Sunday, June 21, 2009

the backstory intro...

First they thought it was pinched nerves, then “some hematological problem”, followed by “some tropical disease”, MS, a primary glioblastoma (baseball-size brain tumor) and now Stage IV metastatic malignant melanoma. This blog is the private, yet public, purely anecdotal evidence of my eventually successful 'battles' with cancer, bureaucracy, xenophobic finance people, as well as with my own personal demons. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


There’s a nasty rumor floating around saying I’m cured of cancer. I know ‘cause I think I started it – and it’s even mostly sorta true. Read on.

I had the now far-too-familiar PET/CT scan the Monday before last just after Jon and Tommy arrived from Berlin to accompany me to the hospital where they could nap in upright comfort while I was injected (purposely) with radioactive glucose directly into my right hand (accidentally) bone (or whatever the technical term is for those bones in your hand) which spent the rest of the day as an arthritic useless claw:

I called my oncologist on Friday to get the results. “No cancer!” she said. I said, “What do you mean, ‘no cancer’?” She said, “No cancer! Come see me at the end of August.” I took that to mean no cancer. When picking up the radiology report yesterday though, I noticed it actually says, “We don’t find any masses of glucose hypermetabolization that would clearly indicate any neoplasm (tumor). Post-radiation fibrous changes in the left lung.” Or, in other words: no (detectable) cancer and sorry about the radiation.

But comparing the two scans, this and the one from March, there’s been little change – the two tumors in the lymph nodes remain the same: 13 and 17mm respectively, and the ‘mass in the lung is without obvious changes’. But none of the above appears to be viable or active in any way. Very good news, mind you, but pretty much the same (very good news) as last time, if you account for the wildly different writing styles of two wacky radiologists.

I also got my Czech visa finally registered last week – the end of a very long and tedious process. So that’s it! Got visa, European-wide health insurance and am cured of cancer. Thanks everybody! My exhibition was a blast and I had a great time with Jon and Tommy, when Jon wasn't yelling, that is:

I’ve spent the last week contemplating everything from my own navel to the universe, but mostly what the hell am I going to do now that I’ve got my health again, but no money. I guess I need to get a job of some sort. Any ideas would be most appreciated.

I’m escaping the craziness that is ‘museum night’ here in Prague in favor of a solstice party in KolĂ­n, leaving in a few minutes. More soon and, as always, thank you for your support.