This wasn’t in the brochure…

I was diagnosed with two different cancers in 2006. My chemo treatments ended in 2007. And nothing has quite been the same since. This much is true:

-My body hurts more since cancer.

-My body seems angrier since cancer. (hence the pain???)

-My hand writing has gotten worse since cancer.

-The pain flare-ups happen more and more frequently and lately I find myself waiting for the day when I can’t work thru the pain and it will be more than I can deal with.

-I don’t take pain meds because I don’t want to become dependent on them, but it’s getting to a point where I can’t avoid them anymore.

-I am 40 years old and more often than not I feel twice my age, and that’s on a good pain day.

-I don’t understand the pain anymore. I had a lot of pain during my treatments and then on and off for several months afterward, and my thinking then was that it was related to the chemo. Today I am not so sure, it’s almost 4 years since my diagnosis and the pain isn’t getting any better. The flare-ups happen all the time now and until just a few days ago I thought I had it at least partially figured out…but I was wrong.

-Life after cancer is as complicated as life during cancer.

-Everything is still upside down…the shockwaves continue to touch every corner of our lives. 

…It’s entirely possible the pain I’m dealing with now has absolutely nothing to do with cancer or the chemo. But I know this much…I didn’t have this pain before cancer so it’s related somehow. 

It has to be.

(I should have read the fine print, they always get you with the fine print)

Damn.

be well, Scotty.

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Published in: on July 26, 2010 at 11:52 pm  Comments (1)  
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I always wake up with the munchies

“We weren”t supposed to be there, but fate brought us together. We kissed beneath the thunder and held each other close. She was barefoot standing in the rain-soaked road, her hair ruined from the heat and the rain, we were covered in sweat and her dress clung to her body like wet tissue paper. We had just made love and did so because we were in love and everything was right with the world at that very moment…” -S.Ebisch

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“747 fell out of heaven, crashed thru the roof of  seven eleven. You’re burpin’ up a slurpie things get hazy, reachin’ for a twinkee now you’re pushin’ up daisies…Do you know where you’re gonna go? ”  -Audio Adrenaline

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“Good sex, Bad Sex, Right Sex, Wrong Sex. I always wake up with the Munchies” -J. Tropper

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“I got debts no honest man can pay.” – B.Springsteen

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“Love can mend your life, but love can break your heart” -G.Sumner (Sting)

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“It’s just subtle, like… a white wine buzz” -J.Tropper

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“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out” -John Wooden

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“Don’t spend a lot of time imagining the worst-case scenario. It rarely goes down as you imagine it will, and if by some fluke it does, you will have lived it twice. When things go bad, don’t run, don’t hide. Stick it out, and be scrupulous in facing every part of your fear. Try to be still. It will take time, but you will find that even the gravest problems are finite and that your choices are infinite.” -M.J. Fox

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“Pay attention to what’s happening around you. Read the book before you see the movie.” -M.J. Fox

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A lot of random things enter and leave my mind all day. Some things stick around longer. Everything I quoted above I gave credit to. I wrote the first one on my ride home from work tonight.

They say writers are working even when they are staring out the window. My mind is always racing some place. I still like to believe I might have a novel in me somewhere. How and when I’ll wrap my head around it is any one’s guess.

Sometimes life just forces it out of me. It gets scribbled down on paper before it’s lost forever and other times…it slips away just as quickly as it came to me in the first place.

Maybe the first paragraph is a dream I had. An image that entered my head. A romantic ideal shared by two lovers lost in real life between punching in and out, hurried lunches and traffic lights. Smothered by bills, play dates, dishes and bank accounts.

Maybe we just need to get back to a disconnected life. Life before modern convienence and interruption. Life before driving home talking on a cell phone or texting your boss that you’re not coming in today. …

In that vein I am trying to read more. Read more of everything. I have two books started and a third one in the wings. My wife and I are swapping books. We finish one and leave it for each other. We don’t have the same exact interests in authors but by swapping books we are expanding our horizons and it creates new shared interests without even trying. We trust each other’s judgement and how much effort does it take to try a new author?

We however watch the same TV shows. Neither one of us has a favorite show the other can’t stomach. In fact we always sit down to watch what is on the Tivo together. It’s a shared experience. We end up laughing together and replaying what we missed several times because we were laughing so loud often at the same exact thing. And usually we end up laughing at how hard either one of us was laughing if it tickled us a certain way.

Sometimes a half hour sitcom takes an hour to watch.

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“Grow old along with me, The best is yet to be, When our time has come, We will be as one, God bless our love,
God bless our love

Grow old along with me, Two branches of one tree, Face the setting sun, When the day is done, God bless our love
God bless our love

Spending our lives together, Man and wife together, World without end,World without end

Grow old along with me, Whatever fate decrees, We will see it through, For our love is true, God bless our love
God bless our love “

We had this song played at our wedding in 1996. The sound system in the church crapped out on us that afternoon. But it was still a tender moment summed up perfectly by the smart Beatle.

“I know what he told you all, but the walrus was Paul.” (paraphrased by me/ Glass Onion) -J.Lennon

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“Have a good night.” (this is what I said to every checked in guest as they made their way to their rooms at any hotel I worked at. I still catch myself doing this to customers bidding them a farewell…and I’m not in the hotel business anymore…)

Some habits never die.

Be well, Scott

Published in: on July 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rest Easy

“Rest Easy”

One more mile ’til I lay rest
I have put myself through this rigid test
But the mile has never ended no distance has been gained
I do not see greatness I wanted to obtain
Where is my embrace from the race that I have run?
I have kept a steady pace but still I have not won

Rest easy
have no fear
I love you perfectly
love drives out fear
I’ll take your burden
you take My grace
Rest easy
in My embrace

I am such a sinner I fear my evil ways
I fear my imperfection I fear my final days
I just want to take control and snap this rusty chain
drop my heavy burden it seems to be in vain

I am not a bold man even though I want to be
I am just a dreamer with a timid history
Scared of confrontations I fume all through the night
the world has it’s hold on me and I just want to fly
The sky, the sky is open wide
but I can’t fly ’til I step aside

Rest easy
have no fear
I love you perfectly
and perfect love drives out fear
I’ll take your burden
you take My grace
Rest easy
in My embrace
Rest easy, rest easy
rest easy, in My embrace
Rest easy

(Audio Adrenaline 1992-2007) Mark Stuart, Will McGinniss, Tyler Burkum and Ben Cissell

Published in: on July 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Been thinking…

I’ve been thinking about bigger things and greater plans. I have had dreams and plans and hopes and aspirations…but maybe I should just stop “planning” and just live my life.

Period.

It’s about the repetitive, boring, ordinary and the mundane. I wrote about how something like sitting in traffic should be a blessing because cancer didn’t win…its so easy to get annoyed at the simple things that just drive us crazy when we should rather just be in that moment…because we might not get another one.

I lose sight of this daily. Always thinking about tomorrow or next week or next year. And I’m not even mentally present in the moment I’m wasting thinking about tomorrow, next week or next year.

Along with accepting what I can’t control or don’t have I need to spend more time being aware…breathing, thinking, eating, drinking etc. Eveything…no matter how mundane should not be taken for granted.

Everything comes down to perspective and a decision to keep doing something that doesn’t help me or my family or change direction and do something different.

If you change your mind, you can change your life.

Do something else, do something better. 

I was given a second chance to live life better. To do something with my life and all I seem to have done is gripe and moan about what isn’t. 

I personally need to keep my eyes open and be aware of the blessings I/we do have in our lives and realize what is actually a blessing and acknowledge where it’s coming from.

It’s time to stop running around long enough give some thanks…..

Simple as that.

-S.

Published in: on July 14, 2010 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Quit yer Bitchin’

In the last couple of weeks (and posts) I have been bellyaching about my lot in life post cancer, post youth/church up bringing and family crap. It’s high time I just quit my bitching and man up about how life just never works out the way we would like it.

Dawn has been reminding me how I never let anything go…and how much I need to. One thing I am good at, apparently is holding a grudge.

Nothing has worked out as I imagined, before cancer entered our lives in 2006 we had “plans” we saw this house as our starter house as it were and would eventually sell it and move on to something bigger with a yard and maybe a swing set or pool etc.

That all changed when my diagnosis was confirmed and life took a turn no one expected. I started treatment and Dawn lost her job at the same time. Income virtually stopped and life got harder than it ever was before. Thankfully state aid was available and some assistance from friends and strangers got us thru the hard times.

It’s been 3 years since my last treatment and we are still “working out” the details for the parts of our future we can influence, if not completely control. (and we know we can’t control any of it)…

I have reached the end of my rope about complaining about how we got here and how and why my dreams and plans for Dawn and I and the kids have all been erased, replaced by guaranteed uncertainty.

All we ever have is uncertainty in this life to begin with, but life lets you forget how quickly it can all be taken away.

We came all too close.

So this is me “Quittin’ my bitchin'” and accepting our lives as they are because bottom line is…I can’t do a freakin’ thing about it. I can’t go back 3.5 years and avoid cancer, I can’t go back ten years and not buy this house.

It just is.

I read once “Life can only be understood backwards but must be lived forward” I suppose that’s why so many people write their memoirs, to pass on what they have learned so maybe, just maybe someone might not make the same mistakes.

Our lives were interrupted 3 years ago, almost heard the needle scratched off the LP as abruptly as it happened. I haven’t gotten past it happening. I have found myself in the years since often angry about other people’s better fortunes and that hinders my ability to move past this road block in our lives.  I shouldn’t be begrudging other people their situations and certainly I don’t know how hard-fought some things are for anyone else. All I see is the surface and the material and find myself reacting to it.

I am stopping that right here. Right NOW!

We’ve been looking for a clean break. But clean breaks just aren’t  coming our way…we have to make that break and have been working on it.  This house has always just been a house to us, a lot of shit happened here that never quite made it a home. All we need are four walls and a roof, food on the table and warm beds to sleep in.

This family will make any place a “HOME”…so it doesn’t matter what or where life gives or takes from us at this point. Human nature makes everything  hard to accept when I’m lamenting how my “dreams and plans” were interrupted.

I need to refocus and consider perspective on a daily basis. The cancer is gone but it’s finger prints are everywhere. That is simply a matter of fact, the rest is details. And I keep getting lost in the details and that has been my problem up to now.

I wish that life had a Re-set button. It doesn’t and I’m not fighting this internal war anymore.

In other words: “Happy X-mas, War is over”

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“I call myself a peaceful warrior because the battles we fight are on the inside”  -Peaceful Warrior

Be well, Scotty

Published in: on July 10, 2010 at 11:47 am  Comments (1)