Tuesday, July 23, 2013

CANCER UPDATE #2: The Cancer Card

Health Update follows essay.
A couple of days ago my wife and I were invited to a dinner theater presentation entitled, "Menopause the Musical."  The subtitle, from the official website declares, "The Hilarious Celebration of Women and the Change," exclamation mark and reserved word.

Sidebar:  why won't dinner theaters do anything like Shakespeare or Sophocles?  I mean, Oedipus Rex had singing in it.  I've heard Cormac McCarthy wrote a play.  That might be good.

But, back to the main idea - First:  no man I know wants to see a musical presented by amateurs about menopause.  Guys, I don't mean to blow the cover, but you know it's true.  I just had the courage to type it out loud.  Cancer has profoundly changed my perspective on such things.  Secondly, dinner theater dinner, at least in this neck of the woods, is usually a click or two under the mediocre bar.  That's true too.  You know it and I know it.  Together we can stop the charade.  Join me brethren!  Through solidarity we shall find strength.

Other couples are going.  It's not just lady's night.  The men will pay and sit and nod and speak amongst themselves, listening for funny lines so they can later tell others, "It had some funny parts." Or, "It was ok." Or, "Yeah, it wasn't too bad."  They'll smile as they say these things, remembering the rubbery chicken with white sauce and the cold rolls from a bag and the lukewarm peas with pearl onions, and the beasts in their hearts will howl and grow weaker.  Oh, the things we do for love…

BUT - I have cancer.  My type-3 might be acting up that night.  I may be unable to attend; stuck at home, alas.  And if I could get one brave man, amongst the men of the group, to volunteer to stay with me that night, that would help quite a bit.  Then, perhaps, when the ladies see how two of the men (one heroically and stoically and bravely battling cancer and the other selflessly giving up the show on a Christian mission to console his brother), yes, when the news gets out that two of the men can't be there, and here is my selfless hope, then maybe the other ladies will decide they don't want the single women to feel bad and how maybe a lady's night would be best.

This is the cancer card in all its power and glory.  With just one use, I may be able to channel portions of the tides of history to help my fellow-men.

Next week I may have to buy a crossbow or a new pistol to take my mind off things.  And if daughter #1 could wash the car, not forgetting to vacuum the mats, that too would help.  Perhaps down the road, a larger screen to help me see things, might be in order.  These are just examples.

Like all special cards, the Cancer Card must, or should be, judiciously used.  There's nothing worse than an overplayed special card.  We don't want people to get sick of it because it's been used over and over and over again for every little thing that comes along.  But, if you have cancer, I urge you, don't overlook this new ability.

Health Update:  I am in the midst of my second 46-hour chemotherapy treatment.  They send me home with a little side-pump that makes me look like I'm on field-duty for AT&T.  The surgeon released me two weeks ago.  The family doctor said to call if I need anything.  The oncologist is the only doctor I'm seeing on a regular basis.  He's a nice guy, but really not my type.  I don't see the relationship going much further than where it is today.  My sense is that it's too early to tell how I'm going to react to the chemo.  There is a laundry list of side-effects.  Last time I had only small hints of cold intolerance, just a toying with of nausea, and a small yet noticeable impact on my level of energy.  That may have been beginner's luck.  Otherwise, so far, so good.

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