Saturday, March 28, 2009

Today's project

Friday, March 27, 2009

Feel like busting up a Starbucks?

Not much interesting stuff to write about this week. We had the shower on Saturday. Then I went to the Hockey East semis and got a little drunk. Well, ok not really a little, but I've been worse.

Sunday was all about not moving too much and recovery. I felt horrible in many ways. Drinking is not something I should have dove back into head first. I'll learn, right?

Tomorrow I head to the gym for the first time in probably 4 years. I would have gone sooner but the last 18 months haven't really loaned themselves to it. We'll see how it goes. People keep telling me not to push myself, but that's how I roll. I mean, after all I've been through, what's the worst thing that could happen - just kidding. I already know. So I won't put myself in that position. Nice and easy. I'll start with the 5 lb weights and see where that leads.

I've also started acupuncture. It's a little strange, but it may work. I dunno, they said to try a few sessions and see how it goes. Since this is a "spend money like there's no tomorrow" period - mostly on wedding stuff though, I don't feel bad about spending the money to go to therapy. And if it works, even better. It's just weird to think that sticking a dozen or so small needles in places around my body will do anything. But the Chinese have been doing it for centuries, and who am I to argue with traditionally used therapeutic tools.

In two weeks I have a massage AND acupuncture scheduled for the same week. It's nuts. I might as well enjoy it now. Pretty soon I won't be able to afford the time or the treatments.

Overall, I think I'm coming out of my funk. Or maybe its just the introduction of caffeine into my diet. I dunno.

Now I'll lay me down to sleep, before the lord cuts off my feet. Which would be awfully inconvenient.

I can
Hear the bells are
Ringing joyful and triumphant and I can
Hear the bells are
Ringing joyful and triumphant and

You snooze, you lose
Well I have snost and lost
I'm pushing through
I'll disregard the cost
I hear the bells
So fascinating and
I'll slug it out
I'm sick of waiting

Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm on a boat

Ok, so I'm not really on a boat. We'd have to clear it with my doctors first. But in some ways, I feel like I am on a boat, floating out in the ocean. I haven't decided to dive head first back into my former pre-cancer life, at least not yet. I am dangling my feet in, getting them wet by doing familiar things and seeing how my post-cancer-treatment body handles them. Last weekend we celebrated St. Patrick's Day, and while I wasn't hung over on Sunday, I wasn't feeling quite right all day.

This weekend, we'll be going to the Hockey East finals; a weekend event my father and I used to do for the past few years that was rudely interrupted by cancer. We'd get tickets for Friday (two games) and Saturday (the finals) and make a weekend of it. Usually lots of drinking, stumbling around and troublemaking. It was fun. So I got us tickets for tomorrow night. It will be a long day, as we have the bridal shower in the morning (I'm going, long story, blah, blah, blah). I'm hoping to make it to the 3rd period.

I've been getting myself moving around by offering to cook. And most of what I've made has been good - at least Ti tells me so. Nothing too exotic, just a black bean chili, sheppard's pie, and a batch of pasta sauce. It keeps me busy and is a link back to what I liked to do before all this badness settled into my life. Maybe I'll find the recipie that'll bring me out of my funk. Get it? Bah, fine, don't laugh. It really wasn't funny anyway.

Music for the week:

Dracula from Houston - Butthole surfers: Great, catchy, upbeat song. With a twist!

Mad Flava - Fat Boy Slim: Everyone's life has a back beat. I'm trying to get this one to be mine.

One toke over the line - I just feel that way sometimes. Not high, just out of it.

Wonderful Night - FBS: More beats, more reason to want to get up and move around. Something sorely needed now in my life.

She caught the Katy - Taj Mahal: A return to my college Blues Brothers form. Also a great song.

You and me and the Bourgeoisie - The Submarines: From the iPhone ad; catchy and fun. It is ironic that the iPhone, the model consumer device of excess, chose a song about giving all of it up for its commercial. . .

That's it for now. Have a good weekend, and I'll chat with y'all later.

Leave more comments! I need to know people are still reading. Wallflowers of the world unite and leave your mark. . . on my blog.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Article I found

This describes what I'm going through now. No more exciting stuff for me except work and planning the wedding.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Relay for Life

Hey everybody, I've decided that I am going to participate in this year's Relay for Life, held at Boston University on April 18th and 19th. It's a walk to raise money for the American Cancer Society done over 12 hours. From 6 pm - 6 am. Us survivors (not the people who lived through the concentration camps, or the people on the TV show on CBS) get to walk the first lap.

I'm getting the info for singing up a team, so if anyone is interested in walking, let me know. If you'd like to donate, once I get whatever it is I need to do on the site done, I'll post a link to the fund-raising page.

I think it would be fun, and hell, since I'm just about done with my treatments, I'd like to start helping others.

UPDATE: Due to circumstances beyond my control (Looking at Mike, Srikanth and Dave), I cannot do the Relay for Life now. However, I would encourage anyone who wants to raise monye for the cause to participate.

Radiation Burn Blues

Tomorrow is the last one. The final treatment I'll go through. We're going to assume that I'm through dealing with this and can finally stop acting like a victim of something horrible and move on with my life. Not that I've really been acting like a victim, but then again, when a doctor tells you have cancer, and you are subjected to almost 18 months of appointments, treatments and more waiting than a human being should ever have to do in one lifetime, you are moved into that category. Everyone else just expects the victim to play the part. I'd like to think that for the most part, I've taken my journey well, and in my opinion, the world should stop equating cancer with death. People should stop bursting into tears when they are told of their own illness or that of a loved one. Cancer is not the end of life. Well, it is occasionally, but people die of heart attacks and heart disease in numbers as large as those who pass on from cancer, but the stigma isn't there. When have you ever been told that you or someone you know has heart disease and then broke out into uncontrollable tears? Some people are in such denial about the whole situation that they can't even say or hear the word "cancer".

Foolishness. Grow up you g-d wimps.

Those of us that have cancer have reason to break down and cry on occasion. We're facing our own mortality, but for most of us, we'll survive. We might not be in the best condition when we're officially declared "In remission", or have a scan with no evidence of disease on it (it's called dancing with NED), but because we're still here, we can move on and adapt how we are to the world we're put into. In many ways, those that don't survive give the rest of us the strength to carry on our own fights. Many of us, especially those who lose a close friend, or hear of someone in a similar condition who didn't make it, get a chill down our spine, a sudden fear of dying. Probably left over from the days when we needed that instinct, but realistically, what happens to someone else is what happens to them. My fight is mine, and whatever bumps I've come across just make it interesting and unique.

I can understand the fear of the unknown, which is what it all comes down to on a very basic level. And relating to someone else who has what you have makes things easier to cope with. But as I said, each of us has a unique journey in front of us. And in the darkness of the night, when we are as vulnerable as a newborn, everything we are afraid of can invade our dreams and turn them into nightmares. But within each patient, each person who has dealt with and survived this disease, even those that didn't make it, lies a seed of hope.

Bringing this back to myself, and apologizing for the sermon, I have finally reached a plateau in my road. Tomorrow is the last treatment. Saturday is the first day of the next chapter of my life. I'm a little scared and anxious about being in this "Post-Treatment" phase. My body, my mind and my emotions have been through so much in the past 18 months. I'm now going to have to adapt from this part to whatever is next, and I'm not sure I'm ready for it. I am still tired and worn out, and I have to start eating healthier. The chemo diet is over. There are going to be lots of changes happening in the next 6 months of my life.

I just wonder if I'll be able to keep up.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Once again. . .

The beard fell out. . . partially. But enough fell out that I had to shave the rest off. I left the sideburns and a 'stache. And I have a nasty sunburn on my neck. Except it's not a sunburn.

Life can only get better from here.

The wedding is just about 2 months away.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday morning

Yay. Its Sunday. I lost an hour of sleep, if you can call what I did sleep. Although last night was better than the past few nights. Maybe tonight I'll suck down a beer before bed. I dunno if it will help or not, but it's worth trying.

Anyway, we have a full day of stuff to do. It'll be nice to be outside. Tomorrow it will not be.

Friday, March 6, 2009

What I'm listening to - Friday, March 6th

No real post today. Instead, I wanted to put out a list of what is on my iPod these days. Not that many people care, but I like to spread the music around and I tend to listen to less-mainstream stuff.

Eels - Beautiful Freak (whole album) It's sad and depressing at times, but I think it has everything a recovering cancer patient needs.

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour - Around the Bend - A happy reminder that things will be better, and in many cases, much sooner than you think. A little wacky 70's sound, but I like it. You might too.

The Offspring - Fix You - I think the title is self evident. It's a good song.

Linkin Park - Bleed it Out - Good, short song with a great beat. Might be their best song ever.

The Ting Tings - Great DJ - A flashback to the 80's that is just too damn catchy. The drums, the drums, the drums, the drums. . .

Eddie Vedder - Rise - Short and sweet and will probably make you cry. If you look closely, I put the lyrics in a previous post.

Against Me! - Thrash Unreal (whole album) - Lots of catchy songs, good positive messages, and lots of hard rock guitar.

The Trashmen - Surfing Bird - For the silliness factor. I mean why not? A little lightening of the mood never hurts, especially with everything else I've had to deal with.

Mike Doughty - 27 Jennifers - Solo work by the former frontman of Soul Coughing (who?). Good music, accessible, and just plain fun.

That's it for this week. Maybe if I get inspired, I'll do more of these. I have a 5000 song collection.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Friday I'm in love

So they gave me stuff at the Radiation Oncology office for my throat. It works ok, but I'll still probably end up on a mostly smoothie/frappacino/milkshake diet for the next week or two. The place it hurts is kinda hard to get the numbing liquid to without drinking a bit of it. I'll have lots of time to practice this week, as my throat won't have time to heal until the weekend. They gave me Friday off to let it rest a little before I finish up treatment next week. My back is also feeling funky, so most likely the radiation "burns" are starting to make their appearance. It hasn't turned red yet, but I still have 7 more radiation treatments to go. We'll see how it goes, play it by ear, etc.

Enough about my health.

Thursday we're going to pick out my Tux for the wedding and start that process. It will require a few trips to get all the groomsmen taken care of, but what else do I have to do in my spare time? Pretty much nothing at the moment. We've also gotten our invitations taken care of (mostly) and those will be going out soon. Bleh. If the wedding don't kill me, the whiskey (now part of my liquid diet) will.

Talk to y'all later.