Finding Chemo Update

Only time I met Captain Phil Harris of the F/V Cornelia Marie

Only time I met Captain Phil Harris of the F/V Cornelia Marie

Chemo Update

Sorry to procrastinate my update. Cancer has become a full time job. For every cancer diagnosis, 5 trees are felled for the paperwork it takes to bill and inform them of their treatment. Besides treatment, I’ve been occupied moving into my own place, communicating with as many as possible, trying to document the journey, and putting more irons in the fire for my post-treatment plans. Haven’t even had time to properly thank you all. A broad-swipe “thank you” just doesn’t cut it here, but THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!

Finding Chemo

When people say it’s good to see you, I always say, “It’s good to be seen.” Chemo hasn’t been so bad. Everyone at the cancer center loves me: patients and staff. I crack jokes and can’t help but flirt with the ladies. It’s a comfortable environment with a super friendly staff.

The bulk of my treatment starts on the 27th with chemo and radiation to my bungholio area for 6 weeks. This part will suck, but won’t kill me or make me infertile or impotent so says my Doc (whew!). Frankly, this is the part where I will likely need my friends and family the most. FYI, I probably won’t call and ask for company/help. I’m a knob like that… but moving on.

The worst part of treatment so far hasn’t been that bad: Talking about chemo and cancer non-stop gets a little taxing. That and being homebound for treatment suck. Otherwise, there’s lots of good happening, and I’m staying positive. This is the longest I’ve been home in 4 years, so I’m itching to work and adventure again.

The good parts outweigh the bad: This winter has been the least stressful I’ve had in years. People are extra nice and super concerned. Lots of love and prayers are sent my way, and on top of that: people feel obligated to laugh at my jokes! My lifelong desire to be a comic is sated. Haha! And the best part? Being reminded that I have the best friends and family in the world. Sorry to burst bubbles, but I’m winning that contest hands down.

Family: we’ve tightened. Worst feeling in the world has to be having a sick child. Mom and Dad are re-assured now. Dad bachelored it with me for a couple days. We sat around in our undies watching porn and talking about power tools. Just kidding. Mom and I have decided: no more politics. It’s always bad. My brother was there for me when this all went down (Side note: He got a colonoscopy since cancer is often a family affair [3 of 4 grandparents died from cancer]. Polyps were removed, and thankfully none were cancerous.). Some cousins spearheaded the fundraising and website and others are helping me access the medical bill string pullers to hopefully negotiate a reasonable rate on my pre-insured expenses. My retired aunt, a nun, has a special group of clergy praying for my recovery in France. How about that? And more…

Friends: Everyday I’m contacted by someone I haven’t seen in years. So many friends also spearheaded the Ass Aid fundraiser: a perfect storm of love, food, comedy, laughs, belly dancing, music, slideshow, t-shirts, buttons, auctions, support, and Dad’s James Brown imitation. Besides Ass Aid, friends did my taxes, gave me rides, brought me food, helped me move, and laughed at all my bad jokes. And more… I could and should literally go on and on about who has my back. I promise that many thank you cards are in our future.

Strangers: From around the globe, strangers send positive vibes, prayers, gifts, advice, and support.  A Minnesotan has donated her time, energy, and creativity to bring online awareness to my situation and auctioned off personal items, including a one-of-a-kind hat signed by Phil Harris that sold for $2k. A stranger bought it for double what the last bid was. A German I’ve never met donated $1000 to the website, dumbasscancer.org. And more… I’m literally paralyzed when I see who and how many have donated, known and unknown. The generosity of strangers re-affirms my belief that there is more Good in this world than Bad. In a way, cancer has been the best thing to happen to me (unless it kills me). It’s changed my outlook like nothing ever has.

Cancer survivors: a coterie who’ve reached out online with support, kudos, advice. It’s hard to believe how many. Heard a stat today: 1 in 3 people will have cancer in their lifetime, which means it touches everybody.

Lastly: Hate to do this publicly by choosing sides: Friends, family, and strangers alike are all over politically, but without the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), part of The Affordable Care Act, I would go bankrupt and spend the rest of my life paying off bills. Thank you, President Obama, all of you who believed in it, and all of you who brought it to fruition in time to offer me the opportunity to crawl my way out from under the costs and get me back on my feet after treatment.

Comments

  1. mary w black says:

    Beautiful words and you just made my day with my new favorite word “bungholio” lol. It has now been incorporated into my colorful vocabulary. Many thanks Matt!

  2. Robin Stoughton says:

    Hi Matt,thanks for the update, been thinking about you and how everything has been going lately. Thought “bungholio” was quite funny. I have had family members with cancer, so I know it is hard to deal with. Take care and I pray all goes well for you! Your fans are with you through it all! Talk to you soon.

  3. Liisa (Johnson) Rose says:

    Matt,
    Thanks for the update. I read your words, and just kept thinking “and why exactly did we not hang out in high school?” You are one cool person! I too, appreciate the new word “bungholio” and hope yours is cancer-free in the near future! Wishing you healing and strength!

  4. Joyce Hejl says:

    Thank you for the update Matt. You have a lot people who really care about you. Family, friends and even DC Fans, we are all with you on your journey. God Bless You,

  5. You are on my prayer list. I so admire your humor during all this.

  6. Monica Dawne says:

    Good to hear from your Matt. My BFF since kindergarten beat ass cancer 3 years ago by being a relentless badass and she’s a girl! :) From personal experience I know when you think you’re alone in the fight of your life, God sends you angels. People you never thought would jump in that foxhole with you and have your back as you battle. You got prayer warriors surrounding you bro. Battle On!

  7. Love from cali!!!

  8. Kathy Kondziela says:

    What a positive attitude you have! I can tell you’re a born warrior and if anyone can beat this, you can. My Dad had lung cancer; my Mom breast & skin cancer; my brother skin cancer; my cousin, colon cancer. Hate this friggin’ disease! Best of luck to you! : )

  9. Dianne Patterson says:

    Matt,
    We have many mutual friends in common and alas, cancer in common. My brother was diagnosed in Oct. 2012 and was insured by Dec. 1, 2012 through Obamacare. Cancer is so life changing but cancer with insurance makes things a lot better. Love your attitude, your story and many good thoughts for your future. The Patterson Family

  10. Nick Spooner says:

    I’m a friend/limo driver of that Minnesotan with Phils signed hat, and I can tell you that she speaks very* highly of you! I have been praying, of course, for your renewed/recovered health, and hope you get yer bungholio back out into the wilds again soon! (Only time I have EVER wanted to see some other guys bungholio movin!!!) So, chin and bear down…I mean…bear IT!! Sorry!! I love everything I’ve seen you put in the (TV) tube. It’ll all work it’s way out in the end!! (Pun intended!) I’d say I got yer back…but someone might add “side”…don’t want that!!! Love ya man!! Keep up the good fight!!
    Nick S. (Mn)

  11. An interesting article from the Washington Post’s ombudsman on moderating online comments.
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