This blog started out as a chronicle of my son's fight with neuroblastoma cancer. Fortunately he has been doing so well that there has been less and less to chronicle regarding this disease. I have decided to expand this blog such that it will cover all of my family. Don't worry though, the information passed will still be filtered by my rather large, impressive, and completely insane brain. So grab some pancakes, and buckle up.

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.

September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month

Dear Facebook and Internet,

Please share this with the rest of your friends and ask them to share with theirs:

This month is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Pediatric Cancer kills more kids than any other disease; however it only receives about 4% of the total funds allocated towards cancer research. For that reason, outside fundraising is of paramount importance. As you all know, my oldest boy has been fighting a form of cancer called neuroblastoma for over 5 years. And since we are still fighting, as opposed to the awful alternative, I consider us lucky. Others have not been so lucky.

There are a great many organizations and foundations out there that raise money for research, family assistance, and the like. I ask that this month you please, please, please, consider donating some money to one of them. In order to help you, I will do two things this month. First, each day this month I will highlight on Facebook and Twitter one foundation or organization. Second, if you prove to me that you have donated this month, or if you send money to my paypal account, I will thank you by embarrassing myself on the internet. As the total dollar amount increases, the amount of embarrassment of the thing that I will do on the internet will increase. At the end of the month, I will take all the money received via paypal and make one donation to an organization that our family most likes.

The email address that you can send paypal money to is aric44@gmail.com. If you are concerned that this is some sort of a scam you can 1)ask my wife, Elisa (who is nearly incapable of lying) or 2) check out my blog to learn about our family history in dealing with this. The blog address is www.http://aboutcole.blogspot.com.

Here is the current donation/embarrassment tier: If we get lucky and get a bunch of donations, I might add some cool, funny stuff. *Note that if you prove to me that you have donated $1,000 in one shot, I will let you pick my embarrassment (within legal and loose moral bounds).
$1: Photo of me smiling
$10: Photo of me with excited smile
$100: Video of me dancing
$500: Video of me dancing without my shirt
$600: Video of me signing
$700: Video of me acting like a My Little Pony Character
$1000: Video of me swimming in the freezing Bay water
$5000: Video of me swimming in the freezing Bay water with as few clothes as possible without the video being porn
$10,000: Internet’s choice
$20,000: Me playing 1 on 1 with Steph Curry (assuming I can convince him), and made to look like a fool as he cross me over, breaks my ankles, and drains a three on me.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Back At It

When it all said and done there are essentially two types of events.  There is the Curly Bill event, and the Johnny Ringo event.

For the past amount of time that I don't really know but that is a significant enough amount of time for the purposes of what we are taking about (see my better .5 for exact details) the big time events have all been Curly Bill.  I honestly can't remember the last Ringo event that we had.

With Curly Bill it all happens so fast that you don't really have time to think or worry about it.  You just deal with it, walk into the river and shoot.  But with Ringo, you know he is out there.  You know what to expect from him.  You know where.  You know when.  So you sit on a couch 2 days prior and think about everything Ringo is.  You worry that you will get swallowed up by that big empty hole that can never be filled.  You worry that you are not good enough to beat him and you know that despite cinematic evidence to the contrary there is no huckleberry.  There is just you and yours facing Ringo.

Well to that I say, fine Ringo take my sleep tonight and tomorrow night.  Take my concentration at work tomorrow.  Take the stress that those around me experience when I bite their heads off.  Take it all. You want one of my kidneys?  One of my lungs?  Take it all.  But know this you heartless son of a bitch.  You will lose.

In just over 30 hours it will happen.  They will stop talking about H hour, D Day being on June 6.  Now all will know that June 21 is the day that we invaded.  The new battle of Normandy will not have been fought on the shores of France, but rather in the body of a bad ass little boy.  No bombs.  No guns.  Just wrong on one side, and right (powered by science and a shit ton of collective and cumulative education) on the other.  June 21 will be the day that we stood on the bridge and said, "You shall not pass.  Go back to the shadow.  You will not pass."

In just 30 hours you will likely be getting ready to start your day.  Maybe having a cup of coffee, tea, or juice.  Well when you do, please raise your glass and toast Cole, The Dude.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Reminiscing

Thursday marks 5 years since the first chemo treatment for Cole.  Not surprisingly, this week I have been thinking a lot about when Cole was first diagnosed.  It's kind of funny the things that I remember so clearly after all this time an after all these treatments and after all of everything.  
I remember the first room at Kaiser (room 4), and how it and a little antechamber connected to it.  
I remember the magic hidden toilet in the PICU.  
I remember Nurse Level 2.  
I remember Elisa and Julia forcing me to leave the hospital to go take a nap at the hotel.  
I remember standing outside Room 4 and watching my sister walk down the hallway, thinking at the time that it seemed such a far walk.  
I remember the anticlimactic conversation with Cole wherein I told him that he had Cancer.  
I remember (and this is a strange one) sitting in that little room listening to Dr. Taggart tell me the diagnosis and wondering if, due to her ears, she was a half-elf.  
I remember giving Cole a bath and thinking that he looked like he had been in a concentration camp.
I remember a thousand million other small shitty details that I wish I could unremember.
I remember fentretonide.
I remember the irony of oral zofran.
I remember mint ice cream.
I remember visits to the ER.
I remember him falling at the park prior to diagnosis.
I remember yelling at him to walk right, not knowing the bone marrow in his hips was essentially melting.
I remember finding a time machine being carelessly left unattended.
I remember taking the time machine to the future and finding out that they had cured cancer.
I remember taking that knowledge back to February 2011 and nipping this shit in the bud.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Is the Is the Is or Not?

So anyways like I was saying....

When I am standing here beside myself thinking all the thinks I can think I am forced to think the think that is who is the is that is me?  Am I Michael Clark Duncan or am I Anna Paquin?  Now normally I am content with accepting that the is that is me is the is that currently is and that is can, and does, change to a new is as is necessary.  However when the requirements of the current is require the is that truly is is the is that is the current is then the question of which is is the is that is the is, truly.  More to come on that later.

The above notwithstanding, my current is is contemplating the difference between New York and California.  In New York they play the US Open Tennis tournament.  This tournament is played on a hard court.  Both the benefit and downside of playing on a hard surface is that the game is sped up a great deal.  What if my is chooses to play on this hard surface and it proves to be too fast?  What if I lose control of the game?  Now I am very used to playing on the clay surface of the SF Tennis courts, but at some point you need to go play somewhere else.  Thoughts?

Baseball x2, Cooking x2, Music, Chess, School x 2.5, Coding, Work x1.75, Portland, Seattle, Tucson, Mt. Cross, Okizu, Wizbots, XXX-, US Open?, Clay Courts?  What's a midwest girl to do?

One of the great things about the ever-shifting is that is the ism of the is that is my is is that the current is is always the right is at the time as the is is defined by what is asked of the is currently.  However when the tables get turned and the situation must be defined by the is and not the other way around, which is is the right is?  How do you choose?

Jaime has small ears.

Which is betterer? Blue Bloods or Law & Order?  Answer is Blue Bloods cuz Whalbergs and I like hamburgers.

If you are confused blame Tito, or is it Tita......ok fine blame M&D.

I have a new dog and he ate my chickens.  I think revenge is in order.  As soon as he gets some chickens I will eat them.

I might be drunk.

Or I might not.

Seriously, which is is the is that is the right is for the is that is needed?  I is not able to know.

Raise your glasses and toast Cole, the ball boy at either the US Open or the SF Open.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

tHIS bLOG sTILL eXISTS?

Math time.  Cole recently played 4 baseball games in 4 days.  During those 4 games his batting average was .000, but his on base percentage was .900.  That has to be a record.

Business time.  In a couple of weeks, Baker BBQ sauce will make its official California debut.  If you want to place an order, email me.  If you try to order by commenting on this post, you will likely starve (see Admission time infra).

Awesome kid time.  Ollie is in full blown awesome 3 year old world (full blown awesome 3 year old world is the clinical definition of insanity).  He is well aware of his penis.  He knows that his butt, and the things that come out if it, are both funny and torment his mother.  His command of the English language makes me fall on the floor.

Admission time.  Today I was checking to make sure the interweb was still working by going to my blog’s website.  Did you know that the comments were activated and that I can look at them and see what people have said?  You did?  Well you don’t need to brag about it, because I did not.  So if you commented and I did not respond, please accept my (I would say humble but I don’t think that anyone would buy that) apologies.  In the future I will strive to intentionally not respond to comments so that you can rest assured that my not responding was not due to some oversight.  There.  I feel much better now.

Medical Time.  Cole had been doing a treatment that involved chemo (Chemo is kind of like Saved by the Bell.  You got me through some tough times in my life, but you basically suck the soul.) and some experimental liquid medicine whose properties are kind of magical and if you try and figure out what is in it you run the risk of being banished to the ice penal (heheh I said penal) colony on Zortof, the 3rd moon of the planet Zoroastical.  The treatments were successful in the same way that most of the treatments have been successful.  Cole is not dead.  His cancer has not spread, and Cole could tolerate the med. (read the last two sentences out loud for an added experience).  This is the same treatment that I last described way back in November.  The chemo portion caused his hair to fall out, and caused him to miss one week of school every three weeks (and still got an award for reading more words that all the other kids in the world combined).  We did like 15 or 16 rounds of this treatment.  The result?  A tie.  I know a tie is a win in this game, but I want a F$#@#$$ing full on hoist the trophy win.  Now we are on to a new treatment.  This one, assuming it works, is totes awesome.  The therapy is immuno based therapy.  In this instance the medicine goes in and provides a pep talk similar to the one I gave to the soccer team (see other posts either supra or infra depending on how your browser organizes the blog) to the white blood cells.  Of course the result is the final determination of the awesomeness, or lack thereof, but this treatment already has a high level of awesome because there is no chemo component to it.  That means that if you get a rare look at Cole’s head, sans hat, you will see a darkening that is not because the hat is totally gross and dirty (which it is), but because he is getting fuzzy up there.  Imaging this week after our first full cycle of this treatment.  Stay tuned.

Admission time.  Again.  I am not wearing pants.

Question of the day.  Why is it ok for girls to wear spandex type pants around town but when I do it, suddenly I am that weird guy who makes people uncomfortable?  That is cultural gender discrimination and I will not stand for it.


Drink Time.  Raise your glasses and drink to Cole, who may or may not join the Blue Man Group as an intern this summer.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Beware of Greeks and Naked Messy Dudes

Last night Norma Rae was off rabble rousing, so the boys and I had a good old fashioned boys’ night.  A fort was made.  A fort was destroyed.  A fort was rebuilt.  A fort was redestroyed.  A fort was rerebuilt.  A fort was reredestroyed.  A fight ensued.  Peace was installed.  Milk was consumed.  A fort was abandoned to the savages.  A fuse was blown.  A child cooked a protein.  Things were deep fried in oil.  Condiments were overused.  Messes were made.  A good night was had by all.

Then reality sunk in. Cole started feeling shitty (In case you have not been keeping track, this is a treatment week).  As it was early and I was too tired….I mean since I value art so much…. I let the boys tear into the play dough. 

Logan made a dude.  I know it was a dude because it had some stuff that only has a dude has.  And it had butt cheeks too. (here it is appropriate to say that boys rule.  Girls drool). 

Oliver made a mess.

Cole made a little figure, and a toilet.  The figure had food (real food mind you) in the mouth and there was food in the toilet.  I asked him what he made and this is what he told me, “Well Dad, when the Greeks would get sick or hurt, they would make a figure that showed the sickness or hurt.  They would put it in their house and the hurt would go away.”  Umm.  Ok, little man you are nine.  You have not (yet) graduated from Stanford so you should not have such sophisticated thoughts.  But you do, and you are awesome. #buybakingsoda


Next imaging is week of Thanksgiving.  I think that someone should buy me (by me of course I mean Cole but since he is a child I will have to go with him) some tickets to the Seattle-SF Thanksgiving game.