Monday, November 07, 2005



The new age of my treatment has begun. Ruth, a nurse from US BIOSERVICES, came by early this past week with the meds and syringes for giving myself injections of two blood enhancing agents. One is for red cell deficiency (anemia). The other is for white cell deficiency (vulnerability to infection). Each vile contains 1mililiter of liquid. Each substance is to be injected separately. The Neupogen (white cell) is a daily injection. The Procrit (red cell) is injected 3 times a week. The process is not that difficult. It is quite like the interferon injection, with the exception that I must draw the substance into a syringe from its vile. I am also given a second needle to change out the first needle, as the penetration into the rubber top of the vile can dull the point somewhat. This is an optional maneuver, but one that I take advantage of since it is offered. I found the injections slightly more irritating than the Interferon simply because a larger amount of material is being pushed in. Also, the injection site produces a rash and mild discomfort, with a small amount of bleeding, but nothing more than minimal. Imagine that on my Interferon day, if I doubled up on the Procrit and Neupogen, I could be giving myself 3 injections at once.

At first I was annoyed at having to perform extra tasks as part of my treatment. I am now responsible for multi tasks and additional attention giving to the process. How can that be fair? Oh how quickly I am grounded by the thought that literally millions of people give themselves injections of insulin many times in a single day to survive diabetes. And they didn’t CHOOSE to be that way. So, I am grateful for what I have once again.

After a few days, I have accepted my new routine. It isn’t so bad. I’ll keep looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. Nurse Ruth told me that I will start feeling a bit stronger after several weeks of taking the Procrit.

I was feeling more than a little deflated as this day wore on. A zoom on the Harley this morning was a good thing, but without a serious destination, I soon returned home without plan or motivation. I gawked at the computer for a while, until I was exhausted looking at irrelevant items that I really couldn’t justify spending money for. Later in the afternoon the weather turned gloomy. Sinjin asked me to take him to the skate shop/streetwear store to get his board gripped. I dropped him off in front, as there is never any parking on the street in downtown (Old Pasadena). It is a continuous fashion parade, shopping orgy and hip cafĂ©- hop seven days a week. As a means of killing time I decided on stopping by the Bentley dealership to see if they had a car I had seen early in the week on Santa Monica Blvd. It was a deep blue sedan, with a sloping rear window. I had been quite impressed at the time and wanted to see one up close. They had it. After a brief conversation with a sales person, I noted a couple of facts and left the showroom. Approximately $200,000, a cool 12 city/ 19 highway mpg, a short wheel base sports sedan, second to none. I called Angela right away. She was approving, as she noted it cost much less than a house. I returned home and placed the sales person’s card under a magnet on the “fridge”. It’s amazing what a fantasy shopping trip to the Bentley dealer can do for your mood. I recommend it.

Last week as we sat at the dinner table, Sinjin’s cell phone rang, he answered it and talked with his friend. I was thinking how funny and not uncommon it would be if everyone at the table were talking to someone else on a cell phone while they were having dinner. The “New World” is on us.

Tonight I was listening to a pop station on a 1970’s Onkyo receiver, driving classic JBL studio control monitors at a low volume. I was enjoying it. Angela came into the room and noted that there was a huge amount of static coming from the speakers. After she left, I looked at the meters on the receiver. It showed the signal to be dead centered, strong and locked in on the quartz tuner. I raised the volume to see if it got better. I couldn’t be sure if it was better or just louder. I decided it was just like old cars. No matter how much we may love them for what they remind us of, the truth is, the new stuff is light years more efficient. The exception to that is my 1973 Ampeg SVT amplifier. Then again, it also weights a whopping 85 or 90 lbs. The speaker cabinet weights twice that, but boy does it sound good!

Nobody wants to let go of the old stuff. I guess in some way, it is how we recognize ourselves and where we have been. When we were kids, we couldn’t afford anything. So now that we can, having that old thing is a way to return to the past and the dreams of our younger days. I suppose there is an aesthetic side of it that makes it all worth the effort. But somewhere along the way, we have to let go of the old thing. It drains our energy, and causes us to remain in a place that has long since stopped serving us positively. So it serves us negatively by taking our power and sending it backwards to something like a fantasy that is ongoing. We must learn to let go, and by doing that, we can free all the energies to move on. We let go, not only for ourselves, but to cut the ties that bind, and give that which is released its freedom from us.

Angela said something tonight that I noted as key - the reason I am responding well to the treatment is because I am coming from a position of inner strength and personal balance and growth. I also think that it is because I am loved and cared for. I am not just on my own. I know that if I fall to the ground, someone will catch my fall. “Ring out, I feel fine. This girl said she’s mine. So let the bells ring, loud and clear”.