I should probably start this off with a sort of apology This blog won't have my usual brand of humor or incredibly quick wit. I just don't feel up to it, and I haven't in a couple weeks now. I have 100+ other blogs if that's what you're looking for. Instead, I feel the need the write about life. My life, to be specific. I am hoping that this will serve as some sort of therapy for me, in a way. I need to get it out, down on paper, or as technology dictates, in blog form.

I have had some sort of video game for as long as I can remember. Tetris. Rampage. Mario Bros 3. Stampede. Golden Axe. Those were the gems of my childhood that occupy my earliest memories. From the NES to N64, PlayStation to PS4, games have been a mainstay in my life. in certain ways, they ARE my life. They have shaped who I am, to an extent. They taught me right from wrong when my father and mother (and anyone else really) couldn't be bothered to do so. I would lose time in video games. Minutes turned to hours... hours to days...

When I became a teenager, I was clinically diagnosed with depression. I know people use that word as a crutch to make excuses about their actions, but I had it before it was cool. From then, games became even more a part of my life. While other kids were going to parties and dances and such, I was in my room that doubled as a storage closet, playing Twisted Metal and Tekken. I was happy. Content. Video games were my world.

I am an adult now, with kids of my own, and I still lean on video games. They are my way out - my way to escape the horrible outside world where I have zero control. In video games, I have power. I have control. I am in charge. What I say goes. The worlds of Pandora and Thedas are my figurative balls of clay to mold how I see fit. In a world where everything is so terrible, video games are my sanity.

I found out about a year or so ago (I don't recall the exact date, I was kinda numb to it all) that I had esophageal cancer. I have had acid reflux for years, and it got worse over time and developed into what it is now. I was lucky though, and had options. The first option was surgery of the extremely expensive variety. You know, go in, remove the cancer, close me up. The risk comes in the form of me possibly never being able to talk again. Being a parent and not being able to speak is a tough hand to be dealt, so I chose the second option. Medication. Expensive medication. The kind that you can't say or spell without looking at the name on paper. I'm not 100% sure exactly what it does, just that its supposed to help me.

Things started as a T2 (size of the mass) but in a short period of time, it went down to a T1. The meds were seemingly working, which was good, because the sooner that I could stop taking them, the better. I am not a rich guy, you see, and money is a commodity. Long story short, things have taken a turn for the worse, and I am back at a T2. It sucks, sure, but the more important thing is the financial strain on my family.

Earlier today, I had a fateful visit at Gamestop. I sold them my games so I could afford my medication I need to survive. No more impactful The Last of Us stories... no more frolicking around Pandora... I've said good-bye to Spira... and there's not even any more aliens to kill in my near future. My wife, being the saint that she is, insisted that I keep my PS4 and the game I have been involved with (Destiny), so I am not completely out in the cold. And thanks to a great person, I was able to download Tetris Ultimate and The Banner Saga recently, so I am still in the world of the living in terms of being a gamer.

I never thought I would have to chose between video games and life. Its a choice that sucked to make. In a weird way, I feel like I have been punched in the gut and had my things stolen from me. To someone looking in, it won't seem that severe. But to me... its the absolute pits. I had planned on participating in the annual ExtraLife charity gaming event, but I am not sure I'll even feel up to it. I feel drained. Exhausted. Like Harambe is sitting on my back and I am trying to do a bunch of push-ups (that one was for you Jeremy). I am only able to play video games thanks to a few people that didn't even know how much of an impact they were having when they did what they did. That sounds weird, so I'll elaborate.

I have never been able to truly game online. I live in an area of the Smoky Mountains where reliable internet doesn't come cheap. As I have previously stated, cash is about as rare as a unicorn in my house. I was content to play single player games and having nobody to play with. A couple of GIOers pitched together and purchased a laptop and had it sent to me. That kindness let me talk my wife into canceling our cable TV service and instead pay for internet and Netflix and such. I am able to play with people for the first real time in my life. It was a huge gift that I cannot even begin to repay. I strongly dislike being a charity case, but I can't thank those guys enough.

I'm not sure what the point of this blog is. Save every penny you ever get so you don't end up like me. Don't get too invested in video games. Get annual medical checkups and physical exams. Cancer sucks. Friends are fantastic people to have in your life. Take your pick.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading my rambling.