Friday, January 2, 2009


A new year was once a time of great plans and goal setting for me. Since getting cancer, it's become a more contemplative, introspective time. This past New Year's Eve/Day was a somewhat somber time for me. I've survived longer than most other patients with my prognosis, but the luck I've often referred to here is starting to run out. I have experienced a significant physical decline since Thanksgiving; I'm really feeling the "tumor load" on my body and, if life is a chess game, then I have definitely entered the end game. With the physical decline has come something of a mental and emotional decline as well. I no longer enjoy doing many of the things I have enjoyed in the past (like writing or playing with my radio equipment) and I am often beset with this puzzling lassitude and indifference. As I told Di a couple of days ago, I sometimes feel like someone who has stayed too long at a party and needs to leave. I have no doubt my physical deterioration is starting to have an impact on my mental state.

Normally I'd be optimistic and bubbly at the start of a new year, but this year I am under no illusions. I know 2009 will be a bad year. I can see the storm clouds approaching. I know I am going to get stomped hard in 2009, and there is nothing I can do to prevent that from happening. All I can do is get a good grip, grit my teeth, and try to be as stoic as I can in dealing with what's ahead.

I probably won't be updating this blog as often as I've been doing; most days I just don't have the motivation. But I'll try to keep posting interesting things about the places I've visited and items in the news; I don't want to turn this into a poor-poor-pitiful-me whinefest.

I greatly enjoyed the Twilight Zone marathon on the SciFi channel yesterday. I especially liked the "Monsters on Maple Street" episode. This involved a sudden power and telephone system failure in a small town at the same time a large, bright meteor was seen. Very soon, the anxious, nervous townspeople start wondering what happened and why, and the people soon disintegrate into a hysterical mob convinced the meteor was a flying saucer, the power and telephone failure was caused by the flying saucer, and that space people are in their town preparing to take over Earth. The townspeople start suspecting each other-----even children-----of being "space people," and one neighbor even gets shot in the panic. Of course, none of them are "space people," and the episode was actually a powerful commentary on the McCarthy era. But it still has relevance today as a warning against allowing your fears to dominate your common sense and to not see "monsters" where there are only shadows. It's a warning applicable to entire nations, and also to people like me facing an uncertain future. I'll try to keep it in mind as 2009 goes forward.

I hope everyone has a great 2009 and my best wishes to all of you! Thanks for visiting and reading here!