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The further adventures of Testiculess: Today The World Tomorrow Cancer or Today Cancer Tomorrow The World?

June 6, 2013


Standing before my tollgate on the highway of life, hoping the CT scan gives me clearance to get back on the dream of as real as it gets.


Getting the blood draw for my follow up

“Someone said to me, ‘Does the sight of your own blood upset you.’ I said, ‘As long as I’m not bleeding.'”

Yes, the further oncology journeys of Testiculess in the Stanford Cancer Center, the testicular challenged me, carrying a box of donuts, and a bag, containing my boo9k, Today Cancer Tomorrow The World, and wearing my Relay Fro Life shirt.. I’m still waiting for results of my CT scan. I worry about every little ache, wondering it that means cancer is mingling and trying to score with another part of my body. That’s just the brain being impatient and haviung nothing to do but criticize you. But the detached feeling of health is strong. Just as you’re detached from the world of the healthy when you’re sick, you’re detached from the world of the sick when you’re healthy. It’s like a concept or a line in a book that seems comprehensible, but doesn;t sink in, and you’re not overly concerned about not grasping it because it doesn’t apply to you anyway, and if it did you’d respond to it. My body feels uninteresting, thriving and dull, like a jock on a football scholarship sitting in a Shakespeare college class and drawing sketches of a bomber on a piece of paper as the teacher reveals how Cordelia is a representation of true love in King Lear. When I was in high school, King Lear got me going. A grown-up ranting in the heath, being followed by a chattering fool, and I liked the fools but didn’t think he was funny, so I wondered why this taunting sprite was a fool (although I didn’t know the words “taunting sprite” he was just a weird creepy guy that disturbed me, kinda like my relationship with the oncologist and waiting for his call.).

When I brought the donuts to the nurses in the infusion of the Stanford Cancer Center, I had a chance to talk to Mars, who has been doing oncology work for over twenty years.

I asked him what the response to Today Cancer Tomorrow The World.

“It flew out of here,” he said.

I smiled, “Well people love free.”

“But you know, there was a woman I saw who had chemo and she wanted to buy the book from me after I showed it to her. And I just couldn’t take her money. I knew it would come back to me some other way. And I did want the money, I needed it. But some things you can’t do, but if you do them, I call it black butter karma, it stays with you, and soaks into you, and it catches up to you later, even if you don’t realize it.”

He smiled and laughed, “Yes, they love free.”

I said, “You’re in the book. Did you like how you were.”

“Yes,” he nodded, sitting behind a desk by a computer. “We see a lot of ups and downs here. And when someone like you comes back, it gives us energy. You take it home sometimes, you trying not too.” He winced. “But you do. Sometimes you don’t.”

“Well, that’s good to take it home. It means you care. But some people don’t take it home, just like some people here might get cured and they don’t come back and you never see them again.” He nodded. “But if you come out of something like this and don’t think of the suffering, something is wrong with you. And if you do, you’re always on another plane, and the air is rarified.” I nod. “I just hope I stay there you know. Because there’s only two worlds: the sick and the health, without healthy you can;t do any of this…” I gestured around us. It was then I felt how dreamlike every action is when I animated it, granted it’s a real as it gets, but everything you generate from this world is a vaporizing dream. “But you can’t take the world of the healthy here. I mean it’s nice they brightened up the front, but why have artificial plants and pictures of dolphins and soft music, that belongs in a mortuary or a spa when you’re trying to get away from the world, but when you come here you want to hang onto the world. So have the news on, right. Make it bright. Put on current music. Let people see us. Hey, I know when I walked in here, it’s decompression, you’re leaving something. You can’t take the world of the healthy with you, you’re somewhere else. You have to let that world go. Some people straddle the line, but you have to accept your situation 100 percent to fight it, if you straddle the line by worrying about your hair or getting angry about your situation, that’s all going the wrong way, you have to be bald, accept being thin, and don’t get mad at not being healthy, get angry at what’s trying to take you out in the world of the sick so you can get back to, this.”

A few other nurses smiled and complimented me on the book. I walked around the infusion area, slowly so people could see my survivor outfit.

In the lobby of the first floor they had all these different information booth discussing different types of cancer, financing, surviving, even grief and funeral arrangements. I kept feeling like I was in the world of health with a student visa, and could easily have it end. It’s my way of staying humble. I can’t be arrogant and ever assume I’m completely here. I can only grasp at the world, reach for a piece of sushi, claw at the water to catch a wave, and reach inside me to give that glowing ball of whatever I have to help others get through this, and by passing it on, or offering support to the nurses, obtain a greater strength beyond me that keeps cancer at bay, afraid to enter, circling the perimeter but seeing I have the moral high ground and heavy fortifications, so all it can’t attack me, and has to settle for a siege, which is waiting my biological clock for the inevitable.

So I search for strength…

I walk down to the E clinic where I first sat for my oncology appointment a year an a half ago. I walks slowly, there are people  =who see the “survivor” words on my shirt. I’m not a volunteer, I’m a returning veteran of foreign wars. Biological warfare, huh. I see the masseuse who I gave a Today Cancer Tomorrow The World  to. She’s working on someone, who is sitting upright, face down in a massage stand.

I smiled, “Hi I’;m the one who gave you the book, I know you’re healing someone now, but did you like it.”

SHe radiated a glow, smiled with admiration.

I kept going. I need that.

When I check in for the blood draw, I’m talking to the women behind the counter.

“I came downstairs after giving the nurses in oncology some donuts. They eat such crap”

A hefty black woman walk behind the person registering me says, “Everyone always thinks nurses are so thin and shaped like this…” She makes an hourglass fi9gure with her hands. “And we’re voluptuous.”

“Of courses you’re voluptuous,” said said.

The black woman smiles her eyes brighten behind her glasses.

“You are the most beautiful women in the world, you heal people and that’s the most beautiful thing a woman can be.”

The woman checking me in behind the counter said to the black woman, “This one has learned something. We’re going to take good care of you!” She laughed and said, “I need to see your photo ID.”

“You mean therte are people who try to sneak in here and get a free blood draw?”



“No.” she said, and we both laugh.

I have to believe without faith, I have to believe in the ignorance of my body.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Laureen permalink
    June 8, 2013 4:39 pm


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