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Communique 11-25-2020 "Of Cranberries & Chemo Sauce"

By Philip Drucker

I had a dream last night in which I was lying on the floor of a glass bottomed row boat. The funny part was I realized I was floating above the boat looking down at myself. I was wearing a Hawaiian shirt, short cargo pants and sandals. All different shades of brown and black mostly with a splash of orange and a pinch of red.


I noted the colors as they were a nice contrast to the purple and blue water slowly sloshing and swirling below. Think Starry Starry Night as a river and you’ve got the picture. If you happen to be a Pink Floyd aficionado the overall effect reminded me of the album cover from Rick Wright’s so-so solo album “Wet Dream”.


Suddenly, my perspective changed from a bird’s eye view looking down at the bottom of the boat and me lying down in the boat, first at my chest and then at where my feet should have been except alas, they were not.


It was as if my feet had been phased out at the ankle. No signs of violence or anything of a harmful nature whatsoever mind you and strangely, I was not terribly concerned about my lack of trotters and tootsies and I assume the inability to walk.


The ghostly, semi-transparent fading into nothing quality of my pedalless legs reminded me of a story I read about some of the peculiarities of Japanese culture. It seems in Japan if a wife catches her husband stepping out on her and ends his worthless, never was any good for nothing existence, as an additional act of vengeance the aggrieved and murderous femme fatale will cut off his feet.


This is so the cheating, footless scumbag can’t step-out behind anyone’s back on in the afterlife. Nurse is here. Be back soon.


Good news everybody! Just saw the Doctor, my oncologist, not Dr. Who, you Tardishead you, and all signs point to a more than satisfactory recovery.


First, I was examined by a new resident who declared me as having “good markers” and everything was fine. When the Doctor arrived for our bi-weekly consultation, he began by reciting my case history to Dr. Resident.


Having mutant genes and all he described me as an “interesting case”. I’m not sure it’s first date interesting, but I have to say, although it is a bit curious having two persons talking about your bowels and liver in front you, hearing a short, concise medical description of my last four years of treatment was I thought, interesting.


Next, and even better, was the prognosis. Firstly, my lymphocytes are up to 800. This is a big deal for me as it means my chronically anemic immune system is coming back online. In these days of the Covid-19 virus, this is a welcome development indeed. Now for the good news.


Depending on confirmation via my 11/30/20 PET scan, I now am up to a 25% chance of being completely cured. The plan is to stay the course for now, but early next year, have surgery to remove whatever is left of the cancerous blotch sitting on my liver.


The chances of surgical success being very high, barring any complications, I will for all intents and purposes return to my happy life, albeit a life of what one might call medical but fairly non-invasive surveillance. I’d like to say a life of “look but don’t touch” but that would not be true.


Ever had a colonoscopy? Have you ever seen a grown man naked? -Airplane anyone? Let’s start there. You know, the one (colonoscopy you naughty thinkers) where they stick a thingy up your thingy like it’s a good thingy, pins and needles to be sure, and on the bright side, no chemo as we move onto purely preventative measures. I will be put on inhibitors, the side effects of which I have yet to be debriefed.


I’m not sure if this will translate, but on days like today, when it comes to cancer, today is not tomorrow but if it was, that would be just fine. Bottom line: Today is a good day to be alive and for the future, if for no other reason than I will have one, I can’t imagine a better gift to be thankful for.


The cranberries in chemo sauce just kicked in. Happy Thanksgiving. My fingers are starting to tingle. No more today. Feel like I’m floating in maple syrup, but something isn’t quite right. Bye.


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