Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cancer - Losses and Gains

I lost my wife to cancer.
I lost my kids to cancer.
I lost my job to cancer.
I lost my sanity to cancer.

These are all true statements.

I was diagnosed with kidney cancer at 33 years old. It was a blessing and a curse. I am alive, so obviously, it was a good thing. But, the life I had is gone. I was married, 2 kids, 2 cars a mortgage. I was living the American dream. Things were as perfect on the surface and one could imagine. We had a life that people dream of having.

I was happy.

The day I was diagnosed with cancer was the last day of my former life. I didn't know it at the time but it was the beginning of some really dark days. Every day past that was another day of emotional pain, worry and I sunk into a depression that it took me years to break out of. I was a pretty level headed guy by the time I got married at 25. Not much bothered me and I was happy.

Cancer changed all that. I was angry, spiteful. I didn't want to be around me and I didn't want people around me. I was doing exactly what I knew I shouldn't have. I was closing myself off from the support system that I had. And it was a great support system. People would die for a support system like I have and still have today.

But that being said... I pushed away my ex-wife, I pushed away my family, and I am sure I underperformed at my job. The only thing that is missing to make this the movie of the week is drugs and alchohol. Sorry folks... the story is not that juicy.

But I did go through 3 years of hell. Even if no one knew it. (Most did. I am sure of it.)

And then it happened again. Scans showed another tumor on my left kidney. I was done. If there is a textbook case of a person shutting down, my picture is next to it.

As I've stated in one of my earlier blogs. I go for scans every year now to find out if my cancer has returned(Hey! It happened!) and during that time, I slip right back into that person that I described in a prior post. I become an asshole. So, it takes me a looooong time to make my appointments. Because I know that I am going to be very mad, sad, angry and very hard to be around. I am very fond of the phrase "You are the owner of your reactions" But, I can honestly say that during this time, I just don't care.

Nothing scares me in this life like another reoccurence... Nothing.

I am making my MRI appointment on Monday. Wish me luck!

Honestly, Like most of these blogs... I have no idea where I am going with this. I just have these thoughts and it helps me to get them on paper(virtually) in the hope that I can help someone to see it from a different perspective.

If you have cancer - embrace your family and friends.
If you have a friend or family member who has cancer - talk to them. But give them the space they need.
If you love someone with cancer - Understand that we know you are going through it too. But we can't help you. Not right now.
If you are a survivor of cancer - Bravo! Live life like you never have before because only you know what it is like to feel immortal, and then with one sentence, one word... never feel that way again.

My life now is finally on track. I am happy like I haven't been in a very long time and yes, 2 years of therapy helped. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

So, I am living proof that there is hope.

I have an awesome girlfriend who will be my wife one day(if she'll have me)
She is pregnant with our first, and my 3rd child.
My kids are happy and seem to be doing well. (nothing is more important)
I get along really well with my ex which is rare in these situations.
I have a great job.
I got my sanity back.

Well, most of it.

Thanks for reading!


Check out my Facebook page for The Mighty Titan, Where I am attempting to wrap my cancer experiences in a superhero shell.

"Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope." - Aristotle

Monday, July 16, 2012

Kickstarter... and why it is more stressful than a cancer screening.

And I would know!

Let me start this rant by saying thank you to all the people who are helping me promote that push this campaign. The outpuring of support and backing for this project has been amazing. I really, REALLY apreciate all that you did and continue to do. I am humbled, truly.

Every year (It used to be 6 months) since I had Kidney Cancer, I go for an MRI to scan my torso for cancer. That is the most stressful time in my year. I am irritable, I am hard to live with. I am impossible. From the MRI to the waiting for the results to the doctors visit. It is a miserable 2 weeks. I dread it.

That being said, promoting a Kickstarter is worse.

No... Really.

I realize that there are a LOT of Kickstarters out there. I realize that a lot of people still don't know what a Kickstarter is. For those that don't know...

Kickstarter helps people fund thier creative projects, in return, you get a reward. For me, the best that I would give is the first issue of The Mighty Titan. But I offer much more than that if people are interested. I offer a special, double sized "Backer's Cut" that is similiar to a Director's Cut of a DVD with behind the scene stuff that you will never see anywhere else.

If you don't hit your goal you get zilch, nothing, nada.
Most of you know that I fund all of my projects myself. I pay people out of my own pocket and haven't pulled anything that is even close to a profit in 16 years. I put out a professional looking book and I really love doing it. I love writing them. I love drawing what I can. I love interacting with people and discussing my work. I love it all.

This time, I decided I would try and do it without taking money away from my family. Plain and simple.

So, please see this campaign as a pre-order for my newest book. For $7 you get the book, delivered to your house, signed by me. You can get less, you can get more. And as I always said, sharing the link helps if you can't back the project.

Everyone that bids will have thier name in the first issue and on The Mighty Titan fan page on Facebook.

Thanks for reading. :)


Please check out my Kickstarter that wraps my cancer experiences in a superhero shell. Share if you can.

I am running a new one now. Please get in on this.

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." - Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Kickstarter Thanks!!!

The Mighty Titan Kickstarter campaign got off to a great start on the first day. Thanks for sharing and pledging. Let's keep it rolling along! Joe

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Kickstarter is live

Hello all. I just wanted to let all of you know that my Kickstarter campaign has finally launched. It would be great if you could contribute or share the page.

Thanks all!

The Mighty Titan

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Kickstarter is looming

The Mighty Titan Kickstarter campaign is now in for review. Please help us spread the work with this jpeg and help spread the word! Thanks all!