Monday, December 1, 2008
Last year at this time, I was writing about Stoughton resident and veteran comic Bob Lazarus’s fight with leukemia and a benefit thrown for him at Giggles with Steven Wright, Tony V., Jimmy Tingle, and a host of other local luminaries. Lazarus had one more hospital stay left in his treatment, and felt good enough to show up at Giggles and perform a bit at his own benefit. (There was also a benefit at the Regent Theatre in May, a Ding Ho reunion show that featured the above as well as Barry Crimmins, Steve Sweeney, Mike MacDonald and others).
A year later, Lazarus is still battling leukemia. He has a stem cell transplant this summer, and now calls August 22 his new “born on” date. A stem cell transplant is given like a blood transfusion, the desired result being a replacement of the patient's immune system. Lazarus's donor is a 37-year-old woman he hopes to meet someday.
“I have the immune system of a 37 year old,” he says, “and this incredible desire to buy a purse and matching pumps.”
His signature mop of black hair is coming back (he mentions to note it has been dyed since '87), but he says he feels like he could rub his head briskly and it would all come out. Some of his diet restrictions were lifted in time to enjoy a few Thanksgiving treats. He considers himself lucky to qualify for MassHealth Premium Assistance, which is paying his Blue Cross while he is unable to work.
Since it’s still dangerous for Lazarus to go out in public, he still can’t work (he’s limited to taking a long walk every day the weather cooperates). “I have to wait until I'm allowed to be in public places,” he says. “Probably not until next summer; maybe a little sooner.”