Friday
Jun242016

Huttsez's Guide To Cancer Commiseration 6/24/16

I’ve had some people reach out to me and ask- “What should I say to my friend that just got diagnosed with cancer? I don’t want to say the wrong thing.” and “My coworker is going in for chemotherapy, what can I say or do to help? Is there anything I shouldn’t say?”

Now don’t get me wrong, I only had three people write to me. I’m not trying to be some cancer advice Ann Landers spreading my sage counsel across the interwebs, and I’m not exactly being flooded with correspondence- I mean you know, three. I’m just a cannabis medicated cancer patient with a laptop, a part time blog, and a lot of time on my hands. And they asked, which got me thinking about writing this entry.

The final factor that kicked me out of ‘thinking’ and into ‘writing’ happened yesterday. I was on the phone with a friend and he was telling me that his business partner’s dad had recently been diagnosed with a hardcore late stage cancer. 

“So, I told my buddy to let me know if there was anything I could do to help, and he goes ‘What are you gonna do? It’s cancer.’ I felt like shit you know?” I could tell that my mate was genuinely bummed about his friend’s dad, and that he’d somehow said the wrong thing. 

“Look, man, your friend is just hurting right now, give him some time. That being said, maybe you could offer to help him with errands and chores, stuff he won’t have time to keep up on ‘cause he’ll be helping his dad through some heavy treatment. It’s a great way to help. Picking up groceries, shit like that. It’s been super helpful for me when friends have helped this way.” 

I was bummed for my friend, ya know? He felt genuinely bad about “saying the wrong thing” and he sincerely meant his offer of help. Hell, he had called me to see if I wanted some FREE cannabis hard candies to help with my treatment! He’s a helping kind of guy. And I don’t think he said anything wrong, he just didn’t say anything right (at least from his friend’s perspective). Instead of saying ‘let me know if there’s anything I can do’, my friend could have been more specific, by offering up more detailed help.

So, what do you and don’t you say about everyone’s favorite uncomfortable topic? Let’s throw some shit at the wall and see what sticks, shall we?

 

Huttsez’s GuideTo Cancer Commiseration

or

How To Avoid Coming Across Like A Dick When Your Mate Gets Cancer

 

 

Don'ts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t tell a cancer story where the person fucking dies. 

Yes, this is actually a thing. Goes something like this-

“Yeah, my aunt had lymphoma. The chemo was really brutal and she lost like 30 pounds, and dropped below a hundred. She fought hard for two years but passed away because the fight was too much for her. Fuck cancer, man! I totally miss her all the time.”

And then your friend who has the cancer ends up having to either (A) console you- which is odd- or (B) tell you to shut the fuck up already- which would suck. Usually the choice would be to console you, thus completely missing the whole point of helping. Doh. 

Don’t bombard your friend or loved one with miracle cures.

“Hey! Have you checked this out yet?! This stuff looks legit.”

www.nocancermushoom.com (don't click on this, I made it up!)

Your sick friend then clicks on some website selling a crazy expensive Japanese mushroom, that when brewed under exacting conditions and administered in lunar patterns has cured cancer. Your friend then wonders if you actually checked it out, or if you just read the title and copied the link.

 

“Have you seen this guy’s video?!”

www.twoweeknocancer.com (yeah this one's made up, too)

And it’s a link to a two hour youtube seminar that claims it’ll cure your cancer in two weeks, ffs! Listen very closely now, ok? Unless you’ve watched the whole fecking thing, had and then cured your own cancer in two weeks, don’t send that link. No one with a life threatening disease wants to be taunted with the dream of good health in some wonderfully impossible short time.

 

“Dude, you’re all over the turmeric, right?”

If your friend is drinking the chemo juice, like myself, they’ve been told to stop all supplements during treatment. But, yeah dude, I had been all over the turmeric. And I still got cancer. See where I’m going with this?

Look, having cancer is pretty stressful and offering a lot of information about chemo-complimentary-alternative-treatment might make your friend or loved one feel more stress. Maybe they’d feel that with so many alternative treatments,  chemo was the wrong choice, ya know? Hey, here’s a good idea! You could buy them a massage! That would rock your friend’s world, girl. Awww yeah. (hint hint) ;)

Don’t post bald, sick cancer pictures. That’s up to the person with cancer.

You visit your friend who’s going through cancer treatment and take some pictures together which you post online. She’s lost her hair and eyebrows and isn’t looking her pre-cancer best. She knows it, you know it, everyone knows it. The comments, however, don’t know it-

“Looking good! Thinking of you!”

“Beautiful!”

“Gorgeous”

“Stay strong, Pretty Lady!”

Of course the comments are going to say that, especially as the alternatives are not so great-

“Wow! You look like shit bald!”

“You used to be so hot, sorry about the cancer, lol!”

“Yikes.”

“Well, at least you can’t look much worse!”

“I’d love to say you look great, but you don’t. Hope you look better soon!”

“Whoa. Hey, have you got any extra pills?”

You get the picture. Don’t post sick photos. Cool?

Don’t constantly tag your friend on every cancer article or video you come across.

“Watch this computer simulation of a cancer cell DESTROYING a healthy cell!”

“Chemotherapy- You’re Doing It ALL WRONG!”

“Stop The Chemo, It’s Giving You MORE CANCER!”

“BREAKTHROUGH CANCER TREATMENT! New treatment can CURE YOUR CANCER!” 

Sigh.

Let me just show you what it’s like in the brain of someone with cancer. And by ’someone’ I mean ‘me’.

Cancer, cancer, cancer, please don’t vomit, cancer, cancer, cancer, weed, cancer, cancer, cancer, food, cancer, cancer, sex, cancer, cancer, please don’t vomit, cancer, cancer, cancer, cancer, weed, cancer, cancer, cancer, cancer. Cancer, cancer. Sex, cancer, cancer, cancer, cancer, weed, cancer. Cancer. Sex. Cancer. Please don’t vomit. Cancer, cancer, cancer.

Tag them on a kitten video instead. 

Don’t suggest joining cancer support groups, unless you’ve had cancer and been to one yourself.

We will seek out what help we need, when and how we need it.

Depending on the seriousness of your friend or loved one’s cancer, maybe avoid sending them funeral invitations, yeah?

No comment.

If you travel to see a friend or loved one who is sick, make sure you have your own accommodation, transportation, and child care.

Be there to support, don’t be a burden. Sadly this has to be said. Get your own rental car, cook meals, don’t be a dick. Help.

Ok, so now we can move on to the do’s.

 

 

 

Do's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think that the most important thing to remember is BE SPECIFIC with your offers of help. Don’t be all open ended like my friend when he said (and meant!) “Let me know if there’s anything I can do help.” Get specific on their cancer-having arses. Here ya go-

Do offer to bring precooked meals.

This is a huge one. Cooking is a big daily task, and nutrition is a crucial element in health, so put some grub on the table. Set up a food train of people who can bring tasty, healthy meals. Check and see if there are any dietary restrictions. My family signed up for a free program that delivers pre-cooked meals for four days of the week, and it’s a massive help. All that time spent on cooking and clean up can now be spent resting and relaxing with the fam. Result! 

Do offer to run errands.

Groceries, post office, dry cleaning, whatever. It’s the mundane, everyday stuff that gets pushed aside because there’s not enough time. You can really help. Maybe shoot  your friend or their spouse a text-

“Hey, I’m out and about running errands. Need anything from the grocery store? Pharmacy? Wanna hang out a bit?”

Boom! Help given successfully. 

Do offer to help with child care.

Take their children to do something fun, ya know? It’s good for the kids to get a break from ‘sick world’ (which is stressful for them), and the adults can relax a bit too. Keeping my kids as happy as I can is a major motivator for me as I go through this shit. You can totally help in this area.

Do offer to help with chores.

If you show up at your friend’s house to clean their toilet, you will have a friend for life. If you have some handyman skills, all the better. If you don’t have time to physically clean or fix stuff, then send them a cleaning service as an alternative. And don’t just do it once either, keep helping throughout your friend’s whole treatment. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate help with cleaning. It’s huge. 

Do help financially.

You know what sucks? Not being able to properly support your family. Yeah, there’s a little disability coming in, but that’s never enough. If you want to help in a significant way, do some fundraising for you friend. Set up and manage a gofundme or some shit. This one is also huge. 

Here’s a little perspective- I haven’t worked full time since the end of March, so it’s financially tight. It’s a very emasculating feeling to go being from the provider to being a financial burden. Truth.

The help we have received through online donations has brought tears to my eyes multiple times. I will be forever indebted to the kind folks who have helped me and my family with their donations. Thank you.

Do hang out.

That’s the shit right there, yo. Friendship, love, togetherness. Boom. Go hang out with your friend. It’s often the best medicine there is.

And there you have it- Huttsez’s Guide To Cancer Commiseration.

In a nutshell, offer specific help and follow through. Cancer patients love to hear kind words, but it’s the kind deeds that separate the wheat from the chaff. Don’t tell stories where people die of cancer, just don’t. Be kind, and help your friend laugh.

By the way, here’s something you can say that’s bulletproof-

“I’m really sorry this is happening to you, it sucks. Sign me up for toilet cleaning while you’re doing your treatment, I’ll start next week. You can let me know then what else you’re gonna need. Oh, and I’ll bring some cake. And weed.”

Friend.

For.

Life. 

 

That’s it for now.

Thanks for reading. See you soon.

Huttsez

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

huttsez.com

 

gofundme link. Help if you can, thanks!

Wednesday
Jun152016

Thoughts From The Chemo Chair 6/15/16

Here I am, sitting in the chemo chair for my second course of chemotherapy, and I’m  feeling pretty jacked from all the steroids and other ancillary medications they’ve been pumping in to my arm for the last couple of hours. Not really sure what’s going to come out of my brain- it could be complete rubbish, I’m pretty out of it on steroids and benadryl at the moment. It’s like I’m at a coke party, except without the fun and chicks and party and well... coke. Apart from that, it’s fucking ON!

Mmmmmm,chemo.

Ok, so the first bag of chemo just went on, and it’s the gnarly 6 hour infusion one. The one my oncologist told me most likely caused the allergic reaction on my first course. The one I just found out has “... a bit too much mouse in it.” Yay. Turns out it’s full of mouse DNA. Got me thinking about Jurassic Park and the gene splicing. Maybe Edible Man will have to make way for Mouse Man? Edible Mouse? Mouse Von Bulow? Tyrannosaurus Mouse? All joking aside, that’s pretty kooky right?! My oncologist informed me on Monday that this chemo will ALTER MY DNA. Dafuq?

The first infusion kicked my arse all over the place, 14 hours of nonstop vomiting, with my stomach contracting for up to 30 seconds towards the end. Hey, you know what? Do me a favor and count to 30 whilst imagining your stomach staying contracted for that entire time. Or, you could go the “method acting” route, try and contract it for 30 seconds, don’t breath, mouth wide open, have your face go all red, get dizzy, and squeeze out a thimble full of foam. Such good times.

Trust me when I tell you it was the worst vomit session I have ever had, by far. Even worse than the night I drank 15 Dirty Irishmen (Jameson and Bailey’s) at The Wetlands staff party in NYC in the 90’s, and THAT was the night I pissed in the kitchen; once near the fridge and another on the coffee pot. I still think Mike J and Pete B knew the deadly power of The Dirty Irishman, and were quite enjoying themselves with me. There was more vomiting that night (and the next morning) than at any point in my life to date, and was the last time I had a Bailey’s. The Jameson wasn’t fully deleted, but I did make the switch to Bushmill’s with the occasional Jameo for old time’s sake. Like getting sloppy grudge sex off an old girlfriend.

Chemo, it turns out, is waaaaay stronger than 15 Dirty Irishmen and the resulting yelling into the toilet that those sweet and delicious drinks brought to the table. Way waaaay stronger, so the resultng vomit was made waaaay worse. A Loma Prieta of heaving. A Krakatoa of barf.

So, as I sit here a little worried about what my night may bring I’m reminding myself that this is the price of admission- you know- for staying alive. If I’m sick tonight, hey, whadahyagonnado? Being dead would be way worse, and that’s some tasty motivation to help me deal mentally with any possible side effects. Word right the fuck up. But man oh man, I would dearly love to miss out on Chemo Vom Con 2. Yeah, that would be great.

Having a life threatening disease changes a person, I can see that in myself already. The world looks different to me today, and it feels different too. I keep wondering how I can be... better. A better person all over. I want to beat this shit and then pay it forward with kindness, patience, and empathy. I think I’m starting to really GET it. A bazillion people have said it way better than I ever could, here’s what I think IT is-

 

“All You Need Is Love. All you need is love, Love. Love is all you need.”- Lennon and the other bloke

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”- Mark Twain

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Human kindness has never softened the stamina or weakened the fiber of a free people. A Nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“But whoever strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Jesus Harry Christ

“Ebony and ivory, live together in perfect harmony, side by side on my piano keyboard. Oh Lord why don’t we?”- Stevie Wonder and the other bloke

 

There are loads. If you have a kindness quote please post it on the Huttsez Facebook page. 

Ahhh yes, The Facebook. Man. This election has driven a massive wedge between the people of America, and it’s in microcosm everyday on my Facebook feed. People having pointless pissing matches, trolling, and the non stop idiot fucking memes. Both from the Left and the Right. It’s like people are shooting from the hip before checking the facts and are posting actual lies to either further their chosen party OR (and this is worse) to put down the opposing party. Left and Right. I’ve done it, we all have, but those things are the lowest common denominator that make the person posting look like an uneducated, reactive simpleton. Check your bloody facts people! Left and Right. Just stop it.

Why? It doesn’t make anything better, it’s a negative action. You’re not going to change any minds. You’re more likely to offend and cause rifts than to win a convert to your cause. It’s totally counter productive, and you’re damaging your cause more than helping it. Fact based memes? Sure, do what you have to do.

Instead, I’m going to try being kind. Maybe try to bring a smile to my friends’ faces as they scroll their feeds. Comment with kindness, humor, empathy, and support. You know, because they’re my friends. “For good times and bad times, I’ll be on your side forever more, cuz that’s what friends are for.” FYI- It was VERY hard for me not to use the lyrics from Friends, but I didn’t want you guys to think I was being a sarcastic douche ;)

Didn’t our mothers teach us- “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” How about we listen to our mothers? If your mother sucked, then maybe a cool teacher said it to you. Not everyone had a good mother which means they got robbed of the most precious connection that two people can share. I’m sorry if this is you, it must’ve been awful.

Well, it looks like the last bag of chemo is being prepared so I’ve got to pay attention for the wrap up stuff. Plus I’m pretty sure this has been a load of rambling bollocks, fueled by the carpet bombing of chemicals in my body. Good time to sign off. 

Oh shit! I just got back from the bathroom where I rinsed my face, and RUBBED OFF some of my beard stubble. Oh chemo, you sexy minx, you’ve done it again. Glad I’m not a Hipster.

 

That’s it for now. 

 

Thanks for reading. See you soon.

 

Huttsez

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

huttsez.com

P.S. I made it through the night vomit free, so I’m over that hurdle. Beyond grateful!! However, I can still feel the nausea lurking and pacing like a panther in the shadows of my belly. Here’s my morning med regimen- big steroid dose, anti-nausea pill, stool softener (awwww yeah), and some tasty weed (SF Sour Diesel!). Let’s hope it works!

My Dog the Bounty Hunter wig helps me get in touch with my inner racist tweeker.

H

gofundme link. Help if you can, thanks!

Friday
Jun032016

The Adventures Of Edible Man At The DMV 6/3/16

I wasn’t particularly stoked to have to go to the DMV, especially as my last two attempts/appointments had failed due to “staff shortages” and  everyone’s favorite “Our system is down state wide”. No sane person looks forward to a trip to the DMV on a good day, right? Throw in some chemo and a weakened immune system for the Department of Motor Vehicles- and all it’s hacking, sneezing tweekers- to start looking super lame. Cringe.

“Ok, so I’ll have to rock the medical mask.” I thought to myself, “Fair play, I don’t wanna catch a cold or some DMV super virus.” 

“Good idea, dude,” my brain piped in, “but I gotta say, the mask by itself is a little... confusing.”

“Whadaya mean?” I asked. 

“Well, you’re just gonna look like some random, freaky guy in a mask. However, if you wear one of your do-rag things everyone’ll be like ‘oh word, that dude’s got cancer, look at his do rag’ and they’ll know you’re not just another tweeker in a mask at the DMV. You don’t want them thinking that, dude.”

I thought about that for a second and said, “I don’t know, man, that’s kinda goofy. I don’t really give a fuck what people think, I just don’t want to get some funky arse DMV chlamydia. I’m gonna wear the mask regardless.”

“Ok,” conceded my brain, “then how about you approach it like a social experiment? You know how all those twats on youtube film themselves as homeless people and shit? Like that, except without the filming and posting on youtube. But you’ll still be a twat, because you’ll probably ‘blog’ about it, right? It could be interesting though, to see how people react to masked-up-Cancer Man. What else have you got going on at the moment anyway? Do it for the laugh then! Whatever! Know what I’m saying?” 

“Wow, you are a rambling idiot.” It is not uncommon that I find myself saying this to my brain- you see, a complete and utter fucking idiot represents the majority of my thinking process. It’s my cross to bare. Well, one of many. But having a chowderheaded nitwit for a brain is challenging. “I’ll do it, if for no other reason than to shut you up. Will you shut up if I agree to your social experiment?" 

“Yes. Yes, I will.” My brain agreeing usually means nothing and there will be no shutting up, but hey, whadahyagonnado?

“Ok, then. It’s a deal. I’ll wear the goofy do-rag to the DMV, but with one adjustment- I wear my rooster trucker hat over it.”

My rooster hat

“Sounds great. See, man? I’m easy to get along with. I bet SOMETHING interesting will happen. I know that ‘interesting’ and ‘DMV’ are not often spoken in the same breath, but just... trust me.” Fuck. Ing. Idiot. Sigh.

So, I headed out early in the morning with my do-rag, med mask, and trucker hat, ready to unveil Cancer Man on the unsuspecting staff and patrons of the great state of California’s Novato DMV office.

Edible Man prepares to enter the DMV

I suppose that at this time it would be unnecessary to point out that Edible Man was also along for the ride. Kind of a given? Either way, he was definitely in full pomp for the arduous duty of dealing with bureaucratic chores. If you don’t know what I mean by Edible Man, you can GO HERE. And HERE. He’s kind of a thing.

I walked into the DMV, and headed to the 15 person line, maybe 20. Before I even had a chance to take stock of the other patrons, a VERY large man with a rolling walker shuffled past me. This dude was like 400-500 pounds worth of large redneck, wearing a sleeveless t-shirt with all raggedy, hand cut arm holes that he paired with THE droopiest friggin’ shorts I’ve ever seen. His absurdly droopy shorts were over a similarly challenged and wilting pair of disgusting underpants, so it was like a DMV perfect storm from the very instant I stepped through the door.

This dude was sporting a minimum of EIGHT INCHES of Arse Crack, and that is a highly trained and astute carpenter’s eye, so you’d best believe. EIGHT INCHES! I caught a slight glimpse of an extra tuft of hair poking through the cleft where one would imagine this gentleman kept his arsehole. HIS ACTUAL ARSEHOLE, PEOPLE!

Oh sweet DMV, you never do disappoint. You’re like Trickster or Loki, I swear.

As Mr. ArseCrack Walker shuffled within two feet of me, I found myself glad to have a mask between his gluteal fold and my nose. So gak. Jesus.

I joined the line, and took stock of the nervous, sideways glances people were aiming my way- the mask was definitely having an effect. When I got to the front to check in, I whipped down my mask to say hi and give a smile, put it back on and handed over my papers.

The dude gave me a number, B12, said that it was no problem to get sorted today. Things were looking good.

As I headed to the seating area, kind of in the corner, people practically leapt out of my way. It was like Moses parting the Red Sea, they sort of lurched back out of my way as I gently approached. It was trippy. And cool.

I headed to the seats and three- THREE- people got up and moved as far away from me as they could, rather missing the point that I was protecting myself from THEM. You could almost hear them thinking-

“Oh, shit, here comes that mask dude. He must be pretty sick, I don’t wanna catch whatever the fuck he’s got going on.” And then they scurried off to the other side of the waiting area, leaving me a plethora of seating to choose from. Bench? Chair?! Gosh, I’m almost too excited to decide.

I glanced up at the screen, they were serving B2 at window 11. I had about ten people in front of me, not too bad, I could read or something you know?. No sooner had my arse brushed on the bench (I guess it turns out I’m kind of a bench man) than the automated voice came on-

“Now serving B12 at window number 3. Now serving B12 at window number 3.”

Edible Man was very confused. How could they be at B12 already? It’s only on B2 for fuck’s sake!

I looked down at my ticket in a mystified haze to confirm. Yeah, it says B12. Weird. I looked over at my fellow patrons and they were likewise furiously studying their tickets, the screen, and me with confused, and some pissy, faces.

Fuck it. I stood up and headed towards window number 3, where the clerk was smiling(?!) and waving me down. Ok, this is getting really trippy. It was like I was trapped inside some alternate universe Bizarro DMV, where people smiled and waved at you.

There was a flurry of skinny, white, and blonde activity as a well dressed woman got to her feet as I was walking past.

“Umm, I think there’s been a mistake. It just went from B2 to B12, and I’m B3?” She might as well have said ‘What the fuck is this bullshit?’ that’s how venomous her tone was.

There was a flurry of plump, afro activity as the clerk from window 3 stuck her head out and fixed Mrs. TightWhite with a withering look and said/did the most perfect response.

“Uhhh huuuuhhh.” That was it. Flawless, succinct and brilliant. She drew it out, all languid and then pursed her lips at Mrs. TightWhite, like only an African American woman can. Withering and devastating.

“Come on over, Honey.” She said to me.

And that was it. She didn’t say anything else about it, didn’t acknowledge Cancer Man, just got down to business. Five minutes later, and I was out of there. All told, I was out of the DMV, having had NO appointment, in under 15 MINUTES! Crazy.

A bemused Edible Man with his truck after his 15 minute DMV visit

My brain was right, it WAS interesting. I’ll cut him a little slack for a bit, he means well. 

That’s it for now.

Big shout out to my peeps at the DMV, thanks for being so cool.

Big shit out to Mrs TightWhite, thanks for proving me right about white entitlement (enwhitelement?) in Marin County.

Thanks for reading. See you soon.

 

Huttsez

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

huttsez.com

 

gofundme link. Help if you can! Thanks!

Monday
May302016

News From Chemo Land 5/30/16

“You were supposed to be my easy patient!” said my oncologist as I sat there having experienced the joys of vomiting every 20 minutes for the previous 14 hours. Not exactly the most auspicious opening night after my first chemo infusion. 

“Dude, tell me about it. Watch out for that.” I responded as I indicated that he should watch out for stepping in the bile bucket I’d just tucked in the corner by the rubbish bin.

“We’re gonna to give you some fluids, 3 different anti nausea meds and see if we can get you stabilized. I’ll consult with the oncological pharmacist, Mandy, about fine tuning your next infusion, and we’ll hopefully be able to avoid this.” The dude looked genuinely bummed, as he gazed at this guy-

Yay! Chemo!!

I wasn’t exactly pleased to BE the guy who was bumming out the non nauseous guy, either, lemme fuckin’ tell ya.

True to his word, they hooked me right up, and it was like they’d just flipped a switch, and off went the nausea and vomiting. Bliss. In fucking bucketloads. I’m really stoked about the BADASS nurses in the infusion center- right out of the gate they had to jump and sailed through without blinking, I’m in good hands. They sent me off with good instructions for recovery and nutrition and rest.

My head nurse reminded me that he would prefer if I stuck only to the edibles, as they don’t want any vape/smoke/particulates in my lungs. He eyeballed me a bit as he was laying down the law. Obviously, the word was out on the floor of the infusion center to keep Mr. Huttsez away from smoking the weed.

I have a wonderful image of he and Mrs. Huttsez both looking at me with crossed arms all Rosy Perez and shit with the “...I don’t think so!” faces. They might as well have done that little finger snap shit. I’m wondering if perhaps the missus hadn’t huddled up and told them to lay down the law on my arse. It wouldn’t surprise me, she’s met me before.

I assured them that I was perfectly happy to bring Edible Man off the bench and into the game. He and I have enjoyed some good times recently, and I was interested to see how he would do with the full on chemo now in effect. 

“No big deal, I will only use edibles. I promise.” I actually did the ‘Scout’s Honor’ and my nurse and Mrs. H seemed happy enough.

Funnily enough, at that moment my friend the social worker poked her head in to mock me-

“Pffft, yeah I figured we’d be seeing you. You just seemed a little too confident yestereday.” She’s the only one who said to be ready “for anything”. Now I knew why.

We all shared a jolly good “post traumatic vomiting nightmare” laugh, and the lovely Mrs. Huttsez wobbled me back home.

It’s five days later, and I’ve had no recurrence of the nasty, and no need for the anti nausea pills they kicked my way. Result!

My belly felt strong enough two days ago to bring Edible Man back in to the mix, and frankly, Chemo Edible Man is vastly different from Post Surgery Edible Man. Gone is the loud talking, and laughing for no reason without ever stopping. The power of skunk like flatus seems to have been cowed by the all mighty carpet bombing of chemo drugs. I’m sure that there will be some other quirks that Edible Man is yet to discover (I bet my family can’t wait)!

I was Skypeing with my Dad when I felt the first effects creeping in at the sides of my eyes.

“Ooooh, I think that bit of cookie I ate is coming on!” is said as a big grin appeared and my eyelids grew a touch heavier.

“Looks like it, too.” responded my also grinning father, a professional in his own right and able to read the signs.

“Yeah, my belly feels a lot better today, so I whacked in a proper piece of cookie. About a dose and a half.” We both sat there grinning like the gormless twats we are, when Mrs. Huttsez scurried in to the room with a very fretful look on her face-

“Oh, no! Did I hear that right? Straight away with a dose and half?” Visions of the Human Skunk revisiting the house sending her into rightfully justifiable fear.

We all talked on the Skype for a bit, and the worry of Edible Man slipped to the back burner.

Much later in the day, having taken another bit of cookie, I realized that I was... fuck... really focused and kind of.... shit.... on it? Very weird. A completely different Edible Man. He is so versatile, I love him. In fact at dinner, I said to The Tall One-

“Guess what?” I asked in between shoveling food down my face.

“Uhhh.. What.” He responded with a leery look in my direction.

“I have taken actual loads of edible drugs today.” I said clearly and proudly.

“That’s great, Dad, thanks for letting me know.” At this point, his eyes were rolling furiously in his head while he tried to avoid looking at my stupidly grinning face.

“Seriously, and I bet you couldn’t even tell- I haven’t been loud talking or laughing for no reason or anything. I feel like it’s kind of focused me.” This was all said whilst power eating the shit out of my dinner. Turns out that Edible Man is the gate keeper to my appetite, a sweet discovery.

“Yeah, Dad, that’s great.” TheTall one was THRILLED!

“Yeah, you are different,” said the missus,”but that can change.”

“And probably will.” added the surly, teenage giant.

But, no. So far, it really is a completely different Edible Man. Less hijinks, more business. It’s like Blue Collar Edible Man rolling up his sleeves for some heavy appetite lifting and mood enhancement! Fuck yeah!

Don’t get me wrong, I still feel the cannabis, but it feels like proper medicine this time. Proper medicine that’s fun.

Look, everyday that I don’t have some shitarse side effect is a great day- my night of endless vomit taught me that. I can’t imagine that I’ll get away with no more unpleasantries on this journey, but today I didn’t have any. So, today I win, and I’ll take tomorrow when it comes. Check out how much better this guy looks-

Like a different person...

If you’re reading this and going through illness, disease, or pain remember that you’re not alone. Remember to stay positive as often as possible and to smile as much as you can. That’s what I’m gonna do.

That’s it for now.

 

Thanks for reading. See you soon.

 

Huttsez

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

huttsez.com

 

gofundme link- help if you can!

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

gofundme link. Please help if you can, thank you!