Fred For Your Head

Fredly's Blog

Fred For Your Head,, Fred Reiss.


ChEMo = Me2

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ChEMo = Me2

Stepping into the third-round of my chemo-crossfire, I go into infusion bearing croissants and apple turnovers for the nurses. I have to be "accessed" through my port with steroids, anti-nausea medications (which works on Adam Sandler/Rob Schneider/PaulyShore movies but doesn't prevent nausea from Godfather Three and Trump rallies.). I shaved my head because I was losing my hair. Leave your looks behind, everything goes to stripping down for action--the experienced rear-echelon types have no clue

Every two weeks I come here for the body preventative soak, then I leave attached to a device the size of a parking meter (Hope it doesn't say "expired.") which for 48 hours pumps chemo into me. I do this four times over eight weeks. This is number three, One more than a rest and then a complicated operation.

The chemo is causing my fingers to sting each time I hit the keys. My oncologist gave me the option of taking a weaker dose, but I said, "No, hit me full-on, I don't want to cut chemo any slack. I can handle the pain."

I left infusion, trying hard to focus on the driving. Chemo can make your mind drift, and I don’t want to rear-end a vehicle or miss someone in my blind spot. I head to where I surf. I’m always conflicted about going there when I know I can’t surf—0it’s like going to a place you used to date someone and then seeing them there with another person (which is how I feel watching idiots on the waves,)The waves are sectioning. The chilled air makesw my body ache. I leave.

So I come in dressed up and a nurse says, "I like how you wear a nice suit and clothes. Nobody does that." I reply, "I have to dressed up like I don't have cancer."

After the session, where I read parts of Greg Proops's book, watch a Bowery Boys, and mix it up with a nap, and a chatty book by Frank Langella, I enjoy casual memoirs the most, because you get to know thre author as a person who became inspired and struggled, etc. It’s better than essays where the write can assume an intellectual distance and bounce words or each other.

When I curl my hands together, they sharply tingle with electric jabs at every bend of my fingers. And my fingertips feel like I just hit them with a hammer. Then, while walking the dog, I take a deep breath of cool evening air, and because the chemo has made my body cold-sensitive, my throat closes up from the chills.

I can't breath.

Instead I sound like I’m choking a didgeridoo-foghorn, which sounds like a panting death rattle. I’m bent over and gasping in echoing moans.

Still can’t breathe.

Then I cup my hands and inhale, warning up the air with my hands and holding it in my mouth. The invisible choke-hold looses its purchase, and my passage open fifteen seconds later and I’m breathing normally.

I yawn and my jawbone turns into a toothache that rolls out into my skull.

The pain rises and I wince in pain, unable to shake it off until I said, “Send it.” And I concentrate on the pain and mentally shift it to wher4e my esophageal tumor is, transferring the pain. It fades from me.

Any food I put in my mouth sweet, sour, etc, brings a sharp pain into the hinge of my jaw, and even makes my cheek bones ache, What will tomorrow bring when you take one minute at a time.

Actually, I don’t take chemo day by day, it takes me, but I take my yesterdays by yesterdays. A my a third of the way through this…and my tour of duty is five more month

That’s my yesterdays squared…for what's tomorrow but a yesterdqay that missed the point.

Fred Reiss