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One day I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
I went into chemotherapy immediately, urging all the people I was working with, "Take the ball and run." I knew nothing about cancer. I had no idea how this unexpected nightmare would end. My Oncologist asked if I needed counseling, to help me deal with depression. "I just started a whole new career in one of the most competitive fields in the world," I told him. "I have stories to tell and dreams to build. You take care of my body. I'll handle my spirit."
What followed was 3 years of toxic chemical injections that wiped me out. Day after day, I lay on my back, unable to do anything -- without energy or appetite. I lost my hair. I became a skeleton, weighing as little as 116. Nothing tasted good. I went one whole week without eating a bite – just drinking water. Then I got a Medical Marijuana card, and that shit was so much better than the Marinol that was prescribed. It restored my appetite. I was warned I'd throw up every day from the chemo, but pot neutralized my nausea, and I threw up just three times in three years.
My wonderful roommates Kerby Joe and Edan helped pull me through, with Jim and other new friends. My son Brian drove from his new home in Santa Clarita every few days to bring me pizza or take me to the bank or just spend time with me. Around me, he was always upbeat, but he told me later that as he drove back home, he often cried in the car, fearing his favorite father was dying. My dear friend Tom DeSanto came to see me every weekend and brought things to lift my spirits: action figures, video games, 3-D, crazy Texas stuff. Tom knows me.
My Oncologist and I both did our jobs, and after 3 years I was pronounced cured. "You mean 'in remission?'" I asked. "Better than that," he replied. "You're cancer free."
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