White to Black (Update 3)

A bit more than a month has elapsed since I last posted on this topic. Lots going on. The recent GoFundMe campaign, the inspiration and execution of which is all the work of David Sipos and Matt Connorton, with a strong contribution from my wife by posting on here about it, is an incredible thing to have happened. I can only offer my enduring gratitude to all who have contributed. It has been quite a surprise to see it unfold. I can scarcely believe what I’ve read there in the comments and and more amazing is to see some of the names of contributors. Very unexpected in some cases and very welcome regardless.

The scenario with cancer-fighting drugs that I am enmeshed with has moved in new directions since I last wrote on this topic. I stopped doing the chemotherapy drugs and have embarked upon a new regime receiving weekly infusions of the immunotherapy agent, Erbitux, on a 3-weeks on, 1-week off regime. I received the standard 250ml (adjusted from there based on a formula calculated relative to my body weight) dose to start the round of treatments.

By the following week after the initial infusion, it had become apparent that my hopes that the cessation of chemotherapy would lead t0 a reduction in both mouth sores and neuropathy were to be dashed. Worse, it turned out that the Erbitux was causing the mouth sores to a large extent.

So for the dose on week 2, the doctor reduced the amount of Erbitux by 20%.

I returned a week later and the mouth sores had worsened again. The doctor cancelled my infusion for that week, and the week to follow was a non-treatment week as well.

With that result, the goal now has become finding a dosage and frequency of Erbitux that leads to a tolerable level of side-effects. Last week we tried a dose of 150ml, planning to get it once every 2 weeks, and here we are a week later and I am thinking we are a whole lot closer to getting the dosage right. I don’t feel too bad.

Mouth sores are still there but not overwhelming. Acne comes and goes and well, I’m not beauty queen anyhow, so what’s to worry about a few zits? Neuropathy hasn’t decreased in the slightest and continues to aggravate me. It seems difficult to gain weight still, but I can eat more or less normally at least. All in all, the is the best I have felt in two years. I even enjoyed eating something last week, a novel experience in the past couple of years, sad to say.

I’ve been steadily at the shop over the past month, working to finish the cabinet and starting to pack stuff up and move stuff out.

On the machinery sales front, the Martin jointer sold, to MIT no less. They sent me a deposit without issue, and once the wheels of bureaucracy have done their turning they should be sending riggers to come and pick up in the next couple of weeks I would imagine. I also sold my Makita 155mm beam planer, along with some larger hand saws and a couple of chisels.

The other machines I have listed, like the Wadkin sliding saw, the Zimmermann pattern mill, and the Hofmann mortiser, have received close to zero interest. There’s one guy doing a pretty good simulation of a circling vulture in regards to the milling machine, thinking perhaps that I will get to some desperate stage in the near future and let it go for pennies, however if I can’t get at least a semi-respectable price for it I will take it for scrap. A horrendous outcome for a machine I have used so extensively to be sure, but one I had anticipated might come to pass with that machine given its particulars (3-phase, Euro voltage specs, 5500 lbs, and it is a type of machine not typically used in shops these days).

Also managed to sell some of my Port Orford Cedar beams, though I still have 6 or 7 larger ones left in that species. I also have three longish Alaskan Yellow Cedar beams, and a tidy pile of old growth Sugar Pine 6×6’s. For the time being, I have moved these to a place of storage. Not sure if they might be utilized in the near future or better off sold.

I have been doing extensive ruminating upon the topic of my new basement shop and what equipment might be best for that new circumstance, and will share some thoughts on that in an upcoming post. I have purchased in the past week a slightly used Phase Perfect converter, a 10 hp. model, so the wheels are turning somewhat towards a future shop.

All for now- thanks for tuning in.

9 thoughts on “White to Black (Update 3)

  1. Hi Chris,
    i am glad to hear that you are feeling a little better and can enjoy eating again.

    I am sure it must feel good to be getting along with your project in the shop.

    Trying to sell machines can make you wonder how the manufacturers manage to sell enough to survive each month. It can be eerily quiet when you are waiting for a call on your listing. I have been threatening to set fire to my Martin.
    Happy to hear that you have sold your Martin jointer.

    I look forward to your thoughts on the new basement shop.

    All the best to you.


    1. I am starting to wonder if there is much of a market these days for certain kinds of machines, like mortisers. If most shops are using dowelling or domino system, and do little to no mortise and tenon work, then mortisers are not going to be in demand. One can of course drop the price to a point where someone will buy it, but that can be tough to do beyond a certain point, especially if you have lots of hours and money into a machine,

      1. Dowels, biscuits, dominoes, are for the those of the “good enough” mindset, the practical , sensible, well balanced, content people. They are not cursed with the restless obsession of wanting to see how far you can go, to find out that which you do not know.

        There are two kinds of people in the world; Those that sharpen their tools because they are dull, and those that sharpen them because they believe that they can be sharper.

  2. Hi Chris

    Good to hear that you enjoyed eating a meal last week. That is like you say yourself a positive thing.

    I am afraid that I am too far away for offering any help with the machines, but I really hope that you will be able to get them sold at a decent price to someone who will put them to good use.

    Best regards

  3. Chris,

    It sure is great to hear some positive news about your treatment! And it makes me really happy to know that you’re setting up a basement shop.

    With regards to the used Phase Perfect: I run that same unit and am currently awaiting its return from (hopefully) being fixed. One of the tidbits that I learned from having mine fail is that the line capacitors should be checked yearly and replaced every three.

    All the best for your continued recovery!


  4. Hi Chris,

    Thank you for the update. I’m glad to hear that you are still moving forward with the cabinet considering the challenges you are dealing with. It’s great that you are planning your future shop, looking forward to hear about your ideas.



  5. I don’t really know you but find myself feeling glad to hear from you. Thanks for the update.

    Best wishes,

Anything to add?