Doc’s Journal

Thursday, May 18 2017

First day of chemo therapy for my Third go ‘round with Multiple Myeloma.  Oh Joy!  The radiation really seemed to accomplish at least some shrinkage…how much?  Only God Knows and He’s apparently Not referenced in the test results.  I can report the “soft tissue” biopsy was a staggering success…that is, if you are a sadist and prefer hospital blues to leather.  The sadistic bas….er doctor who performed the biopsy was just thrilled that he was able to get three very good samples while I, on the other hand just wanted to climb up off of the table and take a few pieces of my own from his behind.  Anyway, no new symptoms from the start of the chemo.

 

Friday, May 19 2017

Second day of chemo and it seems I’m developing “desert throat.”  Very dry, thirsty all of the time and slightly irritated in the very back part.  Here….I’ll open my mouth…..AHHHHH….can you see anything?  Me neither.  It’s the drugs.  When I was a kid, the drugs made you feel good, now they just fall short of killing you.  It’s a very pharmaceutical application of the old phrase…”what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!”   The drive into the office was made all the more enjoyable by my faithful, loving companion and wife who, by now, has permanently imprinted her handprint onto overhead handle of the passenger side of our car.  Apparently, if another driver decides to cut us off while we’re traveling at highway speeds (above the speed limit), it is my fault.  If I gesture to that driver that I am thoroughly disappointed with his/her behavior I am very probably going to get us both killed, because the other driver is plainly nuts and has at least one gun in his hand at all times.  The entire day seemed like that.  Every other driver on the road was only interested in where THEY were going and had no care whatsoever for the drivers around them.  There’s a word for that….let me see….starts with ass…ends with hole.  It’ll come to me.  Anyway, the “desert throat” symptom is new.  I can’t wait for what comes next.  Who knew cancer could be so much fun?

Saturday, May 20 2017

Well cancer fans Saturday was an exercise in golf futility.  In my defense, I couldn’t make a putt if the hole was the magnetic center of the universe and my ball had a neodymium core.   I don’t think I putted badly….I just didn’t make Anything.  Coupled with a severe shortness of breath, a constant cough that has turned into what feels like a head and chest cold….whooowee!   How much fun is That?  It is difficult to be “witty” and impossible to be “profound” when your head feels like there’s a large piece of lead clanking around inside.  One of the reasons I’m trying to journalize this time around on my cancer merry-go-round is that I (and Steffie) can’t remember if I got these same symptoms last time.  I don’t think so, but my memory is shot.  When I get up in the morning and look in the mirror, my main focus is to try to recognize the guy looking back at me.  If I know who it is…..well…ok, at least I won’t be spending the day with a total stranger.  I really hate it when that happens.   I’m thinking about writing another article for Coping Magazine…I think it would be my fifth.  I know that they like their readers to read about “Suvivors!”  They want them to know that life doesn’t begin or end with a cancer diagnosis.  I do too!  I guess it’s in my nature to be supportive and it would really bother me to think that I could have helped someone trudge through this journey and didn’t just because I got lazy or apathetic.  I haven’t quite figured out what I want to say yet.  This one will be about the idea of facing repeated cancer attacks and living with my own advice to others.  That is “survive.” Fight for every day, every week, every month because research brings new and powerful treatments to cancer trenches almost daily it seems and the next one might just be “THE ONE!”  Even now my own doctor tells me that he has several treatment options still available over and above the one he’s using now to treat my particular brand of hell and I have to admit that writing about it is sort of cathartic.  Because I’ve written a few articles for Coping Magazine I feel like I have some sort of relationship with them.  Last year one of my articles was selected by Coping to be highlighted in their 30th Anniversary issue.  (http://copingmag.com/…/index…/search/articles/10_years_later) I’m of two minds about possibly being selected for their 40th.  On one hand I’ll be gratified that I’m still kicking around and writing stuff, but on the other I’m pretty sure I’ll be pissed off.  Oh well.  Hopefully soon, I’ll get my act together and write a new piece for Coping.  See you all tomorrow.

Sunday and Monday, May 21 and 22 2017

My brain gets foggy as hell…I could have sworn today was Monday.  Damn!  I must have been on autopilot for two whole days.  I suppose it’s okay though, there really wasn’t much going on in the Knowles residence over those two days.  I’ve been just laying low and trying to get past this chest cold.  I’ve been coughing so much that my ribs feel like they were used to train a boxer on how punish his opponent with body blows.  I’d really like to find that guy…I want to hit him back!

Stef is busy “Cleaning” (with a capital “C”) the entire house!  Why you may ask?  Because our youngest son is coming home for a few days to visit and to attend our eldest’s wedding reception.  If we had red carpet it would be rolled down the driveway out to the street.  There’d be a band and some kind of parade.  Never mind that he’s been a stiff pain in the tuccus for only his ENTIRE life.  He’s the “prince” and nothing will deter my bride from making his visit a formal state affair.  Okay…I have to admit….I’m a little proud of him.  He’s been clean and sober for over a year and has completely turned his life around.  His struggle was monumental.  We and he have been battling his illness for too many years to count.  For each of us it was a lonely desperate battle.  (please read Demons Have My Son!) A battle I’m happy to say that he’s learned how to defeat.  Naturally, the battle never ends.  It’s an everyday, ongoing struggle to keep your wits about you and stay focused on the prize.  My son is doing just that.  It has lifted a heavy burden on his mother and me.  Over the years many people have asked and commented about “how to handle drug addiction” in their family or that of a friend.  There is no magic cure, no surefire method and definitely no easy answer to drug addiction.  As a parent, especially as a parent, You can do nothing.  After all, you’re not addicted.  Your child is.  In the final analysis it simply means that when your child decides to get real help and devote themselves to getting straight….they have a chance.  Once they make that commitment it is your job to be supportive and encourage them to take their place in the normal world.  I know….it’s a crappy answer.

On to more positive news.  My dog is going to live!  Yay!  I love my dog.  I love my dog.  I love my dog.  I want to strangle my dog!  I have a dachshund.  A wiener dog.  He’s mine.  We bonded when he was a puppy and he’s been “my dog” ever since.  Two weeks ago we came home to find that somehow he had gotten into a sealed bag of mouse poison and eaten almost all of it.  To be honest, I thought I’d lost him.  He’s still not back to normal, but he has miraculously managed to hang it there and pull through.  I still feel guilty because I had left the damned poison on the far side of the garage in a bag.  It had been there for at least two months and I completely forgot about it.  So far he has some trouble getting his back legs to cooperate with his front legs and he only knows how to go forward.  So when he comes to a wall or other obstacle…..he’s stymied.  Each day, though, he seems to get a little better and a little stronger.  I think he’s still trying to get the spider webs out of his mind and lift the fog he was in.  The poison was a neuro-toxin.  Having seen what it can do to our pet and how he has suffered I can say that I’ll never use anything like that to get rid of pests.  There are more humane ways of pest control.  Poison is not one of them.  Getting back to my dog…I want to strangle him because it wasn’t enough that he ate one piece, get sick, throw up and go lay down.  No.  He ate 12 pieces!  Each time he’d throw up and go after another piece!  I’m still amazed that he survived at all.  Now I’m hoping I’ll get “my dog” back.  Time will tell.

So that’s it.  Two lost days of me in some other dimension losing all track of time and realizing…belatedly….”Hey dummy!  You need to write in your journal!”

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