I still do my best

I ended last Friday’s post ‘my character‘, with this quote –

Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.

Walter Anderson

In today’s post, I write the following –

Yes, bad things do happen; to all of us.

Friday of last week I had my first appointment with my new Urologist Dr. G.  This visit’s main purpose is for the continuation of care for my surgery I had 3 months ago.  Because surgery recovery is going well without complications, I will not be seeing Dr. G. on a regular basis.  Dr. G. is part of the Moffitt Cancer Center where I am receiving my Oncology services and chemotherapy treatment.  Because I am under the care of my Oncologist Dr. L., I would only see Dr. G. if there were an advancement of my cancer in my urinary system.

Due to the pain I have experienced since my surgery 3 months ago, I was referred to pain management at the Moffitt Cancer Center.  This week I had an appointment with pain management to discuss the possibilities of relieving my pain.  It was decided in upcoming weeks I will have 2 appointments to receive a Facet Injection in my lumbar spine.  The injection helps to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.  I am hoping these injections will provide the pain relief I want so I can reduce or even stop taking pain medications.

Currently my pain management involves taking pain pills and other medications to reduce inflammation.  I perform as much activities as my body allows with somedays better than others when it comes to the amount of stamina I have.

Next week I have another chemotherapy treatment and the following week I will have appointments with a Neurologist and Ostomy Wound Care.  The Neurologist may also be able to help in finding the source of my pain and help in relief.  Remember back in January I had surgery to remove my bladder and other organs.  I now have an ostomy bag that collects my urine.  The opening in my abdominal area to divert my urine is called a stoma.  I am having a mild issue with my stoma and therefore an appointment with the Ostomy Wound Care will help with this issue.

My hope is in the next couple of weeks the pain will be under control without the continuation of taking pain medications.  Currently these pain medications cause much drowsiness and tiredness which results in limitations of activities.

I do not sit in perpetual sadness – but I do sit a lot due to tiredness.

I am not immobilized by gravity of my loss – I believe the energy level will come back.

I do my best to rise from the pain and treasure the gift of life – though difficult at times, I still do my best.

Bad things do happen, and it is how I respond to them that defines my character.

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quality of life………… (or lack of it)

Several weeks ago in my post ‘Pain Explained?‘, I concluded with the following words –

My friends, it is a good bet the cancer is in other Lymph Nodes in my body and based on other symptoms I am experiencing, it could also be in my bones.

Could the pain I have experienced for 10 weeks now be a result of Lymph Nodes and Bones?

I will receive answers and have more information next week.

In today’s post, I write the following words –

With the recent move to Tampa, Florida and change in healthcare, comes more doctor visits, appointments and more medications.

The transition to this area is a struggle with regards to finding new doctors and scheduling the appointments.

My insurance provider is through the military and they can easily change my location.  Now that we are in our new location, I was assigned a new Primary Care Manager (PCM), who handles most if not all the referrals I need for specialist care.

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goodqualityoflife.com.au

Prior to leaving Pensacola, Florida, I was able to get my Urologist Dr. P. to refer me to see an Oncologist in Tampa for 2 visits.  This is how I have able to see my current Oncologist Dr. L. and have my subsequent tests a couple of weeks ago.

Last week, I had my first visit with my new PCM Dr. T., who is the head of Internal Medicine at the MacDill Air Force Base medical facility.  Now that this visit has taken place, I can continue to have referrals made to Dr. L. at Moffitt Cancer Center.

As mentioned in the beginning of this post, it was thought the pain I have experienced since my surgery may be a result of cancer being in my Lymph Nodes and Bones.

It appears no cancer is in my bones and though I do have cancer in the Lymph Nodes in my lumbar area; Dr. L. indicates it would not cause the pains I am experiencing.

I have 2 specific pains that are causing me discomfort in my daily activities.   Because of these 2 separate pains’ intensity and consistency I have been and continue to be on a large amount of pain medications.  Overtime the pains have increased and so have the pain medications.  My quality of everyday life it not good and I am not enjoying life at all right now.

And now with chemotherapy treatment again, I will struggle more so if the pains are not controlled.

20170416_194313There is much to do here in the Tampa area and so many other activities that Gary and I would like to do – but I am unable to do them at this time.  Between the pain and the side effects of the drugs I am taking, I just cannot do much at all.  This bothers me, I want Gary to enjoy his life and I want to enjoy mine as well.

Now that I have my new PCM Dr. T., I hope to find the reasons for these pains and find a resolution to stopping them or treating them so that my quality of life becomes better.

My Life; part of the blues?

From my post ‘find the humor‘, my friend and fellow blogger tcriggs over at Canary in the coalmine left the following comment –

Love this! thanks!

Btw… the post today on my blog, is for you… please stop by. I hope you like it!

I visited tciggs’ blog and read the post ‘If you fail to succeed, but do so Epically… did you actually succeed?’, that concluded with the following –

CONFESSION:

My husband is a singer/songwriter incognito… (he even sings one I wrote! *gasp*)… Still, as an avid music lover, and having a freakishly weird unintentional skill (yes, even commercials!) for remembering notes, chords, and lyrics… he plays covers now and again.

You know…Those favorite songs that speak to him.

One of the songs he plays and sings is by Sun Volt, called “Windfall” on acoustic guitar. (I tried to get him to let me record him… to no avail… sorry! But, I have evil plans for the future… stay tuned… )

Anyways… Quite literally, every time I hear him play this song… I think of the blogger ‘Spearfruit’… (Terry), dealing with some pretty heavy sh*t these days…

I can’t explain why… like I said, but when I hear it, I think of him.

I can say with certainty; I immediately wish him well and healthy…

I left a comment appreciating the mention and wanted to respond also in a post –

I am always touched when I am mentioned in another blogger’s post – as I consider myself no different than anyone else.

Per my ‘About Me’ page –

So, what makes my life more special than others? Well nothing really. The difference is this is my life that I am writing about.

I visited Son Volt’s website and read their BIO page.

Their BIO seems familiar to my life and me; here are some excerpts –

“There are only two kinds of songs,” Townes Van Zandt said, well before he died. “There’s the blues, and there’s zip-a-dee-doo-dah.” The new Son Volt album is titled Notes of Blue.

… “For years I’ve been drawn to the passion, common struggle and possibility for redemption that’s always been a part of the blues. Everyone has to pay the rent and get along with their significant others, so many of the themes are universal. For me, the blues fills that void that’s there for religion, really. That’s the place I turn to be lifted up.”

Why does this song and this group remind tciggs of me?  Maybe the answer is in some lyrics –

Now and then it keeps you running

It never seems to die

The trail’s spent with fear

Not enough living on the outside

Never seem to get far enough

Staying in between the lines

Hold on to what you can

Waiting for the end

Not knowing when

May the wind take your troubles away

May the wind take your troubles away

Both feet on the floor, two hands on the wheel,

May the wind take your troubles away

Trying to make it far enough, to the next time zone

Few and far between past the midnight hour

Never feel alone, you’re really not alone

Come & Go

One Lovely Blog Award Border

Come & Go, I see it often

Sometimes I think about is it them or me

If it is me than I cannot be soften

One Lovely Blog Award BorderI am me & they are them

And we cannot all agree

But is it me, her or him

One Lovely Blog Award Border& I try my best to be for all

Though I know this is beyond my control

I do my best to make the call

One Lovely Blog Award BorderCome & Go, I see it more and more

But that is ok, because I myself sometimes

Will take advantage and even the score

One Lovely Blog Award Border

Valiant Blogger Award

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Recently my friend and fellow blogger Dolly nominated me for an award.  Thank you Dolly for nominating me for the Valiant Blogger Award; I am deeply honored.

Dolly and I have recently started following each other’s blogs and I feel fortunate our virtual paths have crossed.  Dolly, born in Russia is sharing her recipes on her blog koolkosherkitchen.  Please click her blog site name and visit her blog, you will not be disappointed.

If you visit the Hall of Valor you will find the following about this award –

The Valiant Blogger Award is for the blogger who is brave and courageous.  It is dedicated to someone who, despite being faced with the most difficult obstacles in life, chooses to fight on and never give up.  It is for the lionhearted, one who faces fears and challenges, who has become an inspiration to others along the way. 

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The rules of the award are –

1.Post the award on your blog.

2.Provide a link to the Hall of Valor

3.In 200 words or less, share about the greatest challenge in your life and HOW you got through it.

4.Give one piece of advice to people who are struggling with something in their life.

5.Thank the person who nominated you, and nominate a new blogger for the award.

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Many of you know I am dealing with cancer and most recently had a major surgery to remove organs that cancer had invaded.  After a couple of minor surgeries and chemotherapy last year you would think this is what I would use as my greatest challenge in my life.  But, it is not.

Back in July of last year, I wrote a post ‘Mother Mary‘, in which I wrote the following –

I talked with my mom a couple of weeks ago about this upcoming surgery, the most recent one; and I had told her, I said this is not the end, I feel it, I just know there is more to come.

And I told her also that I will get through it because this is not my greatest battle, my greatest battle has already occurred.  It was that depression, that great depression within me, about me that wanted to bring me down, wanted to end my life, kill me, destroy me – and I battled back, I found the strength and courage and I won that battle.  I overcame that which wanted to beat me down to nothing.

October of last year in my post ‘My Greatest Fight‘, I concluded with the following words –

At times of weakness I remind myself of the inner strength I have and the good mood returns.  As the fight and the battle continue, so does the mood continue to be good; for a good mood is strength to battle any fight.

This may not be my greatest battle; for now, this is my greatest fight.

My advice to everyone; no matter the struggle, battle or fight taking place –

From my post ‘strength‘ –

So, my post is about strength; I think that it is probably in all of us, it is in all of us somewhere.  And when we need it the most, I think we all can reach deep down and grab it and use it and get through any difficult situations we may be going through.  

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The person I wish to nominate does not usually accept awards and she is deserving of many of them.  I am going to nominate her anyway because she is an inspiration to me and has had her share of difficult obstacles in which she never gave up and she overcame.

My nomination is Lynn over at LYNZ REAL COOKING

(Lynn, you are in no way obligated to respond or accept this award.)

Where is my roadmap?

Where is my roadmap?  Or, I guess I should ask where is my GPS?

I could use Google Maps or MapQuest, Bing Maps or one of the many device app maps that are available to me.

At times, I ask where is my map?

My generation and generations before me used the Rand McNally paper maps when we traveled.  I guess these paper maps are now obsolete; but one can still receive them from their website.  If you are interested in a US Map, State Map, Regional Map or any other map, check out Rand McNally’s website – RAND MCCALLY STORE

Recently I was thinking about needing a map for life or maybe the correct word is roadmap.  For me there are times in my life I thought I needed a map of sorts – something to help me along the way – something to assist me in finding my destination.

Through my life there have been side destinations that were reached or short visits until I was ready to move again to the final destination.  That final destination I am referring to is death.

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Death the final destination has been on my mind for all my life and the road to it at times very rough.  I need a map to help me and at times it was made available to me in some form.

There is really no map available to us that explains where to go, what turns to make and when we should come to a complete stop before moving again.  Yes, I know there are religious texts, self-help books and other printed media that can help us, provide advice, and steer us to a better life.

I ask sometimes, what good is a map going to do for me?  It cannot foresee all that is ahead of me on the road; the obstacles, the accidents and the hazards and yes, the detours.

Many times I have driven without a map and just drove being careful along the way and making my way down this road of life.  I have made many mistakes; taken several wrong turns and made bad decisions that took me down roads that were dark and filled with unknowns.

Help and support signpost

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I ask that those mistakes, wrong turns and bad decisions not be used against me once the final destination is reached.  Today and most likely tomorrow I will continue to make some bad decisions and make some wrong turns and again the road at times will seem long.

There is no Rand McNally Map, GPS or device app, no roadmap or book that explains where to go and what turns to make; just manuals to guide us along the way.

Big Day Monday

For over a year now, a long road has been taken to bring me to this point in my life.

A few words before the day –

Big Day Monday

(Note: my reference to the weather in Florida does not pertain to the whole state because a large portion is sunny and warm this time of year.  I am currently located in Pensacola, Florida and yes, it certainly does become cold here this time of the year)

Happy Year

Today 1 year ago, my post started with the following –

Happy New Year Everyone!

As I start this New Year, I first wanted to say ‘Thank You’ to each and every one of you that read my blog.  When I started this a little over 7 months ago I really had no idea where it would take me.  Really I was at a point where I was not doing much in my life.  At that time I knew my extreme Christmas decorating was not going to take place, so I had time on my hands to do something else.  And with me retired and not working, I have time on my hands.  So, what should I do?  I have always had the idea of writing a book about my life, I felt for me that was important.  But, deep inside I knew that would most likely not occur as I consider myself not a writer – I do not know where to start in writing a book.

So there I was last year with time on my hands and wondering what I should be doing with my time.  I could start a blog about me and my life; and that is what I did.  Would anyone read my blog about me and my life?  Would anyone really care about those things in my life that brought me to here today and a new year?  But I am not a writer; would people read and criticize my writing?  Should I expose the true me and everything about me?

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In today’s post, I write the following –

Happy 2017 Everyone!

The first day of 2016, I had no knowledge of what that year would bring.

The first day of 2017, I have some knowledge of what this year will bring.

I never write words that are not the truth and I never pretend to be something I am not.

This blog, my blog is about me and my life; my thinking, my emotions, my feelings, my experiences, and events that shape me.

I am privileged to have a platform to write and express me.

I am privileged to have a platform to read and comprehend you.

I write often ‘I appreciate you’, ‘Happy Day’ in posts and comments.

I do not have other words to describe my feelings for you who read my posts.

I will never have words that exactly describe my feelings for the support I receive here.

My wish is each of you have a year full happiness and whatever the journey you are on, that you never give up hope.

I will continue to write and post and I certainly will never give up hope.

I appreciate you, truly I do – happy year my friends.

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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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Image Provided by: The Great Doodle Project

 

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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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.