Erik MH:

blog entries: orig. on PostHope

Mobile feed­ing, and a car­to­graphy conference

So just over two weeks ago I was reminded of a cartography conference that I had wanted to attend. It’s held in a different location each year and, though I’d heard good things about it, I’d never managed to attend before. I’m not a cartographer, of course, but I’d heard it was particularly welcoming to those working in neighboring fields and those who are simply interested in mapmaking. Since I am working on maps, I’d hoped at some point to attend and learn everything I could.

A backpack on a kitchen counter, opened to show a clear pouch of liquid food hanging above a battery-operated pump
My tallest back­pack, with food pouch at highest pos­sible height and pump at the low­est, with cloth for catch­ing dribbles

This year was to be a particularly simple year for me to attend, as the conference is right next door (3½ hours away) in Montréal.

But then I got cancer.

And a feeding tube....


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Chemo­ther­apy, radi­ation ther­apy, and side effects

Sev­er­al people have asked me wheth­er I’ve been sug­ar-coat­ing my posts here — or at least choos­ing to write about only the good, rather than the bad or the ugly.

I will admit that, espe­cially in the early days, things weren’t that great: I suffered from naus­ea and fatigue (mostly from the chemo­ther­apy, I think) and pain (from my j‑tube sur­gery and the enflamed eso­phag­us). These weren’t ter­rible, how­ever, and I’d been led to expect that the effects of both the chemo­ther­apy and the radi­ation ther­apy were cumu­lat­ive over time — that is, that they would gen­er­ally get worse over each week of my therapies.…


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About the “Mordor” project

I men­tioned in my first post 1 The ref­er­ence to “my first post,” of course, means the first post on my can­­cer-focussed Pos­tHope blog. The link here on this site is to that same post, but migrated to this offi­cial blog at that I named this site Walk­ing into Mordor only par­tially for the obvi­ous reas­on — that in fact I’m also spend­ing this time on a non-meta­phor­ic­al Mordor-related project.

If all goes well, I will (finally!) be pub­lished, if only in the form of one chapter. The book, entitled Tolki­en and Lit­er­ary World­build­ing, is being edited for Walk­ing Tree Pub­lish­ers by Dr. Thomas Honeg­ger and Dr. Dimitra Fimi.…


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“Eat­ing” through a tube

So it occurred to me that perhaps some of you know as little about tube-feeding as I did a few weeks ago, and that you might be curious.

Medical IV pole bearing a “Kangaroo” pouch of “food,” and a pump
You can see from the photo that I’m rel­at­ively port­able even when connected.

I’m eating a little solid food now — more than I was last month, in fact, because they widened my esophagus a bit during surgery in August, and perhaps also because the radiation is ensmallenating the tumor, too....


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No news is good news…

Well, things have been quiet here this week in Lake Wobegon….

Really quiet, in a way, though my dear friend Andy came up from Boston for the week­end to shake things up a bit (hi, Andy!). It was good to get the men­tal juices flow­ing again: Andy helped re-shelve piles of books in the lib­rary — which was very wel­come! — but even more he acted as a ter­rif­ic sound­ing board to help me fig­ure out pri­or­it­ies for the Mordor pro­ject and for work­ing out backup con­tin­gency plans for vari­ous oth­er Tolki­en-related things I’ve been doing (a few of which are spelled out at Ver­mont Soft­works).…


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