Half the Day

I watch the woman saunter by, led to an empty restaurant booth by a harried waiter. Three or four men, all wearing baseball caps, follow her. Knowing almost nothing about the woman—nor the men who accompany her—I immediately make a judgment about her and her companions, saying to myself, “She is not only ignorant, she is stupid. And the men must be, too, simply by their willingness to be in her company in a public place. And they probably share her ideas and attitudes.” I realize, at that moment, that my attitude about them is extremely bigoted. And I realize it, still. But I cannot shake my opinion about them. The woman’s sweatshirt is imprinted with “Trump,” proudly proclaiming her support for a man for whom I have nothing but deep, boiling, almost overwhelming contempt. And fear. Fear that, if enough people like that stupid woman and her dim-wit companions go to the polls, he will unravel and set ablaze all the remaining decency that once defined a significant part of who we are as a nation. Damn him and all the mindless cultists who are in love with his derangement! I cannot blame him for my bigotry, of course. But I blame him and his mob of minions for unleashing it. We are at risk of losing what Ruth Bader Ginsburg identified as a characteristic of this country. I have mixed feelings about whether my bigotry puts that attribute in danger; or whether rage like mine is all that is keeping us from tumbling into the abyss.

America is known as a country that welcomes people to its shores. All kinds of people. The image of the Statue of Liberty with Emma Lazarus’ famous poem. She lifts her lamp and welcomes people to the golden shore, where they will not experience prejudice because of the color of their skin, the religious faith that they follow.

~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg ~


The sudden, almost overwhelming, fatigue that overtakes me without warning will—eventually—disappear. I look forward to again being able to reliably predict that I will feel reasonably energetic from one day to the next; one minute to the next. I do not remember, from my treatments five years ago, that I felt exhausted for so long after each chemotherapy infusion. Memory, though, is unreliable. I cannot reliably remember significant experiences from twenty years ago. Or ten. Or five. That is not new. My memory has always been less than perfect.


Once again, I am hungry. Ravenously hungry. But I know my hunger would be replaced by feeling full—too full—soon after attacking a plate of food. Maybe the fact that it takes less food for me to feel sated is responsible for my ongoing weight loss…well, no longer ongoing, it seems. I seem to have hit a plateau, finally, after losing roughly 30 pounds in the past year; 50 in the past two years. Though I am pleased to have lost the weight, I need to lose another 30 pounds or more to reach my “ideal” weight. As if there is such a thing as an ideal weight. One’s ideal weight must take into account muscle mass (or lack thereof), which can sway the “ideal” dramatically. Or so I think. Actually, I care less about my weight than about eliminating or, at least, stalling my cancer. Prolonging my life matters more to me than being svelte (I have never been svelte, but I would not reject achieving that condition, if the opportunity presented itself). Food, though. Something flavorful to eat. Something with the right mouthfeel. The definition of mouthfeel, by the way, is the tactile sensation a food gives to the mouth. Ice cream that has softened just enough, but not too much, from its fresh-from-the-freezer hardness has a very appealing mouthfeel. A rare steak, too, has a nice mouthfeel. So does steamed broccoli that has not been allowed to soften to the point of having absolutely no resistance to the tooth. I could go on and on. But I won’t.


I woke late this morning; around 6. It seems like half the day is gone. Ach!

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Half the Day

  1. John says:

    Bev, I like the way you think. I will rejoice in those few extra pounds!

  2. bevwigney says:

    You are probably experiencing more fatigue from this chemo than last time. The platinum chemo drugs are the big guns and they are a lot harder on the body than just about any other chemo regimen. It’s best to eat as much good, appealing, nourishing food as possible when you are dealing with cancer. The only thing I would try to avoid would be sugary food. There’s plenty of talk that it’s best not to eat sugar — that’s it’s like feeding the cancer trolls, so to speak. Anyhow, keeping weight ON is actually an important goal when dealing with cancer, so rejoice in having a few extra pounds. Think of it as having an emergency fund in your bank account.

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