take my medicine like a good boy. Maybe. But what the hell, I feel like I deserve to whine and moan once in a while. I try, probably harder than I should, to keep the howling contained, but if I do it here, who cares. A friend told me that at this point I'm not an accurate judge anyway, of what constitutes whining. Why am I even so hung up on this topic? It's like I'm trying to convince myself that I have a right to feel this shitty? Maybe it's the act of trying to translate those feelings into text. I imagine that some readers will see all this as self serving - and, even worse, boring. I think there is a tendency in our society to try to ignore illness. It's unpleasant and difficult and, what the hell, people get better or else they don't, right? What's the use of belaboring the point or coming to visit when it's only going to make us feel uncomfortable? My experience so far has been that there are people who continue to come around and call and there are those who seem to have disappeared. They send an e-mail or call once in a great while, but it becomes evident that they are uncomfortable with my new situation. It's almost like I've morphed into a different (and for some reason threatening) person. It reminds me of when I was a kid and my family would go visit my grandmother, who was then senile and in a nursing home. I found the whole adventure terrifying and often refused to go in with the rest of the family. I didn't want to see my Grandmom looking and acting like she did now. I don't know, I can't make up reasons for what other people do. Everyone has complicated lives and lots of responsibilities. And I know that relationships work from both sides. Maybe I need to reach out more myself to those people who I would like to see and still have in my life. It doesn't seem to work well ever to sit about waiting for life to come knocking at my door.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Mr. Nasty

I find myself getting unreasonably angry somedays. I'm not sure why exactly. Some of this anger seems completely out of proportion. A barking dog can deliver me directly to thoughts of canine homicide; a driver who makes the wrong decision while I'm in a nearby car is asking for trouble. Sure, a good piece of it has to be attributed to the drugs I'm taking daily. I wasn't this emotionally unstable before I started. Well, at least not in terms of road rage and murder. I think it must be some sort of transference; my attempt to make a protest against what I am essentially powerless to control: namely, my own disabled existence. A friend of mine recently accused me of sounding bitter in these postings. Maybe so. I'd never thought of it that way - and still don't. Bitter implies that I think there is something unfair here, that the world and its inhabitants have done me wrong. I don't think that for a second. Things happen; you deal with them as best you can. I hate what I'm going through and I hate how hard it is on my wife; but we're both bearing up and, I believe, even finding previously unknown sources of strength. For me, I'm discovering how much I can endure. And it's a lot more than I ever thought I could. I don't pretend to be a tough guy. I'm not going to grit my teeth and bear any injury stoically. I'm going to shout and cry, but I think I am going to get through this. I also understand that a lot of it is not in my control and I'll have to deal with new issues as they come along. So, yeah I get angry - and sometimes I transfer it to objects and people who don't deserve it, but that's the way it goes. I've got a lot of time on my hands; sometimes I have to make things up just to feel like I have a little control. You wanta fight about it?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Don't Complain

When I was a kid and would get sick or injure myself, I remember feeling like someone or something had singled me out for punishment. I guess I couldn't, at that age, make sense of illness. I needed someone to let me know that being unwell was as natural a part of life as being well. I still have trouble with this concept. Somewhere I feel guilty for being sick, sometimes even ashamed. It's that same feeling from childhood that makes me alternately want to hide my illness (as if I'd done something bad) and then receive comfort. I still find it necessary, in my own head, to keep convincing myself and others that I am truly sick and that the symptoms I'm dealing with are authentic; that I'm not faking it. No big surprise where this last one comes from. My father, a general practitioner, had no time or sympathy for the illnesses of his children. It was as if, since we were children of a doctor, we were expected to always remain healthy - and when we inevitably didn't, it felt as if we were somehow at fault, had done something wrong and bad and shameful. "There's nothing wrong with you," he'd tell me after a cursory look inside my mouth. "Don't waste my time." It seemed to be his philosophy that almost all illnesses and complaints were psychosomatic at best, pathetic requests for attention at worst. And it wasn't only family. My father's office occupied the first floor of our house. When he had office hours, we all had to creep about silently upstairs for fear of disturbing the patients. It wasn't unusual for us to hear my father telling a patient downstairs, the same things he told us. "There's nothing wrong with you. Go back to work and stop faking it. Now get out of here." Obviously, medical practice was different back in those days. My father was the only game in town in our city neighborhood and all his patients seemed to love and respect him, despite his lack of sympathy and, I assume, treatment. No need to tell you what he must have thought of psychotherapy. But it's hard to let go of these childhood impressions; they are burned so deeply on my psyche. It was such a relief to me when I recently met with my doctor and told him all about my symptoms and had him affirm that they were all real and that he understood what a difficult time I was going through. Even with all this daily suffering, I sometimes don't feel like I have any right to my pain and sickness. That other voice keeps telling me, "Oh, get over it. Real men don't complain."

Monday, January 10, 2005

Progress???

As always, I am glad that the weekend is over. I hate being so incapacitated. I guess the upside is that being flat on your back, makes the rest of the week look good by comparison. My other big excitement this morning is using my new computer. I finally broke down and moved (hopefully) into a newer world of high speed hoo hah. I'm still struggling with the learning curve. I bought my "old" computer in 1997, but it seems everything has changed since then. I sometimes yearn for the straightforward simplicity of a typewriter. And what the hell was wrong with sending real letters instead of electronic ones. I know, the world moves on; this is progress. But I can still resent it - and even get anxious about it all. I've been spending more time figuring out how to set up the damn programs on this computer than actually using them. I think I am, at this point in my life, formally entered onto the road of becoming a curmudgeon. Don't even get me started on cell phones. Though, again, I do have one and do use it. Am I a hypocrite or am I just not yet willing to retreat and say, screw it all, and spend the rest of my life in a van down by the river. It looks, for the moment, like the latter will hold sway. Even as I continue to type away here, I am feeling more comfortable with my new I-Mac; and it is a sweet looking machine, flat paneled and sexy in some weird way. (Gad, even my aesthetics are changing.) And when I push one button on the damn cell phone and get connected up with my daughter in Alaska, I have to admit that is pretty cool too. It also makes me angry, though, when I see almost every other driver on the road with those damn things pressed to their ears and not paying a lick of attention to their driving. I don't know how any of us survive on the highways anymore. So you see, I can go back and forth on this forever. But in the end, what I decide really doesn't matter much. Progress, such as it is, is progress. "Changing tides wait for no man." I'm on the bus, taking advantage of the technology I have available to me, even if I end up sometimes feeling humiliated in the process. It's not unlike my treatment: sometimes you just have to get through the uncomfortable part in order to move on with your life.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

How Difficult is Difficult?

Don't know where to start today. I've run out of insights - personal and otherwise. All I want is to get through the day relatively unscathed. In my case, on a weekday, that means that I avoid any major physical breakdowns - no crippling headaches or total loss of energy or that the rest of my hair doesn't fall out (not that that would be such a big deal). I don't have any expectations any longer of actually feeling good. That state of being is not available to me as long as I'm taking my medications. There are side effects (lots of them) and they don't go away. I recently at long last had a face to face with my physician. First off, I handed him a long list of all the physical effects I'm experiencing every day from chemo. "Is this normal?" I wanted to know. He glanced at my carefully constructed list of fourteen separate effects and tossed it aside. "This is just what I would expect," he answered. "If you weren't experiencing all or most of this, I'd be more concerned. What all this tells me is that you're doing what you're supposed to be doing - you're taking all your medication and having a "normal" response." He continued on, "You know we tell people when they begin this treatment that it's going to be difficult, but most don't really believe it or don't understand what difficult means in terms of chemotherapy. But you have to be tough and determined to get through this." "Will it get any easier in the next eight months?" I asked.
He just shook his head. "No. As long as the medication is doing what it's supposed to and you continue to take the prescribed doses, the effects you're feeling will continue." Maybe I should have been depressed by this news, but instead I felt better. I knew what I was facing and would have to continue to face. I'd much rather deal with reality than be disappointed by self-induced fantasies. And I felt even better having had a chance after more than three months to actually have a personal meeting with this busy man, who for all his business, unhurriedly answered all our questions and gave completely of his time. More than anything, it seems to me that real human contact and personally delivered information is one of the keys to getting through all this in one piece. And I learned (once again) that in this, as in most of life, you have to ask for what you need. Like Mick said, "You can't always get what you want, but you get what you need." As long as you ask for it, that is.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Caretaking

I probably shouldn't write about this subject. I don't have much knowledge of what it actually takes to be a caretaker. I've never had to do it. Sure, I raised two children, but that's a different sort of responsibility. Most parents, including me, find parenting a blessing and a joy. The kind of caretaking I want to talk about is often anything but enjoyable. It's almost always difficult and challenging and the rewards can be minimal, even the gratitude is often absent (maybe it is a little like raising kids). It's a damn hard job and takes a certain kind of person to be able to take it on and do the caretaking without losing their humor and patience.
I know something about these things because I am in the position of needing a caretaker. I guess that makes me a caretakee or a caretook, or something. And this is a difficult position also. There's often a thin line between extreme gratitude and resentment that the one being tended to feels. "I am so deeply pleased that you are willing to do this for me and at the same time I wish more than anything that I wasn't in this damn vulnerable position and could take care of myself." And sometimes I feel like I need to scream and run away. Though I'm not able to run any longer, so there you are. Although I know that Bev, my primary and only caretaker, is absolutely willing, does it out of pure love, and is eager to shepherd me safely through this awful, sometimes disastrous, year; there are still times when we both struggle mightily with our enforced roles. Right from the start we knew we were headed into tricky areas and decided before my treatment even begun that it would be smart to start seeing a couple's counselor. It has turned out to be a brilliant move. It gives us a time and a place to air out what is going on and to say the things that are sometimes hard to say on your own. It also helps immeasurably to have an outside observer continue to remind us that these are not normal circumstances, and part of dealing with the caretaker/caretook equation is to step back and give ourselves a break. An issue that might be worth working on in healthier times, may be irrelevant when all the complications of illness and chemical poisons are factored in. Knowing this, unfortunately, doesn't mean that there aren't times when both parties get irritated or angry with the other. Sometimes life seems extraordinarily difficult. And it is. Cliche though it may be, life becomes a one day at a time proposition. You put one foot in front of the other and try hard to remember to be kind.

Monday, January 03, 2005

It's So Cold

I hope it snows today or sometime soon. It would be a relief of sorts, something interesting and new to look at. I realize this is a selfish wish, as I can (must) stay inside and watch from my window, while the working world must continue to struggle on, putting on chains and sloshing through. Well, what the hell, I'm willing to claim any advantage at this point. It is a pretty nice day today here in Portland. The sun is shining, but it still looks cold. I'll go out for a short walk later on. It's the only exercise I get now. Thank God I can still do that. The deal is that I walk so slowly that I don't warm up, so I really have to bundle up - scarves and gloves, hats and lots of layers of shirts. This feeling of being chilled to the bone is not restricted to being outdoors. I don't know which drug is responsible, but I'm almost always cold to my core, even when I'm being feverish. The chills could also have to do with the fact that I've lost so much weight that I don't have any insulation anymore. Who'd have thought I'd miss my fat? Anyway, you can probably ascertain by now that I don't have a great deal to say today. I'm staring out the windows; hoping for a change, and knowing that it's not that time yet.