Well I had my PET Scan on Monday. They gave me an IV tap through which they pumped me full of radioactive sugar. This radioactive sugar apparently seeks out the evil cancer and lights it up on the screen for the Technicians and Doctors to see. So they pump me full of this stuff then I get to lay down and wait while it circulates through my system. Once I confirmed that my radioactiveness wasn’t going to wipe my iPhone, I popped a pain pill (for the pain) and an Ativan (for claustrophobia, thank-you childhood friends for beating me up and burying me in a hole) and continued listening to my audiobook (nope – not gonna tell you what it was). 45 minutes later, they stuck me in a noisy tube and took a bunch of pictures for about a half an hour. I really don’t know how long it was because I was kind of detached from myself. I think I feel asleep too. The wonders of modern medicine. Once It was done, I was told that my oncologist would get the results on Wednesday or so and that he would contact me for a follow-up. So there you go. That’s that for now.
Since I hadn’t been allowed to eat since 10AM and it was now 6PM, I convinced Wendy to take me to Noodle Box in Kitsilano (Burrard and 4th) for some authentic noodle madness. We both ordered some gluten-free Green Curry Chicken on rice noodles. I, of course, thought it was super-awesome and Wendy thought it was just Ok. Just Ok. Tell her Dennis, Jeff…Noodle Box is awesome!! WTF?!
Once we got home, I was toast. Exhausted. I had made plans with Zach to watch Ex-Machina that night but instead I racked out on the couch and passed out. Luckily, Zach was a trooper and waited for me to wake up. Once I shook off those cobwebs – radiation tends to do that to me – I popped up off the couch and was ready to go. Ex-Machina turned out to be a really good movie revolving around the extremely intelligent and narcissistic CEO of a Google-like company, his naïve yet equally intelligent employee and a hot cyborg (artificial life form) who needed to prove that she was almost human in order to survive. Watch it. It’s good.
Next. I received a package in the mail today from Wampler Pedals and was completely Blown Away!! It was sent to my US postal address so I took the opportunity to go fill our shitty van with gas. Just kidding, it’s a very well maintained and perfectly functioning van, I’m just sick of driving a minivan. It’s been 15 years after all. Back on track. I raced down to Blaine, gassed up and picked up may package. Well, when I opened it up at the postal outlet and examined the contents I was stranded in the US for a bit. Why? Because it would have been kind of suspicious of me to cross the border in a non-descript grey minivan with a large package on the passenger seat and an unkept, half bearded man in drivers seat bawling his eyes out. As a Federal Investigator myself, that would get my spidey senses going. I would have been detained as the long sought after “crying radioactive terrorist”. I don’t mind saying I was kind of bawling for a bit. But bawling like a man. Just so you know. Lol.
But seriously though, I was so touched by the care package that was sent. From the T-shirts, to the key chains, mug warmers, stickers, coffee cup, a note from Sherri (thank-you), and of course a signed special edition pink (cancer) Ego Compressor effect pedal from Brian Wampler’s personal archive collection. All, of course, completely unnecessary. But boy was I blown away.
I also got a letter from Max. More on that later.
Most of you know that I’ve been with the RCMP for 23 years now. Over the course of my 23 years of service, I always sought to do my best and never expected thanks in return. Sometimes I got the odd thank-you but it always felt like they were thanking the uniform and not the person wearing it. I learned early on that in the heat of the moment people often see us as just uniforms, there to do “what they are supposed to do”. So I accepted that, and did my job to the best of my abilities. On two occasions during those 23 years, I did receive heartfelt thank-you’s in the form of letters.
The first one was early in my service while I was stationed in Gibsons Landing. I responded to a Break & Enter during which a few boys broke into a retired woman’s home while she was away and stole her liquor, food and a small amount of pocket change. She discovered the break-in the following day and called the detachment. When I showed up, she was visibly shaken and couldn’t understand why the boys would do that. I was done with my fact finding within 5 or 10 minutes and could have left but I decided to have a tea with her when she offered. We sat and chatted for about 20 minutes – during which time dispatch was trying to get my ass out of there because a few calls were lined up in the cue. I told them this was more important and turned my portable radio down to whisper quiet. Once we were done our tea and I felt she had calmed down, I secured her broken window and promised to come back after work and fix it for good. Which I did. I’m pretty handy that way. Anyways, a week or so goes by and then I’m called into my Sergeant’s office. I did the automatic mental run through the previous week to see if I had screwed up somewhere and came up blank. Once I sat down in his office, he pulled out a letter and let me read it. It was from the retired lady whose window I had fixed. It turns out that the retired lady had spent most of her life working for the military in some capacity and she wrote a letter to my Sergeant commending me for my dedication to duty, professionalism and more importantly my compassion. It was quite a long letter detailing what I did and how much it helped her get past the horror of the break-in. My Sergeant (Sergeant Sargent – yup, for real!) gave me a copy and said “well done you little fucker” – we weren’t quite as professional behind closed doors. That letter kept me going over the years – especially when I needed a little pick-me-up and reminder and why I was subjecting myself to what sometimes felt like insanity. Lol
The second was about 10 years later when I was on Major Crime Section. I was thrown into a murder-for-hire investigation and had to work with the FBI. By working with the FBI, I mean they had a victim and one bad guy but the rest of the bad guys were in Canada so they need me to figure it all out on my end. So I did. It involved running an agent, witness protection, getting wiretaps authorizations, court documents etc, etc, etc… In a nutshell, no small task for one guy. I can’t go into detail but I got the job done. The case was finally put to rest, the victim’s mind was finally at ease and the bad guys were dealt with by the FBI. When the victim thanked the FBI agents they were quick to say that they barely did anything and told her that that Mountie in Canada did it all. That’s when I received letter number two. It was in the form of a large Thank-You card in which she detailed her fears now put to rest, her appreciation of my hard work and dedication, and her genuine heartfelt thanks.
I still have both letters. I read them every once and awhile. Sometimes when I run into them by accident, sometimes when I seek them out for a little mental reset. Well now I have three. That letter from Max and this whole “happiness bomb” situation will be a reference point for me for years to come. Thank-you Max, Brian, Travis, Sherri and everyone else at Wampler Pedals who had a part in this little care package.
Here I go again. Where’s the Kleenex?