Nikhil Joshi, M.D.
Doctor, Author, Leader
Nikhil Joshi is a young physician, writer, and speaker. He is passionate about furthering his ability to touch the lives of people positively.

C-Holes and The Courtyard

C-Holes and The Courtyard

I wrote the following entry about a week ago. And for right now it’s the closest thing I’ve got to what I’m feeling right now- but fairly different as well. I’m day 4 out of a chemo hole and man do I feel like fucking shit. I’m extremely nauseous, I’m drugged to the hilt, and overall this whole thing is balls. Thanks for everyone who called or wanted to talk this weekend but that wasn’t happening. I know the blog was taking a turn towards bright sunshine but in life there are detours. Here is the story of one such detour. Spoiler alert today’s submission will not fill you with hope and rainbows. So if you’re already having a bad day, I say skip this one and wait for Wednesdays.

Today’s really not a good day. All in all- I’m tired of this. I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of getting chemotherapy. I’m almost tired of writing this blog. I don’t even know why I’m doing it anymore- what’s the fucking point? So I can tell you how I feel? Who the fuck cares? If this shit spreads to my liver and I fucking die- the internet will remember me for all of 5 seconds. Sure my family and friends will probably hold that for a while- but even then that will fade. Then there will just be the memory of the memory. I don’t say this to be melodramatic or to find some attention- to be honest I could give a fuck less. There’s no F tonight, there’s no happy ending, love doesn’t triumph people, there’s just this guy who thinks about disappearing into the night. My current fantasy, crazy as it may seem, is that the prognosis is bad- and I get to finally do my own thing. I escape. That’s it. You don’t know where I am, or what happens to me- no one does. I just disappear like fucking Keyser Soze. Done. Oh someone would find me. I’d be in Nepal drinking scotch in a cabana, or living at Pushapati. Someone would track me down and ruin even my own desire to die in fucking peace. I wouldn’t even get that. Somehow people manage to ruin everything. I can’t even fantasize about dying- because I know that it wouldn’t happen. I’m sure the chemo is working, and I know I should be grateful, I should always be grateful for every sun rise and kiss and rain and blah blah fuck you blah blah. I’m grateful for nothing right now but the thirty minutes I get to shit by myself. That’s all folks- 30 fucking minutes. And you know what the worst part of this all is? The self loathing that accompanies this rant. My family and friends have all been saints- caring and loving and worrying. Their support has been completely exemplary. And to be honest right now I really don’t give a fuck about anyone. I don’t care who this statement hurts, I don’t care what my future holds, I don’t care who I loved or who once loved me, none of that matters. At least you get to speak your mind. You get to join the babble of hundreds of thousands of other people on the internet Nikhil. I give myself a needle tonight and don’t even flinch. Drugs, bone pain, needles, whatever. Don’t fucking care. Means nothing. I was at a party today and laughed and joked and hit on girls and pretended to exist. I pretended like everything is A OK, and I’m doing great, and it’s not a big deal, and you should definitely date a guy with cancer, hahaha what a funny joke, man that guy is hilarious and crazy. Fuck you all. Fuck off.

This beer tastes like shit. Why the fuck am I drinking Sleeman clear? Where is the fucking bourbon?

All I want to do is wake up in my bedroom at the Hotel Courtyard. I want to look out and see the stones and the gardens of my beloved second home in Nepal. I want to hear that shitty ring from that fucking shitty phone that was made in the 1950’s. I don’t want anyone to be in the room with me. No friends, no family, no lovers. I want to drink my fucking chai, eat my fucking hashbrowns and plan my day around the power outages that routinely occur. I just really want to see Pujan and Michelle, and have Pujan be a fucking asshole, and love every minute of it. I want my phone to ring at night after I pass out, and have Michelle yell at me to get my ass ready and downstairs because it’s already 8 o’clock and the guests have been waiting for me and it’s time to go eat. Then I walk down the stairs, where everyone says hello sir, and I walk to that magic fucking courtyard, where Sham, fucking Sham- love that kid- will bring me a Gin and tonic, or a bourbon and coke before I even get the chance to sit down. And I will feel normal, and free and loved and unjudged. I need that from Nepal, I need that from Pujan and Michelle. People wonder why after 7 years I keep going back, and the reason is because it’s the only place in the world I can truly be myself. It’s the only place I feel happy and free and loved. I could drink an entire bottle of gin and be a total self destructive asshole and I’d still be okay. Pujan and Michelle would just laugh and love me and everything would be okay. It doesn’t matter if I broke a dozen glasses, or insulted a fucking diplomat (it’s happened before) or got us kicked out of dinner (also happened) I’d just be free. I’m fucking sick of all of this and I’m considering leaving right now, this day, this moment and just showing up on their doorstep. The only thing about it is that it would be incredibly shitty of me to thrust the end of my life on Michelle and Pujan. Oh they’d handle it fine for the first few months- they’d shelter me like a fucking refugee. Pujan would drain every last drop of blood he had in his body for me to stay alive. I’ll never forget the day I told him I had cancer. I was outside Portabello’s with Mom. She was picking up some takeout when I called him. This was to be some of my last take out. And Pujan thought I was joking with him for the first 5 minutes. And when he found out I wasn’t, he was just so fucked up. And Michelle was so bright but so fucking scared and I heard her voice and she was angry that this whole thing was happening, but there wasn’t anything we could do about it. Well Michy, there’s still not a fucking thing we can do about it.

Pujan tried to talk to Mom about it but she broke down in the car and couldn’t talk to him. That was an entirely fucking awful experience I’ll never forget. “Mom how are you doing?” he asked “Son, I can’t talk to you” she said breaking.

I call Pujan. I’m fucking crying. “Nik baby how you doing?” he coo’s.
“I’m not doing this anymore Pujan” I say breaking down “I’m fucking done with all this shit”.
“Nik what are you talking about?”
“I’m fucking done! I’m done with this chemo shit! I’m done with this being a leper shit! I’m fucking out! That’s it! I don’t give a fuck! I’m coming home man. I’m done, I don’t care, I just want to come home now okay? Get the fucking place ready, I’m just going to come now.”
“Nik listen, we’re gonna do this okay, we’re gonna fucking have a revolution and shoot some fucking peasants (our inside joke for drinking beers) and you’re gonna feel way better, but what are we at- almost the end of the 2nd cycle? Baby we just got a little more to go”
“Easy for you to say! Fucking easy for you to say! I’m fucking getting chemo over here, and my life sucks fucking balls! I’m a fucking leper! I’m fucking done! Fuck this shit! Fuck all this shit!”
“Look baby we’re gonna go on the top of a mountain, build a hotel while a motherfucker holds a white umbrella over your head and crushes the mint to make you a fucking mojito, but we just gotta get through the next few cycles and everything’s gonna be fine and me and Michelle are here and we love you.”
“I fucking love you too man. You’re my fucking blood”
“You’re my little brother and I fucking love you and I’ll be there with you through everything baby, you don’t worry okay? You just keep it up and I’ll call you tomorrow same time and I’ll start calling you everyday okay? We just need to see this shit through okay?”
“Yeah” I say straightening up “Yeah I can deal man. I can get through some more of this chemo. I can do this.”
“I know you can baby- wait here’s Michelle, stay on the phone.”
“Nikhil” Michelle’s clear voice kicks in
“Michelle” I say breaking
“Oh Nikhil it’s okay” she says
“Michy, I’m done. Fuck this I’m fucking done.”
“It’s okay Nikhil. Cancer fucking sucks and this fucking sucks and that’s okay”
“I just miss everything.” I say my voice cracking “I miss the way the phone rings, and I miss the power outages and I miss being asleep in the library while you’re there, and I miss everything. I’m so fucking homesick” I say breaking
“Nikhil, we’re going to watch movies, and drink wine, and you’ll be home and we’ll be together and it’s just a few more months.”
“Mich I just feel so fucking alone, and I’ve got cancer and this whole thing just fucking sucks”
“Nikhil I know you’re so loved by your wonderful family and even here where I’m standing right now within 20 feet of me on the other side of the world there’s so many people here who love you and are touched by you and think everything you’re doing and living is so incredibly brave”
“I feel none of that. I feel nothing. I just want to sit at that table and eat that fucking cheese we got with Trish from that Italian guy. You remember that cheese?”
“Yeah it was from the farmers market, and she nearly beat the shit out of you because you kept telling the guy that he should charge more because it was so good”
Trish is about 5’4 and 120 pounds. But I would definitely not fuck with her. Not even because her Everest climbing husband Phil is awesome but because she herself used to run a bar in New York and is in her own repute, like Michelle, a badass motherfucker.
“Do you remember that time you puked up Patrick’s chocolate mousse?”
“How could I forget? It was entirely delicious and then Pujan kept yelling at me ‘NOT IN THE FOUNTAIN’.

I laugh. I enjoy a single laugh in a night full of fucking misery. And I don’t pretend it makes it worth it but it makes it a hell of a lot more livable.

I’m emotionally exhausted and hate this post already. It isn’t fair. I had a great time at my friends’ party- it was entirely refreshing to be there. Even if he has some sort of strange fascination with Miley Cyrus. This post is going to age my mother 10 years, and whoever else fucking reads it. But what am I going to do? I’m home sick. I’m sick of cancer. And for the life of me I don’t know why I continue and struggle when I could just fly away to Nepal and see where the chips fall. It seems like a hell of a better option than staying here and struggling and kicking and screaming for every little inch. And maybe that’s just an important thing I needed to realize. Maybe that’s the silver lining I’ll take with me after this is all over. Once this shit is done, my bags are packed and I’m leaving. Maybe friends, family or a lover will come with me- but even if they don’t, I’m headed for the door. I’ve gone through and suffered too much to not do what I want anymore. I’m finishing this chemo then I’m heading to Nepal even if I have to fucking walk there.

Signing off from a C-Hole

4 Responses to “C-Holes and The Courtyard”

  1. Mary Jane Dinn

    Ok Nik, don’t hold back man, say whatever the fuck is on your mind…. I really think its time for those special cookies though…. Remember man, tough times don’t last, tough people do…. Stay strong…

  2. John Kydd

    Hello Nikhil. Please keep up this blog. The people on the outside (cancer free) needed to really understand what its like to fight this. I mean you will never know till you are in that fight yourself but, at least Nikhil you are GIVING an honest story of what it is.

    Pal ( I feel like I know you), I lost a father after 14 months of hell and a mother after years of hell too. Both believed in medicine and doctors and all that crap. As a doctor you know how it works. They are learning and trying new things every day but, Who the Fuck wants to be an Experiment. “Well class we killed off the cancer cells and its in remission….. so sorry the patient didn’t make it.” Torture by technolgy is what the head of John Hopksins called it. At least he was honest about the procedures. He’s in his 80’s. A wise man.

    And then there is the other path. A cousin of mine lived it out at home…with family and friends. His wife was a career nurse, she new what he was up against. So they didn’t go through the battle of chemo and radiation. In the end he was in the hospital for only the last three days for morphine. I respect the way his family dealt with his battle.

    This is my point. You know who you are. You know thy self. You are respected and loved. so there is nothing “wrong” with taking a less ” heroic” path. Fuck this shit. Smoke a joint, have a drink, Take a viagra and get a hooker. most of all have a laugh with some friends. Then check out. Ya, I said it Pal. Cause no one else will…… Some times, and you will know the time….. Check out from the pain and shit. And BE aT Peace, my Friend

    Many will say that’s wrong. Many of those fuckers never had 4 or 5 spinal taps, never puked every 1.5 hours for months on end, never had chills that would freeze a polar bears balls. Who cares what “they” think. Its your body. More so your mind…

    Quality of Life. And when the quality sucks, the choice is yours.

    But please be aware that if you wait too long, “They” will try and stop you. Hell if you wait too long you may not have the strenght to……And then its out of your hands. And back to the torture by tech people.

    I apoloize if this upsets your personal believes. I respect you and them. Its just an option. And thanks for letting me vent on your blog. its helped a least me.

    John Kydd

  3. Kenneth

    Well good sir! Good for you to do this. As a 46 yr old professional , Im coming out of two yrs of the puking etc and just starting to rebuild from stage 4 tonsil squamous cell carcinoma. Sucks dick as far as how you keep getting handed bags of shit with no options other then to yup ill take the shit in my veins, get rad treatments daily, have neck slit open for a disection then after it seems youve done it all you get hammered with being really freaking sick.. plus the pat on the back from others saying your rocking it..grr ..head up and bear down..your sort of shit out of luck on options in this game ..I wish you all the best on this. At least you had the nuts to put it into written words for whatever your reasons and it will actually help those that care for you figure out after the fact what happened and why you did what you do now .. Ill have several rummies for ya and look forward to additional postings sir! btw youll probably be inundated with the tear jerk stories from others but fk it thats why there are therapists. Not my intent just kudos for your posting

  4. Jennifer

    So damn honest, thanks. Keep up the fight. I can see in your posts that you know that you are not alone, but feel that you are. When I was a kid, we moved every two years. That meant that every second summer I didn’t have any friends. For two months every two years I was alone. So, I get what you are saying about feeling alone. Now, as an adult, I need to be alone sometimes. I need to go away for a few days by myself. I do that atleast once a year, even if just for a few days. If you haven’t already, choose to spend some time alone; making the choice changes the experience.

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