Pizza Face

Pizza Face

I hope you found my new site okay.

Having this site crash is a great example of what I’ve been thinking about.

Right now, I feel pretty good and, considering how badly things go for some people, I’m doing very well with the chemo. But there’s still a few things going on:

  • Fatigue – I was pretty tired the first few days. And even now, I will sometimes crash around 6pm for a couple of hours. Its not just sleep – I completely pass out and its hard for me to get up at all. But for the most part, I am sleeping well and my energy is good.
  • “Bleo Effect” – My friend Vanessa warned me about this. One of the chemicals, Bleomyacin, has side effects on the skin and blood flow to the hands. When I hold my hands out in front of me they feel ‘ghostly’. Then they feel normal again when I bring them back. The doctor said to get used to it and keep my hands warm.
  • Phlebitis – I have blood clots in the vein where they gave me chemo. It’s a little painful and makes my hand a little numb. It should clear up on my own but I wrap my left arm in a heating pad sometimes for comfort.
  • Metallic Taste – Ugh. This one really got to me. For about 5 days after chemo I had a metallic taste in the back of my mouth. Which led us on a search for mints, suckers, Werther’s, ginger chews and anything else that will get rid of it. Coffee is ruined. I love ginger (which I normally don’t). I eat with plastic utensils. The taste became a 24 hour obsession to make it go away. Luckily, it did after a few days…but I’m not looking forward to it coming back.
  • My pee smells funny – does this need an explanation?
  • Itching hair/Losing hair/No hair – I should start losing my hair in a couple of days. Today was the first time I felt the itching and burning in my scalp which means the little fellas are on their way out.

Funny story: While I was in the hospital, the nurses kept sticking tape and bandages to me for a variety of reasons. I got tired really quickly of having them tear the tape off and all the hairs on my arms with it. So I decided any time they stick anything to me, I’m going to shave the spot first. I shaved two patches on my arm where they put the IV, figuring its only hair and it’ll grow back. The doctor looked at my arms the other day – 2 weeks after I shaved them – and told me that will grow back in about 6 more months. Until then, my arm looks like a topographic map of Africa carved out of arm hair. Add it to the ‘Awesome List’.

  • Acne – I have broken out all over my face and body. Its not painful, just annoying and not that attractive. It could be from the steroids, the chemo, both or who knows. And who knows if it will go away.

Which leads me to the point of this post: I don’t give a damn about the acne.

If this happened to me 3 weeks ago, I would be freaking out about it. Pimples on my face, shoulders, chest and back. All over my forehead. I look like a 16 year old at Homecoming.

I couldn’t care less. Give me some acne. Give me a metallic taste in my mouth. Let me endure a little discomfort – in my body and in my life. My blog, which has become so important to me, was almost completely wiped out for no reason. I deleted our entire iTunes music catalog from T-Z (seriously, I have no idea how).

Unless it gets serious, I really couldn’t be bothered over a few zits.

This is pretty true in my life these days. Traffic doesn’t bother me. The jerk on his cell phone in line behind me at Trader Joe’s – he will go away. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and most of it is small stuff.

Of course, I won’t be like this forever. And the edge between “I don’t care” and “I’m going to punch the guy with the cell phone in the face” is a thin one. But I guess the point of this blog is that one day I can go back and remind myself that I once felt this way and hopefully I’ll get that feeling back.

Even if its only until I’m stuck in rush hour traffic again.

But for now, this pizza face isn’t sweating the small stuff.


13 responses to “Pizza Face

  1. Steve,
    We are following your blog daily and wish nothing but the best for you… You’re in our thoughts all the time… By the way, I’ve got an email copy of each day of your blog from April 25 till now if you need it. Just let me know…
    Rich & Andi Revell

  2. Turn that pizza frown upside down and eat the crust first!!! Sometimes they put cheese in the crust!!! MMMMMMMMM.

  3. Sorry about the website. Aside from the resilience shown with losing all the amazing comments from friends, families and strangers, I’m more impressed with reverence shown for the CGI classic “Reboot”. Right on!


  4. Glad to hear you are keeping things in perspective through all of this. I’m sure you’re gaining a lot of that these days, as we are all, I imagine.

    Re: upside down pizza, there’s a pizza shop across from my apartment that uses a pizza slice clip art for its logo/sign. Except they put the clip art upside down by accident, so the pepperonis look like they are falling off. Makes me laugh every freaking time I see it. Ah, the little things…

  5. Stephen:

    I’ve been diligently following your blog since its inception, and am impressed with your sense of humor in the face of being inundated with all this medical stuff.
    I wanted to let you know that I play hockey with a guy (he’s 42 now) whom was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s 6 years ago. He had a lump on his neck that nobody thought much about, until it started getting bigger. Anyway, he said it was a tough six months of treatment and he’s now cancer free for six years. Positive stuff.
    On an even happier note, I’ve arranged via some of my west coast connections, for you to convalesce at Neverland Ranch. I figured Jacko already wears a mask, so what’s the worst that could happen to you?
    Be good.
    Fred (Erica’s husband)

  6. I’m really enjoying your writing. Keep it coming. Hope you get a PICC line soon so you don’t have to feel the burning in the veins. If you do get a PICC, I’m bringing you over some Biopatch!

  7. What you lost MY comment? That was the the funniest thing I ever wrote. Damn you Mac people, damn you to hell! Why can’t you just get along with the rest of us instead of being all self rigous (Dave Bernstein). Don’t screw this blog up becouse it’s the only one I read and I enjoy it a lot. I think it may be the best thing on the iter web. Of course I keep hearing stuff about some thing called the u tube, so I’ll have to check that out next.

  8. Just heard the news…not surprised that you’re going at it like you do everything, smothering the negative effects with good humor and positivity. I bookmarked your blog and I’ll be in touch. Stay strong.

  9. I can see you did a stealth tribute to Dom Deluise: Pizza the Hut was my favorite Deluise character!

    I hope stresses continue to melt away. Peace bro!

  10. Stephen, you are one of the bravest, strongest people I know. Your humor and creativity thru all of this is just amazing. I know you won’t let anything you need to endure on this journey get you down! There are so many people out there traveling with you, encouraging you and smiling at your humorous twist of details. We ALL love you and want to share your pizza with you!

  11. Mrs. Melville

    I missed an “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” day with you today that I’ll never recover from.

  12. Sergio/Ana Amalia

    Stephen —– upside down pizza!!! oh oh man….. can you idealize another one? what about upside up (at least the mouth)??? please….???? it will make us fell a little bit bether to share it with you!…… hope to see you very soon in Rio to eat that pizza with “caipirinha” – see you (+ Jen)

  13. Kelly Clarkson! What does your chest look like? (40yr old virgin reference just in case). Are you shaving EVERYTHING?

    Do you have nose hairs and long crazy ear hairs too? Because the older I get, the more I notice things like this. Do you no longer have to deal with this sort of thing? Because if you don’t, consider yourself blessed.

    I’ll put a set of killer tweezers on layaway for you when you are ready.

    Much love. Sorry to hear about Mac screwing you over. They are usually more friendly about screwing over customers.


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