Last Shot: The Postal Service Deliver a Much Needed Boost

Categories: Last Shot

Lindsey Best
Andrew Youssef
[Editor's Note: Longtime concert photographer and fellow Weekling Andrew Youssef found out almost two years ago that he had Stage IV colon cancer. In that time, he has continued to shoot tons of music events for us on top of other freelance work and holding a day job at a hospital, of all places. As he continues to fight for his life, this series, Last Shot, allows him to tell his story in his own words.]

These last two weeks have been some of the most difficult times since my diagnosis. My pain has been all over the map at various intensities as well as my energy level. Medications can improve these factors to a certain degree but overall I feel like the photograph of Marty McFly from Back To The Future that is slowly vanishing. Luckily, I started a new clinical drug trial on Monday that provides me with a new chemotherapy agent that supposedly has good activity against Stage IV metastatic colon cancer.

While I desperately hope the new medication works fast, if it doesn't I maybe in trouble. I was looking forward to this week because The Postal Service were playing the beautiful Greek Theatre two nights in a row in the ten year celebration of their debut album Give Up. The nostalgia of hearing those songs live again would provide a much needed boost to my psyche and overall well being if I could make it.

*Last Shot: A Concert Photographer's Battle With Cancer

More »

Last Shot: Battling the Everyday Pain of Cancer

Categories: Last Shot

Lindsey Best
Andrew Youssef
[Editor's Note: Longtime concert photographer and fellow Weekling Andrew Youssef found out almost two years ago that he had Stage IV colon cancer. In that time, he has continued to shoot tons of music events for us on top of other freelance work and holding a day job at a hospital, of all places. As he continues to fight for his life, this series allows him to tell his story in his own words.]

One of the more difficult aspects of cancer is dealing with the physical as well as mental pain. Throughout my life, I had been fortunate enough to avoid breaking any bones and enduring any traumatic injuries. My first introduction to real pain came immediately after my surgery in which my abdomen was opened from through my navel to my waist. I remember waking up in recovery in a haze asking for more pain medication.

While I've studied pharmacology for a number of years, it was beautiful to see it in action. I credit the wonders of drugs that enabled me to walk down the hall after I was initially carved open. The Dilaudid drip that I controlled was my best friend during this hospital stay and while I am well aware of its addictive potential, I knew I was using it correctly and tapered of the medication when I was healed up. There definitely were days that I wished I could have some Dilaudid to just get out of my bed.

*Last Shot: A Concert Photographer's Battle With Cancer

More »

Last Shot: Survivalism with Nine Inch Nails

Categories: Last Shot

Lindsey Best
Andrew Youssef
[Editor's Note: Longtime concert photographer and fellow Weekling Andrew Youssef found out almost two years ago that he had Stage IV colon cancer. In that time, he has continued to shoot tons of music events for us on top of other freelance work and holding a day job at a hospital, of all places. As he continues to fight for his life, this series allows him to tell his story in his own words.]

It is difficult to plan my life that far in advance. For example, I have the next nine days off of work but most of those will be absorbed between doctor's appointments, MRI of my back and potentially three days of cyberknife radiation to erase the metastasis in my spine. While I plan to enjoy one of two concerts in between, my schedule needs to be open just in case.

This is also coupled with the potential fact that I will probably not feel as great until I"m placed on a new chemotherapy regimen. It is a scary time for me.

One of the things that has kept me going is the fact I can still shoot concerts and see my favorite bands. As you may have heard, Nine Inch Nails have come out of their short retirement to release a new record Hesistation Marks on September 3rd. Out of all the bands I've seen in concert, there are few experiences that are intense as a Nine Inch Nails show. The first time I saw Nine Inch Nails was at the Warfield in San Francisco for The Downward Spiral warm up tour.

*Last Shot: A Concert Photographer's Battle With Cancer

More »

Last Shot: Getting a PET Scan

Categories: Last Shot

Lindsey Best
Andrew Youssef
[Editor's Note: Longtime concert photographer and fellow Weekling Andrew Youssef found out almost two years ago that he had Stage IV colon cancer. In that time, he has continued to shoot tons of music events for us on top of other freelance work and holding a day job at a hospital, of all places. As he continues to fight for his life, this series allows him to tell his story in his own words.]

While I've detailed the joys of getting poked by a needle to start my IV every two weeks for chemotherapy, another item to contend with in cancer is that of a getting a PET scan. Abbreviated for Positron emission tomography, A PET scan is roughly two-hour process where you are injected with a radioactive form of glucose after drinking iodine contrast. The scan is read by a radiologist and it helps determine where the cancer is located within my body and the activity of my cancer cells.

I don't really look forward to PET scans cause they inject you with the radioactive glucose and poke you once more to check your blood glucose level. There was one time that I was injected with the radioactive tracer and waited the hour for the tracer to spread through my body and the scanner suddenly malfunctioned so I had to go back another day and repeat the process to my dismay.

*Last Shot: A Concert Photographer's Battle With Cancer

More »

Last Shot: Surviving with Quicksand

Categories: Last Shot

Lindsey Best
Andrew Youssef
[Editor's Note: Longtime concert photographer and fellow Weekling Andrew Youssef found out almost two years ago that he had Stage IV colon cancer. In that time, he has continued to shoot tons of music events for us on top of other freelance work and holding a day job at a hospital, of all places. As he continues to fight for his life, this series allows him to tell his story in his own words.]

I met with my oncologist yesterday for our monthly meeting. He asked about my energy level these days. I explained that I was pretty exhausted from getting chemotherapy on Wednesday and then working Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday for ten hours at the hospital. I slept most of Monday and would have slept in longer if I didn't have my appointment with him on Wednesday.

Knowing my background as a concert photographer, he also asked if I had any exciting shows coming up. My response was that I was taking the next flight to San Francisco to see one of my favorite bands Quicksand at Slim's as part of the Converse Represent showcase. My oncologist smiled and chuckled knowing that it was just another typical "adventure" in my storybook.

Quicksand is another band that resonated strongly with me when I purchased their album Slip back in 1993. When I get sick from chemotherapy, I dose myself with some medications and pull up a chair in front of my guitar amplifier and play along to the album to help take my mind off things. It is the best therapy and treatment for my cancer as far as I'm concerned.
*Last Shot: A Concert Photographer's Battle With Cancer


More »

Last Shot: Working a Steady Job While Fighting Cancer

Categories: Last Shot

Lindsey Best
Andrew Youssef
[Editor's Note: Longtime concert photographer and fellow Weekling Andrew Youssef found out almost two years ago that he had Stage IV colon cancer. In that time, he has continued to shoot tons of music events for us on top of other freelance work and holding a day job at a hospital, of all places. As he continues to fight for his life, this series allows him to tell his story in his own words.]

Last week, I returned to my job at the hospital working as a clinical pharmacist. At the hospital, I work ten-hour shifts and while I previously worked full time after my initial surgery and chemotherapy treatments, I have decided to switch to part time to accommodate the ability to shuffle my hectic schedule of chemotherapy treatments, concerts, working and recovering from the more difficult days of chemotherapy.

Working while on chemotherapy is not an easy task. Most oncologists will recommend that their patients return to work so that their lives can have some sense of normalcy and help them forget that they have cancer. My situation is a little more unique in that by returning to work, I am back at the place where I originally collapsed and diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. Walking by the same hospital room where I spent ten days coping with my diagnosis is more difficult than you can imagine.

*Last Shot: A Concert Photographer's Battle With Cancer

More »

Last Shot: The Roller Coaster of Cancer

Categories: Last Shot

Lindsey Best
Andrew Youssef
[Editor's Note: Longtime concert photographer and fellow Weekling Andrew Youssef found out almost two years ago that he had Stage IV colon cancer. In that time, he has continued to shoot tons of music events for us on top of other freelance work and holding a day job at a hospital, of all places. As he continues to fight for his life, this series allows him to tell his story in his own words.]

Roller coasters used to be so much fun. It took me awhile to enjoy the intense speeds and astounding high climbs and plummeting lows. I remember being proud to have survived Magic Mountain's Viper roller coaster and actually enjoying it. Having been physically beaten up from surgery and continual chemotherapy, the thought of going on a roller coaster now is just as nauseating as some of my chemotherapy.

My battle against cancer is a roller coaster that I ride daily. I make sure to not let the highs get me too excited so that when the lows hit that I won't bottom out. One of the first things I did when I was diagnosed was keep a spreadsheet on my Ipad that contains all my lab values so I can track my prognosis. After two years and four months, it is a rather lengthy document but an invaluable informational tool that helps my doctors and nurses.

*Last Shot: A Concert Photographer's Battle With Cancer

More »

Last Shot: Meeting Meshuggah

Categories: Last Shot

Lindsey Best
Andrew Youssef
[Editor's Note: Longtime concert photographer and fellow Weekling Andrew Youssef found out almost two years ago that he had Stage IV colon cancer. In that time, he has continued to shoot tons of music events for us on top of other freelance work and holding a day job at a hospital, of all places. As he continues to fight for his life, this series allows him to tell his story in his own words.]

I can still remember being at a Tower Records listening station back in 1998 and being blown away by the brutality of Meshuggah's album Chaosphere. It was the heaviest thing I had heard to date and I immediately went to the counter to purchase the album and call my brother to tell him about this new amazing band that I found.

Based in Sweden, Meshuggah is an extreme metal band that features the growling vocal stylings of Jens Kidman, earth-shaking bass of Dick Lovgren, the pulsating drums of Tomas Haake, my eight string guitar heroes Frederik Thordendal and Marten Hagstrom. Releasing albums approximately every three to four years, when Meshuggah tours one must take special note to see them play as they usually tour once in the States per album cycle.

See Also:
*Last Shot: A Concert Photographer's Battle With Cancer

*Andrew's Photos of Meshuggah at the House of Blues Anaheim

More »

Last Shot: The Difficulty Of Updating Friends About My Health

Categories: Last Shot

Lindsey Best
Andrew Youssef
[Editor's Note: Longtime concert photographer and fellow Weekling Andrew Youssef found out almost two years ago that he had Stage IV colon cancer. In that time, he has continued to shoot tons of music events for us on top of other freelance work and holding a day job at a hospital, of all places. As he continues to fight for his life, this series allows him to tell his story in his own words.]

It was difficult telling my family and friends that I had Stage IV colon cancer. It is easy to surmise that very few people in my age group (37) have friends with a terminal disease. Everyone has different perceptions of cancer. My interactions with friends now has changed because the usual topic of cancer comes up first. Most cancer patients will tell you about the dreaded "How are you doing today?" My stock answer is "I'm hanging in there." Does this person want to know in general how I'm feeling or are they inquiring about my latest PET scan results and my tumor levels?

I"m very open to telling anyone who inquires the current state of my health. Does it get tired repeating the same story all the time? Yes. But I have to understand my friends and family are concerned. Sometimes I feel like posting a scoreboard about my current tumor levels (they dropped last week) and what the latest PET scan showed (currently not so great at the moment).

See Also:
*Last Shot: A Concert Photographer's Battle With Cancer


More »

Last Shot: The Time Juliana Hatfield Made Me Forget I Have Cancer

Categories: Last Shot

Lindsey Best
Andrew Youssef
[Editor's Note: Longtime concert photographer and fellow Weekling Andrew Youssef found out almost two years ago that he had Stage IV colon cancer. In that time, he has continued to shoot tons of music events for us on top of other freelance work and holding a day job at a hospital, of all places. As he continues to fight for his life, this series allows him to tell his story in his own words.]

As a DJ at my college radio station at the University of the Pacific back in the mid '90s, I used to always play a Juliana Hatfield song during my show. The combination of Hatfield's honey sweet vocals and chunky Gibson SG guitar riffs easily won me over when I first saw her videos on MTV's Alternative Nation. She had been on my radar previously with her swooning background vocals and rollicking bass work on the Lemonheads album "It's A Shame About Ray".

She toured sporadically back in the day and I remembered doing whatever I could to catch her live shows when she came to town. Hatfield is responsible for igniting my interest in concert photography as I snuck in my brand new five megapixel Sony camera into her show at the Knitting Factory and taking a slew of blurry photos. I had no idea what I was doing but luckily scored a few good shots due to the sheer volume of shutter actuations.

See Also:
*Last Shot: A Concert Photographer's Battle With Cancer


More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Events

Links

Loading...