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.

Touching your comments

It was January 16th when my 10 ½ hour surgery took place.

I wrote about strength I found within myself in my post ‘strength’.

In that post, I voice recorded thoughts the immediate days’ home after the hospital stay.

Here is another voice recorded thoughts now documented for you and about you –

Write a post about that first night after surgery I was still feeling lots of the anesthesia and under lots of pain medication.  And I remember feeling like I was in your comments.  I was in your comments; almost like I am walking around in your comments, the words you have left me.  Not just the recent comments, but the past weeks and months comments; the encouraging words and the supportive words; the words of love and the words of support and the words of encouragement.  It was as almost as I was walking through these comments from all of you, I was touching them and it was helping me with my strength; it was helping me say you are going to get through this because there are so many other people there – there are so many other people out there who are encouraging you and supporting you and praying for you and thinking about you.  And who are touching you in a way that you are going to succeed and you are going to be strong.  And that is what I was doing; I was walking through your comments; almost like a stage and all your comments are sitting there on this stage in big letters.  And I am walking by and I am actually touching them, touching your actual words and feeling them and experiencing them.  That is the only way I can explain it, that is the only way I can explain this dream or hallucination or whatever it is I was experiencing at the time.  But I really truly felt that, that my friends helped me so much – I really, really do believe that.  I know it took a lot for me to deal with my surgery and the feelings afterwards, but I really truly feel that experience, that hallucination or dream or whatever was a big part that started helping me on a good start, on a good note to start my recovery. 

Thank you for always supporting me and encouraging me through your words and comments.

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Then it changed

Almost one year ago today my post ‘it’s not a dream‘, began with these words –

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I woke this morning my usual time between 4-5 AM with the same thoughts on my mind as I had when I laid my head down on the pillow the night before.  As I am drinking my coffee I think about these thoughts and I think to myself ‘Was that a dream?’  Then it occurs to me, ‘No it’s not a dream.’  The events of the day before really did occur.

Almost one year later in this post, I begin with the following words –

Many of you know what took place last year and what has taken place so far this very young year.

There are times I write my thoughts down or voice record them for future use in a post.  Sometimes these thoughts are then forgotten for a while until a later time when I want to write a post about them.  Some of these thoughts were documented when I was in a certain mood or having specific feelings about my life at a particular time.

The following is some of that documentation; it was sometime last year, before Stage 4, before chemotherapy, before surgery and before recovery –

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I do not feel inspirational, I do not feel strong, I do not feel anything.  You my friends write comments with compliments.  I wake in the mornings to feel pain and I cry.  Not because of the cancer, not because I am dealing with stuff of the day.  I feel nobody understands, I know it is just me – I am not receiving the support and interest that I want.  It upsets me because I really do not feel anyone is really interested in me.  I know people are, and my family is, but I really do not feel they are – I feel like I am going through this alone.  Really, nobody is truly interested.  I get on the phone and when I do receive a phone call, I just say ‘It is all good, everything will be fine.’  ‘I have some aches and pains.’  But truly I do not want them to know what I really am feeling.  I do not sugarcoat it but do not want to give them all the information because I do not want to bring them down.  I do not feel inspirational, I am just dealing with anger, dealing with pain, dealing with tiredness.  I do not feel grateful or thankful or happy – I have no motivation.  I do not feel anything positive right now, everything right now is an effort – nothing is great – I just exist.

Today, in this post, I want to conclude with the following –

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But then it changed.  Why?  Because the body became sicker and the illness more serious?

What changed is I received a great deal of support and encouragement from you.

I am currently recovering from my surgery and I continue to receive support and encouragement from you – just what the doctor ordered.

(Note: my responses to your comments will be delayed this week.  Please understand I continue to be in recovery mode and am moving slow.)

Hallway Walking

I have a personal blog goal; that is to post every day and since the beginning of my blog, I have met this goal.  Knowing I was having a major surgery and the days following would be difficult for me, I scheduled my posts for this past week and disabled the comments.  I do not like to disable comments, because I certainly enjoy and look forward to your responses.  But, I knew ahead of time I would not be feeling well enough to take the time to properly respond to all the wonderful comments I receive.  I appreciate each of you allowing me to disable comments this past week.

A short video about how I am feeling and how my recovery is taking place.

Comments are enabled today and I will do my best to respond in a timely fashion.  I may be a little slow at responding, please be patient.

here is your answer

There are many posts on this blog that describe me; my personality, my physical body, my mind, my habits, my behaviors and many other aspects me.

I am not Ricky

There is a word that others use to describe me – I do not use it – society decided to give it to me – others decided to label me with it.

I have used the label, the word that others describe me here a couple of times in posts – not to label me, and not to describe me.

What am I really writing about here?

Having written over 600 posts since the start of this blog; some topics come to me in an instant while others I think about for awhile.  This post came to me per a comment I received from a reader.  I receive many comments here on my blog, and I respond to 99.99% of them.  I have a few comments that require approval; these are from readers who are commenting for the first time and yes, I have a couple of readers that I have their comments go to the ‘Pending’ folder because they left a previous comment that I did not appreciate.  Okay, let’s move on.

Recently I had a comment in my ‘Pending’ folder from a first-time comment reader.  I was not offended by the comment, but it did involve a detailed response from me.  You know me, sometimes I respond to comments via a post – here is that post.

The reader that left that comment; I did not approve your comment, but here is my response.  Your comment mentioned the ‘G’ word, the word others use to describe me; but does it describe me?

Am I a ‘Gentleman’, some would think so.  Am I ‘Gentle’, I can be.  Am I a ‘Gem’, well ask Gary.  Am I ‘Gracious’, ‘Gratifying’, ‘Guiltless’, ‘Growing’ and ‘Groovy’?  These are words that can describe me.

That other ‘G’ word, if I am correct; the word was used in 2 posts here on my blog; I do use it often, as I really do not like it much.  Have I use the ‘G’ word to describe myself?

The answer is in the many posts published on my blog.

Last year, I wrote a series of posts to describe me, to expose me and let you know me – to meet me.

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You can read these posts and find if I used the ‘G’ word or not to describe me –

Easy to Label, Easy to Judge

Being Different – aren’t we all

Word Meanings

my sexuality will die with me

‘The Outcast’

Queer, Geek, Gay

I Am Me

Okay, again for that reader that left the comment – here is your answer –

Gary and I have been mistaken for brothers many times.  There are many of us out there everywhere, and you say you have not met anyone from that side – you most likely have – you just did not know it.  Crystal clear is a word that is always crystal clear.  You know when you know – for some that is earlier and for others that is later.  Many people can become anything they want to be, many people choose to be something, anything they want to be.  I choose not to be anything, something I am not – but instead I am who I am.

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My rant is over… I actually wanted to start with ‘Thank you for your comment.’

that word

Earlier this year in March, I wrote a post ‘What Does Love Got To Do With It?‘, that included the following –

Again I ask; what does love got to do with it?

Love has much to do with family.  Love has everything to do with people we are meant to spend our lives with.

I love my parents and I tell them ‘I love you’.  I love my siblings and I tell them ‘I love you’.  I love my sons and I tell them ‘I love you’.  I love my husband and I tell him ‘I love you’.

Per psychcentral.com article ‘Is Love Losing its Meaning?’ –

This is a heavily debated topic. People often try to define love in terms of romantic euphoria; however, the word “love” generally is used so loosely that its meaning can become diluted. The truth is, “love” often is used to describe other emotions or strong feelings. Using the word “love” just saves us the trouble of having to figure out what we’re actually feeling. We can say we “love” anything, but what does love really mean to us?

In today’s post, I write the following –

I wrote the above post because I felt that word ‘love’ is used too much to describe feelings towards something.  Notice the word I used ‘something’ rather than ‘someone’.  I will be honest, I usually do not use that word ‘love’ toward someone else other than my family and spouse.

My post ‘Results‘, included a video of me discussing the results of my recent tests after chemotherapy and the announcement of my upcoming surgery.  I received many comments including from my good friend Jodi over at The Creative Life In Between.

Jodi’s comment –

Love you Terry!!! You look wonderful despite what you must be going through! Stay positive sweet friend. You have spread more love than you will ever know! xo

My response –

Thank you Jodi, interesting choice of words ‘Love you Terry’, I will need to write a post about that – I know it sounds confusing at the moment! You are special and I am extremely fortunate for friends such as yourself!

Jodi’s response –

Interesting? Just the truth.

I will repeat what I wrote above – I will be honest, I usually do not use that word ‘love’ toward someone else other than my family and spouse.

This recently changed; because I did use that word ‘love’ towards you the readers of my blog.  You never heard it, because I choose not to publish it.  What was I thinking when I spoke that word?  Where did that word come from?  Why did I not let you hear it?  The answers to the questions are; I was not thinking, just reacting – The heart – I felt awkward.

For my video posts, I usually record a video one time because I know what I want to say and the words flow freely and easily.  The video in my ‘Results‘ post took 6 recording attempts.  There were 3 attempts where other people walked near me and I stopped the recording.  1 recording was me walking and I felt it rushed.  Another video was good and that is the one included in the previously mentioned post.  My first recording I liked, even though there was a bit more surrounding noise than I prefer.   The main reason to not use this recording was because at the end I was not thinking and just reacted from the heart and after viewing the video, I felt awkward.

The ‘Results‘ post was published and the comments were made and Jodi used that word ‘love’.  I used that word first; but you never heard that word.

I believe I used that word first because I truly care about you and I truly feel you care about me.  I see now I can use that word ‘love’ for those I truly care about; not just my family and not just my spouse.

I can use that word ‘love’ towards friends as well.

Here is my first video I choose not to use – (FYI: if you want to just hear me speak that word, start the video around the 3:25 mark)

Choosing Happiness

In my post ‘Get Over It‘, I began with the following –

I really want to be happy!

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

I am happy, I am becoming happier, I am choosing happiness!

From my previous mentioned post, a fellow blogger Lynne from LYNNE’S RECIPE TRAILS responded with the following comment –

Oh Terry, this is such a deep and complex subject, and very real. For me, I am a firm believer of Choice. The way we choose to conduct our life, each and every day, is all about the choice we make. Each moment of our life is a choice, which too can bring happiness or unhappiness to ourselves, the people around us and our loved ones. But, in saying that, we all are human, we all are going to ‘have those days’. The good thing is, to recognize those ‘off’ days or moments and as you say ‘get over it’. Wishing you a happy weekend.

I appreciate all the comments and Lynne’s comment is no exception.  Her comment resonated with me and I literally took it to heart – I am choosing happiness!  Throughout my day when I am feeling stress, I think about Lynne’s words – I choose happiness!  When I am in a bad mood, I think about I can choose happiness.  I am trying to use this to help myself to be a better person each and every day.

Lynne also wrote the following comment on my post ‘Struggling is part of the process’ –

I hear what you are saying…and it is difficult. For me sometimes, it feels as though I am not fully happy, and I wonder why, as I should be… almost as though I am not fully fulfilled, or something, but then I tell myself, this is life, and it is up to me to make the most of it, so I keep on trying, I think the key is to keep on trying.

Again I appreciate Lynne’s comments.  As you have come to know more about me, I have come to know more about you.  There are many of us in this world who relate to each other’s lives because of similar feelings, thinking, events and experiences.  There are many of you I have come to know and appreciate your understanding, your support, your comments and especially your friendship.

Lynne, you didn’t realize until now, what an impact you have on me and my life.  Your comments make a difference and for this I am grateful and want to extend my warmest thank you.

Somewhere Out There

Who remembers the movie ‘An American Tail’?

This is an animated movie that was release 30 years ago back in 1986.  Here is the storyline per imdb.com –

Fievel is a young Russian mouse separated from his parents on the way to America, a land they think is without cats. When he arrives alone in the New World, he keeps up hope, searching for his family, making new friends, and running and dodging the cats he thought he’d be rid off.

The popular song that came from this movie is titled ‘Somewhere Out There’.  Per wikia.com

Somewhere Out There is a song that Fievel and Tanya both sing one night while Fievel is lost in New York City, neither knowing that the other is also singing the song. Fievel sings because he knows his family is out there and he wants to find them, and Tanya sings because she refuses to believe that Fievel is dead.

So these mice are in 2 different locations and singing the same song.  They know the other is somewhere out there.

I think of this song every time I am on WP and responding to a comment on my blog or leaving a comment on your blog and instantly, or rather quickly I get a response back.  Sometimes you and I are online at the same time, viewing each other’s blogs or seeing each other’s comments and responding back.  We are under the same big sky singing the same song in different locations.  How cool is that!

Some lyrics from the song ‘Somewhere Out There’ –

Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moon light

It helps to think we might be wishing, on the same bright star

It helps to think we’re sleeping, underneath the same big sky

I think of the lyrics every time I am on WP and responding to a comment on my blog or leaving a comment on your blog and instantly, or rather quickly I get a response back.

It is nice to know, we here on WP are underneath the same big sky.

It is nice to know; we might be wishing on the same bright star.

It is nice to know we are beneath the pale moon light.

It is nice to know you are somewhere out there.

It’s about you – not me

My words are my own and those are about me.

When I started my blog, my intention was to write about me and my life.  I have done so with honesty, at times reaching deeply inside to relive and remember emotions of long ago.

My honesty is from my heart and my soul and it is the truth as I see it.  I can be blunt, I can be direct, I can be resonating and I can be lighthearted.

I am a human with many different fluid aspects, that have changed over time and I have evolved over time and continue to do so.

My words are my own and those are about me.

These words in my posts are short images of events and experiences and thinking that take place in the past and in the present.

To read and to understand can be difficult at times.

To read and to formulate a thought is achieving a purpose on my part.

My words are my own and those are about me.

I write words with never intent to offend.

I write posts with never intent to upset.

Follow the whole me and not part of me; for one post does not describe me.

Follow the whole me and not reject what I have to say: for I have reasons, I have motives.

My words are my own and those are about me.

Your thoughts, your comments are important to me.

Your energy, your friendship brings wonders to me.

Welcome me, read my words, trust me, but you do not have to understand me.

My words are my own and those are about me.

A couple of months ago, I received some comments from readers that bothered me some; they affected me, I was a little offended and I responded nicely and appropriately.  These feelings I have come from my insecurities; I want to be honest with myself and those that read my words.  I try not to write uncomfortable words that offend or degrade or abuse others – that is not my purpose.

So after sometime thinking about those comments those words I read, I decided they were opinions and suggestions of others and not really about me.

Those comments, those words – It’s all about you – not me.

My words are my own and those are about me.

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