Friday, February 13, 2009

Filling time, waiting for platelets

Sherri didn't make it in. A neighbor who works for an airline gave us some passes. The only catch is you have to fly stand-by. There were no extra seats on any of her flights today. So while I had to deal with chest pains, lumps and the general angst of lost platelets, she had to for hours at O'Hare without a challenging Sudoku book in toe. I think I had a better day.

Many people have asked what we need. I finally have a good answer. Assuming the platelets get off their platelet asses, I will be going into a pretty intensive period during the month of March. They tell us that's when I'll need a "Care-person" with me at all times. Sherri and I will both be living in a germ-free hospital room fighting over the remote and laughing at the noises I make while I puke for almost a month. The kids have already helped me prepare for this as they've both designed puke buckets. I requested a target with numbers etc. I'm sure McKenna's has something with flowers. 

Unfortunately, our great stand-by babysitter, my sister, is traveling for most of the month. So we're going to need back-ups. Now, my wife has a list and probably doesn't need anybody new. But in this situation, you can't have too many back-ups. If anyone would like to spend a few nights in our double-wide in Bartlett and isn't on any list for molesting kids, please feel free to send a note to Sherri at For those of you like Pat who are Internet-challenged, please remember it's net and com. 

Some of you have asked how this relapse happened and with the help of the doctors at MD Anderson I now have a much better idea. The fault lies in me not coming to MD Anderson in the first place. Toward the end of my last treatment, I was having a bad reaction to one of my chemo drugs and then became very sick after treatment. The biggest problems were my lungs, which never became well enough to get radiation treatment. I wasn't looking forward to radiation any way. In fact, based on the information given to me (which I know now to be completely incorrect), I would've probably turned it down. Any way, with the specific type of cancer that I had, I absolutely needed that radiation treatment. The cancer was guaranteed to come back. The ironic part of it is that one of my last lung tests was responsible for spotting  my relapsed cancer. Three months too late.

The lesson here is when faced with such a serious and perilous situation, look for only the best help. Yes, it costs more and puts quite a strain on everything and everyone. But the big bills, the medical costs, are exactly the same as if I went to Central DuPage Hospital. The difference is absolutely huge. Like I mentioned, if I went here in the first place, my toxic reaction to the chemo medicine would have been dealt with. If I did get sick, I would have gotten attention faster and have gotten over it faster. And I wouldn't have gotten any bad advice. I tell you all this in case you run into a loved one (another loved one besides me, of course) who comes down with something like this.

Lastly, thanks to Reed. The answer to my humdrum existence here in Houston was staring me right in the face. Hulu. I can do Hulu for a little while. 

Sorry this wasn't more interesting and full of jokes about the Turkish channel. Even late night Turkish channel sucks. Some play is on right now. Must be the PBS channel in Turkey.


  1. Thought you might like to know how my Valentine’s Day is going…

    This morning at approximately 3:45am I got up to go to the bathroom. After finishing my pee, I noticed that the toilet paper dispenser was empty and that a new roll was sitting on top of the toilet tank but nobody had bothered to put it in the TP holder.

    I decided to do my good deed for the day and pop the roll onto the dispenser. Now our TP holder is the old-school, high class kind with the plastic, spring-loaded spindle that you put the roll on and then compress a little and fit it between the two posts. No rocket science here but it was 3:45 in the morning.

    I flushed the toilet, grabbed the new roll and as I pulled the spindle out of the holder it flipped out of my hand… I fumbled at it. It bounced off my hands twice before dropping straight into the swirling toilet. I knew my pee could not kill me so with panther like reflexes, I jabbed my hand into the toilet to grab the rapidly receding spindle.

    Alas, I was too late. The spindle was gone along with my pride.

    I knew that little bugger would never make it past the trap inside the toilet and sure enough it was lodged in their good and the toilet would no longer flush. I setup an out of service sign (I put my wife’s makeup case on top of the toilet seat) to warn off all potential users that this commode was out of business and went back to bed.

    Four hours later I am stuffing the handy man’s friend (a bent coat hanger) up the toilet hoping that I can retrieve what had been so rudely taken from me.

    It was not to be. That puppy was up in there good. Now I have pulled and replaced toilets before. It is a messy and unpleasant job. But seeing no recourse, I drag my kids to Lowes to buy a new wax ring.

    I get the toilet pulled up, flip it over and from the bottom I can just barely see the TP spindle. Out comes the coat hanger - no dice. I need something bigger. Out comes the drain snake – no dice. That fucker is wedged. Out comes the foam & wire leg of a large Halloween spider decoration – no dice.

    An hour and a half later, I admit defeat and take the toilet downstairs to the trash. One hit with the sledge hammer and I see why I was never going to get the bastard out. It was wedged against the remains of a ‘Hot Wheels’ car that from the looks of it had been in the toilet for many, many years.

    So later today I will be buying one of those new fancy toilets that can flush a house cat with only one gallon of water and of course a fancy new TP dispenser.

    So this Halloween if you come to a house with a seven leg spider in the front lawn, be sure to stop in and say hello…

  2. So, I have not been able to post a comment for some time and I am feeling a bit useless. Props to my buddy Reed for pulling up the slack and giving me long thoughts about my next trip to the washroom.

    I have recently returned from my latest trip to Las Vegas, where, as a true American, I did my best to help the local economy by not only donating at the tables, but also by tipping a dollar here and there if you know what I mean.

    While I could spend several pages here on Vegas stories, as they say, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." As such, I will only tell only one Vegas story which does not involve anyone who is known to this blog. I'm lying in bed on the last night before heading back to balmy and beautiful Chicago when what do I hear, it's the voice of a damstral in distress right in the very next room. Now I know you ladies are thinking, "Oh sure, here it comes, a story from Mr. Chivalry." So, despite the sarcasm of the female readership, I'll continue, if only for my own entertainment. Anyhow, I had gone to bed around 10:30 because I was having a little bit of trouble recovering from the night before. (For those of you following this blog carefully, I might be the drunk guy from Michael's last trip to Vegas although I never thought that either Michael, nor I, thought of me as that intelligent) Before I go on with the story, I would be remiss if I failed to mention my use of comments within my own writing that are (within parentheses) or "quotes", there, I mentioned it, beyond that, fuck you live with it, I wasn't an ("English major") Where was I? Oh yes, I'm in bed and it's now around 11 and I'm debating whether I want to watch an episode of CSI, try to sleep or squeeze one off. Anyhow, I decide to watch tv when I hear the door to the room next to mine, which happens to belong to friends of mine slam shut as Cathi returns to the room hungry and finds her husband Dave in his underwear and near sleep. Now I am not embellishing in the least when I tell you that the second I heard the door slam I hear Cathi yell, "Dave, you fat fuck, go get me food." Now you have to understand that at 6' 3" and 280 lbs, Dave is the world's largest Mexican and Cathi checks in at an impressive 5' 5" and let's just say less than 140 in case she reads this. So, back to the story, as I wet the bed laughing , Cathi proceeds to scream at Dave for another 30 minutes to go get her food. To his credit, Dave does not yell at his drunken harlot of a wife, but simply rolls over and waits for her to exhaust herself and pass out. Sure enough, Cathi does pass out, however not before ordering room service. Of course she passed out long before room service arrived which typically would be funny as shit to me except for the fact that Dave and Cathi were staying in a room registered to yours truly.

    That's tonight's Vegas story. Perhaps there are more to come, but I need to be serious for a moment even though it does not become me. I hope that Michael in particular as well as everyone else will indulge me. I am very thankful to Michael for his willingness to keep all of us informed in something that is really his private business. I am thankful that he allows us to help he and his family in any way that we can. I am sure I speak for all of us when I say that it is a privilege and not a burden to help in any way that we can. I hope that he will not be shy in asking for anything he needs or wants. I am thankful for 20+ years of friendship and I hope for 20+ more. I am thankful that my friend is stronger than I would be if faced with the same situation. I am thankful and I hope.