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-Rage-

☠ THE CANCER THREAD - a.k.a. I'm Fucking Dying ☠

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@-Rage-I don't have anything profound to say, just that I'm super bummed about this. Been a fan of yours since the early oughts in the Photography Thread and consistent solid posts in AFI's top 5 threads. 

 

I have learned to deal with tragedy through sarcasm and laughter instead of facing it head on like an adult. I'm not posting this to make light of anything, but to try and bring some laughter where there isn't much room for it.

 

 

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Cancer is a heavy topic, terminal illness in general. 

 

Tried a couple times here to string some thoughts together but find myself coming up short. 

 

From what I can tell there is an immediate re-evaluation of what a "positive outcome" is, and that evaluation continues to change.

 

I think that death brings out the best in people, in general, both with the person approaching their end of life and their community and loved ones.  My wife and I played a supportive role through Martin's surgeries over the years and also the last months and weeks of his life, it was inspiring to get to know him better and to see the quiet and constant support of their familial, professional and personal  networks.

 

It was really touching to be a part of that network and I know that it ended up helping my wife understand herself as a compassionate and care giving person in ways that she may have been in mistaken about in the past.

 

My aunt also got the cancer and died, she went in for a stomach pains and was told she had six weeks. I went to visit her,  for the first time in a long time due to general dysfunction and estrangement on that side of the family. We visited for maybe an hour or two and in that time I appreciated for the first time how very much like my father she was, except calm and maybe a little funnier, I felt as close to her then as I ever have to any of my extended family. I tried to take it as a call to get closer with other in my family, which I have frankly failed to do, which is too bad but maybe will change. Another fucked up thing about her death was that her husband had died of cancer like a decade earlier and her daughter, who was my age died of cancer at like age 14, all pancreatic, what are the odds.

 

Anyways, random people out here on the internet all thinking about you and hoping for the best possible outcome for you and your loved ones.

 

 

 

 

 

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Going to loop back and try and bring attention to the positives. Not to get existential with things here, but been on that tip as I wrestle with my own understanding of life. More here:https://forum.12ozprophet.com/topic/87861-the-power-of-positive-thinking-meditation-and-crawling-out-of-the-pits-of-dispair/page/2/?tab=comments#comment-6350848

 

When it comes to work and most things in life for that matter, I try and focus on solutions rather than dwell on problems. I don't know @-Rage-or many of you personally in real life, and don't mean to diminish the significance of a diagnosis like this, but now that it's on the table, my thought is anyone in this position would be best served by looking at solutions and trying to harness the positivity of certain actions, rather than add to the stress of it all by only thinking about the negative. There's no doubt that our mood affects our biochemistry and that there are positive and negative consequences that correspond with which of that is coursing through our bodies on a regular basis. Anger, frustration, stress, depression are all natural reactions to even the dumb things life throws at us, so it would be easy to understand those feelings in a situation like this. That said, I would think that finding ways to harness the biochemistry that is a by product of peace, contentment and thankfulness would do far better in creating an environment for healing than the opposite.

 

In any case, I'm not a counselor, therapist or spiritual guru, but I'd like to bring that point up.

 

I wish you the very best as you continue your journey.

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So, It's been two weeks since I last checked in here.

 

I had a "Smart Port" surgically implanted in my chest (just below the right collar bone). It is basically an injection port where they can "plug in" IVs and chemo pumps without having to stab you in the arm or hand every time. The surgeon had to fuck up my chest tattoo to insert it. Small price to pay for trying to live a little longer. I would say its weird having a 1" raised bump in my chest, but I just see it as another body modification.

A few days after that I started my first chemo transfusion session. They start by injecting steroids (for nausea), dextrose, sodium chloride, and other pre-meds. All of the IVs took about 3 hours. Let me tell you, I was the youngest person in the transfusion room by about 30 years. Certainly was a little depressing. After all the IVs, they hooked up a baseball size injector pump full of the real chemo drugs. It stays plugged in for 48 hours, slowing injecting 5mL per hour. Scored a sweet-ass fanny pack to store it. I know you're all jealous.

 

The side effects. Most people are aware of the extremely unpleasant things that happen while on chemo. It's not a walk in the park, I assure you. Naturally, everyone has different reactions, plus, there are so many different types of chemotherapy drugs, so not everyone may experience the same shit. Here's what I experienced during the first treatment session:

  • Waves of nausea. After I got home on the first day I felt fine until about 5pm when it hit. I was prescribed two drugs for the nausea and one steroid. I decided to take one of the nausea pills right away and again about every 8 hours to keep the nausea at bay. It seemed to work for the most part. Didn't really have any intense nausea and no vomiting at all. Taking deep breaths really helps here.
  • Loss of appetite. A major downside is the immediate loss of appetite from the nausea. Nothing is appetizing despite the need and want to eat.
  • Sensitivity to cold liquids. I took a swig of ice cold water and my throat felt like there were needles in it. Such a strange feeling. Thankfully, I am able to tolerate room-temp water and other liquids (tea, Ensure, Gatroade...), so staying hydrated is pretty easy. I've always been an advocate for drinking as much water during the day as possible. Usually 60-100 fluid ounces.
  • Sensitivity to tastes. Sounds weird as hell, but during the transfusions I would get an intense shock wave of radiating discomfort in the hinge of my jaw. It always occurred when taking the first bite of any food or taking the first sip of a drink.
  • Flushed face. At times I would have a really red and flushed face which would feel like I was on fire. I believe this was a reaction to either the steroids or one of the nausea meds. Going outside in the cold or using a damp cloth seemed to alleviate the problem, albeit temporarily.
  • Sensitivity to light, screens, and loud noises. I had the shades drawn closed in my bedroom for three full days, like a fucking vampire. I could barely look at my cellphone for more than 15 seconds without feeling dizzy. A friend called me to talk on the phone and I could barely tolerate listening for more than a minute. I spent a lot of time just sitting up in bed, staring at the wall and breathing deeply. Listening to ambient sounds and music helped as well. Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II for the fucking win.
  • Constipation. Not wanting to eat anything.... well, you get the idea.
  • Fatigue and weakness. A common side effect. Due to being injected with so many drugs, a lack of food intake and general malaise there is no will to be active at all.

I would compare all of my side effects like a hangover times ten. They lasted until about Thursday mid-day, a full day after the injection pump was removed. By Friday I regained an appetite. This week I am feeling worlds better. Pretty much like my usual self. I will say that sleeping hasn't been an issue at all. If anything I feel as though I am sleeping better. I am now trying to go for walks at least once a day for 15+ minutes. There are lots of woods and trails around my house, so its a nice distraction. This is also the first full week I have been back at work (remotely) since December 2nd. Work has also been a pleasant distraction.

 

I start another treatment session on Monday the 20th. Time will tell what side effects will occur this time.

 

Oh, and I got married on Saturday the 11th. Figured my dude and I should get hitched sooner than later since we don't know what the future will bring.

 

Edited by -Rage-
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Congrats on your marriage Rage.  If it's any kind of inspiration for you, my uncle was diag'd with a growth in his lungs that they said would not be treatable.  They told him all they could do is give him medicine to attempt to extend his life.  Nobody came out and said it but I'm pretty sure this means late stage lung cancer.  We are happy to say that we got that news about 2-3 months ago and last week we received word that the growth had gone away completely.  He's been going through some quite expensive rounds of treatment during this time.... so I guess it is working or has worked.  He still has to deal with one in his pancreas, but the lung growth going away is a big deal.

 

I'm just telling you this so you can keep the idea in your head that doctors are wrong about things at times and they are kind of like "more professional" weathermen IMO.  God speed my friend and we'll be here cheering you on.

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So glad to hear you're feeling better from what my mum said it knocks the hell out of you and from your description it sounds awful.

 so glad you're feeling human again.

 

Congratulations on getting hitched!

Family and friends or just the two of you?

Either way i hope it was great!

 

 in true 12oz style regarding the sweet-ass fanny pack - I think we're going to need pictures.

 

and as Dirty_habit we're all behind you!

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Love you buddy @-Rage-!  Keep your head up through all this and congrats on your marriage. 

on a lighter note I just picked this up for $35 and already wasted a bunch of shots! The joy of old polaroids haha
 

I’ll be back to post some more

 

B5BCE3F7-2746-46DE-B1C1-597A2C923972.jpeg

Edited by jbrshmonster
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Much respect man, hope you win this fight. If you're in Texas holla and I'll buy some beer for you

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I'll spend some more time on 12oz than I have in the past two or three years. I'd like to continue the laughs we've all shared, the homo dungeons we've been forced to look at, 
and the ridiculous PopGunWar "I went to jail for smashing & grabbing at a Gavincci store" (or whatever the fuck). 

You're all good people....except for Mero who forgot us. Ashy elbow havin' ass muffucka. 

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Congrats on the hitchins bro! Kick every day square in the nuts if you're up for it! 

 

@lord_casekFuck Mero!  (j/p)  But ferreal though. That motherfucker has the nerve to mention Reddit every now and again on the show but not a one damn 12oz s/o in 3 seasons. 

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5 hours ago, NightmareOnElmStreet said:

Congrats on the hitchins bro! Kick every day square in the nuts if you're up for it! 

 

@lord_casekFuck Mero!  (j/p)  But ferreal though. That motherfucker has the nerve to mention Reddit every now and again on the show but not a one damn 12oz s/o in 3 seasons. 

I won't even watch. Dude's wife probably looks like Cope with psoriasis.

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Sup y'all.

 

Another three weeks have gone by and it's been good and bad. My second round of chemo was January 20th to 22nd. The entire IV infusion session on Monday took six hours. SIX. FUCKING. HOURS. Side effects were about the same as the first treatment session, but this time I noticed a temporary neuropathy (tingling sensation in finger tips when touching anything really cold).

 

On Wednesday the 28th I was having an elevated heart rate, light headedness, and was doubling over in pain from my lower right abdomen. I figured it had something to do with my appendix, since that's where the pain was emanating. Ended up going to the ER. They ran the usual tests along with a CT scan that (sure enough) revealed acute appendicitis. Had to stay overnight for an appendectomy the following morning. Spent my first time in a hospital overnight and barely slept. Some elderly guy across the hall kept screaming for a nurse all night and asking for sangria. The surgical procedure was quick. Had to stay another night for observation. Feeling fine now overall. My treatments sessions have been pushed back a week because of the surgery. Nice to have a full two weeks of no chemo. Nest session is February 10th.

 

On a random drive this past weekend I discovered there is a Buddhist temple on 160 acres not even 10 minutes from my house. By no means am I a religious or spiritual person, but it might be a good place to relax.

 

 

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On 1/4/2020 at 2:07 PM, abrasivesaint said:

Given my brother’s history, my lifestyle through my 20s, recent ailments, and this post, i just scheduled an appointment to get screened. I’ve had a weird tight feeling in my chest the past few days after swallowing (/nh) and eating, so not going to lie, reading this sort of scared the shit out of me. 

 

On 1/4/2020 at 11:44 PM, Dr. Dazzle said:

I've had another endoscopy since, but this has made me realize I should really make an appointment to get another one.

❤️

@abrasivesaintand @Dr. DazzlePlease do get yourselves checked out. I waited too long and it (literally) eats me up inside that I did.

 

 

On 1/11/2020 at 9:30 AM, Fist 666 said:

@-Rage- Been a fan of yours since the early oughts in the Photography Thread and consistent solid posts in AFI's top 5 threads.

Are the Top5 threads still a thing? If not, they should make a comeback.

 

 

On 1/12/2020 at 2:16 PM, misteraven said:

...my thought is anyone in this position would be best served by looking at solutions and trying to harness the positivity of certain actions, rather than add to the stress of it all by only thinking about the negative.

In the past I have always been very dismissive of "positive thinking" or meditation as I found them to be rather farcical. I have always been a person that is rooted in the present and very future focused and oriented. I always had to know what my plans were and how to accomplish my goals.

 

After my diagnosis I am just trying to live day-to-day and be as passive as possible. I mentioned in my last post that I discovered a Buddhist temple not far from where I live. I signed up for a lecture there this weekend on anger and stress. Perhaps it will help me cope with what I am going through. I figured it couldn't hurt to go and try something new.

 

 

On 1/16/2020 at 10:20 AM, Dirty_habiT said:

I'm just telling you this so you can keep the idea in your head that doctors are wrong about things at times and they are kind of like "more professional" weathermen IMO.

I certainly agree with the doctors being more like "professional weathermen" analogy. While I am sure that the doctors I am seeing are very good, I still plan to seek out a second or third opinion. I'll likely be heading to Sloan-Kettering in NYC in March. I've read that their cancer center and doctors/staff are top-notch.

 

 

On 1/16/2020 at 6:27 PM, Schnitzel said:

Congratulations on getting hitched!

Family and friends or just the two of you?

 

in true 12oz style regarding the sweet-ass fanny pack - I think we're going to need pictures.

It was truly a last minute low-key no frills wedding. My mom was in town for my first treatment session and I figured she could be one of the two legal witnesses. The second witness was my former housemate. Ironically, the wedding was officiated by my ex-partner of 8 years.

 

Fuck, I've been meaning to take a photo with the fanny pack. I'll have to do that next week during my treatment session.

 

 

On 1/26/2020 at 9:32 PM, jbrshmonster said:

on a lighter note I just picked this up for $35 and already wasted a bunch of shots! The joy of old polaroids haha

How on earth did you find anSX-70 for only $35?! I'm jealous man.

We need to make another 12oz Polaroid Pass Around book happen (or something similar with another instant film media).

 

 

On 1/31/2020 at 7:13 AM, lord_casek said:

I'd like to continue the laughs we've all shared, the homo dungeons we've been forced to look at,

That fucking thread... 🤣

I've got to watch where I tread in the Oontz these days. I'm on a work issued laptop.

 

 

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godspeed 

I have acid reflux too, def getting checked after this. 

I wish you the best 

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Mandatory:

Wait, Rage is gay?

 

For old time sakes.

 

Congrats on getting married bro!

 

Thank you for the glimpse in to such a difficult circumstance. 

More prayers your way bud.

 

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Congrats on your marriage!

Thank you for hours of inspiration and entertainment back in the days.

All the best from Denmark, fuck cancer!

 

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Sup y'all.

 

Rounds 3 and 4 of chemo have come and gone. Side effects are all still the same with the exception of random nosebleeds and increased neuropathy. If my hands hit cold water, are in the fridge/freezer, or if I am outside long enough in the cold temps the tips of my fingers are like pins and needles. It has made cooking or handling cold foods really difficult.

 

I was told that after six treatment sessions there will be a new CT scan to determine if this barrage of chemicals is working.

 

 

Side note: The Buddhist temple near me is pretty dope. I went the other weekend to explore all of the buildings. Didn't see many people. I'm hoping to chat with someone there at some point.

 

IMG_5677.jpg

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