So. Here’s how this entire radiation dealio works, these are the basic steps as I now understand them. Everything contained in this episode are what takes place to get things ready for your introduction to The Great Radiator. The actual radiationating will be chronicled by me after I’ve had enough of it to be considered an expert at it. Today is my fifth day of actual zapping but I’m yet to be fully in rhythm with the process.
Maybe I might should have said, “…is what takes place…” Is “everything” singular, or plural? Is it like a crowd? As “everything” might be just one item, like, “She’s my everything,” and everything can also be an entire list of shit, maybe you singulate or pluralize based upon your intents. Therefore, heretofore, I used proper grammatical efforts by using “are”. It has also come to my attentions that mayhaps I use too many quotation marks. However, as “clarity and emphasis in sentence structures” is my middle name, read and adapt.
First, you do a prep run in anticipation of the real race. As The Great Radiator has its own bunker and segregated waiting room, you begin in the Oncology sub-waiting room swilling glasses of water to reach the point, as the nice lady tells you, “Drink until you feel the strong urge to urinate.”
“What inthehell do you mean by a strong urge?” you ask. “My prostate is already so angry at me it’s constantly urging me to pee.”
And why does everyone insist on using the word “urinate”? I’m peeing way too many times to use the extra consonants and vowels to even think, “Ur-i-nate.” Too busy pissing to make a three-syllabic effort.
Nothing else can start until your bladder is water-swollen so as to “lift” it away from your prostate. Need to keep it as far from Harm’s way as is possible when The Great Radiator casts its angry glare upon your prostate. Then the real fun can begin.
You try to remember Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson’s words about anxiety. “Live in the moment, Mooner. Do not think about what might happen or of what you experienced in the past. Focus only upon what is happening to you in each instant. Live in the Moment.”
Words to remember as you get nekid, save socks, dress in a starched surgical gown and with the same urge to pee as induced by a six-hour non-stop car ride, you place yourself, backside down, on the cold plastic slab of an MRI machine. Yes, an MRI machine and not The Great Radiator. Keep in mind that this is a practice run—like an undressed rehearsal for the hopefully not final act of your Life’s play. This gown is different from all the surgical gowns you’ve previously donned as it wraps and ties in your front, and it’s starched. When you sat, waiting in your new gown, you absent mindedly started singing “Deck the Halls” using your present-minded, actual aloud voice, and “…now we don our gay apparel…”
The nurse laughs, tells you, “A good mindset helps, Mr. Johnson,” and you reply, “Please call me Mooner.”
“And you can call me Sandra.”
[Author’s note: If you tell Sandra to call you Mooner, you, dear friend, have additional issues beyond the herein discussed prostate tumors.]
As is the gown, this medical procedure is likewise different from all previously encountered procedures, so your trial run must be done with great accuracies. This is the start of what is basically a nine-week, daily exposure to a poisonous, invisible, death ray that might lengthen your life without wrecking it. Data gathered hereat will be used to define the computer program used hereafter. Like most advanced medical procedures, The Great Radiator is a robot controlled by a computer program. Therefore, your life will be lengthened by the skills of the programmer, the radiologist doctor.
Not so incidentally, it might take your life by causing a different cancer, make your pecker to stop stiffening, cause you to leak urine constantly unless a clip is situated to prevent it, and it might wreck your bladder and rectum. Your hope—based upon two months of research and conversation with others—is that this is your best option. Your hope is to maintain all desired functions but rid yourself of the microscopic carnivores hiding inside the tiny bladder that is your prostate. Those little cancer shits are cells that don’t know how to die.
They lack the DNA—RNA perhaps—to wither and pass-on to cellular Heaven and make room for other, new cells to grow, prosper and then die. All cancer cells know is how to eat and reproduce. So, they eat and reproduce—consuming more-and-more of your blood and vital enrichments—until they reach the critical mass required to metastasize.
I hate that fucking word “metastasize”.
And answer me this. If cancer cells don’t die, why can’t we modulate those devious little bastards into extending our life rather than taking it? Where’s the science on that?
Sandra places a large bag filled with Styrofoam balls under your feet and calves, and positions it to be, “Just right.” She hits a button somewhere and you feel all the air sucked from the bag—it turns hard as a rock. This is now “your” bag, the bag that will get you positioned just right each time they radiate you over the next nine weeks.
Your bag, and the four tattoos precisely placed at your bikini line, are the coordinates used on your body’s MRI navigational charts by The Great Radiator. No sextants here, as we need absolute precisions when directing your cancer’s death beams. “Wouldn’t want to zap your liver, now would we, Mr. Johnson. I mean, Mooner. This bag and your tattoos will help us insure that you are in the same position each of the forty-three times you visit.”
You and Sandra discuss the tattoos. “As I already have one of Salvador Dali’s exploding, melting clocks depicted on my arm, might we tattoo four of his bottle flies for these navigational pursuits? It’s called ‘Soft Watch at the Moment of First Explosion’. Dali is my favorite. Did you know what he always said when people called him crazy?”
Getting no response, I added, I said, “The difference between me and a crazy man is that I am not crazy!”
Sandra answers that it must be dots, that you have an “interesting” sense of humor, and calls the doctor into the room. She did that air quotes dealio on “interesting”.
The doctor, your radiologist/computer programmer, talks you through the procedure, this “trial run” before the actual first application of radioactive beam bombardment, in the presence of your now, “your” nurse. Your nurse, our Sandra, a mid-thirties woman with small, soft hands, soft blond hair and kind eyes, places her right hand on your left hip as the Doctor/radiologist drones through his spiel on your right. Her soft hand fidgets as she watches the doc speak, and squeezes pressure at your hip as if to emphasize his words.
Her eyes, you now notice, are blue. To yourself you think, you ponder, “I wonder if the upholstery matches the curtains. The blond looks natural, her native color. Makes sense with the blue eyes.”
Since you were pre-prepped in counselling before deciding to choose radiation, you’ve heard the spiel before, and your attentions are more focused upon the nurse’s hand than doctor’s words. The doctor holds a bulb with a pinkish-colored rubber tip in front of your face. “This is what I’ll use to place the dye into your bowel. The two different dyes will provide the contrast we need to program your treatment plan—that’s the computer program. Please turn to your side—face Nurse Sandra—and I’ll insert this. It won’t hurt, but you will feel a sensation of cold liquid as I squeeze the bulb.”
Doesn’t hurt, and you feel the cold liquid dye solution as it pools in your backside. “Can’t you warm this shit to maybe 98-degrees, plus-or-minus?” your question.
Doctor and nurse both assume it a rhetorical question as the doc now changes latex gloves and picks up a pillow-shaped plastic package while the nurse asks you to turn onto your back, knees elevated. The doc says, “This is the catheter. I’ll gently insert it just a few inches inside your penis and then squeeze some of this liquid dye into the catheter. In the old days we had to push it all the way to your bladder. It’s cold and you will feel some of the liquid spill onto your skin. It will sting, then burn a little, but it won’t be that bad at all.”
He holds the inch-diameter syphon hose connected to a gallon jug to your face. “See,” he says, “no big deal. Unless you wish a male nurse, Sandra will help me with this.”
Your mind attempts to place itself squarely in the Moment, but before you can say, “No, I like Sandra’s soft hands, and whatthefuck do you mean by no big deal?” Sandra places both of her soft hands on your pecker—one at the base and the second midway. You feel a sting, then a searing burn, and wonder what he meant by a “couple” inches, and then cold liquid runs down pubic areas and to your butt. The burn continues but you don’t seem to mind so much. Your mind slips to Sandra’s soft blue eyes and gentle firmness. You stay in the Moment, or at least the part at having your pecker held by a person other than yourself. Soft hands become your entire focus.
“Focus on the sting, Mr. Johnson, or this will really hurt! An erect penis aggravates this procedure.” Not quite a scold, but firmer than her grip.
OK, let’s just stop right here. Does anybody really give a shit what it’s like to have prostate cancer treatment other than those of us doing it? Me, I’m starting to get numb about it—not care beyond what it takes to care for myself during the endeavors of having it, so why force it on you?
Je suis Charlie, and Fuck Walmart!