286,750

Today is the 24th month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

WAIT!!

It is not just 24 months, but 2 years!

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When I started this blog 2 years ago today, I had no idea where I was going with it and where it would take me.

I just decided at that time 2 years ago I wanted to write about my life; after all I had been thinking about it for; well, all my life.

For this post, I debated on whether I should reveal to you my stats, are they really important?  Do you really care about them?

I do look at my stats, but I don’t put a great deal of time into analyzing them.

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But, it is 2 years today that I have been writing about my life – so I must give some sort of figure that is significant to what I am doing here on WP.

These are the only stats I am revealing –

I have written 752 posts.

If I were to count the words in those post (and I did), it would be 286,750.  (yes, I actually went back to verify the word count – OCD?)

My goal for year 1 – to publish one post per day.  I easily accomplished this goal with some days publishing 2 posts.

My goal for year 2 – again to publish one post per day, I again easily accomplished this goal because my cancer gave me more to write about.

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My goal for year 3 – I am unsure as of today it I can publish one post per day.  It is not that I do not have enough to write about, it is about finding the time.  You might think to yourself since I do not work, I would have plenty of time on my hands – and I do.

The problem is because of my cancer and the effects it is having on me, I am needing to rest more, somedays all day.  Much of my time right now is consumed with rest and sleep and that takes away from my writing.  Plus, the pain pills I am on make me drowsy and this is affecting my concentration and overall thinking.

So, I am making no promises about publishing one post a day.  I have a few ideas about making it easier for me to do so; we shall see if I can incorporate these ideas soon.  Again, my time is being stolen by rest and sleep and the concentration skills are lacking.

So, year 3 begins today and never would I have imagined I would make it this far.  I never imagined I would have written 752 posts.  I never imagined I would write 286,750 words.

I also never would have imagined I would have cancer.

I refer to it as my cancer, because it belongs to no one else, just me.  My cancer is attacking my body the way it wants to, the way it sees fit to.  And right now, my cancer is attaching very toughly.

I am fighting back, but I will be honest, my strength is becoming limited and weak.

I continue to do my best to write and publish one post per day – this is a goal – I need a goal at this time in my life.  No goals leave me with nothing to keep me focus, even when that focus is difficult at times.

I want to thank you all for following my blog and for your comments of support and encouragement.  I have many wonderful friendships that are priceless.  You helped me write those 752 posts with 286,750 words.  I want to continue to write posts and words for as long as my body allows; because I enjoy seeing and hearing from you each day.  I enjoy the communication with you, the many wonderful friends from all over the world.

You brighten my day; and for that I say, ‘Thank you and have a Happy Day’.

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Today is the 24th month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

..just to put death off

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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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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?

United We Stand

In many of my posts I mention that I currently live on the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida.  I would like to think I bring a unique perspective when writing about my experiences and feelings while living here.  In my post ‘Reveille‘, I wrote about the pounding of my heart when I hear on the loud speakers the National Anthem after reveille.  In my post ‘Moment of Silence‘, I wrote about taking a moment of silence to observe and honor the death of one of the Blue Angels pilots.

These events and experiences have changed me and I see some things differently.

Do I have a different perspective today than I once had?

Yes, I do have a different perspective today about many things because of where I am living and my health and what I am living with and without.

Living on a military base can change perspective.

Living with cancer can change perspective.

Living with less possessions can change perspective.

On the Naval Air Station, I see young women and men training, working and serving this country.  They stand tall and proud and I see sincerity in them and this has me thinking about the importance of this country to me and those around me.

Last year I had minor surgeries, chemotherapy and most recently a major surgery.  At this point in time parts of my future are unknown with regards to what comes next with my cancer journey.

I stand tall and proud and I think about the importance of others in my life that are helping me through a difficult time.

Today I live with much less as last year the downsizing was completed and living minimal is taking place.  What a relief to have less and realize the importance of it.

The military enlisted, those serving I salute you and honor you and say ‘Thank you’.

Those around me helping me through a difficult time, I appreciate you and want to say ‘Thank you’.

And to my husband, the one who is always beside me, you are amazing and to you I say ‘Thank you’.

Some lyrics from the song ‘United We Stand’ –

There’s no where in the world that I would rather be

Then with you my love

And there’s nothing in the world that I would rather see

Than you smile my love

For united we stand. Divided we fall

And if our backs should ever be against the wall

We’ll be together, Together, you and I

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.

Hello, anyone out there?

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

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Hello, anyone out there? –

She was alone in a vast wilderness in search of something.  What was her purpose and what would be instore for her today?  The usual perimeter walk takes place to ensure no intruders have invaded the backwoods.  As always there would be the walk around the large body of blue water and the hard surfaced area surrounding it.  Then back to the grasslands to ensure the site was safe, and then there is was!  What was it?  Those eyes, that smell, the silence of it – what was it?  As quickly as it was seen, it began to hurry along the border in a quick manner of unseen speed.  She following, chasing and speaking “Stop!  Stop!  Stop I say!”  The predator proceeding in the attempt to catch the unwelcomed intruder again speaking “Stop! Stop!”

As quickly as the intruder had appeared, it vanished outside the border system and was no longer in site!  What was it!  She was still lurking, sniffing with those eyes fixed on the spot of exit.  Slowly she approached and peered into the outer world and the words were spoken “Hello, anyone out there?”

Bits and Pieces?

In my post ‘Hallelujah‘, I wrote the following –

A memory from my many years of depression and one very low point of many –

The apartment is sparse, my kids are gone fulltime from my life, I am struggling financially and my mind, my thinking and actions seem to ruin everything and everyone, including myself.

The room is dark, I sit in a corner, crouched, lonely and crying profusely and asking God –

“Why?”

“Why are you putting me through this?  What did I do, that you want to punish me?”

“I can’t do this, I do not have the strength; I have lost everything and everyone that means so much to me.”

“Why, God?”

I grew up as Baptist and my grandmother was a very religious woman and lived her life as we all should.  I remember going to church with her when I was very young – but stopped attending when I became older.  Prior to my ‘depression’ years I did not have a relationship with God and today the relationship is different.

“How could you put me through this?”

“You are not a fair God?”

“They say you are a good God; but you cannot be, I don’t understand, I hate you!”

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In today’s post I write the following –

What do I know about religion?  Not much, except that I have been to church before.  What do I know about God?  Not much, except I guess I have some type of relationship with God or a God.  I currently do not go to church: I stopped attending many years ago.  My religious and/or spiritual believes have changed over the years.

But am I bits and pieces of God or a God?

When I talk and act or pray and think, is someone or something listening?

Do they or he or them or her keep an eye out on me?

Are all of us bits and pieces of God or a God?

The religion I grew up with taught me I was created in the image of God.  The religion I grew up with taught me we all are created in the image of God.  So does that mean God is all of us?  Or are we what we think God is?

Could my God and your God be one in the same?  Could we all be part of the God we believe in?

I ask many questions and have no real, definite answers. I stopped going to church many years ago and my relationship with God is different.

But am I bits and pieces of God or a God?

At times I talk with someone or something; is it God or a God?  I like to think whoever or whatever is listening, is really listening!

In my post ‘Life in a Petri Dish‘, I concluded with the following –

The more I ask, the more I do not know the answers.  So in the interim, while I am here in this world existing and struggling, I will continue to grow, attempt to gain an understanding, fight the good fight, and find a purpose.  I will leave this world someday and my hope is that God will say to me ‘You passed the test!’ or that something, someone that is greater than me will say ‘He was a good specimen.’ in the life in a petri dish.

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In today’s post, I conclude with the following –

Am I bits and pieces of God or a God?

 

What is meditation teaching me?

Meditation – why are you in my life?  I asked you to join me and help me, to improve me, to take me and bring me to a better place.

Meditation – why are you in my life?  I asked you to teach me, to build me, to journey with me to a better life.

Meditation has joined with me and helps me, though a slow process for me, it is improving me.  Meditation is taking me to a quieter mind and bringing me back to be in the moment, at this time at this place; a better place.  Meditation is teaching me, though a slow process for me, to have additional patience, improved concentration and to have calmness during times of interruptions.

It is early morning and the exercising is over and now I meditate.  The room is dark and the windows with the blinds open; pass through faint light from the darkness that still encompasses this part of the world.  The sounds from beyond the walls out in the world of the early morning are faint and non-intruding.  The next 22 minutes and 25 seconds I sit in silence on the floor concentrating on the breath, posture and mind.

Sitting in this position and concentrating on the breath is teaching me patience.  There are times I am restless and want to move on the next activity of the morning routine.  The breath is back in focus and the mind again will concentrate on that which will calm it and improve the patience.  This mindfulness will continue to be available later in the day when the patience wants to be in short supply.  I am learning to find the patience in everything else that comes my way.  Do I always succeed, no – but I must have patience in learning patience.

Sitting in this position and concentrating on the breath is teaching me concentration.  Many times I am losing my concentration and the mind will wander. At times sitting the wandering takes place for what seems to be quite a while.  The breath is back in focus and the mind again will concentrate on the moment, in the present.  This mindfulness will continue to be available later in the day when the concentration is broken and once again starts to wander.  I am learning to find concentration in everything else that comes my way.  Do I always succeed, no – but I must concentrate on learning concentration.

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Sitting in this position, the interruptions come and go; physically and mentally, they come and go.  The breath is back in focus and the mind again will release the frustration of these interruptions and take me back to a better place.  This mindfulness will continue to be available later in the day when the interruptions occur.  I am learning when those interruptions occur, to have patience and to concentrate on that which is in the moment.  Do I always succeed, no – but I must not interrupt the interruption.

What is meditation teaching me?

Queer, Geek, Gay

In my post ‘Easy to Label, Easy to Judge‘, I wrote the following –

So the phrase ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ is such an easy phrase, but difficult to abide by.  Why is this?  I remember in high school labeling other students.  You had the ‘jocks’, the ‘socialites’, the ‘nerds’, and the ‘band queers’ to name a few.  Not sure what labels are used today in high school, but in society we have labels such as ‘losers’, ‘the 1%’, ‘slut’, ‘retard’, ‘homo’, ‘illegal aliens’  you get the idea.

In today’s post, I write the following –

In school I was labeled ‘band queer’, but was I really?

urbandictionary.com has the following –

Band Queer – a band nerd from the 70’s who wore high pants, big glasses, and blue buttoned-up band sweaters to match other nerds.

-“did you see that one nerdy kid with the clarinet? his outfit is revolting!”

-“yeah, i heard he was a band queer.”

band queer – a member of a band who is so devoted to their trade that it will dominate all parts of their life, making them socially unacceptable. Later in life they will have no career other than teaching future band queers.

Mr. Donello over there was a band queer when he was a kid. Now he teaches music class.

In school I was labeled ‘geek’, but was I really?

urbandictionary.com has the following –

geek – The people you pick on in high school and wind up working for as an adult

-The geeky kid now owns a million dollar software company

Geek – Not to be confused with Nerd. A geek does not have to be smart, a Geek is someone who is generaly not athletic, and enjoys Video Games; Comic Books; being on the internet, and etc.

-Only a geek would waste their time on the internet, defining geek on urbandictionary.com

In today’s society, I am labeled ‘gay’, but am I really?

urbandictionary.com has the following –

gay – happy. joyful. gleeful.

-‘we’ll have a gay old time’.

-The Flintstone’s theme song

I don’t fit these labels, I never have and I never will, so why were they given to me?

Yes, I was in band for several school years, and at one time I may have worn big glasses, but not high pants.  During my 7th & 8th grade years the blue buttoned-up band sweaters were actually green and yes I did match the other band members.  I should have never received this label – it created judgement.

Yes, I was not very smart in school and was not athletic and I do like being on the internet, and at one time I did play video games.  I never did really enjoy comic books, and I do not own a million dollar software company; but I did retire at an early age.  I should have never received this label – it created judgement.

Yes, there are times in my life that I was and am happy, joyful and gleeful, but not always having a gay old time?  I should not receive this label – it creates judgement.

Spring Cleaning

A week ago today was the first day of spring – well for me anyway.

almanac.com has the following –

Astronomically speaking, the spring equinox falls on March 19 or March 20, 2016. Here are all the Equinox times for North American time zones this year:

  • Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 9:30 PM PDT
  • Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 10:30 PM MDT
  • Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 11:30 PM CDT
  • Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 12:30 AM EDT

Did you know this is the earliest spring of our lives thus far?

Wikipedia.org has the following about spring cleaning –

Spring cleaning is the practice of thoroughly cleaning a house in the springtime. The practice of spring cleaning is especially prevalent in climates with a cold winter.

The term is also used metaphorically for any kind of heavy duty cleaning or organizing enterprise. A person who gets their affairs in order before an audit or inspection could be said to be doing some spring cleaning.

Are you doing any spring cleaning?

I am!

The home front has been in cleaning mode for many months now.  With the downsizing and the house going on the market to sale in less than a month, much cleaning has taken place.  There are closets that are totally empty and freshly painted; some touchup painting has taken place throughout the home, decluttering has taken place and detailed cleaning of inside and outside is currently in progress.

I decided I needed to do some spring cleaning on my blog site.  When I started my blog almost a year ago, I was not familiar with the usage of categories and I created more then I really needed to.  Me being the detailed organized person I am, I do have a word document and excel spread sheet that has all my past, current and future posts neatly associated to a topic related to me and my life.  My topics did not correspond with my blog site categories – until today.

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The past several weeks I organized my past posts and related them to a specific topic which now corresponds with the same category.  I then updated every single post with the new corresponding category.  I wanted to do this to make it easier for a reader to find a past post that corresponds with other posts.  If you are a new reader to my blog, the updated categories should help in finding related posts.  Hopefully I achieved this.  My new categories are ‘Attitudes, Feelings and Views’, ‘Meditation’, ‘My 70’s Music Collection’, ‘Past Events’, ‘Family Members’, ‘Thoughts From Years Past’, ‘Activities Occurring Today’, ‘Characteristics Of Me’, ‘Life Moving Forward’ and ‘Awards & Quote Challenge’.   You should be able to click a category from the above menu and now see the related posts.

Did you also notice a made a change to my blog site?  I wanted to update colors, background and fonts to liven it up a little as in the coming months I plan to change the focus of my blog.  More details on this change coming in the near future.

I hope you like the update – let me know your thoughts.  Oh, and happy spring!

 

how I feel and if I can pee

In my post ‘To Pee or not To Pee’, I ended with the following –

Tomorrow is another day with another post – it maybe just a regular post; or it may be an update to how I am feeling – it will depend on how I feel and if I can pee.

In my post ‘Room 101‘, I wrote the following –

The five I banish to Room 101 is –

1.Mayonnaise – seriously I cannot stand mayonnaise and would rather choke on cactus needles while getting my toenails pulled with needle nose pliers.

In today’s post, I write the following –

What does pee and mayonnaise have in common?  Nothing!

I decided I would rather eat mayonnaise than to have what is inserted in me at the moment.  I did not have to pee to leave the hospital yesterday, as I currently have a catheter inserted into my male part.  Either today or tomorrow I hope to have the catheter removed.

The surgery went well yesterday and I made it back home in the late afternoon and honestly had no desire to get on WP or for that matter on my computer.  I have read all the comments left for me on yesterday’s post and decided instead of replying to each comment; I would ‘Like’ your comment and respond here instead.

Before I respond, let me update you on my condition.  The bladder tumor was removed and Dr. F. indicated it looks superficial, meaning on the surface of the bladder.  A biopsy will take place to determine the next steps.  Dr. F. also found a small matter that is partially blocking my ureter that connects to my right kidney.  I have for months experienced some lower right discomfort on my back and it is most likely due to my kidney not properly draining my urine to my bladder.

Dr. F. believes this small matter is most likely some scar tissue from the tumor because it’s location was near the ureter opening.  In a couple of weeks I will visit a radiologist to determine what will need to take place to correct this issue.  radiologyinfo.org has the following information –

Urine is normally carried from the kidneys to the bladder through long, narrow tubes called ureters. The ureter can become obstructed due to conditions such as kidney stones, tumors, infection, or blood clots. When this happens, physicians can use image guidance to place stents or tubes in the ureter to restore the flow of urine to the bladder.

A ureteral stent is a thin, flexible tube threaded into the ureter. When it is not possible to insert a ureteral stent, nephrostomy is performed. During this procedure, a tube is placed through the skin on the patient’s back into the kidney. The tube is connected to an external drainage bag or from the kidney to the bladder.

Okay, back to your comments from yesterday –

Truly it brings tears to my eyes knowing that you fellow bloggers care.  Seriously I never imagined I would meet so many wonderful and kind people.  I believe things happen for a reason.  I believe that for whatever reason I started this blog; it was because I would meet you – you my friends!

I am truly grateful – Terry