Tuesday, September 20, 2005


“I feel good; I knew that I would”; - James Brown

After 12 weeks of treatment, I’m on the sunny side for a change. I guess I’m sort of getting used to it. Shot day blends in with everything else. I don’t care for getting poked, but it isn’t that bad and it’s over in a second. What a weenie, I used to drill myself every day. Now I see a needle and immediately look for a place to hide. The mind is a willing accomplice for the ego. I feel good that I have a normal reaction at last.

With the DKT/MC5 performance series concluded, I feel a sense of beginning, more than one of ending. Like a ship leaving port and starting a new journey, we have cleared the harbor and set the course for the “New World”. I saw an old friend at the UCLA- Royce Hall show, Michael Simmons, the writer. I told him about the treatment, and that I was 12 weeks into it. He was aghast that I was doing gigs and being treated. What’s the big deal, I asked him. Life must go on, interferon and all.

Is “C” an epidemic? I keep hearing of more and more people having it or having gone through treatment. One thing that is consistent is that most people struggle with the treatment. I haven’t heard of any failures. You tend to forget the hardship once it has past. One thing that helped me a great deal recently was getting out with Gilby Clarke and his motorcycle-riding buddies last weekend. We met up in Sherman Oaks and rode over Topanga Canyon to Malibu. There were 8 bikes, and what a sound! Eight Harleys with open pipes roaring over the road. At first I was hesitant to go, but in my gut I knew I needed to get out and do something just for recreation. I had been a recluse since the start of summer with the interferon and all, and I was getting just plain lazy. I was also socially withdrawn, and maybe a little ashamed about my physical stature. I knew that the only way to gain strength is to put out some action. So, I decided it was best to brave it out. I am very glad I did. It seemed to turn the tide of monotony that had me doing week after week of the same basic behavior. It was; pills, shot, pills. Then; pills, pills for the next six days. And repeat. Of course the trips and plane rides helped throw me off balance, so, that I was always in a state of recovering from an overwhelming task. Since the bike ride to Malibu I’ve felt more like myself than I have in a long time. I’m once again interested in my bike, and doing some customizing. I feel a lot better than just a couple of weeks ago. I want this to be a permanent improvement. We will see.

I sign off on week 12 as a turning point in this yearlong struggle to recapture my essential being. I don’t think it’s a cakewalk from here on out. I’m ready for the next fence, whatever it is. I only know that as long as I stick to the battle plan, the day will be mine at the finish. Even if it doesn’t work, I am better off than I was. The only way to lose is to quit.