Radiation Baby

Posted: June 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

It’s true. I will be starting radiation this summer. So my days of even thinking about entering a tanning bed are long over. What a tragedy! It’s always been my dream to be mistaken for a Brazilian poolboy…

In the 7 weeks I was waiting for my Medicaid to process a date for the PET scan, my lymphoma returned. Though the rate of growth is controllable, and the mediastinum nodes are in better condition than they were before I started any of the chemos, Kaplan seems to think it’s essential to start radiation. Yeah. So okay. Great. But such are the tricks of the antichrist, these growths seem to thrive on idle time.

I had expected a broad turnaround this summer. I was forward to a celebratory exodus of fun; anything short of skydiving out of an airplane – I was game. It turns out this will not be a summer of thrill seeking and sexcapades in the Mediterranean. Instead, I have decided to walk around my house pretending to be Liberace. And not the Liberace Michael Douglas just played in Behind the Candlebra. I just watched an interview with the real Liberace last week and connected with his surrealist egotism that I’m sure to this day confuses (even irritates) those that don’t share the same penchant for comedic excess. I’m proud to say that this knack, this sensibility, if we’re going to call it that, comes much more easily to me than the catharsis of tragedy. It might, apart from love itself, be one of the few things that brings me firm to the core of my own survival. So consider me, if nothing else, a champion for the ridiculed and ridiculous…

I’ve just got more scars on my chest now to prove it.

I will not be returning to New York as immediately as I expected a few weeks ago. My generous and patient subletter Johnny is leaving August 1st and so I am seeking a subletter for that month, and that month only. $1000 might seem like a lot to live in Bushwick, but when you take a tour of the building, it’s possible (given the kind of person you might be) that you won’t want to live anywhere else. I should stop right there. I could provide you with descriptions of my apartment here, but frankly I don’t want to get into it right now, because that’s not what this post is about. But if you or anyone you might know would be interested in subletting my room for the month of August, e-mail me at trystantrazon@gmail.com

So back to the radiation: I will most likely start a week from Monday, delivered in 5 days a week in 15-20 minute cycles for, 4-5 weeks. That means another month of the smell of hospitals, chemical adhesives and nurse-to-patient repartee engulfing my senses as I search for that perfect Donna Summer disco lullaby that reminds me of being “anywhere but here.” (At least the first floor smells like a piroshky bakery.) I am trying not to get discouraged by this, but I’ve really been taken through quite an emotional feurestrum this week. (That’s firestorm in German, because yes, aren’t I just that obnoxious??) I guess it was important for me to go through all of that to mourn all the hard work and sacrifice that have already gone into all five of my chemo treatments. I must admit that there are mornings where I wake up and can’t believe that this is still my life almost 8 months later. When I think of everything I’ve sacrificed, my head begins to spin. Let’s see here: I’ve sacrificed my job, my city, my best friends, my looks, my only partially conquered concurrent fear of death and most importantly, my fear of needles. Which is good news if you have aspirations of is becoming a junkie. Me? I’ll take some kava kava, but thanks anyway.

As far as how I feel, let’s just say that on Tuesday I ran 3 miles up and down the Alki Beach trail like it was a stitch in time.

Now that I have all the information, I have to express the temptation of wanting to flip over my oncologist’s table in a tantrum and ask “So WHAT the hell is going ON here?! What the hell do you mean you want to flippantly change the entire course of my treatment and leave my body ravaged by your chemistry? Don’t you know that I used have a GREAT body?! Don’t you know this is first time in my life, Doctor, I’ve taken a leap of faith to trust someone else with it? Don’t you know that since I can’t trust God alone, I’ve decided, instead, to trust you.

Please do me a favor and let me know that I’m not making a huge fucking mistake.


  1. BJ Bustance says:

    Dear Trystan,

    As always, you are in my heart and prayers. With your talent and wonderful penchant for writing, coupled with your strength and determination, I believe you will beat this. Circumstances don’t make the man it reveals him. I am proud to know you and thankful our paths have crossed.Fondly, BJ

    • BJ,

      This message means a lot to me. Thanks for the encouraging words, and I am trying with everything I can to beat this. I’ve been prepping Jenny for San Diego: it might even be the first flight I’ve taken since November! I hope you’re having a great summer…



  2. pseudokram says:

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