Monday, September 17, 2012

Cyrus is dead - 3 surgeries and 8 weeks of radiation... Starting new blog to catalogue my return to fitness...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Scattered Thoughts - Completely Random With No Answers, Nothing Profound

It's odd to sit around for months; thinking about how your life has changed - what you've experienced up to a certain seminal event, trying to predict how the course of your life has been altered - what your limitations are, how should you change your life now, should you at all - are you a different person than before, the same...

Faced with carrying something that could cause the end of your life a year from now or fifty, it's odd to have a REAL optional answer to the question - how am I going to die?

I think a lot of people, when contemplating the answer to such a question; 1) feel terrified that they have allowed the thought to cross their stream of conscience, 2) feel that slight quiver of fear that they do not have that faintest clue of what the future holds, not knowing when it will all end.

Is it healthy to think in such a way - I see no problem with it, contemplating one's own mortality should be a reminder that you are alive, here and now - you can't have the sweet without the bitter... (I guess).

Cliche as it is, the majority of people seem to drift through life not experiencing it as a whole; they ignore the little things, take things for granted, continually push goals and plans down the "road of life" so that "future me" can accomplish them - I've been guilty as well, still am...

However, one thing that has occurred, or at least been further cemented, is that when I think about my past - who I have become - what I have done;  I have no regrets, this is the life I have lived - the ONE life I have to live, there is no point in worrying about past "mistakes" - everything to this point has made me who I am - why even add this statement, I don't know...

To be honest, I am sometimes not sure how "cyrus" has changed me - most often it just seems like another event in my life that I will experience and move on from, sometimes it feels drastically different - sometimes it feels like an annoyance, just delaying the life I want to live - the person I want to become. Maybe that's a trap I should avoid, take everything in now - appreciate each moment, but that seems trite. Why would I want to appreciate the moments where I have been miserable - because I knew I was "alive"?  I want to appreciate the moments where I have accomplished something - the moments where I have made a positive difference in someone's life.

I've been avoiding this blog for weeks - sometimes for medical reasons, (hard to type with double vision), sometimes because I couldn't think of a way to share the humor of the situation in a way that was funny to anyone but myself, (sometimes I got a little morbid with my jokes), sometimes because I felt like there was some pressure for me to write some type of deep meaningful prose - instead of aimlessly typing like I am now, no structure - just a river of thought flowing turbulently from my fingertips.

I named my tumor "cyrus" because it seemed easier for people to deal with than the word "cancer"... something I ended up stopping, transitioning to the habit of reiterating out loud "I have cancer"; so people would get used to the idea - in reflection it's first perplexing, the visceral reaction people can have to that phrase - they don't like you to say it, I think it's because you are reminding them of their own mortality - doing so directly in their face, but you have to say it - it doesn't seem real to the individual either at first, I needed to say it out loud, those around me needed to hear it - we all needed to accept it together.

Of course such acceptance often leads to the rather banal "rah rah" B.S. - I appreciate the support and kind words, the empathy - sometimes the sympathy - but I am not so much a fan of the cheerleading - I accept it, because I know that is how people like express their support for me - but if I hear another person tell me to "kick its ass" it will be too soon... I'm just here for the ride like everyone else - I guess I do my part by following orders, but it's the doctors who are doing the "ass kicking," (and they're doing a good job I will add) - I don't feel as if I am "fighting" cancer, I am enduring cancer - and maybe that is why it has gone rather swimmingly up to this point; I don't feel as if I am in a fight, I'm not revved up with animosity or angst all the time, (yes, I have my moments), but rather I am taking the approach, "it is what it is - no use fretting, just deal with it and move on" - that doesn't mean I am not immune to the annoyances it provides, just saying I have never felt like it was "me" against "cancer".

Right now I am supposed to be in a period of normalcy - I have healed enough to begin radiation, I have healed enough that I can resume "normal physical activity". But I don't feel "normal", I am A LOT more physically weak than I was before; the anatomy of my head and face has been altered - the sensation of blood rushing to my head causes pain - what am I supposed to do with myself? Sometimes I am not sure how I feel physically - if I feel bad or not, sometimes it is just weird...

It feels as if the insinuation is "well, it seems like physically, the damage we did to you is repaired - we've had you do NOTHING but sit around for months, now we want you to immediately return to normal life" - and people that hear that feel the same - but I don't feel like I can just up and go back to doing everything the same - I am not sure I want to yet, somethings seem too trivial - somethings seem too momentous ... And that's what leads to the questions at the top and my rambling for fifteen minutes... I don't have any answers.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What do YOU eat after brain surgery? part 1

So, what kind of patient was I? I like to think that I brought a beaming ray of light to the halls of 8D at UPMC; of course I did, I mean... how could I have not? Well, lets think retrospectively about my five and a half days on the floor.

I began Monday, Sept. 26, (my dad's birthday - you're welcome dad), innocently enough, "relaxing" in pre-op. It's a very fortunate notion that when the nurse anesthetist visits you and says, "try to relax", they follow that remark with an injection of pharmaceuticals. (Anyone else think they have a peculiar smell?).

Meanwhile, a volley of what I could determine were either residents or fellows continually walked by my bed; I could hear them through their eyes, "Oooo, chordoma patient, wonder if I can get in on that." Keep you're grimy hands away from my head you interlopers, (but I know they have to learn somehow). One  eventually "swaggered" over; wanting to add his name to the team of doctors for the day. I literally said, "Okay, hold on, exactly what would you be doing during the surgery?" Caught off guard he coughs out, "Oh, I'm just beginning my fellowship here, I'll be aligning the pins in your head..." I thought, 'yeah right'... "So, where did you go to med school, where did you do your residency?" I could see in his face, "cm'on kid, sign the papers, don't be such an arse" (I say 'arse' because he had a british accent, he did his residency at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, England.) That sounds fancy and he's just an ENT, no brain contact... I signed away.

They began wheeling me towards the OR; I'm like, "Hey, I think I have to go to the bathroom." To which they remarked, "We'll take care of that." I was thinking, "are you sure, because I am not thinking that you and I are contemplating the same type of bathroom visit, I mean, you're wheeling me back to roto-rooter through my nose and into my skull case. It kinda feels the the proverbial poo is about to hit the fan." Smiles and all, I nodded in acceptance, I mean, it will be their problem anyway... I'll be asleep.

We get into the OR, hey there's my ENT I've never met. He introduced himself, (I already knew who he was). "Hey, how are you doing? You're going to have a good time with my nose, wide nostrils allow for extra instruments and I hear it's straight shot back..." Fade to black... (They snuck in some of those pharmaceuticals again before I was ready.)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Food for thought, from the other side...

If you're on pain medication: 2 cups of strong black coffee > dulcolax/milk of magnesia... You're welcome ;)

My absenteeism from walking this morning is noticeable; crummy mattresses...

See me on "The Ocho" 2012 Vegas Championships

Fall 2011 Pittsburgh Nose Picking Championship

It was 2011 nose pickin' championships here in Pittsburgh, obviously i won.... Gotta be willing to knock a lil sphenoid bone out of the way; Go deep or go home! (that's what she said)