worn out

I’ve been feeling at loss for words over the last little while.  Yet, it’s not really in the spirit of the thing if I only write when I’m feeling up-beat.

I think that the reality of my situation has begun to really sink in, and it’s leaving me feeling pretty bleak.

I shit in a bag now, and on balance I’d say I’m getting sick of it more than I’m getting used to it.  It’s an added appendage in an awkward spot and the knowledge that I’ll have it for the rest of my life is depressing.

I’m in the countdown to 6 bloody months of chemotherapy.  I’ve been through it before and it was awful.  It’s hard to know how to put lipstick on that particular pig.  Especially hard when the chemo is targeting cells that we’re not even sure exist, and where its success will be impossible to measure.

I’m still experiencing a good deal of discomfort from the surgery.  There is progress, but it is incredibly slow.  It makes it very hard to get a good night of sleep.

I am trying to take care of myself..  to relax and give my body a chance to heal (to get healthy enough for the chemo!), but am having to spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone with the insurance company trying to make the case, with little success, that a $1700 reimbursement for a $25K surgery is inadequate. I’ll detail the absurdity of that situation in a separate post.

My family is dealing with the situation admirably, but it’s quite clear that everyone is feeling the weight, and at a time of year when some measure of cheer is necessary to combat quickly shortening days, no one seems to be able to muster it.

I’m worn out.

Being proactive, finding solutions, addressing problems..  It all takes energy, and over the last handful of days I simply haven’t had it.

I can write just as long a list of the the things that I have to be grateful for.. of the reasons that my situation ain’t so bad.  The fact that we have laundry in our house! (over the last few weeks, doing the laundry at a laundromat would have been a full time job at the rate I was soaking through maxi pads!).  The fact that some school mates and professors of Hill’s put enough money on a gift card to our supermarket that we won’t have to pay for groceries until thanksgiving!  But as they say, every silver lining has a cloud.  Lately I’ve been aware of the clouds.  Fuck.

It’ll pass.

The Assless bike made it’s way back a few days ago from a gallery down in Virginia.  With a little help from Ed, I got it all taken apart and packed up to go to the painter for a face lift.  I have trouble sitting on a foam donut at the moment..  a bike seat isn’t even a question.  So it’s back to the assless for the time being.  When I built it, I was so eager to get on and ride the thing, that I just rattle canned it and went.  This time, I’ve got a little more time on my hands..  I think it’ll be a couple of weeks still before I’ve got the flexibility/range of motion in the whiffs to be able to ride the thing.  So.  Look out for a fancy new paint job on the assless.  Hot dog!

No Responses to “worn out”

  1. Stephanie

    It breaks my heart to read this. I can’t imagine how hard this all is for you and your family. I hope it all get easier for you. It makes me so angry you even have to deal with the insurance company at all during a time like this. You in my thoughts…Keep your head up!

  2. chelseagirl

    Fundraising ideas:
    We all love your photos. Maybe make a book of PutneySue pics .. or one about your bikes… and we’d all buy a bunch, for sure.

    Fundraising concert with GlennH? And the old Paypal site?

    So sorry. I know the dough is not the whole deal.

  3. Kamala

    I can feel your pain when it comes to the “wait and see” game. It sucks. Bad. I’ve been feeling the same ’cause I have another gnarly sinus infection even though I just had surgery on my sinuses to make me Sinus Infection free for a few more years. I feel like I should be more grateful that the accident wasn’t worse, that I’m able to walk, talk and do things on my own but at the same time I’m exercising my right to say “No, this shit sucks.”

    We’re all rooting for you Ez! Only you can make pooping a bag look cool. 🙂 I hope you’re able to get some rest and clear your head, we had fall break and it was exactly what I needed.

  4. Burnt Umber

    I have never met you, Hill, Putney, and those you call friends, but it seems to me you have a special way with people. You have a noble love about you and this thing which is eating you up is starting to tare into that.

    I can only imagine what you are going through. The feeling of powerless struggle against something which is eating you alive is enough to make most men cul up and wait for the end of all things.

    Know this, You have encouraged me to be a better person. To do thing better and to be stronger in the face of impossible odds.

    Do not despair. Do not let it win. I think you are strong enough yet to still teach this bitch to cry.

  5. John

    Still sending good mojo your way!

  6. Kyle

    Sending you good thoughts for peace, hope and cheer, Ezra.

  7. Debi Beirne

    It’s no wonder you are worn out and feeling down. Although you are a brave strong man with a wonderful wife, dog and family who will be with you through think and thin. Of course you already knew that. 🙂 I think that Helen Keller had a saying “Keep your face to the sunshine, and you will not see the shadows.” We are all still sending those good vibes your way. In other words, we love ya man and believe in you!! Now go rest!

  8. brent

    This all sucks right now, but it’s going to get better. Hang in there the best you can, brother. Know that those of us who have followed you and your story for so long will do anything we can to help. To that end, here is the old PayPal link (thanks, Megan!):


    Everyone donate what you can when you can.

  9. Rachel Elizabeth

    I love the idea of a Putney book. I’d buy one and put it on my coffee table. Every time someone asked me about it I’d direct them right back here to buy their own.

  10. April

    Seems like “hang in there” or “it will get better” are trite words that won’t mean much to you, so I won’t say that. It’s okay to be/feel overwhelmed, just don’t give up. You have so many talents and, obviously, so many people who love you so when you feel like you can’t go on…just, well, any ONE moment is not unbearable (in theory), so count slowly back from ten. All the good wishes in the world coming your way.

  11. cheryl carson

    you are my hero, ezra. i am thinking of you often and sending love your way.

  12. Fiona

    My suggestion is a huge modeling contract. You are gorgeous. Now more than ever. Your kind of beauty is earned and hard to find. XO to you.

  13. lauren

    Hang in there Ez… I can’t imagine the weight of life you are feeling.. and to stare it down full force at this point is definitely… well, exhausting. I think about you guys everyday and check your blog out the minute I sit in front of the computer each morning. I hope to be able to see you guys soon.. Sending thoughts of strength and non-crazychickenlady-esque your way!

  14. Greer

    This too shall pass Ezra.

    Meanwhile, here is definitely one place you can share it all, every little bit. We don’t need you to wait for the upbeat. There are more willing shoulders here than you know and you can throw all the muck, all the pain, all the laughs and all the rest at us and we won’t be going anywhere. (I’m assuming I can speak for everyone else!)

    And if there’s ever a book of Putney pics I will order far more than I can afford.
    Love your way..

  15. Kayla

    I’m so sorry you have to go through this shit. Fighting insurance companies would wear anyone down and out, to say nothing of all the other stuff you’re going through. Hang in there, Ezra! There is so much respect and good will for you out here among people that you don’t even know.

  16. Lutin

    I don’t quite know what to say, but “I HEAR YA”. Ya Definitely going through it. This is a real Mountain to climb, hurdle to jump, yah, yeah, Yah. Pick your metaphor. Take the break when ya need it. Then keep on stepp’en. Give us a shout ,when ya need a hand, foot, shoulder. We’ll be there. Don’t quite know if this helps. Maybe not now, but some time.

  17. Wish I Were Riding

    You definitely have it tough. I can only imagine the difficulties you are faced with and adjusting to.

    I know of only one other person going through tough times like you. My boss is a childhood Leukemia survivor. After the birth of her first child she had severe postpartum depression. She was almost through that and trying to come back to work when she was diagnosed with a large brain tumor. The first surgery was mostly successful, however she is not healing as she should and has been back in for 4 additional surgeries. She now has another one scheduled. She is a strong person who was very career oriented. She has basically been mostly away from work for over an entire year now. And she is again found herself in a deep depression.

    Please stay strong. I hope that you and people like you and my boss find the strength AND courage to come out the other end and find your way back to feeling whole again.

  18. Lori

    I wish I had health to give you, energy that I could hand over, and words to bridge the distance from the place you’re in to forever-and-ever-happiness. I’m sorry that, instead, I have only my very best wishes–to you and to your loved ones.

  19. Spinnincin

    I’m gonna second the modeling suggestion, photo books, and add an illustrated cook book. Everything you can do to fill your time with things you enjoy is good. Peace and love to you and yours, Cindy

  20. Christina

    You are right. It will pass. The fact that you wrote this tells me you are already on your way out of this funk even if it doesn’t feel like it.

    You are a strong man and a young man and you can *do* this. I freakin’ know you can!

    Sending hugs to you and Hillary (and Iris sends licks to Putney 🙂

  21. susanna

    i like tha idea of a book of your pics as well! and i think that lot of people will buy it, your pics are really beautiful and will be for a good cause.

    a big hug.

  22. jrobtp (brunop)

    we’re thinkin’ of you and yer lady up here in beantown.

  23. Kim


    maybe they can help.

    thinking of you Ezra.

  24. Cyclin' Missy

    When you had this surgery, I wondered if the assless bike would be back! What an awesome invention.

    I’ve been feeling very similarly to you this spring with the shortening days, a death in the family, hubby’s job transition, loss of a friend… It has felt so gray. I try to stay active – that helps. And I’m considering buying a sun lamp for the winter. I am a creature that needs those rays to be happy! Maybe something like that could help you and the fam, too.

  25. Cyclin' Missy

    ha ha…I meant “fall”.

  26. Veerle

    I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you too. The book idea somebody mentioned in the comments before is a great idea. We would totally buy a book to help you out.

  27. Annie Anderson

    to: fuck cancer I’m Ezra

    Hi Ezra!
    Thanks to a wonderful man on Facebook, I was able to read your blog. Now I can better understand what the members of my family who are currently going thru surgery and chemo are actually feeling. Thank you for being so generous in sharing your experience–you are my hero! You and your family will be in my prayers every day and I’ll keep reading your blog. God bless you dear man! Annie in MA

  28. a

    I agree,.. if you’re able/interested.. maybe sell some photos for fundraiser(s), I love your work, deeply respect your photo eye and would def purchase some ..

  29. Jay

    Thanks for writing this. I can tell it was hard to put it down in words, and I only hope that it is encouraging that we all care about you. Through your words and photos you are on a first name basis in our household, from the gnocchi (which we tried and loved) to the tough news which we painfully parse over dinner.

    Be blessed.

  30. ValancyJane

    If you didn’t have Putney Sue, I’d mail you my Dulce cat.

    Is there anything you need? Anything we can send?

  31. mari

    I serendipitously came across your blog a few days ago, and then I read this poem and thought of you:


    I’m a total stranger, but I’m rooting for you.

  32. Taunia

    You have every right to be worn out, worn thin, worn down. Please rest. Take care of yourself. Surround yourself with loved ones. Ask for help. Accept it.

    While I think selling your beautiful photos/cookbook/modeling career are all good ways to raise money, when I hear that you are (righfully) ‘worn out’, all I want for you and Hill right now is to be taken care of by loved ones, even those you have never met- people like me and my husband who live clear across the country. I want for you to not have to worry about insurance BS and bills and human food and pet food. So, to that end, I will donate to the fast boy fund. And hope others do the same.

    I think of you often and am inspired by your candor, spirit and bravery. Sending you healing and prayers and love. Thank you for sharing your story.

  33. Liz

    thinking of you.

    I am sending mojo and prayers and best wishes. though you don’t know me, i found you via flickr and have been reading since the beginning….your struggle reminds me everyday to have hope and live on in my life..

  34. jrobtp (bob)

    book? of photos and recipes? duder. i’m in the book biz. i’d do my dangdest to work this thing. start shootin’ and cookin’. (or perhaps the other way ’round). for real.

  35. Becca

    Hi Ezra,
    I felt the weight of your words in your post. I am glad you know that it’s OK to not always be upbeat and positive. Sometimes life kicks us in the face. But you sound so strong and determined. Happiness will makes its way back to you.

    Sidebar: You know what? You look as though you could rock a shit bag. Also? Your photos are insane. Plus? Keep writing!
    From a complete stranger who is amazed with your blog
    Victoria, British Columbia Canada

  36. Mochuelin

    I would make something for you, because you deserve it, please, say us what we can do, every friends that you have (and you have a lot) are waiting.
    Be strong, please. Hugs.

  37. Øystein Alsaker

    I only know of you through the flickr account. I have followed your photos for a few years and I would definitely buy a Putney-book if you made it.

    I truly feel sorry for what you’re having to go through and it makes me feel unhappy that such bad stuff can happen to such nice people.

  38. megan

    wanna get on a big fluffy cloud and float over for some long overdue stoop sittin. sending you all so much good will and love and strength — every day.

  39. mischa

    your in my prayers, ezra!

  40. kris spikes - philadelphia, pa

    I’m kinda glad to see you’ve hit this point….it was bound to happen sooner or later and you were responding just a little too well to everything!

    It’s normal to be angry, sad, tired, frustrated, self-pity….but the one thing you don’t have to feel, is alone. It seems as though you have an amazing support system. Let them (us?) do their job.

    We love you Ezra….

  41. Rohit

    Sending Awesome Energies your way.
    Stay Strong.

  42. Laurie

    oh god. I was still fighting insurance companies almost a year after my mother passed from brain cancer. I’m miserable for you, and yet even in your frank “this is fucked” attitude you inspire hope. Keep the faith, man. And eat a lot of great food.

  43. Yvonne

    I remember 5 years ago when my dad was first diagnosed with lymphoma, my aunt telling me that everything had an end to it. Although it was lost to me at the time, I understood later that there is indeed an end to everything and it gives us hope that we don’t have to endure pain and sadness forever. I remembered the same thing when my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and I think it helped us all to get through the tough times because we knew they won’t last forever. Both my parents are now in remission, even though my dad went through a relapse during that process. I am certain that you will get through this – you are stronger than you think and there will be an end to all this! we are all rooting for you 🙂

Leave a Reply