Cancerboy Chronicles: Outliving your initial prognosis edition…

tim1958Today I turn 60. This, by itself, is not a big deal. However, two years ago I felt – and was sure that – I would be dead today. This morning I woke up at 5am with severe pain in my abdomen. That’s the first time I’d felt that kind of breathtaking pain in several months. There was no doubt that is was my cancer (The 3 Stooges) making sure I remember that at any time, I can be taken. There comes a moment in times like this morning, where you have to decide If you wake your wife and tell her you need to go to the hospital. Fortunately, The double-dose of Percocet kicks in and you get to live a normal life. — If only for another day.

I am lucky to have Sue. I am lucky to have the friends I have. I am lucky that I have outstayed my welcome. Onward…

Hot, humid weather is doubly bad these days…

My Balloon Flower's first bloom of the season.(Platycodon Grandiflorus) Tim Farrell 2016©

My Balloon Flower’s first bloom of the season.(Platycodon Grandiflorus) Tim Farrell 2016©

Tappan NY – Just went out of the house to admire the first Balloon Flower bloom of this season.  I had feared that we lost it over the winter. Alway a latecomer to the garden, there it was, just as I was giving up hope of seeing it.

The bad news is that I have zero tolerance for hot and humid weather.  I guess I can thank two years of chemo for that.  (Not that I was very tolerant of H&H before.)  The walk to the plant was about 12 yards and back. I was struggling to breath normally as I made my way back to the house.

If you need me, I’ll be in my air conditioned house all day.

Cancerboy Chronicles: Nothing to Report Edition*

TF_6-30-16I don’t give it too much weight – but it’s been two years since I started chemo. I don’t “celebrate” the anniversary of my diagnosis, which was a few weeks ago – I leave that to Facebook to send me a “Memories” reminder.

I am strengthened by your support and by the Rock which is Sue. Anyway, two years ago I truly didn’t think I’d still be here clogging up the internet with this narcissistic gobbledygook. But here I am. [big long raspberry]

That is all.

*Notice I didn’t write “addition” this time?

Cancerboy Chronicles: MRI results

To all the Ships at Sea who give a rats ass about this sort of thing: Had an MRI late last week. Today I got the results. Larry & Curly and two troublesome lymph nodes have seen a decent reduction in size since my Y90 procedure and following chemo poisoning. Moe, always the troublemaker, grew slightly. The cancer has not spread though.

All in all an OK report. We stay the course for now. Onward… Nyuk, nyuk, nyukmri result1

Cancerboy Chronicles: Started chemo again…

ZelodaCancerboy Chronicles: Started chemo again two weeks ago. It has kicked the shit out of me. I now have a week off. …Be nice to Sue, she deserves a fucking medal. This cancer stuff really sucks over the long haul… Thinking of talking to my oncologist about lowering my chemo dosage. Or quitting it all together. Yes, I know what that means. …Like I said, be nice to Sue.

Jenga. That’s my body now. You do one treatment, one pain killer, one pill to counteract the pain-killer constipation – you have to compensate with one for the result… Ying/Yang… That’s me.

I love you all for the strength you give me.

I haven’t given up. Onward.

Cancerboy Chronicles: No Drama Edition

timwbeerA couple of weeks ago marked a year since I got my cancer diagnosis. I didn’t mention it for a few reasons. First it’s not something to celebrate. Second, it’s meaningless knowing I’d been carrying these tumors around for who-knows-how-long. But most importantly I didn’t mention it because I didn’t want to elevate that day to star status. Besides, the original diagnosis proved to be wrong. (For those those still think I have the 1st diag. No, I don’t have pancreatic cancer. I have pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. It’s a different disease, but no less deadly, ultimately. Just ask Steve Jobs.) If I did have the first, I’d most likely be dead now.

The point of this drivel is to thank you all for a year’s worth of support, lunch invites and your friendship. I means a lot to me. Sometimes even Mr. Sarcasm/snarkface/a-hole/ I wish he’d stop posting about the Rangers Dude (that’s me) gets bewildered and down. You always pick me up. You’re like Cher slapping me and saying, “Snap out of it!”

Brief status report: I am doing OK. If you saw me in person you’d think (to yourselves I trust), “What a fat load!” It’s true. For some reason* I have been gaining weight through this whole thing. *reasons are mostly likely a result of the chemo and , oh yeah, I like to eat. They ask about your appetite every time you go in for chemo. My stock answer is “voracious!” Go figure. [knock wood]

Plan B seems to be going as planned (hoped). They have taken me off one of the two drugs I was getting. Still on one drug, Irinotecan, which still makes me pretty nauseous at times. (Gods bless certain non-approved medicinal remedies for nausea.)

Make biggest practical problem is fatigue. I tell people that I get exhausted tying my shoes. They smile, but I’m being deadly serious. (Yes I have loafers and sandals.) Golf is a tease when I pass my home course. I have all this time, but couldn’t walk to the first tee without having to sit a spell. It’s frustrating that I can only do limited yard work. I have to ask Sue to do some of the things I did.

OK enough whining…. gotta go plan dinner. Thanks for your support this year. I’ll shoot for writing another This-Isn’t-An-Anniversary-Note note same time next year. ??? Onward…

“Enjoy every sandwich.” – Warren Zevon

Dear friends, There is no easy way to say this, so here goes… I have been diagnosed with cancer. Without going into details, it’s the kind you never know about until it is too late. I am in for the fight of my life. Some of you know this by now and word is starting get around the coconut telegraph. After considering the pros and cons of going public with this, I have decided that telling everyone in person, or on the phone, is too emotionally draining. Why tell anyone?… Cautionary tale: If you ever don’t feel right, or have a pain that, in your soul, you know isn’t right. Act on it. Relentlessly.

I have promised Sue that I will maintain a positive attitude and my sense of humor and fight this for as long as I am able. It’s the very least I can do for her. And while I vehemently reject manmade religion, I do believe in God and I do believe in karma. All donations of karma will be gratefully accepted. Just promise me something… Be nice to each other.

I will still be on Facebook to occasionally darken your doors with my hideous brand of snark and sarcasm… plus, as a bonus, I also offer my shitty grammar and continued misuse of ellipses…

10 June 2014
tim “at” (@) timfarrell . org

Coming up on a Year…


raptor2Almost a year since I’ve posted anything here. I’m not surprised. I question the value of a blog if you don’t have a specific topic to keep hammering at. Regardless, I enter this post anyway in order to blow the dust off this thing.

The Hawk pictured above was my test subject for a lens that had just been returned from Canon repair.  Most likely an immature Cooper’s hawk.  Whatever it is it took off after a sparrow right after this frame.  A bird’s gotta eat.