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.

Video: My Girls

So over the last few weeks I’ve been working on mixes for friends and family. This song still makes me super happy, and is going out to a mix to all my friends. I don’t care if this band is the definition of hipster.

Music: Burnt Alive

Since getting home from the hospital I’ve been reverting in years in both my clothes and music. Here’s a song that’s been on repeat recently.

Mohawk time

So they have the radiation machine zapping me from 4 different angles. I was pretty sure I could at least keep a mohawk, so instead of waiting for my hair to just fall on out Alex and I got my new hairdo cut. The nurses seemed to like it. Apparently this kind of mohawk is most like Mister T’s, which I’m more than happy with. They said if the rest of the hair falls out I can’t blame the radiologists, but I can go bitch at the chemo.

 

Diagnosed with Glioblastoma (The Brain Cancer Monster)

Okay, so here’s the rundown in bullet form.

Hospital time (why you guys gotta stick me with so many needles?)

  • Had a seizure while driving in early May 2015. No accident, but now I can’t drive for at least 1/2 year. I wouldn’t want to risk anyone’s safety so I’m down with that law.
  • A friend from work took me to the UF Health ER.
  • Alex arrived while I was in the waiting room and could see that I was pretty loopy.
  • They wanted to draw blood and scare me with needles so I got a healthy dose of Xanax to help blur all of it out.
  • They scanned me and found a few areas where they thought I had cancer.
  • I ended up having cancer in the frontal lobe of my brain.
  • They got me brain surgery pronto.
  • I’ve got a metal plate in my skull now. I wonder if it’s bullet proof.
  • The surgeon came in and told me and family that while he removed the tumor I was terminal with Glioblastoma, and that I had about 11 months to kick around on planet earth.
  • The oncologist came in later sporting an awesome bow-tie and made it sound like I might be able to get a few years since I was younger and fairly healthy.
  • Friends and family started searching the internet like detectives. I was told that some people have lived upwards of 10 years.
  • While I was at the hospital all the nurses kicked ass and were top notch. Much respect goes out to them. I still need to send them some thank you cards and some gift cards for putting up with my needle phobic ass.
  • I left the hospital after a few days which I was surprised about since someone was just cutting around in my brainz.

Home time (what happened to the last three weeks?)

  • Alex and family took me home and took care of me while I was all kind of screwy on pain killers.
  • They seemed surprised that I was fairly optimistic and vocal about how I wanted things to go down. Hey I’m a pessimist so I’ve had soooooo much time to think of terrible situations like this. Now that this shit has happened, what the hell, I can be an optimist and do my best to be happy damnit!
  • The pain wasn’t too bad, but I’d have nights where family would come over and give me neck rubs to cut through the pain that was pulsing out of my skull. It felt so good to have family there for me. I felt so much love.
  • After a few weeks of haziness I started to become more aware of went down and worked through some tough shit in my head.
  • I’m now starting my chemo and radiation treatment.
  • I have no idea how much longer I have left to live, and I’m trying not to think about it in those terms. I have each day I have and I want each to be a great day where the people I’m around know that I love and respect them sooo much.

So that sums up the bigger points.

Going to try and blog this up a bit

I’ve been told by a few people that it’s helpful to update a blog while you’re going through cancer treatment. It can take a lot of energy to keep everyone individually updated, so instead of not saying anything at all to everyone individually, I’ll be posting up some updates on how things are going. I’ll actually probably post more about non cancer stuff, cause cancer fucking sucks and it can go take the back seat most of the time.