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Radiation Mask Nightlight

    So what do you do when you have a radiation mask from a leftover treatment? - Make a "Radiation Mask Nightlight" of course!  Ok should I say that again, how did I end up with this idea.  Well one of my affects from my cancer meds is that I cannot share my body sweat so I cannot sleep in the same bed as my wife and so I have relocated to another part of the house and well it is dark.  I was keeping the light on in the bathroom, and I thought I needed a night light.      I took a Google Nightlight which can be voice controlled and paired it with my Alexia device and simply put the nightlight beneath the mask.  The nightlight has lots of different color settings and can be programed to come on a certain times, etc.  As the light shines underneath the mask lights up and you can easily see the contours of my face, my chest and well it makes one awesome night light. Radiation Nightlight Red Light for Caps and Nats games, and well it looks cool!
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Healed Podcast

American Cancer Society HEALED Community Gathering Podcast Air Date: December 22, 2021 Moderator: Pat Croce, ACS Healed Guests: Stan Golub, CEO of Reel Recovery                 Matt Parker, October 2021 percipient in Reel Recovery Subject: Reel Recovery's Mission to  help men in the cancer recovery process by introducing them to the healing powers of the sport of fly-fishing, while providing a safe, supportive environment to explore their personal experiences of cancer with others who share their stories You Tube Link

Reel Recovery Cancer Retreat

   My first Cancer Retreat - Reel Recovery , kicked off this past October 2021 at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the Rose River in VA.  I joined other Men living with cancer to learn the healing powers of fly fishing along with honest discussions from the cancer struggles, learning and gains.  In fact, Reel Recovery was founded in 2003 from a group of fishing buddies in which one of them passed away from cancer, he scribbled on the dusty truck one day " Be Well, Fish On ."  Obviously this connected with me since my motto is HammerOn, that you need to keeping going, that life goes on.    The drive down was awesome, with each mile driven the bustling of the city grew smaller, the roads curved around bends full of trees, the leaves turned yellow and the air was crisp, a perfect fall day.  As I checked into the lodge, I was struck by one of those Dad moments again (I spoke about this in my Radiation 33 blog post.)  He was sitting right in front of me, talking wit

Lifetime Radiation 33

   How did I get here - 33 Lifetime Radiations to treat my Cancer?  Looking backwards, my 30th Radiation was on June 11, 2019 and then my 31st Radiation was on March 15, 2021 or 643 days in between.   I began three days of intense CyberKnife Radiation at John's Hopkins Baltimore or known to me as the "Mothership" to treat the tumor on my spine that I wrote about in my "3 Sentences" blog post.   What exactly is CyberKnife Radiation?  Good question let's compare treatments - my 30 Radiations were at John's Hopkins Sibley Memorial Hospital which involved walking in a concrete box, turning on some tunes, holding my breath for 20 seconds, lying still between breaths all lasting about 20 minutes each treatment.  CyberKnife, well, it's big fucking time, still walked into a concrete box, still listened to tunes, but I'm bolted to the table with my custom mask and have to hold still for 90 minutes and treated with a very high dose radiation.  I heard that

3 Sentences

            Sunday, February 07. 2021 - Super Bowl Sunday, I went to the ER for a pain in my right lower abdomen under my rib cage, thinking I might have a pulmonary embolism.  So to check that out, I underwent a CT (scan #1) of my chest and top abdomen and ultrasound (scan #2) to rule out PE or gallbladder.  After a couple of hours, I got the results: no PE and nothing wrong with the gallbladder.  What I got instead was three sentences on a discharge document:     ER Report 02-07-21  Impression "3 Sentences"   Osseous metastatic disease with new T5 vertebral body lesion demonstrating epidural tumor extension. New lung nodules consistent with metastatic disease. Small right pleural effusion. Nodularity along the major fissure.  Findings concerning for malignant effusion , What followed was a TIDAL WAVE of EMOTION - WHAT? - YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME.  After several choice cuss words and a few hours of not being able to comprehend these 3 sentences, I sat down and wrote an ema

Go 1-0

   On June 11, 2019 I completed 278 days of cancer treatment with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.  Earlier that morning my wife gave me a Stand Up 2 Cancer t-shirt with big yellow letters across the front reading "Survivor."  She asked me to wear it on my last day, but I did not.  I put on my go-to, a worn down red t-shirt that said "Mr. Incredible" - in my mind I was not a survivor until I completed that 30th round of radiation and rung that bell.  As I rung the "finished" bell, I was immediately overwhelmed with sadness, joy, gratitude, all of the above and I paused there standing weeping in my own tears.  As I looked up towards my doctors and my wife, a little boy on a hospital bed wheeled past me, with his 4 doctors in toe and a crash cart.  The patient had been in the adjacent radiation room getting treated for brain cancer, he couldn't have more than 7 years old.  Here I was finishing my treatment at age 42, there he was at somewhere on his

HammerOn - The Story

    I wrote back in November 2018 about my battle slogan, "HammerOn."  I was actually in the process of repairing my fence in Arlington in late summer of 2018 when I was diagnosed with cancer.  Working on the fence helped me take my mind off the diagnosis, combined with my childhood memories of rebuilding fences with my Dad, really got the idea into my head from  beyond board and nails to a work ethic instilled in me to keep getting up and hammering on.  The symbolism of the HammerOn logo was cemented when o ne month into chemotherapy my cousin Andrew brought me two hammers, a  ball peen hammer belonging to our grandfather and a framing hammer belonging to his dad which were used to hammer on metal and wood.  I instantly felt connected to the hammers, through the spirt of my Dad and Andrew's Dad whom both died of cancer.  My backyard fence at time of diagnosis - Aug/Sep 2018       My cancer experience while positive was emotionally difficult, in fact I didn't thi