FEELING STRONGER & MORE DETERMINED EACH DAY!!!!

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Do you have a question about stage 4 brain cancer?  Ask if you do!

I went for 3 days of weights & yoga instead of 2 this week just to try it.  Regularly scheduled programming for the next while.

375 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

170 Shoulder raises/Chest presses w/ 10 pound dumb bells

400 Crunches

300 Leg lifts

200 Squats while balancing on my toes.

200 Back flexes

150.5 meters walking distance = 493.7 feet

3 days of yoga

 

I fell asleep to “Alter Bridge” the album “Walk the Sky” followed by “Tool” the album “Fear Inoculum”

I exercised to nothing.  I didn’t sleep more than 2 hours for a reason you’ll read about later.  It’s WAY too early to listen to music.

 

Here’s the Canadian Red Cross website if you’d prefer to donate there for my birthday.  Donate whatever amount you like whenever you like please or donate to your country’s Red Cross.  It doesn’t have to be just for my birthday, whenever you can spare the cash!

https://www.redcross.ca/

 

I’m sure I’ll get tired & a little grouchy at some point.  Not yet though!  I like this & being able to play/practice my guitar gives me something other than exercise to look forward to the next day.  Life’s much better than it was last year or even a weeks into December.  Whenever I made my decision to push myself more.  I didn’t realize it, but I was firmly planted in a rut.

I tweaked a small muscle in my back while doing curls on Wednesday.  Nothing too serious, I made sure to stretch it better before my exercise on Thursday & kept stretching.  The more I keep it active, the less it seems to nag at me.

My biggest worry about this exercise is my left arm & hand are still quite shaky.  Until I get them used to being in a certain position, usually resting partially on something they still shake.  Even when I play guitar.  Before I’d just pick up a guitar & play, now I need to warm up just to play rhythm stuff, I always considered warming up a thing for lead & solo players.  It is getting better though.

All of these little mile stones adding up to me getting my life back, exercising harder, playing guitar, cooking (poorly), being helpful with house hold chores, walking with my walker, practicing stairs, etc.  I actually started to sing a bit again with a guitar in my hands.

Exercise is going great & my body feels better than ever.  I had chicken wing size calves before & now it’s like “Oh, Hello there lil’ muscle.  I haven’t seen you in over a decade!!!”  Even my humble man boobs are transforming, which is pleasing.

If I haven’t gained weight in muscle already, I’d be shocked.  There will be a video of me walking with my walker on Facebook.  Sorry about the Facebook only photos & videos.  The brace on my left leg is called an Ankle Foot Orthotic I have drop foot & I hyper extend my leg since cancer.  Never mind my shirt or what it says, it’s just what I happened to be wearing that day.  It from a “Lamb of God” concert I saw in 2006.  This song was the title of the tour…..

I’m really not looking forward to seeing one of my doctors in May for a few reasons.  I have to go for an MRI this time.  Not a big deal depending on which one they send me to.  I’m EXTREMELY claustrophobic.  The MRI machine at the hospital is VERY small.  My shoulders are too broad to shove my head & spine into that tiny, glorified X-ray machine.  The other one downtown at a radiology lab is much bigger & a fear free experience.

Another reason is that I’ve had it with her calling me FAT.  No wonder she was suspended, & I didn’t say a word to make that happen.  How do I respond to that when I have to go there?  “Sorry I’m not 5’0” tall & need 3 dozen cheeseburgers?”  I loved when she yelled that I’m fat down the hallway as I was leaving.  I might just walk in & say “Do I have cancer again? OK, see you later”.

I’m sick & tired of these RIDICULOUS ‘routine’ cancer checkups.  YAY, please poke me some more, I miss it so much.  This is how a rare cancer survivor gets treated?  I’m a statistic that comes up in a chart now?  Yay, I’ve always wanted to be a number!

Here’s what has been driving me crazy all week & was the reason for me not sleeping & second guessing myself to a point that I feel sick.  There was no right or wrong decision in this scenario, but I made the wrong one, if that makes any sense at all & it will cost us $1100.  I ordered the wrong guitar.  3 days after I ordered the super nice, fancy guitar the other one Epiphone ceased production on the 7 string I liked.  Had I known this was going to be the case, I would have ordered my only 7 string guitar & saved the extra cash for a trip with Kim.  Instead I ordered the PRS 6 string guitar.  If the 7 string wasn’t going out of stock soon, this wouldn’t be an issue.  Instead I’ve been doing what I do & overthinking my decision in whatever way possible.  I know this sounds ridiculous to others.  Other than a house or vehicle minus books & tuition for university & technical school, this is the biggest purchase I have or will ever make.

I ordered this guitar for 1/10 of the price of our brand new 2019 Toyota RAV 4.

https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/electrics/model/s2_custom_22_semi_hollow_2020

Instead of this for less than half the price of the other one that will soon be extinct (below).

https://www.long-mcquade.com/22227/Guitars/Electric_Guitars/Gibson/Matt_Heafy_Les_Paul_Custom_7_String_Electric_Guitar.htm

I’ve worried myself sick every night this week about this decision & it’s not helping at all.  These are both fantastic purchases.  I’ve researched both of them & decided these would complete my guitar purchasing.  There are so many other guitars out there but those are the last 2 I’d like.  I ordered the fancy expensive one too soon & feel a large knot in my stomach growing bigger every minute.  I could maybe cancel & change my order but we’d lose our deposit of over $200.  Kim likely won’t let me make a future guitar purchase anyways.

I got my first guitar in 2001 & was good enough to play rhythm guitar and sing 4 months later.  Things are harder/different now dealing with the lack of hand muscle.  My rhythm is fine, my tempo needs to pick up just a bit.  Practice, practice, practice!

I’ve never even thought of myself as a good guitar player.  Most times I think to myself that I haven’t even earned the right to own any other guitars?!

The entire guitar conversation has become a daily conversation in my head.  If I mention it out loud, Kim might hit me in the head with a frying pan?

 

I really like the new “Pearl Jam” single.  Full album to be released on March 27th!!!!

 

If you’re getting this through Facebook, give it a like or other reaction, or share it.  That’s the only way of promoting this site, since I’m not profiting from this in any way.

 

 “I feel good about the good things, & bad about the bad things”-David Grohl 

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris             

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

MY FAVOURITE ALBUMS OF 2019 & A BREAKTHROUGH FOR ME

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I fell asleep to “Queen” the album “A Day at the Races”

I exercised to “Black Sabbath” the album “Heaven & Hell”

 

I had a list of albums that I grabbed this year, & it disappeared.  These are the albums of the year that stuck with me & are VERY memorable for me.  When I say “metal” do me a favour & don’t freak out about the vocals.  I don’t think I bought an album this year with ‘growling’ or ‘screaming’ on it.  A lot of metal vocalists are very well trained at their craft, even the ‘screamers’ out there.  It’s hard to do that.

I’m sure there were more albums that I bought, but these are the ones that caught my attention the most.

 

PLEASE REMEMBER THESE ARE JUST THE ALBUMS THAT I HEARD & LIKED.  FEEL FREE TO VOICE YOUR OPINION ON ANY MATTER HERE!

 

“Opeth” the album “In Cauda Venenum”

Yeah it’s a progressive rock/metal/soft-rock album from the Swedish group.

 

“P!nk” the album “Hurts 2B Human”

You know who she is more than likely.  I do like her previous release “Beautiful Trauma” a bit more, but there was nothing wrong with this one!

 

“Dream Theater” the album “Distance Over Time”

Progressive metal out of the USA, no this guy doesn’t growl or scream.  He’s a classically trained singer.  Usually someone says “metal” and everyone else freaks out about the vocals being scary.

 

“Alter Bridge” the album “Walk the Sky”

Based in Florida.  6th album & living in Western Canada, I’ll never see them live.  I think they’ve done the Montreal & Toronto tour twice since 2004.

 

“I Built the Sky” the album “The Zenith Rise”

Instrumental metal that REALLY shocked me, in a good way.  I’ve never heard anything like it and this is their 5th release.  I’ve got this album & I’d like to get 2 other albums by them.

 

“TOOL” the album “Fear Inoculum”

The only reason this wasn’t my favourite album of the year was that it’s just SO long.  “TOOL” is a band that you listen to & focus on nothing else, like most music is meant to be heard.  There are so many layers to this album & 6/10 songs are well over the 10 minute mark.  I’ve only had time to focus on it once.  It’s not an album full of singles either, it’s an album.  “Fear Inoculum” is roughly 7 minutes longer than their 1999 album “Lateralus”.  The difference is that “Lateralus” has 13 songs opposed to 10 on “Fear Inoculum”.  I can listen to 7 songs on “Lateralus”, come back later & listen to the rest.  I don’t like doing that with “Fear Inoculum”, I want to listen to it from start to finish with no separation.  I don’t have 1 ½ hours to focus on an album every week?

 

“In Flames” the album “I, The Mask”

Another Swedish metal band.  If you want to call these vocals “screamy” go ahead.  They’re called a “Swedish melodic death metal band” emphasis on the ‘melodic’ portion though.  He sings with an odd tone.

 

“Big Wreck” the album “…but for the sun”

I thought this was just my favourite “Big Wreck” album, turns out it’s one of my favourite albums of all time by a Canadian band not well known outside of Canada.  They’re a rock band & if you’ve never turned on a rock radio station in Canada or if you’ve lived under a rock since the late 1990s, you’ve never heard of them.

Honourable mentions. Billie Eilish’s “When we all fall asleep, where do we go?”, “Of Monsters & Men” the album “Fever Dream”, Mark Morton “Anesthetic”, & “Jimmy Eat World” the album “Surviving”.

As for future out of province concerts, I’m going to scale that WAY back.  Too much money I don’t have.  There had better be a show in Calgary, Alberta or Winnipeg, Manitoba & no more than 2 out of province shows a year, if that.  Hopefully there are more shows here in Regina or 2 ½ hours away in Saskatoon.  I’ll go to Moose Jaw (45 minutes away) if they ever get an act that intrigues me.

 

“Paramore” news…

YAY!

What else to expect in 2020?  Chevelle, Lamb of God, Megadeth, The Pretty Reckless, Stone Temple Pilots, Into Eternity, Third Ion, Foo Fighters, Evanescence, Testament, Trivium, and more?  Most of these are rumored releases.

 

HOLY SMOKES!!!!  “Stone Temple Pilots” already have a preorder for their acoustic album “Perdida” for full release on February 7th.

25th anniversary for “Foo Fighters” & from the looks of their Facebook page they’re recording or might have already?

Gave my guitars a good workout yesterday.  After 3 ½ months of 45 minutes to 3 hours a day, 5-6 days a week I’m pretty much back to where I was on guitar when I got sick.  6 Foo Fighters songs down, added in parts I’ve never attempted, very close on 2 Metallica songs, a few other simple songs down, new chords, a handful of other riffs too.  All rhythm & hooks, I’ve never played guitar solos.  Feels so gratifying!!!!!!!  I forgot how much I missed it!  You have no idea how happy I am with this!!!!!!  I was so happy I almost broke down with tears of joy!!!  Just a few seconds behind the real tempo but just a little more polishing to do.

I’ll figure out how to put some videos on here.  Something you should know first though.  I LOATHE photos, videos, and audio recordings of myself.  Take the amount you don’t like them of yourself and multiply that by 100,000,000,000 and you’ll be almost where I am.  It probably won’t happen often, especially since I don’t own a phone or any type of camera.

Well, exercise is done for the day so that means perfecting a few songs on the guitar until… “Star Wars” Episode 9 tonight with my pop!  He got me into this mess with VHS, now I’m getting us out of this mess at the theater!

 

If you’re getting this through Facebook, give it a like or other reaction, or share it.  That’s the only way of promoting this site, since I’m not profiting from this in any way.

“I feel good about the good things, & bad about the bad things”-David Grohl 

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris             

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 18, 2019 (HOLIDAY UPDATE)

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I had no intension of taking a break, exercise wise, over the holidays.  I changed my mind after the week off in November.  My sleeping pattern does not like all of this stress.  So I was awake half of the night Sunday, slept in Monday, felt lazy & tired ended up doing nothing.  Went to bed at 9:30 pm Monday night.  Got up to pee at 2:40 am, couldn’t fall asleep.  Got out of bed @ 3:20 am and did some stuff in the kitchen quietly.  Felt really tired around 8:30 am, crawled in bed.  Showered, had lunch & it was 2:30 pm.

All of this is not good for me.  My mind hasn’t known how to relax in the last 3 years or so, & it’s getting worse.  When I was in my rehabilitation program I was severely depressed & was put on an anti-depressant/sleeping pill to combat the negative thoughts in my head so I could sleep.  I’m not having negative thoughts now, I just feel like I have so much to do, but my body doesn’t want to keep up.  With the house being listed, its holiday season, & I put stress on myself to get as much done in a day as possible, I’m tired, a bit grumpier than usual & generally feel like I’m just wasting days by not exercising.

I hate having our house listed.  I’m physically handicapped with no driver’s license but when someone wants to see our place, Brewster & I have to disappear for the 30-45 minutes someone’s here.  Much easier said than done.  My parents are in town until they go on a trip about a week in to the New Year.  Then Kim will have to get us out of here.  With her being on contract, she doesn’t like to take time off since she doesn’t get paid if she’s not at work.  With all of that going on I’m more stressed than ever.  I’m not depressed or crying (like I was in my Rehab program), however I do feel anxious all of the time.

I guess we can add the fact that my brother has another surgery coming up shortly after Christmas.  The first one wasn’t enough.  I worry about him too.  He had back surgery for bone spurs on his shoulders that were causing his arms & hands to go numb at random times, 5 months of disability & some of that doing physiotherapy.  He went back to work for 2 weeks of shortened shifts & he’ll be heading to Saskatoon for a 2nd surgery, this time through the front of his body, because the numbing sensation came back.  Between my dad, mom, brother, & I, we’ve all had some type of surgery.  My parents have both had eye surgeries, mom’s had one knee replaced & soon another, my brother is dealing with his back surgeries, & I’ve had 3 brain surgeries.

As for the house being on the market, at this point I’ve lost all hope of the stars aligning for us to sell & find a new (wheelchair accessible) place in Regina in our price range.  They’re completely gone at the moment.  Our contract is up on December 31st.  I told Kim “Do what you want.  I’m out, I’m not looking.  If I need to disappear, that’s not my problem.  I figure we could be here for 5 more years, & I just don’t care.  We have nowhere to move to.  The entire reason we put this place up for sale was for a forever home that sold 3 weeks after we hit the market.  The contract at that time was to remove our place from the market if our dream house sold, & it did.  I’m out.  I’m not going to stop you or our realtor from looking, I’ll willingly see a house you find, but I’m not searching for something that is likely not there at the moment.  I’ll start house hunting online again in March”.  We’ve lowered the price once & that’s as low as its going.

As of today it is 6 years to the day that we moved into this condo.  Nothing wrong with this place, we’re just much younger than the average resident here.  My parents are young & I’m guessing they’re younger than the average person here?  I’d like to move, but I don’t see things working out for us in the near future.

We signed our mortgage papers at the bank on Monday, my name is on it but Kim handles the money here.  I saw what our mortgage payment is each month, & I’m thinking that guitar I was going to order is better off at the factory.  Kim disagrees still?  I don’t know what I was thinking to begin with now.  I cancelled my football tickets for next year, which is what I’d prefer to happen in for many different reasons, then wanted to buy a really nice/moderately expensive guitar?  The guitar’s still up for discussion despite me having a decent portion of the money already.

Everyone’s Christmas gifts have been purchased & are wrapped under the tree.  That stress is over.  What’s bugging me now is that I have possibly 30 years of exercise to cram in ASAP.  Even then I’ll likely be using a walker.  I’m disappointing myself.  Especially if I’m sitting around, doing nothing but thinking of what I need to do.

As for eating & drinking over the holidays, not much has changed in that department.  We drink store bought non-alcoholic light egg nog.  I occasionally put it in the few coffees I have a week & I’ve had 2 glasses of ½ egg nog, ½ skim milk, with a shot of Kahlua.  After the 8(?) Holiday sweets I’ve had so far, I’ve determined they just make me feel sick & I don’t need them.  So I’m basically still drinking a minimum of 3 liters of water a day, 2 eggs a piece of fruit & homemade vegetable juice for breakfast, lettuce wraps w/Turkey deli meat for lunch & a small meal at supper.  I also have 3 small snacks a day.

In the spirit of trying to help people out I’m helping a couple people learn guitar with me.  I know what to do, just have to get my left hand used to it again.  No I’ve never charged anyone.  I was ‘teaching’ two friends before cancer, so I figured I’d help a couple people out again.  I don’t charge anyone because A) They’re friends/family   B) I’m just a singer that learned guitar to be more comfortable on stage, my knowledge is very limited.  I’m happy to say that I can tell that there’s progress every day.

I was always a rhythm guitarist, but I’ve been doing mostly individual finger exercises & different scale patterns on the guitar to strengthen my hand.  It helped!  Things are getting much better!  Figured out the main guitar riff for this, wasn’t able to play it before cancer, I probably didn’t try enough.

Right hand rhythm works fine, left hand fretting needs some work, but it’s getting there!  More guitar practice as things are becoming more familiar with it.  Practice on the acoustic then play it on the electric.

One good night of sleep & today I got up on time, had a good workout and was able to manage my time better!  I plan to keep exercising next week, it will likely be a day or 3 of shortened exercise, 25th & 26th anyways.

 

What have I been listening to?  Pretty much anything but Christmas/Holiday music.  Still just not ready for it?

 

If you’re getting this through Facebook, give it a like or other reaction, or share it.  That’s the only way of promoting this site, since I’m not profiting from this in any way.

“I feel good about the good things, & bad about the bad things”-David Grohl

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO

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What I’ve been listening to lately, “The Darkness”, “Coheed and Cambria”, “I Built the Sky”, & “Alter Bridge”.

Where ever the picture ends up on here, that’s a portion of my Tuesday & Thursday exercise.  I don’t own a cell phone but Kim does.  She wants to do yoga with me when she gets home from work & took a few pictures that evening.

I ended up doing a lot of nothing from Friday, November 15th to Sunday, November 24th.  Started up the exercise again on the 25th.  Kim decided she’d like to do yoga with me on Tuesdays & Thursdays.  So I do some stretching & weights in the morning, then yoga when she gets home after work.

So far my eating habits have remained quite similar.  I know I’ll partake in some taste testing of holiday baked goods though, then perhaps during my big 4-0 in January.

Gotta get to the weights!  My T-Shirts are pretty much hanging on to me for dear life.  Other than the occasional light eggnog in a coffee, I’m still running sugar free, outside of natural sugar.

I’m not going to avoid holiday baking, just in moderation.

I intended to ask for a few things for Christmas & let Kim bank any extra cash for herself or whatever expenses we need it for.  Nobody was OK with what I was going to do with the cash, including Kim.  She insisted I save it for the guitar I want.  So I guess I’ll be ordering this guitar in the summer, in a McCarty Sunburst finish.  We’ve got to save up some cash until then.

https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/electrics/model/s2_custom_22_semi_hollow_2020

As for the Epiphone 7 string, I’ll think about that in 8 years if I’m still into metal, although it does look pretty nice!  I was going to get this one since it’s a limited edition, Kim said to order the more expensive one though?  If I ever get a 7 string guitar, I hope these are still in production?

http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Les-Paul/Matt-Heafy-Les-Paul-Custom-7.aspx

I have been practicing my guitar constantly.  Mostly finger exercises to build up the strength in my left hand.  Usually 4-9 hours a week.  I was a singer that learned rhythm guitar to fill out a rock band.  Playing fast or soloing was never my thing & was beyond my ability.  Since my voice hasn’t caught up yet, I’m learning a bunch of new stuff to become a more versatile guitar player. I played my guitar “…until my fingers (almost) blead…” the last week and a bit.

The Christmas tree has been up since November 16th, little early for me but it had to go up sometime.  Now we can get some gift shopping done for what I will now call “The most (stressful) time of the year”.  I need lists people, I can’t read your minds?!

I’m usually really into the holiday season, no snow here yet, I need snow.  It was raining on November 24th, my parents’ 41st anniversary & Grey Cup 107.  There should be snow on the ground by now not “November Rain”.

Brewster’s feeling better now & done with his medications.  He even has enough energy to play for a bit twice a day.  He’s now back to day care once a week to play with other dogs.  He still gets very excited when he figures out where he’s going & can’t get in there fast enough.

Kim’s quite busy at work & is pretty tired after each day.  I think her entire department told their manager they need another person on staff?

After a week of not exercising & a week of exercising, I find that exercising makes me more aware around here.  I find that I manage my time better.  I also get up earlier to accomplish my exercise & other tasks for the day.  I got up at 6:30 am.  I fed Brewster, had my small breakfast (I eat 5 or 6 small meals/snacks a day), cleaned up Brewster’s bowl, & exercised.  It was only 9:30 am after all of that!  I checked my email & Facebook, had a bite to eat, showered, & had an early lunch around 11:30 am.  Spent the rest of the day practicing guitar for a few hours & watched some recorded TV.

I don’t typically post videos or photos on anything.  I don’t own a cell phone but my wife does.  I’m usually at home with no need or desire for a cell phone & if I’m elsewhere, I’m busy usually with someone else who likely has a cell phone.  An email or a Facebook message/notification will be there when I get home.  I’ve tried texting & I just don’t like it.  I find texting to be the lazy way of calling someone.  It’s easier to dial a number rather than type out a conversation on a tiny keyboard.  Cell phones & I aren’t friends.  They’re just not for me.

That being said, my speech isn’t great.  I’m hard to understand.  I feel like I have to exaggerate my lip movement to speak well & I ALWAYS forget that.  I’m also very quiet when I speak.  Since cancer I have very short breath support.  It’s gotten better, but at first my sentences were very broken in odd/random places.

Out to visit my uncle in Sask. Beach this week for lunch & a few games of cribbage with my parents.  Nice going out there, seeing someone I haven’t seen in a while in a very wheelchair accessible place (he’s in a wheelchair also & Kim hates cribbage).

Thursday evening we went to see our “niece’s” Christmas school musical.  I don’t even remember the entire “12 days of Christmas” & I just saw it?!  Great to hear kids singing this time of year.  I’m surprised the school got away with calling it a “Christmas” event what with everything having to be so politically correct!  I’m good either way, I know what I’m celebrating.  If you’re against that, all the power to you.

It also was a blizzard outside Thursday evening!  FINALLY………………….SNOW!!!!!!!!  I can’t stand the heat, I’ve been waiting for this since January!  I’m typically found wearing shorts, Kim made me wear pants = not a happy Chris.  I can’t even remember the last time I was outside for more than “5 minutes…”?  In retrospect, I should have gone with the shorts.  Our friends were up front to see their daughter.  We were at the back (wheelchair).  The parents at the back didn’t seem to care much.  They were mostly talking on their phone, texting, & visiting with other parents, that was utterly disappointing/heart breaking.

Well the snow is here, the house is decorated, the tree is up, I’ve seen a Christmas play by kids, & I still have resting Chris face.  What the hell is wrong with me?

 

I don’t see any issues with this?

She’s an American citizen, the impeachment is being done as stated by the Constitution & it’s well known that the democrats don’t want the current president re-elected.  So why is the guy so shocked by her statement?  Call me a dumb Canadian, but this isn’t breaking news.  I haven’t even watched American news in months.

 

If you’re getting this through Facebook, give it a like or other reaction, or share it.  That’s the only way of promoting this site, since I’m not profiting from this in any way.

“I feel good about the good things, & bad about the bad things”-David Grohl

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

EXERCISE & A BIG WRECK CONCERT

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Do you have a question about stage 4 brain cancer?  Ask if you do!

Waste of a week.  Missed taking some of my pills on Monday & Tuesday which messed with my sleep badly.  Did my exercises Wednesday.  Went to see “Big Wreck” Wednesday night & the elevator was out of order.  3 flights of stairs down & 3 flights up that night.  My body has been sore the entire week, so I called it for the week on Thursday.

500 crunches, 300 leg lifts, 100 squats, 100 back flexes & stairs, oh so many stairs.

 

I fell asleep to “Alter Bridge” the album “Walk the Sky” followed by “I Built the Sky” the album “The Zenith Rise”

 

I’m a cancer survivor & I’m complaining about what?  A diagnoses like this would absolutely devastate me.  I got cancer before our 3rd anniversary.  This guy was on his honeymoon when he noticed the symptoms of ALS.  #AXEALS   Another disease that doesn’t care how healthy you are.  Not cool!  I survived, this guy & many more people want him to survive.  The REALLY sad thing here is that I’ve never heard of an ALS survivor.  Many people have survived cancer though.

When you see people in worse scenarios than you’re currently in & you’ve been whining & complaining about your own situation, it SERIOUSLY puts things into perspective.

A guy wants food at a drive-thru, done, no problem.  I was ready to go in & sit down with him, get him out of the cold, chat with him, have a warm beverage, some food, & see if I could bring him some sweaters in my closet later on.

A guy with ALS, all I could do is listen.  Maybe that’s what he wants other than the cure.

I see stuff like this & all I can think is “WOW!  I need to lighten up & start paying more attention to others”.  If I’m not part of the solution, I’m part of the problem.  Right now, I can listen, I can shut up & listen.  My problems are constantly getting better, & hopefully I’ll be able to help out in other ways eventually.   I’m alive, I’m surrounded by family & friends that love me, I’ve got a home, food, etc.

People want to leave a mark on the world, something to be remembered for.  Throughout this entire blog/website I’ve been complaining about my situation.  I’ve complained more than enough.  I want to be remembered as a person that tried & a person that would always be willing to help out others.  I’d help out others before cancer, so why not now?

Being on the other side of that scenario for so long has made me realize something.  Any size of help you can give is always more appreciated than you’ll ever know.  Hearing someone say “Thank You” or “God bless you” for something so small is something a person doesn’t forget.

Of course the bigger stuff I can’t do.  I could possibly volunteer somewhere or look for a non-profit organization to help out with in the future.  I can do some smaller things to A) Pay it forward   B) Pay it back to those that have & still are helping me.

I like my fitness, but I can’t just do that forever.  Kim & I have talked about going down & up a flight of stairs once a week.  Kim will have to assist me, so I can avoid cracking open my head.  Going down 3 flights the other evening was exhausting & much more difficult than going up, not sure why though?

 

BIG WRECK

The concert was FANTASTIC!  That was the 14th time I’ve seen Big Wreck since January 30th 1999.  They used to come through Regina about 4 times on each of the first 2 albums.  They broke up in 2002, then I went to the lead singer’s new band “Thornley” until 2012.  Even when I was in my rehabilitation program I went!  I wasn’t sold on the “Thornley” albums though.

2012 came & “Big Wreck” had re-established themselves with 2 of the original 4 members & 3 new members.  Unfortunately returning member/guitarist Brian Doherty passed away of cancer after recording their newest/6th album.

The band on stage seemed content though & the concert was great, including the opening group “Texas King”….

Big Wreck played 5 or 6 of their new songs.  Starting off with this new song.

Last year he says “I’m not going to play that song again”.  Wednesday night, they played it.

Set closer.

Encore.

No “Thornley” songs were played, but here’s a very brief look into their catalogue.

 

If you’re getting this through Facebook, give it a like or other reaction, or share it.  That’s the only way of promoting this site, since I’m not profiting from this in any way.

 

 “I feel good about the good things, & bad about the bad things”-David Grohl 

 

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris             

 

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

LET’S TALK ABOUT CANCER

No such thing as a stupid question! Feel free to ask me on Facebook or the website!

http://www.youtube.com links are there for a point of reference if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Facebook subscription https://www.facebook.com/A-Million-Miles-Away-Blog-1597618270456002/

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Do you have a question about stage 4 brain cancer? Ask if you do!

My left shoulder was incredibly sore on Thursday, no exercise that day, just ice & stretching.

MONDAY IS A CANADIAN HOLIDAY TO HONOUR OUR VETERANS ON/AT 11/11 11:11. KEEP THEM IN YOUR THOUGHTS YEAR ‘ROUND!!! I’LL RETURN TO YOU MONDAY SOMETIME.

5 day exercise total; 1,500 crunches, 900 leg lifts, 300 squats, 300 back flexes, 0 pushups, 400 curls, 00 tricep lifts, 100 shoulder raises. TONS of stretching & yoga.

I fell asleep to “Into Eternity” the album “Dead or Dreaming”

I exercised to “Kelly Clarkson” the album “Meaning of Life”

 

I’ve learned that not every diet works for everybody. Sometimes it’s a trend that will work for some, but not others & some people will stick to it for how “Everlong”, some will go back to their regular eating habits & SURPRISE your body will revert to its former shape & size. “In the end” eat what makes YOU feel good & look the way YOU want.


As I say this, please know I’m not calling out/trying to offend anyone. We are often invited elsewhere.
Being a cancer survivor is weird. Initially everyone is really worried, once they think you’re OK people ‘seem’ to forget you exist & revert to their life as it was when you we’re sick & out of the picture. I’m not trying to call out anyone here, I kind of get it. 4 ½ years without the presence of anyone can be completely life changing. Kim & I disappeared for a long time. Now if the phone rings, if Kim gets a text or if I get an email that someone wants to come by we’re shocked. It feels very “isolated” here in a condo & in an odd way I understand. I’ve changed a lot & so have others. Everybody has different priorities now & me having to figure out the lay of the land in a wheelchair isn’t the easiest thing. If I can’t get around a friend’s place, our door is always open, especially if you bring rum! Specifically Bacardi Oakheart spiced rum, Baron Samedi spiced rum or Sangria for Kim, who drinks alcohol far less than me. It’ll take me longer than you think to consume it since it’s on the rocks & not often.

Surviving cancer is weird in many ways. ‘He’s alive, he’s OK, we did our job & saved his life’ maybe that’s what my nurses & therapists thought, & that’s all they were supposed to think, in my mind. Most of them became friends that went beyond their job to help me and they’re all people I have a TON of respect for, current friend or not.

What’s weird here is that after I was in the hospital & the Wascana Rehabilitation Center for an extended period of time, I’m alive & getting better, but we’re missing my full income. That’s not my nurses, therapists or doctors fault. Most things were covered by Canada’s health plan. Our mortgage was covered for 2 years. Rent for my room at WRC was $1000/month & not covered by anything. You need money to survive. My wife works a full 8 hour day, 5 days a week. I collect disability until I’m 65 and CPP for the rest of my life. Together they don’t amount to $28,000 a year. If there was a box on the ballot to check off for politicians to comprehend that, it would have been marked with my vote. I didn’t have that option & no candidate spoke about it. From what I can tell, people with extended term disabilities in the public are forgotten about by politicians. That makes no sense to me at all? So I’m a financial burden whether I like it or not? “Life’s not fair you idiot! Lighten up!” So because I’m not physically strong enough to get a job, I’m forgotten & I should be happy with that while being a burden too? No, I’m sorry, that’s not good enough! I don’t want to be a burden & forgotten. I’m sure I’m not the only one in this type of situation either. Because of cancer I have created many bad/unwanted/uncommon ripple effects. I don’t understand that? I do plan to get an online part time job in the future & contribute to society & earn a small paycheck.

The left brake on my free wheelchair broke multiple times & after 2 or 3 separate times Sask. Abilities weren’t able to fix it properly for $50 each time. I got a different chair for just over $7,000 and $1000 of that was covered by our government & they’ll cover it once in a life time. The rest of it was paid out of pocket. My parents & Grandparents have helped out immensely with these expenses, I don’t want to go back to the well. I researched & I voted to see if maybe the Canadian Government would change, it didn’t. So for the next 4 years I get to be alive but not live?

I’m not someone looking for a handout of cash, this is my life & I guess I have to deal with it. I don’t want the Government to just fix my situation, just level the playing field a bit for everyone. I have a retirement disability savings plan. I can put in $5000 a year I think & it triples the amount. I can’t touch that money that I deposit for 10 years. So I’ll have some money in 9 years, until then my wife & I get to live as is & not do much of anything? Prices have gone up with inflation, I would think my salary would have as well, I’m not looking to be rich, I would like to make an income closer to what I was at when I passed out “in the meantime”.

I was head hunted by a different company & got a significant raise to stay where I was. I had some other issues with how the other company was being managed as well. I’m glad I stayed where I was, the other place no longer exists. I don’t know if they thought I could improve their chances of staying afloat? I was the youngest employee where I was, running 1 of the 2 larger printing presses where I was though.

I’m not going to be the poster boy for this, but I will support this cause. I’m not a person that gets into politics. I don’t like messing around in politics and I plan to stay away from it. That being said, I did send an email to the Canadian Federal Government asking about this issue. I got cancer, & it’s nobody’s fault. I’m not looking to get rich, I’m looking to make a similar wage as I made before I got cancer.

If you’re Canadian & want to voice your opinion on anything, this is the Governments website http://www.canada.ca

There are people FAR worse off than I am & nobody pays attention to them, but that’s supposed to be ‘Not our problem’? A TON of people want food, water, & shelter. Why have I been whining about my situation for so long? They’re other people who are worse off than the rest of us.

What do I not like? Whiners, complainers, fake people & people who don’t do their job at a respectable level. I’m certain I am all of those things, but fake, on this post & the entire website. I guess that long road to recovery is longer than I thought. Call me whatever you want to, but don’t call me fake. I can handle whatever you throw at me other than fake.

I hear we may have out of town guests this weekend that would be FANTASTIC!

I use streaming music until the funds are there to purchase music on iTunes or CD. I personally refuse to attain music by streaming it. Same deal with texting & photos. I do not like either one of them, so owning a cell phone would make me a hypocrite in my eyes.

Like them or not a cell phone can be VERY distracting at times.
https://loudwire.com/tool-warn-ejection-show-cellphone-use/?fbclid=IwAR2gvbsT7pORXbwM7X7S9ZtTvYPQKMzifsdqxc5on9wHd6xNEW2YneQqxgw

 

9 albums streaming right now, not cool with me. Hello iTunes, slowly, next year! Any streaming service could tank at any moment and I’d be left with nothing, that’s why I use iTunes, a minimal paying site.

 

I BUILT THE SKY
I just found out about this band the other day. 4 albums in total, instrumental progressive rock (they’re classified as metal but call me jaded) with a couple of classical guitar & orchestral tracks too. I’ve never heard music like this! I grabbed their newest album on a streaming platform for a future purchase “The Zenith Rise”…




 

If you’re getting this through Facebook, give it a like or other reaction, or share it. That’s the only way of promoting this site, since I’m not profiting from this in any way.

“I feel good about the good things, & bad about the bad things”-David Grohl

We’re all Global Citizens,
Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

WHAT’S UP

It doesn’t seem as though many people are reading this?  Either way, I’ll write it for me as a type of public journal.  Read it if you like.

No such thing as a stupid question! Feel free to ask me on Facebook or the website!
http://www.youtube.com links are there for a point of reference if you don’t know what I’m talking about.
Facebook subscription https://www.facebook.com/A-Million-Miles-Away-Blog-1597618270456002/
Email subscription http://www.amillionmilesawayblog.com
Do you have a question about stage 4 brain cancer? Ask if you do!
Music throughout the weekend. “Jimmy Eat World”, “Alter Bridge”, “Big Wreck”, “TOOL”, “Pink”.



We took Brewster to the Vet Friday afternoon, he’ll be 14 on January 31st. He started coughing, 3 or 4 smoker coughs in a row followed by a gag, that’s what it sounds like. They did some X-rays & his heart is only a bit enlarged with a serious murmur. The X-rays have been sent to a cardiologist & we should hear back either on Sunday or Monday. There’s a combo of 3 medications he’ll eventually need, likely one at the moment. Not the expensive one yet thank goodness. I wanted to make sure he wasn’t in pain, I thought it was more urgent than it actually is. We knew all of this was happening & assumed it was a right now thing. He’s getting old, & this stuff happens. We caught it in the early stages, so he’ll likely start on a cheaper medication Monday. The expensive one works out to $75/month YEESH! No price tag on his life though, as long as he’s not in pain.

He needs to put on some weight too. He’s not eating much at all unless he’s spent the day at doggy daycare. He loves wet dog food, it smells terrible. I mix some of his dry food with some wet food for him twice a day, then he’ll eat it. Straight wet food does NOT agree with his tummy.

I’ve put the house hunting on the back burner. We have to sell our place first before we can offer on another. This is a wait & see situation, no point in stressing about something until it happens. It’s not on the back burner really, I’ve just figured there’s not much point in worrying about what I can’t do anything about.  A ton of new/empty condos in Regina, lot’s of supply, not nearly as much demand.
We have 3 places in mind. One is at the top of our price range & we’d need to see, in person, how my wheelchair fits. Another is priced higher than our range, but a possibility & the 3rd is a fantasy that would likely need a pile of work

Kim tells me she’s getting me a Christmas present. I said keep the cash & use it for something more important. She was going to give me money to start saving up for a guitar, I found 2 I’d like but don’t need. A house eventually & Brewster are far more important. The $2378 + tax for 2 guitars can wait, if I started now it could still take me a few years. I need to build up muscle in my fretting hand first anyways. It’s weird, I’m a beginner that knows too much. My mind is ahead of my hands.

Life in general feels that way at the moment. Most days my mind is racing to do things here, but I’m slowed down by being in a wheelchair & vice versa on other days when I get anxious to do something but have no energy.

I’ve been relearning guitar, so I learned the first time using a simple chord book & moved onto learning tab music. It tells you what fret & string to press down to play a chord, riff, or solo in a song. I know the chords & I know many songs. I’ve been using http://www.youtube.com to learn this time & this is what I’ve learned. Every youtube individual has learned a different way. I learned in 2001, before youtube & after seeing all of these different ways to learn I’ve decided to relearn the way I need to. Relearn the 40+ songs I knew, I’m playing more by ear trying to relearn what I know & maybe I don’t do things properly but that’s how I play. As long as it sounds correct, I really don’t care what finger I’m using on which string. I am trying to use my pinky finger more than I used to though, gotta strengthen that finger!

The only thing I’ve seen on youtube about learning guitar which I somewhat agree with is ‘Buy nice gear’. All I need is a small practice amp, which I have. I bought it as a used amp from my brother, so it was reasonably priced & louder than I need. I don’t own a guitar over $1000 other than possibly the Fender signed by Ian Thornley of Big Wreck. I’ve shopped for 2 practical choices online, I don’t know if Long & McQuade sales people earn commission but if I end up buying one of the 2 someday it will be through Mr. Tim Roth of local metal heroes “Into Eternity”. Here are the links if you care to check them out?
https://www.long-mcquade.com/22227/Guitars/Electric_Guitars/Gibson/Matt_Heafy_Les_Paul_Custom_7_String_Electric_Guitar.htm?ref=suggestive-search

https://www.long-mcquade.com/100349/Guitars/Electric-Guitars/Paul-Reed-Smith/2018-SE-Custom-22-Semi-Hollow-Electric-Guitar—Vintage-Sunburst.htm

A guitar can go up to $250,000, at least from what I’ve seen online? I don’t think it’s even near worth that much I doubt a guitar that much would be much different than a $3,000 guitar. If I had the cash, $2,000 would be the ultimate top price I’d even consider. I’ve played many live shows with a $600 guitar, & now I play at home. The guitars I chose are a “want” not a “need”. That’s why they are a last priority, under Brewster’s health & a house in that order.

Guitar was most of my Saturday, followed by the Roughrider game on TV in Edmonton. Yay, the Saskatchewan Roughriders won 27-24! Last game of the regular season next Saturday in Regina. My 2nd last game as a season ticket holder. There will be a home playoff game that I’ve/Kim has paid for already as of last December. (Way to go, hit the season ticket holders right at Christmas?!)

Just because I’m Canadian doesn’t mean I’m a hockey fanatic. I’m a hockey score board watcher. Saskatchewan doesn’t have a professional/NHL team. We have a junior hockey team in the Western Hockey League. The NHL heritage classic was this Saturday in Regina. An outdoor NHL game at the football stadium. If it involved either Edmonton &/or Montreal I would’ve inquired about using my season ticket seats for the game. The game is Calgary vs. Winnipeg, I’m out. I rarely watch hockey anyways. I only watch the Canadian Football League & the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team.

Today we are spending the day in the kitchen. I’ve boiled my eggs, Kim is making a lasagna for the week & when she’s done I’ll make a pitcher of vegetable juice.
TOOL almost started the studio on fire while recording the album “Fear Inoculum”
https://loudwire.com/tool-fire-studio-recording-fear-inoculum/?fbclid=IwAR26cpHXbqVrwHXPNRVuVTcjspPZGYYP2gCBTJc-RGngS7_Eq57LpBM4RuM
JIMMY EAT WORLD
Yep, they released a new album on Friday, October 18th 2019. That makes 9 albums thus far. I have 5 of them. New album out the same day as a new “Alter Bridge” which I can’t stop listening to. “Jimmy Eat World” are a pop/punk band. More emphasis on the pop part, I guess guitar based pop with a slight punk/rock tilt is more appropriate? Anyways here are a few songs from their new album “Surviving”….



If you’re getting this through Facebook, give it a like or other reaction. That’s the only way of promoting this site, since I’m not profiting from this in any way.
“I feel good about the good things, & bad about the bad things”-David Grohl
We’re all Global Citizens,
Chris
“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres