Sep 20, 2009 - 7:10 pm
Good Evening, Dearest Semi;Colon Family
I met with my new surgical onc this past week to go back over everything.
I needed to find a comfort zone and I wanted his medical opinion and input on what I should do about this surgery. All doubts have now been eliminated – he told me that the tumor has now moved INTO MY LUNG. So, it’s looking like a Thoracotomy with a Wedge Resection.
So, it’s done now finally – Surgery for me is set for Thursday, Oct 15th.
I’m bummed because I will again miss the Texas Longhorns vs Oklahoma Sooners in the annual Red River shootout at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
Want to know something funny? When I did my bowel resect, it was the EXACT same weekend and I missed the game that year! The irony in Life sometimes, huh? Sometimes you just gotta’ laugh about it.
So time to saddle up and take that “long ride down the hall” again. Here’s hoping that everything goes well and as planned.
Donna, hopefully “your lion” will roar again :)
That was so sweet! ((Chicky))
I want to talk with you guys some more this evening– can you take a few more minutes and sit here and talk with me?
I don’t open too many posts, but when I do I like to talk about things and need someone to share it with. I always look forward to hearing your replies – I mentioned in my hospital post that for me, it’s like Christmas morning just waiting to “unwrap” all of the g I f t s under the tree. Hearing replies from you guys MEANS EVERYTHING to me – it’s like food for my soul – it helps me in ways you can only imagine.
I’ve never known this many people in my life and the list keeps growing :)
When I came to the board, I was of course, at a different stage of my journey. I was looking for a connection and open and honest communication between each other - You guys have "delivered" on that!
I’d already traveled some of the roads many of you are going down today, so I thought my role would be to try and help, inspire and support this wonderful group of people who I just wanted to get to know and share with . I want you to know that you have ALL been that to me and so much more! (((SEMIS;))))
Just having you around for the 3rd leg of my journey is so comforting to me now. I honestly still don’t know how I faced down what I did for so long without some good friends such as you :)
My emotions have been boiling under the surface I guess since the re-dx and I just failed to acknowledge how I was really feeling about things and the other day when we set the surgery date, things got a whole lot “more real” very quickly. The countdown is on now. ..24 days to go. I’ve got a lot to wrap up at work and home to get everything ready.
I wanted to tell you this story – and CareGivers this one is for you too, I can never ever forget you guys and the price you pay to take care of us.
I’m guilty sometimes, well many times, of not really acknowledging how Kim feels while I’m going through this. She is one who does not like to talk about things like this – she just really cannot do it is all there is and I know accept her for that and I thank God I found the Board so I can tell you what I feel and experience.
She expects me to be strong and I have to portray that image for her so she does not lose Hope and Faith. When she sees me handling things, then it makes it easier to her.
Now this brings me to my story…I want to talk a minute about ANGER. I believe when we get the cancer diagnosis, whether it’s the 1st time or the 3rd time like me, that the emotions are always the same – and they are.
I skip past Denial and go straight to Anger – after all having been through this more than once, I know exactly how much time and effort it will take before I can get back to TODAY where I am feeling as good as I can given everything. You know the surgery itself, the hopsital stay and all that entails, healing and the resulting infections etc. than can occur. Time off from work, trying to get back to work, trying to recover and the many, many follow-up visits etc.etc.
I mean when you stick your finger in a light socket, it hurts right? We know not to do that more than once. Sadly, with surgery and cancer and fighting for our lives, we must sometimes do the things we know we don’t want to do, so we can get better and keep going.
Ok, so a day or 2 after we met with the onc, me and the honey began bickering and we got to where we could not say Hello without an argument.
But, let’s look at the underlying causes…stress…which can lead to Anger, and the emotions have to come out somewhere, don’t they?
Anyway, we were carpooling in last week and we had a few words that morning and as we drove, she said “Maybe it’s just time we get a divorce.”
I told her to pull the trigger and I would do that for her and set her free. The rest of the ride to work as in silence. We were literally 2 feet away from each other – but miles apart in our minds.
When we got close to her work, she tells me “I’ll buy you some breakfast because we are early.” So she swung by McD’s and I had a sausage biscuit with a hash brown…Buzzard, I like the biscuit and I know you like the McGriddle :)
When we drove up to her work, she acknowledged to me, “I know you are just ANGRY right now.” And that was a tender moment between us…she does not tell me her feelings and she was finally telling me she got it.”
I said "From a Divorce to a biscuit, huh?" Of course, she did not mean it, but my point is the CareGiver has it just as rough if not rougher than we do, and their lives are messed up equally…I know my house runs because of my wife Kim…if it were not for her, the home would not be what it is…and I would not be alive today, because she made me get the colonoscopy…and she saved my life that day.
So, when we are all angry, we are not MAD at each other – it’s just the Pain and the Cancer talking, right Jennie :)
Patteee told me in a post that she appreciated how I “put myself out there” for people to see, so I am just letting everybody know this story – I’m sure you have yours too! But what this lets us know, is that it is OK to have anger and feelings do come up, but we deal with them, hug each other, and get back to the battle.
I spoke about this at the hospital the other day – part of the discussion was Anger and it’s underlying causes.
And Kathleen – Aloha! This was what I wanted you to see when I posted to you the other day…you had stated that you and Dick would be getting mad, sad, and the other…and I understand this…and if you’ve read this, well then you get it.
Everybody loves each other, but when stressful times come, we sometimes take it out on our significant others, because who are you going to do this too, right?
You can’t do it at work, or to your neighbors, or family members, they will all just walk away…so this is a normal feeling we all experience with Cancer…I think it’s OK to feel that way and apologize when this happens…if it is routine, then it’s not OK…but occasional slip-ups do happen and that’s what I wanted to point out.
DEPRESSION – another topic we discussed at the hospital.
Bdee (Debbie) opened a post for this and so I wanted to talk about that for a minute here.
Debbie, I think Depression is again another facet of the journey that we all face as well.
It’s also normal to have depressing feelings especially with the cancer situation. I believe more than a few days of depression can start to become not normal…for me 2 or 3 days here not feeling right, but still working, is sometimes the norm and part of the human condition.
As a society, we sometimes “over-medicate” the population – you know, take a pill for this and take a pill for that and it will all go away.
Now, first of all, I’m for depression or anxiety medication if that’s what is called for and if a person needs the help to keep them sane and moving forward. If it’s helping and not hurting, then go for it.
But, we should also acknowledge that depression is a normal human reaction to life’s issues in general and not just cancer. So, sometimes it is OK to feel blue for a day or 2 and move on.
To personally illustrate, a week or so ago I had a 2-3 day spell of depression. The feeling kept getting worse and on a Friday I came home really despondent and just had a heavy heart and just could not pull out of it.
After that, the bickering began, frustration was released, and now we’re getting along just fine. We spent the weekend in the yard cutting branches off trees and I had to secure guttering back to the house, so were again a TEAM.
Why do I mention this?
Well, it’s because I’m just letting everybody know that this is OK and there have been topics of discussion on the board and I wanted to contribute my experience to that.
So, Anger and Sadness are the first stops of the grieving process that we encounter during a diagnosis or a re-diagnosis of Cancer.
Next up, will be the FIGHT stage, where I get my mind right – to FIGHT!
And then, 24 days from now, I’ll hop up on a gurney and wait for them to “turn out the lights.” It is my sincerest wish that I “see” each of you again.
Cancer does not define me, but how I live and fight with Cancer DOES define me.
And in the event that anything happens to me and I don’t make it back here, then I want you all to know what a BLESSING that you are to me…and I’ve discovered the wonderous joys of having FRIENDS.
You are all so real to me and we know enough about each other to develop relationships and feelings for one another - mine get stronger for you every day!
You know it’s funny, I read your posts and see your pictures, and I swear sometimes “I can see your lips moving” while you talk to me :)
Lastly, I wanted to talk about Sundance for just a minute to show you how smart our dogs truly can be :)
Sadly, it has been just over a year since I lost my pal and his mama and papa still miss him so :(
Anyway, Sundance used to come and lay down next to me in bed. He would place his head in my colon area and he would lay there sometimes for quite awhile – we always wondered why he would do that…well I had colorectal cancer, in the spot where Sundance used to lay his head!
Then, when we thought we were ahead of the Cancer and it was behind us for the most part, he began laying his head on my LIVER on the side.
I used to joke to Kim and say, “Sundance, does your papa have cancer again?”
I was joking, but in the back of my mind I wondered…well, I wondered no more, because I had the mets to the Liver and it was big a round as a tennis ball or small orange! Can you believe that? Sundance was trying to tell us something – such a smart boy he was! Still the best thing I’ve ever done…he brought us such joy in our lives.
That’s the reason why I am SUNDANCE on the board – the care and love he gave me, I honor his memory and use his name, so I can reach out to others as he reached out to me.
I’ll open a post right before the surgery date as a reminder – and just to hear from you again – I have not been one to ask for much yet on the Board, but always gladly accept your Love, Friendship, and Support, good wishes, good vibes, or whatever is in your “medicine cabinet” to send my way.
I’m sorry my post was so long, but I do not get the chance to express myself in this manner except when I open a post – I don’t want to squash somebody else’s posts because they need their post for their feelings or questions. I just wait until the opportunity seems right and then I just try and talk with you, because I need to…we all want to feel loved and accepted don’t we?
Thank you for putting up with me and for sending some of the most loveliest words from your replies that I’ve ever read in my life…
I’ve been sad and melancholy too along with little fits of anger and frustration…I found myself going back to a couple of posts I opened and re-reading your responses and immediately I began to feel better.
You never know who you are going to touch when you post – someone posting or someone just reading – or BOTH!
I’ll close this post by adding that I echo the feelings that Buzzard and Phil talked about the other day – that Cancer does change your life for the better in more ways than you can understand right now.
I also feel it is important for the OL’ TIMERS to be here on the board and posting – leaving the light on and showing others that this “Can Be Done.”
I feel it is an honor to me personally and a responsibility to me and I’ve enjoyed sharing my life with you and you sharing your lives with me…Semi;Colons ROCK!
Canada Rob, it’s time to crank up the generator ‘cause I need to Channel the energy of the Semi;Colons again to get me to where I need to go now.
Oh, BTW, welcome home, Mags! I’ve not gotten the chance to get to know you just yet, but hope to :)
Well, I’m going to have a relaxing evening tonight as Arlington, Texas goes NATIONAL with the biggest event in the city’s history – the opening of Cowboys Stadium tonight @ 7pm (CST) on your NBC network – Sunday Night Football in America.
I’m just a few miles across town from the new digs and never would have figured a day like this would happen – going to be hyped like the Super Bowl tonight so even if you don’t like football, check some of the stadium out – we used to party up and down the streets where the new stadium is now – surreal :)
And when you think of the Cowboys – think of Arlington, Texas – and when you think of Arlington, Texas – think about your fellow semi; Craig – he LOVES YOU!
THANK YOU, my friends and family – so glad to be among you :)
OK, I think I’m done now…for now….but stay tuned, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel :)
I’m outta’ here…
Always your friend - Always in your corner!