May 27, 2013 (Mon) – The Little Rascals and Wizard of Oz

We’re going to see who has any brains left after a long Memorial Day weekend. For those of you that read (and are willing to admit that you read) the Kennections column in the weekly Parade Magazine, you will understand. There is a commonality between the above TV and movie titles. OK, even Ken Jennings wouldn’t get this one because the tie-in is so thin. The levels I’ll go to, as you know, to make a title work.

So who was one of the main stars in the Little Rascals TV show of the 50’s? Well, a chunk of you reading this blog may have no clue what I am referring to since you aren’t as old as the rest of us gray-hairs so I’ve included the link in case you want to bone up. Alfalfa, the kid with the perpetually spiked hair, was one of the main characters.


Well, my buddy, Tarceva, has been playing havoc with my hair. Apparently this is so common amongst those taking this drug that they have a term for it: “Tarceva hair.” I’m sure it took a while for them to come up with that creative name, eh? Not only has my hair growth slowed down to a trickle, I now awake each morning looking like Phyllis Diller. And nothing short of Elmer’s Glue has much effect in holding the stragglers in check. On top of it, my hair feels like, wait for the next clue…, straw from the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz. As usual, a stretch, I know. But it completes the title mystery. Others have had issues with eyelashes turning inward and scratching their eyes. Haven’t had that problem yet but I do have flyaway eyebrows. My wifey has offered to take a hatchet to them on my behalf.

As for the other main side effect, that ramblin’ rash, it seems to be moving down my body in steady fashion. Gone from my face (thank you) and now slowly leaving my arms (thanks in part to a prescription gel), it now is popping up on my legs. At this stage it will be exiting through my big toes in about a week or so. Of course this is a double-edged sword in that it is messin’ with my head: I wonder that once I no longer have many side effects, I am concerned that maybe the Tarceva will also no longer be working internally to keep the fuzzies at bay. I’ve been assured that is not the case but of course it still will always be hanging in the back of my toasted brain as something I will be wondering about. At least until my next set of scans in August.

The other head-messin’ is whenever I cough. It may be only twice a day, less even than a normal person. But you can’t help automatically wondering if it is not a symptom of something coming back. And I am often left wondering if what I may be experiencing is a side effect of the drugs, a side effect of a side effect, or a symptom of something more worrisome. I really wonder the next time I come down with the flu as to how I will deal with that. Lots of things that rattle about in my noggin. But again, I realize that is all very normal, if there is such a thing.

So my wife and I have decided to move forward with the scheduled kitchen remodel. Trying to figure out how to stay within budget. Good luck with that. As an example of our gallows humor that now pops up occasionally in our house, I told her we should go ahead with the remodel since if I kicked the bucket, she would have to figure out how to pay for it. It wouldn’t be my problem. Just to prove that my wife and I share an equally sick sense of humor, when our contractor asked us about the timing on the remodel, my wife glanced at me, I gave her an approving look knowing exactly where she was headed, and she replied to him “Well I guess it depends on how long he lives.” It may seem odd and somewhat perverse to be joking about my longevity, but it is one way we both are dealing with the unknowns.

But the remodel has been a good distraction for my wife who has been on the warpath (is that politically correct?) hitting up all of the local suppliers in picking out our new floor, counter tops, appliances etc. However, I told her this remodel would have to suffice because we couldn’t afford any more $50K distractions. She also put things in perspective the other day. She may not appreciate me posting this but I can’t resist. She said before when she woke up in the morning she thought, in this order: 1) My husband has cancer and 2) I have to go to the bathroom. Now it’s 1) I have to go to the bathroom and 2) My husband has cancer. Of course how badly she has to go may have a bearing on the order. May seem like a small change but it really makes me happy that it isn’t always the top thing on her mind now. In many ways I think this journey has been way tougher on her and my family than it has been on me.

Last week I received a very cool picture from some fellow counselors at Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times. They were participating in a 3-day family camp weekend and wanted to send me a shout-out since I was not able to make it. Very cool. Can’t wait to make it back there.


And some more bad news: my golf game has not improved. We spent the long Memorial Day weekend in La Quinta. Although I did fairly well on Friday and Saturday (at least for me), Sunday was another matter. And let’s just say that my golf score exceeded the temperature. And we were in La Quinta. As in the desert. And it was really hot. Just sayin’. It was a bit weird wearing long pants and a long-sleeve shirt in 95 degree (oops, gave it away) weather. But I managed the sun well and although the heat sapped me pretty good, we had an absolutely wonderful time, as always, with my bros and their wives. In a few weeks the same six-some will be indulging in a 4-day weekend up at Pelican Hill for more golf and other treats. Life’s rough. Man I’m spoiled. 🙂


OK, gotta begin the half-hour-long get-ready-for-beddy routine.

Business as usual. Day at a time.


5 thoughts on “May 27, 2013 (Mon) – The Little Rascals and Wizard of Oz

  1. I’ll get you some long sleeved golf shirts that are light weight if you like (as a gift)> Just call me. LMK your size or go on my web site if you have a brand in mind. KP

  2. if you need help with kitchen remodel design consultation (pay back time /no charge) let me know. I helped Bonnie and Clem with theirs recently. I can lead you to some great resources. JYoung

  3. I totally understand your “head-messin” issues Craig. Having lived with a non-Hodgkins lymphoma for 18 years, I can say it’s kind of like knowing there’s a rattlesnake in your coat closet. It doesn’t impact most of your life but you can’t forget it’s there, and once in a while you have to open the door and deal with it. Funny thing though, after a while you really do get used to the whole idea. CW


  4. When my worry meter got the best of me, I just picked up the phone and called the cancer doc. I also have a dear friend who is an outstanding oncologist. Between both docs, I often got the reassurance I was looking for. I would share your thoughts as often as possible with your physician.

  5. Craig – once again I appreciate your honesty in describing those thoughts that creep in – my brother-in-law has lymphoma – and is not a communicator – this helps me understand better….


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