Archive for the 'Cancer' Category

The best laid plans of mice and men…

August 18th, 2010

Hey gang,

So it’s been a little while since I’ve posted (real posts, not the Twitter freakout that I didn’t realize was happening) yet again. Many, many things have been happening here in Moondoggieland and as usually happens with me when a lot of stuff is going on, I put off mentioning it until so much has happened that it becomes all awkward and winds up in a long post. So, here’s the long post – grab a drink and get comfortable.
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The Usual Apologies and Updates

November 10th, 2008

Okay, first off, the standard apology to those who have commented or emailed me and have yet to get a reply. I have a tendency to think I can do much more than I can, which leads to me either forgetting things or getting too involved with something else to keep up with things that I should be keeping up with.

So yet again, today is a new day. From this point forward, every email that comes in is answered ASAFP (since putting things off for too long makes it that much harder for me to do them) and every comment answered as soon as I see it’s there. I’m trying to turn a new leaf here, so have some patience.

Part of that leaf turning includes daily posting. I’ve tried to do it in the past, knowing that I’d slip up at some point and miss a few days, then a few weeks, then a few months, etc. This time, I’m doing it with the knowledge that I won’t. Let’s hear it for positive thinking!

Of course, there’s always a catch. While I’ll be answering emails and comments as soon as possible, any sent from Thursday through Monday might still have a bit of a delay. I’m going to be heading down to Louisville, KY this weekend for Hodgeapalooza II: Hillbilly Edition! But as soon as I get back, the answering resumes! Unless I have internet access somewhere, in which case, updates from the road!

Next on the agenda: ME! Health-wise, things are still good on the cancer front. I had a clean PET before I went to Texas and I have a bloodwork-and-visit-only followup later this month. Tooth-wise, it hasn’t been so great.

About a week before I left Texas, one of my wisdom teeth started hurting. That’s right – September. Tylenol was keeping it under control pretty well other than a couple of really hellacious days (usually on a weekend). Why didn’t I just go to the dentist? Well, I don’t like my dentist. And not in that “I don’t like dentists” way – just him in particular. And I’m horrible when it comes to finding new doctors and making appointments and such.

So last week, I finally had enough and found someone and got in for a look. Turns out both wisdom teeth on the left side are going to have to come out. I’ve already had the two on the right out, so I’ll be dropping from half-wise to not wise at all. Fortunately for you (and the makers of Tylenol and Advil), they won’t be coming out until the 20th. So, if I seem out of sorts in Kentucky, it’s not just the bluegrass making me blue.

Other than that, things have been rolling right along. I’m getting a little better at figuring out the whole life/work equation, and I’ve been getting fired up about getting CiMB back on the road again. I was going to include the plans in this post, but it’s gotten rather long, so I’ll make you wait until tomorrow.

Hey, I’ve got to come up with material for a post each day somehow, right?

Tie a Pink-ish Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree

November 10th, 2008

Many thanks to Loretta for adding a comment to the “Frickin’ Pink Ribbons” post, which reminded me that we’re finally out of Breast Cancer Awareness Month here in the States. I thank everyone else who commented as well, it’s just that Loretta had the luck to post after 10/31 and get the special mention. Now that October is over (and since I haven’t posted since September), it’s time for a quick follow-up.

I’d also like to send a shout out to the comment spammer who hit the original post with the most accurate and insightful comment spam ever: “Hello webmaster. I think you could also make more of it through a bigger exposure about “Frickin’ Pink Ribbons”. Perhaps you can have some pink ribbon candy.”

Brilliant.

Aside from going off on a tear about a whole MONTH devoted to those of the pink persuasion, I’ll share a little message I received From Above. No, I don’t hear God speaking to me in my head or anything – I’m not crazy. He speaks to me by waving things in my face until I get it.

Okay, maybe I am crazy.

Anyway, a couple of days away from the end of October, I was walking to my psychologist’s office (I know, I know – you’re shocked) when I saw a beat up station wagon with a bumper sticker that summed up the whole month: “Abortions Cause Breast Cancer.”

I know, I was just as angry as you are. “How DARE they! All of these loose women taking our cancer funding away just because they’re going around having abortions all willy nilly!”

Okay, so I wasn’t angry right off the bat. When confronted with something so mind-numbingly idiotic, my first reaction is to get the giggles. Then my brain runs in circles for a little bit. Then what I see finally cuts through my barricades and I get either pissed off or sad. Often, a combination of both.

After I had quelled the giggles of my immediate defense reaction, I felt the universe waving and pointing at the bumper sticker. Time for Brian to learn something again.

Every time I’ve seen something about “Breast Cancer Awareness” I’ve always thought to myself “Come on, WHO is still unaware about breast cancer in this country?” Now, I just think about that bumper sticker. It turns out, even the big cancers still have a lot of ignorance to deal with. Granted, this particular bumper sticker was an easy, though highly logically flawed, slur (women get most breast cancer, women get all abortions, therefore, abortions cause cancer) and it was but one of the many things this driver believes abortions cause and/or are caused by. Apparently, the deeper roots of breast cancer lie in being a liberal and/or a democrat, since this little station wagon believes (according to two of its other stickers) that liberals and Democrats cause abortions. It stands to reason then, that liberals and Democrats cause breast cancer. I bet you wish you had known that before election day, huh?

For those who have some across this site in ways other than the Hodge Board, I do have an eventual Greater Purpose for both me and the site. CiMB is going to (hopefully) turn into a way to get people talking about ALL cancers and help quell as much disinformation as possible. There are a lot of organizations, foundations and movements out there raising money to fight these things and cure our family. They can concentrate on eradicating cancer. I’m concentrating on making my cancer family’s life easier in any little way that I can. I’m better at words than fundraising, so I’m aiming for education. I’m not looking to raise cancer awareness, since everyone, ignorant or not, is aware of it. I’m looking to make people realize that these bald people whose backs they’re talking behind and pointing at are human beings. I’ll be posting again later tonight with more details on where the site’s going and where things are standing. And about me too, since I know you all just come here to hear me talk about myself.

So I guess our pink sisters are going to need our help after all. Even with all of their awareness efforts, there are still a ton of idiots out there making them feel bad for what they have, and I can only key so many station wagons.

But I still won’t buy anything that’s pink :)

Frickin’ Pink Ribbons…

July 23rd, 2008

Okay, before I start ranting, there are a few things to state up front.

  1. I love and support all of our cancer family. While I have a special fondness for Hodgers, I love all the rest equally and want to see all forms of cancer get wiped off the face of the earth.
  2. I know breast cancer affects tons of women and that it has touched just about everyone in some way, directly or indirectly.
  3. I have nothing against women (and men) with breast cancer. I love you folks just as much as the rest of my cancer family and hope we get a cure for you soon.
  4. If you have breast cancer, had breast cancer, or love someone who has/had it, you might want to stop reading right now.

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A Quick One While He’s Away

July 6th, 2008

Wow – August was my last post. August? Seriously? Wow.

There have been a lot of reasons for my silence the past few months. The first one being (say it with me gang), work has been crazy. The craziness is finally starting to call down just a little, so I’ll be able to pay a little more attention to you, my adoring public.

The other big reason is, I’ve lost some great friends recently. With each one, I’ve felt that I needed to write one of my novella-length posts in memorial to them both for me and for their families. But with each new loss, that meant I had another novella that I needed to write. I’ve felt more guilty for not paying proper tribute to them than for leaving all of you in the lurch.

With these enormous self-imposed tributes hanging over my head, it didn’t feel right to write about the more trivial things in my life until I paid them each the proper respect. And due to the work craziness, I didn’t have the time available to sit and type away.

Finally, my wife and a bunch of Hodgers made me see the light. Last weekend, we had our big Hodgeapalooza East meetup, where a bunch of us from the Hodge Board got together to eat, drink and be more than merry. It was an awesome weekend keyed off by the fact that two of our more prominent members from Scotland were planning on making the leap over the pond for vacation (no matter what Veronica says). Sensing a once-in-a-lifetime possibility, we had a great turnout of folks with their spouses and/or parents, patients, former patients and caregivers alike.

The most amazing thing is that in this large group of people (30? 40? My math’s been bad lately), there wasn’t a single person who made you think “Oh man, I can’t wait to get aWAY from this fool!” When’s the last time you’ve had that happen in a large gathering? Of course, there’s always the possibility that I was the fool to get away from, but I’m just self-centered enough to convince myself that that is more than likely not the case. Maybe.

Meeting all of these people in person for the first time after going through so much with all of them was… some word that I don’t know. Wherever “amazing” “extraordinary” and the like are on the scale of greatness, pick your own word that’s thirty or forty levels above those. That’s what it was. Being around all of my Hodge family made me realize just how much I’ve missed having them in my life, even when they’re primarily words on a screen. I also realized that not only am I being heard when I speak, but that I’m missed when I’m silent. The realization absolutely floored me. A few people told me how important my jester-like presence was and others told my wife in secret what a difference I was making for them by just yammering away. Okay, they used nicer words, but I have to keep myself grounded, you know.

Seeing that I was making any kind of difference to people out there in the cold cruel world also finally drove home one thought I had been keeping in the back of my brain: The friends I have lost would be SO pissed off to discover that they’re part of the reason I’m no longer out here making people giggle or shake their heads in disbelief at the latest dumb thing I did. I think this is proof positive that there’s no such things as ghosts, because I’m sure they’d all be haunting me by now.

Even though these people were very important to me, I’m going to finally break the barricade by not worrying about long tributes with the perfect thing to say. Sometimes the most perfect tribute is to say that someone has touched your life and will be missed and thought of every day.

Anne-Marie, Sarah, Shannon and Doug – you four are in my heart and mind forevermore. Anne-Marie and Sarah are two of the three people who got me fired up about how folks were treating them and made me decide to make Cancer is My Bitch a Movement. I got a shaky semi-start, but that’s another project crushed by work, another promise broken. I’ll be taking up the CiMB mantle again shortly though, and it’ll be bigger and better than ever. Shannon and Doug I only knew through their spouses, who posted on our Hodge board, but they were just as much family as every other Hodger out there and just as much pain when we lost them. Though I only got to see them through Jesse and Deb’s eyes respectively, it was obvious even secondhand just how strong and loved they both were.

I miss all four of you, though I can’t imagine it’s anything near as much as the people who were actually with you in person feel.

Okay, I’m back to posting now. Now will you guys PLEASE quick making all those spooky noises in the attic?

I’m definitely going to be posting more often now (lofty goal, since my last post was about 10 months ago) and I have Big Plans for CiMB, Moondoggie and my photography, but I’ll slowly reveal those later. I doubt I’ll reach that lofty “post-a-day” goal that I usually set for myself, and I’m tired of breaking promises. So that means, you’re left with “I’ll be posting more frequently,” so suck it up, people.



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