Welcome friend to Create Art Podcast where we create more than we consume. I am Timothy Kimo Brien your thankful head instigator with over 20 years in arts and education helping you tame your inner critic and provide you with commentary, interviews, discussions, and projects that will inspire you to create art. This month I will be podcasting daily and writing a novel in 30 days. I am participating in NaPodPoMo and NaNoWriMo. You will be able to listen to what I wrote for the day and read it at the same time. I like to practice what I preach when it comes to art so I am challenging myself to write and having you come along for the ride. I hope this inspires you to accomplish your goals with your art and if you would like to share what you are doing email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Story So Far
3 Nov 2020 Day count 1644 Cumulative Count 5151
Carl sat in the sterile exam room. There were a few magazines on the wall magazine rack that he internally laughed at. Home and Garden, Urology Today and a few home improvement periodicals. Nothing really to spark his interest to pick any o the rags, so he went back to his dog-eared copy of The Paris Review. He decided to skip ahead and read the rest of the poetry, a few of the pieces spoke to him, not in a profound way, but enough to notice the subject matter. The time seemed to drag, and he looked at the posters on the wall of the various body parts and internal organs. He wondered how someone got into that type of work, medial diagraming seemed to be such a waste of talent, or just a way for someone to make an easy buck. How much competition was there in making these diagrams and how did they et the source material to inspire someone to draw these things up. They all seemed to have a wetness to them. In every doctor’s office he saw them and really wondered if other people looked at them and said to themselves, I wish my insides looked like that. He gazed briefly on the image of the brain. It was sectioned off so nicely and looked pink and juicy, extremely healthy. None of them showed the reduced electrical output from a deformity or what a tumor really looked like. The brain depicted probably came from someone who was disgustingly positive. That brain was not a picture of his own, not that he was a depressed, negative person, its just that with his current condition he could not imagine his brain looking so pristine. The pictures of his brain looked grainy, when the docs initially pointed out the tumor it was like looking at an old tv with a tone of static, or when he was a kid trying to look at porn from the cable channels. It did not register with him, and it was not because of his tumor that it did not register, his ex-wife could not make heads or tails of what they were looking at. Of course, neither of them were medical experts and neither devoted years of their lives looking at these obscure pictures. It was like trying to find Where’s Waldo, except you did not have a color picture to look at or you were colorblind.
The knock at the door to the exam room was firm, a little too firm. It meant that the doctor was ready to see him now. It broke him out of his thoughts on medical artistic representations.
“Come on it doc,” said Carl weakly. He heard his own voice, and it did not possess the usual robust energy behind it. Maybe it was because he was not on equal ground. The doctor had more information about him that he had on himself and that made him feel lesser of a person, maybe he was just weary from the number of doctor appointments like this he had experienced over the years.
“Good morning Carl, I’m sorry to be a little late, had to finish up with another patient. How are you feeling today,” came the almost mechanical response from his brain doctor? Carl had told two other people how he was and they each told him they would tell the next person. This was one of the multitude of things he hated about the medical field.
“Well like I told your receptionist and intake nurse, I am doing swimmingly, never felt better in my life,” was Carl’s curt reply. It was a stupid question in Carl’s mind because no matter how often he said things, it did not make him feel better.
“Oh, because I was just looking over the notes from my nurse and it looks like you had another episode this morning. Are you feeling okay, any dizziness or nausea happening right now,” the doctor replied. After years in practice he was used to some of his patients in Carl’s position being snarky with him.
“Nope, just had an episode that I put down on the tracker here,” said Carl. He began to pull out his notebook tracker and just left it unopened on his lap.
“Well tell me what happened in your own words, it looks like in my notes its been pretty consistent over these past few months right,” replied the doc?
“I had a rough night last night, couldn’t get to sleep to easily, got up this morning went to the coffee shop, sat down there to read before coming here and when I started to put cream cheese on my bagel I felt woozy from my frontal lobe and it worked its way to the center. I was fine and I started reading and must have passed out or zone out with my eyes open. The barista shook me a little bit and I came to right away. I also had my phone alarm set for 9 AM to make sure I was here, On Time,” Carl emphasized the words On Time so that the doctor would get the hint he was not a happy camper waiting to be seen.
“Okay well that is a common symptom related to your tumor. Its not in that area of your brain, but it can affect you in that manner. Was there any loss of smell or hearing,” asked the doctor putting notes in his portable laptop?
“Not that I noticed, I mean I could smell the coffee just fine, no loss of taste after the episode. I just blurred out for a few minutes. Its more of an annoyance because its not increasing as far as I can tell,” replied Carl.
“Well I definitely want to get another MRI done to rule out the tumor putting pressure on other pars of your brain. Your last one was about three weeks ago. I read the results and it showed small steady growth, but nothing out of the ordinary for your condition. I think we should consider getting more aggressive with this tumor though, have you given any thought about my recommendation on the chemo treatment,” ask the doctor?
“Well I thought about it, I like my hair where it is, frankly, makes me more attractive for the other divorcees out there,” replied Carl.
“You are right, there are some side effects with chemo, but I think we are getting to the point where the watch and wait method may not be doing you any good. The short-term effects of radiation therapy may outweigh the long-term effects of stopping the growth and possibly reversing it. All we are doing right now it is putting a finger in a dam that could burst anytime,” said the doctor.
“When would we start the treatments and what are the short-term effects. I mean quite frankly I have to work to pay off your yacht so if I can’t work then these little talks we are having will have to stop,” said Carl.
“I would still want to get a recent MRI in and do some more blood work, but we could get you started on treatment by the new year. We would run the first barrage for two months, one week on two weeks off and reassess where we are at. We may need to go in for a stronger treatment session on the second barrage if needed. During your week of treatment, you would be weak so I would say if you must work, then work from home, we can do a write up for your job. Once the first treatment is done and if a second one is needed, I would recommend we wait three to six months before beginning treatment again. If a second treatment is needed, we can reassess again at that time to see if this bought you anymore time. I have seen in the past where one treatment made a world of difference and the tumor regressed, not remission mind you but regressed and the patient added a few years to their life expectancy,” said the doctor.
“Were they a guy or girl,” asked Carl.
“What,” replied the doctor?
“Was the patient a guy or a girl,” asked Carl again.
“To protect their privacy, you know I cannot answer that, besides, it doesn’t make a difference, they had more time with their family,” replied the doctor slightly annoyed.
“Well there is a difference. I am not married, and I don’t have family that is able to take care of me during these weak periods while I am getting treatments. I’d have to hire a nurse to take care of me during those times, and what hot nurse is going to take care of me when I am vomiting all over the place and my hair falls out. Really this is not helping me out on the hunt for the next ex-wife. You are not giving me a good option are you,” asked Carl?
“That is not part of my job description. I am here to help you have a long productive life not search for the next ex-wife. I want you to really think about it, like I said I have seen this help other patients out and I believe your tumor will respond well and once it does then you can go on the next ex-wife search,” joked the doctor.
“Touché doc, you are right, it is not your job description. Okay here is the game plan, we stay on the whole watchful waiting, you let me know when we either piss or get off the pot and do the treatment. We are not at that point yet in my professional opinion. Just tell me what I should look out for, so I know when to make that call with you, “said Carl.
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