"Oh, Fortuna, blind, heedless goddess, I am strapped to your wheel."

So much has happened since I last surfaced.

I had my last chemo treatment and I'm mostly starting to feel human again.

I've had a recent barrage of MRI and CT scans that looked very promising and brought with it the slimmest of hopes that I wouldn't need surgery. But fear hope can be a mind killer and with that hope dashed, I will be going under a robotic knife sometime in August.

I really wish that slim chance of no surgery just never came up because try as I might to not get my hopes up (I'm really good at compartmentalizing my emotions) in the end my humanity overcame my internal android, packing emotions in tiny little boxes all folded up like a neat towel, I was slightly crushed to hear the doctor still recommend surgery. And of course this news came after my sigmoidoscopy where the doctor pumped me full of too much gas causing me to become temporarily feverish and vomited all over the floor in the hospital bathroom. I really hope I haven't scared off all the emetophobes, and I'm sorry if I have. Maybe it's better this way.

Internally, mentally (Can mental be external? Come back for my philosophy lecture here at HeadTalks.) there's a tide pool of emotions that just keep crashing like waves into each other. I'm holding things together pretty well according to Em, whom I would like to thank the sages for being with me during the previously mentioned doctor visit. I don't know what I would have done without her there. I would have left, actually, and probably gotten sick on the drive home instead of at the hospital. There she goes saving my life again. Literally the best.

A lone squirrel lies prone on some pavement next to a hammock support.

I've been trying to find balance in life again. It's not been easy lately and sometimes it gets hard to remember to take care of myself before others. Eating meals on the patio and watching the squirrels (Strawberry is our most recent "fan of the peanut pile" in the image above) and other wildlife gorge themselves on peanuts has been great. I've been reading more (books, comics, RPGs) and consuming more really good TV (Ms. Marvel, Lincoln Lawyer, The Boys) and the perfection of Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. I've picked up my resin hobby again with some new dice molds and thinking about some new paintings I would like to get going.

A blue jay facing away from the camera looking for more peanuts.

Cat tax of the local wanderer, Booger.

A black cat with nubbin for a tail sniffs a human hand.
A black cat licks it's front paws on patio pavement.

"Now that Fortuna had saved him from one cycle, where would she spin him now?" – John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces