Monday, April 13, 2009

Recap of non-Easterly feelings

Call me what you will, but yesterday was no day to mock my fellow Man.

Today, however, is. I'm overdue for a bit of local color.

First, my physical state. Not bad, all things considered. I'm on good anti-nausea meds. I don't have the mouth sores yet (and I am rinsing religiously with that awful Biotene stuff that supposedly keeps my mouth full of good bacteria). I got a Neupogen (growth factor) shot yesterday, which they gave me in the sub-cutaneous fat of my arm which was a bit less painful than the belly, and this is going to create flu-like effects (huzzah!) plus bone pain (double huzzah!) as my poor mangled marrow is jostled to make white cells. So be it.

That leaves me with one remaining condition. And here, I am reminded of a statistical observation that came to light when I was in high school. It seems they compared SAT scores among children who regularly watched M*A*S*H versus those who regularly watched The Dukes of Hazzard, and there was something like a 200 point differential. Correlation or causality, who can say, but either way, I was a M*A*S*H kid.

Now there are a number of ways I can go with this...considering I am in the physical equivalent of Hazzard County as I type this. But where I'm going is, sadly, back to the GI tract. I remember the butt of almost every joke in M*A*S*H was either "Frank Burns" or "dysentery." At 14, I'm sure I had no idea what dysentery was, but they sure used it a lot. It was their go-to line. Like Carrottop pulling a rubber chicken out of the crate, like Don Rickles calling somebody "hockeypuck," Larry Gelbart and the M*A*S*H writers went straight to the dysentery gag.

And so here I am. The one impact of chemo that I can't avoid is this horrible persistent diarrhea. The awful constipation that hospitalized me after induction is but a happy distant visions of playing Candyland as a child. Anyhow, I'm wolfing down Immodium and toughing it out. Honestly, it's pretty manageable, albeit not much fun.

But enough about such unpleasantries, and on to my fellow man. As I write this, the US has just emerged victorious from a skirmish with Somali pirates, who seized a freighter full of medical and famine aid supplies and held the US captain hostage for a couple of days until he was freed by a team of Navy SEALS. It's fairly big news.

And it did not escape the watchful eye of my nurse in the hospital -- a haggard woman with a fondness for copious amounts of southern cooking and the unmistakable steely-eyed glare of a carnival worker. As she was methodically swabbing my lumens with alcohol after taking blood yesterday (counting under her breath as she cleaned) she gave me her thoughts on US policy. "I tell ya what what oughta do with them pirates." There was a pregnant pause, full of anticipation, as she looked at me with a lazy eye. "BLODEMUP." A one-word policy statement, worthy of Von Clausewitz.

I feel halfway decent this a fairly good night's sleep so other than general exhaustion, so far, so good. Be well, everybody.


  1. I loved your quote from your nurse about the pirate incident and she summed it up perfectly!!! Your humorous tales of all of our favorite shows is such fun ~ isn't it funny that even people who have never met can all relate to these things? The powerful and long reaching arm of entertainment! I am glad you get these good sleeps once in awhile - everything seems better after a good night of sleep, and sadly, the converse is true! Take good care and rest well!

  2. See my posts last two days @ Thanks for taking the time to write with regularity and passion! Pat

  3. Nick,
    First of all, on a serious note, I want to thank you for including me in your journey. Your blog is a true inspiration to anyone who reads it. Your strength, courage, fight, humor and love of life come through your words and it moves each of us. I am in awe of you.

    Matt and I asked his parents to include you in their prayer service this coming weekend. So, this Sunday, when you feel a warm sense of love and peace (even if for just a moment) it is because hundreds of people are thinking and praying for you, Jill and the babies back home. You are on your way to a full recovery.

    OK... so, it seems like you are getting the hang of the ‘speak’ dern thur in da suth. However, this will help you communicate a little better with your fellow ummmm, southerners. Enjoy. =)

    When Matt comes to visit, you make sure you put him to work!!! He’ll love spending time with you. =) Oh, and he’s an AWESOME cook. ;)

    Thinking of you and your family,

  4. Hi Nick,
    Columbine and I just wanted to send our love and tell you (and Jill) that we both miss you guys and wish we could be a bit closer to be able to help out. Please give Parker and little son a big kiss from both of us.

    Keep wailing on this thing. Or as Swannie, our Treasurer said on national TV this week, put a boot up its arse. Yes, I guess they do still boot people down here (or at least dream of doing so).

    We love you my good friend.

    Scott and Col
    "Down Under"