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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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.

Dying Before You

I only write for myself here on my blog.  Based on comments, some readers understand me and others do not.  But then again, some readers are learning, while others are just reading.

My posts make perfect sense to me, but to others may be just a collection of ramblings.

Gary and I have conversations about the future.  These conversations are more about the immediate future; but the further out future is sometimes discussed as well.  You see, we discuss the immediate future; the coming months – because there are some unknowns and there are some plans.

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Sometimes our conversations discuss the further out future that may or may not include me.  I have an appointment tomorrow to discuss what is next regarding my battle with cancer.  The appointment will determine the immediate future and the further out future.

But before tomorrow’s appointment, sometimes our conversations discuss the further out future.  Gary and I do not deny what could happen and what will happen.  We all are going to die someday, that is a given – will I die soon, in the immediate future or the further out future?

Gary and I discuss the possibility of me dying before him.  During these discussions, he tells me that if he is left alone, he would do nothing and be nothing.  I want him to live his life to the fullest and not sit alone and not enjoy life.

One evening we had this discussion and later I went to bed for the night.  As I laid there with these thoughts in my head, I became angry.  Why was I angry?

I was angry for several reasons.  Besides our discussion that particular evening, I also watched one of my weekly television program series.  This episode centered around a young woman who had Stage 4 Cancer and was terminal.  She made friends with an unlikely person and the episode ended with this new friend telling her to keep fighting the battle each day, be strong and never give up; fight each and every day.

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When I am feeling weak, I want to give up and then there are days I fight.

I want to be around to take care of Gary in the future.  And I remind myself, he needs me just as much as I need him.

But we all are going to die anyway, someday, right?

I feel pain every day and I continue to be physically weak and slow.  My body most times dictates my mind and I become emotionally weak, down and angry.

I am angry that I might not be around to take care of Gary.  He talks about being by himself and being alone and not doing anything, once I am gone.

I don’t want him to do that

Maybe I am angry because I am going to die sooner than him and not be able to take care of him.

I am not doing well at taking care of myself – maybe that is why I am angry

I know – be strong every single day.

Be strong and keep fighting.

But, we are all going to die anyway, someday, right?

ESTRANGED

Over a year ago, in my post ‘The Good Me & The Bad Her‘, I wrote the following words –

Some of you know my feelings about me as a father to my sons.  Many years I felt like a failure because I was out of my son’s lives at a young age – they do not really know me.  This is one reason for starting this blog; I want to share me and who I am and my life in writing so my sons may someday know who I was and know who I am.

In today’s post, I write the following –

From Google –

es·tranged

iˈstrānjd/

adjective

adjective: estranged

(of a person) no longer close or affectionate to someone; alienated.

“Harriet felt more estranged from her daughter than ever”

(of a wife or husband) no longer living with their spouse.

past participle: estranged

“his estranged wife”

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?

I refuse to blame myself any longer.

I refuse to cry anymore tears.

But it does still bothers me, more so today, because my life has changed, my health has changed.

Life threatening or not, shouldn’t this bring us closer?

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I have not written about my relationship with my sons in quite a while.  I have written posts about their birthdays, but nothing specifically about our relationship today.

My sons have known about my cancer since I found out about it; I have hidden nothing from them.  You remember it was important for me to visit my family for Thanksgiving.  I did see my 3 sons at that time and I feel fortunate to have spent some time with them.  For many years I would not receive a call from my sons and it was always me calling them because I was interested in them and their lives.  Many years I did not receive a call on my birthday and even Father’s Day.  I blamed their lack of interest in me on myself; it was my fault.  I overcame this self-blame last year after writing posts about them and me and our relationship.  Today, I no longer blame myself.

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?

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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.

But it does still bothers me, more so today, because my life has changed, my health has changed.

Roxy is excited

Hello everyone –

As many of you know I am very late on responding to comments this week – and for that I am sorry. I will try my best to catch-up this weekend.

I ended up staying in the hospital until yesterday – and now am resting comfortably at home.

Gary and I are excited for me to be home, but I think Roxy is the most excited.

too many variables

Several days ago, in my post ‘the next 9 days‘, I wrote about having an appointment with my Oncologist Dr. D. last Friday.  That appointment was to discuss the results of my MRI I had the previous day and the future plans regarding the current pain I am experiencing.

Before I proceed, let me fill you in on some details about my current health.  I have Stage 4 bladder cancer and have an upcoming major surgery planned and past posts have me explaining the significance of my cancer and my upcoming surgery.

The significance of my cancer is the survival rate after 5 years is slim.  The significance of my surgery is to remove the source of the cancer because it has a very high percentage rate of coming back.  In fact, it already has – even after 12 weeks of chemotherapy last year, there is already a new tumor in my bladder.

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Before I proceed, let me fill you in on some details about Gary.  He retired from the United States Army as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving 22 years.  As a Medevac helicopter pilot, he has commanded others during times of crises and he also has held positions of Comptroller overseeing military hospitals.

Gary’s military commander experiences inspire him to have a strong personality and at times he can be a little dynamic.  This background also aides him in taking control of situations and being prepared as much as possible.  With his comptroller experience; he likes numbers and working with those numbers in various equations always end with a precise exact result.

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Gary has been by my side each day, going with me to doctor visits and he sees the pain I have experienced.

Last Friday the appointment with Dr. D. had Gary asking questions during a time of crisis, looking at various equations and wanting a precise exact result.

Dr. D. is unable to provide some answers and a precise exact result Gary wants.  She did however provide her view based on her expertise about my cancer and my future.

The appointment last Friday had Dr. D. indicating the cancer may have spread to my nerves based on the information I had provided her concerning my recent pain.  My cancer has already spread to my abdominal lymph-nodes and there is a new tumor in my bladder.  The cancer could be elsewhere now, but too small to detect.

Based on my current pain and the significance and type of my cancer, the future certainly holds some uncertainties.

Last Friday, we are still in Dr. D.’s main area where the patient rooms are located and before leaving I had to make a restroom stop.  Upon my return, Dr. D. has her hand on Gary’s shoulder comforting him as tears flow from his eyes.

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He wants to command a crisis that is not in his control and he wants precise exact results for an equation that has too many variables.

He wants me to be well, happy and out of pain.

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.

to whine some today

I honestly try not to publish posts with me whining.

But, that is exactly what this post is about.

I am going to whine; but as I whine, I remind myself there are others who have it much worse than I.

What is ‘it’, you ask?

Anything in life that causes pain, suffering and agony.

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You may remember in my post ‘a walnut-sized gland‘,  I wrote about experiencing pain starting prior to my cruise in December that progressively became worse.  My Urologist Dr. P. thought it might be a prostate infection and prescribed antibiotics and pain medication.

My pain continues and at times has become worse.  If the prostate is infected, it certainly is taking its time to reduce in size and in turn reduced my pain.  Dr. P. wanted to see how I was managing and so I had a follow-up visit with him last week.  The visit also included Dr. P. removing the urethral stent from my body.  There are two methods to remove the ureteral stent; one involves a surgical method that is scheduled in advanced and the other involves a procedure that I have grown accustomed to but still do not look forward to.

I have lost count now, but there I am last week and once again having a medical instrument inserted into my penis.  If any man ever tells you they enjoy having medical instruments inserted into their penis, they are lying.  Okay, so while Dr. P. is inside of me with his medical instrument that has a camera, he takes the opportunity to look around inside my bladder.  He indicates the opening of the ureter from my kidney looks very good.  You may remember this opening was blocked due to my cancer and resulted in much pain which is the reason for the stent to begin with.

Dr. P. also found a new small tumor in my bladder.  This is not surprising because my bladder cancer has a very high recurrence percentage; this is the reason to remove the bladder.

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Okay, so the ureteral stent was removed and now the bladder and kidney are causing pain as well as the prostate.  I continue to take antibiotics and pain medication – lots of pain medication.

Here comes the whining – for weeks now I am experiencing severe pain in my whole abnormal area.  I feel discomfort when sitting, standing and laying.  My nights are mostly sleepless and because of the lack of sleep and the pain, my thinking and concentration is affected.  Strong pain medications as well as other prescriptions are helping me get through each day.

I have shed tears these past weeks, not because of just the pain; but more about my quality of life.  I currently have no quality of life, I experience pain and discomfort each day and find no joy in anything.

In less than 2 weeks, this current pain will be gone because I will no longer have a prostate or bladder.  I just needed to whine some today.

twenty-seventeen

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Always laugh

when you can.

It’s cheap medicine.

–          Lord Byron

 

A poem I wrote to end this year.

twenty-seventeen –

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It is another New Year’s Eve

It is another end to a year

Tomorrow is twenty-seventeen

And, I will have nothing to fear

 

For, there will be more days to come

And, there will be more days to go

Tomorrow is twenty-seventeen

But, one thing I tell you, I know

 

For the past, has proven me strong

Even when I felt I was weak

Tomorrow is twenty-seventeen

And, I have yet to reach my peak

 

My life is not over just yet

There is more to come, you will see

Tomorrow is twenty-seventeen

And soon, I will have no control of my pee

 

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The What Ifs

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The tearing of the minds
The tears, the pain, the heartache
The whys, the wanders, the what ifs

Minds are crazy and hateful and fearful and destructive
That one mind so complex yet so simple

The tearing of that mind
The tears, the pain, the heartache
The whys, the wanders, the what ifs

Bring forth the destruction, the death, the final breath
For he who loves but then hates

The tearing of his mind
The tears, the pain, the heartache
The whys, the wanders, the what ifs

The hiding of one is the prison of another
Stop the madness, stop the hurting

The tearing of my mind
The tears, the pain, the heartache of his
The whys, the wanders, the what ifs of both

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