So, Mike had his visit with Dr. K. at Emory Thursday. He has been advised that there has been no further improvement in the myeloma, and that it is time to resume the chemo treatment that had caused his skin to break out. They will start at a much lower dose. Mike is not worried, and will involve his dermatologist, another Dr. K., as needed. Mike continues to feel fine and does not appear to be sick in the slightest. There has been a new development, though. Mike is starting to get styes, and it is thought to be a consequence of one of his chemo drugs. He sees his ophthalmologist next week. Stay tuned for updates.
Last night Mike, Judy, the other 3 cats, and I were watching the Great British Baking show on TV. They were making a pastry known as stollen. This is a German pastry traditionally made and eaten during the Christmas season. This brought to mind an incident when Mike was in high school, and was at a friend’s house one Saturday after lunch. He and Ed were friendly but not close friends, and Mike had not been there before. Mike’s parents were also somewhat friendly with Ed’s parents, an engaging and well-traveled couple. Ed’s father, Leon, was very obese. That afternoon he came home about 3PM with an enormous collection of pastries he had just acquired from his favorite bakery. The family invited Mike to join them, and proceeded to consume vast amounts of said pastries, one of which was a stollen. Mike had never heard of stollen, and doesn’t ever remember having stollen since, nor has he acquired a huge appetite for pastries as a result of that incident. Mike recalls a story his father told him about Leon that occurred when the couple was traveling in North Africa. I think they were in Morocco, and Leon saw in the morning paper that King Farouk was visiting the country. Leon hired a carriage, rented clothing similar to what the king might have worn, and toured the city waving at people. He has a grand time. Mike says that he can’t imagine anyone doing anything like that today. This event must have occurred during a time when the king was increasingly unpopular after world War II. Ultimately he was overthrown and forced to leave the country in 1952. So, it is not hard to imagine Leon, appearing to be Farouk, and completely unguarded, inviting a bullet from an opportunistic politically motivated assassin. But, no such thing happened, fortunately, and all he got was a fun afternoon and a great story. Farouk was notorious for his lifestyle which included prodigious eating, all night gambling at casinos, lavish vacations, and collections of coins, art, concubines, and what must have been the largest collection of pornographic materials in the world. While he was disgustingly self-indulgent, at least he wasn’t the murderous sort of monarch that has appeared in history all too many times. His was the sort of life-style that appears in the complete absence of meditation. People who pray only, to the exclusion of meditation, can become trapped in the bondage of their own egos and not be able to see beyond themselves. A cat would never make a mistake like that. Although we do have healthy regard for ourselves, probably too much so, we see the value in love of our fellow creatures. I hope that you all learn how to meditate if you haven’t already done so. It will bring you a measure of peace in these angry and stressful times.
So, that’s all for now from Happy Meadows. Be well, be safe, and enjoy your weekend. I will talk to you again very soon.