Reported back to hospital on Tues 29 to see if my blood platelet count was high enough to commence Chemo cycle 4 delayed from last week. It was a day after bank holiday clinic so usual crowds. Got called for blood tests after a wait, then called for doctor consutation a short time after that.

Cue a wonderful bit of confused communication. He said “the bloods aren’t back”  which I interepreted as “the blood counts are not back to required levels” and he meant as “the blood results are not back from the lab but I am 99% certain that they will be fine so we will carry on with chemo today”. It took us five minutes to disentangle the confusion, especially as I’d gone off on a monologue about not being able to just pop in every week due to new job, and could we just skip a cycle and try again when cycle 5 was due, etc. He looked a bit pained at all this and I realised I had the wrong end of the stick.

And so thenceforth to waiting to be called for the chemo i/v, knowing there was an outside chance they could cancel at the last minute. They didn’t but it was three and a half hours later when I got into the clinic and was strapped into my pump. I had forgotten to remind them that I was on dilution the last time and it helped but luckily it was carried forward automatically in my notes. And so I read a book and was injected. It passed off painlessly, just the very dead feeling in my arm and my hand with the appearance of pastry dough. Got talking briefly to the man in the next chair, he had some sort of face or jaw cancer and was on a chemo/radio course. Harder to disguise than an internal cancer when you have a lump on the side of your mouth like a dinosaur’s mouth ulcer.

Evening and next day followed the same course. Lots of TLC required to warm the veins back into life and get them dilated enough to stop the numb tingling pain. By next day able to handle things with gloves. By evening of next day able to watch football, cook meal and drink wine. Today, just tenderness in the injected hand. It isn’t that bad really.

Which is why I’m in a good mood and upbeat.

We had a conversation around the table about music genres and I made the bold assertion that if I really had to reduce nearly 40 years of musical taste into one genre I would choose Dub and its derivatives. Right now it fits well into my upbeat mood. So I dragged out a couple of MP3s that would exemplify what I mean.

Thievery Corporation – Amerimacka featuring Notch

King Tubby – Satta Dread Dub

H Foundation – Passage of Time

These three tracks capture the original dub sound and some modern re-takes. Very re-usable. The “satta massagana” in the post title is from the ancient Amharic (~Ethiopian) language and was meant to mean “give thanks” (but read on). Many Rastafarians adopted Amharic as a second, sacred language. It isn’t Aramaic, which is another Semitic language and famous for being the language of the Hebrew Bibles. But, still very old. There were classes in Jamaica to teach Amharic before and during the 1970s burst in Dub and Reggae, and the more roots-oriented musicians integrated phrases into their lyrics and titles. Unfortunately, there were a few mistakes and even “satta massagana” is not really correct Amharic. But then lots of words got usurped – “Jah” is short for “Jehovah” and “Ras Tafari” is a reference to Haile Salaisse I as the “Ras” (~”Prince) who was born Tafari Makonnen. So you can see where another dub artist Prince Far I gets his name from, for example.

“Irie” is modern Jamaican patois and means “the state of feeling great”.