The Absurd Epistolary Adventures of the Astonishing FartMan chronicles the amusing escapades
of the lovable, stinky, and obnoxious Cape & Tights Super Hero, and his maudlin Alter Ego, W____,
as they learn to cope with Stage IV colon cancer, each other, and their annoying fellow human beings.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Our Favorite Household Appliance

A comment The Astonishing FartMan recently posted to ZoomberGirl's cancer blog:

TheAstonishingFartman wrote:

Hey ZoomberGirl,

I hope you are doing okay, and have not gotten yourself into a fistfight with Mickey or Goofy during your visit to Disneyland, as I recollect in some earlier post you said something about regretting never having had the experience of being in a good fistfight. Well, I can tell you, in my misspent youth I participated in a few good fistfights, even one that took place in the street outside a bar and another one that, until the police showed up, required fervent tussling in the dirt with an ex-wife's naked boyfriend for possession of a serrated kitchen knife. Athough the physical interaction can be invigorating, I think such entertainment is best left to the youngsters, who are more likely to recover from the effects of stray bullets.

Apropos of nothing particular, but perhaps useful to give your blog readers some further insight into the tres chic chemo lifestyle, reproduced below is another typically maudlin schmaltzy email my alter ego, W___, sent today to his chemo clinic "next door neighbor," one of those nice bald ladies who, with her husband T____ at her side, sits in a LAY-Z-BOY next to him in the "Confusion Center":

Hi S___ and T____,

Well, FINALLY I found that piece of paper with y'alls' email address on it!

Every time I went through all the mass of disorganized papers in my man-purse, my chemo brain couldn’t spot the one with y’alls’ email address, and I was afraid to throw away anything before finding the one with your address.

I sure hope S____ had a “good” week. Of course, for someone getting dosed weekly with chemo cocktails as brutal as hers, “good” is a relative term and usually means “not as bad as it could be” or “not as bad as last time.” I don’t think there are any really “good” weeks on chemo. My regimen is a walk in the park compared to hers, so I think that S____ is one tough cookie, tougher than me, to put up with that stuff she gets every week for 18 straight weeks.

I also hope today was a tolerable day at the clinic for S____. It has been a real pleasure for me having you two as my infusion center “next door neighbors” these last few weeks. It made my time in the confusion center, oops, I mean the infusion center fly by. I hope all my yakking and goofing around wasn’t too annoying. We could blame it on the dexamethasone, but the truth is, I probably talk too much even when not being poisoned!

Speaking of the effects of being carefully poisoned, my week was a little rougher than normal. I guess after 12 cycles the cumulative effects of the chemo have finally caught up with me a little, because fatigue has been a problem lately. Even today, on Day 8 of my last cycle, I’ve slept away most of the day, propped up in my “nest” of pillows on the love seat. Yes, the fatigue and the constant, worsening peripheral neuropathy are no fun, as S____ can surely testify, but I’m not going to complain too much because lots of people are going through things a whole lot worse.

And, lucky me, I’m done with chemo for now, and if I’m really, really, really, really, really lucky, maybe I’m done with chemo forever. (Of course, the “odds” say I’ve got something like an 80 percent chance of recurrence, so I’m not going to get too cocky.) I declined the infusion center ceremony to “ring the bell” signifying my “last” dose, because it might not really be my last dose, and I don’t want to tempt fate or to risk that noisy bell awakening some evil spirit that might have had it in for me! (You know, I'm Native American, so perhaps that's why I'm a little nervous about thumbing my nose at any evil spirit that might have had a grudge against me.) Instead of ringing the bell, I just gave our infusion nurse, M_______, a big hug and slipped out that side door as quietly and humbly as possible. I gotta tell you though, it was pretty emotional. I had to give M______ an extra-long hug to gain time to choke back some tears before anyone could see a tough guy like me getting all mushy.

I just googled T___, found your family web page, and looked at some of the pictures and videos of your family and your celebrations and travel adventures. What a good and happy family, especially those sweet grand kiddies! (If you google me, you won’t find much, and I will have to deny all knowledge of and responsibility for anything that might be associated with my name!) Just so you’ll know what my dear sweet wife looks like, I'm sending this picture of us taken just last New Year’s Eve.

You’ll note that we are posing in front of our favorite household appliance—the refrigerator—as is appropriate. But please resist the temptation to make any clever, funny, rude observations about what my left hand might be doing. (I think the smile on my wife's face tells all!)

Even with this dern cancer, we are happy and feel blessed. I can’t hardly imagine how happy we’d be if we didn’t have this stupid cancer messing with our lives! But I do worry about how we’ll deal with the more difficult times that might be headed our way before long. I suppose, when it comes to coping with cancer, we all do what we have to do—mostly because we don’t have that much choice about it.

When you have the time, please keep me posted on how things are going with you two.
Sending love, hope, and prayers!
Just between you and me, ZoomberGirl , I think my alter ego, W____, is spending way too much time hanging out with the bald ladies, and I would welcome your suggestions for finding him a more stylish social circle. Please let me know what you think. Meanwhile, I remain . . .

Your Loyal and Still Astonishing FartMan

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