Do you lead with humor or do you jump right in with the facts? Should you use the piece you wrote a few days ago where the doctor was talking about YouTube while testing your bone marrow or should you just write plainly and simply about the invasion?
Invasion? Really Rodney, you can’t type the word leukemia?
There you go; that wasn’t so difficult was it? Sure, you put it in italics to make it look all squiggly, but that’s healthy. That’s a good sign. Okay, the hard part’s over. Plow through.
When I was having my gall bladder yanked out recently, one of the blood tests came back with a creepy sounding phrase, “your white blood cell count is low.” Ever since the operation, subsequent tests have shown it dropping even lower. I can’t help thinking about that Flo Rida song Low, low, low, low …
Great, you’re quoting pop culture from a few years ago. That’s the Rodney we know and love.
No one thought I could have leukemia, particularly since I’m showing no signs of it whatsoever. Every single question the doctors have asked have been met with an easy “nope.” One guy even glanced nervously at Marci when he wondered aloud about HIV.
But here it sits inside my body. Leukemia.
I’m told the cure rate is very high and if I simply must have leukemia, this is the one to have. I like the fact that it’s acute. A cutie. Awww, look how cute that leukemia is, don’t you just wanna reach out and, and, smash it with a sledge hammer?
I’m in the hospital and have checked in for about a month. Whoa, a month? Did I really just write that? Summer. Cherries. Daughters out of school. Camping. Leukemia.
It sounds like Bohemia. It sounds like Bulimia. It sounds like I’ll be doing a lot of that as they pump poison into my body and I throw up. Ewww, and then my hair.
I have a few aces in the hole though. This is highly treatable and the remission rates are in my favor. Being very healthy going into this makes it easier, supposedly. My doctor has seen more cancer patients than anyone in the area, he claims, and he stared me in the eyes while saying I was going to be fine and get better. Maybe better than I ever was before. I’ll be Steve Austin (the Bionic Man, not the wrestler).
I have another ace and I called her on the Bat phone. You only call her when you really need her. She is the director of blood and marrow at The Mayo Clinic and she is my kindly aunt Roberta. “It’s not going to be a walk in the park,” she told me. “But keep feeling like Rodney; try not to feel like a patient.” Those are great words. I’d rather feel like Rodney. So I’ve been making jokes about it including on the video I made for my daughters where I said, “Let’s lick Leukemia,” then quickly retracted it because, ugh, that just sounds disgusting.
I ordered an iPad, which made my wife instantly suspicious of this whole leukemia ruse. When the doctor said he also loved Cappuccino Blasts and I could drink them with reckless abandon, Marci knew the fix was in.
Friends and family have begun contacting me offering prayers and wonderful sentiments. So far, though, the people that need the prayers more are the bottom third of the Tiger’s lineup. I’m fine. I’m going to destroy this dis-ease. The bottom of the Tiger’s batting order? I honestly don’t know about their prognosis.
I’ll find a better phrase than “Let’s lick leukemia,” but in the meantime my working phrase is “I have a cute leukemia.” Nothing makes cancer madder than belittling it and pinching its darling baby cheeks.