So... options. After my last blog where I was told that I would need about 6 organs removed, I've had a PET scan, an MRI scan, 3 CT scans (one wasn't done right) and I've had biopsies, blood tests and been poked and prodded by lots of strange (but very nice) people. Apparently the cancer hasn't spread beyond the two organs, so after much discussion, we're gonna try radiation first before looking at surgery. Some form of surgery might be necessary, even the full pelvic exenteration... eventually. For now though, radiation might help. The downside is that I'll need biopsies and exams about every 3 months afterwards (some in another city again, but I've traveled twice now to Vancouver and it's not so bad)... but the upside is that for now, I won't have to poop and pee into plastic bags. The other downside is that a month of pelvic radiation is apparently pretty hard on the body, but hey, we'll see. I started on Friday and get 25 external radiation treatments Monday to Friday (yay, I get weekends off!) and then 3-5 more intensive treatments. I almost feel like I have a job again with this Monday to Friday thing, but at least I'll have a renewed appreciation for weekends. Today I need yet another CT scan in addition to my radiation... I swear that with all the scans and the radiation treatments I better develop super powers!
I'm lucky that I am close to the cancer clinic and can come home after radiation treatments and play my console games... and better yet, I have The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4 already purchased and waiting for me to escape to lovely worlds where I can kill shit or just wander around and explore. So yeah, another tick in the "not so bad" column. I came to a stand still in Elder Scrolls Online where I have finished all the base single player sections and am stuck at level 14 and a half. So close to level 16 but I find queuing for the dungeons to be time consuming, difficult and problematic. It's hard to get a full group of 4 to run the dungeons at vet level and have nobody dump out half way through. I decided to take a break from ESO for a bit and wait till the Orsinium DLC goes on sale (apparently it does this every so often) and I loaded up Fallout 4. Having played the previous Fallout games I opted for the normal setting... and the game was kicking my ass! I don't need the frustration so dropped it down to easy mode and am finding the game much better. It certainly doesn't hold your hand much and it is taking me ages to figure out stupid things like how to assign settlers to do things or how to run a power cord from my generator. Still, it is keeping me occupied and it's nice to be able to take down mutants again (just finished the water plant... all those lovely mutants outside!). I have to admit I also find all the radiation references rather humorous given my current situation. :)
Thanks to those who responded on my last blog! I have been looking at my gaming options and have found a few solutions. For some of my various tests I've had to travel to another major city about 3-4 hours away, so some form of "mobile" gaming has been really handy. My iPad is too old to play most games (an original model) but I found that my Galaxy Tab android tablet can actually play quite a variety of games. I also discovered that for the cost of a $5 usb to mini-usb converter doohickey, I can plug my PS3 controller right into the tablet and play many games with a controller. I picked up Ravensword:Shadowlands for about $10 and it does quite nicely. The graphics are similar to going back to playing older PS2 WRPG type games... but hey, it's better than puzzle or word games because I feel a better sense of immersion with the "just one more quest" thing. I also have to play as a guy (no female option which most WRPG games have)... but I made my character an older guy with gray hair and a bushy beard and like to think of him as "Sir Douchebag" - it just suits him.
I also dragged out my old original fatty PSP, found a second battery that I had... and hey, the damn thing still works. I've played most of the games on it, but there are still a couple that can occupy me during the endless waits at the hospital to have scans, tests, consultations... or I guess the waiting on my daily radiation appointments. It doesn't hold a charge for very long, but it seems to run for almost an hour before dying. I guess I could hack it so I could play some games I haven't played yet (looking at AC: Bloodlines and damned if I will pay $20.00 for the game from the PSN store... it should be below $10 by now!). Still... it gives me another option. If anyone does have a UMD copy of Bloodlines sitting in a drawer that they don't want anymore, I wouldn't say no. I don't know that I have the battery power to update my PSP (it's running OS 6.6) and even if I sprung for the digital version of AC Bloodlines I don't know that it would run on that OS version (not to mention I can't connect to the Internet directly with my PSP because my router isn't set up for B/g and apparently the PSP store is dead anyway... though I guess I could look at the various PC to PSP options but that's gonna take some time).
I also found that my PC isn't absolutely useless. Thanks to a link provided by TheKodu in a comment on my last blog, I've found that there are some older games that will run just fine on my shitty little laptop. If/when the time eventually comes for surgery, I should be ok with something to play that is portable enough to take to the hospital with me.
All in all, the options have turned out pretty good. I'm gonna use my personal blog to talk about my personal journey with cancer fairly often, and yes, gaming is intrinsic to my lifestyle, my mental health and how I deal with my illness. If people want to avoid my blogs because of the "icky" thing about cancer, that's fine... but I also have a sense that I want to leave more "out there" in case the worst happens and it becomes terminal at some point. Hell, I don't have kids, so my digital footprint might be all that I leave behind anyway (well, aside from my amazing husband, friends and family who are supporting me on this adventure).
It's amazing how often I come across other people dealing with serious illness or the serious illness of someone close to them when I'm gaming. During the beta for "The Division" I grouped up with someone I used to play Destiny with. He's a very sweet older man and also a cancer survivor. The other person in our party was a younger man who's wife had been diagnosed with cancer and was going through treatment (and he found gaming was an awesome escape for him because the stress of an illness affects EVERYONE involved... hell, sometimes I think it's easier on me than on my husband who has cut his work down to 2 days/week but still has to still worry about work, worry about me and soon will probably be taking care of me... cause yeah, radiation means I'll definitely be too tired to cook or clean the cat litter... even if I'm not actually all that tired cause damn it, I hate cleaning the cat litter!) Well... gotta go get ready for my appointment, so gonna just hit post on this blog.
All in all, options aren't such a bad thing... whether they are medical options, or gaming options.... or even difficulty options within gaming! :)