Author’s note:  This is a recollection of my events from a year ago.  There is no need to panic.

I have spent my first actual night in a hospital and the novelty of the experience has worn away quickly.  Vital signs are taken every couple of hours and I have an IV feeding plasma into my arm.  The hospital bed has a thin plastic mattress making sleep very uncomfortable (in addition being awakened for vitals and blood work).  While everyone else has been in a hospital before this is the first time it has happened to me!

I ask Kelly and Jerry to share the news about what is going on with me.  I don’t know how to tell people myself.  When it comes to entertaining people I am good at posting memes or something insightful.  However I am not good at sharing my personal experiences with people outside of a handful of trusted friends.  I quite simply don’t know what to do and very uncomfortable about.

Still, everyone is very supportive and I receive a number of visitors through out the day.  I also receive a number of supportive messages via text and Facebook.  I respond to everyone that I can but, again, I am overwhelmed and I leave the phone alone for awhile.

Of the visitors I received that day I remember one occasion in particular.  Craig and Pratt visited me just after I ordered a late lunch.  I believe it was some sort of sandwich and fries.  They don’t mind that I eat while they are there.  The tray is nuzzled up against me on the table while I am in bed.  We are having a conversation and a few laughs.  I start off eating some fries and it is only a couple of minutes when I suddenly lose my appetite.  The nausea hits me like a ton of bricks and I am ready to throw up.  I carefully untangle my IV and other monitor lines and take the IV pole with me to the bathroom.  It takes me about ninety seconds but feels longer.  I make it to the restroom in time to throw up.  When I am done I offer my apologies to Craig and Pratt but they dismiss it.  I also let the nurse know that I threw up and can’t finish my meal.

One thing I have learned about being admitted to a hospital on a weekend is that nothing happens.  I mean, it’s the weekend.  Unless it is a life or death emergency you are pretty much going to wait until Monday before something significant is put on the schedule.  I have a liver biopsy scheduled the next day.  That means I am on a liquid diet until then.  It is something that I will keep in mind if I ever admitted to the hospital again.



Author’s note:  This is a recollection of my events from a year ago.  There is no need to panic.

It is Saturday morning and I wake up still feeling nauseous.  I have a complete lack of appetite but I force myself to go to McDonalds and get two Egg McMuffins.  I can only eat one of them and throw the other away.  The rest of my day is spent in the recliner watching TV as I feel miserable.  Kelly reminds me that I made a promise to go to the ER.  At around 6:00 in the evening I finally shower for the day and go.

Instead of going to the hospital I go to the emergency room around the corner.  Other people refer to it as a “doc in a box.”  It is the first time I have been in the emergency room since I broke my ankle twenty-five years earlier.  The place is nearly empty with only one other patient and their family member attending.  It’s quiet but the staff are friendly.

I explain my symptoms to them.  My weight has dropped into the 150s, I occasionally vomit, feel nauseous frequently and have no appetite.  They are going to run a CAT scan on me.  I spend most of the night messing with my phone waiting for the results.

At nearly midnight they give me the news – they have found a mass in my pancreas.  They want to call an ambulance but I tell them I can drive there.  Orders are sent to Baylor Scott White down the street from me for a direct admission.  I thank them, pay the co-pay and leave.  Instead of going to the hospital I stop at the house first and grab my laptop bag.  I can’t remember if I pack a bag or not.  I may have asked Kelly to do this later on.  I also can’t remember if I told Kelly then or waited until morning.  I likely waited until morning.

I drive myself to the hospital and admit myself to emergency.  It is as eerily quiet as the doc in the box was.  The paperwork is in order and I can go straight to my room.  I am offered a wheelchair but I decline.  I also meet briefly with the doctor working.  This is the first time I have ever stayed overnight in a hospital.


Author’s note:  This is a recollection of my events from a year ago.  There is no need to panic.

It is moving day and I have no choice but to go into the office.  I have already called in sick twice this week and would feel extremely guilty if I call in a third day.  But this is the last day we are in this office before we move down to Knox Henderson.

Something is very wrong with me.  I have been vomiting on average of about once per month.  I feel fatigue and nausea all the time.  When I was in New York City a couple of months earlier I visited some friends that lived there.  They were dismayed that I wanted nothing to eat or drink for dinner.  I simply had no appetite and the thought of eating is unappealing.  But I don’t like the way my stools look and I suspect that I might have pancreatitis.

But we have to move out of our old office on Forest Lane then wait a couple of weeks before our new office opens.  I am late to work regardless.  I show up at 11:00, grabbing a prepackaged snack of crackers, turkey, cheese and grapes from Tom Thumb on the way.  I slowly force myself to eat them.

The RD asks how I feel and I tell him.  He seems sympathetic.  I still very slowly and gingerly pack up all the stuff from my cubicle.

Kelly has been nagging me to go to the doctor.  I promise her that if I feel this bad by tomorrow I will actually do it.  I am unaware that I would spend ten days out of the next two weeks in the hospital.

Rule #1 Make the Most of Your Day


If you have never seen the movie Zombieland stop what you are doing and go see it right now.  It is the best zombie comedy movie ever made.  After you have seen it come back to this post.

For those of you who have seen it then you might get the reference going forward.  In the movie our hero Columbus has a list of rules that he lives by during the zombie apocalypse.  I decided to make my own list of rules for dealing with cancer.  There is only one rule so far so consider it a work in progress.

Rule#1 Make the Most of Your Day

You will have good days and you will have bad days.  When you have a good day appreciate it fully.  Don’t take a good day for granted.

When I say “make the most of your day” I don’t have the expectation that I am going to build a rocket ship, broker peace in the Middle East or even cure cancer.  But I am going to do something constructive with my day, whether it is going to be work or personal.  Even with the personal I am going to find something fulfilling or, at the very least, entertaining.  It doesn’t have the be monumental but set a goal, even a small one, and work to accomplish.

This is going to be more important to do on the bad days.  You will have complications from chemotherapy or the cancer that will feel like a set back.  Still try to accomplish something.  You need to keep yourself grounded with a purpose that keeps you moving forward.

Saturday Morning at the Lake


It is actually Saturday morning as I write.  I will likely post tomorrow or Monday.  Never just write and hit publish.  Write, edit, let it marinate then rewrite and edit again.

I am here for the wedding of a couple of friends, Amanda and Randy.  As of right now the sky is cloudy and the lake is covered with light layer of fog.  I woke up early at 6:00 and sat on the balcony watching the peace surrounding me.  Birds were singing and deer quietly traipsed in the woods below.  I anticipated a lake full of boats this morning but they were very infrequent.  When they did motor by they interrupted the serenity.  By the time the sun comes out this afternoon I anticipate a traffic jam of boats but the wedding I attend should be picturesque.

I haven’t written anything in a couple of months.  Call it a sabbatical.  I was doing too much at once and needed to take a step back from everything.   Back in March I brought my laptop into the bar and after opening it I dreaded typing the next word.  In my real world job of software sales I work ten to twelve hour days.  In the corporate world you don’t ever really get a day off.  Instead, your PTO is used to buy time before you have to respond to somebody.  Last month I was in Las Vegas with friends and I did two back to back conference calls at 7:30 in the morning.  But work is necessary because, as I stated earlier, work = healthcare = survival.  In addition to the a sequel of my novel I started writing a second.  And then I have this blog as well as social media to keep up with (Twitter still baffles me).  Oh, and lets not forget the ongoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.


So I just stopped everything I was doing and played Fallout 4 for the last couple of months.  It’s not that I have writers block.  I definitely have stories in my head that want to get out.  Just that the act of sitting down and writing is time consuming work.  After working a ten hour work day I am loathed to sit down and pound on a keyboard for another hour or two.


My cancer treatment continues.  We have run through the first course of chemotherapy.  Now something called Lanreocide has been added to the mix.  It is supposed to starve the tumors from the hormones that are feeding it.  The doctor said most people want a break from chemo at this point but I seem to be holding up well.  The primary concern with side effects seem to be anemia.  My hemoglobin is a concern.  It is down to 8.1 and iron supplements don’t seem to be helping.  That walk from the party barge uphill to the resort pretty much kicked my ass last night.  For the next round of chemo (#18) I anticipate a bag of iron sucrose as black as Satan’s blood.

My last two months have been pretty quiet.  I really dialed down everything and kept to myself a bit (aside from that trip to Vegas).  I can’t stay too idle for long.  While the physical tasks of living becomes more challenging with fatigue my mind is as active as ever and I can feel that urge to do more.  Maybe it is time for me to step up again?



Everything changes (well, according to Fallout war never changes, but I digress).  Some of us embrace the change.  Most resist.  For those that resist the change it is because they fear what change will bring them.  If they believe everything they know has always been good then the change, whatever the change may be, threatens what they know so they resist it.

I first became aware of how resistant people are to change as early as high school.  I remember some of the popular kids in high school couldn’t handle the change when they went to college.  In high school, they were a big deal.  In college they discovered they were just like everyone else.  For a few of those folks it was such a blow to their ego that they dropped out, went back home and relished in the popularity they already knew.  I still see that resistance to change even today when my peers from high school and college insist that the only good music came before 1990 and nothing good has been released since then.
Rather than resist change I embrace it or, in the case of something bad happening, adapt to it.  It wasn’t an “Eureka” moment that I had overnight.  It was a gradual process of learning things about myself as well as the people around me.  For the longest time in life I was angry and felt I had been treated unfairly.  Then I let it all go.  If I were to put a date on this I would say this happened when I turned forty.  Once I let go of all the anger I had more confidence in myself and the opinions of others didn’t matter.  That is not to say I stopped putting value in the opinions of friends.  I took stock in who those friends were (and who they were not) and placed value accordingly.  That is a very elaborate way of saying the opinions of most people don’t matter.
One of the things I have learned since I turned forty and especially in the past year is the value of kindness.  When I was hospitalized last summer I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that I received.  And “overwhelmed” is an understatement.  It was a very confusing time and I didn’t fully comprehend everything that was going on with me.  Everyone was kind and generous with me and it reinforced the value of kindness to give to people in return.  It costs you nothing to be kind to other people.  I strive to be kind in some way everyday.  If people want to resist that is on them, you have done your part.
That is not to say that you have to be a pushover.  There are always going to be people who will take advantage of kindness.  Sometimes you will have to cut those people out of your life or hold your ground with them.
But for the most part kindness will be met with kindness.

Finding Time

finding time.JPG

Finding time to write this blog has been a challenge.  It’s not that I don’t want to do, it is because I am usually busy with a lot of things all simultaneously.  Work takes up most of my time.  If I could only be as famous as Stephen King and write full time?  But, alas, I cannot.  I usually get here at 7:00 in the morning then put in a ten hour day while I work at my desk through lunch.  Then I need to find time to write on my newest novel. And I have to find time to write this blog.  Plus I still need to take time to receive chemotherapy but I admit that chemotherapy is kind of a big deal for me.  I am still at a loss as to how to market myself.

The last several weeks have been especially busy.  Last month the company I work for had their National Sales Kickoff in Cancun.  Everyone in the office was excited!  Free vacation!  WOOT!  But, sadly, they are not experienced in the ways of company travel.  If our company was paying for everyone from the northernmost wilds of Canada to the southern tip of Chile to go to Cancun it was not for the drinks and fun in the sun.  I have experienced work conferences and I already knew what to expect.  We started at 7:00 AM everyday (8:00 if you wanted to skip breakfast) and went on until 5:00 or 6:00 in the afternoon.  Then it was a work sponsored event of some sort until 9:00 or 10:00 in the evening.  In the meanwhile we had to keep up with our normal work.  Kudos to the kids who managed to keep the schedule and still take advantage of the drinks at the all inclusive resort.

After we came back I had to spend time catching up from the work I fell behind on while going through my tenth round of chemo.

And then I attended publisher training earlier this month while fighting nausea from that round of chemo.


Today I just finished my thirteenth round of chemotherapy.   I still manage to keep perspective in all this through a simple equation –

Work = Health Insurance = Survival

See how that works?  😀

The Challenge of Writing Future Tech

For those of you who only follow this blog and not my author page or my personal page (I post funny stuff) I wrote a novel last year called “One Nation.”  It is a dystopian novel set in during the fall of 2041 into winter of 2041/2042.  The democratic and republican parties have been replaced by the fascist Freedom Party.  An affluent woman finds herself under investigation by the National Police.  As she and her husband find themselves shunned by their friends and colleagues they have to decide if they if they can salvage their life in America or if they should run.

Since this novel is set twenty-four years in the future one of the challenges I had in writing this was trying to anticipate what the technology would be in the future.  Was I right or wrong?  We’ll know for sure in twenty-four years.

I will only be discussing the future tech from my novel.  If there is any other future tech anyone wants to discuss feel free to comment.  I can research further and comment back.  And if anyone hasn’t read “One Nation” yet rest assured that this post shouldn’t serve as a spoiler.


When I wrote the rough draft I had littered the landscape with Humvees.  Then it occurred to me that much like the Humvee had replaced the iconic Jeep from World War II something newer would have to replace the Humvee.  After some research I found the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.  It isn’t officially called the Joltvee.  I hope the name catches on.



I actually got the idea of the Orwellian identity chips from an episode of CSI: Miami I saw ten years ago.  If you are familiar with the show’s format a dead body turns up and they use SCIENCE to solve the mystery.  In the episode I remember a girl had an RFID chip implanted under her skin that held all her personal information.  Farfetched?  Not as much as you would think.



Google glasses are a very real thing but I don’t think they have taken off like Google hoped it would.  Likely we will need Apple to make the idea popular… because until Apple makes it we ignore it.  Regardless, we are going to have some augmented VR system that we will use in our environment.  The Google glass overlay or something like it makes sense.  I had to find a way to ditch the iGlasses midway through the story.  The idea of wearing something with a camera and a microphone would have impeded my characters escape from their peril.


OLED walls

This is simple in concept.  We watch programs through OLED TVs now.  What if we can wallpaper our entire houses with flexible OLED screens?  I can see that happening in the future.  Every wall covered with screens that will feed your images from programming or just simple scenery like bucolic meadows or golden beach sunsets.  Even more, with transparent OLED displaying information on your car windshield.


Self Driving Cars

These are coming pretty soon (and, given my commute in the Dallas area, can’t come soon enough).  The Teslas can already drive themselves with minimal input from the driver and Google has been working on a self driving prototype.  Uber is experimenting with their own self driving cabs (and getting pushback from the California legislature).  The cars will get smarter and pretty soon everyone will have one.


Artificial Intelligence

Last week I bought a Google Home.  It serves as a personal assistant and at some point I can have it control aspects of my home.  I probably need to write a separate blog post on AIs and how much they have advanced in the last ten years alone.  Even now between my smartphone, Google Chrome and other connected devices all the tech is doing a good job of managing my life.  I’ve noticed that if I forward a flight itinerary to my Gmail account Google will keep me up to date on my flight status.  Some people are frightened by the Orwellian nature of this but I am fine with it.  Tech is everywhere and unless I am fleeing the country like Jennifer Hanson does in “One Nation” it’s easier to have an AI assisting me in life.

When I was interacting with Google Home this week she surprised me with a question.  She said, “By the way, that reminds me… what is your favorite animal?”  I was shocked for a moment.  I said “Cats?”


The State of Karnes Address 2017


It is totally like me to start a blog and then abandon it for a couple of months.  But I have a good excuse, I swear.  I was busy.  Like, really busy.  My grown up job is a licensing solution professional for a global software reseller.  That’s quite a mouthful.  To put it in layman’s terms I manage publisher relationships for my company.  I do quite a bit of management so it keeps me busy.  An apt analogy would be the dude at the carnival who is spinning plates to entertain you.


I spent the last two months completing certifications for one of my publisher lines and trying to close as much business for the year.  My sales year was iffy but those certifications are done.

I continue my treatment for cancer.  My eighth round of chemo was completed last week and I have a ninth round scheduled the first week of February.  Additionally, I had another CT scan.  It looks like chemotherapy is going to be an integral part of my life during 2017.  That’s okay because I am not quitting.

Back when I was in my twenties I used to buy the whole “new year, new you” thing.  It is easy to fall into that trap.  You have a bad year, blame it on fate, the stars, global warming or Hare Krishnas then declare that the next year was going to be TOTALLY different.  But I am older and wiser now.  There is no such thing as a “new year, new you.”  You are still the same you.  You are the sum total of every experience you have ever had.  You can make the choice to learn and grow from those experiences or you can stew in self-doubt and complain that the world is against you.

I don’t have have the perfect life by any means but I have more things going right than wrong.  Well, I have cancer so that is a big negative, but I don’t let it define everything about me as a person.  I still feel like I have a good life and take advantage of it at every opportunity.  Even with every bad thing that is going on personally and in the world I find a reason to laugh everyday.

Still, there is nothing wrong with having goals for the new year and I have them.  My writing has fallen by the wayside for the last couple of months (busy, remember?).  I am writing the sequel to One Nation and hope to have the rough draft completed by the end of spring.  Also, I need to open more distribution channels for One Nation (like iTunes, Google and Goodreads).  And, for the life of me, I need to figure out how to market myself better.

So what are your plans for the year?


Giant Meteor 2016


I have a Facebook friend of a friend.  If you are an avid Facebook user then you know the random unknown person that has a common friend and adds you.  Well this guy is my friend’s (actual friend, that is) gran tio.  I have never met the guy or interacted with him.  But you can tell from his Facebook that HE’S WITH HER!  He posts about twenty to thirty times a day his pro-Hillary or anti-Trump posts.  It’s his Facebook and he can do whatever he wants.  Over the last several weeks he’s been posting a tag line with his political propaganda – “Make sure you are register to vote.”  Then he posted a full tirade on voter registration one day and how important it was.  I decided to interact with him on this.  I asked, “What if I am not voting for Hillary?”  He responded, “Oh, then I don’t want you to register to vote.”  Even though the answer was expected I was still saddened by it.  I commented back and thank him for his frank honesty about suppressing my vote.  I thought the comment might enlighten him through shame.  He didn’t even flinch.

I am not a Trump guy.  When Trump announced his candidacy last year I knew right away he did not represent me.  After having worked for millionaires who made out like bandits but never raised our pay (or, in many cases including my own, cut pay instead) I can’t imagine a billionaire being much better.  And I have never been in the liberal ideology camp so I wasn’t with her (nor did I feel the Bern).  Essentially, we have nothing but bad choices this year.  So I am in the Giant Meteor camp.  Earlier this year I endorsed Pinestraw.


And a month ago I endorsed Abraham Lincoln Riding A Bear While Holding The Constitution And Brandishing An Assault Rifle


If you want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN then vote for your guy.  If you are with her then vote for your girl.  Unlike my Facebook friend of a friend I believe that you should vote for whoever you want.  As an American I will exercise my right to vote too.  But we have four bad choices here.  Between Hillary and Trump neither have our interests at heart.  I think Trump is looking to make money by shaping laws for his business while Hillary is looking to do the same by peddling influence.

I am worried about us as a nation.  We have become so ideologically split that we hate each other more than the enemies that look to do us harm.  If you think people are mean now wait until November 9th when half the country is pissed off that the election didn’t go their way.  I hope we can pull ourselves away from this brink of madness but I fear that we are past the point of no return.