Tuesday, March 18, 2008

day +210

Yesterday morning I was at Sloan for a CBC followed by a PET scan. I plan to call Dr. Castro-Malaspina's office on Thursday for results and have noticed since then a slight pressure in my chest. It's probably nerves. Jokingly, I think everyone knows the drill by now.

Following the scans, I went up to the larger section of Highbridge Park in Manhattan where I explored the area for the first time. The Manhattan side of the Alexander Hamilton and Washington Bridges sits right in this section of the park, so I was eager to see what photographic opportunities I may find but it's a vast, desolate park (at least in the winter) which I must confess isn't the safest, most comfortable place to be wandering alone.

This afternoon I received the prints from Imagekind that I had ordered and I was quite pleased with the results. I'm hoping that I'll be able to drop them by the framing store on Saturday.

During the past several days, I've been thinking a lot about that proposed trip of mine to Glacier National Park in late May or early June but after much thought, I have decided not to go forward with it. Ideally, for a trip like this I would have to have taken care of the airline tickets, lodging, and other related arrangements back in December but of course, at that time I didn't know if I would be well enough by the spring/summer to travel so I wasn't able to make any plans. A few days ago, I looked at the airfare costs online and they're higher than what I'd like to pay. In addition, I don't want to rush putting a trip together. Ideally, I'd like to have a bit more time to plan things out. Another point of concern is the fact that I haven't started the reimmunization process yet. I don't know how wise it would be for me to travel amongst other travelers and then, to be in the outdoors without having received certain vaccinations. So, all these concerns - costs, adequate time for planning, and health - together made me drop the idea of planning a trip to Montana this spring.

Despite this, I haven't dropped the idea all together. Incredibly, I expanded it. Instead of traveling in the spring, I thought "How about the summer?" How about leaving in late August? August 21st would mark the one year anniversary of my allo transplant and I can't think of a better way of celebrating this milestone than to do the one thing that I've been wanting to do for five years now but from which cancer has prevented me: visiting Glacier. However, I'm thinking about not only visiting Glacier National Park, but also the Pacific Northwest, California, and perhaps New Zealand and the Cook Islands in one sweeping journey. Back in February 2006, you may remember a post that I made in which I expressed this very desire. (Though for the sake of time, money and the fact that I'll be in need of a routine checkup scan after such a long trip, this time I'll need to stop the trip in the South Pacific rather than including both Africa and Asia as I had hoped for in my original plan.)

Such a trip, I estimate, would take about 4 months. Waiting until the late summer would afford me more time to plan and hopefully, buy tickets at a decent price. In addition, that will be roughly five months from now so I hope that by then more or perhaps all of the remaining medications that I'm taking will have stopped.

Of course, I must first run this by my doctor when I see him again on April 7th. Such a bold, adventurous trip may not be practical just yet but considering that this present period might be the last great swath of free time before either I return to school or start working makes me want to try to make this happen if it's possible.

Finally, I watched Obama's much anticipated speech today which I found deeply moving. It was bold, courageous, and brilliant, I thought, but whether his speech will end the almost exhausting, ad nauseum cable news focus on the problematic relationship between Obama and his pastor and how it will play out with the electorate remains an open question.

As someone who has been moved by and gravitated to the uplifting and unifying message of Obama's campaign, I'm definitely troubled by what has happened so suddenly and I'm also at a bit of a loss or better yet "deflated" and yes, even hurt somewhat at the prospect that his association with Rev. Wright may well have ruined his campaign (if not in the primary then in November). Like so many supporters of his campaign, I've become very invested and passionate about his candidacy. In the few election cycles that I've been able to participate in thus far, this is the first time in which I have felt genuinely inspired by a candidate and his message. After 8 years of endless lies, abuses, doublespeak, and no transparency whatsoever, it's a bit refreshing I must admit to hear a politician come forward candidly and then, disclose his perspective on the subject and to address honestly some of the wounds that still plague our nation but then, to offer a vision looking forward. At the same time, however, this controversy isn't about race really. Honestly, it's about judgment and in this department, though it hurts me to admit it as an Obama supporter: he fucked up . . . big time. He should have known better and acted earlier.

Was his explanation today enough? I don't know. It's just a sad spectacle to see what has been a terrific campaign until now hit so hard that now it's fighting for its very survival. But then again, this may turn into a transformatively positive and historic moment in his campaign. Who knows?


Comment Blogger Candace Kuchinski said...

Hi Duane,

Thanks for the congrats on my blog. As far as your post, I too am an Obama supporter and his view on his association with Rev. Wright only makes me admire the man even more. He condemns what Rev. Wright said and admits that his pastors political views are not his own. But, he defends his friendship with the Rev. saying there is more to the man than his ranting. We only see the snippets the media decides to show. The media is the real culprit. The candidates, the campaign, and the issues are too boring, so they are concentrating on "surrogates" comments that are completely out of the control of the candidates. I don't think either Ferraro's or Rev. Wright's comments should be given any weight. One last thing. His association with Rev. Wright makes me believe he can be a unifier of differences. For how can he hope to bridge the divide if he did NOT have associations, even friendships, with people of differing ideas, like the Rev? Stepping off my soapbox for now. Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

9:35 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

I really appreciate your comment, Candace.

Honestly, in sharing my thoughts about this controversy I was hoping to not rattle any cages, so I am relieved knowing that at least one of my readers isn't offended.

Thanks for sharing your ideas.

9:51 PM  
Comment Blogger Jim Anderson said...

I'm not offended either. I follow Obama's campaign with curiosity. With any presidential candidates, we have to constantly try to look for deeds to support all the words and promises, especially from those who are light on experience and accomplishments. On the current 'pastor' rantings issue this is what I'm concerned with.
In Philly on Tuesday, Obama said "The most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning," referring to the hour spent in church and the reality that Americans generally worship in racially defined congregations.
While I was watching the video's of Pastor Wright Damning America and spouting all kinds of wild theories concerning the government and white people, the camera panned across the congregation; all black people. The Trinity church appears to be very afro-centric, to use a word I read in the newspaper.
I'm concerned that on one hand, Obama bemoans the fact that churches are segregated and on the other hand he makes no attempt to attend a segregated church. I'm concerned that at first he claimed not to be aware of Wright's wild political views over his 20 year attendance, then later changed his story to say he did know but did not support them. I'm concerned because some of the things Wright said during the video were reprinted word for word in Obama's book, "The Audacity of Hope". How could he not have adopted many of the political and racial views of the man, Paster Wright, who Obama claims was the inspiration for his book? Does it appear that Obama, like most politicians, is trying to play to both sides? What are his TRUE beliefs? With politicians you have to look very hard to find the true candidate. I voted for Gore in 2000 but because of concerns about his character I could not vote for Kerry in 2004.
My respect for Obama has taken a big hit on the Trinity Church revelations.

5:46 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Good points, Jim. Good points.

7:28 PM  

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