I have spent this week getting accustomed to life on steroids (in advance of the forthcoming radiation treatments that begin on Monday) and reading the festschrift done in my honor. The two experiences reaffirm for me (albeit in very different ways) that I have been, and continue to be, a very lucky man.
So far my body responds pretty well to these steroids, at least as measured by a substantial reduction in back pain, and with it, increased mobility and improved humor. Yes, these steroids do bring on some surprising side effects - including sudden “hormones-on-the-run” bouts of choked-up teariness that I am completely unable to control and, according to San, do not have the “cry face” to adequately support without inducing laughter from others. But on balance, not so bad.
Today, June 16th 2012 is our 23rd wedding anniversary and it began with a hug and kiss from my lovely bride, Sandra, aka “the Supreme Bunny Being.” Then, after a short shared hour of sharing the news from our respective iPads and a cup or two of coffee, she headed over to our “real house” for final touch-up to the new paint and I remained, sigh, in the recliner to write this blog.
Tomorrow is Father’s Day. But Nic and Alyssa had a Father’s Day feast for us last night when we returned from a loooooong day getting new scans (details to follow at the end of this post). Alyssa baked my favorite chocolate cake in the style she has created – light texture cake, butter crème infused icing, just the right balance of goodness and sin. Yum! Nic procured my new favorite Cav – B. R. Cohn Silver Label – from a vineyard owned by one of the Doobie Brothers band members, truly a mouthful of red wine pleasure!
And this: Just this morning I opened Facebook to see the finished cover for Celebrating Bud, the tribute to my work and life put together by my pals. I’ll post more details about the book later, because here I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who had a hand in this volume and that I can’t wait to read it!
So much good news! I am truly blessed. We are truly blessed as a family. And you, too, I hope can feel the wonder in this life and accept with gratitude the goodness in it and all around us, just waiting for us to say “yes!”
But life is also complicated. It’s meant to be that way. It’s all part of the Cosmic Spaghetti.
Sorry, but that last referent made me smile. Crazy, huh?
This week we got very good news from the CT-scans – no growth in the tumors and no spread of the cancer. Combined with the good downturn in the CA-19/9 numbers and our desire to squeeze every bit of happiness out of life, Dr. Robin agreed to give us the week off chemo. We were hosting an Ethnogs reunion/festschrift preview on Saturday night and I needed to be my “full Dr. Bud self” for it. Or at least as “full Dr. Bud self” as I can be these days.
Between that good news from Dr. Robin and the festivities on Saturday night, I had one other task to complete. I promised to write the Foreword to Robin Boylorn’s first book,Sweetwater, which is her autoethnographic account of African-American women in a rural southern community. This project is close to my heart, as I “discovered” Robin back when she was an undergrad at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I also directed her master’s thesis (the beginnings of this book) and served as the outside member of her dissertation committee at The University of South Florida (where she honed the theory and polished the narrative). Robin is now an assistant professor of communication at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, an award-winning writer and poet, and now a soon-to-be author of this fine book.
Writing a good foreword – by which I mean one that actually gets read – is never easy. In this case it was a little harder given that chemo brain sometimes makes focusing on a task somewhat difficult. Or I forget what I’ve just read or what I’ve written. Sigh. But I was determined to get this one right, so for three days I labored to write a mere 3000 words. But in the end I think I got it right. I only know that Robin and her editor, Mary Weems, seem pleased with it.
When I think or write or speak with a British accent, I do so these days as Sir Harold of Troubles. You will learn why later in this blog. But for now let’s just say it is a made-up moniker that emerged naturally over my many years as an aloud, proud, somewhat belligerent Anglophile and imagined Queen’s court jester, a veritable imitator of all lines Monty Python; of all innocent dialogue turned stoner-tweak between Bill & Ben, the Flowerpot Men; and of course countless hours spent watching and/or reading and/or discussing the comparative merits of British authors, British music, British sports cars.
British women, not so much. But there are exceptions, one of whom is Queen Elizabeth II, who, today, begins a joyous four-day celebration of her 60-year reign.
And really, what kind of fan of the Queen or the Queen’s land would I properly be without beginning such an august occasion with that most unhealthy of ways to start a lay-about Saturday, the Full English Breakfast, complete with lukewarm tea and cold toast, bland beans, awful black pudding, fried sausages of dubious origin, a rasher of fried bacon, a dollop of fried mushrooms, a blackened/grilled tomato, and hard-fried eggs?