On Decay and Pseudo Progression

Things die. What we call death is a state that obtains when the conditions are not right for a thing to manifest. A tree falls. Does it make a sound? Yes.There’s always something there to “hear” it. It creates a sensation.  Is it dead? It lands on the moist woodland floor and leaves continue to get the moisture to grow. Its broken branches, its wrenched up roots expose its woody middle, and create new conditions for  life to manifest.The wound is open to other life— mealy bugs, mold, mildew, mushrooms. And with that internal decay, the tree bulks up, fattens, gets bigger, i.e. it’s growing, or appears to be, but it’s a growth leading into becoming food.

Where was I before the wall of a uterus created a place for the egg that would become the physical me?

I accept without regret the mouldering tree. I like the smell of decay in the forest floor. I can’t say the same for the refrigerator where my neglect creates a cool array of soft white tendrils and islands of green:the accidental terrarium in my refrigerator.It’s easy to see decay as growth. The rotting trunk expands as fungal organisms grow. A dead fish floats on the surface of a pond because it’s inside decays from the inside out. An interior wound, puncture or disdaw is just enough to manifest life sealed from oxygen: anaerobic digestion creates buoyant methane that expands the fish and now lighter than the water it bobs as its peritonitis continues.

Cancer is not decay in this sense. It’s it’s the opposite: exuberant growth. It has no reason but to grow. It creates the conditions to support it’s own existence. Inflammation at the site of the infection brings blood to feed the cancer’s growth. The original vampire.

But cancer dies too. Maybe only as it takes down its host, yes, but still it dies, moldering with the host, dust to dust . My cancer will also die, and there are indications that it already is.


My last MRI showed progression — growth, but to my radiation oncologist it had signs of psuedoprogression.  Like a dead tree, appearing to grow only because of the detritus of death, a false growth.

Apparent or real growth?

Time for another MRI, with a different wrinkle: MRI with perfusion, a dye injected prior to the scan that will show the flow of blood to the cancer and help confirm or refute the diagnosis.

Once Again. Wait and see. And we hope to know more soon. The choices will be just wait and take time to think

This entry was posted in I have no earthly idea, No. 03 – MRIs Ad infinitum. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to On Decay and Pseudo Progression

  1. Pingback: Brain Surgery and home in two days! | There's a Hole in My Head

  2. Rob Proctor says:

    Love you and thinking of both you and Annie!

  3. Pingback: It’s not Brain Surgery | There's a Hole in My Head

  4. Jane says:

    Hi Kev,
    How are you feeling? Better I hope. I don’t know if you’re home or not but if not, I hope you get home soon. My keyboard is funky I think I’ll give you a call instead. Be well so we can go dancing!

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