Saturday, January 17, 2009

Robert Schimmel

Some of you may not know that I am a reader. I have spent thousands of dollars in my adult life purchasing books. I like everything…Fiction, Poetry, Graphic Novels, Art books, Magazines, How-to Tech books, etc. I savor reading and rarely can read a book in one sitting. This has more to do with priorities than any other excuse but my books are my friends. They are stacked and hidden around our house with more book boxes stored in the basement. I often crack them open to find familiar words and phrases or to look up an image or reference. I just spent the past few hours galloping through Schimmel’s Cancer on $5 a Day* *chemo not included. He is a stand-up comedian who was diagnosed with NHL Stage 3 in 2000 and recounts a harrowing journey through chemo treatments that I have yet to experience. He had so many setbacks that if any of you picked up the book, you would have cause for concern. You may question my reporting accuracy and truthfulness.

I will take this tidbit away. After receiving the news, he was having night sweats, chills and they found enlarged lymph nodes under both arms, he called his doctor at home in the throws of an anxiety attack. He was pleading for a single Xanax and his Onc said, “No.” The Onc explained his rejection. “If you were asked to fight Mike Tyson you could hire a trainer, a nutritionist, order tapes from all his previous fights, begin road training, establish a fight plan and start training for the fight of your life OR you could take a Xanax. Go home, get on the Internet and become an expert on NHL. Read forums, blogs and research sites. Start training.” Now that’s wisdom.

Schimmel’s tortured journey is yet another example of how unique life’s experiences must be. Singly enjoyed or suffered by each of us in order to give our short time here meaning.

My mouth is a little tingly, my stomach was a little queasy today and I’m shuffling through various laxatives like a man twice my age but this is all manageable.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Paul,

    I hope your stomach settles down soon - it's hard to enjoy anything when your feeling queasy. I also hope you had a chance to go out for a walk, and enjoy this beautiful sunny day - especially after such a serious read. Really Paul, I know you are in "Training" but can't you think of something more fun! I know Dinner and a "funny" movie...

    It's homemade vegetable beef soup on the menu for Tuesday night. Low Salt and no Spice - it's mild but flavorful and chock full of healthy veggies. Laurie informed me that all of these delicious, high-calorie meals are great for you but not for her so I'll include a salad and multi-grain bread for the low-calorie diners.

    I would suggest that you quickly squirrel away the double chocolate brownies - maybe Summer can show you her secret hiding places.

    To all of your friends out here in Blogland, your attitude and approach to beating NHL, which you have expressed so eloquently, has been both sobering and inspiring. You are reminding us all of how fragile life can be, and that we must cherish every day and the special people (and horses of course) in our lives.

    Thanks, Lynda Chesser