Tuesday, February 27, 2018

I'm Still Here

(Based on “I’m Still Here,” from the musical Follies, with apologies to Stephen Sondheim.)

I’ve had my prostate wholly removed;
Margins clear. I’m still here.
Two months of radiation approved
The next year. But I’m here.
I’ve schlepped to clinics on my own.
Had drugs to lower my testosterone
Till that’s coming out of my ear. But I’m here.

I’m always eager to sign up for clinical trials. Hope that’s clear.
Lengthy consent forms line my whole house in great piles. Please sign here.
I’ll try whatever comes my way
With or without the F.D.A.
Seems there’s a new one every day, so I hear.
Helping science while getting clear, and I’m here.

I’ve been through Provenge immunotherapy, and I’m here.
Hope as we go henceforth, more biochemistry keeps me here.
I’ve been through countless blood tests, sometimes I just need a rest.
Not ready for “rest in peace”, no, my dear.
I’ve got a portacath now, and I’m here.

I’ve had Zytiga, Xtandi, Seviteronel.
So far they’ve had no effect.
When you’ve had Zytiga, Xtandi, Seviteronel
No other drug is suspect.

I’ve had Xofigo (Radium-two-twenty-three), and I’m here.
Where else can we go? Not many options for me, but I’m here.
I need a complete, durable remission. That would be sweet, but I’m just wishin’.
Dodging a more realistic vision, that’s clear.
Time for hospice may be near, but I’m here.

Walking ’round one day, next day can’t get out of bed, but I’m here.
For every fun day, I pay with days exhausted, but I’m here.
For any day I miss my nap,
Stiffness and pain and other crap.
Need to learn from my cats how to endear
Even while I am sleeping, and I’m here.

I’ve seen radiation and medical oncologists,
Not to mention the pee doc.
I’m sure there are more and more specialized -ologists,
Each holding a Ph.D. doc.

Good times and bum times, I’ve seen ’em all
And, my dear, I’m still here.
Appetite sometimes, sometimes just drinks that are clear. But I’m here

I’ve run the gamut, A to Z
Three cheers and dammit, C’est la vie
I got through all of last year, and I’m here
Lord knows, at least I was there, and I’m here
Look who’s here, I’m still here

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