One of the dangers of being a wordsmith is my tendency to embellish and over dramatize certain situations. So I have cancer? What's the big deal? The dangerous tumors in my bladder have been resected, the renal cell carcinoma in my remaining kidney is still relatively young, slow growing and treatable. In the worst case scenario I lose a bladder but people function quite well without a badder, it is not a death sentence. Wanda's brother did it.
I have a bit of discomfort a few days a week but so what? I know people right now suffering from oral cancers that would make me wither. In 2009 I spent six weeks with a stint connecting bladder and kidney that kept me in constant excruciating pain, one hundred percent of the time. And I drove to Miami and back, foolishly. This was prior to me losing the rest of my left kidney, a non laproscopic procedure that I can proudly say I forsook any pain medication for upon gaining consciousness and for the length of my entire recovery.
I am an old hand at this shit. Having first encountered what my friend Evelyn calls the Cancer Monster at the tender age of twenty five, I did the math, I have been in an off and on dark dance with this nasty bitch for thirty seven years or 59.6774193548 percent of my entire lifetime. Perhaps I have learned something? Who knows.
Having faced my own mortality since the tender age of 14, remember Abby? You learn a few things. Nobody has the commitment and skin in the game of life like you do, so one must be careful in ceding power to others. Certain people that you have long counted as friends will suddenly disappear from your horizon line but know that their numbers will be vastly outnumbered by those that legitimately care. Are they forgiven? It is a legitimate question.
And you will have to surrender at some point along the way because there is not a lot that you can do except take a breath and see what's rolling down the track. Debilitating disease is like a large piston coming through your engine block and energy conservation is paramount. It takes precedence over everything, life is put on hold.
Do I feel like sharing all this negative stuff day after day? No fucking way. But the people that love me demand that I stay in touch, we've come way too far to cut them off. This Cassandra like bleating is a drag for me and a drag for you but if I stop writing for a week, Shawn and Ricardo back in Thailand get scared and I have loved them far too long to trouble them. Can't feed you a pretty diet of daisies and finches right now.
I thanked my doctor today, for listening and at least letting me try to save my bladder after the three other doctors demanded its removal. Will be eternally grateful, or at least to the time of my dirt nap anyway. We are getting along much better, the walls are coming down.
It is permissible to piss your pants at three junctures in your life, when you are under the age of five, over the age of eighty and dead drunk. I confess that I shared none of these conditions today when I soaked my new levis in pee.
I had my immunotherapy at about 9:30 and drove up the coast to my pal's home to do my required forty five minutes of body turns. Afterwards I decided to get the new car waxed, doing a quick calculation that I would be able to get back to my office in time to pee. As I have noted previously, my urine is a biohazard and can be harmful to pregnant women who come into contact with the BCG virus. Didn't want to bother Dominick again after the last fiasco, another friend was too busy. So I gunned it back to my office. A fatal error in time management. Didn't make it, almost made it, soaked my new front seat with the toxic cocktail. Sixty two years old.
I couldn't risk hurting anybody, didn't have bleach or time to get it and instead took one for the team. Would never be able to live with myself if I hurt someone. Came home early with my wet tail between my legs, totally chastened and humiliated. Took a shower and threw up in the tub.
When you join the ever growing family of survivors, you feel a certain responsibility to the new members, or at least I did. Met a friend of Leslie yesterday, who having fought ovarian cancer, was getting her bladder cancer operated on today. Veteran that she is, she cried a little bit and I don't blame her a bit. It is scary as shit. Tried to help her as best as I could and I am sure that she will carry it forward too.
Love to you all, we will all get through our troubles and dance with the precious eagles in the sweet bye and bye.