You know, I love soup. I love it. Always have. When I was a kid, it was Campbell's all the way- chicken noodle, chicken with stars, chicken with rice. Beef with Barley. Maybe tomato, if none of the aforementioned were available. Cheddar Goldfish, maybe parmesan, were mandatory; I would drop them in by the handful, then skim them off the top and eat a spoonful of damp fish. When the bowl was overfished and the Cheddars were extinct, another handful would go in and get skimmed out and then get devoured. By the time I got to the sedimenty bottom of the bowl, I had probably ingested about a thousand calories worth of cheddar fish, in addition to the blood pressure-spiking sodium in the soup itself.

My mom always makes great turkey soup right after Thanksgiving, with rice and carrots and huge, sandwich-worthy flaps of turkey. And Caitlyn makes great soup- in fact, everything to her is a potential soup, and the bushels and pecks of leafy vegetables we get every week from our CSA keep us in good supply of soup fodder. There is a great cabbage and lentil soup in our fridge right now- I had two bowls today.

And now it's midnight, and I am having a chicken noodle soup, dotted with Sriracha and with a Cameron Hughes syrah. I have to eat something, because I have pills to take- itraconazole, to be specific, and antifungal that comes in one size, horse, and is filled with little 1mm balls that make a mesmerizing but fleeting sound when they go down the hatch. They dissolve better in an acidic environment, so you gotta take them after a meal, then chase them with something acidic. Soup, pills, syrah.

The only thing that keeps my current condition from being boilerplate is what's going on in my right lung. There are some cavitary lesions in there- little bubbles that are not supposed to be there. One of the reasons bronchoscopy wasn't conclusive is that the FNA probing of these babies showed no cancer- which I took as good news four weeks ago, even though that meant the scalpels were coming out. Anyway, the docs think these could be one of two things. The first, and worst, possibility:

It's a manifestation of the cancer, which, since it would constitute "organ involvement," would propel my diagnosis to Stage 4. No bueno. If that's the case, it would not alter my planned chemo/radiation treatment at all- we'd just roll on with what we have planned. The docs are pretty much unanimously in agreement that this is NOT the case- Hodgkins just does not tend to present that way. Its telltales are usually hard bumps or sinister, creeping neoplasms. I am not too worried about this, as I cannot imagine my own organs being involved in such activities.

The other option (well, not really an option)- the one that we're treating without really knowing- is that I have a fungal infection in addition to the Hodgkins. See, they did a "wash" when they did the bronchoscopy- squirted some saline around, collected it, then sent it down to the lab so the whitecoats down there could try and grow something from it. And guess what! Something's growing, but they don't know what it is yet. Something fungal. Maybe truffles. They don't know yet, and it might be a couple more weeks til they do. Might be histioplasmosis, which we're all exposed to in this part of the country, or maybe coccidiomyosis, which you find in CA and AZ and around there and has a bunch of names like "California Fever" and "Valley Fever" and also "Ol' Golden Coast dusty-lung." Well, I made the last one up, but you get the idea. My symptoms jibe pretty well with the coccidio symptoms, enough that they think that might be it, so they started me on the antifungals in kind of a shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later kind of move. I meet with an infectious diseases doctor on Thursday. And maybe the lab will call soon and tell me whether my wash is growing coccidio, or just mushrooms. We'll see.