No time like the present

…and no present like the time. (if you’re looking for a gift idea, there you go)

In other news:

Had the MRI yesterday. It wasn’t all that unpleasant, thankfully Advanced Imaging had a small mirror device attached to the face grid I slid my head into going into the machine. (MRI was of my Brain and Inner Auditory Canal)…movement wasn’t an option. The mirror reflected what was outside the building, just naked trees in the cold but the mirror did not allow me to notice how small the machine is. It’s tight in there….

I am hoping that they don’t discover anything else besides what they were looking for with the MRI. The last time my Doctors ordered a scan they found a different cancer. (Looking for one thing and they find another)

I am all about early detection but I am not in the mood for anything complicated…but that’s life. We shall see what develops…


I am subscribing to the following: “Live Life. Make Art. Be Happy” this affords me the simple task of being creative without the stigmatism of needing to make a career out of it…but I would love that to happen. Maybe the gods will see I am doing what I love and they will bless me with money. (as the saying goes).

I am also writing and cartooning under this new motto. I am aiming to spend all available time not spent working, sleeping, eating or having sex: MAKING ART! (doesn’t sound like a lot of time I know)

 The good thing is work is just work and I am focusing on that as just my “Day Job” – a means to an end which is all work really is anyway…I have to sleep certainly, but I can eat and have sex at the same time. Why not? Sometimes food and sex go well together.


We learned a friend of ours is still battling cancer. His prognosis is not the best. The unfortunate thing is he passed on one last surgery recommended by his Dr when they thought they had gotten it all the first time.

5 yrs went by with him in remission…then it showed up again.

It  just argues the point that REMISSION IS NOT A CURE, but it also reminds me of how I felt when we knew I was in remission and still had 2 cycles of chemo left. (4 treatments)…I didn’t want them either. My wife says she wouldn’t have let me get away with that but I can’t help asking: “What if?” …what if I opted out of the last 2 cycles, the 2 cycles Dr L told me were just for “insurance purposes” as in…making sure we got it all. Like an “Insurance Goal” in a Hockey game…just aiming to keep the score in our favor.

It bugs me that he is in a fight he may not have had to wage had they actually got all the cancer the first time, but cancer is like that, you never know. I live with that knowledge in the back of my mind every day… I don’t want to relax and pretend it may never come back. But I also don’t want to live my life in total fear of it either.

“Fight until the fight is done” that is all you can do.

“No retreat, No Surrender”


On a lighter note:

We saw Cheap Trick on Monday night at Irving Plaza. I forgot how small that place was. Couldn’t have been more than 1500 people jammed in there. They put on a great show, although I did say to my wife afterwards I didn’t think they were as energetic as I thought they might be. What they did not do was just play their greatest hits…they mixed it up with several oldies and a lot of new songs from their last CD.

Bottom line, they were great. And nothing beats a small venue. You can have your Stadium filled 50,000 seat arenas and giant video screens…but, NOTHING BEATS A SMALL VENUE!!!!

Until next time, Be Well.


Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 7:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Random Thoughts…

Conan was never the right choice for “The Tonight Show” but then again I have NEVER liked Jay Leno and felt he didn’t belong there either. I am a die-hard Letterman fan and when I tune into any late night TV it will always be Dave. (and Craig Ferguson after him)

I think Conan got screwed big time (as the rest of the world does) and I hope Leno falls on his face when he returns to the Tonight Show. Somewhere Jack Paar, Steve Allen and Johnny Carson are all rolling in their graves.


I don’t care who gets to the Super Bowl or wins it. In fact the commercials in the last few years have sucked as much as the football game always does.  There used to be some really cool ads to look for to break up the monotony of the blow out that usually occurs. But I think that ship has sailed…nothing is ever the same.


Reading David Sedaris and finishing up a Merill Markoe novel as I write this. Not reading so many books at the same time. At one time I think I was actively reading five books at once. Can’t do that much any more.  I’m not even finished with the book I started a few weeks ago and my wife came home with another one without my asking. She was out and about and spotted one and picked it up…so I will seamlessly step into “Me Talk Pretty One Day” after I wrap up “When You are Engulfed In Flames”


Hollywood sucks. I read about Hollywood remakes and sequels coming out soon and I gag. Not a single original idea is left so they regurgitate old ideas. How long before they update “Back To The Future” ? Nothing is safe…everything old is repackaged, made slicker and faster and more gory and sent back out for an unsuspecting generation to choke on. it’s just CRAP CRAP and more CRAP. Give me a small independent film, a sundance award winner, a documentary… Something artsy and not at all mainstream. And God please NO SUMMER BLOCKBUSTERS!

Mainstream is safe and boring…all the interesting crap lurks on the edges just near the shoreline. It always washes up on the beach.  And it may be trash afterall but it’s got an interesting story to tell. I’d rather have interesting than safe any day.


Computer viruses suck!


We need a new Holiday and a new Religion. I think I will work on that. 

Thats it for now…

Be well.


Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 6:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Life Changes…

What number post is this? I’ve lost count.

…most recent health developments in my life involve the finger twitches (which have slowed down considerably since curbing the caffeine) but are still present none-the-less, and what is probably considered “Sudden Hearing Loss” (although it’s been gradually getting worse for a couple years now) on my left side.

My wife found a new ENT Dr. so we could get to the bottom of the hearing issue I have on my left side. A couple of years ago (I think just prior to my cancer diagnosis) I had my then ENT diagnose a sudden drop in hearing on my left side, he put me on steroids which corrected the problem and restored my hearing to a degree within 10% of where it should be. Although I was told tinnitus would be what I was left with, and I was.

Then insurance companies changed and cancer was discovered and I never followed up with that ENT guy.

It’s now just over 3 years since I was diagnosed and the “HUM” in my left ear is so pronounced that it is interfering with day-to-day life. This new Dr reviewed my history and sent me to the Audiologist who conducted her tests on me in the sound proof box.

To say I failed miserably on my left side is an understatement.

I was sent back up to see Dr. G who described my hearing loss on my left side as uncommon but not rare. (not unlike my cancer situation…who is diagnosed with two different cancers at the same time?)

Why should anything be simple at this point in my life?

The problem seems to be why my hearing loss is so severe and only on one side. Dr G orders some blood work and an MRI. The MRI is of my brain and IAC (Internal Auditory Canal) with contrast, he is looking for a benign tumor or polyp as he described it sitting between my brain and a nerve I think… The blood work is covering everything else that can involve hearing loss, namely thyroid, syphilis, lupus, lyme…and a handful of other things I have never heard of.

The twitches continue and now of course I am acutely aware of the hum in my left ear…it was getting worse everyday, or so it seemed. I was very aware of it to begin with, now it’s all I hear. The noise in the ear I can’t hear well with is, well, deafening.

All of this hub-bub about how many tests to perform and get to the bottom of an uncommon problem reminds me of how complicated life has become since Cancer. (Some of the chemo drugs I received during treatment might be responsible for the severity as well, or so the Dr and Audiologist both said) Maybe I’d have this problem and it would be this complicated anyway…but after cancer my perception is to feel like I got kicked in the pants again. Nothing is ever cut and dry.

As of this writing, the blood work has been drawn and my MRI is scheduled for next week. Guess I will be wearing ear plugs to the Cheap Trick concert my wife is taking me to in NYC the night before…might as well preserve what little hearing I do have in that ear and maybe not cause more damage if any to my right.

The twitches in my hand and the hearing loss are just another couple of things to keep me down. I can’t let them get in the way…part of me wants to, part of me wants to just stay down for the count and let someone else take the next punch…but I keep getting back up and life keeps swinging. I’m getting tired of it, but I can’t give up.

I can never give up.


Published in: on January 18, 2010 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Switching to Decaf

Since Cancer I have been rather Hyper Aware. So am I making too much out of this “twitch/tremor” thing? I don’t know…I think my point of view has been to catch something early and deal with it, “Early Detection Saves Lives”…it’s a cancer thing.

I am also a natural-born cynic and have 40 years pessimist experience, so I gravitate to the worst and (if) that doesn’t happen then thats a sweet taste of good fortune…otherwise shit will always bring more shit. I always cut to the worst case scenario. It’s easier that way.

Even after beating two cancers I still have a hard time being Optimistic. It doesn’t come naturally to me. (but I try, really I do)…since this twitching thing started in my right hand I of course jumped to worst possible scenario and find it easy to dwell there…then I spend too much time thinking about it until I keep reading about it on the internet but still don’t really know anything.

So this morning I found Decaf coffee beans in the pantry, ground then up and brewed some decaf…since caffeine can contribute to and make these tremors worse I need to cut back or cut it out entirely. I figure my Dr is going to start me there first before sending me to see a specialist.

I need to stop driving myself crazy abut these things but I am my own worst enemy. I am taking a co-workers advice this weekend and watching how the tremors happen or don’t happen based on not being at work (which can be a source of stress) and see if stress and caffeine are the catalyst for my new problem.

Certainly my problem here is neurological but it may also just be in my head.

I’ll start with less caffeine I can control that…stress on the other hand is a different thing altogether.

Be Well.

Published in: on January 9, 2010 at 11:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Not exactly “suddenly” but I have noticed a particular twitch (read: tremor) in my middle finger on my right hand that has developed some frequency in the last couple of months. It has actually spiked a lot in the last few weeks, or so it seems.

Of course the mind wanders and the ego self diagnoses thanks to WebMD…but I have no idea what the hell is going on. All I do know is my middle finger tenses up just before it moves…involuntarily. It’s very rhythmic and keeps a beat. It moves from side to side like it has a mind of its own and then…just STOPS.

Several minutes can pass, sometimes hours…but never days. I have been tracking it since January first and have cut back on the caffeine as coffee can be a factor.

So far my research has led me to something called Essential Tremor. Certainly given it’s frequency my wife is asking me to see our PCP sooner than later (my plan was to wait until the end of the month)…

Symptoms of Essential Tremor are as follows:

Tremors may occur when you move (action related) and may be less noticeable with rest, they may come and go, but generally get worse as you age. They get worse with stress, caffeine and certain medications and may not affect both sides of the body the same way.

Treatment: DRUGS. Mostly anti-seizure medications.

Regarding possible causes of these tremors: alcohol withdrawal, cigarette smoking, hyperthyroidism, something called: Pheochromocytoma, too much caffeine, use of some meds and whatever Wilson’s disease is…

Of course I don’t know anything yet. And of course there could be a possibility it could be Parkinson’s disease as well. The side bar on the pages I printed about this mention other people who searched for Essential Tremor also searched for…

Parkinson’s disease, Generalized anxiety disorder, dystonia, major depression, acute lymphocytic leukemia, movement disorders and stroke.

I have no idea what is going on with my right hand. I know when the tremors are going to happen based on the tension in my fingers just before it happens. It is very strange…I have no control over that finger when it is moving. No sir, I don’t like this one bit.

 Bottom line…”It’s always something” it’s always gonna be something…nothing you can do about it.

When I know more, I’ll blog it. 

Be well.