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

Friday, July 15, 2011

Uncomfortably Numb

Many of us at the Hotel Melanoma have done some time in a heavily-medicated, cognitively-impaired state. In the course of multiple rounds of biochemotherapy, two major surgeries, and high-dosage radiation treatments, my prescribed meds list has included Ativan, Zofran, Compazine, Thorazine, Dopamine, Demerol, various and sundry narcotic painkillers including a morphine pump, and steroids. And at times nearly all of the above at once. (Someone could probably turn this list of meds into rap lyrics, but it won’t be me.)

The experience has given me a renewed and heightened appreciation for having a reasonably clear head. (Regrettably, that sense of appreciation hadn’t yet arrived during my college years in the early 70’s, but that’s a story I’m not going to tell on the ‘net.) Once again dating myself, I’ve chosen Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” for today’s lyrical remembrances…

Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear us.
Is there anyone at home?
Come on, now,
We hear you're feeling ill.
Well we can ease your chill
And put it on your clinic bill.
We need some information first.
Just the basic facts
Can you tell us where it hurts?

There is still pain but it’s receding
A constant drip, drugs bring my can-fly-zone.
The nausea rolling through in waves.
Their lips move but I don't get what they're saying.
When I was a patient, had high fevers
My face swelled like a big balloon.
Now I've got that feeling once again
I can explain you too would understand
This is not how I am.
I have been drugged uncomfortably numb.

I have been drugged uncomfortably dumb.

O. K.
Just a slow IV drip.
There'll be no more AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Now you may feel a bit less sick.
Don’t you stand up!
We do believe its working. Good.
That'll keep you going through the round
Come take new meds we’ve found.

There is still pain but it’s receding.
A constant drip, drugs make my can-fly-zone.
The nausea rolling through in waves.
Their lips move but I don’t get what they're saying.
When I saw my scans
I caught a glaring glimpse
Out of the center of my eyes.
I dared to look but now it’s gone.
They cannot put the cursor on it now.
The tumor’s blown,
My dreams have grown.
I have been drugged uncomfortably numb.

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