She didn’t tell me that my pee would turn red. But when this goes in your arm, it’s to be expected.
They call this “The Red Devil,” and it’s one of the three poisons in my little cocktail of fun.
The cure will ill you
Attacking a tumor is similar to attacking a dandelion: you go in with a deep fork and grab it by the root.
Attacking cancer is more like knocking out the weeds that haven’t emerged just yet. You can’t see them to cut them, so you use a little biological judo.
Weeds grow because they are primed to absorb nutrients faster than the surrounding grass. So you spray away, and let the greedy weeds absorb the brunt of the poison.
Same with cancer cells, which grow faster than they should. Unfortunately, you have many other cells with quick growth patterns:
- Stomach lining
- Bone marrow (white blood cells)
The trick is to blast away and knock out the crap, while externally maintaining the functions of the parts that now aren’t doing so well:
- Immune system
And that’s why I “volunteered” to allow a nice young professional the opportunity to poison me for hours today.
Limiting the playing field
The best news out of today is that we have no sign of spread. The “little blue round cells” that make up my sarcoma can be aggressive. Scans on my chest, spinal fluid and bone marrow have all come back clear.
And the eye issue is looking like it will be unrelated, and very easily managed.
We are still waiting a couple of weeks to get back the last of the genetic analysis of the biopsy samples. Since that result wouldn’t alter anything for more than a month, we are fine. Hopefully we can have a tentative window set up for surgery, which could be late April to late May. Hard to say just yet.
“Post-poison” game plan
This stuff is going to mess me up quite a bit. For instance, I’ve never seen my scalp. And in 15 years, the only person who got me to lose the beard was my sister, who insisted on it. She asked me to marry her, and I had to go to Georgia to do it. *
I will lose my hair and beard.
It’s going to change the flavor of foods.
It’s going to make me tired.
It’s going to make me sick.
The drugs designed to make me less sick will constipate me.
The drugs designed to make me less sick without constipation will make me sleep for hours.
The three-drug cocktail going in will be met by a sustaining three-pill regimen, which might allow me to eat enough and excrete enough to survive while losing weight.
(Don’t ask. It isn’t contagious, and even if it were it’s an expensive diet.)
...with a lot of help from my friends.
You’ve all been uplifting, in word and deed. So many have offered to help, and I’m forever grateful. I’ll be calling on some of you, maybe for a ride, or an errand, or a meal if I can’t make it out.
My family, stepping up and being strong for me, making sure I have what I need.
Those of you at Alabama Power and Southern Nuclear are a treasure. (So much so that I’m worried they’ll figure out they don’t need me.) You guys are the best!
Those of you in and around Birmingham and Alabama and the varies circles of my life, thank you.
Those of you “in the ethernet” whom I’ve connected with online — including many who took the time to pass an evening with a traveling stranger. We aren’t so strange after all. Your words and encouragement from behind your screens do indeed matter.
Even the memes.
I’m not going anywhere. Not with a mighty team willing to claim me, and help me smack that greedy McMurray right on into the formaldehyde.
If making him see red requires me to pee red, then so be it.
Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er.
* – When my sister got married, she asked me to perform her ceremony in Atlanta. I married her – to her husband. It’s still funny that a guy from Alabama had to go to Georgia to marry his sister.