Not My Cause

January 20, 2020 2 comments

Having been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer close to four years ago, I did not know that Radon was the second leading cause of lung cancer. We had our house tested for Radon years ago. The levels were way below the danger threshold.

 

I can’t be 100% sure, but I’m confident that the cause of my lung cancer was… as you guessed it… the number one cause… drum roll… smoking.

My father died two years ago of complications from the flu at the age of 90. Incredulously, my dad didn’t die of lung cancer despite the fact that he was a smoking fiend for about 40+ years. Even more incredibly, it took my dad only one trip to a hypnotist to get him to stop!!!

My pop smoked unfiltered Lucky Strikes. He sucked on those coffin nails one right after another as if they were taped together. The house was always filled with smoke. His toes and finger nails were always yellow and his breath smelled like burnt tobacco. At one point, since we weren’t rich, my dad bought some big ass cans of Laredo-branded tobacco and a cigarette rolling machine to save money. He had me slaving away (without pay!) for days making cancer sticks for him to suck on.

All of this happened back in the 40s/50s/60s/70s when the tobacco industry and its lobbyists were effective for decades at cleverly covering up how devastating smoking was to the health of all sentient beings. It reminds me of how the opioid pill pushers and their bipartisan congressional enablers have pulled the wool over the public’s eyes during the past decade.

 

I was on campus at UConn at the time my dad quit smoking. I was in the process of making my aperiodic, obligatory call home to reassure my parents that I was studying hard and not drinking/drugging my ass off into flunk city (like some of my classmates). When my mom told me dad quit smoking via the one trip to the hypnotist I nearly sharted. I steadfastly refused to acknowledge it. I smugly said that dad would be smoking again before I came home on semester break. But he never smoked again for 25+ years. Fuckin’ A!

Because of the dirty, gross experience from my dad’s smoking, I swore early on in my life that I would never smoke, EVER. I made it all the way through high school without smoking even though it seemed like half of my classmates were puffing away. But alas, while on spring break in my sophomore year down in Fort Lauderdale FL, I fucked up bigly.

I was standing in Big Daddy’s dance club with a beer in one hand and many previously consumed beers in my stomach. My right arm was resting on one of those old, purely mechanical, clunker cigarette machines while I watched a bunch of drunken peers dancing to disco. In my inebriated, uninhibited state of mind I made the biggest mistake of my life and put a bunch of quarters in the machine. The nerd in this pic says it all….

 

I thought hey, no problem. I’ll stop injecting carcinogens into my lungs when drunken spring break ends in a few days. Yeah, right. From then on I was hooked on nicotine delivery systems for 30+ years:

  1. I smoked cigarettes for about 15 years (1-2 packs of Marlboros per day).
  2. I switched to “chaw” and skoal for about 5 years.
  3. I switched to nicotine gum for about 15 years.

I stopped all nicotine consumption approximately 3 years ago after being chemo-sick for three weeks straight. The illness overwhelmed my nicotine cravings. My taste buds were in a state where everything I put in my mouth tasted like copper shite except for bottles of Boost. I threw away all my boxes of ebay-bought Nicotrol gum and I’ve never looked back.

Categories: Cancer Tags: , ,

How Many Types Do You Have?

January 15, 2020 Leave a comment

Here are all of my healthcare provider types:

  1. Oncologist
  2. Neurosurgeon
  3. Stroke neurologist
  4. Radiologist
  5. Pain management physician
  6. Psychiatric nurse
  7. Primary care physician

Please reference the bogus system diagram below while reading the next inane paragraph.

Being a C++ coder, I could design and code up a farcical class of attributes and behaviors for each healthcare provider type. I can then wire them together into a structured “cancer system” explicitly designed to protect the patient (ME!) from the EOAM. I can then write a simulator and run all kinds of hypothetical scenarios on the system. Who knows, with a set of tweaks to the static system structure and dynamic class behaviors, I’ll find a way to permanently silence the crab-man on one of my Monte Carlo simulation runs.

I remember the good ole days when I needed only one healthcare provider type – a primary care doctor. How many types do you require?

Categories: Cancer

A Roomba With Two Big Holes In It

January 13, 2020 2 comments

Thanks to Oprah Winfrey, I’ve discovered a new tool to apply in the battle for the souls of my feet. It’s a truShiatsu PRO foot massager from TruMedic. It looks like a Roomba with two big holes in it. It cost me $150 from Amazon and it’s well worth the investment.

 

Even in its default, power-on, operating configuration, the truShiatsu PRO is a beast and it knocks the shit out of my feet. If it didn’t do so I wouldn’t be able to feel any therapeutic effects through the numbness in my toes.

The massage mechanism inside the Roomba consists of an integrated set of moving/rolling balls and expanding/contracting air compression sleeves. The balls and sleeves dance together in a well orchestrated and choreographed act that emulates a pair of human hands giving a shiatsu massage.

But it’s better than just a plain ole pair of hands. It feels like there are a pair of “man hands” in that shell that are beating my feet into blissful oblivion.

Categories: Cancer

This Year’s Accomplishments

January 9, 2020 Leave a comment

Dear boss, here are my 2019 accomplishments:

  • 20+ Opdivo immunotherapy infusions
  • 20 radiation hits
  • 5 brain MRIs
  • 1 full CTLS back MRI
  • 20+ doctor/nurse/specialist visits
  • 4 Chest/Abdomen/Pelvis CT scans
  • 1 Emergency Room excursion to treat a small” stroke
  • $3000 out of pocket max exceeded in early November
  • $450K+ in healthcare consumed

My proudest and most valuable accomplishments of the year are the procurement of:

  • 1 Medical Marijuana Program card

  • 1 MRCG membership card

What were YOUR 2019 accomplishments?

Categories: Cancer

A Proud, Card-Carrying Member

January 1, 2020 Leave a comment

First of all, Happy New Year everyone! Next…..

…I am a proud, card-carrying member of a group of beautiful people that no person would ever want to be a member of: the Metastatic and Recurrent Cancer Group (MARCG). Am I right? Isn’t that the scariest group name EVER?

The MARCG meets for an hour and a half on the first and third Tuesdays of each month to discuss what we’re going through, how we are doing, pain management and diet tips, etc.

Last year was a very somber one for the group. Four dear members lost their final battle against the Emperor Of All Maladies in 2019. The only one I knew was Amy Conroy. Amy died last week after a long series of battles with the Emperor. She was a courageous warrior and an inspiration to the group. Amy would lead or contribute to many group discussions. Damn it girl, we’re going to miss you! Rock on Amy!

Categories: Cancer

A Highly Diversified, Multi-Level Defense Of DeFeet

December 28, 2019 2 comments

Except for the sentence you are currently reading, this entire post was coaxed forth from the depths of the beyond with the aid of my trusty side-kick… the 1991 edition of Microsoft Visio.

 

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Why The Long Face?

December 25, 2019 Leave a comment
Categories: miscellaneous Tags:
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