Ed Mycue

Dear Readers, if you have not clicked through already to read Ed’s comment to my Chicken Shawarma post, click here. You owe it to yourself to do so. In reading Ed’s comment you will be introduced to a fine poet, a great soul & a man old not only in years but in wisdom. I only know Ed by way of correspondence–we met when I was Poetry Editor of the Wallace Stevens Journal & Ed submitted envelopes stuffed & over-stuffed with his poetry & cover letters as poetic as the poems themselves. Here are a couple more Mycue resources–a video & selection of Ed’s poems. I continue to be astonished by the poet’s hard-edged realism expressed in the humane language of one perpetually love-struck by the world.

Shawarma Palace Chicken Shawarma Sandwich

For more than a month I have been eating bland food–that’s when I’ve felt like eating anything at all. Saltine crackers, oatmeal, peaches & cottage cheese . . . But the last couple of days my appetite has begun to return. A colleague dropped off some loaves of bread from his favorite bakery the other day & toasted it was life-restoring. Tonight, Carole was up in Ottawa with our new dog Buckle getting her first scent detection certifications. She stopped at the Shawarma Palace for dinner & brought me a plain chicken shawarma sandwich. Real Food.

It was late when she got home & I didn’t want to tempt the nausea gods out of hiding, so I only ate a couple of bites. It is difficult for me to describe how good those bites of sandwich tasted. Singer Warren Zevon, then dying of cancer, in his last TV appearance with David Letterman, advised viewers to “enjoy every sandwich.” It’s a cliché, of course, a tossed off piece of carpe diem perfectly suited to Zevon’s persona; but at the same time–& I tell you this now from personal experience–it is achingly true. I’m looking forward to eating my chicken shawarma sandwich for breakfast. Talk about a morale boost.

Update: Eaten for breakfast.

Chemotherapy Update (A List of Eight)

  1. After all my life absorbing the cultural lore surrounding chemotherapy, I have been surprised this week–the first of four–that Sunitinib worked so quickly to restore, however incrementally, my strength & lift my fatigue.
  2. The lore says you will be sick as a dog, but as far as I can tell the nausea I was experiencing as I began chemo was a side effect of Percocet taken for pain. Since switching to mostly morphine sulfate with only occasional Percocet for pain, I haven’t had any nausea. Morphine is not quite as effective as Percocet, but the trade-off is worth messing around with the morphine to get the dosage right.
  3. My hair has not fallen out. Yet.
  4. Sunitinib comes with an extensive kit that includes a little satchel complete with fancy medication box with compartments for each day of the week, those subdivided into times of day. I may use the pill box, but want nothing to do with the satchel, what with its brand-identification implications.
  5. Sunitinib costs approximately $466 / capsule.
  6. The satchel also contains several expensively printed pamphlets intended, near as I can tell, to usher one into the arcana of the “cancer community.” I want nothing to do with that community. Such a community is a granfaloon, to borrow Kurt Vonnegut’s neologism: “A granfalloon, in the fictional religion of Bokononism (created by Kurt Vonnegut in his 1963 novel Cat’s Cradle), is defined as a “false karass.” That is, a group of people who affect a shared identity or purpose, but whose mutual association is actually meaningless.”1
  7. Flinch reaction: As my pain has receded, I still find myself flinching when making certain motions, despite the fact that the flinch itself is more painful (now) than the gesture or movement.
  8. Among all the brochures there is one sober one that explains “Sunitinib is not a cure” & that “different patients respond differently to this drug.” My oncologist had already explained this to me while making it clear that there is no cure for my cancer when it has developed past a certain point. “No cure, only management,” or, in blues language, “Doctor say it kill me, but he don’t say when.”2

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Source: Wikipedia.
  2. “Cocaine Blues.”