The "Hotel Melanoma" moniker is a metaphor for living with my particular brand of cancer. Except for those lucky few of us deemed "cured", all we cancer survivors are guests of one of the many, many branded hotels in the "Hotel Carcinoma" chain. We can check out any time we like, but we can never leave. Meanwhile, let's be livin' it up; and please support cancer education, prevention, and treatment research.

Tutu Brothers

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back In The Wild

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is looking for cancer survivors to take part in a new clinical trial program, aimed at helping survivors manage the long term physical and emotional impacts of treatment. What a wonderful idea. How I wish this program had existed back in 2004 when, as my fellow blogger Paul puts it, I was “released back into the wild” after completing biochemotherapy treatments.

At the time the docs pronounced me fit for duty and encouraged my return to life before melanoma, I was struggling both physically and mentally. I couldn’t remember my cell phone number or debit card PIN. I had the attention span of my golden retriever and the physical stamina of a 50-year old guy who’d just crossed the finish line in his first marathon. Mr. Schwannoma hurt like the dickens. But I was supposedly okay to return to law practice. This may say something about what doctors really think of lawyers and what they do, but yikes. (Or maybe it just demonstrates that from an oncologist’s perspective a living patient, with no current evidence of disease, is a well patient.) And my wife was the only person I could, or at least would, talk to about my lingering physical and cognitive issues. What a wild time it was.

Thank you, UCCC, for doing this trial.

And, hey, there’s a great old rock song to end this, Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild”…

Get my brain a-runnin'
Tossed out on the highway
Draftin' bond indentures
And whatever comes my way
Yeah! clients, gonna make it happen
Take your case, hope my brain’s in place
Fire all those neurons at once
And implode from the pace

I’m a chemo wonder
Toxics did some plunder
Lookin' mighty thin
And I’m feelin' that cells wander
Yeah! doctors, went and made it happen
Took my brain to a whole new place
Fired all of their drugs at once
Cells explode in their place

After all claims are filed
I am back, back in the wild
And those bills were high
I can’t afford to die

Back in the wild
Back in the wild

Please support the University of Colorado Cancer Center through one of the donation links on the right side of this page. They’re doing good work.

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