A Few Days in the Hospital

My friends, I am in the hospital for a few days.

There have been several events that have happened since this past weekend that I want to write about.

I am behind on writing posts.

I am behind on responding to comments.

I am behind on reading your posts.

I am in the hospital with the hopes of identifying the source of my extreme intense pain I have experienced for weeks now.

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I need relief desperately.  In the hospital, I have a pain pump and other sources available to me to help comfort me in reducing the pain.

My posts may be a little short in size and subject matter the next couple of days.

I have many things to tell you and to write about and comments I need to respond to.

Thank you for your understanding as I deal with this expected turn of events.

Have ‘A Happy Day’ everyone.

so Late so Soon?

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Image Provided by: Recipes for the EFL Classroom

The last several days have proven to be time consuming for me.

I published a post yesterday and yesterday did not respond to comments.

How did it get so late so soon?

The last several days many activities have taken place.

I promise to about in future posts.

Be patient with me as I slowly catch-up on comments.

Be patient with me as I slowly catch-up on reading your posts.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Image Provided by: Pinterest

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

for as long as possible

Last Friday’s post ‘10+‘, I wrote the following –

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Crazy Things My Brain Says – blogger

The pain in my right groin area has increased. This first started with just an occasional pain and now is constant.  This groin pain as well as my other pains is affecting my walking, sitting and standing and I have extreme difficulty sleeping at night.  I currently am experiencing many different pains daily and they are all becoming worse.

My current cancer, pain and health condition were discussed with the Radiation Oncologist Dr. M.

This past Monday’s post ‘simulation then radiation‘, I wrote the following –

You may remember from my post ‘Looking for Pain Relief‘, I mentioned my 2nd appointment with Pain Management, I will receive a Superior Hypogastric Nerve Block.

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The reason for this procedure is due to the increase pain in my groin area.  This procedure is also more precise in blocking nerve pain in the pelvic region.  This procedure will be a ‘simulation’; meaning temporary, and if it seems to work, then another procedure will take place for long acting pain relief.

This first ‘simulation’ procedure is scheduled for this Friday.

My hope is between this procedure and the radiation treatment, I can finally find some relief to this incredible pain I have experienced for months now.

In today’s post, I write 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.

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Image Provided by: Emedicine Medscape

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.

This past Tuesday, I had an appointment with my Oncologist Dr. L. and we discussed my future treatment once the radiation is completed.  It was decided I would begin immunotherapy with a drug called ‘Tecentriq’.  This drug has recently been approved by FDA and can provide people hope of living longer.  Though this immunotherapy treatment only has a success of extending a longer life of 10% to 15%.  This is a higher rate than some chemotherapy drugs.

This treatment uses my own immune system to help in slowing the tumor growth.  I will receive a treatment once every three weeks for four cycles upon which a scan will take place to determine if the immunotherapy is working or not.  Upon the results of the scan will determine what will take place next.  Either the immunotherapy will be working or not – time will tell.

There are always side effects to any drug, and Tecentriq is no exception.  20170416_194313 (2)Since this affecting my immune system, my normal healthy tissues and organs can be attacked as well.  I also can experience the usual side effects of nausea, loss of appetite, constipation and tiredness.

As mentioned in previous posts, I will again remind everyone.  There is no cure to my cancer and the treatments I am receiving are to extend my life for as long as possible.

I like routines, do you? – A Fresh Perspective

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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 15, 2015 –

rou·tine

/ro͞oˈtēn/

1. a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.

“I settled down into a routine of work and sleep”

synonyms: procedure, practice, pattern, drill, regimen;

I like routines, do you?  We all have them in our everyday life; we follow them without even thinking about them.  We have routines in all parts of our lives: personal, work, social, family, relationships.

Think about it, everything we do every day is a routine.  What do you do first thing in the morning upon rising?  How do you dress yourself, left sock first or right sock first?  How do you open your car door and what is the first thing you do in the car, start it first and then put your seat belt on or buckle your seat belt then start the car?  Do you have a routine of what time to eat your meals every day, when to exercise, when to run errands or what day of the week to do laundry?

I like routines, do you?  I like them because for me personally they keep me stable, sane and balanced.  Routines are constant and constant is familiarity: knowing something, feeling close to it and feeling good about it.  Routines that are constant keep us focused and not having to put much effort into them, they are as natural as breathing, sleeping, seeing, hearing and thinking.  They just occur and we let them take us through our day.

I like routines, do you?  Routines can sometimes not be good for us and may even cause harm, pain, heartache, suffering, stagnation and yes even death.  Am I the only one who thinks about these things, about routines and how they control us?  Really think about it.  I have routines I live by every day of my life, both good ones and bad ones.  I allow them to control me to the point, that if one routine changes, it causes me to become disturbed and I let the change in routine ruin my day.  I am trying to change the results I experience due to the changed routines in my life.  Doing things differently is good at times, some routines need to be changed and with that change brings acceptance and freedom.

I like routines, do you?

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A Fresh Perspective –

I still like my routines, but I no longer allow them to control me and ruin my day if they change.  When this post was originally published Gary and I were living in a 4000-sq. ft. home and therefore I had my time and space to myself in the mornings, which I greatly enjoyed.  Today we live in a 300-sq. ft. RV and the morning routine at times changes daily.  And that is okay, I have learned to let go and as they say, ‘Go with the flow’.

Downward Palms

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

Downward Palms

Downward Palms –

Palms will grow with light

Palms will grow with water

Palms will grow to great height

Palms will grow toward that which provides

Palms grow upward

Palms grow sideward

Palms growing downward

Palms growing downward, maybe deceiving

Palms growing sideward, maybe believing

Palms growing upward, always relieving

..just to put death off

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

It has been written in a comment on this very blog that I think about death too often.  I responded with a comment, that I do not think I do and just keep it in my mind to remind myself to live each day to the fullest one day at a time.

It could be I do think about death too often.

It many early posts, I wrote about my ‘depression years’, my struggles with life and myself and my attempted suicides and psychiatric hospital stay and years & years of therapy and so much more.  It is all here on my blog somewhere and honestly I think ‘it’ will be forgotten about someday.

That ‘it’ is my writings, these posts, this blog and me.

Recently I have thought about death again; it is on my mind.  Folks, my body is tired and my mind is tired and I do not look forward much to anything.  I know I need to look ahead and think positive and find the strength; but that part of me that battled me down so many, many years ago, wants to do it again.  My life is so very different than 30 years ago; I am wiser and I have more knowledge and I have someone who truly cares for me.

But here I am again thinking about death – the ending of my life.

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

The difference is this time, I will not attempt to take my own life, no I did learn something those decades ago.  Does it make sense that if I become pessimistic and down that I am giving cancer control and therefore I am committing suicide?

I do at times feel my death is near, maybe not in the very near future, but in the not so distant future.

There are countless posts with me writing about being strong, optimistic and trying to be a good person and live a good life.  I struggle and fail many days and want to give up or give in and say to hell with it.  We all are going to die someday – why do I want to fight just to extend my life?

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I feel at times it does not really matter to others and especially to myself.

I do not want to die before my parents do and I do not want to die before Gary.  Not that I want any of them to die soon, but I do not want to put them through having to deal with my death.  I think that sounds selfish on my part.

I think about the whole purpose in life, why are we here, what should I be learning about in this thing called life?

I do not understand it, and yes, at times I want it to end.

But, being selfish and wanting it to end sooner than later – what does that accomplish?

I believe it accomplishes nothing – than again being optimistic, receiving treatment for cancer and overcoming another struggle just to put death off a little longer – what does that accomplish?

What the hell?

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

What the Hell

What the hell? –

As the yoga session progressed, so did the poses.

Who knew this extension would be of such great benefit?

The widening of the extremities along with the pulling back of the neck were difficult.

But the result of this pose would increase the range of motion and strengthen the core.

It was feeling great until that thing blew in.

You know, that thing that blew in my mouth.

What the hell is in my mouth?

MacDill AFB

Some excerpts from wikipedia.org

MacDill Air Force Base, located in south Tampa, was constructed as MacDill Field, a U.S. Army Air Corps, later U.S. Army Air Forces, installation just prior to World War II. With the establishment of the U.S. Air Force as an independent service in 1947, it became MacDill Air Force Base.

MacDill AFB is also home to the headquarters for two of the U.S. military’s joint warfighting combatant commands: Headquarters, United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), and Headquarters, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Both commands are independent from one another and each is commanded by a respective 4-star general or admiral. Two additional sub-unified commands are also headquartered at MacDill AFB: Commander, United States Marine Corps Forces Central Command (COMUSMARCENT), commanded by a 3-star general, and United States Special Operations Command Central (USSOCCENT), commanded by a 2-star general.

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I could copy and paste much more information from Wikipedia – if you are interested please click the above link.

MacDill AFB is our new home for the next 6 months.

I wanted to share some pictures with you today.

This base is beautiful and I have just begun to take photos of it.

Over the course of our stay, I plan to take many more pictures.