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Monday, December 15, 2014

Thank you from the bottom of my heart

I want to personally thank everyone who has recently donated money toward my medical expenses.  It has come in very handy during this time.  I don't want to name individuals for fear of leaving someone out but I've tried to personally respond to everyone who donated via the PayPal link at http://www.dragonkingkarl.com  however I also want to thank all of you who donated privately through Bryan Alvarez at http://www.f4wonline.com that was very thoughtful of you and I really appreciate that.  Since I can't know who you all were I want to say thank you.  Also, someone sent me an Amazon Gift Card to help with Christmas and I don't know who you are either but thank you from the bottom of my heart.  If any of you donated anonymously I would like a chance to say thank you as well and if you'll drop me an email to karl@dragonkingkarl.com I'd like to thank you personally.

I recently got some encouraging news about my cancer surgery which will take place on January 8th, 2015 and I hope it goes well.  The doctor is hopeful he will be able to get all the cancer.  I am, however, now having some nerve damage issues from the extensive radiation which has effected my ability to walk.  I am trying to physical therapy myself through this issue (and yes I continue to work but I'm having to wear knee and ankle braces and wraps but I am no mere mortal man).  This damage may not be reversible but since the alternative is death in less than five years... well... I'll take it and be happy about it.

Again, thank you all from the bottom of my heart.  God bless everyone who has sent me a kind email, donated money, or advice.  Thank you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Karl/Steve

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I've got some bad news... and some GREAT news

I went to the doctor yesterday and got some great news but first tempered with some bad news.  Let's get the bad news out of the way first.  The doctor told me the cancer was a lot worse than I thought.  In fact, he said it was a very, very ugly tumor and exceptionally large.  While that sounds horrible it actually gets better.  The doctor also said that because it looked so bad from the beginning I was given the most aggressive radiation and chemotherapy right from the start and it appears to have worked wonderfully.

The tumor shrank dramatically which qualifies me for a less radical surgery.  This surgery, if successful, will allow me to return to work, perhaps as early as sometime in February.  The downside is, this surgery is a little more risky, in that the cancer will have to be very closely monitored to make sure it doesn't come back and I still may have to get the "big surgery" later on if this first one isn't successful.

In other words, everybody say their prayers (eating vitamins is optional) that this surgery will be a success.  The date of the surgery is January 8th so please remember me and my family during this time.  I should have at least one (probably more) radio show before then so I'll update with the latest there.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the kindness and donations that have been made.  Words can not express my gratitude.- Karl

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Too Much Sometimes

Feeling really tired today and it's straight pissing me off. I run out of breath getting in and out of a car. I get exhausted walking to the mailbox. I hate this! The radiation doctor told me that the worst would wear off in a few months. I sure hope so but even after recovery from my surgery I'll have six months of chemo again. I thank God I'm not in any real pain any more so I hate to complain too much.

Tuesday I should get the date for my surgery so please keep me in your prayers. I don't want to fall into depression, which I understand is common with this, but it's so frustrating.

Thanks for all the kind words, emails, and donations. You'll never know how much it means to me.


- Karl Stern

Sunday, November 23, 2014

I'm giving WWE Survivor Series a chance tonight

Rumors are swirling everywhere that tonight's WWE Survivor Series might be newsworthy. With WWE giving the event away for free topped by a lackluster main event at best, WWE needs a big hook to grab potential WWE Network subscribers. That hook(s) could be WCW legend Sting appearing for the first time in a WWE ring.

In addition to that, there are rumors floating around that Randy Orton may return after being away for a little while filming a movie. Even Chris Jericho is getting in on the act tweeting that he is having lunch with Orton and Sting in St. Louis (likely in jest).

Hopefully Sting will be there. Hopefully he will do more than shill the video game. Hopefully this will be a memorable Survivor Series and a big hit for the WWE Network.

@dragonkingkarl on Twitter.


- Karl Stern

Saturday, November 22, 2014

I can tell you with 100% certainty you'll be dead in five years

"I can tell you with 100% certainty you'll be dead in five years if you don't have this surgery."
Well, that pretty much settles that. That's what my doctor told me yesterday in answer to my question, "What happens if I don't have this surgery.". Cancer sucks. A statement like that certainly puts your world view into perspective.

So, what's next? Well, nothing imminently. I have a couple more tests in December but the doctor agreed to wait until after the holidays to operate so right now the target date for surgery is early January 2015. After I recover from the surgery I'll be doing more chemotherapy for the next six months.

That's the new reality. There's no more theorizing about what if's. The reality is the surgery will take place in January and the chips will fall where they may. Early 2015 looks like it will be a trying time so please continue to keep me in mind.

God bless everyone who has donated and sent kind emails, cards, and such. Words can't express how grateful I am and how helpful it's been, especially right here headed into the holiday season. My family and I are appreciative beyond words.


- Karl Stern

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cancer update and the Main Event

This is the week I've been dreading for sometime.  Later this week I go to the doctor in Birmingham, AL to schedule my cancer surgery.  Hoping against hope, I had convinced myself that I was going to be able to avoid surgery and, I don't know, my Wolverine powers or something would just heal me.  Well, that's just not the way it's panning out I'm afraid.

Later this week, based on all the information I've gathered so far, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be told I have to get this complicated surgery to remove the tumor from my colon.  Again, due to the size and placement of my tumor it's going to be a more life impacting procedure than a "standard" colon surgery and the complication risks appear to be greater.  It is what it is.  No reason to be sad or despondent.  It's actually just time to man up and get to it.  Shoulder to the wheel and all that.

So, I've decided just to make the best of it.  My new hope is that I can be scheduled for January after the holidays.  That may not be realistic but it's on my wish list.  I'm going to hopefully feel well enough to do a lot of audio related stuff and perhaps work on a project or two to generate some cash flow for all this medical stuff going on while I'm off work from my main job.  I may be over estimating how well I'm going to feel but I'm an optimist, what can I say?

Anyway, I am working on a new DragonKingKarl Classic Wrestling Audio Show for mid-week where I'll explain a little more.  Then on Friday I'll get the final verdict about my surgery.  Then it's hope for the best I suppose.

Thanks to Bryan Alvarez, Dave Meltzer, Mike Sempervive, and all those over at Wrestling Observer who have been so good to me during this very trying time.  I'm not beat yet!

Thanks again to all who have contributed to my medical expenses.  If you've donated, bought a Stern Stick, a digital download, or whatever- thank you.  From the bottom of my heart.  Even if the surgery is successful I'm looking at another couple of months of chemotherapy, so boo.  But anyway, it's seconds to go in the forth quarter and I'm down a few points but the game isn't over.

Thanks,

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The WWE Network Doesn't Want Your Money if...

Let me state up front and for the record- I love the WWE Network. I love the idea of it, I love that the company is being proactive with future technology. I'm always going to be in favor of companies embracing new technology. I also know that with any new technology there are likely to be growing pains. With that said, there remains no excuse for major mistakes that the WWE is making with the WWE Network. (@WWENetwork on Twitter)

One of the most basic rules of business is- if someone wants to give you money, take it! There are essentially three classes of wrestling fans out there. The first, and far and away the largest, is the current plugged in wrestling fan. This is the fan that never misses Monday Night Raw, seldom misses SmackDown, and never misses a pay per view. The current plugged in fan knows all the storylines and is invested in their favorite personalities. For this set of fans the WWE Network is doing an excellent job. You get pay per views for the bargain basement price of $9.99 plus specials. And if you're really plugged in you get what is probably the best weekly wrestling show in the U.S. right now, NXT.

The second group is the Attitude Era/Monday Night War era fans. These fans are aware of the current product but not necessarily plugged in. These were fans of the last glory era of wrestling. They likely flipped the channels back and forth during the Monday Night War. They likely were fans of ECW, DX, and the NWO. They are likely still fans in the hope that wrestling will "get hot" again and are patiently waiting for the next big thing to hit. For these fans the WWE Network is, again, doing a good job. Many hours of ECW Hardcore TV are archived. WCW Monday Nitro has a substantial amount of content. Attitude era Raws and more.

But there is one group that has gotten passed over by the WWE Network. We are the 35-50 year olds. We grew up on the territories, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and diverse promotions from across the country. We also have the money. We have the most expendable income. We also have the least amount of content on the WWE Network. Yes, there is a smattering of classic material. World Class was booming along until inexplicably ending at "Episode 73" (no there aren't 73 episodes of World Class on the Network. The Network numbering system is a mythology unto itself.) Despite WWE owning most of the video content from the old territories, there is no AWA (none at all), no Mid-South/UWF, no Florida, no Georgia, and precious little Jim Crockett Promotions (NWA).

If you want to relive the days of 6:05pm Eastern on TBS you can't do it on the Network. If you want a Saturday morning filled with Gordon Solie, Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, and the stars of Georgia, Florida, and Jim Crockett you won't get it on the Network. It seems so simple. You already own it, use it. There is far more "stay here for it" value to any random episode of Georgia wrestling than there is in yet another remix of recycled DX footage or an recut Eric Bischoff interview that's been reused multiple times.

Hundreds of thousands (!) of people have dropped their subscriptions to WWE's fledgling service. It is unwise business to actually own and have possession of a product (film libraries) that people are willing to buy (lapsed fans from the territorial era), and withhold that product. At worst, the film libraries are a nice bonus for the modern era fans and the Attitude Era fans. At best, the film libraries bring in another entire group of lapsed fans with monies and numbers much needed by the Network.

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- Karl Stern

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