Lent and Mardi Gras

lent and mardi gras


When my various treatments begin, I will have to give up a lot of things. I’ll have to give up hot/spicy food when I’m on chemo, because it will upset my stomach. Also caffeinated coffee. Also fatty foods. Most of all I will have to give up alcohol, because it would both irritate my throat (which will be irradiated five days a week) and interfere with some of the medications. One of the Comprehensive Cancer Center people told me the other day: “We’ve tried accommodating people with alcohol, and it just doesn’t work.”

 

 

Good goddamn!

 

 

My friend Joanne said, in response to this: “Pretend it’s Lent.”

 

 

This is excellent advice. Lent is forty days (not counting Sundays), roughly the period of my chemo/radiation therapy. People generally give up silly things for Lent, like chocolate and popcorn. I will be giving up my beloved curries, and hot sauce (which I put on pretty much everything!), and my evening drinks (which calm me tremendously).

 

 

But the treatments haven’t begun yet. I probably won’t start them until mid-October, once my feeding tube has been installed and my dental work is done and my facial swelling has subsided. (When you undergo radiation for throat cancer, they make a mask to hold your head in exactly the right position. If they make the mask before my dental work, or while I’m swollen, the radiation won’t be directed accurately.)

 

 

So I now have approximately three weeks of no rules at all, before the treatments begin. Three weeks of Mardi Gras.

 

 

And what happens during Mardi Gras?

 

 

All hell breaks loose.

 

 

I have had curry three days in a row now. I drink nightly. I’m eating ice cream as I write this.

 

 

When I begin the treatments, I hope they prescribe me a lot of soothing medication, for Partner’s sake and my own.

 

 

Remember what Bette Midler said to Kramer on “Seinfeld,” when she wanted her black-and-white cookie:

 
BETTE: Get me one of those Black and White cookies.

KRAMER: Yeah, all right, yeah…. (hangs up) They don’t have any. But don’t worry I’m going to get you one somewhere.

BETTE: Good. Because if I don’t get a Black and White cookie I’m not going to be very pleasant to be around.

KRAMER: Now that’s impossible.

 

 

O I assure you it’s possible.

 

 

Happy Mardi Gras!


 

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About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

6 Responses to Lent and Mardi Gras

  1. Dwight and Paula says:

    Thinking about you. Time goes by so fast at our age you will sail through all this and it will be behind you before you know it. Love you!

  2. Live it up!! I can’t think of anything else that doesn’t sound Pollyanna ish.

    Tell em you really will need soothing meds.

    • EXCEEDINGLY soothing meds.

      Actually, they just took away my Xanax and replaced it with Ativan. Xanax, apparently, is very bad during chemo; Ativan actually helps during chemo – it has an anti-nausea side-effect, and is easily broken down by the liver. Who knew? I took my first Ativan this morning, and I was Saint Francis of Assisi all day long, and even into the evening.

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