Okay stop being so quiet

“So like… where have you been? You don’t call or write anymore. You don’t say hi. I feel as if we’re drifting apart”.

That’s kinda what I imagine everyone is thinking right now. Oddly enough, I didn’t realize how many people were following my blog at the time I stopped writing. In all truthfulness, I couldn’t figure out why people bothered reading about my shitty experiences, but then I started to realize that whatever compels people to read it doesn’t matter… what mattered was the feedback I got. Genuine, sincere caring from friends, family and even strangers.

I thought for sure my blog would fall into the out-of-sight-out-of-mind category when I stopped writing. Like… of course people say stuff when I post something new, but they won’t realize when I stop. Yea… WRONG.

So why don’t I write? Heh, your guess is as good as mine. Its not like I don’t have the tiiiiiiiime. I have too much time. Time is really all I have. Free time is sorta like candy: we all want it, we all crave it. And then when its Halloween and you get a metric fuck-ton of it, you realize how much you actually hate it and you just want to pawn it off to your neighbors and people at work. Free time starts to feel like emptiness. You feel like you’re on pause and the rest of the world is fast-forwarding passed you.

I see days go by in a blink. Life is busy, like a nest of bees. If you were to stare at it, it would look like a single, organic machine flowing in perfect, fluid motion. Like every movement belonged there. But if one bee were to stop moving, you’d noticed it. It would look out of place and wouldn’t blend in with the rest of the product. I feel like that bee. And when you’re that bee, a single blink means a hundred things have change. There are days I wake up to my son giving me a hug and a kiss before school and then I blink and he’s home telling me about his day.

I mean, I sleep a lot. I’m run down most of the time. I don’t want to get all ‘woe is me’ and that shit, so I won’t. But chemo and radiation knock you the fuck out. It takes a toll on you, man. Some days it just feels like game over, man. Game over!

But then other days are like WHOA HEY WHAT’S UP PEOPLE WANNA HANG OUT? WE SHOULD LIKE TOTALLY DO SOMETHING! And then I realize its Tuesday and everyone is like “fuck you” because its 11pm and they want to sleep before work.

I’ve explained it with this metaphor: Its like push-starting a car. It takes a lot of effort to get me going, but once I’m up, out and about, I just want to keep going because I’m afraid to stop because I know I’ll be dead in the water again.

And again I find myself writing and ranting about unimportant fluff. I could probably write 3 pages worth of uninteresting crap. I should totally get into politics.

So here’s whats going on with me.

I started radiation a few weeks ago, and on that same day a started taking chemotherapy pills. Oh and if you’re curious what chemo tastes like, it tastes like dirt. Yes, dirt. The price of a months worth of chemo is north of $16,000… and yet they couldn’t make it taste like anything other than dirt? I mean, its not like I suck on the damn things. But its a capsule and when you put it in your mouth you taste the capsule, right? And it tastes… like… dirt. Its nasty bro. For that much money they should dip the fucking pills in Krispy Kreme glazing.

So I gotta take my pills on an empty stomach, so I just do it when I wake up. Then I gotta wait about an hour before I can eat. But the chemo makes me really nauseous so I have another pill for that called Zofran. Actually its a tablet that dissolves in your mouth. And THAT tastes like Flintstones Vitamin Strawberry flavor. In other words, barely better than dirt.

Its like… everything I take has a side effect that I need to take another pill for… which has its own side effect… that I have a pill for. Its like a god damned cat chasing his own tail. That is the single, most frustrating part of this entire process. Here’s a larger picture of it all:

I have brain cancer which gives me seizures with a possibility of death. I take chemo and radiation to help with the death part. Chemo makes me sick to my stomach and kills off my white blood cells. I take Zofran to help with nauseousness. Zofran gives me headaches so I have to take Advil/Tylenol. Advil/Tylenol are hard on your kidneys/liver. To help with the low white blood cells, I take Bactrim. Bactrim makes you constipated so I have to take Colace. And whats the side effect to Colace….? Mother fucking NAUSEOUSNESS! Yay! Free parking! Do not pass go! We just did a circle! FUCK CANCER! And I didn’t even start on the seizure medicine circle of doomity doom. I won’t bother you with it, though.

So anyways. Where were we? Oh yea, so treatment. So radiation is pretty interesting. I’m doing proton radiation which means they are actually shooting radioactive protons particles into my brain. In my case, from 2 angles. One is straight through the left side of my face (kinda like directly at my left eye) and the other is from the side of my head. The hair on that side of my head fell out and my left eye is swollen, red and irritated. And its constantly watering.

Here are some pictures to help you understand what’s going on:

This is my torture radiation chamber. What you see on top is where the radiation is shot from. The entire circular part can rotate: that’s how they’re able to aim it at different angles. I, of course, lay on that oh so comfy looking flat board in the middle. In case your sarcasm detector is broken, I was laying it on pretty heavy right there.

And this is me laying on the table. Because they use X-rays and all sorts of interesting methods of lining the proton beam perfectly at my tumor, they don’t want me to mess that all up by moving around. Sooooo… they lock my head down with that mask. Its a custom made mask so it fits my face like a glove. And by ‘like a glove’ I mean holds me to the table like I’m about to get an anal implant from some aliens. I can’t move at all. Hell, I can barely talk.

Waaah waaah waaahh boo hoo! I don’t want to sit here and be Mr. Downer on the first blog post in a long time, so lets look at some of the positive stuff:

As of today I’ve completed 18 out of 28 radiation treatments. Which means I’m almost done with that part of this battle. Chemotherapy will also change from a daily pill to a monthly pill. A few weeks after radiation has finished hopefully my hair will start growing back. If not I’m gonna end up having to invent some sort of crazy new hairstyle. Also, my radiation crew is really nice. And by ‘my crew’ I mean the guys I see every weekday. I always visit the same room and see the same guys. Its cool because you kinda get to know them and they make the experience not suck as many balls as it really should. They even let my family visit the room, check it:

This was of course before I shaved my head because I was losing so much hair. It was creepy pulling out clumps of hair every time I took a shower.

I think I’ll leave it at that for now… save some words for the next time I write. But before I go I recommend everyone read this comic I stumbled across. I posted it on Facebook a while back, so it might be a repeat for some of yous guys. Clickith thy mouse here.

Also, if you can recommend a hairstyle that compensates for the left side of my head being bald, but doesn’t make me look like an MMA fighter, please advise. I might need it. And no I’m not going to shave it all off. My head is so white I’ll look like a cue ball with legs.

  • TracEy

    Oh man about time! ?I was wondering when you were going to write again. ?So glad you had the energy to get this post out to us to be updated. ?Continue to stay strong. ?:o)

  • Katie Erickson

    I’m so glad you wrote again!? I’ve missed seeing your posts and I’ve been wondering how you have been doing with everything going on.? After being bedridden for the last 3 1/2 months I can perfectly relate to being so sick and tired of being sick and tired.? The Bee anology hit it right on the head.? I’ll never take for granted a day of being up and feeling good!? Keep writing, you have a talent for it :)

  • Kerrigandy

    yeah i love reading my sons totally awesome rock”n way he has with words. he makes hell look kinda fun (lol) love ya bam bam :)

  • Melindapfutz

    You do have a way with words buddy ;) Keep on truckin…..thanks for sharing your struggles ? .hh, cbvnvgg4he5 (Jett wanted to write something ;) maybe it’s a “formula” of some kind he is wicked smart so I wouldn’t put it past him lol…love you guy.

  • Czubaty

    Beat the shit out of this Cancer!!!!!! ?And keep writing! ?You are very talented Mr.

  • Tlkmon3

    Brandon, we all miss you at work. Kick this thing and get back there, then we can talk about you writing a book. We all love the way you write.