Saturday, March 16, 2013

snow falling on corned beef and cabbage

Driving through snow flurries at dawn I picked up my 12 month lung cancer surgery follow up chest scan DVD and radiologists report. 

Amazing myself with my restraint to not peek I continued on in flurries to storage to unload my deejay equipment from the night before then to the grocery store for corned beef, stew vegetables, and cabbage.

Adding them all to the crock pot I began Googling the radiologist’s report. The more I googled the more confounded I got. Offering it to my daughter to read she noted at least it says there are “no tumors” everything else “is beyond me. If I was you I would have just waited until Wednesday when you meet with your medical team.”

Winter weather was distracting and soon I was out taking pictures.
Consumed by scanxiety and distracted by falling snow, unknown to me about 8 miles away outside Carlisle at about the same time I took this picture young people were dying and in pain in the 'same falling snow' as a bus carrying a college women’s lacrosse team ran off the road and hit a tree killing the driver and the head coach and her unborn child. Seton Hill head coach died from injuries in bus crash on PennsylvaniaTurnpike. In the bigger scheme of things, after learning the news I was ashamed to have dwelled on my unknowns. 

Heading out to pick up Patti for dinner I found myself thinking time with Patti is perfect to distract me, as Patti can never remember I have lung cancer. Her first words of greeting were “Yeah, now I can get a ciggy”.

Lighting a cigarette for her, I stand there monitoring her because physical and cognitive symptom can make her dangerous to herself when smoking.

Long story made short corned beef and cabbage was a hit topped only by the chocolate chip mint ice cream for dessert and of course, 'ciggies'.

Driving back from Patti’s care facility Bruce Springteen’s “Jungleland” blared through the speakers:
“… the poets down here
Don't write nothing at all, they just stand back and let it all be …
… they wind up wounded, not even dead. Tonight in jungleland”

My daughter snapped me out of my melancholy by asking if I had transferred Patti from wheelchair to bed by myself. She reminded me of a line that caught her attention on the radiologist’s report about “degenerative changes observed in the spine”. 

Patrick Leer
Health Activist:
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @


  1. Its interesting they give the patient the report/CD to transport before the fact of meeting with the doctor for the official results. Everyone is going to be curious to read what is said in it and then be confused like you relate Patrick. I could probably interpret it for you, but that definitely is between you and your doctor; had to laugh about the degenerative changes; we are at that age that the majority of us will have them :)

    Good for you for cooking corned beef; that is one thing I haven't mastered, but maybe because I'm not Irish.

    I didn't know you were a deejay (or if I did, I forgot, that's what happens when one gets older :)

    try not to be too anxious about what lies ahead when you meet with your doctor next week



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