AncientMarauder FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold A Survivor

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from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

  • Activity

    • Edmonton, Alberta Screening!

      in Forums > Edmonton, Alberta Screening! | Follow this topic

      AncientMarauder A Survivor

      Hey Everyone!

      Now that the second batch of tickets is sold out I thought it might be a good idea to open a forum post if people want to say hi before the show. People all over are looking to see if others want to do meet-ups before or after the show. And a few people are looking for carpooling opportunities. So this is an open forum to say hi and start to chat before we head to the Edmonton show!

      2 replies

    • Help With Destiny Raids on 360

      in Forums > Help With Destiny Raids on 360 | Follow this topic

      AncientMarauder A Survivor

      With only 4 Days left to complete the Moments of Triumph I'm desperately trying to find people to complete the two raids and the level 35 Prison of Elders challenge. If you have a raid group and could fit me in for a run, or you're also looking to join a group please, please let me know!

      1 reply

    • Still Alive

      4 years ago

      AncientMarauder A Survivor

      This was a triumph!
      I'm writing a note here:
      Huge success!

      It's hard to overstate my satisfaction!

      Moved back to Alberta:
      After almost two years
      I finally could.
      It feels so good to be back home,
      And independent again.

      Now there's no sense crying
      Over what I had to pay.
      We just keep on going,
      Getting better each day.
      It hasn't been a lot of fun
      But medical research got done.
      And hopefully it can help
      Save more lives!

      I'm not even angry...
      I'm being so sincere right now.
      Even though I sometimes wonder
      Why me?

      Six months of chemo.
      It was rough but I survived.
      As they passed I felt a little
      Stronger each day.

      Now these points of data
      Make some beautiful line.
      For a brand new treatment
      I am doing just fine!
      Seems the tables have turned
      And think of all the things we learned
      For the people who are
      Still alive!

      I'm so grateful for you guys!
      Kept me sane while I was inside
      Couldn't imagine better friends
      To help me!
      Maybe on 4Chan?
      That was a joke. Ha Ha. Fat chance!

      Anyway you are the best!
      With all your love and support!

      Look at me: finally back here
      After all I've been through!
      When I look back now
      I couldn't have done it without you!

      I've got a long race left to run.
      There's still research to be done
      For the people who are
      Still alive

      And believe me I am
      Still alive

      We're doing science but I'm
      Still alive

      I'm feeling better and I'm
      Still alive

      Thanks to you guys I am
      Still alive

      I'll always love you while
      Still alive

      Still alive.

      Still alive...

    • The Agonizing Wait and Distraction Methods

      4 years ago

      AncientMarauder A Survivor

      "All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go..."

      60 hours from now I should be just getting back to my old house and starting to move back in. It still hasn't sunk in yet that after 18+ months I'll finally be moving back home. I guess my excitement about these things works much the same way as my philosophy on packing: why bother until it needs to be done. smiley6.gif Normally when I'm going on a trip I don't even bother thinking about packing until the night before. Having traveled so much before I have it down to a science where as soon as I'm done packing it's time to load and leave. I detest packing everything and then sitting around for hours or days and waiting. it just seems like a waste of time. And it breaks up the excitement of leaving. There's an excitement and an anticipation that builds as you pack. If you then have to wait and wait that feeling wears off and loses its luster. Maybe that's just me...

      I had to break from that this time though. When you're relocate for a little while it's amazing how much stuff you accumulate. Especially when you get power tools and kitchen gadgets as gifts. Needless to say I had a bit more than would fit into a suit case. So I had to break my rule and pack a week in advance. What I ended up doing was building a plywood box onto a shipping pallet and loading it full of everything I didn't need this last week.

      wj1A8Se.jpg

      I dropped the crate off with a shipping company on Friday and continued on to Ottawa to see my doctor here for the last time. We talked about the results of my scope from 2 weeks ago. Nothing new or unusual to report there. The protein mass is still there and is about the same size which is what we expected. It hasn't grown and there are no other indications of inflammation or ulcers or anything. So thumbs up!

      I was lucky that I got to see Dr. McCurddy on that last appointment. She was the one I was initially referred to and the one who worked her ass off and thought outside the box to come up with my eventual diagnosis. As the last appointment with her was wrapping up she started tearing up a little. She asked if she could follow my case as I continue to be monitored out in Alberta. We've been through a lot together and I'll never be able to thank her enough for what she's done for me. She's an absolute gem! smiley9.gif


      The next day I headed back to Ottawa. I needed to pick up some stuff from a buddy before I moved. But more importantly it was the second meet-up for RT Ottawa! Inspired by Sponsor Cut we played some massive games of Cards Against Humanity and Super Fight. We also had RWBY playing in the background as our way of paying homage to Monty.

      11021198_987001464661436_355890821452832

      After that wrapped up we headed out for drinks and food and kept the party going!

      10682302_987001911328058_622011283956808

      It was an absolute joy working with @Dudemoo to get RT Ottawa up and going! In only 3 months we have over 50 members on our Facebook group and we've had 15+ people come to both events we've held so far! It's unreal! Meeting new people and making new friends is always a great time. This group has been the absolute highlight of my time back here in Ontario. I'm so excited to keep up with this group, even though I'll be 3500 kms away. And finger's crossed I'll be able to see a bunch of them at RTX!

      Now that my exciting Friday and Saturday are past I find myself once again sitting here, staring at the clock, counting the minutes until I board the plane for home....

      --Barry

      PS. To add more anxiety to the waiting game I'm about ready to pull my hair out waiting to hear if I got accepted as a Guardian smiley11.gif This is just killing me!

    • Patience and Progress

      4 years ago

      AncientMarauder A Survivor

      It was strange not going to Ottawa on Monday. It was actually really frustrating. I didn't realize how much I looked forward to getting out of the house every week. After the first month of treatments it was clear that I was fully capable of making the trips by myself. And since then I've actually relished the opportunity to get out and do something for myself, by myself each week. Not only was each trip productive from a medical perspective, but they also became socially, emotionally, and even physically productive!

      In the last couple months as my health has slowly been improving my weekly trips have turned from necessary struggles into enjoyable outings. What used to require lots of meds to ease my stomach just to make it through the night curled up on a friend's couch became excuses to stay up late playing board games or arguing Ten Little Roosters theories until 1am.

      A couple weeks ago I had without a doubt the best weekend ever since this all started. I went up early Sunday afternoon and went to the first meet-up of the newly formed Rooster Teeth Ottawa group! (We have an awesome facebook group going here! And we're on Twitter here!) This was the first time I've ever met RTers out in the wild! We binge watched a crap load of videos together and went out for supper and drinks. I had a fantastic time chatting with people and making some new friends! Then Monday morning I met up with a friend who was back in town for a short stay. I hadn't seen them in something like 12 years. When you haven't seen someone in that long there's always a little apprehension as to how things will go. To put it simply, we met from brunch at 10:30, the first time I looked at my watch to check the time it was 1:00 and I had to immediately jump up and leave because I was going to be late for my treatment appointment!

      Six months ago I had a difficult time sitting at a table and talking to someone for 30 minutes. In that 24 hour span I had no real issues with those long visits. It was fantastic! Although the steroid medication I took the Monday morning probably helped... a lot smiley6.gif

      Which bring me back to this Monday. As each week passed and I counted down the days to being done I didn't realize that once I had finished there wasn't a hell of a lot more to do except wait. And waiting sucks! Especially when you're waiting to find out if chemo worked... So here I sit. 1:30 on a Thursday morning wondering how I'll ever know if this worked. When will I know, one way or the other? What's going to happen as my body slowly readjusts to going without the meds? And what am I going to do in the mean time.

      The doctors have the same questions I do. No one knows. I have to remember I'm breaking new ground here. Like I wrote in my last journal I must remain hopeful. Worry and frustration won't solve anything. They won't make anything happen faster. I just have to be patient. I'm going for a scope tomorrow. We don't really expect to see much change because of the nature of the disease. But we're all in agreement that as long as what we see isn't worse than before then that's a huge win.

      I have come so far. This time last year we still had no clue what was wrong. Now, not only have we diagnosed it, I've undergone treatment. And, like my story above proves, I'm so much healthier that I was!

      Progress has been very slow, but it has happened nonetheless! Now I just have to be patient.

      --Barry

    • Hope

      4 years ago

      AncientMarauder A Survivor

      The last few days have been tough here in the RT community. When the news of Monty first broke the wave of shock and sadness made everyone here take a step back. It's tough because it is yet another reminder that sometimes bad things happen to wonderful people. That being said, when things like this happen... especially when things like this happen, it's so important not to lose hope. One of the best ways to do that is to share stories of other people who found hope in their fights. @LoZelda found out the other day that 6 months after undergoing an operation to remove a cancerous tumor she is still effectively cancer free!! She posted a little journal about it here! Go show her some love and hugs if you haven't already!

      I also have some good news to share. Tomorrow, Feb 2nd, I'll be getting my final chemo treatment! It's been 565 days since I first got sick. (Not that I'm counting or anything...) It took over a year of test after test after test to finally find the cause of my illness. And now it's been 6 months of chemotherapy. But it comes to a conclusion tomorrow!

      We know the battle is far from over with this disease. Amyloidosis isn't something that is cured and goes away over night. And we also have to keep in mind that these 6 months might not have done the job. My form of the disease is the only one of its kind in history. This particular chemo drug has never been used on the disease like this before. And although the science suggests this treatment should work, there are no guarantees. My hope through this whole process was that, regardless of the outcome of my treatments, what we learned along the way could be used to help people in the future. But that being said, I'm still going to celebrate the completion of my chemo treatments!

      It hasn't really hit me yet that tomorrow should be the last time I walk into that ward. All things considered my treatments were so quick and easy that it didn't really feel like "chemo". The nurses for the most part were absolutely amazing. I've become quite good friends with a couple of them and it'll be sad to say good bye. But this is one of those rare times where the good bye is the best part. It means that I'm healthier than I was when I first arrived. And that was the ultimate goal! It means the hope we had when this began 6 months ago has come to fruition!

      Don't ever lose hope smiley12.gif

      --Barry

    • Extra Life: It's Not Just For the Kids

      4 years ago

      AncientMarauder A Survivor

      I've seen a bunch of people through RT and around the internet kicking off their Extra Life 2015 campaigns over the last couple days. It's amazing to see all these people and groups supporting such a fantastic cause!

      One thing people might not realize is that the money raised through Extra Life doesn't only help children, it helps people of all ages! The money raised does go to childs' care networks across the US and Canada but in many cases, the hospitals and treatment centers where it eventually ends up often offer services that are used by people of all ages. Case in point - ME!

      Here in Ottawa and in many cities across Canada (I'm not sure about the states), the genetics labs are usually located in the Childrens' hospital of that city's hospital network. This makes a lot of sense considering that much of the time when a disease or illness is caused by a genetic condition it often shows up in childhood or infancy.

      This isn't always the case though. In the spring of last year I ended up visiting the genetics lab at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa. At that time we knew that my condition was a form of Amyloidosis, but we still didn't know which form. One of the possibilities was a condition called TTR Amyloidosis, an incurable form of the disease caused by a genetic mutation. In order to test this we had to do a ridiculous amount of blood work at CHEO and then send a portion of it to a lab in Germany.

      There's something special about the doctors, nurses, and everyone else that works in these childrens' hospitals. They are the most caring, compassionate, patient, and persistent people you'll ever meet. Because of the efforts of the doctor I saw there, not only did the testing happen incredibly quickly, but she went the extra mile to write letters to the Canadian government and other channels and had the cost for having my samples sent to Germany and the tests done covered for me! That ended up saving me thousands of dollars!

      And the day the results came back as negative... I can't even put into words the relief.

      __________________________________________________________


      So thank you to everyone who has been a part of Extra Life! What these donations do for the children, teens, adults can't be overstated enough. smiley12.gif


      --Barry

    • 21 Down, 3 To Go

      4 years ago

      AncientMarauder A Survivor

      This is it. I'm on the home stretch. This past Monday I completed the first treatment of my final cycle of chemotherapy. Only 3 weeks left to go! The upward trend in my condition over these past couple months has been small, as we expected, but it's still improvement! I'm slowly able to eat more and eat mostly normal foods which is allowing me to slowly put some weight back on. The pain I have is less sever and the bad spells are less frequent. My energy levels are picking up and I'm able to go out and be somewhat active without severely crashing afterwards. So with all of that going for me, plus the end being so close at hand I'm starting to plan for what comes next.

      It's been over 18 months since I packed a suitcase and move from Alberta back to Ontario. Apart from the clothes and my Xbox pretty much everything I own is still sitting in my house out there: my car, my tv and stereo, furniture, snowboard, bike, bbq, kitchen stuff... The thought of getting back to the home I made for myself, back to my life is something I want so badly. But it's also something I'm incredible nervous about. When I got sick in the summer of 2013 I wasn't in a terribly good place. I had just finished my degree and didn't know where to go next. I was only working part time because finding a decent job in that small city wasn't happening. So I spent most of my time sitting on my ass on the couch watching tv or gaming and the other half pretending like I was doing something important like working a few shifts a week or half-assedly working out at the gym. Needless to say, I wasn't going anywhere fast with my life. Now though, after over a year of turmoil, of sitting in a basement because I'm too sick and tired to do much of anything the last thing I want to do is move back there and fall right back into that funk.

      I realize that my ability to do many of the things I want to do going forward will be limited by my health issues. I won't be able to work full time or just go snowboarding for a weekend. But I can't let me use that as an excuse to sit on my ass all day! I have my old part-time job waiting for me when I get back, but that won't be enough. I need to start getting my life in order and heading in the right direction. I will need to make changes, and they might have to be drastic so I don't allow myself to settle back into that life. I have absolutely no idea what those changes might be yet. We'll have to see what happens.

      As much as I hate it, my choices going forward will mostly circulate around finances. I haven't had any form of income except some minor government assistance since I got sick. I've been blessed with a family that is able to provide food and a roof for me during this time, but they're just about reached the limit of what they can provide. So it'll be up to me to figure my own shit out. Unfortunately, moving back to Alberta could be problematic right now because the provincial economy is tanking, hard. Maybe it's time to get out of dodge... But moving and starting up a new chapter of your life can be incredibly expensive! Ugh, it feels like there's no right answer. Whatever happens, getting that financial stability and trying to aim my life in a positive direction is going to be one hell of a challenge.

      I'd considered going back to school and getting my master's degree in Physiotherapy, but the cost of that is completely out of my reach. Perhaps that'll be my goal for 2016.

      The one other thing that I've kept mulling over in the back of my mind for weeks now has been what to do about the Guardian applications. RT and this community have meant so much to me through all of this. I mentioned this when I started journaling all of this months and months back. The content these guys and gals put out every day has guaranteed that I smile at least once every day! And some of the people I've met and friends I've made here in the community have been more help than they'll ever know. I want to be able to give something back! Being a guardian at RTX seems like the perfect way for me to do it. There are 2 reasons I haven't submitted my application yet. Firstly, there are still some questions about my health. A trip like this will be absolutely crazy and will probably be more taxing on my than anything I'll have done up to that point. But that's not really the issue. Unfortunately, again, it comes down to money. I have so many expenses awaiting my when I move back out I just have no idea how I'll be able to find the cash to make the trip. In 2010 I dove head first into a volunteer position at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life but it financially drained me of just about every penny I had. But you know what? It was absolutely worth it! I just wish I had 2 pennies to spend on being a Guardian...



      Man, this was supposed to be a happy journal. Oh well, if nothing else it was from the heart. smiley12.gif

      --Barry

    • Eat a Dick 2014!

      4 years ago

      AncientMarauder A Survivor

      Well, I have no idea how I did it but I managed to survive 2014!

      Some day I'll look back on this year and hopefully I'll be able to reflect on it in a positive light. But right now I'm just so glad it's over. Although there will be nothing inherently different about waking up tomorrow versus any other day of the year for those of us that have struggled through 2014 the idea and desire for a fresh start can make all the difference.

      Despite how awful this year has been the one massive shining beacon of hope and happiness has been discovering the RT community. You guys are truly incredible and I can't thank you enough for just being who you are! I've barely stepped a toe into this wonderful community and already I've see incredible thing... The insane amount of money raised for ExtraLife. @Ilan's work for #LoZeldathon and the rest of the charity streams he's been doing. The work @Audrey and the people in groups like Spread the Love. This is a side of the internet I had no idea existed and I'm still in awe of it.

      One special shout out to @LoZelda. I just wanted to give you what little help I could when you needed it. I never expected you to turn around and offer your hand to help me up and back onto my feet. Thank you.

      Alright 2015! Bring it on! Show me what you've got!!

    • I Won Something??

      4 years ago

      AncientMarauder A Survivor

      Holy Shit!! I won something!!

      I haven't had a chance to watch this week's TR episode yet so there was a hell of a spoiler waiting in my inbox just now. Apparently I guessed correctly this week and won a gift card!! FUCK YA!!!

      I'm going to take complete credit and say that my perfect insight and undeniable reasoning lead me to make that pick. And that my 15+ pages of notes are now completely justified! But we all know it was a bullshit guess and I still don't have a fucking clue about what's going to happen next. Although both my killer and survivor are still alive... smiley8.gif

  • Comments (1)

    • Audrey

      4 years ago

      Thanks for offering to help with my "compassion fatigue." You rock, man!
      Spread the love with Warm Fuzzies of your own today!

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