Condition Check: I’m Alright

So it’d probably be a good idea if I made a special category for updating where I’m actually at in this shitshow, and the best place to start would probably be to get a baseline now.

I’ve been diagnosed with Stage IV cancer since about September of 2023. I have one tumor at the base of my esophagus and another up in my left ribs. It took them about 6 months to diagnose me correctly, and so I was Stage IV before I even knew I had it. By the time they diagnosed me, I was already experiencing some pretty bad symptoms… difficulty eating, my throat closing up, severe weight loss (40 lbs in two months). One week, I ate a total of two meals all week. I was on morphine all day and night, with Oxycodone for “breakthrough” pain. I also needed Gabapentin for nerve pain, as the tumor in my ribs was pressing directly on a nerve in the middle of my back. My back felt like a pool noodle.

I began chemo and radiation around the beginning of December 2023. After that finished up, the tumors had shrunk to the point that they were no longer causing me pain. The nerve pain went away as well. So I quit the nerve pain pills, then the breakthrough pain pills. When I tried to stop the morphine, I got sever body aches. My oncologist confirmed that was just me getting hooked on opiates. He gave me a 4-week schedule to taper off, but I just stopped them overnight anyway. I don’t like the idea of being hooked on something. Nine days of withdrawal symptoms later, I came out the other side, none the worse for wear. But I have a newfound perspective on opiate junkies.

So physically, I’ve been much worse. My appetite is for shit, but I (and sometimes my darling wife) force myself to eat something at every meal.

Mentally, having some problems adjusting. Dying is huge, but it’s not even just that. Not working. Not contributing in any meaningful way. Sitting alone while the world goes on without me. Some days get pretty rough.

I have very little energy. I’m not quite sure what’s causing the fatigue. I have maybe an hour of energy in me before I have to quit doing whatever it is.

Financially, fucked beyond belief. Goes without saying.

And I guess that’s where we start from. I’m Alright.

“I’m Alright” by Kenny Loggins reached #7 on the Billboard charts in 1980 after being featured in the film Caddyshack.


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