Life’s an Adventure, and Like All Good Adventures, It Has Scary Parts

by Brandon

This is a long one, but really… there’s no short way to say the things I want to say here….

When I started this writing gig, I made a promise to myself and to you, my readers, that I would not have a wall between us. I promised that we would take this writing journey together. I promised to let you see me as a human being, not just as some aloof author.

Well, in keeping with that promise, I’m going to share a very painful and scary thing that happened to me today.

It started with three words that were spoken to me today… these three words have flipped my world upside down…

“You have cancer.”

Yeah.

Today, I was diagnosed with cancer. Since the diagnosis just came today, I don’t have all the details yet. I’m not going to go into details about the cancer itself, but the doctor thinks it’s treatable and I have no plans to die anytime soon. I have a fight ahead of me, sure. I’m looking at the Full Monty with this thing. Chemo, radiation, possible surgery, the works…

But it’s a fight I plan to win.

So while this might slow down the completion of Day Soldiers 5 and The Man From Newella 3, rest assured I do plan to finish them (and the rest of both series).

Right now, though, I’m surrounding myself with family and friends and I’m just preparing for the fight ahead. Because of this, you might see less of me online in the coming months.

I am, however, considering sharing my experience with you guys in coming blogs. Doing so would be me keeping my vow to remain an open book to my readers (pun intended). And if there’s any chance that sharing my experience might help others who are fighting cancer, it’s something worth doing, I think.

And I am, after all, a writer. Writers write. It’s what we do. For a writer, writing isn’t just a means to an end. The process of writing is a form of therapy for us.

So what do you think? Would regularly sharing my experience with this be something good, or is it something you think I should keep off my blog? Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments.

Rule Number One

If I do write more about this experience, I feel I should warn the faint-of-heart that “Rule Number One” is a very real thing in my house. It’s something my wife, my friends, and I believe in wholeheartedly.

So what is Rule Number One?

It’s this:

Rule Number One: Everything is Funny

Now, to be clear, Rule Number One does not mean we callously laugh at everything, no matter how hurtful it is.

Rule Number One simply means we find humor in any situation, no matter how scary. It’s our way of taking the power away from whatever it is that’s terrorizing us. Through humor, we make the scary things just a little less scary.

In regards to this whole cancer thing, it means I might sometimes find aspects to laugh about. For example, here’s an interaction I had with one of my nurses today (a little backstory, for the past 48 hours, I haven’t been allowed to eat or drink because of various tests):

Nurse: “The doctor said you’re cleared to eat now.”

Me: “Fantastic.”

Nurse: “So what would you like to eat? You can have anything you want, no restrictions.”

Me: “Anything?”

Nurse: “Yep.”

Me: “Outback steak.”

To explain, the nearest Outback is about a 2 hour drive from the hospital here.

Nurse: “You’re funny.”

Me: “You said anything.”

Nurse: “Well, I meant–”

Me: “I have cancer.”

Nurse: “I realize that, but I meant anything from the hospital here–”

Me: “Perhaps you didn’t hear me. I have cancer.”

This little interaction went on for a bit longer before we eventually compromised with a turkey sandwich and some veggie soup.

That’s just one example of how I’m trying to find ways to smile, despite what’s happening.

That said, I do want to say the staff here at the hospital is a great bunch of people. They’ve been kind and very tolerant of the fact that I often act like a complete idiot. They’ve really helped to make these first few days tolerable.

So anyway, I guess that’s it for now. It’s late and I felt the need to write about this, so here it is. Over the past few years, I’ve done my best to entertain you with these blogs. I hope I’ve succeeded on some level. And if I have, don’t worry. This isn’t the end. You can expect plenty more for a very long time.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared, but honestly… I’m more determined than I am afraid.

Life’s an adventure, and all good adventures have scary parts.

And that’s what this is. It’s one of the scary parts of my adventure.

But I’m gonna get through it, Indiana Jones style.

Thanks for reading my barely coherent mental floss.

–Brandon

p.s. My friends call me Bran. From now on, that’s how I’ll be signing all my blogs, because I genuinely consider you all my friends. For the past two years, I have been living the dream of being a full-time author. I fully plan to continue living the dream for a very long time, and I owe that to you. I couldn’t have done it without you and it’s your support that allows me to continue doing it.

Thank you all.

 


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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Doug Lamoreux February 28, 2014 at 5:00 AM

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Bran.

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Brandon February 28, 2014 at 5:06 AM
Sharon February 28, 2014 at 5:49 AM

My heart goes out to you and Laura, if you need anything at all message me, I would even drive two hours and get that steak for you !!! By the way rule # 1 is awesome, it has been an unspoken rule between my daughter Sarah and I for years and we have often said we’re going to die laughing and that’s not normal haha !!! KICK ITS ASS !!!!

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Brandon February 28, 2014 at 6:18 AM
Kathy February 28, 2014 at 6:31 AM

If anyone can beat this it’s you and Laura together! You’re such an inspiration. Others need you to tell your story. Prayers are sent your way.

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shane palmer (waldo) February 28, 2014 at 7:32 AM

Brandon, you’ve always been a friend and i hate to read that they have diagnosed you with cancer. Your gonna beat it though! Ill pray and keep you in my thoughts. Your going through it the right way. Fighting it with humor! If you need anything just let me know and ill try my best! God bless you my friend and kick that things butt!!! WALDO

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gpaulr February 28, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Cancer walks in to the Dr’s office.
Dr: I have some bad news for you Cancer… I’m afraid you’ve come down with Brandon.
Cancer: But… but… that can’t be right. I demand a re-test! I mean these tests aren’t 100% accurate, right?
Dr: I’m afraid it is… your B Cells are off the chart and it’s just a matter of time.
Cancer: NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I am glad to see your humor intact and remember Brandon, you didn’t get cancer… Cancer got YOU and boy is it in for a fight! On another note, you and yours should consider setting up a donation site for your treatment. We (and I’m sure I speak for most) want to aid you in your fight through not only moral support but in other ways too. Please don’t deny your friends that. Much love.

Glen
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Rhonda February 28, 2014 at 8:52 AM

I will always think of you as “Luke” since I first met you with that name…I know that the road will be long and sometimes it will seem all uphill however I know that with Laura by your side you will always get to the top…Best of luck and good Karma coming your way….<3

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Natasha wright February 28, 2014 at 8:59 AM

My prayers are with you and Laura and your family.
Cancer is no new thing to me, I’ve dealt with it many times in my life. All family members and loved ones, different kinds and forms and treatments. And if there’s one thing I have learned is that you have to have the mind set for it. And my friend from reading your blog it sounds like you have it. Cancer hates laughter. There’s no doubt in my mind you and my dear bestest friend Laura are gonna make it through this just fine. I hope to see you all soon! :)

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Michael Meyer February 28, 2014 at 11:07 AM

You are a winner, Brandon, and I just know that you will win this fight.

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Meghan Ciana Doidge February 28, 2014 at 11:20 AM

I would be honored to go on this journey with you. The more laughter the better. There is a reason they say laughter is the best medicine.

Love and light,

Meg
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TrishMarie February 28, 2014 at 11:53 AM

I know you are going to kick this cancer to the curb, Brandon. HUGS and know you have friends pulling for you. :D
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Denise Ozment February 28, 2014 at 1:36 PM

I think going on this journey with you will be amazing. I write in a personal journey myself. Its very therapeutic and if you ever go back later and read about it you can see how far you’ve come and remember all the best parts of life. I have no doubt that you will win this fight and further your writing career. I can’t wait to read all of your future works!

Denise

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lisa February 28, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Hi Bran!
Found you through a FB post. Just wanted to say hello to another cancer fighter! Cant wait to read your post. I too enjoy a bit of humor dealing with cancer. But please remember that it’s ok when there is a day or two that you can’t find one thing funny about it. :) Best of luck to you!

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Brandon March 3, 2014 at 11:39 PM

Thank you for the tip, Lisa. And yeah, we’ve had days already where the laughter just doesn’t come… and that’s okay. We understand it’s all part of the process. But when the opportunity to smile presents itself, we certainly take it. :)
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Robert Collins February 28, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Prayers your way friend hang in there bran.what we use to do for fun as kids lucky we all are still living. Sleigh riding off Morgans hill on that car hood ,climbing to the top of the pine trees.we was warriors .So that’s what u are bran A warrior and I no u will fight to the end.If u guys need anything let us no.

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Karen Peters February 28, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Brandon, I’m so sorry to hear this. But I’ve always heard that troubles that are shared become easier to bear. I fully believe that God is in the healing business. My daughter, whom we nearly lost at the age of five, is a walking miracle at age 32. Rest assured you have an army of believers praying for your complete healing. You are in my heart and prayers. KP

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pam hensley March 2, 2014 at 11:36 AM

All I can say is that I love you both. Your like family, I think of your visits to the huddle house as a family reunion each and every week. I know you and Laura are fighters and will come through this ordeal with flying colors! Keep the faith and prayers will be flying your way. Love ya!

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Brandon March 3, 2014 at 11:40 PM
Clare Hoskins March 2, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Hi Bran,
Love your books, Shocked to read of your cancer diagnosis, Laughed to read of your conversation with the nurse. Sending you lots of good wishes – nearly sent goose but I spotted the predictive text !! From one of your Day Soldiers fans
Take care and keep on writing, blogging, laughing and loving with your family.
Clare

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Brandon March 2, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Thank you, Clare. I’m being completely honest when I say I wouldn’t be doing this without you.

Writing books, I mean. I’d probably still be fighting the cancer and stuff. ;)
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carole anne March 2, 2014 at 2:06 PM

I have heard those 3 words 2 times in my life now. And you are so right about how those 3 words change everything. And it sounds like you have your head screwed on pretty well and a good circle of loved ones and friends to share your journey. So important!! The kindness of others really touched me during my scary days and nights and helped me so much. We are all part of some special club and you have my best wishes and prayers as you move forward.

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Deborah Favorito March 3, 2014 at 5:27 PM

I just found your blog from another site, I have survived cancer twice, humor and a good outlook will help tremendously. I told my children that I was to much of a bitch to die. Well sir you are to much of a bastard to die. ( Sorry if that offends you). You have to be. When I was undergoing chemo I read a really funny book called Do They Wear High Heels in Heaven. It is about a lady dying of breast cancer, I could not stop laughing as I read this book. I to was fighting breast cancer, my sisters thought I had lost my mind along with my breast. Keeping a positive attitude is very important, just know that I am rooting for you.

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Brandon March 3, 2014 at 11:41 PM

Deborah, that doesn’t offend me at all. That’s an awesome line. I fully plan to steal it. :)

Thank you for the wonderful thoughts, and thank you for joining me on this jounrey and for bringing your experience with you.
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Rachel Aukes March 3, 2014 at 7:22 PM

That sucks. Really sucks. Hang in there. You’ve got a whole army standing behind you, cheering for you .

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John L. Monk March 4, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Everyone I know who gets cancer, no matter how bad, seems to be beating it these days. My mother-in-law just got “really, really, really bad cancer” that she should have died from a few years ago and now it’s gone (after chemo). All I can say is, if you’re gonna get cancer, there’s no better time in history to get it than now (if you simply must get it).

Good luck to you, my sympathies for what’s to come,
John
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Brandon March 4, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Thank you, John. Words like yours give me more strength than I could ever adequately describe with words.
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David VanDyke March 5, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Tried to donate, but your donate site doesn’t take PayPal. You may be missing out on some donations.

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Brandon March 5, 2014 at 10:36 AM

I’ll let my friend know, David. That site was set up by my friend. I don’t actually know much about it.

Thank you for the info, and thank you for trying to help! Just knowing you were there to support means the world to me.
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Mina B. March 5, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Keep the faith. John is right. There are many people beating the disease. You can do it!
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Brandon March 5, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Thank you, Mina!

On a side note, as a big fan of Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, I love your name!
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