top of page

One Damn Thing After Another, Part II

After the last few weeks, I feel like I’ve earned the right to be lazy and re-use one of my previous chapter titles, especially since it applies in this case. In the last chapter, I relayed an anecdote of a joke I made when I was going into my surgery. English is not the first language of my surgeon, so it could have bombed, but it transcended our two languages and was a welcome way to cut the tension.

We’ve all heard over the years about the differences between “British humor” and American humor. Sometimes colloquialisms don’t work across languages, or the accents can make it difficult to even understand in the first place (cockney comes to mind). British humor, in my judgment, tends to be more slapstick in nature than American humor, evoking an almost vaudeville approach to comedy that I don’t always love. But a good sight gag always works and transcends languages. One such example is from one of my favorite movies of all time – “Monty Python & the Holy Grail.”

There is a hilarious scene where the hapless soldiers representing the Knights of the Round Table are watching the battlefield, anticipating attack. Though they see the enemy approaching, for what seems like an eternity, they never seem to get any closer. This goes on for a bit and then suddenly, they are completely overrun by their foes. It is a hilarious sight gag, and it feels very much like how my cancer journey has gone in the last month or so.

As mentioned in a previous chapter (“Rope-a-Dope”), this whole battle has been a series of punches and counter punches, with cancer throwing the punches. All therapeutic responses, though rarely optimal, have been effective in kicking the can down the road and buying more time. It’s easy to underestimate the importance of that, but it has literally added time to my life where new discoveries have come along, and I have been able to avail myself of those treatments.

I previously said that it felt like cancer was starting to win. This disappointed some people, but it was a real emotion at the time. The recent placement of the renal stents were urgent in nature, done in response to a potentially life-threatening situation, and were the direct result of previous counter punches to the cancer – i.e., necessary radiation to my abdomen and pelvis.

I am happy to report that I seem to be adjusting to the renal stents relatively well. The bladder spasms – which occurred often in the aftermath of the surgery – were both regular and painful. Those are occurring less often now, and it hurts much less to urinate now than in the days immediately following the procedure.

I had to go off of blood thinners for the procedure. I am on blood thinners permanently now due to having an active cancer case, which can contribute to the development of blood clots. I was only off of blood thinners for four days for this procedure (which was necessary to control the risk of excess bleeding) and – lo and behold – I developed a blood clot in my left leg, my third such blood clot. Hopefully, that has now fully resolved.

A mental adjustment is now seeing blood in my urine, regularly, and in fairly significant amounts. My red blood counts are low as a result, but not low enough to require blood transfusions to this point. Hopefully it stays that way, and hopefully the bleeding stops soon. It’s hard to not worry about it, as it’s not at all normal. Like I said, it’s been one damn thing after another!

Until next time,



bottom of page