Archive for the 'Life' Category

Holy Cow…

July 7th, 2008

I really thought I was a loser and had already missed a day of posting, but it turns out today was actually yesterday’s tomorrow! Whodathunkit.

Of course, that could be from pulling my umpteenth work all-nighter last night. Finally got (most) of the bugs worked out and the Big Project is out the door. Mostly.

I can see all of you, but it’s like through a weird hazy fog…

Since my brain is wandering more than usual, here’s a short list of things you can expect to see in the near-to-not-so-distant future:

  • Brian finally gets his personal life extricated from work.
  • Brian finally gets back to work on Cancer is My Bitch.
  • Night of the Splitting Blogs! Since I’m soooo over the whole cancer thing, I’ll be going back to the ol’ random non-cancery posts. Between that and pushing ahead with the CiMB movement, I’m going to “Splitteth the Blog in Twain” as the kids say. Anything cancery or CiMB-related will still be there, while the old weirdness is safely nestled back in the bosom of
  • Brian finally gets his photos organized and uses that domain he’s had for them for, like, forever.
  • Brian finally gets the CiMB emails back up and running.
  • Brian finally stops referring to himself in the third person.
  • Flying cars!
  • Trendy new web designs!
  • Occasional frightening personal discoveries of how old I am, when I do the math after hearing things like Billy Joel releasing a special 30th anniversary edition of The Stranger.
  • Purple, purple, purple, as far as the eye can see!

I’m ready for my nap now, Mr. DeMille.

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.


August 22nd, 2007

I just noticed that my last post was on JUNE 22nd and now I’m finally posting again on AUGUST 22nd. Spooky! Not to mention that my jersey number is 22 as well. Oooooo! And Oingo Boingo is playing too! That doesn’t have anything to do with the number 22 as such, but it’s a spooky sounding song.

I Feel Like a Kid Again…

August 22nd, 2007

So here I am, putting off writing another post because I have so much to catch everyone up on, which means that more stuff happens, which means I put off the post longer, which means more stuff happens, which means I start to get a little dizzy after awhile. So now, it’s time to break the cycle. There will be a lot that’s happened which might occur to me to mention down the road aways, or I might never get around to it and have this hidden little dark corner of my life that you don’t know about, filled with forgotten ideas and trips to the ice cream shop.

So, some of the biggest news is that I had chicken pox. Again.

(For my Hodge board friends, this is in reference to the pox I just had, not another, which would be the third time, if it happened).

Yes, I had the pox as a child, but the stem cell transplant sets your immunity back to zero, so you have to get re-immunized for everything. For once, it wasn’t a case of me slacking and putting it off or forgetting. You can’t get re-immunized until you’re one year post-transplant, and I had only recently hit the mark (July 12th, my first re-birthday). So now hopefully next week I’ll get my immunizations. I had to wait to be rid of the pox, then I had to spend a week or so forgetting to call and set up my appointment. D’OH! I would do it this week, but Barb’s volunteering at the Hole in the Wall Gang camp this week, and I want to make sure someone’s around to take me to the hospital if I need it.

Sure, nothing untoward typically happens with immunizations, but I think I’ve shown I’m not quite typical when it comes to the medical world.

Another thing making me feel young and happy with the world is that I bought my first laptop. I’ve had many a desktop computer, but have never really had a reason to get a laptop until now. My previous job with the state gave me a state-issued laptop since I was on the road, but that’s not quite the same as your very own flat-black-cased rectangle of awesomeness.

Of course, me being me, I couldn’t simply get a laptop with nothing special happening. I compared a bunch of stats, features and prices and went with a nifty Lenovo ThinkPad (formerly IBM). I was a little surprised as I watched all of the shipping information that everything was originating in China. Sure, I have a bunch of stuff made there, but usually it’s sent to a US warehouse so it looks like it’s coming from here. Then, about a week after my new baby arrives, I find out that the US Government sent back a shipment of Lenovo computers after discovering Lenovo was owned by the Chinese government. Great. Now the Chinese government is going to know my Minesweeper scores.

Let’s see, in other news, I’ve finally seen a neurologist, and he’s prescribed Neurontin for all of my ails. This is awesome, as it seems to cover all kinds of problems I’ve had, both pre- and post-cancer. I’m in my second (third?) week of it, and so far, so good. Of course, I haven’t done a lot of walking since I started taking the pills, so I don’t know how it’s taking care of the Lhermitte’s issue. Time will tell.

As for now, it’s back to work. There now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Muchos Thankos

June 22nd, 2007

Hey Everybody

Still busy as always, but I had to get a couple of words out before getting swallowed back up again.

First, thanks to all of you for your care, concern and love over the past few days. If there’s one thing cancer does, it’s surround you with great people. I haven’t had a chance to respond to your comments and emails yet, but I will soon!

Second, speaking of emails, I’ve recently discovered my spamblocker has been going a little nutso on who it decides to block. So, if you sent me an email awhile back and I haven’t responded yet, you might be one of them it caught. Or I might just be a lazy, good-for-nothing slacker. Only time and some digging will tell, but I’ll get back to you soon!

Lastly, the biggest news. I had my PET scan this morning and… it’s clean! There’s a little bit of activity around my appendix, but since I’m not keeling over in agonizing pain, everything seems to be fine. Now we can all get come sleep this weekend :)