Sunday
May222016

My Warrior Credo 5/22/16

On Tuesday May 24th at 8:30am I will fire the first salvo in my battle against cancer.

On Tuesday May 24th at 8:30am I begin my chemotherapy.

No more waiting for the treatment to start. No more fear of the unknown. No more letting  the cancer grow unchecked.

No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Why? Because fuck that shit.

Cancer can take a lot of things from me- it cuts through peoples’ lives like a scythe, slicing families apart.

It can take my hair, and it will. It can rob me of my duty to provide for my family, it already has. It can take my good health- temporarily- and throw me around like a rag doll. It can strike dread and fear in the hearts of my loved ones, but only if I allow it. And I fucking won’t. Not a chance.

On Tuesday May 24th at 8:30am I will not be a cancer patient.

On Tuesday May 24th at 8:30am I will be a Warrior.

On Tuesday May 24th at 8:30am I will become Indestructible. Indomitable. Invincible. Invulnerable, and every other motherfucking In- there is. There is no other way to fight, not if you want to win. Fists flying, headbutting, eye gougeing, curb stomping- whatever it fucking takes. Why? Because-

Cancer will not take another parent from my son. He will not lose me, because I am a Warrior.

Cancer will not steal my little girl’s father. She will not lose me, because I am a Warrior.

Cancer will not rob my wife of the beautiful life we have built. Mrs. H will not lose me, because I am a Warrior.

I will not be silenced or stopped. Instead I will yell and keep pushing forward, kicking ass and taking names.

If I’ve been sick for a long time and I grow weary, I will look at my family and feel the love of my friends, and I will rise.

When I’m feeling better at the end of a chemo cycle, and I start to feel anxious or scared about the next infusion and all the shit that it brings, I will stop and breathe. I will breathe and say “No, cancer, you don’t scare me. If this is the price of admission, then bring it. Is that all you’ve got?!”

When cancer has taken the last of our money, we will find a way. It’s ok, it’s only money. Cancer can’t take away love, and love will always win.

I will not stray from the path, or give in to weakness. I will be strong for my children, and loving to my wife. I will ask for the help I need, and graciously accept the help I’m offered.

I will not fear.

I will not hide.

I will not yield.

Because I am a Warrior.

 

BOOM! (Gangsta face)

Ok, so I know that was a bit bombastic, but I was hammering on the keyboard like it was a fucking machine gun! It felt great! And hey, if you did find yourself thinking “Bloody’Ell that was a touch bombastic”, then maybe you don’t have cancer. Or Lyme. Or chronic pain. Or depression. Or any of the myriad other “invisible” diseases that people battle every day of their lives. Perspective can be a bitch, right?

This will be the start of my credo. Words I can use as a well of strength to draw from when I’m feeling low. Bombastic me up.

Now that I’m a warrior, and all, I’ve decided to prepare myself like warriors have for... well forever.

You know how Mel put all the blue wode (sp?) on his face in Braveheart?

 BeforeAfter

Or Native Americans use war paint?

 BeforeAfter

Well, I want to do something to prepare myself too.

My brain asked me “What’s the first thing cancer’s going to take?”, and I answered “Well, I guess my hair.”

Brain: Ok, then, so why don’t you take the fight straight to cancer AND get your warrior look on at the same time? You’re the one who said you were gonna come out all swingin’ and curb stompin’ and shit, right? I mean, unless you just talk a big game...

Me: (coughs) No, I’m ready. What do you want me to do.

Brain: Go get your head shaved. Win the first battle before the war even starts. Fight dirty, man! It’s your hair dude, you should say when it goes, not the cancer. Get it proper shaved though, with a fucking straight razor. Full skin. Then you’ll be a Warrior.

Me: Ok.

So, I did. I went to a hipster barber shop in San Francisco for the full on, straight razor head shave, and it didn’t disappoint.

I had the radio on in my truck listening to some the Cal Berkley station, and when I hit the bridge they kicked off a reggae ska set with The English Beat, U-Roy, The Specials, and The Selector. It was like they were playing it for me.

“Hey, so for the Sunday morning programming, what do you guys wanna do? Ooh, I know lets do a driving-in-to-the-city-to-get-your-head-fucking-shaved-ska-and-reggae set! What do you guys think?” Well, it felt that way at least :)

The barbershop exceeded my expectations. I walked in and a beanie headed, beard wielding hipster greeted me for check in.

“Oh. You’re here for a head shave. Cool. Hey, do you want a drink? Coffee, water, Lagunitas IPA, bourbon...”

“I’ll have a bourbon with a water back, please.” Things were looking really good.

While I sat and waited for my tattooed friend in the skinny capri jeans to bring me my beverages, I availed myself of a gourmet, fuck off looking donut that they had sitting out for customers. As I lifted the beast to my mouth, Steel Pulse’s “Macka Spliff” came on the stereo. Wait a minute- bourbon, donuts, and weed themed reggae music by one of my favorite reggae bands?! I've come to the right place.

After a few moments of donut and bourbon heaven, my barber Priscilla came over to take me to her station. We introduced ourselves and I sat down in chair it was a proper old school barber’s chair, all steel and masculine and shit.

“So, what do you want to do today?” asked Priscilla.

“Well, I’ve come in for a straight razor headshave.” I replied, feeling a bit nervous. Being the badass barber that I now know she is, she asked-

“Do you mind if I ask why? You seem a little.... unsure.”

“No, I’m sure,” I answered. I was nervous too about telling this stranger why I was doing what I was doing. Deep breath. “I have cancer, and I’m starting chemotherapy on Tuesday. I want to choose when my hair goes, not the cancer. So, I’m sure. I hope you can understand.”

“I do understand, I’m a cancer survivor. I really get it. I think you were supposed to end up in my chair today.” she said with a huge, warm, knowing smile. I was dumbstruck.

“Are you serious?! Wow,” I felt my eyes grow wet, the emotion was so strong, “You’ve got me feckin’ tearing up over here....”

“Well, let’s get you clipped, then some nice hot towels, we’ll cream your head up and do it. You ready, Honey?”

“Yeah,” I said “I’m ready.”

Priscilla rocked that straight razor with style. When she was done, she gave me her card.

“When you beat your cancer, come see me ok? Even if it’s not for a haircut, I’ll just wanna... see you.”

We hugged and said goodbye, and I was really struck- again- how connected I feel when I meet other people with cancer or cancer survivors. We are a family of our own, and sadly our numbers are growing all the time.

It was a fantastic, amazing experience and now I’m ready. I've been thinking of some possible alter ego names for my new look- at the moment I'm going with Sex Luther.

Here’s my before and after.

BeforeSex Luther

I am a Warrior.

 

That’s it for now.

Thanks for reading. See you soon.

Huttsez

“...the unread voice of a generation.”

huttsez.com

Friday
May202016

The Adventures Of Edible Man At Chemo Class 5/20/16

A quick heads up- if you haven’t read So, I Got My Medical Marijuana Card you should. This next post won’t make as much sense.

Since I found out that I have the cancer, I’ve been keeping some fluid hours. Sometimes I wake up at 1 or 2am and just stay up. Read, play video games, write, watch tv. Sometimes at 6:30am when I’ve been up for five hours or so, I think-

“Fuck it, I’m gonna rock that last piece of brownie.”

And by ‘sometimes’ I really mean ‘the day of my chemotherapy class’. Yeah, I did that.

“Oh but wait” I said, responsibility pushing it’s way to the surface, “I’ve got my chemo class at 3pm. I better not eat that piece of brownie.”

“Dude, shut up!’ said my brain “What are you gonna learn? That chemo sucks? We already know that, bro. Eat the fucking brownie, it’s barely even a whole dose. You’ll be fine.” My brain is often very far from helpful.

“Well, it really is pretty small. I guess you’re right. I’ll be fine.” Chew chew gulp.

“There ya go, champ. Listen to old Brainy, I’ll never steer you wrong.” Ha!

I went happily about my morning and realized at around 9:30am (3 hours later) that I wasn’t feeling any effects from eating the brownie. Alright then, no harm no foul. Probably for the best, I thought, don’t need to be all stoned at chemo class. I mean it’s chemo class, for fucks sake, I should definitely stay on point, right? Right. Cancer’s no joke and I’ll need my wits about me through this shitty process.

That lasted until just after 10:00am when I suddenly became quite stoned, and then continued to get more stoned until about 2:00pm. Great. Somehow, all the potency must have traveled via hippy osmosis from the rest of the brownie, in to that little tiny piece. 

Seeing as I was recovering from surgery it was verboten for me to drive so I had a ride lined up to get me to my class, which is good. Nobody wants to get busted for driving under the influence on the way to chemo class. Word up.

My ride showed up and roused me from my chair right in the middle of Sheep on my third time through on Pink Floyd’s ‘Animals’. Dude.

I applied liberal amounts of eyedrops and we rolled, my psyche fully primed for the learning and retaining of crucial information.

“Wow, you’re looking pretty stoned there Buddy.’ said my friend in the car “Seriously, your eyes are fire engine red. Did you put food coloring in them?!” 

“No, I just now put some drops in, it’s always worse after that. They’ll chill out.” I said “But I did eat this tiny piece of brownie eight hours ago, and it feels like all the THC was in that section. Classic, right?”. I was talking and handling pretty well so far, I felt confident that I could hang.

My friend dropped me off early, and after one last eye drop application I cruised forth.

I like to be early for stuff, so I had about 20 minutes before the class started and decided to go snag a cup of coffee. There was an actual proper reason for this, let me bring you up to speed right quick, like.

The oncology department where I’ll be getting my chemo has a full time social worker who is just fantastic. She has helped us with so much already, and I’m convinced she will be one of my strongest advocates throughout this whole process. I really like her a lot. 

She teaches the chemo class with her colleague who is the head nurse in the infusion center, and warned me that her colleague had a tendency to go on a bit, and that her monotone delivery might lull me to sleep, so I should bring a cup of coffee. See why I like her?

While I was walking to get a cup of coffee, I noticed a car coming up next to me as I was shuffling along in my post surgery gait. It seemed that the elderly gentleman wanted to pull into one of the spots I was about to shuffle across so I smiled at him and waved him in ahead of me. He waved and pulled in but parked very poorly, straddling two spots. The two other people in the car started gesticulating at him, and he looked back at me and I waved and smiled, rather enjoying myself. He backed up and readjusted, parking nicely in a single space. We shared another wave and smile, and I shuffled off to get a coffee. I felt good. I’d just shared a smile with another person, made a connection, if just for a moment. Edible Man is a man of peace.

None more man of peace

After successfully acquiring a tasty caffeinated beverage, I made my way to the chemo class. I walked in to the room, and saw my old mate, Mr. Nice Elderly Parking Gentleman! We had a ‘hey, no way’ moment, and I saw he was there with his (I learned) wife and daughter. I sat at the table, and we all said hello while we waited for the class to start. Turns out he was there to support his wife, who was there for breast cancer. He looked scared and nervous and it made me feel good that I had shown kindness out in the parking lot.

Something to remember- you never know what people are going through out there in the world. Extend a hand in kindness; it works. 

I gotta say, I felt like I was totally handling. I’d bleached my eyeballs to a screaming white, so at least I looked like I was handling. And then the class started, and I realized very quickly that I was not, in fact, handling AT ALL.

The head nurse of the infusion center started the class with her portion, covering all things chemo. Important stuff, I’m sure you would agree. However, I got really hung up on her voice and the phenomenal monotone that she was rocking. It was a monotone to bring all other boring talkers to their knees, whimpering before the power of her droning cadence. If there were to be a monotone Olympics, she would win gold. The Grand Mistress of Monotone.

I felt a laugh coming on, and it felt like it was coming from way down, a proper big one you know? Shit. One of Edible Man’s super powers is the ability to Laugh Without Stopping, so I got more than a bit nervous. I started to map an exit strategy in case I couldn’t keep it together, and settled on ‘fake-crying-over-the-laughter-and-sprinting-out-of-the-room’ if I had to. It’d do in a pinch.

I went first with the bowed head, hand over mouth, and some fake throat clears to cover any slight laugh escapes, which worked pretty well and I kinda kept it together. I was able to bring my head back up with what I thought at the time was a mellow, “I’m open to learning” smile. I was told later that I wasn’t fooling anyone, and everyone knew that I was desperately trying not to crack up the whole time. The social worker also told me that people actually do crack up in chemo class all the time, it’s kinda normal. She said that by the time we get to chemo class, we’ve been through a ton of shit and now know what the treatment is going to actually be. It’s a relief, in a way. So, yeah, people do laugh in class but I didn’t know it at the time, and I kept trying not to break out in hysterics.

The closest I got was when the nurse was talking about hair loss. She was dronesplaining about how the chemo causes all new cellular growth to cease throughout the body.

“... and that’s why many people experience hair loss during chemo which can happen all over the body not just on their heads but on arms as well and faces for men You can lose hair on your legs and armpits as well as genitals and anus...”

Ok, so she just said anus.

That’s like kryptonite in a non-laughing situation.

My eyeballs almost shot out of my face when I suppressed the huge laugh that tried to escape my mouth. I glanced at the door, preparing to go with my emergency exfiltration when I suddenly found my arm shooting into the air and a question forming on my lips (“No, Brain!” I thought “Don’t do it, please!” My brain said “Dude, it’s cool you just need a distraction so you don’t freak.”) I found myself saying-

“So, it’s the full front to back? Like a Brazilian or in my case a Brozilian? Or I guess a chemozilian?” Sigh. I just wish my brain would consult with me sometimes.

The was a small chortle from my social worker and the trainee nurse, but my mate Mr. Nice Elderly Parking Gentleman and his wife didn’t get it, which is a real blessing. Poor dears  don’t need to know the correlation between warm wax and the younger generations’ junk. The Grand Mistress of Monotone cruised through it without even blinking.

“Yes you can lose all hair over your entire body but it can be different from person to person because it depends on how fast or slow the follicles of each individual person grow in the different locations of the body where hair may normally grow and...” She did really well continuing her explanation without giving my idiot comments any traction, an obvious pro.

The class wrapped up, but not before the social worker talked to us about medical marijuana and it’s benefits to cancer patients. I would like to point out that this was being brought up in a class that was offered by a major health care provider. They times they are a changin!

“My mom’s never smoked pot.” said Mr. Nice Elderly Parking Gentleman’s daughter.

“Well, I can help you guys get your card (?!),” replied the social worker “which will give you access to tinctures, pills, and edibles...” My hand, again, shot up. Oh boy.

“I’ve just recently got my card,” I received an ooh-what-a-surprise look from across the table, “and they make spray tinctures that are very low in THC. Also research up on CBD’s, but I would, umm, stay away from the edibles. They can be a little... unpredictable.” The daughter nodded and took notes. Edible Man was now a man of science!

Ok, Brain, that wasn’t so bad. Nice job.

The class finished and we all shook hands and good lucked.

There was an intensely deep moment for me as we were saying our goodbyes.

Mrs. Elderly Parking Lady and I took both hands in the other and we just made eye contact. I don’t think I can adequately describe to you what passed between us, but if there had been words it would have been this-

Me: “You will do this. I can see that you’re a fierce warrior and you have your family with you. Your daughter is strong and she will see you through this. I am with you.”

Her: “Why are you here? You are too young! But you are very strong, I can see that. You will tell stories for many years to come. I am with you, too.”

And then we hugged.

To all of you going through pain, disease, hardship and grief-

I am with you.

That’s it for now.  

Thanks for reading. See you soon. 

 

Huttsez

“...the unread voice of a generation.”

huttsez.com

Wednesday
May182016

So, I Got My Medical Marijuana Card 5/19/16

So, I got my medical marijuana card because you know, cancer, and because my surgeon told me to lay off the vaporizer while I was healing from the second surgery, as it could constrict my capillaries or some shit, and slow down the healing process. Fair play.

Seeing as I need to be 100% healed before I can even start the chemo, I have heeded her advice. No vape, no smoke, no cannabis through the lungs. Fine. She didn’t say anything about edibles though. I didn’t ask, but you know, she didn’t say ‘Hey, no edibles’, ok? 

Once I got my card it was like, Shazam!, and all of a sudden a whole world of crazy edibles were at my beck and call. I’m talking fully crazy. Like rabid, bite your face off, zombie crazy. The hippy bakers supplying the clubs in Nor Cal are no fucking joke. One of their slogans is ‘You can always eat more, but you can’t eat less’. Word.

The bag doesn't lie. Check out the dude...

Look, I’ve had edibles before- I ate my first pot brownie in the 80‘s, this isn’t my first rodeo. Yes of course I know that it could take two hours to feel any effects, so you go easy and creep up on it, blah blah blah. Don’t eat too much, yeah yeah got it. But the shit you get from the clubs these days is very different. Dude. It’s like comparing a beach shack to the Empire State Building. I was not really prepared for the edibles of today. Understatement? Perhaps. And by ‘perhaps’ I mean ‘yes’.

Back in the day you ate a brownie, that’s it, no big deal. Well lemme tell ya, It’s not your grandma’s brownies anymore kids. Ohohohoho no. Back then we called it ‘pot’ and ‘weed’, now it has names like ‘Matanuska Thunderfuck’, ‘Nine pound hammer’, and my new favorite ‘Lebron James’ Headband’. So, I went into my first delivery order (How cool is that?!) all cocky and I’m a pro and shit. Ha! Here’s what I got-

 

A ten dose brownie.

A three dose cookie.

A five dose chocolate bar.

Some single dose hard candies.

Spray tincture for under the tongue.

10 mg THC gel caps.

 

Within an hour of placing my order a smiling hipster in red, very tight trousers knocked gently upon my door and handed me my destiny. 

“Hey there, thanks a lot! What’s your name?” I said upon opening the door.

“Miles.” He replied through a shit eating grin.

“Nice to meet you, Miles, I’m Huttsez. Hey, why the big smile? Don’t get me wrong, you just look really happy.”

“You’re order is pretty awesome. You’re gonna love the brownie.” his smile seemed to leap further out of his beard.

“Is that right? Ok then, thanks Miles. I guess I’ll just get right to it. Thunderbirds Are Go.” I shook his hand, said another thank you, and headed in to examine the bounty secreted within it’s mystical bag of mylar.

I have to say, I was a little leery of the 10 dose brownie and the cookie. Seems like an awful lot to cram in one treat, right? So I started with the hard candies, pills, chocolate and tincture. 

Remember, I’ll be using cannabis to help me get through the effects of chemotherapy, so I want to see what works in terms of delivery- eat vs vape.

The candies were good. Mellow, but good. Totally helped with my anxiety about all the shit that was going down around me.

The chocolate bar was great, and super easy to estimate dosage. Got a little baked but nothing overly unusual.

The pills and tincture were also easy going, if a little on the boring side, so I moved on to the brownie and cookie. Which were not at all boring.

The brownie was the real culprit. Have you ever tried to cut a 3”x3” brownie in to ten equal pieces? I have, and it gets a bit random and crumbish. You’re just not going to get even doses.

After a couple of cuts, I realized that it was folly to proceed because if I cut the whole thing, it would end up as a pile of random lumps. I grabbed what I thought was about one dose or so and ate it, after which I sort of re-smooshed the remains back into brownie form. Looking down I realized that I’d actually had about one third of the brownie, completely missing my mark by a coupla hundred percent.

And thus was born a new super hero for our time. 

Enter, Edible Man.

I know it’s not quite as glamorous as getting bitten by a radioactive spider, or being exposed to gamma rays but not every super hero gets to be Spider Man or The Incredible Hulk. Maybe I ate a radioactive brownie, you know?

Edible Man’s powers are not quite as cool as the aforementioned duo either, but those guys set the bar pretty high. However, Edible Man is still bringin’ some heat. Let’s explore my new found super powers-

Edible Man has the Power Of Very Loud Talking, a power which can annoy wives and children as far away as 60’-70’. The ‘loud talking’ power can also annoy family members in another room, showing that this incredible capability I have recently acquired can TRAVEL THROUGH WALLS! Holy fuck, I’m the real deal! I know it’s working properly when my teenager comes out of his room and says-

“Oh my God, Dad! You’re practically yelling!”

“I’m sorry, was I talking very loud again?” I responded very, VERY loudly.

“Oh my God, yes! How are you even my Dad?!” He’s so funny.

Edible Man’s ability to annoy THROUGH WALLS (?!) is complemented by his ability to Laugh Without Ever Stopping. Often the laughter is brought on by absolutely nothing funny, it’s simply just laughter. That doesn’t stop. This super power also pierces through walls and can annoy just as meteorically as the very loud talking. I know it’s working when my son comes out of his room and says-

“Oh my God, Dad! I’m trying to do my homework! Did you eat a brownie?”

“I’m sorry, was I laughing without stopping again?” I responded through continuous laughter.

“Oh my God, YES! Who ARE you?!” He cracks me up.

 

Edible Man has another super power I like to call Narcoleptic RAGE. I chose to use the word ‘rage’ because it brings some much needed tension to a very relaxed situation. The alliterative ‘Narcoleptic Nod Off’ is not without it’s charms, but I really enjoy yelling ‘Narcoleptic RAGE’ right before falling asleep for at least five hours after a poorly estimated dose of brownie or cookie. It just feels powerful, ya know?

 Narcoleptic RAGE!

“Oh, hey guys” I say as I wake up and see the fam on the sofa. “Did I yell ‘Narcoleptic RAGE’ and fall asleep again?” Their answers have tended to be blank stares of bewilderment and dismay. “Excellent, I’ll take that as a yes.”  

The final super power is perhaps Edible Man’s most potent- the Power of Skunk Like Flatus.

My farts took on a virulent stench and developed a tenacious lingering capability the likes of which had never before been seen at Casa Huttsez. My daughter, the Obersturmführer Bällerinä, discovered this new power whilst we were reading a bedtime story one recent night.

“Dad, did you fart? Something smells really bad.”

“Hmmm? Well, yeah I suppose I did, sorry kid.” Waft waft. “Phwoooar, it IS pretty bad. Dear oh, dear.” Waft waft “Wow, I’m really sorry, kid. Yikes!” Waft waft, cough.

“Yeah Dad. P. U.”

We continued to read our book with no more gas escaping my backside.

“Dad? Did you fart again?” she asked a good 10 minutes later. I was fairly certain I hadn’t, but it’s possible one of us moved and released more of Edible Man’s rich gift.

“No sweetie, I didn’t. I think it might still be that old fart from a while ago.”

“Wow Dad, that’s pretty stinky.” Luckily, Mrs. Huttsez came in to save the day.

“Oh my God! What is that smell?!” said the missus through a half gag. Not so lucky for her. Cringe.

“Ummm, yeah... well I think we’ve just discovered my latest super power. I’m pretty sure that smell is from a fart I accidentally did about 15 minutes ago. I guess I’m like a human skunk now. Sorry.”

I double cringed as Mrs. H just stared at me mouth agape, hand pinching her nostrils closed as she slowly shook her head. I deservedly slept in the living room that night. Poor Mrs. Huttsez.

I’ve since adjusted the level of my edible intake, and have improved my dosage estimation, so the family hasn’t fully excommunicated me. We all find a balance in this crazy world, or maybe we just go crazy.

That’s about all I got for now. Hopefully I’ll have something to post in the near future, I’ll certainly have the time!

Thanks for reading. See you soon.

 

Huttsez

“...the unread voice of a generation.”

huttsez.com

Friday
May132016

So, This Happened... 5/13/16

So, this happened... 

“Hello Mr. Huttsez, it’s Dr. Lu.”

“Hey, Doc.”

“The pathology is in, Mr. Huttsez, and I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news. The node we removed tested positive for lymphoma- Diffuse Large B Cell, Non Hodgkins to be exact. I’m really sorry.”

*sigh* “Ok.”

And just like that your whole world turns on a dime.

First thought? Oh man, my kids...

Second thought? Oh man, my son...

Ya see, for those who don’t know, my 16 year old boy lost his mum to cancer 2 years ago and now I was gonna have to find a way to tell him that cancer was not yet done with his parents. FUCK!

Are you serious, Universe? You made me tell him his mum was gonna die, and now I have to look him in the eye and tell him that the same insidious disease that took his mum has made it’s way into his dad?! Yeah, ok. Dick.

Third thought? Oh man, Mrs. Huttsez...

No matter what my final prognosis was, I would soon be a cancer patient. The surgeon had told me that the only way to treat my kind of cancer is with chemo and radiation, which as we all know takes a toll on the body. Mrs. H was about to add full time caregiver and solo bread winner to her already very full plate.

Fourth thought? Oh man, I hope it’s not too far along. I hope I caught it early...

And thus began the worst, fear laden, anxious time of this whole process to date.

What stage am I at?

I was really scared. It took 10 days to learn my stage from the time of the call with my surgeon. I went through gut wrenching fear, heart pounding anxiety, piles of self pity, which I finished out with some good ole fashioned door crashing, arse kicking anger. 10 of the toughest days of my life.

And then this happened...

“Mr. Huttsez? It’s Dr. King. The PET scan results are in, and (my heart leaps into mega adrenaline overdrive) it’s what we had hoped for. The cancer is only in your groin. Also, the bone marrow biopsy is in and that’s clear.”

“Oh. Uh... so wait. Does that mean I’m only stage one?!”

“That’s correct Mr. Huttsez, it’s the good news we’d hoped for.”

I danced around whoopin’ and hollerin’, ran to tell the missus and we both hugged and cried and hopped around like we’d won the World Cup Final. It was a huge relief to finally know, and the best possible news out of a really shit situation. Stage One?! PHEW!

I’d been waiting to hear what stage I was before talking to my son, and now that I knew, it was gonna be time to sit down and.... tell him. I kept trying to find reasons to put off telling him, if only to buy him another day of sweet ignorance, another day to smile before life got REAL on his ass again. But you can’t put off the inevitable, so...

I told him. 

He took it hard.

I told him that what I’ve got is curable, and very different from the advanced cancer his mum was diagnosed with. 

It helped him to hear this.

But he still went down the hole. Course he did, the poor kid. What kinda shit is that to have to hear, eh?

He came back out like I knew he would.

He’s been showing a lot of strength so far. I’m not surprised because you see, HE’S HAD TO DEAL WITH THIS SHIT BEFORE. Can I get a “Fuck you, Universe!”?

It helps him that I can look him in the eye and tell him that I’ve got a 75-85% chance of beating this. Because I do. In fact, the lymphoma I have is the most common and treatable one there is. He can see that there are big differences between his mum and I.  I’m not even symptomatic, ffs! That’s how early I caught it.

I found a lump in my groin. Thought I had given myself a yoga hernia, so I went in to the doctor that day. No, Mr. Huttsez that’s an enlarged node. Ok.

Ran some tests, tried some antibiotic in case it was enlarged due to infection, then ordered the surgical removal for biopsy when there was no change in size. Boom, cancer.

Here’s where I’m at now.

Had to have a second surgery to repair a complication from the first surgery- I developed a ‘lymphocele’ which is a big old egg shaped fluid build up that protruded out of my groin about two inches.

I swear my junk has never looked so battered. Half shaved with surgery bruising and a big purple egg pushing outward with the red, angry incision running across the top like icing on a very tight pastry. I named it ‘The Hunchgroin of Notre Dame’. I won’t be posting any pictures, because ewww. You’re welcome.

Now as soon as that’s fully healed, and I think the second surgery went well, they’re gonna whack me right on to the chemo. It’s the real deal too. Six hour infusion on my chemo days. Gnarly. I’m guesstimating that I’ll be on the chemo in about 2 weeks. 

The chemo will probably run about 3 months, and the radiation about the same, maybe a little less. I’m ready to do this. I would love to be done with treatment in time for my 50th on Christmas Day, but if I’m not that’s ok. Sure would be nice though, eh?

It’s been tough coming to grips with this shit, but we are.

I’m actually feeling really lucky. It could’ve easily been way, way worse. But it’s not. It’s beatable. And I will beat it. So yeah, I feel lucky.

I’ll be writing a bit more moving forward, as there will be a lot of time to do so. In fact, there will be another blog hot on the heals of this one called, “So, I Got My Medical Marijuana Card”. I’m sure there will be more chances for some laughs in that one.

That’s it for now.

Thanks for reading. See you soon.

Huttsez

...the unread voice of a generation.”

 huttsez.com

Sunday
Feb072016

Father- Daughter Dance 2/7/16

My 6 year old kindergartner (the Obersturmführer Bällerinä) and I went to our first “Father-Daughter Dance” the other night at her school, and it was fairly epic. Two hundred 6-10 year old girls all dressed up whirling, sprinting and pogoing around while 200 bemused and somewhat shellshocked dads tried valiantly to keep up with their Ravespawn.

Come to think of it, it was pretty ravey.  The PTO volunteers handed out glow bracelets at the door, which the girls loved. There were long tables wrapped in thick black paper for drawing with glow in the dark markers. Kid ecstasy, in the form of heavily frosted cupcakes and lemonade were abundantly lined along the back wall. They had a proper DJ who played kid rave appropriate tunes. He also announced that he didn’t take requests. Well. I believe the answer is “None more ravey”.

In fact, I think I’ll have to go to the next Parent- Teacher Organization* meeting and suggest we change the name to “Father-Daughter Rave”. Look, I guarantee that there were a bunch of parents at that dance who have eaten fistloads of ecstasy. Think about it- a lot of parents in their late 30’s and early 40’s (I’m always the oldest guy in the room) which puts the prime drug taking period of their early 20’s smack dab in the middle of the rave scene- dancing shirtless, rubbing and licking random people, humping everything. I guaran-fucking-TEE it. 

*I won’t actually be going.

Dance/ rave, whatever, the volunteers did a really great job and made it super fun for the girls and dads. The goofy photo booth was rad, and the Obersturmführer Bällerinä and I got a great picture. A result before we even went into the main rave/ gym!

We headed in and the DJ was bumping some Pharell. There was a 40 girl conga line snaking around a battalion of spazzy, bouncing children and a lot of dads trying to avoid getting racked in the nuts (more on that later). Pretty overwhelming for a 6 year old. Or a 49 year old. 

We got some cupcakes and lemonade ;) and settled in at the psychedelic drawing tables. Whenever one of her favorite songs came on, we headed out for half a song and then she would head back to the table for some drawing and chill time. Those tables were an excellent idea, and gave the younger girls a little refuge from the utter mayhem that was unfolding all around. Holy Shit, I just realized that it was the equivalent of a “chill out room”! Your Honor, I rest my case: None more ravey.

The Obersturmführer Bällerinä and I danced to T Swifty’s anthemic Shake It Off, Uptown Funk, some Miley Cyrus- the DJ was kickin’ it. Then he played the Nay Nay song. Oh man.

I want you to imagine 200 short girls punching out on the “whip whip” bit, many of those at about testicle level. Now imagine their 200 dads trying to simultaneously do the fucking Nay Nay whilst protecting their bollocks from a horrendous battering.

It was the proverbial cat in a roomful of rocking chairs. Except there were 200 hundred cats and the 200 chairs had fists, and instead of tails the cats were trying to protect their clackers.

I saw a few close calls and no actual connections, but as i was concentrating furiously on the safety zone around my pods, I can’t say for sure that there were no casualties. You could almost hear a collective sigh of relief when the song ended. Parenting, eh? 

Here’s a few observations from the other night-

It looked like some of the older girls’ fathers had a beer stash outside that they would frequent in twos and threes, tag teaming with their colleagues who stayed in and kept an eye on the kids. Obvious veterans. Well played and duly noted, good sirs.

Dancing with the Obersturmführer Bällerinä was like trying to wrestle with a bag of concrete that has kangaroo legs. She would hold my hands and pogo-twist-leap-spaz using my hands as leverage to jump higher, just fucking wrenching my back all over the place. I tried to get lower and made my arms go all limp, but that just put my face in range of her pogoing head. We found our groove eventually by moving our arms back and forth on a horizontal plane and I got out unscathed. Phew!

The attire was pretty formal- loads of dads in suits and a few in tuxedoes. The girls ranged from party dresses to full on ball gowns. The veteran dads were tres casual in yard work clothes. Not really.

There was a slight pee smell that blanketed the rave. Most likely coming from the heavily overused bathrooms. Again, very ravey.

The DJ played the Macarena. I was glad that the Obersturmführer Bällerinä was in drawing mode.

Everything went off without a hitch which is good because there was a lot of wind up leading to the dance.

My daughter was vibrating with excitement for the entire week before the event, which made bedtime... trying. The day before she asked to see what I was wearing. When I showed her she said “Oh. Isn’t that what you wore to my Uncle’s wedding? Aren’t you going to get a new outfit?”. Dude.

Dads took that shit seriously too. Mrs. Huttsez told me about a dad who was taking his daughter out to dinner first and buying her a corsage. I didn’t do that, but I totally get it.

The father daughter dance is like a rehearsal date for the kids, and as dads we want to show our daughters how they deserve to be treated, you know?

The missus said as much to me a few days before the dance, and I hadn’t really thought about it that way but it’s true.

I suggested to Mrs. H that maybe I should show up late and a bit drunk to help manage the Obersturmführer Bällerinä’s expectations and prepare her for all the douchebag dudes out there, lulz. Mrs H did not lol. 

It was a fantastic night, and I’m looking forward to the next five to come. I think I’ll have to go in some rave wear one of these years. 

That’s it for now.

Thanks for reading. See you soon.

Huttsez

“...the unread voice of a generation.”

huttsez.com