Thursday, February 21, 2008

Graduation Day (with some creative liberties)

The day started off with aftershocks from an earthquake in Nevada waking me up. My dreams were pretty damn disturbing, too. All I remember was that something was chasing me. The dream ended with me trying to outrun it in a car full of guns. The car broke down and it turned out that I had the wrong ammo for the guns. I about fell out of bed around 4:30 am from that dream. I was panicked, though. Good thing my room shook later on to calm me down. Ha!

Alright, hang on for a moment. Things are about to get weird.

Feeling like a piece of shit on a stale cracker, I dragged my ass around, schlepped, if you will, to get ready for my big day. Funny, it didn't feel like a big day, just like all the other days I volunteered to be exposed to a dangerous radioactive shower of good times. Getting my act together, I set off towards the city for my treatment. Along the way I saw a rather suspicious looking dog spying on me. While that is neither her nor there, I thought I'd just expose you to my life's many paranoid delusions and not leaving it up to subtext alone.

When I got to the Huntsman Cancer Institute, where many a ball and breast have been examined in the name of good health (and the occasional vestigial tail), I really did not get the sense that it was my last day, even though I knew that it was. I greeted the radiation clinic receptionist, and during the course of our exchange, I revealed to her my superfluous third nipple that I've grown as result of my treatments--uh...oh, and that it was my final treatment. She was overjoyed for my milestone, and in celebration, I served up Snapple to everyone in the reception area, courtesy of my new mutant nipple. They all commented on how crisp it tasted. One lady remarked how easy I made dispensing refreshing beverages from my nipple look, but while it may look easy, I try hard...real hard.

In the dressing room I was greeted by a small, bearded man (a gnome, perhaps?) wearing a scarlet tunic and a green stocking cap. He took out his pipe from his ruby mouth, bowed, then said, in a helium effected tone, "May I disrobe thee today, squire? It would be an honor to serve the one we call King." Looking at the white-haired half pint's earnest expression, I gave in and said, "Not only you, but your three friends hiding in that cupboard as well." Upon hearing my command, they all exploded in a mighty gallop of giggles, whoops, and hollers. One of the little guys even did a cartwheel, followed by a pirouette. Gosh, it was divine! Gosh, it was magical!! Gosh, it was sensual? Oh, gosh!!!

After having been cloaked in my naked man gown (clinical term) by my new minions, I went into the men's waiting room to watch People's Court or Fox News with the "Prostate Dumpling Gang" fighting over the remote. That's what sucks about not being in their clique, not gaining control of the programming, via remote control possession. Luckily, I did not labor long in the old-man-ass smelling room. My therapist came and got me just in time.

Now, how do I turn this serious for a moment to tell you what really happened? I will blame my brief lapse into ridiculousness on the radiation. Okay, just shift gears for a moment and bear with me.

I got into the radiation room and Debbie and Derek were there to strap me in and align me. The conversations started as they usually did, but deep down we all knew that it was goodbye. When I was ready for the big nuke, Debbie patted my leg, like she always had done, and said, "We've got a special musical program for you today, Spidey." That is when Sir Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 came through the room's speakers. It was weird how the machine's whirs and buzzes coincided with the dynamics of the piece. When my front was done the music faded away. Derek and Debbie came back in to turn the machine under me and set in my other field block. That is when Rocky's Theme started. I shouted the best I could through my restraint, "Oh, I'm feeling this one", sounding like Buffalo Bill with a sock in his mouth, and Debbie gave my leg a hard slap and a resounding "Yo!" It was pure awesomeness.

After I was done getting dosed, the lights came on and the restraints came off. That was it. I was done. Derek was the first to congratulate me by shaking my hand and wishing me luck in my life to come. I glanced over at Debbie and noticed tears falling all over the place. She said that she hated when her favorites graduated, then gave me a big hug. It was hard to leave, especially her. I saw a few of the other therapists that came and went during my treatments and thanked them for their help. I got myself dressed and headed out of the dressing room only to be greeted by some of the radiation oncology nursing staff and the receptionist (couldn't resist my Snapple nipple). They gave me a diploma and congratulated me on my accomplishment.

It should have hit me, but it didn't. I got in my vehicle and drove off in a bit of a daze. At home I did my usual stuff before I go to work. I then went to work and everybody was going ape poopy for me. I had a party thrown for me there. It should have hit me there too, but I wasn't feeling it even then. I just couldn't help but feel sad because I missed my friends at the clinic. Believe me, I am happy that I am done. This has been a long time coming for me. But, I didn't expect to become so emotionally attached to the people at the hospital. It is going to be hard for me. Talk about bittersweet.

Anyway, the cancer treatments are over for me. I am now considered to be in remission. At some point I will feel it. I will feel cancer free. I don't now, but I will. It has just been too long dealing with it for my reality to match reality. It has been too long of me feeling sick, in pain, and fighting the darkest emotions to return to normal. I don't even know if I want to return to normal. Maybe I want to remain abnormal and go with my bad mutant self. Maybe I do have a mutant third nipple that dispenses Snapple, and maybe gnomes do worship me as their god king. At least, I am going to enjoy finding out.


Queue_t said...

hey hey hey- it's grunty he's back! good going through all of your treatment. way to go big guy. I hope you are in remission for a very long time

The Grunt said...

Hey, QT! Glad you stopped by. This post was a long one and those usually scare people away, because reading is hard.

Outdoorsy Girl said...

I can completely understand that it hasn't hit you yet that you are DONE! But some time it will and when it does, I'll have another party for you.

I am so happy that you had such wonderful people caring for you. I know you will miss them. They sound awesome.

As for worrying that you might not want to return to normal...I don't think you have to worry about that. You will return to healthy for sure, but normal? Let's get real here. ;) Kidding. :)

Scary Monster said...

Congratulations Cap'n.
It's good to see you on the far end of the tunnel.

The strange thing about waiting to feel normal again is that ya never actually feel that way.

And in me case probably cause me never done achieved it yet.

Don' worry about it. Life's done supposed to bee that way.

Sun Follower said...

You might liken this experience with high school - lots of growth, awkward, feeling like shit part of the time, seems like it will never end, making friends with some who will stay in your heart and/or head for years to come... but all in all, a necessary passage in your life.

Now throw your mortarboard high in the air... and have a bitchin' summer :)

Scott said...

So happy for you brother. It has been al ong journey reading about your trials and successes over the past months. I am glad that you are cancer free, and glad that through your attitude and spirit were one of the favourites. Really though, how could you not have been?


The Grunt said...

O-Girl~ Oh, I was never normal:D I think its that I was wanting to transition in my life when this all started and I don't want to backslide into that rut again.

Scary~ Hearing that from you helps, because I know that you have been there before. Good to see you around, my friend.

Sun~ That would be funny if my Summer turned out to be like an 80's spring break flick.

Scott~ I'm a lot like a hot chick that thinks she's really not that good looking, only it's not necessarily about looks with me. I guess it could be considered humility, but I really think that it isn't. I am going to recognize what makes me likable and great from now on.

Photogirl said...

After going through what you've been through...I doubt you'll return to "normal". In fact, you'll probably have such a newfound appreciating for life, that going back to "normal" just wouldn't cut it.

I'm so happy for you that you are now in remission and can start fresh. What a gift!

*big hugs*

Photogirl said...

You have never had yam fries?!! OMG. That is just so unfair.

If you ever take a vacation to Canada, I will take you for the BEST yam fries in the world!

The Grunt said...

Celeste~ I think this experience has left me feeling more vulnerable. I spent much of my life being guarded. I chose very carefully when to let it all out. In my writing I have been quite expressive. I feel that my life and my need to express myself will integrate into what I've needed to be all my life, but have been too cautious to let loose entirely.

One more thing, I may just take advantage of your offer of yam fries.

Keshi said...

Im sending u alot of long-distance love, positive vibes n HUGS Grunty. Im so proud of ya...I really wish I was close to ya to give u a real hug.

***tight hugs***


Karyn said...

Okay so first, i couldn't decide if people were remarking on how crisp your nipple tasted or how crisp the snapple was. Second, I really thought I read that they handed you a diaphragm, not a diploma. Jetlag and emotional angst do things to my vision, apparently.

But you? YOU kick ass, baby!

When YOUR reality catchs up to REALITY reality, the only quaking ground will be the stuff under your feet as you do the Kicked-Cancer's-Ass-Chacha!

Julie said...

I knew you could do this Grunty... and I've already told you so many times how proud of you I am!!! BIG GIANT KISS and a WAY TO GO!!!!

The Grunt said...

Keshi~ Thanks for the long distance hugs:)

Karyn~ My nipples are a bit crisp, along with the other areas that were hit by radiation.

Julie~ I know many Julies and I am guessing that you are the one who forgot to log out of their secret blog account. I do know who you are and I will accept your big giant kiss.

Julie Schuler said...

Awesome! Reading "The Body Emblazoned" right now about how the fear of Interiority, and using the analogy of the Medusa, no man may look upon it (the interior of his own body) and live. You have had a privileged (albeit sucky) experience of the uncanny stranger, the interior of the body and of embodiment itself. Kudos, young Perseus!