Thirteen Cents of Dog Meat

My dad had a volleyball-sized tumor removed from his stomach, intestine, spleen, and pancreas this week. He was under the knife for six hours. The surgeon, who deserves a major award, got all of it, along with portions of my dad’s organs claimed by the cancer.

When I saw him less than 24 hours after surgery, he told me he felt like “thirteen cents of dog meat.” When my dad wheels out the obscure old-timey phrases, it means he’s at the threshold of “getting back to normal” and “still pretty shizzy.”

He described the meds he was taking and mentioned Tylenol.

“Tylenol?” I asked, incredulous. “You’ve had the most invasive surgery of anyone on this floor and they’re going with Tylenol?” Because, you see, I am an ibuprofen snob, who sees Tylenol merely as a poor substitute for the good stuff.

He looked at me, annoyed. “At this point, I’d eat turkey turds and rainwater if I thought it would help even a little.”

Me and my mom: BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

He’s feeling better, alright. But only when the narcotics (and Tylenol) are doing their thing enough to let him not think about pain and start thinking of pithy grandpa comebacks.

Less than a week later, he’s at home, sitting in his recliner, watching Bloomberg and eating soup. Everything still hurts, he is way too skinny, and there are the spots in his liver to contend with. But it feels basically like a miracle and we are hopeful.

My nephew Raleigh walked up to my dad and said, “Grandpa, too-muhs aw sticky an I don’t wanna see dem.”

Tumors ARE sticky and stupid and unwelcome parasite jerks who need to go away.

Me, to tumors everywhere: “Nobody likes you. You are unwelcome parasite jerks. Pack your sticky, ugly tumor bags and hop on shank’s pony. You heard me. Git!”

I can do “pithy grandpa” talk, too.

I learned from the best.


  6 comments for “Thirteen Cents of Dog Meat

  1. Blue
    August 30, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    The man who produced you deserves platinum medals, rainbows with pots of gold at the end, The Key To The City which should be presented in a fantastically posh ceremony, and humanity’s never-ending gratitude and appreciation. Hope he’s back in the saddle faster than a cowboy escaped from New York City.

  2. Jen
    August 30, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    So glad he’s home and doing as well as he is. Prayers for all of you!

  3. louiseplummmer
    August 31, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Thanks for “turkey turds.” I’m going to have to use it. Cheers to your father. He looks great for a man so recently beaten up and sliced.

  4. Sarah
    August 31, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Yee-haw! Continued prayers for you and yours.

  5. August 31, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Glad he’s doing well! I’m also an ibuprofen snob. Tylenol is for babies… and pregnant women.

  6. September 4, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    First of all ug to tumors and surgery! I love that you have these phrases written down – they are hilarious. I see where you learned to turn a phrase my friend.

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