Communique 12-9-2020 Update From The Chemo Lounge "Enter The Badger"
By Philip Drucker
Badger, Mushroom & Snake
Planning for the future when you might not have one is a bit different than you might have imagined. I consider year end changes and entering dates into a 2021 calendar and beyond an act of faith, affirmation and defiance.
Cancer is a most clever adversary and I assure you a more than worthy opponent. That is of course accounting for the Big “C” is in many ways nothing more than a lowdown trespassing sumbitch that deserves to die a fast and painful death.
Often subtle, but capable of turning into mind-numbing, debilitating, if not savage pain at a moment’s notice. Make no mistake this sneaky little devil spawn is out to win, no quarter asked, and none given. When it comes to cancer, you fight, you get, or you get got. If you get got, there is no sudden death overtime. Game over, man.
So, I fight. I’d like to think of myself as a fighter, one who is willing to go to the mat in service of a good and worthy cause. At times, I need remind myself I am the badger. The first time I realized I have an inner badger was in Law School.
I was part of a group of similarly situated miserable students who formed not so much a study group, but a mutual support let’s get over the pity party and get back to work group. We called ourselves the Junkyard Dogs as we thought of ourselves as if nothing else, a scrappy bunch.
One day, I walked into the student lounge and caught the tail end of a conversation between two of my dogs-in-arms brothers. It went something like this. “Don’t bother asking Drucker. All you’ll find at the bottom of that bag is an angry badger. And so, my spirit guide was revealed to me not through any peyote use or spirit quests, but by my less than discreet classmates.
To this day, I have no idea what the two future lawyers to be or not to be, the Bar Exam answering that question, were talking about and why my name entered the mix, but I do know for all intents and purposes, my animal alter ego was born. Enter the Badger.
Cancer is relentless. It never sleeps, stops for a break or changes its quest. It wants to eat you, turning your healthy cells into unhealthy cells that eventually overwhelm your various organs until one by one, they and then you, shut down. That’s if you don’t die from pneumonia first.
Badgers have sharp teeth and claws. They are fearless and without hesitation attack animals many times their size if necessary. Sometimes I envision the badger fighting against the Cancer Menace, a big bug looking thing straight out of the Arachnids in Starship Troopers. Cool movie if you haven’t seen it.
When it’s badger time I prepare much as an ancient warrior might select his weapons and armor for battle. I let my hair grow. Sideburns (it’s a Wolverine thing) as well. I keep my nails long and practice what little tiger style martial arts I know. I mentally gird myself for the task ahead.
The old saying fighting "tooth and nail” comes to mind. The problem being if you lose, you may very well find yourself toothless and without nails. But, when the battle is lost and the end is near, wouldn’t you rather look down at your battered and bloody hands, nails broken, and know you fought the good fight for as long as you could? I would.
Well looky here. It’s my nurse ready to take me to see the Doctor. Back in a minute. Wish me luck.
Good news everybody! I thought my PET scan results were good, mostly because the word “negative” appears several times and the document ends with "no new anomalies detected" but as it comes out the results are even better than I imagined.
It seems my nemesis is not only receding in size, but in terms of “movement” think slow moving all the way to aggressive, has for lack of a better description, turned tail and is in full retreat.
In short, there is no reason that sometime in the future, yes, the future, I will be back to leading my happy care and cancer free lifestyle, of course including regular maintenance and testing of the preventative kind.
The “bad” news is chemo treatments will continue through this year and into the next, till this latest campaign culminates in a final surgery to remove whatever is physically left of the scurrilous but suddenly turned cowardly cancer in the battlefield know as my liver.
The Battle of Chopped Liver Hill is not quite over, but come the morning light, the flag of the badger (don’t tread on me MF) will be waving high in the sky over chemo lounge. Can’t wait to go home and enter all the new dates of treatment I just received into my yearly calendar, some for 2021. It really does feel great to plan ahead. Badger out.
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