Happy Birthday

happy birthday hippo purple birthday card comic art
Who likes the color purple and hippos? My friend, Kaliope, does. Due to Coronavirus restrictions, instead of a 9th birthday party Kaliope’s mom elicited all of her friends to draw her pictures and mail them to her. Happy Birthday, Kaliope …

#happybirthday #hippo #purple #birthdaycard #ilovehippos #ilovepurple #sketchbook #drawnandcoded

Goodbye, Radiation …

For the last month and a half I have been driving to UCSD 5 days a week with 30+ ounces of water sloshing around in my bladder and an empty colon to get everything south of my belly button irradiated. Fortunately,  my team at UCSD has been fantastic, and to thank them, I handed out bags of See’s Candy to everyone. As I was rolled into what I have affectionately dubbed the “glory hole” for the last time, I requested that they blast Oingo Boingo’s “Goodbye” during my final treatment. Patients are not not supposed to move while getting treated, but that didn’t keep me from drumming my fingers and humming along anyway.

“You guys have all been great and all, but …. I hope I never have to see any of you ever again.”, I teased my crew as they helped me out of the machine. After some awkward, socially distanced high-fives and elbow bumps I quickly made my way to the lobby.

For radiation therapy, at least at UCSD, there’s a huge brass bell in the lobby that patients are encouraged to ring on completion of their therapy.  I was so excited to be done and to head home that I completely forgot to “ring the bell” and made a beeline for my car.  My crew, busily eating their chocolates, forgot to remind me as well.

As I pulled up onto our street I saw Jodie chasing a blue balloon across our driveway. I stifled a chuckle and pulled into the driveway. Jodie quickly waved me back onto the street where I parked along the curb. After exiting the car and walking up to the driveway I saw why. She had our friends all write encouraging and uplifting phrases, with chalk, all over the driveway. 

prostate cancer last day of radiation family friends
I arrived home from my last treatment to Jodie chasing balloons across the driveway, inspirational quotes from friends scrawled with chalk, and hugs from two of my biggest supporters.

“I had planned to tape balloons to the garage door, too, but they kept popping.”, she smiled.

On the garage door she had hung letters that read “We are so proud of you”. After a couple of quick pictures against the sign Ashley and Kaylee ushered me inside.

“Open your gifts dad!”, they said in unison after plopping our new puppy, Maddie, in my lap.

In the first bag were several things, but it was a handmade stuffed orange tiger which I was immediately drawn to. If you don’t know why, I encourage you to read “Calvin and Hobbes”, a popular comic strip of the 80’s and 90’s which I grew up with. Earlier in the week I had hung a Calvin and Hobbes picture over the couch in my home office / fortress of solitude. My mom, unbeknownst to me, sewed me up my own “Hobbes” to accompany the picture. “Hobbes” primed the tears for my next gift. 

Prostate Cancer Last Day of Radiation Celebration Family and Friends
A handmade orange tiger might be a great gift for a 6-year-old boy, but it’s an awesome one for a 44-year-old man who grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes. Thank you, Mom.

“Can you read what it says?”, Jodie asked me after I unwrapped it.

“….”

It took a box of Kleenex and what seemed like forever before I could get my mouth to cooperate, and what finally came out wasn’t much.

“….I …. I …. really don’t know what to say.”

Jodie and my friends had created a collage. Each picture was a family member or friend holding a word. Together, the words read :

“One step closer to cancer-free! Keep kicking cancer’s butt! We love you and are proud of the strength and humor you have brought to this fight!”

Hours later and I’m still at a loss for words. 

Prostate Cancer Last Day of Radiation Friends Family
Unwrapping this collage choked me up for longer than I’d like to admit. I’m still at a loss for words other than, “Thank you.”

Take care. Stay healthy. Live life…. and surround yourself with people that love you.

-Scott

Previous : One Year Cancerversary

Next : The Road Ahead

Prostate Cancer PSA
My PSA ( ng/mL ) as of 10/09/2020

#prostatecancer #cancer #prostatitis #psa #prostate #urology #oncology #radiationtherapy #radiation #ebrt #proton #radicalprostatectomy #chemotherapy #hormonetherapy #surgery #lupron #leuprolide #oingoboingo #goodbye #drawnandcoded #iwillbeatthis

Homonyms

kitten cat lover snow flake the fluffy white cat pet lover cone of shame spay nuder
My friend, Aymie, asked me to draw her kitten, “Snowflake”, a recent victim of the scalpel. For more Snowflake you can visit her Instagram page at snowflakethefluffywhitecat. Yes, the kitten has a Instagram page, too – and arguably more fans than me!

#kitten #cat #catlover #snowflakethefluffywhitecat #pets #petlover #coneofshame #sockofshame #spay #nuder

Facial Hair

facial hair shaving puberty beard mustache parenting comic
This was inspired by my daughters’ friend, Allan. He’s proud of his single solitary stubble. Maybe I’ll buy him a bottle of aftershave for his upcoming 11th birthday.

#hair #facialhair #shaving #puberty #beard #mustache #parentingfail #parenting #parents #drawnandcoded #sketchbook #comic #funny

Thank You

A lot of people came together to support my family and I during my daughter, Kaylee, and my respective recoveries from surgery. We were humbled by the number of people who brought us food, groceries, and offered their help. Thank you so much for your support, we are incredibly grateful and lucky to have such awesome friends, and family. For more go here.

Previous : Kegels, Pads, and … Radiation?!?

Next : Sometimes you just need to take more walks …

Prostate Cancer PSA
My PSA ( ng/mL ) as of 05/11/2020

#prostatecancer #cancer #radicalprostatectomy #surgery #drawnandcoded #iwillbeatthis #inkscape #illustrator #thankyou #card #recovery #mealtrain #drawnandcoded

Minecraft Easter Egg Hunt

Logo

“Dad! Can we do an Easter Egg Hunt on Minecraft?”, my oldest daughter, Ashley, asked me.

In years past we would go to the Westwood Club, our community center, for an annual Easter Egg Hunt with our friends and neighbors. However this year, due to social distancing restrictions enacted to slow the Coronavirus, the community center would be closed and the Easter Egg Hunt, cancelled.

“That is a great – wait, no, fantastic idea!”, I told her excitedly, “Let’s do it!”

So, during the week leading up to Easter Sunday we created a Minecraft World, populated it with a bunch of colorful “eggs” ( we substituted in-game colored wool blocks ), and scheduled a Zoom teleconference so that the participants could talk.

We kept the rule simple. 

  • Each participant would be provided a “basket” ( an in-game chest ) that would reside in the starting area. 
  • Each basket would contain tools ( a pickaxe and shears ) which would allow the participant to “mine” the eggs.
  • A hunt would last 15 minutes. 
  • During the hunt each participant would have to find and mine as many eggs as they could and return them to their basket before time ran out. Only eggs inside the basket at the end of the hunt would be tallied. 
  • And most importantly, the participant with the most eggs wins.

For each hunt we also hid a special “golden egg” ( an in-game gold block ) which would be worth ten regular eggs.

To get by Minecraft’s 8-player limit we would hold two hunts. The first would be for the older kids who would re-hide the eggs for the second hunt, which would be for the younger kids.

The hunt had it’s hiccups, but everyone seemed to have a good time. Hopefully next year we’ll be able to once again meet up with our friends and neighbors at the community center for a real, in-person Easter Egg Hunt, but desperate times call for desperate measures and this measure, in my humble opinion, wasn’t so much desperate as it was fun.

Take care. Stay healthy. Live life. And stay safe everyone.

-Scott

#Coronavirus #Minecraft #EasterEggHunt #SocialDistancing #MinecraftEasterEggHunt #SocialDistancingEasterEggHunt #Parenting #HowISurvivedCoronoavirusAndThrived #FamilyGames #KidGames #Quarantine #ShelterAtHome #StuckAtHome #Teleconferencing #Zoom

Lego Masters : Coronavirus Lockdown Edition

Coronavirus COVID COVID-19 Lego Masters Social Distancing Parenting How I Survived Coronavirus And Thrived Family Games Kid Games Quarantine Shelter At Home Stuck At Home Teleconferencing Zoom
COVID has dramatically changed everyday life in a very short amount of time. LEGO competitions over Zoom with my daughters’ friends was one way to buck the lockdown and establish some normalcy. It’s fun, too!

My girls and their friends are all big fans of Lego Masters, a new television show where teams compete with one another to create incredible builds based upon a theme.

Leveraging the coronoavirus restrictions as a unique opportunity, five families participated in Episode 1 of the “Rancho Bernardo Lego Masters : Coronavirus Lockdown Edition”. Each family used Zoom running on a mobile device or laptop to teleconference so that they could participate.

The winner of this weeks challenge, “Build the World’s Coolest Treehouse” was the Jock Family. Alexander and Kaliope won the exclusive “Rancho Bernardo Cup” with their amazing build. They will hold onto the cup until next Saturday for Episode 2.

Rules

  • Each family will represent a Team. A Team will be made up of one or more kids. 
  • Each Team will need access to a device capable of running Zoom. 
  • Each family will have two Votes. A family can only Vote for themselves once.
  • A Host (me) will host the Zoom meeting and be responsible for interviewing ( and muting ) the Teams throughout the challenge.

How it works

  1. A Theme will be chosen from a hat by the Host and presented to all of the Teams.
  2. Each Team will take 5 minutes to create a Plan. A Plan is a one page paper describing about how the Team will build a Lego representing the Theme.  The Plan can ( and should ) contain pictures. No building should take place during this time.
  3. Each Team will take 1 hour to Build their Lego.
  4. Each Team will take turns Showcasing their Build. While doing so they must describe how their Build fits the Theme. 
  5. Each family will submit two Votes for the best Build and discretely tell the Host.
  6. The Host will tally the votes and award the winning Team the “Golden Cup”. The Golden Cup will be re-awarded with each competition.

#Coronavirus #COVID #COVID-19 #Lego #LegoMasters #SocialDistancing #Parenting #HowISurvivedCoronoavirusAndThrived #FamilyGames #KidGames #Quarantine #ShelterAtHome #StuckAtHome #Teleconferencing #Zoom

Surgery is over a month away, today is now

Universal Studios Hollywood Family Prostate Cancer Cancer
Our friends, the Cawlfields, invited us to Universal Studios Hollywood to celebrate their son, Allan’s, birthday. It was a lot of fun and a fantastic distraction.

“That was awesome!”, my oldest daughter, Ashley, screamed.

We had just gotten off “Harry Potter and the Hidden Journey” at Universal Studios, Hollywood. We, along with some of our friends, had taken advantage of a teacher “prep” day at Westwood Elementary and braved the 5N to Los Angeles.  Traffic was horrendous, there was a five car pileup just past Camp Pendleton that had snarled traffic for over an hour, but we made it. Now we were getting our first taste of what Universal had to offer.

I smiled at her, glanced at my phone, and noticed a message waiting. After listening to the message I squeezed Ashley’s shoulder and quickened my pace to catch up with Jodie.

“Are you okay?, she asked.

“Yup. I just got a call from Dr. Kane’s office. Surgery is set for March 16th at 7:20 AM.”, I told her.

“You sure you’re okay?”

“Yup!”

Then my phone started ringing again. This time it was from BriovaRx, the specialty pharmacy that supplies me with Zytiga, one of the two hormone therapy medications that I’ve been taking. Instead of picking up I let it go to voicemail and put the phone back into my pocket. By then Ashley and Kaylee had caught up with us.

“So, what’s next?”, I asked them. 

Their attention was elsewhere. I followed their eyes to a nearby cart with a big sign marked “Butterbeer” on it. Six dollars and ninety-nine cents later we were sharing a cup of the frozen concoction, remarking how it tasted a lot like cream soda. 

My phone rang a third time; it was BriovaRx again. I let it go to voicemail, put my phone back into my pocket, took a big chug of the Butterbeer, and smiled. 

It tasted better than cream soda.

Surgery is over a month away, today is now. Phone calls and diet be damned, I was going to have fun with my family.

“So, what’s next?”, I asked them again.

Take care. Stay healthy. Live life.

-Scott

Previous : Cut out the “crap”

Next : How to swing from a thread

Prostate Cancer PSA
My PSA ( ng/mL ) as of 1/27/2020


#prostatecancer #cancer #prostatitis #psa #prostate #urology #oncology #radicalprostatectomy #chemotherapy #hormonetherapy #surgery #lupron #leuprolide #firmagon #degarelix #docetaxel #drawnandcoded #iwillbeatthis