I know it seems a bit odd. How can someone forget they have cancer? That’s like forgetting what the Kardashians are famous for. OK, maybe not a good example. Paris Hilton? Um, help me out. Other than a Carl’s Jr. commercial, I’m drawing a blank here. How about forgetting your wife’s birthday? Better not happen. But yes, if it weren’t for the constantly evolving (and constantly reminding) side effect menagerie, I would feel and look totally normal. That may or may not be a good thing depending on your point of view. Here’s a recent pic (with my gorgeous wife Kim) from our recent big fund raiser to support that theory:
But the constant worry about the results of the tests that were happening weekly is now not the 800 lb gorilla it once was. My next scans are not due until August and I’m not planning on visiting that zoo for a while. So it really is business as usual as far as I’m concerned. Business as usual including a daily anti-cancer pill, antibiotic cream, anti-biotic pill, special shampoo, leg cream, arm cream…yadda yadda. But I’ll take yadda yadda any day over the alternative.
This past weekend I attended the very special and packed celebration of life services for my buddy Dylan (see prior post). You know the kind of impact on people this 10-year-old fireball had when you consider there were 800+ people in attendance. 800. Amazing. And as my farewell tribute, I have one more video of Super Dylan. Here he was practicing for a campfire presentation of a Saturday Night Live skit up at camp. You can see why he was everyone’s favorite. He will be missed.
Back to the side effects that prevent my total cancer amnesia: remember when I said that I had a nasty looking measles-like rash but luckily it didn’t itch? I lied. Or at least I didn’t know I was lying. Mostly gone from my face and arms, as you know it has invaded my legs. And now I find myself constantly reaching down to scratch my ankles. May have to break out the antihistamine again. Ahh, another drug. However, I guess I should be grateful though as drugs are what are keeping the fuzzies at bay. And another side effect that was warned about was the depletion of potassium. So I’ll be vegging in my recliner in front of the TV and my foot would go into a major cramp spasm. The immediate thing that comes to mind is “Craw, not Craw.” My brother might be the only one that gets that unless you were a Get Smart fan. But I find myself having to jump out of the chair to stand on my foot to get it to un-cramp. Speaking of gorillas, I guess I’ll have to up the ante on my banana intake.
So what is it about tar that seems to have healing properties? My main drug: Tarceva. My special shampoo: T (Tar)-Gel. So tar would seem to provide positive benefits to life. I’m not sure the La Brea dinosaurs from a billion gazillion meelion years ago would agree. Sorry, watching too much Austin Powers. You’d think someone that works in a science center would know exactly how long ago that was. But I was told by another cancer survivor to load up on funny movies as laughing provides a healing effect. I absolutely agree. Recommendations for absolute gut-busters?
I find it difficult to describe exactly the prickly feeling that Tarceva causes. And every once in a while it comes over me in a wave that sends goose bumps down my whole body. I would liken it to a hot flash but my wife would nix that comparison with “are you kidding me?” It kinda feels like a garden-full of desert cactus trying to work its way out from the inside. So if anyone knows of a commercial enterprise that a has a vat full of Lucerin cream I can dunk my whole body in, that might do the trick.
In keeping with my not-too-proud-to-pull-the-C Card M.O., my wife and I were playing ping pong the other day. Ping pong is deadly serious at my house and the three of us (including my son) are pretty even in our matches. With one game apiece and my wife leading the 3rd at 19-17, I asked her if she would feel bad beating someone with cancer. Her response: “Hell no.” And she proceeded to finish me off. Love her.
Business as usual. Day at a time.