Distracted

Finding it difficult to concentrate.

Wonder why…

Just started reading Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties by the late Ian MacDonald. I may be raving about this book for some time.

Finally received one of those infamous Obama-spams that are making their noxious, defamatory way across the net. I wish I could just ignore it, but there are reasons I can’t. We’ll talk about it later, hopefully after I get some work done.

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.

Still fooling around….

Another new look, with all the rough edges still evident.

Back to the old look for a while.

Managed to dodge the Kidney Lady, so we won’t even go into the details of that one.

The past couple of days have been hugely exhausting, but developments on most fronts have been either neutral or positive, so no complaints.

Need to get some serious work done this weekend, though.

Just fooling around…

I’ll probably go back to the old look later today. Right now, I’m just trying to stave off the Kidney Lady. (Explanation 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.

Home

‘Nuff said for now.

More to follow.

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.

Unplugged

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.

Al Veoli’s Journal

Dr. Tu, my pulmonologist, stopped by this morning to look me over and listen to my lungs. They sound better, he says, and the chest x-rays are showing some improvement. They also dialed me back from 60% to 50% pure oxygen through the mask this morning, with no ill effects so far. That, too, is a sign of improvement. Because of the steroids, they’re checking my blood sugar several times a day. They’re watching my kidneys, too, just in case; so far, no danger on that front.

Late last night, I actually emailed some pages of final dialogue to Joey Cavalieri on *Doctor Fate*. I plan to do more today.

Spoke to Mark Beazley at Marvel this morning. I’m going to try to write the Omnibus introduction, too, over the next couple of days. Weirdly, I think I can do it. And, given the circumstances, it may equal the bizarreness of the rest of the book’s content. Which is only appropriate.

Quick note before I sign off: This Salon article by Joe Conason is worth a quick read. It has to do with the press’ treatment of Hillary Clinton leading up to the New Hampshire primary. The related article cited at the end of Conason piece, “The Witch Ain’t Dead and Chris Matthews is a Ding-Dong”, comes even closer to expressing my own feelings about the media’s conduct. (For the record, I’m not a Hillary supporter, an Obama supporter, or an Edwards supporter yet. I like all three; I have reservations about all three. Gore would have been my candidate.)