Sunday, July 03, 2005

Roller Coaster

We don't have a firm diagnosis yet, but there's some likelihood that Dawn's long-running dry cough and CT scan results mean the cancer has moved to her lungs. This news hit home by email while I was still in Sweden, amusing myself for a couple days after the 3-day conference (given how late the bookings were made on my behalf, no immediate return was available -- a prospect I'd welcomed).

Or maybe it's pneumonia, or a lesion left behind by the radiation. We'd be happy with either.

Life is a roller coaster -- symbolism I was conscious of at the time, in Liseburg.

This wasn't the first time I'd endured a long flight with my guts knotted in grief and sorrow (the MD-11 was packed -- the cabin crew did a good job). I escaped into the pages of Quicksilver, while on inflight TV, Homer put on more weight to qualify as disabled, so he could work from home (I need to lose more weight).

Dawn and Tara came to fetch me from the airport (but the suitcase stayed in Vancouver -- ground crew couldn't fit it on the tightly packed Air Canada Dash-8). Dawn has all her hair back, is so strong and clear in mind and body these days.

We joined a backyard picnic in honor of some moved-away neighbors, back in Portland for a visit. Their daughter Alana and Tara are friends. Jimmy played his guitar, with others joining in. Mom took some time from her peace work to partake of the festivities. Tara and Llysa sang most of an old Dylan ballad they'd learned off a Joan Baez album.

I was glad to be home, experiencing the life of a civilian.

Sweden hasn't sent its young to war for some hundreds of years -- a model. Life is sorrowful enough without we humans doing the killing. What do our computers say, our simulations? Is war a mathematical inevitability? Yesterday's Herald Tribune editorialized that fighting malaria and other such killers should be our priority. I agree. Health care and food services, education, entertainment -- a global university, a city-campus network, all interconnected by airlines, telecommunications, shipping, that's my vision.

Followup (July 13, 2005): The anti-matter scan (PET) indicates anomolies in Dawn's lung are from the radiation field used earlier. Nor were other cancerous hot spots detected, per the preliminary study, which we obtained yesterday. I'm very happy about this news.

Followup (July 21, 2005): The MRI gods, on the other hand, were less kind.