oregon coast, near lincoln city

drove out yesterday to see m. she was 6 days into her month-long residency and we assumed it would be better to see each other right at the beginning. suffice to say, it's spectacular where she is. epic. good things are coming.


and so...

rounding out the boston/radiation memory lane/s is this video of our time there and our leaving, posting today since 11/19/05 was the day we left boston, starting back across the country in a rental van, ending finally back in portland on a dark rainy night, the friday after thanksgiving.



Posted Nov 17, 2005 6:31pm

Done! Done! Done! Done!

Done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done, done.


done done done done done done done done done done done done done done done done done done done done done done done.

 met w/ Dr. Liebsch to say adieu. He likes our chances and thusly, we think quite fondly of him.

we're off to a celebratory dinner w/ my folks.

tomorrow we pack, pick up the rental, and margaret and my mom will go to see the harry potter movie.

thanks to all for your love, support, money, wishes or whatever else you chose to send our way.

oh, and Happy Thanksgiving.

brian and margaret

35 treatments done
zero, nothing, nil, zip to go.

5 yrs ago today i had my last radiation treatment at mass general hospital. (the above is pasted from my old carepage. i logged on today and scanned it over, reading daily entries that i had long forgotten details of.) Which is to say 5 yrs ago today I had the last bit of actual per se treatment on my brain tumor and so today is as good a day as any to start the clock, to say i've now crossed a threshold. I had a very high percentage chance of the tumor not recurring after 5 years. I was lucky enough to be in that group.

5 years deep, and i am profoundly changed. nobody really understood what it was/is like  - except those who've had the misfortune to visit similar vistas. as m and i discussed last night, there has always been a gulf between us and our friends due to the tumor. even the most well-intentioned do not understand. In five years the gulf hasn't diminished, it's only that I am better at pretending that it has. i am able to laugh it off. i am able to pretend that it's all in the past and that it exists there and only there, that it isn't sitting in the room with us while we have a beer or watch basketball or talk about movies.

unfortunate side-effect of survivorship: inability to not go to the worst-case-scenario.  the onset of flu-ish symptoms is fatal illness, a loved one running 15 min late is dead in a car accident. my mind goes straight to the dark places first. part of me has always been like this, the other part is sense-memory, body reaction, always bracing for the next time the rug will be yanked out from under my feet. if this is the price of admission, to be in this club, the living, breathing one - then i will take it but the point is that even with the best possible result there are ramifications and adjustments. There is still damage.

In the abstract, 5 years ago say, I might have envisioned this day as sun-drenched, arms-raised triumph with me shrieking from mountaintops about the glorious bounty of life. And yes, part of that exists as metaphor. But life is lived in the day to day. this AM i overslept, drank coffee, worked on a dvd project, walked the dog, took the bus to work, ate some soup, made some plans, emailed some people. it is only now, at this second that i type this out, that i feel the hum of my good fortune underneath it all, a connective filament between these events, between 5 years and now.  That i am able to fumble out these half-thoughts at all knowing their coherency may be elusive, that i'm free from pain and recurrence, that even though i still feel governed by tentacles of fear, dread, anxiety - i am the luckiest man alive.