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Monday, April 22, 2013

One Week Later

The events of the last week have been devastating and traumatic, but at last, some closure is starting to happen.  I went back in to the Farber today, and Boston seems to have returned to some semblance of normal.  I didn't try to go back to the scene of the bombing, but I will in time.  I'm sure there will be some memorial established to honor the victims.  I hope so.

Some years ago, my friend, Bob, and I drove through Oklahoma City, and we spent some time visiting the Murrah Building bombing memorial there.  It was extremely moving.  That was a far more destructive bomb than the Marathon bombs, in that 168 people lost their lives, and the evidence of the devastation is still there.  Across the street from the Murrah Building is a small memorial with a statue of Jesus with his back turned to the scene of the blast.  He is depicted looking at a stone wall engraved with the names of those lost in the blast.  The inscription on his statue says, "Jesus wept".  I'm not a religious person, and Bob is Jewish, but both of us were overwhelmed by this simple universal depiction of grief.

We in this country lost a lot of our innocence then.  But we still thought it an anomaly.  Then came 9/11.  No longer could we feel safe from terrorist attack.  But even then, the thought that it could happen to us here and now seemed somewhat remote.  No longer.  Last week stripped the last veil of complacency from us.  Yes, it can happen here and now.  Anytime.  Anywhere.  The question is how do we respond to this.  My take is that we just go on doing what we were doing.  As they may have said in ancient Rome, "Illegitimi non carborundum", or in other words, "Don't let the bastards wear you down".  Or to put it in more modern parlance, shit happens.  Just go on hoping that you won't end up in the right place at the wrong time or the wrong place at the right time, right? 

My main reason to go into the Farber wasn't medical.  Today was the monthly meeting of the Writing Workshop that I have been attending, and it has been so informative, entertaining, enlightening, and inspirational that I didn't want to miss it.  It was very interesting, with some beautiful writing submissions.  However, mine wasn't one of them, because I didn't do my homework.

As it turns out, this month is also the time for my annual skeletal survey, so I took the opportunity while there to walk in and have them take about 19 X-rays of my body.  I know the drill, so I'm starting to know the positions by heart. Based on my good response to therapy so far, I have no reason to expect that they won't turn out fine.

In other news, Gretchen is doing really well.  She got "fired" (let's say graduated) from two of her three outpatient therapy sessions last week.  Based on her rapid progress, she no longer needs Physical Therapy or Speech Therapy.  Her only remaining therapy sessions are Occupational Therapy for the arm injury she sustained in her fall, but that is coming along well too.  She still has ups and downs, but on the average, she is showing steady progress day by day. I can't believe how well her brain has recovered so much is such a short time.  We're both very lucky.

Also, I had a colonoscopy last week.  I decided to have this done because colon cancer is one of the potential secondary cancers that can be caused by the various chemotherapy medications I have taken, including Cytoxan, melphalan, and Revlimid.  Despite those risks, for the first time I had no polyps, which is great!  So I can check that one off the list. 

All in all, it has been an eventful week.


  1. Speaking of potential secondary cancers, aren't 19 X-rays a serious hazard?

    Concerned Former Roommate