Friday, July 29, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different

A blog is a selfish thing at most times. You spend all your time talking about yourself, either because you're using it as therapy, as most of mine is, or you're trying to let people know what's going on, which is the rest of what this is. There is always an aspect of hope that people will read it because they care enough to. Whether it's just because you write well enough to keep people interested or they simply care about you enough to want to know. all of which applies to my and my blog here.

I just wanted to take a moment and say how much I love my family. I don't know what I'd do without them. Don't get me wrong, my friends are awesome too, but there's nothing in the world like having a family that truly cares about you. And I know enough people who have crappy families who don't seem to care about much but themselves.

My parents, who are still married to one another, a rarity, are the best. Not only did they fly all the way from Florida to Arizona for even the small biopsy I had in April, but they came back and stayed through my entire operation and recovery in ICU, visiting me every day. It doesn't sound like a lot really. I mean, whose parents wouldn't do that for their child? Too many it seems, and I'm aware of that enough not to take it for granted.

My parents are retired. My father is a smart man and made plenty of preparations for his retirement. Granted he had the means to plan a good one for himself and my mom, being a retired airline pilot and was employed before the airlines basically gutted all their pensions and wages, but he had the foresight to even plan for my daughter's college education, enrolling her in the Florida Prepaid College Plan. There is no way I could have sent her to college without it.

On top of that, my mom and dad have taken the even more amazing step in renting a house here in Chandler so they can be here for me throughout my entire chemo and radiation treatment. While it is true that renting a house in Phoenix in the middle of summer isn't the same as during the fall and winter - it's cheap - it's still another expense draining their retirement funds. I can't say that isn't somewhat hard to deal with - the idea that my illness is taking away from their retirement. Even the idea that my mom can't go play tennis with her friends and my dad is missing his regular golf habit and the golf tournament he plays in every year - the one he won last year - is hard for me to take without feeling a bit sad.

My daughter is in College in Florida and can't be here for much of my treatments, but she came out for the operation and is planning to visit me in August. Even still, she texts or calls me nearly every day just to ask how I'm doing. I'm supposed to be the one bugging her about stuff. Asking how she's doing, making sure she's doing well in school and not partying too much, and here she is taking time to check on me.

I love my family. Thank you mom and dad. Thank you Kaia. You're the best things about me.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Ah, sleep. Wouldn't that be nice?

The ringing in my ear has gotten a little worse. Nothing too bad though. The side of my neck is starting to look a little 'woody' though. No burns so far, but definitely red. Perpetually sunburnt. And of course the inside of my mouth feels like I brushed my teeth with daggers instead of a toothbrush. Vicodin isn't really doing much for that, nor is the salt and baking soda gargle the doc said I should do four times a day. All things I can deal with, except for the gunk in my throat. That's driving me insane.

I guess that's what this blog has become. Rather than a running journal, a list of complaints. Better here than boring my friends and family I suppose. At least I have a good book to read in lieu of sleep. Dance with Dragons is long but it's not boring. Almost 1000 pages and I'm about 80% through. So far no major characters are dead. It's the little things...

I need to go to DES tomorrow, but I won't be able to get there till Friday. I got a call that my benefits will be cut off at the end of the month. I think it means my food stamps, but knowing these idiots it could mean my Access. That would be bad. So I have to go stand outside for a couple of hours in 100+ degree weather in order to find out exactly which they mean and how to stop it from happening, whichever it is. If they kill my Access, according to yet another letter, the state is stopping all new applications, which mine would be if they stopped it and I had to try and get it restarted. Budgets ya know. Cuz it's more important to pay shitty politicians and keep the money-making highway cameras running than it is to make sure people don't die.

Which brings me to the brunt of my long-term problems. If and when I'm considered a "survivor" of cancer, rather than a patient in treatment, I either have to somehow remain unemployed, and I'm sure with a good reason the state will accept, or...what?

If I get a job, I'll make too much money and no longer have AHCCCS and not be able to afford any followup treatment, such as the PET scans I'll need to make sure I'm still cancer-free. If I go back to Pizza Hut, Cigna has already dropped me and if I re-enlist in their insurance plan, which won't pay for even 3% of the costs of such followups, it will be considered a pre-existing condition anyway and I won't be covered. Getting my own insurance is an option, but the cost will be way more than I'd make, and it would still not be covered as it will be considered a pre-existing condition. Even if I'm lucky enough to find a real job with real insurance, it will still be considered a pre-existing condition and I won't be covered.

So I'm basically screwed. I have to remain unemployed and hope the state ignores the fact that I'm essentially able-bodied but unable to work because work means no insurance. It's a maddening circle.

Then there's the fact that if that does work, I'm stuck in Arizona for the foreseeable and long-term future. The same problems will apply to any job I get anywhere else: pre-existing condition. Even worse, Florida is in even more of a crappy condition thanks to their moron governor, Rick Scott and his manic, idiot-boy cost-cutting. It was bad before, where anyone applying for their version of Access had upwards of a 3 year waiting list, but now, programs like Medicare and Social Security and other safety nets for people like me are being cut like a 14 year old girl's forearms; left and right for no good reason. Just to do something. And then there's the fact that I would have to establish residency. I'm sure that's a nice flag for me not to get help.

So I'm stuck in Arizona. I can't move back to Florida to be closer to my daughter. I can't even move into my parent's house, which they've offered. Not unless I want to live the rest of my life on hopes and wishes that my cancer stays away. With no followup tests, despite the fact that there's a chance that the treatment alone, you know, all that radiation and chemotherapy, might be causing secondary tumors. Despite the fact that I still have a chance of developing further cancer in my remaining tonsil and lymph nodes.

And forget finding help anywhere else. I gave that search up long ago. The American Cancer Society,, Livestrong, Medicare, Social Security, Disability. They have nothing other than support. I can go to a meeting every day of the week in every city in the country but there's nothing at all to help with the cost of treatment or followup. I can get counselors to come to my door and talk to me about how f-d I am and give me hugs, but not one single group to help with the financial side of things. Unless I was a woman. There seems to be a number of groups that offer help for women. Kids too. Even minority groups. No such thing for a middle-aged white guy. Social Security only considers me disabled if I need dialysis. Medicare will offer nothing unless I go through Social Security first. Hell, even the local chapters of the American Cancer Society told me they don't even have food programs, but I can come down to the offices and rummage through their clothing donations.

But yeah, one Predator Drone costs $4.5 million.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Self Pity Than Usual

I suppose at this point spitting blood into the sink shouldn't be so shocking, but there's something very basic about seeing the red, red kroovy splatter the porcelain. It's not a lot of it, and I don't feel panic or scared, just bothered more than I should be. The same thing happens when my feeding tube stoma gets irritated and bleeds. It's normal but still unnerving.

It's similar to the feeling I get when I try to swallow certain liquids or solids and it's painful. I feel like I shouldn't be doing it, like I'm causing damage and should avoid it. I mean, that's what pain is right? Your body telling you something's wrong and you should stop, right? The docs assure me that it's just pain from the muscles and tissue that are already damaged, but it doesn't relieve the feeling that I'm tearing something by forcing it to do what I'm doing.

I don't really know how to describe a lot of what I'm going through. I don't think I've ever been scared, at least not of the treatment or the outcome. I've been afraid on certain occasions. During recovery from surgery, for example, when I know the doctor is going to come in and do something that's sure to be painful. That's a different kind of scared I think. Me being a big baby is how I would have described it to Jolly, my old ICU nurse. Me being afraid of her taking out the staples. That's just fear of pain to come. Even still, I don't really have any fear of the pain of the present and coming treatment, the side effects. Maybe it's that 'ignorance is bliss' thing, not knowing what to really expect, but not really. Normally not knowing increases fear, builds it in our heads and makes it larger than it will likely be. I guess my only real fear at this point is the possibility that it all might not work and I won't be able to see Kaia again. That's the only thing that seems to really stop me short and scare me. Even writing it down makes my throat tighten painfully.

It's late right now and I can't sleep. Headache, mostly. That and the constant mucositis. I've been avoiding describing this particular part of the side effects because it's just so gross. Basically, the skin cells in my mouth are dying off and sloughing away. This combined with my immune system's white blood cell destruction, those awesome little guys who die by the trillions fighting infection and repairing damage, make the back of my throat feel like a waterfall of goo. When you get a cold or an allergy attack, all that gunk you blow out your nose is pretty much white blood cells that died in the fight. With allergies it's usually clear but when you have an infection, the gunk is another color; green or orange depending on the kind of infection you have. Mine is all clear (aside from the blood), which is a good thing. The problem is there's so much more of it and it's not draining out of my nose, so blowing my nose doesn't help. It's draining from where the damage is occurring: in my mouth and the back of my throat. This does sort of relieve the dry mouth that's another side effect of the radiation - my saliva glands have taken a massive hit as well - but it's not a good wet. It's a sticky, nasty and gross thing. I can still brush my teeth without too much trouble, but no amount of brushing or rinsing or spitting relieves the gunky cascade of ick.

Now that no one will ever think of kissing me again...

Ever since I got divorced, which is going on something like 13 years ago, I've felt like I've had post traumatic stress syndrome. Not exactly that, but something akin to it. Before then I felt like I was this normal guy, but ever since having to go through that, my emotions are all completely screwed. I don't want to be overly dramatic, but my divorce was bad. I have heard that one of the counselors brought in to evaluate my ex-wife, daughter and I, quit doing evaluations because of it. I've heard rumor that one of my attorneys still views my case as a horror story to frighten little lawyer children at night. I admit that I'm still bitter over a lot of what happened to this day. I don't talk about it much anymore, mostly because people don't really want to hear this crap, but also because it does make me sound very bitter and a bit sexist and well, like a cranky old ass. I do still have a lot of animosity for the whole family law process, as it was made very clear to me during the entire thing, that as a man, I was brought down by one or two minor things that people said about me - you know, hearsay and character attacks by my ex-wife's friends and family, while things my ex-wife did, things that should have landed her in jail or even prison were ignored almost outright. Of course it's more than that. A huge, disgusting combination of bad lawyers, biases within the system and within the people administering that system. People often tried to reassure me that the system was getting better, that laws and procedures were in place to make it more fair, but the problem I saw was that, despite black and white legal bullshit, there were people in that system, people administering those laws and deciding whether or not to apply them, how they were applied, how they fit or didn't fit. People with their own biases about mothers and fathers and daughters. No matter how many laws you write or papers you author, once you sit in front of a person who has authority, it's all about their beliefs and their opinions. No matter how many Casey Anthonys or Lashanda Armstrongs or Julie Scheneckers, people instinctively believe that a child belongs to, not with, TO, their mother. They believe, despite how many papers or news reports or even personal experiences, that a mother is the best person to raise HER child.

And that's another part of the problem. The idea that a child belongs to the mother outright. That belief that men are simply throwing their seed into a woman and that's the end of it. How often have I heard women say exactly that? How often do we have to hear women say "my child"? How often does it happen that a mother will deny a father the right to see his child or even know his child exists because the woman believes she's the child's only real parent? When Forrest Gump came out, I feel like I was the only person on the planet that was seriously pissed off that Jenny had kept the knowledge that Forrest even had a child from him for years and only when she wasn't able to care for him anymore because she was dying of her own self-centered behavior, only then did she drop the kid in his lap. And people responded like it was a selfless, kind act! I'm sorry, but it's not. It's a selfish, evil and cruel thing to do to someone. To the child and to the father. That's the kind of ingrained lie we live in. The lie that men are not needed. The lie that men can't be nurturing or caring or that they have as much right to be a parent as women.

Tangents, I goes on em. I did have a point before I wandered into my own bitter tirade. PTSD, yes. Ever since the disgusting fiasco that was my divorce and the following custody fight (I have to admit to having a lot of help from my friend Deborah. I wouldn't be where I am in regards to my relationship with my daughter without her. For all the bitterness I have towards women and the system, it was a woman who gave me the most help. Part of my bitterness actually comes from that, because I believe that without that "inside" assistance I would not have been able to accomplish anything and would have gone the way of most fathers. To the sidelines hoping that the mother of my daughter wasn't doing her best to alienate me from her. It's not a myth that there are absentee fathers, but it is a myth that they are all deadbeats and don't care. The truth is that many simply remove themselves from their children's lives out of sadness and to relieve their children of the animosity and petty power games)...

...sorry. Ever since the fiasco that was my divorce, I have felt damaged. I don't seem to be able to watch a movie or a tv show without being on the verge of tears if there is a theme about children, especially daughters, or love or heartache. I feel like that part of my psyche is damaged beyond repair. Even music does it to me sometimes. I know it's not unique or earthshattering that this happens, but it's been bothering me more and more lately. Knowing why it happens and facing the truth of that why doesn't help at all. Maybe some would say that it only means I'm more closely in touch with my feelings. After all, isn't that the idea of these types of things? To elicit a reaction? Women cry in movies all the time. Should I be bothered that I do now too? I am. I do feel like something's broken. That my emotions shouldn't be so close to the damn surface all the time. Especially since those same emotions don't seem to be present at all concerning my own health problems. If my emotions are so raw, shouldn't I be more of a wreck concerning my cancer? Shouldn't my fear and depression be more evident in all things, not just where they concern women or my daughter? It's that disconnect that makes me feel like there's something wrong, not just that I'm closer to my emotions.

I do feel sometimes like I've given up on most things. Maybe it's part of getting old and making an emotional priority list. I feel as though the only thing that matters anymore is my daughter. I don't hold any real hope of finding love again. In the back of my mind I do hope for it, but it's not real and not...realistic. Sometimes I think it's more like the reason I don't drink anymore. The hangovers aren't worth it. I used to feel like I could give my heart completely and damn the consequences. I don't feel like I could do that anymore even if I wanted to. And I don't really want to. I feel like the last one took too much out of me and there isn't anything left there. Maybe it's partly because of the cancer and how damaged I feel, but I think I felt this before the cancer. I know I felt it. It's not about the scars and the limitations of my "new normal", though I think that would make a big difference. Who knows? Maybe those limitations will be the very thing that fixes me. Like limiting a palette sometimes makes for a more beautiful painting. I guess I still have some hope.

I used to joke that she was 18 and off on her own and now I can die, but the idea wasn't only a joke. I felt like I did my job and finished what I'm here to do. I really felt ok with being done with life. Not that I wanted to die. I want to live forever. But that I didn't have to struggle anymore to remain strong and keep struggling through this shitty world. I don't feel like that anymore. Maybe it's because I did get cancer that I really understood what not being here and seeing her grow up meant. Now I feel a determination to be 'here'. Part of it is surely that she has essentially lost her mother and the idea that she would lose her father also is too much for me to cope with. She's a rock and I know she'd be okay but I feel like I can't let that happen. Maybe that's why I'm not really afraid of what's coming and what's happening. at least not afraid for myself. It's just one more thing I have to do to still be 'here'. One more struggle. One more fight. There's something to be said for being stubborn I guess.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

End of Week Four

I feel good. My mouth is a wreck and I am still depressed whenever I try to eat anything because it tastes like absolutely nothing, but I still feel good. Considering what I am doing and the nasty crap going through my cells and bloodstream, I feel a lot better than I thought I would and better than the doctors said I would. I don't know if it's just a matter of time and it hits me like a boulder, but so far I'm doing ok.

I have been trying to describe, even to myself, what 'nothing' tastes like. How do you describe the lack of something? I guess it would be like trying to describe a flavor to someone who hasn't tasted it. How would you describe banana to someone who hasn't ever tasted banana? It really doesn't taste like anything else, so you can't say, "It's similar to...".

The problem is that there is nothing. Some people have described it as being like eating straw, but even straw has a flavor. This is the total lack of it. This is actually the hardest part to deal with. I said it was depressing, but I'm not depressed. I'm annoyed and, well, kinda pissed. I can deal with burns and sores and losing my hair in weird places (all on my head, children), I can handle fatigue, though I admit I'm very glad there's no serious nausea, but I wish I could taste something.

I've found a small consolation. I have never like Campbell's chicken noodle soup. I've always felt like the broth was not legit, like it was too greasy or too golden or something. I'll probably feel that way again when the taste comes back, but I have to say, 'thank heavens for chicken noodle soup'. Heated up just right, the broth is soothing and the noodles are just soft enough that I can chew or swallow and it all goes down real smooth. It's probably that extra chicken fat I would have complained about. I don't know, but I swear I could almost taste something.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lucien Frued Passes Away at 88

A giant in the art world has passed away. Lucien Freud, one of the most influential painters of the 20th century has died in his London home after a brief illness. Freud, the grandson of the famed psychologist Sigmund Freud, left behind an immense collection of work of such consistent quality that he will be hard to match.

In local news, Guy has continued to lose weight, down to 159, according to my admittedly flawed home scale. This is not good. To counteract this, I actually was able to down 6 cans of Fibersource and a bowl of chicken noodle soup. Both tasted about the same.

Also in crappy cancer news, my hair continues to fall out from the back of my neck and the rest of my chin whiskers seem to be about gone. Even the white ones this time. Unlike chemo hair loss, this will be permanent. I imagine there will be more patchy spots I'll be missing soon. Oh well. Small price not to be dead.

The downside to losing the chin whiskers is now the zig zag scar on my chin is clearly visible. I look like those stupid future vampires from the awful Blade II movie.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Little Pigs, Little Pigs, Let Me In!

Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin!

Yup, no more goatee for Peeg. The chin whisker is fallin out. I can pull them out by the dozen. Some hair from the back of my neck as well. I would say this happening on the day I begin my second session of chemo is just a coincidence. I pull from other sections of hair; head, sideburns, eyebrows. Nothing.

This is essentially a good thing. It means that the docs have been telling the truth and the chemo won't cause hair loss. The radiation will cause permanent hair loss where the beams of busy busy protons focus hardest. Somehow I thought my chin wouldn't be one of those places, but whatever. Good news is my chest hair tonsil patch graft is now hairless! Hopefully I'll lose some of that old man ear hair as well.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Three Weeks and Counting

Three weeks in, four weeks to go. So far it's not as bad as the docs warned me, but obviously I've got some time left. Right now the main issues are no taste buds, which I've already griped enough about, burns inside my mouth, and a slowly increasing inability to swallow. I also have little or no saliva, which makes for some serious dry-mouth at night. I wake up and my lips are stuck to my teeth, my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth and my mouth feels like someone stored their old socks in there.

The burns I can handle so far, but the swallowing thing is getting tough. I can still force myself to drink liquids. It hurts and it almost makes me choke sometimes, but it's do-able still. The doc says I should keep trying as long as I can to keep the muscles working. I guess the idea is the longer I can keep doing it, the less rehabilitation I'll need later. Use em or you'll lose em.

Other than that, there's still some fatigue, though not nearly as bad as it was. I have my second chemo session tomorrow and another Tuesday, so I'm sure the fatigue will be back in force after that. I've tried to ask my doctor about other things that are going on, but his answer was kinda vague. Apparently people have lots of different responses to chemo and I'm no different. Since I've started treatment, my back issues have come back. I'd gotten rid of them, for the most part, years ago. Lots of acupuncture, traction and lovely lovely transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Now my sciatica is back with a vengeance. I really feel like an old lady. "Mehr, I got the cancer, and my sciatica is acting up agin! My bursitis and the corns are pesterin me something fierce!"

All of which means I can't sleep much anymore, again. The back problems more than anything. I wake up around 6am, no matter what time I go to sleep, and can't get back until I get up and eat and take some Vicodin. Problem is, once I'm up I stay up until around noon and then I take a nap that lasts too long.

The gross part is the mucositis. Basically this means the lining of my mouth is getting destroyed and sloughing off faster than normal, which also means I get a buildup of dead skin cells in addition to the dead white blood cells draining out of my sinuses. Since I can't swallow very good, this builds up in the back of my throat and it's hard to get it out of there. I can't blow my nose either (painful as well), so it feels a bit like when I was in the hospital and couldn't swallow for 7 days.

But! There's always a "but"...but this is a good "but"...BUT the chest hairs on the graft in my mouth have almost all fallen out and are not going to come back. Woot!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Got some good meds from the doc yesterday. Some horrifically horrible tasting Lortab (Vicodin) elixir. Man, I can't taste anything but this stuff? WTF? Oh well, what can ya do? Just in time, I guess. The throat is starting to seize up and swallowing is hard and painful. The pain in my mouth is less, but only slightly. He also gave me some muscle relaxers for my neck. The muscle the surgeon took from my chest to fill the void in my neck did it's job, but said muscle is always flexed and hard as a baseball. Hopefully the meds will help a bit. Not so far though.

Sleeping is difficult though, with all these ills. The mild but constant headache, serious dry mouth and the pain in my mouth make it impossible to get more than four hours at a clip. I suppose when I have my next chemo sessions on Monday and Tuesday the fatigue will take care of that.

On the other side of things, the non-cancer side that is, I bought some Sculpey and made a cool skull last night. Took longer than I thought it would, but it was still pretty easy. Just gotta refine the technique. I tried to paint it so it looked weathered and bleached, but still yellowed with age. Not sure if I like it that way or not. The next one I plan to make black. I might make it a dragon skull instead. Black like Balerion from Game of Thrones. Well, black like all dragon bone in Martin's novels.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Transforming Suck to Uber-suck

Man, what a dull movie. You'd think that with so many explosions and cool graphics that it would at least hold your interest. Unfortunately, as many films have shown, such candy isn't enough. Forgetting the fact that there's no way Shia LeBeef is going to be dating Rose Huntington Whitley, there's absolutely no way he would have survived the events in the film. Being swung around by his wrist by a giant, evil robot, dropped from at least 20 feet to the concrete, riding a flying and then crashing alien ship, only to end up with some dirty clothes.

Oh, almost forgot: SPOILERS

Spoiler one: The movie sucks.
Spoiler two: despite what fanboys and fangirls have already said, this movie is not better than the first two, which sucked hard. No, this movie was simply longer and stupider.
Spoiler three: Leonard Nimoy continues to rape his Trek legacy by using Trek dialogue to give some gravity to a film that has none.

Ironically, the amount of suck in this movie is equal to a supermassive black hole yet has no gravity whatsoever. The moment when Sam WitwhatheF is crying at the impending death of his beloved Bee had me wishing they'd blow his dumb mute face into a billion little metal chunks so we can turn on the lights and go home. But no, there had to, of course, be three or four more false climaxes before we were allowed to leave the torture chamber.

Spoilery spoiler - why the hell would machines that are alive be riding in machines that aren't? Why the hell would machines that have guns for arms be sitting behind 'dumb' machines that shoot when they pull a trigger? Why the hell would machines that are alive die in space when it's been made clear that they can survive in the vacuum of space? Their bodies weren't damaged when they were found, so I assume they died of lack of air or food or something other than mayhem.

And why the hell would a machine have a metallic mustache and beard? Or the supposed 'Einstein' of Autobots have hair like Einstein? Or a German accent?! For that matter, why the hell would any of them have accents at all? A Scottish Autobot? A Russian Autobot? Still a black sounding Autobot?! Or a Brooklyn accent?

Why the hell can't a Decepticon, which is essentially a flying set of Ginsu knives, kill one fragile human? Why, all of the sudden, is the only way he can kill Sam Wetwilly is with his incomprehendingly slavering vulture mouth? So we can watch, for the billionth time, as Sam hold the snapping jaws at bay and have Bee blow his head off.

90% of the way through this exercise in infantility, we learn from the afterthought humans, that the gun's vibrations mess with their electronics and the best place to shoot them is in the eye. I know it's to show that Amerkin Soljers and Amerkin Injunooty can persevere when machines aren't there to help (even though they already showed that they can't, a number of times, including the lame-ass scene when the rag tag group Sam Limpdicky gathers gives up, only to have Sammy show them what tru bravree is by refusing to quit. Then, of course, the Autobots showed up and saved him from a certain death.

What follows is probably the dumbest sequence of events ever thought up by someone over the age of five. The soldiers and Sam, who really only wants to save his girl, must enter Chicago's downtown, which is Decepticon Central now, and shoot the one missile this elite team thought to bring and blow up one little machine part. To do this they must get higher, because, you know, line of sight and all, so they climb 900 floors in a couple of minutes, only to have that building fall apart around them because apparently the Decepticon Shockwave has an endless supply of roto-rooter body parts that he just abandons when he wants to look fiercely at the Autobots. This building then tumbles over onto another and our heroes must slide, screaming through the building, giving Sam at least five opportunities to be the one to catch the supermodel before she falls to her death. Then they're sliding another way. And another. And I keep hoping the next superslide of death actually results in their deaths.

So they climbed this giant building to shoot a missile? Wait, no. They can't seem to do that. For no reason in particular. So they climb another building and jump out of it, with parachutes they pulled out of their asses. Again. Oh, did I forget to mention the other elite team that flew in with wing suits? Yeah, those suits with webbing under the arms that let you fly a bit, but you're really kinda falling at an angle. No, these guys are able to actually fly horizontally cuz they're so bad-ass. Yeah, from the top of a building, they can fly across town for about five minutes and then pull chutes AND somehow not get shot by the same bots that just shot down three fighter jets in 3 seconds. Then the racist minibots take down the machines that transport the machines so they can use machines to bring more machines. Are they alive or are they just ships? When the big ship dies, why do the little ships inside fall out and die? So they can hit the ground and give Bee the diversion he needs to kick some ass.

Naturally, we have to sit through another patriotic diatribe by the big red, white and blue robot in the shape of an 18 wheeler. With the flag waving, shot up a bit yes, but still waving over the carnage that was Chicago.

Aside from the mom and dad, who are always well-written and funny, there is not one redeeming feature to this feature. At least we weren't subject to the little humping chihuahua. Wait, what happened to the chihuahua?!

Monday, July 11, 2011

It Shtarts

Well, starting Sunday, the eatin is finished. The inside of my mouth is like a flaming hole of pain. Even water burns rather than soothes. The doc gave me some aloe based gargle that kinda numbs it for about an hour.

So it's all canned food in the tube from here on out. Of course, everything I watch read or hear has food in it. Finished The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Main character's eating sandwiches and pastries and sausages every other paragraph. Re-reading Game of Thrones. Filled with roasted pigs, meat on skewers roasted with onions dripping with juices, crispy capons crusted with herbs and garlic. Ironwood has Anthony Bourdain on the tube every time I go in. The man is going to Cuba fergawdsake!!!! The only thing I truly miss about Miami is Cuban food. Bistec Milanesa from La Carreta with black beans and rice and fried yucca with fried plantains. Lechon asada, vaca frita. I even miss flan and I don't really like flan!

Gonna be a long year...

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I'm not sure what part of the universe likes me but someone or something out there must, because even though I can't taste my dad's Sugar Chicken (actually my Momo's, though other family members have claimed it in recent days lol), or my mom's lasagna, or the peach cobbler I made last night...I can still taste chocolate. It's the little things.

Other than that, I think my days of solid food are done for the duration. The inside of my mouth, specifically my right cheek and the right side of my tongue, hell, the whole right side of my mouth, is on fire. I tried a soda and talk about lemon in a papercut. It's more like acid on 2nd degree burns. I've been trying to do the whole gargling with salt and baking soda, as the doctor directed, but it isn't really doing anything for the pain in my mouth right now. I'm gonna hit the doc up for something tomorrow.

Aside from that, I saw Horrible Bosses today, and other than sitting right next to my mom while Jennifer Aniston describes in graphic detail the things she wants Charlie Day to do to her private parts and vice versa, it was a really good movie. I lol'd my booty off. A lot. One of my favorite parts? The poster that Colin Farrel's character had of himself in his house. Classic.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Random Update

I met with the physician's assistant today before my radiation session. She was very nice and helpful. Bad news is I weigh 164.4 lbs. I've never weighed less than 185 since I was 16. The doc says I need to keep on top of it as I'm likely losing muscle and not fat and I can't be losing weight now. My legs definitely feel weaker and look thinner, so I guess that's pretty much what's going on. Of course her advice is to eat more, especially proteins, but everything pretty much tastes the same, which is almost not at all.

Apparently the loss of the taste buds is from the chemo not the radiation, which is not what I had thought at all. The bulk of my side effects are caused by the chemo, according to her. The only side effects the radiation will cause are the burns, which haven't really started yet, and a loss in my ability to swallow. She said that I'll be unable to swallow liquids first and then solids, which is kind of backwards, I thought.

So, her orders are: start gargling with baking soda and salt four times a day, today and if I can't eat enough protein on my own I have to have at least 4 cans of the high nitrogen canned food a day.

The waiting room at Ironwood has a television which is always, inexplicably on the food network. Anthony Bourdain's show is always on when I'm there and it is making me insane. After the treatment we stopped at the grocery store to get some baking soda and, well, obviously it's full of food... We passed by the deli and they have an amazing olive bar with so many different awesome olives, roasted garlic and dolmas! Stuffed grape leaves! I love dolmas. So not right. Sadly there are just too many things there I just can't enjoy, even the mediocre grocery sushi was driving me crazy.

On the good news front, Kevin made tamales last night and I ate a good amount of it tonight. I actually tasted a good bit of it. Not sure if it's the spicy or the tomato, but it was good.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


Well, the good news is the fatigue has lessened a bit. The bad news is I think I crossed the threshold today.

No more taste buds.

I made an beautiful omelette this morning with some excellent organic free range eggs I actually spent extra for, and nothing.
Of all the side effects I am expected to endure, this was the one I was dreading the most. I am sure I will be proven wrong and the burns and swallowing issues will be bad, but I fully admit I am a foodie and not being able to taste things is demoralizing to say the least.

The sense of taste is supposed to come back after treatment, though it's possible that it will be lessened a bit, as long as it's not this nothing I have now. Almost makes the canned food stuff they delivered today look appetizing.