15... that’s how many bags of blood I’ve needed over my two journeys with cancer. It is funny the stuff you remember. I’ve had more bags of platelets. I can only imagine how many people have given blood and/or platelets to help keep me alive. To everyone who has given blood, you don’t know this but you saved someone yesterday, today or you will save someone tomorrow. If you’ve ever thought about giving blood... do it. Be someone’s hero, even if you don’t get to meet them.
I shot this image for Nike Basketball at the middle of the year but I’ve used their mantra for over 20 years. JUST DO IT... I get “ALOT” of questions daily on how I can just push through and not “stress” about possibly dying from leukemia. If anything my first round with Leukemia taught me was that we are all vulnerable and to find yourself a driving force. Well, fortunately my driving force was already installed into my life... no need for upgrades. Zoey and Zenaida are my driving force... they are what gives me energy in the morning when my levels have bottomed out for days and I haven’t been home in 3 weeks.
Days like today where I’m having acid flux and every bite I swallow burns going down. It’s all good though, I KNOW I need to eat so I try and have some Maalox ready. Getting those calories in is way more important than being comfortable at the time. That’s my mindset... JUST DO IT. Whatever I have to do, JUST DO IT, JUST DO IT for them. Is it easy? Hell no, fuck no, but to me I have no other options. It is either you do this or don’t... no two ways around it.
I know this sounds like a hard, unforgiving and messed up plan to follow but I like all cancer fighters have been given a hard, unforgiving and messed up set of circumstances. Now I don’t want anyone to feel bad for me... I’m blessed way beyond I should be.
Just a reminder when you “think” you “should” do something but you are being apprehensive... JUST DO IT. You never know it might be what you needed to get you by.
Well what can I say…. I’ve been in a massive fog for about 2 1/2 weeks. Whether it be the pain meds from the back surgery or the chemo meds, not really sure. But I’m out of it and am feeling my normal self…. finally! Finished chemo last Wednesday and am waiting for my levels to raise back up so that I can get out, hopefully in time for Christmas. I’ve continued on with SEPTUA since I feel I should still be documenting this process. Hopefully when all curated and formed it will show a suitable representation of what leukiemia could be.
As of right now, I’m pushing forward and continuing to keep in contact with clients, send my normal promo emails keep them in the loop. This will not stop me, I’ve came this far and still have so much to go! I just wanted to say I have no words for the level of love and support ThAt we have received from our friends, family, clients and co workers. I love all of ya’ll and and truely feel blessed by all of you! Thank you!
Some play’s play all the way through to the end, others have intermissions and begin again. Well loved one’s and friends my intermission ended 11-28-2018 and it is time for act two. We received confirmation that my Leukemia has returned on Wednesday night and I’ll be starting chemo maybe tomorrow or so. This time I feel way more equipped for this battle even though I would much rather not fight to begin with but I will! I will fight it with more ferocity than the first.
Why fight more now... because Zoey understands now. She understands and is way more emotionally connected now and it kills me for her to see me sick or hurting. I have to fight harder because she needs her “Dahdee” and I need my Zozo. I have to fight harder because Z and I just made it to 10 years married and I promised her more... a lot more. I have to fight harder because who else is gonna give Jasmine, Steven, Steven, Tia, Tiandre and Da'Lynn a hard time ( or what I like to call it... the truth). Thank you all and I really appreciate all the love, respect and prayer from last year when I was first diagnosed). I would love to keep that same energy in these coming months. I will definitely keep ya’ll updated on everything.
Some play’s play all the way through to the end, others have intermissions and begin again. Well loved one’s and friends my intermission ended 11-28-2018 and it is time for act two. We received confirmation that my Leukemia has returned on Wednesday night and I’ll be starting chemo maybe tomorrow or so. This time I feel way more equipped for this battle even though I would much rather not fight to begin with but I will! I will fight it with more ferocity than the first. Why fight more now... because Zoey understands now. She understands and is way more emotionally connected now and it kills me for her to see me sick or hurting. I have to fight harder because she needs her “Dahdee” and I need my Zozo. I have to fight harder because Z and I just made it to 10 years married and I promised her more... a lot more. I have to fight harder because who else is gonna give Jasmine, Steven, Steven, Tia, Tiandre and Da'Lynn a hard time ( or what I like to call it... the truth). Thank you all and I really appreciate all the love, respect and prayer from last year when I was first diagnosed). I would love to keep that same energy in these coming months. I will definitely keep ya’ll updated on everything.
There is a joke to this picture, well more like inside joke. They say when you get a bone marrow transplant the old you dies and you are reborn. This is pretty much true... everything that make you medically you is killed. Then you receive you donor’s stem cells which in turn you share the same blood type and sex of blood. My sister was my donor... so now we share the same blood type and yes I now have female blood. No I don’t have a monthly visitor... but I do cry at cartoons now. As I go through more rolls of film from my journey I’ll be posting more images, hope to continue to bring you all with me.
There is a lot of things I had to learn on the way during my journey with cancer. One of the was how fucking cold you get after both radiation and chemo. When I was cold, I MEAN COLD! In this picture I had on two pairs of sweat pants, two shirts, a beanie and a hoodie.It is amazing the changes your body goes through, before all of this I couldn’t stay cool. I was “warm natured” basically I was always hot. Now I can’t stay warm and barely ever sweat. If you ask my wife she’ll say the no sweating is a good thing.
I remember this day so vividly, it was my first day of radiation. I had no idea what to expect... the paramedic dude was telling me it was a simple thing. I guess he was trying to calm me down, it worked to some degree. I was calm all the way until they turned on the radiation shooter (that’s what I called it). I didn’t feel anything until 20 minutes in... then OHHHHHH SHIT! This massive wave of nausea rushed over me annnnnd I fainted! I heard it was normal but damn they could have given a brotha a warning. I have to say that the radiation was the worst part of this whole journey, the chemo wasn’t bad. I felt the worst I have ever felt during this week of radiation but now that I look back... I made it through and am now working on getting back to normal. That’s all anyone can really ask for.
Received my last bag of chemo today (10-18-17).. let’s keep this trend going.
97 days... it has been 97 days since my big head sister saved my life (thank you Jazz).
It has been 97 days since my Stem cell transplant.
It has been 97 days of have a new immune system (and all the complication that go along with it) and life.
97... seems like a long time huh, to me it flew by. I’ve been spending those 97 days trying to get back to normal. Spending time with my two Zs. Enjoying being free from the hospital bed. Working...
In 3 more days I’ll find out how my transplant has melded with my bone marrow. I’m excited to see and if I might say... a little nervous. What ever might come I’ll take it and run with it, like I always have.
Life ain’t always glitter and rainbows... how much you choose to be negative about directly influences how your life will end up. I will always find glitter in old soggy confetti.
Today is the day... I guess I get a new birthday today along with my new immune system. I am so at a loss for words right now. Really I just wanna be with Zoey, Z, mama and sisters. I want to be with my sister while she is going through the process of harvesting the stem cells. I know that isn’t easy. So much going through my head right now... just know that I am eternally grateful to everyone! Ya’ll strength and praying has brought me here. Even if you didn’t pray your well wishes provided momentum. I love you all!
Even if you're bald, losing your hair is a humbling experience. It is so crazy to see the hair you been shaving for 24 years be so easy to pull out. I've always joked the I can't wait for my hair to fall out so that I wouldn't have to shave. Now that the choice of having hair has been taking away... it is bittersweet. I think it is more of a loss of choice than the loss of the actual hair.
These 15 vials of blood represent hope... 6 months of hospital stays, chemo, crap load of drugs and uncertainty and it is all coming to a head. A couple of weeks ago we found out that my little sister is a half match for a bone marrow transplant! My sister is saving my life, I still don't think I've processed it completely. I don't know how to thank her... I thought this would be a easy post. I'm just now realizing the gravity of it all... she is saving more than a brother. She is saving a son, a husband and a father. My little sister is saving my life, the person I called Monkey Face Jones all through high school is saving me. I'm trying not to cry while I type this (at the dentist). I'm at a loss for words right now... but am also in a good place and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'll make a more cohesive post when I can gather my thoughts.
Ask not for a lighter burden but for broader shoulders. - Jewish proverb
Almost there, just have to strap in and push through.
Bone biopsies are weird, I've had 6 and don't remember a single one. I know years ago when you received a bone biopsy it was carried out with just local anesthetic. Well I'm a big baby, so they knocked me out every time and I'm very grateful for such kindness. I received a non pain medicated spinal tap once... NEVER AGAIN! I learned quickly that I don't like pain. Ha... ha.. ha...
12, 4, 8, 12, 4, 8... those are the times that I have my vitals checked. Blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen and temperature, nothing too bad. I'm asked frequently " doesn't that get irritating?" My simple answer to that is NO. Simply put, if you had a bomb strapped to your chest and you couldn't reach it... the timer was set for detonation every four hours and five minutes wouldn't you want some one to come in everytime to disarm it? Pretty extreme way of thinking about it I know, but it hits home none the less.
When I'm out of the hospital for a week or 2 weeks I try to document my family as much as I can. They are definitely a huge part of my life.
There are somethings you can't avoid... no matter how healthy you are. In some shape, way or form side effects from either chemotherapy or assisting drugs will be present. My side effects have been pretty mild considering what others have gone through. I've only had some appetite problems and acne (from methyl prednisone). Nothing really to complain about, but a side effect none the less. My mindset is "It can always be worse", and with cancer it most definitely can be. I've learned to deal with my ever changing body... as long as I'm alive to see it change and hopefully progress to a place where I can mold it back to where I was before.