OK, your first thought might be a circus. But I can’t come up with too many similarities between my journey and a circus. Now, an amusement park is a whole different animal. It just hit me the other day that many of the events of the past 11 months have an eerie connection to games of chance, rides, booths etc. that you might see at the San Diego County Fair. For those of us who can’t let go, aka The Del Mar Fair. And for those of you who frequented the haunts of LA in the 50’s and 60s: P.O.P. 10 points if you know what that stands for. Give up? Or did you just cheat and Google it or click on the link? That was an amusement park on the Santa Monica pier called Pacific Ocean Park. And 20 points if you know what long running TV show filmed its last climatic episode there. Not gonna tell. Gotta have some suspense, otherwise you might not come back to a future blog for the answer.
So how do I dare to compare a cancer journey to an image of someone hawking an overstuffed prize animal for ringing a coke bottle top? Ooh, hadn’t thought about that one. Might be something there after all.
First and foremost is my comparison of my fight to the game Whac-a-Mole. Although I can’t imagine any of you not knowing what that is, it’s a game where you whack a mole with a mallet who pops his head up randomly in one of several holes. The more heads you whack, the higher the score. So at my last meeting with my radio-doc after he prescribed the radiation on my hip and scrotum, er sacrum, I used this analogy about whamming the cancer wherever and whenever it pops up. My normally friendly but stoic doc actually laughed at my analogy. And when I asked him what the next line of treatment would be if hot spots starting popping up elsewhere, he actually got into the game and said, it all depends on how big the herd, or whatever moles come in, was. For the record, a group of moles is called a “labour.” And if you look closely, you’ll see I substituted my fuzzy heads for the mole heads. The last two fuzzy moles have been whacked directly on the noggin and are hopefully down for the count.
Another similarity might be a wheel of chance. Unlike the Vanna version, this one is not so much fun, no matter what section you land on. But that is how all of the side effects I have experienced have jumped around. Just when you thought you were over one, a couple months later you strike gold and get the benefit of it once more. And there is one on this wheel that is up there twice. Guess why? Uh huh. You’re smarter than you look. But that borders on TMI.
Another one we all remember is the one where the carny says he can guess your weight. Yeah, well, my docs are all about watching my weight like a hawk. Any slippage is a cause for concern so I have been very diligent about ensuring I keep them happy. More happy than they should. But hey, I aim to please. And I aim to please a bunch during our upcoming trip to Hawaii.
Who remembers getting lost in a house of mirrors as a kid? I remember getting stuck in the one at P.O.P. for over an hour. But this journey has been somewhat like a house of mirrors. When one direction looks like the right choice, you walk right up and slam your nose in the mirror letting you know you made a slight error in judgment. When my hip pain looked like a simple case (if one can have a simple case) of arthritis, it turns out the cancer was having a munchie fest after all. Reminds me of the munchie fests I used to have in college after, er, never mind.
I also remember the shooting gallery where they preload a tube of BB’s into a rifle and you have to shoot out a star image on a piece of cardboard. Always looked easy enough since all you had to do was wipe out the star image. So just when you thought you had it nailed and you were due for a 6 foot stuffed bear, the carny would reel in the cardboard target and show you the tiny sliver of red star still showing. Kinda how the fuzzies have persevered. You think you have them nailed but there is always a little bit lingering somewhere. Whack them moles!
And of course, the ultimate and obvious comparison would be the famous roller coaster. From scan to scan, treatment to treatment, this whole journey has certainly been an up and down ride. Mostly up, although the Chi-town meltdown would be considered a big dip. But now back on the uphill slope, click-clicking my way slowly up the incline. Here’s to the dips being just blips in the track down the road.
I could probably think of a zillion other analogies tying in bumper cars, carousels, bungee jumping, and for those as old as me, the hammer. But I think you’ve been subjected to enough of my blogitations.
And before I leave, I want to thank all of you that responded to my request for coming out of the closet, at least temporarily, so I know who is out there reading my blog. There were way too many of you to thank individually but please know that I read every comment, and appreciate every posting, you all make. Much grass. Oops, slipped back into my college persona…
Business as usual. Day at a time.