Thursday, August 5, 2010

FOLFOX Round 12: "I hold in my hand the last envelope."

Remember Johnny Carson's Karnac the Magnificent sketches and how the crowd would applaud in mock relief when Ed McMahon gave Johnny the last envelope with the corny set-up to the punchline?  Well, that's sort of what I feel like (relief, not corny).

So this is it.  The last FOLFOX treatment.  I may be done with chemo, but it's not done with me.  My fingers and toes are still numb and my taste buds are still not functioning properly.  The side effects will fade over the next four weeks and, I hope, none will become permanent.  Do I celebrate?  Not really, I'm too tired and no food tastes good to me. In a few weeks, when I have my energy and taste back, I may go out for a ribeye and a beer.  In the meantime, everyone else should have a drink and some cake to celebrate. - and strippers.  Everyone should have strippers in the kitchen.  What?  They're  good for getting the leaves off sprigs of rosemary and thyme.  Rosemary and Thyme aren't good stripper names, like Ginger and Cumin.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, If you recall, the whole thing started on July 22, 2009, when I was diagnosed with an adenocarcinoma of the rectum.  It's been a bumpy ride since then.

28 radiation treatments
12 FOLFOX treatments
two colonoscopies
two PET scans
two CT scans
too many digital rectal exams
one major surgery
one unnecessary trip to the ER
lots of percoset and oxycontin
one really sweet morphine drip
one episode of Ativan-induced hallucination

eight (at least) oncology nurses
four oncologists (primary, radiation, consulting, cousin-in-law)
four anesthesiologists
three primary care physicians (my regular doc is usually on vacation when I need an appointment)
three physician's assistants
three surgery residents
three radiologists (two for the scans, one is a college friend)
two radiation technologists
two gastroenterologists
too many phlebotomists
one surgeon (you really don't want more than one person knifing around down there)
one ER physician
A whole bunch of other medical personnel who have seen me naked from the waist down

Thousands of blog hits
Dozens of supporters
Several readers, co-workers, friends, and relatives who scheduled colonoscopies (and some who still need to do that)
A few new comrades also in the fight
One who succumbed

The number  I'm looking forward to now is zero, as in zero spots on the next CT scan.


  1. Your list reads like a nightmarish version of the 12 Days of Christmas.

    When in the hospital I thought those mobile IV poles would make good mobile stripper poles.

    If you haven't read Christopher Hitchen's article yet, here it is:

    Congratulations and good luck!


  2. You want Zero? I'll give you Zero!

  3. Great play/movie and the adjacent Muppet Show clip was fun.