Once More with Feeling

Today I am headed down to the Juravinski Cancer Clinic in Hamilton for the LAST of my 35 radiation treatments.

In recognition of this momentous event, I present to you dear Reader a poem I have been working on for ahile now. I feel it only right to recognize the person responsible for my experience of the last 7 weeks.

Of course this will not be my last trip to Juravinski. I’ll be back for a check up in 4-5 weeks, and then a CT scan 4-5 weeks after that. But, as they say, the worst is over. Now I can start to heal.

Until next time, enjoy the poem… or not.


On Madame Marie Curie (by Dennis Gray)

Madame Marie Curie
It’s all her fault you know,
The pain I’m feeling now.
The constant scratching in my throat,
The taste buds that no longer work,
Spit glands producing at under 10%,
Energy levels of a man twice my age,
Leathery skin that flakes so easily.
It’s all part of her legacy.

She started it you know, she and her radium, polonium.
It didn’t take long for the crackpots to follow;
Radium water, The Cosmos Bag, Radithur
Fiesta Ware, eat your meals from uranium dishes
That will cure your ills.
All because of her and those Nobel prizes.
Cures worse than the disease.

But “time marches on” as the newsreels say
And soon the quackery falls by the wayside,
And Marie’s science remains still.
Isotopes collide, neoplasms fall,
30, 40, 60 Gy (gray) and counting,
The tumours can only take so much.
The Cancer succumbs to the onslaught.
Pain is temporary, moisture will return,
The colours in the CT scan will realign,
The “South” will rise again,
And there is new hope for tomorrow.

Yes, it’s her fault alright!
Marie Curie and her little glowing saucers.

Merci Madame. Merci.

Addendum: For those of you who may not know; Marie Curie and her husband were the first to experiment with radium and other radioactive materials (a term she coined).  Among those experiments was the use of radio isotopes to destroy neoplasms, that is, cancers.  She won Nobel prizes in both physics and chemistry for her ground breaking work.

Image courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

Marie Curie - wkipedia commons

Marie Skłodowska–Curie


Well friends, this is it!

20080406-043This post marks the official opening of the new location of Myriad Shades of Gray.  Feel free to look around and comment on what you do and do not like. There a few things here you wouldn’t have found at the previous location. There will be additional features added in the future I’m sure.

One thing that will be familiar is the scope of the content.  Namely, just about anything that catches my attention. From Achilles Heels to Zingers, from Antiquity to the Future;  all of it with an eye to how it impacts my spiritual walk.

All the posts from the old site have been imported here. I will catalog and tag them as time permits.  The old site will be deleted at the end of March 2009.  My other blog – Java and Jesus – will stay where it is for the time being; and yes, new posts are coming. I haven’t made up my mind about the History Blog yet.  Only time will tell.

So once again welcome – and please drop by often.

Until next time…  Enjoy!

Dennis Gray

Warning: Blogging can be Habit Forming!

It has been just over a month since I started blogging again and I have made a discovery. Blogging (for me anyway) is like potato chips – I can’t write just one!

Here’s the deal. Back in November I purchased a new study Bible – the ESV Study Bible (English Standard Version) published by Crossway. I’ve used a number of different study Bibles over the years and this is one of the nicest I’ve seen. The translation is a literal translation but with more than the usual attention given to sentence structure and syntax making it more readable than say, the NASB (New American Standard Bible). The extras are top notch, the contributors the best in their fields, and the artwork is amazing. You can check it out at the link above.

During my recent recovery period, I started reading the book of Matthew in the ESV and it wasn’t long before I started thinking about the work I left unfinished at my blog ‘Java and Jesus‘. I found that I wanted to finish the work, and so, after some prayer and contemplation, I have decided I shall.

And so starting today I shall once again be posting to java-and-jesus.blogspot.com on a regular basis. How regular, I’m not sure, but I will pick up where I left off with little fanfare and a lot of trepidation. If you enjoyed what I posted before, or are intrigued by what you’ve read here, I invite you to join me. If you know of anyone who used to read J&J then please pass this along and let them know it has started up again.

That’s it for now… see you over there, and here as well.




Then as I End the Refrain…

When I was a child my mother did her level best to instill me with a love of literature, especially drama and poetry. In my teenage years I rebelled of course, but the fact remains that as I grew older the power of her influence made itself known. Her efforts bore more fruit than she might ever have imagined.

One of my favorite performances, introduced to me by my mother, is Jose Ferrer in the title role of the 1950 movie ‘Cyrano de Bergerac.’ Based on a play is about the romantic trials of a French swordsman, poet and attendee of the Royal Court, the story line will form the basis for Steve Martin’s movie Roxanne. (Trivia note: Jose Ferrer was the father of Miguel Ferrer who, among other things, played Dr. Garret Macy in ‘Crossing Jordan’.)

In order that the rest of this post might have some context, here is a clip of my favorite scene from the movie…

The other day the poem composed by Cyrano during the duel came to my memory as I sat before my computer bemoaning my current situation (see former posts – tags ‘surgery’, ‘Achilles tendon’) I found myself inspired to attempt a small parody of my own. And so I present for your consideration Dear Reader a humble offering which I entitle…

The Musings of a Gimp after Watching Cyrano De Bergerac
By Dennis Gray

Lightly I walked ‘cross the boards that day
To fasten my work to the backstage wall
Not seeing the black hole that lay in my way
That soon would become the site of my fall.

A snap of a tendon, the slap of my heel,
A shriek of pain and a retching moan.
A shock from my head to my toes I feel,
Then comes a brand new refrain – I’m stuck home!

My foot in a cast, my heart in a sling
I hobble, I stumble, I shuffle, I crawl.
Each day becomes a laborious thing
As each second is marked by the clock on the wall.

A visitor comes! Oh Callooh! Oh Callay!
We talk for a while of the places they roam.
A movie we watch and then – on their way,
And once more the soulful refrain – I’m stuck home!

Outside of my window the traffic flows past
While inside the boredom I try to forestall;
I blog and I email, play hits from the past,
Get beaten in Scrabble by words like ‘quetzal.’

They take me physio – they bend and they stretch
On a modern day rack made of vinyl and chrome.
They say I’m a ‘picture’ – I feel more like a sketch,
Again comes the endless refrain – I’m stuck home!

Dear Friend, think of me, sojourning through trouble
As I ponder a name for this four-wall syndrome
And perhaps you might bring me a large double-double
For yet I still sing the refrain – I’m stuck home!

With apologies to Edmond Rostand, until next time…