Well, I'm going in. Today I reported to Vanderbilt for some lung tests- basically just like in The Right Stuff, but much wussier and much less dramatic. Tomorrow I have a full dance card at the hospital; appointments starting at 9am, but treatment does not start until 2:30pm. A heart test first thing in the morning, then a meeting with the doctor and NP, and then a little face time with the radiation oncologist who will be tasing me in the spring. Finally, the infusion- and remember, I have been promised Ritz-level accommodations during that. Really- the NP made it sound nice. We shall see. Caitlyn will come later, for what we are calling Meet and Greet those who Treat Pete.

Had a little hiccup with the Itraconazole antifungal treatment. Well, more like emesis- the hiccup's big and ugly brother (it means puking, emesis does). I'd been sailing along fine on the treatment that the docs confidently gave me for the condition they are pretty confident I had, when the nauseous side effects popped up. It's not a great story, but it has given me a little unwelcome reminder of what nausea is. For me it is sitting there with my head bowed and in my hands, doing my best not to move a muscle, using all of my energy on focusing on not emesising all over the coffee table. Luckily, a retired neighbor of mine had some medication on him, and he shared some with me. Even more luckily, it was the kind of medicine that makes music sound even better, so he turned up the jazz and we chilled on his couch for a while, and it was cool. Also, much love to our doctor friend for answering her phone at 5am and calling in an antiemitic prescription for me all the way from NYC- who knew they could do that?!

My mom sent me a cookbook today with the message "Fuck Cancer" on the enclosed Amazon card. I can picture her typing it in the Add Message field, maybe pausing for a moment to wonder whether you can write something like that in there, and then hitting continue.

Funniest thing said to me, in support of me, so far: "Um, do you want me to run a marathon for you?"
- Rebecca Childers

Caitlyn and I walked down to Star Bagel the other day for coffee and breakfast, and it was cold, but we sat outside because they discriminate against dogs. I was inside ordering when I ran into Bob Sillers, our across the street neighbor. I asked him to join us outside, and he brought his coffee and muffin out.

Bob is a great guy- he is retired, maybe 70 or so, and is part-owner of a little Italian restaurant in our neighborhood. He is tall with sparkling eyes and a white goatee and perpetually tanned skin- doubtless helped by the hours and hours he spends tending his jealousy-inspiring front yard. He is soft spoken, but there are flashes of intensity in there.

So the four of us sat outside in the chilly sunshine, talking about our plans for the day- Bob's included going to the flea market with a modest wad of cash to find some treasures. We talked a little bit about the AMP transit system that is a hot-button issue in our neck of Nashville. I wasn't sure whether Bob knew what was going on with me. I had sent out an email to a few neighbors, but Bob wasn't on the list.

Caitlyn went inside for something, leaving Bob and me alone on the Star Bagel deck. Whatever we were talking about trailed off. Bob put his hand on my leg, and I looked him in the eye.

"Pete- you are going to beat this thing." Bob's eyes bored into me. Everyone has said something about how I have a good attitude, or maybe that their friend had Hodgkins and he crushed it, but no one had made me look them in the eye and said that to me. My lip quivered and I reached up under my glasses to wipe the tears away.

"I know, " I sniffled, our Good Will Hunting moment being much shorter than the one in the movie. But this one was real, and it was something I needed to hear, in a way I needed to hear it- it just came form someplace unexpected.