Saturday, January 30, 2010

Is Where Ratter's RL Avatar Says Sumthin'

Hello, you buggers.

Me RL avatar, he got sumthin' he be wantin' ta say to all of ya. Now, he's a good lad, does his dailies and all, but he do suffer from the delusion what he be the real one and I'm the one what be a buncha pixels. Hehehe. What a noob. But we's gonna humor the kid, and listen ta his wordifying.

/break the fourth wall

Hi everyone.

I wanted to take a few minutes to let everyone know some things that have been going on here in the real world, and explain a bit about why I had to take a few months off.

Back when I was raiding with Aetherial Circle over on Drenden, we had a resto druid in the guild by the name of Shianti. There were a number of characters in that outfit, but in addition to being a really good raider she had a personality that was funny and colorful and nice, and it felt natural to include her in some of my posts. Whether she was trying to farm Badges of Justice or flirting with Maurice or helping Kinnavieve in her attempts to get some epic pants to drop, it was always fun to have her here.

Last year, Shianti and I started getting to know each other outside of the game. Instead of Shianti and Ratshag we became Julie and Michael. We found we had a lot of things in common, one of which turned out to be a strong mutual attraction. We began flying out to see each other for weekends, which turned into longer and longer visits. She applied for a nursing job in my hometown, and was offered a position for significantly better pay than what she was making. We made plans on how we wanted to spend our lives together. Things were going great.

In October, we got hit with several pieces of bad news. By far the biggest of these though was that Julie was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. To fight it, she immediately had to start four months of chemotherapy, with surgery to follow. Of course, this meant putting our plans on hold and focusing on just getting through the here-and-now. Putting the time and effort into working on this silly little blog just was something I didn't have the heart for at that time, so I put up my "gone fishing" post.

One of the good things to come out of Julie's cancer has been the overwhelming support and encouragement we have gotten from our friends and family, both in the real world and in WoW. If this story sounds familiar, yes, my Julie is the same Julie that John the Big Bear Butt Blogger and all the other great people in the Sidhe Devils guild (where we currently have our Alliance toons) organized the
Raid for the Cure for. It was a really thoughtful gesture, and the effort and enthusiasm that people put into it, as well as the many generous donations to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure charity, really meant a lot to both of us.

So now, three months later, how are things? Julie is two-thirds of the way through the treatment. It's a rotten process, with a lot of nausea, bone pain, fatigue, hair loss and lots of other minor crap. But the tumors have all shrunk significantly, and some have gone away completely. Her odds of surviving the next five years have gone up a lot. She had to postpone starting her new job, of course, but they were very understanding and it looks like it is all go for her to start in March. (It helps that she is awesome nurse and they really really want her ;) ) Things are looking up, and I felt ready to start thinking about blogging again.

One last thing - I wanted to say thanks for all the lovely comments, both when I stopped in October and when I started again this week. Need More Rage is something I enjoy writing, and I am glad so many of you enjoy reading it. Okay, enough of my yapping, let me hand you back to the orc.

Yeah huh. Great googly moogly that boy talked a lot, but it seemed real fuhggin' importants ta him. Okies, that's all fer today, all though if yer intersted is a post from Vyprania recentlies over at Need More Words. Is all serious and emotionals and whatnots, so is there and not here.


Darraxus said...

I am glad to hear things are looking up.

Dechion said...

Glad to hear that things are going well for that real life avatar of yours and his significant other.

Also glad to hear that the pixelated avatar is looking at writing again.

He's funny as hell and I've missed reading his ramblings.

Kulat/Kriyet said...


I'm sorry to hear what a rough time you and Julie had last fall, but so glad to hear she is responding well to her treatment, and that the two of you are continuing together. Hooray for love!

The Ratters' voice was sorely missed, and happy to hear him again. Too much theory in the blogoverse. Somebody's got to blog the funny!


Sephrenia said...


Love and best wishes to you and Julie. I too have missed your humour, your fantastic, unique style. I'm incredibly pleased to see you back.

My husband just asked me why I was crying.... I had to explain all about you :) I hope that Julie goes from strength to strength and wish you a long and happy future together.

Love from another Julie, aka Seph xxx

Kayeri said...

My husband, too, asked me why I was crying and I had to explain, but he knows Julie's side of the situation well, as we were both happily romping through Raid for the Cure that bright, pink-clad day. We just didnt know it was you and her together. :)

Ratters, having you back is just awesome, and I'm so glad that she is responding so well, in spite of how hard it is.

Anonymous said...

I heard about BBB's Julie (not knowing she was yours too) - so pleased to hear she is getting better!

And so pleased that you are feeling up for some more blogging, you were sorely missed! :-)

ComputerSherpa said...

Chemotherapy can't be cheap. Where can we donate?

Jezrael said...

<3 to you both. Welcome back Rats you've been missed!

LifeDeathSoul said...

Breast cancer huh? that's a tough one Ratters :( But I'm glad things are looking up for you :)

Once again, welcome back! :D

Anea said...


As just about everyone else has said, I had known about Julie for BBBB's cause but didn't know she was your Julie. (I did have a blast at the event!) I'm glad to know that she's responding well so far and hope things only get better from here.

/hugs to you and Julie


Ratshag said...

@Everyone - Thanks so much for all the nice comments and thoughts

@Horizon - Very kind of you, but Julie has insurance which covers most of the cost so we are doing okay. If you would like to make a donation, we would be honored if you chose to donate towards finding a cure, and can do so in Julie's name at the Raid for the Cure fund.

Hydra said...

<3 as always for you both.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with you both.

Marylin said...

So glad to hear things are going well. Love to you both xx


Euripides said...

I'm glad that despite your hardships, you two found each other. This type of thing is easier to deal with when you know you got someone on your side.

That said, you got all us on your side too.

LarĂ­sa said...

What a fantastic love story! It's like a fairy tale. One of those with a happy ending. I'm sure it is. Thank you for sharing it.

All the best!

Natalie said...

Hugs to you both, sending good vibes and love. Thanks for letting us know what's going on. Wishing you both all good things... GameDame

Anonymous said...

Goodness, that's quite a roller-coaster ride you've been on! I'm lad to hear you're on an uphill slope again and I hope it's a really, really long one :) It's nice to see you blogging again.

Kadomi said...

Sending good vibes your way, Ratters, to both you and Julie. My mother-in-law has been through the process 2 years ago, and she's doing great now. Stay strong! *hugs*

Aside from that, very happy to have you back in the blogoverse, we need more sexy orcs, for sure.

Arleen said...

*Tight, tight hugs to both of you*

You both are made of awesomeness, bravery and win. Much <3

TJSunday said...

I so love the stories of people coming together and forging real, solid, committed, and meaningful relationships from meeting and / or getting to know one another through this game. The Hub and I are just such a couple, and the story of Julie & Michael is not so different than that of T & D.

Best wishes to the both of you, and lots of healing white light and positive energy from me and MF stable. (That would be Melted Faces, but if the alternate acronym fits... lol)

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, buddy. And glad to hear again how well Julie's doing! I don't do much in the way of in-game events, but I was very proud to be part of Raid for the Cure.

Best wishes to both of you!

Kusamoto said...


I'm very glad to hear that things are stabilizing in your life, and I hope they continue getting better.

Every year, we L5R fanatics descend upon South Sioux City for one of the regional tournaments run by Bob Yager, a helluva' good guy who lost his wife to cancer a few years back. Typically, he has some event that requests donations given for the local cancer research center there (if I'm remembering correctly). If you don't mind, I've got $50 earmarked in the name of "Friends of Ratshag" that I will gladly donate (I would have done a Race donation event at our Kotei in Denver this year, but we decided to go with Doctors Without Borders for Haiti).

Carrie said...

Dear Ratters,

I was unable to make the raid, but our local Susan G Komen walk has been scheduled for this April. I always walk for my mom (a survivor of 20+ years), but this year I will walk for your Julie as well. It's the least I can do!

Chemo is nasty stuff, much love and well-wishes to the two of you for making it this far.


Miss Medicina said...

I admit it, this made me cry. Yes, even dwarves cry, my orcish friend. But not in a pansy way.

Please give all our love to Julie. Know that she is in my thoughts and prayers.

tiggs4e said...

Music to my ears hearing that Julie is responding to her treatmants. I didn't know either of you but when the call went out from BBB me and my S/O Balth created toons so that we could show our support. Welcome back to the bloggisphere as well :)

Anonymous said...

The fairy tale Prince Ratters returns!

Carrying a princess over his shoulder!

Stand aside Shrek and all you pale immitations, the Ratters is back in town!

wb Ratters... eerrrr Michael and may the powers be with you and Julie. The world needs great nurses and well it sounds like you guy need... want each other!

Ironhelm said...

Welcome back old friend, and most especially gratz on the great achievements with Julie - clearly some seriously rough grinding she has gone through. Tough lass that one, you sure she's not Orcish?

Well, re-reading it all makes me all sniffly and the screen blurry so I'll move along.

Best wishes and let us know if we can /assist. Seriously.

Unknown said...

Welcome back to the world of blogging. I'm glad to read that Julie is doing well still (after reading it on BBB's site also) but that you're the good guy that she ended up with. Best wishes and prayers going out to you both.

Unknown said...

Glad to hear she's responding well to the treatments. It's definitely understandable why you needed to take a break from blogging. She is fortunate to have you during this difficult time.



Anonymous said...

Best wishes for you both. BBB said Ratters was back online, and it's good to see that things are looking up for you and yours.

Julie Cruse said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words, I am glad to see everyone welcoming him back to blogging because I know he missed it. I appreciate everyone's positive thoughts.

@Ironshield actually, I do play an orc too, she is the one Ratshag is checking out her chest in the photo post. :)


batgrl said...

I'm slow to catch up to the news - and so glad that things are better now. I've known several women to go through that - and know she's going through a lot - but the important thing is that it will get better. And I'm also glad you have such a great circle of friends for support. I did the long distance thing before my husband and I hooked up permanently - so I know what a relief it must be for both of you to be in the same place together too, especially now. I've read Julie's blog - suddenly it seems like a small blog neighborhood!

Take care, and may you both soon look back on this as "that bad patch we both got through together!"

And I'm glad you're blogging again!

batgrl said...

(Oops, I don't think your Julie is the same Julie the wowblogger I was thinking of. But darnit, the rest of the comment's still true. I'm still happy everything's looking up!)