No Spring Chicken #13
Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do you? It happens 13 is one of my lucky numbers and I do feel lucky. Especially today, writing NSC #13 on the 13th of Feb in 2011 (add 02 for feb with 11 for year and you get 13 again).

Why feel lucky? I don't know. Maybe because the side effects of the chemo are less than they have been before. Shoot, I could probably sing singing valentines tomorrow if they hadn't already replaced me. Of course, with all the typing mistakes today I'm sure I'd make a lot of singing mistakes.

I've been touch typing for years. I leaned in 7th grade when I took a typing class, and using a keyboard all my adult life with computers has drilled it home. For some reason today I'm hitting the wrong keys. For instance, I thought "w" when I went to type wrong in the previous sentence, but I typed "r" instead. I've transposed letters quite a bit, and used the correct finger but the wrong hand many times, too. A few times I've just been out in left field and used a finger that doesn't belong on either hand to hit the letter I need. I've probably made more mistakes today than I've made all year so far, and with all the webwork I'm doing that is a lot of typing (not to mention these letters).

I had to run to make the ferry yesterday for my treatment. I don't mean jog, I mean run - fast and hard. It surprised me how long I could go before the muscles just refused to push the legs that hard any more. I made the ferry by about 20 seconds, so it was worth it. But I sure have sore muscles today. But it wasn't my lungs that gave out. Singing does that for me. Keeps the heart and lungs in better shape than if I wasn't doing it. It helps a little with the legs, as we tend to stand a lot for practices. But I've been sitting a lot since December (first chemo treatment). So that may explain the legs giving out first. Funny thing was my legs were still wobbly when I got to the hospital 45 minutes later. I don't remember the last time I ran 3 blocks, though. So that may have something to do with it. The last time I was on a bike was last summer (before all the medical issues started).

The mind is a funny thing. I believe I mentioned sometime earlier about the different approaches my family have taken to cancer. One uncle checked himself out of the hospital and went home and died in 3 months. Another uncle fought it the wrong way for a couple years (wrong because he had a macho hang up and wouldn't let them do the operation that could have made him last longer). My dad did what the doctors said and died 13 years into his "six months to live". He also sat down and made a list of the things he had done in his life and the things that he was. I've got that list somewhere, but it was pretty impressive. It included Mensa eligible. Which I am, also. And my list isn't to bad, either. I have had a good life, but it isn't over yet. Don't worry. Maybe one of these days I'll make up my list of accomplishments. Not today, though, so you can relax. Dad said that if he hadn't retired early he'd have gone home and blown his brains out. He got the news the week he would have retired if he worked until 65. I'm not 65 yet, but I am retired. Maybe that affected my outlook, but it wasn't a shock to me - the family history is there - and it didn't really upset me, either. I have more of an "oh, well" attitude about it. Just do what I need to get it fixed. It is impacting my life, in as much as I'm having troubles making commitments to be places this spring, can't be in a play because I know I won't have three good weeks in a row (tech rehearsal, hell week and a two week run) and have to chose my weekends for meetings carefully. But other than that I still do mostly the same things. A lot of that may be because it is winter and I wouldn't be bike riding or sailing much anyway. I'm limited in how much I can sing before my voice and energy wear out, though.

But where I was going with the mind being a funny thing is this treatment. I felt worse going into it than afterwards. With each of the others it has been pretty much, "OK, go in for a treatment." This time I was almost dreading the trip in and my stomach was acting like I'd already had the chemicals that upset it two days before I went in. Not that it isn't roiling today. Just not in the "gonna heave any minute" variety. I'm not sure what caused the dread, but there it was. Nothing physical should have caused it, and four weeks after the last treatment there should be an hangover from that (and hadn't been for two weeks). And today my mouth tastes bad. Not sure why, since it wasn't that bad either of the previous two treatments. Next time we do the pet scan before hand so we can tell " many more treatments we'll need." as the doctor said this time. Oh, boy. That will tell me when I can begin making plans again.

I sure hope there is a good play coming up this summer! But I suspect I'll be in the cast for whatever western things the scriptwriter has planned for this fall's show. Yup, western. Back In The Saddle Again, Bury Me Out On The Lone Prairie, Ghost Riders In The Sky, Happy Trails To You (with a twist), Tumbling Tumbleweeds, and more.

I heard two of the younger members of our chorus talking about IQ tests and mensa eligibility a while back. They were really impressed that a third member was eligible. I pointed out that there is a big difference between IQ and what you do with it. The highest IQ amongst my siblings did the least with it. It isn't so much what you've got as how you use it. Hard work can always pay off. Maybe not in salary, but in productivity. Of course, if you are smarter you can use that work more efficiently, or you can fritter it away. But there are other factors that make people worthwhile, too. In a report on some testing of software developers there was one person who wasn't all that brilliant, wasn't known for doing anything exemplary, but she had the distinction of being the only person in the company whose projects had always succeeded. Some people are the glue that makes a team work, and there is no rating for intelligence in that field.

It has been a long day in a long weekend, so I'm going to bed and you all will have to wait until some other time to hear the tales of my father I was going to tell in this letter.