Rememborizing*

I have whined a lot here in the past, and I mean a lot… no, really… a lot, about how screwy my brain has become ever since I caught the leukemia bug nearly a decade ago and was deluged with excessive amounts of chemo.

Not to mention I still take a daily dose of the stuff as a prophylactic so I don’t come down with that nasty little bug ever again.

Anyway, long story short — I have developed some pretty heavy duty vestibular issues and other funky brain-related stuff as a result, so for the past little while I’ve been working on various techniques and exercises to try to strengthen the ol’ noggin up a bit.

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An Important FDA Safety Announcement for my Donor Stem Cell Transplant Brothers and Sisters

FDA warns about increased risk of cancer relapse with long-term use of azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax) antibiotic after donor stem cell transplant

The French study which the FDA based a recent safety announcement on had to be discontinued after two years because the rate of the return of cancer and even death was too high in those patients with cancers of the blood or lymph nodes who undergo a donor stem cell transplant and were taking the antibiotic azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax) long term to prevent a certain inflammatory lung condition [LUNG GVHD/BOS].

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Drugs, Death, and Rock & Roll

Wayne Static in 2005 [WIKIPEDIA]

 

Did not know Wayne Static had died in 2014.

What a frikkin’ bummer.

I’m a fan of Industrial Music — Rock, Metal, Electronic — with Nine Inch Nails being my typical band of choice whenever I’m jonesing for a deep, dark, dystopic fix.

But whenever I was in need for an adrenaline fix, Wayne Static — his stage name obviously — with his band Static-X would always get me to where I was fixin’ to go.

It’s been a while since I needed a high-tempo rush like that so I hadn’t heard nor thought of Static-X in many o’ moons; however, now that I’m to the point where I’m working out regularly, a Static-X classic popped up on my Apple Music Industrial Rock Workout Playlist that Apple nerds had kindly and conveniently curated for me.

Warning: If you’re not familiar with this genre of music, you may want to check, first, with your doctor to ensure your heart can handle it, and then, second, with your Priest/Spiritual Advisor to ensure your spirit can handle it, as well…
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Kurt receiving acupuncture treatment for his many ailments

The Purpose of Pain

When it comes to physical pain, it’s purpose is hardly in question: It focuses us to where our immediate attention and action is required.

We accidentally rest our hand on a hot stove top burner and, without our sense of pain, our hand, if it weren’t for our sense of smell, would become cooked well enough to serve up at the next meal.

We could laugh at this, but sadly and horrifically there are some who do not experience the sense of physical pain due to a rare condition known as congenital analgesia.

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Cancer isn't pink

HOW NOT TO DIE: In 13 Easy Steps

On this day five years ago, I received the news that a recent lung biopsy showed that my lungs were inflicted with a severe form of graft versus host disease (GVHD) called bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). BOS, I came to find out, was a known but uncommon side-effect resulting from a bone marrow transplant (for leukemia) that I had had earlier in the year. And by severe I was told it meant the BOS was incurable, non-reversible, and, in most cases, aggressively fatal. I was also told — because I had asked and insisted on an answer — that, according to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study of the time, BOS had only a 13%, five-year survival rate. In other words, there was an 87% chance that within five years I would be dead.

Well, it’s been five years and here I am – a newly minted Thirteen Percenter.

Can a brother get a “Hell yeah?”

Hell yeah!

Anyway… at my most recent appointment with my oncologist, in addition to his standard declaration whenever he sees me of, “So, I see you’re still alive,” he also declared that my present condition may just be a miracle of sorts because it appears that my incurable BOS may have actually been cured… somehow.

I don’t think I would be overstating if I said that, because of all my goings on these past five years – goings on such as leukemia, GVHD (and not just of the lungs, but also of the eyes, liver, and intestines), prednisone side-effects, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and heart failure to name a few – I think I’ve learned a thing or two about life in general and living it in particular.

Now, if you search around this site, I’m pretty sure you will find that much of my writing, mostly encapsulated in my haiku, reflects a lot of the insights and learning I’ve garnered from these goings on. However, just because I like you all so much and don’t want you to have try to sift through this site for days on end in an effort to discover these insights and learning, and because short, pithy lists are all the rage these days, I will identify for you the top thirteen things I learned about how to not only not die, but mostly about how to best live your life filled with happiness and meaning, regardless whether death is looking you directly in the face or not.

Cool?

Okay, so here we go…

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If You’re Here You Must Be Sick…

(OR CARE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS) I’d like to think that one or two of my three regular visitors (one of whom is me) come to this site to gain a deeper understanding of my creative writing by exploring my short stories, and poetry, and my insightful and sometimes witty flash fiction, and, most importantly, to buy my books. Yeah, that’s what I’d like to think. However, the reality is far from it. The unfortunate truth is that, by far, most people who visit this site do so because they are seeking out information about my diseases, past and present. … Continue reading If You’re Here You Must Be Sick…

Ask the Question, I Dare You

And I don’t know about you, but for me, even sometimes at my old and calloused age, and no matter how times that old, dull saw “there’s no such thing as a stupid question” is drawn back and forth across my grainy, knot-holed brain, if I feel stupid about asking a question before I even ask it, then it is really hard for me to get up the gumption to get the stupid question out. Continue reading Ask the Question, I Dare You