Monday, March 23, 2009

Hit the road, Jack

Dear Squamous Cell Carcinoma:

Pack your bags yet?

I don't think I am legally obligated to serve you another notice to vacate, but I feel it's only fair to give you a final warning.

In a few hours, I'm going to settle into a Barcalounger, kick off my shoes, and get hooked up to an IV at Kaiser for another round of Carboplatin chemotherapy.

I'm looking forward to a few hours of reading, napping, and watching a bit of television.

On the other hand, I can't imagine what it must be like for you to be in my body when a chemotherapy attack is under way. The only thing I can compare it to is when exterminators tent a building prior to filling it with poison to get rid of termites.

I mean, it's gotta suck to be a cancer cell when nasty chemotherapy is coursing through somebody's veins.

I'm sorry I've been such a lousy host, Mr. Carcinoma –may I call you Squamous? But I also don't remember inviting you and your fellow cancer cells to take up residence in my body. And in my tongue, of all places.

I could list all of the ways that you've caused misery for me over the past several months, Squammy, but I don't want to dwell on the past. I'm not coming after you seeking punitive damages for the wreck you've made of my body; I just want you to get the hell out of Dodge so I can begin to heal.

I probably shouldn't tip my hand to you, but today's round of chemotherapy is the last one that is scheduled.

And then my radiation treatments will wind down, too. Later today, I'll be returning to the Radiation Oncology Center at Kaiser for my 31st session of radiation. Another session will take place on Tuesday, and then Wednesday will wrap up the radiation phase of my treatment plan.

So make things easy on yourself and the other cancer cells who are squatting in my tongue, Squammy. Just give up, pal.

I hope you won't see this letter as another Notice to Quit. You've had plenty of warning. You and I were never meant to be co-habitants. Let's call the whole thing off.

In a word, Squammy: Scram.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I gotta shower, get dressed and hustle down to Kaiser so this blitzkrieg can resume.

It's a splendid morning for an invasion.

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