Friday, August 2, 2013

So, this is my first shot at a blog, bear with my old butt for a while and we'll see how it goes.

 This is going to be about random thoughts and other things that run through my mind as I speed headlong toward my own end. Hence, Terminal Velocity. As we know, that's the fastest a body can fall through the air with any given resistance. I intend to resist this end to the best of my ability.

 Everyone's Terminal Velocity is different. The Docs say about a year, better odds of making it that year with Chemo. I find out more about that next week at MD Anderson, again, for a Chemo consult. They should also have seen how sparkly I lit up the PET scan last week. I'm hoping it's not like the as bad as the rhinestones on a Liberace costumes.

 So, let's set the scene, shall we, buy going back almost 5 years to my first diagnosis and working rapidly forward.
 Labor day weekend 2008 I'm in the LK (Liberal Ks) visiting the old man. I got wet on the bike, which is nothing new, and the day I'm gonna leave I find this swollen gland. Which wasn't right, it wasn't sore and it was only one on the left side of my jaw. Get home, see a Dr., immediately get a referral to an ENT, who does a needle opsy in her office. Ow.
 Comes back cancer. I've go to McPherson to throw in a set of Highland Games, and can see the damn thing bulging in my shadow, oddly enough, so can everyone else. Secret is out. A week later I'm in seeing a Radiation Oncologist and a Chemo Therapy Oncologist, and getting a much bigger biopsy, a throat scrape, ultra sound (the tech asked "You gettin dizzy?" No. "Funny, it's got your left carotid artery almost flattened out"), and a plan is set.
 On the table getting my Power Port put in, the nurse keeps bugging me, "Mr Smith, are you okay?", why yes I am, "You're pulse is 62, we were worried". Sheesh. Port goes in next up, Chemo!!
Cisplatin, Toxerol, and 5FU, which is pumped in over 5 days. Sick SOB, so sick I even made the dog gag. Can't keep anything in. Weight loss begins. Two rounds of that and a short stay in the hospital because I even threw up water and was so dehydrated they thought I was gonna die. Radiation begins!!!
 Build a mask to pin me to the table. 40 trips in, 180 centigray at a pop, all around my neck. I refused the feeding tube, told the doc I could eat enough to keep my weight up. It turns out I lied. No way in hell I could eat enough. Every treatment my throat got more raw, I got more tired and mean, because they were giving me steroids too, after I told them it was an error. I'd eat like a pig, lose more weight.
Too much weight they said they'd put me on a feeding tube. My solution? Wear heavy clothes and put plates I borrowed from the gym in my biker jacket. I ended up with 20 lbs in the pockets, barely stayed above the minimum weight before they forced me to get a tube. Last treatment, talked to the Dr, told him I ate 2 bowls of chili with a splash of tobacco.  I did, it hurt, but was great.. Wore my kilt to that last bake me session too.
 Throat kept baking, I got down to eating nothing but applesauce and Snak Pak pudding. I'd kill to eat either one of those now LOL

 Many things happened in that time, including getting a new motorcycle as a "I kicked it's ass" present. Fat Girl and I went many places, very fast LOL

 Cool shit leading up to Terminal Velocity:
New Bike
Scarborough Ren Fest Highland Games made me Special guest for the day, had given me a room, and formed a cheering section for me. Almost most made my eyes wet. Okay, it did, not just in front of everyone. Mike Baab gave me his Athlete of the Day medal. I met cool people that are still good friends, over a jar of olives
30th HS reunion. Reconnected with a whole herd of people that still stay in touch.
2 trips to Daytona Bike Week with my bud John Moye. Yes, we ride, we do not trailer.
Hundreds of other things that were either balls to the wall or just an absolute riot. Why? Because, dammit, either live life large or stay at home and whine about what you coulda done! I don't like whining.
 Okay, that's a wrap on the first one. Next time, after some thought, we'll jump into getting the same cancer again in the same fucking area at almost the same fucking time of year. Yippee!!


  1. Great posting and great name of your blog. I'm wishing it was like, "Winning the 50 million Dollar Lotto and Giving Cancer the Finger, in One Day."-Blog.
    I know you are tough, Rock. Always have been. To me, that's just a given. For others, I know they are surprised/impressed by your mental and physical resolve. Couple that with your intellect, humor, personal responsibility, love for others/contempt for evil, and you are an impressive individual.
    People reading this blog should realize the very extra-ordinary nature of my brother, Charles Rockwell Smith. Rock has always been who HE is; not someone else. That "HE" is one of conviction of duty, and fighting for what is right, and not making a big deal about it.
    THAT is being a real MAN. That is just what he is.
    I could write my own book (and I may) about the times growing up with Rocky as my big brother, working on a Well Servicing Rig that, because of my brother and Father, was the BEST service company is all of the oil patch. That's another fact.
    Anyway, great blog, Rock.

    I love you very much.
    Clay Smith

  2. I wanna see the bike!! :-) I'm working with Kari on getting her to ride on the back of mine.