Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sometimes, cancer treatment requires some creativity and a sense of humor

Ben has to take this yucky stuff called Mercaptopurine every day. It resembles a nutrient cancer cells need to grow, and when they suck up the Mercaptopurine instead of the nutrient, they can't grow. So it's important stuff for him to take.

It tastes terrible. It's a pill. He doesn't swallow pills yet, so we crush it and mix it with juice. He stills hates it.

He's usually a good sport, but when he's having a tough day (like today, when he needed a blood transfusion and a bunch of other stuff because his numbers were low), sometimes he really fights it. And today, let me tell you, he was fighting it.

So we tried some bribery. Lots of things. And nothing was working. So finally, I had an idea.

"Ben, if you just finish it, I'll pull down my pants and you can spank me one time as hard as you want."


His first instinct, with genes from two lawyers, is to negotiate for more smacks plus more stuff. But I'm a professional. Years of experience negotiating much bigger deals.

"Ben, I'm going to set the timer for 30 seconds. If you finish drinking before it goes off, you get to spank me one time. Otherwise, you don't get to spank me at all and you still have to drink it."

I set the timer. It starts ticking down.

"And Ben, I'll also give you a dollar."

He runs to the drink, chugs the rest, and wails on me with enormous pleasure.

No, I did not like it. You sick person, you.


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