Early Morning Rambling Thoughts

 

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Thoughts I voice recorded early this morning –

So today is day #5 without smoking and day #4 knowing I have bladder cancer.  So, the last few mornings I’ve been getting up a little later than I usual do; actually I think I’ve been going to bed earlier than I usually do.  Not sure why that is maybe because since I am not smoking I got thinking on my mind about what is going on with me.  I kind of started drinking earlier in the day; a little bit earlier than I usually do and maybe that is why I am going to bed earlier and getting up later.

So, maybe this is just the way I am dealing with it and I find myself bored cause I am not smoking – makes no sense but when I don’t smoke I don’t have anything to do or I seem to think I don’t have anything to do.   But, I have lots of things but I am not motivated to do anything: I have no motivation or urge to do anything, and I have a lot to do and I need to do things now because once the surgery gets here and whatever happens after that I may not have the energy or strength for a while to do somethings I need to do.

But, I am going to, you know, find the strength to get things done and take the whatever it is I need to do and do it.  I still have a sense of being upset, as far as finding out I have cancer, angry because obviously it is my own fault; smoking all these years, but you know, what am I going to do.  There is no use in getting mad at myself, it is what it is, I made choices and I am not going to have regrets, I will just deal with it and I guess you know, I don’t know, just very, I don’t know, kind of confusing.

I need to, I don’t know, I just know things happen for a reason, and this happened for a reason and it all will be okay; life will go on and everything will be fine.

 

October 1970 – Cracklin’ Rosie by Neil Diamond

October 1970 – a song popular in this month – Cracklin’ Rosie by Neil Diamond

“Cracklin’ Rosie” is a bottle of wine.

Interesting facts about Cracklin’ Rosie & Neil Diamond –

Diamond got the idea for the song from a folk story of an Indian tribe in Northern Canada who had more men than women. He told David Wild at Rolling Stone: “On Saturday nights when they go out, the guys all get their girl; the guys without girls get a bottle of Cracklin’ Rosie, that’s their girl for the weekend.”

This was Neil Diamond’s first American #1 hit, although he had previously written a number of hits for other artists including “I’m A Believer,” which was a 1966 #1 for The Monkees.

Diamond is probably the most famous Jewish male musician. He is known in some circles as “The Jewish Elvis.”

Neil Diamond is his real name, but despite this good fortune, he considered using that stage names Eice Cherry and Noah Kaminsky. He explained during a Reddit AMA: “Although Neil Diamond may sound cool now, when I was about to put my first record out, it was just my name and pretty boring.

Neil Diamond’s 2008 release Home Before Dark was his first #1 on the US album chart, 42 years after his debut LP.

This information was provided by Songfacts.com

family’s differences

Family – what can I write that has not been written already about this subject?

merriam-webster.com has this simple definition –

A group of people who are related to each other

A person’s children

A group of related people including people who lived in the past

Their full definition of family is much more than I want to put into this post.  If you are interested you can see it here: family

All families are different, different backgrounds, different upbringings, different values and different differences.  I appreciate my family’s background, my family’s upbringing, my family’s values and my family’s differences.  I spent this past Thanksgiving with my family for the first time in many years.  You can read more about this in my post ‘This year will be different‘.  It was a nice visit, but honestly after a couple of days I am always ready to go home, my home, where I am comfortable.  You see, even though I love my family and spend time with my family, I am not always comfortable being around my family.  They all are great people, with great lives, but I am the one that has the different life.

This different life is accepted and I am always welcome – but I am usually unable to be the total ‘me’ to my family.

I always felt like the ‘black sheep’ of the family, the ‘outcast’, the ‘different one’.  Many of you know I dealt with major depression for many years starting when I was a young adult.  This depression was created by me at a young age because of low self-esteem, feeling worthless and honestly I felt like I was a mistake.  As a young boy I had placed a thought in my head; this thought was I was a mistake because I am a twin.  I felt like my parents were only expecting to have one child when my mom was pregnant and since there were two of us and I was the second one born – I was a mistake.

I was a mistake; therefore I was the ‘black sheep’, the ‘outcast’, the ‘different one’.

As I grew and dealt with struggles of my mind, I overcame my major depression and through the process discovered me, the true me.

I realized I am not the ‘black sheep’, the ‘outcast’, the ‘different one’ – I am ‘me’.

I accept my family’s background, my family’s upbringing, my family’s values and my family’s differences.

I know my family loves me for ‘me’ – but I am usually unable to be the total ‘me’ to my family.  They are my biological family, and I love them very much.  But I have other family as well – where I can be the total ‘me’.

it’s not a dream

I woke this morning my usual time between 4-5 AM with the same thoughts on my mind as I had when I laid my head down on the pillow the night before.  As I am drinking my coffee I think about these thoughts and I think to myself ‘Was that a dream?’  Then it occurs to me, ‘No it’s not a dream.’  The events of the day before really did occur.

In my post ‘My Urologist: Dr. F.‘, I wrote the following –

The visit with Dr. F. involved me discussing my symptoms and the result of a hospital visit involving a CT scan I had last month.  He indicated I most likely have a tumor on my bladder and it would need to be surgically removed.  Before the removal, first a cystoscopy will take place.  Per webmd.com, here is the definition –

Cystoscopy (say “sis-TAW-skuh-pee”) is a test that allows your doctor to look at the inside of your bladder and urethra. It’s done using a thin, lighted tube called a cystoscope.

The doctor inserts this tube into your urethra and on into the bladder. Your doctor can see areas of your bladder and urethra that usually don’t show up well on X-rays.

Your doctor can also insert tiny surgical tools through the tube to take samples of tissue (biopsy) or samples of urine.

In today’s post I write the following –

The cystoscopy took place yesterday and the results are I have bladder cancer.  Surgery to remove the tumor on my bladder is scheduled for February 10 at which time a biopsy will be taken to determine the stage of the cancer.  Dr. F. believes the cancer is superficial meaning most likely the cancer has not grown into the muscle layer of my bladder.  If his early diagnosis is correct then after the tumor is removed I will then have 6 weeks of intravesical therapy.

Per cancer.org –

Intravesical therapy for bladder cancer

With intravesical therapy, the doctor puts a liquid drug directly into the bladder (through a catheter) rather than giving it by mouth or injecting it into a vein. This could be either immunotherapy, which causes the body’s own immune system to attack the cancer cells, or chemotherapy.

Medicines given this way mainly affect the cells lining the inside of the bladder, with little to no effect on cells elsewhere. This means that any cancer cells outside of the bladder lining, including those that have grown deeply into the bladder wall, are not treated. Drugs put into the bladder also can’t reach cancer cells in the kidneys, ureters, and urethra, or those that have spread to other organs.

For this reason, intravesical therapy is used only for non-invasive (stage 0) or minimally invasive (stage I) bladder cancers.

I will be honest with you, I am experiencing many mixed emotions; they are natural and to be expected.  But ultimately once I have completed experiencing these mixed emotions, I will be strong and positive.

I’m Moving On

As some of you know, I have written posts about how I feel about being a father to my 3 sons.  You see for many years I felt I was a failure to my sons because of the expectations I placed on myself.

You can read more specifically about this in these posts ‘Failed to be the father I wanted to be‘, ‘Happy Birthday Son #1‘ and ‘My 3 Sons‘.

As some of you know, I have written many posts about my 3 sons; the feelings, the surprises, the disappointments, but most importantly the love for them I greatly have.

You can read more specifically about this in these posts ‘No Phone Call Received‘, ‘He started it!‘, ‘Son #3 Now Married‘, ‘Son #3 Birthday Wishes‘, and ‘Amazing Grace to my sons’.

I’m Moving On

I’m moving on from the feelings of failure and disappointment of myself to feelings of acceptance and forgiveness for myself.

I’m moving on with my life, the past is the past, the present is here and the future is in progress.  I am moving on to the next chapter of my life.

The song ‘I’m Moving On’ by Rascal Flatts has the following lyrics –

I’ve dealt with my ghosts and I’ve faced all my demons

Finally content with a past I regret

I’ve found you find strength in your moments of weakness

For once I’m at peace with myself

I’ve been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long

I’m movin’ on

To my sons – I love you more than you will ever know – this blog is for you – to express who I was – and when you read this one day – know – I have overcome my doubts.

I’m Moving On

The song ‘I’m Moving On’ by Rascal Flatts has the following lyrics –

At last I can see life has been patiently waiting for me

And I know there’s no guarantees, but I’m not alone

There comes a time in everyone’s life

When all you can see are the years passing by

And I have made up my mind that those days are gone

To my sons – I love you more than you will ever know – this blog is for you – to express who I am – and when you read this one day – know – I have overcome my regrets.

I’m Moving On

The song ‘I’m Moving On’ by Rascal Flatts has the following lyrics –

Maybe forgiveness will find me somewhere down this road

I’m movin’ on

To my sons – I love you more than you will ever know – this blog is for you – to express my love to you – and when you read this one day – know – I have forgiven myself.

I’m Moving On

Back to the Biscuits

In my post ‘Liebster Award‘, my fellow blogger Weird Guy With The Dog asked the following question –

If you could travel back in time, but never return, would you and when?

This was my answer –

Another interesting question, as tempting as it would be to time travel; again I would not go back in time.  I have lived my life until now and know what the history of it is.  I know by reading and learning the history of the world – everything I need to know can be found in my mind or books, or the internet.  I look forward to living my life and traveling along into the future – to discover what is to unfold.

Later after that post was published I thought about time travel and it got me thinking.  If I could take one trip to time travel and then come back to the present, where and when would I go?  The time and the place came to my mind and then there was the person that I would take the time travel trip to see, to visit and be with once again.  When is this time, where is this place and who is this person, you ask?

This person is my grandmother, the mother of my mother.

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I recently found and starting following the wonderful blog Sadie’s Nest and she had a recipe post titled ‘Biscuits & Gravy’ that I enjoyed reading very much.  I wrote the following comment on her post –

Oh my goodness – biscuits and gravy! I love this for breakfast and on occasion when I do eat them, it reminds me of my grandmother who passed away several years ago. She made the best biscuits and gravy! Sadie, thank you for this recipe and the memory!

So back in time I go, most likely the last 60s or early 70s – I am sitting in my grandmother’s home, in the dining room next to the kitchen eating biscuits & gravy.  Back then I was very young, but now I am back and I am her age back then.  I am eating my biscuits & gravy and my grandmother is telling me stories of her life, her family, her dreams & her hopes.  This woman a mother of 8 and countless grandchildren and eventually countless great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren was a good Christian who never swore, never drank alcohol, never smoked, never judged, but instead loved everyone, gave unconditionally and taught values through her actions and her words.

I have wonderful memories of my grandmother as a child when she was younger.  I have wonderful memories of my grandmother as an adult when she was older.

She died several years back at the age of 99 and thinking about her now brings some tears to my eyes.

I would love to see her again; me as an adult when she was younger – to hear her voice, to listen to her stories and to eat her biscuits & gravy.

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we do know them, and we grieve

DAVID BOWIE AT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL - 1983

Image Provided by: http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Several weeks ago David Bowie died.  I read several other blogger’s posts about how they felt about his life and his death; and then there were the responses from people across the world.  Some people were in tears about his passing and this I can relate to.  I personally did not cry over David Bowie’s death but I have cried over other well-known people’s death.

This event had me thinking about why people cry when well known people die and it brought back a few memories.

I remember the day Elvis Presley died; it was August 16, 1977 and I was 17 years old.  I can remember as if it were yesterday, every detail is still intact in my mind when I heard the news.

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Image Provided by: http://www.telegraph.co.uk

It was a hot day, being August in the southern United States, it is hot.  It was late afternoon and I was getting into my car to go to work.  The radio was on and the announcement was made.  I was still in the driveway at the time and I quickly ran into the house to tell my mom.  Upon hearing the news, she started crying.

Over a decade later on April 26, 1989, Lucille Ball died.  I was devastated and started to cry; this was upsetting news to me.

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Less than a decade later on August 31, 1997, Princess Diana died.  I was again devastated and started to cry; this was upsetting news to me.  Over a decade later on June 25, 2009, Farrah Fawcett died.  That same year on September 14 Patrick Swayze died, than two years later on February 11, 2012, Whitney Houston died.  I again was devastated and started to cry; this was upsetting news to me.  And then there is Robin Williams, Natalie Cole, Leonard Nimoy, Omar Sharif, Dean Jones and the list goes on.

laurajack.com has an article titled ‘Why do we cry when famous people die?‘ and includes the following –

This begs the question, why do we cry when famous people die?

As they say at the Grief Recovery Institute, we do know them, we just haven’t met them in person.  We all have an emotional relationship with people who we admire, and perhaps even hope to meet them one day.  Therefore, when they die, we grieve because we have a emotional relationship with them that feels incomplete.

Grief is part of our evolution as humans.  Without loss and grief, we don’t grow.  Experiencing sadness, heart-ache, fear or any other emotion, is part of life, as hard as it may be sometimes.  It is what allows us to continue to transform.

So, whether we lose a family member or a person we admired, grief is normal.  Allow yourself and others to feel and be compassionate and loving because that is what we need to heal.

Smoking Past – Smoking Present

Sometimes I will write a post and not finish it for different reasons.  I started this post last year and I do not remember why I did not finish it – but decided now was a good time.

The following words were written on May 17, 2015 –

On social media, I recently read about a person’s encounter with people who smoke.  This person observed a smoker who had no teeth, was coughing and had a ‘smoker’s voice’.  This person wrote that is was clear to them that this was cancer waiting to happen.

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I remember a time when employees could smoke at their job in their cubicles.  Many changes have occurred referring to smoking and smokers.  I understand that smoking is bad and can cause illness and death.  I understand smoking affects those people that do not smoke.  I understand the laws that prevent smoking in public buildings and certain areas within a city.  What I do not understand is why those that do not smoke think they can diagnose cancer.  Why is this?

Ok, I get it – I am ranting some because as a smoker I do get a little irritated that nonsmokers seem to know more than I about the outcomes of smoking.  I am a courteous smoker; I do not smoke in my own home, when somewhere else I go hide to smoke as to not bother anyone else and I do not like the smell of smoke – I hate the smell of smoke in clothes, in rooms, etc.

My point is I know smoking kills and I choose to smoke.  I know smoking can kill others and I choose not to smoke around them.  I know smoking can shorten my life span and I am ok with that.

The following words I am writing today –

I have smoked off and on since I was 15 years old – 40 years now! I have quit smoking on several occasions cold turkey with the longest non-smoking period of 4 years.  Why do I quit then to go back to start again?

In my post ‘Addictions or Habits or Routines‘, I concluded with the following –

My point to this post is I have a habit of being drawn to addictions and routinely have quit addictions and started the same addictions again time after time.  So are addictions an issue or is it the routinely stopping and starting the habits of addictions the issue, or is it the habits that cause the routines of addictions the issue?

On my recent visit to my urologist Dr. F., he told me I needed to quit smoking.  He said the tumor on my bladder will have to be surgically removed, and continuing to smoke, the next time the whole bladder may need to be removed.

Today I am still smoking, and tomorrow I will smoke, but the next day is the day I will once again quit – hopefully for the last time.

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September 1970 – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Diana Ross

September 1970 – a song popular in this month – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Diana Ross

She had many hits with The Supremes, but this was Diana Ross’ first US #1 solo hit.

Interesting facts about Ain’t No Mountain High Enough & Diana Ross –

This was written by the Motown husband and wife songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson. Nick Ashford was inspired by an experience when he first moved to New York. He was walking down a Manhattan thoroughfare, determined that New York City would not get the best of him; the words “Ain’t no mountain high enough” popped into his head.

Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell recorded the original hit version peaking at #19 in the US in 1967.

Amy Winehouse’s 2007 single “Tears Dry On Their Own” is based around the backing instrumentation of this song.

Ashford & Simpson were also credited on Jessica Simpson’s 2006 transatlantic Top 20 single “A Public Affair,” as towards the end of the song, the background vocalists can be heard singing a few lines of “aaah, aaah, aaah” in a clear duplication from “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”

This information was provided by Songfacts.com

Big City Lights

When I was a young boy, my family’s vacation was usually going to a big city.  The small city I grew up in had a population of around 65,000 in the 1960s.  The big city that we usually vacationed in had a population of around 700,000 in the 1960s.  There I was, a young boy in awe when we would drive in that big city.  There were the downtown tall skyscrapers, the highways, too many hotels to count, and I remember the city busses and highway interchanges mixing together like spaghetti.  But what really caught my attention was when we drove at night and seeing the big city lights.

Those big city lights! The neon hotel signs, all the street lights, tall skyscraper lights; in my eyes as a young boy it was New York’s Time Square.

I was lost in the lights, the tall skyscrapers, the traffic – it was the big city – and I loved it!

In 1989 I moved to that big city and still reside today.  This big city I have lived in for the past 27 years is huge now – with a city population of over 2 million and with the surrounding area the population is over 7 million.  The big city lights are everywhere now, the downtown skyscrapers are taller and the traffic is endless.

It was a big city back when I was young, and now it is a huge city – I do not love it anymore!

Me, 27 years ago was into the hustle and bustle of the city.  There were so many things to do, so many sites to see, so many events to experience.  No longer;  I am ready to slow down and enjoy life without having to drive a long distance to visit friends in bad traffic, driving on bad streets, paying high taxes and the list goes on.

As you know my partner and I are moving this year, with the move possibly taking place as early as late spring.  The move is taking us to a smaller city, or town that has a population of around 16,000 and the county that includes cities/towns nearby with a population of around 143,000.

Big change I know – no more big city lights!

Honestly, I will not miss the big city lights or the downtown tall skyscrapers, the highways, the too many hotels or the traffic.  It is time to slow down and enjoy life and the calmness of a smaller environment.

I most likely will be back to the big city someday because I do have some family here.

Maybe after moving and enjoying my slower paced life and I return to visit, I will again be in awe when driving in that big city.

Maybe when I visit in the future those big city lights will again amaze me as if I were a young boy again.