Charles Brown

just a simple blog

The Reason Why.

So after months of trying to sort out my back, we have an answer. It’s not my back directly, but it does really hurt.

After continuing to complain to docs about my throat and the inability to swallow and PT really just kicking my butt and leaving me in more pain, GP’s PA sent me to a GI, GI said “Well it’s in your throat… I can’t see in, so we will do a scope.” We did a scope, in which he did a biopsy of a “blockage” in my throat, so for one, score – I wasn’t crazy, I couldn’t swallow for a real reason – but he also ordered a follow-up of a CT scan to see how big. That was the weekend before last, and the CT scan gal said: “It’ll be done today, it was ordered stat.” So apparently he wanted it quick.

This past Monday we had our follow-up with the GI, he said “It’s cancer.” he said he hadn’t gotten the biopsy back yet but was fairly certain as to what it was, he’s seen it before, and quickly got us scheduled with CBCC to follow-up however before we even finished scheduling and talking about the next steps – Biopsy results came back. Cancer confirmed.

So we went on Wednesday to talk with the Oncologist in the morning, great entourage support of my brother who came into town, mom and wife, they let mom and wife back (limit 2) and he said type of cancer he felt we could treat, shrink, etc. but before we knew 100% we needed a PET scan – insurance sometimes moves slowly might be a day or two. Well, Daisy called and didn’t really have to chase anyone down (too much), the crew at CBCC is awesome. They got us in the next morning before 7AM, worked with all my issues like blood sugars were low, etc. they looked after us, got me in, scanned and tried to get us in the same day, however earliest was Friday morning. 

So Friday morning, Me, Wife and Mom returned, going to find out where the cancer was, how bad stage-wise, and work on “the plan” – Stage 3 Esophageal Cancer – he laid out the plan, and I must say this doc just insanely peaceful to work with, laid it out, gave a plan, he’s supporting my family too not just me which makes me feel better and he gave us the next steps.

What are they? Well Monday we meet with the Radiological Oncologist about the shrinking this junk, Tuesday I get a feeding tube put in to let me give my throat a rest, keep my sugars/nutrition where it needs to be, and make life easier, then if all goes well first of 6 weeks of treatment may start this week.

4 months of being on my back, taking it easy, trying to rest and feel better, PT, etc. to find out my body is handling a lot. They’ve given me some stronger meds to handle pain, but they leave me at the point of sleep, but I’m not giving up, not likely to be the easiest road ahead, but even in just the few who’ve followed up privately and talked about it, and family who’s heard through the grapevine, amazing love and support. I can say enough how much it helps to have that love and support and folks standing beside me in prayer.

So 6 weeks of zapping this thing back to the stone ages, then removing what’s left down in LA – God is good. I can’t complain, He’s given me a peace I truly don’t understand so far through all of this, and really working hard to keep Lilly’s life normal. She knows daddy is tired and works late, but she’s loving on me telling me to feel better, we talked the other day and I told her how the doctors are going to work to make me feel all better! She’s praying for me too! 

That’s the rundown of where I am. Not exactly the cause of back pain I expected, but I feel confident in the doctors, my brother and a friend are working to find me a spider for radiation treatment times… so might come out with some new abilities 😀 but God is Good, even in the crazy storms of this life, just expecting his healing and to see him use this ol man for some amazing things throughout. 

Thanks for reading and checking in! 

Deadline.

Ball dropped.

So in the first time in all my professional career I find myself with a project that has been completely nearly ruined by my health. Never before have I have a prolonged health issue set like this to where I can’t even think.

It’s Sunday but the customer decided to call the company I’m doing the work for and give the likely final coming to Jesus talk. They aren’t happy.

I have tried my best to meet the customer’s demands and desires, but when you can sometimes not even find the right work word in conversation, to even do completely straight forward code has become insanely difficult. I wish I knew more PHP developers to work a deal, get help, have someone else do it.

Just been a really rough couple of months in which on top of it all, I’m just really getting depressed about things. No progress, Monday I make a call to my GP again to see if we can do blood work, going to fast tonight so I can hopefully just go in and get some blood draws and see if anything can be found. Just at the end of a rope and there is no end in sight. 

This project would of have been insanely helpful to complete, it would have fixed up budgets as I haven’t had any real side work for 4 months now so that usual steady flow is dried up – but I have tried 3 times so far today in trying to get the code out, but sadly just get to a point I want to cry as I’m frustrated that I can’t even think.

Then to get a call in which I got even more stressed out, just not a good time in life right now, and while I know even if I fail, its not the end of the world, I just don’t like this stage of life, and wish to move on to the part where I get hugs and briefcases of money. 😀

For now going to finish up this rest session and try again I even cut it into smaller pieces to not overwhelm myself so going to focus up and see if I can knock out small things and maybe get more accomplished – just praying my brain can hold out and frustration over being exhausted and unable to think will be at bay and I can knock out this last leg.

Chromebook Devbook?

My time upright the past week has been very minimal. 20 minutes here, 20 minutes there – whatever this pain is coming from is getting very old.

Since I am not at a stable desktop I am working on Laptops and while the Macbook is great – it eats through battery pretty quick, and the Chromebook – well its not built for dev. out of the box it lacks solid applications unless they are web based and codeanywhere and a few other web based IDE’s are nice, just not the same flexibility I’m used to with Atom or another editor.

Enter Chromebook Linux support. A nice addition.

I managed to get Filezilla & Atom both running – I’d love to see sshfs running so I can mount SFTP as a drive, but for now a working PHP editing station with really good battery life is a nice change of pace.

Going to fire a few more minutes between waves of pain, but hoping to get to sleep soon if the pain can die down a bit – not ideal but Monday I get a chance to see a GP and maybe get some answers as to what is going on with this old cranky body of mine.

Night all.

It’s Monday … Everyday.

Lately I’ve been in a rut, for lack of a better work.. a rut of suck. 

Several projects ended up overlapping, each of which came with their own brand of crazy, and it seems like I can’t catch a break… or I did and that’s why my back hurts *rimshot* 

But today was the part I hate. I have customers who are complete jerks sometimes and in both cases I think I’ve lucked out and both are fairly understanding but today I got the talk about “trust” and that’s something I hate to not build with customers but this issue with my back has really kicked me to the curb and it’s been completely out of my control.

I understand a customer’s need for it done yesterday, and while the first knee jerk reaction is to return blame being placed upon you, I owned it. I explained that I was sorry I’ve been non-functioning, and honestly in the last few days I’ve been hammering away at debugging and getting things finalized and working even while in a considerable amount of discomfort – but thankfully at the end of the call they were a bit more relieved to hear we are closer and closer, and even suggested a few options for Doc’s in the area and nearby areas who could help if I still can’t find relief.

I can’t wait for this season of suck to be done, I’d love to get back to 100% functioning and really get things going, get projects that I put off for these two for around the house, for growth and company ideas, for even just getting back to the Gym and enjoying a delightful and much needed walk, lift, massage session 🙂 (That’s my order of events at the gym) but sadly that’s still a ways away.

Got a new GP, so hoping we can sort things out, maybe hit the Chiro again and get back to feeling good and functioning! 

Dislocated Rib?!

So it is about as bad as it sounds. So far the dislocated rib option is sounding the most like the cause of the issue – reason? The back brace I am wearing is up along my ribcage and it provides pressure on the ribs, while this might seem painful, its keeping things in place I think! 

This is something so far my wife, chiro, and mother all are thinking might be the actual issue as this helps and I’ve been a bit more functional the last day or so with it, than I have in almost 2 weeks.

Still some pain, but posture is one of those things which can cause it and my posture and fairly out of wack back are both things which can lead to this, so nice to feel more productive in the last day or so then I have in again like 2 weeks.

Code is coming along nicely, once the customer signs off and its public I’ll post a link, but just a lot of projects lately, last night included some big eComm updates which went by far the easiest I’ve ever had over the years, it just worked so what we hoped was going to be around 30 minutes, ended up being an hour (waiting on snapshots to be taken) but in the end it worked!

Today has been coding galore with my coding project, and fixing up some hiccups between dev box -> cPanel box – I do like cPanel for hosting, but sometimes coming from Vanilla-ish Linux setups some PHP configs don’t work well in a shared setup, but so far so good, ironing out bugs, and if I can stay upright a few more hours today the front end will be 100% done, and I can move on to finishing the backend similarly on the cPanel setup and customer on Monday can really start kicking the tires and I pray it works just peachy! 

For now, going to swap to the bed for 30 minutes and l let my back/lungs rest a bit, then come back in for more worktastic fun!  

My back is braced!

Ladies try to control yourselves. Yes. I am wearing this from my wife, and it’s been a life saver. Not hurting as bad, still sore/achy but compared to stabbing/throbbing/wanting someone to club me over the head and put me down for a few hours, this works.

I’ve been able to function most of today, I did take a brief 35 minute break away from the chair, simply trying to give my back a break but made some amazing progress on projects today, something to be said about your body not being in a bad place to be able to have focus! 

Tonight is round 2 of a upgrade project, last night it went mostly ok – just hit some snags in the move to upgrade the eComm on the site, but got it all resolved, actually just started my snapshot of the site, linked in the new licenses for those expired and about to expire, and prepping to dig in @ 10pm.

All in all this week was a bit of a loss, but at the end of the day, happy to simply not be in as much pain and be able to function! I do have a Doctor’s appt. in about 10 days, so before I age I get to have a doc check me out too – even if my back is fine, still going to just get a checkup and talk about non-blood sugar things if needed. 

Anywhoo – stalling from working (even though in the last 20 minutes I wrote a very nice Pretty URL system inspired in part from Tuts+ article) but looks good and cleans up URL’s very nicely – allows me to get geo-location and too pass customers off to other parts of an application, I had this “kind of” working in a test environment but something about cPanel’s .htaccess rules always gets cranky – but another thing off the list, hoping by next week to have 2 major projects completely done and relax for a day… maybe and a half. 😀 (ah one can dream!)

Pain + Work = No Money.

So for nearly 20 years now I’ve done my own business, in that 20 years a lot has happened to me, but thankfully nothing like currently. Back pain sucks.

I have literally been on my back and while everyone says as your own boss you are in control and make your own hours – there is some truth, but the real truth is you don’t have a boss…. but you have many customers who become your boss.

Sadly while being on my back I haven’t gotten much in the way of hours in, sure sure I have gotten a project or two (PTL) however a lul in hours for over 2+ months now has slowly drained reserves, and here we are mid-ish Feb. and I think my total billable hours is currently sitting at …. 2 hours. So that needs to change.

I have a big project which I am staying up tonight to work on, thankfully this back brace I got as a V-Day gift (oh yes, we are romantic like we are in our 70’s) is helping keep pain at bay without meds thankfully so whatever its holding in place … thanks Wifey 🙂

One thing I want to accomplish all things said and done after feeling better is most definitely finding new streams of revenue, design lately has been one that has given me some hours, but once things are wrapped up on a few projects I’m heading to the coast to talk business.

I’ve applied at a view DC’s over the years, and looked at the option of once again finding a 9-to-5 however sadly I do get the “You’re over qualified” or my personal favorite “We can’t afford to pay you what you’re worth” and while these are great ego boosts that I’m good at what I do… still I have no job to speak of lol – so this option can lead to some steady flow of income, a new stream for funds to flow in.

For now going to take my back-braced self and get some work done while pain is minimal and then get some rest, tomorrow is going to be a nutso day! 

(thanks for reading my random thoughts this evening partially brought to you by … Pain. Oh it hurts.)

Stalling. *Ugh*

Yup. I’m stalling. Honestly part of it is the fact that for a few weeks now I’ve had a lot of pain, and today is the first day it’s down to a mild roar. I don’t want to get swept up working and find myself hurting later. 

So where have I been? Well Let’s see since the last post I’ve been busy. A project has consumed a lot of time, and I am working on a slew of others right now but work, pain, work, sick fam, work, pain, stress, tired. So – semi normal 😀

Honestly lately I haven’t done much in the way of relaxing doing something other than computers. It’s been work or on my back lately, but I have been wanting to write. So later this month maybe a birthday post? Silly post? Still not 100% sure what I want to write, but I’d like to write. So we shall see what happens.

Re-themed things a bit, but all in all, probably won’t fiddle too much unless inspiration hits! So for now, stalling stops, and back to it! Happy February! 

3 Months Away

Honestly I don’t know where the time goes anymore. 

The last three months have brought about a lot of changes. Health wise, family loss, new stresses, old stresses, stresses I didn’t know I’d have with server moves, and a project the size of a house looming over me due in 21 days. 

I’ve gotten to the point with my blog here that I don’t honestly know what the purpose is any longer. I mean I enjoy writing, I enjoy putting things down but then it comes down to a few things – no one is reading the personal stuff, traffic is maybe 1-3 people unless bots are more clever than ever 🙂 but the big hitter is the crypto code for the Omega. So what do I do next? What’s the next thing with this blog? Do I chronicle life from a business standpoint? Do I just release helpful code snippets and how-tos? I considered that once with the idea of TechFriendly, but sadly it never got off the ground.

For now likely this will be the last post for a while again – I could talk about the losses, the code complexities, the fun with creating things like decals, stickers, t-shirts etc. but for now? Check my instagram, as it is one of the most up to date life preview I have at the moment.  (Some nice stickers if I do say so myself!)

So for those of you who do stop in and read, thanks, keep me in your prayers, going to bed more exhausted than I was yesterday to a week that is going to demand more and more out of me! If I decide a focus for the blog, I’ll be sure to swing back and bring it to a focus but for now, have a great Christmas & Happy New Year! 

Full Circle?

When I was 18 I started this wacky journey being a “Web Designer” – one catch. I’m not super artistic. So while I can make a website, I’m not good always at putting the graphics together that really scream “WOAH! AWESOME!”.

Well somewhere along the line where Miva Merchant came into play. I had learned Miva’s Scripting language doing some eComm for another customer, and that led to a job in which I was administering a Linux box to run Miva Merchant for my first major job outside of the comfort of ye-old safety-net, and that’s also where I started to diverge from designing print ads for the local Christian Production Company and helping a band/friend with a website design – while not good, it was also early in the web – not the fancy flash/shockwave era 😄

But as I moved towards eComm, I continued to go down the rabbit hole that was Server Administration, set up my workstation to run Linux and tried to dig in deep. I have dabbled now and again and built out a website or two, but honestly? Hosting the pages was more of the thing I did vs. create them.

Well with the most recent build of FlockHosting.com I took to the editing board and built out a site. It worked. It was clean, it fit, and it’s online still – but it hasn’t stopped there – recently re-designed and built out the local Christian Radio Station’s site, and freshened it up.

Yesterday though I had some projects thrown on my lap and was asked if I had all of the graphical assets if I could make the site functional? So I figured, what could it hurt to take some images and organize them a bit and see if I could make a site. I did. Worked great – and that’s opened a few more projects for me. 👍

So while I’m currently taking a Network Certification training course (CompTIA Network+) – I’ve got a website or two in the works, building out things and banking some time – thus its nearly 2:30am and I need to sleep – but funny that I’m full circle building out sites again. Good times.