Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Perfect Poo

I’m not claiming it was symbolic—so many cancer people search for deeper meaning behind events, while I just see probability and randomness. But, at the time it was difficult to deny that this was a clear sign from God that I would survive the aggressive cancer. Yep, clear as day, like an angel flying down from heaven to relay the message…from the toilet bowl.

I was sixteen, visiting for the first time the hospital that would treat me for the next year. I hadn’t yet learned the value of taking Imodium AD prophylactically which I sometimes do now: before weddings, outdoor day events, and Chinese buffet outings.

I was touring the main floor of the hospital—not the side with nuclear medicine and diagnostic machines and operating rooms—but the side with the auditorium, granitoid tile floors and coffee bar. Mother Nature called, and despite my reticence to let loose in public bathrooms, I didn’t want to have to remain clenched when the doctors detailed my 60-70% chance of surviving.

The facility was very clean and bright. The toilet paper was well-stocked, and not with that gritty, single-ply material that rips through your anus. I was alone with the whole room to myself.

I set down two sets of three squares to avoid contracting crabs (unlikely for all of you who take me seriously). I dropped trow and took my seat. Would it be a positive experience, or one of those gel-like shits I like to call “million-wipers”?

On the contrary, it was one of the cleaner poos of my life, not even requiring a single wipe, though by rule I make three passes at a minimum for insurance purposes. It was a make-my-day shit, or in this case, make-my-year shit.

There would be many more poops to come in this hospital. Poops in plastic measuring containers, in hospital rooms, and in lobbies, including the same lobby as this first poo. There would be hard poops, harder poops, and rock poops. There would be runny poops, liquid poops, and brown water poops. There would be poops that cause me to twitch with pain and others where I nearly blackout from pain.

But after my first perfect poo, all my fears were wiped away as I now knew that nothing could harm me. The next year of my life would be similar to school, only more compelling and with a higher proportion of hot girls (i.e. nurses). I cleansed myself of my body’s waste before the chemo and radiotherapy cleansed me of my disease. It was such a beautiful, natural, and weight-reducing thing. If flushing out my body’s garbage could be this sanitizing, then the drips and pokes and energy waves and pukes—and subsequent shits—could be, as well. And now over ten years later, I see that they were.


Rebecca said...

I swear this is like the story of my chemo life!

Benjamin Rubenstein said...

All cancer people unite in the name of excrement!