A Blog about Career Changes, Madness, and My Awful Brain

Friday, August 26, 2011

I have Cancer.

The world is funny sometimes. Sometimes we laugh at it's jokes, sometimes we cry. Every now and then it pulls a joke so awful that we laugh, so we don't cry. It seems, lately, that I've been the butt of some really unkind jokes; is it too late now that I realize now that those jokes weren't as terrible as I thought they were? Shit, they may have been of way of toughening me up, making me resilient, making me the type of man who is able tell the world to fuck off while I stood back up and went on with my life. Best of all, maybe it was to teach me how to take a joke..and to laugh as I cleaned up yet another mess caused by the universes myriad jokes.

Well folks I've finally learned the lessons the universe has taught me, and it couldn't be a moment too soon. Because now I'm dealing with something that isn't quite as easy to shake off.

You see, I've just been diagnosed with colo-rectal cancer. Like my last post intimated, I've been having some symptoms....problems with my ol' pooper. Yesterday, I got a colonscopy to see what was going on in there. My expectations were that it was some sort of ulcerative colitis or maybe, at worst, Chrohns. Cancer was not even in my mind.....cancer in the colon in people under 40 is extremely rare...something like 3% of colon cancer cases.

Well, they found a tumour in my rectum 3 to 4 cm big. The doctors think there is a very large chance of it being malignant, but have no idea of how long it's been there. The next couple of weeks I will be have ultrasounds, cat scans and other tests to get a better sense of the stage this cancer is in. The doctors will want to see if the cancer has spread, and this will give them an idea of how to go about fighting this thing.

And folks, I will fight. You have my guarantee.

Now, it seems to me that this is going to interrupt some of my plans. The surgery that I will eventually get will be a very intense one, that will have me in the hospital for some time. I also expect, based on the staging, that I will have to get radiation or chemotherapy.

My first thought, after learning about the cancer, was not about death or dying. My first thought was that I would have to quit school. My plans, plans that I was really excited about, were in the toilet. I wouldn't be able to go to school and handle this at the same time. I also thought about how tough it would be to be employed at all.

But I've thought long and hard about this. I'm no longer letting the world dictate what I do or do not do. I'm tired of having every plan I set up being knocked down. I'm tired of the jokes.

Dear Universe....fuck you. I am going to keep going to school. And no matter what bullshit you send at me, I'm going to handle it. Because I AM smart, goddamit. Because I am resilient. Because I am Daniel Contreras, you fucking cocksucker, and you can't beat me that easily.

My friends, I'm not going to pretend I don't need your help. I will need your support more than ever. I was sort of hesistant, at first, to announce this news. I won't lie to you...even though I'm making this public, I would appreciate some distance from you....I need your support, but right now I also need some space for my family and I. However, any of you who want to talk, either by phone or email or messaging, I am available. I won't promise you I won't break into tears if you call me, but that's just par for course for now.

I will keep you all updated...all of you who care about me. With a little luck, It won't be as serious as I think it will. But no matter how serious and bad this may be...I want to again asssure you that I'm not going to give up. Even in my moments of weakness, I won't give up. Because you won't let me give up. And I don't want to give up.

And if I ever feel like giving me up, just give me a hug, and kick my ass. But not my actual ass...cuz, you know...rectal cancer and everything. Just a little left of my ass. Okay no, maybe we'll say a slap in the face.

Just give me a slap in the face.

I love you all.



  1. Dan, I'm really really sorry to hear about this. A big "fuck you" to the universe indeed!

    Good on you though for not letting it make decisions for you. You're excited about school and you should do things that excite you!! Staying home and having cancer is not a reasonable substitute. Naturally things might change in the future, but you're not giving up, you're keeping control over what you can control... No slaps for you :)


    PS You're probably right about the ass jokes... this is a real bummer =)

  2. Thanks Kerri.

    It's been an emotional time for me, but I'm feeling a bit better today. Thanks for your support.

  3. Dan,

    The greatest lessons I've learned in my life are ones that it seems your close
    to living. The first is that I finally understand exactly how short my life is, and
    and that i have absolutely no time for anyone's bullshit, no matter how large or small. I'm not an asshole to them, but I interrupt then and stop them immediately when they try and start their trash. Granted there are lots of times people dont realize when they do something inconsiderate, selfish, or stupid; but there is no room for excuses, no time left to spend on "I didn't mean it". It's finally time to stand up and actually tell that person that you got offendid, that you dont appreciate that, that you don't like them and prefer they leave you alone. Be absolutely 100% honest and forthcomming with your reactions, desires, and intentions.

    The second thing, is that there is nothing in the world that holds more importance than this moment, right here, right now. Because yesterday is forever gone, left only to shadows of thought. Tomorow, will NEVER get here, it will ALWAYS be today. Both yesterday and tomorow are only figments of your immagenation; no different than a child dreaming of beimg an astronaut while feeling bad they got spanked for tellin lies yesterday.
    In alchoholics anonymous (A.A.) they say: "If you have one foot in the past, an one foot in the future, your only shitting on today". Crude, but wise words. While dealing with the severity of your diagnosis, you should make your plans, but stop basing your current life off the events of your past. Dan, you are not yours or anyone elses mistakes. You are a beautiful, generous, careing, young man; filling with integrity, and over-flowing with character.

    Your journey, plans, goals, aspirations, hardships, mistakes, and misgivings are not what measures real happiness. Happiness comes in short bursts of thriving and living in the moment. Think back, I'd bet that you enjoyed a great passionate kiss far more than you enjoyed buckling down and smiling through hard times just to reach that goal. But, then discovering that there is ALWAYS yet another goal.

    Sorry if i sounded preachy or long winded, just alot to say for stuff that so important. Hang in there bro!

  4. Best of luck fighting this Evoman (Dan)