A funny thing happened on the way to being published last week in the
Daily Pilot ... my weekly column, which usually appears on Sunday's,
There's a reason. I didn't do one.
And, as you may notice in the future, I'm afraid there'll be more
It's not the only thing I've missed in recent weeks.
I missed the Battle of the Bay. I missed Estancia's victory over
Costa Mesa in Golden West League football.
I missed a Hall of Fame dinner at Long Beach State where one of
Estancia High's all-time quarterbacks, Jeff Graham, was honored.
I missed USC's annual pregame luncheon in Los Angeles after
accepting an invitation from Trojans' superhero Craig Fertig.
I missed USC's 41-10 victory over Notre Dame, although I certainly
viewed it by way of television, as well as Saturday's game in the
Rose Bowl with UCLA.
I've missed every minute of the Sailors' drive for the Sea View
League football championship and ensuing successes in the CIF
I even missed the funeral of everyone's best friend at the Daily
Pilot, an unforgettable human being named Bob Barker.
About the only thing I have done was watch Concord de la Salle's
football lose to Bellevue High of Washington in a spectacular display
of the prep game in Seattle in very early September.
It was upon my return from Seattle that I finally followed my
doctor's orders and went through with a procedure called a
Earlier the results of one of those "blood tests" these doctors
are always demanding showed a deficiency in iron, suggesting "anemia"
and that was the trigger for the colonoscopy, a rather ghastly deal
that sometime in the appropriate future, I'd like to address any and
all, especially 50-and-overs, with some very clear-cut information.
The procedure didn't last long.
"Colon cancer" was the immediate conclusion, and a CT scan the
same day verified it. One day later my surgeon said it appeared to be
on a "Level 3" plateau on a scale of 1-4.
The plan was to cut out nine inches of colon in a few days, but I
was in dire straights the next night, went to Hoag Hospital's
emergency room the next morning and on Sept. 20, the night before
Newport Harbor's thriller over Corona del Mar at the Battle of the
Bay, they operated.
Successfully, I might find room to brag of my nine-day stay at
Hoag with titanium clips now keeping me together, but cancer in two
lymph nodes and some more trying to "eat through a wall of
something," meant chemotherapy treatment for some six months or so.
So, after about three or four weeks, maybe more, I went to the
chemo doctor and he had me have a "port-a-cath" inserted into my
chest, so that each time I show up for chemotherapy, all the nurse
has to do is "plug me in" with a needle and an IV puts this stuff
into me over a course of about three hours. It's a pretty painless
The port-a-cath is a little brushed chrome-like box about 1 1/2
inches square and about three-quarters of an inch deep. It has a
little hose which goes to the main vein near the heart and there is a
button, much like a door bell button, which they insert the needle,
all very painless.
The treatments are simple, reactions quite another story. After
two mild experiences the first two weeks, the third week's reaction
was like running into Newport Harbor High's Trevor Theriot in a
Stories of "battling cancer" are a little askew. It's not like
putting on the gloves and duking it out. Rather, you're simply the
punching bag and the question is whether the stitches will hold.
A five-day stay at Hoag this past week is a result of dehydration
and now it appears my sessions will last into the summer.
The real problem as this stuff "kills" the cancer, the side
effects amount to pretty much a constant battle with diarrhea and the
lack of appetite and energy. Loss of hair is another item, but as you
know, there's not much for the taking.
At any rate, that's why I've become a dropout. Hopefully, I'll be
back in the race in good time.
I still have a couple of yarns about two of Newport Harbor High's
great football teams, but the timing is not right. And, from time to
time, things hopefully fall into one's lap. So keep in touch if you
know of something good.
* ROGER CARLSON is the former sports editor for the Daily Pilot.
He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.