Good, from the neck up

On the phone the other day, a relative said “You sound really good, Chris.” Visitors who see me seated, frequently at our patio table comment on how “good” (I think they mean “healthy”) I look. I feel good much of the time – and let’s be clear that glioma, blessedly, is free of the wrenching pain that accompanies many cancers- the brain doesn’t, interestingly, have a nervous system that allows it to sense pain in itself, for all its massive neural machinery.

Except for the creeping, now neck-down left-side paralysis and attendant nightly muscle spasms (a common fallout from paralysis, I’m told) and a perennial back ache caused by the right side constantly trying to yank the slumping left to something like level. My pain relievers at this point are no stronger than all-day aspirin remedies like Alleve.

I’ve written about my hemiplegia (paralysis) and hemiparesis (muscle weakness), before, and can assure all comers that it’s no fun, especially for a formerly active jogger and hiker who still pines for the trails of Windy Hill and the rest of the Peninsula Open Space. It won’t be entirely unwelcome to cease having to deal with those particular conditions.

Other unwelcome fallout includes, apparently, an enlarged prostrate, which has arrived in sync with the new brain tumors – wether just my luck to get this old man’s condition now, or related to an immune system that’s going nuts trying to contain the cancer, it, too is no fun. When you’re not very mobile, it’s definitely a drag to constantly need to visit the bathroom. Fortunately an old college buddy is now a renowned urologist, and he’s fixed me up with a prescription that’s been a great help.

While we’re on the topic, we see that Christopher Hitchens has gone public with some of the more intimate fallout from his esophageal cancer, so we’ll note that glioma, particularly a right-side lesion, particularly one located on the motor strip has tragic consequences for one’s sex life.

Other than that we’re fine, mom, really….another Countdown post, aimed at, perhaps, helping those who may find themseves walking in my path…


About Chris Gulker

Chris Gulker, a self-described Infuential Blogger, lived in Menlo Park, California with spouse Linda. He passed away in late October 2010.
This entry was posted in All, My Brain, New Life, The countdown. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Good, from the neck up

  1. Janene Cooper and Doug Hall says:

    Hi Chris,
    Kathi tuned us into your blog…how many years has it been? Too many to catch up on everything, but not too long to be thinking of you with love and wishes. Doug and I are currently living in New Hampshire, but about to make the return move to the west coast after 28 years in October…here’s Doug: it is hard to hear about your battle with cancer – it should teach me to do the work to stay in contact with people that are special, like you. Janene and I have had (and continue to have) a lucky and fulfilling life. We have talked about you often and remember the times we had together in college. Love Doug and Janene

  2. Stuart Rosenberg says:

    Thanks for the plug! Stuart

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