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Boots, Meet Hospice

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Spring has almost sprung, but I think the trap is rusty. Lucky for us, each year is different, so stick around and I’m sure one will come along you’ll like. 

Some time ago I think I told you that I have cancer, and like everyone else when my doctor told me, I thought I was dead. “Oh my God, I got cancer!” And not just any cancer; I have colon, liver, and lung cancer. Two colon operations, one liver operation, and then chemo. That was several years ago, and I’m still here. 

My surgeon placed a port in my chest for easy excess for the chemo needle and on Monday morning they would access the port and draw blood for the lab to test to see if there needed to be a change in my chemo for the week. At that time I would receive a drip that lasted about four hours. I would then be driven home by my wife and would stay on the couch for about three days with what the doctors call discomfort. It wasn’t pain, but you felt like you had been hit by a logging truck. You didn’t feel like doing anything until about the weekend, and then on Monday morning you started over. 

There was a time in this long winter that I felt death would be better than taking one more chemo treatment, but I kept thinking that spring would come soon and I could go fishing and be outside in the warm sun. 

Did I tell you that I lost all my hair? No, I don’t mean just the hair on my head, I mean all my hair; not one hair was left on my whole body. I didn’t know how much your hair protected you by keeping a dead air space between you and your clothes, serving as insulation and thereby keeping you warm. I have had to wear two suits of clothes plus a jacket in the house all winter.  

As of last Monday I had a set down with my doctor and he informed me that they had done all they could with chemo and I would no longer be taking it... and that I should contact Hospice. This is somewhat like a judge sentencing you to the gas chamber, except, you get twenty years of appeals in prison. 

I have known people who have lived five years after they stopped chemo. I would be happy to be one of them. I have written before that I would keep you informed as to all the procedures up until death; this is the first installment. Boots 

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Author info

Boots Reynolds Boots Reynolds The "internationally-renowned cowboy artist" Boots Reynolds has moved his comedic interpretation of life into the writing field with his regular column in the River Journal - From the Mouth of the River.

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cancer, hospice, From the Mouth of the River

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