Posted by: donrhymer | August 23, 2012

Cancer: Worth the Wait?

You wait to get an appointment with a Doctor. You wait in the waiting room to get your labs, so you can wait in another waiting room to finally see the Doctor, who then has to wait to see the results of said labs so he or she can order scans. Once you wait and get the scans you wait for the results and then you wait for an appointment with the Doctor to explain what the results actually mean that you’ve been waiting in line for.

And this goes round and round. If you’re lucky, for years on end.

So yes, having cancer is a lot like a day in August at Magic Mountain. Mostly waiting in line, broken up by brief death defying moments and random vomiting. It can be really frustrating.

All this to point out that I’m waiting once again. You see, yesterday marked chemo cycle number six, 22 weeks of treatment. After two more weeks of vomiting and mouth sores there is another scan and then more waiting on the results.

The plan is: if the tumors have been stopped at the border, their forward progress through my lungs and neck halted… we will wait… for three more months and then do another scan. But if the scan reveals things are worse, new tumors, more “cellular activity”… we will press on with a different chemo regimen. And if all the tumors are somehow miraculously gone then I will go on Oprah and cry and get a book deal and the cover of US Weekly and I’ll be America’s new sweetheart and hopefully be powerful enough to force TLC to cancel that damn “Honey Boo Boo” show.

I’m counting on option A. I’m hoping the tumor’s membership drive has failed. Their numbers diminished and frustrated, they have voted and decided to hunker down in their fox holes through a long cold winter. I could use the break. My body is so worn down it is reacting to every one of the hundreds of drugs they pump into my system in ways they never have before. Suddenly, one makes me dizzy, another achy, itchy, blurry, dopey… instead of the five stages of grief I am experiencing the seven dwarfs of side effects.

So we wait. Again.



  1. I’m praying for the book tour Don. What a miserable summer for you, Kate and your children. All of you are in my prayers.

  2. Best use of photo illustrations to date!

    Also: good luck. Am rooting/praying for you.

  3. Don…Patt and I are following this cancer saga with you. While we hate what you are going through, we are enjoying your unique and humorous way of describing the battle. You are an incredible word crafter. Maybe you will get that shot on Opra yet! Better yet, an honorable mention in the “Faith Hall of Fame” (Hebrews 11). I’m cheering for the latter…JL

  4. And so we wait with you. For the next phase and your next post…

  5. Praying. . . Ellen and Dick Leyda


  6. Honey Boo Boo.. funny
    22wks… brutal… Asian land wars and you, hang in there

  7. Admire the honesty, candor and willingness to share, Don. Makes that indeterminable skin rash and the corresponding innumerable trips to the dermatologist seem like a walk in the park (and I don’t mean during a thunder storm).

  8. Don — your honesty and transparency are so admirable, to say nothing of your courage under fire. A lesser man (like me) might have lost his sense of humor, but not you. You got this.

  9. I haven’t been where you are, but I’ve been nearby. You’re handling it with the humor, guts, and excellent spelling that have always made you one of my favorite people to share a foxhole with. Carry on, Colonel Rhymer.

  10. You don’t seem to know how to be less than awesome. I heard that vodka is good for mouth sores. Look forward to starting treatment.

  11. If anything good can come out of this, it will be how you inspire..makes me want to challenge myself more in life!! You are one strong man Don!! Hugs:)

  12. Had lunch with the Rocket Scientist Friend of yours this week, heard the reports. Praying. A lot. Love all you people. Grace and Peace, good man.

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