Cancer in My Dreams

Sunday, August 1, 2004 – 5:46 am

I think I can sleep easy now. I have officially told the people in my dreams that I have cancer.

They were a group of computer nerds selling second-hand console video games – one of which was a Transformers/GI Joe game that featured hot Cobra lesbians. You see, I had to distract Megatron with Cobra Orbs to get past the gate that was guarded by the Cobra Queen and her new girlfriend…that she started making out with…and they were both topless.

I fucking kid you not.

Mood: Lesbians!

The Creative Well

Friday, August 6, 2004 – 1:12 am

Creativity is not a talent, it’s a skill. It takes years of practice and training to literally forge the mind to think laterally at will.

I’ve been working on being creative since probably grade school, but it wasn’t until high school that I really started concentrating on being a creative individual. After many years of failed creative efforts, I was just starting to get to a point where I could see around almost any creative problem – sometimes several different solutions would pop up. Much like when the speed skater starts matching Olympic race times, my skill was finally coming to fruition.

Until this all happened.

Now it’s WORK again. I hate it. I stare at a blank sheet of paper and nothing happens. No lights, no fireworks, nothing. There’s no explanation for it, either. The doctor’s tell me it’s quite common – it’s called “Chemo Brain” – and that I definately have it. Great. Add that to my list of afflictions.

I feel like a vegetable. A rather useless one, too. Like a rutabega. All I can do is ingest information. I can’t interpret or digest it. When I try to think of simple creative solutions, my mind draws a complete blank. I don’t even get BAD ideas.

I kind of feel like a speed skater who just lost both his legs. My creative well – upon which my PROFESSION depends – has run dry.

(Whine whine, bitch bitch)


Take Two Grand and Call me in the Morning

Monday, August 9, 2004 – 12:52 pm

I can officially sleep now (well, when the drugs kick in that put me to sleep and give me awesome dreams about Cobra lesbians). My benefits arrived this morning at 12:03am via direct deposit, paid in retrospect to July 2nd. We’re out of overdraft, the bills finally got paid (Rogers was getting ANGRY) and best of all I no longer have to worry about going back into serious credit card debt.

See? Money does solve all of life’s problems!

Which brings me to an interesting point: Money can solve anything. If I was rich, I could have paid for faster/better treatment and gotten my chemotherapy in between trips to high-class spas around the world. Also, I wouldn’t have spent the last month unable to sleep over the thought of having to scramble to find money for simple things like granola bars or Online Roleplaying Games. To be honest if I had a small sum of about $50,000, I would have absolutely ZERO stress in my life. I could go to my job (once I’m healthy of course) and do a damn good job knowing that my entire disposable income was going towards my future instead of my past.

What can’t money solve? It can’t save you from having cancer in the first place, and it can’t buy you the support of a good wife, family and a ton of great friends. For that I am glad. It CAN help you spend a lot more time with them instead of sitting around worrying about money, and in the even you have no family or friends, that’s a whole lot of booze and strippers. In fact, that’s what I love most about rich people. They always seem so empty even though to them $50,000 is a week-end shopping spree. But you can always count on rich people to be surrounded by booze and strippers.


“Chronic” Pain

Friday, August 13, 2004 – 1:12 am

The issue has come up – on more than one occasion, mind you – that a person in my situation should really have resorted to more “alternative” medications by now. If you’ve already figured out that I’m talking about marijuana, please give yourself a gold star.

I’ve never tried pot. Never. I’ve never even so much as puffed on a joint, not even once. I don’t have to deny inhaling, because as much as I’ve been offered I’ve never been even tempted to do put a twisty cigarette in my mouth (I can hear my mother shouting “Good for you!”). This isn’t something I’m terribly proud of, either. It’s just a fact – I’ve just never been interested in smoking pot. I’ve certainly had my share of opportunities between friends, rock concerts, college, and living downtown.

But now I have a reason to smoke up, a perfectly reasonable medical reason. No one would ever look down on me for getting high at this point. My doctor even looked at me funnny when I told her I hadn’t considered it as a theraputic remedy for my constant and relentless nausea. Works wonders, she said.

So what’s stopping me? There’s no legal reason I couldn’t (it’s practically legal to smoke in this country already, if not, you know, legally legal), no real moral reason (I look at marijuana the same as alchohol, quite alright in the right amounts), and there’s certainly a nice big fat reason I should be toking. Yet for some reason I’m apprehensive to touch the stuff. Perhaps I’m scared to even try it. Or maybe I want to look my kids in the eyes and tell them I’ve honestly never smoked pot and mean it when they’re curious, which raises the bigger issue of what that’s actually going to mean to them when the time does come to talk about drug use.

So am I worried about my present? Or my future?

Mood: Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em

Turning the Corner

Tuesday, August 17, 2004 – 11:34 pm

I know. I’m really close to being done. Weeks away, even. Instead of having months ahead of me, I have months behind me. I can almost start counting the days until this whole damn thing could be over with.

So why does none of that help?

I suppose, if I really wanted to put it into an analogy (and this is MY website, so I can generally do what I like around here, so just sit back and enjoy) it’s kind of like having somebody beating you up, all the while telling you “It’ll be over soon, don’t worry. Just a little bit more.” It’s not very comforting at the time. That’s all.

I’m working on being more positive, though. I’m forcing myself to leave the house more than usual, and I’m even starting to gear up to go back to work and resume some kind of normal life. It is just a matter of time. There’s the issue of my “birthday” party which will be delayed to accommodate the results of my final CT scan, so keep your mid-October weekends free…ish. We’re looking for themes or suggestions.

So yeah, I know it’s going to be over soon. Just try not to remind me how much further I still have to go, OK?


For the Paranoid

Friday, August 27, 2004 – 2:18 am

I’ve been to my group therapy a couple of times now (it’s a special group specifically for young adults with cancer) and one thing seems to be common among all of us: None of us saw the cancer coming. In fact, most of us went months without being diagnosed because our respective doctors all thought our coughs, back pains, chest pains, etc were all routine acute afflictions and not the monster that is cancer.

I can see both sides of this coin. On one hand, no one thinks young people get cancer. In fact, statistically we only represent 200 out of the 6000 new cancer cases that come into the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre every year. We even admit the last thing we ever expected our sicknesses to turn out to be cancer. On the other hand, I also see that doctors can be too quick to dismiss something as a minor acute illness and not probe further to rule out things like cancer.

The solution? Vigilence. There’s no need to go out and research the early symptoms of every kind of cancer, but I think being aware that not all illnesses can be cured with bedrest and a better diet is a good start. Young people – though we may think it – are not invincible and we do get cancer from time to time. Make sure when you see your doctor about any lengthly sickness that the right tests are ordered and you’re not just given some pills to swallow so you’ll get the hell out of their office faster.

What’s the result of this vigilence? Longer line-ups for diagnostic tests like CT scans, X-Rays, and MRIs. I had to wait weeks for my initial CT scan. If every doctor arbitrarily requested a CT scan for every patient that thought their illness was “fishy”, the line-ups would grow exponentially. This creates a whole new problem that everyone will pay for in the long run.

Is it worth it, though? The lives saved by “unessecary” testing versus the lives saved by quick testing? Either you have people complaining that they died because their doctor never requested the test, or people complaining they died because their doctor ordered the test but it took 6 months to be tested.


Mood: Fuh-Klempt!