The Empire State Building.
It stands tall in the heart of a magnetic city. It is an international icon, a symbol of what man can accomplish, a beacon of romance and marvel.
Carey Grant stands on top of the grandiose building yearning for Deborah Kerr to appear and affirm her love for him in An Affair to Remember.
King Kong scales the sky scraper because it is the closest thing to his mountain top home on skull island. He stands at the top of the 1,250 foot building and valiantly beats his chest in an air of rebellion as planes circle him attempting to bring on his demise.
King Kong beating his chest on top of the empire state building was an image that danced in my head during my first radiation treatment. How did my thoughts turn to King Kong you ask? Let me tell you.
I was noting that the median age of the room was somewhere around 71 when my radiation therapist fetched me from the waiting room
“Did you make a playlist to play during treatment?” She asked.
I hadn’t. But the Lumineers album would get me through the 15 minutes on the cold metal table just fine until I put together a proper compilation.
A tight plastic mask was put over my upper body just as the Lumineers began to croon about how classy girls don’t kiss in bars. I pondered what songs I would like to listen to while I laid underneath the radiation beams everyday.
What was that band Tessa saw the other day? I thought. Ahh King Khan and the something or others. I wonder if they got their name from KING KONG.
And thus I began to think of King Kong. The massive gorilla who, when perched on that remarkable building, fights back with courage and a beat-on-your-chest vigor. Give or take a few physical characteristics and personality traits, I want to be like King Kong. You may think I am trying to evoke some hidden symbolism, but I really just want to stand on top of the Empire State Building and pound my fists against my chest. I mean, imagine the view.
After I left my first treatment I received terrible news. Aquamarine, our beloved Mercedes, was going to be sold for scrap metal. This car was as iconic in the Beasecker household as the Empire State Building is to New York. Aquamarine shuttled my sister and I around for four beautiful and memory filled years.
I will always remember the day I had my first treatment as the day Aquamarine was laid to rest.
She has been replaced with a Toyota. This car may not be as dear to us as Aquamarine, but my brother says that Toyotas run forever on soy sauce and laughter. We will see if that is true. She has been faithful in shuttling me to treatments each morning, so I suppose she isn’t too bad.
Two weeks after my first treatment I met with the my radiation doctor. He walked into the room, greeted me, and then asked, “Have you been tanning?!”
“Uhh…” I replied. The day before I had spent quite some time basking in the warmth at the beach. “I’ve been surfing.” It wasn’t a complete lie.
“You can’t do that,” He then proceeded to tell me the reasons why I could not spend time in the sun or go in the ocean. They were very good reasons but do you think King Kong did everything he was supposed to?
I went surfing that afternoon. Shhh, don’t tell.
Today, I began my third week of radiation and wednesday will be my half way point! I am beginning to feel the side effects. I am experiencing some pain in my throat, difficulty swallowing, feeling fatigued, and sometimes sound like a chain-smoker. Its to be expected and it will get worse before it gets better. But hey, King Kong was shot off a building and many cancer fighters have it much, much, much worse.
For the next four weeks its on like King Kong.
I’m mostly worried about not being able to swallow a burrito. What do you think it would taste like after being blended?
I will get back to you on that.