Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My last bullet

I spent the airplane ride writing down a list of the resons why I need to start sgn-35. I knew it was my fallback treatment, the Alamo of my cancer. But there's only so much, ya know.

I had a lot of reasons and I was going to just rattle them off to Dr. O'Connor in the hopes of getting him to understand that I had grown almost without notice, sick. My tumors were large and can be noticed even torough my clothes. I was getting cramps in all parts of my body. The constant bee stinging of my body had gotten worse and now even a good painkiller like any of the fine oxy products couldn't mask it. I was losing sleep. I had lost my appetite. I was sleeping a lot. I had so much constant pain I didn't know I had pain.

In O'Connor's office the next day, after the usual three hour wait (I've actually waited longer. It's good to bring digital fun to any cancer doctor's office.), he walked in and without even waitng for me to say anything, he said, "it's that time."

I said, "I'm beat." And that was that.

In about one montth, doctors will be able to order sgn-35 and patients can get it as easy as a getting Tylenol.. The FDA just announced that it will have an answer to it's approval in mid august. But I didn't know that then. I had to wait until the company that produced the drug opened a clinical trial. You'd thiink that during this waiting period, I'd feel desperate. But actually my spirits brightened a bit. I knew I was at least going to have a good summer.

Even with the slightest of drugs going through my body, I get a little buzz-buzz. This time I felt nothing although I hear the real side effects start after the second infusion. And boy are they side effects. Even though the drug saves the lives of many, many patients, a percentage of them wish they never had it. The debilitation can be that bad.

Probably like many of you, at first I found that attitude was strange. Here is a drug that saves your life but you wish you had not taken it. Upon reading further and talking to them, it just gets to be too much. I undertand that. But still, I hope to never have that attitude.

A friend from college once made me aware of how impractical Bible stories were. She used the example of the Virgin Mary. So there is this girl who says she's never had sex but now she's pregnant and she says that God is the Daddy. Umm, sure. And then there's the healing of the blind and curing of the sick. What if Jesus simply had some really good drugs with him? He never really said he had special powers. We said that. He"s always been humble about the thing. He just said his Daddy is God.

Well, if he did, he had some of this sgn stuff. It's damn good. I feel better and better every day. I'm ready for my second treatment and i already want to take the step of getting off all drugs. That's quite a statement if you've ever seen my pill-popping routines. McKenna and I once tried to figure it out and I stopped at around thirty pills on a bad day and twenty on a good day. Now, just maybe, I can actually get down to zero, although I'd have a tearful good-bye with my painkillers.

From January until April, I had grown used to a different life. It was dark. It hurt. Badness was too close. Now I am amazed at my new one. I mean, I can actually get up and not feel like crap? Get out. You say that people can make it up a flght of stairs without getting out of breath? No shit. I've harped on it before but it deserves a second, third and fourth mention-- you people got it easy. You got it great. Waking up is now so so cool. I love the day. I love the morning. I love every breath. Taking a big sigh is worth another sigh. I love just being.

Let's see how far we can ride this motha.


  1. Mike, good to hear from you. Think about you every day and wish you nothing but the best. Keep up the fight. We all miss you.

  2. This is a wonderful post to read. Your ordeal has put all the silly crap in my life into perspective many, many times.

  3. Mike, you had me worried at the start of this post, but great to hear your ordeal has taken a new turn, one for the better we all hope. Keep up the fight and look forward to hearing the day when you report that your comeback is complete!


  5. Hey, Michael, here you are! This is Marsha. I am gonna read from the start, but I've already heard that you need vaccination? Do you? If yes, please get what is needed ASAP. It would be stupid to catch some baby disease on the plane and deal with it too.
    Anyway, glad to see you. It looks from the top post you are doing OK. Visit me at livejournal. Oh, it's all in Russian, but you can run it through google, you'll get good results.

  6. in livejournal - I tried to post from there, but it didn;t work for some reason.

  7. Michael, I read to the end, and we really need to talk. I have some news for you that might look interesting. Please send me an email, I'll tell you something.

  8. I love this :)

    And I am so, so pleased that you're able to get up and out of bed these days.. hoping we cross paths again soon at O's, I'm headed there in August -- so we should chat.