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Ominous figure whispering into a man

Leuk’s Nightly Game

Do you ever find yourself lying in bed late at night, staring at the ceiling, and saying out loud, “WTF? I have leukemia?” (By the way, that stands for What The Fooey–this is a family site after all.)

Now, I’ve known about my CLL since September of 2009. I’m lucky enough to still be in the Watch-and-Wait (or is that Wait-and-Watch?) stage.

I get a little tired now and then but that’s pretty much my only symptom so I sometimes go all day without thinking of my leukemia. (Well, that used to be the case until I got this writing gig with Now even if I’m feeling great I’m reminded of my cancer whenever I’m thinking about, or planning, or writing posts.)

Sometimes leukemia keeps me up at night

Still, it’s in the quiet of the night when Leuk really smacks me in the face. “Look,” he says, “I’ve had it. You’ve been ignoring me all day and I won’t stand for it. So let’s play a little game I like to call “Oh Sh*t”. (Again, for my sensitive readers, that means “Oh Shoot.” I just forgot about the second ‘o’.)

“Look. It’s two in the morning. I don’t have time for this. I need my sleep.”

“Yeah, sure. Like that’s going to happen.” Leuk grins a Leuky grin. “Now here’s how the game’s played…”

He doesn’t have to tell me. We’ve played the same game many nights before. If I manage to fall asleep, I win. If Leuk gets me to say “Oh, sh*t” and stay awake all night, he wins.

I close my eyes and start slapping my tummy. If I hit just the right spot it sounds like a bass drum and another spot has a higher pitch: boom-boom-slap, boom-boom-slap, I sing “We will, we will, rock you” boom-boom-slap…

Just when I think Queen is gonna save me Leuk whispers, “Will your wife have enough money to live on when you’re gone?”

“Shut up!” boom-boom-slap, boom-boom-slap.

“What about your grandkids? Will you even get to see them grow up?”

Say goodnight, Leuk!

Okay, forget Queen. Maybe another song. “I’m too sexy for my shirt, too sexy for my shirt, so sexy…”

“Have you really made a difference? Will anybody even remember you?”

I push those thoughts out of my mind. He’s not going to get to me this time.

“She wore an Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka-dot Bikini…”

“I wonder what chemotherapy’s gonna be like for you.”

Hey, I think I’m doing it. I’m getting sleepy! I squeeze my eyes tighter. Maybe Janis can send me home. “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz. My friends all drive Porsches I must make A-mends…”

Finally, Leuk pulls out the big gun. “Hey Jim, I hear chemo can cause erectile dysfunction.”

“OH SH*T!”

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Ann Harper moderator
    2 days ago

    Lol, but not really. I too am in watch and wait mode and I also think about all that stuff – well most of it. Then I put that out of my mind, remember I got this and, well after that depends on the night. Truthfully, I hardly ever think about the what ifs. I’m following a pretty strict diet and lifestyle. It’s helping. But I definitely have those nights occasionally.

    Your posts are great! Thanks for always putting a humorous spin on the realities of some of our lives!!

  • Racheli Alkobey moderator
    5 days ago

    Thank you so much for sharing this insight of yours. These are such important details that go through a cancer patient’s mind that most people don’t even realize.

  • Jim Smith moderator author
    4 days ago

    Thank you @radiant-racheli. Yes, those are some concerns of my fellow leukemia patients but this post was mainly meant to be humorous. Hopefully, that got through so readers didn’t take it too seriously.

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