Chet The Scribe

My name is Chet Meeks. I am a 32 year old sociologist. I started this blog so that I can write about the things that interest me. I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Phone Tree

When I have my surgery, we will have to have a streamlined way of keeping in touch with one another, getting news, etc., especially during the initial aftermath of the surgery when I'm unable to talk on the phone myself.

Therefore, I have devised the following phone tree. I am not going to post the phone numbers (as I've tried to hook all of you up with people you know and I don't want to violate people's privacy), but if you have been placed in charge of phoning someone whose phone number you do not know, let me know and I will get it to you.

The names that appear in bold italics below are callers; if your name appears in bold italics, you are in charge of calling the people whose names appear after the colon following your name. Read the entire list, as your name will likely be posted twice, both as someone who will be called, and as a caller to someone else.

If I've forgotten anyone, let me know and I'll add them.

Tom Murray: Jason Hendrickson, Michael Roberts, Carla Goar, Asa & Heidi Meeks, Andy & Jody Walter

Jason Hendrickson: Chris Pierce, Steve Seidman

Steve Seidman: Nancy Fischer, Joseph Sullivan

Asa & Heidi Meeks: Asa & Andrea Meeks, Christine Macros

Carla Goar: Henry Baranczak, Chad Scott, Kelly Happe, Deirdre Oakley, Sue Kidera

Kelly Happe: John Butler

Andy & Jody Walter: Brett Walter, Eli Walter, Sid & Ollie Walter, Katherine Hankins, Wendy Simonds

Brett Walter: David Ashley

Sid & Ollie Walter: Peter and Gail Shive (and anyone else at UW)

Wendy Simonds: GSU Sociology, Kirk Elifson, Brian (Seven) Fissette, Ben Ash, Andrew Vail, Stephen Downing

Houston Calendar

I think it would be easier for me and all of you if we had an online calendar for the Houston trip, so that we can keep track of who is coming and going, when, and so on.

So here's how this will work. If there are days when you think you might be able to come to Houston, you can leave a comment to this post. I will periodically edit this post and put everyone's dates up.


Calendar (for one month, since I'm optimistic):

May 15: Chet arrives
May 16: Asa and Andrea, Mon & Dad
May 17: Mom and Dad, Tom, Asa and Andrea
May 18: (Surgery Day) Mom and Dad, Tom, Asa and Andrea
May 19: Mom and Dad, Tom, Asa and Andrea
May 20: Mom and Dad, Tom, Asa and Andrea
May 21: Mom and Dad, Tom, Asa and Andrea
May 22: Mom and Dad, Asa and Andrea
May 23: Mom and Dad, Asa and Andrea
May 24: Mom and Dad, Asa and Andrea, Carla Goar
May 25: Mom and Dad, Asa and Andrea, Carla Goar
May 26: Mom & Dad, Carla Goar
May 27: Mom & Dad, Carla Goar
May 28: Carla Goar
May 29: Carla Goar
May 30: Carla Goar
May 31: Bob & Memo, Carla Goar
June 1: Carla Goar, Ben Ash; Bob & Memo
June 2: Ben Ash
June 3: Ben Ash
June 4
June 5
June 6: Wendy
June 7: Wendy
June 8: Wendy
June 9: Wendy, David
June 10: David
June 11: David
June 12: David, Kirk
June 13: Kirk
June 14: Kirk
June 15

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bake and Jen

I mean Jake and Ben.

When I was sick and staying at Wendy's all the time, I promised Jake and Ben (Wendy's sons) that when I was better we could have a sleep-over. Well, last night Wendy and Gregg went to a concert, so it seemed like the perfect night for me to live up to my promise. Plus I've been wanting to put pics up of Jake and Ben for a long while, so there they are!!

The night began with some cuisine courtesy of Ben. He made some potato falafel with a really delicious yogurt sauce. That's him with the curly hair above in my kitchen. He did a really good job and even cleaned up after himself. Ben is a real talent in the kitchen. He already has his own growing collection of cook books (one of them a present from me), and I think he watches Food Network even more than I do, which is saying quite a lot.

After Ben's dinner, we went to see Blades of Glory with Will Farrel and that guy who played on Napoleon Dynamite. It was really really really funny. Anything with Will Farrel is bound to be funny, but when you add the Will Farrel factor to the fact that this movie is about FIGURE SKATING, you have a sure winner.

After the movie, Jake and Ben helped me find my car and we went home in the rain. Jake had a headache, which concerned me, but it seemed to go away once we got home. I think Jake was a little disappointed that we didn't make it to Radio Shack. He wanted to help me purchase a special cord that will help me hook my IPOD up to my stereo components. Jake is very good at electronic stuff. If any of you need help buying a cell phone, or re-organizing your cell phone plan, or if you want to figure out how to do something with an ipod or just about any other electronic thingamajig, just ask Jake (he's the crazy looking one in the photo above....don't you LOVE his t-shirt??).

I had fun Jakeyben.

Love, Chet

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

MDA Information

Hi Everyone,

A lot of you have been asking about my surgery and Houston and how to go about visiting me there. I figured it would be easier to just post the information here.

My surgery is on the 18th. I have to be there on the 15th, but the 18th is the "big day." I will probably be there for about three weeks, although it is difficult to determine how long I will be there until I actually have the surgery.

MDA has a travel agency that can provide those of you who want to visit with discounted airline, hotel, and rental car prices. Their phone number is 888-848-9992. You have to give them my patient number (706480) in order to get the discounted prices.

All visitors are welcome, though I have to warn you that I'm not going to be looking very pretty.

Love, Chet

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Springtime with Tache

Chet encrypted his password for this blog and it has taken me quite a while to figure it out. I'm sure all of you have missed me quite a bit so here I am!! I have to write this quickly before Chet gets home.

I'm quite in love with this surgery thing Chet is undergoing, because he has started feeding me Fancy Feast!!!! Tache approves.

Still, I hope all of you aren't fooled into feeling sympathy for Chet. This surgery of his is just one con in a long line of lies and disinformation. Chet LOVES the attention he's getting. I have started sleeping on his bed with him and sometimes I even slide myself up next to his face to make him think I love him, but it's only in order to keep the Fancy Feast coming. Chet's a fool and he's easily deceived by false affections. Just ask Carla or Henry. I was really nice to him today, but he fed me about an hour ago and I've ignored him ever since. Tomorrow I'll play the same game and Chetty poo will fall for it, because he's stupid.

Chet's friend Andrew was here for a visit this week. If you want to see someone act like a fool, watch Chet around Andrew. He's positively gushy. It makes me sick! I let Andrew pet me, but only because he didn't make eye contact with me, otherwise he would have pulled back a bloody stump like Chet's foolish friend Michael Roberts did when he visited. Chet has been sad all week long since Andrew's departure. What a sap!

I've been reading about the 1960s. I've come to the conclusion that America and the rest of the world would have turned out just fine if babyboomers weren't such navel-gazing, self absorbed ninnies. Rather than seeking change by altering existing institutions, they looked inward. "The personal is political." Well, no it's not. Or, at least, it's not nearly as political as, say, legal and economic institutions, or broadly shared civic values. I'm not quite sure how "consciousness raising" was supposed to change the world; it seems like a fairly weak and American notion to me. But I'm not surprised that the generation of 1968, once they left school and got well paying jobs, turned out to be the most spoiled, consumeristic, and conformist generation to ever inhabit the planet. The hippies became the yippies, and the yippies became the yuppies, and 39 years after 1968, this generation re-elected George W. Bush.

Of course, a lot of people think that cats are self-absorbed. But that's because people project their own sense of self onto the animals who live in their houses.


Shit, here comes Chet.

Friday, April 06, 2007

MDA Visit, "Shake and Bake," and Andrew Vail

Most of you know that last Friday through Monday I was at MD Anderson in Houston.

On Friday, they gave me a CT Scan to evaluate my cancer's status after chemotherapy. Monday I got the result of those scans and talked with the doctor about surgery.

Can I just say one thing? These doctors are truly sadists. They scan your body to see how much cancer is in there, and then they leave you to stew about it for a good 72 hours. The scans are available immediately. Granted, they have to look closely at them and examine them, but 72 hours? I think they truly derive some sort of sick pleasure from making you wait. It's the power they have over you. They are the life-or-death information gate keepers. I hate all of them, no matter how good they are.

See how you've been waiting through that last paragraph for me to tell you the results of my scans and how nervous it made you feel? Multiply that times a million and that's how I felt last weekend.

The scans show that cancer remains. MDA feels that my "good scan" from 12/4 (the one that showed no cancer) was overly optimistic. They claim that PET Scans (and even CT Scans) often understate the presence of mucinous tumors like mine. Indeed, the doctor even pulled up my December follow-up CT Scan, which the radiologists at Emory claimed showed nothing, and showed me where cancerous "grey areas" were on those scans. So.......that's the bad news.

The good news is that (1) the cancer has not progressed beyond its original recurrence areas, and (2) it appears to be resectable through surgery (in other words, most of the mets are small and there is no organ involvement with the liver, spleen, kidneys, bladder, etc.).

So, on May 18th, I will undergo a surgical procedure called the "Shake and Bake." These doctors are macabre, I tell you. The surgery involves resecting all of the areas where there was cancer. They try to leave no more than 1/2 cm of cancer, which, "studies show" can be killed by chemotherapy. What chemotherapy, you're asking yourselves. "We thought you were done with chemotherapy, Chet!" Indeed, so did I! After resecting the cancerous areas of my messentary, omentum (a new word I learned), and peritoneum, Dr. Lambert (that's the MDA surgeon's name) is going to "perfuse" my entire gut with "heated chemotherapy" which will hopefully kill any remaining cancer cells. So they put the chemotherapy in you (that's the "bake" part), and then they literally move your body around from side-to-side on the operating table (the "shake" part) in order to get that juice into all the nooks and crannies of your stomach. After they do that (it can take anywhere from 8-20 hours), they insert a feeding tube on one side of you, a draining tube on the other, and they sew you back up. Then, they whack you with a mase, boil you in tar, and then you're all done.

I will have to be at the hospital in HOUSTON (home of Enron and Halliburton [until they relocate to Dubai where they don't have to pay American taxes]) for 3 weeks, then a hotel in HOUSTON for about 2 weeks, and then I can come home (once I've learned how to use my feeding tube).

While in Houston, I was accompanied by my friend Tom (from Chicago) and John (also from Chicago). It's a good thing these two were there to help entertain me, because let me tell you a little secret: Houston is one boring, awful town. We found one little neigherhood (Montrose) that was fun. Thankfully it was close to the hotel and hospital, because we pretty much stayed in Montrose the entire trip. You'd think that they would put one of the world's leading cancer hospitals somewhere interesting -- like Paris. Being stuck in Houston just adds to the depressing aura of cancer.

So anyway, I came home from Houston feeling optimistic, but still a bit deflated. And the next day, Andrew Vail, from Saugerties, New York swooped in and saved me from despair (again). That's Andrew above. Doesn't he look cute and silly? We spent Tuesday at a coffee house near my apartment grading papers (well, I was grading). Then we joined Wendy, Gregg, and the gang to celebrate Wendy's mother Bobbie's birthday (Happy Birthday Bobbie). We had pizza and then dessert at Wendy's house. Bobbie showed Andrew and me her pictures from Antarctica. Yes, Bobbie went to's really beautiful.

Wednesday I had to teach all day so that was sort of a drag. But Andrew occupied himself by trying to go to the Coca Cola museum (they closed right after he got there), and we cooked dinner together later. Yesterday (Thursday) I took Andrew on a little driving tour of Atlanta neighborhoods. We went for a long walk in Piedmont Park, and we ate at the Graveyard in East Atlanta village, followed by a few drinks at Mary's (yes, it's a gay bar).

I met Andrew about 10 years ago in Albany. When I met him he lived in a little farm house out in the middle of nowhere and he raised goats. I thought that was about the cutest thing I'd ever seen. Andrew has since gotten rid of all the goats, but he still lives in the little red house that I love. And see that really nice brown sweater Andrew is wearing in his silly picture? He gave it to me before he left! Isn't he sweet?

I dropped Andrew off at the airport a few hours ago and now I'm a little bit depressed again. Come back, Andrew! (I have a little plot that involves getting all of my friends to move to Atlanta. So far, Deirdre is in, and Kelly is moving to Athens......I think Andrew should be next).