Words (Page 4)

Some of the articles, stories and columns I have written.

The year after my family arrived in Canada, one of the great icons of rock and roll was born. It was 1958 and Johnny B. Goode arrived fully formed. He didn’t ever grow any older. He never learned to read and write so well, but he could play a guitar just like ringing a bell. I heard a bell ring last Wednesday. It was my second trip to Chemo Camp, as a friend who’s been there,  done that called it the other day. The room was full. Treatment was backed up. The infusion room had been shut down over the Easter holiday as nurses andRead More →

Do any of you remember the old song Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree? Its roots were in American folklore. Convicts returning from prison, and soldiers returning from the civil war, would look for a yellow ribbon outside their homes. If there was one, they were welcome back. If not, they should keep on shuffling down the dusty road. They had been replaced. The song by Tony Orlando and Dawn came out in 1973, a couple of years before the end of the Vietnam War and the ribbons eventually became messages of support for troops who had been sent to foreign landsRead More →

Did you ever notice that the word “treatment” begins with treat? It’s a connection that’s not readily apparent. Now I have successfully begun the most important one of my life and, so far, it doesn’t seem too bad. Not yet, anyway. I had my first chemo treat on Wednesday. No nasty side effects, but more on this later. The first thing I want to emphasize is that I am not an oncological nurse. They all have a place in the treatment room, but I function at a slightly higher level. I had the good fortune to complete a couple of advanced geriatric oncology courses atRead More →

It looks as though the pandemic and consequent social distancing will be in place for a few more months at least. That’s fine with me. I have all the sick pay any retired guy could ever need. If that ever runs out, I have a bottomless bucket of vacation days stashed away. The only reasons I leave the house and go somewhere to do something meaningful are either to walk Charlie around the block or go for chemo. The first treatment comes my way on Wednesday morning. From what I’ve heard about our new nation of self-isolated hermits, there’s a lot of Netflix bingeing goingRead More →