While my mighty steed Swiffer and I have been touring the wonders of Cyrodil, apparently my cancer has been touring my body and exploring new sights and locations as well. My biopsies came back and apparently my cancer has spread and I now have two different cancers that are malignant (invasive) and one that is benign (in situ... but it can later turn invasive if we don't take care of it). My ocnologist had a chat with my husband and I and he will consult with other specialists, but the recommendation right now is removal of at least 6 different organs (all inter-related to where the cancer is) with a Pelvic Exenteration. The usual 5 year survival rate with this type of surgery is about 50% but he anticipates my survival rate would be much higher as, at 53, I'm relatively young because these cancers usually affect elderly ladies and also they believe my cancers has been detected fairly early. Trying radiation is also a strong possibility, but the problem is that my cancer is one that is difficult to detect, so radiation may not kill the cancer and I could end up having this pretty major surgery when I'm in my 60's (when the risks of the surgery alone are much higher). Essentially I'll either glow in the dark, or become a super-cyborg with some rebuilt or missing parts (meh, who needs all those extraneous parts anyways!)
At this point it's not terminal, so hey, there's that. I love the anonymity of the Internet. I haven't told my parents, family or friends yet and I just feel the need to talk about it... but hey, I got this blog thingie! I've been dealing with cancer for a long time now, so I'm actually kinda used to it and one of the things that really helps me is gaming.... and I've been gaming my ass off!
When I told my husband about the cancer and and that I'd likely need radiation or surgery, one of the first things he asked was what games he should buy me. Luckily, for once the stars have aligned. Often I have difficulty finding a good WRPG game to keep me occupied during recovery or treatments. I love WRPG games because I find that for me they are the perfect balance of mindless pre-occupation combined with a level of concentration needed to keep my mind occupied (which means fewer pain meds, for a shorter duration). I bought Elder Scrolls Online on a Black Friday Deal and have been playing it a lot. I'm probably just over half way through the game (done one and half factions) and and haven't even touched the DLC or multiplayer components yet! I also have The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4... which should provide me with several more hundred hours of gaming time...each! (Particularly as I sometimes have a tendency to nod off while out exploring the virtual wilderness, so my game time is artificially extended).
Two of the organs they will likely remove will be my lower colon and bladder... so yeah, I'll apparently be pooping and peeing into plastic baggies. Still, my husband in incredibly supportive and pointed out that I could be a pro-gamer, because I'll never have to take bathroom breaks! He doesn't much care if I'm missing some parts or have some odd excess baggage... as long as I'm there with him. It's odd how the mind works and I guess I truly am a "gamer". When it was explained that I would likely be spending about 2 months in a hospital if we go for the surgery my first thought was whether I could take my PS3 orPS4 and hook it up to those tiny hospital TV's they have. I realized that the thought wasn't very practical (and probably against hospital policy) and now I'm damning myself for buying a piece of shit laptop that probably won't play many decent video games (it has an Intel Celeron N2840 @2.16 GHz with 4GB RAM) . I suspect I would be able to take a laptop so I checked out Steam and what games might run... and the selection isn't much. Of the games I'm interested in that will run, they apparently don't have controller support. All in all it just seems much too complex to try and put something together for PC gaming.
My next option was to look at the PS Vita. I liked my PSP, but there are no new games and my battery is long dead on the poor thing. The Vita does have a couple of games I might be interested in (Borderlands, Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank, Soul Sacrifice, Dungeon Hunter Alliance, etc). Still, there seems to be a lack of the sprawling WRPG type games that I love and it would cost $200 for the Vita, and I'll apparently also need an extra $100 for a decent memory card to store the games on, and then there is the cost of the games themselves. Still, this might be the best option because I'll apparently be doing some traveling to see some specialists in another city... so that means long boring travel with nothing to do... and yeah, the Vita is best suited for gaming on the run. I'll be getting a PET scan ... and given that our Province only has one of these, I guess I'm pretty special! If I get radiation, there will be lots of sitting around and waiting my turn, or if I get surgery I'll still be spending a fair bit of time waiting around in hospitals or offices waiting to see the various surgeons who will be removing or rebuilding my different organs (Hell, I didn't even know they COULD rebuild a bladder!). Apparently all the surgeries will be done at once by the various doctors... and I can't help but think how crowded that OR room is gonna be. Ok, I'll be honest... it kinda gives me the giggles to imagine all these surgeons in the room fighting for space and waiting their turn to play "Operation"!
The surgery or radiation treatments probably won't take place for awhile... so I've got some time to put my gaming plan together. This at least is a problem I CAN solve, so I'm kinda hoping you good Dtoiders won't bother with the usual platitudes of "so sorry this has to happen to you"... cause yeah, it's a bummer if it happens to anyone. Instead tell me whether a PS Vita is a good buy or not, and which games might be worthwhile. Do I need a special headset? or will any iPod type headset work? Is it anything at all like a console experience or am I better to just try and find some android/iOS games? I need something that's not too difficult and I love more open world, WRPG, hack n slash type games - any recommendations? If any of you master race PC gamers are out there, maybe you can say whether there are hacks so that I can use a PS4 controller with a game like Elder Scrolls Morrowind, or Fable: the Lost Chapters on Steam (and whether the web site i"m using is right and whether I should be able to run these games on my shitty lil laptop or not). If you have no gaming advice... then just wish me well on my quest because I will slay the bad guy cancer and I will continue to have many new adventures.
... and I may or may not be around much. There will likely be times in the near future when I won't have Internet access or even when I do have Internet access... I might be writing under a morphine impairment that either makes what I say highly amusing, highly inflammatory or utter gibberish. Over the next while I'll probably just be undergoing a lot of different scans and tests... just to make sure that the cancer isn't more widespread and that this surgery could give me a 100% cure from cancer - and that would be nice (though they are careful to say that this wouldn't resolve future cancers if it has already spread but isn't yet detected)! I'm not ignoring you if you send me PSN notes, or want to group up... I'm probably just being somewhat anti-social, so please don't be offended, because at other times I"ll definitely want a little human company on my virtual journeys.
I'll probably game a lot, because escapism is a good thing (gotta say that in a Martha Stewart voice), and I may continue doing some drive-by commenting on Dtoid. Hell, I might even blog again, I'm still absorbing all this information and at this point I'm just not sure of my plans.... other than VIDEA GAMEZ! Yeah, at least I'm a gamer and can keep on gaming. I'm not a mountain climber or a swimmer or a golfer... so my hobby will always be there for me so that I can escape to serene, beautiful worlds ....where I can climb mountains, swim rivers or slaughter daedra, orcs, cultists, thieves and giant golums! Wallowing in self pity or being scared or feeling depressed... it's not gonna be helpful. Far better to get out there in the virtual world and kill some bad guys! Be the one in control of my destiny, be the hero, be powerful... and as my husband says, maybe I can transfer those positive feeling of empowerment to real life and beat this bad guy cancer. :)
So anyway... off to play some videa gamez... or see if Sarkeesian has said anything I can get bitchy about... the small pleasures in life! I wrote this earlier today... and just got back from telling my parents. Went ok though. :)
EDIT: I loves you! Y'all have been incredibly AWESOME! My mind is filled with possibilities and I'm busy investigating options and keeping myself occupied. Per a link that Kodu gave, my PC is more capable than I thought and could be a very viable option given some of the game suggestions (mount and Blade, etc) - so this looks like a pretty viable option if I have the surgery and I have time to get a controller working and everything set up before I go in. I never thought about my Adroid tablet... but this might be a really good portable option (again suggested in a comment) so I'll look into this. The Vita is still there... but I might be able to work with what I have to get to where I want with games that will work with my situation. I'm excited about the possibilities and keeping myself busy looking into and trying out these various options and ideas.