Friday, April 29, 2011

More Radiation, Please

I was recently scanned by TSA at the airport.

When they told me to "put your feet here, face this way and raise your arms over your head" I said, "yeah I got it. Just what I need after 35 radiation treatments for cancer." My comment went over like a wet fart in church reverberating against the wooden pew. I got a look that was half stern and half WTF. It also jarred my memory that I needed to schedule my next scan. Even more radiation. More arms over my head. More prayers for a clean scan with no cancer growing in my body.

My good friend Matt––another cancer survivor of over 15 years––and I talked about the lasting emotional and mental scars that cancer treatment "gives" you. I asked him, "when will I not think about cancer every day?" He said, "you'll get there eventually". And I have. After only 3 and a-half-years since my diagnosis I don't think of "my cancer" every day. (I'm getting really close to a writer's world record for quotation marks in one space). But this time of year, I have to make my follow-up appointments with my team of Doctors. I started with the easy one, my GP. It's gets more invasive from here, with needles, radiation and tubes with cameras up my nose and down my throat.

If Mr. Sunshine at the TSA showed any form of human interaction with me, I would've asked him, "does the scan show if I'm cancer free or not." I'm sure that would have put the whole airport on lockdown and I would've missed my plane. And I would have demanded that they show me the x-ray so I could take it to my Doctors and see if I could skip the whole scanning process. Could you imagine the press having a field day with this headline, "Former cancer patient tries to use his x-rays from TSA for treatment." For sure I'd get radiated EVERY time I went through airport security.

That would suck.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Just Try Not To Be An Asshole

This was all I had to do for Easter Sunday.

My lovely Wife reminded me that when I'm tired I'm a real asshole. And I agree, my assholed-ness gets pretty high when I have been able to sleep and I'm running on empty. No one knows this better than me or at least that's what I thought until my Wife reminded me. And while I know this is me, I at least thought I could fall into the "lovable asshole" category. You know someone like that, don't you? Yes, you do.

Since my fall off the ladder, I've been in pain and not sleeping––at least until Thursday night, when I had my pain killer prescription in hand. Or should I say in my body. So sleep was not an option until Thursday night. And since I was till a little loopy Friday morning, I didn't take any until Friday afternoon. Which knocked me out and I didn't let me sleep much that night because, well, I already had 4 good hours of sleep. You see the pattern here?

So when Sunday rolls around, I'm pretty wiped out from all the pills––I've gone from taking 1 pill to now taking 4 pills a day and it sucks big time––and all the highs and lows that the medication gives me and with the lack of saliva that the cancer has left me with. (By the way, one of the side effects of my pain medication is dry mouth. If my mouth was any drier I would be spitting sand every time I talked). And I can't lift anything, move anything or do anything more than walk because I'm in pain or in a drug stupor.  Which means I'm stuck with nothing physical to do except run my mouth. Nice, huh?

Not if I'm trying NOT to be an asshole.