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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Two Viewpoints on U.S. Senator John McCain's Glioblastoma (Brain Tumour)

I heard my wife Jack walk into the house very early last evening. She hadn't let me know beforehand that she would be making an appearance; but it had been several days since she was last here from Vancouver, so I'd been more-or-less expecting her.

She was here to spend the night.

My younger brother Mark showed up around 8:10 p.m. And in an hour or so, he was to lapse into beer-induced unconsciousness ─ also for approximately an hour.

He missed out on the last half of an episode of The Son; and the first half of an episode of 12 Monkeys. But at least he had the wits to go on up to his bedroom around 10:30 p.m. to start his pre-bed routine of brushing his teeth and shaving. He doesn't care to have those before him when he is summoned by his clock-radio at 4:30 a.m. to rise for work.

A little later in the evening, Jack excused me to go to bed if I wanted to ─ I think that it was at least 11:20 p.m. I wasn't especially sleepy, but I decided to take her up on the invitation and leave her alone doing kitchen-related chores.

There was an amusing incident earlier in the evening when I was finishing up my supper. She was upstairs when I had dished myself out a bowl of my fermented vegetables.

Up to that point, the container had been sitting out at very warm room temperatures for well over a week; and each time of late that I would lift the lid to the container, there would be a cake of some sort of white bloom.

I always just mix up the mass anyway, and then use a ladle and thereby delve helpings into my bowl.

The white matter almost reminds me of curdled milk, and I suspect that it is indeed a product of curdling. Everything tastes perfectly sour, though ─ not as if anything is spoiling or rotting.

To my mind, the batch is simply...over-fermented.

Anyway, I had just started feeding myself from the bowl as I watched T.V. when Jack came down the stairs, exclaiming as she did that there was a terrible smell ─ like a dead rat somewhere.

I had to reassure her that it was merely my delicious ─ if overly ─ fermented vegetables.

She remains perplexed that I never suffer diarrhea or associated symptoms, and I definitely do not. All is well thus far.

I have only been experimenting with naturally fermented vegetables since March or April ─ Jack had decided to set up a batch like she had learned to do back in her home village of Nong Soong in Thailand.

I had read about the value of fermenting vegetables ─ probiotics and prebiotics ─ but I was never convinced that it was as easy to do as claimed.

It was only when I watched her do it for a second time that I decided that I ought to give it a try, rather than await the next time she felt ambitious. If I could do it myself, then I need never be without any ─ a batch only takes five days at very most.

The batch I am working my dietary way through now comprises green cabbage, leeks, and fennel (a large bulb with a few inches of stalks). The fennel has become almost slimy or liquefied ─ I suspect that it might be responsible for the crust I keep finding over the top of the liquid.

I've streamlined Jack's process, and as a result, she will not try any of my product because I don't follow her traditional 'recipe.'

Heck, she doesn't even consume the juice from her product ─ to my thinking, the juice should be every bit as wholesome as the vegetables. But I think she just doesn't want to be ingesting all of the salt dissolved into the juice.

Apart from the actual raw vegetables, and water, salt is the only other ingredient ─ no culture is required. The vegetables just sour entirely on their own.

Jack refers to the end product as 'pickles.' And it very much is ─ a type of pickles, or even sauerkraut. I like to use a lot of water, though.

Earlier last evening, Jack and I were out in the backyard, and I managed to get this candid shot of her at 7:35 p.m. while she was looking at photos on her phone:

Actually, she seems to have her head turned away, doesn't she? Maybe she knew what was taking place. Or she could just have had something on the desiccated lawn catch her notice.

Anyway, after I was in bed last night, it was very difficult to get to sleep. I believe that I was still awake whenever it was that Jack came to bed.

It is oppressively warm and humid.

We only had a very light comforter overtop us ─ it's little more than a sheet, it is so light. But Jack is something of a blanket hog, and in the night she had usurped enough of it that the right side of me was exposed to the ceiling fan-cooled air.

I had to resort to a heavier comforter or quilt at the foot of our bed.

It was not a very good night's sleep, and it all came to an end at 5:58 a.m. when Jack's oldest son Tho knocked on the bedroom door to get her up to drive his lazy ass to the SkyTrain so he could commute out to work in Burnaby.

His knock didn't wake me, though ─ I was already conscious.

I waited until Jack rose, and exited the bedroom, closing the door behind her; then I rose and dressed, commencing my day.

The nearest SkyTrain station here in the Whalley of Surrey is a mile or so from our home ─ a very easy walk. But lazy 22-year-old Tho won't walk ─ he buses when he doesn't have his mommy here to force out of bed to drive him.

Or like yesterday, he won't even bother going to work ─ at least, that's my impression of what happened and why he was home all day.

I am still occupied with the edit of an old post at my hosted website Siam-Longings. I was busy at that when Jack returned.

She didn't go directly to bed, though ─ she cooked up an egg breakfast, so she must have been hungry.

After she went to bed, her youngest son Poté rose; and at 7:10 a.m., he was out the front door to his car to drive himself to work.

I never exercised yesterday, so I wanted to ensure that I ventured forth to the backyard tool shed for some this morning before the day became too warm, and before Jack got up.

I was probably out there before 9:15 a.m. It didn't seem warm, but the humidity induces sweaty palms ─ an issue where something like pull-ups are concerned.

Breathing isn't as easy, either.

Even though it is sunny, for the second day we haven't had blue skies ─ there is a smoky haze up there that is the result of forest fires elsewhere in the province.

Everything seems to have a vague rosy or pinkish hue as a result. It is nearly otherworldly.

I was just early into my exercise session when I could hear noises from the kitchen ─ Jack had risen already, and it was likely only about 9:15 a.m.

So I truncated my session to about ⅗ of what I would otherwise have done.

Jack was of course busy ─ I snapped these two photos of her at 9:33 a.m. when she had taken some refuse out to the bins at the roadside (today is collection day):

It developed that she had plans to go to the Thai Buddhist temple (Wat Budhapanyanantarama) in Burnaby a little later in the morning, and wanted to bring some food that she was busy preparing.

When I saw her off, wishing her success (sometimes the monks are elsewhere and the place is locked up), I had some breakfast and also finished up the work I wanted to get done today on that post edit at Siam-Longings.

I badly wanted to have a nap...but then I decided that the day was late enough that my time would be better served sitting out in the backyard and taking some Sun.

So at 12:38 p.m., I commenced just over 40 minutes seated in a chair, and wearing just a pair of athletic shorts.

To my considerable surprise upon returning into the house, I realized that Jack must have already returned and gone directly to bed. And she was not to exit the bedroom again until 2:59 p.m.

The poor thing ─ all she could do was exclaim how sleepy she was; and she did indeed sound just as if she had been rudely awakened from her bed.

She was soon busy with sundry chores.

And then at 5:00 p.m., I was to see her off one final time today as she left to return to Vancouver until her next visit home.

I wish something would change in my life that would make this futile cycle unnecessary; a financial miracle ─ and while there is still time.

None of us knows for certain what's going on inside our bodies ─ what unsettling surprises are in store that seem to just crop up from out of nowhere, but have undoubtedly been developing over time.

America's Senator John McCain probably wondered where the heck his diagnosed glioblastoma sprang from ─ or more specifically, why?

I haven't been following his story at all, but I did notice that two of the sources I peruse for health-related information had his case as their topic in the past week:



I feel very uncomfortable about the extent that my wife Jack ─ and her two sons ─ are involved with their cellphones. My phone is primarily just to get texts and calls from Jack.

The only other big use I have for it is to keep tabs on the time.

I use the house phone (landline) when I make calls. As for receiving calls, the only people I will accept calls from on my cellphone live right here within this house ─ Jack and her sons, and my younger brother Mark.

I am feeling rather tired ─ it's difficult to sit here and make discussion about anything. I needed a better sleep than I got last night, and I certainly could have used a nap at some point today. It's all telling on me now.

I am going to close out now with a journal entry of mine from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I hadn't made an entry in the previous two days, and this entry explains why.

In that previous entry, I had written that I was expected to show up that evening at the home of my younger brother Mark and his girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther ─ who were renting a home located on Bentley Road in Whalley. I was supposed to go camping with them over the weekend, and that day was a Friday.

But I didn't feel up to hiking with my 'equipment' from my room in New Westminster out to Whalley. I wasn't keen on the camping expedition, anyway. So I decided to just wait and see if they wanted me to come along badly enough to seek me out.

Jeanette had two beautiful little girls...and there was the family German shepherd, Daboda.

I didn't have a telephone.

My last words were that I was getting to bed at 9:45 p.m.
MONDAY, August 2, 1976

Mark and family came for me soon after I turned out my lights Friday night. That was the high point of the trip.

We spent the night out 'neath the stars by James Lake, then Saturday morning Mark rented a row boat, but we were cold and ill-favoured for fishing.

We decided to leave, finally winding up at Spuzzum Creek (I think) where we camped till this morning.

The only exciting sights were a fist-sized frog, a chipmunk, a fat shrew-like creature, and a marmot.

We saw lots of fish, but if Mark hadn't swiped two among many Indians had hung out to dry, we'd never has [sic] tasted any.

Saturday was our sole sunny day away.

Cathy grew sarcastic, but continually insisted burdening Mark with herself and the kids, effectively restricting his mobility in trying to fish.

It was this morning Mark came to camp with his brace of salmon.

I am thoroughly drained of any inclination to camp any further this summer, and am not relying on Cathy to do any partnership janitoring with me when S.A.N.E. and I part ways. I'm relying more on a lottery win.

I did discover that Mark's missing Montreal Olympic Lottery ticket birthday gift from me showed up around last Wednesday, to my relief.

I this morning took a photo at camp of Mark with his "catch."

I wonder what Bill's been doing?

I typed Terri a 1-page letter after getting  home.

I've exercised little, but eaten enormously.

About Wednesday Cathy & kids are heading East for possibly as long as 22 days.

Mom got home Friday, and apparently Alex did not take my mail over to Mark's last Friday, leaving me to conclude I had none those first 3 days.

The landlady came for the rent at the most possible convenient time (it was 8:30 p.m.).

Bed at 9:30 p.m.
I have no idea where there is a James Lake ─ maybe I meant Jones Lake? The only James Lake I found any mention of is in the Kelowna area. 

I have no memory of this camping trip. Can this be Spuzzum Creek? I'm familiar enough with Spuzzum, but not a like-named creek.

I remember Mark once filching some salmon that the Indigenous Canadians in the Spuzzum area were drying via traditional methods, but that was several years after this. I honestly do not remember this first occasion. The photo I mentioned must have been taken with a camera belonging to Mark and Jeanette, for I have no such photo.

Well, son of a gun! I do have that photo of Mark:

I always knew I had this photo, but I thought that it was one taken a couple or so years later when Mark and I had gone camping with Larry Ernest Blue.

Now, back to my description of the journal entry, Jeanette had previously suggested that she and I should partnership in a janitorial contract to clean offices as evening janitors, but I was despairing of that likely taking form. I was about midway through a three-month contract of full-time employment with a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E., but I had no idea what was in store for me thereafter.

Mark's birthday had been July 9. One of the items I had bought for him was a mail-ordered Olympic Lottery ticket that cost me $10 ─ quite a lot back then for a lottery ticket. The mysteriously absent item for which there had been no trace had finally arrived.

William Alan Gill was one of my three oldest friends, and someone who seemed to dote on Jeanette and her girls. I was likely wondering what he had been up to in everyone's absence.

The short letter I typed up was to Terri Martin, an American pen-pal I had back then.

The trip Jeanette and the girls were planning on taking was just to Jeanette's family home in Saskatchewan.

My mother Irene Dorosh had been away for maybe a couple of weeks, visiting her own family home back in Ontario. During the last week, I knew that Alex ─ her husband ─ was supposed to have supper Wednesday evening at the home of Mark and Jeanette, so I made a bid to go to the house in his absence to check for my mail ─ the home my mother and Alex shared was my main mailing address.

When I hiked there from New Westminster and found no mail, I supposed that maybe Jeanette had suggested to him to bring it over with him when he went there to have supper. It rather made sense, since Jeanette was expecting me Friday evening, just two days later.

I don't understand why I said in this latest journal entry (after returning from camping) that Alex had gone to the home of Mark and Jeanette on Friday ─ it had been Wednesday he was there for supper.

Perhaps I was just hustling through that entry when I wrote it, trying to encapsulate too many events into the one entry.  

As for my landlady, it likely was convenient for me that she came for the rent that evening just as my day was coming to a close. I was not going to have to be concerned about her the next day.

Incidentally, that particular day that we campers returned was a statutory holidayBritish Columbia Day. This year, the holiday is still to come ─ next Monday, as it happens.   
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