07 February 2012

in this yarky regard

February 5, 2012

Back in business. Pills came yesterday. [See my excitement] The dose went up 110 milligrams. Suckily, I’m feeling it—nausea-wise. Luckily, the dose never goes up again. The first round was lesser to see how my blood cells would respond. Now, like the latter-day Charlie’s Angels, we are at full throttle.

I am going to start monitoring my weight to keep track of the effects of appetite loss and whatever else. I lost five pounds in the hospital, gained most of it back, lost a few more in the month of January which I will attribute to hospital food and daily physical therapy.

Before all of this, I averaged 199 el bees. That’s what it says on my 2010 driver’s license and I’m sticking to it. The DMV lady knew the number was too precisely south of two bills and incredulously tapped the poundage into her stone-age computer. Since then, let’s call it plus or minus 5 pounds. Fine, let’s mostly call it plus 5—( *cough* plus or minus 3 *cough*). For the record, I am 6 feet tall. My mother insists I’m six-one. She also insists I make salmon better than any restaurant has or can since the dawn of man—so take it with a grain of lemon-pepper. I personally stopped counting in high school. After varsity basketball with no college scout in sight, what difference does it make? I’m sure I’ve grown vertically a bit since then; but, primarily, my growth has been of a Jeffersonian sort—which is to say rotundal.

Do not get me wrong, I’m not bothered by my weight. I don’t look at the Old Spice guy and think, “Gee, I wish I could look like that.” I’m actually sort of glad I don’t. Seems like I’d spend too much time looking at myself in the mirror and not enough time eating double-cheeseburgers and thinking, mouth full of double-cheeseburger, “Man, I can’t wait ‘til I can eat another double-cheeseburger without losing the piddling remainder of my self-respect. Tomorrow it is, then!”

I don’t think Hollywood sets an unrealistic body image for “regular” men and women. I think Hollywood set themselves an unrealistic image and have come too far to go back now. Sure, they throw in a Kevin James for comedic effect like a strategically placed black man in an insistently Caucasian rom-com, but skinny is still ticket—otherwise, why does Oscar applause go up several decibels when a big-person (or a black person or a gay person or a cartoon) wins the award? 1) There is no more self-congratulatory crowd than A-list award show celebrities. 2) There is no more fashionably-progressive, inwardly-contemptuous, visibly-condescending crowd than A-list award show celebrities. 3) Add disingenuous, I’m weary of the wonky syntax. [Note: certain religious groups and stay-at-home-mom-marathoners are not far behind.]

And in conclusion. Today I weighed 195.5. I’ll keep you posted.

February 6, 2012

So after two days of chemo pills, I’m starting feel a little tug in the guts, a little oscillation of the innards. The Call of the Bile by Yack London, if you will. Nothing pressing, no imminent effluvium. Nonetheless, I hear the whispers. The rumors of civil war, the choosing of sides. I am glad for the warning, this harbinger wooziness, though. It’s good to get a sample before eating the whole pie. Of course, in the pie scenario, you can take the sample and leave the pie. In my scenario, you take the sample, make a yucky face, shudder, then keep on eating until the pie is done. But at least you know what you’re in for.

And I prefer it that way. I’m a life-long toe-tester. Shallow end first. No cannonball-out-of-the-gates machismo for me. I don’t suppose I’ve ever said “Bring it on!” with the strong conviction of one who expects to be still standing once the it was brought.

If you spend a lot of time in doctor’s offices and hospitals and physical therapy sessions and laid-up in bed, you get plenty of opportunity to put on your game-face. My game-face has its tongue in its cheek. My game-face has its very own shoulders to shrug. But no matter how uncertain my game-face might be, it is weathered and worthy. It has winced before and will wince again. It will tear-up. It will grimace. It will say, “Bring it on!” Not because I expect to be standing when the it is brought or that I will even tolerate the it very well, but because ‘ready or not’ here the it comes.

However, I can say this for the possible edification of all of us . . . that over the years, through all of the battery of sickness and despair, a smiling regular-face usually gets you through just as well as steely game-face. Also, if you keep making that steely game-face, it might get stuck like your momma told you; and then how would you smile at all, tough guy. Now get out of the pool, it’s adult swim.

February 7, 2012

I woke up this morning with two things. Nausea and an absurd idea. Nausea explains itself. The absurd idea was this: Despite having anti-nausea pills at my disposal for just such a time as this, I shall forswear the unnatural remedy and take the natural response of my body to poison in stride. An experiment, I called it. Too see what I was truly up against in this yarky regard. At least for today. Come what may.

That was 7:30ish. It is presently 8:38. And I’m feeling better already. I ate a little yogurt, drank a little juice, got up and walked (caned) about—some of the recommended natural remedies. Oh, and there’s this. At 8:15ish, I took an anti-nausea pill. Frailty you have a new name.


  1. "a grain of lemon pepper"; "Call of the Bile by Yack London"

    I love that when you write, the nationally accepted lexicon is optional.

    You really are quite clever. :)

  2. Thanks, Amy. For reading and commenting and cleverly discerning my cleverness.