I still do my best

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

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

Walter Anderson

In today’s post, I write the following –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Coloring & Making Bracelets

It has been a long time since I wrote a post about Gary’s mom.  She has Dementia and is currently living with Gary’s younger brother in Florida near Pensacola.  For those of you who wish to know more about her, you are welcome to read these posts I wrote last year –

My Mother In-Law Teacher

…hold back the tears in my eyes

Dementia – It’s Been A Long Road

My Mother In-Law’s Library

You may remember, we took Gary’s mom from the younger brother’s home to the older brother’s home in Orlando right before Christmas last year.  She stayed with the older brother until we took her back to the younger brother in late March this year.

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Prior to our actual move from Pensacola, Florida to Tampa, Florida, I had a consultation with an Oncologist at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.  That consultation resulted in subsequent tests later that same week.  There were tests scheduled in one day and it literally took all day to complete them.  A couple of these test involved having to spend several hours in between them and Gary and his mom needed to do something while I was having the actual tests.

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We were fortunate that Moffitt Cancer Center has specific areas in their hospital for just that; finding something to do.  While I was having my bone scan, Gary and his mom spent time coloring and making bracelets.   I wanted to share a few pictures with you of Gary’s mom – my mother in law.  She is 94 and is in great physical heath and she can walk faster than me.  There is the Dementia that causes issues at times, but that day while waiting for me, she was happy coloring and making her bracelets.

And do you see the important message she had for me?

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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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Image Provided by: brainyquote.com

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.

goodbyes or Thank You

I have in the past had dreams where I woke up and voice recorded what I remember about the dream.  A couple of months ago, I had one of those dreams and though I did not remember a great deal of detail about the dream, I went ahead and voice recorded what I did remember.  It was an important dream, because it involved all of my family and I felt it had significance.

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Provided by: Inception Radio Network

What was is about and what is its significance?

I was in a large room and all my family were there, everyone.  There were my sons and my parents and my siblings.  There also were my aunts, uncles and cousins, nieces and nephews.  And one other person was there; no longer considered family, but she was there – my ex-wife.

I am approaching each one of them and grasping their hands and hugging them and having a brief chat.  I have no recall what these discussions were about, but I felt it was the last time I was going to see them.  This whole event appeared to everyone including me as not a big deal, it was not exciting nor somber; there was no laughter and there were no tears – it just was the family being together.

Amongst all the family members in line, also standing there is my oldest son, and I bypassed him; I felt I had nothing to say to him.

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Image Provided by: Kyrene Foundation

You may remember back in March I wrote a post ‘ESTRANGED‘, and I concluded with the following –

One of my sons calls on a regular basis – thank you son.  The other two sons do not call me and in the past I would call them, but now no longer do I call. 

These 2 sons I saw at Thanksgiving and they were aware of my surgery.  These 2 sons I have not heard from since my surgery.  These 2 sons I have not spoken with since Thanksgiving.

Are we estranged?

Again, I just do not understand why?

In the past, I had asked myself, what did I do or not do to deserve the absence from my life; the no communication and the appearance of not caring?

Again, I refuse to blame myself any longer. 

Again, I refuse to cry anymore tears.

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

Since this dream took place, I have spoken with both of these sons and will write about in a future post.  But in this dream, why did I not acknowledge the oldest son?  And what was this dream about?

Is the dream about me saying my goodbyes before I die?

Is the dream about me saying “Thank You” for your thoughts and prayers that have now brought me to being healthy once again?

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Image Provided by: mcolaw.wordpress.com

I decided to not put more thought into interpreting this dream; I do not think there is a need to.

Perhaps at the time of this dream, I was still blaming myself and angry, especially at my oldest son.  My relationship is different with him than the other two and our differences and similarities go back a long way.

I do believe my sons truly care about me.  It maybe they just do not know how to display it.

February 1973 – Crocodile Rock by Elton John

February 1973 – a song popular in this month – Crocodile Rock by Elton John

This tells the story of a guy in the ’50s and ’60s who frequented a restaurant where the patrons loved an obscure dance called the Crocodile Rock.

Interesting facts about Crocodile Rock & Elton John

This was the first of many #1 singles by Elton John in the US.

Don McLean has mentioned that this is similar to his hit “American Pie,” which came out the previous year. Both songs are about young people in the ’50s obsessed with rock n’ roll, but disappointed when the music “dies.”

Elton performed this on The Muppet Show when he appeared on a Season Two episode in 1977. A very popular song with kids, it made for a great opening number, with Elton performing in a swamp with a crocodile chorus.

This song helped send the Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player album to #1 on both sides of the Atlantic. It was Elton’s first #1 in the UK, but Honky Chateau went to #1 in the US earlier that year.

Before he was a solo artist, John was in a group called Bluesology.

Elton is godfather to several celebrity children, including Sean Lennon (son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono), Brooklyn and Romeo Beckham (sons of David and Victoria Beckham), and Damian Charles (son of Elizabeth Hurley).

At one point, John was responsible for 3% of all records sold on the planet.

This information was provided by Songfacts.com

Umbrellas

My category ‘Pictures & Stories’ are posts with me writing a fictional, creative short story about a picture.

Umbrellas

Umbrellas –

As the sun begin to set for the day, the overwhelming feeling of comfort took over.

The daylight hours were coming to an end and soon the nightfall would be upon them.

Their time was limited and they would not be needed again until the next opening.

It was the beginning to the closure.

But the surrounding activities would continue for what seemed like eternity.

They would stand tall, yet unopened and wait again as they always do to be needed.

my character

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.

Lance Armstrong

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Last Friday was my first chemotherapy treatment, and I am not expecting another treatment for 2 weeks.  My round 2 chemotherapy treatment taking place now is different from the round 1 that I had last year.  The Round 2 treatment I take 2 weeks off between the treatments and with Round 1 I took 1 week off.

I have not really felt any affects from the chemotherapy except tiredness.  I am very tired, but this could be because I am also on some major pain medications and other medications that help me to control the pain I am experiencing.  I have not felt nauseous and I still have hair.  With the coming treatments in the future weeks, we shall see if the side-affects change.

This past week was filled with making future appointments to specialists.  The hope is when I finally have these appointments, we can start to identify the pain source and manage it so my quality of life becomes better.

There is much taking place right now with regards to doctors and dentist appointments and settling into our new location and routine.  These past several weeks have been hectic and with my pain and the side effects of the pain medications; mainly drowsiness; Gary and I have had little chance to start exploring and experiencing Tampa and the surrounding area.

We hope that will change in the very near future.  I plan to have in the next couple of weeks a post about the MacDill Air Force Base.  The base is large and beautiful with great views and many activities for those that live on it.

I also hope in the near future to have posts about some adventures around the Tampa area.

For now, I continue to be as strong as I can amongst the weak and tired body.

For now, I continue to be as optimistic as I can amongst the weak and tired mind.

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

Walter Anderson

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.

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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