About me and this Weblog

Me and Brigitte in The Blue Mountains east of Sydney, Australia – 10/14/8

I started writing emails to friends about my recently diagnosed cancer. But I can add pix here, and also perhaps enlighten other people about the fight against this cancer.

Mine is SNUC; Sinonasal Undifferentiated Carcinoma. It is diagnosed annually in the US at a rate of 0.0062% of all cancers.  I am not a South Chinese nickel miner, nor a Scandinavian hardwood worker. Lucky me.

Stats:   Chuck Mason, 51, 6’3.5″ (previously 6’4″), 170 lbs. (185 until I was about 45 or so), born in Des Moines, Norwegian & Swiss/German, wife (Brigitte) and dog (Suzy Wong) who I both love dearly.

I work in motion picture set lighting (IATSE 728) in Los Angeles. Currently I say that I am ‘booked’ when people call w/ work. Maybe I can take calls in December.

2/16/12 update – Or not. Maybe early March.

5/28/12 update – I resumed working 3/5/12, worked an easy gaffer job for five days, and laid low for another month. By mid-April I had gone back to work in earnest.

This blog now seems to be ruminations on my new lifestyle. And most all of that is the changes I’m having are in my diet. If this ever becomes just another foodporn site, I’ll be done.

 

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12 Responses to About me and this Weblog

  1. erin Beyers says:

    Love to you and Brigitte. Velma is a hoot. We wanted to steal her from you! Such a cool dog. I really always loved when you showed up at our (former residence) 2255 22 street in Santa Monica. You are such a good friend to John. Moved our enormous furniture several times! Please take the time to come out here to South Dakota and chill out with us any time. Iowa is so close. We have a gigantic house with great beds and good food too. Finally we can get to know your amazing wife… Hugs and Kisses. Erin B. using John’s Hotmail account as I am never having email again. Life is good here!

  2. Lisa Burns says:

    Hi Chuck,
    My husband Bob also has SNUC. Would you mind e-mailing me at lburns@1scs.us. Can’t find an e-mail adress for you in your blog info. : )

    Thanks,
    Lisa Burns

  3. Jonathan Long says:

    Hey Chuck, Read your blog this evening from start to finish. It is great to see a recent account of battling SNUC. My girlfriend was diagnosed with SNUC in August. She had a long but very succesful surgery/resection and started the same cocktail of poison and radiation you got. She was happy to get to your last blog posts on Chocolate and living.
    Thank you for keeping a blog about your journey kicking this things ass!

    -Jonathan

    • chucksnuc says:

      Hey, tell your gal welcome to the .0062%!
      I don’t feel that I have ‘beaten’ or ‘kicked ass’ on ol’ SNUC. I’m happy just to make the tumors stay away. Me and your gal HAVE cancer, and must eat and behave accordingly FROM HERE ON OUT.
      Tell her to re-read the parts where I talk about getting my mind right. Then it’s not such a big deal. Well, until one’s mate (ahem) lets loose some complaints about eating brown rice or whole wheat pasta that does not take a sauce, or all the damn kale in our new diet.
      Pretty soon it’s going to be YOU that needs to get his mind right!
      And it’s not like I tell her she must eat/drink what I do. It’s just that she’s my wife who loves me, and cooks for me. That, and …….”cooking all these damn vegetables gets enough pots dirty. I don’t want to make you wash {I am the sous-chef} any more.”
      I’m about 1/2 way to being a vegetarian. That seems about right. After all, being top predator, I enjoy flesh. I’m just doing it pioneer style, not industrial farming style, i.e. 2 or 3 days/week instead of every meal. After all, flesh is precious, AND something had to die for it.
      Thanks for your thanks, and this blog is for people just like you.

  4. Margot says:

    Hi Chuck.
    Thank you for taking the time to chronicle your battle with SNUC both with words and photographs. It has been incredibly valuable to our family. On September 1st, my 40 year-old marathon-running, raw-food-eating brother was diagnosed with SNUC. This awful disease has turned our world upside down. Since then, he’s had a 12-hour endoscopic surgery to remove the golfball sized tumour and is now a week into concurrent chemo and radiation. His cocktail is the same as yours, he’s on the same anti-nauseas and is on the same radiation machine as you. Your story gives us hope. It also gives us a realistic view into what is ahead for him in the coming weeks and months. Thank you. I hope you’ve recovered from the accident, that you’ve sold your motorcycle and that you are enjoying a Fall harvest from your garden.

  5. chucksnuc says:

    Glad to be a bit of help for other ‘users’ of my little users’ guide.
    Hmm, w/ a crab (onco) that big, I understand the 12-hour surgery; the surgeon spent a lot of time finding and removing all the legs of that crab. I wonder if hubby will get even more from the death beam than my 30 days. There came a time after about 20 days that I just pleaded/demanded some time off from that punishment. My radiation Dr. allowed me a long weekend of about 5 days, and even that little respite helped quite a bit.
    The chemo had no real negative effects at which I could point my finger. The radiation, however, DID. Those photos a just a hint. Be sure and inquire about ways to protect/moisturize his skin. And start looking for large-brim hats now; he will have to keep his neck and face out of the sun, as he will have a permanent tan on the neck. That area will have received a lifetime’s amount of radiation, so no more. I seem to get a lot of favorable comments about the Stetson Cattleman that I inherited from my Dad. That brim no longer curves up on the sides; it lays FLAT!
    Unless things have changed, asking doctors and even nutritionists about what to eat is a waste of time. The intern for my radiologist (an able and caring doctor-to-be) was so concerned about my weight loss (from 175 > 143 at the low) that she told me to eat a donut w/ fried candy bars and bacon on it. There are a few books on cancer and food; read them, and mark the specifics in red ink. Then do it. I am 100% off of refined sugar, probably 90% off processed foods, and eat much less flesh. I feel good, strong, and don’t look bad for 55. (I guess dealing w/ cancer engenders a certain amount of self-confidence, like when I get my semi-annual scans – I have NO concerns about the results)
    Matter of fact, I recently sold my last motorcycle. After a collision on I-5 in Burbank and the recovery that was a bit slower than in the past, ……… and some choice words from Brigitte, I ended my 37 years of two-wheeling. And I often, often regret it. Now I’m just another jerk in a metal box causing a traffic jam, instead of flowing between all those cars and relieving the collective stress.
    I don’t add much to the blog these days, as the main part of the user’s guide is done. Now it’s mainly a rant on the medical/industrial complex and food tips/choices.

    Thanks for writing.

    Chuck

  6. Samantha Ann says:

    My husband was just DX with SNUC…He is getting g a different regimen with chemo but radiation then surgery is up next. How are you doing?

  7. chucksnuc says:

    Me? Doing fine, I think.
    Funny, I just re-ordered the dates for this blog so it reads like it should; a story.
    It appears you are the first commenter since 10/15.
    I was surgery first, then concurrent chemo and radiation. No fun.
    So now I am just another fella out there doing his thing and getting by. (Sorry I ended that sentence w/ a preposition, but sometimes right before bedtime you just don’t sweat it.)
    I guess the main thing I would tell you is to realize that Hubby HAS cancer. The surgeon will throw the long bomb and save the day, but from now on there are other cells in him that would love to form tumors. So his job is to keep those cells under control. Eat right, exercise, live right. Those who claim to have ‘kicked cancer’s ass’ are fooling themselves.
    It’s just a matter of living w/ it. To me, the main thing is diet. It’s all in the blog, and that’s what I do. The unexpected bonus is that one ends up eating quite well and w/ better ingredients on a smart anti-cancer diet. At least that’s how it is w/ me and my wife.
    Bon appetit!

  8. I wish I had seen this when I was first diagnosed in 2013 or even when I was rediagnosed in 2016 – some very informative information. My dad is my webpage designer and the site needs to be updated but his paying jobs come first lol. You can read my story at http://www.snuc-cancer.org

    How are you doing these days? Did you gain any more weight back? The first time I dropped 19 lbs and it took 6 months to gain back 9 lbs but the second time I lost 35+lbs and had a feeding tube. I finished treatment in September 2016 and STILL can’t gain weight no matter what I eat. GOD bless you. I hope you are still doing well! Karin S.

  9. chucksnuc says:

    Karin,
    Quick reply; on my way to work at Warner Bros, and it’s a 1-hour drive right now.
    Weight is between 155 and 162. Don’t know what causes the fluctuation.
    Why the hell do you want to gain weight? You are now on the Onco-Slim Diet! You are eating mainly vegetables, little flesh, and NO sugar. That means no refined white things: flour, rice, pasta.
    Remember that you HAVE cancer now. Your job is to keep away the tumors.
    I’ll read your blog when I have time.

    Here’s to ya,
    Chuck

    • Karin says:

      Lol, I wanted to lose 5lbs, not 35! It took me 6 months to gain weight the first time but almost 1 year after finishing treatment for the 2nd time, I still haven’t gained a pound. I read on your page about Cachexia. Can you tell me a little more about that? I’m wondering if that’s what my problem is this time around.

      • chucksnuc says:

        Never too busy, Karin. Even when lighting a night exterior at Forest lawn Cemetery!
        My cachexia was during the meat-grinder phase; I lost 33 pounds. Afterword, I think I gained about 2 to 3 pounds per month. For me, no injurious influences, no cachexia.
        Sounds to me like you could come to L. A. and market your own Onco-Slim snake oil. Show the before and after photos, and you will be on your way!

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