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A Day in Doubt: I turn 38

Well, today I turn thirty-eight. 38 is not really not one of those milestones that most think about as important. I have described old as when you double your age and can’t really guarantee you will still be alive. I tended to think of that age as 40 or 45. So I am not old. This day does mean that 38 years ago my mother met for the first time after 52 hours of labor and no pain killers. So hats off to you mom. I was a pain then and have been ever since.

I have shared this day with some greats in the past. May 19th is the Birthday of:
Malcolm X
Andre the Giant
Grace Jones
Pete Townsend
Joey Ramone
Peter Mayhew
Ferdinand Magellan
Effing Machete himself Danny Trejo
Ho Chi Minh
Dusty Hill

Just to name a few. There is something about us Taurus cusps that makes us, well, us. It is such a great day and I was born on a Monday.

Before I go on with looking back at the years past I must say that year 37 has been a damn good year. Sometimes I think people question my sanity but I reject your reality and substitute my own.

In the past I had dreaded my birthday. I really did not want to get older and I had some crappy birthdays. It was just not something to celebrate. Things changed a little on that front. I celebrated my 32nd, 33rd and 34th with marathons. Cleveland, Cleveland and Delaware. They were awesome and with that I looked more forward to my day of birth.

On this day last year things were not looking up but they weren’t looking down. On this day, today, thing have changed. 365 days have been filled with so many ups and downs, goods and bads, surprises and disappointments that we weren’t able to plan for anything outside of a couple of days ahead. All you have to do is look back at what I had written but I will try to sum it up because I am just that kind of cool guy.

Last year at this time we had already determined that I did not have Lung Cancer. Just before that we thought it was and that virtually a death sentence. I knew there would have to be some serious overtime to see today. We still didn’t know what it was and another biopsy procedure was on the way. Also, Space was furious with me by that point because I was being an asshole. It is true I can sometimes be unpleasant and bull-headed. But I am a Taurus. A couple of tests later I finally got the answer as to what was wrong with my lungs. It was the weirdest good news I have ever got. I had cancer and that was good because it was Hodgkin’s Lymphoma the easy cancer with the light chemo. Then it turned the good bad news to just bad news. It as not Hodgkin’s but a mix of Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma called Grey Zone Lymphoma. This is a 1 in a Million case. I was Six Sigma!

Still I had a great Doc and the plan was still for me to kick the shit out of it. So my 38th year was going to be just fine. I was wrong of course. Chemo happened and it kind of sucked but really it was for the greater good. I knew this world could not make it without me and to top it off I still needed to see Breaking Dawn part II. When I just knew it was going to nothing but good news the bomb dropped and I had failed the chemo treatment and things looked worse than before. The battle was lost but the wars was still going my way. A harsher chemo and a transplant was in order. I started the harsher chemo and it kicked me in the ass so hard I was sneezing shoe strings. That was the first does.

Afterwards, the second dose of the harsher chemo came and everything went so far south that I fell out of the ecliptic. I got sick both in mind and body. Really, I think I went sane but people were possibly questioning my sanity. But my body was shutting down and I was orbiting that drain. It was so dark a time that I had given some serious thought to giving up. Perhaps for 30 seconds. Most it in a row. This is where thirty-eight was started to be a question.

The real shit hitting the fan came from my doctors mouth. Space and I were getting a little twitchy about making trips everyday to get infusions and some other stuff that we were unsure of. At the time, I was in real bad shape but we were totally ignorant of the situation. In the discussion with Doc Weis, we asked if I was going to be around to see the Psycho’s next swim season. He told us it was very unlikely. What a Mortal Kombat Fatality. 38 was looking like a pipe dream. We understood just how bad it looked. We had seen the PET scan and I was still a christmas tree and my lungs were in dire straits.

Good News!!!!!! The stuff that lit up in the PET scan was biopsied and turned out not to be cancerous. It was some form of vasculitus which is still serious. To top it off what was left in my lung was not growing and may have even been getting smaller. We were now on the path. I was getting stronger and starting to do stuff on my own. I was driving again and I was only having to go in for infusions 5 times a week. The better half of my brain had just visited and it was a blast. How long could all last.

104.5! No it was not the crappy radio station in philly that plays that emo stuff. That was my temperature when we visiting in Delaware. We booked it to the hospital and I had a playlist of high temps over the next 10 days. I felt fine and it was my most pleasant stay. They could find nothing that was causing the fevers and finally Doc Weis realized that a high temperature was not enough of a reason to keep me jailed up. That was two months ago.

A couple of weeks later it started to hit me. I was going to make it. We asked Weis about the outlook and he said it was much better. We asked about remission and he was willing to concede partial remission. The pills were going down easier. I have even started running again. Hells bells, I had signed up for two marathons including Disney’s Dopey Challenge.

Again I must reiterate, the 37th year has been and adventure and a blast. So here we are, it’s my Birthday and damn if I am not going to celebrate. No marathon this time. I wish I could but my body is still recovering. Instead I will be spending my day in NYC with my girls. Rae or I will tell you all about when it is all done. Then it is on to 39 or the first anniversary of my 38th birthday. I am not sure which one yet. I am sure that I may grow old but I will never grow up.  Besides, Its not the years left in your life but the life left in your years that count.


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