A Potpourri of Things

The Columbia River in Summer.
The Columbia River in Summer.

On July 27th, I began a new treatment regimen for my cancer, multiple myeloma. You can read all about it in The Drill.

I am compelled to comment on a series of books I was prompted to read by my oldest son. He lives in Oakland, CA and works as an attorney for the EPA in San Francisco. When he is not reading up on The Clean Air Act, he is an avid reader of fiction and literary non-fiction. Our shared love of the written word leads us to pass book ideas back and forth.

Recently, he recommended the Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante. I am well along with the third of four in the collection. They are, in order, My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and the soon to be published, The Story of the Lost Child.

Self Portrait at Hood River's Waterfront Park.
Self Portrait at Hood River’s Waterfront Park.

These books surprised me, entertained me, and recalled for me the wonder of literature. I find them hard to put down. I look forward to the last of the quartet.

Finally, I have completed Southwood, A Memoir. It recounts my life from 1956 until 1970 when I lived in a suburb of San Francisco. Be forewarned: it’s long, nearly 7000 words. The memoir is broken up into seven bite sized pieces. And, there are pictures! Enjoy …

6 thoughts on “A Potpourri of Things

  1. My uncle who has MM was told he’d only live a couple of years. He is now nearly 70 and he’s lived 15 years with it, even without the good USA treatment options that he couldn’t get. He takes liatrael ( the crushed seed of apricots) as he read this helps and I can truly say it seems to have. I wish you health and happiness, I know it is very hard, do not give up you can battle through. Xxx


    1. Thank you for the encouraging words. I wish your uncle continued good health. I am managing quite well and feel fortunate to be one who responds to treatment. It’s a process … a long one I hope.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Did they try you on Thalidomide? They gave my uncle that instead of a bone marrow transplant. He’s in Europe and the care for MM is far more advanced here. I hope they are doing right by you.


  2. Yes, I received Thalidomide when first diagnosed in 2007. It worked well but caused severe peripheral neuropathy. So, I opted for a stem cell transplant, with excellent results, early on in the treatment process.


  3. Hey John – I just finished the entire Southwood Memoir. What a delightful walk down a lane that contains many of my memories as well as yours. And I learned some new and interesting things about you. (You were a thief!). A very compelling narrative voice. Also, I have written down the list of Noah’s and your book recommendations to take with me to the library tomorrow. I am glad to hear you are starting a new regimen because it reflects your continuing wisdom in staying ahead of the difficulties.


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