Well, I am in the hospital room at MD Anderson right now and ready to start the adoptive cell therapy tomorrow. Then it's game on. I feel really strong right now, although cancer has gotten a few licks in over the past couple of weeks. The tumor in my head has been hurting and the one near my liver feels like someone is constantly elbowing me in the back, along with the other annoying aches and pains. Dick Marcinko says pain is a positive signal, proof positive that you are still alive. A lot of pain makes you "VMA" - very much alive. I think cancer is really scared and is just throwing in some jabs before the real showdown. It will take more than a headache and a poke in the ribs to scare me off. In fact, it's really serving to piss me off. I've been getting really angry waiting for this clinical trial. Angry that cancer sucks so bad. Angry that cancer affects 28 million people around the world. Angry that we haven't beaten in yet. Angry that so few people know enough about it to care. But I welcome the anger, it is the fuel for toughness. If I needed a lesson in toughness this week I got one from my five year old. She sprained her neck the other morning before school. Our chiropractor friend adjusted her before she went to school but she was still pretty sore and held her head at a twenty degree list all day. She insisted on going to her last day of pre-kindergarten and to her karate class. The first was fun and not physically challenging, but I was willing to let her slide on the martial arts. She knows the importance of showing up for karate class unless absolutely unavoidable. To not show up is an insult to the teacher and to the martial arts school. This a lesson they teach the students on day one. So she uniformed up and went through the whole class without complaint. At one point the sensai noticed her stiff neck and pulled her out of the wrestling-with-classmates portion of the class. Instead, he chose to be her wrestling opponent for a class demonstration. She won the match, giggling all the way. When I expressed to her how proud I was of her for going to the class when she could have stayed home she said that, like Horton in the Dr. Seuss story we read the night before, she had to do "the right thing." Amazing. Inspiring.
Well, I plan on seeing her earn her next belt in karate. I plan on seeing her get her blackbelt. I plan on seeing more of her doing the right thing as she grows up. Now it's my turn to do the right thing. My turn to tough it out and show up for the fight with this cancer that threatens to take away all of that. My turn to step up, suck it up and harden the fuck up. It's time to fight.
It's on, cancer. You and me, tomorrow. And I'm going to kick your ass.