Monthly Archives: December 2011

ObNYE11 Post

Numero uno, you won’t likely find me out wearing a funny hat at midnight. I know that’s disappointing to my legions of fans, but the idea of being awake tonight at midnight makes me want to take a nap right now. I have no doubts that I’ll be sawing logs as the clock ticks over, and that is right & proper for a decrepit 51 year-old, despite what the glitterati would tell you. Besides, as is noted by all committed rummies, this is Amateur Night, and if you’re not at a hotel ballroom with a room a short elevator ride away, you’re just asking for trouble. From the drunks on the road, to the mean drunks who are looking for a fight, to the coppers who are looking to pad their DWI stats — there’s just very little upside these days.

Numero two-o, this has definitely been the weirdest year of my life, what with the lung cancer diagnosis, and all the fall-out from that. So bloody much of the fallout is mental, too. The physical part, that’s manageable, at least so far, just by conserving strength and managing diet and taking the right approach. The mental side, though, man, it’s like the Daytona 500 running in my head every waking moment. The biggest issue for me is just how far ahead I should be looking. Hell, there was a time back in September that I was no way sure I’d make it to this day. Now, after the first round of treatment is done and was (I guess) fairly successful, I’m getting physical strength back, and I’m ready to go do productive things again. But wait — I have more chemo to go, and I have to be short-term about that: do I have enough soup, rice, hot chocolate, Stouffer’s meat loaf teevee dinners, etc., in case it knocks me flat on my ass? And if it does, what the hell else does that mean? Bah — that, at least, I’ll find out in the next week, plus. But three, four months out? Who knows? Nobody but God. So, barring a flash of Heavenly Guarantees, I have to kind of keep my horizon at about one to two months, which is most likely the shortest time frame I’ve ever planned for in my life. Hell, I used to keep a rolling five-year plan that I updated every quarter, with goals and milestones and crap. Been a while since I did that, what with the necessity of finding business and making a living and indulging some part of my inventor side.

The bottom line for me, if there is one, is that I reckon 2012 is going to be even weirder than 2011 for me personally. That’s fine and all. I’ve done weird for my whole life. I’m still mystified how I ended up riding some of the waves I’ve rode over the years. But God has a plan for me, somewhere, somehow, and I’m just going to take comfort in that. We’ll see if it becomes apparent, and if it does, that’s what we’ll do, and if it doesn’t, we’ll just keep making it up as we go along.

For you, dear reader, I have nothing but the best wishes for 2012, and that it be just weird enough to make you happy. I thank you for stopping by this dusty, stale-beer-and-Marlboro-smelling corner of the internet. It’s been my great good fortune to have so many kind folks along for the Klown Kar ride this life has become, and it humbles me to be so blessed. Happy New Year!

Rub an inch-thick stack of $100 bills on it, Albert

La Russa said Pujols has been “in pain” since he accepted the Los Angeles Angels’ 10-year, $254-million offer.

“I know it was a painful decision and it pains him now,” La Russa said. “He deserves what he got. He earned it. There’s no bad guy here. I think the Cardinals went where they thought they should go. If they can’t go farther, they shouldn’t.”

Oddly, my Give-A-Fuck-O-Meter is not registering the psychic pain of Albert ‘$250MM’ Pujols.

The Verdict Is In

And it’s not unexpected, but it is a) greatly appreciated confirmation, and b) a load off of my mind. Again cutting/pasting from the family email:

I had the doctor appointment this morning to go over the results of the PET scan on Monday. They were characterized as “very good” — it showed tumor shrinkage, no enlarged lymph nodes and no spread to brain, other organs or bones. There is still blockage of the bronchus intermedius (? – something to do with a branch of the airway), and indication of pneumonitis (not pneumonia.) My voice is still very hoarse, so that nerve is still impacted. It is getting louder, though, at least a little bit. I have some light-headedness after standing up, which was described as “getting old” by the PA. Great.

The treatment plan is to move into consolidated chemotherapy, which will start Jan 5th. I neglected to ask how many they planned, but I have an appointment the day before I start chemo, so I’ll ask then. Needless to say, I’ll go for how ever many they say. The drugs will be carboplatin and taxoplatin (?), the same thing I had before, just stronger doses. I imagine at some point, I’ll be getting another scan to see how I’m reacting to it, and make any adjustments. I’ll probably start losing hair with this round of chemo. Sigh.

Regardless, I’m sure that the multitude of people praying for me has had an enormous effect on me. Your love and support has meant everything to me, and I’m thankful beyond words.

So, here we are, the second fork in the road, which of course, I shall take, with all yall along as the happy peanut gallery. I’ve gotten inside information on the “strong” chemo (thanks, Tom!) that makes me somewhat nervous about how I’ll react. I’m definitely not down with losing hair, as I’m doing well enough with that on my own without any help. I guess I should look at this as an opportunity to buy a nice new Resistol, and purty up a little bit.

There are still a lot of things up in the air going forward, such as just what the hell I’m going to be when I grow up. I hate, hate, hate being unproductive — I really want to try to do something with the 30+ years of IT experience, 20+ years of networking experience, 15+ years of internet experience, and 10+ years of web experience. I’d still like to take some of the last 5+ years of video surveillance R&D and do something in the oil patch. I’ve still got a few ideas rattling around in my soon-to-be-hairless head on video + cellular + wifi, but by the time I can get them actualized, it might be too late. C’est la guerre, as we say in the high-tech world. I should make a Facebook app or something equally useless. If I had any creativity, I would.

For now, though, I’m going to enjoy Christmas with the family, up in North Texas, seeing some friends, just relaxing a little bit before I have to take that fork in the road. Thanks for all the prayers, good wishes, kind karmas, etc. Believe me, they work.

SAD Fat Guy is SAD

Seasonal Affective Disorder has set in, or that’s what I’m blaming. I’m tired of gray skies, rain, and cold. That’s all we’ve had for like two weeks, and it’s not even January yet. Just give me some sun, OK, and we’ll call it even. Because in the immortal words of Augustus McCrae, a man can buy a coat.

PET scan today, in 60 minutes to be precise, to judge efficacy of those six weeks of chemo and radiation. Prayers are appreciated, muchly.

SITREP 02DEC11

Here’s a lightly edited version of what I sent my family this morning:

Yesterday was my 2-week followup after the end of the first round of treatment. All was well, really. Just real quick:

  • swallowing is becoming progressively easier
  • so, my appetite is coming back and my taste buds too
  • still having muscle pain in back and shoulders which I think is just 3 months with no exercise
  • hydration issues are easing with the swallowing
  • still having regular nausea, I think from eating more adventurously than Ensure and chicken soup. They are switching me to Regulan for the nausea
  • I guess the voice is gone for good? No improvement in that, unfortunately.

I’m really feeling a lot better, and getting a lot of things done pursuant to moving. I’m still not getting a full night’s sleep, but I can take naps during most days or within an hour or two of waking up early in the AM.

I’m scheduled for a PET scan on 12/12, with the followup on 12/15. This will determine if & how the cancer has progressed, and the next course of treatment, which will be consolidated chemo, and some number of sessions, 3-6 of them.

And really, that’s kind of that. I guess there will always be uncertainty, but I’m still feeling confident, as well as just all-around better every day. So better that, in honor of the WPBT taking place this weekend, I seriously am considering a drive to Eagle Pass to play poker with the Injuns. Man, they picked a shitty time to kill online poker for me…I could have been sitting here folding for the last three months, and do you know how happy that would have made me???? Grrrr…stupid, meddling, dipshit-Eric Holder DOJ. Piss on ye, for killing Mexicans and Border Patrol agents and online poker, you lousy good-for-nothing water-carrying fall guy. I am also thinking of camping, but at lows of 30s and 40s with rain, well — not this weekend. Man, I want to be outdoors.

OK, then…a reminder…the Collection Plate is rattling. If you’ve already donated, I thank you from the bottom of my heart…it removes a little of the uncertainty, believe me, and that’s a good thing.





This post brought to you by ‘Waking up at 2AM’

I suppose this sleeping business will all work itself out.

I’m thrilled about Greg Maddux joining the Rangers FO. That guy has all the hardware a great pitcher can have. He’s highly respected throughout the game. Best of all, his approach to pitching – control – is precisely the key to success in the bigs. Now, though, the kids in the rotation will have to listen. I bet he can make them do that.

Yeah, I’m still reading about baseball. Nothing else is interesting.