Pain, Moods & Me

Last month, my friend and fellow blogger Curry N Code from blog site Life Less Ordinary, published a post that resonated with me.

That post ‘Be Not Provoked‘, was about not being provoked to anger.  Please, if you have the time – click the above link to read this beneficial post.

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That post spoke to me and is an excellent reminder for me of what I am not doing.  A reminder of what I should be doing.  You know what is going on in my life right now, I am dealing with cancer and currently going through another round of chemotherapy.  This dealing with cancer started 20 months ago and has been on going non-stop.

There is the body pain, many different body pains I have experienced over these 20 months and I allow that body pain to affect my mood and to affect me.

I am opposite of what my friend Curry N Code writes in the post I mentioned.  I am ashamed to admit it – I call myself weak – I allow my body pain to dictate my mind.

I have written about this before.  I allow my body pain to dictate my moods, my mind, me.  It seems to me, I use my body pain as an excuse to be provoked to anger.  I use my body pain as an excuse to lose hope and love.

I am not necessarily a religious person, though at times in my life I have been.

I am a work in progress and no matter what body pain I am experiencing, I need to remind myself to not be provoked to anger.  I need to remind myself to always be patient, to be forgiving and to display love.

I receive much support and encouragement from comments that are left on my posts that help me a great deal.

I receive much inspiration from other’s posts which also help me a great deal.

Thank you Curry N Code and others who publish posts that resonate with me.

I may not always leave a comment, but many of your posts touch me and inspire me.

Cloud Dreaming

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”

– Rabindranath Tagore

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“The sun always shines above the clouds.”

– Paul F. Davis

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“Nature is a mutable cloud, which is always and never the same.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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“A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition.”

– William Arthur Ward

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Dying Before You

I only write for myself here on my blog.  Based on comments, some readers understand me and others do not.  But then again, some readers are learning, while others are just reading.

My posts make perfect sense to me, but to others may be just a collection of ramblings.

Gary and I have conversations about the future.  These conversations are more about the immediate future; but the further out future is sometimes discussed as well.  You see, we discuss the immediate future; the coming months – because there are some unknowns and there are some plans.

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Sometimes our conversations discuss the further out future that may or may not include me.  I have an appointment tomorrow to discuss what is next regarding my battle with cancer.  The appointment will determine the immediate future and the further out future.

But before tomorrow’s appointment, sometimes our conversations discuss the further out future.  Gary and I do not deny what could happen and what will happen.  We all are going to die someday, that is a given – will I die soon, in the immediate future or the further out future?

Gary and I discuss the possibility of me dying before him.  During these discussions, he tells me that if he is left alone, he would do nothing and be nothing.  I want him to live his life to the fullest and not sit alone and not enjoy life.

One evening we had this discussion and later I went to bed for the night.  As I laid there with these thoughts in my head, I became angry.  Why was I angry?

I was angry for several reasons.  Besides our discussion that particular evening, I also watched one of my weekly television program series.  This episode centered around a young woman who had Stage 4 Cancer and was terminal.  She made friends with an unlikely person and the episode ended with this new friend telling her to keep fighting the battle each day, be strong and never give up; fight each and every day.

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When I am feeling weak, I want to give up and then there are days I fight.

I want to be around to take care of Gary in the future.  And I remind myself, he needs me just as much as I need him.

But we all are going to die anyway, someday, right?

I feel pain every day and I continue to be physically weak and slow.  My body most times dictates my mind and I become emotionally weak, down and angry.

I am angry that I might not be around to take care of Gary.  He talks about being by himself and being alone and not doing anything, once I am gone.

I don’t want him to do that

Maybe I am angry because I am going to die sooner than him and not be able to take care of him.

I am not doing well at taking care of myself – maybe that is why I am angry

I know – be strong every single day.

Be strong and keep fighting.

But, we are all going to die anyway, someday, right?

Stop & Listen

Back in December of last year, in my post ‘Reveille‘, I wrote the following words –

In the mornings after reveille, the National Anthem is played.  In the United States, we play the National Anthem before sporting events and sometimes other types of activities where large amounts of people are gathered.  I would acknowledge the song and maybe sing along with it or, maybe not.  Since living at NAS, that has changed; I feel differently when I hear this song now.  The song has more meaning for me.  Why?

No matter where on the base one is – when the National Anthem is played in the morning or evening, everyone stops what they are doing and gives their attention.  Military personal both active and retired salute and civilians with their hand on their heart.  My heart pounds as I am stopped in my tracks and begin singing the National Anthem – what an honor.

In today’s post, I write the following –

From Wikipedia –

The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from “Defence of Fort M’Henry”, a poem written on September 14, 1814, by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the large American flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, flying triumphantly above the fort during the American victory.

My friend and fellow blogger Jennie over at A Teacher’s Reflections published a wonderful post back in November of last year about the significance of this song with children.  I did not realize there is a book The Star Spangled Banner by Peter Spier that depicts the words to this song in full color illustrations.  Please stop over to Jennie’s blog and check out her wonderful post Children and “The Star Spangled Banner”.

Having lived on the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida – I heard this song every morning.  We sing it many times in our lives without much thought into the words and the meaning of the song.  I realize the following video is rather long (11:38 minutes), but if you have time to watch it, please do.  I hope you listen to the words and watch the video today, and learn something you may have not known and maybe just maybe, it brings to you a new significance; and the next time you hear it, a since of honor and pride will fill your heart.

Come & Go

One Lovely Blog Award Border

Come & Go, I see it often

Sometimes I think about is it them or me

If it is me than I cannot be soften

One Lovely Blog Award BorderI am me & they are them

And we cannot all agree

But is it me, her or him

One Lovely Blog Award Border& I try my best to be for all

Though I know this is beyond my control

I do my best to make the call

One Lovely Blog Award BorderCome & Go, I see it more and more

But that is ok, because I myself sometimes

Will take advantage and even the score

One Lovely Blog Award Border

find the humor

Who knows Brian from Bonnywood Manor?

If you have not visited his blog, please do so – you will not be disappointed.

So, why am I mentioning Brian and his blog in this post?  Well you see, I leave comments on other’s blog posts and I truly appreciate the communication that takes place with these comments and the comments left on my blog posts.  I do not always leave a comment, but many times I do.  There was a post Brian published titled ’10 More Signs That Your Body Just Isn’t What It Used To Be’.

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I read this post and could relate to it, so I left the following comment –

LOL, so very funny & true. I can relate to many of these Brian.

Brian responded with this comment –

Terry, I honestly hesitated before posting this, wondering if you might find it a bit offensive that I would be whining about such things when you have a much more challenging situation, but I knew in the end you would be fine with it. We’re both here to help others get through the bigs and the smalls by trying to find the humor and the shared humanity in both. Hope you’re doing well…

I responded with the following comment –

You are a good man, and please don’t ever hesitate on posting because of what I or others might think. I always find humor and laughter here on your blog – it helps me a great deal. Yes, we are here to help others – thanks friend – Happy Friday.

When visiting Brian’s blog, I laugh a lot, I mean where I am holding my belly and laughing.  I have to hold my belly right now because I continue to be a little sore from surgery.  But the laughing is good for me and is great medicine for recovery.

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My friends, I am not offended by much and I appreciate we have a platform here to express our thoughts.

Brian’s sensitivity toward me and my struggles shows what a good man he is.  Thank you Brian and others for writing, posting and publishing your thoughts.  As Brian indicated in his response comment ‘We’re both here to help others get through the bigs and the smalls by trying to find the humor and the shared humanity in both.

I read many posts by other bloggers and find many different emotions from them.

And many of them I find the humor.

United We Stand

In many of my posts I mention that I currently live on the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida.  I would like to think I bring a unique perspective when writing about my experiences and feelings while living here.  In my post ‘Reveille‘, I wrote about the pounding of my heart when I hear on the loud speakers the National Anthem after reveille.  In my post ‘Moment of Silence‘, I wrote about taking a moment of silence to observe and honor the death of one of the Blue Angels pilots.

These events and experiences have changed me and I see some things differently.

Do I have a different perspective today than I once had?

Yes, I do have a different perspective today about many things because of where I am living and my health and what I am living with and without.

Living on a military base can change perspective.

Living with cancer can change perspective.

Living with less possessions can change perspective.

On the Naval Air Station, I see young women and men training, working and serving this country.  They stand tall and proud and I see sincerity in them and this has me thinking about the importance of this country to me and those around me.

Last year I had minor surgeries, chemotherapy and most recently a major surgery.  At this point in time parts of my future are unknown with regards to what comes next with my cancer journey.

I stand tall and proud and I think about the importance of others in my life that are helping me through a difficult time.

Today I live with much less as last year the downsizing was completed and living minimal is taking place.  What a relief to have less and realize the importance of it.

The military enlisted, those serving I salute you and honor you and say ‘Thank you’.

Those around me helping me through a difficult time, I appreciate you and want to say ‘Thank you’.

And to my husband, the one who is always beside me, you are amazing and to you I say ‘Thank you’.

Some lyrics from the song ‘United We Stand’ –

There’s no where in the world that I would rather be

Then with you my love

And there’s nothing in the world that I would rather see

Than you smile my love

For united we stand. Divided we fall

And if our backs should ever be against the wall

We’ll be together, Together, you and I

My Purpose in Life?

20160810_182204-2At times I will write a post and not finish it and leave it alone until a later date.  This post I wrote almost a year ago, but because of changes in my life it seemed no longer relevant.  Lives can change dramatically in a short period of time and along with the changes so too can our thinking, our believes and attitudes.

A year ago, I had a minor surgery to remove a tumor from my bladder.  At that time, it seemed harmless and nothing significant would come from it.  I was wrong and this past year’s events I never imagined would take place.

The following words I wrote almost a year ago, when my life was healthier and I was looking forward to a future filled with adventure and fun –

Many times I have asked myself ‘What is my purpose in life?’

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If you have been reading about me for quite a while, you know about my early struggles in life with major depression to the point of attempted suicide.  It took over a decade to overcome this depression that wanted to kill me.  My purpose at that time was to overcome it and that I did.

I continue with struggles today, but certainly not to the extent when I was a much younger man – but I am far from perfect and not the man I want to be – I still struggle – I am a work in progress.

Again today I ask the question ‘What is my purpose in life?’

A little more than a year ago, Gary and I were in Mexico exploring a possible location to live.  While there an event took place that upon our return home, I documented.

These are the words I documented –

How can I be responsible for supporting and helping someone when I have my own struggles?  Several weeks ago in Mexico, Gary and I were with expats.  I watched Gary as he told a story – and I see his mannerisms, his facial expressions and the words he used to tell the story – I saw his mom.  It reminded me that maybe he will be like his mom, telling the same old stories, having the same struggles every day.  He may exhibit the same emotions his mom goes through – anger, frustration, nice, rude, impatient, not understanding.  It has been difficult for me spending time with his mom due to my lack of patience.  I have learned some patience as a result of being around her and that is a good thing.  I have more to learn, I want to be there for Gary, I want to be caring, compassionate and understanding.  These are areas I fall short in, but feel I can I gain more of these traits.  Maybe this is my purpose in life to learn these traits: understanding, listening and being there for Gary.  I believe my life is about struggling and learning and being the best person I can be. 

image2Gary’s mom has dementia and she struggles daily and sometimes I see her personality in Gary.

Back to today, both Gary and my life has changed a great deal this past year.  I no longer think about what my purpose is in life.  I do believe part of Gary’s purpose may be to help me during my difficult time.  And who knows, maybe someday when I am better it will be my turn to help Gary during his difficult time.

blessed our roads have crossed

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When I started this blog almost 2 years ago, I never imagined I would be writing about my journey with cancer and events that would lead me here today.  But, here I am today with those events and experiences and sharing them with you.  I just write and share and put it out there for those that want to read it.  This blog is about my life; nothing really special, many others are leading more interesting lives.  When I write a post, sometimes it affects others and sometimes I receive a comment that affects me.

From my post ‘I remain grateful (Reader Discretion Is Advised)‘, I received the following comment.

Comment from Hungry Breton (Franck)

Hey man… I know that I have read your post a few days ago. It touched me; to a point that the other night, I dreamt about you and Garry, you had a hat on, kinda cowboy like, but not as extreme as Texas Rangers. You were in good humor, as you walked inside the hospital, we met as we were leaving. 5 years ago, my wife got a big “Mother” of a cancer; a stage 3, grade 4, a 10x10cm tumor on her kidney… Nephrectomy…. She survived, but our couple was never the same after, even if I think I was a good carer. She was never the same after, kissing Death on the lips would leave you like that. I admire her, I admire you, even if I have made my peace if – God forbid- it would happen to me.

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My Mother died of Cancer when I was 25, she was 49, cervical cancer, and a love for bad wine to drown bad memories. Destructive… I am not really sure where I want to go with this, apart from the fact that I feel blessed that our roads have crossed. You are a very brave man in so many ways, I respect people like you. If you guys fancy visiting our crazy Island one day, give me a shout. You rock like hell, Garry the helicopter guy rocks like hell, when I cannot even jump on a plane. Spread your arms, look at the sunset and scream: ” Freedom ya Mothers!!!” ‘cos you know what it feels like to be free… Fair play to you my friend… Fair play!!!

My response –

Franck, I read your comment yesterday early morning and several times yesterday and again this morning. It has taken me a day to respond because your comment had me feeling many emotions. I had to take my emotions and think about where they were coming from and why. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the loss of your mother and the experience both you and your wife went though. Life throws situations at us we are not always prepared for and we just do the best we can each day.

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For you to write you feel blessed our roads have crossed is the best compliment anyone could give. This blog is me writing down my experiences and feelings and emotions and for others to feel something and get something out of it – I am humbled and honored. Thank you for being a friend and being honest and sincere. I hope to one day take a trip to your island and meet you – what a privilege that would be. Have a happy day my friend, I truly appreciate you.

To Franck and each one of you – I am blessed our roads have crossed.

oh, why not?

From theguardian.com article ‘How selfies became a global phenomenon’ –

It starts with a certain angle: a smartphone tilted at 45 degrees just above your eyeline is generally deemed the most forgiving. Then a light source: the flattering beam of a backlit window or a bursting supernova of flash reflected in a bathroom mirror, as preparations are under way for a night out.

The pose is important. Knowing self-awareness is conveyed by the slight raise of an eyebrow, the sideways smile that says you’re not taking it too seriously. A doe-eyed stare and mussed-up hair denotes natural beauty, as if you’ve just woken up and can’t help looking like this. Sexiness is suggested by sucked-in cheeks, pouting lips, a nonchalant cock of the head and a hint of bare flesh just below the clavicle. Snap!

There was a time, I never took selfies, why would I?  I do not participate much in Social Media except my blog here on WordPress.  My posts are then sent out via a tweet on Twitter.  I find I have no time for other Social Media platforms and honestly soon will most likely shutdown my Twitter account.  However, I will keep my WordPress blog going as long as I enjoy it and feel up to it.  What does this have to do with selfies?

There was a time, I never took selfies, why would I?  My blog began with me anonymous.  As the months came and went I became less intimated with expressing myself in words and as fellow bloggers began to read and comment, I felt a sense of comfort.  So, I exposed myself; some of you may remember my posts that slowly exposed me; and now I am totally exposed for all to see.

Now because I am exposed, I take selfies, lot of selfies.  How many is too many?  Most of the time my selfies do not come out the way I would hope for, so another is usually taken.  I now take lots of selfies; most of them of me alone, still many more includes Gary and sometimes Roxy.

Google “selfies meaning” and you receive the following –

sel·fie

ˈselfē/

nouninformal

plural noun: selfies

a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.

“occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself everyday isn’t necessary”

I do not usually post a picture of myself every day, it depends on the topic of the post I am publishing.

This past Saturday in my post ‘what comes next…‘, included a picture of me.  When my post is about me and my health, I usually end it with a picture of me.  That post last Saturday, I used an older picture with no intentions.  That post indicated I had lost 22 lbs. of weight since my surgery; this is true, but the picture included is an older picture, therefore I may have misled some readers thinking the photo is the current me.

There was a time, I never took selfies, why would I?  But now, oh, why not?

This post is filled with a collection of selfies.  This last photo is the current me – me with 22 lbs. less weight.

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