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White blood cells got nothing on The Green Towel Monster in the bathtub – thus says Chemosabi Fredly

January 26, 2012

Man, I felt I was given a brutal check in the boards yesterday. My oncologist should have been given a penalty for boarding. I received this under-the-skin injection of Neulasta (which is $5.000 to $7,000 a shot, probably created by the same people who made Jagermeister) and this drug helps your body make white blood cells to prevent infections from cancer treatments. Neulasta, just one of the many medicines they are giving me that always sound like the name of a Greek God from mythology who did maintenance on Olympus. And blam! It felt like someone was pumping concrete into my body. And on top of that, the Stanford Cancer Center kindly follows up with questions on how I’m doing. So I’m reduced to talking about my bowel movements like a retired guy waiting to get out for a quick nine at a public course at a lower greens fee (“Well, it’s pasty). It reminds me of my grandmother who would talk about her bowel movements while I was trying to eat my eggs at breakfast–not a good combo, even with homefriesd and toast thrown in. And they keep asking you questions, like i’m in a job interview to get into an  opening for the lead in “Embola: the musical.”

So throughout the night tailspinning, holding onto myself. Constantly trying to untangle myself from the tubes connected to my urine bags and the catheters in my kidneys. Like a netted fish. But amid this, I feel a percolating in my abdominal war zone, a shifting of the organs. I had a pretty sizable tumor, the size of a small football, or a Republican strategist’s brain (By the way, George Will’s wife helped managed Perry’s campaign for President, proving that brains run in the family, huh?). But I feel a slight twinge of victorious pain as the organs shift and I feel that they’re stretching out, the tumor is getting smaller. I feel you, I think, feel the ache with a smile, like when you have someone down and have a chance to get one last punch with a bleeding fist. But still I swerve away, wondering when this battle for middle earth will let me go. When will I be able to sleep for more than two hours? But I take the hit, I quietly take the pounding, and my eyes narrow, and I get meaner inside, taking it personally. I want to rip out the tubes stuck in the middle of my bak that are wrapped like brass hooked wires around the bolts of  my kidneys, but I shift and bear them, holding onto them like parachute strings, working my way to land in enemy territory to do some damage.

But what comes to me, what wonders and subtle meaningless things rise to greet me. I thought of a green wash cloth my mother gave me to use  in the bath tub. It would dry out on the little soap-dish rack, hanging stiff the next night. It was a light green, but when it became wet it turned the dark green of spinach.  and I would pull it down and drag it through the water pretending it was a creature that would come to life as it was swimming in ocean and it would atack the the plastic army soldiers I had strategically positioned in the corners above the tub or stationed atop to soap dish. And the green monster would slide up the tube and wrap around the soldiers and drag them to their deaths and digest them in the towel’s digestive folds. My mother would hear me doing screams asI acted out the soldier’s battle with the creature as well as the creature’s roars and say, “What are you doing in there?” Who knew what the hell I was?

And so I twist and turn and flop in bed amid the tubes, hearing the gurgling in my abdomen as the green towel monster moves within me and wraps around the tumor to digest its malignant indifference. The damp monster roars as the cancer dries up. Go green towel, go green towel.

I had forgotten about all your powers until this very night. Who could possible know the true powers of a green wash cloth?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2012 5:09 pm

    Your ability to paint pictures with words is creative, imaginative and compelling. I wish you all the best and hope the green monster goes away. Maybe you need more toy soldiers.
    Dee Reise

  2. January 26, 2012 9:31 pm

    Oh, Fred, I can SEE that green washcloth working its magic!! Awesome visualization, it’s squeezing the tumor down to nothing.
    Jaycee Carmel

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