Category Archives: Blast Count

Asteroid Fields…

Sallow eyes stare back at me from the mirror above my sink, asking questions that can only be answered by time…I scratch my head, ponder, small hair particles float down and line the sink in strange geometric patterns like the metal shavings inside an etch-a-sketch.  I’ll never quite get used to this.

The end of the week will bring another bone marrow biopsy (which I liken to a corkscrew opening a wine bottle, except the stem of the wine bottle is the back of my pelvis). New marrow will be retracted and sent out for more gene mutation tests. This will show where I’m at in the disease control department.  I’ll also be starting a new second generation kinase inhibitor (Dasatanib), this is a revolutionary pill that attacks only the malformed leukemic cells, this drug is so new that no protocol exists for its use in conjunction with induction chemotherapy. My doctor and I think it could make a huge impact…

As a small child I unknowingly adopted a phrase while riding bicycles with my neighborhood pals. It came from one of my first “favorite films”, George Lucas’ STAR WARS…the scene happens as Han Solo looks out over an asteroid field while the droid C3PO rattles off his staggering, longshot statistics of survival.  Solo quickly shuts him up, shouting, “Never tell me the odds!” I used to mockingly say this when jumping a curb or doing a brake slide on my bmx, but now it has become a Mantra I use to fight against my Leukemia.

Finally well enough to write…

…As I sit in my private bathroom the din of the overhead fluorescent light makes it hard to focus on much at all.  I strain though…break through the sickening buzz, try to think of the world outside, how many mundane things I took for granted.  The fluid in my lungs, renal failure, and a full body scarlet rash are just some of the reminders of the chemical gauntlet I’ve run the past three weeks.  Things after my first treatment are certainly on the up and up, yesterday I received a bright yellow livestrong poster from my town (even signed by the mayor and others who attended the bone marrow drive), it said, “Give Cancer the Middle Finger”, I think I’m going to use my whole fist on that fucker.  

Everyday in this place is like the same scene from the same movie, it just depends on which character I play.  Sometimes I’m Robert DeNiro in Michael Cimino’s THE DEERHUNTER telling my Doctor’s they’ve got to find a way to “Put more bullets in the gun”, other days I play the opposite role of Christopher Walken looking back at the medical staff in utter terror, responding incredulously, “More bullets in the gun…what are you crazy?”