Sunday, March 05, 2023


"It's a tumor".  

It's not just a paraphrased line for a shitty Schwarzenegger movie. Well, allegedly. I never actually saw the movie. 

No, orthopaedic surgeons use the line as well...........usually with less laughs. I'm assuming. As I said, I never saw the movie. It's all in the delivery, I suppose. 

No one in the room in which I was was laughing, that's for fucking sure. 

A month or so before that semi-diagnosis one shitty radiology tech, who fucked up my abdominal films, fucked up, and yet, saved my life. Due to his incompetence, got a shot of my leg, which turns out had "a shadow"!

The first doc I saw gave me the opening line. And then a referral to specialists. Because nothing brews confidence like having to see an orthopaedic oncologist......and one who insisted I see him the very next day.  Yay me. 

Months of tedious, and sometimes painful testing led to the diagnosis we all knew was coming by this point. Each CT, MRI, Bone Scan and Bone Bx kept leading down one path. 

That path basically ended 30 years ago, this day. 

Yes, I had bone cancer. A sarcoma. One embedded in my right femur. Malignant, dontcha know. You have to say that word, like Alec Baldwin did as an incompetent doctor on an SNL skit 20+ years ago, before he became a bloated Irish breeder who killed production assistants.......and his career. 

30 years ago, I had the tumor, and most of my femur removed, only to be replaced by a cadaver bone and a steel plate and nine you can see. 

I got nailed by more guys than Jesus Christ. 

What?  It's not like he's going to let me join his little club.

The discussions beforehand were simple and daunting. This was THE option. There'd be no chemo. No radiation. Not before nor after. There would be no reason. If they couldn't get it all, my chances were slim.

Oddly enough, I was down with that. I'd already worked with those types patients, and quality of life sucks and it all ended the same way anyway. Quality of life over quantity. 

710 drove me to the hospital, but couldn't stay. He had finals. And there was nothing he could do for me anyways and he couldn't hang in pre-op with me. Surgery took way longer than expected. 

I'd say "long story short....", but we passed that threshold a while ago, eh? turns out the surgery worked!  Because, well, I'm still here. Albeit, one that sometimes limps, sometimes experiences pain and one that can definitely feel the ends of some of the screws that are close to the hip. I can also predict low fronts.  That THAT Al Roker!

Yes, it took months of rehab to walk without crutches or a cane, but look, 30 short years later and I'm running!! Granted, it's the slowest rehab in the history of medicine, I am. 

I'll give it to my friends - all along the way they made me laugh and keep things light.....from first call, through going to the bars with me on crutches. It turns out "bone cancer" is a boner killer, so I just fucked with people and told them it was a bungee jump accident gone awry.  It also turns out, it's tough to drink / hold a beer while on crutches  But........I'm a survivor.......I'm a survivor. 

As it turns out, you can make your mother burst into tears when she gets you a pair of pants for the holidays and you come back with: "two legs?? what am I going to do with pants that have TWO legs?!"

I've blogged over the years on this, but today is 30 years. I'm officially retiring this thread. I mean, should I get another cancer, I'm sure I'll revisit this to a degree, but for specifically to my leg - the right one - I'm done writing about this. 

My takeaway is two-fold, I suppose. One: enjoy your time. We never know.....anything. You'd think I'd have made the most of mine, and in cretain aspects I have, others I've fretted too much about.  Two: if one can overcome malignant bone cancer, there is hope for so many other cancers. Not a lot of folks survive things like bone or brain cancers. 

I'd say "it takes a positive attitude", but have you met me?  I think being a realist / fatalist actually did help me mentally during this time.  A sense of humour will do you a world of good too. In general. 

Song by: the Killers


Travel said...

Happy second chance day. You can retire the thread, but it will always be a part of who you are. Should we call you "the Boy Who Lived?" (A Harry Potter reference.) My spine looks like your femur, and occasionally reminds me how lucky I am that it still hurts.

Juan said...

At first reading, your post scared me, my not knowing where the storyline was going. "Oh, my god," I thought, "this is the awful announcement." I am relieved instead to learn this is your thirty-year anniversary marker. So congratulations and let the confetti fall! I'm so happy for you!

Old Lurker said...

I never thought of you as much of a Nine Inch Nails fan, but now I see the photographic (radiological?) evidence. I'm glad they caught the tumor and that your 30 year recovery is going well.

James Dwight Williamson said...

Good on you👍

Old Lurker said...

You know, I had always thought that was a Stallone quote and not a Schwarzenegger one, but I was wrong. See? Your blog is educational!