Monday, November 24, 2008

day +461

This morning was my monthly follow-up at Sloan. Fifteen months post-treatment everything continues to look good overall. Recently, a fellow SCT survivor reminded me that it may be good to get a more accurate gauge of the strength of my infant immune system. So, I asked about this today. Michelle told me that while my immune system wasn't at normal strength, it was well above the minimum desired for a recent SCT survivor. (I forgot to ask for a print out of the exact figures.) My immunity's placement in this middle zone is, I was told, a consequence of both time and Tacrolimus, the immunosuppressive which I take twice daily. As more time passes, my body's immature T-cells should strengthen. At the same time, their development is restricted by the Tacrolimus, which suppresses their activity, but once the weaning process has begun my immunity level should begin to rise.

Neuropathy in my feet remains an issue, but I'm dealing with it. The numbness and tingling is most acute when I walk a lot. In recent days, I've noticed a slight tingling sensation in my fingers as well, but unlike my feet this feeling is irregular and transient. Michelle, the nurse who was subbing for Alli, was open to the use of acupuncture but expressed doubts about massage therapy. She acknowledged that its very personal, however. She said that some of her patients have reported some benefits from acupuncture, but for others not so. Dr. C-M, on the other hand, had a different opinion. He said neither acupuncture nor massage therapy have been proven as offering meaningful relief for neuropathy.

On December 22nd, I'll return to the hospital for a blood draw but won't see my doctor again until mid-January.

I had thought about seeing the Aaron Douglas exhibition in Harlem after this morning's appointments, but in the end decided not to. I'll go tomorrow instead after dropping off the two photographs at the City Island art gallery, where they will be displayed in next month's artist show. Despite not going to Harlem today, I definitely experienced my fair share of art last week.

In one of the local newspapers, I read about the art exhibition, Surprisingly Natural: The Nature of the Bronx. Seeing that there were similar themes between the exhibition and my Harlem River project, I thought I'd check out. Since the show at Lehman College is closest, I went there. One photographer's work focused on Inwood Hill Park and the Henry Hudson Bridge, two sites that I've gotten to know rather well during the past year.

On a side note, some of my photographs may be published in the NYCDOT's upcoming Annual Report and posted on the Lehman College Art Gallery's new website. I made contacts at these two institutions and they were receptive.

On Friday before joining a friend for a free gallery talk for young adults at the Frick Collection, I had some time to burn, so I went to the nearby Asia Society. This was my first time at the Asia Society in a couple of years, but I was eager to visit it because of its current exhibition, Art and China's Revolution. I'm very interested in China's burgeoning art scene as well as its resurgence as a major world player, and so when I first saw the ads for this show a week or two earlier I was psyched.

Rich with a wide variety of Chinese propaganda art symbolizing the cult of personality surrounding Mao Zedong and infused with general Communist themes, the exhibition itself I found to be very insightful. Perhaps the most surprising and interesting element of the show was learning about the No Name Group, a movement of Chinese artists whose traditional and Western-inspired works were black listed. As a consequence, many were persecuted or forced to renounce old habits and adopt the new regime's artistic protocol. Others continued to create non-Communist works in secrecy.

Like millions of others, the job search continues. Last week, I saw an ad offering a very attractive position with a magazine publication in New York. I applied, so we'll see. I've also looked at Sloan's employment page. I know a handful of young adult survivors, who found work there. Since most of the jobs posted presently require a science or medical background, I don't qualify. A fellow literacy volunteer told me about, which I had never heard of. Specializing in non-profit and non-governmental work, I've begun to search this as well although with cuts everywhere these are the very institutions that are feeling the pain most acutely.


Comment Blogger Jim Anderson said...

Hi Duane! Still good progress for you. Glad to hear it. I just completed my Mt. Sinai Day 3 writing. One more writing session to go. The instructions are always, 'write just the facts. No personal feelings'. Sigh. Kinda like an old Dragnet episode. I was thinking maybe you could volunteer somewhere until you land that executive job. :-). Try this:

9:39 PM  
Comment Blogger Kelly Kane said...

Hey Duane! Yes, Idealist is a good site for non-profit gigs. I'm not exactly sure what kinds of work you're looking for, but you can always try craigslist too, do some networking with linkedin, and if you have specific organizations you want to work with, go directly on their sites too, sometimes they don't post anywhere else. I'm hunting too, if I get any more hunting tips, I'll let you know!


1:50 PM  
Comment Blogger Michelle J said...

Hey there Duane,
Just wanted to stop by to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving!!!

I am glad everything is going well for you!

Keep up the good work!!!


1:54 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Thanks Jim for the site. Never heard of it. But in fact, I've been volunteering as a literacy tutor. I just started.

Hey Kelly,
I'm sure something will come around for us both though it may be awhile. ;)

Hi Michelle,
Please email me. I lost ur new address.

7:14 PM  

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