11 Survival Strategies for Tough Times

Posted on: Friday, September 23rd, 2016
Posted in: SoulTrain | 6 comments


Dr. Nostril and I had another confab and cranial camera-probing yesterday. And he was again excited about what he didn’t see, “There is NO sign of that (golfball-sized) tumor in there!” he exclaimed as we explored my suddenly-cavernous sinus cavity. So just like every other golf-ball I encounter—lost!

Dr. Nostril also insists that oncologist Dr. Zen will continue nuking my system and later serve up radiation chasers, as per protocols. They’ll also keep testing me from top to bottom with all available ginormous instruments.

So don’t break out the Dom yet. But do forgive me if I start humming Tiny Bubbles.

~Thanks once again for your magical energies, kindness, and support!

  • Be prepared…be very prepared.

Sometimes I’m a heavy traveler. Especially when taking long trips—which would include any expedition to the hospital. After all, you never know when you might need your Jambox, snacks, books, mags, warmies, meds, and lotions and potions. So yes, I schlep a packed backpack to the Cancer Care Unit for chemo days, just in case the day drags on like a bad movie.

Call me crazy, but there’s something about hospitals that makes a guy want to have any and all diversions available. Plus, what if they decide you really are crazy? What if they lock you in? You’ll so want your headphones.

In case you ever find yourself stuck in such a place, here are 11 quick ideas from the laptop of experience. Take with salt and electrolytes. And by way of warning, some viewers may find a few photos unpleasant. But A) You see worse on TV. B) Imagine how I feel. And C) Hospital art can make you sick.

  • 1. Flirt with the nurses!


  • 2. Resolve to make big changes in your life.


Like, dude: You may love that old kayak—and they don’t make it anymore. But it’s leaky and it makes you wet. And that’s just stupid in fall and spring and when crashing through ice. Transformation accomplished! A mere 65 hours later, this suave, new (used) vessel set sail. Now on to the next big lifestyle change. Nautitech catamaran, everyone?

  • 3. “Enjoy every sandwich…”


…as sweetly suggested during wonderful Warren Zevon’s last performance and appearance with his longtime buddy, David Letterman. And for the record, Jimmy John’s delivers directly to your room—fast!

  • 4. Think about winter survival-strategy BreakAways.


And start scheming to get your lily-white ass (and noggin) back in the sun, surf, and sand as soon as possible. (Hi Jesper!)

  • 5. Study the “art” collection.


And warm up by the “fireplace.”

  • 6. Cherish rich-and-fabulous recollections.


In my case, fave Fran Lebowitz actually laughed during our repartee and signed my book, “My dear Kirk, Remember Paris, Love Fran.” I would also be wise to wallow in the memory of recently making out with Mudonna!

  • 7. Soak in the enigmatic colors and aromas of the chemo varietals.


Relish every drop and the body as it flows through your system. Note the acidity and mouth-feel of this renegade, red blend. And be sure to savor that super-special surprise: It makes your pee pink!

  • 8. Embrace the upsides of sleeplessness.


Sure, relaxing becomes a full-contact sport when dosed up with, say, 5 noxious chemo concoctions + that 5-day elephant dose of that effing steroid. But try to embrace the upsides. Finish that infinite Fitzgerald novel? Yes! Overcome your irrational fear of the night sweats? Yes! See more splendid sunrises? Yes, yes, yes!

  • 9. Raise a glass to friends at work.


On a good day at the hospital, you may catch a movie, get a leg massage, and meet a kind, kindred soul. That’s not so bad. I mean, some people are struggling to stay awake while slopping emails to minions at the cube farm. True, this glass allows only ice water. But it’s the spirit that counts.

  • 10. Recall other come-from-behind victories.


Like that time in win-or-die playoffs that the team was down by 9 going into the last inning, and you and Del coached the young men to victory. Oh sure, the players—like the mighty caregivers—deserve some credit. But you know a long-lasting, shit-eating smirk awaits once you’ve won this intense battle.

  • 11. Keep your focus: Git ‘er done.


And get home to someone who still needs you and thinks you’re pretty cool.

Survival strategies. We got this. Thanks for listening…

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6 Responses to “11 Survival Strategies for Tough Times”

  1. Sue Trowbridge Says:

    Thanks for the updates with strength and humor. I am really on your team. I give thoughts and prayers your way daily!!! Keep on keepin’ on! Love, Sue

  2. Kirk Horsted Says:

    Hi Sue,

    I so appreciate the thoughts, prayers, accolades, and advice to keep keep keep on keepin’ on. It’s all working, so let’s not stop, okay? Hugs to the family and have a weekend, *kh

  3. Gram Slaton Says:

    Lose the cancer. Keep the haircut.

  4. Kirk Horsted Says:

    Summer? Maybe. Winter? Too cold. Could always consider a winter toupee…

  5. Sarah Hormanski Says:

    Love reading your posts, inspires me to keep going 🙂

  6. Rolf Carlsen Says:

    Here’s to lost golf balls. Thanks for adjusting my perspective once again, Mr. Horsted.

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