Tuesday, December 29, 2009

oh my. i'm snowbirding to saint croix.

i just bought tickets to fly to saint croix (US Virgin Islands) overnite monday, arriving Tues. Jan. 19, returning to Seattle Thurs. May 6. i feel so whimpy, which i attribute to a fair and possibly legitimate case of post traumatic stress syndrome—or rather total exhaustion for upholding pre traumatic stress syndrome for an entire year! i'm not sure i can or will really believe i'm doing this until after i'm back, if then. anahow, it's done, as a true Scotsman, once i've purchased a ticket, i'll go through with it i spect. i lived there 24 years, most of my adult life (i keep saying). i have human friends and tree friends there who i've terribly missed. the trick will be to recuperate and not over-extend myself celebrating this reunion of my heart with it's most doted piece of earth. love to all. your support is sending me. not mine. all highest love. marty

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

weekly report

well now i should keep reporting in ever week or so huh? yeah. okay. see? i'm smilin. my taste buds have advanced so much that a couple days ago i ate a lot all day, first time in over a month. good sign. still i think chicken soup is the only thing that really tastes (and really tastes good). (which is what i ate all day.) (one me and winifred concocted whuth lots a frozen vegetables thrown in including spinach (—really good, try it!)) an you cn see what my beard's doin. there's hope folks. and i am in good cheer and good company—with you. love and gratitude and holy days. marty
oh! in case you haven't noticed, the dumb camera i use here all through is like a mirror image—it is not like me lookin at you, it is like me lookin at me in thuh mirror = what's on what looks like the left of the me lookin out at you is really on my right in real life. so in this one, the beard's on my real left and the droopy eyelid is on my real right. goodness is this confusing to try to explain—now _i_ don't understand! love, though. marty

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

done, cooked, n cuperatin

dear fellow beings on earth.

i'm through all treatments and just now yesterday and today startin t feel thuh weeest bit like i'm beginnin ta heal and recuperate. my main complaints are deep constant fatigue (lifted for a moment this mornin when i woke up, for maybe the first time in 2 months or more), deep raw skin burns on neck and shoulder (right), taste buds completely shot (no thing tastes good. at least now all food is not repulsive, though), and continued nerve damage (from surgery) so the nerve to my trapezius muscle on my right back/shoulder is not firin. there's others. but it is possible and hopeful that each of these complaints will lift in their sweet time. my skin already feels better these past 2 days. i am definitely more upbeat now that i am not leading my body to further destruction each day. if you want to see photos of my skin i took today (too late for the worst—a few days ago), send me an e-request—i'm not puttin em in here.

i'm more able to keep in some kinds of touch. and i'm even doin business stuff like bills and EOB screening of health insurance, that i've been unable to face during radiation. things lookin up. i intend to stay in seattle a nother month, then go to warmer climate till May. we'll see. just workin on keepin healthy and upbeat. successful for thuh moment. whuth yer immense help!

that last pic's pretty accurate still. cept muh beard's comin in more on thuh left. sendin you my love n great gratitudes. marty

Sunday, December 6, 2009

radiation ends

i had my last treatment friday. my feeling sick from it all is spose to peak 7 days later. i'll write more after then, huh? sorry to be so bleak. i am probly what they would call well. and my spirit should be lifting immensely, as i am no longer bringing my body daily to the guillotine. i am surrounded by friends. you. love and patience. patient marty

Thursday, November 19, 2009

journal entry

11/19/9th12:38pMarty i feel better today than last week. they tell me it is entirely random, nausea, fatigue, pain. so this may be the eye of the storm, calm, more rough times ahead. let me enjoy it while i got it. and meantime just try and see—negotiate, as i find my self saying—to see if i can make it last.
right now i want to at long last make an entry in my blog. let this be it. and in it let me say for those crazy enough to want, there is available the whole text of this: accumulating, 30 minutes each day, of my journaling after each treatment—a nother famous winifred idea. NRR [not required reading] but you can ask to be on thuh mailing list if you want. all thuh gore (mostly mental). plus a few laughs i would guess—i do seem to still be marty.
this is page 14. this also happens to be treatment 14, pure coincidence, of 25. so yesterday was the hump of all humps day and i made it, the middle treatment number 13. so may be this is in truth the eye of the storm. right squack in the middle. (they’re telling me i misspelled squack. okay. but they offer no reasonable alternative. it’s not a word? oh come on.) (you see i’m feeling better.)
i have honestly not made an entry because i have not felt up to it for long enough to do so. yup. that’s 2 and a half weeks. huge fatigue is a constant (except for a moment this morning! i felt back to my old self for the first time since before surgery probly somewhere mid-August.) but the worst dog (bad dog!) is the mild, but insidious nausea, or i should say more properly and fully not-so-mild plain upset stomach. right in thuh middle, the hara. it kills everything. kills sleep AND escalates fatigue, kills appetite, kills thirst even—and i’m sposed to be hyper hydrating and hyper callorieating to counter the effects of radiation on muh body!—kills plain ole will, kills any motivation to do anything but try to sleep and kills the ability to do that. there’s pain they say comin, bad enuf for opioids, which i intend to avoid.
look. when i’m feeling sick i am a big baby. and i’ve been just a great big baby for 2 and a half weeks. 2 and a half more to go.
see why i didn’t make an entry? okay. i feel nice right now so i thought i should check in. course i had to rest my head on the table in thuh cafeteria for about 2 hours after i ate all that i could of my early lunch. but it felt good even doin that. (until they kept callin code blue code 1999 over and over and over and over in everybody’s ear on thuh intercom for some poor body else, also in thuh cafeteria.) left a note on thuh tray sayin “had to leave suddenly / please leave here / i’ll be back to finish it / thank you.” hope they do. pumpkin pie plus tapioca pudding i bought just for the dab more of whipped cream.
i pick up jose’ at thuh airport tonite if i feel up to it. need to take a nap at win’s before i do. then he joins me to muh friday 8:30am treatment (i’ll let im stand in), my last one in thuh mornin. an saturday, again if i feel up to it, there’s a huge gathering of synchronous/resonant writers proposed. plus the whole family of 4 Bellyham Carters (who i know from Saint Croix)’ve invited me ta brunch. hope i can do all this, folks.
30 minutes. 1:08pm love. marty do i sound alive?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

radiation begins

i go in for dry run + marking + filming friday Oct. 30 at eleven and noon:thirty. then begin the real thing radiation monday Nov. 2, 12:30, 5 days a week, M-F, 5 or 6 weeks. so far this is definitely the hard one for me. never did this kinda thing to muh body. soakin up all yer prayers, love, n dear thoughts. thankin you whiew. bless you and me. ken here insisted on takin before and after pics, they made me shave for the mask i half ta wear to hold me in exact place each time. i don't know how to turn them sideways; can you do that? love. jumpin in. marty

Friday, October 9, 2009

what you should know

i lost my purple glasses.
i just jumped in with both feet for the long haul of radiation therapy here in Seattle, by having 4 right teeth extracted in preparation.
in twoish weeks, after all these preps, i'll start 5 days a week for 5-6 weeks, with 10-15 minute radiation exposure treatments (is my present understanding), with 3 weeks after that of feeling bad still before it all heals up fine and dandy.
i'm not doing chemotherapy.
my right shoulder is lower than my left shoulder anymore from surgery.
more anon. love. marty

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

in decision …

i should say i am in seattle among greatest oldest friends. i was right about houston recommending radiation followed by chemo, and am here to see a doctor who does not automatically recommend chemo for every patient with MCC. i saw two of this species yesterday, each disrecommending chemo for different, yet sound, to me, reasons. both recommending radiation strongly, which i'm now likely to do—just must decide quickly where! hard for me. give me 3 days. (it may likely be in an area with enough business to support a radiation oncologist who specializes in head and neck radiation. it's a 6 week/2 month gig.) any thoughts? i am very well and well supported. love marty

Monday, September 14, 2009

biopsy sounds on the good side

my biopsy pathology report is they removed 24 lymph nodes and of those 2 are positive for Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). it appears contained in what they removed, so no signs of disease remain in me. however this is a pretty sneaky and aggressive cancer, so 1. i won't be considered clear until 5 years from now with no recurrance, and if you read too closely, that is generally unlikely—once it is in the lymph system percentages are not great. however mine has all along been behaving very unusually, maybe it'll continue. and 2. they are likely to recommend chemo and/or radiation when i go back to houston (a week. Saturday to Saturday) and see the docs Monday and Tuesday Sept. 21 & 22. i feel i need to participate in these decisions. will let you know more then as i know.

am recuperating pretty well. good energy with plenty naps. one symptom is likely permanent: Horner's Syndrome = a droupy right eyelid and a smaller pupil in my right eye, vision a bit disoriented-fuzzy slower to focus, but i can see most everything i want to see and read well. one symptom may recover fully: lower right lip muscle is non-responsive, so i bite my lip a lot and i can't whistle like i used to—hope that'll come back! i'm in just plain good spirits and endurance for doin what i need to do, like write rigorous letters to doctors this morning.

more in a week and a half. (i can answer the phone and e-mails pretty well.) love. marty to my circle a a mazing hearts

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

i'm in JAX, as they say here.

i'm in Jacksonville IL again, after cancelling my own self-offered carrot for will to live = a trip to Indianapolis to attend the memorial of the mother of all us mothers of the radical Naptown 60's, Jane Haldeman. It will be nice for all those there who were also there in 1968-72 as I was and haven't seen each other since. Immense days. But I need to rest often and on demand. I have low energy and low stamina—which is to be expected, Marty. So I finally had the sense to cancel that trip and take a free "Rapid Rewards" last-minute switch flight from HOU to STL and cousin Lynne picked me up and drove me the 2-hr rt. 67 north from there to Jacksonville.

Here I have no deadlines in the forseable future. I can sleep the whole thing if I want. But after 10+ hours of sleep last nite, after lying down and resting the whole afternoon, 4 hours, I felt like getting up and ended up vacuuming my whole room lock stock and barrel in true Marty fashion. Then i took a nother nap. Now I'm hungry and can just go down and eat. This was the right decision.

I've a few symptoms that may well go away--fuzzy vision and compromised jaw and lower lip muscles/movement, but i am fully able to see what i need to see (including this fine print as i key it in) and eat what i want to eat so far. And I am happy. Immense love and support in Houston from José and Winifred and the Sallans family, my couchsurfing angels.

The big thing of the moment is waiting for biopsy reports regarding everything surgeon Dr. Ross took out. I am not anxious or overwrought in this wait. It'll be in a few days, by phone. And if not, I'm still relaxed, it'll come when it comes. What it will affect is future treatment plans, which are likely not to truly form or begin for at least 3 weeks.

Does this sound like Marty? I sound like Marty to me. This last week I certainly did not always. Ask José and Winifred. But they both agree I do now I think. I love every one of you looking in here with your loving support. My energy for correspondence should be fair to middlin in a few days. Love. Marty

Thursday, August 27, 2009

home from hospital, safe and sound.

i'm back in my angelic couchsurfing family home with josé and with winifred coming tomorrow. they let me out on good behavior. everything has gone very well so far. i have stiffnesses, but no need for pain meds since 5am this morning. it's 10pm and i'm goin t bed. fat n happy. love to all. pics later. marty

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

6am mañana mornin! whiew!

Houston. josé torres dear friend and fellow writer arrives at midnight. i go in for surgery at 6am. winifred eads old old friend & fellow writer arrives friday for 5 days. they over lap two whole days. with all this blessing—here i include YOU—it doesn't matter what happens. feelin this and sending this: love, blessings of the all highest, and gratitude. marty to each dear friend and family.

josé may likely post next, tomorrow and/or the next day.

Friday, August 7, 2009

santa cruz CA August 9 - 24

okay i bought tickets to fly to Santa Cruz CA until my surgery back here in Houston August 26. dizzy marty. but i'm goin there for peace and quiet and clarity and focus among old friends including men's group brothers and particular trees. i believe i will find it. i have missed SC ever since i left the mountains in Dec. 06.

i was thinkin a readin this to you, but i think i'll just take a pic of me sittin here in my room in this totally angelic couchsurfin home and key it in here—i wrote it this morning:

I'm completely aware I'm takin just slightly more out of each day than is allowed. The other shoe's got to come down some time. But I'm not cringin yet, me son. I'm livin for all I'm worth. The kernel this life is love. Spirit. Sometimes blind. Sometimes completely aware. Never sure which. Smilin.

i just ran three rounds on my favorite stretch just across the bayou. so my shirt's off an i'm drippin. happily. love. marty

Thursday, August 6, 2009

surgery August 26, Wednesday, in Houston

dear being with me beings. due to a misunder-standing on my part and likely providence, as i was definitely not ready the next day! my surgery is going to happen, but is not going to happen until August 26, by Dr. Merrick Ross, in Houston. José has cancelled his flight and re-booked for then, to be here for 5 full days starting the day of surgery.

my "neuroendocrin carcinoma consistent with Merkle cell carcinoma of the right neck without a known primary" appears to remain active (abnormal/increased flow) and show very slight possible growth in the lower (supraclavicular) region. (this is all lymph glands—the only place it's been found.) in other words it is not continuing to regress at least in that region. so it's time (or past time) to take it out. i am reconciled with this. many loved ones are sighing relief. we will never know what the untaken roads would've reached. only the one we're on.

my right vocal chord lesion "leukoplakia" is stable these past 7 months, so it is very unlikely to be cancerous. we will review it every 3 to 6 months. my voice is actually significantly less husky this week—perhaps my performance blew it out!

what i do between now and surgery will require a nother posting, when i know the answer. i'm leaning between Santa Cruz and staying here in Texas (2 friends and a cousin 3 hours west, plus lots a trees and nature), and welcome any arguments and pressures and companionship in it all. what i want and need is to be quiet and center and focus, with the welcome company of a dear friend or two. there is a huge Sheaff cousin gathering at the Indiana Dunes that i presently just feel a little out of synch for, … we'll see what my heart says when it settles down from these 3 days.

no movies this time. but i've wanted to include a pic of my meditation & exercise apparati, taken in Jacksonville IL. i attend these motions nearly every day, it is 8 months yesterday.

okay, this is a MAJOR shift for me. from total devotion to my body's wonderful handling of the affair, to now include "western medicine treatment". i am in my best physical shape and feeling in over 5 years at least. and that will bode me good in surviving "treatment". i will continue my devotion to body and spirit, just adding now dis ting yah cahl "treatmunt." me who won't take aspirin.

but who will continue to take all the love and spirit i get. thanking you wholly. marty

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

marty sf poets 11 reading july 25, 2009

hello everyone. if you missed the poets 11 reading in sf this past weekend, here's a treat. marty in an homage to st. croix performs some older pieces he first wrote in crucian dialect, and some newer ones as well. the performance was spectacular, and marty was in rare form (as always : )). rare is who he is, as we all know. with winifred in attendance and an attentive audience, marty transformed himself...he wasn't in a library in north beach, but on that beloved island, speaking the language of observation and love. please enjoy the following images and words.

marty is introduced by jack hirschman.

note: the video quality isn't the greatest, but the audio seems to be fine. if you want a copy of this, please email me (jose) @ moonman_1973@yahoo.com with your name and address.

blessings to you all.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

marty in illinois thinking of SF move and Houston med update before aug. 9

hoping to move my belongings into a pod in SF july 28-31, and hope to post or have posted by any means necessary a houston update by august 9 sunday.

as stated in previous post: i'll be in SF july 23 — august 1. then Houston for re-re-retesting, and i guess conclusions from that, which may include beginning treatment.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

midway in Illinois. no ill. not much noise, cept for birds, trains, thunder, mowers, n semis.

well, what i didn't say in the video, which is a bit low key and dull, you mite want to cut it short, is that i am very stoked that i am taking part in a humble reading, four unknowns, 15 min. each, as part of the much larger SF International Poetry Festival. check out the whole at sfipf.org my gig is:

New Voices: Readings by 2008 Poets 11 selected poets Melba Abela, Marty Campbell, Aja Couchois Duncan and David Menendez Alvarez.

Saturday July 25, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm at North Beach Branch Library, 2000 Mason St., on the three-way corner of Greenwich & Mason Streets and Columbus Avenue. A newer structure on old beatnik stomping grounds.

I'll be in SF July 23 — August 1. Then Houston for re-re-retesting, and I guess conclusions from that, which may include beginning treatment. Listen to the video if you want to hear that ambivalence.

I'm really very upbeat and happy and just turned 63. Each day is birth. I'm knowing it. With you. Great Spirit. Oh Wordless One. and every friend and family.

Facebook freaks me out. We won't all have our own computers for long if things keep up. So let's do what we can do at the library. Send me an e-mail, call me on thuh phone, Skype me live!, or fire me a snail mail in these next couple weeks, and I can almost promise I'll answer. c/o Charlie & Lynne Sheaff, 36 Sunset Drive, Jacksonville IL 62650. (505) 349-4563. Skype name martycampbell, mar_tree@yahoo.com Love and Gratitude to you. marty

oh hey! you can leave me a comment right here! punch "comments". course everyone can read it. but who cares? life is short. oh god, did he say that? love. marty

Friday, June 5, 2009

i bought a used bike and am happy

my dates for re-re-testing in Houston are set for August 3 & 4, monday & tuesday. i will likely go to SF for my wee little poetry reading scheduled with 3 others, midday Saturday July 25 likely at a library branch (featuring me dialec stuff a la Saint Croix, me son).
= = = i continue to be healthy so far as i can see. am focusing on keeping so. diet, sleep, exercise, spirit connections including uncomplicatedly beloved ones. i'm happy in Jacksonville Illinois so far. very middle USica. very humid, not so hot yet, deciduous right out the window in every direction. i bought a used hybrid Trek bicycle with a medium frame but a seat post that goes up to a fine height for me. only 2 years old, and smoothe runnin. so i'm happy there. a tad lonely and it's an expensive and several-legged place to get to by air or bus, train might be as good as any (to Springfield IL, 3o miles east of here). i do encourage you to consider coming to visit. i'm not travelling much in order to try to keep my self sleeping early regularly (my most difficult discipline). but i am keepin in touch with more by e-mail and snail mail an phone than i was with skool goin on. try me. love to ever body. marty

Sunday, May 24, 2009

marty in illinois? yes. uh huh. okay.

six days later? oi hoi yoi. here it is: i got a "stable" report in Houston, ultrasound and CT agree—nothing's grown, nothing's receded further. Dr. Ross's comfort level (and mine) is being pushed, so this verdict: wait and watch one more 2-month period. If it's receded, wait and watch some more. If it's the same or grown, then begin treatment, possibly with surgery. The tests then, the last week in July, will be more whole body again, just to be sure it's not reaching elsewhere without saying so.
=== Saturday, July 25, given good health until then, I am highly tempted to appear at a midday reading i'm invited to participate in as one of 4 that day, as part of the greater International Poetry Festival in SF, probly at a library. So I'll fly there enroute to Houston for the re-re-testings.
=== In the meantime I am determined to uncompromisingly nurture my body's healing capacities. This determination has elicited a list, including warm humid deciduous climate, extra sleep by 8 or 9 every nite, minimal sugar and meat if any, regular contact (by any means necessary) with spirit which includes of course YOU my family and friends my human community, and doing my extensioned taxes if i am able along thuh way.
=== The first item on that list has landed me somehow yesterday on Jacksonville Illinois in the home of my first cousin Charlie and his wife Lynne's new-location home with his new practice (surgery) here. I went to church in what I am wearing (I took my hat off inside) and these are two pictures my macbook has took of me with my bedroom window open up there and the trees it looks out on, all on Charlie's property. I'm sitting out in this weather my body has hungered for without telling me quite how much in all honesty since I left Chucawgo in 2003. Things might change, but my plan is to be nice and indulge in my welcome here for 2 months if I can. And to keep in touch with you and even encourage your considerin visiting me here maybe.
=== my snail mail address then is me c/o Charlie & Lynne Sheaff, 36 Sunset Drive, Jacksonville IL 62650-2736. my Skype phone # continues to be (505) 349-4563. and my e-address follows me around all this too. i'm still keeping my room in my apartment in SF until i can muster the time and concept of moving (and figger where to!). life is moving VER fast. but i intend to slow down here a tad.
=== i should say i got here after a day of researching all the ways i could come with last-minute highprice airfares and such and at the last last minute i checked craigslist-houston and found a ride-share leaving for chicago at the very hour i found it--with immense support and love from my couchsurf family there, i was able to jump on and we drove straight through (well a 3 hr. reststop nap) 19 hrs, 925 miles, new toyoto tundra (lotta gas), thank you Ramon. this should give us all hope: i'm still very marty. love. me

Monday, May 18, 2009

MFA graduate. more med soon.

It's been a while. Sorry. I am not getting to all my intentions these days. But some very well travelled intentions are come to fruition. It is time i said something in here. Oh my oh me. The biggest thing was our graduation performance here in SF on May 9 Saturday. Innumerable people came for it and i was preparing to be very embarrassed for all those coming to see my measly and unprepared 5 minute piece of it. However, things came together, including me finding by "accident" that very morning my 2-years' lost and given up for gone forever—i was truly mourning—bamboo flutes made by Senya and Afra!

My finger tips and lips had fogotten no thing, and I played the tune of my chant on one of them just like a bird. I am so blessed with all that comes to me these days! Winifred visited from Seattle for 6 days, with Beth McKee from Portland for 2; and once young Simon Hatfield from Saint Croix via LA with his contageously fond friend Anne came for 24 hours! Lots of nearer dear friends and family. The whole show and audience was beyond anyone's expectations. My men's group (mkp.org) brother Gerry Powell brought his sculpture of me i've been modelling for since October, fresh outa thuh kiln! Okay i can't tell it all.

Cousin Mac who started this blog was there and all so has compiled my thesis from it's seven files into one tight handy PDF file i or he can e-you if you like. That i turned in wednesday May 6, and my last class and 20 pp. class paper (doubling as intro to thesis) was May 10. Yesterday, May 18, I graduated whuth a MFA in Writing and Consciousness, at California Institute of Integral Studies.

I continue to feel well, with a minor no-fever and no energy-loss throat and nose stuff which gave me laryngitis which i used as a wonderful prop for my performance. Today i fly to Houston for repeat CTscan and UltraSound tests tomorrow, for comparison, to determine if my cancer is advancing or continuing to retreat. Much may be decided soon as to treatment, or not. I could go quickly into surgery, or not. I am feeliing in deep rich loving company going into this next week. My couchsurfing family in Houston is taking me in a third time, at least for the beginning. I have a ticket to return to SF in 6 days, but may well not do that, depending on results and conclusions from my tests. I will do my best to post news on here as I know it, or have Mac do it if I'm too scatterbrained.

The statue is by Gerry Powell, it's photo is by cousin Betsy Davids. The photo of me is by Emily Rhoades-Clark, Susan's daughter in ABQ, just graduated (from h.s.) too!

. ........................................ a Blessed Boy Marty here, with love.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

amazing grace for one month

i'm in SF for class, flying to ABQ mañana, to fly back to SF May 5 Tuesday, for MFA graduation Performance May 9 (recommended. have i sent you an invitation? if not, lemme know! i will), last class ever May 10, graduation ceremony May 17 (not recommended, but i'll be there) then i fly to HOU May 18 to have repeat CTscan + ultrasound & see Dr. Ross May 19 Tuesday—treatment to follow according to results and comparisons with previous tests. this after speaking to Dr. Ross late Sunday nite April 19. net: i don't have to think about western med for one whole month! (unless of course symptoms appear/increase, which they have not since Dec. 5 diagnosis = 4.5 mos, in which case i'll drop everything and begin treatment.) whiew, i don't know what to do with this space and time.—but i better get busy on my thesis and last class paper! i send you my love and receive yours as lotus lightning healing every day. marty p.s. this is the first video i ever made ever.—oh lordy have mercy on planet earth, he's gotten started, we shoulda never let him have one a these! it's all over now. hold on!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Surgery now...or surgery later?

This from Marty at about 11:00 a.m. PDT (with a couple of edits)-

this trip back to Houston was to have a bronchoscopy that the "mass" on the CTscan in my trachea below my larynx was mucous/artifact, and not part of my body.

dr. Kies' tack, altered from last week's initial inclination of chemo first; due to reflection on the odd non-MCC behavior of my cancer thus far; is to do partial right neck dissection to remove the known cancerous lymph nodes and biopsy them more definitively in whole. he thinks they may show in more elaborate staining etc. a somewhat different diagnosis as perhaps a different neuroendocrin carcinoma than MCC. he would ideally lean toward surgery asap.

dr. Ross agrees, but is in favor of waiting perhaps 4 weeks (it has been 16 days since the Ultra Sound and 8 days since the CT scan) and take new test/scans and compare them to see if the cancer is advancing & spreading or continuing to retract. i'm not sure if what is found out then may stall surgery further or not, i'll ask when i speak to him.

i see this as one world-top doctor overriding another, amicably, because this is a so highly unusual one-of-a-kind progression (regression) of a very rare-in-itself cancer.

i am in favor and most happy with dr. Ross' plan. there are numerous devious ulterior motives, but i think honestly the real one in me is my body's best sense and spirit (which i know could be wrong, but i am willing to go down with it as my captain).

one of my devious ulteriors is i would like to finish skool. this is heart and spirit and life force, too, as you and i know.

i am planning to keep my flight SWA HOU-SFO 7:10am-10:40am Saturday (Apr.18) and attend class on Sunday and see my advisor on Monday, and probly will today book a flight from OAK-ABQ a week from today (7 day's notice) or soon thereafter; then fly from SF to HOU after May 10 for tests and likely surgery, and whatever after that. that would be my ideal scheme. we will see ....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Marty is home!

Marty is home and feeling fine. His sleepy recollection is that they found nothing out of the ordinary. If he learns anything new in a followup converstation, we will post tomorrow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Not "Real" Surgery on Tuesday

Marty reported around noon today, Monday, April 13:

that the operation "will not be any cutting surgery, just a fine needle aspiration biopsy in my trachea". It is considered low risk procedure, although he will be under general anesthesia. The operation will also be in the morning...he will check in 7 or 7:30am and procedure begins at 8am.

Marty plans to stay all day at hospital until he is fully recovered, and his couchsurfing family in Houston will drive him to and from.

He also reports that the surgeon, a male doctor named Georgie Eapen, thinks it's likely mucous and this biopsy is the least elaborate way to make absolutely sure whether it's mucous or not.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Surgery scheduled in Houston for Tuesday, April 14

A report from Marty after a conversation with Dr. Kies this morning, Saturday, April 11, 2009:

i'm flying back to houston tomorrow Sunday, to stay at the same loving couchsurfing family, and to go to prep Monday and anesthetic procedure Tuesday afternoon, coming out after 4pm, all at MDAnderson again, under Dr. Ross, Dr. Kies, and Dr. Holsinger, again, but this time with a Dr. Georgie Eapen, initially anyway, probably a surgeon, in the Cardiopulmonary Center. for a bronchoscopy and likely at least a nother biopsy. i believe i'll be put completely asleep.

the CTscan final report notes a 1/2" mass below my vocal chords, below (or in or around) my larynx. this may be good news. we don't know yet exactly. but it may be the primary site everybody was looking for 3 months ago, if so, this would mean my cancer is a neuroendocrin cancer of another nature than MCC and mite likely be treated differently.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Marty Back to ABQ

Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 10:05 PM

dr ross called, after 10pm! we had a good easy talk. they have what they need to decide on advised treatment plan.

i may, with dr. ross's belief it is not a bad argument and he has no logical argument to convince me or himself otherwise--he offers this freely without my pushing (even without my bringing it up newly), decide to wait a nother 4 to 6 weeks and have a 2nd ultrasound to see if my body is continuing to diminish the nodes.

i may decide to start with chemo which would also sabotage what my body may be doing, which both he and Dr. Keis do not deny.

before we say anything we are waiting for the CT final report to come in.
the decisions and discussions will take place with me in ABQ.

Monday, April 6, 2009

CT scan, to Treatment Plan, Wednesday 4/8/9

it was decided today my vocal chord growth is unrelated to my aggressive MCC diagnosis, and not so worrisome. i'll get a CT scan of head and neck wednesday morning and see medical oncologist Dr. Kies that afternoon to begin full treatment planning, under eyes of Dr. Ross. [this is a test run to see if i can make my own entry into one a these. hi. marty]

Cancer in Lymph Nodes - April 2, 2009

i have cancer cells in 2 eetsie lymph glands biopsied tuesday. that's today's news here in Houston TX. more staining needs to be done to clarify, but the implications are clear.
so. i probly need to have modified neck dissection surgery in the next few weeks here sometime. and i have a pointment to see a head and neck surgeon to biopsy my vocal chord growth just to rule that (unlikely) source out and to combine what is needed there with my other surgery anyway.
whether i go back to ABQ and come back to HOU for the major surgery remains to be seen. if i'm to have chemo and/or radiation i can have them in ABQ.
i've had my ticket adjusted to fly back to ABQ a week from today (at 7am) at no extra cost to me, as a special favor for being a cancer patient at MDAnderson. may have to adjust it again, but they needed to nail it somewhere.
i'm still feeling fine (after a nap). and i'm for the moment at the home of a couch surfing (couchsurfing.com) family who is coddling me like their long lost favorite aunt even though they only met me tuesday, a brand new adventure i've taken on here for the first time for me, which shows i do have some life and mischief in me yet. i also have funds to carry me through some time here in other forms, and MDAnderson thinks my insurance is kicking in 100% on medical.
so there's a mouthful. i spose you can tell paragraph 1 is the doozie for me. i will take some time to absorb. but i feel very much continued on the right track, and in the best hands.

Needle Biopsies - April 1, 2009

This is an edited update from Marty as of April 1:

was out for a walk ... circling the residential area and golf course across a bayou where i am staying.
it is a tough time. but i am being coddled by this couch surfer family, and many others.
yesterday i met dr. ross for the first time and charlie was right, i like him. in his career of likely 35 years, he's seen two other cases somewhat similar to mine where they had biopsy slides indicating the same thing mine do, and due to some event or other their treatment was delayed and they spontaneously remitted and the glands went down.
i had a nother ultrasound then, and two more FNA fine needle aspiration biopsies of very small but present glands on my right neck, one upper, one lower. they are very sophisticated here and guided the needle by looking on the ultrasound the whole time. the preliminary report is they look like normal lymph gland cells, and not cancer. i will learn more tomorrow morning with Dr. Ross, then may fly back to ABQ in the afternoon, or stay some for a biopsy of my right vocal chord, a doubtful source of my MCC, but just to rule it out.

Couch Surfing - March 30

This from Marty on March 30, 2009:

"i am like in the garden of eden as a place to spend thuh nite"
dear fellow earth sharer siblings.
okay. i don't know. just go to couchsurfing.com. that's where i am tonite.
garden of eden.
okay some of you wouldn't like this. warm and muggy, anything grows. papaya trees in the front yard out my window.
picked me up at the airport. fed me with the family. chicken, roosters, dogs, & cat. overgrown and loved back yard. golf course & bayou across the road. will wake me and drive me to my doctor's appointment to arrive at 7 tomorrow morning 7 miles away.
i'm crashing at 8:30pm.
what can i do to repay? they smile and say we like doing this. it's been done for us in europe and peru and mexico.
i don't know. where am i?

attached is the first digital picture i ever took of me in my life. of me sittin here right now. in houston. happy.
this couch surfin thing is just plain a stounding event in our species.
love. marty
i am taken care of.