Indie gogo Campaign for pilot!!

Hey guys and gals!! So i started a new campaign on indie gogo looking to raise funds for a pilot presentation of this blog put into a tv series! Please help spread the word any way possible, and if you can help fund my project!!

FOLLOW THIS LINK BELOW!!

http://igg.me/at/cimr/x/2809223

Thank you so much for your consideration and help! God bless.

(19) My Infantry, Continued…

Now that the memory of my grandmother’s day had slowly faded away, the second most memorable thing I experienced was with my best friend Cliff and a bouncer at a nightclub. Now most people going through chemo and even doctors would probably tell you that a club is the last place you should go when your sick. But what can I say, I was 23 years old and I didn’t want to feel different nor lose that time in my life because of this disease. I wanted to feel normal so bad that I did things I probably should not have done or attempted. But this night Cliff and I decided to give it a go and hit a nightclub in the city.

Cliff came and picked me up from my house and when he saw me he began to laugh. When I asked him what was so funny, he simply replied with, “you look like we are going to the snow and boarding.” I began to laugh with him as I walked over to the mirror to check myself out. So there I was with a beanie, scarf, jacket over a sweater, pants and boots on. All that was missing now where my goggles and I would be ready for the snow and not a club. I couldn’t stop laughing at this point because never in a million years did I ever think I would dress myself like this!  But when you are going through chemo and really sick, the 60-degree weather feels more like 20 degrees, so I went a little over board and overdressed. So after my mother and cliff helped me pick out a nice yet warm outfit, we hopped in the car and took off to the city.

While we were driving cliff kept making sure the temperature in the car was ok and the music wasn’t to loud. I looked at him and said, “I’m not 80, and if anything is wrong I’ll tell you.” He started laughing as did I, but the feeling of a great friend that truly cares is priceless and more than I could ask for. As we pulled up to the parking lot of the club we were going to, he made sure I was up for going in and let me know if at anytime I felt sick, we can go.

So now at this point Cliff and I are waiting in line to get in, and this girl behind us starts up a conversation. Not even one minute into it, she looks at me and says, “you ok? You look really sick or something.” I started laughing and replied with: “ Yeah I’m sick, but it’s ok cancer is not contagious!” Unfortunately, my humor was not that funny, and think she may have taken it the wrong way. But that was myself hiding behind the fact that I was afraid of anyone knowing I was sick or treating me different because of it. After I noticed she was uncomfortable with our interaction I quickly turned around and kept to myself. Now if that weren’t awkward enough my encounter with the bouncer would be a million times worse.

Here is how the interaction with the bouncer went as he called me up to check my ID:

Bouncer: You got an ID?

Me: Yeah it’s right here.

Bouncer: Um, yeah you can go in but you got to take that hat off.

Cliff steps in front of me to talk to the bouncer.

Cliff: Hey man he can’t take that hat off.

Bouncer: What is it glued to his head or something?

Cliff: No he is going through chemo and needs to keep his head warm.

Bouncer: Wow, that a new excuse I haven’t heard yet. Good try. Either you take off your hat or don’t come in at all.

Me: It’s ok Cliff I can handle this.

So at this point I looked at the bouncer and gave him an eye opening experience.

Me: So this is a new excuse for you huh? Well trust me if I could have done my hair that I barely have I would have.

Bouncer: Look its not my problem and don’t have time for people that make excuses.

 

What I did next was the almost like being a performer on Venice beach with a big audience. So I took off my hat, licked my hand and wiped the top of my head from back to front. I then showed my hand to the bouncer that was now covered in hair, and said, “So do you think this is still an excuse for me trying to where my hat?” The bouncer was lost for words and just looked at me and around at everyone that was watching. Now some would say I went a little overboard, but I felt like this had to be done and he needed to know his attitude was not ok.

After he was able to collect his thought, he said, “I am really sorry and hope you can forgive me for being rude like that.” I quickly told him that it was ok and some people jut don’t have a clue, then I told cliff I wanted to go somewhere else.  Cliff and I started heading back to his car and that’s when I began to break down.

Was I different? Why do people look at me as if I am already dead? But this part of my memory never gets answered because I start to snap out of the vault that hold my memories and back into reality.

So here I am again sitting on my bed, and back in the present time. What’s next in my life? With out hesitation I begin to shuffle through the papers on my desk, and there it is, my bucket list. Now it was time to check another item off on my list!

(18) My Infantry

Looking back on my life and trying to pull out all my positive memories, I find that two very funny and meaningful ones play through out my mind on a constant repeat. The first one being of my grandmothers and I trip to the smoke shop in Sonoma County.

Grandma and the Head Shop:

My grandmother had caught wind that I just received my medical marijuana card and thought that none better but to take me “weed” shopping followed by “water pipe” shopping.  Now I know what your thinking! “ Damn wish my grandma was cool like this!” I know that’s what I was thinking, plus the plain fact that she even acknowledged I was going to be smoking weed. So moving on, my grandmother came and picked me up, seeing that I was incapable of driving do to the heavy pain meds I was on that day, and asked me where the “medical grass place” was.  First I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact she called it “grass” and second as if she was trying to conceal her identity. Picture this if you will, she was wearing an enormous hat, with a scarf wrapped around her neck and clothing that covered every inch of her body besides her hands.  She even explained to me that she was just the driver and helping her grandson out, and wanted no credit to helping me get my marijuana. Once we arrived at the cannabis club she parked as far away from the entrance as possible thinking she might get caught or something. As I am getting out of the car she tells me that I should buy many different kinds and see which one works best, and that the ones with the name purple in it, she heard where the good ones. Now at this point I am walking into the club thinking to myself, “ Wow, did my grandma just tell me to get the purple stuff?” Moving forward I purchased my “meds” and we continued on to the smoke shop, which was conveniently located right down the street. We parked and walked in, but as we did I noticed my grandmother surveillance the area as if she was on the lookout, or maybe someone would recognize her.  Once we got inside the conversation we had with the clerk was priceless!

Grandma: Nick come over take a look at this one! It’s made out of a real nice wood.

Me: Grandma, get your mind out of the 60’s! It’s all about glass now.

Grandma: Oh ok… Oh my! These look like crack pipes!

Me: What! Grandma you can’t say that in here.

Clerk: Ma’am we don’t sell crack pipes, they are illegal!

Grandma: Oh I’m sorry.

Me: Maybe you should wait outside, while I get this.

Now at this point I wanted to bust out in laughter, but knew that it was not the right time nor place to do so.  I quickly bought my smoking device, and headed to the car. My grandmother looked at me when I got into the car, and said she was sorry that she embarrassed me. I quickly replied with,” You don’t embarrass me, I think you’re the best grandmother anyone can have.” She began to tear up as she started the car and then drove me home so I could relax.

This day meant the world to me, and not just because I got to legally purchase marijuana, but the plain fact that my grandmother took time out of her day and went against what she believed in to help me out in a time of need. She was always at my side and even took me to my chemo treatment on days my parents could not. She held my hand when I was in pain, watched over me as I slept in the hospital, and made sure that I was taken care of no matter what time of day it was. This woman I call my grandmother is the brightest star in my universe and so lucky to have her be a part of my survivor army!

Now that was a great humorous story and wonderful fun memory, but the next one that plays over and over came at the hands of my best friend cliff and my night out on the town a few weeks into my chemo sessions. This memory was meaningful in the way of what a true friend is, and to see how un-informed the people in the world around me are. So it was a boy’s night out yet again, but this time chemo style!

(17) My “Survivor Army”

They say if you surround yourself by positive and motivating people you will become a better person yourself. I could not agree more and that’s exactly what I did when I was in the fight for my life. This group of family and friends where what I like to call my “Survivor Army”. Now of course the general’s driving this army to victory was my mother, father and step father, because without them I would have never been able to just fully focus on beating this disease. They took care of my job, bills, transportation and the trip to the medical marijuana facilities.

Now lets start with my mother and stepfather. Both are very amazing parents and done so much for me not just when I was sick but as a whole. No matter the time of day I could call them and they would be right next to me in a heart beat. With this I felt like I was not alone in this war, and they assured me that they would fight hand and foot with me until the very end. The hard part for me was seeing my mom so upset and to see her have to care for me after she herself had been through two major back surgeries at this point and time. For her to put up with my sickness and with all the late night porcelain god praying (throwing up in the toilet), I tip my hat to her and am honored to call her my mother. My stepfather really stepped up to the plate not only for my mom but also for the both of us. He truly loves and adores my mother and fills her life with happiness. This I see, which made me want to live more, so I could find the same love in a partner that the two of them share for each other. I truly consider myself very lucky to have him step into both our lives, because he supports most of my decisions and will always be there for me in a time of need.

My father and I have had our ups and downs, but I truly believe that once I became sick and needed him, our relationship grew ten fold. He was so involved in my recovery and never hesitated to offer a helping hand in any way sort or kind. I remember one night at 3am; I called him and said I was hungry. Now during chemotherapy you are not always hungry, so when that urge hits you need to act on it, because you don’t know when that will happen again. So with this in mind, he came and picked me up and took me to McDonalds. We were driving around for a good 30 minutes trying to find a 24hr one. Even though to some this might not sound like a big deal, but this is truly when I felt like my dad and I had that relationship that would forever be unbreakable. If this was not enough, that night he asked me what I wanted that could help me through all of this, and I looked at him and said, “I could really go for a pug”.  Long story short within the next few weeks I had my very own pug puppy and named him Mr. Bentley. This dog never left my side from the moment I first laid eyes on him until this very present day. He kept me company on the days I was alone by myself, and put a smile on my face when I needed to be cheered up. I could not thank my father more for what he has done and given to me throughout this fight and my life.

All of these great memories of my parents played a big part in my survival, and most of all my drive to succeed in life. I always emphasize to others around me that parents are so much more than family, but yet they are your backbone and driving force into the success of one’s life.  Now my parents were the general’s in my army, so what about my infantry? Could never have asked for a better group of friends and family members to go into battle with. The story’s we created when I was sick are absolutely priceless and need to be shared.

 

(16) Drop dead Fred!

Music was filling the air, girls dancing all around me and I was a cancer survivor with a new mission in life. Even though I was changing myself inside and out, I forgot that others would not change around me. So here I am walking around this nightclub with my friends enjoying the night, when I get this sudden grab to my right shoulder. I turn around, and there Fred is with a big shit-eating grin on his face and the smell of cheap vodka as he opened his mouth to talk to me. At first I was expecting him to say something like “I haven’t seen you in a long time”, or “dang speed bump, you have grown”. This guy thought making fun of me was cool amongst our old friends, which is why I’m no longer friend’s with this person.  But I think I would have much rather him make fun of me than the comment he was about to make. Conversation went a little like this:

Fred: Speed bump…

Me: Oh hey Fred how you been?

Fred: Wow I’m really surprised!

Me: Surprised about what?

Fred: That you’re still alive! Thought the cancer would have killed you by now.

Me: Wow Fred, can tell you…

Before I could even get out another word, two of my very close friends pulled me back and stepped right in front of Fred’s face.  I was in complete shock that someone could say something like that, and also the fact at what had happened prior to this night with Karen. All I know is that at this moment I felt like I was in slow motion walking toward the back of the building, while behind me there was loud arguing going on followed by punches thrown by my friends. This all seemed surreal to me, like a scene out of a blockbuster movie. I found myself sitting in a chair crouched down with my hands on my head and a few tears slowly rolling down my cheeks.

Now some would say, why is this guy crying at a nightclub? But I don’t think anyone that has not gone through what I have could understand that feeling of emptiness that had just been brought upon me. The fact that someone could be so heartless and say something of this nature to a person that fought very hard for his life.

Like an angel from heaven, this woman sat in front of me and gently put her hands on my knees. I looked up and made eye contact, and had no idea who she was. She calmly said, “Forget about that guy! Remember all of the positive people and memories in your life that helped you beat this disease and forget about the rude and negative insensitive ones. If you need someone to talk to I will gladly step outside and talk with you.” At this point I thought to myself that this woman was an absolute sweetheart, and that there are people out there that really do care.

So what positive memories and people did I have that helped me beat this disease and live to see another day? As soon as I got home and into my room, I found myself hitting the rewind button once again, but this time it was a pleasant trip down memory lane.

(15) What Ego?

After becoming a cancer survivor, I thought to myself that nothing else in my future could ever crush me nor come close to what I had gone through. So many times when I was sick did I think to myself, “yeah this is the lowest point in my life, and I don’t think I can take another hit.” But I had come to realize that at this stage in my life, if you keep worrying about what possible bad things could happen to you in the future, that you would live the rest of your life in fear and caution. Thankfully I took this into my next encounter with girl number two on the apology list to put a little bit of padding on my heart.

Girl #2 (Karen)

Coming off a great encounter with the previous girl, I thought to myself that this was easy and should have done it sooner. So with this in mind I had tracked down girl #2’s phone number and gave her a ring. This conversation went from nice to down right evil in 3.5 seconds. Phone conversation went a little like this:

Karen: Hello?

Nick: Hi Karen, it’s Nick

Karen: Nick who?

Nick: Nick Leland!

Karen: OH WOW! What the fuck do you want you big pile of shit? Come to tell me how much of a loser I am? Or have I found anyone yet to put up with my bullshit? Is this why you called? Some nerve you have!

Nick: Karen I just wanted to apologize for my past behavior and actions. I never meant to…

Karen: I could give two fucks about your apologies. You can’t patch up what has already been done by you. So fuck off and loose this number!

The click of the phone hanging up felt like a bullet piercing right through the middle of my soul. I started thinking to myself; “wow, what the hell did I do and say to this girl that got her so pissed off that even time or my apologies couldn’t help?” This phone conversation made me feel like the biggest pile of shit, and really set me back emotionally.  Now of course, this I believe is the pain that Karen wanted to inflict on me emotionally, and boy did it work.

After this conversation sank into my head for a few hours, I started to go into analysis mode and try to figure out why exactly this played out the way it did. No matter how many times I replayed the conversation in my head, I came up with the same conclusion. Which simply was that I was a complete jerk, and said very hurtful things to push women away that started getting close to my heart.  I did not want to end up beaten and broken hearted again, so I became a very ugly man when it came to relationships. Never again would I let another girl do what Robyn (evil ex) did to me emotionally. But this was no way to live a second chance life, especially after knowing that life comes and goes fast.

While finding the strength to keep pushing on in this journey of redemption, I discovered that this person I used to be no longer existed and that I was the new and improved Nick trying to make a positive change in my life. I was done with letting the shadows of my ex loom above my head and keep me from finding happiness in a future partner, and that it was not her I was running from but yet myself.

With this conversation on my mind, I found myself in a little bit of a slump and according to my friends, I needed a night out with the boys to shake it off and show the world the new Nick. What a great idea this turned into and the night out with the boy’s was a much-needed outing, of course until we ran into a guy name Fred. The things he said to me, and the hole he burned into my heart was the last thing I expected that night. But as they say expect the unexpected right?

(14) Do Work!

With all of these questions flooding my mind, I tried to figure out the best place for me to go in order to answer them and work on myself. After a few weeks of consideration I decided it was best for me to move back to Northern California where my family was and start fresh. Becoming a new and improved me was not going to be easy and knew that the support of my family was going to be needed.  Once I was certain of the move home, I called my mother and said I was moving back in. At first she was a little shocked that I was coming home, but at the same time understood what I needed to do for myself emotionally.  But with this new change came new responsibility and acceptance of my faults. So with this in mind, the first thing on my list to do before heading back north was to seek out the women I had hurt and apologize to them personally. What a bumpy few weeks I was in for, not knowing what reactions I might get or the plain fact that I might not even be able to say anything at all.

Girl #1 (Sharon):

I felt as if this was going to be the hardest girl to apologize to, as I knew from her friends that if she ever see’s me again, “I would get a swift kick to the junk.”  Now this might not sound like a good opportunity to go and talk to her, but I had to do it in order to close this chapter in both my life and hers.  I tried calling her numerous times and left at least 10 voice messages asking her to hear me out and let me apologize for my behavior.  Finally after a week I got some notification from her, but it was not what I had in mind nor expected. There was a note on my door that she had left for me to read. This is what the note said:

Dear Nick,

I appreciate the fact that you want to see me and apologize for the actions you took towards me. For starters, how does it feel when you want to get a hold of someone so bad just to say sorry or anything for that matter, and you don’t get any response? Because that is how you left me! I was really hurt and never thought someone like you that has been through a big life changing event would be so dark and down right rude.

I will meet you, but only if you truly mean everything you say and are honest. If you are planning on telling me bits and pieces, then save your breath and my time.

I will be at the coffee shop in Barnes and Nobles at 3:30pm on Friday. See you there if you’re serious!

Sincerely,

Sharon

After Reading this letter, I started questioning myself. Do I really mean it? Am I being selfish, or am I doing it for both of us?  Once I answered these questions, I came to the conclusion that it was for both her and I. My pride and ego had to go, and raw emotion had to surface in order to fix what I had damaged.

Friday had come and the car ride to see her had to have been the most nervous, anxiety filled car ride I had ever taken. Once I arrived to Barnes and Nobles, I walked slowly towards the coffee shop, feeling every single heartbeat that had boomed and echoed throughout my chest.  There she was sitting nervously at a table by the window looking outside. Was she anxious or upset? This question was racing through my mind as I stopped dead in my tracks towards her. She turned her head in my direction, made eye contact and now it was time for me to make the move that started my road to redemption.

I arrived at the table, greeted her with a very nervous hello and smile, not knowing what really should have been said in this kind of situation.  I sat down across from her and as I did, I felt her eyes locked on me the whole time.  The time came to break the ice and get the conversation started, so I began with a “thanks for meeting me” and “hope we can have a meaningful and heart felt talk”.  After that, most of the conversation consisted of me listening to her and responding to any questions she had for me.  At the end of our conversation I apologized for all the mean things I had said and done. I knew that words did not mean much without action behind them, but at the time it was all that I could offer including my friendship if she chose to accept it.  The time had come to say goodbye and she looked at me and said, “I appreciate and accept your apology. You are a good man, but have issues you need to accept and work on. I will be your friend and be there for you in a time of need. Hopefully you will find the answers you seek and become a better man.”

This meant so much to me at this point in my life and was hoping that the next few girls that I had to contact would be this understanding.  If only I could have seen the future and prepared myself for the next encounter, because boy was I in for a ego and heart crushing ride!