Facebook  YouTube  Instagram  Twitter  IMVU  Twitch  Discord  Thingiverse  My Mini Factory  Shapeways

Image is not available
Image is not available
Image is not available
Image is not available
Image is not available
Image is not available
Image is not available
Image is not available
Arrow
Arrow
Slider

Blog

Where I document my happenings, my life, and my thoughts.

Well, we finally made it. Spring it here! After a brutal winter the weather is finally getting warmer and the snow melted in a matter of days. My latest PET scan was last week and I'm happy to report another clean bill of health so now I can remain worry free for another few months. I didn't get my next scan scheduled yet, but I think the doc was planning on doing another CT scan in 3 months, then on to another PET 3 months after that, and if this trend continues I think he wants to go to 8 month scans. Finger's crossed!

On to the artsy stuff. I keep saying I'm going to start some sort of schedule, but I keep being thwarted by life. Kids have had a lot of school activities lately and it keeps interrupting my plans. It's not their fault, I just need to readjust my plans, I think. Get up earlier, get done with my work earlier so I can do the stuff I really want to do. Constant headaches don't help either. They're not constant as in every day, but often enough that they interfere a bit. In fact I have one right now. Having an immune or stress response to something always gives me a headache until I can compensate with my hydrocortisone. I think I might have caught my son's cold...but I'm not sure yet. It's just the start of it. Oh and of course spring break is next week. Hopefully the weather holds up and I can send the kiddos outside. I do have a few things planned as well.

I have noticed a surge of subscribers on Youtube which is unexpected. I believe they are mostly coming from Thingiverse where the Pot of Gold print I made last year is getting some attention for St. Patrick's day. Getting closer to 100! :P If you haven't yet, feel free to sub me on Youtube, Twitch, Facebook, and Instagram! I have been doing periodic live streams while working on projects on Twitch and posting tutorial and time-lapse videos on Youtube...and of course pictures of whatever on Instagram and Facebook. Your support is always appreciated!

Well, until the next update, See you around!

Write comment (1 Comment)

I'm going to assume the answer to this question is yes. There are a lot of benefits to working from home, work life balance being the number one reason. Disadvantages are more along the lines of a lack of work and lower pay, but some of these jobs actually pay pretty well.

I started researching work from home jobs at the beginning of this year when I finally felt comfortable enough to move on from my cancer. I initially thought of getting back out there with a traditional job, maybe start bartending again, but my biggest concern was whether or not the cancer would come back and I would have to loose out on pay or even leave the job completely. I also have gotten very comfortable being home with the kids, especially during the summer. I guess I didn't want to lose that freedom. I still do IMVU, but I also needed to make more money to start paying down my medical bills. Unless you put a lot of time into it, artsy crafty stuff can only get you so far. Now I have a guaranteed hourly paycheck.

I know people are always looking to make an extra buck so I decided to compile everything I have found into one list. All of these sites are legit places to work. I have not personally worked on a lot of these because they just didn't seem that interesting to me but currently I work on Clickworker, Amazon Turk, Appen, and Prolific so I can definitely answer any questions about those There are also a lot of resources you can find online for the other projects. Reddit is a great resource in finding out what people think of online work.

So here it is, my list of legit work from home jobs: 

 

Click Work (general tasks)

Data Entry

Risk Analyst

Surveys

Test Scoring

Transcription Jobs

Virtual Assistants

Website Testing

 

I am also in search of more 3D creator/developer type sites to put my work on. I have been on IMVU a long time and I know there are many more. Message me if you know a couple and I can add that to my list. This is my current list.

 

Content Creating

 

 

Any questions or comments feel free to email me or comment below!

 

 

Write comment (0 Comments)

I develop for IMVU, but exactly what is IMVU?

When I first meet someone the conversation usually veers to the topic of “what do you do for a living?” and I say I create 3D content for an online video game and then they look super impressed as if I worked on Skyrim or something. If I tell them that I develop for IMVU I am often met with blank stares. I ask them if they know what Second Life is and am usually left with more blank stares. I then go down the line of World of Warcraft to the Sims and even Farmville if I have to until I finally see that little lightbulb go off above their heads. Most people my age have never heard of it. The average user is in their late teens to early 20s. The average developer, on the other hand, is in the 30s to 40s range.

Write comment (0 Comments)

For those of you who don't know me, I figured this would be a good time to talk about how I got to where I am.

Well, my story actually starts about 5 years ago when a mysterious mole appears on my right temple just within the hairline. It was not a mole in the traditional sense, but more like a large freckle, about the size of a nickel and flat. I let it go for a bit, but eventually went to the dermatologist to see what it might be. 

My dermatologist looked at the mole briefly, but didn't seem to concerned about it. He said it was an "unusual mole" but looked benign and that was the end of it. I figured everything was ok and let it slip from my worries. In hindsight, I would have insisted on a biopsy and had it removed while it was still "small." I encourage anyone else to do the same if they have any suspicious mark. 

Fast forward to spring of 2016. I noticed my mole was looking much darker. It had also started to spread out and almost doubled in size. This was all in a two week time span. I went in to my primary care doctor to have her look at it. She agreed it was suspicious and referred me back to the dermatologist. Actually when she first saw it she said "eww." Not the most comforting words. I made my appointment, but the first available date was over a month out. My dad suggested I find a different dermatologist that would be able to get me in sooner so I found one in Kenosha and they got me in the next week. 

When I arrived for my appointment, I had several doctors looking over my mole. They were all discussing what it could be. I think they all knew what it was, but they needed to do a biopsy just to be sure. Now this is the part I wasn't expecting. They wanted to do the biopsy right then and there. They brought out the needles and scalpels and gloves and had me lay down. They first numbed the area around the mole, then they started the cutting. The doctor was just hacking away near my eye while another nurse was wiping up all the blood. Even though it didn't hurt, it was hard not to wince during the whole process. By the time he was done, he had taken out a pretty big chuck from my temple.

Here comes the waiting game. It was a whole week before they called me with the results. I kept telling myself that it was probably nothing and that they would call me much sooner if it was cancer, so the longer I waited, the less worried about it I became, even though I could see some dark spots growing in my biopsy site. Then came the call. "It came back as melanoma. You need to find an oncologist ASAP." My heart sank. I have cancer? I was only 34 years old...

What came next was a whirl wind of appointments and scans and surgeries. First step was to get a wide local excision to remove all of the tumor with clear margins and at the same time they wanted to take out my sentinel nodes, which are the lymph nodes that the area drains to first. To do this they inject a blue dye around the tumor and see where it goes to first. They put me under and took out a 7 cm wide area around my temple and 3 lymph nodes from my jaw area. The plastic surgeon also removed an area of skin from my right shoulder to try to fill the gaping hole on my head. They sent the nodes in for biopsy to see if the cancer has spread to them. Sure enough, they found cancer in all 3. Next step was to go back into surgery 2 weeks later for a neck dissection. They took out 28 more nodes. This surgery was actually worse than the first. My neck was so swollen and sore, I could barely move my head. Luckily all of the nodes from my neck came back clear.

The rest of the summer was pretty uneventful. I healed up from my surgeries and had my first few scans, which were luckily also clear. I signed up for a clinical trial at UW Madison to try and get ahead of my cancer. I was at stage 3 so there weren't many other options available to me. The trial I signed up for was with Keytruda, which is already approved for stage 4 treatment, or standard of care which is Yervoy. I ended up being rolled into standard of care and had my first infusion in August. I went in for my second treatment only to find out that my insurance had denied my claim and I now owe the hospital $275,000. Apparently what had happened was the hospital called the wrong insurance company for my preapproval and the insurance company did not take the time to look up my info. They told the hospital that no approval was needed and the hospital took them for their word.

It took quite a few jumping through hoops, but I finally got the insurance thing sorted out, but then I started to get headaches. I called my oncologist in Madison and visited my local oncologist to try to figure out what was going on. I knew a possible side effect of Yervoy was headaches due to the pituitary gland swelling and I mentioned this to my local oncologist. She didn't think that was the case, but ordered an MRI just to be sure. I had already been having solid headaches for 2 weeks at this point and she didn't schedule the MRI for another 2 weeks. I was not exactly happy about that wait. Then I received a call from my oncologist in Madison and he told me I needed to go to the ER and have that MRI immediately. I took his advise and sure enough, my pituitary gland was swollen and I needed high dose steroids as soon as possible to try to prevent any permanent damage. Too late, I had permanent damage. Say goodbye to my cortisol and thyroid hormones, say hello to a new doctor in my arsenal, my endocrinologist. 

Now it's November and time for my next PET scan. This one was not so clear. There was an area of activity that lit up right next to my right ear. I go in for a needle biopsy, and, yup, the cancer is back. My 3rd surgery was scheduled just before Christmas. This was by far the easiest surgery I had. Just a small incision next to my right ear and I was home the same day. 

March rolls around and it's time for my next PET scan.....and the same spot lights up again. Apparently there were two infected nodes in that spot and this second one was growing quickly. So quickly it was a large lump by the time they went in to take it out. My 4th surgery was in May and they took out 6 lymph nodes this time. The surgeon was determined to not leave any cancer behind. I had to spend the night for this one. They had a drain coming out of the back of my neck and my head wrapped up tightly to reduce swelling. Out of the 6 nodes, 2 came back positive. 

So now I have had a total of 6 positive nodes removed from my head and no treatment options available except radiation. Yeah, I am going to go for it. I can't just sit and do nothing. It's going to be a hell of a process, but I hope it's worth it.

 

Here are some photos throughout my surgeries and recoveries. The original skin graft looks pretty amazing now.

original mole
melanoma
biopsy site
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma
melanoma

Write comment (3 Comments)