10th Floor

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October 10th, 2010

I thought the guy down the hall was making fun of me. On one of the ubiquitous dry erase boards posted on the 10th floor of the Karmanos Cancer Center, there was a guy’s name, Ray, spelled with a giant outlandish R. “Wait, that’s my R,” I thought to myself, “somene’s already messing with me; […]

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I thought the guy down the hall was making fun of me. On one of the ubiquitous dry erase boards posted on the 10th floor of the Karmanos Cancer Center, there was a guy’s name, Ray, spelled with a giant outlandish R.

“Wait, that’s my R,” I thought to myself, “somene’s already messing with me; this is cool.” Tracking him down on one of the many laps we’re all supposed to walk, (your boy Rodney’s aiming for two miles a day; in your face office dwellers!), I found out he signs his name with the same insane R. Better yet, he does the same with his last name which also begins with an R. I can’t share it with you since I think I’m already in trouble with HIPA.https://readthespirit.com/rodney-curtis/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/03/wpid-rcsignature.jpg

Other than the signature and the cool view of MotorCity Casino’s lights at night combined with the Ambassador Bridge, there’s not a lot of surprising stuff going on here. And that’s fine by me. Wait, there’s that frosted glass in my door that when you flip a light switch it changes to clear; that’s pretty surprising. But for the most part I am doing what I’ve done during previous hospital stays: read, imbibe chemo, do laps, get bored, mess with the nurses, eat, sleep when I can, mess with the nurses some more, repeat cycle.

I keep feeling like there’s something more I should be doing. I guess the beautiful fall weekend we’ve had doesn’t hurt as much knowing that the leaves will be handled by someone else, (girls, if you take the time to read Daddy’s blog you’ll know who I’m talking about).

But my job and pastime these days is health. That pretzel I’m about to eat, does it contribute overall to my well-being? The diet Shasta located all-too-conveniently in the mini fridge inches from my laptop, wouldn’t water be better for me? And why can’t I take a good righteous dump these days? Is my family right and I’m anal retentive in the real way?

Little by little my fears of another blood clot slip away. The waning cold that’s been waning for a few weeks now also seems to be, hmmm how do I put this, waning. The side benefit to being cooped up all night and day here is the knowledge that a medical professional is only steps away. I’ve never been a hypochondriac but this stupid cancer has caused me to pay more attention to the clues skulking around my body. And just as I surveyed the brilliance of that last sentence, they called a Code Blue over the loudspeaker and my throat and sphincter both clenched. “It’s another part of the hospital. It’s another disease. It’s another nother other,” I assure myself.

Focus on the fun. Remind yourself of the positive. Yeah, you had a deadly disease but you still have an iPad. Sure these bags are pumping poisons into your system but didn’t you enjoy all those cheeseburgers and pizzas the last month and a half? Sure, there may be someone coding on another floor, but you can’t control that.

And as if on cue from the great standup comedian in the sky, my wonderful nurse Melissa walked in to explain how my shots would be handled. “We poke you in the evening then put you to bed,” she said.

“You don’t know what that sounds like to me,” I reply.

“Yes I do; you may need a cigarette afterward.”

Messing with the nurses means they can mess right back.


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