Friday, May 23, 2008

Medical center

12th and Marshall


Thursday, May 22, 2008

on the road

nine east


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

vitamin I

When Sophie ate rat poison I gave her vitamin K. Two days ago she got into a bag of ibuprofen, looked like dog food. In general she doesn't like pills, hoping she didn't take a dose.


Friday, November 17, 2006


Yesterday I talked to a man who has a donated heart beating in his chest.
A year ago today a team of medical people took me apart and put me back together again.
The procedure they performed was next to miraculous.
mir?a?cle? /?m?r?k?l/[mir-uh-kuhl] ?noun
1. an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
2. such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.
I am the beneficiary of the intelligence and dedication of a multitude.
I am deeply thankful.


Thursday, August 31, 2006


Recent friend hedy dog lele has fallen ill, looked like any cancer. Each time saw we come visiting, also no longer flushed us to call. Outside only is alone lies prone in the entrance, the penetration iron ?? calmly looks at the world. Often chats with hedy her recent situation, hedy conceals ??. She said these two days dawdles dog, walks from entrance that street to on a next door street, probably to 100 feet distances, do not have to step onto for more than half hours. Lele could not take a walk. Just like the old age the old person, slowly is measuring the life which own be not muches left. She stops from time to time, some times are in a daze on the station in that, motionless. Hedy is affecting the string, tries Tugra she to go home, she does not want. She does not like returning in the room which lonely surrounds. She likes on looking like this she is familiar with the street, occasionally passed by the partner, in the wind drags branch, as well as west under setting sun.

Lele this year probably had 13 years old. Listens to Hedy to say, childhood she, unusual lively and lovable, the tail also curled upwards Lao Gao. After grows up changes is very much very very arrogant, has like her noble blood relationship. Her side has an exceptionally faithful protector. Calls Shelly. This year also had 11 years old. Is dissimilar with lele body pure white wool, a Shelly body swarthy, but also calculates smoothly. Saw his time, his rear part is already castrated, also did not have the tail (to hear this kind of variety dog tail very was since birth short, frequently could simply rip). Often together takes a walk on the street, Shelly on nearby arrogant lele turns circle. If saw has other dog maliciously to stare at to lele was looking or attempts to flirt, Shelly then can flush and others does the frame, no matter others physique is completely bigger than oneself. Usual lele can watch critically in the one side. Especially felt relieved as if to own protector. Only has was seeing Shelly soon not good time, only then can suddenly like the cheetah break through for an opposite party dog ear and the area around it, then rapidly runs off.

Although lele likes an arrogant princess, but her life uses the sentiment to be single-minded. She continuously silently is enjoying the Shelly similarly single-minded love. They are bound by a common destiny, help one another in difficult time, around a paragenesis had ten children, completely saw somebody off. In in her life final day, only has her life the companion to accompany her. She could not eat the thing, already skin and bones. I penetrate she a little fluffy mildew to trace all am the bone. Hedy said previous two days could not bear to her have washed a bath. Soaks under the hair demonstrated her whole body frame let her feel bad the good period of time.

Has, I penetrate dog's look clearly to feel the dog am a having mystical powers animal. She that sad look lets the person be very brokenhearted. I sedulously do not look at her eye. Now, she silences likes a stone. She also did not have the strength and Shelly again has played together, also did not have the strength to welcome the old friend visiting, she whatever Shelly occasionally also calmly lay prone in hers side accompanies her to silence together, recalled that to resemble the water as if together the time passage.

Reminds me of the April story

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Saturday, April 15, 2006


I am thankful for the serious people. For the people whose life work makes a difference. I haven't met many of them, my life is narrowly circumscribed, 90% of my time spent between Secretary's Ford, Riverbend and the Timberlake house. Don't get out much.

Circumstances brought me into contact with the serious man above. Engineer turned medical man. Head of the UVA Urology department. I can't do his resume justice so, my shorthand description for him, he is my medical Jesus.

Gratitude and thanks. This man, and his dedicated colleagues, RN's, PA's, MD's, hospital staff- this group of people gave me a shot at a long life.

How will it work out? It might, it might not. Too early to know. I am cautiously optimistic. The thing is, the UVA Urology department is doing technologically miraculous work. It's a complicated team effort. William Steers MD is head of the team.

Dr. Steers gave me life five months ago.

Heartfelt thanks.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Proof of Life

Sam LeBeau, UVA da Vinci program manager. POD 2


Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Whose going to save you? Your friends, your prayers, medical professionals, karma? All of the above?
Here's to those who have courage necessary to wield the knife.


Monday, April 10, 2006


My sister is headed for big surgery in a hospital I've never seen, surgery scheduled to start at noon today.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

navel gazing

Vast relief.
Bloodwork back. Will be doing this intermittently for years.
No indication of metastatic cancer.
Snowed in the village this morning.
At least for awhile.
Vast happiness.

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Thursday, December 08, 2005


I am on the no diet. No fruits, no vegetables, no nuts, no garlic, no onions, no apples, no tofu, lots of highly refined processed food. White bread, white rice. The adolescent boy diet.
I could write my doc and see if its time to revert to macrobiotic/raw food? Really, I am not in a hurry to eat healthy.
This no diet is fun.
Cheeseburger therapy approved at last.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

all things in time

Eventually we all take to bed, in a season of fear and need.
As it is always a time of fear and need so it is always a time to comfort and give. Somewhere in your community your consideration can ameliorate pain. Participate in that exchange.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

day of rest

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

anatomical position

remembering lbj

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

bill, blackbird and sister morphine

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005


painting by Jackson Pollock

My mom says "not too many details."
Making law, making sausage, not pretty.
I am taking a few days off.
I say with confidence.
Having some parts removed via surgeon directed robot.
Ah! The old days, when Chuck Taylors were made in Lumberton North Carolina. When voices on the phone weren't digitized.
Ah, the new day, when a surgeon can operate at a distance, when I can publish for $3.95/month.
Someone take care of hunger and hatred and it's a wrap.
I thank my community. I am blessed. In the hands of God. You know who you are.
Write me please.

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Saturday, November 05, 2005

corn trinity

In memory the broken stalks, constriction, drought, heat and death forgotten.
Digital apotheosis.
Visit, please visit, when the field has been swept clean. We love in memory.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Dx like the corn, Tx will be precise, a date with daVinci. Like the corn, waiting.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005



Monday, September 26, 2005


In his sixty-second year my dad was informed of unwelcome growth; malignant, metastatic prostate cancer. In spite of his yearly visits to the urologist undifferentiated over-enthusiastic cells had divided, multiplied in and burst the confines of his prostatic capsule.

Cut it out, cut it off, irradiate, inject.

Close the stable door.

Post-op my father went about his business. He visited his children, drank with friends, smoked a pipe, laughed, tended his garden, he welcomed the birth of grandchildren.

Doctors are reluctant to share the prognosis, to open the curtain and give the audience an awareness of the last act. We are growing to death, but Medicine denies the denouement. HealthCare professionals treat but they are reluctant to let you in on The Knowledge.

"If I were to share the probable course and outcome of this disease it might shorten your dad's survival."

The patient isn't clever enough to contemplate or plan for the future.

In his 70th year my father ached, his bowel habits changed, his body was failing. What could the matter be? The medical answer was at the end of a gauntlet of tests. The medical answer was also in the prognosis which had never been shared with my dad. For men with metastatic prostate cancer the Mortality and Morbidity graph slopes precipitously, eight years and farewell.

On Sunday we drove to the hospital in my ancient car, hints of spring afoot. His doctor telephoned orders ahead for the introduction of a large gauge catheter into my father's arm. A big bore proboscis, 10 gauge, like a fat pencil lead, sufficient in diameter to inject him with crème of wheat or grits.

My father had reached his three score and ten, the biblical span of a life. He was ready for home, ready to be with his parents and sister, ready to lie down and die. Dying follows life. It's straightforward for the pure of heart.

The MD resented my questions regarding the utility of the big needle. "I want large diameter so we can transfuse."

My father said no thanks to the transfusion. He took some IV fluids, we asked about controlling his pain, we went home.

The second week in April my dad signed his name to a tax return, he laughed, "death and taxes."

Lets call him by his name. Bill. Bill was a lucky man. Bill went the distance. He married the woman he loved. He saved money. His taxes were paid. He was looking toward dying at home, in his room, on the ground floor. Leaving in the youth of Virginia springtime, a shroud of violet and green, forsythia blooming outside the window.

He was brave, he was courteous, he was set to leave. He couldn't stay. He was listing, cancer man, he was full of unreliable tissue.

He stayed a little longer.

He stayed a week. The dogwoods bloomed.

He stayed another week, the dogwoods shed their petals, white on asphalt.

Eight years of being a father afforded me insight into how fathers think. I caught my dad on a good day, when no one was home, in forsythia time, on a solo run. I looked at him and said "I'll be o.k. I'll be o.k. when you go. You are my sun, you are the center of my universe and I will be o.k., you have grown me good, you have done your job, you can lie down now. I will be o.k."

Weekends, my daughters and I drove east to Richmond. Out of the Piedmont to the coastal plain. Granddaddy doesn't get out of bed anymore. I can kiss him all over, I tell him I love him. He can't get up and run.

Being a father made me a better son. Bill and I talked about everything. We said goodbye. These meetings were a gift from God.

He was a fiercely independent man, a powerful force. He worked in the predawn, he worked in shadow, he worked for peanuts. He worked for the joy of astounding. He worked alone.

He had this yule log thing.

Santa couldn't come to our house, no room, In the fireplace Christmas morning, without fail, a tree section that could have corked the sepulcher of the Nazarene. A hulking prehistoric cylinder of wood, oxen couldn't move it. How did he put it in place? We never knew, he wouldn't say.

In the shadows he made it happen.

Rattling, pausing, Bill was doing the scary breathing. The girls and I balanced on telephone-pole timbers, we walked, we stayed out of the house. I returned Emma and Helen to the Piedmont and doubled back to Richmond. I wanted to be with him. "yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil."

I wanted to be with him in the valley, I wanted to be at his hand.

I stayed awake all night, his last night. Sat on an extra bed in his room and read. I sat on the bed and looked at him, now very gone. His body decimated, his mouth open, his eyes not seeing. In shadow.

Morning came. The tulips were blown, the azaleas beyond their prime, it was time to plant tomatoes. He didn't die.

I returned to the Piedmont.

That night he died. He waited until no one was in the room.

I planted my tomatoes and hated spring for years to come.

I lied about being ready.

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

forty days

sometimes parents over react
Emory was granted medical permission today to walk on her own two feet, very pleased.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

bright red thing

Her parents gave her a carving knife, imagining wood block prints and whittled figurines as products of the blade.
She found a dead bird and with her friends set out to determine "cause of death."
They split the bird down its breast, separated organs, checked stomach contents.
In the bird they found a bright red thing. Too bright, too red, they showed it saying-
this is why the bird is dead.

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Monday, August 08, 2005

god's megaphone

How long a wait? How much work?

My friend said "pain is God's megaphone." My friend is an optimist? How was God's purpose served when this dog sustained extensive orthopedic injuries, struck by a car? Things happen.

Nice to think that there is someone watching out for the powerless, the innocent, the infirm. The kindness of strangers might be God's megaphone.

Pain is just pain.