I will see her again

From my post ‘Who is next?‘, I wrote the following –

Do I have other family members coming to visit?  Well, since you asked –

Image2

Image Provided by: Kyrene Foundation

This coming Friday, my twin sister and my mom will be visiting. Another important visit I am looking forward to because my mom and I are close.  I have written many posts about the importance she is to me.  This will be an emotional visit because my mom, she worries like most moms do and I think she feels helpless.

My sister and I are twins and therefore we have a special bond.  I believe if that bond were broken in anyway, there would be a great loss there.  My sister has revealed to me she is heartbroken and upset and cries on a daily basis.

This weekend I will have special visits with special family members; both have been important to me throughout my life and especially now.

In today’s post, I write the following –

This time with my mom and sister certainly at times was emotional.  They were not prepared to see my body that has become weak and frail.  They were not prepared to see me walking will difficulty and needing the help of others with some everyday tasks.  They were not prepared to see me drained of energy, strength and vigor.

I felt it important for them to see me this way; to see how serious this cancer is attaching my body.

We had discussions about how the cancer is affecting my body and the current treatment and potential future treatments.  We discussed my daily struggle and my reason for fighting.  We discussed my possible decision I may need to make in the future.  And we discussed me dying and my final wishes.

We cried a lot, hugged a lot and enjoyed each other’s company.  I made sure they knew how grateful I was that they came to visit me and the importance of their visit.

My second oldest brother was here also to visit me and to spend some time with mom and sister.  Him and I were not close growing up and it has only been in the last couple of years we have connected in a different way.  I guess growing older sometimes bring people closer together and breaks down differences.

I cried in front of these family members on several occasions as I shared my fears.20170416_194313 (2)  Their comfort and support and love brought strength for both Gary and me.  Their time here with us will not be forgotten anytime soon.

The time came when we had to say our goodbyes, with the most difficult being my mom.  We both cried and I told her I will see her again.

These family members know my life may be short.  The once small cancer that was found almost 2 years ago, is now taking over my body.  The treatments may help slow down the progression, but ultimately my cancer will end my life.

Phone Calls

A few weeks ago in my post ‘Larger Lymph Nodes‘, I wrote about having a scan and the results indicating the chemotherapy was not working.  The results also indicated the cancer in some Lymph Nodes had grown and previous Lymph Nodes that were cancer free now have cancer.

Image2

Image Provided by: Emedicine Medscape

Prior to receiving these results, Gary and I had a discussion.  He said to me that based on my pain situation and the results of the recent scan both indicate bad news; he wanted to make some phone calls to my family.  I have no issues with this because Gary has always had some form of contact with my family since my health situation started.  My family certainly considers Gary as part of my family and truly respect and appreciate the role he is playing as a caretaker to me.

(note: since the very beginning of my journey with my cancer, all procedures and tests and treatments; all resulted in bad news.  I have not once received good news in the past 1 ½ years.  NOT ONCE)

So, the news of my cancer spreading and growing was received on a Friday; and Saturday Gary made a couple of calls.

Image2

Image Provided by: Kyrene Foundation

He called my twin sister and he called my stepmom.  Why call these two family members?

My stepmom is the caretaker of my dad who has Parkinson’s Disease.  My dad’s health has deteriorated a great deal in the past couple of years.  At times, it is very difficult to understand his speech and because of the medications he is on; he sleeps a lot.  My stepmom has been a part of the family for over 30 years and is in contact with my siblings.  Gary knew in talking with her, she in turn would talk with my siblings.

My twin sister, being the only female sibling, has a close relationship with my mom – they live in the same city.  Gary did not want to call my mom directly as he was concerned about upsetting her, plus a sensitive matter was to be discussed and Gary felt it coming from her daughter, my twin sister would be better received from mom.

What was discussed in these phone calls?

Gary was honest and sincere and direct.  He was caring and sensitive and calm.

image1

Image Provided by: WordPress.com

He called these 2 people to let them know the truth concerning my current health situation.  He told them I am in a great deal of pain to the point I am using a cane to help me walk.  He told them I have lost almost 40 lbs. and my appetite is not always the best.  He told them the results of the latest scan.  He told them what is to come with regards to my future treatment and the slim possibility of positive results.  He told them more than likely we would not make it to Texas for Thanksgiving.  He told them he felt it important that they (my family) consider making plans to visit me here in Florida.

My future health situation is unknown and honestly I have nothing positive to look forward to with regards to future treatments – there are no guarantees.

Divorce, Scandals and a little Pop Culture

Today is the 25th month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

So why 25 months and not 2 years and 1 month?  25 seem simple and simple is well, simple.

I am 57 right now, today.  If I take away 25 years, that would make me 32 years old.  That would-be year 1992.

If memory serves me correctly, that would be the year my divorce was final.

Image9

Legal Beagle

The day I received the final divorce papers in the mail; I remember very clearly.  I remember where I was living, where I was working and the feelings I had; I remember very clearly.

Well, my divorce was boring, no different than most and no scandal surrounding it, though some might disagree.

But in 1992, there certainly were some scandals taking place.  Per Pop Culture website –

Woody Allen (age 56) left his long-term partner Mia Farrow after she discovered his secret affair with her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn (age 21).

Image1

Image Provided by: Amazon.com

Long Island Lolita Amy Fisher shot the wife of her lover, Joey Buttafuocco (pronounced Butt-a-foo-co), Mary Jo Buttafuocco in the face. Mary Jo survived and later divorced her husband.

Image2

Image Provided by: NY Daily News

A youth group descended into the French Bruniquel Cave with steel brushes to remove graffiti and ended up partially removing 15,000 year old bison cave paintings.

Image3

Image Provided by: Pinterest

President George H.W. Bush vomited on Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa during a state dinner.

Image4

Image Provided by: http://www.slate.com

Okay, enough scandals, what about pop culture news in 1992?

A shipping container filled with 28,000 rubber duckies was lost at sea. To this day, they’re still being found around the world.

Image5

Image Provided by: VividLife.me

Hurricane Andrew hit Florida destroying a facility housing Burmese pythons, releasing them into the wild, there are now thousands of the non-native snakes.

Image6

Image Provided by: Daily Mail

The 27th amendment, which forbid the United States Congress from raising their own pay during their term, was proposed by James Madison in 1789 and wasn’t ratified until 1992.

Image7

Image Provided by: US Constitution – Home

Some of these facts will make for great trivial question, right?

Today is the 25th month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

The Tampa River Walk

Gary and I are getting out a little to explore the surroundings of our new location.

Image15

When my body allows, we go out and find new areas to discover.

Several weeks ago, we drove not far from the MacDill Airforce Base and parked to take a walk.

Image1

Our destination was ‘The Tampa Riverwalk’.

Gary was having some fun!

I wanted to share some pictures with you of our walk that day.

Carnival

Recently the MacDill Air Force Base had a carnival with free rides.  I went only on two of the rides because I easily get motion sickness and plus with my pain, it was not a good idea to ride some of the faster ones.  But Gary did; he went on many of them.

In this video, all the red roof buildings are on the MacDill Air Force Base.  There is much more to the Air Force Base than what this video displays; it is a large base.  Later in the video you see the skyline of Tampa in the distance and smoke.  The smoke is from one of the many wildfires that have been recently occurring here in Florida.

I hope you enjoy the video –

1998

Today is the 22nd month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

3 (March) + 13 (Day) + 22 (Months) = 38

When I was 38 years old, the year was 1998.  If my memory serves me correctly, I found my early 30s to be fun and exciting and found my late 30s to be stressful.  I actually hated my late 30s because I was on the down slope to 40.  Little did I know my 40s would be wonderful years that were a turning point to good things to come.

Image1

Image Provided by: http://www.spreadshirt.com

Okay back to 38 and 1998.  What was going on in 1998?

If you research, you will find interesting events that occurred in this year.  There were the usual earthquakes around the world, and then there was the Winter Olympic Games in Japan; oh, and let’s not forget President Bill Clinton denied he had “sexual relations” with formal White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Image2

Image Provided by: TIME.com

Okay, enough of that type of information, let’s find some interesting events –

Did you know in 1998, The Search Engine Google was founded?  I did not know this – you may need this information someday for a trivia question.

Image3

Image Provided by: Computer Weekly

Did you know in 1998, Titanic was a popular movie? It was released in late 1997 – I think I went to the movie theater 3 or 4 times to watch it.

Did you know in 1998, Spice Girls were popular?  I like Spice Girls, one of my favorite songs of theirs is ‘Wannabe’.

Did you know in 1998, Star Trek: Voyager was a highly-watched TV show?  Yes, I am a trekkie; I have seen all the TV series, but I will admit I have missed a couple of the most recent motion pictures.  I hope to catch-up soon on seeing these movies.

In 1998, my birthday was on a Saturday and most likely I did nothing to celebrate it.  That year, I was in my 3rd and final bad relationship that would end soon and it would be another 5 years before I would meet Gary.

Image4

Image Provided by: The Health Psychologist

1998 and 38; an odd time for me as my 30s were coming to an end and soon the 40s would begin.

Today is the 22nd month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

Bead Throwing & Celebration

From Google search ‘Fat Tuesday’ –

image1

Image Provided by: insaneeliquid.net

Mardi Gras (/ˈmɑːrdiɡrɑː/), also called Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday, in English, refers to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday.

Up until August of last year, I lived in Dallas, Texas for 27 years.  I do not recall having Mardi Gras parades or related events.  I currently am living in Pensacola, Florida located in the pan handle of Florida and about an hour drive from Mobile, Alabama.

From Google search ‘Where did Mardi Gras originate’ –

Despite the holiday’s rich history in New Orleans, Louisiana, Mayor Sam Jones of Mobile, Alabama, says the first Mardi Gras celebration in this country actually took place in his city, and most Mobile natives agree.

I had no idea the significance of Mardi Gras in this region.  It seems for the whole month of February, every Thursday, Friday & Saturday and other days; there has been a Mardi Gras parade in Mobile.  Then there are parades in the surrounding smaller towns as well as Pensacola.

image2

Image Provided by: AXS.com

From Google search ‘How long is the Mardi Gras celebration?’ –

The holiday of Mardi Gras is celebrated in Southern Louisiana, although celebrations are concentrated for about two weeks before and through Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. Usually there is one major parade each day (weather permitting); many days have several large parades.

I found a schedule for the parades for Mobil and the surrounding area and counted 48 of them total.  I never knew the importance of Mardi Gras in the south until now.

From Google search ‘What is the meaning of the beads at Mardi Gras?’ –

image3

Image Provided by: http://www.partycity.ca

Bead throwing and Mardi Gras go hand-in-hand. The Throwing Of Beads. The tradition of bead throwing starts with their original colors. The color of the beads was determined by the king of the first daytime Carnival in 1872. He wanted the colors to be royal colors – purple for justice, gold for power and green for faith.

I missed all the parades and the beads this year because of my recovery from surgery.  I just do not have the stamina to stand for long periods of time in crowds of people.

From Google search ‘Why do we celebrate Mardi Gras?’ –

Related popular practices are associated with Shrovetide celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent. In countries such as England, Mardi Gras is also known as Shrove Tuesday, which is derived from the word shrive, meaning “confess”.

I never celebrated Mardi Gras in the past and again this year did not celebrate.

image4

Image Provided by: thebayouinsider.com

But I have certainly learned the significance and importance of it in this area where I am temporally residing.

I do not know where I will be next year at this time.

I do not know if I will celebrate Mardi Gras next year.

What about you?

Do you celebrate Mardi Gras?

Festivals & Saturdays in the Park

The end of summer and start of fall last year had Gary and I attending festivals in the surrounding area.

This was back before my body began to experience the pain that started in December.

This was back before my body went through surgery.

This was back when I felt better.

My hope is soon Gary and I will again attend some festivals & Saturdays in the park.

The loquacious BBQ guest

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

the-loquacious-bbq-guest

The loquacious BBQ guest –

The evening BBQ started with beer, wine or other beverages of choice and pleasant conversation amongst the guest.  As the sun begin its decent into the horizon and the beverages continued to flow, so did the conversations.  But there is always that one, you know the one that hogs the conversations and makes it all about themselves.  But, I can’t help it, I like to talk about me and my advocacy toward the destruction of those like me to aid in one’s appearance.   The belts, the handbags and really the shoes?  Please, do we really need to talk about the shoes?  So yes, the drinking continued and I kept the conversations about me and the others and you felt it was enough.  So, you have the audacity to call the authorities and have me arrested?  And then the unthinkable, the tape started and I became muffled….

Mrmph mmmrpph mmmrrrmph

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.

image1

Image provided by: buluma.me.ke

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.

image2

Image Provided by: QuoteAddicts.com

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.

image3

Image Provided by: Spill

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.