I've received some further acknowledgements of donations to the Mayo Amyloidosis Research in my name, and I'd just like to thank Ms Joanna Stampfel, Ms Lelon White, Mr. Ryan Kelly, Gospodin Dzmitry Ludzik, Mr. Steven Rowell, and Ms. Krisztina Radnoti. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Also, many thanks to all of you who have posted about your own experiences with severe illness and chemo. Chemo treatments are all different, but I appreciate your posts. You are all fighters, or you wouldn't still be here.
Well, I got the stem cells transplant yesterday, and so far all seems to be going well. I essentially have no immune system right now and have to wear a mask whenever I leave the hotel room, but I actually feel pretty good. Of course, they told me that would be the case. In 4 or 5 days, when my white blood cells count hits bottom, I'll start to bottom out myself. Doctor Hayman suggested I might get sick enough that I wouldn't want to dress any further than sweat clothes, but I won't give in that far. I brought along almost every French cuff shirt I have, plus a dozen pairs of cuff links and a dozen pairs of braces, and I mean to look as sharp as I can every day no matter how I feel. When the disease pushes, I push back.
Don't worry that I'll be keeping you up to date on exactly how sick I get or anything of that nature. I'd have to be a lot sicker than I am to do that.
The skinhead look seems to meet with a good bit of approval. Should I adopt that? Get the salamander tattoo and arrive at signings on a Harley. Fat Boy or Soft Tail? Not one of those new ones that try to look like a BMW, though. Maybe I should just go for a Japanese crotch rocket and blow into town at 200 mph. Well, even those need a little work to hit 200, but they'll leave a Harley in the dust for sure. No hate mail, please. I love Harleys, but I needed to go really fast, I'd be riding Japanese or Italian if stock.
Some of you seem a little confused over what I mean by a salamander. My walking stick for black tie has a silver head which most people think is simply a lizard with malachite eyes. Only close observation will show that the lower half of the lizard is actually flames. The salamander, the lizard that lives in fire. The ancients believed that asbestos was salamander skin, that salamanders were fire elementals, and even that salamanders were the guardians of the gates of hell. In any case, they have always been seen as symbols of survival under adverse conditions, able to walk through the fires of hell unharmed. Of course, a group of us were going to get salamander tattoos during an R&R in Hong Kong. I was too drunk to make the appointment, and I was the only one who made it back to the world, but I figure that was coincidence.
For Rachel, the phoenix is the female symbol of power in Chinese cosmology as the dragon is of male power, so a phoenix wouldn't do for me. Although there is a phoenix among the symbols carved into my Chinese chair, which you may have seen in Faces of Fantasy and elsewhere.
Deadsy, a backflap and footies? Never in life, my dear. Nor in death, for that matter. Also, chains and leather are so fifties, so post-Terminator, so rough trade. Not my look at all. I think I'll go a different route.
An aside. When I speak of so many million stem cells, that refers to that number per kilogram of body mass.
For Child of Lir, most hospitals by far in the US do not have wifi or first run movies. The Mayo Clinic is most definitely top drawer.
For Doctor, I've pretty much settled on channeling, if that is the proper word, myself. It seems to work. Although that first day, at lunch, I did slip briefly into Brando from Apocalypse now, and I must say that afterward we could carry on a pleasant conversation at our table without any bother from brainless chatter from tables around us. I may keep that one in reserve.
That's about it for now.
Remember guys, Illegitimei no carborundum!