Return To Kowloon, Part 2: a Spoiler, a Thank You, and a Possible Seizure

PREVIOUS POST: Return To Kowloon, Part 1: Guess What I Just Did?

The Spoiler:
I am no longer in Hong Kong, or in Kowloon.  Because I am home.
I flew to Hong Kong… and back!  And I didn’t even get a lousy brain tumor.
And for the next few posts, I’d like to share some excerpts from my journal, things that I wrote while on my trip these last few days, and the photos I took while I was writing them.   A real-time travelogue kind of thing, if “real-time” means  “a few days ago.”  Let’s just pretend it’s happening right now as you’re reading it.  Hong Kong’s in the future anyway, right?

The Thanks
But before I begin, I’d like to first repeat my humble and deeply felt thanks to the generous and loving friends who helped me get back to Hong Kong.  I couldn’t have done it without you.  And now that I know how important this trip was for me, I can’t tell you how glad I am that I did.  And I can’t thank you enough for getting me there.  So thank you again, friends.  I made it.

The Smoothie
SHIT.  Just as I was typing the last few sentences, I suddenly felt a smoothie (seizure aura) coming on.  (More on smoothies here and here). I’d rather finish writing this post than have a seizure right now, so just to be safe, I swallow a few Ativan (anti-seizure drugs), alert a friend or two to check on me, then I sit myself safely down on the couch and try to keep typing while ignoring the weird hallucinatory swirling soundsin my ears.  But the Ativan should kick in soon…

1o MINUTES LATER:

…and it does.
Whew.  Feeling far less smoothy, and far more groovy now.  No seizure coming.  I’ll be fine.

And if you’re reading this post, that means I managed to stay awake and unseized long enough to keep writing this post, and to post it.

To be clear: I am including this whole smoothie episode as it plays out in real time –really in real time this time– not to gin-up suspense for my Return to Kowloon (it’s coming,  I promise), but rather just to share the experience of someone living with brain cancer.   This happens sometimes.  It’s one of the things you have to get used to.

But I’m happy to report–and this is an important point– that the smoothies popping up for me every once in awhile are now far more likely related to having had 2 brain surgeries, as opposed to having a new brain tumor.  In other words, these potential seizures are probably not “new cancer” related.   While they are still really worrying (and really inconvenient at times) my last few scans seem to show that the cancer isn’t having anything to do with them.

So here we go: on to the next post… Return To Kowloon, Part 3: Return to Hong Kong

Return To Kowloon, Part 1: Guess What I Just Did?

I Flew To Hong Kong.  Again.

I flew to Hong Kong.

And this time, despite the T-Shirt, I’m totally sure I’m not gonna get a brain tumor.  Hell I’m so sure of that, I’m not even going to bother to get an MRI while I’m here!

“But isn’t that what you normally do when you’re in Hong Kong?” you say, quite perceptively.

“Yes, that is historically true,” I reply, “but why would I need to, when I just got an MRI yesterday in LA, and it looked exactly like this!

Clean as a whistle!

Clean as a whistle!
(If that whistle was made of healthy non-cancerful brains.)

Not a spot of cancer to be seen!   Just like the last one, and the one before that.  Hooray!

And guess what else happened yesterday?  I got my last (and arguably most painful) TRIPLE SHOT IN THE ARMPIT!

IMG_8847

 

See that little bulge under my girlish armpit hair?  That’s the ICT-107 Brain Cancerful Vaccine (or sugar water, depending on my luck) seeping into my lymph nodes.  For me, the most painful part of having one of the most deadly forms of cancer has been getting needles in my armpit, and then having to hold my hand up in the air for 15 minutes afterward.  That’s how lucky I am, and why you will not often hear me complaining about any of this (although if you’re scoffing right now because you have heard me complaining– hey, step off!  Have YOU ever had 3 needles stuck in your armpit and then had to hold your hand in the air for 15 minutes afterward?  Yeah, didn’t think so.)

So anyway, yesterday I got a clean MRI, and I got my last shot of (hopefully) magical armpit juice.  And since it’s almost exactly two years from the day that I was checking out of this place…

Saint Teresa's Hospital, Kowloon

Saint Teresa’s Hospital, Kowloon.
April 20, 2012.

… I figured this might be a good time to go back to Hong Kong.

But why the hell would I want to Return To Kowloon?  (As my mother asked, quite expectedly and quite hilariously, when I told my parents on the phone yesterday.)  OK, I’ll tell you why.

See, there was a moment when I was here two years ago (two years ago!), post surgery, when I was walking around somewhere weird (which is everywhere here), looking around at the weirdness, and thinking to myself…

“I wonder if I’ll ever come back to this place.”

My gut immediately said “Probably not.”  The Law of Probability (ungoverned by my gut) said (quite rudely) “No fucking way, Peacock, are you kidding?  You’ll be lucky to survive the flight home!  How about settle for Ocean City, New Jersey.  I might be able to get you back there.  Even that’s only a 37.24%”

Now I’m not one who likes to be told what I can’t do, so when all of this rushed through my head, it made me sad.  It put a limit on my life.  It put a cap on my hope.  It was the beginning of the glass ceiling that all of us Cancerful People feel above us at almost every moment, when we’re feeling uncured.

But then–BUT THEN!!– my next thought was a nice one.  My next thought was this, filled with wonder and unknowing and certainty and hope:

“If I ever do find myself in this place again, if I ever am able to come back to Hong Kong… that will mean that something really really good happened.”

And so it has.

And so I decided to come back.

HK flight note

Touchdown!

Touchdown!

And after I landed (safely!), just when I was leaving the airport, I SAW A SIGN!

HK sign

 

And when I saw that sign, I thought to myself “I’m so sorry, sign.  I hope you had a good service life.  I’m just now reaching the beginning of mine.”  And that thought made me happy.

And so now I find myself back in Hong Kong (miracle!), feeling great (miracle of miracles!), working on a movie.  A movie that cures cancer. (Miracle of miracle of miracles!).

HK Laptop

And if those first two things could happen, then why not the last one too?

Speaking of signs, when I went for a walk around the block about an hour ago, I saw another one:

a good sign

a good sign

That’s a pretty damn good sign.

(And if you’ve ever wondered where I got the title for this blog, it’s not from there.  That is a complete coincidence.)

More signs to inevitably come tomorrow, when I Actually Return to Kowloon.

So stay tuned: I almost guarantee you that I am going to end up in the hospital!

 

PS: A humble and deeply felt thank you to the generous and loving friends who have gotten me this far.  And by “this far” I mean both “to Hong Kong,” as well as “still alive.”  I certainly could not have done (or even dreamed of) any of this without yous.

NEXT POST…  Return To Kowloon, Part 2: a Spoiler, a Thank You, and a Possible Seizure

Brain Chanceiversary 2: Another Rhapsody In Blue!

So I think the ghost of George Gershwin is haunting me.

I woke up this morning, April 10th, 2014, and realized it was my 2-year Brain Chanceiversary.

This was the day, two years ago (TWO YEARS AGO!) that I had my first brain surgery, in Hong Kong.  This was the day that it all started; the day that I began my ongoing Dance with Cancer.  This is my cancer birthday.

So I woke up this morning (hooray for that!), and the first thing I did was turn on the radio, as I normally do.  It was tuned to Classical KUSC (91.5), as it normally is.

But here’s the weird part: the instant– the exact instant— that the speakers came to life, guess what I heard?

I heard a clarinet.  Like somebody had cued it up for me.  Like it was the soundtrack to a movie.

“No way,” I thought.  This was a clarinet that I recognized.  This was a clarinet you’d recognize too– it’s possibly the most recognizable clarinet ever recorded.   So why was it so weird for me to hear it this morning, of all mornings, on my brain cancer birthday, at the exact instant that I got out of bed and turned on the radio?

Because it’s the clarinet that plays at the very beginning of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue.”

The same “Rhapsody In Blue” that I mentioned in this post back in September.

The same “Rhapsody In Blue” that was written by a guy who died at my hospital, at my age, of the same brain cancer that I have right now (George Gershwin, 38, GBM).

The same “Rhapsody In Blue” that (because of all of the above) I used as the subtitle and theme song of the movie I have been writing for the last year, which I hope will not only cure my own cancer, but a lot of other people’s as well:

MOVIE TITLE

And as if all of that wasn’t coincidental enough,  here’s where it gets really weird:

I was just on a beautiful BBC radio program called “Soul Music” last week, talking about this very song, and what it means to me.

soul music

If you’d like to listen to it, you can find it here (the program begins around the 1 minute mark):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03zb49y

gershwin

So either I’ve been following George Gershwin around for the last two years, or he’s been following me.

Either way, I’m happy to have his company.

And grateful that he came by to say Happy Brainchanceiversary.

Thanks George.

Sometimes I feel like I’m living a Rhapsody in Blue.

Hi!

I’m still alive!

Just thought I’d mention that, in case you were wondering.

A few people have asked about the blog recently, and I realized it was starting to look like one of those “Super Inspirational Blogs Written By a Glioblastoma Survivor Who Didn’t Really Survive!” that I mentioned awhile back.

So, to curtail that rumor… I’m still surviving!

And I have actually been writing!  A lot, in fact.

Just not here.

But soon, here as well.  Hopefully.

You know what’s the best thing about a ticking clock… if it’s ticking loudly enough, and you point yourself in the right direction, it can actually put wind in your sails.

(Apologies {or perhaps shout-outs} to The New Yorker “Block That Metaphor!” department.)

RUNNING-pic

 

 

PS:  Thank you to my lovely friends for the photos, and the t-shirts, and the wind and the sails.  I couldn’t do any of this without you.

Incidentally…

The MRI on Tuesday looked good.  My brain looks clean.

A few days before that, on January 2nd, I finished the thing I’ve been desperately trying to finish in the event that I’ll soon be finished.  I’m extraordinarily proud of it.  There’s still a lot of work to be done, but I’m ready for it, excited about it, and so unbelievably thankful and aware of how lucky I am that I’ve managed to get this far.

And a few days before that, on December 28th, it was my birthday.   I turned 38.  To celebrate, I ran a marathon.  For the first time in my life.  In Newfoundland.  In the snow.  Mostly by myself, and mostly on the side of a highway.  It was pretty awesome.

Turns out writing can cure cancer.  And so can running.

More on all of this to come…

Trans Canada Highway east, somewhere around mile 10

Trans Canada Highway east, somewhere around mile 10

Cure Your Own Cancer! Write All About It!

It’s funny to think there was a moment when I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be writing about cancer.  It made me nervous.  I was already thinking about it too much, trying NOT to think about it so much.  I didn’t want it to occupy any more space in my brain than it already did.  Which was a lot.  (Pun and extended metaphor both intended and unavoidable.)

But I took a leap of faith and went for it.  And as it turned out, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made since I first got the cancer on/in the brain.  As it turns out, writing has not only helped me unpack my crowded brains of the too many things swirling around inside them; it’s also given me a venue through which I actually managed to cure myself.

Now don’t take that literally— I don’t mean to say that I’m permanently biologically cured of cancer.  Because I’m not, and probably never will be, unless by some sweet stroke of luck I die of a stroke 50 years from now and they  say “Well, it looks like he really was cured of that brain cancer after all!”

What I mean to say is that I literarily cured my cancer.  I wanted to see, to hear and imagine and feel what it would be like to be told that I was cured.  As in, the doctor closes a binder on his desk and says: “Go home.  There’s nothing else we can do for you here, because you’re fine.  You’ve got nothing at all to worry about any more.  Have a great weekend, and if I ever see you again it’ll be at that taco place you told me about in Redondo.  Their carnitas is fantastic.”

I wrote something like this (well, a slightly different version with less taco talk and a bit more suspense) about two weeks ago.  To try it on, to see how it felt.

It felt good.  So good, in fact, that the instant I pressed the “.” key, I started to weep like an old Italian lady.  I completely lost my shit, that’s how good it felt.  It felt so good that I was, in that instant, actually pretty much cured.

So when I went to the hospital for my MRI one early morning early this week, I felt an odd and totally new sense of anticipation swirling about me.  I love going to my hospital (all they ever do is things that make me not die), so I’m always excited to be there.  But this time I felt like I was going to a movie, or a show, that everyone was telling me would completely change my life.  Save my life, in fact.  I was excited.  It was weird.  Weirdly wonderful.

So while I sat in my underpants in the waiting room of the Mark Taper Imaging Center, I scribbled this in my notebook:

journal 1

journal 2

journal 3

journal 4

And it was.

And I am.

******************************
So that’s what art can do.  Thank god I stupidly chose to be an English major.

Incidentally, I made sure to mention all of this to my doctor, since he’s been kindly following the progress both of my brain and what it’s working on.  I told him how he totally blew a huge dramatic opportunity by not telling me that either I was cured, or was gonna die in like 3 minutes.

He laughed.  So did I.

Next time I go in there with a few pages of scripted dialogue that we both have rehearsed in advance.

******************************
PS:  If you’ve got the cancer, and you’re worried about it, try writing about it.
Write anything.
And if you don’t know where to start, try just writing the word “cancer” with an exclamation point after it as many times as it takes to make you laugh out loud at least once.
Cancer!  Cancer!  Cancer!  (for me, it only took 3 times)

Then write whatever else comes to mind.
Because there will be something.
And it’ll probably be good for you to let it out.

ObamaCares Part 2: I’m Covered, and So Are You

Breathing any kind of sigh of relief has extra meaning for me these days, and this morning I got to let out a very important and very relieving sigh.

Thanks to the Afforable Care Act (and to my mom, who did the applications for me), I just got my new health insurance through the Covered California insurance exchange.

Not only was it a piece of cake to shop for and compare plans, but the plan I wound up getting is perfectly affordable. Like, unbelievably affordable. Having brain cancer and all, it would have been impossible for me to even shop for health insurance 2-3 years ago. I would have been laughed off the phone, then sent a “Good Luck!” postcard with somebody giving me the middle finger.

Because President Obama cares, however, I now have my very own fancy new health insurance plan through Blue Cross / Blue Shield. All my current doctors, hospitals and tests are covered, and so as of January 1st I will seamlessly transition from my old insurance (also supplied by the ACA) to this fancy new plan. Hooray for government and private enterprise working together!

So as I sigh this Great Sigh of Relief, I send a warm and sincere thank you to President Obama and everyone in Washington and Sacramento, who cared enough to make all of this happen. You’re all official Brain Guardians now.

It’s nice to feel protected by your country in a way that has nothing to do with guns. Which reminds me of something I wrote a year and a half ago (wow, have I stretched this chance out that long?), when the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act…

“To hell with cynicism about government, about politics, about the left or the right or the top or the bottom.  To hell with cynicism forever.  Brain cancer to cynicism!  If we don’t believe we can do anything good, if all we focus on is the fact that we’re arguing and divided and that it’s all gone to shit and we’ll never be able to fix it, then what good is going to come of us?”

This morning, I find myself feeling extremely uncynical.

And it feels really good.

 

My Routine Inspection

Another day, another cliffhanger.

But let’s put this particular one to a quick end (because god knows we want to prolong the Big One as long as possible):

The results of My Routine braInspection this week were…

GOOD!

It's good! Chad 38, Brain Cancer 1.6

Chad 38, Brain Chance 1.6

NFL SuperRef Ed Hochuli was unfortunately not there to weigh in on the results, but Doctor Who was, and he was enthusiastic (although his biceps are not quite as impressive as Hochuli’s).

The short of it is this:  things have looked stable in there, and if anything the signs of tumor have been regressive.  (As opposed to progressive, which in the case of slots is good, but in the case of brain cancer is very, very bad.)

The long of it is:  you can never remove every last cancer cell through surgery (even two surgeries), which is why you hit yourself in the face (and inside the face) with all that chemo and radiation and chemo again.  In my case, as I went through all of that treatment there was a bit of stuff appearing on the scans that looked like it could be cancer.  But it could also have been healthy healing tissue.  No way to know unless you have brain surgery #3, or you wait and see what happens with it.  If it grows, it’s bad.  If it doesn’t, it’s good.

I chose to wait and see.  And as we went from each 2 month MRI to the next, the ghost in my brain continued to shrink in size.  Which is good.  Which means it was probably just inflamed healing tissue the whole time.  Not cancer.  Or not a lot of cancer, at least.  Which is good.

If this all sounds familiar to you, good– that means your brain is working.  Even better, as I was typing it it started to sound familiar even to me, and so I went back to see if I’d already explained the above already.  Turns out I had, in September.

I mention this to point out (to you and myself) that my memory seems to be working a little better again.  And my brain, in general.  I’m a little clearer, a little less forgetful.  Which is great.  Really, really great.

This isn’t to say I’m going to stop using the “I have a hole in my brain” excuse– because I am definitely not going to stop using that excuse.  I still have a hole in my brain, and I still am some kind of a shadow of my former self (which is very luckily starting to resemble my former self.  Just a better version of him.)  I still forget who I had dinner with last night sometimes, and the entire  last 2 years seems like it all happened in one day, 89 years ago.

And please don’t be the 9,457th person to tell me “Oh that’s normal, my memory is getting shitty too, we’re all getting old, Chad!”  Because if you are  the 9,457th person to tell me that, then you are going to have to trade me your totally non-cancerous brain for my totally-cancerous one.  Deal?  Deal.

Which brings me to another point (that I’m also sure I’ve mentioned before, if only because I trust that I’m getting repetitive):  There are all sorts of things that people say to you when you have brain cancer that don’t always ring the way they want them to.  These things are usually said with the best of intentions (or at a minimum slightly above average intentions), but when you’re the guy or gal with the cancer in your brain they sometimes sound funny.  Or weird.

One such example that many of you have already heard me go on about:

“Good luck with your MRI!”

If you’ve said this to me, thank you.  This means you are a nice person (or at least nice-ish).

Since I am very possibly not as nice a person as you, this particular phrase always gives me the creeps.  I’ll tell you why.

Wishing somebody good luck on an MRI is like wishing them good luck opening a birthday present.  Whatever’s in there is already in there– they just don’t know if they’re gonna like it yet.

I’m not saying this to be a smartass (even though I definitely am a smartass).  The point is only that the test itself is meaningless.  Time spent worrying about it is time wasted.  And if you’re the kind of person who is having MRI’s every 2 months, time is probably a pretty valuable commodity to you.  Fretting isn’t your best use use of it.

I’m again getting the sneaking suspicion that I’ve already written about all of this, but maybe that’s because I’ve talked to a few of you about it already.  Or maybe I have written about it before.  I have absolutely no idea– I don’t remember a damn thing that’s on this blog besides that Lincoln thing and the fact that I wrote “glioblastoma  in rainbow letters.

If I have already written about this, somebody please be a smartass and tell me where and when?

Anyway, to continue on the repetitive cliff hanger streak… next MRI in 2 months!  At that point it’ll be 2014, and I’ll be 38.  Unless I get hit by a bus.

Ooo!  Yeah!  One more thing!  Please don’t be the 945,768th person to tell anybody with any kind of cancer that “we could all get hit by a bus tomorrow”.   Cuz trust me, that kind of philosophizing about death when you’re not actually so deeply and profoundly faced with it is not going to help them.  It’s like a rookie telling Satchel Paige to “walk the guys with the big biceps.”  Well intentioned, but… you’re only really saying it to yourself.  So say it to yourself.

See what a pain in the ass I am?

I blame my mother.

😉

Pressing the “PUBLISH” button and waiting for the phone to ring…

PS:  Mom don’t worry, God punished me for writing that last line: I forgot about the soup I was reheating while I was writing this post, and I totally burned it.  (I can hear your voice right now saying “See? He did!”)

PPS:  Yes, it’s the same chicken noodle soup I made with that roast chicken you and Linda picked up for me that I complained was too small.  See what an ungrateful pain in the ass I am?

PPPS:  Now that I’m eating the soup, it actually tastes better than it did before… reduced, a little more flavorful.
See how funny life can be?  Burnt soup, even better than the original.  Go figure.

LIVING EVERY DAY LIKE IT’S YOUR LAST

…is a goddamn terrible idea.  If any person or self help book or famous quotes website has ever recommended you try living every day like it’s your last, I guarantee the person doing the recommending has never tried it herself.  Or she has, and she’s completely insane.  Because I’ve been living today like it’s my last, and before I even got to lunch I realized if I was doing this daily I’d wind up killing myself before dinner.  And then it really would be my last day.  Every day.  And I wouldn’t even have had dinner.

Let me give you an example of one (of the many, many) problems with this type of relentless day-seizing: if it’s your last day, does the day end at midnight?  Or does it end at sunset?  Because this whole time I was thinking midnight, and the sun’s about to go down and if the Hasidim are right… Well it’s just that I had 11:59 in my head not 5:58, and there’s still a bunch of stuff on this list and god thank god it was daylight savings time today cuz that gave me an extra hour but… shit we changed the clocks!  It’s 4:45 but that was 5:45, and now the sun’s gonna go down in like ten minutes.

Shit!  It’s midnight, not sunset, right?

Right??

Ok quick, listen, ‘cuz either way I don’t have a lot of time — I mean when it’s your last day ten minutes is about as good as six hours but I’m wasting time just typing this so just listen OK?!

OK.  It’s profoundly impractical to go through even one day thinking and acting like it’s your last, let alone Monday through Sunday for the rest of your life (which is supposed to be only the rest of today anyway).  I mean first of all, if you’re actually gonna do this— and I just tried— you’re on the phone all day.  I mean, ALL DAY.

It’s your last day on earth!  Think of all the people you have to call!  Like, your mom (duh), and that’s gonna take a half hour, and all the other assholes in your family, and anybody you’ve ever cared about or had a crush on or just wanted to sleep with cuz there might still be a chance, and all the people who are a little more religious than you who might have some say in the Heaven Level you get stuck in forever…  oh and that guy who watered your plants last week who you forgot to thank.  ‘Cause he actually owes you fifty bucks and… shit do I still have that guy’s number?

God, you’d spend half the day just trying to find all the phone numbers!  I mean, even if you had a killer Rolodex and a secretary and you get up at five, if you’re really living today like it’s your last day on Earth you’re slammed with phone calls until lunch time at least.  (And it’s not like you can just group text everybody and be like “C U later!”  Cuz you won’t see anybody later.)  And even if you’re lucky enough to get off the goddamn phone, now it’s already lunch and what the hell are you gonna eat for your last lunch ever?

You eat the best fucking steak in the world is what you eat, even if you’re a vegetarian (especially if you’re a vegetarian) and… fuck why didn’t I just have steak for breakfast?  I mean that omelette was good but it was a little burnt on the one side and aww man that was my last breakfast EVER?!  And they gave me home fries instead of hash browns??!  And they totally forgot the orange juice!   And that bitch better pray for me because of that sweet tip I left her that in retrospect she totally didn’t deserve.  But at least I’ll go to heaven.  She was really cute though.

Speaking of which, if you’re a certain kind of red blooded male you very well might find yourself spending 99% of your entire Last Day Ever just pathetically trying to have sex with someone who’s hotter than anybody you’ve been with in your whole life, or just having sex with anyone at all, all day, while eating steak at the same time, which is impractical unless you happen to run into a super hot nymphomaniac vegetarian who also happens to be living her day like it’s her last.  And she finds you attractive.  See what a pain in the ass this is?

And beyond just the practical stuff— ‘cuz that was just the practical stuff— there’s also the entire mythical world of shit that you’d really want to be doing on your last day ever but probably can’t but it’s nice to dream and who knows it’s your last day on Earth and you’re gonna die soon so why not shoot for the moon, right?  I mean isn’t that what this whole bullshit idea’s about anyway?

Oh it’s my last day on Earth!  I wanna be… I don’t know… hmmmmm… drinking champagne while skiing in Switzerland with a jet pack on and a Ferrari waiting at the bottom of the hill so I can drive it 900 miles an hour through the Alps (literally through the Alps) and then shoot out of a cliff into Italy and jet pack straight into the Duomo in Milan cuz I wanna see that again and plus I could confess one last time, and that couldn’t hurt, right?

Cuz something like THAT is what I’d actually like to be doing if I was literally living today like it’s my last.  Well that, and…

– Making amends with and buying ice cream for anyone I’ve ever been less than completely nice to, which is like… everyone…

– And rolling around on the floor with five Weimaraner puppies while being tickled by a nude Olympic women’s volleyball player and listening to all my favorite Beatles songs in a row, which is like… all of them

– And speed reading that entire list of books that I still haven’t gotten to, including the ones on that one shelf that I pretend to myself that I’ve read, as well as all those goddamn New Yorker back issues that they fire at you weekly as if you’re made of eyeballs…

– And swimming in an ocean and a river and a lake and a pond and a stream and then having a nice sweat in a sauna and doing snow angels and then doing all that again one more time but now in the nude with the volleyball player.

– And throwing a snowball at a monkey.  Which I actually did one time but I’d like to do it again with a larger audience ’cause it was really funny.

See there’s a lot to think about.  And since it’s only one lousy shitty regular 24 hour day (why can’t it be “Live every day like it’s your second to last!  And you live on Venus!  Where the day is 5,832 hours long!”), there isn’t even enough time to make lists of all this shit you wanna do, let alone do any of it.

And it’s not like you can save anything for tomorrow.

God I’m paralyzed with indecision just trying to pick between the eight thousand things I want to do one more time (like eat Count Chocula, throw snowball at monkey) and the eight million things I never did but wish I had. (Like drink a ’45 Bordeaux.  Or a ’46.  Or a fucking ’88 for that matter.)  And since it’s my Last Day On Earth I slept in a little cuz I thought that was justifiable, so now there’s only gonna be time for doing like… eight total things.  But… shit, now that I’ve spent hours hyperventilating about this and wasting time writing about it, now there’s probably only time for, like… seven.  Shit.

Shit!  It’s 4:52!  There’s half the day gone already… unless we’re going by sunset in which case I only have one minute left to seize… Shit!  What do I do!?

Here’s what I’ll do, I’ll tell you this:

DO NOT WHATEVER YOU DO LIVE EVERY DAY LIKE IT’S YOUR LAST, BECAUSE IT WILL TURN YOUR ONE REMAINING DAY INTO A LIVING 24 HOUR NIGHTMARE.

Just live like you know you’re gonna die.  Cuz you totally are.  I personally guarantee it.

That way, you can do whatever the hell you want.

I think I’m gonna have a glass of wine and go to bed.

Monkey + snow = Once In a Lifetime Opportunity

Monkey + snow = Once In a Lifetime Opportunity

Having Something To Look Forward To…

… might just be everything.

Having something to look forward to means you have hope.  And when you have hope, your concern is focused on something positive that’s coming your way.  Your outlook is bright (or in the very least there’s a bright crest of something on the horizon), and for a moment you’re cured.

I have something right now that I’m looking forward to.

No, I have two things.  No three things!

1) The bowl of kale & quinoa & who-knows-what-else soup that just finished warming up that I suspect is going to be really good (but might need a bit more cayenne).

2) Going running with my friend after eating said soup and writing this sentence (and hopefully a few to follow so I feel like I’ve accomplished something today).

3) The original thing I was thinking about, and referring to above, which I may or may not reveal at this very moment…

Moo hoo ha ha ha!  Not to get all suspensey (even though I’ve learned how well that trick works— human beings are suckers for temporary punishment in their entertainment [emphasis on the temporary]) but…

I’m looking forward to something.  A lot.  I’m excited about it, in fact.

And that makes me cured, right now at this very moment.  Cured of despair or depression, of the veil and the fog and the cancer and the fear.

All because I have something to look forward to.

What an affordable cure, looking forward: it doesn’t cost a damn thing!  And I suspect it may do the trick for things other than brain cancer: things like depression or rheumatoid arthritis or whatever-it-is-that-ails-you.

I suspect it’s a bit of a Free-Cure-For-All!

So find something to look forward to, if you don’t already have one.

And if you know about and care for someone who needs a cure (for anything), help them find something to look forward to.  Give it to them, if you can.  If you can’t, then help them find it.  And help them keep it in sight (because that’s an utterly crucial aspect of this whole trick as well).

I read an article not so long ago that’s really stuck with me, about an older man in a terrible state of health who knew the end was coming and who nonetheless steadfastly refused to give up or even slow down.  He lived to the end and he loved it (and was loved for it).  And all because he had something to look forward to.

Remarkable how powerful that can be.

And so I gave myself something to look forward to, even though I was scared (and still am scared) that it wasn’t going to happen.  And you know what?  I don’t know if it’s going to happen, but I’m going to try, and I’m looking forward to it, and it’s putting the wind in my sails right now.  Right at this very moment.

I hope it happens.
I hope, I’m cured.
(When I have hope, I am cured.)

Gotta run!

– Chad

PS: this kale & quinoa & who-knows-what-else soup is really good.  And it did need a bit more cayenne.
PPS:  And now that I’m finished gulping this soup down I’ve gotta run (literally), so I can get back to that 3rd thing I’m looking forward to.
PPPS:  Here’s the aforementioned cat, out of the temporarily imposed bag:  #3 is something I’m writing.  Right now.  After I’m done with this post & this soup & this run.  It might be a musical.

It’s good to be busy.
It’s good to have things to do.
It’s good to have things to look forward to.

PPPPS:  Physically & mentally, I’m also feeling a lot better these days, thanks for asking.
(Because a lot of you have asked, so thanks.)
The medications have been cut down, and I’m far enough away from the trauma of chemo/radiation/havingmyentireworldshattered that I’m starting to feel like… shhhhhhhh don’t tell anybody!
(A normal human being again!?)
I did almost have a smoothie yesterday, but that was only because of a mixup with my medication, and who’s afraid of smoothies anyway?  Sometimes they make you SING!