my shell

Me (2)

August 2nd of last year is the day Gary and I left Dallas, Texas for Pensacola, Florida to continue my treatment for cancer.  A week prior to leaving, I had dinner with my family that lives in Dallas and I wrote a post specially about my dad.

It was a year ago in that post ‘The shell of a man‘, I wrote the following words –

Later after dinner I was back home and my stepmom sent me a couple of photos she had taken earlier that evening of my dad, my older brother and myself.  It was not until I viewed those pictures, that I saw my dad in a different way.  His body, his shell is deteriorating; as if it is already decaying, already having life drained from it.  It saddens me to see him in this state, because I know he will be gone from this world soon.

In today’s post, I write the following words –

January 16th of this year, I had a major surgery that lasted 10 ½ hours to remove my bladder, prostate, lymph nodes and other male organs.  This surgery is the usual course of action to take when cancer begins in the bladder.  Bladder cancer easily comes back and easily spreads.  It was expected because of that surgery I would lose 10-15 lbs. of body weight.  Instead, I lost 23 lbs. of body weight and now 3 months later, I have lost more weight – for a total of 30 lbs. body weight.

I weigh less than my dad now, and like him, I find myself a shell of a man.  20170416_194313 (2)My bones ache and my intestines will never feel the same.  As I wrote about my dad almost a year ago, I now write about myself.  I feel my body is deteriorating; as if it is already decaying, already having life drained from it.  It saddens me to see myself in this state.

I hide nothing on this blog, my life from years ago and today is here in writing, pictures and videos.  I pretend to be nothing more than an average man, living an average life.

Less than 2 years ago, it was noticed and through a series of events that I never expected, I am now here today with Stage 4 Bladder Cancer.  This is my cancer, it does not belong to anyone else and it effects my body the way it wants to.  I do fight back with what I have available to me; from doctors to family to internal strength, a spouse that is always here for me, and to some sort of guidance from somewhere else.

I have no shame in displaying these pictures of me at my worse – my body – my shell.

74 thoughts on “my shell

  1. Cancer sucks. You may feel your body may be at its worst but you are not. The words you share each day show your bravery, selflessness, and the openness of your heart. Hoping for a ray of sunshine in your day today.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Terry, you have a great, indomitable spirit of a fighter that lives in this shell! It is essential for people out there to know that fighting is not only possible, but necessary, and you are accomplishing it by opening your heart and soul and documenting your journey for others to be inspired to fight.
    I have the highest admiration for you (including your shell!),

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I can fully understand how this is getting you down, and how tough this is for you. Try remember though, it is not the exterior that counts, what counts is what is in the inside of your heart. From what I know and from what I read everyday from you, is a man filled with only good things, a good heart, a man that has more integrity than most, and I can carry on with a list…..’Your shell’ is taking strain right now and I pray that once all this chemo is over, and your pain is controlled, slowly you will feel more like you. Hugs my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are very kind Lynne and my eyes fill with tears as I read your comment. I have been down lately and reading yours and other’s comments help me – I have true support and friends here – and I am needing that right now. Thank you for stopping by everyday and taking time to visit – you don’t know how much it means to me. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Your beautiful and brave you shines through each and every day. You showing up authenticity and honestly everyday is an inspiration to all of us walking with you on your very personal journey. Thank You for sharing with us Terry. So much support and respect to you! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh Terry, dear Terry. Your suffering is visible, tangible and acutely painful. That you are brave and strong enough to share these images and these words speaks volumes about you as a particularly special and extraordinary human. A human I am beyond proud to know and who humbles me by calling me friend. 🤗

    Liked by 3 people

  6. You are incredibly brave to show us those photos of your beautiful, strong, fighting, body. Yes, you read that right.
    You know those amazing long distance runners from the Olympics that manage to run incredible distances despite often looking frail or even gaunt. That’s how I see you now. This is your fighting body and it’s doing an amazing job, fighting like hell and going the distance.
    So yes, never be ashamed to show your fighting body.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Terry you are the strongest human I know….your strength to stay positive and share your yourself with us without restraint is humbling….I want you to know I see a wonderful man in front me, fighting the fight of his life, one against his own body, his inner soul, and everything you are….your in my heart my friend…..thank you for giving me strength that I need in my own life….lots of gentle hugs and more hugs….xxxxkat

    Liked by 2 people

    • kat, it is friends such as yourself that help me with my strength. Trust me when I admit, I am weak many days and feeling down. But then I get up the next day and try again to be the best I can. You encourage me and I am thankful for you. Stay cool, I know it is hot there in the desert. 🙂


  8. Oh Terry! It is a beautiful shell of an even more beautiful soul! I wish I could give you some of my extra! LOL! Keep smiling when you can – and keep shining your light of love! ❤ Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think you look pretty terrific. Your heart and attitude are you greatest strengths. When you write posts, your readers (like me) give you more strength, because you are YOU, honest and full of heart and stories. You are a hero to many!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. You inspire me with your bravery especially since I know that you took pleasure in keeping fit and healthy. This must be difficult for you to endure although you are still as handsome as always. I have been shying away from the mirror and photographs because my estrogen is adding on pounds, You have given me a virtual shake. 💋

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Katie for your very nice comment and support. I just write from my heart and if it helps others, I am humbled. I appreciate you taking the time to read and follow my blog. I am very glad you are doing better and wish you the very best – have a happy day! 🙂


  11. Oh, Terry! I can see how y´re suffering and I wish I could give you a huge hug! We all know that it´s the inner beauty in a person that really counts, and yet we also all know that when our body´s appearances take a turn for the worse, we suffer from it just as much in our souls as it if were a real wound. I can imagine how down you must feel but I want you to know that this will only be temporary! As soon as your treatment is over, you can start putting on weight again and will feel better. I hope you´re not suffering too much from nausea and that you can eat regularly? Please hang in there, my friend! So proud of you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah, thank you for your always kind comments. I just currently suffer from pain that I hope will be resolved in the next couple of weeks. No nausea from chemo and I do eat regularly, not big meals, but I do have an appetite. I have an appointment scheduled next week with a nutritionist to help out with my weight gain. Thanks dear, have a wonderful and happy weekend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re always welcome, dear Terry. And I’m so glad that at least nausea isn’t an issue. The appointment with the nutritionist sounds like a very good idea! Normally I would say hamburgers and milkshakes will do the trick to help you gain some weight but that’s not really healthy 😉 But I guess lots of red meat, pasta etc wouldn’t go wrong. Do you enjoy cooking or prefer to go out and eat somewhere else? I had to do some maths to know how much weight you lost (from lbs. to kg 😉) and was shocked. I hope you will regain your normal weight again soon. That and your strength. Keep sending you huge hugs and sunshine! 😄

        Liked by 1 person

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