A man is waiting anxiously in a hospital room when the doctor finally shows up. "I have some bad news" says the doctor. "You have Colon Cancer and Alzheimer's." Relieved, the man laughs and says "Well at least I don't have Cancer!
Monday, Nov. 3 – 5:41 p.m.
Tomorrow morning preparations begin for my seventh chemo treatment. I never fully recovered from the last go around. It was pretty miserable until Sunday morning. I had a decent half day, followed by chills and nausea later that night and this morning. Spent most of the time buried under blankets listening to audiobooks – which is not all that bad.
You just have to get a firm grip on yourself, tell the chemo gods to go take a flying leap into Poison Creek, then settle back and let the story steal over you. This morning I downloaded the new Michael Connelly Harry Bosch thriller – The Burning Room – so I should be in a pretty good mental place.
Tuesday, Nov. 4 – 5:15 p.m.
A matter of blood: Went in this a.m. to have the implanted port set up for Wednesday’s chemo session. As usual, they also drew blood to see if everything was as it should be. Well, it wasn’t.
They called me at home at 4:30 p.m. to ask me to come back in. Apparently, I’m a couple of pints low. Ran more tests. Now, I’m to report in tomorrow for a two-hour transfusion. (I’m insisting on 30 weight Penzoil – I’ll accept nothing less.)
Chemo will be put off a day. So I’ll be on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday (or Sunday) poisoning schedule. Hear the witches cackling. They’re already stirring up the brew that is far from true.
Wednesday, Nov. 5 – 4:30 p.m.
Another switch. Got two pints of blood, which took most of the day. There’s a chance I’ll need a third, so tomorrow, instead of starting chemo, I’m supposed to report in for further blood-level tests.
If everything is copacetic I get to go home and – get this – skip this week’s chemo session. Now, isn’t that terrible news? Ha! Felt like dancing all the way home – walker and all.
About the walker. After the nasty fall I took following the last chemo session, I swallowed my macho pride and went along with Kathryn’s insistence that I use a walker all the time. One of the side effects of chemo is that you get dizzier than a dancer with one short leg. In other words, I’m not safe unsupported and on my own.
The day after the incident I bought a double throw down Hugo Walker via Amazon.com. It was delivered two days later. I have to say this is one incredible little machine. Two oversize wheels in back, two smaller wheels in front for turning on a dime, super duper brakes, a fold down seat, pockets for cell phones and I-pads, plus it’ll go from Zero To Sixty Hobbles with only two or three forward lurches.
Now I’m calling myself the “Rollerator.” Which is sort of a cross between the Terminator and the Transporter. For a nominal fee I’ll deliver any small package within Hugo Walker distance from our home at the Oaks Of Boca.
And rest assured, I always heed The Rollerator’s First Rule: Never open the package. Warning to all bad guys who are even thinking about messing with The Rollerator: I am an expert cane fighter and will turn your shins into black and blue marvels if you even dare to threaten delivery.
Thursday, Nov. 6 – 5:35 p.m.
Well, I didn’t need a transfusion and – as promised – the next chemo session was put off for a week. Joy, oh joy. Maybe things will return to a semi-normal state – if only for a few days. Maybe I’ll even get to enjoy a side-effects free weekend.
Shh. Not so loud, Allan. The Colon Cancer Gods might be listening. I do not relish another beating with their chemo sticks.
Friday, Nov. 7 – 10:45 a.m.
Hooray! Had a good night. Made even better because I was able to enjoy a normal dinner – Greek style roasted chicken and potatoes for me, while Kathryn had broiled lamb chops. Dinner, prepared at one of our favorite Greek restaurants, was delivered so I was never more than a few feet from the toilet. As I’ve mentioned before this a matter of great concern to the colon cancer crowd.
Saturday, Nov. 8 – 9:59 a.m.
Friday turned out to be another good day. The break from the chemo treatments is giving me a chance to recover a bit from the previous sessions. The side effects seem to be lessening with each passing hour.
Alas, I only have three more days before the whole damned thing starts again. I’ve learned from experience that as each day grows closer I start to tighten up. My blood pressure shoots up just from the stress of anticipating what I know is going to happen once they plug the poison pump in.
So, I’ve got to keep my mind on the straight and narrow and my eyes firmly fixed on the Road To Positiveville.
Think: (1) Only six more treatments to go. (2) With luck the doctor will declare me cancer free sometime in late January. (3) To celebrate, we’re going to ride the Sunset Limited train to LA to visit family and friends.
And – get this – for the big Number Four: Previously, the next chemo session after this one (Nov. 19) was scheduled to begin on my birthday.
The doctor’s decision to delay treatment for a week means my natal day will no longer start with a hefty dose of poison.
I might even be able to celebrate with a nice bowl of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt. And possibly – just possibly - a slice of “Death By Chocolate” cake.
And when I go to blow out the candles I won’t have to worry about upchucking all over the birthday cake.
Fate could not be kinder.
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.