Stop and smell the flowers

Stop and Smell the Flowers

The above pic is of the flowers presented to me from the radiation clinic to celebrate the completion of this therapy session… and its healing.  As you can see… Sophie is definitely taking the time to smell the flowers.  Perhaps we should all do that very thing.

It’s hard to know where to begin on this update.  I’ve finished the 30 sessions of radiation and now entering the waiting period.  That is good news.  I’m very grateful to be here this morning to experience the dawn… to see the beautiful sky above me.  This week, however, has been… well… terrible.  Excuse me… but I felt like shit.  My pain levels were soaring.  I was close to heading for the E.R. several times but have talked myself out of it each time.  The main reason is that I have so many things going on in this moment health wise… that the hospital would have to keep me there for an extended period of time just to check out all the variables.  I have things that have to be taken care of.  Things that must be done… animals that depend on me… and to answer your next question… No… there is no one that is able and/or willing to take care of them.  So… I must endure.  Now… thank you for allowing me to vent.

I am celebrating the completion of this round of radiation… at least in my mind.  I just have to celebrate a bit reserved.  Personally… I’d like to drink too much and raise a little hell… but it would probably kill me… so I’ll wait awhile before I do that… Okay… I haven’t done that in a hundred years… but I still think about it.  How much hell can an old man raise any way?  I’d probably just bore myself… or hurt myself.

Why do we fight what life throws in front of us anyway?  Do you know?  I’m sure that a number of you have had some very large boulders thrown right in front of you.  I know I’ve tripped over a number of them myself.  Sometimes it’s really hard to pick yourself up, dust off your intimates, climb over the rocks and face life head on… with an attitude… but if we don’t… what’s the alternative?  Personally… I still have things to do here on earth… a purpose that perhaps I’m not sure I understand… but a purpose none the less.  Maybe it is merely this journal to share with others… perhaps it is the poetry shared on my other site.  Perhaps it is the love and light that we share with one another.  Maybe it is the smile we share in the parking lot of the grocery store with one who has lingered in sadness… aloneness… far too long.  Whatever that purpose may be… I am willing to face the suffering… the pain… the cancer… the heart disease… the radiation… the side effects… just to share with one who is searching… a smile… a hug… a simple expression of love.  Is that not the truest meaning of being human?

Perhaps there is a lot for all of us to celebrate on this beautiful morning.  Maybe we often fail to recognize all what is beautiful that surrounds us every single day.  Just look into the mirror.  Oh, I know…. you’re all frowning and hesitant to look into the mirror at your own reflection.  Don’t look at yourself with critical eyes… look at yourself as a beautiful creation of our universe… placed upon this earth to share your love… your light… with those who are suffering… who feel pain, both physically and mentally… with those who have been abused… with those who do not know love.  Every one of us is here to ‘know’ love… to share our love with another.  That is all it takes to be a beautiful human being.  I promise… you will feel the enlightenment.

I wish you all wellness… happiness… peace… and love… a beautiful day… and a beautiful reflection.



Twenty-seven sessions completed

Just a short update to let everyone know that I’m… okay.  It’s a beautiful Sunday morning here in the southern plains and I am extremely fortunate and full of gratitude that I am here to experience all the beautiful that lingers in this very moment.  Okay… so after a day in the mid ninety’s yesterday it is thirty degrees cooler and raining… but it is all quite beautiful to me.

There is not a lot of new to report.  The skin on my back and chest have become quite sore from the burn, but aloe vera gel is easing that pain considerably.  I’m a bit too dehydrated today and very weak with the same complaints as last reported… especially lower esophageal pain.  I’ve found nothing that really relieves it… although the aloe vera juice does help a bit… so I guess it is just a ‘live with it’ situation until the burned tissue on the inside has the opportunity to heal.  That should start about Thursday of next week.  Only three more sessions of radiation remain.  I suppose you all know how I feel about that.

I’m fully aware that the side effects of radiation often worsen after treatment is over and some linger for months… and obviously from my own experiences… sometimes linger for years.  The cough has worsened over the past week… not sure as to why… perhaps more lung damage from the radiation.  There really isn’t a lot of that lung left to damage so I’m hopeful the upper lobe stays functional.  Maybe it’s just irritated.  Time will tell on that one.  Chest pain continues to be fairly constant… sometimes worse than others.

I know you’ll all be pleasantly surprised that I didn’t post a book length update today… but I’ll probably make up for it in the next post.

I thought you might enjoy this post I stole from my poetry site.  It just seems to fit the day.  Please visit me at The Vision of Poets…

Whenitallgoeswrong 3

When It All Goes Wrong

Perhaps it was I who strayed from the course
Or maybe consulted a misguided source
I mixed up my potion a little too strong
What else can you do when it all goes wrong

The reports arrived in bold black and white
An omen in crystal with darkness of night
Singing an ode with an out of tune song
What else can you do when it all goes wrong

What does one do with such heartbreaking news
Should you start smoking weed or turn to the booze
Or should you just face it determined and strong
Whenever you find that your world’s gone wrong

Perhaps it is I who longs for the place
Where life’s simple pleasures come all wrapped in lace
To forget about time when the day is too long
What else can you do when it all goes wrong

The reports arrived in fluorescent hues
Perhaps it’s all there in the choices we choose
When white ravens rise, you just ride along
What else can you do when things are all wrong

Perhaps it is I who bides in a dream
Where all is not nearly as bad as it seems
Sweet Irish Cream, hot coffee… a song
What else can you do when it all goes wrong


Have a most beautiful day


Update… 22 sessions completed

As of Friday, twenty-two sessions of radiation have been completed.  Only eight more remaining before the long wait begins till we find out how successful they have been.  I am of course expecting complete obliteration of both tumors… and of anything else that’s lurking in there that shouldn’t be.

As far as side effects and symptoms go, they have remained mostly constant.  No better… no worse than last posted with only a couple of exception.  The esophageal contractions and pain have become worse at times.  There is a constant burning pain which covers a third to one half of the lower portion.  It feels like badly burned skin… the kind of burn severe enough to blister and expose the lower layers.  I suppose that is exactly the cause.  I’ve been drinking aloe vera mixed with juice to help soothe the burn.  It helps quite a bit but never alleviates it completely.  I do believe that it is helping to heal the burned areas that it can reach.  I have become a firm believer in aloe vera.  The juice is helping soothe the inside burn while the gel is helping the burn on the skin.  It also is quite affective against many other skin irritations and infections including fungal and yeast infections that can be caused by radiation.  If you have any kind of skin irritation, give aloe vera gel a try.  I have found it to be quite amazing where even prescription creams and powders have been ineffective.

The other increased symptom is an uncomfortable pressure feeling in the chest with addition pain on deep breaths or coughing.  I’m not sure what it is all about or what is causing it to be worse this morning.  Shortness of breath has accompanied this uncomfortable pressure like feeling.  Low body temperature with waves of chills up and down the body isn’t making me feel much better either. Hopefully it will improve as the morning progresses.

Other than the above and all the things that seem to annoy an old man… I am doing okay.  Of course that depends on one’s definition of okay and what you may be comparing it to.  Okay for me is most likely not okay for many others.

Tomorrow is treatment number 23.  That’s a good number… the number of pairs of chromosomes in the human body.  Of course… some of my chromosomes may be a bit distorted now from so much radiation.  In total of all three sessions of radiation therapy… I have received somewhere in the area of 80 radiation treatments.  “80”.  That’s a lot of radiation.  In addition to the treatments… they do anywhere from 2 to 5 xrays every day of treatment… depending on how things line up and on how many times I end up coughing.  Every time I cough they have to stop the procedure and realign me with the machine.  In order to do that… additional xrays are required.  So far in at least 2 to 3 sessions per week… I have had some serious coughing spells.  It makes me feel very bad because the techs have to redo everything alignment wise… but after all… I have a collapsed lung… radiation pneumonitis… fibrosis of the right lung… and cancer in the lymph nodes in the hilum of the lung and attached to the windpipe leading into the right lung.  It only stands to reason that I’m going to cough… a lot.

I’m sitting here at this antediluvian kitchen table with an outside temperature of 58 degrees F… heading for a high around 88.  The temp inside is a warm 75… yet… I am dressed in warm pants, tee shirt and flannel shirt… and still cold.  I’m not looking forward to winter or even to the cold front that is supposed to come through later in the week.  I’ll be outside in the sunshine in a little while toasting myself to warmth.

Ollie says to tell everyone good morning.  He’s busy helping me stay warm by laying on my chest and giving me these silly Ollie looks…

Ollie 1

Hope you all have a beautiful Sunday…