red dots and double blue lines

Back in February in my post ‘Of course, … a course’, I wrote about occasionally making mistakes in my posts usual related to grammar errors.  I read, re-read and proof read my posts and still some grammar errors slip pass.  I have also used a correctly spelled word but used it incorrectly within a sentence.  For instance I found a few times after I published a post, I found an error in which I meant to use the word ‘life’, but instead I wrote ‘live’.

I write my posts in Microsoft Office Word therefore it will catch my spelling errors and I will correct those.

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As with the post written above mentioned grammar slipups and the occasionally incorrect used word, I am okay with my writing – because it is me.

I use the latest version of Microsoft Office Word; it is 2016 and is updated by Microsoft when they roll out their updates, usually once a month.  I recently noticed Word now provides me suggestions to my sentence structure.  It will use red dots under a combination of words to suggest I could use one word instead.  For instance when you read the last sentence of this post replace ‘have to’ with ‘must’ or ‘should’.  Word also uses double blue lines under words suggesting a comma should follow.  If you were to view my posts in Word, it appears I do not use enough commas in my sentences.  Yes I understand Word is trying to help.

Now for spell check – thank you, it is not that I necessarily do not know how to spell, it really is that my typing skills are not as they use to be.

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I loved the big keyboards and with my past laptops, I would have a wireless keyboard and mouse and would also have a big screen plugged in.  That was my usual way to work on my computer.  But remember, last year we downsized and now living in an RV, there is less space.  No big screen plugged into my laptop and no wireless big keyboard and mouse.  Now I work off my smaller laptop keyboard and touchscreen.  I like the touchscreen, that does make my life a bit easier, but the small keyboard, not so much.  I make more mistakes in my spelling because I am hitting the wrong key and yes sometimes I do incorrectly spell a word.  Once again, thank you Word for catching those.

Back to my red dots and double blue lines, does it really matter?

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Yes, I know some educators will tell me it does, but I am not a professional writer and am not writing for a professional outlet.  This is my personal blog, and I should be allowed to use words that come from me and not use commas where Word thinks I should use them.  If I updated the word suggestions and used all those commas, I feel it would take away from me, my personality and my writing.

I guess I just have to get use to seeing more red dots and double blue lines.

It’s 2:16 in the morning

I have had a restless night, not much sleep because I have thoughts swirling in my head.

It is a while now since I really have had one of these nights.  Since surgery, I am taking medications to help me sleep because I continue to have pains associated with my surgery and recovery.  I also have pains not associated to my surgery and recovery that make it difficult at times to find a comfortable position to sleep.

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But on this particular night, it is those thoughts swirling in my head.

I am unsure how long it will be by the time I publish this post.  I may have upset someone and I may have upset you and I may have upset myself.  I make no apologies to no one, including myself.

This blog has always and will always be about me and my life and for that I make no apologies.  I am who I am and have changed for the better in many ways over the years.  I continue to change for the better, though at times the changes come slow; to me at times slower than what my life will provide me here on this earth.

When I die, I will not be a perfect person; I hope to be a person that at least tried to be a better person.  I strive every single day to be a better person.  Some days I succeed and many days I fail; some days I fail miserably.

My point is I try and I do it my way, because I know me better than anyone else knows me.

I have been told at times by people that they do not understand me.  I at times do not understand me either, but I still know me better than anyone else.

When creating this blog, it was a way for me to write about me and my life.

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My life in words for I hope one day those important to me would read.  I have no idea if they will read it or not – I don’t know.

This brings me to those thoughts swirling in my head tonight, this restless night and me writing this post at 2:16 in the morning.

I don’t really like to be rude; I can be though, and have been times in my life.  I can be rude and have been rude to people I know and to strangers alike.  My personality is complex and at times people do not understand me.  This has already been identified.

When writing and publishing posts, I attempt to write in a way where I do not come across as rude and I try to consider other’s feelings.  So please do not take this the wrong way – I am being honest here.

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When I write posts about me, the true very personal me, I ask for no advise.  I write the true personal me because it is important for me to do so.  I have come to appreciate support and encouragement here and the friendships I have made are invaluable.

Now, again at 2:16 in the morning, I am writing the true personal me.  It was a little while ago; and that week was tough and that ‘I don’t know’ was tough and therefore I was rude because I did not ask for advice.  I was writing the true personal me because it is important for me to do so.

Pain

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For the many months

It has come and gone

 

It seems like a lifetime

That I have made it my own

The surgeries, the short recoveries

And there is my personal hell too

The many days, the many nights

There was never a rescue

 

There were short breaks

Before the significant reprise

The many tears that flowed

From my watery eyes

Sometimes different and many times the same

Front and back and in between too

Sometimes small and many times big

But then the time came it grew, it grew

Before the major one

Its significance overwhelmed

It took my strength

I became unhelmed

 

And the surgery to end it all

With more pain to follow

The pills, the pills

So much to swallow

Slowly the dispense as it takes its time

I want it a memory and not in the present

But I am reminded each day

Today it is another event

What lies in the future

It is unknown at this time

As in the past and today

There seems to always be a climb

 

The pain is here today

For this one thing I know

As the days become weeks

The pain will come and go

‘My Personal Hell’ (Reader Discretion Is Advised)

I wrote this post over a year ago, and never published it because I felt at the time it was too personal.  Since that time, my early cancer treatment resulted in Stage 4 Bladder Cancer and a major surgery to remove my bladder.  Since that time, I have written other posts that were sensitive in nature.  Since that time, now I have nothing to hide.

Written February 16, 2016 –

wikepedia.org uses these words to describe Hell; I also use these words plus others –

Agony, Torture, Pain

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This post will be very personal in nature and will expose my thoughts that you may not want to read.  Stop reading at any time you feel uncomfortable – I understand.

A week ago I had a tumor removed from my bladder.  After the tumor was removed I had a catheter inserted into and through my penis into the bladder to help it drain urine and to also flush out any remaining pieces of tumor and any blood clots that had formed.  The catheter used on me is a ‘3-way catheter for irrigation’, therefore it was a very large catheter in circumference.  Upon having it removed, which I thought was bad enough; I am experiencing the usual pain and burning when peeing.  But the pain and burning is nothing compared to what I experience on a nightly basis since having it removed.

I do not look forward to sleep, as I know upon the many times I wake during the night, waiting for me is ‘My Personal Hell’.

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Let us review what takes place upon waking from sleep for a typical male.  goaskalice.columbia.edu has the following –

Contrary to what many believe, waking up with your flag at full mast is not caused by urine buildup in the bladder. Morning erections are technically nighttime erections (or Nocturnal Penile Tumescence) which happen three to five times per night. They usually pop up (pun intended) during periods of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep (when most dreaming occurs) and last around 30 minutes each. Unrelated to dream content, they are both common and completely normal and men older than sixty years may even have them during non-REM sleep.

Yes, I am a normal man in that I experience this normal body function.  But less than a week after having a very large tube inserted and removed from my penis, this normal body function is now an experience that brings me to tears.

The last several nights, I have cried more than I ever have in my entire life.  During these normal body function times, the fire, torment, punishment, agony, torture and pain I feel is so overwhelming, I plead with God to let me die.  I am weak, I cannot handle the pain, my life will never be the same, please God, let me die now.

I am tired as this is my new nighttime ritual.  How long will it last, how long will I last.  I am tired not only due to the lack of good sleep, but the emotional toll it is taking on me.

I am down and I am sad and I am frustrated and I am mad.  I try to stay hopeful and positive for the future – but it is difficult.

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It is difficult because every night I do not look forward to sleep – because waiting for me is ‘My Personal Hell’.

(This will never be an issue again.  As many of you know, my most recent surgery removed not just my bladder, but other organs that now prevent me from experiencing Nocturnal Penile Tumescence.  Lucky me!)

Quite – Quiet

In my post ‘Of course, … a course‘, I wrote the following –

At times my brain sees and reads something different than what I write.  In past posts, I write about my learning disabilities as a child, my internal struggles with myself; it is all here on my blog somewhere.  I make mistakes, I have shortcomings, and I am no expert at writing.

In today’s post, I write the following –

Ages ago when I was in 7th or 8th grade, I remember taking a typing class.  Who remembers typewriters?

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I have no memory of when the last time I saw a real typewriter.  Do they even exist anymore?

I was very good at typing and could type over a 100 words per minute with very few if no mistakes.  Remember typewriters had no autocorrect and if you did make a mistake, there was always whiteout.  Who remembers whiteout?

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As I grew older and left the typewriter for a computer keyboard, my typing skills increased and others would be impressed with my abilities on a keyboard.  I would type away pounding on the keyboard as I was always a hard hitter on the keys; therefore, I had to replace many keyboards.

I had and still have a little bit of dyslexia.  At times when typing, when I want to use a certain word, the fingers on the keyboard often times will reverse letters or totally switch the order of letters.  Now that I am older this occurs more times than I like, but I correct my mistakes and move on.  The good thing about computers is I do not have to use whiteout.  So much easier to correct and less of a mess.  Plus, the bottle of whiteout would dry out too quick and it would have to be thrown away before the full bottle was used.

So, what does Quite and Quiet have to do with this post?

I quite often make mistakes when typing now, but usually catch them: sometimes I don’t, but usually I do.

I need quiet time to write my posts, because along with my dyslexia and other learning disabilities, I am unable to concentrate when there is noise, it distracts me.

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I also quiet often will make mistakes when there is noise around me, I need my surroundings to be quite.

Did you catch that?

I did that on purpose this time – because this occurs often.

I am thankful my computer will help me correct mistakes and I do not have to use whiteout.

Of course, … a course

Of course, I will take a course of action.

Of course, the man took a course in learning the new skill.

Of course, many runners ran a course along the street.

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I admit I was a poor student in school many years ago; honestly, I barely graduated high school and I did not attend college.  I had no interest in Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, English, well you get the idea.  The only subject I excelled in was Band – I was excellent in this subject.

Years later into my adulthood, I would start learning and applying myself to new subjects, topics and ideas.  It was my 30’s and I started to become interested in improving myself and took interest in areas that in my school years I just did not want to comprehend.

Today in my mid 50’s, I still am not an expert at anything, and consider myself above average on subjects taught in school those many years ago.  Since starting this blog 20 months ago, I have written a post every day.  Most my posts are written from my heart, soul and the words flow to written form.  I certainly am not the greatest speaker, well you know that – you have watched and heard many of my videos; so, my writing is not always the best and I know at times I have used grammar incorrectly.

It pleases me that no one corrects me – thank you.

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The posts I write, I read and re-read and proof read before publishing them on WP.  Once published, I read and re-read them again.  I say to myself I have written and published another great post, right?”  Well yes, the post itself could be considered great or good or at lease decent.  But what about the grammar?  Okay, after reading, re-reading, proofing, then reading and re-reading; darn it – I made a mistake.  I hate that, how did that happen?

At times my brain sees and reads something different than what I write.  In past posts, I write about my learning disabilities as a child, my internal struggles with myself; it is all here on my blog somewhere.  I make mistakes, I have shortcomings, and I am no expert at writing.

But I learn and I grow because, at this time in my life I am interested in learning; back in school many years ago, I was not.

What does Of course, … a course have to do with me learning and growing?  I wrote a post back in November; I read and re-read and proof read before publishing and once published, I read and re-read again.  My brain saw and read what it wanted to see other than what I wrote.

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Almost 2 months later, I read the post again; darn it – I made a mistake.  Did any of you catch it?  If you did, no one corrected me – thank you.

I want to correct it today.

The original words –

I respond “Well, Thackerville is in Oklahoma which is a course North of Texas.

The corrected words –

I respond “Well, Thackerville is in Oklahoma which is of course North of Texas.

Or I guess I could have written it this way –

I respond “Well, Thackerville is in Oklahoma which of course, is a course I have driven many times North of Texas.

PowerPort

In my wallet, I carry a card that reads ‘PowerPort’.  My PowerPort card also includes my name, my oncologist name, a date and where this PowerPort is located.

My PowerPort Patient Guide has the following –

Your Band PowerPort Implantable Port

Your Band PowerPort device is a small device (about the size of a quarter) used to carry medicine into the bloodstream.  It has one or two small basins that are sealed with a soft silicone top, called a septum.  The port is placed under the skin on your chest or arm.  The port connects to a small, soft tube called a catheter.  The catheter is placed inside one of the large central veins that take blood to your heart.  When a special needle is put into the septum, it creates “access” to your bloodstream.  Medicine and fluids can be given through the needle and blood samples can be withdrawn. 

Your port has three bumps on top of each septum.  The port with one septum is also shaped like a triangle.  These features help the nurse know that your port can receive power injections. 

My PowerPort is under my skin on my right side chest and was used for my chemotherapy treatment.  At my last visit with my Oncologist Dr. D., I asked her how long I would keep the PowerPort.  She responded I would keep it for at least a year.

My PowerPort is not just used for chemotherapy, it can also be used for IVs.  I expect my PowerPort will be used at some point during my recovery period after surgery.  Once the biopsy takes place of the organs that are removed, the possibility of chemotherapy treatment may be needed and once again my PowerPort will be used.

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And if I do not immediately have need for my PowerPort, I will have it for at least the next year, just in case.  Every 3 months, my PowerPort requires flushing; I will make a trip to the hospital and a quick and painless flush of the PowerPort and catheter will take place.

Back in September in my post ‘The lab experiment‘, I wrote the following –

As indicated in my post ‘Drain‘, I have a tube inserted in my back directly into my right kidney to help relieve the pain I have experience for quite some time now.  Originally it was thought this tube would be inserted for the full 12 weeks of chemotherapy, but because there was also a stent placed in my ureter, the tube may be removed in a couple of weeks.  The stent would remain in place until after chemotherapy is completed.

I feel like a lab experiment with the medical port inserted into my chest and a tube protruding from my back

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

The tube in my back was removed several months ago, and the ureteral stent was removed last week.  The PowerPort will remain for future needs and serve as a daily reminder of all that took place before today.

It’ll rain a sunny day

Much of the United States is experiencing bad weather and here in Pensacola, we have our taste of winter as the last few nights have dipped into the 20s and the days were no higher than the 40s.  A couple of weeks ago, we received record rain fall and just this past Friday the local meteorologist predicted a high percentage of rain for that day.

Much of the weather recently has been a reflection of my moods, my thoughts and emotions.  Last Friday’s rain started falling quickly and with a vengeance immediately upon the return to our RV after an emotional doctor visit earlier that morning.

Yesterday in my post ‘expectations‘, I wrote about my visit with my Urologist Dr. P. to discuss my current pain I was experiencing and the details of my upcoming surgery.

This coming Thursday, I have my pre-surgical appointment at the hospital where my surgery will take place.  I suspect the usual blood work and tests will be performed and the signing of papers will occur.

One week from today my surgery will take place.

It was over a year ago; back in September 2015 when I noticed it, something was different.

Little did I know back that many months ago, I would be having a major surgery.  Little did I know my life would forever change.

I have always been honest here and have no reason to not be.  These past weeks while experiencing a great deal of pain has taken its toll on me not only physically but emotionally as well.  I have wept many times these past weeks not only because of the pain, but also because of my current quality of life.  I also have wept because I am frightened.  I am frightened about major surgery, recovery and the rest of my life.

I have survived many events and experiences in my life.  I have lived through 2 suicide attempts and a major depression.

I have had my share of struggles and overcame them and survived.  But this time I am frightened, truly I am.

To my family and those friends around me here in the RV park; I am strong, all will be good, I will be fine.

To you my friends here on WP, I am fragile, I am frightened and I weep.

I feel I do not have to be strong here, I am my true self, my faults, my weaknesses and my emotions and feelings are here.

This coming week will I continue to weep?

Most likely I will in the walls of my RV and in the walls of my mind.

I end this post with the following lyrics of a song that is from the 70s, you know I like my 70s music –

Someone told me long ago

There’s a calm before the storm

I know it’s been comin’ for some time

When it’s over so they say

It’ll rain a sunny day

I know shinin’ down like water

all about me

October of last year, I wrote a post ‘…just listen‘, here are some excerpts –

Just listen to my words, they have purpose, they have a way with them in describing someone, something, an occurrence, an event, a moment, a feeling, an emotion.

I just need to express, I need to let out, I need to put the information out there and get it out of my head.

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Let it be express and let the words be read.  This is my mind, my complex thinking of many thoughts and many emotions; and though it may be complicated, sometimes simple, sometimes difficult to understand and to comprehend, to calculate.

In today’s post, I write the following –

I write posts because I have found enjoyment in writing and posting and yes, I admit it, I enjoy the comments.

This blog is a reflection of me, but not the whole me.  There are many posts here with aspects of me, but still not the whole me.

I value your comments, your thoughts, your support and your encouragement.  And over the course of many past months and comments from you; you I consider my friends.

But because the whole me is not written here on this blog; there are feelings and emotions and thoughts that I still keep to myself.

You may remember back in September of last year, I had a hospital stay of almost a week.  At that time, I was undergoing chemotherapy and I had a high fever.  That hospital stay was early in my treatment and I was very tired and short on patience.  Part of my experience during that hospital stay included some not so pleasant conversations with people there to do their job; to take care of me.

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A couple of those conversations involved the other person trying to comfort me by providing their personal experience that they thought somehow would make me feel better.

I admit to you and everyone; my cancer, my health issues, my surgery, my aches and pains – they are all about me – nobody else, but me.

I am selfish in that someone else that believes providing their personal experience will somehow make me feel better; well, they are wrong.  I am selfish because my cancer, my health issues, my surgery, my aches and pains – they are all about me.

So, because many parts of me are here in blog posts, but not all of me, I ask for thoughts, support and encouragement, but not personal experiences.

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Again, as indicated in my post last October –

I just need to express, I need to let out, I need to put the information out there and get it out of my head.  Let it be express and let the words be read.  This is my mind, my complex thinking of many thoughts and many emotions; and though it may be complicated, sometimes simple, sometimes difficult to understand and to comprehend, to calculate.

My Best Version

I am wrapping-up some topics that I started to write about and never did finish.  This post I started early last year, and then it sat quietly waiting for me to complete it.

Because my OCD tells me that if I start something I must complete it; this also applies to posts I write – I will be bothered if I do not complete them – so, here I am finishing this post and concluding this topic.

This year will bring many different topics to write about and I have a feeling this one will not be one of them and will be left in the past.

So here we go –

In my post ‘BPD; is this me?‘, I wrote the following –

After I wrote this comment, I decided to do some online research on Borderline Personality Disorder, and after reading several websites, “Yes, this is me.”

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I do not recall ever receiving this diagnosis during my therapy years and I found that Borderline Personality Disorder was not an official diagnosable disorder until 1980.  The late 80s and the 90s are the years I received therapy that was really geared more for my depression, what was causing it and how to get through it.  There were never underlining disorders that were treated, but me knowing me and hindsight being 20/20 indicates I most likely had an underlining issue.

So, I decided to diagnosis myself and believe this is just one of many reasons for the person I am today.

In today’s post I write the following –

I have performed some additional research on Borderline Personality Disorder.  And the results are maybe I do not have BPD; maybe I am looking to label myself so that I can help myself – you know, find a cure for myself.  But then again, why do I need a label?  Why not view myself as an individual and work on myself as an individual.  All these years, this is what I have been doing.

Several months ago, I was watching a movie and heard the phrase ‘I spent a lifetime looking for a lifetime.’  That is what I have been doing all these years and I need no label – I am who I am.

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As my wonderful friend and fellow blogger Osyth put it in her magnificent post ‘One shaft of light that shows the way’ –

Death comes to us all and when it does there is no moment to regret the moments that you forgot to be thankful.  So I implore you to put politics aside, squish ill-will, banish anxiety about things you can’t fix and just be the best version of you that you can be.

I am trying to be the best version I can be.  With all my faults, short-comings and defects; I no longer need to label myself with Borderline Personality Disorder or anything else.

Life is short – I will die someday – I will die being the best version I can be.