The Indian Clerk

The cancer continues to sleep. My oncologist, Dr. M., ordered blood labs of CBC, CMP, SFLCA, and SPEP. Nothing stood out, just a bunch of numbers. The myeloma is stable 17 months post transplant. I am not on any maintenance therapy. I take a multi-vitamin, 1000 mg of calcium, and a low dose aspirin each … More The Indian Clerk


Recently, I met with my oncologist, Dr. M. His practice is located in Portland, OR. Each Thursday, however, he travels 60 miles up the Columbia River Gorge to Hood River. Here, he spends the day attending to cancer patients in our small community. He commented that my disease continues to be in “complete remission.” His … More Unremarkable

The Reality of Hope

I love the musky smell of my tomato plants. Each evening after work, I forage for the ripened fruit, taking in their dense, earthy fragrance. Green peppers share the raised beds. Mother Nature’s fickle architecture of this bell-shaped vegetable pleases the eye as well as the tongue. My wildflowers are going to seed. They attract … More The Reality of Hope

No Expectations

In the mountains, in the heart of winter, an antiseptic stillness penetrates the landscape. Many of my solitary walks in December and January were steeped in silence, the crunch of my shoes on road grit the only sound.   By mid-February though, a clatter of orchard ladders mixed with the beat of mariachi music breaks the … More No Expectations

No Promises

A neighbor keeps the snow in our long driveway at a manageable depth. I try to pay for his plowing services or to at least help with gas. He refuses with a smile, saying, “Don’t worry, I’ll keep it clean.” Obviously, snow angels come in many guises. At present, we have a narrow lane due … More No Promises

You Have Every Right

My most recent test measuring abnormal protein, taken the day before Thanksgiving, validated October’s strong interim result. Once again, my M-spike shows 0.1 g/dl. It is what it is, not perfect but damn good. My oncologist gushed with enthusiasm. These findings give me reason to expect a break from treatment of indefinite length. I am … More You Have Every Right