Stanyan Street

I dislike flying: the herding, the depressing bag of pretzels, and the claustrophobic cabin. It’s a perfect environment for disease transmission and my immune system can’t protect me. Yet, the opportunity to spend the holidays with our oldest son, my brother, and nieces and nephews compelled my wife and I to fly to the San … More Stanyan Street

Picking Blueberries

  Recently, my wife and I visited a U-pick blueberry farm in the upper Hood River Valley. Our son and granddaughter joined us to help with the harvest. Upon arrival, mourning doves crooned in the surrounding forest. A smear of clouds waltzed across the summer sky. An acre of mature bushes, loaded with ripe fruit, beckoned.  … More Picking Blueberries

Back to the Future

I enjoyed two full months of recovery from the latest attempt to control my cancer, multiple myeloma. At first, that drug worked well. The harsh side effects, however, made me question whether it was worthwhile. Soon, its effectiveness waned. The setback left me wondering about my future. So, I took a break to reassess things. … More Back to the Future

The Final Four

Recently, the nursing staff at the infusatorium, where I receive treatment, took it upon themselves to start a cancer support group. At the first meeting I attended, some expressed shock at disappointing prognoses. As a hardy veteran of the cancer wars, I understand how the initial diagnosis upsets the routines of living we carefully construct. To discern … More The Final Four

Seven Years

I have a cancer, multiple myeloma, that effects the plasma cells in my blood. This December marks seven years since diagnosis. Somehow, a single plasma cell, which is a type of white blood cell, mutates and starts to multiply. The bone marrow acts as the blood cell factory and warehouse. When it gets crowded, the balance … More Seven Years

A Busy Summer

The summer has been busy with family visits to Hood River. First, my wife’s youngest sister, Linda, arrived. She and her husband have government jobs overseas. They hope to eventually retire here, close to us. Their latest posting, however, is in Pakistan and a farewell peek at our new home seemed appropriate before departing. Then, … More A Busy Summer

Schrodinger’s Cat, Pandora’s Box, and a Pet Cat (Scan)

“Our house is a very, very, very fine house. With two cats in the yard, Life used to be so hard …,” Crosby, Stills, and Nash Actually, there’s just one cat in the yard. At 16 pounds he has the heft of two, but Spanky, our tiger stripe rescue, prowls our new property alone. The … More Schrodinger’s Cat, Pandora’s Box, and a Pet Cat (Scan)

Black and White

Recently, I changed doctors. The Hood River community does not have an oncology practice. Consequently, they contract with established physicians from Portland, OR. Dr. A is our new visiting hematologist. She attends to all local patients with cancer and, when necessary, manages their chemotherapy in our hospital’s small infusion ward. Fortunately for me, her training … More Black and White

Five Years

In the 34 years my wife and I have lived in the Hood River Valley, each winter has been unique with the various permutations of ice, snow, wind, and rain. If there is a common theme, it is the blanket of cloud that settles between the foothills of Mt. Hood. From the high meadows all … More Five Years