Posted by: donrhymer | July 21, 2010

Fun With Chemotherapy

9:00 AM  – A sunny Wednesday in the Day Hospital of the Norris Cancer Center – Chemoland. They try to dress it up, but it’s really hard when there’s more vomit being flung around here than a Third grade Field Trip.

9:12 Just got hooked up. It’s a long day. Three hours of hydration, then a half hour of anti-nausea medication then they bring in the rat poison.

Now apparently the side effects of my particular concoction include, but are in no way limited to: kidney failure, deafness, coronary distress, genital hives and spontaneous combustion.

Not to diminish the campy appeal of genital hives, but let’s be honest, if given any opportunity to choose your own death you want to go out spontaneously combusting. And don’t argue with me because you know I’m right.

“Oh, he passed away? I am sorry to hear that. How did he die?” “He what? He spontaneously caught fire, got a good running start and hurled himself out of sixty-three story building and exploded on the way down? That’s awesome!”

You die of spontaneous combustion, they don’t hold you a funeral, they throw you a parade. And when they’re done with that they name a town after you. Oh sure, it’s a dead end mining town with eight people, four of whom have black lung, but it’s friggin’ Donville. And who doesn’t want that.

10:00 – One hour in I have to pee. Of course I have to pee, I have a 50 pound bag of potassium draining into my arm. But peeing is an ordeal. There are wires to unhook, machines to unplug, middle aged Filipino nurses to accidentally flash. It’s too complicated. I think I should just lay here and hold it.

10:07 This is getting uncomfortable. What I wouldn’t give for a trucker’s friend.

10:11 I can do this. I know I can.

10:12 No I can’t. I have the bladder of a 17 year old beagle. This will only end badly.

10:21 Okay, this is getting serious. I am pretty sure the genetic makeup of my body is now 94 percent urine. That can’t be healthy right? This is a horrible way to die. Please don’t tell my wife I died of a urine overdose, she won’t find the humor in it.

10:24 Okay, things are looking up. I untethered myself and made it to the bathroom only to open the door and find an 86 year old man with his tighty-whiteys wrapped around his ankles.

When I apologized he just waved me off with a bored expression and said: “Like at this point, I got something to fucking hide.”

10:24 Sweet Relief, found an empty men’s room down the hall. In my extreme hurry, I ran my IV stand over a stroke victim’s foot. I mean, you know, it’s not like she could feel anything, but I still feel bad.

12:41 They just started running the actual Chemo. Cisplatin, there is absolutely nothing funny about this particular moment. It actually feels like strong hands, and not my hands, but an actual human person is squeezing my stomach as if it owes them money.

12:43 I think I just lapsed into coma. How did I end up on the floor?

3:52 You know, there’s nothing quite like a nice sustained vomit to put a capper on the day.

5:25 Heading home. Hey, what do you say we do this all over again tomorrow!



  1. Enjoying your blog. Thinking of you.

  2. Donville… macabre my friend… we love you.

  3. That trucker’s friend has an awfully big funnel. You should probably stick with the triker’s friend.

  4. Don, you are hilarious. I work with Gallagher, but I didn’t want to use my work e-mail, so I used my school e-mail (in case you’re wondering).
    You *must* write a book, or at least compile what you’re doing here, into a book – I think it should be #1 seller!
    I wish you the best – I’ll be reading often, as I need a laugh now and then. I love Hunter Thompson, and you make me laugh just about as much. Bless you for your sense of humor during all this. – Katie

  5. Glad you haven’t lost your wonderful sense of humor. I really love the blog as a way to keep up with your progress.

    Hang in there and keep blog going!

  6. The good news is your site is really funny and compelling. I don’t see any downside in your having cancer if it enables you to create a blog like this. While you’re unlucky to have cancer, cancer’s lucky to have you.
    If you’re just sitting around, please punch up my comments.
    Also, it sounds like you have a great family. Can you also punch up my family?

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