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James Stack
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James Stack lives in Vermont with his husband, Ron, and their dog, Trek. He has published a book of poetry, Pleasures & Seasons of Vermont, and a memoir, World's Fair. He is currently working on a second series of Vermont poems and a novel based on his sophomore year in college (theme: sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll). He is treasurer of the nonprofit Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife.

Entries by James Stack

Postcards From Lebanon: Part 16 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary (Post-Chemo)

(1) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 6:37 AM

"Drivin down the wrong side of the road..." Ricky Riddle

Going through chemotherapy isn't easy -- at least it hasn't been for me. I began this journey with the top down and windows open hoping that I would be the lucky one who didn't have any side effects. But no...

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Postcards From Lebanon: Part 15 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary (Cycle 6)

(1) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 12:46 PM

"The trip begins with a kiss..." (Roam, lyrics by Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider, Keith Strickland)

Taking a ride down a split tar, potholed, soft-to-no shoulder, buckled road for my final chemotherapy cycle was not what I had wanted, but having been in and out of the hospital with a fever...

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Postcards From Lebanon: Part 14 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary (Christmas With Cancer)

(3) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 7:51 AM

"Over the river, and through the woods..." (Lydia Maria Child)

You'd think I'd be depressed going through chemotherapy in December. Odd though it may seem, I'm not. As I write this I'm watching, against the dark of the bare and evergreen trees, delicate snowflakes glide effortlessly down as they float...

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Postcards From Lebanon: Part 13 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary (Cycle 5)

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2013 | 5:10 PM

"Road to nowhere..." (David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison)

Every month I've worried about potential potholes, the most critical being whether or not my blood counts would allow me to stay on schedule for my chemotherapy treatments. I've mostly stayed home, rarely gone out, infrequently had people...

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Postcards From Lebanon: Part 12 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary (The Infusion Room)

(4) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 4:20 PM

"I ... find my strength in the beat of your heart." (Haley Westenra)

I like to think of myself as someone whose heart goes out to those less fortunate, people who need a helping hand, others who "there but for the grace of god go I." I thought I'd learned...

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Postcards From Lebanon: Part 11 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary (Cycle 4)

(4) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 7:42 AM

"Long may you run." (Neil Young)

The weather had turned bitter on the first day of cycle 4. With a low in the teens, and it only being early November, the prospect of having to get up before the sun, even though it was now daylight saving time, in frigid...

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Postcards From Lebanon: Part 10 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary

(7) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 11:19 AM

"Fly me to the moon..." (Bart Howard)

Previously I had reported that I had tried to get a prescription -- approval -- for medical marijuana. My oncologist was willing, but since cannabis had only recently been approved for medical purposes in New Hampshire, there was no process in place; and...

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Postcards From Lebanon: Part 9 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary

(2) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 7:08 PM

Gliding around in a grimy gondola...

I found myself at cycle three of chemotherapy realizing it was to be my Battle of Gettysburg, which was fought over three days (July 1-3, 1863), and became the turning point of the Civil War. This three-day cycle is anticipated to be...

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Postcards From Lebanon: Part 8 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary

(4) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 5:07 PM

Where the streets have no name... (U2)

I thought I'd take this opportunity, as my body ejects the cancer cells and recovers for the next round of chemotherapy, to discuss how different people have reacted to being told I have cancer. Like responses to chemo, everyone's experiences are different. Of...

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Postcards From Lebanon: Part 7 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary

(0) Comments | Posted September 14, 2013 | 4:40 PM

"I'm not gonna let them catch me, no..." -- The Allman Brothers

With September came, cycle two, which began with blood analysis reflecting that I was "good to go for chemo:" white blood cells and neutrophils in normal range with red blood cells, hemoglobins and platelets slightly low yet acceptable....

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Postcards From Lebanon: Part 6 in a Series of Cancer Related-Commentary

(5) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 5:36 PM

Rock me like a wagon wheel... Like tumble weeds, rolling along through the dust and drought.

During my Aug. 26 visit to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center we discussed my blood counts. From these and other recent counts we were able to create nadir graphs to show how low my different blood...

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Postcards From Lebanon: Part 5 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary

(6) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 10:52 AM

Looking for adventure...

Well, I found it, in a manner of speaking.

I felt like a piece of lead on day three after chemo -- sleeping fitfully throughout the day and night. I'd been advised to take the nausea meds before feeling nauseous, and I'm glad I did. Mentally, I...

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Postcards From Lebanon: Part 4 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary

(1) Comments | Posted August 16, 2013 | 11:31 AM

Head on down the highway...

The first day of chemo arrived, and I approached it with anxiety, which I suppressed through humor at every opportunity. We noticed a "Do Not Enter" traffic sign strategically placed in from the Cancer Center entrance at Dartmouth -- I told Ron they didn't want...

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Postcards From Lebanon: Part 3 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary

(4) Comments | Posted August 10, 2013 | 10:53 AM

Get your motor running...

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is a little more than an hour's drive from my home in Vermont. During that hour a lot can chorus through one's mind. It was while driving up, during one of the most glorious days of the year, for my Aug. 5 chemotherapy...

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Postcards From Lebanon: Part 2 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary

(2) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 2:54 PM

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Follow the yellow brick...

If you followed my first commentary, you will remember that I have Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and was scheduled to participate in a study prior to beginning chemo treatments. This part will highlight the study as,...

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Postcards From Lebanon: Part 1 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary

(8) Comments | Posted July 29, 2013 | 12:27 PM

Come along and listen to...

I'm going on a journey and wanted to invite you to join me. I've never been down this road, but it is a trek many have taken before. I have no idea at this point in time how our trip will progress, or where it...

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Two Days in March (Part 3)

(1) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 5:52 PM

My 61st birthday was on the Sunday before the two days of oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court in the Hollingsworth v. Perry (Prop 8) and United States v. Windsor (Defense of Marriage Act) cases, which will determine whether or not my life as an American citizen qualifies...

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Two Days in March (Part 2)

(3) Comments | Posted January 29, 2013 | 5:39 PM

On March 26 and 27 the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on two cases that will have lasting impacts on my marriage.

One is Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case addressing the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative that rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry...

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Two Days in March

(31) Comments | Posted January 10, 2013 | 4:06 PM

When will the right-wing conservative coalition and the United States government get out of my bedroom? I didn't invite them in, and God knows I don't want to go into their bedrooms. The right-wing conservative coalition continuously slams LGBT people for "pushing the homosexual agenda" while they are trying to...

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Family and Politics, Sister and Brother, Republican and Democrat

(8) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 5:35 PM

Some people may think it odd that the person I'm closest to in my family, my sister, is a Republican -- and not just any Republican. She's married to a previous Republican State Chairman from a Southern state who is also a major GOP fundraiser. We rarely talk politics, yet...

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