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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Image Provided by: Microsoft Store

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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Image Provided by: VideoHive

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.

Quite – Quiet

In my post ‘Of course, … a course‘, I wrote the following –

At times my brain sees and reads something different than what I write.  In past posts, I write about my learning disabilities as a child, my internal struggles with myself; it is all here on my blog somewhere.  I make mistakes, I have shortcomings, and I am no expert at writing.

In today’s post, I write the following –

Ages ago when I was in 7th or 8th grade, I remember taking a typing class.  Who remembers typewriters?

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Image Provided by: http://www.typewriters.us

I have no memory of when the last time I saw a real typewriter.  Do they even exist anymore?

I was very good at typing and could type over a 100 words per minute with very few if no mistakes.  Remember typewriters had no autocorrect and if you did make a mistake, there was always whiteout.  Who remembers whiteout?

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

As I grew older and left the typewriter for a computer keyboard, my typing skills increased and others would be impressed with my abilities on a keyboard.  I would type away pounding on the keyboard as I was always a hard hitter on the keys; therefore, I had to replace many keyboards.

I had and still have a little bit of dyslexia.  At times when typing, when I want to use a certain word, the fingers on the keyboard often times will reverse letters or totally switch the order of letters.  Now that I am older this occurs more times than I like, but I correct my mistakes and move on.  The good thing about computers is I do not have to use whiteout.  So much easier to correct and less of a mess.  Plus, the bottle of whiteout would dry out too quick and it would have to be thrown away before the full bottle was used.

So, what does Quite and Quiet have to do with this post?

I quite often make mistakes when typing now, but usually catch them: sometimes I don’t, but usually I do.

I need quiet time to write my posts, because along with my dyslexia and other learning disabilities, I am unable to concentrate when there is noise, it distracts me.

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I also quiet often will make mistakes when there is noise around me, I need my surroundings to be quite.

Did you catch that?

I did that on purpose this time – because this occurs often.

I am thankful my computer will help me correct mistakes and I do not have to use whiteout.

My Purpose in Life?

20160810_182204-2At times I will write a post and not finish it and leave it alone until a later date.  This post I wrote almost a year ago, but because of changes in my life it seemed no longer relevant.  Lives can change dramatically in a short period of time and along with the changes so too can our thinking, our believes and attitudes.

A year ago, I had a minor surgery to remove a tumor from my bladder.  At that time, it seemed harmless and nothing significant would come from it.  I was wrong and this past year’s events I never imagined would take place.

The following words I wrote almost a year ago, when my life was healthier and I was looking forward to a future filled with adventure and fun –

Many times I have asked myself ‘What is my purpose in life?’

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If you have been reading about me for quite a while, you know about my early struggles in life with major depression to the point of attempted suicide.  It took over a decade to overcome this depression that wanted to kill me.  My purpose at that time was to overcome it and that I did.

I continue with struggles today, but certainly not to the extent when I was a much younger man – but I am far from perfect and not the man I want to be – I still struggle – I am a work in progress.

Again today I ask the question ‘What is my purpose in life?’

A little more than a year ago, Gary and I were in Mexico exploring a possible location to live.  While there an event took place that upon our return home, I documented.

These are the words I documented –

How can I be responsible for supporting and helping someone when I have my own struggles?  Several weeks ago in Mexico, Gary and I were with expats.  I watched Gary as he told a story – and I see his mannerisms, his facial expressions and the words he used to tell the story – I saw his mom.  It reminded me that maybe he will be like his mom, telling the same old stories, having the same struggles every day.  He may exhibit the same emotions his mom goes through – anger, frustration, nice, rude, impatient, not understanding.  It has been difficult for me spending time with his mom due to my lack of patience.  I have learned some patience as a result of being around her and that is a good thing.  I have more to learn, I want to be there for Gary, I want to be caring, compassionate and understanding.  These are areas I fall short in, but feel I can I gain more of these traits.  Maybe this is my purpose in life to learn these traits: understanding, listening and being there for Gary.  I believe my life is about struggling and learning and being the best person I can be. 

image2Gary’s mom has dementia and she struggles daily and sometimes I see her personality in Gary.

Back to today, both Gary and my life has changed a great deal this past year.  I no longer think about what my purpose is in life.  I do believe part of Gary’s purpose may be to help me during my difficult time.  And who knows, maybe someday when I am better it will be my turn to help Gary during his difficult time.

The new confidence

A week ago in my post ‘what comes next…‘, I wrote the following –

The appointment with Dr. W. was to discuss some issues with pain I am experiencing in my lower back.  I had this pain back prior to surgery and thought it was associated with all the other pain I was experiencing immediately prior to surgery.  The pain is constant and is at its worse in the middle of the night to the point, I am unable to move or get out of bed.  We do not believe the pain is associated to the surgery and could be caused from arthritis, or some other issue.  I hope to resolve this pain soon.

In today’s post, I write the following –

Another week completed and another weekend is upon us.

This past week I had no doctor appointments or other medical related activities.  The weather here in Pensacola was perfect this week and looks to be the same this coming weekend.

The recovery after surgery continues with my daily walks and other activities.

Not only am I recovering physically but also psychologically with regards to the new me.  Remember in recent posts ‘I struggle with the new me‘ and ‘Freakshows’, I wrote about my struggles with having a urostomy bag on the outside of my body.  As the weeks pass I am learning to cope and accept this new reality.  The initial uncertainty and apprehension are replaced with confidence and comfortableness.

The new confidence with the new me is allowing me to get out a little more.  Past weeks had me hesitant in going anywhere I did not have to go because of my fear of ‘leakage’ from what is now an extension of my body – my urostomy bag.  With different manufacture products tested by me; there were some trials and errors that took place and incidents that were frustrating and embarrassing.  Since surgery, a learning process has taken place for both Gary and myself with regards to the supplies needed and process of maintaining and replacing this new extension – my urostomy bag.

Beside my daily walks this past week, I did attempt to go to the gym for an extremely easy light workout; nothing strenuous at all.  Going to the gym gets me out into a different environment, which I need after weeks of being cooped up in the RV.  This also provides me with an opportunity to build my confidence level with regards to the new me.

The lower back pain I experience in the middle of the night has subsided some, but still persists in waking me in the middle of the night.  This nightly waking is then followed with me needing a change of position; therefore I sleep the rest of the night on a recliner.

In a couple of weeks I have follow-up appointments with my Urologist and Oncologist.  I mentioned in my post ‘what comes next…‘ the possibility of a clinical trial medication for Stage 4 Bladder Cancer and also the possibility of a second Oncologist opinion concerning my further treatment.

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tick away

A year ago in my post ‘Predict our day of death‘, I wrote the following –

On deathclock.com there is ‘The Death Clock’ and the website states –

Welcome to the Death Clock(TM), the Internet’s friendly reminder that life is slipping away… second by second. Like the hourglass of the Net, the Death Clock will remind you just how short life is.

So I proceeded to enter the information, clicked the ‘Check Your Death Clock’ button and received the following –

Your Personal Day of Death is….Saturday, June 10, 2028

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

Okay, by this ‘Death Clock’ I will die in 13 years.

September of last year in my post ‘I have been there, done that‘, I wrote the following –

From cancer.net –

This year, an estimated 76,960 adults (58,950 men and 18,010 women) will be diagnosed with bladder cancer in the United States. Among men, bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer. It is estimated that 16,390 deaths (11,820 men and 4,570 women) from this disease will occur this year.

From cancer.org –

About half of all bladder cancers are first found while the cancer is still confined to the inner layer of the bladder wall. (These are called non-invasive or in situ cancers.) About 1 in 3 bladder cancers have invaded into deeper layers but are still only in the bladder. In most of the remaining cases, the cancer has spread to nearby tissues or lymph nodes outside the bladder. Rarely (in about 4% of cases), it has spread to distant parts of the body.

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Image Provided by: of.sucrap.com

My cancer is Stage 4 bladder cancer and I know the statistics.

In today’s post, I write the following –

Will I Die Soon?

The statistics for Stage 4 bladder cancer is I have a 14% to 24% 5-year survival prognosis.  I keep myself informed because this is my body, my cancer and my life and I want to know all the good and bad about what is taking place with me.  Do I sit here and wait for death and not live in the meantime?  No, I want to live as much as I can before that date on the calendar is here.  But I am restricted now on living life to the fullest as I continue my recovery.  The upcoming weeks will reveal what may come next in the subsequent months to follow.

Will I Die Soon?

‘The Death Clock’ indicates I will die in 11 years and my bladder cancer stage and prognosis indicates my chances are slim to live after the next 5 years.

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Whether it be 5 years or 11 years, I need to live in the here and now.  I still have things to learn and more growing needs to take place.  That person I want to be should be now – I do not need to wait until it is too late.  Some of you may not understand this; but it makes perfect sense to me.

I have no idea when my time on this earth is going to end – but it continues to tick away.

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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Of course, … a course

Of course, I will take a course of action.

Of course, the man took a course in learning the new skill.

Of course, many runners ran a course along the street.

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I admit I was a poor student in school many years ago; honestly, I barely graduated high school and I did not attend college.  I had no interest in Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, English, well you get the idea.  The only subject I excelled in was Band – I was excellent in this subject.

Years later into my adulthood, I would start learning and applying myself to new subjects, topics and ideas.  It was my 30’s and I started to become interested in improving myself and took interest in areas that in my school years I just did not want to comprehend.

Today in my mid 50’s, I still am not an expert at anything, and consider myself above average on subjects taught in school those many years ago.  Since starting this blog 20 months ago, I have written a post every day.  Most my posts are written from my heart, soul and the words flow to written form.  I certainly am not the greatest speaker, well you know that – you have watched and heard many of my videos; so, my writing is not always the best and I know at times I have used grammar incorrectly.

It pleases me that no one corrects me – thank you.

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The posts I write, I read and re-read and proof read before publishing them on WP.  Once published, I read and re-read them again.  I say to myself I have written and published another great post, right?”  Well yes, the post itself could be considered great or good or at lease decent.  But what about the grammar?  Okay, after reading, re-reading, proofing, then reading and re-reading; darn it – I made a mistake.  I hate that, how did that happen?

At times my brain sees and reads something different than what I write.  In past posts, I write about my learning disabilities as a child, my internal struggles with myself; it is all here on my blog somewhere.  I make mistakes, I have shortcomings, and I am no expert at writing.

But I learn and I grow because, at this time in my life I am interested in learning; back in school many years ago, I was not.

What does Of course, … a course have to do with me learning and growing?  I wrote a post back in November; I read and re-read and proof read before publishing and once published, I read and re-read again.  My brain saw and read what it wanted to see other than what I wrote.

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Almost 2 months later, I read the post again; darn it – I made a mistake.  Did any of you catch it?  If you did, no one corrected me – thank you.

I want to correct it today.

The original words –

I respond “Well, Thackerville is in Oklahoma which is a course North of Texas.

The corrected words –

I respond “Well, Thackerville is in Oklahoma which is of course North of Texas.

Or I guess I could have written it this way –

I respond “Well, Thackerville is in Oklahoma which of course, is a course I have driven many times North of Texas.

My Best Version

I am wrapping-up some topics that I started to write about and never did finish.  This post I started early last year, and then it sat quietly waiting for me to complete it.

Because my OCD tells me that if I start something I must complete it; this also applies to posts I write – I will be bothered if I do not complete them – so, here I am finishing this post and concluding this topic.

This year will bring many different topics to write about and I have a feeling this one will not be one of them and will be left in the past.

So here we go –

In my post ‘BPD; is this me?‘, I wrote the following –

After I wrote this comment, I decided to do some online research on Borderline Personality Disorder, and after reading several websites, “Yes, this is me.”

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Image Provided by: http://www.timorahilly.co.uk

I do not recall ever receiving this diagnosis during my therapy years and I found that Borderline Personality Disorder was not an official diagnosable disorder until 1980.  The late 80s and the 90s are the years I received therapy that was really geared more for my depression, what was causing it and how to get through it.  There were never underlining disorders that were treated, but me knowing me and hindsight being 20/20 indicates I most likely had an underlining issue.

So, I decided to diagnosis myself and believe this is just one of many reasons for the person I am today.

In today’s post I write the following –

I have performed some additional research on Borderline Personality Disorder.  And the results are maybe I do not have BPD; maybe I am looking to label myself so that I can help myself – you know, find a cure for myself.  But then again, why do I need a label?  Why not view myself as an individual and work on myself as an individual.  All these years, this is what I have been doing.

Several months ago, I was watching a movie and heard the phrase ‘I spent a lifetime looking for a lifetime.’  That is what I have been doing all these years and I need no label – I am who I am.

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As my wonderful friend and fellow blogger Osyth put it in her magnificent post ‘One shaft of light that shows the way’ –

Death comes to us all and when it does there is no moment to regret the moments that you forgot to be thankful.  So I implore you to put politics aside, squish ill-will, banish anxiety about things you can’t fix and just be the best version of you that you can be.

I am trying to be the best version I can be.  With all my faults, short-comings and defects; I no longer need to label myself with Borderline Personality Disorder or anything else.

Life is short – I will die someday – I will die being the best version I can be.

Reveille

Many of you know Gary and I live in an RV park located on the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida.  As indicated in my post ‘Moment of Silence‘, NAS is home to the Blue Angels Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron.

Per wikipendia.org –

The air station also hosts the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) and the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute (NAMI), which provides training for all naval flight surgeons, aviation physiologists, and aviation experimental psychologists. With the closure of Naval Air Station Memphis in Millington, Tennessee and the transition of that facility to Naval Support Activity Mid-South, NAS Pensacola also became home to the Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC), providing technical training schools for nearly all enlisted aircraft maintenance and enlisted aircrew specialties in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard.

NAS Pensacola contains Forrest Sherman Field, home of Training Air Wing SIX, providing undergraduate flight training for all prospective Naval Flight Officers for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, and flight officers/navigators for other NATO/Allied/Coalition partners. TRAWING SIX consists of the Training Squadron 4 (VT-4) Warbucks, Training Squadron 10 (VT-10) Wildcats and Training Squadron 86 (VT-86) Sabrehawks, flying the T-45C Goshawk, and T-6A Texan II.

NAS is home to many military and civilian personal who live and work on or near the base.  Every day I witness young enlisted individuals training and I view them coming and going to their classes and/or jobs.  Interactions with these individuals are always pleasant and respectful.

NAS is a large base; spread-out and therefore has many speakers located for communication.  These speakers are also used for reveille.

merriam-webster.com has the following –

 Full Definition of reveille

:  a signal to get up mornings

:  a bugle call at about sunrise signaling the first military formation of the day; also:  the formation so signaled

In the mornings after reveille, the National Anthem is played.  In the United States, we play the National Anthem before sporting events and sometimes other types of activities where large amounts of people are gathered.  I would acknowledge the song and maybe sing along with it or, maybe not.  Since living at NAS, that has changed; I feel differently when I hear this song now.  The song has more meaning for me.  Why?

No matter where on the base one is – when the National Anthem is played in the morning or evening, everyone stops what they are doing and gives their attention.  Military personal both active and retired salute and civilians with their hand on their heart.  My heart pounds as I am stopped in my tracks and begin singing the National Anthem – what an honor.

The National Anthem has new meaning for me – as does reveille.

New Habit

I decided since it is the last month of the year, I would wrap up some topics that I started to write about and never did finish.  This post I started earlier this year, and then it sat quietly waiting for me to complete it.

Because my OCD tells me that if I start something I must complete it; this also applies to posts I write – I will be bothered if I do not complete them – so, here I am finishing this post and concluding this topic.

I believe next year will bring many different topics to write about and I have a feeling this one will not be one of them and will be left in the past.

So here we go –

This past year was significant for me – I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Bladder Cancer.

Here are some excerpts from previous posts I wrote since the beginning of this blog back in May, 2015 referring to smoking –

Post: My Life My Way

I am currently 55, so I am expected to die in 21 years.  And then take into account I need to minus an additional 10 years because I am a smoker, this takes me down to 11 years before I die.  Interesting to think about; I have 11 years before I die.  I am unsure why I am writing about this particular subject except to say, I really am not afraid to die and really have no doubts for those bad behaviors that could cause my death – I am living my life my way.

Post: Smoking Past – Smoking Present

On social media, I recently read about a person’s encounter with people who smoke.  This person observed a smoker who had no teeth, was coughing and had a ‘smoker’s voice’.  This person wrote that is was clear to them that this was cancer waiting to happen.

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Image Provided by: http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Post: Early Morning Rambling Thoughts

So today is day #5 without smoking and day #4 knowing I have bladder cancer.

Post: Decisions, Choices, cause and effect

As they have made decisions and lived with the outcomes, the results and consequences, so have I. I made decisions in my life to smoke and then to stop and start again and stop only to start again.  The smoking picked me with regards to giving me bladder cancer.  Yes, I did think about the consequences of my actions, but made the decision anyway.

Post: A Breakup Letter

I love you –

But your toxic love created harm in me.

I will miss you, but will move on, because you know –

I love me –

Terry

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Image Provided by: health.clevelandclinic.org

Today, I end with the following thoughts –

January 27, 2016, the day I quit smoking.  That is the day the new habit began.

What once brought me comfort and pleasure is no longer in my life.  Smoking most likely is a factor in my bladder cancer and it may be the death of me.  I deal with and accept the consequences of my actions.