Winding Down

Day 37/44

Weight is still holding steady around 170.  For the 3rd Monday in a row, it has been around 170.  Let’s see if the trend continues on Thursdays.  The past two Thursdays, my weight has been around 173-174.

I’ve spoken before about my Chemo Dr.  ”Dr. R”.  He is the one that offered to show me his diploma so that I could see he knew what he was talking about.  Very funny, dry sense of humor and very smart-alecky.  It’s probably why I get along with him so well.

So I’m meeting with him on Friday and he was asking how I was doing and what kind of pain I was having and he said… “Well, you know it is going to get worse.  Your throat is about to start closing up and you will probably lose your voice.”  I immediately assured him that I was not one of his average patients, that I was born in the backwoods of Tennessee.. oh wait… different legend.  Anyway, I was different, that those things might happen to others but not to me

This was Friday afternoon, mind you.  So I go home over the weekend and wake up Saturday morning and what do you think happened?  My level of pain in my throat has jumped up and I begin losing my voice.  Seriously???  Did he have to nail both of them that close together?

So yes friends and neighbors…. this cancer has done what others have long wished for the power to do…. shut me up.

In the words of Lilli Von Schtupp…..

Lili Von Schtupp

“You’re finished. Fertig! Verfallen! Verlumpt! Verblunget! Verkackt! Kaput!”

And as mentioned, in addition to no voice, the pain in my throat has increased.  They kept telling me to expect it… “oh it’s coming”….. “any day now”…..(They weren’t lying.)  This is what they’ve been giving me all those pain medications for.  I guess now is a good time to start using them.

Let’s also talk about everyone’s favorite subject… MUCOUS!

Because the radiation attacks the good cells as well as the bad ones, the body reacts and wants to coat the throat with mucous.  I’m glad my body is fighting but in this case, I wish it would take the day off.  Now I get to add that as one of the reasons I don’t sleep.  During the night, the mucous pools up and you wake up feeling like you are about to gag.  And the sounds are just lovely.  (I might find myself sleeping in the upstairs room alone).

I keep telling myself that it is only for one more week.  My last treatment is one week from today.  Dr. R reminds me, though, that when you climb Everest, when you get to the top, that is only half the journey.  All of this radiation zapped into me isn’t going to magically go away next week.  It will take awhile for all this to leave my body.  Dr R said for the chemo, it will be something like 3-8 weeks.  Of course, you know me…. I hear the first number and run with that one.  I’m hanging in there… or at least trying to.  The outpouring of cards and letters and emails and FB messages and texts and general thoughts and prayers  have been great and very much appreciated and beneficial.  I’m just tired of this and ready for it to be over.  (The low grade fever I have today probably doesn’t help my mood much either.)

It also probably doesn’t help that I’m in my chemo room and while I don’t have Nattering Nancy today, I do have a couple who’s favorite TV show must be “Supernatural”(?) on TNT.  Apparently they show a marathon of episodes during the day and not only have they seen this one, they compare it to the others they have seen with their running dialogue.  At least I don’t have to talk with them.  :-)

I guess there is only one way to get me out of this funk…..

UNRELATED STORY TIME or….. Never let anyone read a text from your wife

This one comes courtesy of my days with Dallas SWAT.  I have not asked for permission to use this one but what the hell…..  I can always chalk it up to pain meds.

So we had a guy in our squad whose name was Jose but went by Joe.  Joe was what we call a “gear queer”.  NOW before you call the Supreme Court out on me or the ACLU…. it has nothing to do with sexual orientation.  It describes a person that is enamored with gear… specifically SWAT gear.  Some guys are into weapons.  They can tell you the differences in grain load in a boat tail .223 round with nozzler tip…blah blah blah.  That is when my eyes start getting glazed over.  Now you need those guys out there.  You want to carry the round that will put the bad guys on their butt the quickest with the most devastation…. just don’t expect me to share the same enthusiasm.  Just tell me what round to carry and I will take care of the rest.

Joe had to have the latest gadget, the newest of everything.  If new shotguns came in, he had to have the newest one.  It didn’t matter that nothing was wrong with his current one….he had to have the latest one.

Back in the day… the department did not issue cell phones….they issued pagers.  Yes…I am old.  For two weeks every two months…you were “on call”.  If anything came out during the hours of midnight to 6am, you got “called out” or rather “paged”.  That meant you dropped everything and responded and if you were lucky, responded to something good.  Usually it was BS.  The pager would go off and we had these big thick text pagers that showed about 4 lines of text. The first message was location and preferred travel route (so you don’t drive in front of the bad guys house).  The 2nd page was other pertinent information like suspect description, etc.   These are always fun to read while you are driving like a bat out of hell to the location, trying to dress in the car, listening to the radio to make sure everyone is checking in…

Again, these pagers we had were big and bulky.  Well one day we were in the office and one of the squads had just gotten a “new guy”.  New Guy came into the office and Joe immediately sat up and almost shouted, “Where did you get that pager?!!”  We were all stunned at the response and New Guy mumbled something about how they got new pagers in at the Radio Shop and Joe took off like a rocket, literally running down the hall.  Sure enough, in about 10 minutes, Joe comes in the office, strutting, grinning form ear to ear, saying “Check it out…”.  Joe has one of the brand new pagers.  It’s about half the size of the other one and looks pretty spiffy.  One of us asked Joe, how did you get them to just give you a new one? Joe…the gear queer that he is, without missing a beat, said…. “I was outside the Radio Shop and took my old one and threw it against the wall and broke it and came in with the pieces and told them I needed a new one.”  It didn’t faze Joe in the least that something was wrong with that.  But oh…. karma paid him back.

The next morning, we are done working out and everyone is in varying stages of getting ready when a strange beep was heard in the locker room.  Joe’s locker is right by the sinks and one other team member, Donovan, was passing by Joe’s locker when his pager beeped and D said, “What the hell was that?”  Joe, at the sinks said, “Check it out man.  Its my new pager.  None of you suckers have one yet.  You are just afraid to use the system.”  Donovan indeed picked up Joe’s pager from the locker and apparently when he did, he pushed the button to read the text message.  And of course, read it out loud… to the the entire locker room….. it was from Joe’s wife and it said…. “Boo-Boo, I really had a good time last night.  Can’t wait for Round 2″ and his wife’s name.  The bomb dropped in the locker room.  It was not the text… it was not because of the sexual nature….it was from the pet name……. BOO BOO.

There are a few things that will haunt you in your police career……you can do something so … out there… that you will never recover.  (Shoot the hostage sort of thing.)  Probably worse is…. you needed to shoot and didn’t.  Then there are those that you will survive and keep your job…but most days you wish you didn’t. Having the entire SWAT team know that your wife calls you BOO BOO is one of those things.

Joe immediately ran from the sink and attempted to grab the pager from Donovan.  Joe is about 5’6, 160. Donovan, about 6’1, 240.  (He didn’t get his pager).  It got tossed around the locker room so that EVERYONE could read it.  Sgt’s in patrol read it.  I think they even read it out in the next detail.  Needless to say, the name stuck like glue.  Joe was no more. BOO BOO was his new name and still used to this day.

Two quick side stories….

about 5 years later, I am working as Director of Training for a company that was doing certification for Dallas SWAT and Joe was getting that training.  Of course, his certificate had BOO BOO on it.

about a year after his new name, we were having a Christmas party and Joe’s wife was there and of course was being teased and she thought it was hilarious.  She thought it was so funny that she added to the legend.  A couple of weeks earlier, Joe’s brother and sister in law lived a few blocks from Joe.  Joe’s brother, was also with Dallas PD and was working that night.  Joe’s sister in law called and said she saw a snake in the garage.  (They lived on a lake).  She calls Joe and asked if he could come over to get rid of this snake.  He did.

Joe shows up with……. His fatigue pants. bloused with boots… his departmental issued pistol with his duty rig strapped to his thigh…. his shotgun strapped across his back…. and his fully automatic MP-5 submachine gun, loaded and at the ready.

Joe was not BOO BOO that night….. he was RAM BOO

 

 

Short post today.  Might be the mood…. might be that I am tired of this, ready for it to be over.  Whatever it is, I apologize.

I have been asked by quite a few people of what I am going to do with this blog and/or my stories once I am on the way to recovery.  That is a good question.  I don’t know.  I’ve enjoyed writing the stories and might have one or two more in me…. :-)  If you have suggestions, please feel free to email me at tac101@aol.com.  (I would imagine you don’t want to post it on the comment section.)  I am very interested in hearing what you have to say.  This started out as a way to communicate with friends and family while I was “incapacitated” and has kind of turned into something else.  I’m just not sure what that is.  If you have comments, I would love to hear them!

Thanks.

 

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5 thoughts on “Winding Down

  1. Hang in there! Let us know when you’re up for visitors. Miss you guys!

  2. Lilli Von Schtupp………now THAT made me laugh out loud! “Sweeeeeeet mystery of life at last I’ve found yooooooouuuuuuu”.

    • I can relate … “I’m tired.” (but not in the way she means) I think I need another schnitzengruben

  3. I cannot give advice aboiut your present situation because i can only imagine what you’re experience is like. I can, however, tell you that perseverance through every difficult, months/years-long trial I have ever faced was made easier from the perspective that God wasn’t surprised by my present circumstance and He uses them to make stronger and so i’ll trust Him more for the next trial that’s coming.

    I like Sharon’s suggestion. If some future “Nattering Nancy” had your funny book / pamphlet on your experince to read during your mutual treatment time, there would be less time to “natter” her neighbor…think of all the people THAT would help.

    “For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Ps 30:5

    I love you, Michael!

  4. Almost done! Love you!!

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