..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.

Eating Ice Cream with My Fingers – A Fresh Perspective

I am in year 3 of my blog.

In the early days of this blog, there are posts that received little exposer.

I have a new category ‘Reruns – A Fresh Perspective’.  This category reposts these earlier posts that received little exposer and a fresh perspective on how I feel about them today.

This post was originally posted on May 19, 2015 –

Have you ever eaten ice cream with your fingers?

I remember back at a time, maybe 25 years ago, when I was going through one of many rough times in my life.

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This particular time in my life was rough because I was struggling to survive to make ends meet, to move forward.  This particular time in my life was just one of many where I was experiencing life’s bumpy road.  I was going through my divorce and working a job that did not pay well.  I was depressed, alone, paying child support for several kids, trying to pay bills, just trying to survive; and wondering where my next penny was coming from.  During this period of struggle, even though the money was minimal I needed to do something for myself.  I felt I needed to ‘treat’ myself because I did not want to neglect myself, I did not want to neglect my well-being.  I gave myself a ‘treat’ at least once a month.  One month I bought a cheap picture to put on a bare wall in my apartment of little furnishings.  I needed something to look at besides the wall paper.

Another month I decided to buy ice cream as a ‘treat’ for myself – I needed it!  I went to the store and bought the ice cream and was excited and looked forward to the moment of eating it because it was so desired.  As soon as I arrived to my apartment I immediately wanted to eat the ice cream.  But wait!  It occurred to me that I have no silverware; no spoons, no forks, no knifes, nothing.  I had no plates, no bowls, no cups; I had nothing!  My apartment of little furnishings was not going to prevent me from eating the ice cream I desired.  I used my fingers; I used my fingers for as long as I could, until they became cold and I felt they were getting frost bite.  The well desired ice cream was good and I felt good.

I think back at this one moment in time when I wanted something that I felt I needed, desired and deserved.  Even when the tools were not there for me to use, I ate my ice cream anyway.  I will never stop eating ice cream even when it appears sometime will prevent me from doing so.  There is nothing that can stop be from eating my ice cream.

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So, if you do not have the tools to eat your ice cream – don’t let that stop you, there is always another way to eat ice cream.  I know how.

A Fresh Perspective –

Not much has changed with this attitude today.  It is important to treat ourselves and especially when times are tough.  So, no matter the struggle, no matter the time in our life; we should ‘treat’ ourselves, even when we may not have the utensils to do so.

Blockage

A week ago, in my post ‘Daily Struggles‘, I concluded with the following –

I wake each morning knowing what the new day will bring and go to sleep each night knowing the struggles I face.

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I continue the current treatment in hopes there is some good to come out of what is very bad right now.

Honestly, I feel my days are numbered and with each passing day my death will arrive much sooner than much later.

In today’s post, I write the following –

Last Tuesday I entered the hospital and today I remain.  Most likely several more days this week I remain here with hopes of feeling much better when I leave.  So, why did Dr. C. decide I needed to be in the hospital?  And what is taking so long to keep me here before I can leave?

A couple of weeks ago when my lymphedema was increasing with fluid in my legs and trying to push up and out of my body, my abdominal region began to increase and bloat.  This was about the weekend my mom, sister and brother were here visiting.  Image3At that time, it was assumed the bloating was a result of the lymphedema fluid being pushed into this area and not properly exiting my body.  The bloating never really reduced and instead became worse over the weeks with finally causing issues the weekend immediately prior to entering the hospital.

Over the past weeks of experiencing the abdominal bloating, my appetite decreased as did my activity level; with the pain level increasing.  This was the main reason for my appointment with Dr. C.; the abdominal bloating and the review of my pain management.

Let’s go back to Saturday a week ago and I was feeling horrible that evening and I was losing at the tiredness war and losing at the trying to eat conflict.  Gary indicated I needed something in me and suggested I try drinking Gatorade to replenish my electrolytes and other nutrients I had been losing for the previous weeks.

One small sip and I was then hit with nausea.  The nausea was then following by large amounts of vomiting that proceeded off and on for the next 3 days.  I entered the hospital on Tuesday at which time a tube was inserted through my nose to start reducing the fluid that had built up the previous weeks.  I thought this would never end and was amazed how much fluid was in my stomach, small and large intestines.

What caused this fluid buildup?

After a scan had taken place, it was determined I have a blockage between my small and larger intestines.  20170416_194313 (2)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.

But for now, I appreciate you allowing me this past weekend to rest and take some time to catch-up on me.

…moving the fluid.

In my post ‘lymphedema‘, I wrote the following –

This past Monday, I had a visit from home health care specialist to treat my lymphedema.  My current treatment involves the wrapping of my legs with hopes the fluid will flow back toward the trunk of my body.  With many of my lymph nodes having cancer, this process may be difficult and slow in progression or not work at all.  If this treatment is unsuccessful, then other treatments will be considered.

Image4Treatment along with exercise hopefully will help reduce the swelling at which time I will wear compression stockings for the unforeseen future.  My understanding is lymphedema can be temporary or permanent, therefore treatment will continue for as long as the lymphedema is present.  I hope eventually to reduce the swelling and improve my leg muscles so I have the ability to walk without the aid of a walker or cane.

In today’s post, I write the following –

For the past 2 weeks, up until this past Monday, my legs were wrapped.  You may remember in my video post ‘The Real Me Now‘, I showed my fully wrapped legs.  The fluid that was once in my lower legs and feet were forced up into my pelvic area and was causing me issues.  First the fluid did not appear to be leaving my body.  The process is this fluid travels through the lymph node system then enters the liver and exits through the urine.

With my usual issue of dealing with constipation vs a normal bowel movement, now my abdominal area was being filled with fluid.  This caused added discomfort and pain to an already beat up body full of other aches and agony.  So, the wrapping of the legs was removed this past Monday with a pending decision as to what the next step would be.

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This past Tuesday I met with my Oncologist Dr. L. to discuss my lymphedema and current overall pain I continue to feel.  His feeling on the lymphedema is to receive a different treatment that involves skin massaging and is referred to as manual lymphatic drainage (MLD).  I also soon will begin wearing compression stockings during waking hours that should help in moving the fluid.

Yesterday my home health care specialist was here to begin the MLD treatment.  The treatment is being modified some because I am unable to lie flat on my back and laying on my stomach is not an option either.  So, yesterday’s treatment is the first of many and we are hoping for positive results.  Currently my feet, ankles, calves, thighs and waist are filled with fluid.  This makes it difficult for me to walk and many other daily activities we take for granted are now a huge effort for me.  The pain associated with daily routine activities are exhausting for me and drain my energy so fast, I accomplish very little during the day.

20170416_194313 (2)My days are filled with much rest – and that in itself can be stressful to prepare for.

My days are filled with much pain – and that in itself can be stressful to prepare for.

The effort to rest, the effort to treat pain, the effort to deal with everyday activities is difficult for me.

Much of my energy is drained – but I wake each morning to try again.

Failed

In last Friday’s post ‘for as long as possible‘, I wrote the following –

It is Friday and today is the day I am looking for pain relief – today is the day I receive my Superior Hypogastric Nerve Block procedure.  I certainly will update you next week with how I feel and the results of this procedure.

Next Monday I start my radiation treatments; another potential for pain relief.  I have no expectations concerning the radiation, except I want something good to come from it.

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In today’s post, I write the following –

Friday as I am being prepared for the procedure upon taking with the doctor, I find out this procedure will not be a simulation.  The simulation would only last a couple of days and if it worked, then I would go back and have the actual procedure for the long term relief.  This procedure should provide long term relief which may be a couple of weeks or a couple of months.

The procedure takes place and immediately I do not feel any difference.  Considering they gave me pain medication during the procedure, I thought I would be feeling no pain at all.  The pain was just as significant as before the procedure; Gary and I felt very disappointed.  Gary sees what I go through each day and he is frustrated the doctors cannot find the source of the pain.  He asks the doctor who performed the procedure to contact my Oncologist Dr. L. to see if there are any other tests that can be performed – there must be something they have missed for me to be feeling this amount of pain.  Dr. L indicates there are no other tests and the radiation treatment that starts on Monday should help with reducing the pain.

It is Friday evening and as usual my pain is great and I am feeling little to no difference in my pain level several hours after the procedure was done.  I take my usual amount of evening pills and prepare myself for another rough night.  The nightly routine is Gary sleeps in the bed and I sleep on the recliner.  I am unable to lie flat in the bed without feeling significate pain.  The recliner provides me some relief because I can position myself lightly upright, which takes pressure off my lower back pain.

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I am sitting in the recliner preparing myself for another night’s sleep and Gary is sitting in a chair next to me and I begin to cry.  He places his hand on mine and I tell him, I feel like I am dying and my body is starting to shut down and I will not be around much longer.

I say to him ‘I have failed you.’

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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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

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.

Freakshows

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The priceonomics.com article ‘The Rise and Fall of Circus Freakshows’ begins with the following –

In 19th century America, gawking at people who were born with deformities was not only socially acceptable — it was considered family entertainment.

P.T. Barnum made millions by capitalizing on this. His “freakshows” brought together an amalgam of people considered to be curiosities — bearded ladies, tattooed men, the severely disfigured, and the abnormally short and tall — many of whom were unwillingly forced into the industry as young children.

In my post ‘I remain grateful (Reader Discretion Is Advised)‘, I wrote the following –

In 5 days, this coming Monday, I will no longer have control of my urination.

Let me be honest, one more time, I have always been honest here on my blog and at times direct.

In 5 days, this coming Monday, I will have a stoma or also referred to as a urostomy, an ileal conduit or urinary diversion.

I will have a pouch or bag on the outside of my body to collect my urine.  I will no longer have control of my urination.

In today’s post, I write the following –

In yesterday’s video post, I mentioned the physical strength is slowly becoming better, but at times my mind is weak when dealing with the changes made to my body.  As with the physical strength, I know the mental strength will increase as well.

A comment on yesterday’s post from my friend and fellow blogger Osyth included the following words –

….your psyche is bound to ricochet back and forth but you are endeavouring and doing your best and that is all you can ask of yourself.

This is a great description of what my mind is going through during the past several weeks and most likely weeks to come.

I am home recovering from my surgery and at times my typing continues to be a little slow and at times the computer is limited because I need to rest.  During rest sometimes I will voice record my thoughts.

About a week ago, I voice recorded the following –

It is in the afternoon and I decided to take a nap and I lay here by myself because Gary is at the gym.  I feel the urostomy bag touch my waist area and I start to cry.  I cry because I do not feel – I no longer feel whole, I feel defective.  I feel like a freak.  I feel unattractive and this is just something I have to become accustomed to.  But these are my feelings right now.  I know there are many people in the world that have bags on the side of their bodies to collect urine and other body waste and maybe other things I don’t even know about.  But this is me, this is new to me and though my recovery from my surgery is going well, my physical body and the emotional part of it is going well also – I still have my moments.   I still have my moments where I just feel different, I don’t feel myself. 

I feel like a freak.

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Damn You Pictures

In my post ‘Spending time away‘, I wrote the following –

While I am on one of the biggest ships, sailing the Atlantic Ocean visiting several Caribbean islands; my plan involves some days publishing a brand-new post and other days re-publishing an older post.  I wrote posts early in my blog that received little exposer and I consider them among others as interesting posts. I know I can reblog these posts, but decided instead to create a new post for each and give a different name to them.

I appreciate everyone taking the time to stop by, read and leave many wonderful comments.  My time away sailing and enjoying other activities will result in time offline and will prevent me from responding to the many wonderful comments I receive.  Therefore, I will be disabling the comments on many of my upcoming posts while spending time away.  There will be times I will have some time online and you will see me a little here and there on WP.  But, most of my time will be offline having fun, relaxing and enjoying the sun.

In today’s post, I write the following –

These words were originally published in June, 2015 –

The last several days I have not physically felt well resulting in my body and mind becoming fatigued.  Yesterday morning my partner left the home to run some errands and I sat in a recliner in our upstairs main room to relax some.  At this point, I have had minimal sleep in the past couple of nights and very little to eat in the last couple of days.  My body is exhausted and my mind is tired, lethargic along with feeling a little dizziness.

So while sitting in my recliner I stare at the pictures hanging on the opposite wall across from me.  These pictures display my partner and me not so many years ago at a younger and more youthful age; also are pictures of my sons and then there is the picture of my grandson and me.  As I continue to look at the pictures I think to myself about the relationship I would like to have with my sons.  I reflect upon the feelings I have concerning my failure as a father and most likely the failure as a grandfather.  And as the thoughts swirl through my mind concerning my partner dealing with my moods and my behaviors and that he still loves me and accepts me; I then start crying profusely.  I start crying profusely not because of these thoughts; not because of the people in my life and not because of the labels of failure I place on myself, but because the pictures on the wall are not hanging straight.  They are not hanging straight on the wall and this troubles me, damn it!

The anxiety and frustration of these pictures not hanging straight on the wall take me back to another time and another place.  I am taken back to my 20s with the same thoughts and reactions; my wife and I are having issues related to me needing to straighten the pictures.  As soon as I noticed a picture on the wall that was not hanging straight I would immediately have to correct it, it would drive me crazy if I did not.  And still today I sit here crying because the pictures on the wall are not hanging straight.  Forget my feelings of those important people in the pictures; what matters the most at this moment is the damn pictures are not hanging straight.

The end result is different today than in my 20s; even though I still struggle with the pictures on the walls not hanging straight, this time I did not attempt to straighten them, instead I wrote about it and left them as is!

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