Wednesday, April 26, 2006

WEEK 42/ THE HOMESTRETCH

> WEEK 42/ THE HOMESTRETCH
>
>
> Da bloggety, bloggety, bloggety; sacred sound of a Harley
> Davidson idling away and waiting for the master to unleash the
> hounds. It’s the sound of raw energy bleating for the chance to run
> wide open - that’s what it is. So, you get out there with the
> “flow” and what happens? You use the compactness of your machine,
> the power of it’s torque, and the threatening nature of it’s sound
> to slide through, around, and past all forms of little monsters
> driving expensive, nimble, shiny pellets as though a checkered flag
> waited at some distant point on the horizon. You struggle to free
> yourself of the hazard by being a more aggressive rider, but
> always looking out for that MF who can’t stand being bested, or
> cramped in by the myopic slowpoke that shouldn’t be issued a driver
> license in the first place. Still, I wonder what would life be
> without my two-wheeled passion.
>
> I saw the doctor a week ago. That was at the 40th week of my
> treatment. We discussed the finish line for the meds. I am due one
> more shipment of them, which has arrived today. And with that I
> will have completed 46 weeks of Interferon/ Ribavirin medication.
> Dr Bartley, who is a very by-the-book kind of doctor (no shortcuts,
> higher dosage/accelerated treatment schedule), stated that 46
> weeks of treatment is fine and we should be alright with that. All
> my blood-work is normal without any relapses of cell volume. I can
> tell Bartley is pleased that I’ve gone the distance without
> bitching and complaining. Splice in a couple of trips to Europe, a
> killer flight to Brazil, and who knows what I’ve forgotten, and I
> stand here with the end of the road now in-sight. After the
> completion of medication I will return in 6 months for another lab
> test for a viral load. If the virus does not reappear at that time
> we can consider the treatment completed. So how do I feel? Ok, but
> still tired a lot. Weak physically, but not unhealthy. Decadent,
> but, and most importantly, happy. For all the minor irritations and
> piss-offs, I’ve got a great life and have been blessed with a
> situation beyond anything I could have hoped for. Five weeks from
> now I will be able to say “damn, I made it”. Accompanied by the
> knowledge that I am virus free and past a shadow of my former dark
> days, it’s a good feeling for the old boy, like redemption. I’ve
> never even imagined what it would feel like at the end, but it’s
> like anything else; you can’t know until you get there!
>
> The weather seems to help my mood a lot. Arrival of spring and
> warm sun on the face is a heck of a way to smile inside. Jesus, I’m
> getting sappy again. That means it’s time to take off until I get a
> better idea to talk about.
>
> My old high school buddy Jim is coming to L.A. this weekend….neat.
> I haven’t seen Jim since 1962.
>
> I’ll check back in to the blog in a week or two. And for sure
> to make a statement if I haven’t already done so, at the end of the
> big medication highway.
>
> Sayonara, M.D.

5 comments:

Evil Kim Evil said...

Hey Michael
I just read your whole story from beginning to end. You're an amazing writer, and you said a lot of things that made me laugh, or cry, or (most importantly) look at my own life in a new way.
I'm recently emerging victorious from a battle with addiction. The last time I sat at home detoxing (in late February), I watched my boyfriend's copy of A True Testimonial over and over again because it gave me the strength to keep going. As a young creative person who really wants to invent something new and make a difference, that film had a huge impact on me. It changed my life. Along with your music, obviously.
Your blogs have had a real, positive effect on me too. I have a number of questions I want to ask so I'll probably write you an email. I also want to send you a picture of my MC5 tattoo. But I want to say a couple of things that might be of interest to other people.
First, I share your frustrations with today's music. I've spent the past ten years looking for people to form a band with. I want to play with people who are inspired to disregard traditional categories and expectations and dare to create something new. It seems like most people my age want to be told to play a specific sub-sub-genre of a genre and to please make it sound like such and such a specific band or two. I've heard a lot of people say, "Everything's been done before. It's impossible to do anything original." I felt like I was the only person in the world who disagreed with that. Until I started playing with a friend from college--we'd been friends for eight years and it just never occured to us to play together because we came from such different backgrounds musically. But those differences have turned out to be a source of inspiration and originality.
Uh, this is getting long so I'll stop now. Do you ever think of publishing this, or other writing of yours, in paper? Your words are entertaining and thought-provoking and informative and genuine all at once. You really inspire me. I wish you the best of luck with everything. And of course I'd like to know if DKT/MC5 might be coming to the San Antonio/Austin area at any time in the future.
Kim

marion said...

Michael,

My sister and I have been reading your journal all along. We have anxiously waited for the next one often. I know it's been no picnic but we have enjoyed your articles. There sure was a lot of snow this year and the winter was warmer as we walked and discussed "Michael's progress". My sister is going to start a similar regiment of drugs in June. It is wonderfully good of you to be so open and honest. It has helped her. She was afraid to talk about it and thought of going it alone. She needs support and I want to thank you for the blogs because you have helped her accept herself. Last but not least, you should know that you are indeed a gifted writer. Take care. Marion

marion said...

PS Do you remember (a long time ago) that I tried to "parcel post a pill a day" to you? I enjoyed sending letters to you and was concerned about your health so I mailed a multivitamin to you daily. Later, you told me they arrived crushed in the bottom of the envelope.

marion said...

It's me again. I wanted to tell you that my sister bought me a Grande Ballroom tee shirt for my birthday recently at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn... Henry Ford museum for chrissake! AND.. a coworker told me recently that in the 70's she used to go rollerskating at the Grande Ballroom... way cool. There is an interesting recent interview with Russ Gibb at Keener13.com. My brother found Kick Out The Jams album on CD in Hong Kong for $1.00 and gave it to me for Christmas.

me said...

Wow :) I have been sitting here reading this wonderful blog (on and off) for about a week now. It has captivated me. You're an incredible person, (and incredible writer, too). I found you through a news alert link regarding Hep C, (it had your blog link in the article) and I've been reading here since. It's wonderful news that you've made it through treatment! I have Hep C, too (had acute nonA nonB in the 70's). I never knew this virus was "lurking" until around that 25th year when I began to feel awful. I was diagnosed three years ago. I didn't make it through my first attempt at treatment, but I'm in hopes to try again soon -- hopefully with the protease inhibitors or polymerase inhibitors in combination with Peg (either through a clinical trial or because they've been approved to treat Hep C.) That, though, could be several years away yet, and so -- it's possible I may have to try the "combo" again. I'm currently being followed at Duke University Liver Center.

Thank you for this blog. I hope you don't mind if I feature the news article in one of my Hep C blogs. I've read many hep c blogs, and yours is -- by far -- probably THE best I've ever come across. Frankly put -- it is the best, no doubt about it! I look forward to reading more here.

You are an inspiration! Best of luck to you.

(And a side note to Marion: If you read this, Marion, best of luck to your sister, too!)