So, I was just chatting with a buddy of mine and we got to trying to define what was going on. So, since we were online, we naturally called up youtube. First, I'll show you the one I'm going through. Then, there is an amazing video that shows the next generation, and it's GammaKnife® - yes, with the registered trademark, that shows some more detail in a computer animation about what is going on inside the machine. (There is a video in the related videos list of a woman's treatment that was very successful, but was an older version of the technique and it looks like it caused her a vast bunch of pain and discomfort. I'm not posting that here, but I'm not having to endure that, though it looks like it was worth if for her.)
This is video from a different institution, but the machine looks familiar. You will see a box put over the patient's face. My head is too big, so they're not using that box, but the are using the mask. You'll see what I mean. At the place I'm doing it, they have a Pandora One account, so I shared a station I made and I can listen to it while the treatment is actually going on. :D
Below is the future of the technique, probably the present in some more affluent part of the country. Pretty awesome. (Nice music and video, too!)
The next treatment is tomorrow and I'm looking forward to it. Well, maybe I'm just looking forward to being on the other side of Monday so that I can resume regaining my strength. I was feeling really good today until noon. Then it all just evaporated at once. It was really weird. I had just gone to the store for some juice and came back and listened to some music (Bartók Piano Concerto #3, some Zhou Long, and Kevin Walczyk in case you're curious). Then I watched a crappy movie, but enjoyed it. It wasn't until about 8pm that I got around to checking email. I hope I don't let it go that long again. ;) I also called the Oregon DMV. I have had several people ask about if I'm clear to drive. My doctors have all cleared me, but there seems to be a thing with Oregon law. After talking to the DMV, it seems that I'm ok. But I got another call in response to an email I sent, so hopefully I didn't ask too much. ;) I am on some anti-seizure medicine leftover from the craniotomy. I'll ask the doc tomorrow for more details.
OH, and by the way:
The efforts for the Portland benefit concert have been in high gear, but the online face is up:
Koncert for Kevin happens on June 30th at the West Hills Unitarian Fellowship, 8470 SW Oleson Road, Portland, OR (map) I'll be playing in both the Portland Jazz Connection and the Carroll Raum Swing Orchestra (careful - sound in the link) for this one. Here's the Facebook Event Page, graciously created by one of the members of the big band.
Today I did the first of three "Stereotactic Brain Irradiation" treatments. It took about an hour of being locked onto a narrow table with the primary locks being on my head. They wrapped my arms up, too, but that had to do with the table being so narrow that there was no place for my arms. They had a nice stereo in there and I listened to some Brian Eno and The Mercury Program dealt out by Pandora, which was very nice - getting to choose your own music. One of the techs was also a Brian Eno fan. Anyway, afterward, I was not tired. I was a tad wonky from lying in one place for 45 minutes, but after that, I felt ok. Jai and I grabbed a sushi and then I drove home without any issue. I took a little nap (2 hours) and got up to use the restroom and it was at that point that I was certain that I wasn't going to get anything done today. I went back to sleep for another 2 hours. We'll see how tomorrow goes. The next treatment is Thursday.
In the meantime, I have been exposed to gamma rays. ;)
Sorry! It's been two weeks. I've been really busy and again, it's catching up with me. But there's news! I'll be slowing down next week for sure. "Stereotactic Brain Irradiation" begins on Monday morning, then again on Thursday morning, and for a third and final time the following Monday morning. I'm ashamed to admit that I've known this for a week or so and am just now posting to the blog about it, hence the apology at the beginning of the post. All in all, things are going really well, except I can't keep up with what I need to do. My average weekday now entails getting to work at about 9am (or so) and working until 1 (or 11 as it more often the case) and then taking a nap for an hour an a half, then working around the house, whether on housework or music, then dinner and chill-out time with Jai, then a little more work on music before going to bed at insanely early times (like 8:30 or 9pm.) I was telling people that I was up to about 85%, but I think the reality is that that 85% only lasts for about 3 hours at a time. The overal average is that I'm probably at about 60% of my former stamina and ability to get stuff done. It's pretty frustrating and I just kicked a little depression about it, but now I'm looking forward to making some more music. I'll post some of that soon.
So, I think I caught a bug, possibly a weak flu, starting on Thursday. I've been asleep pretty much since then. I've gotten a couple of emails from people and I want to say that I'm on it, but I'm just being really slow due to being sick. I'll have more to post about soon. In the meantime, for your listening pleasure, I'd like to plug my friend Eldon Hardenbrook's page at rumtoad.blogspot.com. He's a great composer and he has a lot to say about music, as is evidenced in his podcasts. So, if you think you're an expert on music, I challenge you to not find anything new to you on Eldon's site. Ok, back to sleep for me. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........
So, it's been four and a half days since the big benefit concert and I haven't posted about. Sorry for being chump on that one!. Well, here's the post!
The benefit concert was awesome. Five bands, from Grateful Ted, who sat with his guitar and sang some great tunes, to Resonator, who played some nice slow-cooked-with-extra-sauce blues, to funky honky-tonk blues of Kenny Lee and the Sundowners, and Majik and their unique arena rock experience. Wait, that's only four. Brittany Woods (bless her heart) got a different job and had the misfortune of the 7th being her first day on that job. I agree, not the best idea to try to weasel out of the first day of a new job. But it's ok, you'll hear more about Brittany as I go about the task of producing her album (probably on a different blog, though).
But the concert was a success. I will be able to cover my bills this month. I want to thank Jai for helping organize it, John and Dana Gibson and Majik (Jai's band) for instigating it and making it run smoothly, Sherry Pittam for working the auction table, and all the donors for helping out. There were (by my estimation) about 40-50 people at any given time for six hours. It was fun for me and it appeared to be fun for almost everyone that was there. (I did meet with a few friends who simply aren't aesthetically in line with loud blues rock.) I do have some more of the t-shirts available. Go ahead a send me a note through the contact link and we'll work out shipping. Mostly the shirts are either white or tan, with a few yellow ones. Sizes available tend to be the smaller sizes, but check with me and I'll let you know.
I started back at work on Monday, half time and light duty. I'm exhausted, so I don't know how much I can really do just yet. I also don't know how much I'm just spoiled at the FMLA leave 'workday'. I do know that I'm tired and need to pull back again. :\
Here's some random bonus music I found while looking for another tune of the same name:
So, tomorrow is the big night for the first benefit concert. I have to admit that the number of people who really do care is astounding me. While I contemplate it, I get very quiet and solemn. Words fail me in the expression of my gratitude. Other than a quiet, slightly teary, "Thank you," I think I'm toast when it comes to putting it eloquently. Given the way my life has gone so far, this means that there is a piece of music that will be the expression of this. I only hope that I can do the sentiment justice.
The other night I was working on a separate webpage for the concert, but it never got put up. So, I've copied the code and embedded it below. It's going to be a great time. Very many of my social realms are going to converge in a bar. This could get interesting, especially for all my armchair sociologist friends. :) And I promise, you don't have to "behave". If you've known me a long time, then you know how to forgive some pretty serious social weirdness. So, come on out and if you're feeling werd about not knowing me too well or whatever, then just come out be yourself. Trust me, it's easier that way. ;)