An Update from Mike Howard – HGG421

In the 10+ years of podcasting, this might make the Top 5 list of favorites. Mike Howard, a long-time friend of Home Gadget Geeks and Jim joins us to give an update on his fight with cancer and general well being. Mike has some important things to say about his health, battling cancer and how he feels about it. Thanks for letting us take a week off from Gadget Tech.  I think you will enjoy the show.

Full show notes, transcriptions, audio and video at

Join Jim Collison / @jcollison and Mike Wieger / @WiegerTech for show #421 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network.


Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at

Podcast, Home Gadget Geeks, Mike Howard, Cancer, Unraid, Mediasonic, Jpeg2RAW, Melanoma


Save $40 on your first Box of HelloFresh

Jim Collison  [0:00] 
This is The Average Guy Network and you have found Home Gadget Geeks show number 421 recorded October 31 2019. Here on Home Gadget Geeks we cover all your favorite tech gadgets that find their way into your home news reviews, product updates and conversation all for the average tech guy. I’m your host Jim Collison broadcasting live from the average guy TV Studios here in a least a brisk Bellevue Nebraska we’ve avoided the kids tonight Mike. Did you have many kids come by for Halloween their

Mike Howard  [0:39] 
Not a ton, maybe a dozen two dozen at the most.

Jim Collison  [0:42] 
Okay Halloween night Mike Wieger is out with his children “trick or treating” tonight and always a fun tradition. I would sometimes do that with my kids. They’re long gone Mike years are too so we kind of just get to sit back but so you know Mike, out with his younger kids. Of course we post the show and not a lot of show notes tonight. But I don’t know if you’re maybe a new listener. We’ve been doing 100% transcripts now. So if you want to go ahead and take a look at those in the show notes, the average slash and then HGG, four to one for this as well. Don’t forget, you can join us on our mobile app, some of you are out. It’s really the easiest way to stream it on the road. It’s just a single app and Android, iPhone. It’ll stream it from just about anywhere as long as you have some kind of connection. You can get that Home Gadget Geeks, com Android iPhone, the big buttons right there you can just download it it’s absolutely free. We thank our Patreon subscribers for that as well.

Jim Collison  [1:40] 
If you want to join in the conversation you can join our discord group and our Facebook group, super easy to get in those groups as well. We want to thank Jos last week who came on from next cloud and did a bang up job we’ll have him back on he was just a good he was a good tech guy and Mike if you get a chance to go listen to that. I know. You don’t always you don’t always do but you you joined us a long time ago you’re talking about that. You would not stop or get off In fact, well let me let me finish the sentence. You You’re an unraid guy. And so you brought a lot of that into our community. You’re also Nextcloud guy. You’re we did a home tech tips video on YouTube you and me of that. Yeah. Mediasonic, Mediasonic box. Still number one video.

Mike Howard  [2:18] 
I’m still using those guys. They’re hooked up to my Unraid server. They’re still running.

Jim Collison  [2:23] 
Yeah, that’s it’s good. I almost bought one I did by the Mediasonic 4 Bay external right so you can just put the drives in. Right and I’m using that for crypto on Burst and all those other ones that we do those drives get so hot in that external Bay.

Mike Howard  [2:42] 
Yeah, so I don’t know how much you’re hitting them

Jim Collison  [2:45] 
a lot, a lot.

Mike Howard  [2:46] 
That could be part of it. I removed the front cover to help me with the flow a little bit airflow a little bit, but I don’t hit my really hard mine are connected for. I backup the podcast files to those because it podcast files are insane. I got

Jim Collison  [2:59] 
like 4 Bay right a 4 bay? What drives you have in there?

Mike Howard  [3:03] 
So in one of my have a four terabyte drives, and the other two I have two terabyte drive. So was that a 12 terabyte?

Jim Collison  [3:12] 
So 20 terabytes total?

Mike Howard  [3:17] 
Yeah. And I am using that to backup my podcast files because I have like 13 terabyte a podcast files, what the heck, Mike, but I recorded a pretty high bit rate for video, and actually double record the video. And then I keep the originals and plus I keep the edits. And so it adds up fast, but I don’t want to back that stuff up to the cloud.

Jim Collison  [3:39] 
So no, you don’t it’s too much. It’s too much. It’s just too if you ever had to get it down. Yeah. it take you so

Mike Howard  [3:46] 
now is not the best backup plan because I’m backing it up to the same server but different different disk. But I figured Look, if I if the place burns down, I lose those podcast files. I do have the edits that are up, you know, loaded up there. So You know, I feel that’s good enough for everything else. I do backup to the cloud. But for those podcast files, I figured they are on the unraid server that on the Mediasonic boxes. That’s good enough for what I want.

Jim Collison  [4:11] 
And do you, that’s all on unraid?

Jim Collison  [4:14] 
Yeah, four 812 16 plus 246 816 plus eight so 24 I think I said 20. And in Ken is corrected me in the chat room so and so all of that is on unraid.

Mike Howard  [4:27] 
It’s on unraid, as you know, you can attach them as an assigned drive so they’re attached is on the sign drives. My actual unraid server has 70 terabyte of storage, which I think as of today was 54%. used so I’ve been able to get that down some.

Jim Collison  [4:42] 
Yeah. Well, and Jos last week was pretty like is we were talking is are just talking about some of the sample sizes of the drives that I’ve heard or the storage sizes that I heard. Even he was like, Oh my gosh, you guys are crazy. You know, I was like yeah, I’ve got I haven’t 96 terabytes here, you know, I know you’re you’re close to 100 probably right?

Mike Howard  [5:04] 
And with those two

Jim Collison  [5:06] 
Yeah, yeah. And and there’s many more who have, you know, and yeah, and he, you know, in in that world, even in next cloud world, I’m sure their customers, especially when they’re thinking about their consumer customers like us, we’re probably 10 terabytes or less, in most cases, right. But he was pretty surprised they saw a tweet from him earlier this week. That said, you know, the x home server guys or something like that. And, and so and I mentioned that he was pretty surprised. Good to have him on if you missed 420. You might want to go back and get that it’s a long one. But you might want to spend some time doing that as well.

Jim Collison  [5:44] 
Mike, I wanted to have you back on you have been we were talking a little bit about this in the pre show that you have been I have known you now at least a decade, maybe more. I think we you and I did some work together. I think we am pretty sure we met through Home Server Show.

Mike Howard  [5:59] 
We did. Yep,

Jim Collison  [6:00] 
and then started thinking of doing some podcasts on our own. I started home gadget, or I started home tech in that day. You not too long after I started JPEG2raw I did. And at one point I even tried to entice you to come over to the average guy, TV network. Now I think I’m going to do my own thing. Actually, I’m really kind of glad you did your own thing, just to be 100% honest, that was what was best for you. Um, back in the spring. You know, we we kind of followed you through, you’d had some you’d had a a, what would you call it on the back here at two? Oh,

Mike Howard  [6:32] 
yeah. So it was what, six and a half years ago? I think it was five in that long. Father’s Day weekend. Whenever was that in June?

Jim Collison  [6:39] 
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Mike Howard  [6:41] 
Yeah, six years. Six years ago, I was diagnosed with what they call. It’s extremely rare, but it’s a blue nevi like melanoma. And to give you an idea of how rare it was, or is when I went to Emory hospital and if you’re from the southeast, you know Emory if you’re not from the southeast, is one of the premier hospitals here in the southeast, our John Hopkins, per se, but went there and have have it removed surgically removed. And the doctor there told me, there’s only been about I think 102 reported cases of this cancer in the history of recorded medical, whatever. And he says, there’s not a lot of data on this Emory has never seen a case before. But he said, I am 100% confident I can cut it all out of you. Because at that point was just on my head. They did lymph nodes removed from my neck and from my shoulder. You know, one of the things they do is they take a shot all around the spot, and the spot was pretty big. I forget the exact size but it was measured in centimeters rather than millimeters. Give you an idea and usually with pretty large Yeah, usually the tumors are measurement millimeters,

Jim Collison  [7:51] 
maybe like the size of the bottom of this can.

Mike Howard  [7:54] 
Yeah, Yeah, probably. Okay, well, I think it was like four, four centimeters by five centimeter I’m like, I don’t know what put that

Jim Collison  [8:01] 
into Google people.

Mike Howard  [8:03] 
But they took a take a shot of some kind of radioactive dye and imagine one of those bees when you’re cutting the grass and come on the ground and bite the crap out of you,

Jim Collison  [8:11] 
like a wasp or like a hornet or Yeah, Hornet Hornet.

Mike Howard  [8:15] 
Imagine eight shot at least the first eight of them being like a hornet thing. So, boom, boom, boom. And eventually it numbs and do that. That was the see where this is, you know, if this was going to spread, where would it go?

Jim Collison  [8:27] 
as a form of melanoma, right?

Mike Howard  [8:28] 
Yeah. So they cut it all out. I think the surgery was six and a half hours. And surgery was a complete success as far as we knew. And there was no follow up treatment other than going to the dermatologist every six months. And I’ve been doing that for six plus years going to the dermatologist every six months. So you know, from that standpoint, it was completely accessible.

Jim Collison  [8:50] 
Take a drink.

Mike Howard  [8:52] 
Then, you want to continue with the story.

Jim Collison  [8:55] 
Yeah, yeah, no, it’s good, good, good. Not everybody knows this and you’re big part of community. So keep going. This is good yeah

Mike Howard  [9:00] 
so yeah if you part of my JEPG 2 raw family you’ve been with us for a while you know that because when I first came back from surgery I was wearing a cap because it had no hair and

Jim Collison  [9:09] 
we had you on the show maybe once or twice yeah with the cap on and ya know, for sure we checked in with you.

Mike Howard  [9:15] 
So I part of my company’s policy, all the officers of the company, you have to get an annual physical. So I went and got my physical and I keep all my blood test results in a Google Doc spreadsheet. So every time I go I got all those crazy little things that give you and your blood test you don’t really know what it is. I keep all those and the the guy who does the physical said hey, you your alkaline phosphates, look a little high and you probably should talk to you regular doctor about what’s causing that. So I went back and looked at my spreadsheet and he was right I had been running in the 60s and 70s and the range as far as the people who do my blood test your if you go to different lab and maybe a little different and I should preface this entire conversation with I’m not a medical expert, if I say if I say anything wrong. I’m not I’m an accountant, not an expert. So,

Jim Collison  [10:10] 
yeah, we’re not dispensing medical advice or anything.

Mike Howard  [10:14] 
So look at the chart. And sure enough, I’m in 60s 80s for the last 10 years or whatever. And this was 147. I was like, that is odd. So I had to go get a regular doctor because I don’t have one. And he went and tested me A month later, and yeah, it wasn’t 175. So he then sent me to a blood specialist that was at Georgia Cancer Center. That was a first alarming thing. Why am I going to a blood specialist and a cancer center just send me to a blood specialist, right? And go in there and she does some tests and waiting for those tests. And I then have I didn’t have some episode that are my side just started killing me on Friday night. And I’ll just sleep it off. And by Sunday, it was worse. So I went into the hospital and I When he did a scan and found out Did you got spots everywhere. And then we did a biopsy on the liver and found that it was melanoma. So whatever happened here, had slowly got somehow gotten to the bloodstream, and over the years, had finally found its home and my liver and then decided to expand from there. So ultimately have it on deliver some ribs, my left leg, the upper left leg, right, my left shoulder, and my lower, I think it’s L one on my lower back, and maybe a few other spots.

Mike Howard  [11:37] 
So in my alkaline phosphates continue to rise. And so if you ever get elevated, alkaline phosphate number, it could be caused from a number of things. It could be caused from liver issues. It could be caused from bone issues. I think in my case, it was both. But let’s say you have arthritis, you may naturally have a high number or if you break a bone or something like that. happens you could have a naturally high number that is not an issue though they will go away or as part of your you know your overall you know arthritis or whatever mine was abnormal because I had not had it before and it was getting worse and worse so anyway we did we did a PET scan and MRI did a head to toe PET scan and MRI and make sure it wasn’t in the brain.

Jim Collison  [12:25] 
Fun was that those awful terrible

Mike Howard  [12:29] 
Yeah, I didn’t either had one

Jim Collison  [12:30] 
before how long? How long was your MRI?

Mike Howard  [12:34] 
No, it seemed like it was shorter than that.

Jim Collison  [12:38] 
They give you earbuds and allow you to kind of choose the radio whatever radio station or whatever you want to listen to

Mike Howard  [12:43] 
the radio and no they really yeah they just gave me that the ear stuff to try and block that but it was like oh, the whole time I’m laying there’s a What an idiot thought of this as to like, sounds hit me with sound make this thing quiet. What What is happening here? So at the earplugs didn’t seem to be I’m sure they were doing a lot but they didn’t seem to be.

Jim Collison  [13:04] 
It’s loud in there is super loud. Well, they the the gal who did my MRI was she piped in music and actually asked me Hey, like, do you want some country or 80s? Or, I mean, she was kinda like a DJ and then I’m sure we’re saying, well, same with you, they use those earbuds to tell you. Okay, next one’s coming up. And then you know, this one’s gonna last two minutes. Yeah. And I actually I have because I have some apnea problems too. I got so relaxed, I actually practice some meditation techniques while I was going through just to keep myself kind of calm, you know, they put up a hand over so I couldn’t see anything because that thing is like, right there. It’s super claustrophobic.

Mike Howard  [13:43] 
I just had to close my eyes.

Jim Collison  [13:46] 
So but it was really great that she kept like, okay, two minutes, you’re doing great. You know, we’ll be back in here and you know, you’ll be fine. You’re coming out or whatever. But they piped in music so you didn’t get any music. I didn’t get any music.

Mike Howard  [13:56] 
No, they You’re right. They were able to talk to me through it. But yeah, there was there was no me Again, no it’s too bad that was awful now they tell you that the PET scan is fine that’s the two was a little bit bigger where you know you don’t like right there Yeah. But I gently close my eyes on that one too they do. It’s part of the PET scan they do pick up an IV and give you radioactive sugar as part of that, which is you know, whatever it doesn’t you don’t really feel it.

Jim Collison  [14:24] 
It helps enhance the image it does

Mike Howard  [14:25] 
it does the half life was like 112 minutes so they let it spread throughout your body then then do the scan and you know, within go time and how fast

Jim Collison  [14:33] 
that stuff can get through like when you think about how fast your circulatory system works to get like they put it in within half an hour. Yeah, spread out throughout your body.

Mike Howard  [14:45] 
Yeah, that is crazy. That’s crazy. So the the treatment that you know if so this is what what this is is melanoma is stage four melanoma. And you know, with any stage four cancer it’s it’s a serious thing. Yeah, very serious. That say Torah basically means it’s spread rumors of the original location, which is a serious thing. So what are the you’ve probably heard about these things. One of the things that is advancing in cancer treatment is something called immunotherapy. And that is what I’m receiving the immunotherapy and it’s two drugs. The first four treatments or two drugs, it’s a placebo, and you’re avoiding one of them, it helps your system, find the cancer, the other one helps your system attack the cancer. So think about what’s going on in your body right now, Jim, is you got little warrior T cells gone all around your body and if it finds anything, it doesn’t like fame and attacks it and actually immune system is killing everything it can. Sometimes it needs a little help. Sometimes it does all this on its own, unfortunately, with a lot of cancers is when your your your T cell comes up to it. The cancer goes no no I’m good. I’m a good cell. Leave me alone and again, your T cell moves on and goes somewhere else with immunotherapy at least What I’m receiving, it ignores those things. It says I don’t care what you say, I’m killing you. The downside is it may say that to your lungs, to your eyes to the liver, to anything else, you know, anything could say I’m good. And this is going to say I don’t care. So, in a lot of cases, immunotherapy has less side effects than chemotherapy. But it could have many of the same ones. And some, you know, just like with chemotherapy, many of them could be life threatening, you could go blind, you can develop type one diabetes, you could have trouble breathing because attacks your lungs, but those are unfortunately more rare. The more common side effects are fatigue and will come back to fatigue and just second, fatigue, flu like symptoms, stomach issues, you know, just a general not feeling well and a few others. The fatigue is something I wasn’t prepared for. If you ever You know if you remember a video I did Jim last June so June 2018, where I put out three pallets of sod on my own. I had no idea how much three pounds of side was till was dropped in my driveway. And I said what the heck Have I got myself into only have one day off from work, I gotta go to work tomorrow. And I worked all day to eight o’clock at night putting that side out. And it was one of the hardest thing that did and then the night I was wiped out, and every muscle my body was sore, I go to bed, I wake up the next day I’m ready to go. I could go other than being physically sore. I can go to work, I can go for a walk. I could cut the cord anything I want to do. If I took some Advil, I could, you know, get rid of some of the soreness but I was good to go. With this fatigue. It is a something I’ve never experienced before. I went to Lowes to get two things. birdseed and a filter for my refrigerator, water filter for refrigerator in it you know go right in and know right with these I’m in lows maybe 10 minutes including the checkout and everything else. I get home I need a two hour nap I am wiped out it’s you know it’s insane

Jim Collison  [18:10] 
Well your body’s going through just a ton right i mean das it’s you’re just you’re battling the drugs. you’re battling cancer you’re you know, in your case also you’ve lost for anybody listening to the audio, you have lost a ton of weight, which has had some good I think probably some good health consequences on some other things. But it’s still that’s still a lot for the body to take.

Mike Howard  [18:33] 
Yeah, my diabetes doctor things on the best patients ever has, like so you are so good at sticking to you because I haven’t told him. You are so good at sticking to your diet. I’ve never seen by do this good. I said, I know doc.

Jim Collison  [18:43] 
I’m doing well. I’m doing well. And cholesterol is probably great. Yeah, right. Your blood pressure is good. So you’ve got it. You’re showing some good health signs there. I think you know, you’re dealing with fatigue. You tech tech wise you kind of had to put your show on Hold, right I’m in Jpeg 2 raw. hold hold. What are you doing there?

Mike Howard  [19:04] 
Well, you know, what does the future hold? I don’t know. The problem right now is and even tonight, I don’t know what day to day how I’m going to feel, and even intraday. So I can start the morning off feeling well. And then by the afternoon just feeling an awful I can feel awful one day and then the next day not feel as bad. So, you know, yesterday, I felt just awful couldn’t make it to work. So I haven’t gone to work. Almost I think yesterday was a second day of miss that wasn’t a treatment day. I do miss treatment days because those are

Jim Collison  [19:38] 
long does it How long does it take for a treatment, they’re pumping these drugs right into your body. So

Mike Howard  [19:44] 
whenever it’s even the two drugs, which was every three weeks, that was 30 minutes for the first drug, a 30 minute holding period to make sure I didn’t react to it. And then a 90 minute for a second one. That sounds like okay, that’s not that’s not that long.

Jim Collison  [19:59] 
It’s seven Now by nine,

Mike Howard  [20:01] 
yeah, but it’s it’s not like you get, you get in and the clock starts immediately. You know, you got to see the doctor, you got to do this. So I was generally there four to six hours. And I’m getting at nine, I’m generally getting at around two ish or something like that. Now with with the one drug and tomorrow I have my second treatment, second treatment of the one drug. So, step back, the four treatments of upheaval in your voice, what the plan is, after you do those four treatments, you didn’t go down to just up debo every two weeks, or every four weeks depend on the dosage they want to give you. An act can go on indefinitely right now the plan is for a year, but you never know. So that the fortunate thing there is that’s only a 30 minute dosage. So I’m there maybe two hours total. And I last time I did go into work. But by the afternoon I was like this was a mistake I shouldn’t come in. So tomorrow it’s a day by day decision.

Jim Collison  [20:57] 
The region would you had said to me you know we checked Last night, How you feeling? You’re like, Well, today’s been terrible. Let’s check tomorrow. I was fully ready to do a solo podcast tonight. And Mike was gone. And so I was fully ready. I had some things kind of set up and just in case so I’m one. I’m glad you made it. But it was one of those things we were kind of checking throughout the day.

Mike Howard  [21:16] 
Yeah. Yeah, thank you. And that’s part of why I’ve paused at least, you know, if it’s not a permanent thing is at least a pause on JPG to raw, because I can’t guarantee anything, you know, I could tell Tim, my co host, I’m good to go in by Showtime. I’m not good to go. There, what

Jim Collison  [21:33] 
have you what kind of listener feedback? I mean, how is your audience responded to this? Because certainly, I mean, your audience is probably the same size, maybe a little bit larger than mine. And that’s significant. Right? And from then that’s pretty passionate. You’ve been doing this for a while they know you pretty well, how’s how’s that audience responded.

Mike Howard  [21:52] 
So what I did whenever this came out, is I went into our Facebook group and I said, hey, look, here’s what’s happening. I hand it over the group to one of our admins and said Gina is going to be managing a group indefinitely. And I’m not going to do any more updates in the group because I want the group to be photography. And I’m not going to be doing but just one update through the podcast itself. But if you want to keep up with me and what’s going on, follow me and you know, friend me or follow me on Facebook, and I’ll do it on my personal page to call so yeah, I’m do I do that, you know, basically, anytime there’s news, I’ll post something about that. And I do get, you know, some good responses. I get people who, you know, respond to me directly to maybe they don’t want to ask questions openly. I’m pretty open, if you want to ask a question. You know, I’m pretty open to answer to answer any question. But yeah,

Jim Collison  [22:39] 
I’ve appreciate that about you. I asked you tonight, pre show, hey, is anything off limits? And you know, I’m pretty. I’m pretty open to talk about anything, Mike, when you were going through those treatments, any technology that you noticed, in that, that you just kind of went? Oh, you know, there’s, there’s a lot of technology that kind of goes into this, or did you use I mean, certainly your Sitting there fried go nuts like just sitting there waiting for that anything that you used tech gadget wise to kind of keep you occupied while you were going through the the treatments.

Mike Howard  [23:09] 
So I you know, obviously being my phone and I either will watch videos on YouTube videos while I’m doing it. Or sometimes you just want to lay back and relax you know you there for a while, and I’ll listen to Pandora or something like that. So that’s really the only tech there you have it. The tech from them is is pretty rudimentary, you’re basically basically just taking it right yeah, just taking an IV and hook it up a bag. They hook you know, they those little machines that they hook it up to that they you know, say 30 minutes and it figures out the dosage. That’s not really high tech anymore. So there’s not a lot going on there. One thing when you go on go in as often as I do now, you get to know like the entire team so I know that my name I walk in the reception of Scott’s Hey, Scott. You know, I know that another guy has a Fitbit and I’ll tell him Hey, can you put my Fitbit on while you’re walking around so I can get some steps.

Mike Howard  [24:05] 
be sitting here for four hours, where my Fitbit was,

Jim Collison  [24:07] 
well, I’m gonna put this in your pocket. Yeah, just give it back to me when I’m done. That’s super great. You had been, Mike, you’ve been you’ve kind of been losing some weight and getting kind of healthy again. When this hit, how did that feel? Like? How did you feel when I was like, you know, and I kind of asked this question, let me let me be honest, like, we’re not going to necessarily talk a lot of tech tonight. I’m kind of talking to the listener at this point. One of my goal is just to catch up with you. You’re a super important part of the community. And you’ve been around for a long time and you’re my friend and we’ve met several times and home server show meetups and all those other kinds of things. So one is just to kind of catch up but but two is my audience tends to be 35 to 55. white males, it’s kind of like us, right? We’re in that we’re all in that boat. And I want I want other men, maybe women to to kind of hear the story. Just kind of from you because I think it’s important. We’re in the spot where these kinds of things are important. So Mike, how did you feel when you got that news? You had been? You had lost a bunch of weight always

Mike Howard  [25:11] 
85 pounds on my own. Yeah,

Jim Collison  [25:12] 
yeah. By by exercising and walking. I was watching you on Facebook, you’d post you know, Hey, I got this three mile walk in. You got it. I’m super proud of you. By the way. I love the walking. Yeah, yeah. No, I was like, Wow, you’re really you were losing and I was gaining and I’ve stopped that since then. But how did that how did you feel when you got that initial news? And you’re like, dang it. I was like, I was getting healthy. How did that feel?

Mike Howard  [25:37] 
very disappointed, because, you know,

Mike Howard  [25:41] 
I was getting healthy. I was, you know, walking quite a bit. I love the walking. You know, we have a great walking trail around here. I love that I was looking forward because I always had an idea of I need to lose my weight. And maybe I’ll even start running, you know, and I’m not big into running. But I felt like at least at first I knew it was I was too heavy to run. I would have damaged myself. Yeah. But I was one To get into the weight range where I had the option if I wanted to do some running, I could do some running and losing that, you know, that option and and having this setback was very discouraging. And I will tell you the first time the weather got nice here, which was, what, three weeks ago or so, when it starts to feel a little bit like fall. It’s just beautiful here is that all right. I am going to go out and I am going to walk just a little bit, maybe a quarter of a mile who can’t do a quarter of a mile, walk a quarter of a mile. And that’s it. And what as soon as I start to feel any kind of, you know, weakness, I’m done. I’m going to come back because I trail is you know, whatever I walk, I gotta walk back because there’s no you can’t get a car there. So if I walk a mile, I gotta walk a mile back.

Mike Howard  [26:47] 
So you gotta

Jim Collison  [26:48] 
really, or go in circles or something.

Mike Howard  [26:51] 
Yeah, so that what happened though, was my left leg which is one of the places to have a spot started to just absolutely kill me that night. It was a pain where the Advil so Advil typically can help me out working. You know, it makes me feel not quite as bad. It makes some of the pain it takes the edge off the pain and that’s really all I need. But I did nothing. So I took I do have Percocet they gave me Percocet, but I tried to stay off for that. I took two Percocet, and that helped a little bit. And then six hours later, I took two more Percocet. And that helped quite a bit. The pain went away for a while I was on the Percocet. But if you ever taken Percocet, it has side effects of its own. And I didn’t know that. So I’m sitting there and I start scratching my nose or what, why what’s happening and then my legs are touching. And so I’m itching everywhere. I’m hottest could be I can’t have any covers on me. I’m hot, I am wired, I cannot go to sleep at all. And so I finally decided pick up the phone and look at what the side effects of Percocet said. And it’s itchy. It’s a body heat. And it’s you know, you can need to be super drowsy or wired and all those things as I ok, purpose. That’s not gonna work. I can’t live like this. But the thing was, I guess that was too much walking from from a leg right now. Yeah. And if you if you want to know where where’s the pain, if I have pain, it would be my left leg, my left shoulder and my lower back. Most of the time, it’s not all three at the same time, and most of the time, it’s not too bad. The pain is not really been the issue.

Jim Collison  [28:31] 
You did a couple you did these four treatments, right? And have two drugs and then they they checked again, and how were the results from that check.

Mike Howard  [28:40] 
So immunotherapy does not work for everyone. And in my case, when they do a PET scan, it tells them It tells them one thing, it doesn’t tell them the size of the tumor. It tells them some kind of activity level they have a term for it, but how active or how hot the tumor is. And in all but one of my tumors, the activity came down, which is good. But it did not come down as much as we had hoped. And we’d actually hope that some of the tumors would have gone away. Because I had my The doctor told me only half the people can take all four treatments that half the people have to back out before the Fourth Street. Wow.

Jim Collison  [29:18] 
So you, you made that number?

Mike Howard  [29:20] 
Yeah, I made all four. And yet it still didn’t do as much. So what back to the me. So I look at the doctor as the expert, and I go to him when I need an expert opinion. So I go back to him. And he says, look, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to stick with Plan A, which is those four treatments and then the single treatment for at least a year, until that stops working. So we’ll do a scan every three months or so. At some point when the tumor start to grow. We’ll say all right, Plan A is not working. We’ll move to whatever Plan B will be.

Mike Howard  [29:52] 
And figure out down the road.

Jim Collison  [29:54] 
Is his surgery ever in in play at this point to remove them or is it too small or How does that work?

Mike Howard  [30:00] 
They’ve never mentioned that as a possibility. I know when they were doing, yeah, just when they were doing the liver biopsy. So when I do a liver biopsy when they get you, so I didn’t really feel anything, but the person said, so we’re going to stick this needle in you. And they’re going to stick this other thing inside the needle to pull out something. But the names are pretty small. I said, Hold on a second. If you’re sticking a needle inside of a needle to grab something and pull it out. That can’t be small. It might turn to what you’re going to jab me with. That’s not small. It is. Yeah, so I didn’t look but they had me hooked up to a CT scan or something so you can see it like virtually. And I told the guys as long as you’re there, just get pulled all the spots out.

Mike Howard  [30:45] 
And he goes, I wish it was that easy.

Jim Collison  [30:47] 
I know that it is an area I wish we get nanotechnology on. And I think in the future, hopefully if we can, if we can hold this planet together. Hopefully in the future, we would release these nanobots, you know to go in and they would be smart enough to find it and confirm it and then begin to remove it right that in that kind of way. You know, there’s it’s a lot more complicated I mean cancers very, very small. Yeah, in a lot of places and you got it, you know, you got it in a lot and who knows the ramifications of removing it that way as well. But so they did a they went in and did a liver biopsy. Yeah. And that’s what I found out what it was

Mike Howard  [31:25] 
because one of the even with melanoma they got they have to determine what there’s like markers or mutations at the melanoma they didn’t know which mutation it is to determine. Because if it wasn’t a certain mutation, then this wouldn’t be the treatment they was prescribed to prescribe something else.

Jim Collison  [31:42] 
Is that a pretty common form? I mean, I’m sure you’ve done all this research. So is it was what you have pretty common, less common. How does that how does

Mike Howard  [31:51] 
that I don’t know. I know the doctor said that they’re going to start a some kind of documentation on me because Look, I’m the first one at Emory to had that blue, Levi melanoma. And now you know, how do you get melanoma inside of you? It’s as far as I know, it had to be on the outside of you at some point. So we all think that it came from that thing and even though we got clear margins and got it out that it must have got into the bloodstream and it just taking this long. So you know, I am I am a patient that made it six years from the original one and now got this and so that you know, they’re they want to start you know, I’m gonna be data point number one and yeah, it doesn’t help me.

Jim Collison  [32:33] 
Well, I mean, others may benefit from your Yeah, from your experience if when you’d have that removed from your from your head from your school. If they had said to you in a preemptive strike we’re going to put you through these four treatments just to make sure we clear the body would you would you said yes to that you think from

Mike Howard  [32:52] 
anything they said now, the immunotherapy I’m sure you’re going to see me now wasn’t there that Yeah. But they might have said chemo or something like that, right? I would have done whatever they told me to do.

Jim Collison  [33:01] 
is the new treatment, a response to chemo? In other words, because when you started this, I thought you were going through chemo and you were like, No, no, no, that’s not chemotherapy. This isn’t this is a new kind of treatment. Is this in response because chemo is hard for people, I mean, it’s basically we’re radiating you to death, right and trying to kill everything is this in response to that?

Mike Howard  [33:22] 
I think it’s because with some cancers, the chemo has not been chemo in some cases is almost as damaging as the treatment itself. So I think that they’re trying to find other things, you know, if you can harness your own body to fight these things, and that’s kind of the Holy Grail. But what they don’t know is why it works in some people and why it doesn’t work in the other. And, you know, like with Alex Trebek, who’s going through pancreatic cancer, which is probably one of the worst ones you can

Jim Collison  [33:46] 
get it’s it’s hard that says there’s almost a zero percent recover I mean, success rate. Yeah,

Mike Howard  [33:51] 
yeah, I mean, unfortunately, and I’m not a huge fan or whatever. But I feel for anybody who has it. Unfortunately, you know, within months will I be hearing about him passing away. Because pancreatic cancer is just so awful. I mean, Steve Jobs

Jim Collison  [34:05] 
still Yeah, Steve Jobs. He tried to eat carrots to overcome that when he waited too long. Do you think? Is Alex Trebek still recording Jeopardy at this point? I don’t know.

Mike Howard  [34:16] 
I don’t know if he is. Okay. I know that you’ve got a lot in the bag where they recorded a lot, you know, in the bags. I didn’t

Jim Collison  [34:22] 
realize I didn’t realize he had pancreatic cancer. Yeah, yeah, that’s a tough one.

Mike Howard  [34:26] 
That’s what he came out and said he’s near remission. Yeah, he came at one point said he’s in near remission. I said, I don’t know what near remission is. That’s like, I’m almost pregnant. You’re either in remission or you’re not in remission. You know, and it’s good to keep your spirits up. Yeah. Yeah, that’s good for him to keep his spirits up. But you got to be careful that you don’t give false hope to other people. Because if you’re, if you’re suffering from pancreatic cancer, you may have gone back to your doctor and say, What the heck, give me what Alex is getting. Right. And you know what Alex is getting his pie what you’re getting in and it’s not going to work out in my ear. The earlier you can detect some of the things and that’s what Alex is talking about. Now, the earlier you can detect Cancer, the more likely you are going to be able to beat it. And that’s where a lot of the advances have come in the advances of treating it. Once it reaches like my stage. We still haven’t made a lot of progress. The advances of finding early has helped out in my case, I was going to the dermatologist, so there was nothing externally. And this guy does a very thorough review of my skin. He doesn’t wear gloves, and when I get done, I gotta go home and take a shower. Because I’ve smelled like him then. But he doesn’t. He does a very thorough job. And the I would say the Thursday before I found out about this, yeah, what’s the last time I saw him? And he goes, you’re doing so great. We’re going to move to once a year I don’t need to see you but once a year,

Jim Collison  [35:48] 
but it was the bloodwork that right it was the blood right that show things right. Yeah. So there really wasn’t much way to catch that any earlier. Right. I mean, the markers for they were watching forward Your blood work yeah if you’d had blood work every six months maybe they would have cut it six months sooner right but yet spreadsheet I by the way i love that idea I may start doing that myself of grabbing those numbers and putting them in a spreadsheet because I do probably what you did which is like okay good enough or I just wait for the doctor to call me Do I need to do something different you know, and and so good good for you there but it may not early catching of this may not have been possible i don’t know

Mike Howard  [36:28] 
if i was so I had had a blood test from the diabetes doctor in February. So this summer from February I had a fairly normal alkaline phosphate. And then in May when I had the the physical that’s what I was elevated. So I’ve gone from like 80 something low 80s to 147 in that period of time,

Jim Collison  [36:47] 
something must have triggered it right or reached a critical mass or something

Mike Howard  [36:50] 
because you know physically, I didn’t feel any different. I did not feel anything physically.

Mike Howard  [36:58] 
So from a from a perspective. So where is one of the things that’s got me concerned? So let’s not to be morbid, but let’s go down a scenario where this eventually gets me.

Jim Collison  [37:09] 
Yeah. Well, we’re all terminal. By the way, we’re all terminal. And so just win.

Mike Howard  [37:13] 
Right? Yeah, I have a fairly for my family at least a fairly complex network here. With you do they care about mine raid server now? Is it overly complex where they’re not going to be to use it? Yeah, they’re probably not going to be to use it. My PF since router and I can train my son with it so that he can at least get it going back. But if you like the hard drive crashes on the PC crashes, he’s not gonna know what to do. And then the internet’s down forever. So one of the things I’ve done, you know, I’ve been working at waffles for 30 years. And one of the things I’ve done for them as I make this booklet for them, is I’ve I’ve task different experts at work and say, Hey, will you do this in this case? So I know many of it guys. There’s like, Hey Matt, will you If anything, happens. Will you help my family out with with these it questions? Hey, Marianne, will you help out with Tax Questions? Hey, so and so you have what legal questions. And so I’m building that database table for them that I’m gonna have printed out in a USB stick that they can refer to if they need that that one. Yeah, we all hope that one. We won’t get to that. But one of the things that having time does is you can start to prepare. Yeah. Yeah. Now, you know, some some I tell you, I think some people have asked, you know, because with cancer, you can go through depression and that kind of stuff. I have never been depressed about the future. I’ve never been depressed about you know, what does tomorrow bring? The only time I get some depression is when I’m laying in bed on a Saturday at two in the afternoon is a beautiful outside. And I am feeling like crap. And I go through spurts of where I’m just freezing cold and trying to take medicine when I’m at home. So I’m trying to you know, Keep off Advil as much as I can. That kind of stuff so I’ll just let it run its course. But I may be freezing cold under three blankets for five hours. And I’m laying there in bed looking outside of the you know beautiful nice outside knowing I’m going to get zero done this weekend, nothing around the house, nothing on the podcast. And that does get to you. So mentally sometimes the future it’ll be what it’s going to be I don’t I don’t get too concerned about that. But the feeling bad to fatigue and knowing Yeah, I resigned myself to what I can and can’t do. And I got to live within those parameters least for now.

Jim Collison  [39:34] 
What are you doing about passwords? password?

Mike Howard  [39:37] 
So yeah, so I’m putting those into onto the USB stick and I’m putting them and I’m also printing them out. So they’ll have those. So yeah, and then all the major sites that we go to. Some of them require two factor authentication. So I got given that information to right

Jim Collison  [39:52] 
yeah. off your phone or something right. I mean, it really is like we kind of created a pretty good complex and, you know, the the folks that have have passed in my family and my wife’s family have all been fairly elderly who didn’t use technology. Yeah. So there wasn’t, you know, we’re Mike, you, you and I, I mean, we grew up in the 80s. And we were the first. Sorry, millennials. We were the first on is all this technology. So we’ve really embedded it in all of our stuff. You know, I’ve used You know, I’m beginning to use the last pass feature where I can I’m on premium. So I can have an account or my wife can get access. could she do that today? It’s probably not set up, right? Like, that’s one of those kinds of things like, okay, I should I need to kind of practice this in and go through it and make sure that’s going to be that’s going to be my plan. I’ve said this on the show before I have back on the shelf. Sarah hates it when I call this but it’s like a little death book that like has all our insurance policies in it. So if someone happened to me, hey, everything we have from a life insurance perspective is here or the kids or whatever right? is here to be able to do that. That’s how I think kind of done that you probably have a different financial strategy. Are you fairly confident she could get access to whatever you need to do financially? So that would continue to go on? Because I’m sure it’s fairly technical.

Mike Howard  [41:13] 
Well, you know, with the passwords I’ve got for her. Yeah, she could get in there. That, you know, one of the things with investments is my form of investing. So I have, you know, stock at wall files, there’s nothing she can do with that, you know, if I were to pass away, they eventually pay that out, right? She wouldn’t maybe know what to do with all that money. But the other money we have invested in stocks and stuff like that. The problem with that is, let’s say I want to at amp T, because it got a great dividend. Five years from now, it you may not want to own that stock now, right. So any no matter what I think about an investment today, right, five years from now, 10 years from now, that may totally change. And so that’s one of the trusting someone with money. is very difficult, because I can I can, you know, trust this person to give my wife my family tax advice. I can trust this person to give legal advice. Now I know these people have been known these people for 20 years. I know that people can do that. But to tell anybody, Hey, can you help my wife manage the money?

Mike Howard  [42:19] 
I asked. That’s really tough. Who do you trust? With money? Yeah,

Jim Collison  [42:25] 
yeah. Yeah. No, right on and you’ve, you’ve kind of always been a guy who you are a self made guy and you like you did a lot of things yourself, like us back to the very beginning. You know, of the show, when I said, You know, I invited you I really wanted to be a part of The Average Guy Network. I thought it’d be a great match. We were good friends. I was like, Yeah, come and join the network. And in those days, you know, I Well, you thought about it. You were super kind. You were like, I thought about it. But no, I think I’m going to do my own thing and as a little disappointed for a second. I also said I’m really glad you did that. I know. You’re very particular about the way you like things and I went to one to be that one that have to answer those questions. So you made the right call. But yeah, I think that is that is difficult as we think about the future whether that’s a week from now or or 10 years from now or 30 years from now that those are always concerns in there. Yeah, I’ve kind of thinking through what what do we do with kind of the stuff we had? Have you have you simplified anything at all as you think about like I just need to make my life a little less complicated Have you have you bought any new services or any new technology services? Yeah, you kind of mentioned your router I I switched to a bit defender box just because it’s dropped dead simple. You know, I’m not in that. I’m not in that but it keeps me from like PF senses like I’m super busy at work and I don’t know if I want to troubleshoot this thing. Have you simplified anything

Mike Howard  [43:50] 
technology? Unfortunately, I have not you know, if anything, you know, now we have ring cameras everywhere. My wife knows how to use those. You know, But even more technology over the years so you know like the unraced server baby just turn that off knowing that for me what it does is it you know all the PCs backup to it I have files on there that I use quite often for them they could care less you know they’ll care whenever their hard drive crashed and they don’t get it recovered but yeah

Jim Collison  [44:25] 
once in some regards maybe maybe a state you know it’s gonna it’s it would get it would get stuck in an estate sale or something like that right because it doesn’t it doesn’t mean anything to them john says and shadow have a thing called an ice spider ice in case of emergency. That’s good. The bad thing is we haven’t filled him filled it out yet, which is one of those things like you know, you’re like, hey, those those plans are great, but you do need to put something in them. And then Andrew says, john, my boss has an envelope to open the event. I get hit by a bus, I should probably update its contents. I think that’s I think it’s situations like this. You know, to you years ago when I was diagnosed with some prostate issues and at one point they thought it was cancer is cancerous as one prostate cancer is pretty easy to beat. It’s not melanoma. Right. It’s a if it gets out it’s, it’s deadly, but but contained to the prostate is pre treatable. And I had some I mean, I had some real thoughts about Okay, like, I need to get some I got it, I better get some things in order. And I think that is a good, you know, that is one of those things. I don’t think Mike in your pretty reasonable so run this by you. I don’t think it has to be a morbid thing. Right. And I don’t think it has to be a sad, depressing, depressing item where you kind of mope through it and like, you know, but I think it’s a reality. And I mentioned we’re all 100% terminal, like at some point this is going to happen. Has that has that caused you to be more reflective on some of those things that have the future that may be shorter than the new thought they might be?

Mike Howard  [45:58] 
In some ways Yeah.

Jim Collison  [46:01] 
That’s, that’s too hard of a question. You can totally blow.

Mike Howard  [46:04] 
Yeah, it’s nice. Not too hard. I’m just trying to think of when I first got the thing on my head and then when I got this Yeah, I thought maybe I’ll become a better photographer because I’m more in tune with my emotions. And I that has never materialized

Mike Howard  [46:17] 
I’m still the same crappy photographer was before.

Jim Collison  [46:19] 
Oh, you’re pretty good.

Mike Howard  [46:22] 
But no, you know, I guess in friendships is made me you know, reflect on that friendship more. It’s made me also think you know, at work, there’s some things I want to get done. And you want to look over my 30 year career at Waffle House. There’s lots of things that I’ve done that I’m proud of. Many of those have kind of become the norm like, you know, over a 30 year career. There’s not too many people who I work with today that work with 30 years ago, like my entire accounting staff. None of them were there. A lot of them have only been hired the last five years. So a lot of the things that I developed over that time frame, they know no different. They don’t know that This is this way because Mike developed it. That’s just the way it is. So there’s a lot of things that I’ve done that I feel proud of that are, you can’t say as a Mike legacy because everybody thinks it’s the way it is. But one thing I am proud of this recent and that I was very nervous that if anything happened to me this would just die. But as turned to curve and now is really got some legs to it. And I know that even if something happens to me Will it will march on and I definitely it will be my legacy there is we’ve started I started probably three years ago, a bi Group, a business intelligence group and analytics group. At first when I say I started a group, it was me working nights and weekends. We bought a program called click sense from from the people called click in your top three data analytics programs is Power BI for Microsoft tableau, which is now from Salesforce and click and we like click the best and So for two years for about a year and a half, it was just me doing it at home trying to convince people this is something we need to be doing, and making no headway until I got a couple other people. When I drafted one of my accounts, I told him, you’re doing this now. And then a couple guys in the finance he saw, hey, this might be good. And it’s really grown to where like tomorrow we have it every Friday two to four, we have a session on analytics. Tomorrow, we’ll have a full packed room. We gotta bring it actually chairs for people who want to learn it and become better at it. So I know that it now has legs to where it will continue no matter what and and even more importantly, the higher ups now see the value in it.

Jim Collison  [48:43] 
Now, that’s great. It does. It does I think bring whether like I said whether it’s a year or 10 years or 30 years you don’t know. You don’t know what’s ahead. That’s there are some things I think, at least for me, it got me thinking of Little bit shorter term of like, oh, okay, well, what if I do have just two years left on the planet? Or what if I’ve got five years left? How am I, you know, what’s going to be different? And I kind of responded a little bit like you did, which was like, well, there’s it. I mean, there’s things I can do about it, but it’s going to take its course. Yeah. And, you know, I’ve listened I, I’ve appreciated I’ve wanted to have you back on just to talk this through because I think it’s really really important one wanted to see again, like, it was like, okay, we haven’t we haven’t had a chance to connect just I want to see how you’re doing. But I don’t know, you know, you don’t know, like, when you talk about friends you like, how many more times Am I going to get Mike Howard back on this podcast? It could be one it could be 10 you know, we may be laughing about this, you know, a decade from now and how well you know, that was anything so what what would you What do you tell so you know, what do you tell people now? Any advice that you would give just anything, any lessons learned or advice that you give as you’ve gone through this? Have you pulled any of those kind of nuggets out? Or you’re like, people need to know this, any of that? And if you don’t have one, that’s fine, but what a chance.

Mike Howard  [50:14] 
I was, like I said before the earlier you can find some of these things, the better. So, if you have somebody I think john earlier was saying something about he wouldn’t know if his numbers were out of whack or you can still be in the normal and see it rise. And I think it’s important to track your numbers and if you do see something coming out of whack, can’t talk to your doctor about it. Because mine’s melanoma, you know, some specific things go into a dermatologist is one of the easiest doctor appointment you can go to. Even if they find something on you, you know, they can, Jim is gonna be small, they can cut it out. I can freeze it off whatever else it’s not that bad. And most of the time not going to find anything. So you go once or twice a year and you get that covered. Had I done that from the beginning, maybe this would have been smaller and this would have happened, but if you if you know, a guys are terrible. Going to the doctor. I am too I don’t want to go. But if something odd is happening, you know, get it checked out. And yeah, you know, it could be something that you need to deal with. But it’s sooner you get it dealt with the better. I even talked about retirement. I think that’s where you’re hitting on a minute ago. You don’t want retirement. So early in my career Waffle House, there was a guy who was over it. He was one of those guys. I liked him. He’s a great guy. But he had already got as much money as he wanted to retire. But he was what a lot of people do is just one more year just one more year, because you got one more year of money. Just one more year he went out to play he was in great shape, went out to play racquetball during lunch, had a massive heart attack at lunch and with died, so he never got to retire. So I never want to be that guy. For me, financially, I’m probably two years away from being able to retire. Now if I pass away life insurance will pay my wife would get, you know, I’m probably there now. But if if not, you know so if I could if I can say how I’d like to work another two more years. But if if things deteriorate, I would probably stop sooner. Without that somebody asked about black and white photography. I do sometimes

Jim Collison  [52:10] 
you were saying more reflect you were saying you’re getting more reflective, you know how black and white is kind of reflective. So,

Mike Howard  [52:15] 
okay. If I don’t know that was it if that was around, well, you said

Jim Collison  [52:20] 
no, it was around you were saying I don’t know if I’ve gotten more reflective, you know, some people when this happens, they get more reflective and I think Andrew is kind of you know, when we’re photographers are getting reflective, they start shooting a black and white. Do you do you think Have you made or you’re feeling like you’re making any short term gadget purchases because you’re like, screw it. I’m just like, I don’t know. So I’m just gonna buy the most expensive iPhone or but sorry that when the video 14 slip the most expensive Android whatever have you have you had that? Have you had that temptation?

Jim Collison  [52:52] 
Because Listen, I did. Like when I thought maybe I had prostate cancer. There was a couple times in there where I was like, well screw it. I don’t know how long I’m gonna be I’m gonna, I’m gonna treat myself they haven’t you know, I’m gonna like have you had me struggled with that at all?

Mike Howard  [53:08] 
No, you know, I almost the opposite is I almost don’t feel like spending money on me. You know? Yeah, I did we did buy a Roomba wouldn’t last time that Amazon had that one of those sales or whatever and we got a good deal room. So it’s time I’m getting my you know my cancer treatment and I was out there and I’ll tell the lady Hold on a second I need to vacuum the house. Push the button. And I go, man, this is hard work. But yeah.

Jim Collison  [53:36] 
So great.

Mike Howard  [53:37] 
Yeah, it is great. It’s great. That Roomba works pretty good. Yeah. So outside of that, no, I’ve been more of a not spend the money on me. I did one of the things I did is I accelerated paying the house. And we’ve we’ve now paid the house off so my wife wouldn’t have to worry about that. So you know, I poured a lot of extra money into getting that done.

Jim Collison  [54:00] 
I think that’s a good call. John says Thanks, Mike for sharing this Joe. So super great content guys. And in one of the things I’ve, I’ve in Joe says guilty of not seeing the doc often enough. That’s what he was saying. One of the things I’ve appreciated and one of the things I was going to do tonight if you could make it was kind of a, an appreciation show a little bit, just kind of tell listeners how much I appreciate them. But one of those things I’ve appreciated about the the listeners for Home Gadget Geeks is it doesn’t have to be tech 100% of the time and that the community matters more than anything. We spent a little time on Twitter this week. Tony’s been really good about reminiscing he’s been throwing up pictures right you are I think you are you

Mike Howard  [54:42] 
I wasn’t one of those pictures, man. I was heavy back then.

Jim Collison  [54:45] 
Yeah, well, in your hunt. How much total? Have you lost since then? 30 pounds. That’s great. I mean, good for you. I mean, it hasn’t been easy by No, no,

Mike Howard  [54:55] 
it’s been easy.

Jim Collison  [54:56] 
None of that’s been easy. Half of that. Probably through diet and exercise the other half as you’ve been working, working through the situation, but I’ve always appreciated the fact that the audience here is sophisticated enough that they’re like, I don’t I can do a week like this. And they’re like, this isn’t tech, you know, I’m getting terrible YouTube comments and some of those kinds of things. So, so if you’re listening to this right now, thanks for getting to the end. And thanks for kind of being a faithful 421. And if you haven’t listened to all of them, I’d be interesting to know how many did how many how many episodes Do you have a JPG draw? Mike?

Mike Howard  [55:34] 
Think we stopped somewhere around 234? Okay.

Jim Collison  [55:37] 
So, you know, you kind of wonder, has anybody listened to all to 34? Yeah, I’m sure I’m sure there has right. I’m sure you got some maybe you maybe you you’re listening right now you’ve listened to all of those. But I appreciate that. They’ve given me great freedom to do that. As a community. We’ve spent a lot of time you know, thinking of Tim and john and all the John’s that have been there Kevin, Tony, think You know about Joe and the chat room Andrews been around for a long time. Ken who was in here a little bit earlier he’s driving home now you know I’m sure I left the name out but Mike I think for me in thinking about you and why it was so important to have you on the show is because this is this is bigger than technology and phones and gadgets and unrated even unreal servers I know that you find that hard to believe but it’s even

Mike Howard  [56:25] 
though I don’t agree with you it’s bigger than that. Yes,

Jim Collison  [56:27] 
yeah. Well for me I mean the show is bigger than that. Okay. It’s the show is bigger than that in the sense that we have a great community and so I just Mike I appreciate you take an hour to hang out with me How you feeling? Feel You didn’t say when it when we started when we were talking before pre show. You said it’s never better or good? It’s just degrees of bad yeah, so so has it gotten any any any worse since you’ve been on the show or How you feeling?

Mike Howard  [56:55] 
We’re done. I’m going to bed.

Mike Howard  [56:58] 
I you know, the chills haven’t come back so that that’s always good and as long as I’m sitting here not moving too much I’m not feeling the pain a leg but I can definitely tell that you know, we’re down but you know it’s a good conversation to have you know, hopefully no one listened to this ever has to deal with something like this. But I would say that you know, if you listen to this afterwards and you have questions for me, maybe you are going through something yourself or your loved one is you know, feel free to reach out to me at JPG podcast at JPG draw calm. I will. I don’t check every day anymore, but I will when I check. I will try and respond to you. I I don’t mind any questions. You asked me money questions. I might not answer that. I can give you some ballpark stuff on how much some of this stuff costs is insanely expensive. But yeah, hopefully you have good insurance. And I would say that, check your insurance. Make sure you have good insurance. Because cancer can hit you at any age. If you’re in your 20s you think I’m unstoppable. And horsemen can hit you there can hit you as you get older. I think it’s like 30 plus percent of people eventually get some form of cancer. And the treatments are insanely expensive.

Jim Collison  [58:07] 
They are need to be ready Sarah took out a separate policy just on me just for that, and we don’t have any cancer in the family but you never know. Right We there’s little prostate scare with me Andrew says tech can be a time think I should spend less time with computers and more time with my family and I think that’s a good Yep, I think that’s a good thing to take away. Right? I think that it really centered when I when I went through this time. And I’m not out of the woods, by the way, but when I went through this time, it kind of re centered me and reset some priorities I’m sure Mike it did for you in a few things right. You’re probably spending as much time as you can with family and kids and some of those kinds of things when that time is available. You’re choosing that over watching TV or whatever right so yeah, good. Well hang tight for one second. Just a couple reminders one if you want to join us in the Facebook group slash Ross The Average Guy Network users Facebook. discord is the same way that The average guy dot average slash discord if you want send me an email Jim at the average will get you there as well if this is the first time you listen to the show all thanks for making it all the way to the end. I appreciate it. It was riveting enough. We don’t do this every week and kind of some actually, sometimes I wish we did. Because sometimes the tech can be pouring. We have some great we have some great guests on here that do that as well. But if you made it all the way to the end, thanks for doing that the average guy that TV platform hosted by Maple Grove partners get secure reliable high speed hosting from people that you know and you trust. Chris, you know, Christian, if you’ve been listening to cyber frontiers, he and I both been insanely busy not and now you got to get to a show but we will cyber frontiers. Thank you for doing that. Check out those plans hosting plans start as little as 10 bucks Maple Grove Don’t forget to download the app. Home Gadget Geeks. com We appreciate you doing that as well. Mike, thanks again for doing that. back. You bet. It’s great, great having you and we’ll be back next Thursday 8pm Central nine Eastern, we get an update from Wieger and he and Wieger and We got a whole host of things coming up. Richie is coming back. I got life door coming on. Let’s get that one that orange is coming back. We’ve got just a whole bunch of great shows between now and Christmas. So you want to tune in, if you haven’t done that. With that, we’ll say goodbye

Transcribed by



Get all your TAG SWAG!


Join us in the Facebook group at

On Discord at

Get the Home Gadget Geeks Mobile Apps at is powered by Maplegrove Partners web hosting. Get secure, reliable, high-speed hosting from people you know and trust.  For more information visit