Greetings friends,

We are full blown into the holiday season!  Christmas is only 2 days away and a glorious new year begins in t-minus 8 days and some change.  Exciting stuff!  What are you looking forward to most for Christmas?  Any goods coming from Santa?  I’m hoping for some golf items, that’s about it.  What about the new year?  Any New Year’s Resolutions?  I always chuckle about the NYRs because usually around April I completely forget about mine haha.  I haven’t thought too deeply about what approach I’ll take this year, but maybe in my next post I’ll have something to share.  I do dig the idea of setting goals for yourself at the start of the new year; having structure, goals, and rewards are a powerful way to keep things going in a good direction.

It’s been quite a while since our last encounter! I figure I’m going to combine this as a dual, “Cancer Journey”, and “Cannabis Updates”, post.  I’ll get the cancer piece out of the way so that we can end on some fun stuff.  Quite a bit to catch up on, I’ll make sure to highlight the important details.

Visiting Kelly and Katy over Thanksgiving in Denver. Surrounded by nieces, nephew, and loved ones!

In terms of the cancer prognosis, things are pretty much staying the same.  We’ve known for a long time that doctor’s will never be able to cure me of this disease, at this point, it’s about management and quality of life.  It’s odd because earlier in December marked the one year date since I had agreed to the “End of Life Option Act”, which provides me a choice to end my life in a humane and dignified manner given the severity of the disease.  Last December, my oncologist, coupled with several other professionals, agreed that it’s likely I would only have 6 months to live due to the cancer.  Well, it’s been a year and I’m ecstatic to say I’m still kickin’!  With that, the whole, “One day at a time” cliche has been something I’ve held close in this scenario.

Anywho, I’ve had ups and downs over the past year as I battle the disease.  I’ll be honest, back in October and November I started to notice significant changes with my body- severe pain in new locations of the body and heavier fatigue.  Around Thanksgiving, the symptoms became more severe and after traveling for the holidays, I made the decision to go to the UCSD Emergency Department to get taken care of.  

It’s been the same routine for the past three years- right around this time I end up in the hospital with complications from the cancer treatments and disease itself.  This year was no different; I was admitted and after bloodwork, tests, scans, and a minor surgery, the doctors had found an infection developing in the pelvic region.  They cleaned everything up, placed a PICC line, and I’ve been on IV antibiotics ever since.  For reference regarding a timeline, I had checked into the hospital on December 3rd and was in there for 5 days… 6 days? I’m not sure- time seems to stand still in that place.  

As for my treatments, we are continuing with my current Immunotherapy regime and my doctor decided to add a new drug to ideally synergize with the other two and slow this disease down.  We elected to add a new drug based on the new symptoms I was displaying earlier in month (new pains, fatigue, etc.), and also based on the bloodwork and tumor markers which were increasing rapidly and at an all time high (the tumor marker test, or CEA, gives an idea as to how much cancer is in the body based on a number from bloodwork).

I’m always impressed with the care at UCSD; I was supported by some amazing nurses and quality professionals.  I’m certainly on the mend and feel loads better after receiving the help and care at UCSD.  It might not necessarily change a ton with my prognosis, but to be feeling way better is motivating and encouraging.  I’m hoping that stint buys me more time and continues to provide me with a decent quality of life.  

It’s always scary checking into the hospital because in this state, you certainly wonder if you’re making it back outta there. This time though, I was extremely confident that there was 0 chance I was dying in that place.  I had a feeling the medical team would be able to diagnose the problem and take care of me pretty quick; plus I figured I’ve got a lot of unfinished tasks to take care of and complete.  Some of those are related to our Podcast project.

The Death with Dignity Podcast has been a powerful and cathartic experience.  I feel I’m learning quite a bit about various topics including the disease of cancer, the End of Life Option Act, and more about myself and my feelings about the current situation, along with what to expect as we move forward.  We’ve had some incredible, insightful guests and I am thrilled with the feedback and support we’ve received from you people.  Although it is a heavy topic, I feel there has been a tremendous amount of good that has developed with this project, and I’m optimistic that more good will transpire.  We’ve got more episodes on the way and really quality guests, so stay tuned!

And now, let’s change gears and talk about the cannabis plants!  As a refresher, I had planted quite a few crops back in October- only to have them spoiled by some gnarly, moldy soil.  Since then, I planted two crops by the name of Humboldt Sour Diesel.  These two have been moving along quite smoothly without any major setbacks.  At one point, I think I was overwatering them a tad as I noticed slight color change (more of a neon green/yellow) and some droopiness in the plants.  Since then, I’ve adjusted the water schedule and they are growing nicely.  While I was away traveling and held up in the hospital, I had a friend take over the cannabis management and he did a glorious job- thanks for the help friend, you know who you are!

My only concern is that the plants seem to be growing at a slower rate; however, I’m not convinced that’s the case- I think I’m psyching myself out haha.  I feel I’m psyched out because I did take about 3 months off from growing over the summer (July, August, September).  Basically, I likely forgot how long of a process it is to grow these beauties.  I need to remind myself to slow downnnn and enjoy the ride.  Plus, it’s been a wild 6 weeks with lots of travel, the hospital stint, and now these medications- so time itself seems to be contorted. Finally, I planted these beauties on October 23rd (exactly 2 months ago!), and it seems like their growth is on schedule based on my previous experiences.

Humboldt Sour Diesel growing at a steady rate…

I figure I’ll give the plants another 4 weeks or so to continue growing in the vegetative stage.  Once they reach a certain height and appear to be strong and healthy, we’ll make the switch to the “Flowering Stage”.  Remember, when in the flowering stage, we simply change the light schedule to 12 hours on and 12 hours off- tricking the plant hormones into the flowering stage.  This will be exciting because I’ve read the Humboldt Sour Diesel is supposed to grow double in size after entering the flowering stage!  I’m hoping this growth will also provide beautiful, frosty, skunky, dank nuggets!

Another view of the HSD… Could be time to start a clone?

That’s pretty much all I got for now, friends.  Feel free to give me a shout via text, email, phone call, telegram- whatever is your preferred method of communication!  I’m not expecting a massive discussion or convo, a simple hi will always make me smile. Finally, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!  Take time to reflect and give a big hug to your friends and family.  Happy Holidays!  

With love,



My name is Andrew Flack aka The California Kid. I’m a special education teacher, hockey player, dog lover (RIP Dora), pizza connoisseur, cancer warrior, space nerd, cannabis advocate, and globe trotter. I attribute my success to grit, grind, eternal optimism, family, friends, and the unique coaches and teammates I’ve encountered throughout ice rinks across the world.