1. Jake picked me up around 8:30 and I joined him, Lars, Stu, and Ed for our trip to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula to see Goose (Kirk). We headed out with uncertain expectations, not knowing if we'd get to see Goose in ICU, but figuring, at the very least, we could spend time with family members and learn more about Goose's condition.
We arrived and Kirk's brother, Keith, helped us each get a mask, and we entered Kirk's room.
Keith told us we'd arrived at a good time, that Goose was sitting up and talking.
Sure enough, Goose was upright, lucid, conversational, and totally aware of his situation; yes, his voice was weak, he was pale and tired, and sometimes it took him a few seconds to match his speech to his thoughts, but Goose the storyteller and conversationalist was right there for us to listen to and talk with. He's in tough shape, but was doing better than any of us expected.
Here's the condensed version of the story of what landed Goose in the hospital.
On Thursday, April 18th, Goose got out of bed and dropped to the floor. He couldn't get up and Janice was unable to help him to his feet. Janice called an ambulance which transported him from St. Regis to Missoula.
He was very ill with pneumonia, fluid around his heart, and, by Thursday, April 25th, tests revealed Goose has leukemia.
The doctors began an aggressive chemotherapy regimen. One drip goes 24/7. He gets another dosage during the day for three days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Without the treatment, Goose wouldn't live very long.
Janice told us that by about Wednesday or Thursday of this coming week, things will be pretty rough for Kirk because of all the chemotherapy. His immune system will be shot. He'll be vulnerable to infection and worn out. It will be a very important time in his treatment.
Janice will contact me with any new developments and I will be the point person here in Kellogg for getting information out, through a combination of this blog, private messaging, text messaging, and emails.
Kirk has family with him all the time. Janice is always nearby. During our visit, Keith was at the hospital and so was Red, Goose's dad. I know other family members are in and out and Goose's son is making sure the store Kirk and Janice own in St. Regis is operating.
I've probably left some things out of this account, but I've told the main parts of Goose's story.
I am in the process of organizing a trip to Missoula with some guys on Monday.
Janice, Keith, and Red told Stu, Jake, Ed, Lars, and me that when we arrived to see Goose that it made him happier than they'd seen him all week, that our visit was a boost to his spirits.
Here's hoping that another visit on Monday will have a positive effect as well.
2. On the way back from Missoula, we stopped for a bite to eat at the Old Montana Bar in Saltese.
Back in Kellogg, Jake and I dropped in at the Inland Lounge to update Cas about Goose.
3. I was back home to stay by 6 o'clock. I fixed myself a rice, egg, broccoli, and mushroom scramble, nodded off for a bit, and then watched a short film about the making of one of my favorite movies, Run Lola Run. For several years, I started the spring term World Literature course with this movie. I loved hearing the director, Tom Tykwer, and Lola herself, Franka Potente, discuss the movie and, before I went to bed, I watched the movie's opening a couple or three times and reminisced about how beautifully this movie launched the World Lit course, setting the tone and raising central questions about modern literature.