Old Man's Blog

My First Tattoo

It’s nice to finally join the club.

UPDATE: 12 January 2017

Today I received my 38th and final treatment. On a good day, I was in and out within fifteen minutes. A bad day was when I had not gotten my various viscera into the desired state of fullness or emptiness required; that might drag it out for a half hour or so.

I suffered no side effects except for some fatigue. It has been tough to get up and go to the gym. I still got on the “list” for most visits last quarter, so I cannot be too hard on myself. I have found that writing is more difficult. I have no more “found my audience, ” now then I had a year ago when Outland Exile came out.

The waiting game starts again now. I had waited twelve years before I had any indication I had a recurrence. I now wait a mere 3 months to see if the radiation was of any benefit (odds 45:55 for a cure). No cure means that I take a series of meds over the years, changing as the tumor becomes unresponsive and more “wild.” Eventually, the meds do not work, and the growth becomes large enough to detect. At that point, you treat the hot spots with radiation (avoiding the area now radiated to the max).

Eventually, that fails.

The first patient I ever pronounced dead alone, as a sophomore medical student (age 22), was a man dead from prostate cancer. He was cachectic, jaundiced, with lumps of cancer even marring his hairless skull. The family was very understanding my unease. Average onset for metastasis now is eight years.

I have to get back to writing!