Posts made in January, 2013

My Wobbly Bicycle, 9

Posted by on Jan 30, 2013 in Archive | 41 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 9

I think it might hang on one more day. I need a shower, so I put a nylon squeegee over the drain to catch hair. Oh, there’s quite a lot. When I get out, towel my head carefully, and run mousse through, large soggy heaps come out in my hands. I call Jerry. I take the scissors and cut the front as short as I can. Jerry cuts the back. No one is crying, no one is laughing. We’re doing a job here. My head emerges. The lines of my fontanels, visible for the first time since infancy.  What is all this about hair? And teeth, I think, are the same. Aren’t we all drawn to life, blowing full in...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 8

Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in Archive | 10 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 8

Cold and snow at last in northern Michigan. Yesterday I went back to the retinal surgeon—you remember I had a detached retina right in the middle of this cancer thing. He says there’s some time-sensitive repair work he can do, but it must be within the next couple of months. So I may schedule that (outpatient) surgery between chemo treatments. Meanwhile, every Monday I have to show up at the hospital for blood tests. And next week is chemo #2. Geez. Still, when I take things as they come, one at a time, I honestly don’t get all in a stew about them. I find taking care of all that easier...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 7

Posted by on Jan 16, 2013 in Archive | 20 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 7

So, a group of scientists sit around trying to figure what might yield the greatest results in demonstrating to basically oblivious humans what being “Alive” means. Or, well, maybe they’re celestial scientists, from one realm or the other. After much discussion, they arrive at:  chemotherapy. I was doing so well. Chemo on Tuesday, Wed. feeling good, Thursday I took a long walk on the beach. “I’m doing great,” I told my friends, in my steroidal enthusiasm. By Thursday night, the body started registering the assault upon its integrity. Sleepless night. Friday much worse. Saturday,...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 6

Posted by on Jan 9, 2013 in Archive | 51 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 6

At the end of the hall in my oncologist’s suite of offices is a large room with a fireplace and soft music piped in. Winter sun is pouring in the huge windows and flashing off the metal poles and trays for the chemo drips. There are five plush recliners, each with its pole on wheels next to it, so you can drag it along with you if you need to go to the restroom. There’s a water cooler, a small refrigerator, and a basket of snacks. We’re three blocks from Grand Traverse Bay, which was gorgeous in the morning sun when Jerry and I drove here. The oncologist is actually only a few blocks...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 5

Posted by on Jan 2, 2013 in Archive | 12 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 5

I’m leaning my bike against a tree for now, since I won’t see the doctor until tomorrow. I’ll report next week on what we learn, how chemo will go, and so on. In the meantime—you’ll see this is relevant—I want to tell you about a book I’ve co-written with Sydney Lea, called Growing Old in Poetry: Two Poets, Two Lives. It’ll be out from Autumn House Press in April exclusively (O brave new world!) as an e-book. I have had the BEST time writing this book over the last couple of years with my dear friend Syd. Syd and I share being poet laureate of our respective states. I’m...

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