Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The good, the bad, and the ugly

Hey, I should die more often! It's a good gig if you can get it. I've been raking in a bounty of cookies, bread, scones, jam...home-made rasperry jam by Chris on home-made bread by Jamie---it doesn't get any better than that.

So, more of the good: After I posted that ``if you stubbed your toe, I want to hear about it'', my friend Allison replied saying ``As a matter of fact I did stub my toe, and I've attached a picture of it''. That cracked me up. She also attached some sayings generated by AI, among which my favorites were:

``Those who cannot answer numbers, cannot manipulate laughter.''


``Don't say `I want to travel the world with you'. Say `I am so great'.''

Also, I misspoke when I said I was the only one who liked Jay's Gangnam-style video. What I meant to say was that it is the most popular video in the history of videos. One irate fan of Mr. Foster has already written me to protest. Herr Professor Doctor ``I am so great'' Mitchell regrets the error.

Turning to the realm of innovative technology, yesterday Kaia invented a parachute made of plastic bags and string that comes equipped with a food tray in case you want to enjoy lunch on the way down. I would have no trouble trusting it for jumps of three feet or less. Later I watched her do the butterfly stroke and flip turns at her swim lessons. Like mother, like daughter!

As to the bad: We have cancelled our Oregon vacation for the first week of August. First of all, the drive would be miserable for me. Even driving to the swim lesson was unpleasant. But by far the main reason is that at this point I need to stay close to my UW Med support team. Things could take a sudden turn for the worse at any time.

This brings me to the ugly, which I bring up only because I don't want anyone (including me) to be taken by surprise. When I asked the oncologist for a timeline, what he actually said was ``two months at the outside''. I hope he's wrong, but we all know examples of how fast cancer can act. At a recent wedding the groom's father was in an advanced stage of pancreatic cancer, but he was dancing and seemed to be having a good time. A couple of weeks later he passed away. In my case, I've seen the actual liver scan, and as long as you know that dark represents cancer and light represents healthy cells, you don't need to be an expert to see the situation is bleak. A couple of days ago I got the actual radiologist's report, which is equally grim. It's the classic exponential pattern of cell growth that we use as an example in first-year calculus. My point is that you and I should be prepared for the possibility of quick downward spiral and lights out. To tell you the truth, quick would be good, once it starts in earnest.

A couple of other things in the radiology report piqued my interest in an academic sort of way (in the context of the liver issue, they don't really matter). One is that I have ``massive gallbladder wall edema, likely reactive to metastatic liver disease''. The other is the cryptic remark ``Mosaic groundglass pattern of the lungs, possibly related to patient or
small airways disease''. Say what? Mosaic groundglass? I'll ask the onc just out of curiosity. He's currently on vacation though. The nerve of him!

Oh, a number of people have suggested medical marijuana. In fact some mysteriously appeared on our doormat, presumably delivered by Cheech and Chong (the two geezers have been performing at local casinos recently). I thank them very much for the gesture, but I do need to check with the doc first. Certain drugs (e.g. acetominophen) have to be avoided when you already have compromised liver function. You might think ``what does it matter, under the circumstances?''. But I want to be sure first that it won't make me feel worse.

With that I will say Yay Mariners! for winning the Astros series (and especially the amazing first game), and sign off.
A fabulous day to all!

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