November 2016 Update

November 2016 Update

For those of you who follow this site without following my poetry site… well… you may have thought that I was no longer amongst the mortals.  It has been a long time since my last update, but there has been very few new developments to report except for perhaps… the development of new ways of whining.  Honestly… I try not to do that.  Whenever I do slip into a verbal expression of dissatisfaction concerning my health… the kitties just roll their eyes and ignore me… tell me to chill… or just climb into a box and ignore it.

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I’ve read a lot of posts on wordpress and on various sites of the web about how others are dealing with living with cancer and how it affects their lives.  It’s funny though, how nearly all of them write about how it affects their family… their friends… their relationships with others… some even talk about how financially devastating cancer treatments can be (which I would love to delve into eventually on this site)… but few speak of how their own emotions are affected…  how personal such an illness can be… how alone one can feel within him or herself.  It’s almost like wandering lost in a forest.  Is there really someone out there that understands?  I can’t say that I know anyone else that has had cancer in the lymph nodes… the throat… and the lung within a three year time span… severe heart disease on top of that… and survived.  Is there something genetically wrong with me that has caused all of this… or is there something genetically ‘right’ with me that has allowed me to survive this long? Theoretically… I shouldn’t have survived the heart problems I am living with.  The prognosis of my first cancer was twelve months… and yet… here I am… babbling on wordpress.  I don’t have an answer.  Maybe it’s the positive attitude… although it sometimes melts into the world of “Why?”… Researchers should be studying me… perhaps psychologists should be studying me.  Perhaps my un-normal personality has something to do with it… perhaps it is my philosophy of understanding.  Ever checked your philosophy of understanding?  Be careful if you do… it’s often quite scary in there. The last time I checked my philosophy of understanding… I think the look on my face was pretty much like the one below…

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In my younger years, I dabbled in writing… just for fun.  A little poetry… a little prose… a story or two of life before the complications.  This was of course before internet servers would fit into Hillary’s basement and when the most well-known Donald in the world was a duck.  All of my penned thoughts, ideas and philosophies were written on actual paper in pen and ink and on occasion… with a real pencil.  Yes… I am “that” old.  Where are all of those papers today?  I have no idea.  I suppose they have been turned into ashes or have biodegraded themselves in some landfill along with the other garbage.  Some of them belong there.  Okay… maybe most of my early writings belong there… but never in my most un-normalness did I ever expect to be someday writing about surviving cancer.  I was invincible in my younger years, like most of us think we are… never once pondering the thought of debilitating illnesses… never once stopping to linger within the idea, that I should take better care of myself to prevent my body from deteriorating in some way or another… but I could always drink a toast to someone else’s good health.  I could always grab a quick burger and fries when time was short or I was too lazy to search for something healthy to eat… and finish off the meal with a cigarette.  There was even a rather short time when I had virtually nothing to eat… nor warm place to sleep.  Do you suppose all of that had anything to do with my heart disease… with having cancer?  Honestly…..  I don’t really think so.  I’m sure that there are many of you and most physicians that will disagree with me on that summation, but honestly… I still don’t think so.  Heart disease from a ‘genetic’ point of view has gathered all of its mutations and twisted my cytosine, adenine, guanine, and thymine into something other than a normal double helix.  Wait………………..   What???……………….. Sorry about the science stuff… It slips out from time to time.  My family’s history of heart disease would tend to indicate that there is indeed a definite connection with genetics.  Does that mean that everyone with a family history of heart disease will eventually experience it?… No.

Now… how in the world can that philosophy lead to cancer?  Well… while that helix was twisting itself into something unique and unusual… some of the cells evidently decided that they must reproduce themselves rapidly to compensate for my un-normal personality or physicality and not pay any attention to the normal signals that tell them that they shouldn’t do that.  Hmmm… kind of like my life as a whole… sometimes thinking that I would like to “fit in”… do exactly as others ‘think’ that I should do… (a very rare occurrence)… but soon discovering that I just wasn’t capable of fitting in to most groups… most crowds… most “normals”… and I would choose a different pathway to wander… even if it meant I would be wandering in the forest alone.

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Maybe we should just leave it with the old saying that… well… “shit happens”…  That is, in its crudeness… perhaps the best explanation of it all.

With extremely few exceptions… for me… and I would presume for many who are suffering for one reason or another (and there are many)…. we wander our silent pathway… mostly in a secret aloneness that no one really knows… no one really understands… with no one ever looking quite deep enough into our souls to comprehend the marrow of our consciousness…  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t those who care… those who suffer within themselves because of our own suffering… those who would cure us of all of our suffering if they just had the ability to do so……….  Sometimes they are there right next to us… sometimes they are strangers at a bus stop… in a checkout lane… or someone with a smile crossing the parking lot… but none of them can really understand our own suffering…

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Everyone suffers in some way…  through pain… through grief… through heartache… through illness… through caring so deeply for another’s misfortune that they cannot sleep… or eat… or even function to a normal capacity…  I am vividly aware that there are so many others that suffer far more than I… those who are living with illnesses unfathomably more serious than that of my own… those so stricken with grief that the tears could raise the tide… those so restless for the concern of another that sleep cannot be found in the darkness of night, for their mind cannot find the silence… and I cannot tell you of their own suffering… the thoughts that linger in their mind that are never shared with another… their aching for the light that they cannot find within their own seclusion of a bright tomorrow…

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What I can tell you… is that every single day… we should shine our own light with the hope that those who suffer in any way… will see that light within their darkness… their aloneness… and know that there is someone… someone that longs to understand… someone that can reach out their hand with a smile and let them feel within their heart… within their mind… within their soul… that there is someone who cares… someone who will stand beside them in the flames and not become breathless from the smoke… someone who loves them for who they are in this very moment…

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Perhaps… I have exposed my soul far more than I should have in this post.  Perhaps that is my purpose.  Perhaps I should have stuck with the humor… for it is the smile of another that enlightens the distressed ones… the abused… the oppressed… the exploited… the destitute… those who wander in the wonder of what tomorrow may bring… those who dwell in the wonder of how people who love them will experience life without them, should their humanness become reality and transform them into the worlds of immortality.

I didn’t come to you today with the intention of blathering my emotional state of wonder all over these pages, but I’m not going to edit it or mop up the “… liquids that blend with the soul.”  I actually came here to update you on my progress… or perhaps of my retrogression of dealing with cancer and heart disease.  So….. without further ado….. or whining…

I am still coughing from the results of radiation pneumonitis and fibrosis from the radiation therapy on the right lung.  I get fatigued… weak feeling in the legs and arms with very little exertion.  I am short of breath more often than I am not.  All of this of course could be due to either illness… cancer or heart or even as a result of radiation therapy.  I have to be very stubborn about going to the doctor or to the ER with any ailments or they will want to admit me for my heart symptoms.  Once they get that in their heads… it’s very difficult to convince them that I’m there for something other than my heart.  I still have a great deal of difficulty with my throat… swallowing without choking… laughing without choking… pain around the trachea and within the entire lymph system with the most severe pain down the sides of the neck and the area of the spine that was radiated by default of reaching my lung.

The newest symptoms I have are quite strange to me… and the doctors I’ve seen concerning these symptoms seem to have no clue.  They’ve ruled out the usual possibilities and just admit that they don’t know and send me on my way.  The symptoms… Itching all over… usually with no visible rash… but on occasion a rash does appear… nausea… particularly at night and for a time in the mornings… and a bit of intestinal… umm… un-fortitude… Well… you get the idea.  All of these symptoms come and go… sometimes lasting several days… sometimes just a few hours…but never disappearing for more than a day or two.  Because of this… my oncology doctor has cancelled my routine CT scan of the neck and chest… scheduled for early next year… and scheduled a complete PET scan for the first part of December.  I’m not sure what exactly convinced her to do that… perhaps she is just being cautious and making sure that there isn’t something, once again… lurking inside that will glow in the dark.  It will probably be mid-December before I have the results… unless I can convince the ‘not so friendly’ PET scan technician to slip me a copy of the disc.  Then I can sit in the comfort of my favorite chair and study all of the amazing pics and slices of my insides so that I can draw my own conclusions of things I know absolutely nothing about.  Well… I have learned a little through previous scans and going over them with the doctor… but I have often found things within those pics that they have not… I would bet that they would prefer me not to have my own copy… but it is truly an amazing and interesting image to view.

So, now you are up to date.  I will post another update following the early December PET scan and the doctor’s visit… unless there is something new to share with you before then.  My apologies for all the ‘blah… blah.. blah’ before I got to the details… but I do believe that most will agree with me that the emotional aspect of recovery… of dealing with serious illness… of caring about someone who is suffering in any way… is actually the most difficult to deal with.  I am so well aware of what a positive attitude can do for someone in every situation in life.  Sharing a smile with someone… a hug… a kind word… even if it’s just a casual “good morning” to a stranger passing by… can increase that positive attitude exponentially… whether it’s offered from you or to you. The results of sharing kindness works in every direction… it surrounds you and brightens your already beautiful aura that can be perceived by all who come near to you.  Offer a smile to another… When you pass by that old man walking in the grocery store parking lot… searching for ‘hope’… tell him “Good Morning” like you really mean it.  That old man… just might be me.

You must take time to smell the flowers…

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You must laugh out loud whenever and wherever you can… and share that laugh with another…

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Reach out to another who is searching… who is aching… who is hurting… who is suffering… who is wandering in the forest alone… and show them that you care…

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Share a cup of coffee with someone and take the time to listen… Hug someone like the love wrapped up within it… is truly from your heart… Smile at a stranger and tell them ‘good morning’ like you really mean it… Make sure that those you care about… know it.

I thank everyone with all my heart, for all the caring… the hugs… the encouraging comments… and the healing energies that have been sent my way.  Obviously… they must be working.

Have a most beautiful day… 

Namasté

Michael33