Dude, Cancer sucks. I will prove it to you.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thank You

So if you are reading this then you know, and if you know then your knowing does not need further application of knowing by me; however as the purpose of this is to allow me to ensure that my knowing is known by all the knowers, prepare for some know, now.

Scans = more spots.  More spots = hospital treatments (and a sharp increase in the consumption of scotch). hospital treatments = missed work and shitty life.  missed work and shitty life brings us to the point of our meeting today.....by calling it a meeting, it implies that you have entered my brain and are looking around.  For those of you that are in here with me please note the following: 1.  That picture on the wall never happened (i.e. an indictment is not a conviction) 2. I hope that you are wearing non-slip shoes. 3. The fuzziness is a result of the scotch. 4. Don't open the door in the back.  You aren't ready for that kind of crazy.  I have totally lost what I was talking about.  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.  Oh yeah, now I remember.

So we are back in treatment and we (saying "we" is kind of presumptuous (prəˈzəm(p)(t)SH(o͞o)əs/) of me and a little more ego-centric than I usually am.) had our first session.....the we is dumb.  Cole had the treatment.  All I did was sit there and play GTA5.  More on that later.  It has been a while (a while is the grown up word for some number of years that is greater than 1 but less than 1,0wer09w8er0we98r0ew9) since Cole had any kind of serious treatment that really affected him negatively.  This treatment (for those of you keeping score and for those of you who are actually interested in the truth (crazy bastards), the treatment includes the immunotherapy with a chemo kicker) causes Cole to feel strange and significant pain while he is in.  The pain is strange because it is in the joints of his legs and feet.  He says it feels like the pain your legs feel when you are sitting for a long time, but then intensified a great deal.  In addition to the fun pain, he gets the normal chemo nausea.  Fortunately the nausea is way less than the previous chemos that he done did.

Regardless, I have decided that it is no fun.  The only goood thing is that it is not on study which means that we do not have to jump through all the hoops (specific dates of treatment, underwear that must be worn, etc.).  Other than that, it pretty much sucks.

Ok, so all the crappy health stuff is done.  Now I would like to try and be sincere for a moment. (no promises as I have already entered crazy town and am 3/9 of the way through the double scotch that magically appeared when I poured it into a glass).  On a sort of whim, I set up a gofundme campaign.  I was doing the middle class math (middle class math is the grown up word for how in the hell am I going to make ends meet) game and with me missing 1 week of work per month, and with all the weird costs than pop up when you are doing multi-day hospital stays, I knew that this would be a rough summer.  Of course those closest to us asked how they could help.  So I did the gofundme.  It felt weird.  I felt like I was going out to sit on an internet street corner with a sign that says "will work for food", but I set it up anyway.

Now it may seem strange to you, but I don't really see myself as having a lot of friends. I have family.  I have people that I know.  But I don't really have friends (in case you are feeling sorry for me, it does not bother me.  I am very much an introvert and enjoy taking strolls in my own thoughts).  So it amazed, shocked, humbled, and moved me beyond words when the response to my gofund me was so amazing.  I keep trying to describe how I feel.  I keep trying to find the words to express my overpowering gratitude, but I can't seem to find the words.  I can't even find the made up words that always seem to come so easily to me.  All I know is that the people have spoken, and they have said loudly and clearly, "Cole.  We love you and we are here for you...all of us"  It does not seem to be enough but all I can think to say is, Thank You.  Thank You to all who donated.  Thank You to all who have prayed.  Than You to all who have offered help.  Thank You to all who have given support.  Thank You. Thank You.  Thank You.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Birthday party and/or mail order brides

CaPiTalIZATION rules are dumb.  Why do we even need them?

Today when I opened this blog, there was a link to the right that apparently allowed me to purchase a bride through the mail.  My question is: do they ship her USPS or FedEx?

Now on to the issue of the day.  Today I shoved a certain number of 12 year old boys (the actual number is a variable based on the reader's affiliation to law enforcement) in my car and had them bounce around on tramps (trampolines.  The other kind will be on the 18th birthday), fed them pizza, then set them loose on the neighborhood.  You may have heard the sirens.

So that was an awesome thing that happened today, and for all of the people, minus one, in the entire world, it was perfect.  The minus one existed because a conversation earlier in the day between myself and the mom of the kid whose dad is the coach who has an assistant coach whose son, because of the delivery of produce, caught KD's warmup shirt.  She asked the innocuous question of how is Cole doing.  I gave the normal non-specific answer of, "Fighting the fight."  Then I got to thinking about the possibility, nae the apparent likelihood, of  going back the the regular week long hospital visits.  Now I am a fundamentally optimistic person with a slightly off kilter flippancy.

Normally when thinking about going back in to the clink, I think about all the fun gaming we will an all the Pringles I will be eating (Pringles is the hospital word for the thing you eat when you are in a place where the drinking of Scotch is frowned upon).   Today; however, I thought about the 3rd floor through the prism of today's festivities and a dark cloud formed over my flippant optimism.  I don't think I want us to go back inside.

So what to do, what to do?  Well as I sit here and watch the clock slowly tick towards 2am, I have decided to honor a certain Muddy Lancer and engineer a solution.....wait, I suck at engineering. Plan B.  I will make a presidential decree wherein we will no longer allow illegal immigrant cells to obtain refuge in safe haven bodies.  All such cells must immediately vacate said bodies and go back to the hell from whence they came.

Scans in one month.  I might be a little crazy(er) until then.

Peace Be The RunningS

Monday, April 3, 2017

Age, Blood Draw, Cancer

Way back in my 30;s (most people incorrectly put an ' when saying something like 30s so I am highlighting their dumberness than me by putting a partial butthole with mine) I learned that all of my years playing marathon sessions of Civilization, Madden, and watching Saved By The Bell marathons had all been preparation for and had been instrumental in the creation of my ability to sit in a hospital chair for hours on end.  Well now I am in my 40"s (infra) and I feel my skills slipping.

I only had an 8 hour session in the hospital room today and it nearly wrecked me.  Thanks to my beautiful wife for recommending that we go to Grill House for dinner.  And thanks to J u l i a Ha Dd IX for the booze that is causing me to think that my insane rambling is actually brilliance manifested.

Some of you may think that today Cole and his dad went to UCSF for a planned 8+  hour day of periodic lab draws, but you would be wrong.  Oh how wrong you would be.

Technactually what had happened was that this morning I found my self in my favorite alley with my home boy Faze.  Our favorite diner was closing so they were throwing out the choicest of garbage when all of a sudden we see some dude steal a nice grandma looking lady's (by nice we mean soft and sweet, not hardcore biker chik badass like some grandmas that I may, or may not, know) purse.

While our time as wandering homeless superheros in our own mind had taught us that this was not a strange occurance, it became strange when the robber suddenly turned into a dog and began bounding down our alley.

Faze yells to me, "Polymorph catch him.  Let's be heros." Without hesitation I use my superhuman agility and catch the dogman.  I get my hands on him and...well you all know what happens then.  Long story short, Faze and I ended up in an adventure rife with super heroes, conspiracies, an enginerd who had a huge butt on his shirt (or was a butt, or had a smelly butt...), and generally made a mess of everything.  If you want to hear the full story, send me $10.987 and I will fill you in on the details.

If today's post does not make any sense, then check your premises and adjust accordingly.  While you are doing that raise your glasses and toast Faze who will use his power to change certain naughty cells to vapor so we can end this business.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

GI

To sum up:

Just sit right back
And you'll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful kid
That started from this San Mateo,
Inside this tiny house.

The kid was a bad ass dude,
The Dad brave and sure.
Five family members fight this fight
For six long years,
For six long years.

His health started getting rough
The tiny boy was diagnosed
If not for the support of family and friends
The family would be lost.
The family would be lost.

(In case you didn't already, go back and re read the above to the tune of Gilligan's Island)

In case that did not make sense to anyone let me splain to ju a leetle better.  We have been treatment free for some number of months that is more than 1 and less than 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 (Ask Elisa the correct number as I don't do "exact" or "right" or "accurate" or "true" or """".  During that glorious indeterminate number of months we loaded up our schedules with baseball (all 3 boys), basketball (2 boys), soccer (1 boy), dance (1 boy), a new teaching job for me, and coaching two basketball teams (me).  Now is the time when you send flowers, Starbucks Gift Cards, a nice Pinot Grigio, or a bottle of Aboslut Citron to my bad ass wife as she has borne the brunt of the ensuing chaos.

Howevers, a new spot has emerged and we are back in the treatment world.  We were given 3 offers.  We rejected, as Office Space taught me, the first offer out of hand.  For the other two I will break them down into relevant portions for your convenience (no thanks needed.  If you want to the know the specifics and science behind them...too bad).  The first is a pill that is taken once per day and has not shown any side effects.  Of course it also is very early in the experimental testing phase and has not shown any actual curative results yet.  The second is the super trendy ch14.18ILT which is an immunotherapy with a chemo kicker.  This has shown significant positive results and is FDA approved which means, I think, that we can get it from the Taco Bell drive-thru now (might be mistaken on the last part).  Down side is that it means 1 out of every 3 weeks he is in the hospital inpatient, there is guaranteed serious nerve pain (which I never understood that term.  Isn't all pain nerve pain?  I never took anatomy but my basic Arizona High School education leads me to believe that pain is what the nerves do), possible hair loss, general shitty feeling, and possible inability to go to school during non-hospital weeks.

What to choose? What to choose?  First of all I would like James Earl Jones to read my blog into an audio book.  That is what I choose.  Second, after deep consideration, a number of d20 rolls, mediation (or was it meditation?), and the obligatory throwing of the bones, we came to the conclusion that, like backyard chickens, if some is good then more must be better.  So we are doing the pill until summer then, assuming no change or negative results, we will jump on the bandwagon and start eating the chalupa14.18.

Because of all this, I have decided (for those of you who didn't know this won't make sense, but not in the way that most of what I say doesn't make sense) to resign my professorship effective Friday.  From that moment forward I will no longer be tasked with the shaping of tomorrow's leaders.  Probably for the best.

Now I know that most of you are asking yourselves, your pets, your sig oths what you can do to help.  While all the normal stuff helps (prayers, thoughts, new Tesla for me to drive him to the doctor, etc.) here is where you can really help me the most.  I've got Cole.  We know this business and are, unfortunately that we know this, very good at this game.  D&D is being crafted, games assembled, and pringles purchased.  If you want to help, send Elisa some flowers.  Send Logan and Ollie some toys.  Go play with them.  Make them feel like they are not second fiddle to this whole experience.  They will be off this summer and will have to endure, again, a house that is in the business of hospitals and cancer and all that stupid shit.  We need to make sure they enjoy their summer.  Take them hiking.  Take them to the park.  Pick them up for a play date.  Fly them to AZ to attend basketball camp.  Build legos with them.  Dance with them.  Help them keep and define their childhood as their own.  That is how you can help.

So today I ask you to raise your glasses and toast my family, because they deserve it.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

i am too pissed about this situation to give a clever title or to even capitalize.

So tonight's blog is brought to you by Paula and the black gentleman named Johnny W that she introduced me to on my birthday.

The following conversation happened almost exactly as I am recounting.  I have only changed the names, accents and facts in order to protect the slightly more innocent than me.

(As an aside I think that I hate the idea of indenting paragraphs.  If I skip a space I really don't think that I also need to indent to let you know that we are on a new paragraph.  It seems kind of condescending. But I digress.  Here is the promised conversation)))))))(just cuz))))))

Setting: a living room in a non-descript suburban household on a plot that contains the legally allowable number of chickens and not one more.

Characters: Role-a 12 year old boy human.  Rad-a 40 year old bad ass dad type dude with magic powers and an Alar like Ramson Steel.

Role: Rad, why come you don't blog no mo?
Rad: Verily I say to thee, I haveth beenth busyth myth sonth
Role: say what?
Rad: Ah rekon ah gots ta talk dffrnt
Role: not helping
Rad: Go to bed

Now that we have been entertained and confused appropriately let's commence with the business that is the business at hand.

As previously reported Cole's last set of scans showed a new lesion (or as I have just decided to call it, legion).  This means...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................we are back in treatment.  Yea for us!!!! Of course by yea I mean yeah.  And by yeah I mean stupid fu@#INg cancer.  And by that I mean....well I think that is self explanatory (aside: which of my insane grammer things is more annoying the parenthetical fetish or the .........?  The phones are open now.  Vote early and often.  Oh, and another stupid grammar redundancy that I have just decided to start hating.  I am, of course, talking about capitalizing to start a new sentence.  If I am punctuating to show that a sentence has ended, shouldn't I assume then that you are smart enough to understand that right after that punctuation a new sentence has begun?)()()(())

If you are lost, let me recap.  I am crazy.  I am slightly drunk.  I hate cancer.  Cole is going to restart treatment.

So the recommended option is something called ch.14.18 (for the record the periods herein are not of my own making) which is an immunotherapy which, as I choose to understand it, turns Cole into a mouse...or was made from a mouse, or a mouse was sacrificed in a ritualistic manner in order to create the therapy.  It will mean that we will find ourselves back as regular residents of the wonderful 3rd floor.  If you are part of the calvary, stand by.  You will be getting a call soon.

The other option is to go back to eating sweaty socks and not eating meat fat, milk, or things that are hot (see previous posts about fenretinide).

So that sucks.

Oh well, we will handle our business as we always have.  While we do, please raise your glasses and toast Cole, tenacious defender for his Abbott Falcons.

Friday, February 10, 2017

2/10/17 I hate birthdays

I have never been a big fan of birthdays.  I, in fact, only have one happy birthday memory.  Now it is important to note that lack of happy does not necessarily mean unhappy, it just means a lack of affirmatively happy memories.  Now my one happy memory of my birthday was only happy due to a piano player, The Undertaker, and Glenn the bartender.  Other than that I have a bunch of neutral memories, one sad memory and then starting 6 years ago, shitty memories.  But I digress....no I don't....tomorrow is the day formerly known as my birthday, but that I have rechristened Chemo Christmas and I find that we are right back where we have been, but thought we weren't.

That's right sports fans, we are going back into the world of treatment.  For the last 9 months I have been working diligently to make myself forget all those treatments, days/nights/weeks in the hospital, Kaiser, UCSF, bone marrow, surgeries, hair loss, anti-nausea meds, fear, fear, fear, and fear.  I had almost even convinced myself that I did not remember what it felt like to get kicked in the parent nuts.

To give a quick summary since I have not written in a while, last summer Cole had the big surgery at UCSF and then had to go on a crazy low fat diet due to issues from the surgery.  But (and this shows what a bananannas life we live in and how our perspective of "normal" is all messed up) other than that, we have not had any C-word stuff for quite a while.  He has been in school, making friends, playing basketball, and generally loving life.  Well now that is about to change.

This week we had scans.  The CT came back clean.  The MIBG came back with a new spot in the lower back.  This i,s to quote the, apparently, visionaries of the future, a most heinous turn of events.  It means that our plan of do nothing and have a great life is not to be.  Next week I will meet with the team and Kaiser and figure out what our treatment options are.

Let me just say that Cancer sucks.  I don't mean it sucks like Cauliflower sucks.  I don't mean that it sucks like the Nets suck.  I don't mean that it sucks like ties suck.  I don't even mean that it sucks like 45 sucks.  I mean that it sucks more than anything else ever.  In fact if you take all the sucky things that have ever existed and add them all up, you still will not have the suckness of Cancer.

When I told Cole about the new scans, he, of course, took it in stride.  I often wish I had half his strength.

I will try to update after we decide what to do, but my ability to write is based in large part in the amount and type of alcohol I have at my disposal so if you are a fan, send booze.  Also make yourself a drink and toast Cole, the boy who lived.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

9/1 Foundation #1: Okizu

Okizu is a non-profit organization that runs a kick-ass summer camp for pediatric cancer patients, their siblings, and their families.  We have been to their family summer camp and both Cole and Logan have been to sleep away camp for the last two years.  The staff is amazing, and they will bend over backwards to help to make sure your kids get the best camping experience possible.

This is a great outfit because they are able to perform a small bit of magic for these kids.  They bring a bunch of kids together, all of whom share this horrible set of experiences.  The magic is that they have set up the camp in such a way that despite the fact that the kids are all there because they (or their siblings have cancer, it is not the focus of camp.  If you were to go and watch for a day, you would just think that it was a regular camp for regular kids.  For those of you who don’t have to go through this on a daily basis, regular is good.  Regular is the ideal. 


Check out their website at www.okizu.org.  Right now they have a triple matching campaign going so if you donate $100, they get $300.  If you give to Okizu, I will, for purposes of my internet embarrassment, honor the triple amount.