Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Oh, great, another "Look at me, I have cancer" blog
About ten weeks ago, I was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer, which apparently isn't as bad as it sounds. Right out of the gate, the doctor who performed the colonoscopy that revealed the tumour assured me it was "operable, treatable and curable."
Of course, I've shared the news with family, work colleagues and close friends and I've mentioned it in passing to some acquaintances. There's no reason to treat it like a state secret, but neither did I want to go public because: A. people have their own problems and don't need to be burdened with mine, and B. I didn't want to be perceived as a self-indulgent attention seeker. If I want attention, I'll write a hawkish anti-Islamist blog or tweet some brutally honest common sense about taking personal responsibility to piss off the terminally-offended progressive left. Works every time.
However, on a couple of occasions, people whose judgement I respect have suggested I should write about this journey - not so much for therapeutic purposes, but because a lot of what's happened to me over the past two-half-a-half months is so goddam funny, like the time I passed out and fell on the floor during my first consultation/examination with the colorectal surgeon. There I was, buns up and kneeling on the examination table while he's up my ass with some kind of oncological divining rod, waving it around like he's conducting the triumphant finale to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. It wasn't the pain as much as it was the discomfort that overwhelmed me, and the next thing I knew I woke up on the examination room floor, with the nurse apologizing for not catching me and exclaiming "I've never seen anyone faint THAT fast!" Meanwhile, the doctor, who happens to be movie star good-looking, tells me to stay down for a couple of minutes until I regain my strength. I don't often compare my lot in life to the fortunes of others, but I've got to tell you: as I was sitting on a cold hospital floor with my pants and underwear around my ankles under the sympathetic gaze of an impossibly handsome surgeon, I might have felt the slightest twinge of inadequacy.
Fast forward to today, and I just completed my fourth round of five-day-a-week radiation/chemotherapy treatments. The radiation room staff was listening to the Beatles on Spotify, and as I was lying on the table getting zapped, I drew inspiration from my great and good friend Dave McGimpsey and thought up a few bogus, cancer-related Beatles song titles, including "Molly's Got a Mass," Tottenham Tumour" and "Bloody Uncle Anus". They're not in the same league as Dave's "Nigel and His Chippy", "Nasty Colonel Pickles" and "Sammy Likes His Crumblies", but I thought they were pretty good.
To summarize, so far, so good. I feel fine, I haven't lost weight (which for a change is a good thing) and the prognosis is positive. If I can get through my next appointment with the surgeon without falling off the table and cracking my skull open on the floor, I should be able to stay on the right side of the dirt for a while yet. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for listening.