Standing at the sink, I look down at my hands. I have old man hands. There are splotches on the back. Age spots, I think they’re called. The Boston Celtics haven’t called to offer me a tryout. I suspect I’m no longer on their list of who to call in a pinch. I can’t dribble a basketball, shoot or rebound, but I am slow.
The last time I came home from the hospital I saw my grandfather in the mirror. He had pasty white skin, a hairless head, sagging jowls and he was none too stable on his feet. I don’t see him when I look in the mirror now. There’s just some old codger who has a certain resemblance to me.
More frequently when I open my mouth now either my father’s or my mother’s words come out. Actually that’s not a problem. My parents pretty much know what they’re talking about, even when they’re channeling through me.
These days before I go on trips, I count my pills to be sure I have enough of each medication to last through the time I’ll be away from home. When I arrive I have more pill bottles than electronic gizmos to plug in by a ratio of at least 2 to 1.
Maybe I’m feeling a bit morose because the current round of chemo is kicking the crap out of me. I can walk in the morning only because I’ve figured out all the possible bathroom stops along the way. I’ve had some close calls. Getting older is not for sissies. Chemo is something sick people should never have to endure. I have only one Velcade shot left in this round. I feel like Rocky Balboa coming out for the last round against Apollo Creed, battered and bleeding just putting one foot in front of the other.
I may never climb Mount Everest, but I’m still on my feet. Don’t count me out just yet.