Moments – Reflections



I committed myself to CenterPoint Hospital and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.  It wasn’t the best of moments, but it glowed with my purpose, the purpose of personal advocacy.  Personal Advocacy transcends the body and the mind, it encompasses both perfection and harmony.  If we want to fight for our health we must fight for our mind.

My journey will be time stamped by my birthday on Monday, May the eighth.  This has been the hardest year of my life.  It dwarfs every experience, every hardship, every moment that came before it.  I’ve never experienced the plethora of experiences as I have this year.  From a poorly constructed village, to the burnt-out husk, I rose from the ashes as a phoenix.

This year I’ve learned so much in exchange for so much.

There is no way anyone could predict the person I would become by this coming birthday.

My journey began coughing up blood at urgent care.  My friend told me to go to the hospital, it is from this moment that my cancer journey started.  From there I would see a pulmonologist, then a thoracic surgeon, have my lung removed and move onto chemotherapy.  I would be abused by a caretaker, lose a close friend, begin a personal advocacy quest, couple with a wonderful woman, share in terrible heart break and attempt suicide.  At the end of all this I’d rise as a phoenix from the ashes becoming a new man with an old spirit.

I regret nothing, I blame no one and I cherish every moment.  There were moments of terror and others of incredible love, all of them are important to me.  I am the man I am today because of these events, though I endured pain beyond my wildest imagination I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything.


Damaged – Reflections

Damaged – Reflections



My ceiling fan creates a scraping sound as it turns followed by an occasional clink.  The curtain creepily twists and dances to the movement of a subtle wind.  A cold steel vibe swirls and floats through the room.  It’s not the wind, maybe a hallucination from exhaustion, but it’s enough to stir my heart.  Damaged and half painted my ceiling is a water mark of the many things damaged and broken in my life.

Leaning against the wall I attempted to get comfortable.  I felt a sensation that was like many nights after the surgery, it felt like rocks were digging into my back.  This night was a far date from the surgery and was a pain far worse than what I experienced in the jail bed (a bunkbed made of metal) or the ramp bed (a bed Ino broke).  I was without a guide, without a light to see passed the foggy horizon.

My shoulder had been hurting for days.  Tonight, the pain became brilliant, it had blossomed across my back like a beautiful flower.  As it bloomed, the pain stretched to greater depths deep into the roots of my soul.  The numbness crawled deep into my nerves chewing and gnawing until my insides began to scream.

The pillows were slipping between the bed and the wall, making it an uncomfortable sitting arrangement.  I could’ve gotten up, I was uncomfortable, but I wasn’t there to relax, I was there to die.

On my left was an open bottle of Ativan, to my right was a six pack of flavored alcohol.  I chatted on Facebook here and there, every few moments I ate a pill.  These things are easier when you take your time.  Thats what I tell myself, I think it helps fight the survival mechanism, but maybe it’s the opposite.  Once you’re passed the seventh pill the rest just happens.  Its like a flowing river, until all the water has filled a lake, a peaceful, uneventful lake.

I don’t know what happened next, I don’t remember.

My friend got to me before I could drink the alcohol.  I don’t know how fast it would have been, but the breathing would have been over.

Hospital Time

It doesn’t matter where I stayed, because in the state of mind I was in, anywhere would have been hell.  It sounds terrible but I should have drunk the beer, it would have been my cool-aid of choice.

I’m not good when I’m alone and confused especially in a hospital. When I woke up alone, I couldn’t remember trying to kill myself, maybe I did, maybe it just depended on the time.  I didn’t know what was going on, or why it was happening, nothing was familiar.  The room looked like a double wide trailer.  I demanded to know why I was there, maybe they answered, I don’t know.  Nothing made any sense.

In my head, I remember standing on the bed yelling, I doubt that happened.

There is a distinct sensory and visual memory of me ripping out my IV while yelling, when that happened the staff lost their shit. If that really happened then it makes sense why I remember screaming and crying in the fetal position.  There was an old lady lying beside me, comforting me, rubbing my head and arm. I don’t know if that was a person or something they injected me with.

…There is no doubt that I was a terrible guest.

 What now?

I’ve done a few unfortunate things recently, I tried to kill myself, I believe that’s a good indicator that I’m in over my head. You’re not in a good mental state when that happens I think.  I’m so tired of hospitals, but I’m falling apart.  The right thing to do is commit myself.  I’m going to be checking myself into Center Pointe  Hospital tonight.


Clog – Reflections


Clog – Relfections



My heart, like a leaky faucet has a way of sneaking up on me.  Subtly and steadily I could hear the water dripping but I never looked at the clog.  No, that’s not true.  I knew there was a clog, I just didn’t do anything about it.  There were feelings hidden behind my chest, I knew that, I just didn’t know how many.

When the light turned on to see the drip I saw the sink was so full of water it was overflowing onto the floor.   It was shocking, frantically I tried to mop it up, throwing down towels and scooping the water with my hands.

There was so much more than I thought.  It wasn’t a sink, it was a swamp, a bog at the edge of the abyss.  I was trying to drain a swamp with a few hand towels. There was so much, how could I stand against so much? I tried, I tried to do something.  I needed to get rid of all that water, but I couldn’t.  I was frightened, I had to get away, I had to run, so I ran, but there was nowhere to go.

I got into my car, and drove, I drove to Kansas City.  Once I got there I cried.  I cried because no matter where I go, there I am.  There is nowhere to go, nowhere to run or hide.  There is no escape.

The journey of cancer is a horrible one.  With incredible twists and terrible turns, it’s a roller-coaster too tall for everyone.  I’ve hated every roller-coaster I’ve ever ridden; the Great Cancer Adventure is no exception.

Even with fancy carnival rides we can’t get off till the ride is finished.  This ride has proven no different and though I hated the ride, at least I had someone to take a few rounds around the track with me.  Someone to help me forget just how scary the twists and turns can get.

Surrounded by thick bog stink and swamp mud clinging to my clothes I look to the future. I can start swimming into the abyss or climb back on these wretched rails.  Right now I just want to take a breath and rest.


This post is tied to the feelings I posted on my Facebook page