Hello world, how are you? I’m good. It is now officially a new year and I am looking forward to having 2016 not suck. I was thinking the other day how much has happened this last year and I have to say I am amazed that it is all behind me now.
I started this year with a surgery to remove three cancerous lymph nodes from my body, but first they had to set aside my digestive track to get the nodes. This took me several months to recover from.
End of a Relationship
As I recovered from my surgery, my girlfriend of three years had to end things with me. Crying hurt.
This left me without a place to live and I looked at living with my parents at 38 years old. #winning.
I was then told that they had found a spot on my liver that could possibly be a type of cancer that would end up being the end of me in five to seven years. The doctor did say it was only one of many possibilities, but I did a great job of deciding to accept my early retirement.
I have continued this year with a fuzzy ADD brain that is a side effect of the kind of chemo treatment I received last year. I can’t read, write, concentrate on conversations, forgetful, moody, suffered from fatigue, and just plain old being tired. I still feel some of these now, but I think its getting better.
Moving to Devil’s Point
A friend of mine had a room available at his apartment for a great deal, in a neighborhood I like and I chose to move there before I was healthy. Over twenty or so people came and helped me move. The whole move took less than an hour. We ate Round Table Pizza afterwards.
I tried dating. I went on some OK Cupid dates, but they went too blasé for any exciting possibilities. I dated someone that I was interested in dating many years ago. I found that I have some very strong ideals for which I want to date and I need to be me when I date someone.
Rediscovering my Tribe
I spent this last year developing a fellowship of friends that I love hanging out with and becoming supporting to each other. Before cancer I had thought that I was too old to be able to roll with a crew that stays up late and laughs. Laughter is more important to me than anything else.
I started working at a grocery store as a cashier. I started part time as I grew stronger and as I did I started working more hours. I love my job and I don’t mind having to work. It’s almost another thing I choose to do which is weird. I like the company I work for and I look forward to what I get to do for them this year as they grow.
I met a beautiful Sicilian woman and we started dating over six months ago. She is beautiful and wonderful and treats me like a king. She is also stubborn, argumentative and has no problem taking me down when I am not being a good person. She also makes me laugh like no other person. I love her and she has given me a lot the second half of 2015.
Oregon Trees & Creeks
I got to go on a lot of small adventures all over the NW this last year after feeling better. Bing Bong and I went to the coast, the mountains, the high desert and some islands. I had almost forgotten how beautiful the Pacific Wonderland is.
I found out that I wasn’t going to die of liver cancer and that I am back to being like most of you where death will be a surprise.
While the second half of this last year had many positive changes, I had a hard time with depression. Cancer was so real, intensely so, that being returned to the almost dream like state of normal life has just crushed me. I’m moody, angry at the universe and sad. I don’t know how long this depression will last, but I have taken every step necessary to not let it swallow me up.
Last Year of Youth
I turned 39 in October.
Oregon Convention Center
I told my story in front of 2900 people at the Oregon Convention Center. It was recorded. I think I did well. Almost everyone I had spoken to tell me I did. One guy said I didn’t feel enough.
I don’t know what is in store for me this year. I want to continue my relationship with my lovely girlfriend and go on more adventures with her. I want to lose the foggy chemo brain and get back to writing and other creative outlets. I want to be a better man. I want to be teachable and become more of what I know I can be.