Friday, June 18, 2004

Day 18: White Light Swirling, Living Without a Revocable Trust, and More

The day before yesterday, Brad Wetmore, former Trusted Solaris engineer, drove me to radiation. Brad is about 6' 7" so it must look funny to see the both of us stand side by side.

Former Sun Network Storage (NWS) co-worker, Tom Brodie, drove me to my radiation appointment yesterday. Both Brad and Tom can vouch that I was not as bad as I described in my emails. The difference is the morphine prescription the doctor recently wrote for me to take as needed. Hooray for morphine. I only take it once or twice a day and at half the prescribed maximum, but it helps give me a break. I also probably feel better because it's been almost 2 weeks since the last chemo round was over.

For those who haven't heard, scientific research has found that people taking morphine for pain management don't get addicted and are generally safe to drive. The ones who take morphine to feel better than normal are the ones who get addicted or addled enough to not be able to drive.

I hope the morphine helps with whatever the second round of chemo that I start on Tuesday next week will bring me in the way of symptoms.

The chemo doctor is thinking of skipping or shortening the five days of 5FU next time because of my symptoms. She'll decide on Monday when she sees me. She'll still give the day of cisplatin in any case, The rationale is that the chemo softens up the tumor to make it respond better to the radiation. Makes sense. I'm also getting the picture that the tonsil cancer has been slowly growing for years. Those slow-growing tumors are harder to zap that the fast growing ones.

The radiation doctor looked down my throat and said that the tonsil has shrunk. The swollen lymph node is still about the same in my neck.

Anne Alexander another former NWS writer, drove me a couple of weeks ago when I was wearing a 5FU chemo fanny pack, and I was just beat. The two of us were just beat, actually, on a hot Friday afternoon in rush hour traffic.

Thanks to Brad, Tom and Anne. And thanks to all of you. Even if I don't specifically mention your names, I am very grateful for all the kind acts you have done.

Sharon Bradshaw, who is one of the many people that would classify themselves as spiritual but not religious, wrote this:

As I was driving in to work, I had this vision of you and white light
swirling around and through you. This bright light is filled with love,
resolve, peace, and healing.


My money making is limited these days to whatever State Disability will give me. I got my first check yesterday, which was a relief, since I wasn't positive I would qualify.

Today, my son and I went downtown to James Quillian's law office to investigate a living trust. He talked us out of getting one. That's a goodwill-building-thing-to-do, Liberty said. The lawyer didn't get any money from us this time, but if either of us need a lawyer in the future, we would definitely think of him.

The lawyer said that probate is not required for estates as small as mine. He told us a few things to do that will achieve what I was trying to do with the living trust. 1. Sign a joint tenancy deed without registering it. Liberty could then register it if I die. 2. Go to the bank and set up the accounts so they automatically are transferred to my son's name after death. My 401K is already assigned to my children. 3. Set up a rollover will for all other assets.

This is just in case I die for any reason.

The Letitia building where the law firm is housed was built in 1890 and restored after falling to ruins during the depression. It is an elegant relic, with 14 foot windows and lots of fine architectural features like moldings and a stunning atrium waiting room. Haven't seen much by way of elegant buildings around here, like I did in Boston when I was growing up. Everything seems better ordered in such a gracious setting. Letitia, the woman for whom the building was named, was the wife of a San Jose councilman, C.T. Ryland, who build the building, and the daughter of Peter Burnett, the first American civil governor of California.

Walking downtown was for me like a former smoker entering a bar for the first time. I used to eat out when I went downtown. "There's Bella Mia," I pointed out to Liberty, "A bunch of us piled onto the trolley and went there a few times for lunch from the TSOL group offices on No. 1st Street." The smells of food reminded me that I'm at least temporarily a reformed eater. I've lost close to 20 pounds, which is just about the only thing positive I can say about this whole experience. Oh that and the help of you all.

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