And out the other end


So, to get the most important news out of the way: It worked. Six weeks of radiation and two bouts of chemo, and my recent PET scan shows no, repeat no, suspicious masses of any sort. No cancer, no sign of metastases, all is well and more than well.

However, I do need to tell you about the Side Effects Fairy, who unlike the Tooth Fairy is both real and malevolent. Remember Glenda the Good from the movie version of The Wizard of Oz? The sparkly, cotton-candy-pink goody-two-shoes who appears in a bubble, smiling like an idiot and waving her wand about in little circles, sort of like Queen Elizabeth greeting the peasants or the Pope scattering blessings? The one who waited until the very end of the movie to tell Dorothy how the Ruby Slippers worked (if she had done this at the beginning it would have saved Dorothy et al. lots of trouble). Anyway, yeah, that one. Since losing her job at MGM she has taken a very well-funded position with the pharmaceutical industry, and visits recovering cancer patients even after their therapy is over to remind them of all the good shit Big Pharma has done, and continues to do, to them. She appears without her bubble, but with that goddamned wand and a clipboard, and says in saccharine tones, “Well, hello there, sweetheart! So glad to see that you’re feeling well! Well, let’s just take a little stroll down the Side Effects list, and — Oh! My! You haven’t had sores in your mouth for weeks! We can take care of that for you. Ding!” and the bitch whacks you upside the head with that wand and away she goes and your mouth goes to hell. Until the next time, when she may note that the mouth sores have disappeared but what about a little explosive diarrhea? Or some nostalgic nausea? Oh, I know, I’ll bet you would just love to revisit the “energy level of a dead dishrag” moments again.

I always did like Margaret Hamilton better.

So the treatment is over with and was successful, but the maladies linger on. They are getting better as, over time, the SE Fairy loses her grip, but just when you think you’ve swept her out the door … All in all, though, it ain’t bad, children. In fact, it’s very good indeed.

My weight loss is leveling out at about 30 pounds; I have less hair than I had going into this although I hope that some of it will grow back; my energy level is still low, but I’m alive, improving, and apparently on the way to a full recovery. I’m managing my ongoing depression pretty damn well. On 11/5/14 I fly to Honolulu (my valiant sister coming with me) to have the port removed, and that, I believe, will be that.

Like an Oscar recipient, I have a long, long list of people to thank, but unlike an Oscar recipient I am not going to list names. Y’all know who you are, and what your support has meant to me since last April. I am happy, and healthy, and am even writing fiction again. My battle with Social Security is ongoing, but even that isn’t getting me down.

So thank you all again, and may the Clerk of Fate rain happiness and good fortune down on all of you, as she has to me.