Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Flying Circus

Week One of Therapy ends today, Friday 8 February - Samantha's Birthday! 

Out the door from Ashburn at 0715, into Bethesda Radiotherapy at about 0820, depending on traffic.  Darkened room, strapped down, mask on, hands tied to feet, a whirring machine spraying me with weird colored lights - the hardest part of all this is to remember how to relax. 

 Here's the image I have.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Dark room, metal table, strip to the waist, mouthpiece in to keep mouth open, mask on, hands and feet strapped down, whirring lights and absolutely no movement.  I have to keep remembering that when Goldfinger tells me that "he doesn't expect me to talk, he expects me to die," that I must mention "Operation Grand Slam," that magical phrase which will suddenly cut the switch on the machine.

After about 25 minutes of the machine this week, the switch has cut and I have been allowed to exit the dungeon and go have a mid-morning snack with that nice young lady, Victoria Galore.

Then upstairs to Chemotherapy, a room full of lounge chairs filled with what appears to be a social club of ladies with chemo tubes tucked into their collars, very elderly with blood dripping in from overhead IV's and seniors like me who are getting drugs through arm catheters or ports in the chest.  Lots of jabbering among customers - screws up my concentration on reading cancer bulletins and working Sudoku.  But a much more pleasant, hour-long experience than the 25 minute Goldfinger machine.

Just one week of therapy (of seven) has expired, yet look at the following picture of the "stuff" we have received to use each day. 

And this is just Week One.  I think the message is, if you get cancer, immediately hire a contractor to increase the size of your bathroom!

Now, don't get me wrong - we are very pleased with the great medical care at NNMC and all the supplies they provide.  But some stuff is not only needed, it is just flat useful.

For example, here the electronic porta-pak they provided to me to pump that most incredibly named chemo drug,  5 FU, into myself 24 hours a day.  I'm seen here with some hair, since most will be gone in the next several weeks.  

In the second photo I have donned a baseball cap sent to me from a friend in the Department of Physical Education at USMA.  You can begin to see what useful means.

Finally, the third picture reminds all that just because  an old geezer is wearing  a chemo device doesn't mean that he is without his concealed carry license.
Extra points for the blog viewers who can identify the weapon.

So, Week One - not so bad.  Side effects start in Weeks 2-3.

Thanks for your continued prayers.  I'll see you on the high ground!


Sue said...

Love the secret pouch to carry your heat! You never know when one of the old ladies in the "chemo social club" is going to go ape-crap and you'll need to protect all of the innocent bystanders.

And as for Victoria Galore, we want to see a photo of you in your Bond Girl getup.

Way to go on your first week!

Tobi Wilkinson said...

Mr. White, in the living room with the chemo therapy jet pack!

Congrats on making it through your first week of treatment without 'busting a cap'.

Joe and Karla said...

Way to go Ken, one week behind you! Make sure Victoria Galore sits with you in the chemo social club, never know when one of those ladies will make a pass at you.

Thinking of you every day.

Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

Seriously Ken, you CRACK me up. Is it a Makarov??

BTW, I'm fully going to take lessons and get me one of them permits!

Mindelicious said...

Dad, this is my favorite post so far! From now on I'm telling everyone my mother-in-law's name is Victoria Galore. In fact, maybe you've found the baby's middle name, Tessa Galore!

Matt said...

Funny post dad! If the picture is any indication of what you went through did you ever feel like screaming out, "Your aiming the laser in the wrong spot!!"

As for the gun I know it is the Makarov because I was there when you got it and I've held it with my own two hands.

Considering your wild imagination it looks like you may need to go buy a Walter P.P.K.

Spymommy said...

What a great birthday present to see you with your sense of humor intact after your first week of treatment. Thanks dad! (1 down, six to go)

Crazy Granny said...

Bond, James Bond.

Now every time I think of you I'm going to hear that James bond music in the back ground.

Joel said...

Victoria and Ken:
You two are amazing and an inspiration to all.
I think about you and your challenges daily, and wish you a speedy and full recovery.
See you on the high ground.
Joel G