WHATEVER IT TAKES

CANCER doesn’t just eat away at your insides, it also can destroy relationships.

The anger that builds can most definitely harm others. I got a triple dose of illness. Enough to last a lifetime and beyond.

First it was an autoimmune disease (’94), then stomach removal (’98) and last fall (’16) leukemia.

Sometimes I feel like I’m losing the battle and lash out at those closest to me. It’s not fair for me, but it isn’t for them either.

This is for Rudy:

 

 

MIA

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This is just one example of the views from my apartment in southern Utah. Red rocks, plateau’s and snowy mountain tops, all in one pic. Fluffy white clouds and blue lit skies. I miss it….

I have lived in Chicago, Paris and Colorado, but nothing was as breathtaking as Utah. Lots of undeveloped land, temporate weather and only two hours from Vegas. Almost perfect.

The “Mormon’s” were a pain in the ass, but could be overlooked due to the landscape and the endless opportunities for every and all outdoor recreational activities!

The doctor’s were not the greatest, but that could be overlooked also. I am back with my original doctors in the midwest, but one should never base where they live on friggin’ doctors! Life is way too short for that nonsense….

My parents would love for me to stay with my original docs, but screw that. I see them (docs) once again in the fall and then it’ll be time to hit the road once again. The grass can grow around my headstone when I’m dead, but I’ll be damned if I let the grass grow around my feet while I’m still alive and kickin’!

Believe when I say, ‘when you have your health, you have everything,’ and even though health and time are not on my side, I cannot stand still. I also believe that God puts people you need in your path. I would be dead if it weren’t for my Rudy. He saved me more than once in the past, and continues to, even though I’ve put him through hell?!

Here’s to living life by your own rules and not other’s…keep your head up and keep treading that water for as long as you have to. It’ll be worth it!

2014 - 1

 

BREATHE (2 a.m.)

I actually came to bed four hours ago. It is now 2 a.m. and I am wide awake if you can call it that. The alarm is set for 7 a.m. giving me plenty of time to get ready for my oncology appointment. It feels like this is all I have, for now, writing-wise.

I feel as if I can’t move like if I just turn over, I’ll break. RG is down in front of the television, which is just as well since I’ll probably just toss and turn all night. He asked me if I wanted to still go to my appointment or if I wanted to re-schedule. I actually considered it for a while then figured that I might as well get this over with.

There is such a thing as not wanting to know and I so get that, but I have other major health issues to deal with so maybe it’s best to just go in. Just bite that bullet, so to speak.

It plays like a tennis match in my head. Back and forth over an imaginary net in my mind: I don’t want to know; I need to know; I don’t, I do…Help me Lord.

The one thing that is already freaking me out is the fact that I almost passed out the last time I had to give a blood sample in this very clinic. It was moments before I was officially diagnosed with CLL (a rare form of leukemia).

This song, BREATHE (2 a.m.) has helped me make it through many sleepless nights. Here’s hoping Anna can soothe me to sleep, once again…

 

 

 

 

BRUTAL

 

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Have you ever watched male lions battle ’til the end? Here are four young males against one elderly lion. It can be hard to watch and you hear yourself yelling, “not fair,” or “pick on someone your own size!”

Yet nature has its’ own rules that humans don’t always understand. I catch myself asking if they have to do this or if they feel pain or if they know their time has come? It’s sad, but at the same time, very powerful, but I don’t make a habit of watching the film clips.

I also find myself asking why doesn’t the person filming intervene and stop the battle?! Humans can’t possibly understand and eventually learn that nature, along with being beautiful, can be brutal.

This is how I see cancer. The young males are healthy cancer cells, while the elderly male is what cancer eventually turns into. It’s the cycle of life, but if you try to make heads or tails (No pun intended) of it, you will not like the result.

The elderly lion fights for hours, but he never quits until literally his back is broken. The young males eventually leave the older male where he lies, waiting for the end. Sad, but true.

If it were the other way around, it would be even more tragic because a young male would be killed during the prime of his life. Much like the toddler or teenager who succumbs to the cancer way before their time and after a fierce battle that he should have won.

This is my analogy of cancer and the cycle of life.

You (parents) have to fight, especially for the children because they don’t understand, at first. While I, the adult, have known exactly what has been going on from the beginning.

I believe in  St. Jude Hospital’s mission and it is what they are all about:

 

‘NOT NICE!’

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When you step into a doctor’s sterile, cold and colorless exam room, you just want to turn around, run straight home and climb back into bed. A nice dark bedroom. Away from the needles, invasive x-rays and procedures.

If I, as an adult, become extremely uneasy, freshjust imagine what goes through a kid’s head. Believe you me, when I say that I would take the place of a kid in a heartbeat. They are much too young for this.

My youngest nephew would blurt out ‘not nice’ if something wasn’t going his way. I can relate when it comes to doctors! There isn’t anything nice about being poked and prodded.

My main doctor is a gastroenterologist and liver specialist. During one of our many discussions, he mentioned that he did not get into pediatrics because it was too emotionally taxing. For this sole reason, he only sees adults.

He recommended me for a writing job for the pediatric clinic. I worked with the head pediatric doctor on a special project.

I was in clinic one afternoon and asked if I would like to see an actual ERCP procedure. I got permission from the hospital, procedure doctor and most importantly the parents of a three-year-old boy.

It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. That poor toddler. It broke my heart and I had to leave before it was over. I couldn’t stomach it. I could see how distressed the parents were. It’s like one of those ASPCA animal rescue commercials: Dogs shivering in the snow. Utter helplessness.

Afterward, the parents were looking quite tired and the toddler was a handful. He was really nasty to everyone, but who could blame him? I didn’t.

Changing Medicine. Changing Kid's Lives