Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mr. Clean I Am Not

Back in June (which seems ages ago) I got pretty caught up in the USA's World Cup pursuit. I bit the bullet and purchased an American flag bandanna on for $1.50 to show my support and also to look like a redneck at the lake for July 4th(I succeeded at both).  At the time I never would have thought that I would be in a position where I would need a bandanna out of necessity to cover up my oddly shaped bald head.

I bring this up because I have a consult with my medical oncologist (that would now be the 3rd oncologist to join my team of doctors, but who is counting) tomorrow afternoon to discuss the treatment plan and schedule for chemotherapy.  Honestly, when I received my initial diagnosis it was the thought of chemo that scared me more than the threat of not surviving this battle.  You hear such horror stories about people that have had such terrible side effects from their chemo treatment.  Especially sitting here feeling 100% healthy, it is hard to fathom that I will have to potentially feel very sick for >6 months in order to hopefully feel the exact same way I do now.

I realize now that while yes there is a distinct possibility that I could be facing some severe side affects, it is by no means a foregone conclusion.  I have talked to a number of friends who have told me about people they know that have had very minimal side affects and have felt totally healthy throughout the treatment.  There are a lot of factors that will play a role in this (recipe, pathology, health, age, etc) so until proven otherwise I am taking the mindset that I will have some bad days, but there will also be a lot of good days that will allow me to go about some sort of normal schedule.  As I posted earlier, a positive mental attitude is so important when facing challenges such as these.  I know it sounds hokey for me to continue talking about the power of the mental state, but I've talked to a few cancer survivors who initially were very down after their diagnosis, and it wasn't much later on when they finally committed to positivity that their recovery really started to improve.  Try and apply that to any obstacles you have faced with both a positive and a negative state of mind:  Which were more successful? Which were less of a struggle?

Of course one side affect I will not be able to avoid is the hair loss.  For those of you that know me, you are familiar with the fact that I wear visors instead of hats, but those probably aren't in the cards for the next few months, so I am open to any type of head wear suggestions.  My dad is convinced that one of those hats with the fake ponytail hanging out the back is the one for me, but I'm more of a rat tail guy, so I don't think that will work.  Either way, I will wear any hat at least once, so break out the big guns everybody.

Thank you for your support!



  1. I have a hat from Disney World made out of Daisy Duck's face. You are more than welcome to borrow it.

    Looks a little something like this:

  2. This seems to work for some Dawg fans:

  3. Skipper & Jo Anne BennettAugust 19, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    Michael, your parents informed us of this yesterday and I want you to know we are pulling for you and have complete faith that you will completely heal from this little setback. Sometimes the golf course can be unkind and you get a bad break but heck, there is a birdie just around the corner.

    Our best, Skipper and Jo Anne

  4. Hey there Michael - I am w/you on the power of positive thinking. The only difference between worry and confidence is your expected outcome. I haven't known you long, but long enough to know you are really strong and have the mental toughness to endure and conquer!

    PS. You are about to find out early what most men don't know until they're 40 or older - Bald heads are VERY sexy!

    My best, Christine Coley
    Playground Rivals

  5. You could try going with the unicorn headgear. Best part about that is it goes great with a tuxedo for formal events.

    Stay up,

  6. Michael,

    I am so incredibly impressed with your outlook and positive attitude! I know you are just beginning your fight, but you're already an inspiration to me. Also, it just so happens that the Earnhart costume closet is a great source for head coverings. Pretty sure I can find one or two things in there that you'll enjoy. I'm thinking about you and praying for you friend!

    Love and miss,

  7. Hang in there, Oyler! I'll be thinking of you and praying for you and will ask my family to do the same. Take care. - Hank

  8. Tom, I don't think I can do the unicorn hat as much justice as you did. I hope that Lauren brought that to Nashville so that you can woo Elizabeth all over again with your formal unicorn outfit.

    Mr. & Mrs. Bennett thank you so much for your kind words and support! It means the world to me, it really does. Skip, we haven't played golf in a while, but come Spring I should be available get those 5-6 shots you owe me in a friendly game.


    Thanks so much for commenting, I miss you dearly and appreciate your support throughout this. Tell your mom not to worry, I will remain engaged at Home Depot to make sure they always have what she needs! Hopefully one of those costumes is the "house divided" outfit for Eleanor @ GA/FLA for this fall. Thank you again for being a great friend Allison!

  9. Christine, thank you so much for your support! Maybe I will make baldness a long-term thing, you are giving me some hope that it might not be too bad. But seriously, your kind words mean a great deal to me.

    Best of luck this weekend, bring home that title!

  10. Thanks Hank, I really appreciate it.. hope all is well in the Scenic city!

  11. Michael, we know you are going to kick this thing in the ass. Please know we have your back. If you need anything, unless of course you want strokes, just say the word. When they mix that first chemo potion make sure they put something in it to help your putting stroke! We love you.

    Uncle Dave and Aunt Jan

  12. Per Brent's advice, do not read this post, or any other to follow. My suggestions...



    3. No hat, grow your soul patch, act like Tim Hudson. Think about it...

  13. Oyler, Mrs. T Diddy ad I send positive thoughts and light your way from Louisiana. We know you will pass this test with flying colors and come out stronger on the other side. Let us know I you need anything from the bayou state.
    Knock cancer into the lumber yard!

  14. Thanks Dave and Jan! Yall are the best! I've never been so excited to get back to the Mariner, because that would mean it is August'11 and this is behind me. Dave, I think we should reevaluate the golf bets from this past trip, see I was giving you strokes and trying to fight mutated cells..Its really not fair.. Seriously though, thank you both, it means so much to me!


    1. That is gross, with a suggestion like that I am beginning to agree with Brent!

    2. I can dig this, I wonder if I would get free food at Las Palamas in Nash? Might be worth a try..

    3. Once i gain the ability to grow hair again I try the soul patch out (You know you wanted to refer to your boy DJ)

    Thanks so much for the support and the blog Idea Big T, and the same goes to our favorite new Nursing student little T!

    Tyler, thanks so much for the support from you and your wife! I hope things are well at Lake Charles.. One question, is there room for my initials on Phil's Callaway hat for the FEDEX Playoffs? I might have to call in a favor..

  15. Hey bud, I just heard about this today. Your positive outlook is incredible and I can tell you from past experience with one of my family members that it will be one of the biggest things that help you beat this. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers everyday man. Take care.


    PS. There is apparently a legitimate alternative out there for sporting a visor while bald:

  16. No re-evaluation of the Florida golf bets. As they say, "LET THE BUYER BEWARE"!

    Uncle Dave

  17. Hey man, just heard. Tough business. From years of healthcare experience, I can tell you that positive spirit and laughter are better medicines than most anything out there (though, good medicine doesn't hurt either). Now... on the hat issue. I, myself, prefer hats with the Star V logo, but seeing as you are a Dawg fan -- might I suggest some of the camo UGA models that I see my cousins of north Georgia wearing quite often. Alternatively, you can see this as an opportunity to wear every ridiculous type of headwear that you've ever seen -- Pirate Oyler, Captain Oyler, Pharoah Oyler, Crazy Pyramid Hat wearing Oyler... etc.


  18. Clemson,

    Thanks so much man, it means a lot to hear from you. I hope things are going well for you and you are enjoying everything up in NYC. Make sure Hancock doesn't work too hard now. I really appreciate the support!


    Thank you so much for reaching out, you have some great ideas that I think might have to investigate further as future head ware purchases. Your support means a lot to me, not only as a friend, but as a healthcare expert. Maybe I will find a business idea for you to run with when all is said and done! Thank you again for the incredible support!