Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Cancer Boy's Last Days

Jackson and I were sitting in the living room one evening last week. He was working on his laptop and I was drawing and sort of halfway watching something on the travel channel. For some reason, something clicked in my head and right out of the blue I asked him:

“When is your five years up?”

There must have been some sort of telepathic wavelength that we were both tuned into because he said, without hesitation: “August.”

“Really? You only have three months left to live? That’s a bit of a shame. I certainly hope you finish building the backyard deck by then.”

He grunted something - something I found to be rather rude, actually - and turned his attention back to his online class or his online girlfriend. Whichever.
I think someone who only has three months to clean up their act before meeting their maker would want to be a little nicer than that. I’m just sayin’.

The End.

Well, ok, not really the end.

The reason Jackson only has three months to live is because he was diagnosed with colon cancer about five years ago. It was in one of those nasty later stages where it sort of explodes out of the confines of your lower gut and hooks up with a few friendly lymph nodes. The hippy-dippy surgeon took out a large chunk of his guts and told him to live fast cause he was sure as hell gonna die young.

Perhaps not in those exact words, but that’s what he meant.

They gave him five years. They also gave him radiation, chemotherapy and several other surgeries which eventually resulted in the removal of basically all of his guts. I like to refer to him on occasion as The Gutless Wonder. He is not nearly as appreciative of that as you’d think he might be.

Anyway, after realizing he only had three months left to live, I told him he ought to start planning his funeral now. I didn’t think he’d really want me doing that for him once he’s cashed in his chips and bought the farm. Sometimes we don't see eye to eye on those sorts of things. Although, I think most of us could agree that my dead party would be a lot livelier than anything he would plan.

His only plan is to be cremated so he can make sure can make for damn sure doesn't get stuck with this body again in the afterlife! He also has plans on what he wants done with the ashes, but I ain't tellin' ya that, because it's just gross. (Suffice it to say, don't eat the potato salad at the funeral meal.)

I hadn’t realized how much he’s changed in the past five years. I was going through some old photos, looking for more tombstone and I came across some snapshots of him that I’ve taken over the past five years. (I do occasionally take pictures of humans, and he’s used to me sticking a camera in his face.)

Here is what he looked like not long after we hooked up, which was two years before he became Cancer Boy:

This is him while he was on chemotherapy.

This is Jackson on steroids. Lots and lots of steroids. Not long after this, they finished ripping his guts out.

This is him a few weeks ago at a redneck wedding. (Don't ya love those kinds of weddings?)Notice the Crocodile Hunter hat. He is still in mourning for that guy.

So, you'll have to make plans to come for Jackson's funeral, sometime in August. And, provided he finishes that damn deck before he keels over, we might even have an after party in the backyard!


PPB said...

you take pretty pictures of your sweetie. Are you planning a big party for the day he doesn't kick the bucket?

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Oh it will be a wonderful funeral party! You will make (or buy and take from the package and heat up those taquitos things right??)

I did not realize it had been that long. You go Jackson!!

reverendmother said...

Yee-haw! Long live Jackson!

SpookyRach said...

We definitely need a big ol' party. I am a masterful tacquito warmer and fiddle faddle dispenser. We'll also have warm cokes and dollar store cookies! Woo hoo!

Lorna (see through faith) said...

Gutless wonder hahaha

You write well Rach - and the photos are great too :)

Presbyterian Gal said...

God Bless Jackson!! Further proof of the fact that we are, in truth, just filled with confetti.

(Well, now. Now I know part of why you are so GD funny, Rach.......*secretly wipin' tears*)

and P.S., you take great pictures.

SpookyRach said...

Gallows humor has always been my favorite, PG.

Jeff said...

I like the idea of a party on the day he doesn't-kick-the-bucket ..... maybe we can take some inspiration from the Pennsylvania Dutch, and have a 'deck-raising' ?

zorra said...

Yea Jackson!! A big party is definitely in order.

Patti said...

Mazel tov, Jackson! I'll bring the kool aide and the cheese doodles! And maybe even some jello with cool whip. Will you install the hot tub from the first picture on the new deck?

Quotidian Grace said...

By all means, party on! And tell Jackson he's lookin' mighty hot for a cancer boy.

SpookyRach said...

Jeff - Don't mention a deck-raisin'. He'll get the idea he can goof off and not finish the deck before he checks outta here!

Patti - He would definitely want me to tell you that I took that picture of him in the stock tank in the middle of December. It was freezin' damn cold, but he was a good sport.

Zorra and QG - Don't give him the big head!

DogBlogger said...


All I could think was, "If he's gonna get himself cremated, Rach won't have a tombstone to take a picture of! How rude!"

Oh, and The Alpha wants to know if you like zombie movies. Next to superheroes, they're his favorite.

Sue said...

Great pics! And a great party idea. You could ask people to give eulogies and serve those little round church sandwiches. Good times....

annie said...

Oh girl!

Why in the name of all that is good would you make the poor man pose in a stock tank in the middle of December??

SpookyRach said...

dogblogger: superhero movies are my favorite too. ask alpha what he thought about nicolas cage's bizzarro accent in ghost rider. Zombie movies and B&W horror movies from the 50's and 60's are also a periennial favorite.

Sue: Good times, indeed!!

Annie: That's luuuuv, huh? Ha ha! (Truthfully, he was sitting just behind the tank, not actually in it. Still pretty cold, though...)

jonboy said...

Y'all should be careful planning a party for the day he doesn't kick the bucket. The last time we did that was to celebrate an entire year without surgery. That didn't turn out so well.

And I wouldn't so much say that he's a "gutless wonder" rather that he just doesn everything half-assed.

cheesehead said...

Go Jackson! Go Jackson!

(Doing my Hopelessly White Girl dance!)

Miss Kitty said...

Congrats to Jackson and to you, Spooky! Don't ya love it when doctors are wrong? :-P Here's to MANY more happy years together.

Let us know when that party is, now...Myrtle Mae and the cats are packed and standing by the backyard gate.

Songbird said...

Thank God for a sense of humor! Many happy years to both of you, deck or no deck.

Trace said...

Yay for your Jackson!!

Great pictures.

Love the bits about funeral foods--too funny spooky!

Purechristianithink said...

Like Mark Twain said, "Reports of my death have been greatly exagerated."

Cynthia said...

I think I have an article somewhere that tells you how to make papier mache out of dryer lint. You could then, with creativity, sculpt it into a halloween mask or whatever. So.... I was thinkin' if we took the ashes and mixed 'em with something kinda sticky, but really strong, (like mashed potatoes from Luby's) then maybe you could sculpt the headstone, gothic arch of course. It could go anywhere, because there would be no pesky rules about burying bodies or such. Hey, he could even travel.

In the mean time, I say you roll the pretty yard of that doctor in August and say, "Who...not me. I'm a dead man."

Jackson is pretty, by the way. Yay for both of you.

Cowtown Pattie said...

Too bad Cosmopolitan magazine ain't still doing the centerfolds (remember the Burt Reynolds one?)...Jackson could be Mr. August with a repeat of the stock tank shotwith perhaps a little additional cheesecake.

Double thumbs up to Jax!

Anonymous said...

I Think i am scarred for the rest of my lfe becase of tat first picture.


Jackson said...

See there you go, your friends think I am cute....Since you have planned my demize in August, I guess one of them will have to take me in since I have no plans of cashing in my chips.

You know you should start being nicer to me, if I cash in before you...I will be serving as one of your references to enter through the gates. I might have to give you a bad reference with the "J-Man" which will send you packing south. I figure by the time I cash in and your time is up, i would have worked my way up the ladder and have some influence and even a pair of wings.