|Two heads with pieces missing|
Two days later, the diagnosis came. The Amazing Cancer Boy was born.
I'm not going to tell the whole damn story again. If you're interested, the links to the right will take you through the entire adventure. It's a story that has taken over my life, defined every waking moment since that morning, for good and for ill.
"How do you feel?" a friend asked today. "You should feel great."
On the phone, Mum agreed. "I think you should, too."
Yeah. I should.
Somebody said to me once, maybe only half-joking, "You know, you were a lot more fun before you became a national treasure."
It was a joke. I know. But life is certainly different.
|The Amazing Cancer Boy|
But in a lot of ways... well, it's hard to put into words. Resurrection has its price. My teeth are gone. And yeah, I miss them every day. My thyroid is dying, cooked by hours and hours of radiation. I have to take pills by the fist-full, and still I get so tired, so easily now. And so very sad sometimes. It's hard for me to remember things, especially when I try to memorize lines for a play.
|Mrs P and Me in "happier"days|
So yeah, I guess I'm glad to be alive. Being alive means I have a chance to... what? Make a difference? Heal? Find love again? Be whole, whatever that means? I don't know. All I know is that it's getting to be time to turn the page.
Five years. They throw a pile of numbers at you when you have cancer, but one of the biggest is five years. When we met the radiation oncologist, Mrs P and Mum and I, one of us asked my prognosis. "50%" the doctor answered. "50% of the people with your kind of cancer will live for 5 years." I remember seeing my mother cry at that. Five years. And no reason to think I'm not going to be one of the lucky ones. "Heads. You live." So that's how long he has left. One more year. One more chapter left in the tale of The Amazing Cancer Boy... the real-life boy who didn't die. In twelve months, I can close the book, put him to rest, and get on with whatever the rest of my life is going to be.
I've already registered for a marathon in May to celebrate my new life. I'm going to keep running. Don't really have any plans beyond that. I'm going to keep acting. I'm going to keep writing. .I'd like to be able to make a living again, so I'm not at the mercy of the docs and the shrinks and the Social Security Administration for my income. Maybe I can write and star in one-man shows about running.
I'd like to get on with all that. And in a way, I am. But in another sense... it's hard to explain... it's like I have one more year left to serve... my term?... my sentence?... maybe both. All I know is that I'm not going to really feel free until April 16, 2015.
Of course, there's a downside too. Without cancer, there'll be nobody left to blame but myself. I'll have lost the greatest excuse in the world. I'll be on my own.
And in some ways, that's even scarier that a tumor.
As for Cancer Boy? Well, there are some advantages to being a Minor Local Celebrity... It can be very good for the ego. But to be perfectly honest... I'm getting kind of sick of the son of a bitch.