Sunday, July 1, 2018


My PSAs (prostate-specific antigens) had run high for two tests in a row. This is a good indication of cancer. My primary care doctor sent me to the urologist. The urologist did a biopsy of my prostate (actually, 12 samples). Then I had to wait a week for the results. I was OK until the day of the results. My stomach and bowels went to hell in anticipation of a cancer prognosis. I was dry-heaving at the urologist's office. He came in and said there is no cancer in the samples tested. Hot damn. He said, “Go out and enjoy life and we'll see you in 6 months.”

In the week of waiting, I looked back at my life. It wasn't uniformly done – a memory would suddenly hit me, good or bad, and then I would dissect it. I knew going in that it wasn't going to be pretty, but I had no choice – the memories kept popping up. The good ones I would savor, holding them close. The bad ones, and most were bad, shook me with their violence.

In sum, I was running 80% bad and 20% good memories. My life had beeen a waste. But when you put a child in adult situations, when you keep switching him back and forth between child and adult, when he lives through the madness of attempted suicide, alcoholism, fights, cops, and more, the kid has a tendency to come out a little twisted. I'm not making excuses, I'm stating facts. I was smart enough to stay out of jail. But the boozing caught up with me, and after a night in jail, I sobered up.

I didn't become a saint and I never will. When I think of God, I think of the left hand of God, which is as close as I'll ever get. I'm selfish. Very selfish. I live alone with Charlie the Cat and it works out pretty well. Except when some doctor feels the need to squeeze my insurance for another test. I had a biopsy of my kidneys done, too, and they came back negative. Ka-ching! I think a biopsy of my brain is in order.

What I tried to work on during the week of waiting was accepting the inevitability of death. I just would prefer a sudden death, like a massive heart attack or falling off of a cliff. I'm going to die. OK, I get it. But I can't live life if all I think about is death. Get your house in order and then move on. Life is too short to worry about death.