Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Remaining Hunka's have Gone Down Wind

This week is crucial in the course of Dennis’ treatments because the toxicity level of the chemo and radiation is so high that there are a fair amount of side effects, which are really not pleasant. In fact, we have exhausted all the mutated Nausea Dwarfs, including Pissy, in an effort to accurately gauge the discomfort, and are rapidly approaching industrial-strength harsh language for graphic descriptive words. But fortunately I’m all over that. The Clot is very proud of the fact that I am bilingual…I can speak fluent expletive with ease. I can conjugate any irregular verb necessary to illustrate the degree of nausea, pain, cramping, and loopiness…a skill I learned and perfected during my years at West High, where harsh language was an art form! This past weekend, however, taxed even my extensive expertise.

But, due to Dennis’ will, determination, and flagrant stubbornness, we are back in the fufu bag today. Another day, another ray! All his “hunkas” are gone with the wind…literally, and he and I are within a few pounds of being able to wear each other’s clothes. So do not be surprised if you see me in the “Superman” jammies and Dennis in the old “Minnie Mouse.” The sad thing is, our body contours are exactly proportionate, and when this is all over, one of us is going to seriously consider donor cleavage! However, in the meantime, we plan to humiliate our children by publicly exposing ourselves as the neighborhood cross-dressers.

We are not enamored of the numbers on the scale, but we are pretty elated about his lab results. His bili has dropped from a high of 6.8 down to 1.4. His alkaline phosphatase is looking better, and the rest of the Latin-derived unpronounceable and incomprehensible flowsheet stats look terrific. (Trying to understand all these words is like learning a new language…I always thought “platelets” were small plates!) I may not comprehend it all, but I know when to cheer!

Dennis is tolerating the ordeal with patience and resolution. And he is nice. He isn’t irritable, snippy or short-tempered. We think he is secretly infusing his fufu line with “happy dust,” but we’re not sure. So the Clot goes out of our way to test his annoyance level with stupid limericks, bodily functions sound effects, and questions about the latest sale items at Costco. So far we have been unable to inspire anything but resigned complacency. He has a resilience born of prolonged exposure to living with blond women…a certain immunity to the insanity of concentrated estrogen.

We have made a wonderful discovery…it’s “Doorstep Therapy.” It seems that whenever things appear somewhat bleak, there is something on our doorstep to bring a little light and laughter. The Stonebrakers brought some goodies that could single-handedly add multiple “hunkas” to Dennis’ scrawny derrier. Sadly, no matter how much the Clot consumes, we are unable to add pounds by proxy. Pity. And someone is doing the “12 Days of Christmas” for our family. Each time the doorbell rings, everyone, including the grandkids, nearly knock each other out trying to be the first to open the door. The gifts are so cute, and the poetry is so clever, and someone is very sneaky. So far, the identity has not been revealed, but we wish it was another two weeks before Christmas. Kristine Davies and her family have anticipated all our needs ( and a whole lot of our quirky cravings) and brought a bag that addressed them all. Instead of Saran Wrap, we have Reynold's stretch-and-seal that allows us to wrap Dennis up for his morning shower without all the double-sticky tape. This, of course, means his armpit hair is protected from the daily rip and tear.(Talk about tender mercy!) There is muffin mix (an absolute must) and a large container of frosting, with four spoons, so we can indulge in our frosting frenzy without disturbing any cake. Now, that’s efficient! And because there is a very real syndrome known as “tatt envy,” there are faux tatts for those not endowed with “radiation ink.” So the whole Clot is now covered with sticky-note chest graffiti. We love it!

Last week, Ashley and her family arrived on our doorstep to sing Christmas carols. The choir was comprised of big angels and little angels, and gave the Tab Choir serious competition. It was absolutely beautiful. The Clot made multiple attempts to join in the old familiar carols, but a mysterious atmospheric anomaly occurred. It began to rain…but only in the faces of the Clot! We could not explain this strange occurrence, except to say that this is certainly the season we celebrate rare astronomical cosmic phenomena.

This has been the most memorable Christmas Season ever. It is one we will never forget. We simply cannot express our gratitude for bringing us comfort and joy and light on this journey.

We love you and pray for you all,
The Clot


Anonymous said...

Joanie, when Dennis comes back to work will you keep writing on the blog. I've become addicted! Every
time I think I am becoming overwhelmed by the chaos that is life (and home remodel) I am brought back to earth by the grace and humor with which the Ashtons fight cancer. Love, Kate O

Harmoni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cristie said...

cheers to Dennis..."nice" at this point as a BIG deal. and we also admire "the girls" who manage to put a positive spin on each and every day. your family is making our Christmas more meaningful as well. xox