Sunday, December 30, 2007

Phase One: Done... Farewell FuFu

Thursday was Christmas... at least for the Clot. The Clot has been counting down on our own peculiar advent calendar, and we thought this day would never arrive. Thursday was Dennis' last day of radiation! No more zapping, singeing, raying, roasting or toasting. We can finally dispense with the motto: "Another day, another ray!" And if that isn't enough to jingle your bells, it is also the day when he is disconnected from his Fu-Fu bag, and his PICC line is PICC'ed!

Farewell to fufu, goodbye to gemcytobene, sayonara to Saran Wrap, and au revoir to radiation.

We are all so excited that we planned a grand procession with juggling clowns, a parade of synchronized elephants, and a fireworks display. However, the security squad at the Huntsman Institute thought that perhaps the clowns might be a little disruptive to the other infusees, and the elephants might deposit debris which exceeds the housekeeping capabilities of the custodial staff. And because of stringent fire codes, perhaps the pyrotechnics should be postponed. Hey, there was a certain perverted logic to that. Not a problem.We modified our grand celebration scheme. We went home, juggled bottles of Ensure, marched in synchronized lock-step around our kitchen bar and lit a candle.

In honor of the occasion, we have made the ultimate salute: The Clot has called a 24-hour moratorium on harsh language (except in reference to the mass), any specific reference to Dennis' bodily functions, bodily noises or bodily parts. Oh my! I hope our intentions haven't exceeded our capabilities.

Our house was decorated with brightly-colored balloons and leis hung in the trees. It almost looks as if the fireworks were captured in a rapid-speed camera photograph... a still-life. This is a very good day!

We were also thinking of kissing off the 7 Mutated Nausea Dwarfs, but we have become rather fond of those little rascals - especially Pissy. He has an honorary place in the heart of the Clot.

Today we must also say farewell to new old friends and technicians, who know Dennis inside and out, and have seen the Clot in varying degrees of disarray. We greatly underestimated the difficulty of that little task. For so long now our lives have have been measured out by the daily treks to the Huntsman Cancer Institute and weekly infusions of gemcytobene and iron. And there is a solidarity the evolves among those who have shared adversity. We are not sure now how we'll sculpt the coming weeks, but we do know every hour will be mealtime. ("Auschwitz Chic" is so passe!) Soon Dennis will think of "week" as a measure of time, not a condition spelled with an "a."

Through it all, Dennis has been a "rock," literally and figuratively. In fact, we strongly suspect he has been taking spiritual steroids. But, he "will be back"...and that is written in stone. As Ramses always said, "So let it be written. So let it be done!" (A Yul Brynner moment probably best appreciated by those who grew up thinking Charlton Heston really was Moses.)

Perhaps in the coming weeks the Clot can finally discard the two mantras that have so dictated our daily life:



That would be good.


Anonymous said...

Clot for maintaining the humor and positive attitude that this entire ordeal requires to get through. You have endured the wrath put upon your family gracefully and have been willing to keep us updated as to the progress. I appreciate the time and energy you have given to those of us that sincerely care about Dennis and your family and hope the new year will bring POUNDS of body mass and the end of the PISSY dwarf's! Best wishes for a healthy new year. Chris Chytraus and family

Sean, Makenna, and Sean said...

Dr. Ashton,

My kids and I have missed you as we have been into the Willow Creek for various visits.

We are cheering for you and miss you. We look forward to your recovery and seeing you again at work.

Jennifer, Sean, and Makenna Spackman

New York Sims said...

Yay! Glad to hear things are looking up! =]


Paul said...


Happy New Year. Not a day goes by without you in our thoughts and prayers. By name, rank and serial number.

We're glad that the zapping has passed!

If you feel up to it, we would relish your company on Tuesday the 8th as our guest, along with the female companion of your choice, to see "Lend Me a Tenor" at Hale Center Theater. Starts at 7.30PM and should provide a laugh or two. Phil tried out for the part of Lance Rothchild, but I beat him out with a solemn rendition of "Within These Halls".

If you can possibly muster the schedule and brave the cold, please come. Let me know by calling 942-5495 or e-mail me at

If you can't make it, we'll reserve a spot for you right next to Moses.

Pablo, Say Ort.

kate o said...

Congratulations! I am glad you are done with phase one of the victory fight. We look forward to having you at the Willowcreek Holiday Party. We have cause for celebration lots of hope. Maybe we can start the fattening up process. Love Kate O