TUMOR INTEREST GROUP
06/18/2015 subject: health update episode 31 days: 277 So, Monday I had another PET Scan - injection of glucose spiked with some radioactive isotope. Cells that take up more glucose than others will overexpose the sensor, showing white on screen. Since cancer sells eat more and faster than normal cells, PET is a good way of looking for tumors that have split off and found new places to anchor and grow. Wednesday, met with Benton. Scan looked good - no new tumors, and at least one existing child-tumor in the abdominal cavity wasn’t glowing. Also, the younger woman taking info and prepping for the scan me turned out to also waitress at Archer’s on Rockland harbor, so we recognized each other, but took a while to figure it out. When cancer people talk, “progress” means the tumor is growing. ‘Progress’ that is, from the tumor’s perspective, not the patient’s. So the tumor made no headway, I made some progress, and the waitress gets a bigger tip than usual next time we eat there jan
07/06/2015 Tumor Interest Group subject: Sorry if I bit you Episode 32 Days: 295 Rumination (either thinking deeply about something, or chewing one's cud) Lately I've been biting people more often, and harder than usual. Mostly Dora, who deserves (and puts up with) none of it, but is handy at the wrong times. But also others. Sometimes I catch myself, sometimes I don't; sometimes I let it go semi-intentionally. Intentionally. With intention. Intended. To draw blood. Because I am bleeding. Sometimes lashing out, even unfairly andarbitrarily, satisfies a need. There was a psychologist,Abraham Maslow, who made a chart in 1943 I barely remember from college, but was impressive at the time. Something about basic needs - food, shelter, sex - having to be satisfied before one could move on to 'higher' needs - esteem and self-actualization at the top of his pyramid. But it was a simplified pyramid, apparently designed for college sophomores, and it left out other higher needs, like ending confusion, examining the unexamined life, lashing out, revenge, and other manifestations of self-indulgence. Lashing out isn't the only higher thing I have been trying out, just the most obvious one. I've decided that the blindingly obvious may be true. In the specific, that chemo effects and side effects might just be cumulative, like heavy metals and being beaten. That the cancer trip (New American Dictionary: "trip":noun, An act of going to a place and returning; a journey or excursion, especially for pleasure) replicates nothing, exists sui generis, and defines itself as it goes. I have been pleased to have few side effects. My hair grows. I carry no medical apparatus except a couple of oxycodone in an old plastic SD card case. I do not stoop, drool, or stumble. Everyone says I look great. And they take joy in that, for my sake and their own. And while I am afraid to have verified out loud that the nine months that have gone by might realistically be subtracted from the 18 to 24 that were mentioned back when it started, I know there is no knowable, 100% predictable answer. My friends unconsciously assume that since I don't seem to be dying, I'm probably not. But every day, every moment, I know I am, and Dora knows I am. And the small interior indicators are cumulative. Sharp pains that are the left-over radiation damage, like the echoes of the Big Bang. Stolen breath and ever-present exhaustion that are, what? Accumulated chemo damage? Tumor damage? Fatigue? Self-deception? And the piling on of insults from my body: arthritis pain - real, class-10, electric pain in my left hand and thumb, pain I share exactly with my brother of all things. Self-destructive spinal disks and hip bones that shoot pain down my left leg. Why? Isn't the cancer quite enough? And the pain put on us both by the inevitability of it all hovers everywhere, always, as omnipresent as a god.
07/30/2015 Tumor Interest Group Subject: coming up to date Episode 33 Day 319 Well, how’ve you been? We went to Saint Helena in California's Napa Valley for two weeks to see good friends who moved there last year, and watch the Tour de France with them, which has been a habit for some years. Nicely for us, the tour starts at 5 am, Pacific time, so they record it and we can skip the zillions of repeated ads, saving hours (seems like). Vacations, like home, turn out to be tiring. Walking more than a couple of dozen yards requires catching my breath, weariness demands a daily nap. No more big city walking or trail hiking vacations. So sitting around with friends drinking local wine and eating good food is the new norm. Is that so bad? Met with Benton yesterday before my 3-week infusion of whatever it is I get that costs $9 - 10k each time. No new scan, so we talked the gamut. It seems clear to him that the tiredness and lack of breath are chemo-related, not due to the tumor. So we’ll take a chemo break after the next (15th) infusion and see what happens. When the tumor starts to grow again we’ll go back to the pemetrexed, or perhaps start on the PD-1 inhibitor from Merck, which should be easily available in a month. Benton has patients on it already, doing fine for as long as two years (unless my memory is pushing me to the positive side). He thinks I’m a good candidate, so maybe 2-3 more years? Besides, he expects the pemetrexed to only work for 10-11 months, which is where I am. One way or another, it’s going to be time to switch to a new drug or return to the platinum-based drugs I started with. Except for the idea of being a terminal patient, I’ve had it pretty easy so far. Overall five year survival rate is still 1%, but bell curves have long, unpredictable tales. I had been wondering: When diagnosed in September, I was told, on average, 1 - 1 ½ years. After the chemo began working well and I tolerated the full dosage, I was told, again on average, 1 ½ - 2 years. So after 10 months, what’s statistically left? 8 - 14 months? But it seems the bell curve moves, the stats are loosey-goosey, and as Benton said, every tumor has its own dance. Indeed. I am getting (welcome) pressure from photo/Maine Media colleagues to get off my butt and leave some complex sort of legacy. Apparently (thank you) they think I have something to say about the field, the process, the core of photography, teaching that will require more from me than simply (??) printing a few dozen selected photos. They want a plan, and a document, in whatever form it takes. Which will, I think, mean more than 14 months, so I need the longer, looser stats. And I need to get moving. Right after my nap - no, before that. So I’m taking the first logical step: I’m going to Iceland without Dora, to a large lake in a volcanic neighborhood, to see the aurora borealis if it shows up, to eat strange food in an unlearnable language. And to write. A retreat/workshop with Meg Weston. Just to start a fire. Jan
08/09/2015 Subject Sunday Tumor Interest Group Episode 34 Day 329 Here's how my Sunday is going, hope yours is at least as good. It is a few minutes after 1:00 p.m. and I am waiting for tea to finish brewing, 1 minute 18 seconds remaining. And now ready. I have just gotten out of bed, again. I arose around 7, made coffee for us both, went to the edge of the driveway and fetched the Sunday Times gently between my teeth (quick: metaphor or simile? Neither. call it a sillymore), brought it in, ripped open the plastic bag, brought Dora coffee, Travel, Sunday Review, and Style in bed, sat down on the porch with coffee, Front Page, and Business, put my right leg on the ottoman [of or relating to the mid-East empire if capitalized, a low footstool if not. Any thing racist going on here? Is this a word that as a good progressive I shouldn't be using? If I have offended you, I deeply apologize. Unlike The Donald, I have time to be Correct]. The footstool is an attempt to assuage the ripping pain at the back of my ankle, just where the swelling starts to stop. The swelling, looking like a full bore edema to this non-doc., is now a couple of days in progress. Using my fingers, that makes it Friday that I noticed it, to late to call anyone. This is how illness wins: it takes advantage of the 40 hour week. But the Mayo clinic web site, my go-to for diagnosis, does not address the quarter-size spot on my ankle that feels like it is being stretched on a rack when I flex my ankle. Nor does it address possibly unrelated but who really knows? similar sized, similarly circular, places on my left leg (back, half way between knee and ankle), right leg (right side, a bit lower down) and left arm (outside edge, half way between wrist and elbow). These spots, when moved just right, feel exactly how I imaging a cattle prod feels at full power (if adjustable). Despicable pain, on and off in an instant, digital - all or nothing - and too quick to be affected by any pain med except vocal recognition. Pretty common these days. But back to Sunday morning. Why am I abed at 1 but up at 7? Because at about 11, 11:30 a.m. lately I am simply overtaken by waves of sleepiness and exhaustion, and its nap time for an hour or so. And now that I'm up, its lunch time. Then an afternoon of writing or reading and waiting to see if I need, as I sometimes do, another nap around 4 or 5. Then dinner, basically 8 p.m., then either some reading - never more than a dozen pages - or just to sleep if I am yet again bleary. It seems like some days I'm only awake 8 or 10 hours. This cancer stuff, the physical and mental sideeffects, are for the birds. I think I have better stuff to do if I could only stay awake. Like this left/right brain dump I'm calling the Last Project partly because it will take that long and include whatever went before or comes along side, and partly because I always liked The Last Picture Show. I'm talking more title than plot here, though. I'm beginning to see the organization of it, and a couple of pieces, although not even a hazyoutline of the final shape.That will have to fall out on its own. You may get progress updates, but nothing solid. Except Cig, who has volunteered to help be seamstress when its time to put it together, and Meg, who will get to see whatever exists in Iceland, far enough away that her screaming won't be heard for months. jan
2015/08/21 Subject: no net Tumor Interest Group Episode 35 Days since diagnosis 341 Days since chemo: 24 Friday. Bach yesterday morning, this morning, tomorrow morning, and Sunday morning. But not Wednesday morning. Wednesday morning I went to Brunswick to see Benton about my ever-swelling, highly painful right lower leg, which is getting better and thinner as we speak. No conclusions after being starred at by 2 infectious disease docs, an orthopod, an oncologist, a couple of nurses and techs, an ultrasound, and a couple of x-rays. Might be this - take an antibiotic, might be that - switch your blood pressure meds from one to another, No deep vein thrombosis, but since you're flying soon, go back on small aspirin daily for a week before flying, wear compression leggings - on the plane, all day, not at night, start right away. Give yourself an injection in the stomach just before the security check for both flights, just in case, so you don't have to explain the needles to TSA. Take a bandage, might like to bleed a while. Yes, in the stomach - we'll show you how. Retaining water; no, that doesn't explain the painful Achilles tendon. Or the pain in the other leg. Increase the oxycodone - another each hour until you lose track of the pain or the time, which ever comes first. Careful with the heavy equipment. Swelling might be the chemo, although its not on the list. Take a break. The fatigue infantilizes. Up at 6 or 7, napping by 11, lunch at 1, lasting out the day, or not, 4 to 6 sounds about right for an afternoon nap. Sleep at ten, plus or minus. So that's 8 hours, + 2 hours, + 2 hours = 12 hours asleep, 12 hours awake, time for tomorrow's plan. That's the chemo, so let's take a break. Some weeks off to see what happens. Get a little more energy for Iceland. Huh? I thought this stuff was keeping me alive? Well, maybe it has been, but right about now, just about a year in, It should be starting to quit working so well. If I go off it now, and the tumor 'progresses' PD-1 (programmed cell death, actually) is ready, and the pemetrexed goes in the pocket just in case. PD-1 class immunotherapy drugs unleash the immune system, according to Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb, for whom it should be a $20 billion dollar drug by 2020. It might work for a couple of years. Might not - nothing works on everything.
09/10/15 To Tumor Interest Group Subject Tumor Episode 36 Day 361 Days since chemo 44 The results are in and the winner is me. Friday’s CT showed no change in the tumor although Dora called it as smaller than the previous CT 9/4/2015. The prize is two months off from driving down to Brunswick, next scan to be 10/30/15 Monday will be a year of knowing.
Tumor Interest Group Episode 37 Subject milestone Day 368 Day since chemo 50
To: Tumor Interest Group Date 11/4/15 Subject: catching up Episode 38 Day 416 Days since chemo 99 So Friday’s CT scan shows no tumor growth and I have another two month break from chemo and Brunswick. Went to Iceland to write, ended up writing; sightseeing; watching the moon get eaten by the sky god; watching the haunted green and pink sky; writing more; bathing in hot sulphury mineral water on a cold, windy night with 50 feet between the water and the door (Icelanders have quite a sense of humor); breaking out in shingles, and finding that oxycodone does’t work against the pain; writing more; looking at tiny orchids and lush fall foliage against a moonscape of arbitrary large black rocks tossed around by trolls; eating fish and lamb, then lamb and fish; being blown around by gale force winds, discussing exhumation for a paternity suit with a U.S. president’s grandson; having a double Irish whisky before dinner; and writing. The tumor will likely start growing within 6 months, and then comes the immune system drugs.
To: Tumor Interest Group Date 11/20/2015 Subject: A dry sponge Episode 39 Day 432 Days since chemo 115 What’s the point of a dry sponge? I was thinking about this as both metaphor and fact this morning as I was sponge moping the usual after-rain water in the basement. This after paying $3,000 and losing most of Dora's meadowto a guy who was suppose to seal the basement walls. It takes a number of false starts before the dry sponge becomes wet enough to pick up more water. Dry it just scrapes along, pushing the water out of the way and into dry areas. The dry sponge as a metaphor is my mind. Dry enough to not only stop picking up but to disgorge. Proper nouns in particular, name of place and people. The last three days we were in NYC to see two massive, wonderful exhibits: Pablo Picasso sculptures at MOMA and . . .I keep wanting to say Richard Sera, but that’s wrong. Excuse me while I go look at the cover of the book by him that I bought. Frank Stella. Who I adore and admire, but who’s name I can’t remember anymore. I love name tags at gatherings. I draw blanks now with people I met ten minutes ago, or ten years. Sorry if I stare at you, or at your chest, sorry if I avoid saying your name or introducing you to someone else who’s name I can’t remember either. And sorry if I ask you to repeat something; I’m also losing my hearing. BTW, hearing aids cost thousands and aren’t covered. Neither of these things is the cancer or the chemo. They are me getting old. In the wild I would have changed from predator to prey by now, and been relieved of my handicaps by something I didn’t hear and then didn’t recognize. I would be lunch, and sorry about it. Haven’t had a pain pill in weeks, even an aspirin. Fewer, shorter naps. No new energy, though - had to use cabs and elevators in NY instead of stairs and walking like a few years ago. Tight, black casual pants seem the fashion of the day, although an older woman with bright blonde hair, the reddest lipstick, a face lift or two and jaguar print pants looked just like a Stella dimensional painting. Babies are said to be sponges,, taking it all in. But when we begin to go dry - a hatter’s dry spell - most of what comes in seems to just dampen the surface, no longer sinking in deeply. Picasso, Stella: I hope I don’t forget them.
12/15/2015 Subject: Feelin’ good Episode 40 Day457 Days since chemo 140 2015 Mass (4 or more) shootings in US 381 2015 Killed by the police in the US1086 and we still think we should tell the world how to conduct themselves. Well, all but a couple of side effects are gone or minimized - just the icy feet at night, covered by gabapentin, a medicine I share with a couple of nice dogs I know or knew, and the need for sleep, ten hours a night, naps every day or two. Also, still winded after a flight of stairs or a half block walk. But I seem to have more energy, and I think it’s the best I’ve felt in a long time. Another ct scan end of the year, so we’ll see if the truce still holds for the holidays or the war begins anew. For those who have been in TIG for a while, I bought newslippers, (see episode 14, nice sheepskin high mocs from Bean’s. I have been writing a sort of photo-memoir for MMW, and have possibly found a new shooting project. I have 40 or so images and need to look carefully to see if there are any photographs there. I have ordered a meditation course from the library - need to slow down my brain, get it under better control for the times ahead. jan
Date 2015/12/30 Subject: Happy New Year Episode 41 Day: 472 Day since Chemo: 155 Mass Shootings in US: 329 (corrected count) 2015 killed by police 2015: 1130 The truce with the tumor goes on. Happy New Year to you all
Subject: If a tree doesn't fall in the forest . . . Episode 42 Day: 494 Days since Chemo: 177 2016 mass shootings in US: 5 incidents, 7 Dead, 15 Wounded 2016 killed by police: 15, Police killed by guns 2 Dead from cancer: David Bowie, 69; Dead not from cancer: Glenn Frye, 67 . . . does a mass email need to be sent? no, not really, and so it won't any longer. I have been just fine, albeit tired and unable to walk up the slightest hill for very far, but those could just be from honing in on 70 and living a lazy, brain not brawn life style all these years. I'll be in touch when there's reason to be in touch, but not when there's not, so long pauses are good. A side note about lifestyle differences. Dora and I, the Diane Reahm show on drug overdose, a guy calls in about Carlos Castenata, they drop the call Asa-. Dora asks who he is, I tell her about him, and about non-opioids painkillers like peyote and magic mushrooms, reminiscing a bit about the good old days of innocence and stupor. Get home, go to the roost office, get a box I have been waiting for. Stool softener, three months supply, plain envelope, blue bubble wrap, marked Fragile. Ah, the great circle of life. By for now, Jan
Email of 2016/02/12 Subject: Photographer screws up self-portrait Episode 43 Day: 516 Day since Chemo: 199 2016 mass shootings in US: 19 incidents, 23 Dead, Wounded 48 2016 killed by guns in US: 1,448; killed by police: 112; Police killed by guns 11 So, a PET scan last Friday, meeting with Benton, my oncologist, two days ago. Sorry for the delay but the library project in Rockport was major all Thursday. PET scans use radioactive glucose uptake as an indicator of cell activity; cancer cells being more active, they glow on the output, so PET is a good location device, but the images are fuzzier than those of a CT scan, and so less accurate for plotting growth or shrinkage. In this case the reading radiologist punted, wouldn’t say growth, wouldn’t say no growth, wouldn’t say shrinkage, just submitted his/her bill and moved on. So that’s a good sign, at least there’s not been anything measurable, significant, since the last scan. We have declared the cease fire to be still in place: I’m not trying to kill it, and it’s not trying to kill me. Fatigue is still a problem, witnessed by my apparently falling asleep during the scan and moving my head, blurring the image. So be it, I always have hated having my picture taken. Jan
Subject: I’m OK, You’re OK To: TIG Episode 44 Day: 592 Days since chemo: 273 So, another passing CT scan. The radiologists compared all the way back to September, 2015, two months after my last chemo, and find no difference. The truce marches on. Why am I not elated? Well, obviously I still have cancer and it still will wake up one of these days. It is not dead, just sleeping like the dragon in TheBuried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro’s wonderful, not-quite-children’s book. We argued on the way home - the car’s 50,000 check up took longer than expected and the lunch at Wild Oats was totally forgettable. Bad food ticks us off. Benton, my oncologist, doesn’t understand why I am so fatigued this long after stopping chemo. Could be the chemo totaled my testosterone (haven’t used it since I was a boy, so I don’t know) or it could be depression. Well, let’s see:I have terminal cancer that isn’t being terminal. Good news, you say, but hell on that mental road map we build for ourselves. Normally it’s detours and re-pavings are announced early enough to keep the peddle down. I got the diagnosis and made the arrangements: wrote the obit., found a funeral director, bought a green cemetery plot, re-jiggered the wills, retired, have a whole bunch of Catholics mistakenly praying for Jam, started writing the end papers for my career, hired the band (just kidding), and then got stuck in traffic. I’ve got this relationship between me and the universe settled in my mind, am fine with who I’ve become. Not looking forward, I don’t think, but not afraid. Curious even to witness the unfolding. I also have a friend who is right there, at the door, with no trial drugs, no protocols. His emails have gone from moment by moment details and dirty jokes to more quiet than I know from him. So good news once again, and I don’t know quite what to do with it. Leaving Thursday for Hawaii, so that’s one answer, I suppose
Date: 5/28/2016 Episode 45 Subject musings on a vacation Day 622 Days since chemo 305 Well, that was long. We left April 28, came back May 24. Of which 13 days were in Hawaii, five or six days were devoted to mobility & immobility: airplanes, hotels, moving sidewalks, elevators, escalators, busses, cars, and the associated waiting therefor, thereon, and therein; the rest in Napa Valley with friends and a new puppy, all tongue and friendly teeth (the puppy, not the friends, but you knew that). We started on the eastern tip of the Big Island, in Kapoho, in a house on concrete pillars on a set of tide pools, partially in them for the 3.5 hours surrounding high tide, on the lava chunks left of the road as a result of years of high tides and 2014's hurricane Iselle, the strongest direct hit on the Big Island in recorded history. Mandatory Jeep, great sunrises, staggering. The Best fried fish in a nearby strip shopping mall. Dead boar tied to the back of a pickup with proud hounds sticking out from beneath. Lots of complex tattoos. Tide pools, by the way, are lava hills and valleys, sometimes covered with very slippery plant life. But the lava beneath remains surprisingly sharp, sharp enough to draw deep wavy lines on one's knee. The American Museum of Natural History estimates that sharks can smell (and find, I presume) one part of blood per million parts of ocean water. Just so you know. Hilo is the island's capitol, the scrubby, seen-better-days, wettest city in they country at more than 120 inches a year (but never on us). On adjoining blocks are Ocean, for amazing sushi, and Hilo Town Tavern, where beer is $4 and the audience included six women in their 60s who did a couple of perfectly synced hulas. The steel guitarist sits behind the rest of the band, but slides his fingers right through them. Everyone acted like it was just any night, except me, who couldn't wipe the smile off my face or keep my toes still. Reverend Bob, a Reiki master, sits at the Hilo farmer's market selling Aikane (Friend) brand K'au coffee (much better than Kona), 8 ozs for $14.50, widely wandering conversation free and for as long as you'll stand there. He was assigned to Loring Air Force Base in Caribou in the old days. When I checked with Aikane to compare shipping charges, they professed to only sell thru their web site, not retail, charging $18.75 for the same bag. Bob will ship 3 pounds for only $15 bucks. Somewhere I might stillhave his card if you are interested. Volcano: No one was being sacrificed at Kilauea during our visit, so disappointment. Otherwise also not like the movies: no rumble, no smoke, no bulging sides, no half-naked nubile virgins behaving nervously. Interesting on an intellectual level, but without warning sirens and people screaming, just another 30,280 ft mountain with a dimpled-chin top. For some unknown reason I have now visited the two islands with active volcanoes, Iceland and Hawaii, in just eight months. Then high desert, basically Wyoming with Uke and paniolo. There are more than enough Hawaiian towns called Waimea (Reddish Water) so this one is also named Kamuela, and no one seems to care which you use. Aloha spirit: Don't sweat the small stuff. No Stetsons in Kamuela. Telescopes on the mountain top. There's a street that is said to separate the rainy side from the dry side of town. Kamuela Liquor Store, 70 this year just like me, is Al Wakayama, age unknown but not young, who comes to Maine and rents a beach front house in a different area of the coast for a week by himself whenever he comes to CT to taste wines. He brings a bottle of Corton Charlemague, $250 and up depending on vintage, to drink with his lobster. At a wine tasting in his storage back room by the delivery door there were as many small dogs running around as drinkers. A woman at one of the three farmers' markets makes small-dog-size bandanas Photography is a funny thing right now. Funny as in peculiar, not ha-ha. There is no well-conceived idea running around in my mind, no intellectual thoughts at all. So, of course, that's a good time to buy a new, strange camera and see what happens. This time it was a GoPro Session, just over an inch cubed, a red button, waterproof to 30', no viewfinder, no focus, no adjustments, just a small appropriately black box that would have preferred to make movies, with sound, but let me force it to take stills. So I took about 400 exposures using just crow-brain. Attraction? Exposure. We shall see what happened as soon as I find the little converter from mini-SD to SD so I can read them. In our Kamuela apartment (no view, nice people, another small road). Dora found a Jack DeLillo White Noise on the shelf and asked if I had read it. By that time I had read both Elena Ferrente's second in the Naples series, The Story of a New Name, and Orhan Pamuk's Silent House so I started it. Then borrowed it, then finished it on the plane back to San Francisco. (The narrator, Jack Gladney, is the 50 year old, four-time married (twice to the same woman) Chair of the Hitler Studies Department at exclusive College on the Hill. During an Airborne Toxic Event he was exposed for 2.5 minutes to a toxic cloud resulting from a RR car accident while he was filling the car tank during the evacuation. Even without any symptoms, he has since been diagnosed as eventually dying of non-specific causes by a mysterious computer driven technology group quartered in a nondescript warehouse-like building in another town. In this scene he is talking to former sportswriter Murray Jay Siskind, now visiting lecturer on living icons in the American Environments department. Murray is living in a rooming house across from the local insane asylum. He has plans to start an Elvis major within the department.) "Do you think your death is premature?", he [Murray] said. "Every death is premature. There's no scientific reason why we can't live a hundred and fifty years. Some people actually do it, according to a headline I saw at the supermarket." "Do you think it's a sense of incompleteness that causes you the deepest regret? There are still things you hope to accomplish. Work to be done, intellectual challenges to be faced." The deepest regret is death. The only thing to face is death. This is all I think about. There's only one issue here. I want to live." "From the Robert Wise film of the same name, with Susan Hayward as Barbara Graham, a convicted murderess. Aggressive jazz score by Johnny Mandel." I looked at him. "So you're saying, Jack, that death would be just as threatening even if you'd accomplished all you ever hoped to accomplish in your life and work." "Are you crazy? Of course. That's an elitist idea. Would you ask a man who bags groceries if he fears death not because it is death but because there are still some interesting groceries he would like to bag?" "Well said." "This is death. I don't want to tarry awhile so I can write a monograph. I want it to go away for seventy or eighty years." "Your status as a doomed man lends your words a certain prestige and authority. I like that. As the time nears, I think you'll find that people will be eager to hear what you have to say. They will seek you out." "Are you saying this is a wonderful opportunity for me to win friends?" In another moment, also talking with Murray: Referring to his doctor, after a thorough going over by a specialist tech. firm. "I'm afraid to see him. I put the printout out of my death in the bottom drawer of a dresser." "I know how you feel. But the tough part is yet to come. You've said good-bye to everyone but yourself. How does a person say good-bye to himself? It's a juicy existential dilemma." "It certainly is." Jan