Cheese Poofs

Male
from Redmond, OR

    • Cheese Poofs

      Cancer update #5: The Far Side

      2 months ago

      Free and clear. Of symptoms, that is.

      A week of work under my belt and I am feeling pretty much back to normal. Lets take a step back and go through the last week and a half.

      My last journal was at day 4, which turned out to be the end of the worst. After that day, the severe nausea subsided and fatigue set in. Maybe the fatigue was just masked by the nausea, but it hit me like a train. Nausea was still present, but it came in waves and was mostly manageable. With less nausea came more confidence to start doing things around the house and helping with the kids. These outings were short lived and were followed by crashing on the bed and going back to playing stuff. If I could have slept, I would, but unfortunately the fatigue wasn't enough to make me sleep, only take all the wind out of my sails. The next few days were slight improvements from the previous ones, but I was still unable to really do much.

      Sitting and playing games is a lot of fun, for a little while. After several days of doing nothing but what I had wanted to do for a very long time, the restlessness and guilt started to creep in. Normally being a major part of my family's lives, I was sitting and watching from the sidelines because of the lack of energy. I could yell at the children to stop screaming and hurting each other, but I couldn't be the parent I really wanted and needed to be. After surgery, I knew I couldn't do anything because I could really hurt myself and cause even more pain and recovery. After chemo, I knew I should just rest, but the desire to return to normal life was too strong to fully ignore. Slow recoveries are especially hard because I am used to recovering from a cold, which is short lived and I can return to normal after a couple days. Expecting to be able to do more and being constantly beaten back down is hard both physically and mentally. I am not going to pretend that I have been through what other people with more serious diseases and illnesses have to deal with, but going from healthy, through surgery and then chemo all within a month is a lot to manage.

      I am extremely thankful that I was able to go back to work with only minor fatigue to deal with. The first couple days back were hard towards the end of the day. Now at the end of the week I feel fine and that makes me a little wary. I want to move on with life but I know I am not exactly back to 100%. I still have yet to hit the "nadir" point and I am afraid that I will have some symptoms as I approach that portion of recovery.

      I'm sure I will have something to report in a few weeks, after some of the follow up appointments. I have my chemo follow up first and then the 2 month post surgery appointment. I expect both of those to go well and then declare myself a completely healthy cancer survivor. I pray that is the case.

    • Cheese Poofs

      Cancer update #4 :Entering the thick of it

      2 months ago

      Nausea sucks.

      The doctor assured us that with the accompanying drugs, that the chemo wouldn't give me almost any trouble with nausea. He said to prepare for severe fatigue. This type of chemo (Carboplatin) is known to be worlds apart from Cisplatin, which is one of the most common chemo drugs, in terms of nausea and other side effects. I am very glad I'm not on Cisplatin.

      Yesterday at lunch I started to feel unsettled, not nausea, but general weird feelings from my throat down to my intestines. It was not bad enough to really effect me, but a noticeable change had arrived. Shortly after that, the feeling of nausea started to creep into the fringes of my stomach. Rather mild at first but gradually growing stronger to the point that I found myself with severe nausea right about dinner time. I took some more drugs and oils and they helped enough that I could eat and feel a little better.

      Part of what has helped me to ignore the symptoms throughout all of this is AC IV: Black Flag, which is a fantastic game and well worth the $0 from Games With Gold. It might have even been worth the $60 at launch. I was so burned by AC III that I had severe reservations about AC IV being able to be good. After some achievement hunting in AC IV, I'll probably go back to Terraria.

      This is only day 4 and I'm not sure if this is approaching the bottom or if there is still a severe freefall yet to come. My hope is that I don't have to fall much further and can settle into just fatigue for the remainder of my experience. Just remember kids, nausea is bad, mmkay.

    • Cheese Poofs

      Cancer update #3

      2 months ago

      I had my first and only round of chemotherapy this morning. I feel pretty normal at the moment, but I am living in expectation of the downturn at every moment. They pumped me full of drugs to help me feel better, and so far they are working great.

      I arrived at the cancer center this morning and had to get some labs done before treatment. What was supposed to be a 1.5 hour total visit turned into about 3.5 hours. After the approvals came through, they gave a steroid and an anti-nausea med through the IV. That took about half an hour. Then they waited for a little bit, hooked up the chemo drugs and let me be. The machine makes a low, pulsing, droning noise as it draws some liquid from the bag, and pumps it into my veins. I was really expecting to feel something during the treatment, but it juts felt like I was sitting in a chair for a few hours.

      Got lunch and felt fine. Settled in at home and felt fine. Did some work from home and felt fine. Now I am sitting in my computer chair and still feeling fine. I'm sure I will have a different tale to tell in a couple days, but until then I will relish in the god feelings. The nurses and the doctor say that I only feel good right now because of the steroids, and in a day or two when they wear off I will hit the wall pretty quickly.

      This treatment reduces the chance that I have a recurrence of this cancer from about 30%, down to 2-3%. It also reduces the chance of a contralateral (other ball) tumor from about 13% down to 1-2%. After my appointment with the radiology oncologist, there was some doubt about which option was the best, but my appointment with my first oncologist cemented my choice. This cancer has a greater than 99% survival rate at 5 years, but the quality of life is not the same. Had I just opted for surveillance, there was the same survival rate, but the treatment for a recurrent cancer was 9 weeks of intense chemo. Sounds like a bad time.

      If you ever find yourself in this situation (and I sincerely hope you never do), nuke it from orbit and move on with your life.

      Hopefully I have the energy to report about what I feel like in the thick of it. Until then, have a nice day, for me. Thank you in advance.

    • Cheese Poofs

      Cancer update #2

      3 months ago

      The outlook is good. Great actually.

      I've had two oncology appointments and another CT scan. Both CT scans showed no evidence of metastatic disease (cancer spread). The chest CT did show a node on my thyroid, but that's what you get for looking.

      My options are as follows:
      1. Observation. Do nothing, basically. Check back every 6 months or so and see if something comes up. This option has an estimated 20% chance of cancer recurring at some point in the future. Some studies have shown that it's an estimated 15-20% chance of recurrence in the next 5 years. My doctor said I'd probably have about a 20-23% chance of seeing cancer come back, based on some of the factors in my case.

      2. Radiation therapy. This has been the standby for germ cell tumors for the last 60 years. It's effective, it's fast, and there are usually no immediate major side effects. It reduces the recurrence chances to about 5%. It does however permanently damage the marrow in your spine. Not a lot of damage, but there would be damage of some kind.

      3. Chemotherapy. Carboplatin specifically. Not really as bad as TV makes it out to be. This option has seen promising results for treating germ cell tumors. With some more studies, it could become the default method of treating this type of cancer. The estimated recurrence rate would be about 2-3%. Pretty darn good if you ask me. Also, no lasting side effects or damage.

      From my research (of which there is a TON to find), I am leaning strongly towards chemo. Doctor says that with an anti-emetic I shouldn't feel nausea, I won't lose any hair, and I'll only have to go through one session. I would be wiped out for about a week, the first two to three days being the worst, but should return to normal pretty quickly afterwards. While I don't really like the idea of the experience, the benefits far outweigh a week worth of suffering.

      I meet on Monday with a naturopathic doctor to learn some more about options not covered by general western medicine. We use essential oils in my house, and I have great faith in the effectiveness of some of them, so who am I to turn up my nose at what they might have to say. Even if they don't have a treatment for my cancer, there might be something they have to say about recovery from chemo and other things that might help. I won't know until I ask. Keeping an open mind to learn everything before making a decision.

      On Tuesday, I have the radiology consult appointment. This is to learn about what radiation therapy can do for me and how it will address my chances for recurrent cancer. I wasn't able to find enough information online about this specific treatment to feel confident that I had the whole picture. I will go into the appointment with a bunch of questions, but unless they have some magical words for me, I'm only going to make sure I'm fully informed.

      Thursday is an education day for chemotherapy. I get to spend an hour with the nurses going over the details of the process and recovery. After my school session, I meet with the doctor again to make sure all the bases are covered and I am ready to undergo treatment.

      Friday, the big day. Unless plans change, I will go to the cancer center in the morning and start my treatment. Should take about an hour and a half total time. Then I go home and sleep for the entire weekend; I choke down more water than I have ever wanted to and I ride it out.

      I don't really feel like the title of cancer survivor really applies to me. In my world, I had cancer for about a week and a half. All of this monkey motion is just tying up loose ends and covering my bases. I will come out of this experience cancer free and moving forward with life, as if nothing ever happened. I'm not qualified to stand in the ranks of people who have gone up against much more serious cancer and won. While that may be self depreciation, I'm fine with it. I bear no heavy weight, I carry no title belt. I'm just a regular guy who is missing a testicle. smiley0.gif

    • Cheese Poofs

      Cancer update #1

      3 months ago

      I was planning on waiting until I had results from my CT scan, but that appointment hasn't been scheduled yet.

      Had my first (of many to come) CT scan. Not too bad overall, actually. They scanned me a couple times, injected contrast, scanned again, waited 10 minutes, injected more contrast, and scanned one last time. Took about 30 minutes total.

      My post surgery appointment was good. I learned I had a classic seminoma, which is the best kind to have, as good as it can be in this situation. It hadn't spread beyond the testicle and immediate surrounding tissue, and the margins were clean. All good news so far. There is still a chance that it could have spread to some lymph nodes, hence the CT scan.

      After some extensive Wikipedia reading, I learned a ton about cancer, specifically germ cell tumors. I also learned a ton about the lymphatic system. In school, we must have skipped over the lymphatic system, because I knew almost nothing about it. Turns out it's a pretty important system with lots of implications and important jobs. I don't know what current curriculums teach, but it should include more than a passing glance at the lymphatic system.

      Recovery is going well. Sitting on my butt for two weeks doing basically nothing was enjoyable. At least as much as it could be. It is slightly maddening when you are unable or disallowed from doing anything for yourself. It is really hard to watch my wife take care of four children and myself, all while the older three kids are sick and she is also sick. She is getting little (and very interrupted) sleep caring for the wee baby Seamus, which heaps more on top of her already extremely full plate.

      Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes. I have been fear free through all of this because I know that my God is above all things and that he is taking care of this, so what do I have to fear? If any of you don't have that kind of hope, I'm sorry. I'm more than willing to talk with anyone who wants to know more about that.

      Sometime in the next week I should have my appointment with the oncologist, where we will go over the results of the CT scan and lay out the details of the observation plan. More than 90% of this type of testicular cancer are cured with no further treatment, which is nice to learn. So far the immediate threat is removed. Things are looking good.

      It is a good idea to pay attention to your body. At least get a baseline of how things should be so you know when something is different.

      I'll post more after my I know more.

    • Cheese Poofs

      Big things happened

      3 months ago

      So, I forgot to post a journal about the birth of my youngest son, Micah. Born April 3rd at 5lbs 5oz. A little small but overall healthy. Now 5 weeks old and doing great.

      The other big thing is that I was diagnosed with testicular cancer about a week and a half ago. Last Tuesday I had a radical orchiectomy on one side. That means they removed the entire testicle and some of the associated tubing attached to it. I'm at home resting and recovering now, and tomorrow I find out the results from pathology to determine the kind of cancer and find out the likelihood that it spread. We hope we caught it early and this will be the extent of treatment. I'll have a CT scan to check the rest of my torso for tumors.

      I usually only post major events from my life in my journal, and these seemed like qualified candidates. Now you're all caught up. Until next time. smiley1.gif

    • Cheese Poofs

      Obligatory 10 year journal

      10 months ago

      A ton of things can happen in 10 years. When I signed up, RvB was still in the early seasons, I was in high school with no girlfriend, and my life revolved around football, youth group, and video games. Now I am married (7 years running), have three kids and get to build cool airplanes. My involvement with the site has waxed and waned over the years, but I've never stopped being a huge fan of everything Rooster Teeth and Achievement Hunter have to offer. I'm sure I'll be around forever (as long as the site is around) and I'll continue to love all of the content they put out. 10 years is a long time, congrats Rooster Teeth for making this spare bedroom show into an empire with an amazing community that I've been able to be a part of. Thanks for introducing me to some cool people and making my life more interesting.

    • Cheese Poofs

      RT Minecraft Server 3/6/14

      1 year ago

      Joined the minecraft server two days ago to see what the buzz was about. I couldn't really find food so I built a tree house and left. Came back today and found so much destroyed. Stumbled upon a watermelon patch which inspired me to put some effort into the server. I started digging and before long had several iron pickaxes, an iron sword, more coal than I knew what to do with and a plan to do some strip mining.

      Got down near bedrock and found someone had already done most of the mining, so I decided to try to build a Nether portal. Almost immediately I was shot at by someone in diamond armor. I ran, but to no avail. Holy crap people are assholes. Lesson learned: stay away from things other people have done.

    • Cheese Poofs

      RT Soundboard

      1 year ago

      Just noticed that RT uses a PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2 soundboard. That's awesome! I LOVE that board. It is the first digital board I ever used and I dove head first into learning how to use it. It's a fantastic piece of technology for an extremely reasonable price. If you ever have the opportunity to learn how to use one, jump at the chance. I've had the chance to use some fairly high end analog boards and they are all blown out of the water by the PreSonus board. Also, the new AI version is WAY more powerful and has some added functionality to it that is amazing for the price. Remember, for all your sound board needs, PreSonus StudioLive series.

    • Cheese Poofs

      Holy crap!

      1 year ago

      9 years! Over one third of my life! I know everyone is making these journals, but come on, 9 years! Thank you Rooster Teeth for being so amazing throughout. I just recently realized that I got my first e-mail account so I could sign up. That seems so crazy that I hadn't cared to have one before this site existed. I remember a friend gave me a CD with the first five episodes, and we thought it was the best thing ever. Moral of the story is that even though I haven't been a super active user, this place has still been a huge part of my life. Thanks everyone for being a part of that.

  • About Me

    Currently Playing: Terraria
    Currently Scoring: ~29700
    Currently Browsing: YouTube
    Currently Watching: Bill Nye The Science Guy
    Currently Hearing: A/C
    Currently Creating: 100W LED Lamp
    Currently Anticipating: Fall weather


    If anyone actually reads this far.....Friend Request Policy

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  • Comments (301)

    • AHMarcus

      AHMarcus

      1 year ago

      Haha cheese. Nice xD

    • SCriminal

      SCriminal

      2 years ago

      It looks like they are starting Clan Challenges in Black Ops 2 on CoD Elite. Just by myself, I got us to level 2. Yay!

      • SCriminal

        SCriminal

        2 years ago

        Elite is actually free for Black Ops 2. I would like to reinforce your idea of not re-upping this time around. I don't think too much will change once your subscription expires, maybe just the MW3 preferences/options.

      • Cheese

        Cheese Poofs

        2 years ago

        I saw some and signed us up for the ones I could. Not sure how much I will be able to do once my Elite sub expires. I don't plan on re-upping this time around.

    • SCriminal

      SCriminal

      3 years ago

      By the way... I love the new "slogan" for the RvB clan, even though I am technically a member of the Blue team group. I love seeing it. Good choice!

    • PhatintheHat

      PhatintheHat

      3 years ago

      I finally got Minecraft, hopefully I'll see you online tonight or at some point soon. I'm still getting the hang of the game.

    • PhatintheHat

      PhatintheHat

      3 years ago

      Thanks, he had been in rapidly declining health for a while now and was in hospice care for the last few weeks. It was really day to day with how he was doing, like I said though hopefully I'll still see you on at some point this week or at least the weekend.

    • PhatintheHat

      PhatintheHat

      3 years ago

      The family stuff I talked about happened last night, my grandfather passed away. I'm not sure when or what time I'll be on the rest of the week now, but hopefully we can still get some spec-ops in.

    • PhatintheHat

      PhatintheHat

      3 years ago

      I'm completely on board for that, hopefully I'll see you online.

    • PhatintheHat

      PhatintheHat

      3 years ago

      Possibly, I should be online hopefully between 6 and 8 your time a couple nights this week. I have some family stuff going on though that could possibly throw a wrench into things. What did you have in mind?

    • PhatintheHat

      PhatintheHat

      3 years ago

      We need to try out the new MW3 maps at some point this week. I should be around, especially on the weekend because I'll have nothing to do since it's the Pro Bowl.

    • partychic

      partychic

      3 years ago

      Sorry Raz. I would've played some mw3 with ya but I have to go to work early tomorrow morning.
      but if ur on tomorrow ill play with you...anytime after 2
      smiley0.gif