Who Needs Vitameatavegamin?

Well, maybe Lucy did those many years ago – but not me.

No, I just need testosterone.  With my most recent issue with the blockage between my small and large intestines, I was not eating.  I was therefore receiving no nutrients into my body to maintain a good health in many ways.  This is where Vitameatavegamin comes into play – my secret to a healthy lifestyle.  Seriously, I am making light of a serious situation.

No Vitameatavegamin for me, but I am taking testosterone.  My testosterone levels were lower than the average woman.  Do I see a difference?  No, and I most likely will not for a while, it takes a while to build the testosterone levels back up.

So, testosterone for me and some other important nutrients to build back levels that were lost during my weeks of non-eating.

Who Needs Vitameatavegamin?

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..out of my nose soon

This past Monday, in my post ‘Blockage‘, I wrote the following –

What caused this fluid buildup?

After a scan had taken place, it was determined I have a blockage between my small and larger intestines.  It is believed the blockage is caused by my cancer.  It is certain it will have to be dealt with before going back home.

7 days later and I continue to be in the hospital and be treated well enough I hope to go home soon.

But what about fixing the blockage?

I should know more today concerning what is next with this blockage issue.  I should be able to let you know later this week with better, up-to-date information.

In today’s post, I write the following –

11 days later and I continue to be in the hospital.

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But what about fixing the blockage?

After days of relieving pressure in my abdominal region and hoping the blockage would auto-correct itself, it has not.  For the past 11 days, I have had a tube inserted in my nose and down to my stomach in hopes the bloating and fluid would be decreased.  The issue continues and now more aggressive measures must be taken to resolve the blockage or at least make it manageable.

Yesterday, I had a small surgery to insert a ‘G Tube’, from my stomach to the outside of my body.  This ‘G Tube’ will provide me a means to release the pressure from my stomach and small intestines without a tube going through my nose.  This ‘G Tube’ should bring me some relieve, however it brings on a whole another set of challenges.  With this tube, I will no longer eat through my mouth; but instead through IV.

My medications will now be taken differently because I must allow the absorbing to take place in my stomach without being sucked out by this new ‘G Tube’.   A great deal of changes will take place in the next days and weeks to grow accustomed to this new way of life – my new way of life.

Gary and I have much to learn with this new way of life and I am confident we will make it through this learning period.

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My hopes are, this will be successful and the changes needed to my body will go well.

My hopes are, I will have this tube removed from out of my nose soon.

My hopes are, I will leave the hospital soon.

with each new breath

My friends this past week I have had unexpected change in plans.

After my appointment last Tuesday with Dr. C., he decided to admit me into the hospital.

Since then, much has taken place and this weekend I have more family visiting.

I plan to post everyday – this is my goal.

For the next several days, I have a favor to ask.

I need some rest, some time to catchup on me.

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This image was taken October of last year.

As time passes, so can better times, so do our lives, so did my better health.

I beg with each new breath, take me back to a healthier time and to a better place in my life.

$3.50

I have mentioned in several previous posts I had a recent consultation appointment with a Radiation Oncologist at Moffitt Cancer Center.  Dr. M. indicates receiving radiation would be a benefit for me prior to the next set of treatments to take place.

What does $3.50 have to do with my health and cancer treatments?  Nothing.

Except, following the visit with my Radiation Oncologist Dr. M., Gary and I needed to make a stop by a bank.

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Image Provided by: Waverly Place

The bank’s location was in a small shopping plaza and I spotted a Gigi’s Cupcakes shop.  I have never had a Gigi cupcake but had heard they were delicious; I also knew they were most likely expensive as well.

Let me provide you some information.  Gary and I are both retired and we can survive the rest of our lives without the worry of money.  Well Gary being a former comptroller and numbers guy, he counts his pennies.  And that is okay to a certain point.  Over the years, I have learned from him and he has learned from me when comes to matters of money.  But, recent events, specifically my health situation has me changing a little bit when it comes to spending money.

There would have been a time, I would not have paid $3.50 for one cupcake, why would I, when I can get them cheaper at the local grocery store.

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Image Provided by: Chicago Tribune

Life is short and on that particular day upon the completion of my appointment with Dr. M., for the first time in a long time I felt a sense of hope; something good in the future that I could look forward to.

I have lost 38lbs. in the last 4 months and I have no idea how long I will be here on this earth.  I might be here for a short couple of years or I may be for another 40+ years.  Because of my health situation and my weight loss and a day where I felt a little celebration was due – I spent $3.50 on one cupcake.

Naturally I gobbled it up without taking a picture of the actual cupcake, I remember it had lots of chocolate, chocolate cake with chocolate icing and chocolate sprinkles on top.  I could not resist the temptation, it was eaten quickly; though I did take a picture of the box it was in.

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My health situation has me changing a little bit when it comes to spending money.  Every once in a while, I spend a little extra money on me and splurge occasionally.

Thank you, Gigi’s Cupcakes, for the excellent cupcake that day, for me it was worth every penny – all 3 hundred and 50 of them.

I had a bad day

This past Sunday, I had a bad day

My pain this past weekend was at its greatest and many pain pills were taken

I was tired, down, a little depressed and cried a lot

It started this past Saturday

This past Sunday, I had a bad day

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Image Provided by: http://www.adrifort-ipa.eu

This past Sunday –

Someone said that when they take their last breath, which they indicated would be many years from now; they would be happy because they accomplished something

A couple became married

I watched as young women and men performed their military PT (Physical Training) in the morning from the window of my RV

I observed people enjoying life and having fun

This past Sunday, I had a bad day

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Image Provided by: VideoHive

I was asked the other day by someone, you seem unhappy

I responded I am unhappy

I am unhappy because I have Stage 4 Bladder Cancer

I am unhappy because I am going through chemotherapy

I am unhappy because I have a bag attached to the side of my body

I am unhappy because I have lost 30 pounds of body weight

I am unhappy because I have major chronic pain

I am unhappy because I wake in the mornings with pain

I am unhappy because I go to bed at night with pain

I am unhappy because I am not enjoying life

I am unhappy because Gary is not enjoying life

I am unhappy because I cannot plan for the future

I am unhappy because I wait and wait for a time to take tests that will determine my future

I am unhappy because many other people are enjoying life

I many times in posts, comments and videos use the phrase ‘Happy Day’

I was not having a happy day

This past Sunday, I had a bad day

my shell

Me (2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the PANIC visit

In my post ‘quality of life…. (or lack of it)‘, I wrote the following –

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.

In today’s post, I write the following –

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Image Provided by: ateachingmommy.com

One of the previous mentioned appointments was with a new dentist.  I was fortunate to see a new dentist within the first week because once my chemotherapy begins I should not be having any dental work.  There is always the possibility of an infection and during chemotherapy my white blood count is low and therefore more prone to infections.  So, my first visit with the new dentist was an examination that included the usual x-rays that resulted in me having a cavity.  I very seldom have cavities and was surprised to learn I had one.

Okay, two days later and another dentist appointment to take care of the cavity.  Before I write about this appointment, let’s go back about 14 hours –

It is the night before and I am experiencing a great deal of back pain.  I take pain pills and go to bed extremely early – around 7:00 PM.  I am unable to rest or sleep, so around 11:00 PM I am taking additional pills for pain and sleep.  I do finally receive some sleep, but the next morning, I am tired.

Early morning Gary and I depart for the dental appointment and I am excited about using a new smartphone app that I can use for street parking near the dentist office.

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Image Provided by: Christian Science Monitor

I set the time and pay for two hours the maximum amount allowed.  Gary is also having a dental appointment the same time so, two hours should be enough time.  The dentist is running behind and I become a little nervous about the time, but I know I can extend it from my smartphone.  It is the first time I have used it, so I am a little nervous that maybe it will not work and I will receive a ticket.

Now I am sitting in a chair and receive my injection to numb my mouth.  Oh, did I mention I do not like to go to dentists?  I have Cancer and deal with appointments, procedures, IVs and blood tests – but going to the dentist makes me nervous.

Now I am at another dentist appointment to take care of the cavity – it is time – but the mouth does not feel numb.  The dentist decides to give me another shot.

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Image Provided by: Holistic Health & Living

Within minutes, half my throat goes numb as does part of my vocal cords.  I am having trouble swallowing and breathing.  I request the staff to get Gary in the room – I need him.  The dentist thinks I may be having an allergic reaction to the lidocaine.  I am not allergic to anything – I receive an Epipen injection.

911 is called just in case there is an allergic reaction – but they are not needed.

I am having a panic attack as the throat is swollen, I am unable to swallow and breath and having difficulty speaking – I am also crying.

After some time to relax, I go through with getting the cavity fix because chemotherapy starts in 2 days.

I am glad I do not have to see the dentist again for another 6 months.

The Phantom of the Pee

Most of us are familiar with ‘The Phantom of the Opera’; a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

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Image1 Provided by: CMUSE

I bet you are not familiar with ‘The Phantom of the Pee’; not a musical with no music.

Merriam-Webster has the following definition for ‘phantom’ –

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a :  something apparent to sense but with no substantial existence :  apparition

b :  something elusive or visionary

c :  an object of continual dread or abhorrence the phantom of disease and want

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:  something existing in appearance only

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:  a representation of something abstract, ideal, or incorporeal

she was a phantom of delight — William Wordsworth

Google ‘Phantom’ and first on the list of results is ‘DJI Phantom Drone’, with the following descriptions –

The Phantom is a series of unmanned aerial vehicles developed by Chinese technology company DJI. It is widely regarded as the company’s flagship UAV line, as it is the most widely used and known product DJI has released currently.

Google ‘Phantom Pain’ and first on the list or results is the following –

Phantom pain is pain that feels like it’s coming from a body part that’s no longer there. Doctors once believed this post-amputation phenomenon was a psychological problem, but experts now recognize that these real sensations originate in the spinal cord and brain.

I current do not experience phantom pain, but I do experience phantom pee.  Have you heard of phantom pee?

Phantom pee is a real thing, very strange real thing and I do experience it on a regular basis.  I mentioned this to my Urologist Dr. P. and yes, this is a real thing.

As you know my surgery in January removed my bladder and prostate and other male related organs.  My urine is now removed from my body via a stoma into a urostomy bag on the outside of my body.  I no longer have control of my urination.

But I still have the feeling of needing to pee, but I can’t.

Anyway, very strange feeling when you have ‘that urge’ and you no longer can ‘relieve’ yourself.

So, although ‘The Phantom of the Pee’ is not a musical with no music, it is a real occurrence.

no noise please

Living and Learning –

I have written in past posts the difficulty I had learning as a child.  You can read more about these difficulties in these posts ‘Learning the Hard Way‘, and ‘A Slow Learner am I‘.   I was labeled as a ‘slow learner’ and a child with ‘learning disabilities’.  Per Dictionary.com, certain criteria consider me ‘retarded’.

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Some of those learning difficulties I had as a child continues today.  The difference is today I understand and accept that which makes it difficult for me to learn.  But, still today at times I become frustrated with the learning process.  The frustration is mainly due to my learning style or method being interrupted and then concentration is lost.  First of all, I am a visual person: I need to see something to learn something.  Me sitting and listening to a lecture is a lost cause – I will receive very little from it.  And if there is a visual portion, I may receive a little more, but I need my own set of visuals to learn.

And for me I learn best by myself; reading, researching, documenting, speaking out loud to myself – this is a great learning method for me.

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Image Provided by: My Favorite Things – blogger

I also need quite time, no noise please.  No TV in the background and sorry Gary – no phone calls with speaker phone – please?

In the last job I held before retiring, I was a IT Quality Assurance Specialist.  This company created software for devices related to delivery of communication.  On the surface of any software; what the end-user sees and uses – we take for granted that it will work.  If it does not work, someone did not do their job, usually that someone is Quality Assurance.  My job was to make sure the software worked per specifications and requirements and it would not break anything else and it would be easy for the end-user to understand and use.

Sounds like an easy job, right?

For me not so easy, but I did find it challenging – and challenging is a good thing.

I would arrive early in the morning; several hours before anyone would else because I needed my quite time, no noise please.

You see, I had much to learn about those specifications and requirements I just mentioned.  They were complicated and I had to know them inside and out; it was my job to ensure the software worked as it should.  So there I was early in the morning with no noise no interruptions with my visuals and I read, researched, documented and spoke out loud to myself.  I learned my way and I was excellent at my job.

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Image Provided by: Sunwood Development

Children and adults learn different ways – there are many different styles and methods to learning.

What about you, how do you like to learn?