3:45 am has become one of my new best friends. Insomnia is one of the wonderful side effects to several of the drugs they're giving me. It's not like I need less sleep, I just don't sleep for more than a few hours at a time. Fell asleep during Firefly last night. Fortunately I've got the series on DVD.

Living in Los Angeles it's rarely quiet. Traffic, people, car alarms, gun shots, helicopters, the occasional siren, none of them uncommon. The gun shots tend to be more seasonal, summer time kind of thing for the most part.

I'm now, not when I moved here, in the flight path of one of the runways for Burbank Airport. It's funny how when they were proposing the new runway, this was about 10 years ago, one of the things they assured the general public was that planes would not be landing after 10 pm and flights would be limited to a certain number per day.

The thing they didn't tell the public, but was in some fine print someplace obscure, was that IF, ha, they did land past 10 pm or exceed a certain number of flights they would have to pay a fee. I think it was as astronomical 300.00. That's a serious deterant if ever I've seen one. They land some bigass planes at Burbank.

But I digress. My new found companion 3:45 was the subject at hand.

It's a quiet tiime, for the most part. Gives me time to ponder and think and wonder why. Lots of whys.

Like, why these weird side effects. My finger tips, as is common from what I understand for chemo patients, are slightly numb. Nerve damage that, if I survive, SHOULD repair itself in 2 to 3 years. Generating heat is not as easy as it used to be. Cold never really bothered me before. Now it does. Forgetting things too. That's fun. Have a conversation with someone and totally forget having it. Leave things, like invoices or tools or whatever, and have no clue where they are. Chemo-brain is what one of the nurses called it. I'm not alone in any of this, I guess it's all pretty common. Still a pain in the ass though.

And speaking of a pain in the ass, that's literal. The list of side effects from the drugs I'm on run the gamut from might cause cancer to anemia to rashes to constipation to diarrhea (try having both sometime, it's a pure joy) to one of my favorites that seems to increase with every treatment, over production of stomach acid. That's really cool because not only is it painful in the good ol gastro intestinal tract but as the acid exits the intestinal tract it feels like :cens0r::cens0r::cens0r::cens0r:ting fire. Loads of fun.

In part I'm putting this hear because I don't think a lot of people know what goes on with chemotherapy. I haven't joined any support groups or sought out fellow sufferers so I may be wrong. But it's just after 4 am, who's sure of anything at 4 am? The fact that the ONE common thing I hear is that nothing is certain, makes me wonder, especially in the wee hours of the morning, why? How come? There is no answer. I know this, but still I wonder.

I finished my 6th round of chemo this weekend and now am scheduled for lots of fun stuff to see if this did any good. PET scan, CAT scan, CT scan, all sorts of blood tests, they took 18 vials the other day, having shunt put in my chest to harvest stem cells provided mine are cancer free, more drugs to stimulate production of those stem cells, and doubtless a couple of other tests or procedures I have forgotten.

Right now I have some very serious doubts about doing this again if it doesn't work this time. They expect remission at the least, but that should, with what is known now, last 2 to 5 years. Quality of life is something I've always been aware of. Now, and in the not too distant future, it's a lot more serious than my life pre-cancer.

When you, I, have to consider that ..... suffering and pain and nausea and all the other crap that goes with this, not to mention the mind bending thought that you, I, won't be around, in all likelyhood, to see your, my grandchildren, won't be getting a puppy when your, my, faithful companion of the last 15 years dies because that puppy will probably outlive you, me, that any plans you, I, had for when your kids were finally out and on their own, may well not matter at all, well, it gives pause for thought.

Then you, I, buck up and soldier on because you, I, are not pussies, wimps or inclined to either give up or give in. It helps to be stubborn. It also helps to know that even though you, I, have been a right royal ass on occasion, that you, I, have done what you, I, could to .... I don't really know how to put it, but to do good, to help generate The Grace, to be an example worthy of something, to have contributed.

That's a good way to put it.

To have contributed.

As an example, in person, in lifestyle, in attitude, in silence. Were it not for this question of mortality now sitting beside to me, I would not be putting any of this out there. But, though I believe it is best to find these things on your own, it's also possible that I have become one of those guideposts that help find the way, remarkable as that is.

That in and of itself, is not nothing. And that's something. More than enough, really.

Worry not, fear not, those who have expressed those sentiments to me, I am well, mentally and may well be well physically after all this is done.