Think Some More

Injections that protect against infection but that cause bone pain. Pills that calm bone pain. More injections that address blood deficiencies that probably were caused by chemicals intended to kill cancer cells. It’s not overwhelming, by any means, but the process of treating this cancer so far seems convoluted and labyrinthine. Treating. That’s not the right word. Fighting is the appropriate term, I think, though I am not the one fighting it; the medical team is taking on that responsibility. My role is to follow orders. Do what I’m told. That is fine, of course, because I do not have all the weapons necessary to take on the obligation; they do. Ostensibly. But I do have insurance, so the astronomical costs of cancer treatment do not fall to me but, instead, to the insurers. I am extremely grateful to have that coverage. People who are not so fortunate can be—and often are—ruined financially when faced with attempting to pay for treatments after a diagnosis of cancer. And, of course, money troubles are not the only things so many people face when confronted with that diagnosis. They may face death—after prolonged periods of agonizing pain that cannot be overcome without unaffordable pain medications. This is not cheerful stuff. But it is reality. I am more than a little lucky that it is not and will not be my reality.


Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

~ Khalil Gibran ~


More grey, dull, foggy skies. But at least the temperatures are well above freezing. The snow and ice are melting away the perils…of uncontrolled sliding on black ice into frigid waters cluttered with shattered chunks of ice. Even with more welcoming roads, though, I doubt I will go out and about much. I do not feel much like venturing out, though even though I drove to the cancer center yesterday, I am feeling a bit of cabin fever here in the house.


I am (almost) in the mood to write personal letters to people who will not expect to receive them from me. Those people represent enormous numbers of folks, because no one expects to receive personal letters from me. My letters (if I write them), as I think I have said here before (a few years ago?), will not be hand-written because neither my handwriting nor my printing are legible. I rely exclusively on the keyboard to communicate on the page or screen. Hand-written letters carry more emotional weight than do typed messages, but in my case most of the meaning is lost in the illegibility of the words I try to place on the page. I have considered composing a generic “what’s up” letter and distributing it to a list of people with whom I have not maintained close contact in recent months and years. But that seems almost dismissive of whatever relationship I might have with the recipients. Personal letters are personal. They convey and emphasize the connections that one hopes exist between the writer and the recipient. Personal letters require focused thought…intent…emotion…caring…engagement.


My intent during the weekend just ended was to phone a woman with whom I used to work some forty years ago (and with whom I have briefly communicated via email lately). But of course I got sidetracked and did not think of it until late yesterday. She still works, so free time is not as readily available to her as is mine. I find it interesting to think about a conversation with someone with whom one has had almost no contact for forty years. Aside from exchanging “this is my life” stories, what does one talk about? Perhaps I will find out in the not-too-distant future.


Today, especially, this blog is basically a journal, a diary. I prefer to write about ideas. I prefer to muse with my fingers. I would rather explore thoughts that promise to open my mind a bit wider. But I will be satisfied with whatever I write today, no matter how dull or how poorly written. That is just the mood I am in. And off I go to think so more.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

I wish you would tell me what you think about this post...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.