Sunday, October 16, 2011

Now Let's Blow This Thing and Go Home

I feel like I'm in a shooting gallery.

There are now three people close to me who are battling cancer.

Obviously, what my mother is going through at the moment has been touched upon here a couple of times. I also recently learned that someone I care about quite a bit who was diagnosed more than a year ago is nowhere near as out-of-the-woods as I had foolishly assumed her to be. And now possibly the biggest shock of all: a young guy who's about as dear to my heart as any human being on this planet; a guy I've known, incredibly, for almost half his life; a guy who less than two weeks ago was diagnosed with AML -- acute myeloid leukemia -- and who's now indefinitely confined to one of the country's premier cancer centers. He's got one hell of a fight ahead of him and he knows it -- one he was dropped into the middle of very much against his will -- and yet in keeping with his wonderfully singular personality he's handling it with a kind of humor and grace that I'm not sure I'd be able to summon to my disposal were I in his position.

He's decided to blog about everything that's happening to him, and needless to say the stuff you'll find on his site is occasionally heartbreaking, often hilarious and ultimately very, very human -- as frightening and disturbing as it is ferociously life-affirming.

I can't recommend enough that you follow his story.

The Great Monocyte Purge


Sheriff Bart said...

My aunt was diagnosed with lung cancer this week. It has spread into her lymph nodes and has attached itself to her bones. She has fractures in her lumbar vertebrae which causes her agony every time she sits up or lays down.
She has no insurance and zero cash in the bank.
This cancer will kill her. If she is very very lucky, her treatments will give her three more years.
We are keeping a very positive attitude and are looking at things day by day at this point.
I will be following your friend's story closely and you have my sincere sympathies.

JackDanieL said...

I murdered NonHodgkins Lymphoma last year and pass all my goodwill and strength to you, your friends and family, and to everyone dealing with this BULLSHIT disease.

Cancer is a 1 TRILLION dollar a year industry worldwide ...and medical marijuana is illegal....and every one of my chemo treatments cost no less than $15k (not counting prescriptions, visits, scans, blahblahblah).


"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life."
~ Jack Kerouac

Nick said...

It doesn't rain but it pounds nails in your head.

My sympathies.

CNNfan said...

Is that someone you know ⇒ on hiatus ?

Chez said...

No, Tom. It's not Jacki. If it were I'm sure you would've found out about it by now one way or another.

Jadine said...

I went and started reading The Great Monocyte Purge and it took me back to Alabama Pink and her brave battle. It is amazing how emotionally invested one can become in reading a blog like this. My heart broke when she lost the fight. However, I am sure I will now follow his blog faithfully as his writing is fantastic. I am cheering for this young man to kick cancer's sorry ass. I truly wish your Mom, your female friend and the young man the strength and love they will need to pull through this.


CNNfan said...

Now, if she calls me a creepy fan, since you mentioned her by name, then you are to blame.

It is not my fault! You made me nervous, when you opened this dialog on The Bob and Chez Show.

On the other hand...Thank you Chez ...



This is fandom, not to be taken seriously.

LzyMom said...

Ah, crap. I read some of his posts but I don't think I can keep it up. I read "Donna's Story" the one about the little girl who was battling cancer for three fucking years. And died. Her zest for life and her parents' insane courage still has me feeling weepy.

All the best for your friend and your loved ones.


onedayatatime said...

Thank you, Chez. As someone who knows what it feels like to watch someone you love more than anything in the world suffer, I hope you know that you will get through this, one way or another.
your sister

Chez said...

I don't worry about myself. I worry about the people really suffering through this. But I get what you're saying and I really appreciate it. You hang in there as well.

CNNfan said...

Setting all joking and fandom and mockery of mockery, aside for a moment...

From the point of view of a son, it was extremely shocking at first. Then I started fighting back. I found out it had a weakness... It was a slow grower. Turned out it never reached the lymph nodes. Sound familiar? Then a setback. By staying on top of it, I discovered the doctors misplaced the biopsies. This error did not pose an immediate threat, but it created a blind spot, less tests could be performed.

The struggle went on, after the surgery, for the next few years worrying about whether or not it would try to make a come back. And then a few more years went by, and Mom got her Masters. And a few more after that, Mom got her PhD. Next weekend, I'm going to visit my Mom. She's doing just fine.

It is a process, but hopefully you can take some comfort from a son who survived the same thing with his Mom that you are surviving now with yours.