Thursday, June 26, 2008

George Carlin is Fucking Dead

Obviously, I am behind the curve on this one, but I thought I should throw a nod in the direction of George Carlin's passing, since the guy was a not-insignificant shaper of my thought and attitude back in my teenage years.

My favorite Carlin was the one who strove to knock the human race off its high horse. We're nothing particularly special -- just clever mammals, though not nearly clever enough. Here he is deconstructing one of the (many, many) lazy and false pieties we humans propped together to elevate ourselves over the muck and tide of the universe, the "sanctity of life":

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

That's All, Folks (Sort Of)

Monday -- I received my final infusion of bleomycin. My final chemo treatment.

Tuesday -- As my hemoglobin was pretty low, I went into the hospital for a blood transfusion. I wasn't thrilled about the idea, but it seems to have paid off -- I am, at least for the moment, feeling like a million bucks, although I suspect the bleo will start to kick me around in the next day or so.

What's next -- Monday, I meet with Dr. Hellerstedt for what I imagine will be a brief assessment/review/discussion of my forthcoming surveillance schedule. Wednesday, July 9th, I have a CT scan, which will (hopefully) confirm that my lymph nodes have shrunk back down to their normal size. If so: I am officially in remission.

I can't even tell you how nice it feels to be done with this shit, and I am just waiting for my stomach to recover so that I can get fucking drunk.

And now, because I want to give back to everyone who has provided kind words/support/food/books/DVDs/etc. during this ordeal, here is a clip from the 2004 film Karate Dog. Yes, that is Jon Voight, formerly promising actor of the '60s and '70s, fighting the CGI karate dog. In 2004, Voight also appeared in Baby Geniuses 2: Super Babies.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Only one infusion left to go, kids, and then the road to recovery.

Yesterday I received my penultimate bleomycin infusion, and now I'm just lazing around waiting for it to whup my ass for a few days. My hemoglobin is down, which means my heart needs to work triple-time to get that good ol' oxygen to all my precious organs and extremities. Generally, I feel all right as long as I don't try to -- you know -- do anything. Moving, walking, picking stuff up -- stuff like that. Carrying a bag to the front door makes me feel like I spent a half-hour on a treadmill.

Don't get me wrong, I am exhilarated to be so close to done. But you have never seen such an exhilarated fellow so thoroughly immobile.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

All Hail The Swayz

As though playing Dalton in Roadhouse and Bodhi in Point Break didn't already eternally seal his place in the Badass Hall of Fame, Patrick Swayze has re-established his bona fides by delivering a roundhouse kick to cancer's stupid, ugly face.

Pancreatic cancer is as close to a guaranteed death sentence as you can get, and the fact that The Swayz has not only outlasted it for this long but now has his doctors' permission to get back to work is a huge deal.

I think we could all stand to take some words of wisdom from the man himself:

Be nice.

Until it's time to not be nice.

The Finish Line Comes Into Sight

Well, folks, let me first apologize for how sporadically I have updated this thing. The fact is that my life + chemo = boring, for the most part, and I don't really want to waste anyone's time with posts about how many hours I slept in a given day or how many episodes of Law & Order I watched while nailed to my couch.

This past week was the final week of cycle two, and it contained some of the crappiest days yet. My blood counts went waaay down, so I'd get dizzy while standing up and feel my pulse pounding after climbing a few steps. Not too much fun. But that was only for a few days, and now I am once again feeling something approaching normal.

Which is good news because tomorrow is the first day of my last chemo cycle! Meaning, knock on wood and cross your fingers, I could be three weeks away from getting back to regular life.

Once the chemo is over, I'll be CT-scanned once more to check whether my lymph nodes have shrunk back to their normal size. If they have, then booyah, it means remission and frequent surveillance. If not ... well, unfortunately, I'll have to have them out surgically (which was precisely the thing we were trying to avoid by doing chemo first, but you can't win them all), which is not a disaster, but a surefire pain in the ass.

Three more weeks! Mark it.