Thursday, May 13, 2004

My blog may be the image of a tub sailing across a stormy sea but it actually is more like a spider's web, with a tiny money spider at its centre, as opposed to a great hairy tarentula that would freak out the arachnophobes who come across me, and this vast vibrating web is periodically slashed by someone with a stick, or a blowtorch, and when I take up my central positon once more, some part of the web has shrivelled beyond recognition, and I must needs repair it by spinning some more, and I must needs reconnect to the outer reaches so that it may vibrate once again, good as new.

This has just happened and Doug of Doug's Dynamic Drivel gave me the hitch. Everything is in the name of the thing, we all know that, and so, thanks to Doug, my real name is:

"Tootie Girdlechunks"


My "little brother", Alain, is:

"Poopsie Girdlechunks"


Now that puts a somewhat different light on things, dunnit?

Yesterday, I went to see the new Urologist for the results of my renal scan. I spent, by my best estimate, all of three minutes in the chair in his office.

"I have great news for you," he beamed at me, "Your left kidney is completely shot and not functioning at all, so we can remove the stent!"

"Great!" I approved, "This might prevent me from getting those recurrent infections!"

"Yes. The other good news is that I can do it in the office, with just local anesthesia, you don't even need blood work, you don't even need anyone to pick you up afterwards, you're home free."

A short discussion followed on making appointments, taking a prophylactic course of antibiotics, etc. Then, still smiling, he said:

"The bad news is, the stent might be draining "something" after all, and if there should be some buildup of fluids, I might have to put another one in after all."

Well, my thinking is, Le'ts see what happens, Let's be optimistic. The renal scan also mentioned an avulsion fracture of the lesser trochanter, indicating a high likelihood of bone metastasis, so I shall just cross my bridges only when I come to them, let's not get ahead of ourselves here.

Last Sunday, I spent some time with Larry going over my living will and health care proxy. It was painful. Larry, and Carol his wife (who was not present except by way of jottings on the draft), appeared concerned that things should not be set in concrete such that someone, at some point, could not decide and authorize, as I was moribund and unable to express my wishes, to say "Yes, try this new experimental whatever, she did one day, as I remember it clearly, indicate that iffenever a new procedure was discovered, bla bla bla."

I don't know why the idea of a natural death is so repugnant to everybody. Everybody dies, so far, and if that is not a fact set in concrete, the least I can say is that since I do accept the inevitability of my death, indeed it's probable happeningness, I am not likely to be the first human being ever to avoid it.

All I want, well, like the song says: "Girls, they just want to have fun!"

I want to continue living as well as I can as long as I can. I don't want, if I have, say, just one month to go, to spend a single week of it in a hospital being worked over in any way by someone whose idea is that it would drag out the dying process a little more.

Being in hospital,in my view, is the least comfortable situation possible, you are just a piece of meat on the block and they don't even feed your body, let alone your soul.

The little spider has spoken: she wants to remain on the Net, she wants to hobble out of her bed, to fix herself coffee, and hobble back into her bed, have breakfast in bed, Yeah! as long as possible.

She wants to be at home near her Buddhist altar, to be able to get up in the middle of the night if the spirit moves her to chant. Right up to and including the end.

In my view, there is nothing should be considered sadder about dying than about being born: it's only the other side of the Coin of Life, heads you live, tails you die, on and on. Energy (Life) never dies, it just goes somewhere else.

Enuff for today. I need to do laundry. Tonight, I go to Temple to do toba memorial for little Yasu, who was pushed into a swollen torrent by one of his little playmates and drowned a year ago today, shortly after his fourth birthday. I love you Yasu!

"At the moment of death, even though a person who believes in the Lotus Sutra neither prays to the Buddha, recites the Sutra nor enters a place of Buddhist practice, he shall obtain the benefit of unconsciously illuminating the universe and soundlessly reciting the entirety of the sutras. Though he does not reach to pick up the scroll of a single sutra, he shall receive the benefit of having taken hold of the entire eight volumes of the Lotus Sutra."

This is a quotation from Nichiren Daishonin's letter "On Protection of the Nation".

Talking about chanting, I chanted seven hours at the Temple on May 8, the sixtieth anniversary of my mother and my grandmother's death, and the fiftieth anniversay of Dien Bien Phu, when the French colonial army was beaten by the Viet Minh, thus giving America its opportunity to have its own Vietnam war against the Viet Cong. We know where that went, and the Sons of that war are now going, going, going, to Iraq and Afghanistan, and to all those "lilly pads".

And that is evolution, as far as the eye can see. Harrumph!
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