Diagnosis + 15 Days


Well, the war on Hodge-skin and his evil cohorts continues. Sgt. Chemo and his ever-faithful buddy Rado T. are girded for battle.

My CT Scans and my gallium scans showed no cancer below my diaphragm, making me a IIB. This is good news. My oncologist, however, also suggested that I have bi-lateral bone marrow biopsies for further evidence. I, reaching for my calendar, asked him when we should schedule this well-known unpleasant procedure. He, looking at his watch (never a good sign), suggested three minutes hence. Call me shy, call me demure, call me quiet, I simply felt that organizing an expedition into my pelvis at that moment was uncalled for.

However, cooler heads prevailed and hospital security shot me with a narcotic dart as I was running down a corridor. I was quickly bundled into a laundry cart and wheeled back the to the doctors office. There they yanked down my trousers and novocained my backside into styrofoam.

Thanks yee lordy for novocaine. I was told to expect some "pressure". Now, from my numerous (2) hospital visits, I know that "pressure" is doctor-speak for "intense long-lasting pain". I steeled my mind, grabbed my wife's hand (breaking her fingers) and chewed on a piece of pillow. However, my oncologist has the magic touch and I felt very little during the procedure in which he extracted most of my pelvic bone through a small syringe. When it was over, I moved to get up but was restrained and told that I still had a large screw-driver-like object sticking out of my lower back. The wonders of anaesthesia.

So now I have decision. If the bone marrow comes back negative, we have proven nothing, since you logicians know that you cannot prove a negative. We cannot prove that there is no cancer below my diaphragm. However, ve hav vays off lernin dees tings. There is an operation called a laporatomy (spp.?) which can add further evidence.

In a "lap" they remove my spleen, biopsy my liver and take a couple of lymph nodes for dissection. Frankly, I like my spleen. It is the only spleen I've got and it has been very good to me. It even remembered my last birthday. So, I may bag the lap, keep my spleen and move into treatment. Second opinion on Friday on all this. Stay tuned.

Saltman's Other Diagnostic Techniques for Cancer Detection:

1. When you leave a hospital you have more holes than when you entered.

2. During hospital visits you offer or have forcibly removed one or more of the following: blood, lymph, marrow, semen, sweat, eye goo, spleens, other tissue, money and more blood.

3. You tell telephone salespeople that you have cancer and they can feel really bad if they call back in an hour or so.

4. You are listed at Army Defense Command as radiation source X/alpha-145.

5. People take many pictures of you lying down, naked, tied up, sometimes spread-eagled and nobody gets turned on except a geiger counter.

6. You eat more than the usual Ben and Jerry's and laugh when people comment on cholesterol counts.

7. Instead of finding mad cow disease jokes funny, you get quietly jealous. What made the cow mad: The same thing that made London Broil.

8. You think that you should have been given some latitude in the office basketball pool. In fact, you start playing the "cancer card" to get in the front of the checkout line at Star market.

9. You realize that an oncologist is not an "uncle" and if you ask him for money he gets confused and has to sit down for a moment.

10. You think the guy who invented novocaine should have won best picture.


"Thomas Hodgkins Died of Natural Causes"

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