Let's Speak The Same Language

Wednesday, June 22, 2016



For all those Republicans who hate the Affordable Care Act and who also ramble endlessly about "death panels", I have an answer for them. My prostate cancer treatment option that includes the Cyberknife has not been approved. Kaiser Permanente declined the Cyberknife part of the treatment, even though my reading suggests the Cyberknife will more effectively and with more powerful and focused radiation add to the kill ratio of cancer cells in my high risk cancer prostate while causing less damage to surrounding tissue, thus increasing my chances of living longer. My insurance plan is not purchased through the ACA nor is it Medicare. Thus the Permanente doctors on Kaiser's "death panel" have spoken and their decision has nothing to do with the ACA or Medicare. It's a decision based solely on saving the Kaiser Permanente HMO money. As I've tried to explain to hate filled Republicans, "death panels" have existed all along. The poor have routinely been allowed to die and insurance companies make daily decisions that allow people to die, and those decisions have never had anything to do with the ACA. A good friend of mine watched his wife die because they didn't have the money to purchase the treatment that would have saved her, and their insurance wouldn't cover it. That was decades ago and had nothing to do with the ACA or Medicare either. My doctor will try to get the decision reversed. My fingers are crossed.

A story of mine was just rejected by Glimmer Train. Nice rejection letter though. On the other hand, the fatigue lifted today as I worked on The Porn Writer. You know? At the moment I'm troubled more by the Glimmer Train rejection. I do not understand myself at all.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Writing has not been going well since I began taking Casodex as first treatment for the prostate cancer. [For loved ones, even though the "uses section" says Casodex treats "cancer that has spread to other parts of the body" that is not true in my case, but my doctor wants to keep the cancer confined to my prostate until radiation begins and this is sort of "the best defense is a good offense" type of treatment, I believe. Meanwhile I wait for Cyberknife insurance authorization.] 

As to the difficulty in writing I'm experiencing: if you look to the side effects listed on the attached document, you'll note that two of them are "dizziness" and "drowsiness". I already have some old age dizziness that comes and goes in the morning, but I've noticed now a slight fatigue as I stand over my laptop to write. The fatigue feels like a plexiglass shield that won't allow my consciousness to fully grip the dialogue and narration on the page. However I continue to work on 5th rewrite of my novel The Porn Writer for it keeps my mind on other things than the things I might find worrisome if I let them get all my attention. 

ps: I just now thought it might be a good idea to take the Casodex at nighttime, then I notice that "difficulty sleeping" is another potential side effect. Well damn it all to hell. What's a man to do?

Monday, June 13, 2016


It's been 10 days since my last posting and that's too long a span of time, but nothing much has changed as far as my bucket list item and the forces of nature working against it. Am including two pictures I scanned. One of a poem I wrote several weeks past and the other of the nice illustrative drawings Dr. Siddiqui did as he explained my options to Mertie and I
Mertie and I had our second opinion meeting today with Dr. Faisal Siddiqui who performs radiation treatments at Peacehealth and also the more focused radiation treatment called the Cyberknife. His recommendation is against surgical removal of the prostate
in the same terms as Dr. Jason Smith. The best looking option appears to be a two stage radiation treatment. First 5 weeks of irradiation of prostate and lymph nodes with 40-45 on the grayscale (power rating), then 5 treatments of a nearly double amount of irradiation on the prostate alone. After our talk with Dr. Siddiqui, Merie and I felt very hopeful about extended life expectancy. The details of the after care are too involved to put in here. Oh ... I've already commenced working toward my transition to breasts and hot flashes. Dr. Siddiqui prescribed Bi-ka-loo-ta-myd, one a day. He says it will immediately block or slow spread of cancer cells in prostate while Mertie and I decide on course of action. Will need to put plenty of vitamin D and calcium additives into play. 

As for writing. One rejection of 3 poems returned this past week, and the rewriting of The Porn Writer has been slow going. I'm sure there's a subconscious blockage between me and my imaginative powers. I feel, I think I'd call it, "preoccupied". Good beginnings for poems about the cancer come to mind constantly, but the impulse to complete them doesn't follow.

Friday, June 3, 2016


Written upon hearing the good news.
I begin this post with an apology to those who might have been disturbed by the photo of a face that has been devastated by necrotizing fasciitis. It accompanied my last installment of the Silent Boomer's blog because it characterizes the fate of all inhabitants of the globe in my futuristic novel, Ghoul World. I admit, I'm trying to cash in on the zombie craze while at the same time telling an interesting tale. I see it as a movie. 

More good news on the cancer front. The bone scan came up negative for cancer in my bones. So far, the aggressive cancer appears to be confined to my prostate. Thus, my goal—to get someone other than myself to publish one of my novels before I kick the bucket—has increasing odds to succeed. Still, I picture all those little killer cells penned up in my prostate, striving mightily to escape and set off on a killing spree. We'll soon begin radiation and hormone treatments.  Awaiting an opinion from Oregon Health and Science University Hospital before treatment options are finalized. The side effects are interesting, I hear. If my writing slows up for several months, you'll understand.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


It's Monday. Two rejections of short stories came in last week. Bad news was mixed with good news. A scan of my abdominal region showed no traces of cancer in that region of my body. Interpreting those two news items according to my stated goal to get someone other than myself to publish a novel of mine before I kick the bucket, they cancel each other out. The failure to get another short story accepted and increasing the value of my bio is countered by good news as to potential life expectancy. 

My wife pointed out yesterday that my greatest success has come in getting poems published here and there over the decades. Speaking of poetry, I just finished rewriting a series of poems I want to put together into a book and enter into contests. Maybe will be called The Alcoholic Life or House Before the Meadow. They were written in a rickety old farmhouse seven miles outside Cheney Washington that I lived in for two years after my third divorce. As to "poet" or "novelist", I counter in my own thoughts with poet James Dickey's success with his novel Deliverance. I was certain my novel Ghoul World would deliver me from the middle class blues. How can a detective caper filled with a future world populated by people who suffer from Necrotising fasciitis fail? I'm thinking of its cinematic values.

Necrotising fasciitis
Six hours ago 108 people were reported to have checked into my Facebook page, "The Silent Boomer". The more people who do check into my blogspot blog, the stronger the appeal to an agent to handle a book of mine becomes. Thank each of you who is following this old writer's struggle in the fields of literature even as the number of fields we labor in shrink.

Tomorrow I go in for a full body bone scan.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


After reading the news....
My bucket list item–to get someone other than myself to publish a novel of mine before I kick the bucket—just fell into a low range of my concerns. The biopsy is in. It's cancer for sure, and there's perineural invasion indicated which means it's likely to have spread into other areas of my body.  Sounds like a death sentence to me, but I still haven't talked to the urologist. I got this wonderful news via the internet and The Vancouver Clinic's website. How wonderful is the modern world, eh? A piece of flash fiction follows.

1. Prostate, left base, core biopsy:
Prostatic adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 4+3=7 (Grade Group III),
involving 60% of the smallest core and 40% and 30% of the larger
cores, total three of three cores.
Positive for perineural invasion.
2. Prostate, left mid, core biopsy:
Prostatic adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 4+3=7 (Grade Group III),
involving 50% of the largest core and 60% of the smallest core.
Negative for perineural invasion.

3. Prostate, left apex, core biopsy:
Prostatic adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 4+3=7 (Grade Group III),
involving 20% of one of two cores.
Negative for perineural invasion.
4. Prostate, right base, core biopsy:
Prostatic adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 4+5=9 (Grade Group V),
with necrosis, involving at least 50% of the fragmented core
Negative for perineural invasion.

5. Prostate, right mid, core biopsy:
Prostatic adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 4+5=9 (Grade Group V),
with necrosis, involving 80% of two of two cores.
Positive for perineural invasion.

6. Prostate, right apex, core biopsy:
Prostatic adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 4+5=9 (Grade Group V),
with necrosis, involving 80% and 70% of two of two cores.
Positive for perineural invasion.

Monday, May 16, 2016


The odds shifted in favor of my getting something published by someone other than myself before I die. In our local paper a feature length article appeared about the CyberKnife at PeaceHealth our local hospital. It displays good success at destroying troublesome and moderately aggressive prostate
cancers with little to no side effects. No remissions reported in three years of use. I'm always happy to throw my lot in with science and technology. Well damn, I just realized on rereading that prostate cancers with highly aggressive natures aren't mentioned. Ah, I'll just stay positive until the biopsy results come in on the 25th.

On the writing side of the ledger, I finished the longer than expected rewrite of my story "Haunted By Henry Miller". The story line remains roughly the same but the tone is altered. In the rewrite before this one, I tried to eliminate names for the characters, referring to them by what they did in life or by their age. You'd read a sentence that began "the young teaching assistant". I was going for an anonymity that I thought intensified the cruelty of the main character, but that strategy has changed. For the better I hope. I learned something about me and writing because of the rewrite. I tend to write characters most like me as unsympathetic and cruel. So much for childhood baggage. Now it's back to the rewrite of The Porn Writer   

Another major change is in the title of another novel that I just sent out to an agent in Seattle. The novel has passed through several title alterations. It's gone from Children of God, to The Road To Difference to Angie's Choice. Now it's become A Desperate Decision. I place some emphasis on the effectiveness of titles. The Seattle agent is the first agent I've mentioned the bucket list strategy to. Let's see how that plays out. If at all.