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Another Toothpick

July 13, 2020 2 comments

A while back, I mustered up enough courage to ask my oncologist how a typical cancer patient of his dies. After a compassionate pause, he thoughtfully answered my question in terms of an input/output problem. Basically, he said that when a patient’s caloric input becomes insufficient (for whatever deadly reason) to produce enough (output) nourishment for the bones, tissues, muscles, and organs that manifest the functionality of all our bodily functions, the end is not too far off. 😦

My onc’s response instantly reminded me of the Soprano’s season 3 episode titled “Another Toothpick“. In that episode, after scumbag Tony Soprano’s dirtbag uncle Junior was freshly diagnosed with stomach cancer, Janus, Tony’s skank sister, commented that Livia, Tony’s deceased, psychotic mother, often described a person who was dying from cancer as just “another toothpick.” Phew, did I get all the dysfunctional familial relationships right?

Currently, I weigh about 210 pounds. My pre-cancer baseline weight was a steady, 220 pounds of sculpted beefcake. Due to treatments, I’ve bounced around between 225 and 200 pounds. So, what would I look like if I morphed into just another toothpick? Hmm…

I need to think of another scary question to ask my onc. Maybe the answer he gives can serve as fodder for another blog post like this. Got any ideas?

Categories: Cancer Tags: ,

Before And After

May 13, 2019 2 comments

Before I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, I was always concerned about how to compassionately talk to a dying person, face-to-face. What do you say? How do you say it? Do you crack jokes? Talk about the weather? Pop culture? Politics?

After I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, I now worry about the transposed dilemma. How does a dying person talk to “living” person face-to-face? The same questions apply. What do you say? How do you say it? Do you crack jokes? Talk about the weather? Pop culture? Politics?

Since I’m not on my death bed, I don’t consider myself dying imminently. But the above rambling is a mild sampling of the type of thoughts that arise in my consciousness from time to time. It’s impossible to control which thoughts involuntarily appear in one’s head, but it’s possible to control how one responds to those thoughts after the fact. I try as best as I can to “think it” and then to “let it go“. An unhealthy, alternative response is to “think it“, “think it again“, “think it again“, “think it again“….. you get the picture.

For some wondrously strange reason, writing this post reminded me of one of the funniest scenes ever from the Sopranos HBO series. It’s not a “Before and After” scene, it’s a “Before and Waaay Before” scene…..

 

Since we’re all in a good mood now, here’s what I think is THE funniest Sopranos scene of all time: The “Mix It With The Relish” scene.

What’s your favorite funny Sopranos scene and, while you’re here, what are your thoughts on how to talk to a dying person? 🙂

Categories: Cancer Tags:
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