Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DAY 488 - Day 391 in Recovery Paradise

I sincerely recommend a diary/blog for anyone going through interesting times in their life. The one thing that any of us can count on is that change will occur. A blog, page or post is a snapshot of your soul at a moment in infinite time. To peruse it later when you have popped out the other side is enlightening.

I started this blog post the day I was diagnosed in May 2008. My posting for September 30, 2008 - one year ago today - featured two of my favorite quotes and some inane blather about a sore throat, an infection in my feeding tube and throwing up. Wow. I am glad those days are in the past. Here are the two quotes that are much more meaningful to me a year later:

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get." Ann Taylor

Song of the day: Tom Petty - I Won't Back Down

I still follow the group. Now that I am mostly on the other side of this interestingly hellaceous experience, I can offer up comments from the past as others did for me a year ago. Here is my post to a new member of the group commenting on the importance of caregivers in the road to recovery:

Big KUDOS to the reminder that we give EXTRA credit to the caregivers. I don't know how I would have handled it without incredible positive support from my wife and daughter. They had to live with my throwing up and shuffling back and forth like I was 100 years old (and a bit of whining from time to time). They were always upbeat and REFUSED to allow me to feel sorry for myself.

Positive affirmations, constantly repeated, as well as something to look forward to as a reward to making it to the other side of a very stormy sea (for me it was a hot air balloon ride - my sister sent a HUGE poster of a giant hot air balloon over the Napa Valley to pin up on the wall) only helps, just as the opposite of feeling sorry for yourself just makes a bad thing worse.

You will see a repeating theme here of REALLY appreciating life, love, sunsets and bread so much more when you pop out the other side of feeding tubes, shakes and liquid meals that you can barely keep down.

There were many posts last year that I would read, read and re-read to reassure myself that, I too, was going to make it and not only get my life back, but hopefully exchange it for a much better one. I was lucky, as I have had a very full life, but as we all have, had some undone tasks of a personal nature. The value exchange for the most precious thing we all possess - TIME - has changed markedly. I get up first every morning and make breakfast and coffee for my wife and take my daughter to the bus stop everyday and cherish those 10 minutes we share each morning before I head off to work. NEVER miss an opportunity to tell those around you how much you care for them and appreciate them and how LUCKY you are to have them in your life. TIME is a gift. Now that we all have been reminded that our time is not infinite, we can do a much better job of distributing what we do have.

I often think -What if I was hit by a car that morning instead of hearing my doctor say "You have CANCER"....I never would have gotten the chance to express my love and gratitude to those around me. In a way, the doctor's statement was a gift...not only to those around you that are special, but also to YOURSELF. Those "I will get around to it later" days are HERE! Eat off the good china, buy the expensive shampoo that is never on sale, have the espresso after dinner or even go on the balloon ride. When it is your turn, go out with a grin remembering time well spent, with no regrets of not having used your gift of a bit more TIME, a bit more wisely.

You will survive this. Your life will get even better than it was BC. We have been given the gift of the opportunity of well-used time. As you sip your Scandia Shakes and hold up your feeding tube til your arm goes numb, spend your thoughts, not feeling sorry for yourself, but rather feel a bit sorry for those that will live the same length of time as you, but waste the precious time we do have and NEVER got the wake-up call.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

DAY 487 - Day 390 in Recovery Paradise

One year ago today (September 29, 2008), I posted:

"I fixed dinner for the family tonight: roast beef deli rolls, corn-on-the-cob, salad and peaches and strawberries for dessert. I had my feeding tube. Not quite the same. I can still smell everything. I miss eating. When the saliva comes back, I would love to sit down to dinner with my family. My mouth is still a bit sore and my throat is sore. The meds are slowly catching up."

Song of the Day: Creedance Clearwater-Long As I Can See the Light

One year later:

Tonight, I made grilled salmon, homemade mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced heirloom tomatoes and fresh beets from our new organic farm delivery service (first delivery today) and garlic toast. I dined with my family and ate it all. What a difference a year makes.


We all went out for ice cream to celebrate the news that Sarah, age 11-6th grade, was made principal chair of the cello section of her school string orchestra...five cello players and her teacher placed her number 1....also is currently making straight A's. Woo-Hoo.

A year ago I couldn't have eaten dinner or gone out for ice cream. It is good to be here.

Life is good.