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.

It was no accident

His name is mentioned here in many of my posts, and there are many words to describe him.

His name of course is Gary.

His role is friend, spouse, and most recently caregiver.

Several months ago, a fellow blogger and friend Laurel, published a post about caregivers.  In that post titled ‘For Gary ’, she ended with these words –

Gary and other people in the same role are “unsung heroes.”  That’s a phrase that most of the time represents a person who doesn’t get recognition or notoriety but plays an important, supportive role…”behind the scenes.”

They should be remembered.

Thank you again Laurel for the touching post; reading it again brings tears to my eyes.  Please if you have not read Laurel’s post, please do so – there is an important message there.

As many of you know, a little over 3 weeks ago, I had a major surgery.  Before being wheeled off to the operating room, Gary was holding my hand and we kissed.  He assured me everything would go well and he would be waiting for me.

I woke after surgery feeling I had been hit by a truck and there he was waiting.

I am grateful for Gary my caregiver and my unsung hero; who is strong, supportive, kind, understanding and extremely patient.  The past couple of weeks have been an adjustment for me and Gary.  My body has changed, both inside and outside.

He is still here today, waiting on me hand and foot and I at times feel I do not deserve him.  I am fortunate in that someone else thinks I do deserve him – I am grateful.

I believe everything happens for a reason both good and bad.  Gary and I met for a reason; our relationship developed for a reason; we became married for a reason.

Yep, everything happens for a reason, and Gary is in my life for a reason – one reason is certainly as caregiver and unsung hero.

There is a country song I like by Tracy Bird titled ‘The Keeper of the Stars’, with the song beginning with these lyrics –

It was no accident me finding you

Someone had a hand in it

Long before we ever knew

Now I just can’t believe you’re in my life

Heaven’s smilin’ down on me

Yes, everything happens for a reason; it was no accident me finding you.

Thank you Gary for being in my life, for taking care of me and for loving me.

I do not deserve you, not at all, but I am thankful and grateful you are in my life.

Love you,

Terry

the day my life changes

Today is the day, the major surgery takes place and the day my life changes.

I will remain grateful as there are others in the world who have much less than me – who have nothing compared to me.

But my body will change and I will change and my life will change.

 

Today is the day, the major surgery takes place and the day my life changes.

I will remain humble as there are others in this world who are experiencing much more than me – much worse than me.

But my body will change and I will change and my life will change.

 

Today is the day, the major surgery takes place and the day my life changes.

I will remain appreciative as there are others in this world who have no others to support them – who have no one there for them.

But my body will change and I will change and my life will change.

 

Today is the day, the major surgery takes place and the day my life changes.

I will remain hopeful as there are others who have less to look forward to – who have nothing positive in their future.

But my body will change and I will change and my life will change.

 

I will be in ICU for a couple of days and then the recovery begins.   

I appreciate everyone taking the time to stop by, read and leave many wonderful comments.  Due to my surgery and not knowing how I will be feeling; I am disabling the comments on my post today.  I need a few days of recovery and to grow accustom to the new me.  But know soon I will have comments enabled and I will be ready to respond to each one of them. 

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I remain grateful (Reader Discretion Is Advised)

We are not far along into the new year and I hope all is well with each one of you.

Today has many unknowns for me as it did a year ago at this time.

Last year had me diagnosed with superficial bladder cancer, followed by 2 surgeries and then the upgrade to Stage 4 Bladder Cancer, followed by 12 weeks of chemotherapy.

In 5 days, this coming Monday, I will have a major surgery to continue the journey that started more than a year ago.

Once the surgery takes place, there will be more to come that currently is unknown.

Once the surgery takes place, there will be more to come that is certain.

Let me be honest – I have always been honest here on my blog and at times direct.

I will no longer have control of my urination and I will no longer produce sperm and possibly no longer have an erection.

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

I have no problems no longer producing sperm and I have no problems with no longer having an erection.

However, it does bother me some to no longer have control of my urination.  It seems odd that this would bother me, but it does.  I took for granted things in my life, one of them is having control of my urination.  Think about this for a minute; as men grow older, the whole producing of sperm and lack of erection can happen.  And there are pills for that – not that I am interested – but they are available.  But never had I thought about not having control of my urination.

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.

This bothers me some – but I will accept it and I will become accustomed to it and I will live with it.

Soon the unknowns will become knowns and there will be more to come that is certain.

What I do know today; is I will remain grateful.

For after all that has taken place last year and all that is to come next week and the months to follow; I still have many things to be grateful for.

I have a spouse who is my caregiver, who is always here for me.

I have a home, a place to live, a place to shelter in.

I have a family, both near and far, who support me.

And I have you my friends, who are never more than a comment away with support, encouragement, thoughts and prayers.

I remain grateful.

gratitude for you

Last year around this time, I published a post ‘All Things Thanksgiving & Turkey’.  The post included fun facts about Thanksgiving and Turkey jokes.  I figured it would not receive many likes being it was the day before Thanksgiving and I did not have many followers back then.  That post did receive 16 ‘Likes’ and 4 ‘Comments’ from bloggers that continue to follow me today.

I am going on 18 months blogging and I have learned that followers will come and go, some leave and return and others leave never to be heard from again.  We all have lives that take us in directions that at times are unexpected.   These turns in direction sometimes require us to make changes in our lives; sometimes those changes involve no longer spending time on WP.  Whatever the reason for followers leaving WP, I wish them the best and hope their lives are happy and healthy.

allabouthistory.org article Meaning of Thanksgiving has very good information about the Real Meaning of Thanksgiving.  One of those meanings is Expressions of Gratitude.  This part of the article begins with the following –

The meaning of Thanksgiving has undergone numerous transitions — an expression of gratitude for survival, a council’s recognition of its flourishing community, submission of the local natives, the defeat over the British, resulting in a collection of our nation’s traditions and values. Over the centuries, families added their customs to the Thanksgiving celebration, preserving that which they held most precious.

In this post, I want to take time to express my gratitude to you the followers and readers of this blog.

Many have followed me for over a year – with a few almost from day one with the first post.

Even though life is busy at times, many of you stop by every day to read and/or comment, and others take time every couple of days or weeks to catchup.  No matter how much time you spend here and if you have followed me for quite some time now or are recent – I appreciate you very much and am thankful for you.

I feel extremely fortunate that many of you I consider friends.  And yes, yet we only correspond via online on WP, I feel close to many of you.  Over the past 1 ½ years, I have shared my early years and my recent years with nothing hidden.  My posts, my writings and my words are accepted by many bloggers and I know not accepted by others.  I appreciate the opportunity to write and express my life and myself here on WP.

I express my gratitude to WP for allowing me to express myself here on my blog.

I express my gratitude to each one of you who follow my blog, who read my blog, who ‘Like’ my posts and leave encouraging comments.

I certainly consider all of you friends. – from the bottom of my heart – gratitude for you.

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It was a strange goodbye

It was a strange goodbye.

November 4th was the day I said ‘goodbye’.  Maybe I should have said ‘Until we meet again.’

It was a strange goodbye.

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Those I left were helpful, hopeful, caring, compassionate and wishing me well.

Now a week later and I do not know the results of that strange goodbye.  Would it be forever; with those that were there for me?

Will there be others that take their place and be there for me once again?

It was a strange goodbye.

I left, thanking them for their time, their compassion and their service to me and others.  For they are champions in my mind and I am thankful for them.

Will I ever see them again, has my time ran out or is it time to move on to others?

It was a strange goodbye.

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I will miss them, but not necessarily the time spent with them.  How could I feel this way?

How could I know them and visit them for weeks that went into months: then just to leave, never to return?  How could I do this to them?  They are my champions, my heroes and I leave them; forever?

It was a strange goodbye.

November 4th was the last day I received chemotherapy.  It was the last day I would spend time with those dedicated to helping others; helping me.

These women and men who have skills in treating us who have cancer are now out of my life.

It was a strange goodbye.

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I thanked them for helping me, caring for me and for their compassion for me and others.

I told them in an odd way, I would miss them.

It was a strange goodbye.

Can’t keep me from you my friends

Two days ago it was Tuesday and my post ‘The Next Surgery‘ was published.  You remember that post, many of you, so many of you left comments.  And then yesterday on my post ‘I know this time! (Reader Discretion Advised)’, once again so many comments from you my friends.

Your comments are always kind, considerate, supporting and thoughtful.  I am very fortunate to have so many wonderful friends like you.  Your words of encouragement keep me positive and strong.  Your prayers, your thoughts and your hugs are all received and my heart is touched.  I never imagined that I would have many wonderful friends that are here for me during my times of struggle.

How can I thank you?

Two days ago it was Tuesday, I had a post all ready for today; already written and already planned.  All your comments touched me.  So I wrote another post, this one for today because of you and your comments.

How can I thank you?

Words are not enough, but that is all I have – Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I was looking for a video that would convey my feelings about you; a video or a song that would be prefect in reflecting my feelings for you.  There are so many videos out there and I accidently came across this one.

I liked it and it brought a smile to my face.  I hope you have a smile after watching it!