April 9th, 2011
Haven’t had too much to say. Each round gets a little worse.. The pain lasts longer. I’m two days from another treatment cycle, and still having to take pain meds. WOW. This chemo stuff is powerful. I had 5 days of vicious mouth sores (tongue sores, to be precise), which I’ve decided are the WORST of the side effects. But at this point my eyes are on the horizon. I’m just two bloody cycles from the end, and in 5 days the worst of this next one will be over. I’m as good as done with this stuff. Then I get to begin the slow but steady recovery. I’ll gradually get stronger, the bits of me that have had trouble healing while being assaulted with chemo drugs, will get back to the business at hand, my skin will clear up, my hair will come back, and hopefully the pain will go back to wherever it came from and leave me the hell alone.
During the last few months I’ve been doing quite a lot of planning. I know that towards the beginning of this recurrence all was called into question.. did it make sense for me to continue to try to be a bike builder, or should I move on to things that I could do in a weaker state? Should I write, should I take photographs, etc.. In the last months, though, the bikes have been pulling me back (even though I don’t know how long it’ll be before they let me ride one again! Though, I did take a quick spin on a customer’s bike the other day, just to get it up to Grant’s tomb, where I shoot photos, and it felt GREAT! A little strange, admittedly, given a considerably different anatomical reality in the region of my whatsits.. but great none the less). I’ve decided to continue. Not just continue, but actually dial things up a bit. I will be expanding the shop, and turning it into TWO spaces. One for metal, and one for wood. You heard it here first, Fast Boy Cycles WILL be offering wooden fenders a la carte again by the end of the summer. This won’t be a full time affair, they will be sold in batches.. three or four times a year a mailing will go out to the mailing list, and it’ll be first come first served.
I plan to spend the month between the end of my treatment and the end of Hillary’s semester, building out the new space, installing new equipment, designing new jigs and fixtures, etc. Once Hill finishes up her semester, we will take a bit of a much needed vacation up in Nova Scotia, if we can swing it, and when we get back, I’ll dive back into building bikes. There’s a bit of a queue already in place, but if you’ve been thinking for a while about getting a fast boy, and have been uncertain about the status of the whole affair, now is a very good time to order!
I understand that this is a bit of a gamble, but one can’t just live scared, you know? The notion that I could recur any old time is definitely affecting some of the decision making, but I can’t let it simply shut me down. I think that having this project as I finish treatment will be a good thing.. will make that transition go a little better.
I went to the bronx just now to look at a table saw. In some strange twist of coincidence, and synergy, it turnd out that the guy selling the saw lived in putney for a few years back in the seventies and his wife was the cook at the day care center that my mom ran, and remembers me and my brother well! How nuts is that!? (Eva and Carol, if you’re reading this, Dianna Warren says hello). Answer an ad on craigslist, and you never know who you’ll meet! (she’s also a colon cancer survivor). Weird. Life can be beautiful and strange. The saw is great. I’m going to buy it. Tomorrow. (Taking the Rican with me for muscle. We’d all be lost without friends.)