Week 48: Last month to go

A good week back.

The flight was better than expected. While wearing a face mask (pink!) attracted some curious looks, particularly from the small children on board, it had the positive side effect of slightly reducing the dryness, and hence my cough. So apart from the normal hassle of air travel these days, no problems.

I did have my family doctor check me out upon my return. Just a virus, but she prescribed me some nasal spray and some stronger cough syrup that I was able to stop after a few days. And despite the heat, I started biking again, enjoyable as always, although I seem to have a bit of a coughing fit afterwards, so may also have some allergies given how dry it is.

It felt like a normal vacation, with the pressure to get ‘back to work’, as I realized all the things I need to get done over the next few weeks on ‘my lymphoma journey’ book.

That being said, it was a productive week. I have been reviewing the draft and it is coming together nicely. Getting both the bigger – thinking about the conclusion – and smaller – copyright and acknowledgement pages, list of illustrations – things that are needed. And still fussing over the title – whether I continue with the same ‘my lymphoma journey’ or find a more catchy one, without being gimmicky. Ideas welcome!

On the ‘administrative’ side, have my U.S. IRS Employer Identification Number, needed to sell on Amazon and Apple (have the former, and submitted application for the latter). Lot’s of little details to attend to. And have started to think about how I can generate publicity/marketing for the book, with some encouraging discussions. Understand why publishers exist but still easier to go the self-publishing route.

I also completed a piece ‘Working with your medical team’ for Cancerwise and engaged my medical team here to ensure I captured their perspective (coming out mid-August). Really good discussion with them that made the piece stronger. One member made the following comment, that placed the respective roles of patient and doctor in context:

….  I was happy to see your advice about the internet to patients.  One of our physicians has a good analogy when dealing with patients who are basing medical decisions on information from the internet or family or friends.  When you get on a plane for a trip you don’t ever think it is appropriate to go to the cockpit and start questioning the pilot on how he flies the plane.  You trust that the pilot and team know what they are doing.  ….

None of us feel good when patients succumb to an illness.  None of us profit from patients who don’t live.  I go home every night to my children and hope that I have done the best job I can do to keep my patients healthy and safe.

We saw the latest Woody Allen film, To Rome with Love. While without the unifying theme of nostalgia and the coherence of Midnight in Paris, still a very enjoyable film with four largely separate vignettes weaving in and out of Rome. Some parts are particularly good, such as Roberto Benigni’s role of an ordinary man thrust into celebrity, opera singing in a shower (a fun perversion of the cliché), and the interplay between Alec Baldwin and Jesse Eisenberg, as the older man looking back to the younger man making mistakes, and the familiar Allen dialogue on intellectual poseurs, but this time through the lens on Eisenberg, playing the younger Woody Allen type, falling for Ellen Page’s character. Allen’s version of a summertime flick!

Apart from catching up with friends this past week and next week, hope that the last traces of this cough and cold will end. While there are a lot of things worse than a summer cold, somehow it just doesn’t feel right to have a cold when it’s warm!

4 more weeks to go!


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