March 19

Bob and The Radioactive Guitar

I posted last week about our friend Bob who has been undergoing massive amounts of radiation to fight his second round of cancer. He has been in a hospital in San Francisco is a room isolated because he is “hot,” meaning he’s radioactive. His body is so radioactive that everything that he touches and everything that comes out of his body must be disposed of as radioactive waste. He has to take his own vitals, administer his own medicines and stay behind a 3′ thick lead wall to prevent contaminating anyone or anything else. His room is wrapped in plastic and duct taped.

But anyone who knows Bob knows how much Bob loves music. So apparently one of Bob’s friends, clearly an awesome friend, tracked down a guitar that Bob could have in the hospital and could be disposed of at the end of his stay along with everything else that he has touched in the past week. Gretchen, Bob’s wife, wrote on their blog that between bouts of nausea Bob has been playing the guitar in his duct-taped, radioactive isolation. She said that when she exited the elevator earlier this week that she could hear him playing and that yesterday he sang Elvis Costello’s beautiful song, “Alison.” My eyes welled up when I read that.

Enough of the radioactivity has left Bob’s body that it will be safe enough for him to leave the hospital today. Now those who love Bob await the report of the newest scans to learn whether or not the radiation was effective in shrinking the tumors. We’ll be praying and praying that they did. Because in the words of Elvis Costello, “My aim is true.”