generalizations, hospitals

christopher william holt bio photo By christopher william holt


It’s been nearly a month since my last post, and I Just completed my 12th appointment of radiation, which makes today my 19th consecutive day (in rubies: #{ -,10,31).yday}) of oral chemotherapy. I am taking Temozolomide (Temodar), and have been experiencing absolutely no side effects from the chemotherapy nor the radiation.

My schedule for the last few weeks has been:

  • 06:00 Wake up, get ready for the day.
  • 06:45 Take Zofran (dissolvable anti-nausea tablet).
  • 07:00 Head to CitiBike @ Christopher Street between Hudson and Greenwich (please don’t take all the bikes, I need it), bike to the 6 @ Astor Place.
  • 07:15 Take Temozolomide (Temodar).
  • 07:30 Arrive 68th Street / Hunter College, take M66 to York Ave or walk (are you seeing how great I’ve become at mass transit??).
  • 08:15 Radiation appointment. I try to get there at 08:00 and am usually out by 08:10. Take hooded sweatshirt off, lay down on table, I close my eyes, my mask is snapped into place on my head, whirrwhirr/woooshwoosh and two minutes later I am done. Everyone at Stich Radiation(NYP) is professional, courteous and most of all friendly.
  • 09:00 Arrive at Picturelife NYC down on 28th and Broadway to work on interesting problems, of which the past two weeks have offered plenty.

So then, I start my day. I’ve found I don’t have as much time as I would like to continue trying to run, and have found that on this schedule I am going to bed as early as 9 or 10pm sometimes. However, on November 9th I was happy to have been involved with the Breakthrough for Brain Tumors 5k fundraiser, where my team raked in a total of $14,673.19 of fundraising, making us the 2nd place team. Incredible. I completed the 5k “run” in an official time of 49 minutes and 31 seconds, my original very attainable goal was 50 minutes, so I was content.

My completion date for Radiation and Chemotherapy is December 17th.

So maybe I spoke too soon, because wouldn’t you know it, shortly after writing all of the above I began to eat lunch and noticed some hair in my salad. Turns out it was my hair, and it was falling out by the clump – mostly from the area where I am receiving radiation.

Here’s a pic from today:

hair loss

Good thing side-shaving is in style, right? right? It looks pretty badass, and now you can really see the scar, instead of it just looking like a half assed bald spot. I’m still full of energy and cranking out improvements to Picturelife everyday. Hopefully writing this here now won’t backfire on me. I don’t believe it will. Also, apparently my beard won’t be stopped.


Something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is how extremely generalized Cancer is. For nearly all things in life, with greater context you should be able to intellectualize and comprehend them in a deeper manner. Given my own situation and behavioral personality (Myers-Briggs ISTP) I really have no choice but to try and understand as much as possible about my disease.

I know I’m beating it, and I know it could kill me. I believe it’s the latter part of that last sentence that stops not just people, but even industries of healthcare or massive fundraising organizations, from really understanding that cancer is extremely different from one person to the next.

A person’s cancer does not define who they are, but it is important to remember that it is a part of them, and we are all extremely and easily malleable to the point of health or death. The name of the charitable organization “stand up 2 cancer” - which probably does amazing things for the cancer suffering community - is a good example of what is lacking: the person whom has the cancer we are standing up to. Consider the difference: “stand up 2 cwh’s cancer” it’s now much more understood what is being fought for.

This is why I started this blog, and why I have attempted to be as transparent as possible with anyone who is curious as to what I’m going through. If there was some magic drug that cured all cancer, it would be wonderful. I’m of the school of thought that hard work and less broad spectrum therapy programs are what will work. The trouble is knowing what is right for each person, or even knowing that there exists the right suite of doctors for that person’s cancer. Like any other bug, it’s just a matter of troubleshooting. I just wish the fix was as simple, or as easily fixed, as [most of] the ones I come across at work.

Thanks for reading, more soon in 9.5 months.