Sunday, May 26, 2019


Here’s a quick update on my situation.

First, arrangements are all in place for getting me and the Rolling Steel Tent to Los Angeles. My friend LaVonne, who had recently returned to San Diego from Taos, volunteered. We just needed a second driver. A guy named Lou (not to be confused with my long-time friend Lou) from near San Bernardino stepped forward. LaVonne will drive to San Bernardino then ride with Lou to Tucson. Then I’ll ride with Lou while LaVonne drive my van. Then Lou and LaVonne will return to San Bernardino and LaVonne will drive her van back to San Diego.

Dr. David Hu and You Know Who

Second, I was released from Tucson Medical Center yesterday and reunited with the Rolling Steel Tent. Dr. Hu said I was progressing well, that the stoma was healing up as it should. I have a load of self-care supplies, including a portable suction pump. I’ll be staying in a hotel for a few days until LaVonne and Lou arrive. It’s sort of a Memorial Day Weekend staycation.

Waiting for the valet to return my home

The question, of course, is what adjustments will I need to make in my regular life now that there’s a hole in my neck? And how much energy will I have? And how independent will I be able to be—at least until cancer treatment starts? I guess I’ll find out.

Post-hospitalization celebration/therapeutic caloric intake

Having been autonomous for so long, I imagined from my hospital bed that it wouldn’t be a big deal to drive myself to Los Angeles. After all, I’m a driving fool. Eight hours of Interstate, the last of it crawling in traffic? No big deal. Just take it easy, don’t push myself. Break it into two or three days. Pull over and rest in my very own bed whenever necessary. Right?

But driving from the hospital, to the store, to the hotel nearly wiped me out. Okay, being driven is the prudent choice.

It’s especially prudent when I might have a huge snot bomb attack at any moment.

Most of my hospitalization I was dealing with the discharge of some sort of phlegm-ish immune system fluid. That has almost stopped but has been replaced with regular old snot. Or super snot. With only a millisecond’s warning it can explode from around the edges of the trach tube, my nostrils and mouth, expanding greatly in volume like a YouTube science experiment. (Watch how adding one drop of this chemical to two drops of this other chemical instantly creates a gooey foam mass the size of a bus!) It would not be good if a snot attack happened while driving.

So, basically, I’m feeling pretty good at the moment. I have enough energy to take care of myself, pain is limited to swallowing and a throbbing head, and logistics are under control. I have an appointment June 3 with the head of my treatment team. Then things will get very serious. Until then, I’m pampering myself and trying not to drown in gack.


  1. My brother a nurse anesthetist confided in me he could handle anything other than mucous. Good Luck.

  2. Ben & Jerry's...the BEST ameliorator!

  3. 2/3 of the battle is keeping your attitude so good as it is now. Best of luck to you.

  4. Now all you need is MFH documenting the scenario with his camera and you could really take this act on the road.

  5. You are looking pretty fit except for the tube.

    Ben and jerry's soothes the soul and the throat...but it creates tons of mucus as does all dairy. Lemon and pineapple sorbet won't trigger increase as much. You might need to follow this advice for the next little while. Sometimes I have bronchitis so I have to do this. One thing that sets me off for major mucus is apples but that is not so common. However you will soon learn your personal triggers and some are worth it now and again.

  6. Glad to see your spirits are high. Thinking of you often.