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DOC last won the day on May 24

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  1. Ok quick addition to let you know I had a bit of an epiphany regarding the music thing. I'm not going to seek a replacement hobby because music (and my relationship to it) won't let me. Instead ... I'm going to take these magnificent guitars I built (you didn't know that I put together rather nice partscasters ... did you ? ) and employ my new hearing to develop my unique musical voice ... since I don't hear frequencies the same as others around me any more I might end up with a tone that is way more interesting than I would have if my hearing was normal. Kind of like speaking a different language than the one I grew up with ... my accent will be a little strange. Not sure if I'm explaining this well, but I have renewed motivation to be "that guy that sounds different" on the instrument. Being as what I hear ISN'T what my audience hears ... it might actually be a blessing in disguise. Nothing else to report (so far) but I'll let you know where my head is at as it comes to me. Even if it's half way up my own arse. PS: it's going to be a slow process. I'm slightly incapacitated in several ways right now, but I think I'm turning some kind of corner. A lot of what I need to do I am unable to for a little longer. It can't last forever.
  2. I was given an option for ear implants but didn't pursue it as it is WAY WAY WAY beyond my means. They didn't define them as "cochlear" maybe they are more affordable than what I was offered. I have a lot more research to do in this area. I haven't worked since this began back in January and am kind of unemployable for a little while longer. As a result I am just fighting to keep a roof over my head. Savings are almost gone. Finding a path where I can afford to keep looking after myself (living alone without family as I do) is a huge challenge. None of the "assistance" schemes operated by the county or other statuary bodies have elected to qualify me for financial help. Of course, affording insurance right now is laughable. So i'm hoping the taste thing isn't permanent but the doctor in charge of that cautioned me to not be overly optimistic. I think my particular issue is that the 50 radiation passes they made at my head and neck destroyed the tissues concerned, and that is causing me to suffer these losses now. It's not a chemo taste thing, I actually had my taste buds destroyed by radiation, although I'm sure the chemo destroyed stuff too. Same with the hearing ... the nerves have actually been burned away by radiation. At least, that's my limited understanding so far. Chemo had more to do with the hearing damage though they did say that was not unheard of. Like everything, just have to hope for the best over time, and hope that the time isn't impossibly depressing. Haven't been given the all clear yet so there's that to to happen before any of this other stuff matters. I want to thank you all for your stellar help in getting me to this moment, as difficult as it is I wouldn't have made it without that help. No thanks can ever adequately express my gratitude.
  3. He's waiting on oncology to set the review of the recent scans. Treatment is on hold until after review. It's bloody nice to be free of radiation and chemo and to experience side effects diminish rather than get worse. First time in 6 months it hasn't been worse being awake than asleep. Still a long way to go but am optimistic that we might have beaten the cancer (so far) but we still have to win the recovery ... which is mooted to be a hard road as well. I am being well advised and trying to not get ahead of myself. My hearing unfortunately ... the loss that they originally said would be temporary has been diagnosed last week by the hearing specialist as permanent. The tests they ran pinpointed all the frequencies I have lost, and they are all the ones you need for clarity and ... most importantly to me (as a musician) harmonic detail. That was a major blow. I'm still very depressed about that. I'll be getting some more detail about other "side effects" that may or may not be permanent damage as a result if the treatment. I'm hoping the food thing isn't in that category because as it stands right now there is no joy in tasting anything, I'd almost rather keep doing the hardware ingestion process even though it is ugly and awful and has to end ... but it is at least not like eating poison. I guess if I'm complaining about the loss of being able to detect flavor other than poisonous garbage I must be in a better place, eh ! So you'll never enjoy a steak again, big deal right ? (excuse my being facetious) Well anyway ... here's to a good result when the review comes in (2 weeks away) and now to tackle life without missing the things the treatment has taken from me that I will maybe never enjoy again. The recent news that these losses are probably permanent severely knocked my optimism down to the ground. My well being doctor (they have those) told me that I was entering the phase where I might again have a life, but that the toughest part of that good news is I might have to find a reason to want to live it without the joys I once couldn't imagine living without. He said this was what did most survivors in. They survived the disease but they couldn't cope with what it took away as being what they had left to go forwards with. I get where he's coming from. I hope we beat the disease (I feel like we have but it's not confirmed) but miss the music and the simple taste of good food so much that to never know them again is going to be very depressing. Trying to stay positive. Bankruptcy isn't helping either. I am trying to lay this out without pride or fear of revealing things I would normally keep private. Maybe it will help others to see inside what is happening here, even if it's just a glimpse. I'm not seeking sympathy. Lord knows I've had mountains of that. It's been a humbling experience. I'm going to fight on but I fear for how I'll be feeling as the days unfold even if we do beat it. That's just the honesty in me talking. I totally understand why those who can no longer live a life they enjoy ask the world to let them die in peace. The things that made them laugh and smile still exist outside of them, but the sadness in between that they carry for the loss of the simple pleasures, the ones that make up most of our lives ... just squashes their motivation like a bug under a boot. I can't imagine no more musicianship and for basic nutrition to always taste like ... well it's hard to describe but it tastes awful. Where sitting down to eat because you can't survive without food, is like ... enduring pain or something similar. Where eating is not enjoyable. My well being doctor says "well congratulations because that's exactly what you might have to do." Before today I thought the hard part was surviving the treatment. It's amazing how the goal posts shift while you're moving down the ground thinking you're gonna kick some goals.
  4. I cannot eat by mouth because my throat is completely FUBAR right now. From tests earlier when it was still possible, the level of pain was just part of the issue ... everything tastes like poison and I want to throw up it's so nasty. Not sure about the nose aspect. I graduated to limited oral passage of "creamy" stuff just today (yogurt) and after the weekend hope to be able to take on soup. Real solid food is going to take a bit longer because just trying to chew it enough to get through my throat I begin to have a gag reflex causing me to throw up. This is going to take awhile.
  5. So g'day WWIIOL peeps. I'm still hanging in there, but it's gotten pretty ugly. Hopefully the bottom out has occurred and we'll start to swing back from here. I'm confined to my house unless it's a critical reason to leave (like treatment) because my infection risk is at its maximum while my blood and immune system have reached a critical low. Last review the said I'd lost 20% of my muscle mass. I do feel like a 2 day old kitten with respect to strength and endurance. My blood condition is below the basement, it's low enough I may require full transfusion to get it started again come review time. The first phase of treatment is now completed. When a month has passed clear of the radiation and chemo we begin the analysis and diagnosis stage of phase 1 and that's when I'll see how my progress has come along. They say I won't be fully clear of the consequences and in "rebuild" mode until 4 to 6 weeks after the close of treatment, given the cancer is in complete remission. In a couple of weeks I'll know if I have to endure more of this mind bendingly awful treatment or not. There were a few moments I didn't think I was going to make it, but they did warn me my treatment plan was the worst most debilitating treatment program schedule they could create. It makes success more likely but enduring it much more difficult. I'm not able to eat or drink normally (orally) and that may be the case for some time to come. Feeding, hydration and nutrition is all via hardware installed into my gut. Not pretty and requires constant attention. However ... I am optimistic right now as the last day has been the easier than the last 3 months of this nightmare and maybe we are turning the corner as I head into review status late next week. Lot's of scans and biopsies to do once review begins. Thank you for all the support it has meant more to me than I can ever express. I'm impatient for some normalacies to return but the medico's tell me to hang on and wait. It may be months before I can be even slightly normal given the treatment has done the job. I kind of knew I wouldn't be in "mend" mode until the end of summer but as usual I am in a hurry to be rid of this fugging nightmare. I know now I shall never experience anything with this level of suck ever again, so by the end of the year maybe I'll be the happiest [censored] that ever lived. We shall see. < !S! >
  6. I'm not sure what I am right now is alive. Breathing yeah ... otherwise ... meh.
  7. I am still curious about something I myself never got to see in action during a campaign. The last terrain build I made before being thrown overboard with a liferaft and a canteen of water included a few new "ideas" with respect to town layout and contestable facilities. It never got put into a build, but I understand that Merlin51 changed that recently. I don't recall the towns this experiment was done in other than I *think* they are centered around the north-east area of the map, maybe 5 or 6 towns in from the factory edge up in that part of the world. The facilities are like little factory districts that can be captured, and often called "xxxxx Power Station" where "xxxx" is the name of the town they are in or nearby. They would show up in strat as a city facility, if that's how things still work these days. They were created to add a little pizzazz to existing towns and see if a more extended "combat" zone could be created especially seeing as towns made in the early days were tiny and didn't cover a lot of real estate. Did these efforts ever get included in subsequent terrain updates since way back then ? I'm just curious if they turned out to be any good as far as improving small town fighting experiences where this was trialled ? The buildings central to these "power stations" would be the 3 level factory with the smokestacks and conveyor belt thing and of course the warehouse building with the ramps outside the entrances. Some other small buildings would be employed to create cull-de-sacs and laneways (giving it a maze like quality) where CQC might be fun. I can't be much more help than this, but if anyone knows what I'm talking about, I'm curious what you think.
  8. We live in what is, in many cases ... a very stupid world mate.
  9. Medical marijuana just became legal in Texas and will be experimented with.
  10. Yeah but I have no taste buds until 2 months after this treatment ends. everything tastes like poison. I'm going to miss food for some time to come. I'm getting the nutrition just no flavour. My food is pumped into me by tube anyway. Otherwise if it were just "difficulty" I'd have the world's best food processor and be grinding that [censored] into paste as we speak. What I miss right now is flavour. Anyone who hasn't realized it yet ... don't take flavour for granted. If you ever lose it, it will be a tragedy mark my words. Oh and Jwilly ... yeah .... not losing weight is a battle. I have dropped 30 pounds (which I had to lose anyway) and that's while trying not to lose weight. Fighting chemo/radiation costs about the same in calories as just living a normal day, and all I do all day is eat and sleep. The GI tract is a different battle altogether. One medication closes it down, the other floods it out ... one does something else and the other something else again. I'm never going to hate the flu again, it's going to seem like a cloudy day on the beach after this.
  11. Time to fill you in on the latest. It's been awhile but really ... apart from "this sucks like nothing on earth" there wasn't a lot to say. To be honest ... even though this is the worst thing I have ever experienced I know vets suffer hundreds of times worse so I don't ever want to be complaining about it. To this great community here at WWIIOL ... I wouldn't have made it this far without your brilliant help, so I am beholding to you forever now. There will never be words enough to thank you for that. Maybe just shoot me instead. :UPDATE: I've now entered phase 3 of the program ... which doesn't mark much change really other than it's a cumulative process. They changed some of my medication after phase 1 proved almost unendurably bad with respect to how my body responded (violently) to the chemicals and the radiation. This improved how my body is reacting but being cumulative it still managed to get a little worse. So I'm really feeling weak because it's a constant state of fatigue balanced with trying to hold onto my weight while being unable to eat real solid food. My throat has shut down to the point where I'm on scientific nutrition formula. Baby food for astronauts baby ! Yeah ! Houston we don't have no problem. My larynx gave up a few days ago and I can't speak while undergoing radiation, so I'm totally modern now and a texter like the rest of the world. GOOD NEWS ! The tumor in my lymphatic system has responded well and appears to be going away. We won't know the precise progress until testing and biopsies are done after phase 3 is over with and complete. It does however on appearances look much better though. So that's fantastic. The throat tumor is also apparently (visually) responding well but again, no testing/biopsies until after this next phase is complete. That means about 2 months time until we can begin testing again. Until then ... chemo radiation daily. UGH. The chemo will be wound down first and frankly I can't wait, it's easily the most debilitating experience I have ever encountered. It destroys everything. Good and bad. Oh there's some cancer DESTROY ! Oh look, there's some white blood cells. DESTROY !! Hey guys, we found some healthy tissue here. DESTROY !!! I'm going to bet the radiation isn't much better ... combined this is truly soul crushing but I'm hanging in there though as we enter the back straight. During all this time, I'm an old man with the energy of a cadaver. If my house doesn't fall apart around me while I'm holding on by my fingernails (which have stopped growing, pretty neat eh !) I'll be looking pretty good. A little over cooked (radiation burn, the best kind of sunburn) and missing some hair here and there ... but looking good. So yeah ... some of the process has become easier and some of it ... err ... no not so much. Not sure if the roundabouts are winning or if the swings are about to nail me in the head. It does look like I might actually win this and I'm positive in that respect. I never would have got this far without the help of those who came to my aid and I can never thank you enough. The war isn't over but the tide could turn in a few months ... but then again I don't want to get ahead of myself. Have a great Easter weekend and remember to take the time to enjoy something as simple as a bloody good hamburger. It could be your last. No offense to you vegans but I would kill for a bloody good hamburger right now.
  12. I like the fact that there are some blunt sarcastic individuals working with me in this fight. "To be honest ... in order to cure you we're going to be as close as we can get to killing you." At least I get to join Keith Richards in the whole "complete blood transfusion" stakes. Only required of course because they have to kill my blood. They're giving me artificial leukemia !
  13. Well ... there are always surprises eh !? Turns out the cancer did start in my throat. The lymphatic tumour thing is because of the throat cancer, ie: a secondary metastization. I'm through all the preliminaries now, as a nurse at the clinic said to me yesterday ... "in your marriage to cancer you're just ending the honeymoon phase. Now it's time to move into the reality part of the relationship". Just letting you know where I'm at, and another chance to say thanks for the support which is critical and heartfelt ... see you when I come out the other side of this terrible partnership with a full divorce.
  14. I need a time machine so I can go back and prevent any of this from even happening. Here's the latest as of today. I will spare you the gory stuff but it's going to get ... nasty. I thought there were those of you who deserved this in the same blunt open terms I took it. DO NOT FEEL SORRY FOR ME IT IS FORBIDDEN. I had my final 3 hour briefing today before the health care professionals go all Manhatten Project on my arse. It begins on Thursday. Last night out Wednesday night but no getting drunky poo. I don't want to get into the gory details, and some of them gave me pause ... but I love irony so I'll say this. The cure will make me feel like I'm dying. It's actually going to kill parts of me. It's described as a "highly aggressive" treatment. The most aggressive they have, but in doing this my prospects for recovery are pretty good they tell me ... in the long term. First phase is a combined radiation and chemo therapy course 5 days a week for 3 months, then see how I handle it. Short term, there will be some challenges that, to be honest ... well it was deflating. However there is no avoiding it. Basically the way they make me better is microwaving away 25% of my health and well being and making parts of me uglier than I can contemplate (and I ain't no Brad Pitt to begin with) and some of it will never return to normal even after recovery; unless I am some kind of medical journal cover story freak. Which because I'm a big stubborn ox is what I'm shooting for. Anyway, I love you all but I'm going to be a bit of a hermit for a bit. It's just something I have to do. Don't take my absence to imagine anything bad. I'm going to be doing fine. Come at me bro. Take yer best shot.
  15. Hey there WWIIOL fans. So here's an update on my progress. Went in for surgery on Monday ... they weren't sure exactly what would be removed as there was to be a spot pathology while I was under to determine the true extent of what showed up in my last scan. So a piece of my throat was taken at the base of where the tongue starts down in the throat. Well we found the primary folks, it's in my throat. So my lymphoma is being caused by a throat cancer. This meant the tumor in my neck was not removed as it will be treated by chemo on the primary in my throat. Now we are waiting for more pathology on the type of cancer I have in my throat/base of my tongue. This will determine what further surgery I have to undergo in addition to the precise nature of the chemo treatment. I've not been feeling all that great this week but that's to be expected, I should bounce back just in time to start chemo eh (sardonic grin) ... at the same time I'm making an effort to get my car fixed because I can't let that slide no matter how challenging it is to rectify that situation. For those not in the know I kind of sacrificed my front end to a concrete wall to help a dog to not have his very last dash across the road through traffic. It's going to be a busy week ahead that's for sure. Hope you're all well and don't take anything for granted. That's an order so pay attention.