Even Quicker Update

Nothing new to report medically. I’m up in the middle of the night, working on Doctor Fate. Will let all of you know what’s going on with that in a day or so.

Very Quick Update

I’m still in the hospital. CAT scans show improvement: the spot(s) on the lung(s) are gradually but steadily getting smaller, which means the presence of a tumor is highly unlikely. I’m probably dealing with a very nasty, very persistent viral or fungal infection.

Jim McLauchlin of the HERO INITIATIVE was in LV today and stopped by to watch me vegetate. And walk — first time I’ve done that in a while.

In fact, today was the first time in weeks that I’ve actually felt a little stronger, a little more well.

Have to keep this short. Urgent Doctor Fate stuff to be done. Will post another update next time I can get to a net connection.

Little or Nothing

I was supposed to have written a working synopsis of CtM #7’s Doctor Fate chapter Saturday, but wound up spending the day in semi-stupor, probably drug-induced. It’s now 2:28 AM Sunday morning, and I need to sleep, so of course I’m feeling driven to compose — this drivel, not Doctor Fate, because Doctor Fate would require, oh, you know, coherence and all that?

The nurses are remarking on how my hospital room is turning into a study. They’re amused by the laptop, the books on Vista and Word 2007, the growing pile of magazines (now including PSYCHOLOGY TODAY and ALTER EGO), etc.

Guess I’ve run out of drive and drivel, too.

More to follow.

Countdown to Biopsy

Okay, here’s the deal. The CT showed that the pulmonary fibrosis is progressing — no surprise since it’s a progressive disease. As it progresses, I get less well. The CT also showed a mass or dark spot of some kind in one of my lungs. The doctors still seem to believe it’s pneumonia or maybe a fungal infection, but they concede the possibility it may be something else, or something additional. Cancer is a possibility, in other words.

There are only two ways to know for sure what’s going on: (1) A biopsy. (2) Dramatic improvement as a result of the current course of treatment, which would render the likelihood of cancer just about nil.

There are two ways to do this kind of biopsy: an intubation-type procedure to suck out some of the affected tissue, or a needle. The problem: I’m using so much oxygen now just to maintain something close to a normal saturation percentage that blocking my throat with a tube could land me on a ventilator (for an indeterminable length of time), and going in with a needle could collapse the lung.

So, for now, the doctors are trying to reduce the levels of pure oxygen I require. As that happens, the biopsy procedures become less dangerous.

The fun part: If it is cancer, it’s Game Over. They don’t transplant cancer patients.

So, it’s all pretty fucking scary. I was having such a tough time breathing yesterday I was half-convinced I wasn’t going to make it through the night. Morning came, along with the respiratory therapist and the blood-taking-person, so I guess I was wrong.

I wish I didn’t have to think about all this at the moment, or, rather, that I had sufficient energy to think and write about this, economics, politics, and Doctor Fate all at once. The outside world — at least what I can see of it on CNN — has suddenly become very entertaining.

Back in Hospital

As the latest tactic in my continuing effort not to have lunch with Mark Evanier, I was spirited back to MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas late Saturday night by ambulance, after finding myself unable to breathe very well or even stand up for very long without experiencing dizziness and confusion.

Since being back, I’ve had a CT that doesn’t look very good at all, and some disquieting news I’ll share with you later, after I’ve had a little more chance to absorb it myself.

The happy news, if such it can be termed, is that I have an Internet connection in my new room, so I can stay in touch on a more regular basis and email DC and Marvel much more easily. That should make easier whatever level of recovery is possible.

They expect me to be here for another ten days or so. Someone tell Harris Miller that the laptop is saving my life and my sanity again.

Still Breathing…with Effort

Hello, all.

I’m still in the hospital and am likely to stay here at least until Friday, They’re trying to decide what to do with me after that — send me home or to some rehab facility where they’ll try to teach me to use what little lung power I’ve got left more efficiently. I’m hoping for some sort of compromise between the two, outpatient therapy or in-home visits from a respiratory specialist, something like that.

Dr. Tu is telling me not even to think about wheelchairs or scooters yet. I need to be better-conditioned, not more fragile, to undergo the lung transplant. Fine with me.

I’ve written a brief introduction to Marvel’s Howard the Duck Omnibus volume and sent it off just moments ago to editor Mark Beazley. It was late (naturally), so I can only hope it arrived at Marvel in time to be included in the book.

I’m working on Doctor Fate, as well, of course, and hoping against hope that we’ll be able to avoid an awkward fill-in story in COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY. Dan Didio and Joey Cavalieri have been very gracious so far and are trying their best to accommodate the situation. I’m very grateful to both of them.

As for my health, well, I am improving, but slowly. They’re about to wheel me back upstairs, so no time to go into details now.

More to follow, eventually.


I’m still alive, but I’ve been moved to a room in the hospital where the wireless signal is too weak to access the Internet. The room does have a window and a real “Mountain View”, however, and the nurses are taking good care of me. They actually wheeled me back to my old haunts long enough to send out some email and write this post.

Looks like I’ll be in here at least until Tuesday, and I may be severely limited in what I’m able to do when I get out. The phrase “wheelchair-bound” escaped one doctor’s lips. I have the feeling I may have crossed a line in the progress of this disease. Any disability attorneys in the audience?

There’s other less-than-pleasant news, too, to relate, but I’ll save that for next time.

I’ll check in here again when I can. Stay tuned.