The Prophet is on the Air

DETAILS FROM LAST ROUND: White blood cell counts are back up, no Neulasta shot for me this time. Generally my numbers are either holding steady or increasing, with the exception of my CEA, which is still trending downward, almost 7 from 9.4 two weeks ago.

Had my best post-infusion weekend ever – apart from the usual cold sensitivity, there’s been no other issues like cramping etc. I attribute this to the incredible healing energy provided by the usual suspects (Blake family at Thanksgiving) combined with college friends who visited Raleigh, some of whom I haven’t seen in over 20 years. I figured I’d be feeling worse and worse after multiple rounds of chemo, but the 5th Floor Shanks Hall Crew has dispelled that notion. Thank you brothers and sisters for your timely visit. Safe travels, and we’ll see you next time. Go Hokies!

There was a cat in Nashville during the 70s who called himself the Prophet Omega and held radio programs out of his apartment; his programs were taped and distributed among touring musicians where he gained a cult following. Normally I’m not a religious guy but the old-school kitschiness and sponsored ads combined with his overall message (I am what I am) closely aligns with my belief system… probably Popeye’s as well. I’m both inspired and entertained by his programs, I wish he was still around today – perfect excuse to visit Nashville IMO.

Please to enjoy what I’m listening to this week, as I gain even more strength and prepare for upcoming CT scans to see my journey’s progress (scheduled for 12/8), after which time we’ll start thinking about scheduling surgery. Woot!

Gratitude

I had the opportunity to talk about what i’m thankful for this Thanksgiving during dinner with my in-laws, but declined to speak my mind. I wanted to wait till now as I’m in an isolated area, a safe distance from others, so there’s no exposure to hazardous fluids from the chemo drugs via my tears and overall blubbering (i have to flush twice for a few days after infusion when using the restroom, and i’ll kill the grass if i pee in the yard. good thing I’m housebroken).

Right now, after 4 chemo sessions, I still feel quite normal and that’s not an achievement for me… I truly believe this is an effect of the massive amount of positive energy, well wishes, thoughts, and prayers from all of you who have heard of my illness and have responded directly to me. To have your support at the most difficult part of my life is something that is blessed upon someone, it’s not anything i can say i’ve cultivated or worked towards. I am thankful for my health because of you. To each one of you, I mean it: Thank you for this.

I happen to have an incredibly strong and loving wife who has a solid foundation of support from friends and family that helps me because it helps her. Because of the support given to her, she can support me as I need it, and I can’t comprehend what my predicament would be without her constant love. To Chad and Cassie, to Chana, Cheryl, Kevin, Matt, Brad, and Angie: thank you for your love and support of my wife and myself.

Without my own family – my mother, my father, my step-mother, my aunts and my siblings and cousins – to have that core of strength, to know where you come from and where my own convictions and fierce fighting spirit originates, this makes me proud to be a Schuttler, and a Benson, a Tucker, a Harris, and a Walker. I am from all of these clans and proud to be born of these people. Say what you want, Midwesterners are tough to beat.

I love you and am thankful you are here with me. We’re beating this crap, have no doubt in your mind about it.

Into the Breach Once More

Infusion #4 underway.

[Verse: Kendrick Lamar]
I can see the darkness in me and it’s quite amazing
Life and death is no mystery and I wanna taste it
Step inside of my mind and you’ll find curiosity, animosity
High philosophy, hyper prophesized meditation
Reminisce on my wonder years and I wonder here
Sentiments of my words ain’t been so sincere
The sentiment of my nerves that I just persevere
The big thought of fallin’ off disappeared to my fate
They say that Heaven’s real
Analyze my demise, I say I’m super anxious
Recognize I deprive this fear and then embrace it
Vandalizing these walls only if they could talk
Conversations won’t contemplate to my dark thoughts
Lookin’ down on my soul now, tell me I’m in control now
Tell me I can live long and I can live wrong and I can live right
And I can sing song and I can unite the youth that I love
Youth that I like, look at my life and tell me I fight
Is that final destination, Is that find some information
Is that find some inspiration, Is that crack, the installation
Is that quantum jump and that fist pump and that bomb detonation
Please don’t bomb my nation, embalming fluid waiting
I got mind control when I’m here, you gon’ hate me when I’m gone
Ain’t no blood pumpin’ no fear, I got hope inside of my bones
This that life beyond your own life, this ain’t physical for mankind
This that out-of-body experience, no coincidence you been died
Bitch, you’re dead!

[Break: Thundercat]

[Hook: Kendrick Lamar]
Say you will never ever catch me, no, no, no

I Hate Tuesdays

office
The view behind my desk

But this Tuesday is a good day for Young Eric: the effects of chemo have started to linger this past round, and this is the first day since last Wednesday that I’m feeling 100%. The cold sensitivity has been hanging around but is pretty much gone now.

Plus, you know sometimes when you get a sandwich and fries for lunch at a food truck and you want to take it to go and you have to estimate on the fly how much ketchup to put on your fries and it’s always either too much or (usually) too little? Today i had the perfect amount of ketchup to enjoy my fries. On a Tuesday? That’s unheard of in my world. Maybe I need to re-think this whole “Tuesday sucks” thing.

Please to enjoy a song from Joao Gilberto below on this wonderful Tuesday. It’s tasty when Stan Getz comes in with his sax solo.