Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A new centurion

Jeez Louise! Has it really been only 100 days?!

So much has happened in such a short period of time. It's been action-packed, wouldn't you say? If there has been even one dull moment, I certainly can't put my finger on it.

No, I'm not talking about the first 100 days of the Obama presidency. I'm talking about the first 100 days since I got my cancer diagnosis, which by comparison make Obama's hundred look downright placid.

Technically, I arrived at the 100-day marker last Saturday but it wasn't until today that I counted backward and realized that I had overlooked the milestone.

It's been quite an adventure.

No, I haven't traveled to Europe, western Asia, Mexico City and all over the United States over the past 100 days, and no, I haven't made lame cracks to Jay Leno on the Tonight Show or paced up and down the South Lawn with a pooper-scooper. I haven't danced on any ballroom floors, shot hoops in Kuwait or landed on the cover of MAD.

But I have covered a lot of ground in 100 days of being a guy with cancer.

I've completed a full course of radiation and chemotherapy and endured a battery of side effects that I thought would never clear up. My tongue has swelled to the size of a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon, contracted almost to its normal state and now fluctuates in size from day to day and hour to hour. Not a single calorie has passed my lips, but I have managed to eat heartily by pouring almost 900 cans of Isosource down my G-tube over the past 100 days.

I haven't seen my cancer cured.

But I think that would be a lot to ask for in just 100 days.

I'll be hitting the double-century mark in this cancer odyssey sometime in early August. Till then, I hope to keep pushing toward my goals: to talk, to eat through my mouth and most of all, to leave cancer behind in the dust.

Rush Limbaugh isn't taunting me or telling his listeners that he hopes that I fail. But that doesn't mean that it's going to be easy.

Advances elusive in the drive to cure cancer, a report in The New York Times by Gina Kolata

Letters from Times readers on the above article

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