May 5th 2020. Today I snap back.

After a nice round of some mental rehabilitation therapy yesterday, my words have once again found order in my speech. Texting has gotten easier. And letters have regained their meaning and context. Oh what power the mind is revealing to me. The sheer strength of my will to be fully engaged and charged at the cellular level to get my brain synapses firing again. What a blessing this body, spirit, and mind I have been rewarded! There is no limit to creation.

April 8th 2020.

Suffered from a very painful Pulmonary Embolism yesterday. In the hospital recovering and getting multiple tests. But I am safe, breathing great, and being cared for by a great team. Love to all!

April 6th 2020. Today I hide.

I wish that wasn’t the only way to avoid getting the deadly virus, but as more lives across the planet are threatened; isolation and containment are our strongest defense.

So I dream of a parallel universe, one where love kills this virus. How fabulous would it be if the cure was a good old gin and tonic! And by kissing your loved ones, immunity spread. Where the sun zapped the entire world’s air and UV rays erased all traces of disease.

I can hide from Covid and take precautions. But I can’t hide from cancer. This reality rests on my head far more often than this newest pandemic. Perhaps the virus is helping me take a break from thinking about my own personal uphill battle. According to the CDC:

In 2019, there will be an estimated 1,762,450 new cancer cases diagnosed and 606,880 cancer deaths in the United States.

So far, Covid has taken 8,910 precious souls from the US. So what is the takeaway…

Live your life and be happy. Yes, take extreme caution. But don’t forget to dream, to love, to inspire, to create. And when this current pandemic is over, don’t forget about all the other countless diseases that have ravished our world. Support local and national efforts to transform our healthcare system so no one has to suffer any further from ignorance and denial. We are a strong race of humankind. So be it… KIND.

(Soap box removed) I turn back to my own health. MRI from last week revealed positive and continually hopeful results. Most if not almost all of the tumor has died or is in the process of dying. So now my neuro oncology team needs to focus on reducing the amount of necrosis in my brain. Necrosis in layman’s terms is another way to describe dead brain tissue. So in addition to months more of oral chemotherapy, I am going to try to get insurance approval for an IV infusion treatment with a drug called Avastin. In addition, they also want me to start doing treatments in a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber. I hear Justin Bieber sleeps in one? Isn’t that special! HA!

All of my treatment will revolve around trying to reduce all my brain swelling and washing away (in a sense) as much dead brain tissue as possible. Surgery to remove these deads areas of my brain has still not been recommended, and simply because the tumor location is right near my ventricles. So much of the tumor has died, that the dead tissue has shifted the midline of my brain. This is not a “problem” perse, just a statement of brain symmetry and to demonstrate that all the treatment I have been doing has really shaken things up.

So let’s continue to stir the pot on all levels, and see if that magical elixir called life will continue to bless us all with health, happiness, and love.

March 17th 2020. Today my platelets are at 279!

From 53 to 279 in one week, I am once again back in the game. Sucks that all this good news means I start another round of chemotherapy tonight, but I’d never been happier to have cancer treatment right now. In the midst of a pandemic where no treatment has yet to be discovered, I am so thankful for modern medicine. And I am also blessed to have this extraordinary body that heals and bounces back when I need it most. And yes, 279 is still low, but it is just enough for me to stay in the fight.

March 17th 2020. Today the luck of the Irish has faded.

Is it possible to keep optimism alive as humanity suffers a great deal? Can we be so bold as to smile again and to be thankful for this precious life we have been given? This life was always just borrowed time from the universe. How do we keep the spirit alive, the light a flame, and the embers smoking?

I can only speak for myself. But I have to dig deep and plunge into my inner well of memories, and recall a lifetime of blessings. This life is beautiful. And maybe Mama Earth is just trying to heal herself from the plaque of humanity. I see the images from Venice, and the waters are crystal clear and beautiful. The smog has lifted from our skylines. I can hear the birds clearly, without the rumble of distant highways. There is global peace descending on us, like a gifted veil. And the silver lining of our human destiny lies deep within the hearts of all of us.

I want someone to blame or something to punch. I want my anger at my cancer to cut thru the fog of chemo, and pierce my mental bubble. I want the lives of my family and friends to extend past this pandemic so that we can all look back on our life’s with reverence and gratitude.

Our planet will heal itself in time. She is in great pain at the moment and losing her grasp. So let’s reach out to her and hold her hand for a change. Isolate and quarantine your bodies, but let your hearts and spirits soar. Elevate your perspective. Share rather than hoard. Love thy neighbor, from a 6′ distance of course. And pick one informed and unbiased news source, and turn the rest OFF. Take this time to savor the miracle of our planet. When I found out I had brain cancer, I thought there was no way in hell I could experience a worse predicament. And yet here I am. Here we are.

No matter what, I know that my fortress is strong. Platelet counts don’t dictate my mood. The sudden risk of viral infection will not alter my mind. I am strong. I am grounded. I have roots deep on this earth and the winds may bend and sway my branches, but they will not break. I have work left to do. And deeper roots to grow before this tree of life is done. So wash your hands, play your part, and keep on moving. I choose love. Fear is dead.

March 13th, 2020. Today I hide.

No really, I have quarantined myself at home. I can not and will not take any chances. And having sacrificed as much as I have already, and fought as hard as I have, I must continue to preserve my health as best as possible.

For those who have written to me about blood transfusions for my low platelets, I am aware of this option. But we are only looking at a minor setback, for now. There might come a time that this escalates to a transfusion, but for now we wait to see if my amazing healing body can build my platelets up on their own.

So I hunker down and lay low with the rest of humanity. We are all in this one together. Stay safe. Stay protected as best you can. And just remember your weakened immunity brother’s and sisters’ who are the ones that will suffer the most. My brain cancer support group was cancelled as a result of this pandemic. I guess my outlook is… things could always be worse.

Today I may be stuck sitting at home cleaning every square inch of my home with Lysol, but it needed a good scrub. Today I may be absorbed in a jigsaw puzzle to pass the time, but my brain needed a good work out. Today I may be hiding from the coronavirus, but maybe Disney+ came out at exactly the right time to keep my eternal smile bright. Yes, we are all F@#KED right now. But things could always be worse. I think Anne Frank said it best:

“I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart”.

The Diary of Anne Frank.

And we the people will heal, and pray, and love, and fight. We will all stay healthy because we have to for each other!

Tuesday March 10th 2020. Today I wait.

Just a quick update that my father is doing well. He has been home from the hospital for several days and is doing really great. If I didn’t know what he had been through medically, I’d say he is doing better than ever. I guess I know from where I get my resilience.

The reason I wait is I still don’t have my blood test results back. But I hope by the end of the day. If my platelets are back up in numbers, I can begin my monthly chemotherapy. My dad being the jokester he is went thru the cupboard and found the smallest ceramic plates we have. He placed them on the counter and told me that I could use the small plates in my count. “Isn’t a small plate considered a platelet?” If only Mr. Slivinski it was that easy. But I’d I am thankful for his humor, because it makes me reassured that his mind is firing on all cylinders.