Most visitors to this site will likely have heard the news already, but I have pancreatic cancer that has spread to my liver. I don't smoke, I don't drink, and there's not really a history of pancreatic or liver cancer in my family—so this was completely unexpected.View An Unwelcome Guest
Often throughout my life, I've been told that I “radiate calm” or words to that effect, which is typically a good thing. Given the recent circumstances, though, I think there is a concern I may be taking this conceit too far. More than one person has looked at me as if saying, “Shouldn't you be more distraught?” I know this because one of the first people to think so was me.View The Calm During the Storm
I'd like to thank the Academy…and all the others who have shown their support since I got my diagnosis.View Oscar Acceptance
I know people have been waiting for an update, so I agreed to an interview by my good friend Cyril the salamander.View Interview with Cyril
I continue to be deeply moved by the volume of support via email, website comments, letters, phone calls, and visits. Occasionally, someone apologizes for taking a long time to respond or not knowing what to say. But there's no need for any apology.View What to Do? What to Say?
Enough of this nostalgic nattering! Sgt. Friday would not be impressed. The cry goes round Derwood and environs, “Give us the facts!”View Just the Facts
First day of chemo treatment is (hopefully) winding down, and although I haven't been hit yet with major side effects it hasn't exactly been fun either.View High Fashion (and Elephants)
Ever wondered how chemo drugs know to attack cancer cells but not other cells in your body? Well… they don't.View Oncologists Have a Sense of Humor
Acupuncture can cure hiccups… or can it? Elliot puts this ancient practice to the test.View I Get the Point
Obviously I can't speak for anyone's mindset save my own. These are a few changes I've discerned since getting my diagnosis—since Elliot-Then became Elliot-Now.View The Cancerous Mindset
I know I said I don't really have a bucket list, but after not being able to enjoy my favorite foods for a few months I do have a new goal. It's a plate list.View My Plate List
If you caught the newscast a couple of weeks ago, you might be wondering: Why two radiation treatments? I sat down with the radiation docs a few days ago to get a full explanation.View Glow-in-the-Dark Elliot
In which we catch up on recent events via the time-honored tradition of answering readers' letters.View Mail Grab Bag
There hasn't been much to report lately, which on the whole is good. Both the radioembolization mapping procedure (AKA the dry run) and the actual RE procedure itself went smoothly—I was awake for both, but the sedation kept things pain-free. Recovery period was about a day, which meant I was able to enjoy a terrific Thanksgiving. Both sides of our family were there, as well as a co-worker of Anne's who gave us tips on emigrating to Canada. Not that we're considering it… much.View No News Is Good News
Saw the oncologist yesterday, and the CT scan results are “as good as can be expected”—no sign of cancerous growth or spread. Of course if we entertain the unexpected, we could hope the cancer would actually be disappearing instead of holding steady. But it's too soon for the radioactive yttrium-90 particles to have accomplished much. Maybe by the next scan in a couple of months.View Some News Is Still Good News
That seems to be the rallying cry among those I meet now. And in truth, I'm thrilled. Losing hair elsewhere was not exactly a new experience, but I've been bearded since college.View The Beard Is Back!
Just saw the oncologist recently, and once again there's very little change. The pancreatic and liver masses haven't grown significantly, and my CA-19 (blood cancer marker) level is still around 310. That's down from an initial high of 1,600.View Today Is Wednesday…
Minibar, of course. The 2017 Plate List Tour continued recently with an epic meal at José Andrés's culinary landmark.View What do you call a restaurant that seats only 12?
Hard to believe, but apparently that restaurant is Komi. So no video or slideshow this time around. I can post the menu, although (as with Minibar) the all-too-brief course descriptions don't do the dishes justice:View What do you call a restaurant that doesn't allow pictures of food?
Two days ago, the Plate List Tour was scheduled to visit Rasika, DC's temple of fine Indian cuisine. Did we partake of pleasing portions of paneer? Taste tangy tidbits of tandoor? Nibble on nourishing nuggets of naan?
We did not. I ate a simple dinner at home that night. And it was delicious.View Strictures on Eating
I've been solving crosswords for, oh, decades now. I even have a vivid memory of my parents bringing home the inaugural issue of Games magazine back in the fall of 1977. So I've gotten pretty good at both American and English (or “cryptic”) crosswords. But I've never competed in a crossword tournament… until last weekend.View Crossing Swords in Stamford
Radiation starts in a few days, so the Plate List Tour is on hold until I see how the lasers affect my digestion.
In the meantime, you are cordially invited to share in the Tour's previous outing: Fiola. This contemporary Italian establishment offers à la carte courses and a tasting menu prepared by Chef Fabio Trabocchi. Most of us opted for the tasting menu, but with one crucial exception…View Fee, Fo, Fum, Fiola
Two weeks of external radiation down, one to go. So far, it's a bit of a mixed bag.
The radiation treatment itself has been relatively smooth. But it may have exacerbated my ongoing stomachache. This abdominal distress started right after I got the stent in mid-March, and at the time the docs said some discomfort was normal as my body adjusted to this foreign invader.View Dynamite With A Laser Beam
Since turning 21, I generally haven't paid much attention to birthdays. My attitude has basically been “every day is one day older”.
That changes with a cancer diagnosis.View How I Spent My Birthday
My apologies for the lengthy lacuna between posts. These past few weeks have been fairly rough, and the combination of physical distress + lack of energy and motivation makes for poor blogging incentive. Let's see if I can catch up a bit.View Got Them Old Backside-Barin’, Summertime-Shiverin’ Hospital Gown Blues Again