I spent about an hour last night talking to Jill about some of the hilarious antics I’ve displayed since Wednesday. I have an almost holy respect right now for the drug Xanax simply because of its ability to render me completely free of anxiety during these highly confining procedures I’ve had to have with my kidney cancer. I took 1.5 mg on Wednesday morning on the way to Atlanta and another .5 mg 30 minutes before the shrink wrap test run. Then I did the same thing the next day for the actual radiosurgery. That’s it!
What I have found out it that those eight half-milligram orange pills have cost me large chunks of two days of my life and I’m not sure I’ve completely gotten back to my new normal yet. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I went on a writing spree and posted the largest single post I’ve ever penned when we returned home on Friday night.
The other scary thing for me is that I spent quite a bit of time with Jill, two of my sons and one of my oldest and best friends, Richard Barrett, who drove to Atlanta from Greenville, SC to visit with me. If these stories Jill told me last night are true, then I may have some damage control to administer. I don’t remember much about Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and I’m finding out that I’ve said and done some crazy things during my 3-day Xanax fog.
A former boss of mine, Keith Murray, from during my Wichita days sent me a fatherly warning on facebook several days ago about Xanax. I guess he has, as have you, read so many snippets of how I’ve extolled the qualities of the drug over the last few days that he wanted to warn me to be cautious. Apparently he has a friend who got in trouble with the drug and he wanted me to be on guard.
I can’t wait to have a phone conversation with my sons, Michael and Adam, and my friend Richard just to see what I said to them. I really don’t have any idea about what Richard and I talked about for at least 2 hours on Wednesday (or it could have been Thursday) afternoon. Jill has told me that I turned into a six-year-old boy on the way home from the hospital on Thursday and that I reached for the door handle of the car while we were in traffic because I spotted a bakery that I wanted to go to for cupcakes. I don’t even normally eat cupcakes, but I managed to get Jill and my son, Michael, to bring me cupcakes to our hotel room on two different occasions while we were in Atlanta!
I write when the spirit hits me. If I’m not feeling it, I can’t write. I have found that my passion for writing and expression have been healthily fueled over the past few days while I’ve been under the Xanax influence. Last night, I realized that I had been sitting in my chair in front of the fireplace with my laptop perched on my knees for an embarrassingly long period of time. I’ve been so consumed with communicating with people via my blog and through emails and facebook that I really had just freaking zoned out.
During my double-digit-hour computer freak out yesterday, I watched a football game, a swamp logging show, 30 seconds of Lawrence Welk (for which I’ve been chided by Jesse Deese) and a movie that definitely made my condition worse. It was a B&W film called “The Snake Pit” where a woman goes crazy and is institutionalized for several years and it subjected to electroshock therapy. I damn sure didn’t need to see that!
But, here I am again, pounding on these keys. I had decided that I would attempt to post every day during the month of December. That is not going to happen. I’ll have to be sent off somewhere like the snake pit if I do that. Serious blogging about such an important issue as cancer is just too intense an experience to sustain over that kind of period. This blog, for me now — at least for a while — is intended to give people a glimpse into what cancer can do not only to your body, but your mind. The physical, emotional and financial fallout of this disease is simply staggering. It changes you in so many ways.
I am so thankful to have had my Jill by my side for these last few days. I have needed a caretaker, without a doubt, and she is the most patient, thoughtful, long-suffering woman on this earth. Oh what a lucky man I am to have such a beautiful, kind mate. If I make it through this alive and in one mental piece, she is going have a serious balance in my payback account.
Thankfully, I’ll be leaving soon to go to St. Matthews in-the-Pines Episcopal church. I plan to spend some time on my knees this morning giving thanks to my God for my wife, my family, my life, my friends, my doctors, my colleagues and those who I have verbally persecuted over the past few days. If you are one of the persecuted ones, I don’t remember giving you hell. I’m blaming it completely on the Xanax, which is safely tucked into that place where I keep my drugs, ready to be used again if I need it.
Here’s an update on my spine. On Wednesday, before the radiosurgery, I had constant back pain in certain positions. After the therapy, that pain is gone. Instantly gone, from whatever was done to my back. It didn’t burn. I wasn’t cut and I walked away from the table (although I have no memory of the ride home) after lying there for only an hour. Thank you, Dr. Liza Jane Stapleford! Hell, I probably said some things to her that I’ll have to apologize for, too.
I’m back, world! Thanks be to God!