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 email@example.com
The Story So far
4 Nov 2020 day count 1701 cumulative count 6862
“Well if you see an uptick in these episodes that tells me we need to move forward. Let us look at the latest MRI to see if this latest episode did any damage or shows an increase in size of the tumor greater than what we have been seeing. If you or those around you notice any slurring of speech or awkwardness in speech that could be a sign. Once we get the bloodwork back, we can see if this tumor is spreading into your bloodstream or impacting it in your brain. Again, I cannot stress enough that being more aggressive now buys you more time in the future,” replied the doctor.
“Yes, but what about quality of life towards the end of this ride. My quality is good right now except for all these tests and appointments. You even said it is steadily growing at a slow pace. I am a frustrated little hen. Okay we just stay on standby until things get worse, “replied Carl.
“I’ll have my nurse give you a call when the results come in and we can talk more after that. I just want you to be aware of the options and think more long term, “said the doctor.
“I am thinking long term trust me, the tumor is in my brain not yours. So as usual I must talk with the nurse and get the MRI and bloodwork scheduled through her. Do I need to come in or can we do a phone consultation when we get the results, “asked Carl?
“My nurse can set up a phone consultation with you, so you don’t have to take another day off f work. The MRI and bloodwork should come back within a few days of the tests. Just keep monitoring your symptoms and let us know what is happening. You have been very good about doing that and we appreciate it, think about the chemo though, I can have my nurse give you information on it and if you want we can schedule a time to go through the process in detail with the staff that performs those procedures,” replied the doctor. “Before I forget, are you involved with any support group, if not I can get my nurse to look that up for you and give you information?”
“Yeah, I am not the support group type of guy. My knitting skills are fine the way they are,” joked Carl.
“You do more than knitting in those groups. It might help, or maybe you could do some online groups. I just want to make sure you are not going through this alone. It is not a sign of weakness, think of it as a tune up and oil change with other people who are experiencing something similar to your experience. Wo knows, you might meet your next ex-wife in one of those groups,” said the doctor.
“I’ll do the online stuff so that if I need to make a face or snort at what someone says I can do it in the comfort of my own home in my house coat. I am not sure I am ready to date someone who is as sick as I am though, I like the attention everyone gives to me,” replied Carl.
“Alright that sounds reasonable, I can live with it if you can live with it,” replied the doctor.
With that conversation ended, the doctor stood up and rolled his laptop desk out into the hall and pointed Carl to the nurses station. Carl made it to the desk as the nurse was on another call and motioned for him to wait. He leaned on the counter and waited patiently. While she was on the call he pulled out his phone and opened his calenda app to put down the next appointments he was sure to get. The intake nurse approached him from behind.
“So all done with appointments for today,” she asked?
“Yeah, gotta schedule another MRI and some bloodwork. He doc wants to get more aggressive with the tumor and do some chemo on me but I am not sold on the idea yet,” he replied.
“Well good luck to you, hope the tests come back and give you some good news,” she replied.
“Looks like I will be back here in a few weeks to talk it all over again, if it wasn’t for you I would not bother coming in here,” Carl flirted with the nurse.
“Ten years younger and would be going out to that coffee shop you are always talking about,” she flirted back.
The receptionist finished her call and the intake nurse went out into the waiting room to get the next patient.
“Okay Carl, looks like the doctor wants another MRI and some more blood work, you can go downstairs to get the blood draw today if you want and the results will be back in about three days, but the MRI might take a little longer. Do you prefer mornings or afternoons,” she asked?
“No preference on time, but I would like to get the MRI done on a Friday as they make me feel groggy all day,” he replied.
“Okay looks like they have an opening in two weeks at 7 AM, is that to early for you,” she asked?
“Let’s go ahead and knock it out then, probably need a follow up with the doc after those MRI results come in, can we follow up with him on a Friday as well,” carl replied?
“Sure can, I can get you in at 9:30 AM again if that is okay in three weeks,” she asked?
“Done and done, and no I don’t need a card to remind me I already put it in my phone thanks,” he replied.
“Okay, so go ahead downstairs and get your bloodwork done and the MRI appointment is already set up. They will call you the day before, but you probably already knew that since you have done it so many times. No need to fast for that one. Your follow up with the doctor is all set. Now If you want to wait I can get you the info on the support groups if you like,” she asked?
“Nah I have my phone to look all that stuff up, but thanks for offering, am I good to get out of here,” Carl asked?
“Yep we are all done here, have a good one today,” she said.
“Thank you very much, see you in a few weeks,” Carl answered. He left the office and took the elevator to the main floor. The elevator still had a urine smell in it and was just as slow as usual. Once the doors opened, he headed straight to the blood draw office tucked away from the main entrance. It seemed darker there than the waiting or exam rooms, but that was probably due to the location of the office and lack of windows. He opened the door to the office and faced another receptionist on a phone. He quietly filled out his name on the sign in sheet and took a seat in the back. This waiting room was packed and had just two seats open. He could smell the other patients, some w older than him, some younger, it was a good mix. The older ones smelled worse probably due to their conditions. This time he didn’t bother to look at the magazine rack, he just put his nose right into the book he had been carrying along and reading today. He finished all the poetry in the book and was just about to start the interview with his favorite author when the receptionist called his name.
“Carl, can you come to the front please,” she asked over the din of the other patients murmured conversations?
“Yes ma’am, coming,” he replied. Carl dogeared the page he was on and worked his way to the window.
“I see your doctor has ordered some blood work today right, are you fasting,” she asked?
“Uhm nope he didn’t tell me to fast, I just came from his office,” he replied.
“Oh I see what we are doing, no worries, force of habit. Okay I have you on the list, should be another thirty minutes or so,” she replied.
“I’ll be here waiting, do you need a urine sample as well this time,” he asked?
“He didn’t put it in the order, did he tell you he needed one,” she asked?
“Nope, force of habit on my part,” he said jokingly.
“Then you should be fine, like I said about thirty minutes or so,” she replied dryly.
Carl went back to his seat and began reading the interview in earnest. He would have rather read it at the coffee shop and not have been disturbed halfway through by someone wanting to jab a needle in him, but he only brought the one book. He needed to keep up his reading schedule if he was going to hit his goal for the year. He started to read his dogeared copy of The Paris Review when the patient sitting next to him started looking over at what he was reading.
“Going to Paris,” asked the older man?
“Oh no, I have already been, this is a literary journal with articles, interviews and poetry from around the world. Some rather good stuff, some other stuff that goes over my head,” replied Carl.
“So, you read French I take it, “the older man asked?
“Oh no it is all in English, I think it started in Paris in the 40’s or 50’s and was initially based in Paris and New York. I am reading an interview with my favorite writer,” Carl answered.
“Yeah the wife and I went to Paris. Absolutely hated it. Those frogs were snobs when they should have been grateful that we liberated them from the Germans,” the older man grumbled.
“Oh, you are a World War Two vet, you don’t look a day over sixty, what’s your secret,” Carl asked annoyed and ready to school what he considered to be an ignorant person?
“Nope, I am a boomer, and yeah I am sixty-three,” replied the old man disgruntled.
To reach out to me, email firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear about your journey and what you are working on. If you would like to be on the show or have me discuss a topic that is giving you trouble write in and lets start that conversation.