Funds Were Raised, Funs Were Had, Cancer Was Trolled

Everybody Get’s Leucky, the fundraiser that we threw last Saturday, was a complete success. We were able to raise around three thousand dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with the help and support of our friends, family, coworkers and community members. The event went off without a hitch and everybody but me was able to get nice and drunk in the name of Cancer. I was also able to make a lot of people who had no idea what was going on pretty uncomfortable with my inappropriate cancer jokes.

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Funds Were Raised, Funs Were Had, Cancer Was Trolled

Everybody Get’s Leucky, the fundraiser that we threw last Saturday, was a complete success. We were able to raise around three thousand dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with the help and support of our friends, family, coworkers and community members. The event went off without a hitch and everybody but me was able to get nice and drunk in the name of Cancer. I was also able to make a lot of people who had no idea what was going on pretty uncomfortable with my inappropriate cancer jokes.

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An Allegory

I fell down a well a couple weeks ago. It was cold, dark, damp and uncomfortable. Sting wasn’t available to dig me out (obscure Simpson’s reference) so I was left to luck and my own devices to get out. I was limited by the well’s steep walls and my insurmountable physical anemia. People could yell down to me and I could hear their words bounce and echo all around my cylindrical tomb, but it didn’t help the loneliness. One day, to my chagrin, I felt raindrops being sucked into my tiny hole in the world. The rain kept falling and the water started to rise at my feet. At first I was too tired, ill and depressed to do anything but passively float. The water continued to fill the well and lift me up with it. Eventually I couldn’t just float anymore and I had to start treading water.  I was an active participate now on my skyward ride to freedom. When I climbed out of the top of the well I saw all of the people in my life who support me were standing around holding buckets and hoses. The sun was out and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

The-Well

That’s my attempt to allegorically explain my uncharacteristic silence over the last few weeks. The first session of my outpatient chemo hit me hard. It took a couple of weeks but my body started to react to the chemical warfare brigade. The regimen is designed to destroy cells that replicate quickly like hair follicles, stomach lining and cancers. This left me with the silky smooth legs of a professional model and the bulimia symptoms of a professional model and the negative body self image of a professional model and the life crushing depression of a professional model. Add to this the debilitating pain in my entire central nervous system as a result of one too many intrathecal chemo injections. For those of you that don’t remember, that’s when they tap my spine and spray chemo drugs inside of it. The headaches became so bad that I couldn’t stand up without experiencing migraine caliber pain.

It was a bad couple of weeks. I spent a lot of time in a fetal position on the couch and a lot of time treating my toilet as kleenex and blowing my runny butt into it with the frequence of a head cold. I couldn’t walk up the stairs without having to lie down once I reached the top to catch my breath, nor could I fry an egg until completion before I had to sit on a stool to recoup. I was physically useless and my limitations started to fester in my brain. I began to get upset with myself and the situation and became grumpy and depressed. I did not want to be down in that well, but I was at the point where I couldn’t get out on my own.

It was a pretty bad time to be down there, too. My life was just starting to get back to normal, which means it was getting busy as hell. In the span of three weeks I moved into our new house, returned to work full time from home, had to plan the Everybody Get’s Leucky fundraiser party and organize the adult sports league that I operate. I was too busy be folded between the cushions of my couch or suctioned to a terlet.

At first I neglected my duties and allowed myself to float along with the rising water. Thankfully Liana was there to help keep my head above water otherwise I probably would have drowned. She had to work twice as hard during our move because I was about as physically useful as overcooked pasta. I’m endlessly thankful that she was there to help me, but also terrified of the payback in the event that she gets pregnant. There will be more pampers than at the diaper factory.

It might have appeared that the water in my allegory was actually the support of my friends and family, but it actually represents something more important and helpful to me: my obligations to them. Sending support down the well would have been dropping pillows and sandwiches to make my stay liveable and slightly more tolerable, but it would have done nothing to get me out.

A person who has no obligation to anything other than himself has no reason to live. We need to be productive to something other than ourselves. This urge governs our desire to reproduce, to be creative, to care for others and to participate in society in general.

This reminds me of one of the scariest experiences I’ve ever had. It happened while I was coming out of my cognitive episode in the hospital in early March. My brain had to relearn the world as the parts of it that had previously checked out during the frontal lobe governed crisis mode turned back on. I remember trying to make sense of where I was and what I was doing. At one point I truly believed that I was dead or at least in a coma in which my consciousness was doomed to live only in my small hospital room. When I tried to test the limits and leave my room, I was told by the nurse that I wasn’t allowed to do so. I asked her what I was supposed to do, and answered “stay here until you get better.”

She had no idea that I was struggling to understand the basic principles of reality at the time, so she didn’t understand that this would make me believe that I was actually  in a coma and that the world that she and I were inhabiting was a limited simulacrum of reality. I thought I would live in that eternal loop without the ability to contact the outside world and thus sit there with no purpose for eternity. My subjectivity was trapped by the limitations of the room, and I only had my one nurse in there for company, though she was just an extension of the room itself. It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever thought. I thought I was the only thing that existed, and thus I had no desire to exist.

The allegory fits into my previously established subjective existentialism worldview in which you are able to choose your perspective and values for your own benefit. It’s somewhat selfish at it’s core, but at our core we are all singular subjective beings so there is no option other than being selfish! I value my obligations to other people because it proves to me that I add value to something other than myself. These values are the basic building blocks of human society and the reason why anybody gets anything done.

The next time you find yourself just floating in your own well, have somebody dump some water in there and force yourself to swim out. You may swim out with a new raison d’etre or joie de virve or at least some foie gras.

 

CancerTrolling.com is LIVE

Hey Friends, Fans, Families, Lovers, Laughers, Well Wishers, Followers, Supporters,

With a lot of help from a lot of helpy helpers we are officially unveiling cancertrolling.com.

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It’s basically just a migration of this blog, but with a straight up legit domain name and stuff. We’re working on getting all the old blog links to transfer over to the new site at a single click, but I figured I’d just drop you a note here and let you know that you should be accessing all things CancerTrolling over on the dot com from now on. No more need for the dot wordpress junk.

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As I’ve made it blatantly aware, this blog started out as a conduit for my brain and fingerrhea, but seems to be growing into something much bigger. The support this ide  has received in just over a week has inspired me to do more with my life and (dare I say) talents than the previous 30 years. Please bear with me as I go through some growing (and cancer) pains while I try to grow the scope of this brand/empire/fuckfest into its true vision.

Stay tuned for some more fun, exciting, human, real, gritty, informative content to come!!!

Anything is possible with a little #leuck

Staving off Cabin Fever: Hunting for RNs

Among blood clots, bed sores and other physical ailments caused by sedentary life in the oncology ward there is another,  even more dangerous enemy: Cabin Fever.  The doctors want us to keep on our feet as much as we can because being physically healthy is a healthy idea when you are already unhealthy and blah blah blah ugggghhh shut up I’m not listening. My doctor threatened to light a few matches under my shoe earlier today if I didn’t make an effort to get some hallway time (similarly to when we throw a racket ball down my apartment hallway for Dumb Dumb Ruby to chase). We’re supposed to walk three miles a day,  the hallway of the oncology unit is 28 laps to a mile, and the hallway looks like this:

BORING
28 x 3 x that= NERP

Compare that close-out WalGreens aisle to the sexual vibrancy of color, light and magic that exists within the confines of my Studio 54 Quarantania:

NOT SORRY
DEAL WITH IT

There is a clear winner when it comes to inviting atmospheres, and it surely isn’t the neutered network of fluorescent vas deferen outside my door. I tried to convince my doctors and RNs that I get plenty of exercise by bouncing my legs along to the sweet jams I be pumpin’ in here all day long but they still insist upon the fact that I leave my room and exercise my dumb body, despite the fact that I’ve been spending 30 years purposely punishing it.

I decided, regardless, to be a good little patient tonight and venture out into the vapid hallway… but on MY terms. I wasn’t just going to walk up and down the hallways like your local mall’s Bitchin Blue-Hair Betty Brigade… No, I WAS GOING ON AN ADVENTURE.

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Chemo Sesh #3: Getting Gritty

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Today (1/31/2015) marks the beginning of my second round of chemo. Yes, this is the third Chemo Sesh, but there are three(ish) seshes within each round of chemo.  Today’s genocidal drugs that inflated my veins like a mutant carnival balloon animal were the same compounds that first entered my bloodstream a week ago on day one. The first implementation of these drugs, as you may remember, resulted in a slight metallic taste in my mouth and some neon peach pee pees.

That's only normal after music festivals...
That’s only normal after music festivals…

According to the lovely and brilliant Ashley RN, this is the dose of the chemo that I should start feeling….hence the artsy fartsy color corrected picture above! Expect some more nit, grit, snark and dark. Continue reading

Leukemia Office: Rm 4217, Cancer Inc.

Good Afternoon. How are you?
You weren’t kept waiting too long were you? Do you need anything a drink? Water? Coffee?

<Cancer Secretary, Did you take care of these nice people out there? Ok, thank you! Hold my calls for a while please!>

She’s fitting in so well here, I’m glad I hired her. Things have gotten MUCH better around these parts. Please have a seat.

Hold on, I’ll be right with you. Just gotta sign this thing….

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Cathartic Vulnerability

Today marks one week of living in my temporary hospital home. It honestly feels like I just got here because I’ve been so damn busy. Would it surprise you to know that I haven’t watched a single minute of visual media (other than the morning news while I drink my coffee and eat my 8 pieces of bacon— shut up, my oncologist told me to eat whatever the hell I want: DOCTOR’S ORDERS) or read a single sentence of leisure reading? I’ve been sitting in this 200 square foot room for an entire week with no “work” to do and haven’t been bored once. I’m as astounded as you are considering that I can’t sit around my apartment between 5-10pm with out going a bit stir crazy every weekday. I suppose the blog and the hourly circulatory system rapings help pass the time… but still.

I guess I should be counting my blessings that this isn’t some sort of brain cancer that robs me of my ability to focus, if such a thing even exists. One full week of total mental stimulation and productivity, one full week of new and exciting (for better or worse) experiences, one full week of thoughts and emotions that I ignorantly never expected to have.

Today was actually the first day that I felt less than stellar physically. I was warned that this would happen and I’m prepared for it. At the risk of sounding pretentious or full of myself, the brave face that I’ve put on is absolutely genuine and is not a happy clown mask hiding a sad clown face… but I would be lying if I weren’t without my moments of fear, doubt and vulnerability this week. This blog has been light and positive, funny and uplifting, but it has always had the intention of being a an unfractured reflection of my true experience with this life changing kick in the dick.

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Letter Home from the Dorm: My Class Schedule/Syllabus

Dear Home,

Hey guys! So our RAs said it would be a nice idea if I wrote you a status letter, since I’m approaching the end of my first week here at the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute Dorms. It’s been quite the learning experience… All the other kids are cool, my RAs seem pretty chill (though they are awfully strict about some things, and I’m sure I’ll have to towel the door and hide my Coors Light behind the soda in my mini fridge) and the cafeteria food isn’t THAT bad. I miss the privacy and comforts of home, but the excitement of co-ed communal living also has its benefits. Sometimes I get to hang out in the common room with the other kids in the dorm and chillax out with some sick puzzles and crossword books. It’s pretty dope and chill and stuff.  It’s not all about leisure time though, I’m here at the institute for a reason and that’s what I’ve been focusing on. I’ve pretty much committed my class schedule and syllabus to memory at this point, so I feel like I’m in pretty good shape to get my money’s worth and graduate on time with a better than average GPA. You’ll be proud of me, I promise.

Here is a rundown of my daily life at the institute:

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We’re Up all Night to get Leucky

get leuckys

I’m up all night to get blood
I’m up all night to get some
I’m up all night for nurse fun
We’re up all night to get #LEUCKY

The night between the 26th and 27th, my night nurse came in to check my vitals at midnight. I had taken my nightly Ambien (totally necessary to sleep while roiding out on Prednisone) so I was toeing the line of consciousness that exists only if you’ve forced yourself to stay awake for longer than 48 straight hours. I’m talking total misunderstanding of your own ego, the point where you aren’t sure if you are in a dream or if you ever even knew what a dream was to begin with.

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