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

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Beginning, Not An End

As we all know, or will soon learn, life forever changes the day we check into the Hotel Melanoma. Some of those life changes, in a word, bite.

But it seems that quite few of we residents dwell on the bad and, instead, we search for and celebrate the good stuff in our altered lives. We’re thankful for the bonds we share with our new cancer “affinity group”, bonds that are so much deeper than those we share with groups like our college alumni association. (I wonder if some enterprising credit card company would issue us a “Hotel Melanoma” credit card, in black of course, with rewards points redeemable at our favorite cancer treatment centers.) Melanoma reshuffles our priorities and values, and we’re grateful for its kick in the rear. Family, faith, and friends come to the forefront of our lives, where they always should’ve been, but perhaps in the “old days” sometimes weren’t. And we find strengths and abilities within ourselves that we’d never before known were there.

All in all, our check-in day is a beginning, not an end, and the first step in an adventurous new journey into an unknowable future. With apologies to R.E.M., I’ll leave you with my spin on “It’s The End Of The World”…

That's great, it starts with a skin quake, catch no breaks, some novacaine -
Getting loose in what God made. Eye of a hurricane, listen to your guts churn -
C serves its own needs, regardless of your own needs. Speeding up our clock,
plead, drugs flow, strength goes. Doctors talk in babble, cause fears at night,
much fright. Mired in the fire, we present insurance claims for this medicine for
hire and our claims aren’t light. Find cure, isn't coming in a hurry with this fury
breathing down your neck. Seems my team physicians baffled, pumps, docs in crocs. Look at my slow gains! Fine then. Uh oh, overflow, populating,
flew the coup, but that’s not new. Save yourself, serve yourself. C serves its
own needs, listen to your heart plead. Tell me that it’s captured and it’s
evident in your sights - right. I’m vitriolic, bit psychotic, slammed, fright, bright lights, feeling pretty psyched.

It's the end of my world as I know it.
It's the end of my world as I know it.
It's the end of my world as I know it but I feel fine.

Six o'clock - scanning hour. Don't get caught in that rush hour. Crash and burn,
return, listen to your guts churn. Medics in uniform and tides turning,
blood letting. Every new round escalates. Radioactive incinerate. Light a candle,
fright’s a motive. Calm down, calm down. Spin that wheel, luck, luck. Uh oh,
this means some fear – cancer’s here. Cancer stage is too clear! A tournament,
a tournament, a tournament of tries. Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives
I’ll not decline.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

The other night I tripped some new experimental drugs in trials. It’s Dacarbazine.
Interferon. Interleukin, Vinblastin and Cisplatin.
Chemo party, bones quake, belly screams, boom! It’s symbiotic, bit psychotic,
slammed, but live, right? Right.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine...fine...

(It's time I had some time alone)

1 comment:

  1. Yet another good post, Rich. I like when you're serious every once in a while. ;-)