Thursday, 7 June 2012

Medical Professionals

Music currently playing: Danzel - You Spin Me Round

Generally, I don't feel nervous or scared about the operation, but it's more likely that deep inside me, I'm terrified. A lot of people don't know this, but this is actually Round 2 for me. I've fought this off earlier in my 20s. Actually, I was diagnosed when I was 19, but got operated on when I was 20. I had a similar operation back then, which just like today, cost a lot. The cancer was in situ, in my chest, and was successfully removed. Back then, it was a lot simpler to deal with. And I was told of the possibility of its return, and after trying multiple times to get an answer, they said I *MAY* not survive the next round.

Let me tell you something from my experience. Doctors, well, medical professionals in general, HATE giving you predictions. And that's because the field of medicine is very much unpredictable.

Music currently playing: Edward Shearmur - Grand Central Station

"Is he going to make it, doc?"
"We'll see how he responds to treatment and we'll go from there."

I don't think it's because they're not confident in their skills, but more that they don't want to provide false hope.

"You'll be fine, Mr Johnson." Nekk minit, filling out the form for a death certificate.

So when asking "Is this gonna come back later on in my life?", they don't want to answer that question. Because people place a lot of stock in a doctor's response to that sort of question, don't they? And the medical professionals know this. Because if they're right, they could influence you how you live the rest of your life. If they're wrong, then they'd be in someone's bad books.

Music currently playing: A-ha - The Sun Always Shines On TV

I don't hate medical professionals. I have faith in them. I'm placing my life in their hands. I ask the right questions - and ask the tough ones. I have massive respect for those who say to me "I don't know.", but hearing that isn't very frequent - they don't like saying that either.

The countdown is running, and it's getting close. Relax. Breathe. And that makes me want to choose the next track to listen to.

Music currently playing: Alexi Murdoch - Breathe 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


Music currently playing: Zac Hemsey - Mind Heist vEviCtion's Summer Blockbuster (

So Saturday was pretty full on for me. Preparing for a pot-luck dinner should've been easy, but because I can't move as fast as I could previously, things take a lot longer to be completed - including the chocolate layer cake that was made. I had fun doing it though, which feels weird and looks weird as I re-read it. Saturday night was hard. I need a nap during the day and I didn't get a chance to. Arrived at my friends' house (Laney & Marz), immediately put the cake away, and started work on the Apple Crumble.

That was a difficult time, because of my lack of fast movement. That, and I wasn't able to focus; even doing one task at a time was difficult. There were only 2 of us in the kitchen, so it wasn't like there was chaos to distract me. But I was so scatty and it took me so long to finish the crumble. But it was eventually done.

Music currently playing: Spy Game - Harry Gregson-Williams - Training Montage

It was a good night, although I had to retreat suddenly to Laney's bedroom because the pain I have became a bit too much. To explain, I have a constant headache and there is an aching pain in my left arm - places where I have my uninvited BFF. I'm on medication, but that can only do so much, and can only last so long. But I prefer dealing with pain, than with grogginess (spelling?) as a result from the meds.

Music currently playing: Cobra - Thomas Detert - Skyline (Remake)

Tonight, was another dinner night, but held at home. I have a mutual friend with my housemates whom I used to work with and we hadn't had a good catch up since.....2001? A very long time, anyway. It was a good night, but very stressful for me. I had started food prepping since 15:00 (that's 3pm, for those who don't do 24 hour time :D) and was expecting my friend at 18:00 (6pm :P). It was a simple menu: beef roast, with potatoes, carrots, broccoli & cauliflower (fooglestix - looking back, I forgot to do cheese sauce! Fffffuuuu!!!!). Again, slow movements and inability to process multiple thoughts. Even the shopping was a little bit stressful - and I had a shopping list! This, combined with incomplete planning, produced self-imposed stress. I'd like to think it was well-handled though, but I'm certainly losing ground on thinking ahead and analysing things. Sally & Nick would ask me "Is there anything you'd like done?" and I'm sure there was stuff to do, but I couldn't think ahead of the task that I was completing myself. Eventually I had to give vague assignments "Could you please deal with the vegetables." or they had to suggest ideas to me. There was a brief awkward moment when Nick asked me "What are you putting the vegetables in?" I'm sure I looked like a stunned mullet for a few seconds.

Music currently playing: Filter - Take A Picture

It's very disconcerting to know that my attention span, or general thinking ability is different. It's also more disconcerting to know that it could get worse. I don't think I've fully processed, emotionally, what lies ahead. But at the same time, I'm not freaked out by it either. I'm not sure if that's how I really feel about it, or it's a coping mechanism to just sweep it under the carpet in the hopes that no one (like myself) notices. I guess we'll see later this month. There are 2 weeks before I get my op. Fun times, fun times....

Saturday, 2 June 2012

My New Regular Day

Music currently playing: Tekken 2 - Unknown - Jun Kazama

So what used to be a 'regular' day for me, involved:

  • Getting ready for the day
  • Walking down the hill to Queensgate mall
  • Catching a bus to work
  • Working
  • Catching a bus to wherever
  • Do whatever I had planned (or adlib'd) for the rest of the day.
Now, a 'regular' day has turned into:

  • Getting ready for the morning
  • Walking down the hill to Queensgate mall
  • Catching a bus to the hospital
  • Have my daily appointment
  • Catching a bus back to Queensgate then home
  • Do whatever I want for the rest of the day
So not only does it suck to have cancer, it's also boring. The day mostly comprises of researching (which means reading, ugh) of reports, general information, operation techniques, post-op care etc etc etc. I don't know if you realise, but I dislike reading. I'm sure if it were a person, it'd have a great personality, but to me, it'll be that annoying person who looks really attractive, but has that annoying nasal voice, like Fran Drescher from The Nanny back in the 90's. The only good thing in that show was the butler, Niles, played by Daniel Davis. He's got an awesome voice. But I digress.

So yeah, I dislike reading. To the point where I generally don't proof-reading my own material (:D :D :D). If I had the choice between reading an 800-page report and stabbing my eyes with an active soldering iron, I would choose reading the 800-page report because I don't hate it that much. But I do dislike it.

So since 21 May, I've been reading. Heaps. I've been given information by doctors and suggested to look up certain things. I've read so much over the last week, that I've finally given up on learning any more there is to learn. It's gotten that bad for me. I'm willing to listen to someone's 5 minute presentation that has bullet points, but if someone gives me information to 'read' and to check out, I'm just gonna chuck the paper into a newly-formed tray labelled "Shit I should be reading, but CBF'd."

I weighed myself today - I've lost weight. At the start of the year, I was ~115kg. I decided to weigh myself because the hole in my belt I usually used was 2 places away. I'm now at 104. I don't think my eating habits have changed. I mean, I had KFC tonight with the family. And aside from all the ethical arguments that could arise from that about chickens and how much cancer there is in a KFC piece, that's going to help me gain the 10kg back, right?

I'm unsure whether to call it 'weight loss' or 'the conversion of mass'. Because weight loss is somewhat expected in most medical cases. But at the same time, prematurely-formed cells are made and the fairy princess of cell equilibrium decides to take a permanent 'absent without leave' in the hopes that someone else will fix up what's going on with the body; so weight is lost, cancer cells are gained. At least, I think that's how it goes. To be honest, at this time (0003 on 02/06/12), I cbf'd checking if that's true. I can't even be bothered proof-reading this blog. Leave a comment if I made a mistake.

After absorbing so much information and having so many people getting all up in my business & giving me their input, my 'productive' mind has shut down for the weekend. I've got an Indiegogo campaign to do up, but that'll wait until Monday. I've got some videos that need to be made, but that'll wait until Monday. My mind now has a "back in 3 days" note on it. It needs its rest.

In other news, I have a pot-luck dinner to prepare for tomorrow night. And a roast on Monday night with an old work colleague. While that may not sound like much to others, that's a shitload of prep work for me to worry about. But I'm looking forward to it - the household hasn't had a roast (that I can recall) so it'll be cool to have everyone together and have my friend Sam there too. Two awesome dinners in the space of 3 days.

A PayPal donation system has been set up, under advisement of my personal boss, Sally. I hate doing this sort of thing, but it's gonna help. Not a lot is needed, $5 - $10 if there's anything spare. This is that 'embarrassed' part I was talking about in my previous post.

Mental note - finish videos and photos.

-Shift-F7 / Taters

Thursday, 31 May 2012

My Announcement To The World

A little bit about myself: I'm a really private person. I don't know whether to say I'm a proud person or not, but definitely private. I mention the 'pride' word because I hate showing myself as vulnerable, or weak. I hate asking for help unless it's really something I can't do alone. This story is one where I feel: weak, vulnerable and embarrassed.

On 12 February 2012, I celebrated my 30th birthday. It's a big thing, having to tick a different tick box when completing surveys or filling in forms. I am starting the 4th decade of my life. The next day, I saw a doctor who had organised various tests in the previous weeks, and she and I shared the unfortunate and potential awkward circumstance, where she tells this patient some really bad news, and I get told I have cancer. At least, I think that's how it was for her.

"Mr Perez, we have received the results from the scans and we believe you have cancer."
"Oh...I take it, this is a bad thing?"

The doctor blinked several times, frowning with confusion.

"Yes, Mr is."

Another little bit about myself: comic relief relieves. Maybe it's a coping mechanism. Maybe that's really how I am. But when I was told I had cancer, I wasn't surprised. I wasn't shocked. I didn't even feel like crying. All I could think of at that moment, was "What can I say to lighten the mood?"

When I left the doctor's office, I went straight to work. It was another regular day. Did my job. Then I'd get home, jump on the computer, play a few games, catch up with a few Facebook friends, then into some light research. Biopsy, check. More "regular days". Follow-up appointments, check. This continued for a few more weeks, until my doctor says she wants to give me medication.

It's now at a point where I had to tell my manager what's up. She cries at the news. All I could say was "It's nothing major, it's just cancer." She gives a burst of chuckles at my comic relief, but she still walks away, knowing it's a big deal.

Like I said, I'm a really private person. Maybe prideful too. But I am feeling weak, vulnerable and embarrassed. I feel weak because I'm no longer able to do the things I used to do - be a productive worker, enjoy what I do in my spare time (I can't even go to the driving range anymore :(), I have lapses in concentration and memory. I feel vulnerable because I value my privacy, and now everyone is going to know that I'm struggling against something rather important. I'm scared that when I beat this, that I can't be who the same person on 12 February 2012. And I feel embarrassed, because I now am relying on others, more and more, every day. I am losing my capacity to be self-sufficient, because I am no longer able to lift a lot of things with my left arm.

So there's my announcement to the world. I have cancer, in my left arm and in my head. I have broken the dark tinted glass walls of my privacy and pride. Maybe I won't regret this later on, because maybe it will help my struggle. 

Another little bit about myself: am feeling weak, vulnerable, embarrassed.

EDIT: Correction made, as suggested by my friend, Bryan. Cheers mate :D :D :D