Although this journal speaks mostly to the medical, technical, physical disease aspects of cancer, I think the time has come to begin speaking more about the mental, emotional side of dealing with an illness where prognosis and statistics can put you very near a zero chance of survival.  Wait…………. What?…………. Did someone say near zero chance of survival?

I guess I’ll begin this update with a very brief physical description of…. well… me.  I think what is most concerting at the moment… aside from the pain, the coughing… is that I am very, very tired.  Tired to the point of just being… well… unable to do.  I can’t really place blame on any one factor… the cancer… the obstructed lung… the radiation… the constant pain from a pinched sciatic nerve… lack of sleep… a struggling heart… the mental fatigue of dealing with all of it… probably it is the combination of all of these things.  

I was hopeful that I wouldn’t reach this point in the journey, but it seems it has thrown itself upon me against my will.  I must admit that weakness and fatigue affects absolutely everything else in your life.  Everything.  Just like pain… it seems to never end… never eases your struggle to crawl up from the basement floor and just take a deep breath and think for one single moment… I can breathe… I don’t hurt anywhere… I have the energy to stand up… turn my face toward the sun and thank the Universe for this one single moment in time…………….. While in reality… in this moment of time… in this struggle where I feel as if I am crawling through the pouring rain, the mud… the sludge that sometimes overwhelms our humanness… that moment in time to stand and face the sun… to breathe the breath of well being… to not feel pain… seems to only exist in a dream.

I know that there are not many who wander into this journal, but I know that there are many who have struggled… who “are” struggling… just as I have described.  It’s not easy… and most who have never been in that position or have never had to watch a loved one go through it, may have a difficult time understanding just what one is dealing with every minute of every day.  It’s almost as if our souls are leaving claw marks on the inside of our humanness… in some empyrean attempt to escape into “Dante’s Prayer”.

Sometimes I’m very hesitant to write in this journal, but I feel that I owe it to you… to those who are standing in very similar shoes… to… well… myself… to record some of life’s more unfortunate realities.  But it is all a part of being human.  I’d much rather just tell everyone that “I am fine”… like I do to most who ask.  Those who know me well, already know the answer and don’t need to ask.  Those who don’t know me well and do ask “How are you?” out of habit or ‘just being polite’… don’t really want to hear the truth anyway.  They expect the “Fine, how are you” response.  Most of them don’t even look you in the eye when they ask.  I think it would be most interesting to see the look on someone’s face who asks “how are you”… if I answered by saying… “How much time do you have to really listen to the truths that I could tell you?”  I’m sure it would be a Kodak moment.

One more lousy thing to add to my wonderful health condition is that I have somehow managed to develop a rather major sinus infection… or at least that’s what I am presuming that it is.  Face pain, some serious headaches, blood from the nostrils (oops… sorry about another one of those realities).  Anyway… it’s back on another antibiotic because my body’s immune system has completely vanished.  Zinc isn’t enough to help fight things off any longer and lately… even antibiotics have had a tough time working.  Maybe I’ve just had to take too many of them over the past few years.

My therapy is to spend more time with the guitar (although sitting is painful)….. music makes me smile and I am forever amused to the point of laughter at my lack of talent.  Yet… I will not be deterred from picking my favorite tunes and even singing… which is usually what stirs my own laughter… a literal LOL…….

So I’ll be wishing you wellness, happiness, good music, a most beautiful day… and the ability to laugh at yourself… and always keep “hope” in your survival kit.


P.S.  Eighteen radiation treatments completed so far in this… the fourth tour of radiation therapy.   The number remaining… remains unknown at this time.

A poem I posted in 2017 seems to be appropriate at this moment so I thought I would once again share it with you.

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


Four down… more to follow


Good morning…

Although I am sitting here in great pain due to what is most likely a pinched sciatic nerve, I wanted to post a brief update.  It is most difficult to move at all… getting up and down or in and out of the car is indeed excruciating.  Standing straight up is actually the least painful way for me to be, but one old tired radiated man can only stand for so long.  I’m never pain free or even close to being pain free.

Yesterday I wandered (very slowly) to the fourth radiation treatment.  They have gone well… I suppose… although it has increased my cough and the esophagus has started its rebellion by placing a large lump in my throat near the larynx and causing me to choke on nothing… especially when I happen to doze off… then I am rudely awakened by choking.  The skin has not started to indicate the burn as yet, but I have the aloe vera gel ready for when it does.  Today’s session was a bit weird.  The zapper seemed to malfunction on the first shot from straight behind my back through to the chest.  It zapped for the normal period of time… stopped… then started zapping again for a short period of time.  Then… on the final angle to be radiated… from the left back, diagonal into the chest… it zapped… stopped… then zapped again.  This is not the normal way it usually works.  When the tech came in after completion of the session, I asked… “Was the instrument a bit off today or was it just experiencing a Monday?”  Her response was quite unusual.  She replied… “Well… It was acting a bit strange… I thought I saw a ghost in here a little earlier.”

Wait…….. What…….?  A ghost in the treatment room?  I asked if it was here before or after I arrived and she became a bit vague… left it at “a little earlier”… and changed the subject.  So… okay… sure… I believe in ghosts… It doesn’t even bother me that they might have been in the room where I was being treated… but it was certainly odd that the tech was willing to admit that she thought she saw one in that room.

Odd… Just odd… and are those ghosts really messing around with the equipment?  Wow… I hope they are making the ‘proper adjustments’ to the zapper. 

I know that you will be quite surprised that I have kept this update short, but it takes me a great deal more time to do what needs to be done these days.  Thank you for all your well wishes, prayers, and healing…

I’ll be wishing all of you a most beautiful new year… a wonderful, happy and healthy year ahead.

Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses… even if it’s raining!

Stop and Smell the roses