Friday, November 8, 2019

The Daily {W}rite November 2019 wk. o2

So, went shopping, grocery shopping, and David needed this case of some soda  . . . scene: David tries to get low enough so he could pull a case of soda out. "Wait," I say. I bend down . . . and yeah, real struggle to get it out cause the cases were real heavy and pushed to the back of the shelf. But I got it out, tossed it into the cart and . . . fuck. I can't breath, I can't move. All I can do is lean on the grocery cart and try to catch my breath. Moral of the story: Get one of the grocery clerks to lift heavy shit into the cart.

Saturday, November o9, 2o19
Oh, goodness. Last night after the Smart Saver's Grocery Store Massacre I went to Art Walk . . . murder on me. Man, I just couldn't walk a few steps without stopping to catch my breath. FUCK! So, had David drive me home early. I just laid on the couch. I knew I needed to call the hospital "hotline" but I fell asleep . . . and woke up this morning feeling . . . pretty good. I called the hospital anyway and told the doctor on call what happened. She said if I felt ok then I should just take it easy until my appointment on Monday . . . BUT if I did feel really crashed I should get down to the hospital and get a transfusion.

Sunday, November 1o, 2o19 
"My anger woke me up. Well, no, not exactly. My anger woke itself up, and it could care less if I got up or stayed asleep. Unfortunately, anger doesn't understand the law of human physics. An emotion can't do anything on its own. Emotions MUST have their host's conscious permission before they go on any emotional tirade. So, here I am, wide awake with my anger, with my finger on the red button of the flesh bomb that I and my emotions live in." -Woodie

Yes, I did. Woke up angry about this country and its fucking politics. And I'm made that everybody thinks they know what America is all about, all those Facebook friends want to lecture me on what the USA is ALL about. Folks not Ameircan. I've listened to you rant and rave about America, about my generation, how my generation elected Trump, and how my generation won't do anything about global warming . . . and all of what you say is bullshit. Me and my generation have been actively working to change things in this country. So, don't go on telling me what you know about this country I live in because you don't know shit. WE got Trump elected? Shit you attitude, your stereotyping me and my generaiton? Shit you sound just like Trump and his fucking mindless minions.

Monday, November 11, 2o19
Not writing much tonight. Lots to think about before I put my thoughts into the computer blog. Had a meeting with the doctor and I asked her the question I should have asked on the first day: "So, will I beat the cancer with this treatment?" She looked a bit shocked. "No." She said it with great authority. "You'll be taking this therapy for the rest of your life." "Oh." "I did tell you that there was only one cure for the type of cancer you have . . . " "Bone marrow transplant. "Yes, which at your age . . . " "I wouldn't survive the cure." "Yes."

Tuesday, November 12, 2o19

Lost . . . Reward

3:21 in the morning/and my caffeine haunted/mind cant help but/calculate just how/many 3:21s in the/morning my eyes/have left, how many/beats my heart has left?/My consciousness/will wander off someday,/will run off someday/chasing its shadow like/a dog chases a cat . . ./there will be a time/when I call after him, and/he doesn't come back.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

The Daily {W}rite November 2019 wk. o1

A fall, a prat fall, a slow burn, a giant crash into November. I feel like November today. Breathing is  labored. The gasp for air . . . like the gold fish taken from its home. Its mouth wide open searching for that healthy taste of bowl water. Not another appointment until Monday. I think I can last that long. But should I? That is the ?

I don't miss being in love. I really don't. I don't really even miss someone liking me enough to call me on the phone, "What are you doing?" There are those few who seem to have an interest in me . . . well, that may be too boisterous. There are those select few who are curious about me. Yes, a bit of a curiosity . . . that's me. I'm a thick foggy day with grey wet skin. You're hands reach out . . . a simple cold touch on your finger tips . . . and you pull away.

Sunday, November 3, 2o19
The world warms up a tit-tat. 66 degrees outside. All week mother nature changes her demeanor . . . from scolding cold . . . to a chilly breeze. Nice to know that we have a few more days of autumn before winter comes rolling down the street, through the boughs of the elm trees, crawling through the cracks in the floor and walls of my apartment. Pic at right from November 29th, 2o17.

Tuesday, November o5, 2o19

The Not Paying Attention to My NRS' Instruction Blues.

So, Friday night it hit me. Went with Brendon to see the new Terminator movie (it was good!), I went to the restroom after the movie started and . . . fuck. Out of breath by the time I climbed the grade to the theatre exit. FUCK! And Saturday and Sunday even worse! Got to the hospital for my regular "cancer appointment" and told the RN who's been working with me from day one what happened and she nicely jumps on me, "No, no, no, no, no! When you crash like that you gotta phone us.
PHONE US! You got the emergency number . . night or day you phone us when you are in trouble." I also asked her about wearing the surgical mask . . . "All the time when you are around people. On the street, here in the hospital, and wherever there's a group of people who could infect you with there germs! Remember, your immune system is compromised, it's flu season!"  And let me say that written this out, it looks like she was mad at me and was reading me the riot act . . . no. She's concerned for me and I felt ashamed that I wasn't doing everything to please her AND save myself. Fuck. I gotta take this seriously.

Wednesday, November o6, 2o19
I was going to go have coffee at Starbucks on the Corner, but couldn't get David up. I could've gone by myself, take my bills down to the OU Student Union  . . . but a bit worried that it would rain on me, and after last weeks health scare I decided not to chance it. So, sat on the porch and waiting for the mailman to come by, and he did. . . he went right by me as I waved my two letters in my hand! Fortunately, he stopped two houses down, and I ran
(ran pretty good too) to catch up with him before he left the block. Got there fast enough that he hadn't even gotten out of his mail truck. He opened the door and froze when he saw this masked being standing in front of him. Then he smiled and apologized for not stopping to see if there were outgoing mail.

It was actually nice out. Had my sweats on, a long sleeves shirt and my jean jacket on . . . AND . . . a surgical mask! Like I said . . . not taking anymore chances. Oh! and I brought my camera out to the porch. Got a few good autumn shots . . . a nice day.

Thursday, November o7, 2o19
Not more to write today. Still feeling good and hoping that I can make it to my next lab without crashing. Did go out today with my sister to have dinner. Put the mask on and went. No one seemed to notice . . . except one little girl (maybe 4 or 5 years old) who keep staring at me as her mother dragged by the hand to another part of the restaurant. {smiles}

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Daily {W}rite October 2019 wk. o4

"You a**hole son'ama'bit**!! That'as me soft screaming at the jerk who just tried to cut me and David off when David was making a left turn onto Trout Ave. David smiles at me. "What?!" "You're really feeling better today." "Yeah, I am! How'd you know that?" "Because you're yelling at traffic." We both laugh at that. It's true. When I feel semi-healthy I start vocalizing my "hate" for all the political bullsh** that explodes out of my TV! Trump! That piece of overripe banana peel! And people! People! ON Facebook trolling every word I say! And people. People! Standing in my way when I'm trying to get to the Talenti Dairy-Free Roman Raspberry Sorbetto . . . I pint. Lady, don't you DARE touch that last pint of the Roman Raspberry! Yep. I'm feeling damn good. Which is also the problem. When I'm in the middle of chemotherapy and the cancer I'm getting the chemo for I'm too physically and mentally fragile to complain, rant about all the bullsh** well people have to put up with. I'm a nicer person when I have a life threatening disease.  Not from choice so much as from just being to weak to be mad about anything. So, the dilemma facing me is how can I stay a nice person and a healthy person. Seriously, this cancer stuff is not funny . . . this is a real life problem for me.

Oh, before I forget . . . Remember I was worried about wearing the surgical mask in public because someone would think I had a disease that would infect them if I breathed on them? But really, the mask is worn to protect my damaged immune system (from the chemotherapy) from their coughs and spit and germy things that people carry around on them. Anyway, I though that what I could do is cover the surgical mask with another mask that would appear friendly, not threatening . . . and if you look at the picture of your friendly neighborhood Chemo-Man (up, left side of the blog). See? Isn't that sweet?

Wednesday, October 23, 2o19
I think we're going to dinner tonight. Haven't been to dinner in a bit. I need to force myself to just get out. Stop being a ghost haunting my own apartment. I feel better, I do. Oh, this feeling better not only got me to work on this blog. I've started back to writing A Poem Every Night . . . or . . . A-Poem-Every-Early-Morning-A-Day . . . if you're not into all that brevity thing. I mean, why write anything short when you can write on it for a long time. {smiles}


Moon Dreams

She never smiles when she's awake.
though I've caught her lips curving
into a crescent shape on those nights
when she falls away toward a dream
And I am still wide-eyed sipping at
a coffee and watching her sleep.

She caught me once. My shadow
drifting between her and the moonlight
bouncing through the torn curtains
in our small, one room apartment.

"What the fuck are you doing?"
"Watching you sleep." "you
know how creepy that is?"

Before I could say "yes" she
snored herself off into
whatever dream I so rudely
shook her out of.

Thursday, October 24, 2o19
There are days that go out of their way to make me smile. Yes, smile. Out of nowhere  . . . like the sun popping out from behind a hedgerow of clouds . . . not for long but just long enough to tickle a grin out of you. Or maybe there's a woman walking by . . . beautiful enough to at least force you into a pleasant memory about that Girl-Of-My-Dreams  . . . which actually existed once or is a total fabrication of an old man's lonely thoughts. Some times, it gets tricky trying to separate the imagined from the real.

Today was Halloween looking day! Went to Party Town that just reopened in a new building on the westside of Norman and . . . MAN! A gigantic space filled with PT's entire inventory! Yep! So huge  this new building that it can literally say, "What you see is what you get" cause it's all right there! AND checkout the Purge masks we found. AND only $3.99. Probably the best buy I've ever made (pic by David Slemmons).

Friday, October 25, 2o19
Wet universe out there this day, this Friday. And bone rattling cold.45 degrees at almost 5:00pm? Sorry. No outdoor activities for me. Not today. this cable music station I have with Cox Cable . . . Soundscape. Lots of head oriented music. Lots of pixies playing pianos. Some of the compositions are just Earth sounds put togather . . . wind, crickets, birds. My favorite is the sound of a woodpecker tapping at a tree along with a acoustic guitar solo. Dreamy music. Blog writing music.

I get lost inside the many storage compartments of my consciousness. Lots of things in there. Some very old memories. So, old some of them that I'm not even sure they are my memories. Maybe someone at sometime told me a really powerful story about his/her life, a story so profound it actually changed my life, and my life not always the brightest star in heaven may have thought . . . "I'll borrow that memory. I'll give a nice home here in Woodie's memory storage house . . . and a memory that was never mine . . . became mine.

 Sunday October 27, 2o19

Sunday afternoon after a steady paced walk around the block and back into the warmth of my small apartment. Interesting that my apartment is easy to get warm and more difficult to cool down during the summer months.

Ships passing in the night. I always liked that phrase. But I think of it more like I'm a ship and the rest of the human race is the shorline. And some shorelines are unclutterd, beckoning the lone ship to come and drop the anchor for awhile. Other areas of shoreline are less hospitable. No trespassing signs everywhere, rocky walls forbidding any frail boat-craft to even try and land. Alone. For the most part alone we all are. Always searching for that friendly bit of shore line where we can remember what it was once to walk upon earth.

Monday, October 28, 2o19


The Disneyland Syndrome Massacre

Scene: 7:45am. David picks Woodie up for his 8am chemotherapy appointment.

David: You doing alright?
Woodie: I didn't get much sleep last night. Disneyland Syndrome?
Davie: What?
Woodie: When I was a kid . . . well, even after I grew up . . . Disneyland was my favorite place to go on vacation. We'd go there, the family, maybe once every other year, I would get so excited that the night before we'd leave for Disneyland that I couldn't sleep.
David: Wait . . .  Are you saying that having chemotherapy at eight in the morning on the coldest f***ing day we've had this year is equivalent to a trip to Disneyland.
Woodie: Well . . . it sounds different when you use a lot of words . . .
David: Man, you're weird.

Thankfully, David's heater works better than his car's air-conditioning because it was super cold out. I dressed in three layers and stil the morning chill got through it all and attacked my skinny-ass arms. So, the warmth of the car heater was a wonderful surprise.

The stuff about me not getting much sleep the night before I went back for another blood test and maybe another chemo session or blood transfusion . . . very true. I try not to be too worried about having cancer (or on the borderline of having cancer) most days cause I know it doesn't help me get better and may well help in making me sicker. But the night before I go back into treatment . . . I can't help but be a bit nervous about it. And that uneasiness won't let me go to sleep.

Tuesday, October 29, 2o19
Damn cold out there . . . and rainy! You know my friend David, right? He loves this shit weather. Me? Too hot, too cold NOT all right by me. Spring and the beginning of fall . . . just right for me. I suffer from a acute case of the Goldilocks Syndrome when it comes to weather.

Got my first bills from the cancer therapy. Actually, not too bad. Medicare seems (so far) to be taking care of a large amount of it. Thanks, Medicare. But there are more bills to come . . . a lot more and the price tag will probably be extremely high . . . but better than not being here anymore. You Can't Take It with You. No you can't because it will all be gone when you pass on, spent trying to keep yourself alive. A good chunk of our existence is spent trying to get as much mileage as we can out of life.

Wednesday, October 30, 2o19
My soul is cold. Not all the layering, t-shirt, plus a sweat-shirt, topped with my magic hoodie can warm up that which has been touch by a single drop of winter sadness.

the abandoned the old chair
at the curb. Just left her there.
How many good years did that
beat up piece of furniture give
to those who just now threw
her away with a single thought?
I would've rescued her
If it hadn't started raining, raining,
raining so hard it drove the legs
of that old easy chair into the muddy
grass so deep that when I tried
to pick her up . . . she wouldn't budge.
So, I left her there in the rain, rain, rain.

At the computer, I glance out
the window . . . she's still there
waiting for someone to save her.

Savior. Hands full of bloody regrets. Cold, dangling six feet above the ground. Lighter than gravity. As grave as the grave. Pulling the shadow from his flesh, the pocket-pickers sing the song there mothers sang:

When I sing the wind sings too
When I weep the broom stops sweeping
And when I sleep death comes calling
I will never ever sleep again

Thursday, October 31, 2o19
YES! It's Halloween! Woo-hahaha! I'm not gonna write much today because it is Halloween! In fact, I'm not going to even proof read this week's entry. I know. Bad writer. But it's Halloween and I leave you and October with this:

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Daily {W}rite October 2019 wk o3

Well, today started off with high energy and a continuous smile on my face. So far no real side effects to the chemo. Great! David picked me up at 11am so I could pop by my regular doctor and have him look at my swollen long toe. And he did! This kid doctor with the Doogie Howser smile was happy to tell me that my toe wasn't broken but infected, "Some kind of foot infection . . . rare and specifically located on the feet!" Well, swell. He bounced off to get me a prescription and I sat down . . . and  . . . fuck. All of a sudden I felt so tired . . . I felt like I was drifting off . . . "Hey! You okay, Mr. Woods?" Doogie said as he reentered the examination room. I had know idea how long he had been gone. Checked my cellphone clock . . . ten minutes.

David and I went to have coffee. still an hour and a half before my second round of chemotherapy . . . and still I felt myself just sinking into the chair I was sitting in. Then we went the hospital and my nurses was already for me. "Hey! Did you take that nausea pill?" Surfer Techie  said. "No, I didn't . . ." "Here take these."  And I did.

Got to Walmart to pick up my prescription for the diseased toe. "Sorry," said the  pharmacy tech. who waited on me, "it will be twenty minutes before we get to it." Okay, I got shopping to do . . . and again, I'm hit by fatigued before I get to the yogurt section at Walmart. And it went down hill from there. I felt ninety years old. I could barely move . . . I had to stop every ten feet. Getting to the car was a chore. "Do you still wanna stop by Taco Bell for food?" David said. "No, man. I just want to go home."

Saturday, October 19, 2o19
He feels a bit of grainy sadness sliding down the narrow, longneck bottle . . . then falling . . . like a dead leaf . . . like a rain's drop . . . the tears of nature . . . she always cries when it's day . . . or night.

Sorry, about the delay. 4 days without writing a word about the cancer treatment. But I'm telling you there's not a lot to say. Three days ago it started. I mean, when the RNs started feeding my skin these chemo shots. They kept warning me that I really needed to follow their instructions: Wash my hands frequently, eat a lot, Drink 64 ounces of caffeine-free liquids ( water, juices, etc.), and brace yourself . . . this is going to hurt. Well, Hell. They've said that before. Yeah, yeah, I get it. Chemo hurts. But to be honest and not macho about it . . . first two days . . . nothing to it. Two chemo treatments and . . . and yeah, a bit uncomfortable . . . but nothing close to hurting. But then the third day of treatment (two shots of chemo juice in the gut each day.) yeah, man. I got hit in the head with a chemo brick. It's not the kind of pain that you would think . . . it was just like every bit of energy I owned just drained away from me. It was the most horrible feeling in the world. The belly ached and itched at the points where the RNs injected the chemo . . . and . . . and . . . damn . . . I slept . . . for what seemed a forever lifetime . . . did go get new blood on Thursday . . . Friday . . . I could barely move One of the RNs watched me come out of the restroom and she had this . . . frightened look on her face. "What's a matter? Am I that ugly?" "How do you feel?" she asked. "Not so good." "Yeah. go sit down and try not to get up again." "Okay." And there I sat . . . for two hours as blood was pumped into my veins. I went home not knowing if I was going to feel better or not. This cancer shit sucks eggs.

Sunday, October 2o, 1o19
Had enough strength to finally get out of the apartment for a walk . . . The Sooner Fashion Mall. Stopped first at Stella Nova for coffee . . . I hear coughing. Lot's of  coughing . . . David's coughing too!  So, into my bag for the surgical mask, which I'm suppose to wear any time I get in a crowd. But I worry that people at the mall will freak-out when they see me and . . . sure enough. A kid walks in front of me, stops, his big eyes glaring at me . . . and then he takes off running as if the devil was chasing him!

The Water Bottle Massacre
David: Hey, don't for get your water bottle when you leave the car.
Me: You can't talk to me like that I'm dying.
David: I knew you where gonna start up with that sooner or later . . .
Me: Hey. If you force me to carry that water bottle up the stairs in my condition . . . and I die? Well, your burden, brother.

So, we are passing through JCPenney and guess what? There's a bargain rack with a big sign on it saying: Levi: $27.99. And I look and guess what? They got Levi jackets that fit me for $27.99! So when we get done walking the mall (I did pretty well) we go back  and  I yank one off the rack . . . fits beautifully. Go to the cashier, he rings it up and says, "That'll be $78.90." "What?!" I yelp behind my surgical mask. "The rack says $27.99." He goes over looks at the rack sign and in small print under the Levi: $27.99 it says something like wool-jackets or something . . . fuck! And the casher laughed, "What'd you think? You were gonna get a Levi jean jacket for $27.99?!" Yeah that's what I thought, penis head!

Monday, October 21, 2o19
 Some confusion over my appointment today. David thought it was at 2:30pm so we planned to do a few things before hitting the hospital . . . I got home and looked at the schedule and  . . . first appointment (lab) was at 8:20am! second apointment was at 2:30pm! Called David and we rearranged the schedule.

Got to the hospital around 8:15. David drove off to find a parking spot and I walked into the hospital, cane in hand and . . . strange. I felt physically "spry!" Should I use that word? Is that a too much of an old person word . . . spry? Anyway, I felt good. Got in the waiting-room and they called me and I did my blood work and . . . David was sitting in the waiting-room when I walked back in and asked if I was done. No. Seems I was to wait for my blood tests to be complete . . . if my blood was in good shape I didn't have to come back today . . . and if that was true . . . I didn't have another appointment until next Monday! And guess what? The blood test went well, blood in good shape . . .  Yeah! No more treatment for a week . . . if I don't take a turn before then. I mean, I feel great today . . . but tomorrow? Who knows. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Daily {w}rite October 09, 2019wk o2

The good thing about being scared before you get bad news from the doctor . . . it seems to take the edge of the inevitable doom you are going to face down the alley a bit. The good news is I don't have cancer at the moment . . . but if I don't start treatment  "right now!" I will wind-up with leukemia and, yes, I will "pass on." Even with the outpatient chemo I may still get leukemia  . . . I'm looking at the word and thinking that would make a cool character name for a character . . . Leu Kemia . . . maybe take the "i" out of Kemia  . . . Kema. That sounds good. And the L-e-u? Well, Leu is a surname that can be found (primarily)  in Romania and Germany. Translation . . . lion. Kema is interesting enough. First name. Either male or female but either way not all that popular. Could mean . . .  god send. So, I could use both words as first names . . . Leu Kema = lion sent by God. Interesting. Or Kema Leu = God send lion. Hmm. Interesting enough.

Thursday, October 1o, 2o19
So, today was David's visit to his doctor about his hip implant. I went along for encouragement. Going through this uncertainty needs someone to be with you. I mean, I don't really do anything because I can't drive anymore. David does all the driving for both of us. Kind of unfair. Anyway, the drive to the doctor's office (no freeway) was fun. Lots of open country . . . green fields and all that. Ah, nature!

The very energetic RN called David in and spent my time going over all the stuff I'm going to be going through next week when my chemo starts.

I didn't sleep well last night cause the whole idea of chemo kept waking me up. I remembered something David's daughter said at dinner last night about her and her husband cleaning up their house because when I start taking chemo I'll want to be in "clean" environments. I told her thanks but I didn't think that was necessary because the doctor didn't say anything about that. She just told me to stay away from sick people as much as possible.

BUT when I went to sleep last night . . . I started thinking about that in a dream. I started thinking about my apartment and how dirty it is . . . that woke me up. Damn. I better ask about that the next time I see the doctor.

Saturday, October 12, 2o19
So, David tells me about his doctor's appointment. It seems the hip replacement has  at it's base a cobalt core, which is radioactive! I think that's what David said. Anyway, What was protecting David from the radioactive was a layer of metal, I guess. Anyway. he needs a new hip replacement. How long does it take to rehabilitate from a hip replacement? 6 months according to the doctor. But according to David it took 8 years to finally not use a cane ! Now, he's gotta go through the whole thing again. Boy.

3:16 pm
Last night was Art Walk and somewhere along the walk I kicked something with my right foot and now the long toe on my right foot is swollen . . . really swollen . . . like broken swollen! FUCK! Don't I have enough physical dilemmas in my life right now?!

Scorsese made some rather negative comments about superhero movies. Basically, he called them non-cinema because they don't deal with human life. Martin, because you don't understand the medium, doesn't mean it's not talking about human beings. I suggest you open your mind a bit more, I mean, you did get involved with JOKER  and that's a "superhero" movie.

Let me say something about art. Art is not put out there for you to put down, it's there for you to experience. That doesn't mean that you can't find fault with a movie or any other piece of art. But you have to at least try and understand the art before you start talking about how "wrong" it is. That's why I don't do my poetry in front of an audience in the conventual way. People don't get me or my art. And I don't get them not getting my poetry. So, I put my poetry out there for people to read if they want and I don't stick around to find out their response. Their response to the work I do is of know importance to me. I do my thing and they as audience do their thing and life is swell.

Sunday, October 13, 2o19
Day before I start chemo and I've got a swelling toe (maybe broken), a fever, and a real desire NOT to start my treatment. I will, of course. No holding it back. Not going to do that. Need to go to the store buy a lot of juice, a thermometer (gotta keep an eye on my fever during all this), ice trays, and lots of food, fruits, veggies and check on how much water my water bottle holds. I need to drink at least 64 ounces of non caffeinated  liquid! Seems like a lot. Any, all for tonight. Catch you tomorrow.  {smiles}

Monday, October 14, 2o19
Darbepoetin alfa is a support medication. It does not treat cancer. 
Azacitidine is  an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug. 

David: Holy Crap! 
Those Are Two Big-ass Needles!
Yeah, it was funny . . . but still . . . always already scared as the Surfer Technologist and her friend (RN Girl) described the pain I was going to feel for today and . . . well, everyday that I do the chemo. A shot of Darbepoetin in the left arm "hangy down part" which felt a little bit like someone stuck a lit match into my arm. Two shots of Azacitidine, the two shots that David dubbed "Two Big-ass Needles!" One in the left side of my belly and the other on the right side. I was cautioned by both nurses that it was going to hurt like hell ("Everybody who gets the shots say that 'they hurt like HELL!'") But it didn't really hurt . . . at least . . . not yet. But I am dog-butt tired for sure.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Daily {W}rite October 2019 wk. o1

Here it is. The most mystical month of the year . . . okay, for me, just for me. But I think there's a lot of October freaks out there than just little ol' me . . . and Halloween is the crown jewel of all October. Long live Halloween.

Out for awhile today. Coffee at Stella Nova, and then a visit to the McFarlin Memorable United Methodist Church's pumpkin patch . . . Every year for as long as I can remember . . . that pumpkin patch signals the beginning of fall and the arrival of the Halloween season. And yes, "the season has grown to include not just October 31st but the WHOLE month.

I watched Joe Cocker: Mad Dogs and Englishmen movie this afternoon. David ordered a copy of it for me because I couldn't find one at Vintage Stock or anywhere else. Anyway, I watched and . . . it made me cry a bit. Such life in that music, in the people, in Joe and Leon . . . both gone now. And sadly, and surprisingly it sort of snuck up on me  . . . my own mortality. In fact it's starting to effect me  as I write this. Tomorrow I will probably find out if I have cancer or not and whether it can be treated. The appointment is at 1:20pm tomorrow.

Thursday, October o3, 2o19
 Ever see a tire deflate from a nail being pulled out of its rubbery skin? It's not fast, the air doesn't just rush out, it's a study, gentle draining of the air from the tire until there's no more air in the tire and you have a flat. That's what yesterday felt  like for me. I got up early to go with David to a meeting he had with a film director at eleven, right before he'd drive me to my doctor's appointment, which turned out not to be a doctor's appointment but another lab test, blood test. And it appears that I won't find out about what's going on with me until the bone marrow biopsy results come back . . . in two weeks! Mother-Fudger! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

David pulled up in the car and was already on the porch waiting for him. I went to get in the car and . . . . the shortness of breath kicked and . . . all of a sudden I just felt exhausted, sleepy . . . wanting to just lay down in my apartment's driveway and . . . sleep. And I was that way all through the appointment David had with the filmmaker  . . . I was sitting on a couch in the guy's office and I just kept dosing off. It was the scariest feeling in the world. I felt like that tire that had the nail pulled out of its skin. Yeah, that was me. Like someone pulled a nail out of my hide and all my energy just started to float away from me, out of me, and there was nothing I could do about it. And even scarier? It wasn't a unpleasant feeling . . . all your personal life energy just gently flowing out of you.

At the hospital yesterday, we noticed that the doctor's office had put up some Halloween decorations: Some paper pumpkins and witches hanging from the ceiling . . . and there was a skeleton, a neon skeleton pasted in someway to the window glass to my left. I laughed and David whispered to me, "Don't think the skeleton is appropriate since the primary disease they deal with here is cancer." "Yeah," I said, "I'm glad I didn't decide to wear my Walking Dead t-shirt!" And we both laughed  . . . a bit too loud . . . cause all the old folks in the waiting room heard us and  . . . laughing in a doctor's office that specializes in cancer? Again, not appropriate.

Anyway, crawled into the lab area . . . I felt like I was crawling and Lady Lab was there, the first person to take my blood . . . and of course . . . she didn't know who I was. I think she was a bit annoyed because her coworker (Laddie Lab) had taken the day off to get  . . . married! Inconsiderate. Anyway, the blood test came back marginal . . . which was a disappointment to me because I wasn't feeling "marginal." I was feeling like my life force was just being drained out of me!

"Mister Woods." "Yeah?" "You probably need another transfusion. I have one opening at 8:00 am tomorrow morning. If you can't make that you'll need to wait until next week." What I wanted to say to the head RN: "Lady! I'm just about ready to pass the fuck out and die! I can't wait until next week!" What I DID say, "Great. I'll be here tomorrow at 8:00 am."
Friday, October o4, 2o19
You ever worry about jinxing yourself? Like saying something like, "My life is just going so swell!" and then being hit by a car? Jinxing oneself. Yep. Does happen. "No, now, Woodie! You should think positive about life." "Oh, I'm positive about life! I'm positive that something bad is going to happen to me." Okay, so having said all that, knowing that I may jinx myself . . . After yesterday's transfusion . . . I'm feeling great! That's all I'm gonna say about it because tomorrow I could wake -up feeling like . . . not good. Went to see the new movie JOKER. Lots to love. Thinking about actually writing a review about it . . . sort of.

Saturday, October o5, 2o19
Well, the good: I woke up still feeling strength, full of breath. Looks like this third transfusion really worked . . . but I stil have my fingers crossed. And the bad? My anger is back. The healthier I am the more anger I feel. Anything can set me off. My debit card wouldn't work at Walmart. I got so mad at the floor walker kid who tried his best to help me . . . but the card was not going to work. ME: Okay, well, then you take all this back (slams his groceries onto the table) and I'll take these (he indicates the sacked groceries still in the shopping cart) because my friend already payed for them. FW Guy: Okay, I'm terribly sorry . . .  ME: Yeah, yeah. (exists in a extremely agitated state.) SCENE

And when I got home I called my bank and they told me that the reason my card wouldn't work is that it was expired. I look at my card: Expiration date: 9-19. Fuck. And yes, they had sent me a card, and yes, I had it . . . for a while . . . and then forgot I had it and decided to clean my desk off and . . . I accidently threw it away!  I didn't say this to the bank. I said I don't remember getting it. Okay, the bank-girl said. She'll send me a new one and I'll receive it in five working days. Fuck. The fuck is not for the bank-girl. She was very nice. The "fuck" was for me for having gotten so mad at the Walmart guy and for me lying to bank girl. Fuck!

Sunday, o6, 2o19
Groovefest today. Took the camera with me and got a few really nice shot of my favorite Norman band, ONG. And COLD today. No really, a bit on the wee nippy side at under 68 degrees. Wore my green hoodie and still felt the chill stabbing at my arms. Winter is Coming. Walked around Groovefest for maybe two hours before I got tired and asked David to take me home.

A good day. My slow breathing exercise when I feel a shortness of breath coming on  . . . which isn't happening that much . . . seems to be working for me. I hope I won't need another trans. when I go in on Wednesday for labs. Labs. Trans. Yeah, like I really know what I'm talking about. {smiles}

Monday, October o7, 2o19
So, I'm running a bit late on finishing up this weeks blog. I'm actually writing this on Tuesday.  Went out yesterday to my flu shot BUT I couldn't get it because they had on file my old Medicare card. I went back today AND I had to fill out the SAME paperwork that I did the day before. BUT! I didn't lose my cool. I just filled it out and took up to window. I didn't even get flustered when the woman jump in front of me to get HER flu shot even though I was there first! I just said "excuse me" and handed my paperwork to the pharmacist before she did.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Daily {W}rite Septmeber 2019 wk o4

Hmm. Last week of the month! And my medical journey has just begun. I watch TV at night wearing headphones. I keep my cell phone on my lap so I can feel the vibration if someone calls. Unfortunately, my Cox phone is too far away for me to see it lighting up. Besides, I rarely get a call on it anymore which is why I'm going to get it disconnected. I hope that will bring my cable bill down. Anyway, I was watching American God's  and I  barely heard the Cox phone ring, and when I got to it, whoever was calling hung up! I looked at the digital readout for the number and I caught the name Regional Hospital, which would be my doctor calling about this cancer thing. So, I was a bit unnerved by it. I mean, it was 7:30 at night. Why would the hospital be calling me at 7:30 on a Saturday night? I'll call them tomorrow and find out what's going on.

Monday, September 23, 2019
Mystery of the Saturday night phone call from Norman Regional Hospital . . . it was a survey for the lab work (blood sample) for my CD (Cancer Doctor) I participated in last week.

I'm getting clausterphobic. Staying inside the apartment for two days now. But I can't walk very far. I mean, I took a walk down the stairs to the mailbox on the porch . . . really winded  when I finally got back inside. And riding the bike? Not sure that I'd get very far.

Tuesday, September 24, 2o19
Finally got David up and we went about to Stella Nova for coffee . . . I had a sandwich and water . . . then went grocery shopping at Sprout's and Walmart and . . . I was so out of breath the whole time, damn it. The transfusion was suppose to fix that. It did for maybe two days and then the shortness of breath came back with its definition of vengeance.

Two more days and I go in for the bone marrow biopsy . . . and it doesn't sound pleasant . . . and it's suppose to hurt like hell.

Wednesday, September 25, 2o19
Getting a little uptight, a bit edgy with David because of this biopsy coming up in the morning:

David: What part of the body are they extracting the bone marrow from?
ME: The spine, I think.
David: The spine?!Are you sure it's the spine? That's a tricky area.
ME: Well, I don't know. They said it was the spine . . .
David (Looking up bone marrow surgery on his phone.):  It says here the chest . . . the arm . . . are the best spots to take a bone marrow biopsy . . .
ME: Well they said the spine. Maybe I didn't hear them right. I'll let you know tomorrow.

David: Tylenol. You're getting a brand name. Why?
ME: Because they told me to get extra strength Tylenol. Okay?
David: Sure . . . but it costs more.

David is my best friend and he is doing all kinds of wonderful things for me. We went to see the Brad Pitt lost in space type movie. Interesting.  And tomorrow he'll drive me down to the hospital at 8:30am, and me calling him at 7:30am . . . meaning also that I got to get up at 6:30 am. Yeah, David is a great friend.

Thursday, September 26, 2o19
Okay went to bed at 12:30. I figured if I fell asleep that would give me 6 hours before I needed to be up . . . 2 hours after I fell asleep . . . awake. Nervous I guess. What's gonna happen today with this biopsy? What's going to happen to me once the biopsy is over? A bit scared, yeah. That's why I can't sleep I guess. Well, I'll try to get back to dreamland and hope it cooperates with me and doesn't conjure up a fantasy about people who I don't like very much. {trying to smile}

So, I don't trust people who smile at you. Professional people, I mean, like doctors and . . . well, doctors that deal with real "life or death" diseases like . . . well, cancer. These guys I'm going to do smile a lot but . . . that don't bullshit you either. Sometimes that make a procedure sound worse than what it is. The truth is for me the bone marrow biopsy was easy. Yes, a bit of pain but not what I was expecting . . . Pulling the bone out, a little piece of bone along with the tissue did BITE a bit but not much.

So, one scare defeated . . . and then the blood guy came in with more scary news . . . I need another transfusion. Damn. Everybody in the room, the nurses, the guy who did the procedure on me, and his assistant . . . seemed a bit freaked out by the news. The biopsy guy made sure to tell me IF this next transfusion doesn't work I need to contact the front desk as soon as I'm feeling out of breath. Well, damn. So I had some relief from thinking about this shit. But that's not the way it goes when your fighting a big time disease . . . right?

Friday, September 27, 2o19
The Enlightened. I know many of them. Cool people. They know exactly what to say, how to say it. My dad used to say about the Enlightened, "They know their onions!" Hmm. I agree with my dad's point of view . . . although I don't know what the hell onions have to do with enlightenment. But my dad has passed on and . . . I never contradict the dead. The Enlightened do know their onions, I guess. I mean, they know everything else . . . why wouldn't they know their onions? I listen to the Enlightened anytime they choose to speak, and they usually choose to speak anytime someone else is speaking. You see? The job of the Enlightened is to educate anyone who doesn't think the same way as the Enlightened folks think.  That's why I'm not all that sure that the Enlightened are as enlightened as they want you to think they are. To me when I listen to one of them talk, when I listen reall close . . . all I hear is someone else's voice. Something that the Enlightened who standing in front of me has memorized . . . something they heard . . . not a thought that they have come up with . . . but something that they . . . a parrot! That's it. Most of the Enlightened that confront me with their "wisdom" sound like parrots repeating the words of their owners.

Artists. Peculiar. They're not much interested in the opinions of others . . . except when "others'" opinions spark a poem, a painting . . . a song within the creative soul of the artist.  I remember a quote by Samuel Beckett that went something like, "I can't tell you what my plays are about  . . . but all you need to know about them are in the scripts. Figure it out for yourself." That paraphrased quote had a significant effect on me and my art. I want people to read my poetry . . . but how they react to it is none of my business. That's sort of the idea behind my "secret" poetry project. Yes, I want people to see my art. In fact, them interacting with my art IS art in itself. But I don't need to know how they felt, what they felt, why they felt the way they felt when they encountered one of my picture/poems. Art is existence. And as existence is not always acknowledged in a communal setting. Not everybody knows art when the see it.

Saturday, 28, 2o19
One more test on Monday then I should know where on stand on this cancer scare. I went out for game day today. The second transfusion seems to be working. The shortness of breath was still there but not as heavy on me as before. But there's no telling if it will hold.

Game day was a bit lackluster. Just a few people there . . . well, relatively speaking. And the game? Well, OU just beat the opposition into the ground. Yeah, OU won but it wasn't even close.

Girl on Bicycle. To my left. Picture taken two weeks ago from inside the Boyd St. side of  Starbucks. I used an painting app. on the pic, Dreamscope.

If I could conjure up  a dream, a dream with you in it  . . . why would I want to do that?

Sunday, September 29, 2o19
I can't eat or drink anything after midnight tonight. Having a sonogram on my abdomen. Nothing to drink or eat after midnight. I feel like a gremlin.  Soon I should know about my health . . . cancer . . . no cancer . . . maybe something else. Tired of talking about it, actually.

Twilight burns its exit into the hide of the sky . . . tattoos its initials onto the gathering clouds' wet and tender flesh . . . no worries. No damage done. By tomorrow this night's end of day will be a memory . . . and we will have forgotten its existence all together by the time a new sunset shows it artistic sensibilities on the sky canvas. 

Monday, September 3o,2o19 
Putting this month to bed. Good night, September. I hope I live just long enough to see your face again. In fact, I would love to live long enough to you, September, and all your sisters finally grow old and tired as me. 

The sonogram went great, I guess. I slept through most of it. The girl who  . . . I mean, the technologist, really knew what she was doing. The procedure took about 30 minutes, WHICH means I went with out food or water or coffee for over twelve hours! Twelve hours! As soon as it was over, I ran down to the little coffee shop in this part of the hospital and  . . . . drank whole bottle of water. Actually, it wasn't a whole bottle. I gulped down maybe two big swigs and tossed it away. Gues I wasn't as thirsty as I thought.
So, all the tests are done (I hope) and with a bit of luck I should know what's up with my body sometime this week. Keep your fingers crossed for me. {smiles}