Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Waiting: The Night Before the Second Movement

I Am Waiting

by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone
to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting
for the discovery
of a new symbolic western frontier

and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting
for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Second Coming
and I am waiting
for a religious revival
to sweep thru the state of Arizona
and I am waiting
for the Grapes of Wrath to be stored
and I am waiting
for them to prove
that God is really American
and I am waiting
to see God on television
piped onto church altars
if only they can find
the right channel
to tune in on
and I am waiting
for the Last Supper to be served again
with a strange new appetizer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the Salvation Army to take over
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth
without taxes
and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Great Divide to be crossed
and I am anxiously waiting
for the secret of eternal life to be discovered
by an obscure general practitioner
and I am waiting
for the storms of life
to be over
and I am waiting
to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and tv rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the day
that maketh all things clear
and I am awaiting retribution
for what America did
to Tom Sawyer
and I am waiting
for Alice in Wonderland
to retransmit to me
her total dream of innocence
and I am waiting
for Childe Roland to come
to the final darkest tower
and I am waiting
for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
at a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again
youth’s dumb green fields come back again
and I am waiting
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting to write
the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long careless rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am awaiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder

I went in to Group Health today for a series of appointments the day before chemotherapy. I visited the speech pathologist to revisit my vocal exercises which are designed to make my frozen vocal cord do a little bit of work, and hopefully make it recover quicker once the tumor has shrunk and is not pressing on the nerve. I also picked up a 7 day prescription for Flucanozole--the doctor has decided that I should be taking the thrush medication for the next week to stave it off, as I've started the steroids again to help me more fully absorb the chemotherapy. He approved me for the shingles vaccine, but the injection room told me that they are barred by the Center for Disease Control from adminstering it to anyone under the age of 60. Even if said person has had chickenpox as a child and is immuno-compromised.

Then I went to lunch at Chutney's on Capitol Hill with my friend, A.L., who was kind enough to be my taxi driver and share most of my day with me. We had almost 2 hours to kill between the above and the final appointments of the day. It was a good meal with a good person, and I enjoyed it very much.

After our lunch, I had the blood draw and met with the nurse navigator, and finally with the oncologist. Couple of things.

My white blood count is low. So low, that the oncologist prescribed self injections of Filgrastim (Neupogen) or growth factor, to begin the day after chemotherapy. It will stimulate the production of white blood cells by the bone marrow. He said that it will cause flu-like symptoms, so I will need to take Tylenol beforehand. I can't take aspirin, naproxen sodium (Aleve) or ibuprofen, so it's just Tylenol. Together with the nausea and the thrush, it should be the mother of all flus. Unless I religiously take all the prescribed meds.

It seems that I am going to have to create a chart of all the drugs that I have to take and the times, to keep them straight and on track. I forgot to take tonight's steroid dosage til 8, so I may be zooming around the house late. Hope not because my chemo appointment is for 8:30 tomorrow morning.

I also have a slight wheeze when I breathe, but the doctor didn't think that was anything to worry about. I mentioned that I have a runny nose, and he replied that it could be a side effect of the chemotherapy. I didn't know that.

There's also apparently no way, aside from waiting in long lines, that I can get the H1N1 vaccine. There's been no attempt to prioritize who receives the vaccine first, and with the shortages, people are exhibiting panic-type behavior. There were 1,000 folks in line at a small pharmacy in my neighborhood for 700 doses last week. And this evening when I went by the pharmacy to inquire, they had had the vaccine again today, but had run out and were turning people away at 4:30. They will have half the doses they did today on Saturday morning and will be open to take applications at 7am and will begin administering them at 8am. First come, first served. My oncologist said there is nothing he could do for me on this at Group Health. So I working at from home, communicating with the office using an encrypted computer hook up. Which is generally do-able, as I can put documents in pdf and send them to the office.

And, the doctor has ordered a CAT scan at the conclusion of the second chemotherapy period--December 9 being the last day of the second chemo period. He gave me the option of scheduling it after the second or third (which would have been the week between Christmas and New Year's) chemotherapy, and I chose the second. I'm the kind of person who reads the endings to books if I get tense about where it's going and can't stay up to finish them, so I'm no different here. We can always do an additional CAT scan again after no. 3 if the results aren't to our liking.

I'm not a big fan of waiting.


The Subtle Rudder said...

I know there's no cure for waiting but time. But if I had an H1N1 vaccine, I would give it to you. Wish they'd figured out that shit a little better. The thought that wall streeters had access while those with compromised immune systems have to wait in lines. well, it makes a girl stabby.

The Ferlinghetti's great, an incantation for these times...

Anonymous said...

Be well, Moe. We're all pulling for you.

MtBikerMike said...

I've aways known you were strong in times of duress ... but you're a true inspiration. I hope you had better luck yesterday on the H1N1 front.

We think of you often down here in Oly.

Mike H.

blue girl said...

Thinking of you, Moe.