The Muppet Man by Margot Uceda Murphy

Margot Macha
a decade of cliffhangers

This was written on October 13th, 2009…..for more background, pls. see prior post

1978. I was 6 years old and Kenny Rogers appeared in the movie The Gambler. Made no impact in my life, but when he appeared on The Muppet Show one year later with Kermit and Mrs. Piggy…well that was amazing! So in a tribute to the days of innocence and happier times I actually treated myself to a concert last Friday by going and watching The Gambler himself. And can I tell you I could not have gone to something so out of context for me. I drove to Reno, the Silver Legacy, with all it’s 80’s big bubble lights displaying it’s grand ol’ style and walked into a room full of Kenny Rogers fans.

Now don’t get me wrong, I remember blasting the duet song “Islands In the Steam” with Dolly Parton when I was in about 5th grade, wearing neon number sweaters,headband, and neon rubber bands around my wrist. Madonna and Boy George were making an impression in the world. But why go to Kenny Rogers? Well, perhaps the mountains are starting to rub off on me, I walked into a room full of cowboy hats and boots…big hair andearrings. I was secretly envious and jealous. I wanted to wear a big buckle, I settled for my uggs. I did however have a little problem when to the left of me I sat next to a man that spilled over onto my chair, and then got locked in to my right by a woman in her flannel top, boots, and bright red pointy fingernails (thank goodness she didn’tmatch her husbands big cowboy hat)…I kept thinking in Kenny’s words Oh boy! we’ve got tonight!

Kenny joked through the night saying half of the men had been dragged into the concert by wives because of the romantic songs, the other were Gambler fans. Personally I wanted to hear the following lyrics and bellow them out with every other cowboy in the room….

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold
’em. Know when to walk away, know when to run. You never count your
money, when you’re sittin’ at the table.There’ll be time enough for
countin’, when the dealin’s done.

At about the 90th minute my eyes and brain started to shut down and I had the overwhelming feeling of just wanting to curl up to the lady to my right, her flannel shirt started to
morph into a warm blankey. The thought of curling up and just laying down on her really
massive shoulder seem so comfortable. It was obviously time to leave. So I saluted Kenny, The Muppet man, and left with him singing one final song: Lady.

Ok, now on a more serious note. I finally got my tumor markers back this afternoon. In 2007 when I had my markers tested they came back and said they were at about 500+. Normal levels are at 30-40. As treatment started and hormonally they shut off estrogen levels in my body they dropped to about 100. So about 5 weeks ago prior to my arrival at the Nevada Center my markers were at 250. 50% of what they had been in 2007. Today they came back at 543.

Not to be totally sarcastic but this is one time when you really need to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em…know when to walk away, know when to run! So for right now we’re going to hold ’em. In the world of Oncology, tumor markers go up for two reasons: cancer is spreading or it’s dying. Four weeks into my treatments it’s very possible that my cancer is exploding and as the cells explode and die they release cancer ooze into the body that cause a spike in the markers. The other alternative is to think this treatment is not working, but that’s not a choice.

So we’re going to have to wait a few more weeks. Wait till all of the cancer sludge has cleared from my system and hopefully get a result that is 50% less than where I started. So that’s the deal Lucille! Other than the wind blowing at full throttle, today was a good day.