Time to break my promise from my last post. I haven’t done squat since then with the math book I’m writing. On top of that, when I thought about what to include in my next post, I realized that the organization of the book doesn’t make much sense without knowing the idiosyncrasies of my education, so I’m still pondering what to write.
In the meantime, we took a break from our hectic schedule here and 4 weeks ago, we took a 2-week break. We visited our oldest granddaughter for a day in Nahunta, GA and spent the day shopping. That’s my least favorite pastime, but she enjoyed it, which is a bit strange since she normally likes being out in nature.
Every time we visit, it brings back memories of Shutruk-Na[k]hunte. I’m sure you recall him as the guy who competed with Ozymandias for fame and their everlasting place in history. His name was on the sign over the door in the movie The Emperor’s Club. It contained the unforgettable quote “I am Shutruk Nahunte, King of Anshand and Susa, Sovereign of the land of Elam. I destroyed Sippar, took the stele of Niran-Sind, and brought it back to Elam, where I erected it as an offering to my god, Inshushinak. — Shutruk Nahunte, 1158 B.C.” Sometimes I compare myself to good ol’ Shutruk; my ego is at least as big, but I missed out on destroying Sippar and taking their stele, and I’m nowhere near as famous.
We spent the rest of the week at Daytona Beach, visiting historic sites in the vicinity. This was during the deep freeze that covered the rest of the U.S. and we were just far enough south that the temperatures made it into the 60s and 70s (Fahrenheit).
We spent an afternoon at a state park just south of Flagler Beach hiking. There were several groves of gnarled twisted trees wrapping around and passing through the branches of each other. It’s the perfect place for a kid to wander through at midnight; he’d never be seen again after the trees grabbed him and did whatever trees do with kids. Along with that, we saw trees covered in green, pink, and bright red lichens, side by side. (I’m sure I’ve mentioned my love of lichens before.) The pink ones looked like they had been embedded in white plastic, and on the other side of the branch or stem were the green lichens. The red lichens are native to the deep south, and I don’t remember having seen any except in Florida.
We spent the next week on Edisto Island in South Carolina. It rained the first four days and was sunny the last 3 days. If you ever feel like being terribly lazy, it’s the perfect place. Every day, rain or shine, the dolphins are playing and feeding at Bay Point. They get within 10 yards of the shore, close enough to hear them breathing. There is always a show, and it’s as if they know the shore is lined with people watching them.
Something you see only in a narrow stretch of inlets in that part of SC (though there are claims that it also happens in north GA) is strand feeding, where anywhere from two dolphins to a pod encircle fish and force them ashore where they eat them at their leisure. Sorry – Windows Live Writer won’t let me copy the video, so I’ll have to link again. Strand Feeding #1 and Strand Feeding #2.
When we weren’t gorging ourselves on sea food, we were dolphin-watching, visiting historic sites including the plantations and shore at Botany Bay, or we were reading on the rainy days.
We had to get back so I could start my second month of chemo. Although I haven’t lost my hair and haven’t felt nauseous, azacitidine still isn’t pleasant when it gets pumped in day after day over a two-week period (including blood tests). On the first day, my hematocrit was 27 (about 60% of the hemoglobin I should have), and by the end, it had dropped to 24, which shouldn’t be happening. In addition, my white blood cell count dropped to a critically low point and I wasn’t allowed to be around other people.
Since then, I’ve been on filgrastim (brand name Neupogen) to stimulate the growth of neutrophils. On Monday, the testing begins again. I’ll let you know if I’m still alive.
Until the next exciting installment, I’m going to leave you hanging.