12-18 March 2001
Ninth week: Break
12 March 2001:
Not really. On Saturday morning I found out that my modem was defunct. It didn't respond to anything, so I bought a new one because I hoped the connection to e-mail etc. would come back. I was wrong, but the modem's right.
The Australian version of the English language contains an interesting aspect, which may as well be true for other versions of this language. Down here, we find things, events, people, you name it: "sensational", "fantastic", "world-class", "legend". Like, a good meal is by definition one of the four words mentioned. There are no good meals, let alone very good meals anymore.
My little university, for example, does everything it does "on the cutting edge". We're so much world-class, that I am wondering which world we are referring to. And we're so "cutting edge" that I wanna jump when I can't get connected.
Just returned from the gastro-doc, who was pleased to see me in such good conditions. The purpose of the meeting was to assess the progress made so far and to arrange for another gastroscopy next week Wednesday, on which occasion he will take several biopsies to assess how far the tumor has been killed. Thursday's computertomography and x-rays will provide further data, which altogether will serve as basis for a discussion on what options I will have.
Today I learnt that I will fall in one of three potential categories:
I'm not sure whether these are all options, but we'll see what will happen next week. It seems that the story will come to some preliminary end next week in the sense that the interpretation of the data will indicate the option I have.
13 March 2001:
I'm not quite sure how I feel but I certainly do not feel as relaxed as during the past weeks. It's assessment time, and that means that things will be decided upon. With cancer, this decision may become a terminal one. Who knows?
I am quite optimistic that this won't be the case with me, but I will feel much more relaxed after next week when I know how far radio-/chemotherapy have gone as regards the killing of cancer cells.
15 March 2001:
Since I was diagnosed with cancer, my attention has been sharpened for all kinds of news regarding cancer, from prevention over treatment to rehabilitation. I do not find much consolation in the fact that most of the time the conclusion of these reports is that we don't know why and how certain things have happened. As the professorial gastro-doc said last Monday: "Anything's possible." Cancer treatment is like gambling?
And I thought gambling was a public health concern.
17 March 2001:
Another friend sent the following comment regarding his contribution to a global meeting on globalization and its impact on public health:
We no longer do them (writing papers etc. - EW) with the expectation of success. We do them only knowing that their absence guarantees failure.While we still believe we need to prepare statements, launch advocacy campaigns, and publish critiques as much as success stories, we also begin to know the very narrow limits of public action against political and economic ignorance.
The depolitization of politics is the flavor of the month, particularly when politicians claim not to politicize an issue in order to keep it manageable. Public health belongs to these issues ever more. We are asked to shut up and leave the territory to the chosen elites, who meet at meetings of increasingly obscure scope and purpose in the light of their inability to act.
18 March 2001:
First, I had a bad dream, in which I was told by the docs that the therapies were unsuccessful and that I was ordered to spend the rest of my life in a specific house in the country-side. I had no idea why they decided to send me to the "bush", until I found out that I was contaminated with all kinds of toxic chemicals which needed to be treated like a toxic waste disposal area.
I woke up, all sweaty, switched on the light and wondered what was going on. After some time I must have fallen asleep again. And then came the positive dream, in which I was told that I was on my way back to full health, unless I would get involved again with "the Government". Well, no problems on my side, and I left the doc's office, drove to the beach and had a long, endless walk on the beach.
I woke up roughly 2 hours after the first dream, switched off the light, fell asleep again until 7:00 am, when I woke up because a Magpie was singing in the tree. I dozed off again, and I stayed mostly asleep until 9:30 am, which is pretty late for me these days.
Copyright © by Eberhard Wenzel, 2000-2001