Sunday, June 29, 2008


There have been some concerns of late that my posts have been a little discouraging, depressing and even downright dire. I’m neither discouraged nor depressed, just really tired of having cancer, if that makes any sense. It’s been a long six-and-a-half roller-coaster months since my first (even-vaguely-correct) diagnosis, but here’s some good news and light-hearted nonsense to prove that I’ve not given up:

Chris and I finished 4th and 2nd respectively in a 29-player poker tournament (my first) at the Hilton last night, together netting almost CZK 10K ($650) in the process. There were a lot more sharks than fish, so we were pretty lucky to get out with our shirts, let alone reach the final four.

Issues with Chinese/English mistranslations during the upcoming Beijing Olympics have already manifested themselves in the toy/tobacco kiosk at Motol. Here are just two of the tempting products on offer to sick children - dinosaurs being huge this (and every) year:

...all this from a plastic triceratops... and now for the marketing pitch - 'safety and slightly' being the keys to perfection:

And here are my top nine theories as to why I have cancer:

9. mistaken for a jumbo shrimp as a newborn and tossed onto the grill;
8. consistently failing to brighten the day of New York State Thruway toll collectors;
7. it’s currently rather fashionable;
6. lifelong suppression of internalized evil twin;
5. repeated reaching for left armpit for imaginary concealed weapon;
4. only inhaling with my left lung to mitigate the scandal when I run for President;
3. didn't cry at the end of Terms of Endearment;
2. unlucky at cards, lucky at uh, wait a minute, lucky at cards;
1. half a lifetime of poor health choices, including an almost jihadist fervor for smoked pork products, thick juicy steaks, cigarettes and coffee.

There, satisfied?

Last Friday’s blood test results were dismal (as well as discouraging, depressing and dire). While my white blood count held steady at 4.2, my platelets were all the way down to 42, which is basically hemophiliac territory. This could be a result of the curcumin, which inhibits platelet aggregation and, when combined with chemo, which outright destroys them, may make for a bad combination. I’ve stopped taking it until they’re up again – I’ll know on Friday after more blood tests.

The side effects from my last chemo session have been worse and lasted longer than in previous cycles. Over a week now since my last ‘dose’ and I’m still taking anti-nausea medication - I’m usually off it by the following Wednesday. Other than that, I'm in great spirits.

Tom Parker comes to Prague this Thursday for his second and ‘substantially longer’ visit this year, followed by Tim Hanford who will be here for more than two weeks, and then Jon Luftig who will be on and off in Prague for almost a month.

I then plan to go to Spain for about a week in the beginning of September and then off to Georgia (the country, of all places) toward the end of the month. I hope to get to the US in October for an extended visit and possible further treatment. Stay tuned. ¡Que viva el Niño, viva España! ¡Campeones de Europa!


Mary said...

I favor theory #9., as that would explain your obsession to slather everything you eat with hot sauce. Love - Mom

maire said...

did you yell, "daddy needs another bag of chinese herbal tea!" before every poker round?

a friend of mine always calls 'terms of endearment' 'tears of enjoyment.' and i can't believe you didn't cry any...

oh wait, yes i can.

great post.

Anonymous said...


My prayers are with you, and Satan never fails to answer them. I'm planning to visit Prague for mikeFEST 2009, just as long as I have nothing -- and I mean absolutely nothing whatsoever, under any circumstances -- nothing to do with organizing it.


Anonymous said...

viva espana-
i'm planning to bring Tim to prague sometime in the Autumn - this time i expect to stuff you full of lovely things like watercress and carrots. i like # 7 myself-
much love

Ingrid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ingrid said...

Wow. You've managed to expertly strike that ever-so-delicate balance between whistling-in-the-dark, therapeutic venting, and a Letterman Top 10 list. If laughing at a cancer blog causes bad karma, I'm right behind you! Or going to hell (nice town in Norway, if you get a chance...) Am of to NYC, happy to take requests for a care package, if you'd like? Nice chatting with you a couple weeks back, will try you again soon! xox IT.

Pamela said...

Love your post. Glad you're laying off the junk for a while. It's great that you gave up meat (I gave up red meat over 20 yrs ago), but remember to let yourself cheat a little here and there, occasionally, or you might go on a bender. Stay away from the carcinogens though--smoked meat may be tasty, but you may as well sit around a blocked chimney to warm your hands.

My only complaint is that you haven't posted a picture of yourself in ages. I want to see if the 'fro has regained it's former glory. I love me some Art Garfunkel hair.

PS - sorry for the lack of posting lately, been travelling non-stop, Dublin and Miami--- because all good Jews must go to Dublin once a year...or was that Miami?

Anonymous said...

I miss you. Ann