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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fringeville #160: That’s no Moon…

Today begins a six-day stretch which pretty much determines how at the very least the rest of my spring will go. Things should begin slowly, with a long-scheduled routine doctor’s appointment later today. I expect (and should) be hammered for still carrying all the extra pounds I picked up working in Scranton.

Lord, I miss the food in Scranton.

Unless some of my bloodwork shows something out of whack, the appointment will be uneventful. What I will be most curious about is my doctor’s views on the recurrence of my prostate cancer. That will end today’s medical adventure.

Tuesday, I will meet with a radiation oncologist. What I expect is the following:

  • A discussion on the testing needed to restage my cancer and determine whether it remains localized or if it has moved into any new neighborhoods.
  • If, after testing, the evidence implies that the cancer is still local then the phasers will fire and fry the cancer cells in the area where the prostate used to be. This would still present me with the possibility of a ‘cure.’ I grow increasingly skeptical of that word, as I think anyone with cancer does. It’s always used with as many disclaimers as an infomercial on weight loss gadgets or diets.
  • If any speck of cancer shows up anywhere else, then local radiation makes no sense. It’s out of the box.

I am, naturally, a bit anxious. I have plugged my numbers into some nomograms1 at a respected cancer center website and I absolutely did not like what I saw there. But it is impossible and unwise to project the course of one’s disease on what a website tool predicts. There are too many variables.

Oh, and as if I don’t have enough things going sideways, this happened:

No, that’s not some alien moon on a collision course with Northeastern Pennsylvania. It is a cap from one of my fricking molars. And what I was gnawing on when it broke? A chicken wing (good guess, but no)? A steak (not this year)?

The culprit was butter brickle ice cream. All of a sudden, an enormously large brickle was bouncing around in my mouth. I spit it out. And I said, to sort of quote Han Solo: “That’s no brickle. That’s a tooth.”

Fortunately, the crater where the cap lived isn’t easily visible to the naked eye. If it was, I’d be gap-toothed for the foreseeable future because my dental insurance ceased when I left my last job.

Other than that, and the fact that I have nearly exhausted my meager supply of Toasted Caramel Whiskey, things are just peachy. Peachy. PEACHY. THERE’S STILL SOME PEACH SCHNAPPS IN THE BACK OF THE FRIDGE! Yes…

1 A nomogram, according to Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, is a “…graphic representation, by any of various systems, of a numeric relationship.” I see it as like this: A nomogram can possibly indicate whether you should buy that summer home on Maryland’s Eastern shore or instead prepay your funeral.

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