Year 1, Week 1: Starting my second year

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My first weekly update of my ‘new year’.  As is good, not much to report on the medical side, everything seem pretty much on track, my biking times continue to be good (if no Lance Armstrong), and remain fully engaged in finalizing my book.

I do have a clinic visit next week and hope to have a good discussion on what I may expect over the coming year (nothing is predictable, but some sense from the medical team’s experience would be helpful). I expect a further reduction in Prednisone given that I have supported well the last reduction, and will see whether I can now be taken off Septra (to prevent pneumonia), which normally happens about a year out.

The more interesting discussion will be in relation to knowing the identity of my donor, and the process (more consent forms to sign!) that this will likely entail. In one sense, my donor will have an advantage as he (I know he is a he) can read about me, should he so choose, in my blog. I am not quite sure yet how this will happen and develop, or how far he and I would like to take this, but at a minimum I would like to write to him and express my thanks for the gift he has given me and my family.

My latest Cancerwise article went up (Working with your medical team), which was shared fairly widely and engendered some good discussion on their Facebook page. That is the last piece I have planned for some time as attention shifts to getting my book finished and out.

On other news, we are helping our daughter get ready for university and residence. As always, bittersweet feelings; on the one hand, we will miss her dearly, on the other, we are happy as she continues to develop and expand her horizons. And then, of course, another transition for us, to being empty nesters.

Movie-wise, we saw The Verdict, in which Paul Newman plays a down-and-out alcoholic lawyer, hanging all his hopes on a malpractice suit against a major hospital. While the ending is, of course, a happy one, there are enough twists and turns and good character portrayals, to make it engaging. A good legal drama.

We also went to see Hope Springs, the Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones film about a middle-aged couple trying to rekindle their marriage. Not a great movie – hard to find the right balance between the comic and the serious – but some very funny moments, and the characters are well-played.

I read, Michio Kaku’s Physics of the Future, covering likely and/or possible technological developments in such areas as: computers and artificial intelligence, medicine, nanotechnology, energy, space travel, wealth, and somewhat pretentiously, humanity. He is at his best when describing what may be possible based on research and trends of today; in areas where I know something or follow (e.g., computers, medicine), the predictions sound as credible as anything out there. And he has a certain refreshing kind of modesty; no cancer will not be completely cured, no humans will not be travelling to the stars or colonizing planets. The one area that I found most interesting was some of the potential for nanotechnology, both on earth and beyond, that I was less familiar with.

While Kaku tries to address the human side, by referring to our ‘cave man nature’ (I would prefer our humanity), the book is fairly light on this score. To my mind, that is the most interesting part of the discussion; what do all these technological advances mean to us as people, as society, what should be allowed and what should not when it comes to genetic engineering, and how does this all play into some of the equality and democracy issues we are facing now (his prediction of an almost unlimited age of abundance strikes me as superficial, although he has a nice discussion of some of the transition challenges – economic, social, environmental – we face in becoming a ‘planetary civilization’).

A good read for those interested in technology and the future, written in clear, lay language.

Apart from that, nice walks and biking, some good cottage visits, and just enjoying life.

For those of you celebrating the end of Ramadan, Eid Mubarak.

 

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