Most things that I create (film or write) I do it with the intent of making someone happy, creating new thoughts, or sparking imagination. This post is a little different. Below are two different writings. I was dealing with some stuff in my life and thought I’d take a moment to write about it. It's more of a spewing of thoughts, a stream of consciousness even. If nothing else, I hope at least one person will find this helpful.
December 10th, 2014
It’s December 10th, 2014 and I’m scared shitless. In October my mom was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast Cancer - HER2 positive.
My initial thought: Okay, stage 1. This sucks but we have many reasons to be optimistic. There's 4 stages. This was caught early. We'll just remove the problem and be done, right? Sort of right.
There's this HER2 thing, which apparently is a protein, and because of this protein, she needs Chemotherapy. Since October we’ve had more doctor visits than I’d like to remember but the major milestones was the Mastectomy… another small surgery… and now the chemo journey. The first treatment was yesterday, and now, I sit in my mom's home, fucking confused as to what my mom, sister, and I are getting ourselves into.
It should be noted that I live in California, my sister in Colorado, and my mom in Wisconsin. The travel has allowed me to enter the elusive A PLUS program offered by Southwest along with a companion pass for the next calendar year - I’ve flown a lot. My distance is what scares me. The unknown scares me... How is my mom going to handle this when we’re not around? My father passed away a long time ago and that’s the short way of saying she’s by herself.
Like every single human in the entire world who's dealt with this - when we found out my mom had breast cancer it was a shock. She’s healthy, what the fuck? Now we’re pumping her full of shit. Shitty fucking shit. I hate chemo and I hate all of the drugs she has to take. Just today she took steroids, anti nausea something, and Claritin, yes, fucking Claritin. Why? Well, it will help blah blah nausea blah blah blah.
Eh. I can’t compute anymore. I thought I’d have a holistic solve. I don’t. We’re left pumping my mom full of garbage.
Here I am. Confused as ever. Really scared. I’m writing this in hopes to follow up when her final chemo treatment is done. Maybe beyond. I hope to look back so I don’t forget how scared I was, even though no amount of words could do justice. I’m also writing this to maybe help someone else at some point, because all I want right now is some kind of help or guidance.
I wish I could find someone just like me and talk to that person and just hear them out. I want a son, from out of town, who is dealing with his mother’s small tumors but hey, it had a protein (HER2) that elevated my mom’s estrogen and forced chemo into our lives. I want to find that someone. It sounds sick but if there was a MATCH.com for people like me seeking other people like me, I’d be on it so fast it’s scary. I just want to talk with a version of me.
I guess I’m just worried. Scared. I can’t say it enough. I’m writing this fully knowing I’m showing my emotional hand, but at this moment, this is what’s helping me. This is what feels good. This is what I need to do. The truth is, I don’t know if i’m going to post this. I have this website for posting thoughts and feelings. I also release other content online. I release videos and short films of stories and thoughts. Staying guarded about my personal life, but trying to crack the door open juuuuust enough.
When I come back to this document it will be after my mother’s next 5 treatments of chemo (6 in total). I’m optimistic, mainly because every doctor told us to be, but I’m still worried.
I’m going to leave this document to collect dust for a few months, then revist, and I hope I can help someone like me at some point. I hope this will relate to at least one person. I hope that someone may read this seeking answers and will reach out to me to talk about life. Most importantly, I hope that when I come back here it’s with positive news, I’m sure it will be.
Fuck cancer. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Off to have an emotional breakdown...
April 8th, 2015
It’s April 8, 2015. My mom’s final chemo was two weeks ago. It’s weird how time flies but on the same hand it slogs along. That’s what the past 6-7 months have felt like - slow, yet fast.
I was hesitant to write this and post. At this moment I'm kind of "done" talking about all of this stuff. In other words, I'd like to pretend like everything is okay and compartmentalize. Also, as I mentioned above I tend to stay a bit guarded with what I release and truthfully this is offering up more than I thought I’d ever post about myself.
Just for the record… I’m not some guy who thinks people are going to flock to read random things I post on a blog. I know where I stand in the world of the internet, I’m not a fool, but at the same time you never know what will come back to haunt you down the road. People need to be careful when posting online.
That’s a message for the kids.
I was thinking about when I first started writing this and it was when I was very confused and very lost. I needed someone to talk to, I was aware of that. I have my wife, family, and friends to vent to but I needed something more. Not saying I needed a therapist but I wanted a dude to relate to. Maybe I did need a therapist?
Secretly (or maybe not so secretly) I wanted me from the future to tell me what’s going on. Okay, so I needed a DeLorean. I think it’s safe to say that I hate uncertainty, specifically when it comes to issues of health. Yet, here we are, dealing with uncertainty and still moving forward. I wish I could just say “hey, we’re in the clear” but my mom still has a road ahead, however after the last 6-7 months I think I can say with certainty we can handle this.
My heart goes out to anyone who has to deal with this shit, especially when cancer isn’t caught early…Hell, even when it is caught early. I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone. I truly believe it’s the devil and not in disguise, it’s showing itself and blatantly fucking with you. Which is the worst.
If you can relate to anything I just wrote and you find yourself in a similar situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. All I wanted was someone to talk to and I can’t say it enough. If you’re finding yourself going crazy and want to vent, rant, email, skype, facetime, share stories, whatever, I am here for that. I’d be more than happy to express any thoughts or just talk about things. I'm no therapist, not by a long shot, but I am a dude who can lend an ear.
This is my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My mom’s situation isn’t nearly as dire as others, the outlook is positive, and I'm fully aware of how fortunate my current situation is. But I can't deny that this single experience did a number on me mentally. It re-calibrated my thoughts and gave the “life is short” reminder. By the way, the “life is short” reminder shouldn’t ever actually be a reminder, it should just be a way of life. I’m ashamed I actually need something massive to remind me. Fuck it, no dwelling on the past, life is short. Remember not to waste your time on bullshit (easier said than done).
There you have it. That’s it. Hopefully I can pay something forward from this (currently ongoing) experience. When I’m done writing this I'm going to take a moment to appreciate life… and then follow that moment up with saying, “Fuck you cancer." I seriously hope cancer gets cancer and self implodes.
Good luck to everyone dealing with the devil.