Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Cancer and The Single Dude"

Start with my "disclaimer".....this blog is about ME and MY experiences.
One individuals journey through cancer, from diagnosis, through treatment and one of these days passing the "finish line" to becoming a SURVIVOR. 
This is written from my perspective, these are my thoughts, feelings, actions, in-actions etc etc....
If there is anything that offends you, if you think I shouldn't be "thinking certain thoughts" or "having certain feelings".......TOO BAD.....I have a right to everything I am feeling......and have a right to put down here what is on my mind, in my head, in my heart.
I am NOT speaking on behalf of any other folks fighting cancer, I can not and would not try shed a light on their experiences ....for each of us , although on similar journeys will have significantly different experiences.
So the title of this blog entry "Cancer and the Single Dude" .....guess I am trying to give my perspective on what this journey has been like going through it single and childless.
First as you all know I have a HUGE ARMY of love caring and support spread all over this planet, pulling for me, pushing me, supporting me and for that I will forever be GRATEFUL!!
But at the end of the day ....when I rest my head down on the pillow.....I am alone, alone with my thoughts, alone in the the past 5 months I have not had the opportunity to put my head on someones shoulder and cry myself to sleep, being held and feeling safe through the night.
I am soooo not whining here!!! 
This is just the way it is....the way things worked out for me......I have been single for a few years now.....I can give you many excuses , "broken hearted"...."too busy"...blah blah blah
I am sure my family and friends would interject a whole lot more scenarios if they had the chance.
This is just how it is......."SINGLE  DUDE WITH CANCER"

What being single through all of this has meant for me is .....not only am I the PATIENT , but I am also the PRIMARY CAREGIVER.
When I shit or puke the bed in the middle of the night, once the episode passes and I clean myself is me that has to strip the bed and do the laundry.
When I go into the ER I have to make sure they don't overdue it with pain meds/sedation ...I have to be lucid  enough to tell my one else knows all the details....I am the only one that knows my medication regimen, when I last took what, when I last puked, when my last chemo was etc etc etc....

Except when Amy was here in the beginning , every night I have spent in the hospital I have spent alone.

It is me that battles with the state and federal systems trying to get what I need...what I deserve.

When I get sick and am scared knowing I need to be rushed to the ER , I have to hold my shit together long enough to get down the "phone tree" till can find someone to get me to where I need to be.

Again I know I have tons of folks I can call that would be at my side at a moments notice....but the reality is everyone has lives of there, significant others, jobs etc etc.....their OWN LIVES.

It is a humbling experience to realize that although you are surrounded by so much love and the end of the day you are NO ONES #1 PRIORITY.

I have had to for some time sit back and watch my life, my world be taken away from me and replaced with this cancer......the cancer is there when I wake in the morning and its still there when I go to bed at night.
Some-days the cancer is all consuming....some nights it's all I can dream about.
It's the only constant I have had in my life the past 5 months.....I try not to let it define me....but sometimes its all I have ......
There have been times when I have been so sick I did not want anyone to see me that way...."weak" "needy"...I assume full responsibility for not letting others in at that is not (I know now) mentally healthy to lock myself in the house for days at a time because I am unable to ask others for is also not fair of me to feel down when others don't just "show up" knowing I need help without me asking for help.
"Asking for help"...."admitting weaknesses"......"depending on others".....
Thoughts and ideas that were all very foreign to me pre-cancer and the hardest of all the lessons I have had to learn.
I have been blessed with an amazing "run" through my first 6 rounds of chemo....kicking ass right up until round 5 when the nasty pneumonia got me.....
I have not needed someone at my side 24/7 caring for me....but believe  me there are days when I wish more than anything else that I had just that....
Someone who knows me better than anyone else in the world.....someone who will let me cry like a baby, let me act a fool and laugh along with me, someone who will sit quietly in the middle of the night listening to my life stories.......someone who will argue with me.....force me to "give in" when I need help.
But that is not MY REALITY

I have always puffed my chest up at being so independent and able to care for myself .....I THANK YOU ALL for teaching me that is impossible to maintain through out this battle I am fighting.
"It takes a village to raise a child"?????

Through this process some relationships have been strengthened beyond what I imagined capable, others have been damaged beyond what I imagined capable. I  have been blessed to made some amazing new friends, re-connected with so many old friends.

Getting cancer SUCKS ASS BIG TIME......
but at this point right now I would NOT go back and change nutz as it sounds in many many ways getting cancer has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
I think I have talked before on this blog of the sometimes feeling like I am alive and attending my own hear the words used to describe me, to truly understand that in my life time I actually have had a positive impact on others lives and I HAVE MADE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.
I don't delude myself to think I am a saint by no means....I am just a kid who was a long time ago lucky to be  put on a path that led him to an AMAZING many adventures, so many experiences, mistakes, triumphs.......AN AMAZING LIFE.

I have all of YOU to thank for so much - most of all reminding me how blessed I am to have a life full of so many folks, so many personalities, so many characters, so many memories, so much laughter and love.
I could not have gotten through the past 5 months without all of your support!
The love, the words of encouragement, the hugs (even the Internet kine), the financial support, the love, the home cooked meals, the "cracks upside my head" when I needed them most, the love

Of course having cancer has changed me forever....but changed me in so many many good and positive's not blowing smoke up your ass when I say I know realize what is truly important in life.
What really matters, what deserves my attentions and energies.....

Tomorrow THURSDAY JUNE 21, 2012 ........I will get the results of my PET Scan and CT scan.....
Questions of what is going on with "Bob and the Neils" will be answered....
Am I bet your ass I AM SCARED.....
But as I walk in to get "the news" I will walk in knowing "my army" is behind me supporting me
I will walk in knowing I have an a amazing inner strength that I never before realized I had.
I will walk in knowing that no matter what comes next I can and will handle it....
I will hear what needs to be known, make plans for what needs to be done and walk out of there 
one foot in-front of the other, moving forward .......

This entry looks like total ramblings.....not sure if its the lack of being able to focus my thoughts (chemo brain) or what.....not sure I got the message out I was trying to convey.
I just wanted to give folks a look into something people probably don't give a lot of thought to .....what it is like for someone who is single and living alone going through cancer....NOT A WHINE-FEST and I truly hope it didn't come off as that.
Most of all I wanted to once again thank you all for the lessons you have taught me .....This is my fight, my battle......and I wish I had more that just THANK YOU for joining me on this ride, standing at my side, having my back, lifting me back up when I am down.......making me realize I am not alone in this fight.


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