Christian's Crimson Corner

As some of you know, I did not start this blog in March when I got cancer. I’ve been writing in this space for almost five years now. Up until this spring, the primary topic was urban design in Chattanooga, but as you can imagine I wandered hither and yon over such a long period. Last week I had the freakiest moment of déjà vu/insight/prescience/whatever-you-want-to-a-call-it relating to something I wrote exactly a year ago.  I’m freaked out.

I spent a large portion of the past few weeks working with my doctors to find the right type of pain relief, this set against the backdrop of pretty serious constipation and a number of drugs that made me very drowsy. I’m sure you can see where this is going, but one afternoon while I was medicated and sitting on the throne, I fell asleep. Fortunately, I woke up before I fell off and hurt myself. I was immediately reminded, however, of something I wrote in a post exactly one year ago (long before my diagnosis): Click this link and read the last paragraph.   Mind. Blown.  (but I’m still no Elvis)

The sponsor accepted the slides we resubmitted, so we were a go for the trial! After a couple of productive days with my friends in Iowa, I was all set to swing back through Houston to get the new drug. The plan was easy and straightforward, gets some labs first thing, have a quick chat with the doctor, receive the treatment via IV over the course of an hour, then bounce to the airport and be asleep in my own bed before midnight. As you might expect, I wasn’t getting off that easy. My labs showed that one particular blood number was low. To rectify that, I had to have two units of blood transfused (two hours each), and then have my blood retested. I passed the next test, and received the drug well after sundown. Needless to say, I did not get to sleep in my own bed that night.

Sadly, chemo with Bear Bryant visualization was ineffective.
Let's see if a modern trial drug with Coach Saban visualization
gives us the opportunity to be successful.
True Story
The overwhelming majority of my chemotherapy treatments this summer were on Mondays. It just so happened that on Mondays at TN Oncology, a group of volunteers from a local church (some of whom are cancer survivors) prepare sack lunches for those who are undergoing treatment. They’re really nice guys that are always cracking jokes as they try to lighten the mood.

On one particular Monday, I was holding “office hours” with a colleague in order to get a little bit of work done (which is to say that I have a witness). The ringleader of the volunteers is a survivor who always wears some kind of  silly headgear. On this day, it was some Florida Gators gear. I made some form of good-natured, off-handed joke about that being the worst hat in his repertoire.  He paused and responded “Well, we all know that God is a Gator fan, all of the oceans of the world, and skies above are blue, and his most beautiful creations- sunsets- are blue and orange. God’s definitely a Gator.”

To which I could only respond. “No, it’s clear that God is a ‘Bama fan.  That's why he made Christ’s redeeming blood flow Crimson. He stared a me for a second, grasping for something to say, but in the end there was not much room for a comeback.

This wonderful week marks the beginning of the college football season. This week, everyone is equal. This week, everyone’s dreams are still alive. This is the final week of a 35-week wait. This is the last delicious moment of anticipation.

Alabama opens up against Wisconsin in a game played in Dallas. I gave some thought to going to the game as I will be in Texas this week anyway, but thought better of it. While I love going to games, there is also much to be said for staying at home, watching College Game Day, and sitting on the couch all day trying to see how much football I can watch.

I just fell asleep mid-sentence... that’s a cue to wrap it up. Ya’ll have a great week!

(and Roll Tide Roll!)

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