An Acceptable Stabbing

Another grey day, but the temperature promises to remain reasonably comfortable, with a high of roughly 60°F. Yesterday, while I was sleeping (when was I not?), a new supply of propane was delivered, so we can again use our gas fireplace…but 60°F outdoors is too warm to sit in front of a fire inside. And, also while I slept, our handyman assessed how much pipe insulation he will need to apply to the water pipes in the crawlspace. Both of these matters should have been addressed before the horrifically cold weather we experienced during the past few weeks. This business of home ownership is requiring too much concentration, planning, and action; a condo in which all this sort of thing is handled for me (in return for a hefty association fee) is increasingly appealing to me. Or even an independent living situation…the very idea of that makes me cringe, but on the other hand… I do not know. I suppose now is not the right time to think about such matters. First, I need to get through the cancer treatment. If it works, I may change my mind. If it doesn’t, the idea is probably entirely irrelevant. I am counting on it working, of course. But I am a realist, too, so there you are.


Yesterday morning I expressed a desire to sleep for umpteen hours. And so I did. I slept most of the day and, with the exception of multiple trips to the bathroom to pee, all last night. I woke up this morning feeling depleted—weak and wishing for yet more sleep. Whether it is the chemo from last Thursday, the post-chemo injection on Monday, or something else, something has erased my strength and replaced it with a vague feeling of general illness. I return to the cancer center this morning for yet another injection—some sort of mineral, I seem to recall, that my blood tests say is low. I will inquire as to the reasons for my nebulous discomfort. While the staff at the center are no doubt knowledgeable, my friend, Bev, is truly a fount of information about chemo treatment and related matters. Her experience and research (in connection with her late husband’s lung cancer) are proving extremely valuable in understanding the chemo process and my response to it.


Illness is the doctor to whom we pay most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promise only; pain we obey.

~ Marcel Proust ~


I should drink some water and have a tiny bite to eat before we’re off to the cancer center. I would be perfectly happy to drive myself, but mi novia insists that she take charge of the wheel and accompany me. And I intensely appreciate that, of course. I would really rather not drive, especially because I am still sleepy-tired-fatigued-exhausted-whatever. Sometime after I return home, my wonderful sister-in-law will bring us some spicy turkey pumpkin chili (very nearly the best food on the planet, I think), which will no doubt awaken me and give me an enormous boost of energy. After consuming just one bowl of the stuff, I could easily sprint—full-speed—around the course of a full marathon and still have ample reserve of energy to do another one. Perhaps I am hallucinating, but probably not.


Off we go to let the cancer people stab me.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to An Acceptable Stabbing

  1. John Swinburn says:

    Thanks, Trish…I will!

  2. Druxha says:

    John, let people help you. I had a long stretch were I did not, and it was a solo act. Got through it, but having someone that cares to help you out is a blessing. My best to you with your treatment.

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