My Gameplan for the Rest of 2017

You know amidst the ever-flowing changes of life, some things take a backseat. And while these changes can be inexplicably altering, they too can prohibit one from properly expressing his or her self in their typical way.

If you haven’t heard already, I’ve been working on a television show. Many of my readers are people I know and so to the dozens of you, this comes as no surprise. But to those of you who may only know me from this blog, I have been neglecting you… and myself. Continue reading

My Cancer Story Ch. 57 “Up In Flames”

Chapter 57: “Up In Flames”

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I had been basking in the memories of my life in real-time for the entirety of the fourteen months since treatment had ended. It was an immense feeling that I had hoped would rub off on others in the world. I was more present in interactions with my friends and loved ones than ever before and I went out of my way to make plans with them– and FOLLOWED THROUGH with said plans. I had found a cheat code in the video game of life dubbed “Extra Life.”

 

Cancer did all of this? Huh, maybe there’s something to near-death from which we could learn.

 

Luckily, many people who had experienced this ordeal with me had also found similar rejuvenation in his or her relationships. Some of my Dad’s family made more time for one another and tore open the lines of communication from a once drought-ridden trickle to a steady, flowing stream. My Mom’s side chose to spend more time with my recently widowed Memére (but that wasn’t because of my experience). Yes, the worst of times can bring out the best in people. But can that nobility and camaraderie persist?

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My Cancer Story Ch. 56 “Moving Out of the First House”

Chapter 55: “Moving Out of the First House”

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Ever since my battle with cancer, memories were something that I was compelled to create in abundance. Those memories didn’t need to be tied intrinsically to monumental moments in my life but also derived from simple things such as melodies and quiet nights at home. This next memory, however, involved an event of middling proportions: the departure from my very first home rental… and return to living with my parents.

 

Memories indeed.

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My Cancer Story Ch. 55 “Memories: Old and New”

Chapter 55: “Memories: Old and New”

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It may not seem like it’s been that long since treatment to your fine readers, but by this time, I had begun treatment over seventeen months ago and after all that time, I still had the Port-a-Cath (from which to draw blood) in my chest, you know, just in case. I had wondered for how long I would keep this third nipple, but the time had come where they deemed it ready for removal. This was a huge milestone for me. This symbolic moment told me that they were confident that I wouldn’t need the Port-A-Cath any longer.

 

Sure, I was nowhere near the five-year confidence threshold, but nevertheless, it was a cause for celebration. In an effort to commemorate such a moment, I wanted to get the removal on film. The procedure was to be conducted during an in-office visit and so, I knew the sterilization process wasn’t drastic enough to prohibit a camera.

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My Cancer Story Ch. 54 “Death and Taxes”

Chapter 54: “Death and Taxes”

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*Update: New closing statement below!

Worst-case scenario, that would be a great term to describe my spending habits. See, I was always terrible with money (See: Chapter 14), but I had never expected to have to fight with the Government for money until maybe age sixty-five. You know, when Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except Death and Taxes” he sure as hell didn’t know about the horrors of Supplemental Security Income (or SSI). When I first fell ill, I was informed that I was able to apply for SSI payments during my hospitalization due to my inability to work.

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My Cancer Story Ch. 53 “The Measure of a Man”

Chapter 53: “The Measure of a Man”

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The whole “nearly dying” thing really awoke me from my slumber. I had been too content in enjoying my life, so much so that I almost forgot to fear my myriad near run-ins with the Grim Reaper! The good news was that this “anxiety attack” was an error; I wasn’t really dying and so, I was able to mentally separate that event from a real flight-or-fight worthy response. My senses had been restored and I could now resume my normal life.

 

Oh, that’s right, I still had to work at MBNA making calls dutifully but never pushing people past their point of rational thought. I carefully laid out the terms of the credit card I was selling at the time and never lied to the customers (like I had heard some other people doing). It kept my conscience – and the money I earned there – clean.

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My Cancer Story Ch. 52 “My ‘Last’ Dance With Mary Jane”

Chapter 52: “My ‘Last’ Dance With Mary Jane”

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By the end of February, Mary Jane and I were in a committed relationship. I would smoke a few times a week at minimum, even though I never expected Tony to offer, but when he would offer, you best believe I accepted. I was, however, one of those guys who would tend to hover around to prompt such an invitation.

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