Cancer Diaries – I saw evil today

In many ways in my life, I have been incredibly blessed.

My life story is a bit convoluted, and the specifics of it I prefer to keep private, but I ended up coming from Russia to America, and staying here, where I had a immensely higher chance of attending University than I did back in Moscow (back then, each University had their entrance exams the summer after your senior year, so you could apply to maybe 2-3 schools tops, and if you didn’t make it – mandatory military service. I am not sure how the practice is now). I managed to get an education at a top tier university in a field that is highly in demand (computer science), simply because, at first, I wanted to make video games for a living.

Heck, even my shitty sex life ended up working out great in the long run. 

And even if it was destined for me to have Cancer, I lucked out again – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is one of the most curable and survivable cancers there is. Yeah, chemo sucks, side effects suck, but knowing that I WILL make it it the only motivation I need.

There is one way that I lucked out the most – my mother. She has been my strength, my rock, my confidant throughout my entire life. She is the reason I stayed here in the USA, legally I might add, got a top tier education, became an American citizen.

Since my Cancer diagnosis, her help and support is proving invaluable. She helps with everything – scheduling, lifestyle changes, medication. She has been there by my side during every treatment and doctor visit. I thank her every day, and I know that I would respond the exact same way in a heartbeat if she needed my help.

Because of her, it’s been hard for me to relate to some of the stuff coming out of the manosphere – especially the “All Women Are Like That” (or AWALT) mantra, which is incredibly widespread. Granted – I have met some truly terrible women, and the internet is filled with plentiful examples of terrible mothers, the most fascination of which to read is the subreddir /r/raisedbynarcissists - highly recommended when you have some time, I spent hours there when i first discovered it.

With Cancer, however, everything becomes different. People have shown me their brightest, most supportive and wonderful sides. It is where family bonds become the strongest. At least that’s what I thought.

Flash back to last week, my mother and I were leaving the treatment facility, then we looked at each other and I said “I saw evil today”.

About an hour earlier, while we were in the waiting room at the doctors office, I overheard a family talking nearby – a father, mother and daughter. The daughter was starting chemo next week – and she had the same protocol as I had – which includes this new drug that has only been out of clinical trials for treating Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in late 2014. There was not too many first hand account on various blogs and forums about this type of treatment, I would know, my mother and I read a LOT of them. So I decided to introduce myself to this family.

The daughter was very pleasant, and I did my best to put her mind at ease. The father seemed the most nervous out of the three.  And then the mother laid this gem out:

“They told us the first treatment is 8 hours at least, is there a place I can go near by? Is there stuff to do? 8 hours is a really long time, I gotta do something to not get bored”.

I was shocked, my mom was shocked, we of course didn’t show it because we didn’t want to raise a stink at the doctors office.

The day of my first treatment, I ended up spending nearly 12 hours in the hospital. That new miracle drug takes a very long time to administer the first time, a small price to pay for a miracle drug with no side effects. My mother was with me in that little room the entire day. Later on she told me that the time felt like nothing, that it flew by, and that she was nervous and on edge the entire time.

I could feel the same type of dedication from this girl’s father. I could tell that when he asked me questions, how he looked at me. I was certain that he would be there all day.

The mother however, barely asked anything. except about the concerns of her own boredom.  To borrow a term often overused by the SJW horde – “wow, just wow”.

Listen, lady – FUCK YOU. That’s your little girl. No matter how old she is – that’s your baby. That’s your blood, that’s your legacy, and that’s how you treat her? 

burnicern

There’s bad people out there, sometimes even close to you, and that is the toughest Red Pill to swallow. I’m just glad that this is one thing that I will never have to go through.

Once again, I am truly blessed, and I hope you are too.

And to the parents that are reading  this – love your kids, you are their strength, they are yours.

Posted in cancer | 1 Comment

The Inevitable Cancer Update

This January, my life was changed forever.

Everything in life was just right. Around the time of No Nothing November I have started a new job at a Tech start-up and it felt like the sky was the limit. I was working with friends, I was getting paid, and most importantly, I was intellectually satisfied – everyone there was smart, creative, open. There was no corporate culture, hell, we were the corporate culture. I had found a place where I truly belonged – and I was excelling.

I had also started a consulting gig for extra cash, so I was constantly busy. I joined a state of the art Crossfit gym and was making lots of new friends while taking my fitness to the next level. I moved into a dope bachelor pad, the most baller apartment I had ever lived in. My social calendar was always full, between my wonderful friends and a multitude of girls.

Heck, that was the reason for my hiatus – everything was going great and I barely had any free time.

Life was perfect. Too perfect. 

And if you’ve ever read a book or watched a movie, you know that this is the exact time something messed up happens.

And here I was, at work, relaxing in my chair, leaning back, fingers in my hair, after another part of code was successfully written…

And then I felt it, a bump on my neck. This was not normal. Sure, it could have been a number of different things, so I gave it a week. It was still there. I decided to go to a doctor to have it checked out. I was given the choice of 2 weeks of antibiotics, or do a needle biopsy right then and there, and I chose the later.

I was asked to come in for a second test – that’s when I knew something was up. The doctors kept their composure, I kept mine, and we performed the second test. The following week, I saw the doctor to get my results – it was Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer.

I have Cancer. Fuck.

With those words everything changed, and everything became clear. I know that this is one of the most treatable forms of cancer out there, so I was thankful that I had a pretty good luck of the draw from a shitty luck of the draw. I knew this has been beaten before. I knew I was going to beat this. It was inevitable. I knew that 2015 is going to be the hardest year of my life, but it will be worth it to live out all of the other years experiencing joy, beauty, happiness, nature, art, sport, love and everything else life has to offer. I know that whatever struggle I was going to face will would be worth it once I hear those 4 magic words, the 4 words that will drive me to tears – The Cancer is Gone.

Now I just have to take it one day at a time and see what happens.

I’m not gonna lie – there have been some downs, physical and mental. From the insane nausea, vomiting, and other not so nice chemo side effects that hit me like a truck Saturday late night, to the girl I dated late 2014, who left me because “I was just too positive”, not reaching out in any way shape or form because she realized that this same positivity that turned her off was also the key to my survival – it’s all just part of the experience, and I have to take it as it comes.

But the one thing that truly moved and inspired me has been the support and love I have received from every possible corner of my life. So many people were eager to lend a helping hand – even people who I have not spoken to in ages or only knew in passing, heck, even complete strangers. People showed me their best side, and it is simply beautiful. Thank you, I am truly humbled.

So what now? Like I said – it’s all happening one day at a time, so I’m not too eager to predict the future. There is a big update on Manosphere.com looming, since I have fallen behind on updating for obvious reasons. I have considered setting up a Patreon and using that money to hire an assistant, but right now, it’s all just me thinking out loud, and we’ll see what happens.

But for now – love yourself, love each other, live your life exactly how you want it, and don’t forget to crack a smile, because everything always gets better.

NOTE: Vice is currently matching all donations for cancer research, if you want to give, this seems like a pretty good place to start.

Posted in cancer | 11 Comments

#NoNothingNovember – A Conclusion

Dear #NoNothingNovember friends – I am extremely proud of each and every one of you.
Weather you documented your struggles and growth daily, or kept it private, you managed to put yourself on a road to improvement.

I could tell you more detailed experiences about about my month, but it wasn’t about me, it was about you, and it was a blast and a learning experience reading everything that you’ve shared. And on the flip side – I’m doing just dandy right now and am smiling more than ever before. Yes, I’m saying that corny shit. Yes, the change has been that profound.

If there is one lesson I learned from this year’s #NoNothingNovember – it was on December 1st – that miraculous day that I could go back and partake in all my vices again – but I didn’t. Same thing happened on the 2nd. And the 3rd. I’ve grown to like the new me, and I think this guy will stick around for a while.

Sorry for sounding so cryptic, I know I’m usually pretty forthcoming with details, but right now I have to take a step back for a little while. Call it a mini hiatus.

But don’t worry – the thread on /r/theredpill will be posted, the votes will be tallied up, the winners will be announced, and manosphere.com will still run, and all the technical stuff will be taken care of. I will update this post with the proper links once they are set up.

And if you really love me that much, you can always check out my twitter - I update that a bit.

But for now:

Ill-Be-Back

 

EDIT – The #NoNothingNovember voting thread is LIVE!!!!

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#NoNothingNovember Day 14 – You’re not alone

A lot of life lessons, or attempts at life lessons, are often circular or cyclical in nature. Life has a way of balancing itself out, and we only really get to learn it once we travel the entire circle.

Take for example the good old fashioned dating advice that we have all gotten - “Just Be Yourself”. It’s the piece of advice we have all gotten when we were lost, insecure and in need of guidance. And in that moment – it is the worst possible advice because how can you tell someone to be themselves when they haven’t really found themselves yet? You can’t.

But on the flip side – if you like who you are and where you’re at – it doesn’t get better than “just be yourself”. I’ll use me as an example – I’m weird. I talk about random shit. I’m overenthusiastic. I couldn’t be the “strong silent type” unless you paid me giant sums of money. In fact, I’ve been described by this girl I’m seeing as “a male version of Zooey Deschanel, ’cause you’re quirky as fuck”. If you try to approach girls like I do, you might get embarrassed and laughed out. But it works for me because the way I talk to girls is consistent with my personality. I’m being myself, because I know who I really am.

In the continuous quest of self improvement – we have all had to “break free” at some point. Break free from the ideals, beliefs, people and institutions that were holding us back, no matter if these setbacks were real or imaginary.

itsreal4

But breaking free doesn’t mean being alone, and for a lot of people – this idea is a tough one to grasp. Over on the #NoNothingNovember subreddit - a lot of people are isolating themselves in their quest for self improvement. While this might help in the short term to get organized and focused (and by “short term” i mean a month) – it is absolutely toxic in the long term because man is a social creature, and without social contact – we slowly go insane.

I should know – I’ve been there before. Slowly but surely I was trying to eliminate bad habit after bad habit and rebuild myself with only the power of my own mind, and books. I never asked for help, because I thought that asking for help is the losers way out. I ended up becoming a “self improvement bulimic” – binge on the “good stuff”, “purge” on the bad stuff, without any sense of balance, because I though no one could understand me, and that the rest of the world was too “blue pill” to care about me, and that a “real man” has to do things on his own. I could go days without talking to anyone, because I thought that was the only way.

I was wrong, and it’s a damn shame it took me this long to realize that.

I know I like to sing the praises of Crossfit on this blog, over and over again, but damn did it ever help my mindset. While my motivation was mine and my own – I was no longer alone. I made friends. I suffered through the painful highs and lows of these workouts with similarly minded people, and I improved as a person. It was no longer me, a commercial gym and hours of Joe Rogan podcasts, it was something entirely new. I realized then that I shouldn’t isolate myself, and that in every step of your life, no matter what you do, there are people trying to do the same.

I started going to more manosphere meetups and met all kinds of cool people with crazy stories to tell. We were as diverse as we could get – but we were not alone. And we were ready to help each other out.

So what’s the point of all of this? Reach out. Reach out to people going through the same stuff as you. Reach out in person, or over the internet. Reach out in the good times and the bad. Just reach out.

And I will lead by example. I’m having a particularly hard time quitting smoking cold turkey for #NoNothingNovember. I need help. If you have successfully quit smoking – I want to know how you did it. Thank you in advance, friend.

Posted in fitness, No Nothing November | 1 Comment

#NoNothingNovember Day 10 – A bump in the road is not a roadblock

I’m sitting here at my desk, reading the latest updates from the #NoNothingNovember participating blogs, as well as the #NoNothingNovember subreddit - and I must say – I’m feeling pretty proud, not just because people have TAKEN the challenge, but because now, around days 9-10, is when the challenge becomes a challenge.

And my readers responded absolutely beautifully. Several people have had bumps in the road, and everyone treated the bump just as that – a bump, and not as some excuse to go on some sort of downward spiral.

If this is happening to you – own your bump, get past it, and get back on the horse. Don’t use this as an excuse to slip back into your old habits, because in the end – your own happiness and productivity are at stake.

I wrote last year about a major bump in the road that I had when I first attempted the challenge. It made me stronger and motivated to keep on fighting my vices.

And, you know what? I faced a bump in the road this past weekend as well… If you can even call it that.

On Thursday night I had a date, and we hit it off immediately. And what happened next could only be described as a whirlwind romance – we spent the next few days together exploring NYC and exploring each other. It was beautiful. It made me happy. And you know what? I had a couple of drinks Thursday night (Vice #2) and From Thursday Night to Saturday night did absolutely no work (Vice #3) . I had the time of my life, but I knew that I could have this fun because I was putting in work and effort when I needed to in order to make myself a better person. This was my reward.

And now that I am back – I am grinding all of my work and my health again, waiting for the next set of rewards to come. And they will, because I am working for them, I am working for me, and ultimately, that’s what the spirit of #NoNothingNovember is all about – not just subtraction, but addition, not just abstinence, but reward.

Posted in No Nothing November | 1 Comment

How #GamerGate leaked into my real life

If you haven’t heard about #GamerGate at this point, then you are probably in a self exile from news, media and gaming, and I commend your discipline.

"What the hell is #GamerGate? I'm over here doing monk shit"

“What the hell is #GamerGate? I’m over here doing monk shit”

But for the rest of us – it’s been pretty clear – battle lines have been drawn, opinions have been stated, shills have been shilling, and the big internet culture war is in full swing. You have a side that has never lost vs a side that has nothing to lose, and we are all witnesses and participants.

But notice what I said there? Internet. That’s right, internet. During most of this conflict, the dialogue was confined to blogs, tweets, youtube videos and an occasional mainstream news mention. But I have never encountered a #GamerGate discussion in real life until now, and this experience was unlike any discussion I’ve had before. Well, “discussion” isn’t really the right word here, but let me back up to where this whole thing started – last Friday night – Halloween.

I was hanging out with some friends that live in Riverdale, New York – a Bronx suburb on the edge of the NYC and Yonkers border. I wasn’t planning on getting into any sort of Halloween debauchery, partially because I’ve been working myself stupid with all of my latest projects, and partially because I had a crazy night with Matt Forney, Goldmund, and many other manosphere folks the night before. I just wanted to chill with my friends, and we stopped at a local bar.

The 3 of us are drinking, talking, and glancing at basketball highlights. I make a mental note that the tiny t-shirt Lakers jerseys are pretty sweet. And since #NoNothingNovember hasn’t started for me yet, I decided to step outside and hopefully bum a cigarette, and enjoy that sweet sweet vice one last time before November 1.

Outside the bar – a guy was kind enough to give me a cigarette and we started shooting the shit. Another guy was standing outside next to us in a sweet Wolverine costume, which gave me an idea for something to talk about. What follows… I didn’t expect.

So what do you buys think about Marvel’s 20 year 45 movie plan, that shit is pretty nuts” – I said, knowing that everyone and their mother loves Marvel movies, and that’s as safe of a topic as can be.

The guy that gave me the cigarette asked me how geeky I was. I was sure that he was ready to talk my ear off about his interests, and I always welcome such conversations because I’m the exact same way, so I answer truthfully – “Really geeky about some stuff, not so much with other stuff. I’m not a hardcore comic book reader, I used to adore Spiderman comics as a teen, but at this point, the only back story I knew with Guardians of the Galaxy was that Rocket Raccoon was in a video game I really liked”.

He looked a little anxious. I didn’t know what to make of it. And then he said:

“What do you think about GamerGate”?

I answered truthfully.

Quite honestly – I love it, I fully 100% support it, and I think it’s something that has long been overdue. In fact the…“. I didn’t get to finish my thought. The guy just turned around and walked away without saying a word, with an annoyed look on his face. No explanation, no disagreement, no attempt to explain his point of view or to further ask about mine. Nothing. He just walked away.

I have held a long list of beliefs over the course of my life – and I have had to explain all of them at some point. I have also changed my beliefs several times – and changed the beliefs of others. To me – no discussion was ever off limits. I was always prepared to hear other peoples opinions – because this is America – and the 1st Amendment to the constitution – yes – the FIRST – guarantees us freedom of speech, and that is how we all grow.

Of all the discussions, on all the topics I have ever had, controversial or not, I have NEVER had someone walk away from the conversation upon hearing my stance on something.

NEVER!

Until October 31, 2014.

And this is what we must understand about #GamerGate – this is more than just some “online controversy” – this is a battle against extreme authoritarianism, which in its own, is decidedly un-American. No matter who we are, and what we believe, we must at least be able to talk. Anti-Gamergate doesn’t think so.

I’m not going to sit here and lecture you about the merits of #GamerGate - lots of other people have already done a way better job than I ever could have. And you have the right to listen to them, or not, it’s your choice. But I want you to have this choice. That’s my philosophy that I stand by.

But I’ll leave you with this – is a side advocating for silence and blind obedience really the good guys? You decide.

Posted in News, stories | 12 Comments

#NoNothingNovember – Days 1-3. No slacking

I really gotta thank you boys. I really do.

When I conceived #NoNothingNovember this year as a social project, I had some decent expectations, but I never knew this would happen.

As of November 3, 2014, #NoNothingNovember has:

I spent the weekend trying to make sense of it all. I commented on anything that I could. I made sure everyone participating had some sort of virtual high five, or piece of advice, or anything else I could define as helpful. I followed up. I followed up on the followups, and yet my work is still not done.

If I haven’t put your blog on the blog list – let me know and I’ll fix it! As you can see – there is a lot of data for me to go over. But it’s all good – because Vice #3 for me is Underachieving. And in the first 3 days I have been doing none of that.

And I managed to do all of that while still developing a very large chunk of time to my other projects. I’ll be honest, I’m a bit pooped, but boy am I sleeping well. .

Well, that’s it for now, keep it up you magnificent bastards!

Posted in No Nothing November | 2 Comments

#NoNothingNovember – Announcing the partnership of /r/TheRedPill and Manosphere.com

highfive

The Red Pill and Manosphere.com partnership in pic form

I didn’t want to spoil anything, but now it’s official – my site Manosphere.com has partnered with The Red Pill Subreddit (/r/TheRedPill) to bring #NoNothingNovember to a wider audience!

Please visit the #NoNothingNovember thread on /r/TheRedPill to submit your blog and challenges, as well as get all the details. The winners will be announced early December and will win a 1 month “Sticky” spot at the top of Manosphere.com, as well as a month’s worth of Reddit gold. Blogs that are entered will be automatically added to the Manosphere.com aggregate for an extra boost to your blog’s profile.

I’m looking forward to hearing about all of your wonderful results!

Posted in No Nothing November | 4 Comments

#NoNothingNovember Returns, and this time it’s about you

As long time readers of my blog already know – last year, on a whim, I decided to quit 3 of my vices and document my results in this very blog. There were highs, there were lows, there were lessons, but ultimately I came out the other end a better person.

A lot has changed since last year. While many of these details are from my private “offline” life – one big change that I openly talk about is the launch of Manosphere.com – the one stop destination for the latest happenings in the Manosphere. Because of that site I have been exposed to a wide array of new and interesting blogs on a variety of topics, and the community and audience is only growing stronger.

And as the cool air, NHL action and the pop up Halloween stores indicate – October is in full swing and November will start soon.

It was time to challenge myself with No Nothing November once again, but this time I want to extend the challenge to you – my loyal readers.

I want you to join me in “No Nothing November” to get rid of your vices, better your life, and live one month with sheer discipline just to see if you can. And of course, no challenge is complete without a reward – and this is a good one.

I would like you to document your progress on your own blogs, and share them with the #NoNothingNovember hashtag in the title. Once November ends – I will pick one blog from the participants – the blog that impresses me most with it’s author’s No Nothing November participation – and feature it on my site.

Your blog will not only be permanently displayed in the featured blog section – but all of your blog posts for the month of December will be stickied on the first page of Manosphere.com – which will result in a guaranteed spike in readership.

This is a great opportunity for you up and coming bloggers to shine through, and I am looking forward to your submissions!

How To Enter:

  1. Email me at [email protected] before November 1 and let me know that you are participating
  2. In November – post on your blog with a title that starts with “#NoNothingNovember” detailing how your battle with your vices and your quest for self discipline is going.

And that’s it!

And, it wouldn’t be fair of me to run this contest without throwing my own participation in (don’t worry, I’m not eligible to win). Because, like all of us, I could use some discipline.

Here are my goals of #NoNothingNovember:

1. No tobacco. I have come to realize that cigarettes are a lot harder to quit than I originally thought. My tobacco use is down, but not out. I plan on fully eliminating it this November.

2. No bad food/alcohol. Having recently joined a new Crossfit gym, I was reminded once again how important proper nutrition is. When I eat well – I am a machine, when I don’t – I struggle. I don’t want to struggle anymore. I don’t want to be known as “surprisingly strong” or “can you believe he works out 5 days a week” – no – it’s time for my body to match my gym habits. And it starts with food.

3. No Underachieving. This is the hardest one of them all. I’ll admit, it sucks being called out. It’s even worse when it’s true. I was recently mentioned in a Wall Street Playboys article about someone who should be doing more. And he’s right. Manosphere.com is not properly monetized yet, I have a FINISHED book on online dating that’s just sitting there waiting for me to publish it, a side project that I only slightly touched on (that one will remain private), and a few other things. I need to step it up with my alternative money making opportunities, because recently it was reaffirmed to me how important those things were. Right now, in my “alter ego”, I work for a tech startup. That’s as far as I’m going to elaborate. But recent actions against two of my friends (namely Matt Forney and Mike Cernovich, coincidentally, two former Manosphere.com feature bloggers) show just how important it is to be independent.

There were hit pieces against my friends, lots of fire and flame, but they withstood it because the angry hordes of the perpetually offended privilege checkers have one move – go after someone’s employment. And When you are making money independently from a corporate entity – they can never get to you.

What’s my crime? My crime is helping men and giving them a unfiltered voice. I’d like to think that I will never be found guilty in the court of political corectness, and that my online life and my offline life will never cross paths. And maybe I’m just being paranoid. But in today’s environment, you never now. And shit – the best case scenario – I just get a lot of extra money to spend on soccer jerseys and novelty tshirts.

bimbo

So there you have it. Today is October 20. You have 11 days to reach out to me and enjoy your vices for one last time. I’ll be doing the same.

I look forward to hearing from all of you.

Posted in No Nothing November | 16 Comments

The Rotherham child sex abuse scandal and the American media coverage – in pictures

I haven’t posted in months. Real life kept me busy, but what I saw today has truly shaken me to the core. And yes, I am using clickbait language, but I mean it.

If you are not familiar with the Rotherham child abuse scandal - check it out the BBC coverage on it. Over 1400 children were abused, gang raped, prostituted, doused with gasoline and threatened to be set on fire. Truly horrible things. This is about as blatant of an example of “rape culture” as there ever was. And yet, here is the response. All of these images were taken on Friday, August 29, between 11:15 AM and 1:45 AM Eastern Standard time.

Let’s start with Jezebel, a prominent feminist blog on the Gawker network. How did they respond to girls as young as 11 experiencing this abuse?

I see, What about its “parent blog” – Gawker?

Holy shit. Ok, maybe I’m overreacting. Let’s see how Slate reacts. They’re a serious news publication, right?

Nothing here. I check my spelling to make sure I spelled the name of the city right. Nope, still “Rotherham”. Ok. What about buzzfeed? Maybe they already have a top 10 list illustrated with Gilmore Girls gifs about how awful this scandal is.

Nope. But that bulge quiz sure looks important. Maybe I’m being too hard on this clickbait site, what about Upworthy?

Things that matter, pass them on. I guess those 1400 children don’t matter.

Ok, what about Vice? They are on the cutting edge of journalism?

Cutting edge? More like cutting room floor.

Ok, maybe I’m expecting too much from these mainstream sites. What about Feministing – the hardcore, no nonsense, take no prisoners feminist blog?

Well, there you have it. Rape culture doesn’t matter.

If only the perpetrators were lacrosse players or have sent some mean spirited tweets, then maybe we could get some coverage.

EDIT: added ThinkProgress, because a massive child abuse scandal is not thinking about progress.

Posted in News | 20 Comments