Hola Carnales

Monday, March 31, 2008

I think ive heard my grandpa speak off...well basically saying "Fuck it All" at least 3 time already. He said something the other day...well let me back up a bit.

He was taking back into the hospital over the weekend. Seems that he has a small fracture on his lower back. Signs of osteoporosis. I didn't want to go to the hospital this time. So Id stayed home. In the morning i was talking with my mom. "Do you know know what your grandfather said?" "No mom..." I fucking hate rhetorical questions. "He said it be better off if he (my grandpa) jumped off the roof like Uncle Eddie..." I guess i had a uncle that killed himself. Like i said, this isn't the first time he brought this up. I know he's serious. Before he went into surgery, he said he didn't want to be saved..."Just let me Die." I guess we all have been around enough depressed people to see and know the signs. The family's response to "grandpa's funny joke" was just that...they laughed. I guess that all you can do. What do you tell an old man? "Hey...you're suffering from depression." This doesn't mean anything to an old man. Something like this can beat the shit out of you...you're never the same.

I'd called my grandpa when i was in the hospital. I remember the last thing he told me was: "Dont get get depressed over there." I didn't have the heart to tell i was doing it with a hot Navy nurse. It wasn't depression, it was more frustration. I was out on my own, dealing with what to do next. I didn't know what to do after surgery...no one knew. I had this case worker who sent me around to different places, asking questions, getting answers...to what!? It was frustrating to hell. Not knowing if i was going to be discharged or not, if i did what about health care, what was i going to do? That ran through my head...nights in Great Lakes turned from blistering heat to cool Fall nights, to snow, to winter. All the while thinking, what was i going to do. This one day, it had snowed all night. Nothing heavy, just enough to make the shithole I was in...it make it look like a dream, like everything was ok. I sat at the desk, filling out paper work. I just stared out the window, looking at sleeping tree draped in snow. What was i going to do.

I can relate to my grandfather's frustration...what i am i going do.

Music and Lyrics

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Today did not have a remarkable beginning. My eyes just popped opened at around 6:00 AM. It wasn't my plan to get up so early, but I could not fight my body's desire to accomplish something. I have had the flu for over two weeks, and I haven't gone out of the apartment in days. So, today I was off to the bagel shop and then to the supermarket and then back home. Hopefully, on the journey I would get a chance to breathe in the air and feel the brightness of the sun. It was important that I get home on time because...

On a public television network there was a special on John Denver, so I was looking forward to watching a John Denver Concert. As I waited I thought about how much I loved John Denver's music and I wondered what he had been like. I saw him in concert once, and I felt such a connection with his poetry, lyrics and music. I never knew why I wanted to cry when I heard his music. I just thought that it was "me" being overly-emotional. Unfortunately...

The television show was interspersed with pleas for money...it sort of changed my desire to experience John Denver, uninterrupted. So, I left my apartment and got into my car and turned on the CD player ---where I have five John Denver discs. Here, I would listen to the music alone and without interruption. A few minutes into one of Denver's song, I got that old feeling. It went so far into my body's core. I started to cry and then for the first time I wondered why. Denver's music made me feel that he was singing to me. That his words had been written with me in mind. But, most astoundingly, John Denver's words made me feel loved. I felt that I was special and the song and music made me feel that I had the right to be loved. It had been so long since I felt loved but...

John Denver's music and lyrics have a way of letting us know that we are not alone in anything we do. His words describe journeys we have all been on. The scenery might be different but the experience feels the same. He tells about love, passion and lost love. And somehow we all understand those experiences. Although I have never skied in Aspen, Colorado, when John Denver sings about it, I know I have been there - cutting in and out and jumping moguls with a courage I never knew I had. His mournfulness, his love, his truthful words and his passion about nature reach out to us. He knew pain and suffering and he still wished to "soar like an eagle". The emotional pain that I was feeling about my flu and cancer seemed to get overpowered by John Denver's music and lyrics and sort of dissolved. Therefore...

I invite you to have a wonderful experience - get some John Denver CDs and sit back and enjoy the precious treasure that you are! Or find someone whose music and lyrics you can use to awaken you to life, regardless of what is happening.
Peace and Joy, AMF

Strength Training benefits during Chemotherapy

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Researchers is Canadian just reported the positive effects that cardiovascular and strength training provide breast cancer patients during chemotherapy treatments. They found that the completion rate of treament, for patients that participated in either type of exercise was greater than for the patients that didn't perform any regular exercise.

Personally, I found that during my treatments I seemed to fair much better than many of the women that were receiving chemo treatment at the same time. I truly believe that by being physically fit going into my treatment and staying as active as possible during treatment made a big difference in my ability to handle to chemo.

I had times when getting out of bed was difficult to say the least, but I knew in a couple of days I would feel better. On those days when I had the energy to walk and get fresh air it always proved to be good for me both physically and mentally. Certainly, I wasn't able to keep up the same intensity that I did before surgery and chemo, but I did keep moving as much as possible. Remember doing something is better than doing nothing.

Many women complain of weight gain during chemo for breast cancer. This can be avoided or at least minimized by exercise. Exercise also helps you participate in your own health and well-being by being proactive during your journey. For me it was the one thing I had some control over instead of being passive.


Monday, March 3, 2008

I was asked a question the other day. My aunt asked how long it took me to recover from my surgery. My grandpa is having bypass surgery this week, and seeing that he'll have his chest cracked, my aunt thought to ask. The age difference alone i told her...I said that from time to time, when i cough it hurts. Sometimes my chest will crack like a knuckle.

Its still something i have to come to terms with. Its not something that i can hide, or something that i dont have to see. Its something i have to explain every time i lay down with a girl, or i have my shirt off. Its not that im shy about it...i talk about my surgery when asked. It was...something that i dont think about that much anymore. I dont know why this is bugging me so much...if bugging is the right word to use. It been on my mind since the other day.

Each time someone or something forces me to think about cancer...im not sure it gets easier...it gets harder. The more i want to let it go, more its there. I know the irony in that...

George asked me why i stop writing...im not sure i gave him a straight answer, but a tangent about corporate greed or some other life rambling. There is no good answer why. I guess the easiest...ive had some sort of writers block going on for a long time. I have some bright spots of creativity, but mostly i draw a blank. More along the truth, i often dont want to talk about...

Seems ive been working on this blog for months. The good news, the surgery went well. Though, there was a point that...my grandpa could die on that table. What was i going to say at the funeral. Someone shouldn't be thinking that...but it was sobering. I started to scribble something down. When he came out ok, I knew one day i'll have to dig up that napkin. It was hard to go to the hospital. I knew the pain he was feeling, with all the tubes, the background noise from the machines that seems be drowned out the deafen silence of the hospital. When i sat with for awhile, the oxygen tube in his noise...i looked. He started to clean his noise. I said "its a pain in the ass huh? I could never breath with that damn thing..." He laughed and agreed. He look disheveled...sort of the way i did. Though i had short hair and a watch cap on after. It such a helpless feeling to put your hands into someone you dont know, dont trust, but you have to trust them to the most basic of stuff...help you up, clean your ass if need be, change you...its...well you can image. Its strange, thought not directly, ive relived my ordeal though him. Probrobly why ive stayed away from the hospital...I think he knows why.

The good news, as of this afternoon, he was doing well. Though no news on when he'll be coming home. I've sent my suit to be clean. I started to polish my shoes...much like my grandpa taught me as a kid. Ive tucked that napkin away...just in case you know.