Monday, December 1, 2014

Mick McKellar Update -- Day +1379

The Once and Future Word
Every once in a while, I do a web search on myself. I do this for a very specific reason: I want to know if my ancient footprints still exist among all the dust and cobwebs of the darker corners of today’s Internet. Once again, I found an old post on a technical writing discussion list, one I posted March 31, 1993, lamenting the rising cost of attending conferences and suggesting that technology could provide methods to attend a conference without leaving home. Hint: streaming was not even a glimmer in my mind’s eye at the time.

I go through this exercise to remind myself that what I send out there -- into the great black hole of online media in that immense cyber universe -- tends to remain out there...somewhere. Like radio waves into space, once launched there is no retrieval. Once out there, I have no control over who reads it, who might save it, or if anyone ever sees it at all. How odd it is to think that I have been casting messages in bottles on the Internet sea for more than 22 years.

The Most Wistful Time of the Year
I had plans for the 2014 fall months, most of them aimed at correcting oversights in home maintenance and comfort, but they fell away as early snow and cold (and an unfortunate sinus infection) have driven me into an early hibernation this year. I’m five days into a ten-day course of powerful antibiotics and (gulp!) prednizone, provided by my doctor at Mayo Clinic for just such an event -- primarily to keep me home instead of hospitalized. It seems to be working, but the side effects of prednizone are disturbing and pronounced. So much so, I reduced the dosage myself, so the tremors would be less violent and debilitating.

My October 15 report from Mayo Clinic was excellent. The bone marrow biopsy results showed me to be in morphologic, cytogenetic, and molecular remission -- with 100% donor chimerism (my blood DNA is still 100% my brother’s). The doctor even called to congratulate me. Woohoo!

Now this.

I’m back to trying to sleep “in the upright and locked position.” The trick is slide off into oblivion before the next paroxysm of coughing begins. The shortness of breath is intense and prolonged coughing can leave me gasping like a fish out of water. I wonder if this is what waterboarding feels like? However, I believe this too shall pass and I will begin my winter-long hibernation -- away from most sources of potential infection and away from crowds.

Put the Demon Away
My grouch genie is once again out of his bottle, thanks to the gentle effects of prednizone. My long-suffering family forgive my outbursts, for they know the source is chemical, not personal; steroid, not stress; and most importantly -- me, not them. Five more days and I hope to put the demon away, back in his bottle of prednizone pills

Special thanks to all who have sent prayers and good thoughts, the genesis of my daily gift of life and blessings from God.


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