Drifting Off on a Chilly Saturday Morning

Yesterday’s splitting headache lasted far longer than I expected, but a lengthy morning nap—and one even longer in the afternoon—kept my mind off of it for a good part of the day. I suspect the culprit is sinus congestion. Whatever the cause, it is back this morning. Of what use are sinuses? They are simply cavities in the head whose uses are incompletely understood. Sinuses are not critical to one’s survival, if these assertions from a July 16, 2006 article from the San Diego Union-Tribune are correct: “One can do just fine without sinuses. People born without sinuses, or who have them surgically replaced, don’t appear to have any significant problems.” I have jokingly commented, more than once, that I should have my sinuses removed to eliminate the trouble they cause me. I had no idea their surgical removal was possible (and still find that possibility quite surprising), given that they are just cavities…holes. I would think surgical removal of holes in the head would leave larger holes. I’m not equipped this morning to think clearly about the matter, thanks at least in part to this damn headache. But I will forge ahead.


If I could, I would go back to bed and get some more sleep, but the headache and the fact that I am not tired suggest I would be unsuccessful if I tried. So, instead, I’ve been wandering the internet, looking for good news and finding none. At least none of consequence. It might help if I looked in places where good news is relatively likely to be found. Instead, I look in places where news of concern is common. I checked my oncologist’s patient portal to see the results of the lab work from Tuesday’s visit to her office. My interest in those results arose in response to a call from her office yesterday, informing me that the doctor wants me to have a “scan” as soon as possible because the lab results revealed a high level of “tumor marker” in my blood. Naturally, I explored what that might mean. Though not a reliable indicator, it could mean the return of my cancer (hence my oncologist’s interest in a scan). That would be ironic and, of course, troubling. It has been five years since my surgery to remove the lower right lobe of my lung—and only a a month and a half since I had the chemo-port removed from my chest. Mi novia properly reminded me not to worry, as there is nothing I can do about it—just wait until I get the scan and listen to the doctor’s assessment of the results of the scan. I am more curious than worried. I do hope to discover it is “nothing,” but from what I’ve read, an elevated CEA (that’s the blood test) could mean things  other than cancer are going on. We shall see. In the meantime, I will try to focus my attention on other matters, things more appealing.


Last night’s dream(s) were vivid but simultaneously boring and challenging. Why, I wonder, do dreams often retrieve elements of actual experience, while merging that reality with circumstances that have no basis in reality? My interest in the “meaning” of dreams ebbs and flows. This morning, I doubt there was meaning in my nocturnal visit to the actual past and the potential but unlikely future. The very fact that I give any credence to the idea that dreams have “meaning” irritates me at this very moment. This morning, I am of the opinion that dreams are nothing more than the mind creating an internal audio-visual record of  thoughts that combine real memories with uncontrollable future reactions to them. Or something like that. I do not know. I just guess and call my hunch half-believable.


Night before last, we joined six friends for another periodic World Tour of Wines dinner. We raved to friends about how the food at these dinners had improved enormously when a well-known caterer/restauranteur took over meal preparation and delivery. And then we were served luke-warm coq au vin that was riddled with small pieces of chicken bones. The appetizer, salad, and dessert were excellent…but the main course…Ugh! One flop after several exceptional successes is not enough to change my mind about the caterer. But considering the per-person cost, I was surprised at the menu selection. Stop it, John! If you think you can do better, give it a shot.


My fingers rested too heavily on the keyboard as my eyes closed. I woke from an incomplete introduction to an upright nap to find a long, long series of lines of the letter “g.” That is a sure sign I need to stop attempting to think through my fingers.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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