Here’s lookin’ at ya! Well, I’m up all night on chemo again. I feel more like I do now than I ever did. :/
Sorry I haven’t been keeping anyone updated. I’ve been reading more and writing less. Went to see some different oncologists a few weeks back at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Redlands. They said that they would do the same exact chemo regimen that my current oncologist has prescribed. One of them is a Thoracic specialist. He said, from looking at my reports that I was in a “very unique” position. It’s very rare to see anyone completely cure a stage 4 esophageal cancer diagnosis, but I seem to be close to doing it. He seemed kind of excited, like I was some kind of anomaly. He recommended that in August, after I get my next scan, that I should get another endoscopy and biopsy. Then they can tell if there is any tumor remaining or just scar tissue. My last reports are only showing a thickening in the lining of my esophagus, and not actual tumor, so they need to get in there to get a close up so they can decide what to do. Anyway, they were amazed at how well I had “taken to the chemo”. They also referred me to a dietition (nutritionist) and Physical Therapist who apparently has a PT technique that is getting great results for neuropathy (numbness in hands and feet). At this point, I hardly need to fight the cancer; I’m fighting the chemo. I’ll still probably be on it for quite some time. I’ve been told by many over the years that I’m a unique person, but it’s nice to be told in this context.
Anyway, onward and upward with uniqueness. Every one of us is as unique as a fingerprint without even trying. “Everybody says they got to be they’selves, but everybody wants to be like everybody else”. Don’t worry too much about what other people might think. Revel in your uniqueness and know that we are all very special. Don’t try to change. (Well, unless you’re a jerk, or a bitch, or an asshole…or a thief or a grifter… or a hornswaggler, or a boondoggler…or a brutal murderer). Wait. Maybe I should rethink this “don’t change” business.
I’m not sure how to segue into this, but in thinking about individuality and uniqueness I want to show some pictures of a kind of uniqueness that has always really impressed me. Around the world and in this country, California especially, people consider what they drive as part of their image, or somehow, a reflection of their character. In the Philippine Islands, there is something called the “Jitney” or “Jeepney”. These are big, stainless steel, station wagon type vehicles that are made in old jeep factories left over from World War II. They use them like small buses that go from neighborhood to neighborhood, in the big cities and in the small towns. The owners take great pride in them and great pains to have them custom painted, pinstriped, adorned, embellished, decked out with lights and chrome and mirrors and holy cards. All of them have the neighborhoods and towns they traverse written on the side and front. Not any two are the same. This is something very unique to the Philippines, and very dear to my heart. The following are some pics of some Jitneys in Baguio, a mountainous area that is very cool (not so humid and sweaty), several hours outside of Manilla.
These are all unique. And now, for something very unique.
I give you..a clown shoe repair shop in Paris.
You can’t fly the freak flag much higher than this, but I challenge you to try. Don’t lose your uniqueness.