Today, on Facebook, I created a “Secret Group” titled “Richard Flantz’s life’s ending”, & invited 81 friends, so far, to join it. I will feel more comfortable posting my updates etc to this group of more intimate friends than to the public at large.
I know that some followers of my blog who don’t use Facebook would want to follow the posts and comments published in this group. The best I can do at present for these followers is to repost here the content of my posts there (but none of the comments & interchanges), while not sharing these reposts on my public Facebook timeline. Fyi. If any of you want more than this please tell me in a comment or by email…
Here is my first post to this group, posted there earlier today:
Yesterday I posted a happy meme proudly announcing that I’d stopped taking the opiates & would go on with what vaping the good herb could bring me.
I felt like a happy hippy hero again, it’s a feeling I’ve often liked.
But that was braggadocio. That high lasted only a few hours, & further vapes later in the day kept me stoned but brought little relief.
By night-time it was pretty bad, & this morning I just had to give in & take a dose of Ordine, & a few hours later another one as well as a slow-release Targin… & now it’s just bearable again.
& I want to share the following excerpts from recent correspondence:
My (only) cousin Charlie, who’s a year younger than me, & a doctor, wrote in a reply to an email from me, “It’s clearly a difficult balancing act between pain and constipation.” To which I replied today: “Yes, definitely a difficult balancing act!
Thinking about it, I find it surprising how little one hears about this phenomenon, & even more surprising that with all the advances in medical research, there as yet exists no effective relief of unbearable pain that doesn’t bring with it the sometimes at least equally unbearable pain of constipation. Then again, all this starkly (& funnily) images the limitations of being human…”
& my dear friend David Rothfield wrote in a comment to my blogpost Update / Opiated, 2017/12/24–26: “Whatever you decide about the chemo, we know it will be for the best. Yes, quality is preferable to quantity, but right now it doesn’t sound like quality. After that bout of pain you describe, there was no doubt relief, but at least after child birth, there is the delight of seeing the new life that you have brought forth.”
I thanked him for these & his other warm & wise words, & on these points I wrote:
“& you’re right on both points: what I’ve been going thru since these pains began is certainly not quality — & after the more excruciating moments there is never the delight of new life, only the relative relief of a less excruciating pain. & since these pains aren’t cancer related, & the scan shows the cancer isn’t growing quickly, the chemo question is irrelevant, & trying it would be only an additional anxiety-ridden hassle. I’ll see if the doctors can find some way to treat the spinal condition, & if they can’t then I’ll look for a way to end it all as painlessly as possible. & I’ll keep updating for as long as I can.”
& to my blogpost Update-2017-12-28-stoned-on-herb-no-longer-opiated, my dear young friend Jayson Berger wrote: “Brave man, brave choice, my heart is with you. Fight fight against the dying of the light!
“ thanks, jayson!
(but I really don’t feel i’m fighting against
& i’m certainly not raging against
whatever will come.)
Jayson: I was playing on Dylan Thomas’s poem but was careful not to use the word rage which I have a difficult time associating with you but rather was referring to the numbing effects of Morpheus on creative light.
Me: I know you were riffing on the brilliant [but (so I’ve long thought) conceptually flawed] Thomas villanelle.
But it’s important for me to be clear that for me this isn’t a fight, & that I’m not fighting anything.
& I’m not sure the morphine is numbing what creative light I still have — & if it is, so it goes..
& the light itself, it was there before me, & will go on after I’m gone.