Thursday, April 7, 2016

Now that's what I'd call pain

I seem to finally have stumbled across some information that helps me understand a question that has bothered me for... well, for as long as I can remember, and certainly as far back as the birth of my first daughter, Jennifer, who just had her 47th birthday.

With all a woman seems to go through to have a baby (pain, screaming, tears and so on), why would she ever have another”

I mean, I don't need to shut my hand in a car door to know that it would hurt. I've seen plenty of other people do it. Shutting parts of one's anatomy in various bibs and bobs of mechanical things has always fascinated audiences. And it doesn't have to have the artistry of Charlie Chaplin becoming one with a machine and traveling through the cogs in “Modern Times.” It just has to be man... soft piece of bodily anatomy...hard surface... close the loop and laughs will ensue. Heck, America's Funniest Home Videos has made a living off of it for donkeys years.

So, yeah, looking at it from the safety of never having had one, I can see why a woman would say- and gladly- “Baby? Me? No, but thanks for asking.”

There was a time, of course, when going forth to procreate was what women were expected to do, right? Just so we're clear... I'm not saying I thought that was the way it should be. I'm just sayin'... Get married, have a baby. OK, but then, before you knew it, we were in a position where babies were like the candies on the Lucille Ball-Vivian Vance assembly line sketch - they were coming out so fast we were stashing them wherever we could find room and losing colossal amounts of rain forest to build cribs to stash them in. And by stash them in, I mean, of course, places to lovingly place them with warm blankies, stuffed toys and plenty of easy escape routes.

Anyway, the process seemed to normalize somewhat in the early 70s and the birth rate surely did slow down. Sitting by my wife while Jennifer was being born, I was, admittedly, very young- three months short of my 20th birthday – but it seemed like all that screaming and carrying on would have made the chance of a second child a long shot. And that's before my wife started to feel the pain.

Bam! Good one! The classics never get old... before my wife started... Brilliant.

But seriously folks, the whole procedure looked and sounded very uncomfortable, heck, you could even say painful. So, “Why would you go through that again​?” didn't seem like that unreasonable a question.

Well, in my research, there seemed to be one answer and one answer only: “After a while the memory of the pain fades and you just remember holding the baby...” and so on.

Now, I think the reason I have asked countless women this question over the years is because it doesn't really seem like a good answer to me. Yes, this would obviously be different if it was men who were responsible for going forth and procreating, Sure, there would be plenty of going forth, but I think darned little procreation... “You want me to to pass something the size of a bowling ball through a space in my body the size of a lemon? Yeah... That's not going to happen. Let's just save the rain forests instead.”

All of this came flying back to me the other Sunday morning at 3:30 am. The chemotherapy I have currently started again is a 28-day course. I take the medicine once a day for 21 days, then have seven days off to let my system recover. As I mentioned previously, we have tripled the amount of chemo I was to take, and added another form of medicine to try to get me back in remission.

Saturday night was the first time I had used the new protocol. Whether it was because it was even stronger than I thought it would be, or because my system had been resting for a week, or a combination of the two, all hell broke loose. I'm serious!! My stomach felt like 13-14 people were using my stomach to stow embers to restart their fires in the morning. Brothers and sisters... it was horrific. It was by far the worst pain I have experienced in my cancer journey.

And here's the thing... I almost immediately forgot how bad it was. I was even trying to remember so that I could let Sheri know and we could talk about it. But. Gone... Bupkus... Nada. Yes, I knew it had been terrible, but I couldn't remember the details. Sort of like the ladies had been telling me all these years. And I didn't even had a beautiful little baby to compensate for the pain. I just had a headache.

Life's a funny old thing, ain't it?

There are a variety of versions of the story that gives this blog its name. The pony is the constant in all of them. A man is on his way to a party when he comes across a young boy shoveling ass over tea kettle at an enormous mountain of manure. The man asks the child if he wouldn't rather go with him to the party than shovel all that poop. The kid says, “No way man. With all that poop... there must be a pony in there somewhere