Thursday, August 6, 2009

Time to make the donuts

Today was the first day of my initial 6 week treatment. For most of last week, it felt like I was standing in line for the new roller coaster. Then a few days ago, I sat down, they clamped me in, and we started clicking up the hill. I felt great physically, but was a little nervous wondering what it was going to feel like once we went over the top of the first drop. Well, so far, this thankfully seems to be a tame ride. The first day of radiation hasn't seemed to effect me too severely. I still haven't taken the chemo (like chugging a beer before hitting the coaster?) so I don't know how that's going to effect me. But I'm trying to stay optimistic about how I feel now, and so far, so good. I'll favor a mellow "kid's" coaster over, say, Millennium Force at Cedar Point. With respect to my treatment anyway....

While I'm trying to stay optimistic looking forward (and hoping to try to work on and off while I have energy), I also know that there's a good chance that my energy will decrease as my treatment continues. And so, of course, I'd like to thank once again everyone who has helped me get to where I am, and also everyone who has offered to help me as my needs may increase. I've got you all on a list and will definitely be calling out to you when and if my current status declines!

While I was "in line" for the coaster, I thought a lot about my situation and where it might bring me. Today I found out that my friend "Gabo's" dad recently passed away. It brought me back to thinking about what the most difficult situation might be, whether it's a personal illness or a potential problem with a loved one. It's hard to know for sure, but I know that being able stay alive in a world that has taken away someone precious to me would be both a blessing and a tremendous loss. So I hope that "Gabo" is doing well considering, and that he's got a fantastic group surrounding him and his family.

On another note, after talking about trying to create a "gumball machine" in the now empty cavity in my head, I had several people comment on alternative approaches. Almost my entire family recommended that I store dark chocolate there instead, though I wouldn't be willing to share that. Others thought it would be an excellent spot to store my keys. My friend "AE" even said it would be a solution to the problem that the Berkeley Naked Guy had: no pockets to store his keys or change! I'm sure "Gabo," a major SNL fan back in the day, would've suggested I let people "put their weed" in there. As it stands, I'll hold off my decision until after Week 4, when I'm scheduled for another MRI to see if the cavity has compressed a bit. Even though these options are all appealing, I'm pulling for a smaller hole to be blasted by radiation in Weeks 5 and 6.

Speaking of blasted by radiation, one contact I've met, who is currently in his 3rd year of treatment, mentioned that his mental imagery pictured a scene based on Galaga during his radiation. A brilliant concept, though personally, if I were to go with the video game vision, I'd try out Defender. That would give me 3 Smart Bombs to kill it all off at once. But as you all know, I'm instead envisioning Wolverine....and my friend "Drainage" described it perfectly.


  1. Dude,

    Glad to see you in good spirits. The first day of treatment is definitely a mixed emotional bag. You're finally moving forward down the path you know you have to follow, but mixed with the fear of what might be ahead. Stay positive. Have faith in yourself. You have the strength to weather this.

    Great retro-gaming imagery. Can you believe Galaga ran on a 3 MHz processor? Damn.

    I have to admit I haven't kept up with the developments back at good ol' Cedar Point. I used to go there every summer. I loved the Magnum XL200; back in the day it was the highest, fastest, and steepest. An old friend and I used to ride front seat with our fists in the air the whole way while singing the "Peter Gunn Theme" (he did the bass line, I did the horns). Obviously I need a trip back there to sample their latest.

    I know you have to ride front seat on this alone, but we're all behind you. I hope the rest of the six weeks will be as easy as today and that this ride doesn't make you blow chunks. But, if it does, you can call on me, day or night, to clean up.

    Keep those fists pressed toward the sky; for now defiantly, in time, I'm certain, triumphantly.


  2. Eric:

    All the best to you. I haven't played much disc this year, so I haven't seen you or any of the old crew in a while other than Deep and Bob at the San Francisco Conservation League party a few weeks ago.

    I had no idea about what you are going through - until I came across your entry on facebook. First day of Radiation - wow. Keep smiling that smile of yours. That energy you keep giving out will come back to you x10. And all of your friends are right here behind you as Todd so eloquently put.

    You are a great writer. You have a gift, my friend. Thanks for sharing such a personal and trying experience.


  3. My name is on the list of helpers, right? I can drive, cook, clean, organize items/ name it! Your attitude has been truly inspirational to those of us on the sidelines. Let your feelings have their say and run their course, but hang onto your exquisite determination.