Here’s what else they say about GBM:
“No links have been found between glioblastoma and smoking.” I wonder how they can be so sure about that. From the time I was around 15 until I quit 30 years ago, I put away my share of cancer sticks. My best years of huffing and puffing were the four years I spent in the Air Force. And those wicked-smelling cigarettes I smoked in Morocco, France and Germany couldn’t have helped.
“No links have been found between GBM and electromagnetic fields.” I think lab rats should dig a little deeper into that. A good part of my time in the Air Force was spent looking through the gun sight of a B-29 bomber. The gun sight was a pedestal affair with all kinds of electronic readouts that we used to track and shoot down bad guys. I cannot say with any degree of certainty that there weren’t heavy-duty electromagnetic fields plowing through my brain cells, but there was something going on in there somewhere that made the graphs and numbers in that gun sight glow.
“Some also believe that there may be a link between polyvinyl chloride and GBM.” Now we’re talking about a virtually bouillabaisse of products that used PVC: plastic piping, ceiling tiles, toys, shower curtains, bottles, packaging . . . the list goes on.
When I said to my oncologist, “Why me?” he answered, “Bad luck.”
The thing is, I didn’t have to get in the ring and duke it out with this cancer. I was 77 years old. Forget the radiation, the meds, the chemotherapy. How much longer did I have to live, anyway?
But that’s not my style. I went along with the program for “battling” GBM.
All things considered, I wasn’t feeling too bad. I was in some pain. I wasn’t sleeping all that great. But I was still filing my columns on time every week. I was out of it a day here and a day there. But with my treatment regimen begun, I had help. Big-time help. Steroids. The steroid I was on, Decadron, had me flying high most of the time, pumped up like a float in the Macy’s parade. And then, just like that I was flying real low, scraping the ground, out of helium.
But those little white pills did what they were supposed to do. Unfortunately, most of it wasn’t good. How do I love Decadron? Let me count the ways: hyper-agitated. I was up, I was down. Sleepless in the saddle. Walking into walls. I was agitated, irritable. Depressed. I had a lot of weird dreams.