Monday, November 9, 2009

A Fresh Start

Well, quite a few things of note have happened in just a couple of weeks since the last update. I thought it prudent to share with all of you so as to keep you apprised of my situation and in an effort to keep these updates a little shorter. Here goes.

First, I had some really deep and meaningful talks, the kind of talks that really set you back on your heels and make you take a hard look at your life. Who you are, where you’ve been and just where you are going. I’d like to start with the “where I have been” part. I used to be a very angry person and I know some of you could see this and many of you had to deal with it. Still others I’d be willing to bet never would have guessed. Point is, I can see the truth of it and I mean to continue to change that. It’s simply NOT who I want to be. I have also had a pretty negative attitude about life in general as of late and I mean to change that as well. It simply won’t do if I intend to see myself through this thing called cancer. I need to get positive and stay positive throughout this trial if I am to be successful.

Now, onto where I am going. I am going to heal myself by whatever means necessary! It simply won’t do to sit around waiting until the transplant is my only remaining option to stay alive. It IS my only option for life, period! I had some interesting conversations with my doctors over the course of the past couple of weeks as well and what that led to is this; if I were to try the last remaining medication and just try to deal with its side effects, with the ongoing transfusions my body would continue to build up iron and eventually vital organs would begin to fail. At this point I would likely not BE healthy enough for the transplant so that leaves me with just trying to maintain my “quality of life” or as good as they can give me. Not cool… Or… I can go to Seattle, to the BEST facility in the United States for Bone Marrow Transplants, and get the transplant done and have a chance (a much better chance than I was initially given at the Mayo Clinic) at LIFE. A fresh start, a new beginning. So my friends and family, I am going to take that chance and be rid of this crap in me once and for all, cause DAMNIT, I WANNA LIVE!!! Nuff said.

As for who I am, I honestly can’t say right now. I am not even sure that I know or that any of us really ever does know who we are. But I do know who I’d like the world to see when they look at me, and I aim to get myself to that point one way or another. I can see that I am here, now, in California for several reasons. One, this is where I can get the absolute BEST care to treat my disease. My “team” of doctors has been working very hard to get things pointed in the right direction for that to happen. Sure, we have hit some snags along the way, but they are willing to listen to what I have to say and what I wish to have done (good thing for them!). After a battery of tests to ensure that I am healthy enough for the transplant, which culminated in yet another bone marrow biopsy, things look like they are right on track so far. I’d also like to tell you about that biopsy, I have had this procedure done twice in the past two years and each time with less than a perfect outcome. The first time was in a hematologist’s office with only a local sedative while he tried to push the tools through my bone, and it hurt like HELL! The second time was at the Mayo Clinic, and they offered me the option of being out cold for the procedure and I gladly accepted. Slightly better results except that I still had a lot of difficulty walking for the next several days, something I also experienced with the first one. Now here I am in California a little over a year later and I was having it done again. This time however I made my voice heard and I wanted to know why it needed to be done when nothing had changed with regards to my health, and if it was going to be done it would have to be done on my terms. I saw a friend of mine who is a hypnotherapist the night before and got some really good pointers as well as some hypnotic “suggestions” that helped tremendously. Another thing that helped was having a compassionate doctor. I lay on my side on the table with Sarah facing me in a chair and put some REALLY heavy metal music on my iPod and was just breathing, listening to my tunes, and reminding myself to relax while I told myself that I was not going to feel pain. The doctor initially kept telling me what was going on but I just kept turning up the volume on my iPod until I couldn’t hear anything but the music. She had Sarah watch for my reactions to what she was doing and when it got to be too much she would slow down or stop and take a break. She was genuinely concerned and took the time to make this the best experience I have ever had, medically speaking of course. I kid you not when I tell you that I was only a little sore after and have been able to walk since right after the procedure. I feel REALLY GOOD about where I am and who is looking after me. I strongly encourage you all to make sure that your voice is heard by your doctor and that if you are for any reason uncomfortable with that communication, by all means, GET ANOTHER DOCTOR!!! You ALWAYS have other options, always. It’s up to you to exercise them.

Another reason for my being here in California has to do with my search for my spiritual path. It has been a long and winding road but I can finally see an end to it, of sorts. I know that it will still require a lot of work but I also know that I am in the right place to do that work. Sure an’ the Lord has put me here, now, to put all parts of me right. My physical being, my mental being, and my spiritual being. I may not see where MY path is, but I am on the path that will lead me there. Now stand aside, I’ve work to do!

Brightest blessings to you one and all, and may the path ahead of you be clear and have a spectacular view.



  1. I really like this post! (I don't know if you realize that I even read these things, lol.) It's great to be able to feel the positivity that you are sending out with this one. Your attitude is contagious, and also inspiring.
    Oh, and if you need anything at all, let me know ;o)

  2. I love that you cranked up some loud tunes on your iPod to help you get through the procedure. How wonderful that everything you did plus having Sarah there and having a terrific doctor all added up to less pain and less anxiety. Woo Hoo!!!
    Ch-ch-changes are occurring in your life, and you are dealing with more than just cancer. You are facing problems head on such as anger issues, etc. I applaud you for all the work you are doing to become the man you want to be.
    I read a book many years ago when I was in high school. It was written for women, and it was called Always Becoming. The message is true for men too; we are always becoming something. Let's hope we are becoming better people, people we are proud to be when we look in the mirror.
    I pray your tests go well and that you will be fully prepared for the transplant when the right time comes.
    God bless you, Tracy.