Happy freaking new year

I decided i’d at least try to finish off this year with my take on what i’ve learned in the hopes it benefits anyone reading this. For me, 2015 wasn’t bad for the first part and then, it was sort of stressful… but overall it wasn’t bad. the last 3 months taught me some serious lessons, stuff i would not have had the opportunity to learn otherwise. And when it comes to adversity, you want to take something away from it, right?

Things I’ve learned:

  1. Cancer is not as scary as I thought. It doesn’t hurt, at least mine doesn’t.
  2. Don’t read what the cancer prognosis numbers are online because they don’t apply to you.
  3. There’s a lot worse cancers than the one I happen to have.
  4. The force of visualization should be used for healing.
  5. The color of the ribbon for colon cancer is royal blue.
  6. chemo is wacky crazy stuff, messing with your skin, muscles and your stomach.
  7. Silver nitrate is something not to put in your nose. At any time of the day.
  8. Don’t let me be awake with any procedure that ends in ‘scopy’. I need to be asleep when you lube that tube.
  9. Chemo infusions cost a crazy ass-load of money each visit. like 5 figures crazy.
  10. Chemo side-effects accumulate if you don’t have enough positive energy to counteract it.
  11. Don’t get cancer unless you have a good healthcare plan.

Things I already knew but needed to be reminded of it:

  1. I’m a lot stronger than I thought.
  2. I have a lot of souls in my corner and they (you) are here with me, I’m happily not alone in this journey.

I hope you have a successful and fulfilling 2016, I am planning on it myself. By my birthday I expect to be cancer-free and getting my new tattoo (mockup below):

thumbsup

The IV is for the stage cancer I’m working with (4). Hopefully this clears up any questions about images I might have submitted recently.

Leaving plenty of room on either side of my arm for listing anything else that crops up. As you do when Murphy’s Law applies to you.

Bracing for the pain that won’t come, I remain your humble servant,
Eric

Down and to the right

Because of the holidays I moved my chemo schedule up one day, in case my white blood cell count was still low and I needed to come in 48 hrs later for a Neulasta injection, which would have left me having to go elsewhere for that shot (the cancer center is closed on holidays). And then I learned while my port was accessed this morning that the shot around which I was moving my schedule, is now held for 3 days before I can have it. Something about Medicare restrictions, i wasn’t listening by that point — I was thinking Great, just great.

But then I got my blood labs back and discovered my WBC count is back to normal, over TWICE the amount it was 2 weeks ago. So that’s a moot point now because I’m a bad-ass after 3 months of chemo. I mean, come on, have you met my extended support network? That’s why.

As a matter of fact, most of my numbers are moving in the right directions: low values are coming back to normal, high ones coming down. Especially my tumor marker (CEA): it was at 5.9, 2 weeks ago, now it’s at 4.6 (normal reference range is below 2.5).  Not too shabby considering I started off at an even 20, 3 months ago.

I’d make a PowerPoint graph but I’m too lazy (and I hate PowerPoint). Just imagine a graph with 20 on the left and the number going down and to the right.

That’s a major source of joy and hope this holiday season for me and is a direct result of the continued broadcast of healing energy I receive from all of you, every waking moment. I started off strong, and I’m finishing this set of infusions even stronger.

So the current schedule is this:

  • 30 December : one more CAT scan to show final progress
  • 7 January : Appointments with oncologist, liver surgeon
  • 11 January : Appointment with colon surgeon

after these appointments they’ll decide whether I’m a candidate for surgery (cross fingers!) or whether I need more chemo (booo!), and hopefully I can get a date set for the future.

As a bonus, I had my wonderful mother-in law visit me during my infusion today. I dare you to find a more loving, thoughtful, good-natured mom – with poise for days – anywhere. Actually if you’re as blessed as Christine and her siblings are, you already found one years ago. Thank you, Cassie, for your company; I got a Christmas present early.

No silly videos this time! get your presents wrapped and then go out for a walk! Happy Holidays y’all!

TGIF

Been a long week, the side effects are lingering longer this time. I blame not having the rush of energy provided my the 5th Floor Shanks crew that I had around Thanksgiving. Oh well, what are you gonna do.  Still quite strong, but my mood has softened against my affliction since the new CT scan, I’m finding that I tire easily having to get angry at something that is already going away. So I’m a lot more quiet against it, gently suffocating it and telling the cancer ssssh, it’s all right. Time to go now. A little morbid I know, but it beats having to constantly nuke it psionically.

Not much else to talk about until next Tuesday, which is my 6th and last scheduled infusion. No updates on when my surgery will occur either, sorta stuck in limbo for the moment. So I’ll throw yet another song out here from my favorite Australian band, the Drones. Enjoy and we’ll see if we can’t post some news next week.

PS: Hey, if I don’t have your address, please contact me (thru email or Facebook, etc) and shoot it over so I can send a Christmas Card! You got only the weekend to do so before I mail them, don’t delay!

we don’t write letters any more
there ain’t the time or place
but a friend of mine wrote something like
a letter yesterday

it was smuggled through my inbox
just this morning, 3am
more impotent than important
but let me read it now, verbatim

he says i got that same old feeling
the one that turns the birds to brutes
the sky is like a bad dream
and the Earth is in cahoots

i don’t believe no one no more
i don’t care what no one says
i just wanna make the world
a much less painful place

we look fonder on the good old days
as they drift further away
but why if everyone feels so homesick
are they always setting sail?

’cause it’s all bad news up there on deck
and each headland masks the next
i’d just as soon dive in the ocean
and forego the blood and sweat

forego all aspirations
they just put everyone at odds
if idle hands are the devil’s work
then where’s the time for God’s?

and why write a letter that you’ll never send away

why won’t you stay with me, wait and see
all you need know
nobody’s perfect and their needs are always stark
stay with me, wait you’ll see
all you need know
everybody’s hurting and their needs are always stark

and who cares about wars of choice in lands
where states indulge their passions
and all the new shoots just jackbootscoot
all dissent out of fashion

like Fred Astaires at a film premier
that is all about them
it’s stirring stuff, transformative
they don’t care where they’re sent

they’re all kiss chasing childish
dreams of privileged masculinity
’till they’re spent by shock and discharged
home to small town and big city

the rest are the type left dying or dead
from trying to be useful
they’ve been handy in the years gone by
and they’ll be handy in the future

and who cares for their survival
and who cares about the Yanks
who cares if they get overrun
by Chinese nukes and tanks

who cares about the holocaust
man we didn’t learn nothing there
and all it’s memory does is
keep the History Channel on air

who cares about the Vatican
man everybody knows
and who’s surprised they went and
chose a nazi for a pope?

who cares about fakes like anarchists
man they never want to dance
let’s mambo Mogadishu
give anarchy a chance

i’m saying life is cruel, you know it’s true
but all sides still try and recruit you
for shangri-las as practical
as doing the karma sutra

why write a letter that you’ll never send away

why won’t you stay with me, wait and see
all you need know
nobody’s perfect and their needs are always stark
stay with me, wait you’ll see
all you need know
everybody skirts the fact their needs are always stark

and who cares if the starving millions
know if it’s christmas or your birthday
or what movie stars in Africa
or the guy from U2 says

or all the statesmen never telling
lies as truth or gospel
who cares what’s true or false
the truth’s the world won’t go to hospital

but who needs to live forever
who needs the extra miles
we won’t need bees or seed banks
in the Arctic for a while

we play the game to start again
not to better life for all
it’s the appropriate opiate
when a better way’s impossible

some honesty now wouldn’t go astray
if not, then what’s the use?
we’re animals, we can’t help doing
what all animals do

so goodbye my friend, i’m hitting send
forgive me talking straight
i’m only trying to make the world
a much less painful place

and why write a letter that you’ll never send away?

“We got them on the run now, boys”

Had a bit of a hectic night last night, was in bed by 10 but my oncologist woke us at midnight and recommended I get to the emergency room to get evaluated for 2 blood clots found in my lungs. Because of the cancer it’s likely I’ll be forming clots from now on. Luckily the clots are not life-threatening and since I didn’t present any symptoms (of course) all I got for my troubles is a new prescription of blood thinners for the next 6 months and an attempt to cauterize blood vessels ruptured in both nostrils. I’ve learned that getting swabbed with silver nitrate in both nostrils at 1 am is not my idea of a good time these days. Maybe 25 years ago it might have been different…

Imagine taking a ghost pepper… Then lighting it on fire… Then jamming that flaming hot pepper in each nostril while being mostly asleep  and you get close to my experience this morning. I do not recommend it.

Let’s get right to it. CT scan results as transcribed by my lovely wife Christine:

tumors“Abdomen and pelvis: there is decreased size and increased calcification within multiple hepatic metastases. A dominant left sided lesion measures approximately 5.9 x 2.8 cm, previously 9 x 6 cm. A second lesion in the medial left hepatic lobe adjacent to some capsular retraction measures approximately 3.2 x 3.6 cm, previously 4.6 x 4.4 cm. Additionally lesions also show decreased size, without new lesions identified. Patent portal veins. No biliary ductal dilatation. The gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, adrenal glands and kidneys are normal in appearance.

The distal esophagus, stomach and duodenum are normal in appearance. The remaining small bowel is decompressed. There is decreased wall thickening and irregularity within the sigmoid. Remainder of the colon is normal in appearance. Normal appendix. Urinary bladder is normal in appearance. Unremarkable prostate.

The abdominal aorta is normal in caliber with patent major branch vessels. no aggressive appearing osseous lesions. no pelvic lymphadenopathy.

Impression:
1. Interval decrease in sigmoid wall thickening, suggesting treatment response

2. Decreased size of multiple mucinous hepatic metastases, compatible with treatment response. No new hepatic lesions identified

3. Nonocclusive pulmonary embolus in two right basilar segmental branches.

The patient was seen in the emergency department at 1 AM on 12-9-15 due to the incidental finding of pulmonary embolism. Treated with blood thinners and released.”

So evidently I need to stay off of ladders for the foreseeable future…

This improvement is to your credit. We’ve seen the high tide already and it’s continually receding now, because of the love sent my way, because of your energy and prayers. I am moved to tears when I re-read these scan results, remembering the blessings of many souls giving their unyielding support is why I’m surviving this.

And there’s plenty cancer left to kill – I continue to focus on its demise while graciously accepting the love and healing energy all of you give without hesitation.

thank you for being with me while I clean this stuff up.

“This One Goes to 11”

Been feeling very good this week overall, the best I’ve felt in a long time. Probably maxing out at 10 out of 10. Today I went to 11.

twitter1

twitter2

so we get another music video because of this, sorry. This is just one of Flying Lotus’ works I employ audially to maximize assimilation of well wishes, prayers and thoughts tuned towards my way. I feel all of the energy coming from loved ones this way, and it’s become a daily thing. It’s almost too much to handle, some days.

To clarify: the video is okay but it’s Flying Lotus’ music I’m highlighting here. Just turn it up and sit back and relax, it’ll be over soon enough.