Let's Speak The Same Language

Monday, October 9, 2017


This afternoon I found the energy to do a final rewrite of the screenplay, Distant Enemies. It wasn't much of a chore. I was just tidying up a few errors Mertie found while doing a final read through of my script looking for typos, lapses of logic and et cetera. Still, I feel hopeful about returning energy. The senior exercise class I attend at Firstenburg Community Center is paying off.

I have learned another useful health fact. If your bladder is not working properly, do not follow the suggestion to drink at least 64 ounces of fluids a day if you have spent your entire life training your body to function while drinking much less than that. I'm certain that my recent attempts over the past six months to follow that 64 ounce recommendation gave me hours of unnecessary excruciating pain and discomfort. Still catheterizing, but I'm doing just fine on a much smaller intake of fluids, and I'm getting longer periods between. My doctor told me that the 64 fluid ounce requirement is just a recommendation and that the figure was for all intents and purposes "made up". His words exactly. The fluid intake falsehood might be another of the many fallacies brought to us by the medicine distrusting and vaccination avoiding Boomers who have made up health directions and diet recommendations from whole cloth. Most of them in order to create health and diet businesses for themselves.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


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Sitting at home today as I have been for the past few weeks. Today am joined by my working wife who threw up this morning and continues to feel nauseous. I am becoming accustomed to catheterizing myself and, yesterday, was on an 8 hour schedule rather than a 6 hour schedule, but it didn't last. Fortunately, I'm getting a lot more hours of sleep but still not enough to feel at all creative. However, I'm feeling well enough to walk more and exercise more. I've recently joined a group of senior exercisers at Firstenburg Community Center that meets Monday, Wednesday, Friday in the morning. The commitment to that will help. If this trend continues, maybe the return to working creatively will emerge again from the darkness of my subconscious mind and exhausted body. I wish I had more to report, but it is what it is. People are still looking in on this blog, and I thank them for the continued interest. Not too long before my bladder quit functioning properly, I did send off six queries for the novel Ghoul World, but not one has been answered. Maybe ghouls and zombies are on the way out.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Four times a day, I shove the red rubber foot and a quarter worm that I hold in my right hand [that's right, my "right" hand], into my terwilliger until its snout says, "ur in." I then direct the "result" into a plastic pail to be quantified and logged in my "Daily Urination Log". That's right, I've joined the Urine Nation. Six, noon, six and midnight I do the deed. Often, I'm left with an uncomfortable sensation  — although the process is more uncomfortable than painful — that resembles an urge to urinate. This sensation keeps me awake when I'd rather be sleeping. I believe I'm living on 3 to 4 hours of sleep a day. Today I tried to go to the gym to exercise. I could only exercise about 20 minutes, but I did feel hale enough to go to the senior room where I attempted to play cribbage. I hesitated to join in playing cribbage because I suddenly feared I couldn't remember how to play cribbage after a lifetime of playing cribbage. I imagined at first that my mind was going, but I believe, now, that my exhaustion is so severe as to deprive me of my full mental capacity at times. If you think I can do much writing in this state of mind, you must be losing yours. My life resembles the life of someone in a railroad car where a terrorist bomb has just gone off. However, I am messing around with rewriting some very old poetry that I cannot do much damage to. I sent five of them off last night when I wasn't sleeping. I asked my urologist the other day, if I would be needing to do this "drilling" for the rest of my life. He didn't make any promises but suggested he has a few tricks up his sleeve. Meanwhile, for the next few months, I'll be trying to adjust my life to this daily boring process.

Friday, September 8, 2017


Despair about my inability to sleep and consequent exhaustion has finally driven me to seek counseling. First meeting on the 10th of month. I live every moment of my life in a sort of daze, a trance. I feel so dizzy at times that I make mistakes in medicine, and I can't carry on reliable conversations with my care givers. Last week, I asked Mertie talk to one of the KP nurses for me so that good information would be transmitted. I dread bedtime approaching. I seem to have no emotional resources with which to meet my painful existence. I'm quite a wimp.

In the midst of all this confusion and despair, Jessica Gleason, editor at online journal Aberration Labyrinth, accepted two of my poems for publication. They were written in what I think of as my Cannon Street period, quite different from the poetry that came out of my time at Eastern Washington University as I was escaping my addiction to alcohol. The journal fits quite nicely the poetry I was writing at that time. I like the poets I find myself among on the journal's pages. I'm too tired to feel much pleasure. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017


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Thanks all who have checked in here recently. My continuing exhaustion means that imaginative writing is still some distance in future, but I visited a new urologist today and, again, a scope was shoved up my little urethra. The good doctor found nothing abnormal in my bladder except the scar tissue one expects to find after the application of high doses of radiation aimed to defeat a "highly aggressive prostate cancer." Turns out the Flomax generic I've been taking does not treat the condition that's been depriving me of sleep and comfort for the past 5 to 6 weeks. Flomax only works when there's a blockage in the system. There appears to be no blockage, and my problem is nerve damage associated with the high doses of radiation that were needed to treat my prostate cancer. The new drug he prescribed will hopefully calm the nerves that are sending too frequent and intense messages from the nerves in my wounded bladder to my brain. Hopefully, the urgent and continuous need to pee will lessen, and I'll catch a few more winks per night. I was near tears with feelings of hope as we talked. I cry at the drop of a hat these days. Where did Mr. Masculinity disappear too? Somewhere between the doses of hormone, I suppose. Maybe by end of next month, I'll get back to the writing projects I've put on hold. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Exactly two weeks since my last post. I have not written nor rewritten anything creative in that time. I've been so exhausted by lack of sleep and debilitated by the intensifying painful side effects of the radiation treatments that ended a year ago this month that my mind is a dull blank day after day. I feel I've tumbled rudely into a tangible fragile old age. Frankly, I'm frightened by the prospect before me.
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However, I do have a plan. For the foreseeable future, I will set my writing aside and attend to my health, forgetting all else. I plan to exercise as much as possible and stretch my muscles and go to the gym, lift weights, walk as much as I can until I stabilize and improve my condition. I do also have an appointment on August 31 to address my current ill health with a urologist, exactly one year to the day when I received my last cyberknife treatment at PeaceHealth Hospital. I will make blog entries from time to time and hope I can complete a few more creative projects before my health stops me altogether.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


I've started another screenplay, but it's not catching fire in my psyche yet. Based on the horrific story of actress Susan Cabot, the plot has some very intriguing possibilities. Then the rewrite of Ghoul World awaits. It has to be changed if it can have any chance of success. Got another rejection yesterday from Western Humanities Review. That's three rejections after an initial invitation to try again, and now they go into my file of disappeared magazines .

Find photog here...
The real story is how this past week has become another horror story of declining health, declining quality of life for me. I've got sciatica, and I slept very little for almost 5 nights. Honestly, I was near tears when my wife came home yesterday. Unable to write, unable to exercise, unable to sleep, I felt irrevocably old. Well of course. But I don't have to feel old just because I am old. Right? 

Fortunately, it's not degenerative bone disease or bone spurs. It's just situational and brought on by my declining ability to exercise because of fatigue which is a side effect of the hormone treatments and the real effect of the lack of sleep caused by having to get up nearly hourly to pee created by the radiation treatments that damaged my urinary tract. It's perfect storm of debilitating effects. When I'm in the worst of it, I imagine I'll never feel good again and will never write another decent sentence or bit of dialogue. It's not death I fear. It's being unable to move around and live a life of feeling and love and experience. Trapped ... I hate the thought of it.