Woke Up This Morning To A Smoothie

Unfortunately it wasn’t the mixed berry kind I’d had yesterday.

No, this morning in the midst of an early snugglefest with Dutch de Dog, something trippy clicked in the old brain piece, and I felt like I might be on the highway to seizure-town.  It wasn’t an unpleasant smoothie (which you’ll remember from this post is the term I use for my pre-seizure “aura” feelings), and I was in a very safe place (in my bed, with Dutch by my side) so I wasn’t too worried.  But these things still always come with a tint of terror; part of the smoothie package is that “this could be the seizure that you just never wake up from!”  So to play it safe I reached over and downed some (always on hand) anti-seizure medication.  And then nothing happened.  Which is good.  Even better, one of those medications moonlights as an anti-anxiety drug, so I spent the morning feeling rather un-anxious.  Which was even more nice.  But another one of the other side effects of this anti-seizure-anxiety drug is deep sleepiness, so despite it being 8AM and me having had  a very solid and comfortable nights’ sleep, I totally passed out face down for another hour.  And upon waking up felt like somebody had mainlined Nyquil into my carotid artery.  So I was a little groggy.

So it goes.

But now I’m awake again, and it’s a beautiful day, and yesterday a few really nice things happened that I’d like to mention here.

1) There’s a new world record GBM survivor that I just heard about who is actually someone that I know! (Though a friend of a friend of a friend, but it’s a close enough connection to be very real and very exciting.)  This guy, you see, I was just told yesterday was diagnosed with GBM 15 years ago.  FIFTEEN FREAKING YEARS AGO!!!  When you got GBM 15 years ago, most doctors would just lightly pat you on the shoulder and apologize and say something like “You’re totally goners pal, sorry,” but this guys has managed to stay alive for 15 years from that moment!  And not only that, from what I hear he is thriving.

The longest continuing GBM survival I’d heard of before this was 7 or 8 years, and I just realized that for a long time I’ve kept that number in my head as the “Best Case Survival Scenario.”  So 43/44 has been my high limit for how long I’d allow myself to dream that I will still be alive.  And then this guy comes along and ups the ante to 15 years!  36 + 15 = 51 — I’d make it to my 50s!  Man I could get A LOT done by then.  (As long as all this seizing and smoothing stops, that is).

But anyway, this is extremely heartening news to myself– and to anyone else out there reading this who has GBM, I promise you this is true!  I will hopefully be talking to him in the near future and will find out what he’s been doing to keep himself… doing, and as long as it doesn’t involve anything crazy like regular trips to the moon or freebasing shark cartilage for breakfast, I will report on anything that seems relevant and helpful to myself and my fellow GBM All Stars (and we’re all All Stars, since  GBM is the Major Leagues of Cancer).

2) Yesterday in the same phone conversation I was told about a foundation that is dedicated to helping people who have cancer live their lives and FEEL alive and (most importantly) do the things that make them feel most alive.  Whether those things are sport or exercise or arts related, this magical foundation puts people together with the things they need to help them lift up their own cancer riddled bodies and get out into the world and try to feel ALIVE again.  If you’ve been reading my recent posts you’ll know that this is exactly the type of thing I’ve been experimenting with and hoping to trying to do more of, so to think that somebody already established a foundation specifically for the purpose of helping cancer patients run up mountains or paint or weave or or take yoga classes really shows me that the world isn’t quite as sad and cynical as we can easily begin to believe if we’re not careful.

When you’re in a bad spot, there are people out there who care, and who want to help you.  I have been the recipient of a great whopping dollop of this type of care and help, and despite the unfortunate memory of that Kevin Spacey movie I am very much dedicated to (and obsessed with the idea of) paying that shit forward.

So I’m going to make a remake of “Pay It Forward,” starring only people with terminal cancer!

Everyone on the crew has to have cancer, too, and the big players have to have big cancers.

I’m the screenwriter, I’ve got brain cancer… check!  √
the Director should have or have had something impressive like lung cancer or liver cancer (which implies that they’ve done it to themselves)
The Producers all have to have stage 4 pancreatic cancer
The actors all need to be bald, and in the MIDDLE of chemotherapy treatment…
And finally, all the low-level assistants and PA’s need to at least have a low-grade melanoma.

Sounds like a blast, right?  Getting the production insured might be a bit of a problem, but hopefully the Affordable Care Act has stupulations related to that as well.

{All of the above is a joke.  Or at least that last movie part.  Maybe.}


Anyway where was I?

I woke up this morning to a smoothie, but things could be worse so I expect the rest to go smoothly.

And I can now begin to envision myself as a 51 year old man.

Not a bad Tuesday.  Not a bad Tuesday at all.

Let’s hope I can roll this over into Wednesday, and from there all the way to my birthday, on December 28th… 2026.

7 thoughts on “Woke Up This Morning To A Smoothie

  1. Wow 15 years! Does this person have a blog or tweet to #btsm? I sure know some people who could benefit from knowing his story…Glad you are feeling well, have Dutch and your anti-seizure meds nearby, and are dreaming of your 51st birthday!

  2. Wow 15 years!!! Does this person have a blog or tweet to #btsm? I sure know some people who would love to know his story! Meantime glad you have Dutch, your anti-seizure meds at hand, and dreams of how to celebrate your 51st bday!

  3. Are you referring to SeasIt? If so, they ARE doing amazing work. Todd was an amazing guy and I was lucky to go to high school with him and his wife. If that’s not who you’re referring to, check out their foundation too! Thanks for sharing your experience…here comes 51!

  4. Hey,
    I’m the “guy” and our mutual friend got it wrong. I was diagnosed 22 years ago in 1991 when, as a neurosurgeon friend of mine said, therapies were primordial ooze as compared to today’s more evolved treatments. It’s true, and there have been many skeptics, recent studies of my tumor tissue confirmed GBM and they are now sequencing my tumor at UPenn to see if there is a genetic basis for my survival.

    Now picture yourself at 58!

    Stay positive, blast and drug the dam thing to death, and keep life as “normal” as possible.

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