A few months back, We had a great MRI. Fast forward to Monday (5-13) We had a horrible scan. It showed my main tumor is growing again, and has gotten much bigger. There will have to be s surgery. This gag didn’t happen in real life. but, it was sure going to happen.
This is basically my first cartoon since my craniotomy. A few weeks ago I started walking at lunch, eating better and doing some light work outs. Instead of my energy going up, it actually started going down. I also started drifting a bit in the left lane and did several curb checks, very unlike me. I even had people stop me at work stop me and ask if I was ok. My wife kept staring at my face to see if I had had a stroke. One of my nephews thought I was intoxicated on one visit. You think I would have taken the hint, but I did not at the time. Now I look back I see more evidence, In fact one of my last toons looks like a Picasso.
Did I mention my facebook posts and emails became increasingly confusing to even me.
So I then started getting some serious headaches. I finally went to my doctor and they thought I might be having migraines so treated me for them. After 4 days and I was still having headaches they scheduled me for a CT scan, but then because it was going to take a while to get in so they suggested I go straight to the ER. The ER did a scan and the next thing I know I’m in Neuro ICU. And the neuro surgeon was explaining I had a cyst on my brain and it needed to come out. So on June 7th, I was scheduled for surgery. My youngest daughters birthday,
After the surgery I got very Ill from the anesthesia. And over heard the surgeons, and none of it was good. They were saying chemo and radiation. It sounded grim. Later when the more they explained, the worse it got. My wife did not share all of the info until I was stronger. My brother accidently told me what I had. I looked it up and it shook me up and I had several very dark nights ahead. I’m doing better now though, my faith strengthens me and all the prayers from friends and family. the anti-anxiety meds help too. since diagnosis. I bought a couple books from other survivors. I have to have some hope to cling on to. If it were not for my faith I don’t know if I could get out of bed. I know not everyone has faith, but I wish everyone could have the peace that can come with it. Physically I’m doing great. I’m eating healthier and walking a lot again. I’m fortunate that there doesn’t seem to be any significant impairment with my body. Not everyone is so fortunate.
I start Chemo next Monday and radiation a week later. While I’m not excited by the possibility of the side effect, I will not survive the year without it. I’m pretty sure I was just days away from death when I went to the ER.
I won’t post my diagnosis here, because I need all people to keep their hope for me up. There are people that survive longer than decade. so I do have hope. I found a man out there that has gone 17 years with clean MRIs. I hope to follow suit. I just need to learn to live in the moment and go one clean MRI at a time. I can’t be cured but I can be maintained. I have actually communicated with a lady that has gone 14 years
After getting out of the hospital I tried using Manga Studio, my choice of digitally drawing my cartoon, Sadly it has not worked out as I’m confused while trying to use it. My doctor says it’s most likely the steroids I’m on. In fact I’m on a lot of meds. So many things could be confusing me. The brain surgery is probably at the top of the list.
So I have hope and an incredible team of doctors, a list that grows every week. My hope is not solely =in the doctors but in God primarily, the Great physician.
I hope this is not too dark for you.
This toon was a rare hand drawn cartoon. My usual software doesn’t make as much sense as it used to. So I hand drew and scanned it into Manga Studio and added the dialog there. I got the idea from a few people at work, particularly Pastor Roy.
So if your are the praying type, I could use your prayer, if not I could use your positive thoughts.
My oncologist, said where my tumor was can cause people to become apathetic and lack follow through. So I think it is important for me to follow through with my normal schedule for posting. As many of my regular readers know that my wife went through breast cancer in 2012. I even did a comic book about it, maybe
i’ll do a sequel? I’m not sure anyone would want to read something dark. I do think DFTG will take more of spiritual turn. I’ll also start posting a “best of” DFTG. Oddly my site stats have jumped up since I stopped doing my toons.
I had some great people do guest comics for me, including my webmaster, which I didn’t get his joke as it was a database gag.
Thanks to Mark Johnson of MJnext.com, very smart guy.
Also to Michael Corley of http://www.voxboxcomics.com supplied 2 toons.
Thanks to a long time DFW fellow cartoonist Thomas Overbeck of timeslikethis.com
Thanks to the lovely hearted emmyJ of http://deepmeaningless.com
I became a big fan of jeff sinclaire of www.Biggscorp.com I loved his toon.
You are all my heroes, I hope I can repay your kindness someday somehow.
Btw, my surgeon thinks he got the whole tumor, hopefully if not chemo and radiation will eliminate the rest.
If you want to ask any questions or comment, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll be honest and transparent as long as this journey lasts.
Audiom: A sound or sound effect that has an origin that may not be readily known to the person hearing it, but the meaning is clear. e.g.: cha-ching, a needle removed from a record
I’m proposing a new word. I had found a need for a new word recently. While listening to the radio I often hear sound effects. I know what the sound effect is and its origin. Even my kids know what the sound effect means, because of the context. However, I don’t think my kids have ever listened to a phonograph, yet know when they hear that noise on the radio what the advertiser is conveying. They have never heard a cash register go cha-ching but when they hear that sound, they know it means money. I can think of many examples. I imagine a time when my grand kids will have a whole slew of these “audioms” and will have no idea where it came from. Much like when we hear phrases like “rule of thumb” we usually don’t know the origin. ( I do know this one) Or how about “the elephant in the room”.
So in a conversation with a co-worker and friend Joe Harms, I explained the need for the word and he came up with audiom form the word idiom. I think it was genius. So this is the new word. ‘Audiom’, use it often.
While browsing a retail store the other night I noticed a product I had not seen before. It was called Pogoplug. The price was $49.95. The package said it plugs in to your home router and allows you to plug in any USB storage device and access it like a “personal cloud” device. A quick check on my iPhone revealed there were 3 models: Classic, Pogoplug, and Pogoplug Series 4. The Series 4 model allowed up to 2 USB 3.0 devices and had a slot to directly plug in a SATA drive in to, additionally you could add a 3rd USB 2.0 device and a SD card. Clearly I needed the Series 4 version.
As luck would have it, my anniversary was only a day away and one local Best Buy store had it in stock and for the same price that Amazon had it listed for. My wife bought it for me and when I opened it, it said it was a 60 second setup. In truth I’m not sure it even took that long. You plug it in to your router’s available ethernet port, plug in your USB drive and open a web browser. It has you set up an account when your first log in the pogoplug.com. It has a companion piece of software that can be loaded on your PC, Mac, or Linux device. Once loaded the drive becomes available as a local drive. You can also access your files via a web browser on any internet device and there is a free app available. I have it on my iPad and iPhone. I’m able to stream music or movies from home to work, and they stream well. Keep in mind I have fast internet at home and work. I think it may also have been a different story if I were using a USB 2.0 device.
The main reason I bought this device is so I could have all my cartoon related files available to me from anywhere. I had used a few different free cloud solutions,but I kept hitting a wall on storage. More recently I had been carrying a 1TB portable drive back and forth. I am very impressed with this device so far and recommend it highly. I’d recommend getting the latest version of the device, the Series 4. I got it for $79.99, but it usually retail for $99. If I had a complaint it would be that the homepage is a bit confusing. They also offer a service and it at first appeared I’d have to purchase this to make it work. After a bit of looking around I found the PC companion app and installed it. There are no fees for this device to keep using it.
One feature I had not paid much attention too, may be the biggest seller of them all for some of you. You have the ability to share individual files. You can send the link via email and that user alone will have access to that file. This could be great for sharing large files in the future and may be worth the purchase alone. You can also back up your home PCs using Pogoplug’s software. I really cannot recommend this device enough. I’m still learning about it as I’ve only had it for less than 24 hours, but I am impressed.
Let’s take a look at how I did on 2010′s goals for DFTG:
Goals for 2010
1. Increase traffic. Duh. Success. With the exception of December every month was an increase in traffic. It looks like I almost tripled my traffic.
2. Participate more in the webcomic community and find new heroes to follow. Success. I met many new cartoonists and fans of webcomics. Some of the folks I “met” I only met virtually, but still made new friends and heroes.
3. Publish a book. I’m close to finishing this one. I just need to finish some original art that will only be available in the book. And then have the guts to spend the money to do it. The mock ups look decent so far I must say. I hired Krishna to do the cover and that looks fantastic. In this case I want people to judge a book by it’s cover. I was hesitant to have someone else to do the cover but I see many examples of far superior artists have someone else design the cover, I had the good sense to ask Krishna to do it. Success. My book is out at the beginning of the year. The reaction was decent just like the end product. I learned a lot for next time. Buy the book here.
4. Have a table at least 2 expos in 2010. Fail. In 2010 I still only made the one expo, DWEX in Plano Texas.
5. Get more mentions on other sites, positive mentions. 2009 was great as I “met” many great cartoonists who actually looked at my toons and some even had good things to say. Success. I was mentioned, did a guest comic for another site, got reviewed, and was mentioned on a blog.
Goals for 2011:
1. Create at least one comic book. My next book will be a more traditional comic book style. I found where I will have it printed. If it looks good a may do more than one with different themes.
2. Have a more successful comic expo. I did OK in the last expo, but I was too laid back. I need to self promote better. Hopefully, I’ll have more products to sell.
3. Double my web traffic.
4. Start a new B&W comic. I have some plans for a new strip I’m trying to develop. If I do it, it will be kept simple and will be more about the writing. I can tell you it will be more focused on family humor. I’m trying to secure the URL I want for it and it is available in January hopefully. So I won’t give the name just now. I want to keep it simple enough so I can produce it faster. Right now my full color DFTG toon takes 3 hours minimum and usually much longer. I will still be doing DFTG for those that actually read it now.
5. Master Manga Studio and step my comic’s style to a professional looking art. This is my most ambitious goal and the hardest to achieve. I’m getting closer but not sure I’m close.
Let’s get back together one year from now and see how I did again. happy New Year. I hope your coming year is your best and that God blesses you and your family. Thanks for reading this year.