Three buddies were talking about death and dying. One asked, "When you're in your casket and friends and family are mourning you, what would you like to hear them say about you?" The first guy says, "I would like to hear them say that I was a great physician and a great family man." The second man says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher who made a huge difference in our children of tomorrow." The last guy says, "I would like to hear them say ‘LOOK, HE'S MOVING!!!’"
It’s 2:10 P.M. Thursday, August. 21.
I’m writing this at home, sitting before Allan Cole Command Central in my super comfortable Professional Writer’s Chair, with my special ergonomic armrests to dangle my fingers over my beloved Kinesis Countoured Keyboard.
I’ve got a Cadd Pump (AKA Vicious Thingie) draped purse-like over my shoulder filled with Fluorouracil 5-FU, which is being pumped into my body (4.5 ml an hour) via a port implanted in my chest.
It’ll take a total of twenty two hours to empty itself and then I’ll report back to the Boca Hospital Outpatient IV Center at 11 a.m. for a refill, which will require another twenty two hours of work for my good old Cadd Pump.
All this will be on top of the Folonic Acid and Oxaliplatin they primed me with over several hours this morning, plus a similar double dose of the good stuff tomorrow. Saturday morning they’ll disconnect me, runs some tests for signs of life and if they all read “still present and accounted for” I’ll be sent home for my next chemo treatment for colon cancer fourteen days hence. This will go on for a total of six months and with a little luck and the aid of 21st Century medicine administered by my oncologist – the Good Doctor Tomeski – I’ll be cancer free.
This may all sound depressing, Gentle Reader, but believe me it’s better than the alternative. I’m not much of a believer in an afterlife. In my view, death is just a biological on/off switch. However, if I’m wrong, I want to put in a bid right now for the Other Place. It’s where all my friends would be, you know?
So far the after effects from my first treatment a couple of weeks ago have been (knock wood) relatively mild. Hair falling out, sore throat, runny nose, a chest-rattling cough, a little nausea and zip appetite, which is also somewhat of good thing because the chronic diarrhea caused by my surgically shortened colon can get pretty intense.
An aside: readers of My Hollywood MisAdventures may recall that my old writing partner, Chris Bunch, and I sold a TV series to a French company based on the legendary Doctors Without Borders. When we were interviewing the doctors for story ideas in Paris one doctor said one of the major causes of death in the world’s refugee camps was from dehydration caused by diarrhea. He joked that sometimes he and his colleagues wondered if it would be more accurate to call the organization Diarrhea Without Borders.
One other side effect is numbness in the little finger and ring finger of both hands. Right now it feels like I’m typing with flippers and the tpyos cna gt prety amzing….
…. Okay, okay, gotta stop now. Starting to feel… well, let’s put it this way… the Muse is entering Upchuck Land…
I’ll pick this up later….
It’s 3:07 p.m. Friday, August. 22.
Sick all night. Dog eating grass sick, if you get my drift. Thanks to some sick-up medicine fed into my IV tube at the Outpatient Clinic this morning I’m feeling well enough to update this.
Ran out the first batch of Fluorouracil last night. Spent several hours at the clinic getting more chemicals pumped in. Then they recharged my Cadd pump with Fluorouracil and sent me home. Tomorrow morning I’ll get unhooked, have my lines flushed, and then it’ll be another fourteen days to my next go around.
Suddenly very tired. Nausea starting to creep in again. Back, Nausea, back! Whip crack! Back! Back!
It’s 9:41 a.m. Monday, August. 25.
Friday was no improvement. Same with Saturday. Felt better on Sunday, but just enough to sleep all day. Got up around 7 p.m. for broth and crackers with soy cheese. Back to bed. Woke up just after midnight, sick as hell and sweating like a porker.
The air conditioning had gone out.
And this is August. In South Florida. The effing hottest time of the year.
Still out this morning. Temperatures will reach the mid-90’s as the day progresses. Even so, I’m feeling a little better.
I called for help. Seems the “tower is out,” which is some kind of mysterious dealie (to use the technical term) that’s cited whenever the AC goes out for the entire gated community known as Oaks Of Boca. With luck it’ll be fixed later today.
Meanwhile, Kathryn is dragging out our little portable AC. It’s on wheels, with a hose you stick out a window and a tube that runs into a bucket to catch the runoff.
We call it R2D2, because that’s exactly what it looks like. He’s small, but mighty.
Okay. Going to call it quits on this episode, turn on R2D2 and sit in front of him until the AC is working again.
Wish me luck…
LUCKY IN CYPRUS: IT'S A BOOK!
Here's where to get the paperback & Kindle editions worldwide:
Here's what readers say about Lucky In Cyprus:
- "Bravo, Allan! When I finished Lucky In Cyprus I wept." - Julie Mitchell, Hot Springs, Texas
- "Lucky In Cyprus brought back many memories... A wonderful book. So many shadows blown away!" - Freddy & Maureen Smart, Episkopi,Cyprus.
- "... (Reading) Lucky In Cyprus has been a humbling, haunting, sobering and enlightening experience..." - J.A. Locke, Bookloons.com
NEW: THE AUDIOBOOK VERSION OF
THE HATE PARALLAX
THE HATE PARALLAX: What if the Cold War never ended -- but continued for a thousand years? Best-selling authors Allan Cole (an American) and Nick Perumov (a Russian) spin a mesmerizing "what if?" tale set a thousand years in the future, as an American and a Russian super-soldier -- together with a beautiful American detective working for the United Worlds Police -- must combine forces to defeat a secret cabal ... and prevent a galactic disaster! This is the first - and only - collaboration between American and Russian novelists. Narrated by John Hough. Click the title links below for the trade paperback and kindle editions. (Also available at iTunes.)
THE SPYMASTER'S DAUGHTER:
A new novel by Allan and his daughter, Susan
After laboring as a Doctors Without Borders physician in the teaming refugee camps and minefields of South Asia, Dr. Ann Donovan thought she'd seen Hell as close up as you can get. And as a fifth generation CIA brat, she thought she knew all there was to know about corruption and betrayal. But then her father - a legendary spymaster - shows up, with a ten-year-old boy in tow. A brother she never knew existed. Then in a few violent hours, her whole world is shattered, her father killed and she and her kid brother are one the run with hell hounds on their heels. They finally corner her in a clinic in Hawaii and then all the lies and treachery are revealed on one terrible, bloody storm ravaged night.
BASED ON THE CLASSIC STEN SERIES by Allan Cole & Chris Bunch: Fresh from their mission to pacify the Wolf Worlds, Sten and his Mantis Team encounter a mysterious ship that has been lost among the stars for thousands of years. At first, everyone aboard appears to be long dead. Then a strange Being beckons, pleading for help. More disturbing: the presence of AM2, a strategically vital fuel tightly controlled by their boss - The Eternal Emperor. They are ordered to retrieve the remaining AM2 "at all costs." But once Sten and his heavy worlder sidekick, Alex Kilgour, board the ship they must dare an out of control defense system that attacks without warning as they move through dark warrens filled with unimaginable horrors. When they reach their goal they find that in the midst of all that death are the "seeds" of a lost civilization.
Here's where you can buy it worldwide in both paperback and Kindle editions:
Venice Boardwalk Circa 1969
In the depths of the Sixties and The Days Of Rage, a young newsman, accompanied by his pregnant wife and orphaned teenage brother, creates a Paradise of sorts in a sprawling Venice Beach community of apartments, populated by students, artists, budding scientists and engineers lifeguards, poets, bikers with a few junkies thrown in for good measure. The inhabitants come to call the place “Pepperland,” after the Beatles movie, “Yellow Submarine.” Threatening this paradise is "The Blue Meanie," a crazy giant of a man so frightening that he eventually even scares himself.