Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Not Feeling Like Myself Lately

When I announced last month that I had cancer, I said that I'd do my best not to turn TSSBP into a cancer blog. I'm still committed to that, but I'm finding that my treatment is causing me to make some changes in how I interact with others online. Since my last update on how my treatment's been going (at the bottom of my Thanksgiving post), I ended up having a bad day after Thanksgiving until I got rid of some bad humours. (It was pretty impressive.) Feeling about 100x better, I celebrated by running around the blogosphere spreading my own particular brand of truth and light. Reading over those posts later on, I realized that they ended up being much nastier and condescending than I intended them to be. Not to make any excuses, but my thought processes seemed somehow "strange" and frenetic to me.

In a moment of clarity, I realized that as my body fights to repair the damage being caused by the radiation treatments I'm getting each weekday morning (just finished #8 of 25 planned today), it's gotta be wreaking havoc on my normal processes. I've gotten over 1,600 rads of x-rays to my stomach/esophagus over the last 12 days; I could see my body concentrating more on cell repair rather than brain chemical regulation. (Plus, I'm sure the chemo chemicals didn't help that much.)

Bottom line: Until I'm sure that it's the real "me" that's posting, I'm going to do my best to avoid any emotional topics online. I expect this will be a few months; who knows what the painkillers might do to my cognitive functions once I start taking those. I'll still post here, and maybe leave innocuous "good post" or "happy blogiversary" and especially "your prayers/good thoughts are appreciated" comments elsewhere, but I'm going to do my best to avoid going beyond that. (Can't promise anything, of course; some especially ridiculous comment by the Kooky Local Simpleton might set me off, or Lt. Raymond Perry USN (Ret.) might post another article about submarines, and no one can truly predict the future.)

And to all those I offended over the weekend, please accept my heartfelt apology.

Update 1415 05 Dec: I decided to modify my "policy" on non-substantive comments to include allowing myself to correct obvious factual errors in a non-emotional manner. I was on the verge of tearing out my armpit hair trying to keep myself from commenting otherwise.

23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long time reader here but I've never really ever commented but this is one topic that unfortunately I know all too well. I had cancer earlier this year and after a few months of chemo and surgeries I suppose I can relate. In fact, reading your blog was part of my routine in my weekend distractions. Best of luck with the treatments and I hope it all goes as smoothly as possible. I look forward to a few months from now when you're back to posting in full force.

12/02/2008 3:54 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Wouldn't hold back too much. Mort Sahl used to end his act looking out at the audience and asking 'Is there anyone here I haven't offended?' Good approach. And recall the words of wisdom from Bette Midler.

The very best to you as you truck through this bout of tough times.

12/02/2008 3:55 PM

 
Anonymous ninme said...

That's interesting. I noticed the same thing happened to Laura Ingraham (on the radio) when she was getting treatment for breast cancer. She was way more negative and sarcastic than usual. But hey, people still loved her.

You should probably stick to happy topics anyway tho and besides, there's always catblogging!

12/02/2008 4:02 PM

 
Blogger reddog said...

Believe me when I tell you this. The effects of Chemo and radiation are real but much more apparent to the subject than to family, friends and co-workers. Besides, this is one of those times in your life when you are allowed to be a little whacky. Enjoy it. Break new ground.

Write about whatever you like. If you don't want to do it here, do it on my blog. I love crazy stuff and it's not like anyone ever reads my posts.

12/02/2008 4:03 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel,
You can do anything you want Brother, this is your gig. Thoughts and prayers for you and the family. Maintain zero bubble...
Gordo

12/02/2008 5:13 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You never did tell me why you call him Fast Eddie. And are you the author of the Topeka wikipedia page?

In any event,
GET WELL!!!!!

12/02/2008 5:56 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel,
I didn't think you were particularly nasty or condescending in that "Rant" post. Sure did pick up on your opinions though. That's surely OK in my book if you don't mind some push-back from time to time. I surely don't take it personal from you.

Keep the focus on your cancer tx and whippin that sucker. You know were pulling for you.

Keep a zero bubble shipmate....

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET

12/02/2008 6:23 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry about it-everybody has an off day, and you certainly have a reason for those days. I think most steady readers have a good feel for who you are, and can probably tell when your treatments are affecting you. You are in many people's prayers, so just keep on bloggin'.
MMCS(SS) USN RET.

12/02/2008 7:40 PM

 
Blogger chief torpedoman said...

Joel,
Lt. Raymond Perry USN (Ret.) might post another article about submarines..?

Now that goes back three years! Strange that we haven't heard more of him though. Did anyone see him post about submarines in the last couple of years?

Post what you want to Joel. Lot's of people will read it. I hope lots of people are helping you and your family during these times. Please let us know whatever we can do to help.

God bless

12/02/2008 7:45 PM

 
Blogger Chap said...

I hadn't seen anything *particularly* bad, but was hoping for something. You keep doin' what yer doin', man.

12/02/2008 11:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the Chief.

This is your blog, Joel. Post what you like in any way you wish to present it. This is your sanctuary to do with as you please. It's obvious you're mindful of other people's feelings and points of view.

Never be sorry for speaking from the heart even if the subject matter counteracts or contradicts some one else's opinion. Another nice attribute about this blog is that everyone is allowed to have their say.

Thanks, J.

12/02/2008 11:47 PM

 
Blogger Buck said...

Absolutely agree with reddog. Your family and friends don't see the same extremes you do. Ride it out and let your inner muse loose!

12/03/2008 7:28 AM

 
Anonymous retired cpo skimmer said...

put yourself on a little in-port holiday routine. Enjoy brunch, etc.

12/03/2008 8:59 AM

 
Blogger Sandy Salt said...

muterJoel,
It is your party and you have every right to post as you feel. Our regard for you will not change and you will remain in our thoughts and prayers.
Sandy

12/03/2008 10:36 AM

 
Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

Hang in there shipmate! I can see others are looking out for you in here.

12/03/2008 2:19 PM

 
Blogger Sabra said...

I disagreed with you on part of your rant post, but I didn't find you nasty or condescending in the least. Maybe a little bitchy, but in your position you get to be. Do what you feel necessary, but anyone who gets offended needs to deal with their problem, not push it off on you.

12/03/2008 7:18 PM

 
Anonymous GomerB said...

I'll be here no matter you decide to write about. Do what you think is best, but don't worry too much about offending folks at your party. We come to hear your thoughts and frankly, even if you're a little out of sorts I'm guessing you'll still have more thoughtful comments than most of the blogosphere. (Me, I'm usually horse's aft without chemistry to explain my behavior.)

God's speed, brother.

12/03/2008 7:25 PM

 
Blogger Subvet said...

So who places posts on their blog with diplomacy in mind? Fire away, anyone doesn't like it they can leave.

12/03/2008 9:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought you should know...I Googled "Mad Comics Christmas Carols" and discovered your blog (from last year's entries) just tonight! Turns out we've had the same 70's stuff rattling around in our brains these past couple of decades. I still have the entire "Sam and Roz" thing going on each and every time I hear it's accompanying tune. I can't tell you what a blast it was to read that post (2007) as well as the earlier one (2005). You gave me a smile and I thank you.

Sending good thoughts and prayers your way for a speedy recovery!

LM

12/03/2008 9:23 PM

 
Blogger bothenook said...

so in a couple more treatments from now, sneak in a big spider, and let it get zapped too. then piss it off so it bites you.
tadaaaaa, instant Spiderman. everyone knows spiderman is so super that cancer just isn't in his lexicon.
problem solved!
sheesh, it takes an old time nuke to figger these things out for you young whippersnappers.
call anytime for more free advice!

12/03/2008 10:19 PM

 
Anonymous Littlebrother said...

I am praying for you bubblehead. try to stay positive. one bright spot to keep onto is that you will have some four-wheeling to do in July! Love you big bro!

12/04/2008 3:42 AM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

Thanks for all the great comments and support!

For the 3rd Anonymous, I finally got around to answering your "Fast Eddie" question over in the other thread; I didn't write the Wiki, it was just his nickname even before he showed up on the boat. For all his flaws as a leader, the guy could drive fast attack submarines.

As all of you know, I've never had (and still don't have) a problem with being nasty when I think it's appropriate (or even humorous). What worried me about my postings this weekend is that I was being nasty when I didn't mean to be. The comment that made me realize I was a little out of control is here; Dennis Mansfield is one of the most genuinely decent guys I've met here in Idaho, and he does a lot of good work for the community. I knew that he most likely didn't even realize that what he was saying was insulting, and I only intended to let him know it was insultin, but ended up being inappropriately nasty. That, plus some of the responses I was coming up with in my head to post on my "Rant" thread were a little scary. (Example: "I could give a rat's ass about that some ill-informed Californians don't know the difference between the FLDS and the LDS Church. If they can't reconcile their belief that the LDS Church still practices / supports polygamy with the fact that Prop 8 puts the same restictions on polygamy as it does gay marriage, then they probably aren't too smart to begin with.")

And to my "little" brother, whose comment is just above this one -- I look forward to doing more 4-wheeling with you soon.

12/04/2008 5:58 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank for the fast eddie response!! Get well!

One of your active duty officer anonymous posters

12/04/2008 8:56 AM

 

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