The Whirlpool.


Cancer, homecare, medicines, hospice, chemo, wheelchair, bone cancer, lung cancer, cough syrup, Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Remeron, Sinemet, Morphine, adult diapers, sponge baths, bowel movements, stool softeners, rehab, oncologist, nurse, radiation, constipation, oxygen, Stage Four, terminal, incurable, cremation. For seven months I've swum in a whirlpool of ugly words. Yesterday, again, I went down to see my mom…

The Art World


  6/4/14 Yesterday I went, as I have for almost six months, to visit my Mom, ill with cancer, now in hospice, at her apartment in the Marina. She can’t walk now, so she is either in bed, or lifted onto a chair, wheeled over and pushed out, into the sun, or more often, up…

At Bedside.


On the day my mother was inducted into home hospice care, after the oxygen machine was delivered, and the table on wheels positioned over her bed, she asked me to sit down and go over a few things. She said she woke up every morning, not thinking of death but gradually, as the day wore…

Anesthetized.


There were 120 narcotic “Norco” tablets in the prescription bottle on March 31st. Six days later there were seven. The medicine was supposed to be administered to an elderly cancer patient, bedridden, in pain. But the physical therapist probably stole the medications, stuffing 100 or more pills into his pockets. And yesterday that was the…

The Virtual World


Yesterday was a beautiful day up on the sixth floor of UCLA’s Santa Monica Oncology Center as we brought my mom up into a sun-filled room with dozens of reclining leather chairs and she was connected by vein into chemo. The wall of glass windows looked west to the shimmering ocean as the 80-degree sun…

Day of the Oncologist.


On Tuesday, February 11, 2014, the Los Angeles sun rose at 6:41am and the sunset at 5:33pm. And I was driving east on Wilshire, through Beverly Hills, in the last hour of daylight, transfixed at the odd lull of creamy illumination, under gauzy skies, light that lasted long; accompanied by slight winds, cool and oceanic.…