Writing Frustration

Lately I am tired quite a bit, the pain medications cause me to be drowsy.

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I find it difficult to concentrate and therefore make many mistakes in my writing.

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Most of the mistakes I find, because I must proof read everything these days.

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The posts I write and the comments I leave on other’s posts and the response comments I leave on my posts; I must proof read them several times.

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Upon proof reading, I have found I will leave a word completely out of a sentence.  My brain knows what words I what to type, but the fingers are not always typing those words.  I also am finding more errors with switching letters, you know that dyslexia that I have.

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My tiredness and lack of concentration is causing me to make many mistakes.  And even after proof reading, I still find errors.

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Writing Frustration.

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286,750

Today is the 24th month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

WAIT!!

It is not just 24 months, but 2 years!

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When I started this blog 2 years ago today, I had no idea where I was going with it and where it would take me.

I just decided at that time 2 years ago I wanted to write about my life; after all I had been thinking about it for; well, all my life.

For this post, I debated on whether I should reveal to you my stats, are they really important?  Do you really care about them?

I do look at my stats, but I don’t put a great deal of time into analyzing them.

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But, it is 2 years today that I have been writing about my life – so I must give some sort of figure that is significant to what I am doing here on WP.

These are the only stats I am revealing –

I have written 752 posts.

If I were to count the words in those post (and I did), it would be 286,750.  (yes, I actually went back to verify the word count – OCD?)

My goal for year 1 – to publish one post per day.  I easily accomplished this goal with some days publishing 2 posts.

My goal for year 2 – again to publish one post per day, I again easily accomplished this goal because my cancer gave me more to write about.

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My goal for year 3 – I am unsure as of today it I can publish one post per day.  It is not that I do not have enough to write about, it is about finding the time.  You might think to yourself since I do not work, I would have plenty of time on my hands – and I do.

The problem is because of my cancer and the effects it is having on me, I am needing to rest more, somedays all day.  Much of my time right now is consumed with rest and sleep and that takes away from my writing.  Plus, the pain pills I am on make me drowsy and this is affecting my concentration and overall thinking.

So, I am making no promises about publishing one post a day.  I have a few ideas about making it easier for me to do so; we shall see if I can incorporate these ideas soon.  Again, my time is being stolen by rest and sleep and the concentration skills are lacking.

So, year 3 begins today and never would I have imagined I would make it this far.  I never imagined I would have written 752 posts.  I never imagined I would write 286,750 words.

I also never would have imagined I would have cancer.

I refer to it as my cancer, because it belongs to no one else, just me.  My cancer is attacking my body the way it wants to, the way it sees fit to.  And right now, my cancer is attaching very toughly.

I am fighting back, but I will be honest, my strength is becoming limited and weak.

I continue to do my best to write and publish one post per day – this is a goal – I need a goal at this time in my life.  No goals leave me with nothing to keep me focus, even when that focus is difficult at times.

I want to thank you all for following my blog and for your comments of support and encouragement.  I have many wonderful friendships that are priceless.  You helped me write those 752 posts with 286,750 words.  I want to continue to write posts and words for as long as my body allows; because I enjoy seeing and hearing from you each day.  I enjoy the communication with you, the many wonderful friends from all over the world.

You brighten my day; and for that I say, ‘Thank you and have a Happy Day’.

Multiple Awards Border

Today is the 24th month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

appointments and procedures

In last Friday’s post ‘Cancer, Pain & Guilt‘, I wrote the following words –

Next week I see a Neurologist and I hope with that appointment to find the source of my nerve pain.  I am also hoping to find some relieve from this pain without having to continue to take a great deal of pain medication.

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

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You remember the reason for starting chemotherapy again is because my cancer had spread into my lymph nodes both in the thoracic area and lumbar area.

Since my surgery back in January I have experienced several types of pain in my lower back that radiate out into the legs and upper back.

I had asked my Oncologist Dr. L. if my cancer was causing this pain and he indicated to me no.  The main pain in the lower back feels like it is in my bones, specially my pelvis.  A bone scan concluded there was no cancer in my bones.  Another pain I have is a stinging pain starting in the lower back that radiates down my legs, specifically on my right side.

Both these pains have increased over the past many weeks and pain medications have increased as well.  My quality of life has decreased because I am unable to do many easy activities without having pain associated with it.

20170416_194313 (2)This past Tuesday, I had my appointment with the Neurologist.  After providing information and performing some basic activities and upon reviewing my most recent scans; it was determined that one of the tumors on my lymph nodes closes to my spine is pressing against my genitofemoral nerve.  The neurologist report also indicated due to my lengthy 10 ½ hours surgery; pressure was placed on my lateral femoral cutaneous nerve.  So possibly these nerves are the cause of the pain I am experiencing.

The Neurologist suggested I be referred to Radiation Oncology for radiation treatments to help boost the chemotherapy and reduce the tumor that is pressing against the genitofemoral nerve.  The referral is in place for the consultation at the end of this month.  My hope is the radiation treatments can be worked in the schedule along with my chemotherapy treatments.  I am unsure at this time how this will be handled.

Prior to my Radiation Oncology appointment, I will have my first of two appointments for my Facet Injections.  You may remember I was also referred to Pain Management and it was suggested by them to have 2 appointments for the Facet Injections.

My current chemotherapy sessions result in me being very tired and I also eventually will have an outbreak of mouth sores.

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These mouth sores occurred during my chemotherapy last year and again are occurring with the current chemotherapy.  I do have a solution for the mouth sores that both relieves the pain and helps in healing them, but I usually will have them for 7-10 days.

More appointments and procedures will take place in the upcoming weeks; hopefully these will result in pain relief.

Cancer, Pain & Guilt

In last Friday’s post ‘I still do my best‘, I wrote the following words –

Due to the pain I have experiencing since my surgery 3 months ago, I was referred to pain management at the Moffitt Cancer Center.  This week I had an appointment with pain management to discuss the possibilities of relieving my pain.  It was decided in the couple of weeks I will have 2 appointments to receive a Facet Injection in my lumbar spine.  The injection helps to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.  I am hoping these injections will provide the pain relief I want so I can reduce or even stop taking pain medications.

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In today’ post I write the following words –

My first appointment to receive the Facet Injection is not until later this month.  If you Google ‘Facet Injection’, you receive the following –

A cervical, thoracic or lumbar facet joint injection involves injecting a small amount of local anesthetic (numbing agent) and/or steroid medication, which can anesthetize the facet joints and block the pain.

I will be receiving the Facet Injection in my lumbar area as this is the origin of one of my pains.  I also have a different pain that I believe is related to nerves and I am hoping the appointment next week with a Neurologist will help locate the source and find a way to reduce the effects it is having on me.

The tiredness and the pain still immerse my body and all the medications; and there a many of them, are helping me survive each day.  Some days are better than others and on occasion Gary and I have ventured out and did some exploring around the area.  I do tire easily and my walking these days is slow, very slow and with each step there is some level of pain that accompanies it.  The longer the walking, the more the pain increases and the tiredness sets in.

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Yesterday, I had my chemotherapy treatment and nothing out of the ordinary came from it.  The next couple of days I most likely will sleep more than usual and that is what my body needs at this time.  I do not have another treatment for several weeks – remember with this round, I take 2 weeks off between treatments.

Next week I see a Neurologist and I hope with that appointment to find the source of my nerve pain.  I am also hoping to find some relieve from this pain without having to continue to take a great deal of pain medication.

Much is taking place these days as I try to live a life of quality.  It is difficult some days and I feel I just exist with no purpose or drive to do anything of worth.  I also feel that I am wasting Gary’s life, he deserves to live his life with quality and adventure and excitement and value.  Me and my illness is preventing this, he is taking care of me and I am thankful he is in my life, I would not survive without him.  But he deserves better, and I feel guilty.

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MacDill AFB

Some excerpts from wikipedia.org

MacDill Air Force Base, located in south Tampa, was constructed as MacDill Field, a U.S. Army Air Corps, later U.S. Army Air Forces, installation just prior to World War II. With the establishment of the U.S. Air Force as an independent service in 1947, it became MacDill Air Force Base.

MacDill AFB is also home to the headquarters for two of the U.S. military’s joint warfighting combatant commands: Headquarters, United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), and Headquarters, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Both commands are independent from one another and each is commanded by a respective 4-star general or admiral. Two additional sub-unified commands are also headquartered at MacDill AFB: Commander, United States Marine Corps Forces Central Command (COMUSMARCENT), commanded by a 3-star general, and United States Special Operations Command Central (USSOCCENT), commanded by a 2-star general.

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I could copy and paste much more information from Wikipedia – if you are interested please click the above link.

MacDill AFB is our new home for the next 6 months.

I wanted to share some pictures with you today.

This base is beautiful and I have just begun to take photos of it.

Over the course of our stay, I plan to take many more pictures.

I still do my best

I ended last Friday’s post ‘my character‘, with this quote –

Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.

Walter Anderson

In today’s post, I write the following –

Yes, bad things do happen; to all of us.

Friday of last week I had my first appointment with my new Urologist Dr. G.  This visit’s main purpose is for the continuation of care for my surgery I had 3 months ago.  Because surgery recovery is going well without complications, I will not be seeing Dr. G. on a regular basis.  Dr. G. is part of the Moffitt Cancer Center where I am receiving my Oncology services and chemotherapy treatment.  Because I am under the care of my Oncologist Dr. L., I would only see Dr. G. if there were an advancement of my cancer in my urinary system.

Due to the pain I have experienced since my surgery 3 months ago, I was referred to pain management at the Moffitt Cancer Center.  This week I had an appointment with pain management to discuss the possibilities of relieving my pain.  It was decided in upcoming weeks I will have 2 appointments to receive a Facet Injection in my lumbar spine.  The injection helps to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.  I am hoping these injections will provide the pain relief I want so I can reduce or even stop taking pain medications.

Currently my pain management involves taking pain pills and other medications to reduce inflammation.  I perform as much activities as my body allows with somedays better than others when it comes to the amount of stamina I have.

Next week I have another chemotherapy treatment and the following week I will have appointments with a Neurologist and Ostomy Wound Care.  The Neurologist may also be able to help in finding the source of my pain and help in relief.  Remember back in January I had surgery to remove my bladder and other organs.  I now have an ostomy bag that collects my urine.  The opening in my abdominal area to divert my urine is called a stoma.  I am having a mild issue with my stoma and therefore an appointment with the Ostomy Wound Care will help with this issue.

My hope is in the next couple of weeks the pain will be under control without the continuation of taking pain medications.  Currently these pain medications cause much drowsiness and tiredness which results in limitations of activities.

I do not sit in perpetual sadness – but I do sit a lot due to tiredness.

I am not immobilized by gravity of my loss – I believe the energy level will come back.

I do my best to rise from the pain and treasure the gift of life – though difficult at times, I still do my best.

Bad things do happen, and it is how I respond to them that defines my character.

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quality of life………… (or lack of it)

Several weeks ago in my post ‘Pain Explained?‘, I concluded with the following words –

My friends, it is a good bet the cancer is in other Lymph Nodes in my body and based on other symptoms I am experiencing, it could also be in my bones.

Could the pain I have experienced for 10 weeks now be a result of Lymph Nodes and Bones?

I will receive answers and have more information next week.

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

With the recent move to Tampa, Florida and change in healthcare, comes more doctor visits, appointments and more medications.

The transition to this area is a struggle with regards to finding new doctors and scheduling the appointments.

My insurance provider is through the military and they can easily change my location.  Now that we are in our new location, I was assigned a new Primary Care Manager (PCM), who handles most if not all the referrals I need for specialist care.

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goodqualityoflife.com.au

Prior to leaving Pensacola, Florida, I was able to get my Urologist Dr. P. to refer me to see an Oncologist in Tampa for 2 visits.  This is how I have able to see my current Oncologist Dr. L. and have my subsequent tests a couple of weeks ago.

Last week, I had my first visit with my new PCM Dr. T., who is the head of Internal Medicine at the MacDill Air Force Base medical facility.  Now that this visit has taken place, I can continue to have referrals made to Dr. L. at Moffitt Cancer Center.

As mentioned in the beginning of this post, it was thought the pain I have experienced since my surgery may be a result of cancer being in my Lymph Nodes and Bones.

It appears no cancer is in my bones and though I do have cancer in the Lymph Nodes in my lumbar area; Dr. L. indicates it would not cause the pains I am experiencing.

I have 2 specific pains that are causing me discomfort in my daily activities.   Because of these 2 separate pains’ intensity and consistency I have been and continue to be on a large amount of pain medications.  Overtime the pains have increased and so have the pain medications.  My quality of everyday life it not good and I am not enjoying life at all right now.

And now with chemotherapy treatment again, I will struggle more so if the pains are not controlled.

20170416_194313There is much to do here in the Tampa area and so many other activities that Gary and I would like to do – but I am unable to do them at this time.  Between the pain and the side effects of the drugs I am taking, I just cannot do much at all.  This bothers me, I want Gary to enjoy his life and I want to enjoy mine as well.

Now that I have my new PCM Dr. T., I hope to find the reasons for these pains and find a resolution to stopping them or treating them so that my quality of life becomes better.

Round Two

This past Monday’s post ‘This Friday – The Next Stage‘, I wrote the following –

Dr. L. is honest and upfront with respect to my cancer.  There is no cure for my cancer; this next round of chemotherapy treatment is to hopefully stop the cancer from spreading or slow down the progression of it.  Once this chemotherapy is over, there are other treatment options available and at that time we will discuss the next steps to be taken.

This Friday, I will begin my next round of chemotherapy, the next stage in my journey with cancer.

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In today’s post, I write the following –

Round Two –

Today I start my chemotherapy.

I have been through this before and I know the process.

Round one of chemotherapy was 1 treatment for 2 weeks and then 1 week off.  There were 4 cycles that resulted in 12 weeks.

Round two of chemotherapy is 1 treatment for 1 week and then 2 weeks off.  There will be 4 cycles that results in 10 weeks.

I have been through this before and I know the process.  What I do not know are the results.

For now, I do not know the results of the chemotherapy treatment once it is completed.  These results will be revealed many weeks from now.

For now, I do not know the results of how this chemotherapy treatment will affect me.  These results will be revealed in the next many days from now.

Round one of chemotherapy I was tired a lot, but was never nauseated and did not lose my hair.

Round two of chemotherapy I expect to be tired a lot and I hope not to be nauseated or lose my hair.

I have positive expectations of this chemotherapy treatment for both long term and short term.

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Counting Down (or up)

Today is the 23rd month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

The countdown is on.

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Countdown to what?

Well the 24th month of my blog!

Okay, no need to rush; this is the 23rd month of my blog!

Per POPCULTUREMADNESS, the best Counting Down songs –

1. One – Three Dog Night

2. Two Lovers – Mary Wells

3. Three Is A Magic Number – School House Rock

4. I’ll Tumble 4 Ya – Culture Club

5. Mambo Number Five – Lou Bega

6. 25 or 6 to 4 – Chicago

7. 7 – Prince and the New Power Generation

8. I’m Henry VIII, I Am – Herman’s Hermits

9. 9 To 5 – Dolly Parton

9 1/2. I Do What I Do (9 1/2 Weeks Theme) – John Taylor

10. 10-9-8 – Face to Face

11. 11:59 – Blondie

12. The Twelfth of Never – Johnny Mathis

13. Thirteen Women – Bill Haley and his Comets

14. Fourteen Black Paintings – Peter Gabriel

15. TVC 15 – David Bowie

16. Sixteen Tons – “Tennessee” Ernie Ford

17. (She’s) Sexy and 17 – Stray Cats

18. I’m Eighteen – Alice Cooper

19. Hey Nineteen – Steely Dan

20. 20/20 – George Benson

21. It Was A Very Good Year – Frank Sinatra (When I was 21…)

22. When Yer Twenty Two – Flaming Lips

23. Strawberry Letter 23 – Brothers Johnson

Well you know how I feel about my 70’s music.  The #23 song of the best Counting Down songs was released in 1977 and is a favorite of mine – it brings back some great memories.

Today is the 23rd month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

YIKES!

Tuesday night very late, Gary and I arrived in Tampa, Florida.

Wednesday, we setup, unpacked and cleaned the RV at our new RV park on the MacDill Air Force Base.

The last few days have been extremely busy and caused me to become behind on reading other’s posts and responding to comments.

What has made this worse is the limited internet connection.

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YIKES!

The new RV park location has a lousy connection.

When no internet connection is available we use our phone’s hotspot.

Yes, we do.

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YIKES!

Our cellphone provider connection is lousy at our new RV park location.

You know I am desperate when I drive to a different location to receive a better connection to publish my posts.

I have come to realize the following –

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YIKES!

I am kidding of course.

The internet issue is supposed to be fixed later today.

What should I do if it is not?

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YIKES!