Dusticular Cancer – April 7th, Friday Morning

A couple of people recently mentioned that they have trouble reading the CarePages posts. While I’m suspicious of their laziness and technical acumen (you know who you are), I’ll also copy them here from now on. I mean, I have the time. These posts are partially therapeutic for me, partially informative for you, and hopefully helpful for whoever cares to read them. If you’re into more cancer-related reading (WHO ISN’T!?), all prior posts can be found here.

Dust Bunny here,

KT joined me today for my infusion, which is a big win for the nursing staff. They’ve heard all my takes on marriage, home building, and most recently, the hypocrisy of amateur athletes in the Final Four. Having KT’s bright eyed sincerity is a plus in any situation, but if you’ve been on a steady diet of my company, she’s a palate cleanser.

What’s the most noble profession in America? Teachers have to be considered. Soldiers and first responders are probably the most brave. But after spending over a thousand hours in a cancer hospital, I’d give my vote to nurses. It takes a certain kind of courage to run into a flaming building, and it takes another kind to befriend and treat the sick and dying. I have friends who are nurses. I thought I understood their jobs, and maybe I did, from a technical standpoint. But now I believe that at least half of their job is emotional support. Their daily shift involves shining a light through someone’s nightmare. And for American professions, consider the Statue of Liberty. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” She’s literally holding a light to guide the beaten. So yeah, nurses are amazing, and my nurse today is one of my favorites. Her thing is being super mean as a joke. She said she hated it when I got my port because sticking me with needles got her out of bed in the morning. She’s awesome.

If nurse is a noble profession, then volunteer is the most impressive hobby. An old man who only volunteers for Fridays was in today. I’ve mentioned him before. He volunteers ever since he lost his wife to AML, which is also leukemia. He heard we were getting married and started a conversation. He married his wife in 1964, and they lived in Raleigh for a few years. Most of you reading this know that KT and I are building a house, and while waiting for that to be happen, we’ve been spending time in an old apartment community that we affectionately (and spitefully) call The Poorhouse. This old volunteer is telling us about he and his wife’s first apartment in Raleigh, a hot new neighborhood off of Oberlin Road that everyone wanted to live in. He struggled for the name before it came to him, Country Club Homes, aka The Poorhouse. It’s definitely the most excited that KT and I have ever been to tell someone that we live there. You never know what volunteering your time can mean. Sometimes it’s the little things.

I’m feeling good and my numbers are strong. Thanks for the support and have a great weekend!

Love,
Dust

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Dusticular Cancer – March 29th, Wednesday Afternoon

A couple of people recently mentioned that they have trouble reading the CarePages posts. While I’m suspicious of their laziness and technical acumen (you know who you are), I’ll also copy them here from now on. I mean, I have the time. These posts are partially therapeutic for me, partially informative for you, and hopefully helpful for whoever cares to read them. If you’re into more cancer-related reading (WHO ISN’T!?), all prior posts can be found here.

Dust Mite here,

We got some big news on something very small yesterday. My oncologist tested my PML/RARA. That’s the fusion gene caused by the mutual translocation of chromosomes 15 and 17, and it’s the cause of my leukemia. So, this genetic test came back negative, which means there’s a 99.x% chance that I’m cancer free!

[High fiving interrupted by phone call. Insurance company wondering if we can stop treatment. We cannot.]

I’ve been symptom free from the cancer since I left the hospital, and protocol is that I’ll still have to stay on my treatment through August. At that time, they’ll give me another bone marrow biopsy, which is the purest test they can perform. So this doesn’t change anything about my day or plans, but it is still huge news. My oncologist actually called her mentor to confirm that we even needed to do the bone marrow biopsy because the chances of the test on the marrow being any different than the test on my blood are so slim. My take: we’ve come this far, so just check the marrow.

And so we will.

In other news, KT and I are less than 40 days away from our wedding. Predicting with a high degree of certainty that we get it done this time. We’re also less than three months from our house.The degree of certainty here is less so, but there’s actual parts of house on the lot, so that counts for something….we’re actually the little foundation on the right.

Some good things happening today,
Dust

Dusticular Cancer – March 20, Monday Morning


A couple of people recently mentioned that they have trouble reading the CarePages posts. While I’m suspicious of their laziness and technical acumen (you know who you are), I’ll also copy them here from now on. I mean, I have the time. These posts are partially therapeutic for me, partially informative for you, and hopefully helpful for whoever cares to read them. If you’re into more cancer-related reading (WHO ISN’T!?), all prior posts can be found here.

Dusty here,

KT and I are back at UNC Hospital as another month of injections begins today. Weirdly, it’s kind of a relief.

Don’t get me wrong, I much prefer not being in the hospital (If your disease-free options are to not be getting injections at the hospital or to be getting injections at the hospital, I highly recommend the former). But there’s something super frustrating about feeling like life is normal while knowing that it’s not. It makes sitting on your couch feel like being in line at the DMV. It’s not relaxing. It’s waiting.

But while I’m in the hospital, it’s less abstract. The needle pokes. The blood flows. The medicine medicates. And it’s these days where you can feel the calendar flip. That feels like progress. I get up in the morning, and instead of sitting on a couch, I sit in my car. I’m going somewhere.

Based on experience, the next couple of days will probably suck. My body has to acclimate to the medicine again after being off of it, but knowing how that goes makes it less of a big deal. For now, it’s nice to see the nurses again. They were happy that Kansas advanced in the tournament so that I could join in on making fun of their Duke-fan coworker. “I mean, you work for UNC. How good do you feel about cashing those paychecks?”

Speaking of March Madness (and because I have some time on my hands), I’m sure you all saw the news about the fire in downtown Raleigh. KT and I have a couple of friends who live in the apartment building directly next to it, and they’re completely safe staying with some family for the time being. It’s not publicly known how that happened yet, but that seems to be the next step in the way humans process this stuff. What happened? Who’d it happen to? Are they okay? How did it happen? And this is where we’re currently stuck. Maybe there’s a grand arsonist on the loose. Maybe wood construction isn’t the way of the future. I hope the “how” is discovered so everyone can answer the next part. Why. The “why” informs us of where to direct our resources. An arsonist requires human resources, educational and ethical, as another event reminds us of the holes in the human psyche. If materials are to blame, then political resources need to change regulations. Either way, the “why” is a critical part of healing the cause, not just putting out the flames.

The weirdest part about my leukemia is that they don’t know how it happens. There is no “why” to be solved. I know several of you have donated to cancer research with me in mind. It means a lot. There’s a million problems that need fixing in the world, and I’m not going to say trying to solve the unknown has more value than tackling something known like the water crisis (*sidenote below*). But it’s an honor to know that my problem has helped inspire some good. Example: our friend Natalee Jarrett raised a bunch of money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for a half marathon she ran in a blazing 1:43:00. Sure, she’d probably have raised money for something else good, but I’m taking like, 2% of the credit. Thanks a ton, Natalee. It was truly, greatly appreciated. Life deals some bad beats, from fires to cancer and everything else. If you’re doing anything to help the what’s, who’, how’s and why’s of any of those beats, thank you to you too. It is appreciated.

Give someone a great week,
Dust

**Sidenote: Watching these NCCA tournament games, I keep seeing the Matt Damon commercial where he’s promoting the partnership between Stella Artois and Water.org to help fight the global water crisis. It’s noble, and I’m not denigrating their efforts in any way. This is just a point that is related. It takes roughly 20 gallons of water to brew a pint of beer (Teetotalers shouldn’t be uppity. It takes up to 132 gallons of water to make a 2-liter of soda). Do what you will with this knowledge.

Simply Dusty (and how you can help!)

Many, if not all of you who are friends with Dusty and KT, have seen or heard the news that our big, lovable Dusty was diagnosed with Leukemia early last week. In true Dusty spirit, he’s assured me that if you have to have Leukemia, the kind he has is the kind you want to have – always looking at the silver linings, that guy. He and Katie will be spending the next several weeks in the hospital as Dusty kicks Leukemia’s ass. But, there are only so many episodes of The Price is Right and games of Cards Against Humanity they can handle. Boredom is the worst.

Many, MANY of you who have felt the outpouring of love and thoughtfulness of these 2 over the years have asked what you can do for them or how you can help. And in true KT/Dusty fashion they said, “Ask folks to donate blood if they are able and/or they can donate to the Jimmy V foundation.

These are both GREAT! Additionally if you want to do something THEM to let them know you’re thinking of them, praying for them and want to lift their spirits for the holidays, here is their mailing address! Send them well wishes if you feel so inclined! Let’s fill their room to the brim with love!

101 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 – Cancer Hospital Room 4840

“I already have these…”

I had intended to write something sentimental today, being my last Fathers Day not officially a dad yet. About how no matter what style tshirt you have tucked into you stone washed Wranglers. Regardless of the type if white sneaker and cell phone clip you don on a daily basis. What’s important is that you’re present in your kid’s life. That you’re raising him/her to be a respectful, responsible, functioning human. 

And thats all still true, but then my buddy Blake sent me this and I felt the need to share. So much goodness starting with the “I already own these” to him doing a side by side comparison with his old school white Champion shoes. No more words are needed, enjoy the clip.

The Currys in question

Found via BroBible.

8.5? nope, wrong size.

TC

Can I be a bandwagon Panthers fan?

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I’m a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan from Maryland. I catch heat for it every single year and have learned to just say “Yes, I’m from Texas.” Truth is my grandma force fed me Cowboys Starter Jackets, toys, footballs, etc etc etc to ensure that I wouldn’t pull for anyone else.

This blog post is not about me abandoning my beloved Cowboys. However, since I’m a 9+ year resident of North Carolina and have never really given the Panthers much love (and let’s be honest, you haven’t either regardless of how long you’ve lived here) how can you and I at least SEEM like a long time Panthers fan and join in on the fun.

  1. Remember, this is not your first Super Bowl. You’ve been here before and not that long ago actually. Super Bowl XXXVIII, 2003-2004 and lost to the Pats. Not bad for a franchise that’s only been around since 1995. SIDE NOTE: That is such a cluster of a Roman Numeral. So inefficient, no wonder their empire fe

    ll. SIDE NOTE II: That was the year Justin Timberlake showed Janet Jackson’s boobie on national TV.

  2. Know a player from the team pre-Cam Newton era. Here’s a list of common names you can pull and their respective positions:
    • Stephen Davis – RB (2000s) – He was a hoss, but the Redskins ran him hard prior to joining the Panthers and he ran outta steam.
    • John Kasay – K (1995-infinity) Yeah he still plays, but he’s the only original Panther from the 1995 expansion team.
    • Jake Delhomme – QB (90s-00’s) – 2 NFC Championships and a Superbowl appearance.
    • Julius Peppers – D-Line (2000’s) – a sack machine
    • Steve Smith Sr. – WR (forever) – possibly the most passionate football player ever to play the game. Well known for vomiting in trash cans on the field before games.
  3. Don’t be wishy-washy on Cam. Defend him passionately. You wouldn’t chant “USA USA USA” at a bar with strangers and then say, “Yeah that George Washington guy, he might be a good guy and good at what he does, but I’m not sure how I feel about him as a leader.”
  4. Say something about the Panthers history to show you’ve been a fan for at least greater than 1 year. Here’s a good one: “It’s crazy we barely made the playoffs last year at 7-9-1 and this year we dominated the whole season!”
  5. Be aware of who this guy is, but don’t be this guy.
  6. Don’t “dab.” Or maybe do dab. But if you’re painfully white, definitely don’t dab.

This is NOT how you dab.

This is the right way.

Super Bowl 50 (or Super Bowl L to the Romans) is Sunday, February 7th at 6:30pm. Until then, Keep Pounding, Ice Up Son and dab your way through the work week.

BONUS Fashion DON’T: Please, never wear sunglasses (err transition lens glasses?) like Ron Rivera

BUY/SELL 2015 Edition (yes it’s late)

In an effort to keep you up to date on what to buy and what to sell as you wash your hands of 2015 and make your resolutions for 2015 we wanted to provide you our exhaustive list of what’s cool and what’s absolutely not. This started with me (Tommy, the good-looking one) sending my write-up to Dusty (also the good-looking one), to which he would add his flare, and boom, we’d post it sometime around December 30th (+/- 1 day). But as happens, work, life, fitness gets going and all of a sudden NYE is less of a landmark day, all out celebration and more of a “Can I even stay up until midnight?” (Spoiler, when you’re binge watching Making a Murderer, the answer is YES you can stay up until midnight), things can get swept under the rug.

So without further ado, here’s our list (which Dusty whole-heartedly agrees with). You still have 344 days to get your ish together (yay for the extra leap year day!).

BUY:

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber went from an unknown Canadian, to a teeny bopper phenom, to a kid quickly going the way of Macaulay Culkin. Quickly flipped it around and started dating a Victoria Secret model, collaborated with Skrillex for the #1 summer hit and recently released an album with so many bangers, it’s made everyone a Belieber. May have to sacrifice my man card, but I’m buying the Biebs.

 

Aziz Ansari

You might know him as the lovable, entrepreneur from Parks and Rec, Tom Haverford or maybe you’ve seen anyone of his stand up performances on Netflix. But did you know he’s continued his hot streak writing and producing the Netflix series Master of None? In a nutshell, he takes segments of his stand up routine and turns them into a 30 minute laugh fest of a show that always seem to teach us lesson. Not only are you buying, but you’re telling your friends to buy any chance you get.

Gourmet Donuts

You’re hungry just looking at this morsel.

As if you need an explanation. Once you’ve tried a locally made donut that’s not glazed (i.e. Maple Bacon, Creme Brulee, Fruity Pebble Topped) you’ll be like Dunkin Donuts? Never heard of her.

Adam Driver

He’s the over the top boyfriend from GIRLS, he plays a dark role in Star Wars. This dude has the most dynamic acting range of modern male actors, polar opposite opposite of Ryan Gosling. Oh and he’s a former Marine. Respect. Mad respect.

 

 

SELL:

“All the things…”

Like many Basic-isms overexaggerations (see: “I literally just slept for a millions hours,” “BEST. FROYO. EVER.” “#obsessed”), this one had its time in the sun and now needs to be SOLD. Common uses:

“Halloween time, eating all the candy.”

“Christmas time, watching all the movies.”

You get the point.

 

Whip and Nae Nae

No. Seriously, this is the worst.

RIP Superman

RIP Dougie

RIP Hit da QUAN

RIP Whip and Nae Nae (by now you see the trend).

Once a dance makes it to white people’s wedding and 4th graders are doing it at recess, a dance is no longer cool and needs to be SOLD.

Shout out to the Slides (Electric and Cha Cha), Cupid Shuffle and The Wobble for standing the test of time.

Regular Movie Theater Seating

Let’s be real here, traditional movie theater seating is uncomfy and you feel like you play the arm rest war all movie with a total stranger. Enter the new age theater seating. Leather, recliner, airline style tv tray. I mean now I can be comfy AND I don’t have to worry about where to rest my greasy bag o’ popcorn.