1998

Today is the 22nd month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

3 (March) + 13 (Day) + 22 (Months) = 38

When I was 38 years old, the year was 1998.  If my memory serves me correctly, I found my early 30s to be fun and exciting and found my late 30s to be stressful.  I actually hated my late 30s because I was on the down slope to 40.  Little did I know my 40s would be wonderful years that were a turning point to good things to come.

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Okay back to 38 and 1998.  What was going on in 1998?

If you research, you will find interesting events that occurred in this year.  There were the usual earthquakes around the world, and then there was the Winter Olympic Games in Japan; oh, and let’s not forget President Bill Clinton denied he had “sexual relations” with formal White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

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Okay, enough of that type of information, let’s find some interesting events –

Did you know in 1998, The Search Engine Google was founded?  I did not know this – you may need this information someday for a trivia question.

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Did you know in 1998, Titanic was a popular movie? It was released in late 1997 – I think I went to the movie theater 3 or 4 times to watch it.

Did you know in 1998, Spice Girls were popular?  I like Spice Girls, one of my favorite songs of theirs is ‘Wannabe’.

Did you know in 1998, Star Trek: Voyager was a highly-watched TV show?  Yes, I am a trekkie; I have seen all the TV series, but I will admit I have missed a couple of the most recent motion pictures.  I hope to catch-up soon on seeing these movies.

In 1998, my birthday was on a Saturday and most likely I did nothing to celebrate it.  That year, I was in my 3rd and final bad relationship that would end soon and it would be another 5 years before I would meet Gary.

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1998 and 38; an odd time for me as my 30s were coming to an end and soon the 40s would begin.

Today is the 22nd month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

I don’t know

Preface –

For almost 2 years now, I have written about me; not just those events from the far and near past, but my personality, my feelings, my emotions and my thinking.  Yes, I have my days of good, that are then followed by days of bad.  What do I mean by this?  I have always revealed my weakness and along with that my strength.  Recently I am weak and struggling and I pretend to you and others that I am fine and I am strong.  But, right now I am not.  And because of this, I become that other me; that mean me – that I try to hide from others except the one that matters the most.

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I voice recorded the following words yesterday and document today for all to read – especially the one that matters the most –

I have the last few days been a little down, a little angry and upset.  And, as usual because of who I am, I take it out on Gary – I am a mean person.  I am not respectful to him, even after he puts so much effort into helping me out, I disrespect him – I am mean to him, flat-out mean.  I went to the doctor the other day and the recovery is going fine and he (the doctor) spoke of because of some Stage 4 Cancer; I don’t remember what exactly what we were talking about, he spoke of a patient he had that went through the same surgery as I did and within a couple of months he (the patient) died because the cancer had spread.  Not necessarily what I wanted to hear, but, um – then I spoke with my Oncologist the week before who talks about all her patients being terminal; once again not what I want to hear.

So, I have aches and pains and other issues that bring me down and I think to myself; are these pains associated with cancer spreading or they a result of my surgery and I am still recovering; or are they result of inactivity on my part because I am restricted to a certain extent to exercise and being more active?  I don’t know, I don’t know.  And that is what brings me down; I don’t know.

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Uncertainties right now in my life are majority and certainties are the minority.  And sometimes this gets to me.  And my optimism and positiveness results in negative and pessimism.  That brings me to just not wanting to try anymore, just forgetting about it all: and just like screw it.  I don’t want to deal with it, I just don’t want to move on; I just don’t want to move.

But, then there is Gary, who continues to put a great deal of effort into helping me, not just me physically, but you know preparing for the future and dealing with doctors and other things associated with my health.  And he does this it on a consistent basis and I don’t always, um, you know recognize him for it; because I am dealing with my own stuff.  I make it about me, it is always about me; and so, this is what it is about today.

Bead Throwing & Celebration

From Google search ‘Fat Tuesday’ –

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Mardi Gras (/ˈmɑːrdiɡrɑː/), also called Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday, in English, refers to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday.

Up until August of last year, I lived in Dallas, Texas for 27 years.  I do not recall having Mardi Gras parades or related events.  I currently am living in Pensacola, Florida located in the pan handle of Florida and about an hour drive from Mobile, Alabama.

From Google search ‘Where did Mardi Gras originate’ –

Despite the holiday’s rich history in New Orleans, Louisiana, Mayor Sam Jones of Mobile, Alabama, says the first Mardi Gras celebration in this country actually took place in his city, and most Mobile natives agree.

I had no idea the significance of Mardi Gras in this region.  It seems for the whole month of February, every Thursday, Friday & Saturday and other days; there has been a Mardi Gras parade in Mobile.  Then there are parades in the surrounding smaller towns as well as Pensacola.

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From Google search ‘How long is the Mardi Gras celebration?’ –

The holiday of Mardi Gras is celebrated in Southern Louisiana, although celebrations are concentrated for about two weeks before and through Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. Usually there is one major parade each day (weather permitting); many days have several large parades.

I found a schedule for the parades for Mobil and the surrounding area and counted 48 of them total.  I never knew the importance of Mardi Gras in the south until now.

From Google search ‘What is the meaning of the beads at Mardi Gras?’ –

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Bead throwing and Mardi Gras go hand-in-hand. The Throwing Of Beads. The tradition of bead throwing starts with their original colors. The color of the beads was determined by the king of the first daytime Carnival in 1872. He wanted the colors to be royal colors – purple for justice, gold for power and green for faith.

I missed all the parades and the beads this year because of my recovery from surgery.  I just do not have the stamina to stand for long periods of time in crowds of people.

From Google search ‘Why do we celebrate Mardi Gras?’ –

Related popular practices are associated with Shrovetide celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent. In countries such as England, Mardi Gras is also known as Shrove Tuesday, which is derived from the word shrive, meaning “confess”.

I never celebrated Mardi Gras in the past and again this year did not celebrate.

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But I have certainly learned the significance and importance of it in this area where I am temporally residing.

I do not know where I will be next year at this time.

I do not know if I will celebrate Mardi Gras next year.

What about you?

Do you celebrate Mardi Gras?

what comes next…

2 weeks ago in my post ‘my struggle with cancer‘, I concluded with the following –

Bottom line is Bladder Cancer spreading to other parts of the body can be difficult to treat and the 5-year survival rate is very low.

While in the hospital, I spoke briefly with my Oncologist Dr. D. and will meet with her again in 2 weeks to discuss the options available in moving forward with my struggle with cancer.

In today’s post, I begin with the following –

It is now almost 5 weeks since my surgery took place.  I have lost 22 lbs. in weight and though overall the recovery is taking place as expected, there are a few issues I am dealing with.  These minor issues cause some discomfort for me, but with medications I am dealing with them.  I continue to take some low dose pain medications and other medications to help me during my recovery.

This past week I had appointments with my Primary Care Manager Dr. W., Urologist Dr. P. and Oncologist Dr. D.

The appointment with Dr. D. resulted in her performing further research into my immediate future.  I could do a wait and see approach; meaning do nothing and every 3 months have tests run to see if the cancer has returned.  Another approach is a possible trial medication for people who have Stage 4 Bladder Cancer.  This trial uses the body’s own immune system to fight any cancer cells that may be present.  The downside is it could also fight the body’s good cells which could result in other issues.  Dr. D. could administer this or it could possibly take place at a center that specializes in cancer treatment.

I meet with Dr. D. again in 2 weeks and this will give her time to see if my insurance will cover this type of treatment.  She will also research to find cancer centers who can administer this type of trial treatment as well.  With this information, it will provide me additional choices to make an informed decision concerning treatment for my cancer.

My appointment with Dr. P. was a follow-up to my surgery and to check in on my recovery.  We also discussed him making a referral to another Oncologist for a 2nd opinion.  Gary and I feel a 2nd opinion is important to ensure I am receiving the best care possible and having all possible options available to me.

The appointment with Dr. W. was to discuss some issues with pain I am experiencing in my lower back.  I had this pain back prior to surgery and thought it was associated with all the other pain I was experiencing immediately prior to surgery.  The pain is constant and is at its worse in the middle of the night to the point, I am unable to move or get out of bed.  We do not believe the pain is associated to the surgery and could be caused from arthritis, or some other issue.  I hope to resolve this pain soon.

More to come in the future weeks concerning what comes next in my journey with cancer.

Recovery continues with aches and pains related to surgery still present, but a little less with each passing day.

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Happy Tuesday

It is not just Valentine’s Day‘, is a post I published a year ago today and it started with the following –

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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, hope your day is a special one.

Today is a very special day for me, not only is it Valentine’s Day, it is also the birthday of my son #2.

He was born on this special day 32 years ago weighing in at 9lbs and 12 ½oz.  Yes, he was a big boy!

In today’s post, I write the following –

Yes, it is son #2’s birthday again – Happy 33rd Birthday Son

Yes, it is Valentine’s Day – Happy Valentine’s Day

For those that do not have a birthday today or celebrate Valentine’s Day –

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Turning 21

Today is the 21st month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

Hum, 21 months……

wikpedia.org has the following –

Age 21 –

In several countries 21 is the age of majority.

In all US states, 21 is the drinking age.

In Hawaii and New York, 21 is the minimum age that one person may purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products.

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In some countries it is the voting age.

In the United States, 21 is the age at which one can purchase multiple tickets to an R-rated film. It is also the age to accompany one under the age of 17 as their parent or adult guardian for an R-rated movie.

In some states, 21 is the minimum age, persons may gamble or enter casinos.

In 2011, Adele named her second studio album 21, because of her age at the time.

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Hum, 21 years……

When I was the age 21: I was in my 3nd year of marriage.

When I was the age 21: I had been drinking for several years, 18 was the drinking age back then, it was changed to 21 after I had already turned 21 – lucky me.

When I was the age 21: I had been smoking for several years, I started at 16 and finally quit for the final time last year.

When I was the age 21: I most likely voted for the first time – I always wondered why I had to wait until 21 to vote, when I was required to register for the draft at age 18.

When I was the age 21: I have no idea what my first R-rated film I saw – the best top grossing R-rated film that year was ‘Stripes’ starring Bill Murray.

When I was the age 21: I do not believe I had gambled or been in a casino – I certainly have had my share of visits to a casino in the past several years.

When I was the age 21: I had no best selling album – but that year REO Speedwagon did, it was titled ‘Hi Infidelity’.

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Today is the 21st month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

Freakshows

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The priceonomics.com article ‘The Rise and Fall of Circus Freakshows’ begins with the following –

In 19th century America, gawking at people who were born with deformities was not only socially acceptable — it was considered family entertainment.

P.T. Barnum made millions by capitalizing on this. His “freakshows” brought together an amalgam of people considered to be curiosities — bearded ladies, tattooed men, the severely disfigured, and the abnormally short and tall — many of whom were unwillingly forced into the industry as young children.

In my post ‘I remain grateful (Reader Discretion Is Advised)‘, I wrote the following –

In 5 days, this coming Monday, I will no longer have control of my urination.

Let me be honest, one more time, I have always been honest here on my blog and at times direct.

In 5 days, this coming Monday, I will have a stoma or also referred to as a urostomy, an ileal conduit or urinary diversion.

I will have a pouch or bag on the outside of my body to collect my urine.  I will no longer have control of my urination.

In today’s post, I write the following –

In yesterday’s video post, I mentioned the physical strength is slowly becoming better, but at times my mind is weak when dealing with the changes made to my body.  As with the physical strength, I know the mental strength will increase as well.

A comment on yesterday’s post from my friend and fellow blogger Osyth included the following words –

….your psyche is bound to ricochet back and forth but you are endeavouring and doing your best and that is all you can ask of yourself.

This is a great description of what my mind is going through during the past several weeks and most likely weeks to come.

I am home recovering from my surgery and at times my typing continues to be a little slow and at times the computer is limited because I need to rest.  During rest sometimes I will voice record my thoughts.

About a week ago, I voice recorded the following –

It is in the afternoon and I decided to take a nap and I lay here by myself because Gary is at the gym.  I feel the urostomy bag touch my waist area and I start to cry.  I cry because I do not feel – I no longer feel whole, I feel defective.  I feel like a freak.  I feel unattractive and this is just something I have to become accustomed to.  But these are my feelings right now.  I know there are many people in the world that have bags on the side of their bodies to collect urine and other body waste and maybe other things I don’t even know about.  But this is me, this is new to me and though my recovery from my surgery is going well, my physical body and the emotional part of it is going well also – I still have my moments.   I still have my moments where I just feel different, I don’t feel myself. 

I feel like a freak.

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my struggle with cancer

This past Monday was 2 weeks since my surgery and my aches and pains from surgery are slightly reducing and my physical strength is slowly increasing.  A few days ago, I had a follow-up visit with my Urologist Dr. P.; he indicated the recovery is progressing as expected and he would see me again in 3 weeks.

In December in my post ‘a walnut-sized gland‘, I wrote about experiencing some pain starting prior to my cruise in December that progressively became worse.  At that time, my Urologist Dr. P. thought it might be a prostate infection and prescribed antibiotics and pain medication.

One month ago, in my post ‘to whine some today’, I wrote about my Urologist Dr. P. removing my ureteral stent and finding another small tumor in my bladder which is not surprising because my bladder cancer has a very high recurrence percentage; this was the reason to have my Radical Cystectomy surgery.  In that post I whined about the increasing pain and discomfort I was experiencing and the tears that flowed from my eyes due to the poor quality of life I was undergoing at that time.

A week prior to my surgery in my post ‘the next 9 days‘, I wrote about my visit with my Oncologist Dr. D. to discuss the pain I was experiencing.  She indicated at that time her first impression is that my cancer may have spread to my nerves.  Pain medications were increased due to the amount of pain I was experiencing and another round of imaging tests were ordered.  The CAT Scan, PET Scan and MRI resulted in nothing out of the ordinary.

Today, I wanted to provide everyone an update on what is taking place with regards to my cancer.

My surgery took 10 ½ hours to complete.  Dr. P. indicated part of my bladder had somehow embedded itself into my large intestine; he had to take extra time to delicately separate the two.  In the previous month when I was experiencing my extreme pain I would complain about having a ‘knot’ in the middle of my gut.  With the imaging tests coming back with nothing out of the ordinary, Dr. P. said this was most likely the cause of that ‘knot’ feeling and because today I no longer feel the ‘knot’, I would agree.

Prior to leaving the hospital last week, I received my Pathology report from my surgery; the results indicated my cancer had spread.  My Radical Cystectomy removed several organs and in males the seminal vesicles are also removed.  My cancer had spread into the seminal vesicles and these glands have many nerves running through them.  This most likely was the reason for the extreme pain I was experiencing prior to surgery and now that pain I no longer feel.  The Pathology report also found the cancer had spread into other lymph nodes in the pelvic region; the surgery also removed all lymph nodes in my pelvic region.

Bottom line is Bladder Cancer spreading to other parts of the body can be difficult to treat and the 5-year survival rate is very low.

While in the hospital, I spoke briefly with my Oncologist Dr. D. and will meet with her again in 2 weeks to discuss the options available in moving forward with my struggle with cancer.

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the day my life changes

Today is the day, the major surgery takes place and the day my life changes.

I will remain grateful as there are others in the world who have much less than me – who have nothing compared to me.

But my body will change and I will change and my life will change.

 

Today is the day, the major surgery takes place and the day my life changes.

I will remain humble as there are others in this world who are experiencing much more than me – much worse than me.

But my body will change and I will change and my life will change.

 

Today is the day, the major surgery takes place and the day my life changes.

I will remain appreciative as there are others in this world who have no others to support them – who have no one there for them.

But my body will change and I will change and my life will change.

 

Today is the day, the major surgery takes place and the day my life changes.

I will remain hopeful as there are others who have less to look forward to – who have nothing positive in their future.

But my body will change and I will change and my life will change.

 

I will be in ICU for a couple of days and then the recovery begins.   

I appreciate everyone taking the time to stop by, read and leave many wonderful comments.  Due to my surgery and not knowing how I will be feeling; I am disabling the comments on my post today.  I need a few days of recovery and to grow accustom to the new me.  But know soon I will have comments enabled and I will be ready to respond to each one of them. 

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Unlucky Coincidence?

Today is the 20th month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

Today is Friday the 13th – are you superstitious?

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Since I started my blog 20 months ago, there have been 2 previous Friday the 13ths with today making it 3.

These dates are –

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday, January 13, 2017

Since I was born 56 years ago, there have been 97 previous Friday the 13ths with today making it 98.

I will not list all the dates here – you will just need to trust me on this.

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From nationalgeographic.com article Superstitious Numbers Around the World

Today is Friday the 13th—a day thought to be unlucky because of the idea that number 12 is “complete” (think apostles, months of the year, zodiac signs) and 13 is just … odd. That’s the explanation given by Joe Nickell, a senior research fellow and paranormal investigator for Skeptical Inquirer magazine.

But in other countries, different numbers are thought to be just as unlucky. In case 13 makes you nervous, here are five other numbers to avoid.

4: In China, the pronunciation of the word for the number four is similar to that of the Chinese word for death. Many buildings in China skip a fourth floor, just as U.S. builders sometimes omit floor 13.

9: Just as the number four has a bad-luck soundalike in Chinese, 9 is feared in Japan because it sounds similar to the Japanese word for torture or suffering.

17: Some Italians are superstitious about Friday the 17th because rearranging the Roman numeral XVII can create the word “VIXI”—translated from Latin to mean “my life is over.”

39: The number 39 gets a bad rap in Afghanistan. An NPR report explains: “Many Afghans say that the number 39 translates into morda-gow, which literally means ‘dead cow’ but is also a well-known slang term for a procurer of prostitutes—a pimp.” So when Afghans see a car with number 39 on the license plate, they head the other way.

Add the unlucky numbers 4 + 9 + 17 + 39 and you get 69.

Subtract my age 56 from 69 and you get 13.

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Coincidence?

No superstition here!

Today is the 20th month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.