White to Black (Postscript)

I was really not expecting the public response from my last post. In fact, prior to the last entry, post commenting has been on the modest side of late on this site, so I wasn’t sure exactly if people were even stopping by here or whether I had simply lost relevance in a world hungry for the next instagram offering. I had thought that it was possible that I would receive no comments at all to my post, which would not have been rough, but I was accepting of that possibility.

Instead of no comments though, there was a deluge I had no idea so many people had been getting a lot out of my writings, and was stunned at the volume of comments I received. It is overwhelming, in a very nice way. I am not sure if I’m going to be able to muster much to offer a person-by-person response, and not sure how much point there is in trying to find 30 different ways to effusively and personally thank all the commenters. I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. It was very touching.

Coupled with the comments, about the same number of emails have been received. Some people wrote extremely long and detailed mails to me, and again, I feel a bit like I am not going to be able to respond in kind to all of them. I do feel extremely grateful for all the reach out.

People have said so many kind words and let me know this blog really means something to them and it’s news that I find quite humbling.

As I write this, I’m a couple of days down the road from receiving my first round of chemotherapy followed by immunotherapy. I’ll receive this treatment weekly, three weeks on and 1 week off, for the next couple of months, until my next fateful PET scan. We’ll see what happens at that point.

Symptom-wise, things have not improved very much. I weighed myself the other morning and saw that I was just 144 lbs. which was pretty horrifying. I look like Christian Bale in The Machinist film. I have been getting neuropathy in the thumbs and first fingers of both hands, a symptom that showed up three months or so ago and has been slowly getting worse. According to people at Dana Farber, it is likely a delayed side effect from the platinum based chemotherapy drug I last took some 9 months ago. There’s not much that can be done about it apparently; if I am lucky, the tingling will go away eventually, and if not so lucky, it will be permanent.

I also now suffer intermittently from ocular migraines, which, unlike the regular sort of migraines, are not painful. You get a weird distortion of your visual field, sometimes consisting of jagged bright lines, sometimes of blurred out portions as if it were a tv show where they are blurring out a car license plate, and sometimes it is like the lens of my eye has turned to liquid and the surface is rippling in some breeze. These symptoms last for about 20~25 minutes or so, then go away. It comes on completely randomly and infrequently.

And every evening I have been running a fever for about 4~5 hours, starting around 6:00 pm. My temp typically sits around 100˚F (37.7˚C) during the episode, and I can’t eat dinner. I’m not the most useful in terms of helping around the house with all this going on. My wife carries a heavy load, for which I feel guilty.

At this juncture, the chemo and immunotherapy have not had any significant effect yet, nor are they expected to. So, over the next 2~3 weeks symptoms will likely worsen before I notice an improvement. I feel a bit like I am in in some sort of free fall, especially with all the sudden weight loss, and I’m just hoping to be caught by a net before I fall too far.

I saw a flurry of TAJCD essay sales after the last post, some of which were clearly meant in a spirit of support, and for which I am most thankful. I think others though might be worried that this site will be closing down in the near future, and a fear of scarcity may have drove their purchase. I want to let readers know that this site will be kept up and running for the foreseeable future. My wife feels it is important to keep this blog up and running as part of my legacy, so please have no fear about this site disappearing after I pass away.

If I have a positive response to the new treatment, and have more months ahead of me, and who knows, maybe even years, then I will be devoting time to adding new Volumes to the TAJCD set. It’s far from complete.

Project work continues slowly but steadily, and I’m gradually dismantling my shop, a little bit every day. The Hitachi CB100FA resaw is now down the road to Virginia and the Zimmermann PS 1/2 sander is bolted to a pallet and I hope to complete crating in the next several days. It’s going to Half Moon Bay, CA.

I’ve got to figure out what to do with some of my wood. If you live in my vicinity, and are looking for some interesting material, please drop me a line. That’s another way of saying, “local pickup preferred”.

All for this round. Thanks for coming by.