With Certainty

April 5th, 2014:

I write this blog with a sense of awareness of how others may feel towards my plight. But, it is with 100% certainty that two options are available for the remainder of cancer treatment: first, the preferred treatment would be to have a proctectomy with colo-anal anastomosis, which would mean no shit bag for life (aka colostomy or ileostomy); the second option is abdominoperineal (APR), which is the opposite of the former surgical technique meaning a shit bag for life. 

I am under no illusions on how my life should be lived. I want to be able to control my bodily functions without concern or thoughts of changing a bad or possible leakage. The reason I write this is because APR surgery is not an option for me. I can say with certainty that if APR surgery is the only method available to saving my life, then give me death. I do not mean it in the literal sense to give me death, but rather that I will eat only veggies and drink water, with red wine occasionally, as a means of fighting my rectal cancer. Is a shit bag really that horrible in order to keep my life? Most people may say, “A colostomy is not that much of a problem; you can lead a normal life.” Yet, to me, it is a normal life I will live. I would prefer to live with cancer using my diet as a means to fighting it. The end may result in death, but I do not care. Death is fine for someone that has always fantasized about a young death. 

The problem with facing a life and death situation seems to be the realness that it has on others. My goal, as of the last month, has been to push away from everything and everyone. I have pushed away my wife. I have pushed away all of my friends, with the exception of two Korean friends. I am trying to push away my own family. I love each and every single person in my life, but it feels more like a time to do everything on my own; without support and concern for me, I know that this fight will be a lot easier to handle and deal with which is why everyone is kept at more than an arm’s length’s distance. Others will impact my decision on whether to have the APR surgery or not. I still cannot leave this world behind that is so awesome especially with people that absolutely care about me and want to see me reach my goals, which are still the most important things to me in the world. So, please, take this as more of a rant and thoughts that permeate my mind rather than an actual death wish, though I do love death.

May all of you be well. I will see each and every one of you that cares or wants to see me in December before coming back to Korea for studies. Keep moving forward without concern of what is behind you.  


Here I Sit

March 4th, 2014:

I sit here concerned about my plight. As an always-thinking-about-possibility-X-Y-Z happening-type of guy, I am now at the stage of “I want to eat Mexican food and all other types of food” because the most consistent occurrence is a grumbling stomach. I only know of one way to satisfy it: a feast fit for Garfield (Cliché? I think not.). The only problem is that an over-consumption of foods can lead to outcomes that are not conducive to a healthy Jose. So, now, my plight: short-term satisfaction or long-term health? I have always gone for the former, and it would be natural to continue sticking to my own plans, but there are too many negatives with short-term satisfaction.

1. Delicious, meat-centric meals will lead to uncomfortable defecation. I do not want to have fecal matter exiting through the rectum and passing through the anus that causes an uncomfortable sensation. Burning rectum is not a fun experience. Itchy anus is not advisable unless you want the new fragrance Shittei Fingahs Parfume.

2. Delicious, meat as a main dish meals are not conducive to a reduction of cancerous tumors. Veggies, the enemies of Jose no matter how delicious they are, have helped to energize my body and make me stronger. It feels good to see my skin looking and feeling smooth. It feels good to wake up in the morning feeling like Atlas carrying the world on my back – strength! But still, they are veggies and they don’t alleviate that growling in my stomach. Still, advantage veggies over meat.

3. My plight of being healthy over being satisfied has lead to good habits. I drink water and use my juicer very often. Sodas, one can per week, are practically out of my diet. Sleep, though rare, has been consistent lately – 12 to 7:30. But still, I want to do things my way. I want to reverse course and eat for satisfaction; yet, I will not fall into the trap of short-term happiness at the expense of long-term health.

Now, the other side of this is short-term happiness. What are the benefits?

1. Pooping will hurt. If I have masochistic tendencies, I might enjoy this. And, though I do enjoy a healthy level of pain, this is just uncomfortable. No benefit to short-term happiness.

2. Cancer is supposed to shrink after chemotherapy and radiation treatment. If it doesn’t shrink it can only do two things: Stabilize and neither grow or shrink; thus, it stays the same; or it can grow. Hmm… I suspect that paying all of this money would be a waste if I didn’t try my best to have it shrink. If it can grow, just the possibility that a meat-based diet might make it grow, I see no benefit to meat diets. Cast the meat to the flames and walk far enough away so that you do not smell that cooking flesh – leave it for others. No benefit for long-term happiness or short-term internal satisfaction.

3. Bad habits. Ugly skin. Worse than I already have sleep habits. Soda. Lethargy controlling my life. No thanks. I see no benefits in short-term happiness if I base my meals around meat. It doesn’t mean I will never again eat meat. In fact, I will make meatball soup today. But, to consume meat as I did in the past, that is no longer an option if I want long-term happiness.

Whether you agree or disagree, I am excited to suffer with veggies for the sake of a healthy body. I did lie about one thing: veggies in Mediterranean and Indian food are awesome! Good day, and stay healthy.

PS watch Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.



March 1st, 2014:

Finally, Friday, the 7th of March, my chemotherapy and radiation treatment ends. I will no longer have to endure nauseous moments, queasy moments, or moments of fatigue. That is the most difficult part of cancer. So, I guess you can say that cancer has been a rather easy process. I am lucky that my guardian angel, science and medicine, have guided me throughout this painless process.

Now, my reluctance stems from having to work part-time for the next, probably, six months. This is going to be a break in my life that I do not want. I have to figure out a Tuesday and Thursday plan to keep me occupied and rested. Learning Korean is a given, but what I do after that is totally up in the air. I think building small-scale models of animation characters or modes of transportation could help pass time while doing something new and interesting. Yet, I do not know if I have the patience for such a hobby.

If anyone has advice for a worthwhile endeavour feel free to share with me. Drawing, painting, sculpting are off limits.

Anyways, a little reluctance is not a bad thing.

Rectal cancer is losing the battle against Jose. Jose has begun to turn the pressure up and is increasing his strength. What will the finale bring? Wait to find out on the next blog of “Rectal Cancer, My Ass! Blog” (read this paragraph using the Dragon Ball Z voice at the end of each cartoon.)


February 23rd, 2014:

Is Hulk Hogan really returning to the WWF/WWE? I guess so. The man is old, a legend, and an odd father. But, talking about Hulkamania and Hulkamaniacs is better left to the professional wrastlin’ bloggers. I am here to write about rectal cancer. 

Rectal cancer, radiation, and chemotherapy has been a rather pleasant experience. How can cancer be pleasurable? Cancer is pleasurable because it has only prohibited me from drinking alcoholic beverages and eating fast food. I have eaten broccoli, carrots, and cabbage a lot more than any other point in my life. My skin is looking healthy. My energy levels have increased, well, with the exception of two days a week. My body does get sore and lethargic, but that usually requires a full day of bed rest to overcome this problem. I can probably write more positives since diagnosis than negatives. I do not wish cancer upon any person, but it can lead to positive lifestyle changes for the right person, me.

Radiation has been a lot more pleasant than I first thought. I was thinking how it would leave perma-scars on my buttocks and surrounding areas, but it seems unlikely to happen. What has happened that has made the radiation therapy pleasant? Well, do you know how good it feels to scratch an itchy mosquito bite? It has a similar feeling to scratching a mosquito bite – my three lowercase t’s.

The three lowercase t’s are blue medical markers that mark where the radiation beams are required to hit. I have one on both the left and right side of my waist and one from my tailbone to my lower spine. It is no problem, and actually I find them to be quite unique that a tattoo or several tattoos might be in the works. These little marks indicate that I am indeed kicking rectal cancer in the ass. When I beat cancer, I will then have to commemorate it with some permanent markings. I am quite excited by the prospect of having unique tattoos.

Chemotherapy. Ehh… It is easy. I just need to sleep. That is a lazy answer to the question of “How is chemotherapy pleasant?” Sleep. Seriously. Sleep. If you feel sick, sleep. Eat. Drink water or tea. Or, as Brock Lesnar’s t-shirt “Eat. Sleep. Conquer. Repeat.” That is how chemotherapy feels to me. My body eats it up. My body sleeps. My body conquers chemotherapy. And, I repeat this process.

The only drawback to having cancer is that my salary is about to become consistently inconsistent. Missing work sucks! I never thought that I would write that last sentence. Sleeping is good; sleeping makes you feel strong. Missing work, especially seeing my little children that are excited to see me, is horrible. I energize myself through their little smiling faces. I guess it is not the work I miss, but rather the children. Oh well, anyways, I am going to cut it off right here.  



Always Move Forward

February 15th, 2014:

I can never stop moving forward. The only direction my eyes can see is forward. Never stopping to glance behind me is the driving force in my life. The day looking to my sides or behind becomes the dominating view it becomes the day my life loses all meaning. Make sure to look forward from this moment and into the far future.


Test Day

February 14th, 2014:

Students are separated from one another and testing. I feel utterly exhausted from radiation. I thank my bosses for next session’s schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday work days and Tuesday and Thursday off for recovery.  I still feel like sleeping. Radiation is killing my normally energetic self.


Tough Day

February 12th, 2014:

Have you ever felt do exhausted that walking felt like a chore? That was how my day started. Walking out of my apartment and onto the fish-smelling black pavement was similar to carrying a pillowcase filled with quarters tied around my neck. I’m certain you can imagine. Needless to say, movement was at a snail’s pace. Exhaustion like this was unexpected because I thought chemotherapy would be more difficult than radio therapy (not am/fm radio).

So far, I have been losing my ass hairs. I loved them, but it is time for them to go. That thought has taken center stage in my life. Radio therapy has taken away my pride and joy so now I seek the help of my audience:

1. Shave away my pride and joy with a combination of clippers and razor?

2. Go get a bikini wax? If so, which type of wax is best to remove my pride and joy?

Understand this, I absolutely love my ass hairs. This is not a light decision or topic. They let me know I am not a prepubescent teenager; they indicate that I have become a man. Radio therapy has slowly but surely murdered my love for ass hairs so change is necessary.

Well, this blog went from how I felt to loss of ass hairs… Sorry for not staying…. on… top…. ic.

Anyways, I rested all day and ate two meals. A bowl of pho for the Seoul (I live in Seoul. Get it?) and potatoes and eggs. I am happy that I have been able to stomach food. Sometimes, an apple or a drink of water is enough to make me full for several hours. Let’s hope that I can stop looking like a high schooler when it comes to my weight and look more like a man that has enjoyed life but still exercises.

See y’all in December, most likely. Hope you’re all well.