I’ve said it before, the body is an amazing machine built to function flawlessly at an extremely high level. Until one day… it doesn’t.
I mean, think about it for a minute, the evolution of the human body is breathtaking. Ever watch kids on a playground? Their bodies are not so much a convergence of flesh, blood and bones… as indestructible propulsion devices. Garanimals clad vessels hurling themselves with reckless abandon against steel and wood, grass and concrete, fueled only by Cheerios, hot dogs and in Los Angeles – gluten free, organic, free-range macaroni and non-dairy cheese. Industrial miracles, they are capable of boundless, albeit annoying energy… until four hours after bedtime when they finally collapse in a thirty-eight pound ball of goo.
The first sign of trouble hits at puberty when our bodies start to give us hints that they may have been designed for constructive uses beyond the boundaries of kickball. Through our twenties we get stronger, better, hotter and then at some point in our mid-thirties it happens. Our bodies tell us we’ve run as fast as we’re ever going to run, we’ve jumped as high as we’re ever going to jump and we’re as thin as we’re probably ever going to be.
At some point in our late-forties our bodies let us know it’s time to stop doing some of the things we’ve always done. We walk… though the moment lends itself to running. We go around… instead of crawling over. We turn in… rather than push on through to the wee hours.
And then fifties and sixties and on and on… and this is getting depressing… the point being the effects of aging are inevitable, but they happen slowly. Never as slowly as we want them to, but the body is great about giving us a “head’s up.” Neon road signs light the path ahead telling us that change – “is a coming.”
Which is why cancer is, in it’s simplest form, a betrayal.
Like a palace coup on a benevolent dictator, it catches you unawares. It turns the tables and insists that all treaties, pacts and trade agreements are nullified and void and then locks you in the cellar while the disloyal bastards loot the castle.
We had a deal, my body and I. I would take reasonably good care of him, get regular tune ups and keep current on all my warranties and he would break down slow and steady. Like he was supposed to. He broke his promise.
Five weeks after radiation, the third season, one more and I can syndicate, I find myself in the land of weekly check-ups and bi-weekly scans. To be honest, it feels a lot like being hunched in a submarine, miles below the surface, geared for silent running, sending a sonic “ping” into the depths hoping to God one doesn’t come back.
Apparently, it’s working. The tumor is smaller, there is much reason for joy, but I’ll feel a lot better when we can surface and get out the deck chairs.
Yes, the body is an amazing machine built to function flawlessly at an extremely high level… here’s to hoping mine is finally beginning to remember how.