Tattoo Time For Jimmy

I lived in the Portland, Oregon area for thirty-six years. But when I left in 2013 I was still tattoo-less. How can that be? Portland is one of the national epicenters for tattoos. Fear not, this void will be corrected on Tuesday. But not just in any ordinary tattoo parlor. My first tattoo will be applied at Arizona Oncology in the radiology department. Pretty cool, huh? Tattoos are part of the mapping process so the technician knows where to aim the radiation gun during zapping sessions.

For the past couple of weeks I have developed a dry cough which has gotten progressively worse over time. My recent CT scan showed that the lung tumor near my air way has grown nearly 30% in the past month. This tumor is most likely the culprit causing the cough and, if left unattended, would most likely end up blocking the airway, resulting in a collapsed lung which could be followed with pneumonia. None of these adventures holds any appeal whatsoever to me. So Friday Lee and I had a consultation with Dr. Frye, a radiation oncologist. Isn’t that a great name for someone who’s job is to zap tumors?  Dr. Frye’s recommendation, to my delight, is to fry the sucker!  Because of the precarious location of the offending tumor, Dr. Frye will use external low dose radiation with Monday thru Friday sessions for three consecutive weeks. He is 85% confident that this will dramatically shrink the tumor with minimal risk or side effects and can be repeated in the future if necessary. This is a palliative treatment of current symptoms and to prevent medical complications from the tumor growth. I currently have ten named tumors in my lungs, with who knows how many other microscopic cancer cells that are busy forming tumors. This treatment is not a cure, but it will help me fulfill my goal of living well. Speaking of named tumors, the names given are rather mundane. The names are tumor 1, tumor 2, etc.  I think they should name them like we do storms: tumor Rachel, tumor George….   

One side effect of my upcoming treatment is the cancellation of our planned trip to Maui the first week of December. Of course we “chucked it in the fuck it bucket” and moved on as we sipped champagne with lunch at the restaurant Feast.  

Below are a couple of my recent creations for your perusal.

Please meet Tanner. He may look like a cute little doggie, but he is really a snowbird who resides primarily in Omaha.
Ginny Giraffe is such a cute baby, don’t you think?
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16 thoughts on “Tattoo Time For Jimmy

  1. Ah the beauty of a great “Tattoo” is hard to keep your eyes off. Your enigmatic journey of enjoyment has carried us so far to that Far Side. The “Perusal” is often my favorite as I am always amazed at your accomplishments on your paintings. Tanner has captured the snowbird essence! As always Mucho Gracious Lee & Jimmy A. Love – Piepster

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  2. Well, I will be getting my tattoo on Tuesday also. The difference is that mine will be in a totally different part of the body and, although we’re zapping cancer, mine is minor compared to yours. I just hate that those nasty guys can’t just stop and go away. Guess we’ll both be spending a lot of time at AZ Oncology in the coming weeks.

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  3. bummer not going to maui but at least you won’t be dealing with a blizzard in your desert home. (it’s snowing here right this minute) pretty nice place to have to stay put in. when john had radiation last fall, five days a week for nine weeks, he felt like he had lost a job or something. it got to be such a routine. I have forgotten what follow up is planned on the radio-active liver tumor. do they do another scan to see what’s going on there. see if it’s truly nuked? also curious about you and giraffes. a new or a long held interest? bet it’s those come-hither eyes.

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    1. In the process of destroying the liver tumor there is a lot of inflammation. The cancer marker also generally rises, so it doesn’t takes 6-8 weeks for the dust to settle. . The baby giraffe is one of my more popular subjects. I did one and have now done 4 commissions. Of course they are all different. I’m looking forward to cleaning up my lungs a bit.

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  4. Thanks for the update Jim. Blankety-blank tumors! I sure hope this next round of treatment is successful. I trust you will wear the red cape and harness your super powers! Your fans are all rooting for you, sending love and blessings your way. The new paintings are amazing, just like you!

    Hugs, Lynn Maier

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  5. Holy cr*p, Jim. Thank for at least ending with the cute pictures. I do like the idea of naming the tumors, though. How about for people you’d like to nuke? Maybe one named “Donald.” Or one named “Vladimir.” I’m sure you have people you can think of … Too bad you can’t just do the treatment *while you’re in Maui. They must have radiation oncologists in Hawaii! Although where you live now is pretty close to paradise, too. What wine are you planning to have for Thanksgiving? Are you Beaujolais nouveau types?

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    1. Oh I like the names you came up with!! For thanksgiving I prefer a Zinfandel or Champagne. There are so many different flavors and a zin or a good bubbly are very versital. We went to a Beaujolais nouveau party last week, it was fun.

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  6. I too like the idea of naming the tumors like we do storms. There are plenty of possibilities of villains from history both current and past. Please just don’t name one George!

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