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  • Writer's picturePhilip Drucker

Cancer Update: The Chemo Lounge Will Be Closed Until Further Notice!

Yes, you heard that right. My PET scan came back right on the money and my labs show me my vitals at least, not so sure about my mental health lately, are stable. So, what does this mean? The next step is to find the right surgeon to remove what is left of the tumor on my liver. Will start making inquiries as of today, and already have a hot lead on a well-regarded, tops in his field specialist who is over at Loma Linda.

In the meantime, my oncologist does not feel I need to stay on my chemo treatments and if I am not terribly mistaken, I do believe he uttered something along the lines of you deserve a break followed by dare I ever repeat it, go out and have some fun? Covid-19 style fun to be sure, but you get the gist. I’ve been a good boy and deserve a doughnut or two for my troubles, which by the way, I bought and ate yesterday.

One was just like I like it, a crispy around the edges buttermilk old-fashioned, with the other being, well, it was covered in blue frosting with pink sprinkles. Good enough for me! I always say, if you are going to snarf a doughnut or two, go big or go home.

I will still be monitored regularly and if need be, go back on chemo if necessary, but let me explain the mental health comment. I have found at a certain point, somewhere into the sixth or seventh month of treatment, the chemo martini sort of gets a mind of its own and let’s just say, on top of the fatigue and assorted unpleasant side effects getting a bit more unpredictable, it gets to playing those mind games.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the hallucinations although sometimes a bit frightening, can be fascinating in their sheer full-on surrealist creativity, kind of like living in a Dali painting with the walls melting and all, but it also brings upon a certain level of “disconnect” from the real world.

What do I mean by this? Well, let me give you an example. Yesterday I went from my living room couch over to the nearest light switch on the wall, probably about 10 feet away or so, and on the way, I had forgotten whether I wanted to turn on, or turn off the light. After staring at the light switch for what felt to be a minute or so, which was in reality closer to five minutes or so I finally figured it out.

Since the light was on, I came to the now obvious conclusion that I must be there to turn it off. Since it was late at night and time to go to bed, this made perfect sense. Problem was, the next morning when I got up I was surprised to discover the lamp was still on. Without realizing it, I had walked away from the switch without actually doing anything, all the while secure in the knowledge I had figured it all out.

Hence, my new favorite slogan, “better to check twice than not at all.” Although in all honesty, I have no idea what that means. It does make me think twice when picking up a knife or putting the kettle on the boil. I also see a new round of Post-its around the house in my near future.

Some of the activities I’m looking forward to? I can’t wait till I can drive again although I’m afraid I’ll have to give my chauffeur the sack and she’ll have to go back to just being my wife. Considering she has on many an occasion intimated being with me is already a full-time job and then some, I imagine the news will be nothing more than a welcome respite for the weary. She really has been a starship trooper and then some during this whole and still ever unfolding Magilla Gorilla of medical miasmas and miracles.

If I may impart a small bit of what I hope is wisdom from this time around, it would be to not fear the unknown so much simply because it is unknown. You probably have an experience you are thinking about right now. I’m sure we all do. But what’s going to happen is going to happen and being realistic, how many times have you gone straight to the worst-case scenario, or for that matter, played the best-case scenario fantasy game and had either of those outcomes happen?

The fact you are reading this means probably not too often if at all on both the good, the bad and the truly ugliest of scenarios. Not to be all doom and gloom though for how many times have you experienced an even better outcome beyond your wildest imagination? I know I have. You?

Lastly, always try to stay in the here and now. There is no reason to lament the past, nor is there any reason to live for tomorrow. It’ll be here soon enough and in a way, isn’t that in and of itself enough?

For as I have said many times before, you are a miracle as is everyone and everything around us. We are in a magical place at a magical time, all the time. Was there a time of Biblical miracles? Honestly, I don’t know. Are the stories in Torah and the New Testament recounting of real events? Or are they allegorical? The truest of true answer, the one from above, is beyond our earthly abilities of understanding. Sorry if you feel otherwise, but let’s get real, we don’t know.

The good news is who cares? Do not spend your life in vain waiting for a “sign”. Do not waste your valuable time looking for something that may or may not be there while you discard all the heavenly glory that already permeates you, the light within and without. One day we will all realize there is no there, only here and only now. Until then you are still divine. Thanks for reading.

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