Sorry For The Absence

I am sorry that I have not been around lately. This is supposed to be an open and honest journal of what is going on with my journey thru the disease of lung cancer and on to my recovery. I plan on showing the ups and downs of the process, not just the good times.

I have not posted in a while because I have had a few bad days recently. Days that I caused the problem, not the disease or the treatment. I have not been following instructions. And, when that happens, not so nice things happen in return.

I have been told that one of the side effects to the chemo is constipation which is caused in part by the chemicals but in a large extent to staying hydrated and taking my stool softeners and laxatives.

I am to be drinking 64 plus ounces per day of fluid and stool softener twice a day.

Well, I started dropping of and the constipation jumped on me in a big way. This then zapped my energy and desire to eat and drink and the spiral continued. This, combined with a bit of anemia, just zapped me.

I would sleep 9 – 10 hours, get up for a couple and lay down for a couple of hours and then back to bed early. Having accomplished nothing.

Then my treatment team decided that I needed an infusion of iron which helped a lot for a couple of days. That is until my failure to follow instructions (fluid and laxatives) caught up again. Got another infusion and that is helping.

For the last couple of days, I have been in Crested Butte, Colorado and the altitude has gotten to me. I am 69 years old and getting chemo and tried to act like a healthy kid. I got exhausted and just spent about a day and a hold in bed.

So, this post is to tell you that I am sorry to have ducked out on my responsibility to keep you posted on my journey and will do a better job going forward. But also to say FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS. It is a lot easier that trying to catch up on the back side.

Resentments Be Gone

This is about constipation, so, if anyone does not like the subject, move on.

I have had problems being regular all of my life. I can remember a very traumatic incident that occurred when I was in probably 6th grade. I had not thought about this in many years so it definitely needs to be gone.

Louise Hay says that forgiven anger and resentment can lead to cancer.

Reading her book, I have come up with a minimum of 4 resentments that I did not realize I had. For years, I have been telling my sponsor that I did not have any resentments and truly believed that to be fact.

I am 69 years old, been in AA 28 years and doing some of the work suggested (I now know that the only things I did were anything where I did not have to change my thinking) and thought that I did not have any resentments.

So, I have written them sent them via text to me so I do not ‘forget’ them, told my sponsor so we can work on them and am getting ready to begin writing. This, for me, is huge, following instructions.

What I have to say to anyone is do what your sponsor says, write it down and get it out. If you keep it between your ears, it will kill you.

Love Is The Answer

Wow, what a great day! I have a fantastic life! And, life is as good as I allow it to be.

Today started off with my 9:00 AM men’s meeting, 60 or 70 sober drunks (working on their lives, awesome.

Then, in the afternoon, got to spend time with family and a very good friend from Houston and talked to her a bit about recovery (she is a thyroid cancer survivor).

And, ended the day with a ‘family after meeting’. About 18 couples in recovery getting together to share experience, strength and hope.

Now, someone that is not familiar with any of these might say ‘how boring’. But, not me.

These are some ‘of the good things in life’ that come my way on a daily basis.

There were also (myself included) 4 cancer survivors at this last meeting. We have two things in common, putting the diseases of alcoholism and cancer into ‘remission’.

I am told that with regard to my alcoholism,  I have a ‘daily reprieve contingent upon my spiritual condition’. I take this to include my mental condition/attitude. I am also learning that my mental attitude is very important with regard to my cancer recovery. Life is as good as I allow it to be.

What I mean by the title of this post is that love is the answer to my problems. If I can begin to love myself without reservation, my attitude and (per a couple of authors I am reading) health improve. I am also then able to start showing others love.

What I give out returns in multitudes. So, if I give out some love, a lots comes back.

Bloody Nose

This was not a fun day, had a bloody nose most of the day.

I think that a couple of years ago, I got a low grade infection. Not enough to make me sick, just enough to aggravate.

I would get a runny nose that stayed a few days or weeks and then go away. Occasionally, it I would get a ‘sinus headache’ (not the kind I got when I was drinking which at that time was a hangover…). So, I did not think anything of it.

Then, a couple of years ago, one of my teeth started to hurt and it felt like an abscess. Went to the dentist and nothing was there. So, I got antibiotics and got it cleared up. This occurred every couple of years. Same tooth, antibiotics, pain goes away.

So, today, I got  bloody nose that would not stop. I did the head down, pinch the top of the nose … All the time, with a bit of a runny nose which is from this old problem.

I finally realized that this runny nose was aggravating the bloody side and (along with the ibuprofen I have been taking) it would not stop bleeding.

So, once I stopped messing with it (blowing, picking, rubbing), it was able to clot and stop bleeding.

So, why did I go on that ramble? To tell you to pay attention to the small things in your life. Be your own health advocate, no one else will, they don’t know your body like your do.

Your doctor has too many patients to look deep into the details of your life without you telling them. Bring up all the small aches and pains to make sure they have a full picture of your health, that is the only way they can do their job.

I quit messing with it and the bleeding stopped, finally. We were able to sped a very nice day with family and friends. We went to one of our support groups (more on that tomorrow) and got some much needed love and support.

I realize I rambled a bit today, but that is what I am trying to do, tell you what is going on with my life, what you may experience if you are on this path. I am trying to take some of the fear out of the big ‘c’ by relating my experience, strength and hope.

I understand that the different forms of the disease will create different problems opportunities for each of us. I am just trying to show that it does not have to be the big fearsome thing that a lot of people believe it to be.

Time To Get Off Of The Dime

In the last few weeks, I have been a bit in the dumps. In the back of my mind has been the ‘why me’ and ‘how can this happen to me’ questions. I know that they may be normal for some one with cancer, but, I cannot afford to be going down that rabbit hole.

I have been reading a lot about the mind/body connection and believe that this has a lot to do with recovery.

In AA meetings, I ask a question. ‘Are you here to stop drinking or to get sober’? Anyone can stop drinking for a while but then when a problem comes up, they forget about not drinking. Someone that is there to get sober is committed and ready to stick around for the long haul.

So, my question to you, if you have a life threatening disease, is ‘are you here to ‘just’ live another day or you here to get healed? The answer will have a lot to do with how you handle the future.

I believe that if you are here for another day or two, in the back of your mind is the question ‘when will my cancer be back’? This leaves the idea that it will be back and, I think, this provides a perfect environment for the cancer to grow.

On the other hand, if you are here to get healed, you believe that the disease can be healed. That, one day, you will be free from the disease.

From all the reading I am doing, the latter position is the one that will have the most positive impact on your life and disease. There is no guarantee that you will be healed, but, your life will be one heck of a lot better than if you sit around just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

So, for me, I am here to heal my disease. I will be sharing resources that I find around the web that support this idea. I am taking it as my mission to share with you anything that will help you heal your disease.

So, come on and lets get off of the dime and bring about some healing. I am ready to commit if you are.

Bunch Of Pain Yesterday

But, it had nothing to do with my chemo or that stuff.

A few months back, I had a hernia surgery and am still recovering from that. Part of the recovery is physical therapy.

Yesterday, I went to my session and think it was a bit too strenuous. I stretched that did not need stretching. Specifically, my hip. Later in the day, I was in serious pain, all in my hip.

But, the port and my chemo are both just rocking along. I was lead to believe that I would encounter some nausea and pain by the fourth day, not yet.

This leads me to something that I am starting to wonder about. The foretelling of problems that may come about. Do these lead to a self fulfilling situation where the ‘they’ tell us that we will be having problems, we believe them and manifest the problem?

The more I read about the disease, I am starting to think that this may be something to be aware of and keep in mind.

I don’t know for sure if I can make something good come about with my thoughts, I believe this but do not have any solid proof from my life. But, I do know that I can bring about the crap if I concentrate on that, I have proven this many times.

So, to work on bringing about the good things, I concentrate on them and trust that I can bring about part of them.