Monday, March 16, 2015

Too much cancer talk not good before bed

It was a pleasure to be back at the Academy of Music yesterday and see the beautiful theater full of people there to watch a movie, a reminder of old days.

It was actually excerpts from a PBS documentary based on Siddhartha Mukherjee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2010 book, “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer,” produced by Ken burns and directed by Barak Goodman.

When I got the email invite from the  Cancer Connection, I just glanced at it and thought Burns would be presenting the film, as in introducing it, rather than presenting as in producing! But no matter, I was glad I saw the excerpts and the panel discussion that followed.

 I would have gone anyway to the free screening presented by WGBY in advance of “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” a three-part, six-hour documentary scheduled to air on PBS March 30-April 1.

I had read part of the book, but not all of its 571 pages. Friends had vetted it for me, wondering if, so soon after my last transplant, I would be disturbed by the subject matter.

The book begins with the author, then a young doctor, treating a woman named Carla with acute leukemia, a blood cancer which "still sends a shiver down the hospital's spine."

Sorry to stop in the middle of a sentence, but you can get the idea about why I didn't want to read too much of this. But it was fine seeing the excerpts now, especially the one featuring Emily Whitehead, the young leukemia patient saved by a pioneering therapy and still in remission three years later.

With all of this cancer stuff swirling in my head, I should have taken a good book or my New Yorker  to bed. Instead, I wrote about the documentary for my Surviving Cancer blog (to be posted tomorrow) and then I made the mistake of picking this time to ask Joe to do the long overdue job of turning of my mattress.

Pardon the change of subject, but it all relates to a bad night's sleep. Did you know that you should rotate your mattress every three months? This topic came up with Diane and David. I have slept on the same side for so long that I have made a little burrow for myself.

After Joe flipped it for me last night, I could not get comfortable. The bed felt hard as a rock. I missed my comfy spot. Plus he had needed to move the bed and night table. I didn't move them back, and due to this laziness I feel like my chi was disturbed.

Meanwhile, I considered placing my head at the foot of the bed to find my spot (like a dog does!) but that would have defeated the purpose of saving my mattress.

So tonight, a little feng shui in the room, and no cancer before bed.

Actually it's Better Call Saul night. Not exactly a prescription for a good night's sleep, but an excellent distraction.

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