This week the big news is the midterm election and there are two competing narratives worth examining. Today, in advance of the vote, I want to use my ethnographic and rhetorical training by loosely applying to them Clifford Geertz’s textual methods for uncovering organizing principles in cultural stories and Walter Fisher’s well-worn criteria for evaluating narratives, namely, do they “hang together” and do they “ring true?”
Tomorrow morning San and I will arrive at The Four Winds Cancer Clinic a little before 8 a.m. We will greet our friends/caregivers, my blood and vitals will be taken and tested, and our appointment with Dr. Sud will pronounce me fit enough for one final poisoning. Although I have felt so good since recovering from Round 11 two weeks ago that I have threatened not to complete Round 12, it was an idle threat and everyone knew it. Twelve rounds are what the clinical trials say we should do, it’s what our doc and the oncology nurses agree we should do, and who knows? If it buys me a little more time next year it will be worth it. I am feeling optimistic. And I still have a lot of things I want to do, and stories to tell.
That said, the next three days – one of the intensive all-day treatment and the next two of the chemo fanny pack punctuated by steroids and fluids – plus the recovery period afterward, spell out in no uncertain terms a week or so of not feeling particularly good. But even this upcoming week of The Things That Come With Chemo is not going to be all bad. After all, on Wednesday when the fanny pack is removed for the final time, San, Nic, and I get treated to the full-dog version of the Happy Dance! And with it, six months of chemo will be behind us …