Archive

Archive for the ‘Cancer’ Category

Global Wooziness

November 23, 2021 Leave a comment

I had my tri-monthly brain MRI scan last week. I scored 2 “goods” to the Emperor’s 1 “bad“.

The words “chronic hemorrhage” sound disturbingly like my death is imminent, courtesy of the sword of Damocles. The saving grace is that it’s not the first time those morbid words have appeared in one of my MRI reports. The initial shock and fear have worn off. Instead of shitting my pants, I now just say “meh” whenever I see those dastardly zingers, which is always, because they seem to appear in every MRI report. According to those reports the hemorrhaging never stops. But it must stop sometime, no? Wouldn’t my brain suffocate in a pool of blood? I guess not, because I’m still here.

At least the hemorrhaging is only chronic, not acute, and it’s only localized to each radioactive tumor site. It’s not a diffuse, “intracranial” hemorrhage, which I think would render me tits up in no time flat. It seems like there’s a never-ending, bloody war of attrition being waged at each of the tumor battle sites between cancer cells, radioactive cells, Opdivo, and healthy cells. The hemorrhaging blood is a byproduct of this nasty, multi-party, conflict taking place inside of my thick skull.

Since how I physically feel changes frequently (sometimes even intra-daily), the ebbing and flowing “war of attrition” metaphor could be the reason for the large swings. Right now, at the moment of writing this post, I’m feeling an elevated sense of “global wooziness“. It’s not like dizzy, it’s not lightheadedness, it’s somewhere in between. It’s not like drunk, it’s not like stoned, it’s somewhere in between. When I turn my head fast, it feels like there’s a time delay between the physical head turn and when my attention catches up to where my head gets finally positioned. They’re out of synch, lol.

Along with the global wooziness infiltrating my consciousness, there’s an increased level of ringing in my ears; and my feet and calves are so numb that I can feel them vibrating through my socks. The good thing is that the vibrations are masking the peripheral nerve pain in my feet that coexists with the numbness.

All or some of these side effects from the war of attrition going on in my head can subside or escalate at any time. Sustained physical activity that increases my heart rate, like walking or vigorous stretching, magnifies the symptoms at least temporarily. It is what it is and I’m dealing with it delightfully.

Happy thanksgiving. Gobble gobble!

Categories: Cancer

Instantaneously And Involuntarily

November 11, 2021 3 comments

Because of the nasty, mean, culture of the web (of which I fully admit to being a conscious contributor to), I think it’s stupid to do what I’m about to do. I’m going to expose my worst fear at the moment to the entire world. The one saving grace is that only about 2 people waste their time reading this gawd forsaken blawg.

For five years after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, I’ve totally stunned myself at how well I’ve been mentally handling the thought of the “Sword of Damocles” lurking above my head the entire time. I’ve been hugely successful at keeping that morbid thought at bay despite the Emperor’s relentless, 24 X 7, attempts to reinsert it into my thought stream. That fucker!

So, I’ll start off with my second worst fear:

It’s when either my oncologist (after one of my tri-monthly chest/abs/pelvis CT scans) or neurosurgeon (after one of my tri-monthly brain MRI scans) utters the word “progression“.

That would mean the Opdivo immunotherapy regimen that has successfully kept the Emperor Of All Maladies at bay all this time is starting to fail. Thus, another treatment, which will be my fourth line of attack against the beast, must be chosen.

And now, for my worst fear…. Drum roll please:

My worst fear is that after hearing the dreaded “P” word, I cede total victory to the Emperor. I instantaneously and involuntarily disengage from life, giving up all hope of moving forward and receding into a stationary shell of my former psychological self. No more infectious enthusiasm, no more attempts at witty jokes, no more provocative stances, no more maniacal Bitcoin advocacy, no more weed-ingesting party animal.

So that’s it, that’s the post. Have a nice day.

Categories: Cancer Tags: , ,

A Cancerous Bitcoin Wardrobe

September 30, 2021 Leave a comment

Checkout my new FUCK cancer wardrobe additions below. I might be buying a FUCK cancer hat in the necessarily near future, but not a FUCK cancer pillow or blanket.

My current, overarching goal is to replace all my existing 30 year old, vintage, clothes with bitcoin and FUCK cancer garb before the Emperor escorts me downstairs to my final destination.

Categories: bitcoin, Cancer

The Ability To Steer And Stabilize

August 15, 2021 3 comments

A few weeks ago I noticed an abrupt deterioration in my ability to steer and stabilize my right leg. Since the leg has been devolving steadily (but relatively slowly) ever since I was diagnosed with metastases to the brain, I was alarmed at suddenly waking up to my extranumb, tight-as-a-drum, painful and crampy leg. It may be tough to imagine, but please believe me when I say that you can have both a painful AND numb leg at the same time. The pain comes from frequent pop-up cramps (where muscles get so tight the ligaments feel like they’re detaching from bone) up and down the entire leg/foot whereas the numbness comes from a loss of tactile feeling and control.

After dueling with competing thoughts on whether to walk around the block or not, I decided to give it a go since one of my goals is to do the daily waddle until the fit hits the shan. When I embarked on the journey, I detected my leg getting more numb and heavy with just about every step. I felt like I was playing darts, just randomly throwing my leg out in front of me on each step and hoping it would land close to where I intended it to go. It got to the point where I had to turn around and hastily go back home. I was concerned (um, I was actually scared) that my leg might go completely jello, buckle beneath me, and leave me stranded on the side of the road calling out for help like the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” lady.

When I made it back home safely, another frightful thought (there’s never just one scary thought, it’s always a cancerous cluster) came to mind: perhaps the brain tumor camping out on the motor strip that controls my right leg started growing, or, in cancer-speak, progressing, again. After the now-familiar wave of “uh oh, the descent has finally commenced and I’m on my way out” terror washed over me, I hastily checked to see when my next brain MRI was scheduled for. When I saw that it was almost a month away I decided to call my neurosurgeon and ask about moving it up. To my great relief, he accommodated my request. I had the scan done last week and the result showed no tumor progression. Hallelujer!

Hallelujer! - Madea Photo (26702418) - Fanpop

Since the shackled tumor isn’t the cause of the encroaching electro-mechanical deterioration, my neurosurgeon and oncologist both think it may be long term cumulative nerve damage due to the multiple cyberknife radiation hits I absorbed. The toxic nuclear bombardment may be melting away the myelin sheathing that protects nerves from external threats. Yuk, and D’oh!

D'Oh! Homer Simpson Called A Republican By Sen. Ted Cruz ...

Every time the ever-vigilant Emperor Of All Maladies detects he’s losing thought-share and being nudged out of mind, the evil bastid reasserts himself and takes back his rightful place at the front of the line with jolting thoughts of despair and death. At this point in my 5 year tango with the devil’s disciple, the psychological battle has become more taxing than the physical battle. I just hope I don’t have to add anymore chemicals to my gabapentin, klonopin, lamotrigine, and weed regimen. With all that shite sloshing around upstairs it’s amazing I can even think at all. The only thing I remember about my former life as a C++ programmer is that this compiles: void main(){}

Categories: C++, Cancer

Fee-sucking Rent-seekers

July 31, 2021 2 comments
Categories: Cancer

Bite Me

Having been diagnosed 5 years ago with stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer, I occasionally feel compelled to revisit the odds I have of staying above ground in my ongoing fight to the end against the Emperor Of All Maladies. Thankfully, since each visit to the bookie of death brings on a wave of existential angst, I don’t do it often. But hey, like with all my other shitty habits, I can’t help myself.

And oh yeah, I’ve meticulously prepared my death bed for the last battle….

All I need now is a Bitcoin urn to hold my cooked bones and a ticket on Jeff Bezos’s rocket to the moon! Donations will be accepted at the bitcoin address on the home page.

Categories: bitcoin, Cancer Tags: ,

You’re Full Of Bullae And Blebs!

In prep for my upcoming tri-monthly scanxiety day, I re-reviewed my March chest/abdomen/pelvis CT scan report. I did it so I can once again fake being intelligent at the follow up with my oncologist. The “lungs” section of the report is presented below for your HIPAA reading pleasure.

I can’t believe I didn’t jump on the “Bullae And Blebs” terminology on my first go-around. Well, I’m not gonna pass up the chance now. There is no feckin’ way I’m NOT going to publish a post with “Bullae And Blebs” in the title before the emperor has the last laugh. So, here it is, this is the post.

Categories: bitcoin, Cancer Tags: ,

A Detour From All The Giddiness

April 15, 2021 Leave a comment

I feel the need to make a detour from all the giddiness in the Bitcoin community to broadcast an update on my physical condition. I’ve been waking up more and more with my Feet On Fire (FOF) right out of the gate. It’s concerning because FOF usually takes some time to manifest after I wake up. I’m convinced the Emperor likes to give me a false sense of security on each sunrise before the fucker pours on the gas and lights the match.

Elevated dizziness, right leg instability, and tinnitus always accompany the FOF blaze in lock step with each other. Of all these symptoms of an inflamed brain, FOF is always the worst because it’s painful instead of annoying. My attention is constantly being hijacked by the Emperor and redirected towards the pain in my feet on the worst of days. The bastid!

Even though my brain MRIs have shown no progression of existing tumors, nor no new tumors for 2+ years, the chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy in my feet and the tumor-induced numbness in my right leg have been inexplicably advancing. The neuropathy in my feet used to be localized to my toes and lower foot. Now it has advanced up past my ankles and into my calves. It feels like I have a pair of numbness Bombas socks on. Thankfully, the actual pain has stayed mostly near my toes, but the vibrational numbness has crept upwards like the vines on an elitist Ivy league school building.

The numbness in my right leg has been advancing upwards too. When it reached my hip I magically thought it would stop. Nope, it kept inching up and directly into my right ass cheek. The weird thing is that my ass cheek is now sore all of the time, not numb. It feels like someone punched me hard in the cheek.

I’m already on the max dose of gabapentin (600 mg X 3) my pain doctor is comfortable with, so the best way I found to fend off the pain on the really bad days is to start my cannabis regimen much earlier in the day and be prepared to take a second, 10 mg, dose later on. The best way I can describe how cannabis helps my condition is that the THC/CBD potion serves as a comforting buffer between the Emperor’s FOF inflicted pain and my feet. It mimics Dikembe “Not In My House” Mutumbo and temporarily blocks the Emperor from relentlessly redirecting my attention back to the pain in my tootsies. No one wants to think about their stinky feet all day! The flipside is that I have to be extra vigilant of not falling when standing/walking, especially on inclined surfaces.

Categories: bitcoin, Cancer, Cannabis

My Expiration Date

Uh oh! It looks like the EOAM has informed the state, which has subsequently informed me, as to when the dirty bastid will be expiring my being as a temporary, integrated, bounded, magical, miniscule, cluster of universal energy on this earth. The Emperor is being a showoff by specifying the exact day and time at which BD00 will cease to function. His wickedness has me scheduled to croak on my personal doomsday one minute before midnight. I hope he’s waaay behind schedule (and overbudget) like the trillion dollar F-35 fighter jet fiasco.

Speaking of doomsday, here’s the Bitcoin advert for this post…

All the woke companies in the pic have courageously stepped into the Bitcoin Zone. The unwoke companies will soon face doomsdays of their own unless they follow the leaders into the BZ.

Categories: bitcoin, Cancer

Ploddingly Slow, But Thorough

April 5, 2021 7 comments

I cracked open one of my C++ programming books recently and started leafing through it in the hope of stirring up some warm memories of my use of the language to wrestle embedded systems problems into submission. Instead, I immediately experienced a moment of existential horror! My cherished language of choice all of a sudden looked like an intimidating, unfathomable, encrypted mess. I thought for a moment that I was having my second stroke.

It’s scary at how one can forget so much so fast unless one arduously burns calories to maintain a high level of competence in an area crucial for putting food on the table.

After regaining my bearings, I realized that most programmers who know other languages but don’t know C++ experience an instance of the same abject terror when they scrutinize C++ code for the first time. It’s too bad, but it is what it is.

Before my life was abruptly upended by the Emperor, I used to be a ploddingly slow, but thorough, C++ programmer. But as anyone who has read this blog quickly discovered, I ain’t never been no genius. I had to work much harder and longer than most to become a C++ craftsman. Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 hours to become a subject matter expert” threshold to prosperity is too low of a bar to apply to dumschitts like me. I needed 2X the time to become internally confident that I was an excellent C++ programmer. It was a difficult but satisfying road to travel because my mind was richly rewarded with the excitement of learning something new whenever I danced with C++’s exquisitely rich feature set and its “std::” (affectionately pronounced as “stood” 🙂 ) libraries in my head.

While coding away on problems, I was always thinking in the background about what I could do to help future maintainers understand the code ASAP so they could get something done without getting frustratingly stuck. I’m embarrassed and sad to admit it, but it was more of a classic, fear-based, ego-driven mission than an altruistic one. I was afraid of feeling like schitt whenever I envisioned colleagues reading my code. I yearned for everyone who read the code to say “Wow, I wish I knew this maestro!“, instead of “WTF!” after every few lines.

To drill deeper into what I’m exposing here about my dark passenger, I was firmly in the clutches of the “impostor syndrome” for most of my undecorated career. But hey, despite the fact that Stroustrup, Sutter, Meyers, Josuttis, Kalb, Lavavej, Lakos, Williams, Carruth, Niebler, Boehm, Alexandrescu, Gregory, Davidson caused my cancer ( <– just joking), it was a fun, multi-decade, journey down the C++ rabbit hole. I’m extremely gratefuI that all of those wonderful teachers took me along for the adventure.

In closing out this post, I remembered the need to blatantly include some Bitcoin propaganda in it. So, say ‘ello to my leetle friend…

I wish the tat was orange instead of black, but the artist didn’t have any orange ink in her pallet. I’ll make sure my upcoming neck tat is full Satoshi orange though.

%d bloggers like this: