A Better Medicine

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June 17th, 2010

Chapter 1: The L-Word Chapter 2: Having Fun With Cancer Chapter 3: Blue Evening Chapter 4: Departure Terminal Chapter 5: No News Is Good News Chapter 6: (today) A Better Medicine It might not be the healthiest reaction I’ve had lately. But when I woke up just now at 4:00 a.m. I felt a giant […]

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Chapter 1: The L-Word

Chapter 2: Having Fun With Cancer

Chapter 3: Blue Evening

Chapter 4: Departure Terminal

Chapter 5: No News Is Good News

Chapter 6: (today) A Better Medicine

It might not be the healthiest reaction I’ve had lately. But when I woke up just now at 4:00 a.m. I felt a giant laugh in my gut. I won’t try and kid you that it was an all fun and games guffaw; most of you have seen through that charade by now.
   
It felt more like “I got laid off exactly a year ago, tried another newspaper which lasted five minutes, found a great teaching gig with amazing students but school cutbacks are coming, our van got totaled and now this — a disease that’s cleaning my clock.”

Happy Anniversary baby, where do I send the flowers for a fabulous year of living on the edge? There’s a pity parade forming along both sides of the street and I think I’m supposed to be the Grand Marshal.

And yet here’s the weirdest fact of all. Good Doctor Momin pushed into my room without knocking and said two simple words, “normal cytogenetics.” Not being able to comprehend what that meant I had to collar him for more information. “Your leukemia is De Novo which means it just came from out of the blue. This is not a bad prognosis,” he said in his wonderful Indian voice.

There is something inside me though, maybe brought on by the past year’s turmoil but most likely just a general Rodney thing that’s doing battle with this supposedly good news. When he said, “this is not a bad prognosis,” did he really mean it could be worse? When he said the risk of the disease returning was intermediate if we only napalmed the village once? Or should I just hold tight to the last image of him walking away from me with both hands pumped into the air like a World Cup Midfielder.

Everything is good so far. I have 46 xy chromosomes and right now the ones in my bones are being blasted long and hard by bag after bag of a poison so toxic I have to actually flush the toilet twice each time I pee to push the chemicals further down deep into the Beaumont Hospital sewers. Seriously.

Thankfully, this first round of Chemoscarepy is coming to an end tomorrow.

I wish that analogy got to the heart of my malaise. I wish, too I could blame this latest funk because I’m drunk on junk.

My wife said, “You really wanted this all to be just a big mistake and be told it was only Mono.”

Yeah. That’s part of it. But I guess there’s the whole victim element that plays into this too. God knows I’ve always loved being the center of attention, even now as you come to read what my latest exploits are. But equally so, I’ve always wanted to control the story, to say it in my own way. I’ve never wanted to let the news dictate me and unfortunately it’s starting to … or I feel it’s starting too. Taking control over my rotten layoff this past year has given me a little voice in my own destination. Writing about this ludicrous Leukemia can hopefully do the same.

So I’m folding up the chairs and putting the streamers for the pity parade back into the closet. Hell, I may even flush them into the hospital sewer. Yes, I had hoped this would be over and done with by mid-summer and I could celebrate with a nice Dragonmead Trippel Ale. It’s ironic yet highly appropriate that my favorite brand, the kind I crave more than any other draft from their microbrewery lineup is Final Absolution.

The deep laughter starts rolling again. And trust me, this time it’s real.

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