Huttsez's Hot Button 10/21/16

I’m an immigrant. A legal, tax paying immigrant. I registered for selective service when I turned eighteen, just like every other kid in the USA. I’ve lived here for 39 years and yet I’ve never taken the plunge to become an American. The last time I renewed my ‘green card’ the woman at DHS asked me why I don’t just become a citizen, as I’m beyond eligible to do so. My answer was- “Because I’m English”.

I’m not some uber nationalist British patriot, I don’t wave the Union Jack and I think the royal family are a bunch of money leeching toss pots. But it’s where I’m from, it’s who I am.

So, today I’m not gonna talk about parenting, sex, kids, drugs, marriage or cancer. Today I want to talk about treatment of immigrants from a first hand perspective, the pledge of allegiance in classrooms, institutional and regular bullying, political correctness, and standing for the national anthem. “I’ll take ‘polarizing issues’ for $300, Alec.”

Pleases remember that I’m just a guy telling a story. If you want to ‘discuss’ anything that is in this entry, go to my facebook page and comment on this link. I’m a techno-twat, and haven’t set up the comments up for interaction. See? I’m a bit of an idiot, so don’t get all huffy. Or do, it’s ok. We’re in this love together.

I moved to Bar Harbor, Maine in the summer of 1977 after spending the first ten years of my life moving all over the gaff- I’d been to four different schools by the time I landed in Bar Harbor which would be the start of my fifth grade year.

A girlfriend of my father drew this of me when I was 11.

I was a professional ‘new kid’ at this point, good at making friends quickly, and able to crack a joke so I didn’t constantly get my arse kicked by the ‘let’s fuck with the new kid’ posse. It was the 70’s after all. Kids played hard, and the adults let us. They also weren’t quite as... vigilant about bullying.

I rolled up on the first day of school feeling pretty relaxed. I’d done this shit before and I’d made a couple of friends in the neighborhood, one in particular who introduced me to baseball in the lot behind his house, using a tennis ball with his older brothers. Some of my favorite memories from that time are those wonderfully American days of summer, playing baseball and having my new friend’s mum give us home baked snacks. It was magic to a wandering kid who’d never had a chance for roots to take hold. That family welcomed me with open arms, and I’ll always be thankful to them because they gave me a foundation in a fantastic community and the strength to get through what was coming.

Quick note- if you’re not from Maine, you’re ‘from away’. If your parents are both tenth generation Mainers, and you’re accidentally born over the bridge in Portsmouth, NH when your parents popped over to the tax free liquor store- then you’re ‘from away’. That should set the scene up for ya.

So, yeah, I rolled in feeling good. I got my new buddy, and he’s a cool kid. First thing I notice is the fecking STARING as I walk down the hall for the first time. I mean like I was on fire or naked or something. Proper staring. Then a girl came up to me, and a little posse of her girlfriends kind of took a step closer. I was effectively cornered.

“You’re the foreign kid right? Do you speak English?” 

My young and sweary brain said “Oh, for fuck’s sake. Already?!”

I chose not to take the same tack as my brain, “No, I speak Chinese.” I said in the strongest English accent I could muster. They all tittered, and I went to class feeling like I’d cleared the first hurdle.

The boys weren’t as easy, but I was lucky to make a lot of amazing friends, so we don’t need to go in depth to the bullying douchebaggery I was subjected to. Well, except for when I got shoved arse-end into the waste paper basket by two knuckle draggers. I got stuck in there all folded up, and had to roll onto the floor to try and wriggle out. I did this through much finger pointing and laughing, and once out I realized that the seat of my trousers had blown out, exposing my underpants. Cue hysterical laughter, and ten year old me running home crying. But that was an isolated event perpetrated by a couple of shit heels, most of the kids were great.

No, my major bullying came from the school itself. To allow for some slack, I will say that I started off on the wrong foot, to say the least. Here’s how-

A friend of my Mum’s had a copy of a fake Peanuts cartoon that I somehow got my hands on. It was Charlie Brown and Lucy having a chat, and I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. Here’s the dialogue, you’ll have to imagine the very shoddy drawing yourself.

Charlie Brown- Gee, I’d sure like to get in your pants.

Lucy- Why?

Charlie Brown- Because I shat in mine.

Oh, how I larfed and larfed, because you see I was ten. I had no clue that “get in your pants” meant sex, in England ‘pants’ is what we call underpants. I just thought Charlie was showing a hilarious sense of humor, and a good shit/fart joke is manna from heaven to an English boy. Well, and man ;)

“Oooh, Mum! PLEASE can you run me off some copies for my friends?!”

“”Sure.” Said my equally clueless mother who promptly knocked out a stack of 20 or so, which I promptly handed out willy nilly at school, and then very promptly found myself at the administrator’s desk unwittingly receiving the mantle of ‘Foreign Enemy Number One”.

I remember it well. I sat there and took a heated bollocking, about how I had “desecrated an iconic American symbol”. The dude went off. He was deeply offended by my cartoon. And my mum didn’t help, because she didn’t take the same shit he laid on me.

My mother walked in towards the end of the bollocking, giving me the evil eye for being in trouble and getting called to the school from her new job. She was very apologetic to the administrator and let him tell her what I had done. For about two minutes, right up to “your son has desecrated an iconic American symbol”, my mother sat there politely. And then she laughed. In the dude’s face. Cringe.

“I’m so sorry that I had to waste my time and yours to come in today during work to deal with something that could so easily have been handled on the telephone. Will you be taking any action against my son, or is he free to go back to class?” People learned pretty quick who my mum was. I gotta give the guy some credit, he showed a steady and cool head, and decided not to suspend me. It was in his power to do so- I had broken a rule, but he held back. Then.

Now we move to the pledge of allegiance. Every morning, all the kids would stand up with hands on hearts, face the flag, and say the pledge. Except me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t doing a Kapernick (more on that later). I stood with all the other kids and faced the flag, but because I’m not American I didn’t say the words or put my hand over my heart. I thought that standing and facing the flag was a sign of respect for my new home, but saying the words wouldn’t feel right to me because I’m English. There was never any disrespect meant, I was falling in love with Bar Harbor and America. I finally felt like I could let some roots grow. Unfortunately, disrespectful is how I was perceived. Bummer, right?

One day after the pledge, the administrator came into the classroom.

“Mr. Huttsez, my office please.” Kids oooohed at me as I did the hang dog walk out of the classroom for the death march down to his office.

Here’s the gist of what went down. He chewed me out for disrespecting America. I guess it really touched a nerve for him. I tried to explain that I didn’t think I was being disrespectful because I was standing and facing the flag, but he wasn’t having it. Basically, it boiled down to this- Do the whole pledge, with all the words and hand on heart, or get sent to the office.

Though it was never said, even ten year old me knew that enough trips to the office would get a troublemaker like me suspended. To his credit again, he chose to tell my mother all this on the telephone. Probably wise.

I was scared. But I was more angry. No way in Hell was I gonna do what he said.

“Look, Chooch,” said my mum, “I think you should just say the words and do it. I pissed the guy off, and I’m sorry. It won’t change who you are or where you’re from. You will still be you, and who you are is very special. This will make things a lot easier for everyone, and we need to settle in here. It’s just words after all. Mumble them if you want.”

So, I did it. I put my hand over my heart and said the words while homeboy watched my defeat. I like to think I had the last laugh though. My version went like this-


I pledge allegiance to the flag of the united Tits of America,

And to the RePUDlick (giggle) for which it stands,

One nation, under dog, invisible with liberty and justice for all.

It was a small ten year old boy victory, but I’ll take it. Oh, if you’re offended by that re-writing of the pledge, then you should probably stop reading. In a bit, I’m gonna whip out the Kapernick.

There were other incidents and multiple trips to the office, but things settled down eventually. It was a difficult coupla years, but I made friends that I have to this day.

High school was tough at first too. Kids came from other junior highs in the area to a single centralized high school, so I had to weather a fresh storm of being a foreign kid. Ok, a foreign kid who spiked and dyed his hair, and had an earring. Easy target, right? Whatevs.

Here’s a little taste of the love I received from some of my new school chums.

“Limey Faggit!”

“Why don’t you go back to England, Faggit?!”

“America’s the best thing since sliced bread.” That one still cuts deep.

There was one dude and his crew that always managed to find me alone, and they laid it on hard. Pushing, threatening, name calling, pinning me against the wall. It wasn’t good and it was escalating. I never went and told on them, but I guess it never reached the point that I had to. Because they got shut the fuck down.

I was in the school library, by myself, when the dude and his crew sat down at my table and proceeded to threaten and generally fuck with me. It totally sucked. Then it totally rocked.

All of a sudden, there was an upperclassman basketball star standing behind them. He was the son of the area’s most legendary and badass basketball coach and teacher, a man who had coached my stepfather when HE was in high school. His son was a solid and well respected leader in the school. For good reason.

He kept it short and sweet, as Mainers tend to do. “Hey boys, if you’ve got a problem with him, you’ve got a problem with me.” And that was it. The knuckledraggers mumbled off, and never messed with me again. One short sentence, and my mistreatment for simply being from somewhere else was over for good. It was a huge moment in my life- I finally felt safe and like I truly belonged. I will never forget that moment, so thank you Scott P, I’m not sure I ever got to say that.

My early years in America were a bit of a mixed bag. I learned to love the people, who are kind and honest, and the natural beauty, which is stunning. I learned a New England work ethic, and even got a touch of it’s infamous pragmatism, just a touch ;). I think of it as my home, because that’s where my roots got to grow.

But I also learned that authority in America was heavy handed, and that bigotry was as alive and well as it was in England (there’s aresholes everywhere, you see). Those early years did a lot to mold my ‘question authority’ outlook on life. I’m still that guy.

So, when Colin Kapernick took a knee during the national anthem and became the target of intense scrutiny, it jogged that memory of the pledge when I was ten. That “Do it, or else” approach that I got as a kid.

I went back to that experience, and put an adult perspective on it. My feeling is that the cartoon deeply offended the administrator, and on top of that, he was offended that I didn’t say the pledge. It then escalated no thanks to my mother’s lack of diplomacy, though I stand by her actions as a parent. But at it’s core lies the original sense of offense.

So, he made me say the pledge against my wishes. I wasn’t going to make a political stand in rural, 1977 Maine, and you know, I was ten. Plus, we needed to fit in. And as stands go it was fairly shit, let’s be honest.

But this Kapernick thing got me thinking. This man- agree with him or not- is doing something he believes in, it’s peaceful protest practically by definition. He didn’t say anything, no fanfare or announcement, no pre event press conference announcing his intentions. He just did it off to the side, almost by himself. Peacefully.

Here we go!

Since it got noticed a lot of people have been very offended, and they’ve been very vocal about it. It’s gone completely ballistic, with high school kids following his lead and getting suspended from school, and social media full of ire towards this professional athlete. Pictures of him in crosshairs, cops threatening to boycott security at the stadium, calls for his firing, and endless memes. It touched on a very passionate chord. Well, two. Patriotism and race. Polarizing as fuck, right? 

Liberals be like- “The dude is exercising his first amendment rights! It’s free speech! America is full of conservatives, bigots, and racists!”

Conservatives are all- “Men and women died for this country, they died protecting your freedom! That flag is a symbol to us of the ultimate price they paid for their country! He should stand! He’s disrespecting our fallen comrades! America is full of liberals, weaklings, and freeloaders.”

Who’s wrong?

I fall in the liberal column, and think that he is right for standing up for something he believes in. To me, it is the very definition of freedom. My life experiences have led me to feel this way- I was bullied into toeing the patriotic line, because I had offended someone. It’s natural that I would feel that way.

But what if I had chosen to enlist in the armed forces, and had seen combat in the first Gulf War? Friends of mine were there. What if I was one of the many men and women who have seen HARD combat in Iraq and Afghanistan? Men and women who have seen their friends die violent deaths in far off places. That would make me see the importance of standing for the anthem, because you’re standing for the fallen. It must be a terrible burden to carry the memory of fallen friends, but a burden that I’m sure is carried with honor. People who are offended and angered by Kapernick’s protest feel that way because their life experiences have led them there. Just like mine did for me. Perspective’s funny, ain’t it?

All this perspective got me thinking about political correctness, because everyone gets offended by something at some point.

Liberals like me get offended by “Grab them by the pussy.” I wouldn’t tolerate my son speaking like that (he doesn’t because he’s a good boy), and I wouldn’t want my daughter to be subjected to it. Unwarranted sexual advances are sexual assault, end of.

Conservatives are offended by Colin Kapernick taking a knee during the anthem in protest, because they feel he is showing no respect for the many fallen americans who died for their country.

So, if we all get offended, then maybe there actually is something to this PC nonsense after all. Let’s see what the thesaurus has to say-

politically correct


unoffensive, nondiscriminatory, unbiased, neutral, appropriate, nonpartisan; informal PC. ANTONYMS offensive.

Antonyms? Just one- offensive. It seems odd to me that political correctness gets such a bum rap, when it speaks  to kindness and civility. Not bad things in my book.

But political correctness got a bum rap anyway. People bemoan having to change old ways just because it ‘offends’ some group or person. “You can’t do ANYTHING without offending someone anymore!” they decry on social media. “What do you mean I have to say Happy Holidays?! It’s Merry Christmas! PC gone mad!” I agree that ‘political correctness’ can be overused, I live in Northern California so I see it first hand. Believe. 

However, I think it’s time for conservatives/PC haters to get on the PC bandwagon, or at least touch it whist walking alongside if they can’t commit to a full seat. Why? Because we ALL get offended by something at some point. There’s no avoiding it.

It is hypocritical to bemoan a ‘PC world gone mad’ , and then yell from the rooftops when you’re offended. Seriously, stop and take a proper look at yourself and the double standards you’re using. If you are the only person in the world who has never been offended by anything ever, then bemoan on you crazy diamond, otherwise think before you act the next time you take offense to something. If this is a free country, then you have to accept other peoples version of freedom. It’s called civility. You can’t push your version of freedom on others. That’s called oppression.

Right, now for the liberals.

Load of bloody hypocrites as well. How can you sit there saying ‘Elections can’t be rigged’ when you screamed about Bush stealing the election from Gore . So it’s rigged, then it’s not? Ummm, Bernie? Try explaining that to your kids and maintain dignity at the same time.

Also, I don’t think it’s ok that Hillary has taken money from the Saudis.

I’m all for respecting people’s cultures, it’s one of the liberal cornerstones. But I can’t respect a culture that treats women as second class citizens, beheads homosexuals (and women!), and rules under oppressive medieval laws. So liberals? Take as hard a look at Islam as you do at the conservative christian right. Mega liberal Bill Maher feels the same, check him out with Charlie Rose, clickety click. They both warrant your ire. If you truly stand for women’s rights, then take a good long look at yourself and what you’re supporting.

Hypocrisy on both sides and everyone gets offended. What a load of bloody children we  all are.

The split in America will never go away, we’re all just too different. BUT, we CAN come together with just one word.


Liberals- Maybe you should try and put yourself in the other persons shoes if you think of yourself as open minded. ‘Liberal’ is defined as ‘open minded’ in the dictionary. Try and think about why that person feels the way they do. What were the life experiences that formed their outlook? Get past the memes and surface bullshit and you’ll come to see that we’re not that different, we’ve just lived different lives. I get why people are so angry about the Kapernick protest, maybe you should too. Believing that he’s entitled to his stance is completely separate from being an actual liberal person who wants to bridge the gap with your countrymen. Idiots. I’m just as guilty of this as you, but I’m working on it.

Christians- How about you ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?”, and then actually do it? Ask yourself this on a constant loop, non stop. You will make the world a better place. See- Jimmy Carter.

Conservatives- No more yelling about political correctness if you get vocally offended by things. At it’s core, political correctness is about living together, and it’s time to remove the stigma. If you love your country as much as you say, then you need to work on bridging the gap as well, because we’re in this love together. Try and find some common ground, it’s there. We all love our kids and want them to succeed. We all love are pets and want them protected. We all love. It’s not fecking rocket surgery. Come on!

Tell a friend who has opposing views a story that illustrates why you feel the way you do.

I used to think that two of my friends were total knuckle dragging, gun nuts, so vehement is their protection of the second amendment. But then I found out WHY, and it changed my entire perspective. I would want my right to own a gun as an impeachable right if say, a crazy co-worker starts stalking my wife and restraining orders won’t physically protect her. What if some neighborhood boy gets all obsessed with my daughter when she’s older and it gets creepy? And he gets threatening? Restraining order? Hmmmm.

Emapthy leading to perspective and communication.


Pfffft, you’re an idiot because you don’t think like me and I hate you and everything you stand for.

Yeah, I’ll take door number one, Wink.

Well, I think I’m all ranted out, and it feels like a good place to stop. Plus it’s ridiculously long, sorry about that. I’ll do a nice short, light hearted one next time. Maybe about making cupcakes or shagging.


That’s it for now.


Thanks for reading, see you soon.



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


Won't Get Fooled Again 10/13/16



In my last entry, I had a short throw away line in reference to my radiation induced fatigue catching me a little unawares- 

“And there you were thinking you’d made it through the radiation relatively unscathed!” chortled Western Medicine from the corner. 

Well, the evil bastard has come out of the corner and is currently pogoing around my semi-motionless form, pointing and laughing.

“Hahahahahahahaha! You stupid cancer patient! You ACTUALLY BELIEVED the radiation oncologist when he said you’d get your energy back ‘in a week or so’?! Bwahahahahahaha!” Western Medicine is not known for his kindness and restraint, which he then displayed by standing right in front of me, air-humping with reckless abandon. A “Dick Dance” as it were.

Yes, I’ve fallen for it again. I actually DID believe my doctor when he said “a week or so” to start feeling better. And this is after believing the chemo people that “I’d probably just be tired”. No wonder the behemoth of Western Medicine is laughing madly away. What was it W said? 

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee- I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee- that says, fool me once, shame on- shame on you. Fool me- you won’t get fooled again.”

I should’ve listened to you George. What was I thinking, right?!

Yesterday I looked up “radiotherapy fatigue duration”. I found a link that spoke specifically to my type of cancer and area of treatment. Right out of the gate, first fecking sentence was- 

“It is common to experience fatigue for three to four weeks after the completion of treatment. Around 20% of cases may experience up to three months of symptoms.”

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” I was getting pretty tired of Western Medicine rubbing it in.

So, THREE to FOUR weeks is not “a week or so”. I’m slightly miffed about it, too. There will be no talk of this three months nonsense.

Why am I miffed? Because I’m somehow more tired than when we spoke last time, and I’m now over two and a half weeks from my last radiation treatment. Definitely in the radiation bloke’s time frame of feeling better. Mind you, this is the same geezer who said that we’d probably never know if I’ve been cured or not. A friend who’s a doctor said “Umm, no. At about 5 years you’re pretty much good. Radiation oncologists aren’t known for their bedside manner.” Palm? Meet face.

Lesson learned, got it. I will add it to the list. A lot of doctors have their own agenda, as do we all, so trust my instincts and do the due diligence. Never ever take doctors’ comments as gospel, get second opinions and do the research.

For instance, my chemo doctor wanted to send me back to work NEXT WEEK! I had to argue with the guy to extend my meager disability for a bit longer while I get my strength back- I get tired from a 30 minute walk and the guy wants me back swinging a hammer and climbing scaffolds?! 

He was like- “I’m not comfortable with this, Mr. Huttsez. Disability is for active therapy only.”

And I was all- “That’s cool. I’m sure that I won’t fall climbing a scaffold because I’m severely weakened from the cancer treatments. I also feel confident that I won’t injure my already dodgy back carrying loads of lumber around (three herniated discs lol), thus forcing my boss to pay a worker’s compensation claim and have his rates go through the roof. I mean why not get right back to work woefully unfit?! Sounds like a winning plan to me!”

So he was like- “How does the middle of November sound?”

And I was all- “lol”

IMPORTANT ADVICE ALERT- Doctors don’t know it all. Trust your instincts. Get second opinions and look shit up! Don’t let them bully you, and fight for what you need.

The next time I go to a GP doc, it won’t be to my regular guy. Because I’m firing his ass.

At the beginning of this whole process, back when I first found the lump, the dude fucked up. He was asking me if I felt any pain at the lump’s location.

I said, “Yes and no. It’s like a strange low grade ache that comes and goes, but it’s not really that terribly painful. It’s nothing like I’ve ever felt before. It feels... weird.”

“Okaaay, anything else?” I could tell that homeboy wasn’t quite sure about my description’s authenticity.

“Well, the closest way to describe it is like when you ‘get the willies’ but with some aches.” Cue the douchebag raised eyebrow.

“The willies?” Cue the semi-incredulous tone.

Sigh. “Yeah. You know when you look down something really high like the Golden Gate Bridge, and your balls kinda suck up a bit? And your stomach gets a bit unsettled? That’s the willies.”

OK, perhaps not the greatest description of my symptoms, but you see I’d never had cancer before so I was working with some new material. This is when my doctor fucked up.

As he started to turn away to the sink to wash his hands, the dude rolled his eyes. He probably thought I couldn’t see it. Dafuq?!

“Look, 99.99 percent of the time these things are nothing. It’s almost always some little infection that avoided detection.” He finished washing and turned back to me. “We’ll test you for STD’s and put you on antibiotics for two weeks. These things are usually nothing, you’ll see.” He ended up with a nice patronizing shoulder pat. But his shit worked, I felt “hypochondriac shamed”. The doctor has spoken. 

“Ok. But I’m 100 percent positive that I don’t have any STD’s.” I mumbled.

patpatpatpat “We’re just going to check anyway, ok?” patpatpatpat.

So yeah, his arse is fired. I’m sure the dude deals with a metric shit ton of people that are convinced they’re dying that aren’t dying, and that he’s probably getting a bit ground down from it being in his late fifties and all. I wouldn’t want the job for that very reason. But the difference between me and him is that he took the job and all it’s associated baggage, paranoid patients included. What he’s obviously forgotten is that sometimes the patients get it spot on.

I’m going to get a woman GP, as I feel women have more compassion and empathy than men. My reason for having a man was that I was more comfortable whipping my junk out for a dude. Well, now that I’ve had my balls shaved, groin poked and prodded, and trouser snake moved around and taped out of the way by women doctors and nurses, I’ve lost my inhibitions about the gender of my doctor. The best care I received through this whole process was from the all female surgical team that did my two procedures. The men didn’t stack up as well. Just sayin’.

Right, that’s enough kvetching. At least about that. Sorry, I’m a bit Ranty McRanterton today.

The good news is that the fatigue hasn’t felt like it increased over the last coupla days, so maybe I’ll start on the upswing pretty soon.

Sleeping a lot, like 12-14 hours a day. If it doesn’t start getting better in the next coupla days, I’ll reach out to the geezer. But it’ll start getting better.


At the end of my last blog, I mentioned some chemo induced side effects that I’m experiencing. I have to laugh a bit, this shit just doesn’t stop.

CIPN- chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy. Let’s look it up, shall we?

“Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a progressive, enduring, and often irreversible condition featuring pain, numbness, tingling and sensitivity to cold in the hands and feet that afflicts between 30% and 40% of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.”

Neuropathy was just another brushed aside topic they mentioned before I went in to chemo. There was no talk of 30% or 40% of patients becoming afflicted with this. Again, it would’ve been nice to get a bit more information somewhere apart from the bloody internet.

I get it though. If they really told cancer patients about the odds of the multitude of side effects before treatment starts, they’d have a mass of blithering, panicked basket cases for patients. Maybe some people would opt out of treatment because they got so freaked. I wouldn’t have taken that route. I would’ve preferred to know what I was really up against so I could prepare myself for the fight. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I still get it. Just getting my head around the fact that I had cancer in the first place was hard enough, so I get it.

Right, back to my new friend CIPN. My hands and feet hurt and tingle when they’re cold. I get sharp pains in my feet that wake me up at night. If I sit or drive too long, they go all tingly and sore. Sometimes, it just happens without any of those scenarios. It sucks, but I’m confident I can manage it. Because I’ve managed everything that’s been thrown at me so far.

Here’s a silver lining, maybe it’ll be my barometer for when there’s some weather coming, kinda like Grandpa’s knee- “Looks like we’ve got a storm a-brewin’, Mother, my neuropathy’s actin’ up somethin’ fierce. We’d best bring the cannabis plants inside.”

Glutamine, acupuncture, and exercise are my new best friends.

Though I just started using this approach to treat my neuropathy a week ago, I can already feel the benefits. I don’t get as tingly or sore when I sit or drive, and my nights aren’t being interrupted as often.

I’m still too tired for proper exercise, but I’ve been able to get an early walk in the mornings. Can’t wait to hit the yoga and start rebuilding all my atrophied muscles. I’ve spoken to some cancer survivors that said it took about a year to get back to feeling normal again. Makes sense, cancer and it’s treatments are no joke.

Dudes! This entry was a total downer, I’m sorry. But hey, it is what it is. I’m sure there will be much tomfoolery ahead. Until then.


That’s it for now.


Thanks for reading. See you soon.



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


No Longer A Cancer Patient... 9/29/16

I am officially no longer a cancer patient, but I don’t feel like a cancer survivor. Yet. Maybe in a year or five or ten I’ll feel like I am a survivor, but right now I just feel... shaken.

That shit was scary.

So scary that I know a part of me will always be afraid. Afraid of the chemo chair and the steroids. Afraid of the surgeries, scans, and radiation. Fuck man, I’m afraid of dying and leaving my family to cope in my absence.

My teenage son with no living parents?! 

My daughter with no Dad at such a young age?! 

Mrs. Huttsez left alone in grief to raise our daughter?!

That’ll put some fear into you, eh?

There are times when I’ve allowed the worry and fear to take hold, times when I was feeling low. I’ve gotten so freaked out that my hands shook. It’s not good. So, what do I do about this? I sure as shit can’t let the fear get a hold- I’ll end up a blithering, useless shell of a man. No. I guess I just have to work through it. Above all else, my kids deserve a healthy and present Dad.

When I get all freaked out, ya know like now, I do some breathing exercises, go for a walk, maybe get down with some yoga, or go on a little bike ride. Writing helps, too. Unfortunately, I’m currently pretty knackered from the radiation, so there’s not a lot of yoga and walking, which are my favorite stress relievers. And by “currently pretty knackered” I mean “completely fucking wiped out”. Holy Shit! When the radiation oncologist said the fatigue would continue asserting it’s presence, he wasn’t kidding! It’s a weird, deep, and sad kinda tired. It’s like every part of me is drained in a creepy, other worldly, out of body way. lol.

“And there you were thinking you’d made it through the radiation relatively unscathed!” chortled Western Medicine from the corner.

So, yeah, no yoga, no walking. Today I will breath and write. And eat high THC cannabis oil (aka Rick Simpson Oil- look it up!). Nature’s valium, cancer cure, pain reliever- great stuff. I was telling a friend that it tastes like eating hash out of a dog’s arsehole. Oooh, look, I cracked a joke. Maybe the breathing, writing, and drugs are working. Imagine that.

Hippie speed ball

There’s no way I’m going to avoid the fear, it’s just too big. I can’t live in denial and pretend that there’s no need to worry, because there is. There may always will be.

I have to learn to live with the fear, to manage it and let it happen. Maybe I’ll think of it like a pot of boiling water that I let bubble away for a bit before covering it with a lid and turning it down. Maybe envisioning it as a faucet that I simply reach out and turn off. Creative visualization has been my friend many times through this process, and I’m sure I’ll find something to help me deal.

So, I’m taking stock. Who was I before the cancer and who am I now? What do I want to do with each and every healthy day I have? Because these days are a gift not to be wasted. That’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned- every healthy day is a gift. 

Cancer has brought a lot of pain and fear into my life, but it has also brought clarity and focus. I don’t want to go all “out of adversity comes greatness” or “phoenix rising from the ashes” melodramatic on you, but there’s truth in there for me. Truth and strength.

Taking stock. Absorbing the many lessons I’ve learned, and being open to the lessons yet to come. I’m sure there will be many. 

I think I’d like to talk about a couple of those lessons. Maybe it’ll be a good reminder for me if I somehow start to forget. Maybe my kids can read all this someday, and know me better. Maybe it’ll help some other poor fucker out there, fighting the cancerous dragon. As usual, I’d like to do so in a list-ish stylee. Bim!


Some Shit I’ve Learned From Having Bloody Fucking Cancer



  1. Don’t Be A Dick- If every healthy day is a gift, I sure as Hell won’t be wasting it being an uptight douchebag. Be kind to people. I’m specifically working on being more patient and kind with Mrs. H and the kids, because they’re the most important part of my life, I love them beyond words. I’m sure Mrs. Huttsez would tell you that this is a work in progress, but you can’t take all the fire out of the furnace. Patience with my family, and patience with myself. Becoming the man I envision will take time, but I will succeed.  
  2. You Never Know What Someone’s Going Through- Everyone is going through some battle, big or small. I fight cancer. People fight Lyme disease, diabetes, MS. People struggle with depression, anxiety, phobias, relationship troubles, problems with their kids, finances. There are countless diseases, ailments, and troubles that people deal with everyday. I, for one, am going to work at cutting EVERYONE some friggin’ slack (see above entry about not being a dick).
  3. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff- Holy shit, talk about gaining some perspective! Here’s an example for ya- near the end of my chemo, Mrs. Huttsez’s car broke down on our way to meet some friends. We got it towed, and $1,500.00 later it was fixed. It was interesting because neither of us got upset or worried, even in spite of our tight finances due to, you know, me not working. It didn’t even phase us, because we’ve learned that money is nothing compared to health. For instance, I don’t give a shit if I get cut off on the road anymore- that person doesn’t know me. They’re not going out of their way to “cut that piece of shit Huttsez off” in some vicious attack on my person. People just drive like arseholes, no big deal. It’s all just small stuff that I will no longer sweat. I really don’t care if some thoughtless or rude person jumps in front of me at the bank or supermarket, because it doesn’t matter. I’ll let all you uptight fuckers get into it with the line cutter. Smiling. It’s about not making a mountain out of a molehill, or a tempest in a teacup. I’m gonna let the small stuff stay small, there’s always going to be bigger things to deal with.
  4. It’s All About Love, Family, And Friends- Nothing else really matters. My family has been a rock from my father and step mother, to all my amazing in-laws, to my wife and kids. My friends have blown me away with their support, insight, and empathy... it’s staggering the amount of love we’ve received. I honestly could not have done it without you all, because it was so... hard. I will now pay it forward- I will share friends’ posts, go to their events, and support them the way they supported me. Love is all you need.


I’ve learned so much more than these four lessons, but it’s a good place to start. They’re pretty good lessons.

I decided to commemorate the end of my cancer treatment and the new me with a tattoo. I went with the tempest in a teacup- a reminder to not sweat the small stuff and to not be a dick.


Next entry I’ll be talking about the chemo side effects I’m experiencing, and beginning my (soon to be) successful journey to Carpenter Man fitness. Or maybe I’ll just talk about wanking.


That’s it for now.


Thanks for reading, see you soon.



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


High Five Moment? 9/22/16

Apart from FINISHING MY TREATMENT TODAY(!), I had my final weekly visit with the radiation oncologist yesterday. I see him once a week to check the burns and see if there’s anything else going on that he needs to know about. I’m very pleased to say that apart from increased fatigue and a bit of pain, there’s still no big bad side effects. Woot!

“It looks like you’re responding well to the treatment, Mr. Huttsez. Apart from a continued increase in fatigue over the next week or so, I don’t foresee any peeling or other side effects being a problem.” Good old Dr. Obvious was full of happy news. “Do you have any questions?”

“Well, yeah. Now that my treatment is ending I move into checkups every three months, right?” I asked.

“That’s correct.” answered Dr. Obvious.

“Ok, cool. Dr. Lee said that I’d be doing blood tests before each check up. Is that to see if the cancer came back? 

“Not really. The blood test will be more to check that you’re producing enough white and red blood cells after the chemo. Dr. Lee will most likely call for a periodic CT scan.”

“Got it. So, when’s the High Five Moment?” I asked.

“High Five Moment?” Sometimes I confuse Dr. Obvious.

“You know, the moment where you and Dr. Lee walk into the room and say, ‘Mr Huttsez, we’ve got great news. You’ve done it! You’ve beaten cancer! We’ve cured you, Mr. Huttsez!’ Then we all high five and go out for Guinness and Bushmill’s, my treat.” Poor Dr. Obvious got this sad look on his face.

“Well, there isn’t a... High Five Moment, unfortunately. Let’s say in 40 or more years when you die, not from cancer, we can say you’re cured. Otherwise, there’s no real way of knowing, I’m sorry to say.” Fair play to the doc, he handled the let down like a champ.

“Alright,” I said after a moment, “I guess it is what it is. Well, I’m gonna choose to believe that you and Dr. Lee kicked it’s arse. I don’t want to live in fear of looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life, so I’ll stay positive.”

“That’s the best thing you can do.”  said Dr. Obvious. Obviously.


Later, on my way home, my brain and I got into it a little.

“Well fuck, this is some bullshit. No high fives? Always wondering if it’s gonna come back?! It’s like having the sword of fucking Damocles dangling over our head!” My brain is often hard to deal with. He tends to be a little.. reactionary. He’s also way more sweary than me. “You know what? Fuck that guy!” See?

“No, not ‘fuck that guy’ at all.” I replied. “He just told it like it is. Yeah, it’s very possible that it’ll never come back, but they can’t say for sure. He’s a doctor, surely you’ve learned by now that they hold their cards pretty close to their chests. We just need to stay positive.”

“Ok fine. So you’re saying that we just go along all lahdy da, skipping about like twats as if nothing happened and that there’s nothing to worry about?! Ha! Eat another brownie, Hippie, because you’re living in lala land. There’s no way in Hell I’m gonna be able to ‘stay positive’. They want to check us every three months for the next five years, for fuck’s sake! It doesn’t exactly look like they think it’s gone.”

I sighed. “Chill out man, the three month check up is standard operating procedure. Look at it this way: we found a lump on our own, now it’s us AND a team of doctors looking for that shit. The treatment went well, dude. Why do I say that? Because the PET scan showed that the cancer didn’t spread. The chemo did what they said it would do. This means they know what they’re doing, ok? We’re in good hands, and we have to learn to live with joy and not fear the unknown. If that’s living in lala land, then sign me up. Negativity will bring negativity. It’s like in ‘Empire Strikes Back’ when Luke asks Yoda what’s in the cave, and Yoda says...”

“Yeah, yeah. ‘Only that which you take with you.’ I’m your brain, it’s my favorite Yoda quote, too. Alright dude, I get it. If we stay positive, positive things will happen. I gotta warn you though- I’m pretty sure that I’m gonna freak out every now and then.”

“I wouldn’t expect anything less. Thanks for coming around. Even though you’re my brain, and we’re kind of the same guy. I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are...”

“Fuck you, Hippie.”

A brief glimpse for you on how I deal with shit that sucks.

The next time we see each other, I’ll be “the artist formerly known as Cancer Patient” and starting down the road to cancer survivor. I can’t wait.


That’s it for now.


Thanks for reading, see you soon.



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


Random Observations From Under The Ray Gun 9/19/16

So, I’ve been hammering away at daily radiation treatments for the just over three weeks now, and I’ll have my last 4 ray gun blasts this week. After that no more scheduled cancer treatments, no more driving nearly two hours everyday to the radiation clinic. It’s been a fucking slog and I’ll be well pleased to see the arse end of all this bollocks. MAN!

Going in to the radiation, I was feeling pretty anxious about all the possible side effects, especially after the difficulties of chemo- 30 pound testicles topped a rather sordid list- but so far I’ve come through really well, considering.

Fatigue is pretty high, and I’ve been having some gnarly, but infrequent, sharp pains in my groin. My doctor says it’s due to “internal swelling”. I showed great restraint by not saying “That makes sense. I’m more used to considerable ‘external’ swelling, if you know what I mean.” 

 I’ve got some nice pink radiation burns on and around my junk, but “It doesn’t look like it’s going to peel, Mr Huttsez. This is a good thing.” I like my radiation oncologist- he’s a true King of Stating the Obvious. “Peely junk” is on every man’s list of things to avoid, just under “an erection that lasts for four or more hours”, and “sitting naked on a yellow jacket’s nest”. Fortunately, I’m not quite as interested in his bedside manner as I am in his ability to be a cancer fighting badass. I’m confident that he excels in the latter.


So, what’s the radiation been like? Funny you should ask because I’ve prepared some random observations of my time under the ray gun so far. In a loose list format.


Random Observations Of My Time Under The Ray Gun So Far



  1. The machine itself is quite impressive- I’ve dubbed it “Optimus Prime”. It’s got a huge flying suacer on a curved arm that rotates around the table where I lay, blasting that lymphona (and hopefully my sperm count!) into smithereens. It has panels and arms that articulate and move around, with lasers all over the place. I’m actually hoping that it has a “wanking attachment arm” that will give me a happy ending at my last treatment. Note to self: check with the staff to see if this is an option. Also, is it possible for the happy ending to be applied with some lavender aroma therapy, as this would be very relaxing? That would great, thanks.                                                                                                                           A wanking arm doesn't seem too much to ask. And very doable.
  2. There’s a very bright LED light that blasts out a fiery, evil red light when the machine is turning my bollocks into Chernobyl. I call it “The Eye of Sauron”. As one does.
  3. I gotta talk about the music. Apparently, the radiation center picks a Pandora channel, usually classic softish rock, or old school, chillin’ R’n’ B. Seems fine, right? It’s just background, after all. Well, on my second visit I’m waiting in the Bull Pen (aka waiting area) in my spa robe/ mumu, and “Live and Let Die” comes on. “Fuck me, that’s a tad awkward, isn’t it?” said my brain. “Yes. Yes, it is.” I replied. I wasn’t particularly bothered because it’s my favorite Bond song, and if you can’t have a laugh then what’s the point? Some other songs that where fairly whince-tastic: “Candle In The Wind’ by Elton John, “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins, “Last Dance With Mary Jane” made me think of Robin Wright in Forrest Gump, all fucked up on coke and considering suicide. Nothing like a little pick me up before you head into the room where you’re getting treatment for a disease that makes you look death right in it’s beady eyes, lol. Pandora fully redeemed itself last week, however,  when I got my treatment to Barry White’s inimitable “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Baby”. Having my groin gently caressed by the tender fingers of radioactive fire, whilst hearing the dulcet tones of the Love Walrus has been the highlight of all my cancer treatments so far. Baz, I should have turned to you sooner.                                                         I can't get enough either, Baz.
  4. I’m particularly pleased to announce that I haven’t shat meself. Yet. As my doctor would say “This is a good thing”.
  5. I totally dig hanging with my Cancer Bros in the Bull Pen, shootin’  the shit. Normally, I don’t get to hang with anyone, as they run a really tight ship, getting you in and out with German precision. A couple of times there’s been an ambulance in the parking lot bringing someone for emergency radiation that caused a back log in the Bull Pen. On a quick side note: it’s things like this that remind me how lucky I am. Some poor person is so riddled with cancer that they need emergency radiation?! I closed my eyes in the changing room, and sent that person all the love and light that I could muster. Because I could. Because I’m still fucking standing. That’s why I’m lucky. The silver lining of this dark reminder was getting to hang with my boys. I came out of the changing room in my blue radiation mumu, and there were three other guys in the Bull Pen chatting away like they were at a sports bar or a friends BBQ. The vibe was good. We were all equals in our mumus. I opened with-


“Has the waitress been by yet?”

The enormous Treeman with the massively swollen and pink jaw replied, “You just missed her dude, but we ordered a pitcher so it’s all good.” His voice was a cross between Sam Elliot and Darth Vader, and the mumu I was swimming in looked like a muscle shirt on him. We all cracked up, and I stuck my hand out to Treeman, “How ya doin? I’m Huttsez.”

“I’m Samuel, pleasure to meet ya.” he rumbled. I took my hand back from his granite handshake, and gave it a rub.

“Pleasure to meet you too, Samuel. Quick question. How the Hell did you get cancer, dude?! You appear to be made of actual stone.” We all had another laugh and settled in to our chairs a bit more, feeling comfy. We were a good room.

I met Johnathon, the lawyer from Mill Valley. Samuel, the Treeman, aptly worked at a lumber mill on the big fuck off saws. Pete was a Vietnam Vet turned mega hippie, who had been living in Humboldt County for 30 years (Oh yeah, Pete? Doing a little farming?), and then me, High End Construction Superintendent and man about town. A cool mix. After chatting for a bit, we inevitably ended up trading cancer stories. It felt like that scene in Jaws where Dreyfuss, Shaw, and Scheider get drunk and show each other all their scars from bites and shit. It was pretty cool.

“Esophageal cancer,” said Johnathon the lawyer, “two surgeries, no chemo, 15 rounds of radiation.” Samuel, Pete, and I “dayum’ed” and nodded our respect. Esophageal cancer is no joke. Johnathon went on. 

“Yeah, it’s been a haul. Makes you see what’s really important in life.” We all nodded in solemn agreement. “How about you guys?” he asked.

“Mouth cancer, one surgery where they took a piece of my thigh and grafted it on to my face, 6 rounds of chemo, 15 rounds of radiation.” Samuel said. “I’d rather work the big saw at the mill blindfolded than go through this shit again.” I reached out and gave Samuel a fist bump.

“Well, I did most of my heavy treatment 8 years ago for prostate cancer.” Pete The Farmer told us. “I’m back in for some radiation because they didn’t like a few spots on my last scan. It’s probably nothing, but they just want to be careful. Back then I did one surgery, 8 rounds of chemo, and 20 rounds of radiation. It was a bummer. Literally!” We all laughed at his joke, as only dudes with cancer could. 

“Damn Guys, you’ve been through the wars.” I said. “Well, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, 2 surgeries, 3 rounds of chemo, 20 rounds of radiation. Shit’s been real and I’m a different man now.” My Cancer Bros nodded again as we all silently concurred that we were changed men. Confronting your own mortality in real-time will do that. Believe.

We went our separate ways with warm hand shakes, and words of encouragement, a motley crew of dudes from different walks of life with a common foe and common goal. It was rad. 

All in all, the radiation has been relatively smooth, considering the litany of horrific side effects that you can get. Another affirmation of how bloody lucky I’ve been so far. You never know what’s over the horizon, but I know it could’ve been so much worse on this journey to get to where I am now. And where’s that? Why, ALMOST FUCKING DONE, that’s where! So stoked.


That’s it for now.


Thanks for reading, see you soon.



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



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