Tag Archives: Hang En

Annual Report of Charlie Wetherall

OK. So it’s been a year since I last blogged. But I’ve been busy. Give me a break. I promise to blog more frequently in the year ahead.

Actually, I’ve been busy trying to take care of myself since the last missive. But much remains the same since I last wrote. So, let’s get that medical BS out of the way, pronto. Not that you’re interested.

Charlie Wetherall

Charlie Wetherall at Niagara Falls

The biggest news, I should think, is that I’m still alive and able to write this blog a full year after my stifling diagnosis. My gallbladder cancer is, as they say, in situ, in the same place. My first scan about a year ago showed that chemotheraphy had reduced the size of my cancerous tumor, but it has not disappeared. Nor is that a likely scenario as I understand it. I’ve been undergoing chemo for more than a year now. And I don’t know when it will end, if ever.

Meantime, I’m trying to shoehorn some travel and fun into my life. But it’s tough with my chemo schedule. I have chemo weekly for two weeks. Then I get a week off. But, chemo can leave you feeling so shitty (sorry, there’s no other word that aptly describes the tiredness that sweeps over my body a day or so after my infusion). It’s so bad I plan nothing for those two days. If there’s any bright spot in that picture, it’s that I still have a full head of hair and I never experience any nausea—both de rigueur for most chemo patients. And, of course I get a week free from all this downside to hit the road.

02-cave-arch-master1050On my upcoming agenda is a trip to Vietnam and a chance to explore Hang En cave, one of the largest the largest in the world. I got wind of this natural wonder in a recent NY Times piece, by David W. Lloyd. You’ve got to slog through the jungle for six miles to get there. But once there, it’s an awe-inspiring sight.

I’m also going to hit Halong Bay near Hanoi. Somewhat coincidentally, one of my cancer therapy nurses took that tour and captured some beautiful photographs, one of which hangs in her office (but not the one I’ve posted here).

Page-30-Ha-Long-Bay While I’m in Hanoi, I’ll be staying in the Hanoi Hilton. No, not that Hanoi Hilton, the infamous Hoa Lò Prison where North Vietnamese prisoners of war were housed. Only the gatehouse remains of that dungeon; the rest has been torn down. But I plan to see that, too. And much more. Then home for what I expect is more chemo.

This past summer I was able to hike off to Alberta, Canada, and sight-see in the neighborhood where Brokeback Mountain was filmed. It was stunning. The movie was pretty good, too. It was a massive driving experience, through, most of it in the rain.

OK, what else is on my agenda? Well, believe it or not, I’m still trading stocks each day. It’s almost a full-time job to keep up with the vicissitudes of the market, especially recently. More ups and downs than a Winnemucca, Nev. brothel. But I manage.

As soon as I can get my treatment scheduled firmed up for early next year, I’m probably going to try my hand (body?) at skydiving in Eloy, Ariz., then some backpacking in the Sonora Desert near Gila Bend. Then a return visit most likely to Scottsdale to spend a few days with my sister.

Meantime, enjoy your Christmas. Stay healthy. Above all, have fun! And as a New Year’s Resolution, I’ll write more frequently.