Wednesday, June 26, 2013

RIP ‘I’ve Still Got Both My Nuts’

“The name of my book is I've Still Got Both My Nuts: A True Cancer Story. My goal is that someday John Doe will complain to his buddy about his day. John’s friend will listen and may even sympathize a little. Then he’ll say, 'Yeah, but you’ve still got both your nuts, right?'" – my first blog entry titled Cancer People, Feb. 27, 2007

PingPongGirl and I sat in one of UVA’s libraries brainstorming titles for my book. I kept my writing a secret from most people, but she was one of my brightest friends and studied literature, so I had asked if she would edit it. I couldn’t pay her, but we did make a deal which I later described in an article for my university’s newspaper.

PingPongGirl circled the title “I’ve Still Got Both My Nuts” in her notebook which sat on the library table, between her coffee and my manuscript. She remained seated after that to study Russian literature. I left to neglect my schoolwork and complete my life’s greatest work. Naturally I used the same title for this blog when I began it months later.

The title demonstrated my writing’s raw edginess, and my openness no matter how disturbing or embarrassing the experience. PingPongGirl and I were unable to see that nobody would buy a book by that title; that my blog's title would lead to hits from internet searches like “I want your cock inside me my true story.” We lacked knowledge about brand management and target audiences.

The book’s title changed when I landed a publisher, but I kept “I’ve Still Got Both My Nuts” for this blog. I later added the subtitle “The Super Man Cancerslayer Blog” to correlate with my book’s superhero theme.
Ive Still Got Both My Nuts blog header

Now eight years later, I am letting go. This blog’s new title matches its URL: cancerslayerblog. I slayed cancer twice. Some of my stories are about slaying cancer. I speak about growing into young adulthood after having slayed cancer. I am beginning to understand branding, or at least the value of simplicity. Robots will soon crawl the internet and replace “I’ve Still Got Both My Nuts,” but it will live on in my heart (and in small writing under my new blog header).

To you wonderful readers who subscribe to my old blog feed: you will still receive my stories without having to do anything! And to you other wonderful readers who don’t subscribe but are considering it: check out my awesome new feed at

I am very grateful to you for reading my stories and following my life journey. I will continue trying to amuse and inspire you in different ways, including a special one later this year, though I can’t reveal any more than that.

Sincerely, your still-both-nutted friend,

Leia Mais…

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dancing With Fear: A Day in My Life Without a Left Pelvic Bone

I walk like a penguin, I think, chuckling at my short stride. The pain in my hip is significant when I shift weight to my left leg. The pain ascends rapidly the further I step forward, so I shuffle. This sensation is not deep inside like the lightning strikes I felt when my tumor was growing long ago, but instead it shoots out towards my abductors.

I envision my pain as an iron plate, compacted by the burden of cancer, consuming the space formerly occupied by cancerous bone. This plate does not respect my orthopedic oncology surgeon's handiwork -- muscle stapled and taped to other muscle -- and is waiting to explode downward, like it is playing Don't Break the Ice against my soft tissue.

I think back on recent events to uncover the pain's cause...

Days ago I danced at a wedding. Historically I had been the loner watching the dance floor from afar, but this time I visited YouTube, where a smooth Asian gentleman taught me basic moves.

Mary was so wildly attractive that it slipped my mind to baby my left hip. How could that happen considering that my subconscious has always protected my hip even when intoxicated by alcohol, Benadryl or prescription narcotics?

Mary and I hopped around to Kool and the Gang. When the DJ switched to oldies, I wrapped my right arm around her lean waist and swung my hips, looking through her brown-rimmed glasses that matched her hair, wondering how she looked without her spectacles and other apparel. Her glistening red lips sang all the words, and then teased me for not knowing any.

I wish that smooth Asian gentleman was in my ear. I know he would suggest I take Mary to the bar between dancing. At the end of the night, he'd tell me to charm her into coming to my hotel instead of letting her vacillate. She was waiting for my persuasion, but I am incapable of acting in a way that feels un-gentlemanly.

I don't remember feeling pain the next morning when I slid off my bed and went down to the gym, where I contemplated measures to prevent another Mary from sliding away. Did my hip hurt the day after that? Yes, definitely, because I considered going on crutches, but I was with my family and didn't want them to know. Instead, I penguin-walked when no one was looking and masked the pain when they were around.

I crutched for the next three days. Simple movements caused explosions in my hip, so I kept my left leg limp. It is now the third night and I am lying in bed. When I wake up tomorrow I will take my first step on my left leg to test it. Keep reading, here

Leia Mais…