I kinda figured there was something wrong with me—even that I was a goner. I always figured I’d die with an arrow in my back. I’m not sure why. I never considered something as boring as cancer would take me. In October I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the tortoise of the cancer kingdom—reaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllyyyyyyyyy slow growing. The problem was that it started the race three years before anybody noticed and it got pretty far. Blood tests that normally read under the value of one, hit almost 30. After a biopsy they scored me an eight out of ten for severity. I started to think that maybe I will be a goner after all—killed by a tortoise. But, rarely does anybody die at the hands of a tortoise and after a couple of months of radiation and ongoing medication for two years, the doc says I will live. So, that’s good.
November and December ot 2020 were challenging … colonoscopy, biopsy, sinus infection … root canal … COVID 19 … Radiation combined with a drug to knock out the hormone that feeds the cancer, and makes me strong. I kept it all pretty much on the down low at work, still hitting deadlines, but skipping meetings that interfered with treatment. Family asked me to let them know how I was doing, but it doesn’t take long before you get tired of telling people that you are tired and your guts are sore, and you have gas that smells like the inside of a bloated raccoon found on the side of the road on a scorching summer day—the smell of death.
So, besides work, I dropped pretty much everything else. I stopped writing and fell asleep on the couch while learning veterinary tips from the Incredible Dr. Pol. I love that guy. When I was a kid, I’d watch Green Acres when I was home sick. Dr. Pol’s even better. Hopefully someday, I’ll run into the doc, maybe at the county fair, and tell him thanks for helping me get through the cancer.
Anyhow, in a couple of days it will be a month since I finished radiation. I feel pretty good, but I look pretty fat. I’m not super vain about my looks. I’d be happy with an unremarkable body. People can still describe me as tall, but not fat, skinny or fit … I’d be happy with “just normal.” But, it will be a fight, maybe an impossible fight to make this gut go away. The doc says to “get used to it.” It a side effect of the medication that I’m going to have to live with for almost two more years. The worst part is that I can no longer sleep on my stomach. Bad stuff happens when I sleep on my stomach. You don’t want to know.
The good news … I’ve started writing again. Yay! My first feet was to rewrite the opening of Genevieve, the Fix. It’s much better now and it’s ready to send out to the agent I want to represent me more than any other—and then I’ll send it out to some more. I’ve also come up with a new beginning to the book called “Not Poor. But Wild” and “Jimmy Schimanski and the Legend of Curb Ball” and will be most likely called something else by the end of the weekend. Thought it was the very first novel I wrote, I haven’t tried to sell it yet. But, with these tweaks complete, I think she’ll be ready for readers. This book is a MG Adventure story about a tribe of feral kids running the streets of Dearborn, the summer of our country’s bicentennial. It’s kinda true. But WAAAAAYYYYYY not true at the same time. Can’t wait for you to meet Jimmy and all the rest of the kids who live on Cherry Street.