AD.

WALKING ON THIN ICE

Thought about things, August 11 by Lady

Lady wrote this this morning trying to process the 10″ thing growing inside me that most likely has to be removed and possibly radiated… they mentioned chemotherapy as well but I’ve never read a postitive thing about chemo so told the doctor that wasn’t going to happen and she replied that it doesn’t seem to work all that well anyway. Going to get another cat scan with dye, and then they’re going to stick a needle through me to sample it for deadliness before deciding which way to go.

I beat throat cancer in 2005. Lady beat eye cancer in 2017. Our 1st cat died of cancer in 2016. Into the ring re-go.

(I lucked out when Lady knocked at my door in 2005 ignoring my GO AWAY unwelcome mat. She’s at minimum as talented as I in word, foto, and art (some say better), and she’s 3-7 IQ points smarter than I… AND, she has a goodness about her, a kind heart, a sharable sweetness. I am one lucky outlier. May you all be so fortunate.)

~ ~ ~

Thought about things, August 11
by Lady

My hope is that it is benign and they decide to leave it in or can even break it up and drain it some way if it is benign. If it isn’t benign, maybe it’s sufficiently slow in growing and encapsulated so that we don’t have to worry about it.

The doctor woman says she needs more images. She showed us slice show slices of his body, a progression of an MRI, then a CT scan, how one kidney is pushed inches to his front by an unusual gray area, a gap that persists through a number inches in slides. She showed me how his upper stomach is up near the heart. They need a new scan with dye to understand more about the various grays and what they mean. There needs to be more clarity. I asked her if his scoliosis could be making things all funky. Maybe the body is just trying to cushion him. Do you think?

My husband is really tough. To give you an idea, when we traveled, he walked around for three years with a 60 pound backpack all the time even though he needed a hip replacement and didn’t know it. He also had a hernia at that time, and he’d hold it in as he walked!

We finally fixed the hernia in Mexico in a small clinic that looked like it came out of the forties. We handed the doctor $1800 for the whole thing. Husband said that during the operation he heard his heart monitor stop which really freaked him out, and then it came back on. I guess he must have been under twilight sedation? His clinic bed was this flimsy thing like a war time hospital bed from the old times with bouncy springs and tired, thin sheets. I had to help him out of it as we left. We were in and out the same day but I remember waiting for him to come to liveliness enough to help him up. Then we hailed a taxi and returned to our temporary home in Oaxaca.

The water in Oaxaca was not safe to drink from the faucet. I had dysentery twice there until I finally learned about pills people take as a proactive measure to get rid of the amoebas. We picked coffee in the mountains with a family, and they said the water was safe from the faucet. It was not so safe for me and resulted in much time working slime out in the bathroom and bushes as the others put the coffee cherries into their hanging buckets a mile down the mountain and a mile back up again to their house.

They had a kitchen camp at the shade grown field, and a pineapple grew right out of the ground and lizards made love on a log. The woman made chicken soup with vegetables I’d not seen before. We marched back up the mountain.

The man sang in the morning on the roof, drying out the laid out cherries.

In their kitchen the tile was a beautiful turquoise blue and an orange cat would amble across the floor. We pressed masa from a cauldron at a local vendor into home made tortillas. We poured and spread masa onto something that clamped it down and cooked them into corny papyrus. We drank grainy homegrown coffee from large ceramic cups. I do not understand the economics of their heavenly place on this planet and their whitewashed walls. Richer than many people here somehow, yet poor. There was a banana plant on the side and they showed us how the plant is macheted down and grows back up again. Voila, more bananas.

The first time I had dysentery I was in a bed for a week and I remember the bed. It had a huge carved headboard, but I don’t remember the week.

After my husband’s surgery week a year later, he pulled his own stitches out from his surgery and decided to take showers in the dirty water. I worried about his wound, had a breakdown and couldn’t sleep for three weeks, bad time cured by drinking a beer in the afternoon and reading a book from the expat library (a group of misfits) on the rooftop of our place.

The roof was where we spent most of our time, and we had a lime tree up there. During the long rush hour around the city, there was a two hour cacophony of car horns that we loved from the roof. At the end they sounded like witches screeching by. Each building’s façade was a different color which to me had different meanings I’d assign to them.

We could see the mountains around, and a roof dog who lived lower down across the street. We lived right by the wheel of road around the city, a 10th of a mile down the spoke leading to the old town square. At twilight the air turned blue and the banana man came down the road with a cart of roasting bananas and he’d blow a mournful whistle. Everything announced itself with its own signature noise, including the garbage truck all of us chased after in our nightgowns and slippers to toss in our weekly trash. Every dawn, a man came by and swept the whole road.

There was a weekly parade down our street, either people celebrating and usually with their own little marching orchestra, or a march for labor rights. One day we saw some circus trucks from our second story window, and could see a tiger in one. We walked to the circus, which had a big tent and a small amount of animals who were more on display than anything. We did not catch performances.

My husband’s doctor also took care of me during my husband’s recovery, but he gave me medicine that took away my thoughts (Geodone, which somehow made me think of a fake simulacrum of the planet) and hence gave me depression and made me collapse onto concrete doorway stoops or even the sidewalk as we walked, so I weaned myself off it, grew weary of the long dustiness of the dry season of Oaxaca. The grit from the adjacent freeway was so bad that we had a hole in the wall of our kitchen for sluicing the mop water off of the floor and onto the driveway. And during the rainy season, water ran down from our roof onto our tile steps into the kitchen and we pushed it out the same hole.

My husband is a man of epoxy and duct tape. He’s been known to epoxy his broken tooth to itself and give his dentist nightmares. He has many interesting stories. In his autobiography he has a chapter called “bone.” When he was little, he tried to jump a fence or some such thing, and he opened a slit in his leg that went down to the bone. He said that it was pure gleaming white, and he touched it with curiosity. Imagine! He said that when he was on his way to the hospital with his parents he kept trying to keep them calm.

Now we burn frankincense here and our deck encroaches Zoo property. In the morning we hear elephants from our bathroom window. We hear coyotes howl at the sirens on Pearl Road going to Metro Health hospital. Sometimes the owls hoot at the coyotes. Sometimes the coyotes howl at the dogs.

  • Lady 8.11.2023

Lady K eye tumor update as positive as possible

Lady K had a cat scan today to see if her eye cancer had spread. It tends to spread to and from the liver and lungs.

Her liver is clean, and they found a couple small spots in her lungs which they say are probably benign and nothing to worry about, but which they will keep an eye on just in case – and if it is cancer, it’s early enough to stop it before it gets started.

So essentially this is as positive a prognosis as one could hope for, especially since her eye tumor is a rare type of cancer (perhaps 2.5 cases in a million) and is aggressive.

So Friday they are going to partially pop out her eyeball, sew a small curved radioactive bead containing 21 radioactive seeds to the rear left side of her left eye, pop her eyeball back in, sew the conjunctiva closed (the mucous membrane that covers the front of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelids) and keep her isolated in a hospital room for three nights, then remove the radioactive bead Monday morning and send her home.

At some point in the next three weeks, the stitches will dissolve and her eye will open again. She’ll wear an eye patch until then.

Doc says her prognosis for killing the tumor is 95-97%. Since there’s no known cancer elsewhere, her outlook is good, and they’ll keep monitoring her monthly for 6 months then yearly through five years to see if it springs up elsewhere.

It’s lousy to get cancer, but since she has it, this is as good an initial prognosis as possible.

This will make two cancer survivors in our family. We did lose a third family member to intestinal cancer – our cat Mandy.


future hope – Lady’s 7 month-old niece Liberty Lynn Green

Walking on Thin Ice

Walking on Thin Ice is not about the world losing polar ice caps. We’re going to stop that. We’re going to thicken those ice caps right back up. We’re going to populate the glaciers again. We’re going to make sure there’s an adequate head of snow on the Himalayas and everywhere else that its needed. Cool breezes bleeded.

This blog is named after the Yoko Ono and John Lennon song. It’s the first song by Yoko Ono I ever heard, and smith introduced me to it. In my opinion, it is one of the most far out yearning and tragic songs ever made. They were finishing up the song the day Lennon died. I only learned a long time after naming the blog that such sadness had happened around the generation of the song.

When I listen to it, it brings back the giddy creativity, the yearning sated, the ecstatic discovery I experienced when I hooked up with smith. I listened to it on “The Best of Yoko Ono” album over and over, spooling my Miata around, lost and found. It was novel, yet old. Like smith.

In the months after we hooked up, I’d collapse on his rocking chair sofa and poof into smoke. He told me the rest of his stories for his memoir. I tore down his cancer. I spackled the walls. I barfed as he was irradiated. We made art. Night time was Ono and Meat Beat Manifesto. Morning was Mingus, breakfast and golden sun.

Walking on Thin Ice, in the song, is about daring do on the edge.

Walking on Thin Ice is about adventure.

Walking on Thin Ice, in smith & lady’s lives, is about walking on water.

~ Lady

Maybe Heaven is Supposed to be this Planet

Maybe Heaven is supposed to be this Planet. This is the butterfly that’s going to carry me home, and this is the trash I’m going to pick up later, I hope.

TESTAMENT

Original post down below. I am strongly feeling that the staples on my roof seem to think I was wrong & I tend to agree with them.

– – –
As a person with a BSEE,a background in neural nets and search engine optimization, I belive (believe) I am receiving scientific messages which could be interpreted as holy messages (for me they are one and the same.)

I am not entirely certain, but I think I heard on the radio that J (Lebron James) is Jesus. (I do believe, I think.) Hard to tell. Will try to be truthful in what I’m picking up.

Now, off to good faith work. Seems like a harsh think (thing) for a prophet, but I must do my work for my loved ones.

More later, if I can.

Peace out,

xok

K

Christmas Eve

happily ever after

New piece finished Sept. 8

It’s our second anniversary. Smith & I hooked up September 9, 2005. We’re in bed. I look into his eyes, and his face looks friendly. “Your irises have a purple edge,” I say. “And then they’re green and orange and rust brown next to the pupils.”

“They’re hazel,” he says.

We kiss, unhurriedly. I’ve devoted this day to him, to bed, to whatever it is we might want to do together. The kiss feels good, and I remember what it was like when we first kissed. How our mouths fit, how he made a little noise, an “umpf” when we kissed that first night. How if we take time to kiss, I still hear that “umpf” of pleasure.

“I’ve got to remember that we can do this,” I say.

“Do what?”

“Well, I have my companion, my love, my best friend. And we’re together all the time, but my mind is diverted by writing and correspondence and art. But what I like most is to spend unstructured time with you. I enjoy just being in your arms, kissing you.”

“Yes,” he says. “I understand the art and writing, but what I don’t understand is when you’re finished with that, and you go on the computer rather than spending time with me.”

“I don’t understand it either,” I say. “I’d much rather talk to you than read the news or read blogs obsessively. And I’m so pleased that you actually want me to pay attention to you. That’s what I want in a companion. I’m so honored to have you. It’s such a relief to have you. But things are always complicated, aren’t they? When you get what you want, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Happily ever after involves work.”

“Happy Anniversary.”

“Happy Anniversary to you, too. Just think of how much we’ve experienced since we left last year. It seems like it’s been years.”

“It’s been a full two years. And we’ve changed.”

“Yes. We are different people now.”

I look at Smith’s neck. I’m worried because he spends so much time in the sun, but I don’t hassle him about it. The radiation treatments he had to treat the cancer last year aged the skin under his throat. Where it used to be tight, it’s slack. But it’s tightened up a little bit lately. I think, “I’m going to put some positive energy on his throat.” I kiss it, and draw back.

“I love you,” Smith says. His eyes are now dark slits. Little drops of light are reflected in his irises from the window.

“I love you, too. My one. My true love.” I kiss his chest. It’s dotted with freckles that grow more dense towards his shoulders. His nipples are pink. It seems weird to recognize mammalian features on Smith. Precious to know his naked body.

Smith looks beyond me to the window. “The pattern on the lace curtains is a repeating vase with flowers.”

I look at the lace. Through its holes, cerulean blue sky, and purple mountains in the distance. I’d looked at the pattern for a long time, but absentmindedly, and I’d not seen the vases. But now they coalesce. I think, “I promise you, my true love, I will spend more time just talking with you. What is this all for other than to be with you?”

synopsis 2002-2006

I left my husband in 2 oh oh 2 for poetry. A month later, I was laid off and a firefighter poet moved in with me. I never got back into an engineering job. I resorted to web development for a couple years at less than half my former salary. In March ’05, I became suicidal from the pointlessness of what I was doing at the office and the futility of my lukewarm relationship. I decided to try bulimia, hoping that if I got thin enough that someone would find me attractive and rescue me or that I’d die bent over a toilet, heart attack from electrolyte imbalance. The firefighter got sick of my sickness, dumped me in June ’05.

I met Smith at the start of my activities in the poetry community. He had a croaking whisper of a voice. He often came to readings smelling like grass. I was jealous of his irreverent poetry, the compelling stories from his past, his outlaw art and his 20 year ArtCrimes publication. I read and re-read the last issue of ArtCrimes, thought it the epitomy of cool. Though jealous of his edge, it didn’t keep me from thinking highly of him, wondering about his life.

I commuted with him to a poetry reading in September 2005. After the reading, we talked past midnight. I asked, “Don’t you want to hold me?” Smith reluctantly agreed, knowing this would complicate things.

We did a full body press. It felt good, right, for both of us. We started hugging, kissing, touching. It’d been at least fifteen years since Smith’d touched a woman. He said, “You can sleep over if you are too stoned to go home.”

I said, “Only if we don’t have sex. I’m involved with several other men.”

So we went to bed in our clothes. I said, “It’s too hot.” I took off my pants, my top and my brassiere.

Smith said, “Oh, no, Lady. Panties go too.”

And that was that. I dumped the other men. Two weeks later, Smith gave me the keys. He said, “It’s not fair for you to wait for me to answer the door.”

And two weeks after that, I moved in.

Smith’s skills as a mainframe programmer were becoming obsolete, and he hated the work. He retired in December 2005. He planned to “fake it” until March 2007, living off his savings until he was eligible for early social security. He convinced me to drop out of the office world, “retire” with him, become his artistic collaborator.

A week after I moved in, we decided to move to Europe. Smith proposed October 16.

Right before retirement, he casually mentioned that he had nodules on his larynx. I freaked out, had him get a biopsy. He was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx. No health insurance.

There were two months of radiation treatments in January and February. At the same time, I was cleaning Smith’s condo and painting and repairing the walls and floor, which were damaged from twenty years of his rough art practices. We’d decided to sell the condo in order to travel, but now we had to sell it because now most of his savings were gone from medical expenses. (I’ve since read that people without insurance pay on average 3 times more than what the treatment costs insurers. This makes me severely angry.)

We were going to get married in January, but couldn’t because I couldn’t dispose of my previous husband. So we married March 18.

During this period we had three art shows, the release of the final issue of ArtCrimes, and bunches of readings… and we created art and wrote about a quarter of his memoir.

I’d never been so happy and sad at the same time. Sad because of the painfulness of dealing with Smith’s illness, and happy because I’d finally found the partner I dreamed of, someone who was a companion, someone with whom I could do art and writing and conversation.

We closed the sale of the condo in June 2006. We had to wait ’til July to see if the radiation treatments worked, getting another biopsy. Regardless, Smith decided we were going to go to Europe whether or not he was cured. As soon as we had the money, we bought our flight tickets to London. In the back of our minds, we weren’t sure they were going to let us leave, that it wasn’t permitted for us to live our dreams. We felt we were escaping.

The July biopsy showed him in remission. August, breathless, we left the country.

We’ve lived together 24/7 since December 2005. Smith’s voice has healed. He sounds like a wise cowboy.

I’ve never been so happy and so sad. I’m happy because I have my road-tested companion, love of my life, and a manuscript… and pictures I can hold in my palms. My thumbs can travel to all the countries we’ve seen.

But I’m so, so sad as well. Now that I have someone to care about, my heart has a home in the world. I’m compelled to care about the world to make it a safer place for me and my love. All global terror is personal terror for me, inescapable from my quotidian existence: the political terrorism of our imperialist institutions, the WTO, the IMF, the non-sustainable practice of globalization, our genocide of 1 million Iraqis, our de facto genocide of 100,000 Indian farmers, my recent disillusionment with the Democrats, realizing their complicity in perpetrating mass corporate and political crime. What is happening to our home, the world? We’re shitting in our own fish tank.

At the hospital

Oh, I love him and it hurts. White-knuckled, time fast and furious in the waiting room. I read and re-read the same paragraphs. Try to get lost in reading, try not thinking about Steve.He’s in the bowels of the hospital where I cannot be.outThey’re cutting him, scooping out polyps from his nose and taking a tissue sample from his larynx. (He had cancer removed from his larynx and radiation therapy earlier this year.) I wonder What if they find more – what else could they find? Doctor told us 98% of nasal polyps are not cancerous. Still, we’re having them biopsied.I’ve spent the last month watching Steve smoke. When he exhales, he blows it back out his nostrils. Sometimes it’s beautiful, when the smoke wafts in the golden afternoon sunlight. Other times it’s yellowish, thick choky smoke.

I imagine hot, tar-laden smoke gumming up his larynx, his lungs, coating and burning everything as it bathes his lungs, his brain. A smoke bed for his polyps.

At first I thought, OK, I’ll be an example. I won’t smoke.

And then him getting further away from me, him feeling guilty – not enjoying the time he’s smoking. And me appearing self-righteous. So I smoke when he smokes.

Steve says, it’s OK, nothing to worry about – the doctors cut the cancer off his larynx and then they irradiated him. He says it took 40 years for the cancer to grow – it’ll take another 40 years for it to grow back.

polyps prior to removalMy understanding of this is different. I believe that he’s exposed all his cells to these toxins, and these cells now have more of a tendency to become cancerous. A cell can only absorb so much interference to its weaving before it goes crazy. And I imagine all these little cells along his throat, his sinuses, his lungs – all of which have been stressed, the DNA weaving coming undone.

It’s complicated. I hope, hope, hope that he won’t smoke after this last surgery. I get sad, but it’s his life.

**

The receptionist calls “Smith Family” to her. She points at a door and says something, I hear the word “left.” I’m confused. She has to bring me to the consultation room, where Steve’s doctor waits.

polyps on napkinHe has pictures. There’s Steve, lights out. Something down his throat. And before pictures of wet red tissue, with occasional yellowish whitish tissue. These are the polyps. And then another picture - uniform chunks of beef fat, chicken fat, on a napkin. These are the polyps, now removed.

And he draws two circles (eyes), two triangles, a eyeballsjagged line for teeth. And a sideways drawing, boxlike, representing the path of the nose through the head into the brain.

He said the sinuses were packed. Chock full of polyps. Says something about them growing close under the brain, close to the eye.

Under brainpanI’m hoping Steve is one of the majority, the 98% of non-cancerous nasal polyp holders.

I ask the doctor to repeat everything he said about the second picture. He doesn’t. I think he thinks I’m stupid, a kind of young trophy wife. I have the urge to tell him, Hey, I’m special and I’m flawed. I have an electrical engineering degree. I’ve come to this body and face for the first time in my life. I am an old person in a young person’s body. I am done with elitism and exceptionalism, though. Let his impression of me be his own.

**

Back in Steve’s recovery room, and he’s coming back from the anesthesia. He’s confused, and his voice is a liquidy whisper. I pat him on the head, kiss his cheek. He seems fragile.

The doctor’s packed wadding in his nose and up through his sinuses. Two black strings are attached to the wadding. He’ll pull it out Monday.

Nurse says there’s a checklist of things that have to happen before she’ll let Steve go. He has to urinate, be steady on his feet, eat something without vomiting, and the bleeding has to slow down.

We want to go because we do not have health insurance to pay for this hospital bed.

No problem on the first three checklist items. But the blood keeps coming. He lost a pint during surgery, so he’s on a drip.

I smell blood, blood. It seems to be coming from my nose, but this is because I’m smelling his blood.

And he cannot breathe through his nose – it’s packed with wadding until Monday. The blood saturated the wadding. He can’t sneeze, he can’t blow his nose, he can’t breathe. And he coughs up bloody mucous, and his voice gurgles.

Finally the bleeding slows down enough and they let us go.

 

Messy beginnings

After surgeryKathy n i for European flow are thinking a few weeks in England to attend the Rainbow Gathering, awhile in Amsterdam, awhile in Spain, then visit Prague on the way to stay a bit in Lithuania. any suggestions welcome.anyone in England have any camping gear to rent?we also have to leave our cat 3PO behind … other cats intimidate him. again, any suggestions welcome.went to hospital 6 this morning – got home 5:30 this afternoon. wanted to keep me there. said no. now for 4 days i have cotton packed nose until doc removes. i don’t believe this whole thing is much fun. don’t recommend it.

brand new drug combo for me – & it’s all legal: vicodin for pain, steroids for swelling, antibiotics for the rest. snorted a lot of speed in the 60s, and cocaine in the 90s… perhaps they contributed to the extreme nose polyp growth – literally filled up my nasal passages – had to scrap them from the underside of my brain pan. fortunately i’ve quit everything axcept coffee and grass, am working on phasing out both ! ?

heavy alcohol use from 1975 thru 1991 tried to kill me. snorting speed from 1968 thru 1997 tried to kill me. freebasing (smoking homemade crack) in the early 1980s tried to kill me. snorting cocaine in the 1990s tried to kill me. smoking marijuana from 1968 thru today seems to be trying to kill me. figure i give all these things up, walk around with a clean pure body, and i’ll get hit by a truck. so it goes. figure meat’s next.