Friday, August 05, 2005


Hey, what’s up? Now for the shocker of the month, that which has come totally unexpected in the midst of all the “feeling fine.” First of all, New York was great, greater than I ever imagined. It was an unbelievably moving 4 days of welcome and musical transcendence in the capital of people. It did, however, take all of my available energy and health, and leave me beyond exhausted. Trying to recover from the trip and grueling schedule several days later at home, I realized that a slow moving fog bank of funk had crept into my being at some point, and I was suffering from all the things that I thought had been handled. It had come on in a wave of subtle disintegration, and infected my attitude, until I’m going “What the fuck is the matter with me? I don’t feel like myself anymore”. The biggest problem is the fatigue, and not being able to catch up on sleep. All week it has had me in a depression I did not understand. Where had the happy-go-lucky guy that used to be me gone, and was he ever coming back? I was thinking this treatment wasn’t what I needed to be doing; I was ready to chuck the whole thing and have a beer. I told this to everyone at a little dinner party we were having last night, and the reaction was something like the sound one makes at the sight of seeing an injured animal; pity and sadness. I knew I had better not be serious about abandoning my mission. Angela was becoming quite anxious about my mental state and it's effect on our relationship. I was becoming distant and hostile, isolated and frustrated. This is a dangerous time completely, because you are very serious about complaining, and can injure those you love with harsh words and attitudes you normally don’t have. Fortunately, I had a good sleep, with two horrendous dreams that were about me losing Angela and our relationship. I awoke having to recall the details of those dreams in the quiet of our room, until Angela appeared, and then I promptly told her every detail, relieving all the tension and unsure feelings that had been building up for some time. I realized at some point that I had been slipping into a despondent nature for at least since the Finland trip, but maybe even earlier than that. Let’s say a good month. These drugs are very powerful and tricky. They reduce your immune system, making you vulnerable to anything that could take you down. Being sick on top of being exhausted doesn’t get it. I started thinking about all the people who decided to clean up their health at a late date, only to wind up looking like a ghost image of their former selves. I was scared, thinking that was my fate. But it’s like any illness or pain; while you have it, you suffer, but when it breaks, it’s just a memory. I once heard the great Philadelphia Eagles, and later, Green Bay Packer defensive end, Reggie White (may have been Deacon Jones) say; “Fatigue makes cowards of us all….It’s those that rise above their weakness that wins the prize”.

I’ll be leaving for Brazil on Monday. By the time I return, it will have been 8 weeks of treatment. Thanks to everyone who is following my story, and sending their support.