Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Like Johnny Winter said, still alive and well

“You look good,” people say.
They don’t really mean good. Not like they say Robert Pattinson looks good. Or they imagine the mythical Christian Grey looks good. Or even a vintage car like a ’68 Mustang that will be rolling down Woodward Avenue through Oakland County this weekend looks good.
Basically, they mean I look alive.
That’s the way it goes when you have cancer. Looking good means looking alive.
It’s been several years since I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. By the time the doctors found it, the cancer had spread to my bones and lungs.
Through the work of an excellent surgeon, Dr. Michael Cher; an incredible oncologist, Dr. Ulka Vaishampayan; and a loving wife, Kim, who is definitely better than a mediocre person like me deserves, I am still alive.
Translated; you look good. At least considering the alternative.
I go in to see Dr. Vaishampayan every six weeks or so. I get scanned every three months or so. A couple of times over the last couple of years, they’ve spotted something on my brain.
(Insert joke here. I have never been extended an invitation from the Mensa Society, either pre-tumors or post-tumors).
But they zapped those spots with radiation and I’ve never been mentally sharper (see above reference to the Mensa society).
In fact, my last scan came up cleaner than a kitchen sink owned by an obsessive-compulsive armed with a sponge, a can of Ajax, and incredible focus.
So I am looking good. Not like they say when Miguel Cabrera hammers a home run. Or when Justin Verlander slings another victory. Or even when Kate Upton appears in Mr. Verlander’s suite at Comerica Park.
Good is relative, I guess.
I gobble a handful of pills every day. I munch a chemotherapy pill every day for four weeks, take a couple of weeks break from it, and then start popping them again for another month.
At times, I have the energy level of a sloth. I am gaining weight, my hair is turning gray, but not Grey.
Sorry, Kim, but I am not complaining. I love my job. I love my life. I’ve got a great family that is only getting larger. Two grandkids have been added to the roster in the last year, and it was only a few years ago that I wasn’t even sure I’d see 2012. Josie will be a year old in September. Julian is a little more than one month old.
I am a grandpa and I could not be happier. Kim’s a grandma and she is ecstatic. Our own kids are all doing great; Kyle is with a telecommunications firm, Brittany is a dentist, Breanna is a pastry chef and Jordan is pursuing music.
You’re looking good. That means I’m looking alive. Life really is a blessing. Thanks so much, God. I guess You do grade on a curve.


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