Wednesday, July 2, 2008

of cures and concerns

There has been a significant reduction in the size of the right upper zone mass lesion with opacity now reflecting pleural thickening and post radiation fibrosis. An underlying residual mass cannot be excluded.

and such is the radiologist's conclusion that dispatches me into a doctor-free wilderness for the next three or so months; a rather succinct summation of all that is good and bad about my current predicament really. the lack of a clearly distinguishable end point means i'm saddled with the paranoia inhering in that final sentence - it must be said, surgery provides a certain level of clarity in these matters. still, the mere fact that the final sentence is phrased in such negative potentialities speaks volumes about the success of the treatment to date. whereas my intial x-rays showed a ball of pure white occupying the area where the top of my right lung should have been, these images show fragments of darkened lung emerging from behind wisps of post-radiotherapy scar tissue. the whole region is a bit of a mess, but the weight of the tumour has quite obviously dissipated. how much of it remains, and to what extent those remnants remain active is of course more difficult to ascertain. nonetheless, in the absence of any obvious secondary lesions within my lungs, and given the previous lack of detectable activity within the mass itself i have been sent off to pursue my life once more. it isn't remission, but it's as good as it's going to get.

i'm thinking july 31/august 1 for my return to melbourne. i have a heat for the green faces comedy competition on july 17, and on the off chance i get through (i don't particularly fancy my chances - the winners are picked via audience vote, making it notoriously prone to vote stacking) the final is on the night of the 31st. meanwhile i still have a ticket running to see sigur ros on august 1 giving me a safe window of around 18 hours in which to pick a flight. we'll see how we go.


1. the eagle and the dragon: a long and involved, but thoroughly worthwhile examination of the current decrepitude of the american suburban project and its parallels with the decay of the automobile industry. the portrait of detroit as a 'failed' city is particularly evocative - a potent symbol of the collapse of western manufacturing and the segregationist myths of suburban utopia. there's also much to be said of the role of the car in structuring the american (read australian) landscape, and the potential abandonment of suburban enclaves in the face of economic depression and oil shortages. fun reading.

2. one post wonder: on a far cheerier note, this is the coolest concept blog i've found for a while. one post wonder collects the best of those blogs which were started with such high hopes, but then abandoned after the very first post. from
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
more of phatness.
you see a chinchilla scuttling across the marble floor
SQUEEAAK-turn as the chinchilla scrabbles to get a foothold on the slipperiness
the chinchilla falls down.
"oh my poor babybabyyyyyy"

"hello hello?"


3. beached whale: hard to pin down exactly why this is so funny, but i've watched it upwards of five times and i'm still laughing. although cerebral it ain't. the first 30 seconds is the best.

4. one sentence: keeping up the focus on brevity, one sentence is a user-submitted blog where people tell stories about their life in one sentence. there's a postsecret style air of the confessional about much of it, but it makes for intriguing and occasionally poignant reading.
If there was ever a good time to stop drinking, it was this morning when I woke up next to a woman in a giraffe costume.

this bears a more than passing resemblance to the six word memoir project run by smith magazine. inspired by ernest hemingway's famously brief six word story - "for sale: baby shoes, never worn" - the website invites users to submit their own six word memoirs for other people to browse. the always reliable new yorker has a wonderful review of the book that has come out of it, written entirely in six word sentences. my god it's a good magazine.
The book’s originator: SMITH online magazine. It started as a reader contest: Your life story in six words. The magazine was flooded with entries. Five hundred-plus submissions per day. That’s two, three words a minute. “We almost crashed,” an editor said. Memoirs from plumbers and a dominatrix (“Fix a toilet, get paid crap”; “Woman Seeks Men—High Pain Threshold”). The editors have culled the best. And, happily, spliced in celebrity autobiographies: “Canada freezing. Gotham beckons. Hello, Si!” “Well, I thought it was funny.” “Couldn’t cope so I wrote songs.” (Graydon Carter, Stephen Colbert, Aimee Mann.) Mario Batali makes a memorable appearance: “Brought it to a boil, often.” So does Jimmy Wales, of Wikipedia: “Yes, you can edit this biography.”

not sure what mine would be. "had cancer - better. had cancer - better?" possibly too morbid. how about "cared little for life's seeming vicissitudes". that's better. if not a little aspirational.

5. anybody remember that almost ludicrously shit show 'catch phrase' from back in the mid-90s? well here's partial vindication of its existence with a small, innuendo-laden extract from the UK version. british tv does have its moments.

6. vinyl sleeve heads: and finally, we have a frivolous little photo set of people using the images on record sleeves to replace their faces. cute.

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