You put yer weed in it

Some of you may not agree with this post or it may put me in a light you didn’t know about.  I know I’ve discussed this topic before but it’s been awhile and I know there are new readers out there.  I’m sorry if this shocks you so I will start out by saying, yes, marijuana is legal to use medicinally in the State of California, and yes, I do use it for medical purposes.  I have pain that I have to take prescription meds for that I would rather not and I also have issues sleeping that they have given me prescription meds for that I would also rather not take.  If a little marijuana can help I would much rather go that route.

OK, now that we have that out of the way, I can tell you why I’m even bringing it up.

Something funny happened on the way to the dispensary…

In order to get medical marijuana in the State of California, you need to have a doctor who is licensed to “prescribe” marijuana give you a stamped Recommendation letter.

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They are only good for one year and then you have to have it renewed.  A great way to keep all of these doctors in business.  It’s not cheap.  Oh, and for an extra fee you can get a card as well.  I’m still not totally sure what good it does but she totally did the hard sell on me to get it.

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My letter had expired.  My friend wanted to go to the dispensary in a couple of days and the doctor I had gone to before takes a week to get the letter to you, so my friend recommended a guy he had seen that gives you the letter in the same visit.  Sweet!  So a few days ago I went to see his guy and I just had to share the experience.

The office was in a kinda of industrial area.  The building was nice but a little bare.  The area around it seemed bare too.  No big deal.  Not judging the place based on that.  I brought all of my diagnosis papers figuring he would need to see them.  I had everything in a binder all ready.
I walk in and there was a receptionist who asked if I was there to see the doctor and when I said I was immediately threw a clipboard in my hands and told me to fill it out. Front and back.  Apparently they were getting ready to leave for lunch.

The sheet on one side had a bunch of questions asking about why I couldn’t sleep, what had I tried to fall asleep and if I had used marijuana in the past to help me sleep.  I do have trouble sleeping but I don’t remember telling her that.  Honestly I may have over the phone and that’s why she gave me that sheet, or that’s just the standard sheet they give to everyone and ALL of his patients just happen to have sleeping issues.
I finished filling it out and she told me to wait in the the waiting area until the doctor was ready to see me.

The waiting area was interesting.  There were articles all over the walls about milk.  Mostly about drinking raw milk, I think.  I think there were also a few about butter and there were 3 bumper stickers all relating to how 9/11 was “an inside job”.  I know how I felt sitting there, I will let you form your own opinions.

I was called back to see the doctor and he was pretty much what I expected to see.  And smell.  I found this picture of him online from 5 years ago.

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The ironic thing is that his practice is called “Anti-Aging Arts” but he looked at least 10 if not 15 years older when I saw him in person.  His beard halfway down his chest, his hair was long and all of it was grey.

He had all of his degrees on the wall.  He was a Graduate of Harvard & UCLA and a UCSD General Surgeon.  The guy is obviously brilliant, but I don’t know if he’s partaken of too much of what he prescribes or what.
I walked in, sat down, and he started talking to me about how I need to learn how to make this butter or a tincture.  As he was talking he put this dirty old cuff on my arm and took my blood pressure.  He continued to tell me how I need to smoke every day to make sure it builds up in my system because thats how it attacks cancer cells.  He went on and on and on about ghee and making sure I used “food grade” glycerine” and he would circle it on this paper.  For what?  What the hell are you talking about???

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He went on for about 10 minutes then asked if I had any questions.
Um, yeah…   all of it?  What are you talking about?
But of course I said no and he told me to wait back in the waiting area for my papers.

When I got back to the waiting area the TV was on and there were people talking in a town hall discussion style about milk.  I was ready to go.

She called me up, gave me my papers and I was on my way.
All of that so I could go to the dispensary today.  Totally worth the story and the trip to the dispensary!

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I just had to share because it was too funny not to.

 

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Standing Os

Last Friday my wife and I went to see a play.  It was a cute play.  I wouldn’t say it was great but it wasn’t awful either. It was just, well, entertaining, I guess.  Once the play was over and the cast came out 2 by 2 for their curtain call, everyone in the theatre clapped, but there was no standing ovation.
As we walked to the car I mentioned it to MJ and wondered if the cast felt bad because they didn’t get one.  We weren’t sure, but we both agreed that we were happy no one stood up.  It seems like the last 6 or 8 productions of anything we’ve gone to there has always been a standing ovation and for performances I didn’t feel were worthy of it.  But you can’t really not stand when everyone else around you is, unless you want to look like a dick.  So I’ve been getting up when I totally didn’t think it was worth it.  But it’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the show.

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So this whole standing ovation thing got me thinking about day to day life.  I certainly enjoy most days, but not every day is standing ovation worthy and I think I’m OK with that.  I think it’s a nice accomplishment to strive for, but let’s face it, even going to Disneyland everyday would start to get stale at some point.  You would start to recite all the lines from all the rides.  Some of them I can almost recite already not nearly going on a daily frequency. So I can only imagine.

Every day is a gift and I think we should try and appreciate it as much as we possibly can.

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But I think telling ourselves to “ENJOY EVERY DAY” just isn’t possible.  Not EVERY day.  And to be honest, life wouldn’t be as interesting as it can get if every day were perfect.  I do think it’s possible to enjoy “parts” of every day.  I think it’s possible to not let the not so good or even terrible things that happen to us not ruin our day.  But if we try to make every day a standing ovation, what do we do when there’s a REAL standing o?  I don’t think it would feel as genuine.

I think a good place to start is waking up in the morning and telling ourselves,”today is a new adventure and I am looking forward to where today takes me.”

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And as the day goes along, reminding ourselves that this day no matter where it’s heading, good or bad, is still a gift and even if it’s not turning out to be a standing o, it can still be pretty good.
I’m lucky.  I have a constant reminder of why I need to not take a day for granted.  Yes, I just said I was lucky to have cancer.  But the thing is I know how easy it is to get caught up in the bullshit of life.  Car has a flat, kids are fighting, money’s tight and bills are due, favorite show got cancelled etc.  The list can get pretty huge.
I know it’s easier said than done, but you don’t need to have cancer to make the most of every day.  In fact, you’re super lucky if you don’t!  Take each moment as it comes and now to get super cliche, but “don’t sweat the small stuff”.  It’s just a phone.  It’s just a broken glass.  Everyday we put our feet on the floor is a small miracle and maybe we should be celebrating more standing ovations.  But even when the day isn’t one, it can still be pretty great.

Rollercoasters and Arcades

Everyone has bad days.  Especially people with cancer.  I struggle sometimes with what’s a normal bad day and what’s a “cancer” bad day.  Today was definitely a cancer bad day.

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This morning my wife calls to tell me I need to find people to pick up the kids while I’m on my trips or I need to pay for care.  I call to see about care and it’s fucking expensive!!  Like ridiculous! Who pays that?
As I was frazzled and frantic about that I got another phone call that was from the clinical trial nurse at SHARP telling me there was only one spot left in the trial I wanted to get into so I would need to hurry and sign the papers.
Arghhh!!
I hopped in my rental car (mine is in the shop from an accident) and I sped, yes, I literally sped, to SHARP to sign those papers.
Once I got there, Jackie had to go through a stack of paperwork regarding the study because I wasn’t allowed to sign it without knowing what I was signing.  Which, of course, is a good thing.  Especially when she tells me that 2 out of the 97 people who have taken this drug have died and one of them died from bleeding which is something I’ve been having issues with.
I hesitantly signed it knowing I could back out if I needed or wanted to.  It was still quite scary.

I was all kinds of frazzled from the day so what does one do when they are?  Go play some arcade games, of course.  So I headed on down to Belmont Park.  It’s on the pier here and is a place that has not only an arcade but rides and shit food and everything one would want in fun.
There is this game I was introduced to when we stayed in the hotel in Frankenmuth.  It’s one of those coin pusher games and because I cant describe it, I’m just going to link a video so you can see this damn game:

So I threw 10 bucks into this machine and thought about the trial and whether or to do it and what I was going to do if I couldn’t do it and what was I going to do about the kids getting picked up and blah blah blah.
It was a nice stress relief.  A LOUD one.  And now I have enough tickets to get a “Game of Life” game.  My favorite.
And what goes best with video games?  Crap food of course.  So I bought myself a pretzel and a Coke and cried my way home to pick up Nalani.

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Long story short, I didn’t get into that trial.  And I cried about it.  Even though I do think it was for the best.  I had a bad feeling I would be one of the ones to have a reaction to the drug.  I’m still not sure what I’m going to do about the kids, but I’m sure that too will work out.  It was a rollercoaster day even though I didn’t get on the one at Belmont Park.  I should have just for the symbolism but I’m not THAT cheesy. Plus it cost like 6 bucks.

First Descents

I never really wrote about this experience.  I made a couple of trailer videos.  I had every intention of making a full video and I still haven’t gotten to it.  Hopefully I will.  It has just slipped on my priority of things to get done.  Here is the trailer for those that didn’t see…

It was a life changing trip for me.  When I was diagnosed, all of a sudden there were all of these things I “couldn’t” or “shouldn’t” do.  Can’t lift things.  Can’t eat sushi.  Careful about traveling.  Everything became big and I started to play into “being sick”.  That I would need to rest often and I wasn’t able to do things that others were able to.

Well all of that changed on that trip.

The first day when we were learning how to flip and learning how to paddle.  I still thought I was weak and had to sit out.  This is me sitting with Uncle Pete because they still made me “get into the boat”  I wasn’t going to get out of participating.

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This post will have a lot of pictures btw.

So I learned how to do everything that would make me successful on the river.
I learned how to flip.

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I learned how to deal with the equipment.

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I learned how to rely on others.

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I fell in love with some people that made me laugh hard.

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This is Sailor.  He had colon cancer too.
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These were some of our guides that were amazing in taking us down the river.IMG_0832

Some people went in the water.IMG_0614

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This lady made me LAUGH.IMG_0206

So did these two.P1410611

I learned I could do things I never thought I could.

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Most of all, I had fun doing it!

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And got to know amazing people.

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It unfortunately didn’t change the fact that we had cancer and we lost a very special person a few months ago.  She was my roommate and my friend and I hate this fucking disease for taking her.  I miss her beautiful smile and her amazing laugh.

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I love this shot of Pica helping Jane.  It’s so much IMG_0102

There was only one thing I couldn’t do due to bleeding.  I’m still a little sad I couldn’t of joined because it looked amazing.

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There were moments that we were able to be very raw.  One day we wrote all of the crappy things we hate on a rock and we threw it into the river.  It was very freeing.

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And I met friends that I will NEVER forget.  We bonded that week in a way that’s very special and doesn’t happen that often.

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The thing I’ll remember most is to enjoy the river.  The end rapids was huge and I was nervous about it and worried about it to the point that I realized I wasn’t enjoying the river as I went.  My end will come so there’s no point in worrying about it.  Just enjoy the river as it comes.

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I have another trip coming up that will be a bit different but I’m sure just as impacting.  I’ve been trying to raise money to “pay it forward” so someone else can enjoy the same trip that I am about to do.  If you can spare $5 or $10 even $25 it would be much appreciated!

Click here to donate or see the video.

Thanks for watching/reading.  I’m sure there’s more that I will think about the adventure so you may have to tune back in 😀