Monday, September 25, 2017

Mick McKellar Update -- Day +2408


Today, I suffer from an self-inflicted earworm.

I had to stop after spending a disproportionate amount of time sorting through Facebook "newsfeed" items and online news items. After trying desperately to sort out diatribes from passionate pleas, fiery four-letter words from salacious swag, spun stories from outright lies, and silly spam from heartfelt feelings, I was ready for my extended vacation to Catatonia with a stop-over at Stupor.

I sat back and tried to wrap my mind around the hue and cry. Not for the first time, I was truly stunned by a wall of noise battering both vision and hearing. An urge rose up within me to cry out with the voice of Vesuvius: "Shut up!" And to pray for a sudden, stunned silence into which I could whisper a question: "If you were the last human on Earth, would you still hate?" As my imagination directed the movie for my mind's eye, Harry Nilsson's song, "Everybody's Talkin'" faded in as the soundtrack.

In my daydream movie, I suddenly leapt into the sky, pierced a rainstorm as I arrowed upward, banked off the chill northern winds, and chased that summer breeze across the ocean into a brilliant sunrise. As I flew, I sang at the top of my lungs:

"Everybody's talking at me
I don't hear a word they're saying
Only the echoes of my mind

People stopping, staring
I can't see their faces
Only the shadows of their eyes

I'm going where the sun keeps shining
Through the pouring rain
Going where the weather suits my clothes

Banking off of the northeast winds
Sailing on a summer breeze
And skipping over the ocean like a stone"

Alas, it was only a dream, and I am not Vesuvius.

Peace, love, and blessings;


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mick McKellar Update -- Day +2404

Man! That's Cold...

          My visit with Dr. Nguyen was a quick one. He looked at the now healed wound from removing the squamous cell growth from my neck, and explained why further work was necessary. Because this happened to me once before -- about 25 years ago -- I was aware of the need to take more tissue to assure that the cancer has all been removed. Some of the cancerous cells were right along the border of the tissue sample, so it seems likely that some cells remain.
           Rather than schedule a visit to an operating room for surgery, the simplest procedure is to spray the area with liquid nitrogen -- essentially burn it with cold. He simply aims a spray container at the spot and as the nitrogen becomes a gas, it draws heat from the tissue it touches, freezing it instantly. He shot me twice, just to be sure. A spot on my neck is now freezer burned.
          If you want to see the damage, check out this Ugly Photo. Honestly, it just looks like I leaned a little too close to a wood stove. It will blister and there will be a wound for awhile. I've had more severe burns. 
          Thank you for all the prayers and good thoughts -- I think we've got this one beat! Now I just have to figure out how to sleep when my neck hurts like the dickens...


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mick McKellar Update -- Day +2395

Call Me Job

The results are back on the tissue (i.e., supremely ugly lump of flesh) removed from my neck by Dr. Nguyen on August 24. Squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) is the diagnosis. Despite hiding from the sun and wearing copious amounts of sunblock, the spectre has raised its ugly head upon my neck -- and once again given me pause to reflect upon the effectiveness of precautions.
One would think, with the dearth of sunlight in this area, my need to take 5,000 units of vitamin D3 every day because I live like a vampire, and my singular support of the sunblock industry, that I might be spared a recurrence of this form of the Big C. (Yeah, I had it before, about 30 years ago.) Nonetheless, it’s back.
Someone once told me that the purpose of my life was to be an object lesson for those sporting rose-colored glasses. Although I doubt the preceding wisdom, I do seem to have a close personal connection with an inordinate number of medical professionals...
On September 21, I will be examined with a view toward treating my healing incision with liquid nitrogen. The idea, I believe, is to give the cancer a cold from which it cannot recover, and prevent it from seeking refuge in my lymph nodes. One hopes the Squamish hooligans don't travel, as thanks to cutbacks in immune support, the local sheriff is short-handed. I will know more after the 21st.
As always prayers and good thoughts are welcome, even encouraged. God bless you all,