The on-going, first-hand tale of a journey through medical oncology... and what happens after.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka, part deux

So - a week in the tropical sunshine was an unexpected pleasure. Honestly, I am not a hot weather kind of guy. When it gets warm (and especially if it is also humid) I retreat into a kind of preservation mode. It is like I am a walking radiation detector - feeling heat radiating off of everything. I know that I can be somewhat prickly when I feel like there is a way to keep cooler that others do not seem to recognize (say, quickly closing a door to keep cool air inside, closing window curtains to keep sunlight from entering and warming surfaces that then warm the air, etc.) Waikoloa at Christmastime has been magnificent. 80 degrees during the day, sometimes windy, 68 degrees at night, usually breezy, gorgeous clear mornings with stars stars stars in the sky.

Green sea turtles hauling themselves up onto the beach and rocks for their afternoon constitutional naps. Why they do that right now in front of us is less important than the evolutionary impulse that created this insane variety on life. Birds adapting to isolation on an island in the middle of a vast ocean of saltwater. Grass growing amidst the lava. We Earthlings are a hardy group - plants and animals alike.

Peace and happiness for the coming years,


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka

Monthly blogging? That is kinda pathetic,really. So there is nothing to say for a month? From Ed??

OK - so the drama of chemotherapy has wound down, and the time pressure of work deadlines has eased enough to take some time off. We decided (with the financial help of familial generosity) to spend this holiday season someplace warm and near a beach. Between work and vacation planning, I have been a little bit preoccupied, but in a good way..

Yesterday, we walked the half-mile to the beach, paraded (gracelessly in flippers) into the Pacific Ocean, and cavorted with colorful fish for a few hours. Then, as a kind of dessert we watched six sea turtles haul themselves onto the sand and rocks to warm their bodies in the tropical sun. There appear to be competing explanations for this beaching action, according to a decidely unscientific poll of observers. Theory one (sounding plausible, since it was delivered authoritatively by someone that claimed to witness these actions for a month each year) has that they need to get into the sun so that the UV rays from the sun will eliminate the algae that grows on their shells. Theory two (sounding better to me since it was delivered by a biology professor) explained that the sun warms the turtles and helps them with digestion - under water they can only get to the temperature of the sea, whereas on land they can get much warmer! And we all know how nice it is to curl up for a nap after a big lunch, don't we?

There is so much that we don't really know about our biology, or even our mental capacity. For as long as I have walked this wee planet, I have thought that there were true answers and false ones - that we could figure out the right and the wrong. I learned (initially through a study of mathematics and then again through a practical study of cancer) that there are many right answers, and an awful lot of questions for which the best answer is that we don't know. And I have also learned about warmth, and how it helps with digestion, but more about how it can mean a world of difference in how we interact with other people and our world.

So, rose-colored glasses are a choice we can make each day - put them on! What is the harm in seeing things as positively as possible?