Godzilla Family Support Party

Alex connected with family to have everyone come out to our place to watch the latest Godzilla flick in support of this fight again brain cancer (why Godzilla?). A lot of work was put into getting the party arranged, which made it easy for me to socialize and see everyone without having to worry about setup. I felt much love and support in both the setup of the party and the party itself. The party started off with some great food and MarioKart, and then quickly went over to watching Godzilla. Everyone at the party brought a large dose of positivity, which still has me feeling great.

Godzilla plots his path through the party cake my parents hand constructed.

 

Alex and I happy observing Godzilla’s destructive power on cake.

 

Sandra and York who helped Alex out a lot to put together the party.

 

Mohawk V2

First some appropriate music to accompany this post. Some uplifting shoegazin’ metal.

Well I started losing some hair in my Mohawk, so I had to make some style modifications. I now have a bar towards the back of my head and a gap in the front. I’m being stubborn about this hair cut. I’ve noticed that I’m losing more and more hair as the days go by recently, but I’m going to keep as much of this going as possible until the last hair falls out. Theeennnn the fake hair may or may not be deployed. ^_^

It would look cool to have two pong paddles on either side of my head and have the ball go through that gap. I might do that one day this week for the techs to see.

It looks like I have a docking station for a space craft on the front of my head now ^_^

 

I started using a lint roller to keep track of how much hair I was losing at any given time. I compare the sheets each day to check on the rate of lose. I like doing this activity in front of Alex since it looks so silly.

Music: Your Heart Still Beating

A few months ago I put this track by Lower Dens on one of my monthly mixes. It really hit home with me because I was worried about a health incident that Alex had that took us to the emergency room that seemed very serious. Thankfully Alex was deemed a-ok after getting some scans done by the docs. Now when I hear this song though I feel like I’m on the other side of the table, and this song is for Alex.

So Alex, my heart is still beating here and I am looking forward to spending another day with the bestest wife in the whole world!

“Fight against cancer”

Even before I found out I had cancer I was always confused by hearing that people were “fighting” their cancer. To me it really just seemed to come down to whatever the docs were doing to the patient that was actually doing the real fighting. I also felt like if someone was observed as fighting against cancer, and ended up dying there was this idea that they somehow didn’t fight hard enough. And what about the people that might have had it so bad that they just didn’t feel like it was worth it to “fight” against what might have seemed like the inevitable? Were those people looked down on by their family, friends, and other people who were fighting cancer? So I guess I never really liked the idea that someone was fighting the cancer directly.

Once I found out that I had cancer, I felt like I could choose two paths. One that threw my hands up in the air, got severely depressed, and gave up with life, and the other where I tried to max out each day I had left to live. I think the fighting that cancer patients like myself are really doing are fighting against the depression, pessimism, hopelessness, and various other downers that can be caused by cancer. I’d like to think that cancer patients who are fighting against the negative emotions do help increase their odds for a longer life. But for those who have so much pain, or so little hope I don’t think that makes them any less a fighter than anyone else. They are just as in need and worthy of family and friend support as a patient who is more vocal about fighting against their cancer.

Music: Drop Top

You probably all know that I’m a big synthwave fan. The last two yearly mixes I’ve put together have been solely in that genre. One of the most prolific artists in the genre came out with a good track recently that I’ve been enjoying quite a bit. This is good for 80’s aerobic workouts if that’s your thing.

Godzilla (Gojira)!!!

Before starting the radiation, the doc was telling us about all the side effects and what not. He left the room and then popped his head back in and asked if we were trying to have kids. It was apparent that most of his patients were at the age where kids were no longer discussed. He said that one should avoid trying to have kids while going through treatment because they can be deformed. We told him we were not planning on having children, even before all this cancer stuff hit the fan. I then told Alex we were going to avoid having Godzilla babies.

On the first day of radiation, when they had me strapped in and I closed my eyes, I could hear the machine gear up getting reading to shoot its beam, and when the beam started shooting I pictured a small Godzilla in the machine doing his signature radioactive attack. It was a silly thought, but I felt more comfortable in the machine thinking that Godzilla was in there trying to harness his radioactive power to try and kill the cancer cells I have.

After that day of treatment I did an instant order of five Godzilla shirts in the waiting room, and have since ordered a few more. Each day I go in for treatment I wear a Godzilla shirt. Choosing a mascot or spirit animal for myself seemed silly and fun, and its been making things a little easier and fun for myself. Alex knowing that I’ve been feeling the need for support from family, she arranged for a viewing of the latest Godzilla film which is happening this weekend. I felt like I needed some family rallying, and am glad that most of my family will be there for me watching a silly movie for support.

 

Chemo/Radiation Side Effects

Side Effects

  1. Desert Mouth – The most insulting effect has been my mouth. It has become a dry cracked wasteland. My tongue is cracking, and my taste buds are becoming neutralized. I can barely taste salt and sugar at this point. I cooked some sketti for Alex and Sandra the other night and it tasted like I had under-seasoned the whole dish…what kind of cook had I have potentially become? My guess now is that dish was as salty as hell and they were telling me it was fine to make me feel alright. Sorry guys!
  2. I’m Sorry I Got Fat – Depending on the doc I talk to I’m told to either stop or not to stop taking steroids while going through treatment. Due to the steroids I’ve not lost any weight during treatment. I have gained weight…a lot of weight…about 30 lbs so far. Some docs tell me this is a good thing, but my pants and shirts are telling me a different story. At this point we’re going to try and just take the steroid every other day and walk the line between the docs to see if that’ll make them all happy.
  3. I think I might just rest my eyes – Fatigue is the other biggie. I’m just tired. I always feel like closing my eyes, and don’t have a lot of energy to be an active social person. I want to be around people, just with my eyes closed and a smile from the rest I’m getting.
  4. Tough shit – The combo of all these pills makes specialized rocks out of your food input, making the saddest geologist a happy one.
  5. Hair Loss – So I thought with the angles they were shooting this radiation through me I could sport my mohawk as a middle finger to the brain cancer. My mohawk hair just started falling out, so I might need a fake one soon. I’m not giving up this signal to that bastard.

Volunteering at the animal shelter

One thing I’ve always wanted to do was spend time volunteering at the animal shelter helping out the doggies in need of good homes. One of the first things I decided after my diagnoses, was that I wanted to use some of my available time  helping out the dogs in our county. The dogs in my life have brought me so much joy and happiness, I’ve always felt the need to help out dogs in need and to see that other folks get to make that special connection with their new best friends like I have.

Alex, my folks, and I all went through the volunteer orientation, and when I’m feeling good enough we’ve started to go walk some of the dogs that are in most need of some good photos. Here’s a sampling of some of the dogs we’ve photographed so far.

abigal
Abigal

angie1
Angie

dodger
Dodger

freddie
Freddie

gretchen
Gretchen

samson
Samson

DSC_0060cody2
Cody

DSC_0065matt
Matt

DSC_0072tanner
Tanner

DSC_0079olivia
Olivia

DSC_0082d3-petuna
Petuna

About 1/2 through radiation + chemo

I’m about half way through the chemo and radiation fun. I’ve been handling it pretty well, and am pretty much just fatigued. I tried skipping my anti-nausea pills a couple days to see if I could stomach the chemo without them, but eventually I had to get back on them. Apparently the anti-nausea pills build up in your system so if you forgot a day or so you can still reap the benefits of them. The only problem with them is that they are affecting my GI, thus my desire to not take them.

Today I get to go in and get some blood work done to see how the chemo pills are affecting me. If the chemo pills screw with your system too much they force you to stop taking them to avoid system damage. I’m hoping that my cell counts are good and that I can get through the rest of them. For brain cancer they tend to give you chemo in pill form instead of intravenously. Unfortunately the chemo and radiation are pretty hard to take out all the unwanted cancer cells in the brain. This is why the cancer I have is considered terminal. I can go through treatments to try and help add on time, but the cancer is always expected to come back. When the cancer comes back if it’s doable they’ll go back into my skullz and extract the unwanted bastard. Eventually when it becomes undo-able, I’ll be checking into Hospice which I’ve always had much appreciation for.

I do have an alternative idea to get around this, I need my IT friends to quickly design a system where I can upload myself into the mainframe. I’ll settle for inhabiting any of your Minecraft lands and will take care of all your farming and building needs. ^_^

Hey I can wear comfort clothes again!

After getting home from surgery I was quickly running out of comfortable clothes to wear. My work wardrobe was all I pretty much had. But hey no more tucking in shirts and being business casual. I can now wear whatever the hell I want to, so I thought about the most comfortable stuff I’ve worn through my life and that was my old (and ugly) skating clothes from when I was a little skater/punk/goth noob in my younger years.

So I decided to see what the skater kids were wearing these days by going to some skating shops….anddddddd things are much different and I’m old. So what if these teenage punk kids listening to No Doubt (really, is it cool to listen to them now???), pointed out that we had put a few years on us. All I cared about was getting some comfortable threads, shoes, and a chain wallet (which is out of style now and couldn’t be found). There were no more baggy pants (which is good), just super tight pants (which is ball busting bad). There are less skate board logos and more abstract hipstery t-shirt designs. The Van shoes however were still the same good ol’ and comfortable things I remembered. So I got some skater shorts, shoes, t-shirts, old school velcro wallet (soon to be fashioned with a chain from Lowes). The accessory that brings me the most joy is my official Chevy seat belt clothes belt. Such a satisfying click. My leather yoyo holder looks at home on my new pants as well which I’m happy about.

Comfort is key, and I found it.