Cancer Emperor Meets Rodney Dangerfield

My wife’s and my journey with Parkinson’s has entered a confounding new place. Struby has begun treatment for metastatic breast cancer. All signs are positive. Her care team is vetted and solid.

“The Emperor of All Maladies,” cancer, is joined with the Rodney Dangerfield of maladies, Parkinson’s. Too funny in a weird way.

Struby and I now wear two hats, patient and care partner. Tricky? You bet.

Today I am 80% partner and 20% patient. Yesterday Struby had surgical implantation of a chemo port above her left collar bone. The port allows smooth administration of cancer-killing meds. Total success. Hair loss to come.

I am known to make messes around the house, most especially connected with my cigar pleasures. I am newly mindful of minimizing domestic disorder.

I am also mindful of putting my wife’s needs first, ahead of my Parkinson’s work.

One of Parkinson’s gang (P-Daggers) in Tampa nailed my new responsibilities. Her name is Pat Pawelkop. Here’s our recent exchange.
Dear Pat,

 “I know fully well how you, without fail, detect–then leaving no tracks–hose down cant, bullshit, pomposity, narrow-mindedness, etc. 

 “What you wrote (following) sets me in my place with a clear set of instructions on being a CARE PARTNER.

“Got it. Turbos on.

Pat’s words to my wife;

 “Please (Struby) remind him, if necessary, (probably likely…!) that there are MANY CAPABLE PD warriors, who are all carrying on the fight, while Struby has ONE HUSBAND, who promised to be by her side through thick and thin. You must be his top priority and perhaps his ONLY priority in the coming months. 

“If he needs his butt kicked in this regard, please let us know. I’m sure every one of us P-Daggers would be happy to take him on. Just say the words!”





3 thoughts on “Cancer Emperor Meets Rodney Dangerfield”

  1. Gil, My thoughts and prayers for Struby and the new challenges you both face.

    Although I have never met Struby, but, from jwhat I have read on your blogs … cancer does not stand a chance. Struby will kick it’s ass in no time.

    Stay strong and positive my friend!


    Michelle Lane 504-952-6659 Event Director Louisiana Walks for Parkinson’s

    Ambassador Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s

    Research Advocate Parkinson’s Foundation

    Sent from my iPhone – Please excuse any typos as my iPhone has a mind of its own!



  2. Please send photos of you in a cute nurse’s uniform. And tell Struby we’re pulling for her!

    Best, Ken



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