Today I filled a syringe with cranberry juice and hid it under my pillow. Whenever a nurse entered my room I would sneak it out, flash it wild-eyed to them and claim it was my “Serum of Life”. Their faces would go taunt, then crash down in laughter, giggling in Tagalog, spitting out the english words “love potion” or “cranberry juice”. I think they think the chemo has finally reached my brain, but they all tell me I look like some Fillipino movie star from the Far East who’s name I can’t pronounce.
My moods swing like a rusty gate in a hurricane. I forced my mother and girlfriend (who I call my two Angels) to dance to Sam Cooke while I lipsynched the words, if they didn’t get the dance steps right or goofed off I would plead and scream to start the song over. This went on for quite some time. Sometimes I cry for no reason and other times my brow creases in anger and I’m not quite sure why. Hormones they tell me, whatever the hell that means…(my girlfriend tells me I’ve been PMS’ing for weeks now).
I’ll keep with tradition in ending with a movie quote/scene, but not one that I said…
My mother and I are in Dr. Cai’s office at the City of Hope Hospital (where I’ll do my transplant) when he goes over the rigors of a bone marrow transplant (I will be doing stem cells from the blood). The Doctor went on to list the things in broken English/Japanese that could present mortality. The chemo could kill me, I could have a reaction to the radiation, two weeks without an immune system could lead to severe infection and possible death, and a little number called “graft/host” disease could knock me flat…none of these things I’d have any control over. I then went on pestering him about my chances for a cure with the transplant…he made a phone call and dug out some unfavorable statistics as I put my head in my hands. He tried to cheer me up as my mother and I left his office. As we walked out the door I was in tears, going on about my low odds for a cure to my mother…she was crying too now, but summoned strength from somewhere and winked at me through her sheet of tears, whispering, “Hell the fall will kill ya”. Still weeping I smiled and hugged her…we stayed like that for a long time laughing and crying.