Saturday, March 3, 2012

No Regrets

Been pretty lonely of late.No visitors. No phone calls from the kids. Just me n' dog and katt.  Mandy doesn't leave my side.What a dog!

 Two weeks into chemo and I can't take no more nausea, gut ache, everything smelling like a cat litter box, shooting pains up and down my back.  So I decide to take control of this wildly floundering ship.  When I mention the aches especially around the area of a "port"  surgically implanted to facilitate with in-house cancer infusions, the nurse gets paranoid.  Yeah, I think I mentioned this.  After some wrangling, it's determined the port is not infected. I'm cleared of that worry, but the pain continues.

I'm scheduled for another treatment on a Friday.  Instead, I'm lucky to secure Jorge as a driver.  He, my wife and I go to oncology in Lacrosse.  I ask them to disconnect any left over tubes in the shoulder area.  Then for about an hour, Dawn and I sit with a nurse assigned to the overworked doctor and explain the problem. 

I'm good at anecdotal examples.

The reason I don't have a desire to drive a Harley anymore  ( a life goal along with flying an airplane)  is a friend's description of the sensation of sliding down a concrete highway after a gravel spill and watching the skin get peeled off of any exposed area. Chemo therapy has become like a gravel spill at 45 mph

I rather watch someone kill my blue heeler puppy in front of my face that undergo any more chemo.

I had a French teacher in college.  At the beginning of one lecture, she explained that she worked for the underground in WWII for the French.  It wasn't the danger, seeing the Nazis shoot your neighbor but the cold, she told the class.  The cold , permeating every part of your life, relentless, winter hard shell cold.  After chemo I cannot stand the feel of the wind on my face. The dog doesn't get walked, I wear three layers all the time and sit on a heated throw watching mindless TV. The nurse starts to well up.

They promise to do better.  Dawn speaks with the doctor for an idea of the scope of the treatment.  New medication is ordered and a PETSCAN is scheduled this coming Monday to see where we're at.  I've been off chemo for two weeks and this is the first time I've had the energy to write.  Mostly because when most of your life involves sleeping and trying to keep eating above a nausea  level so severe, a Sierra Mist and a saltine become a treat and are hardly writing home about.  If anything I want this to be a learning lesson for me and others.  I've haven't made promises to God yet or decided to become a priest if I survive, but believe me, there'll be changes.Big ones.

I've cried a few times lately. I've stuffed emotion for so long, especially as a ghetto fighter for 18 years, I actually don't know how to cry.  But when Dawn brings home a card from the folks she works with, and $75 of their hard earned dollars to take Dawn out for dinner when I'm cured, my shoulders heave and tears flow. I vow that they and us'n will all have a pizza party together.

When I go to the comment section on okjimmseggrolemporium ( see blog list) and read a few thoughts about me in the comments, I well up, knowing that there are a few angels out there. 

God knows, when I see my neighbor at the grocery store for the first time in the month since one disturbed resident in the group home they run wandered down here complaining of being held hostage, I get a grunt and a nod. Not a peep outa the rummy bunch of kids we call ours, but plenty of Facebook updates. No nice neighborly visits from my liberry friends.

So when the electric co-operative sends out a follow-up arborist after the tree trimmers noted a certain resistance on my part to their hacking or sawing on my mature Norway pines, he retreats quickly mumbling stuff about me putting words in his mouth . Note; try to get out more Gavrillo

Arborist:  The electric company is mandated by federal law to maintain a three to four foot distance between trees and wires.

Gavrillo( Jorge the former cop/politician agreeing) pure unadulterated bull shit.

Aborist: Most home owners aren't aware of the dangers to wires by trees.

Gavrillo: That's why I noticed a dangerous,dead white pine along the south fence line and your trimmers have ignored it for ten years .

I think he was offended when I offered to put his name on the list of defendants when I begin litigation.

A quick phone call to Hazel at the 'lectric company, a few names of people in high places dropped and yeah, I resorted to, "You know I don't need this. I've got throat cancer."  Hazel gasps.  A representative calls Dawn profuse with apologies and a big red "crazy" flag is placed next to my name.

What I learned about doing absolutely nothing  most of the time. 

Get a smaller dog.  The 50 lb lug that licks my face in the morning is difficult to hug with deep felt emotion. Appreciate a woman in a soft beige cashmere sweater. Hug her softly and often.  Hug all women softly and often (with permission).  Whew, I used up all my energy and have no reserve for the good stuff.  Better get out the note book.


T. Roger Thomas said...

I appreciate you sharing such a well written account of your current battle with cancer. I think you're entitled to use the cancer card anytime during your treatment without worrying about what people on the other end might think.

okjimm said...

Get a smaller dog is right.... much less shit to pick up. Or maybe the same amount of shit...just in smaller piles... or maybe it's not the dog but how often the dog shits...or at least get a dog that will put the lid back down when it shits....and flushes, too. Or...just alwAYYSS remember to laugh at shit. Still stinks and stuff....but then you can at least say, "Boy that shit is funny!"

and, maybe even when shit ain't funny..... laughing is a way of fighting back.... have a song

okjimm said...

How is a hospital gown like insurance?

You're never covered as much as you think you are.

Gavrillo said...

I selectively mention the cancer because I'm never sure what reaction I'll get. The last thing I need is someone treating me if I'm a zombie of sorts.

Snoring Dog Studio said...

I don't know about the much less shit thing with smaller dogs. Frankly, I see plenty of throughput each day. It all stinks, no matter how big the pile. And because my sister's yard is open to mine, I get her dog's shit, too.

I think this is the first time I used the word, "shit" online. Thanks, Jimm - you are such a bad influence!