Well here we are, back on 4 North A, actually it’s only me here, but you are all with me in spirit. I have received a remarkably reduced amount of emails lately as well as a remarkably high amount of email relating to my recent email theme or tone. While yes the tone may change my attitude hasn’t and at present I am debating how far I will extend this attitude of mine, adopted at the beginning of My Series.
We have gone through interesting times you all and I, in the past few months. I have opened my doors and shared many of my thoughts with a group of people who would not normally hear these thoughts. As a result I have received incredible messages from people that would not normally send messages. This I feel has made many of us closer, whether we know it or not, and the range of emotions and thoughts that I have taken from “My Friends” ( which is the name of this email group), has been amazing. I have tried to be inspirational, motivational and informative to you all, and feel I have done the best job I could do. There have been times when I haven’t felt up to the challenge and there have been times when I have dismissed the challenge as nothing more than a fleeting negative thought. Either way I have given you my best, which is something I have mixed feelings about, as I never do tell the whole truth but I also feel that you don’t need to know the whole truth. This thought stems from early in November when I decided that I wouldn’t talk about how tough things were or give people the gritty details until we were at the victory party, which I think about a lot. And I am very comfortable with my decision, you don’t need to know and you won’t know until such a time when we can look back together and discuss the experience objectively and without quite as much emotion, which is not possible at this point. I feel this is where I have been strongest. You may feel differently and you’re allowed!
My Recent Messages: I do agree I have had a different approach in recent messages, as I have not had the desire to have my computer in front of me, whether it was when I was home and enjoying those comforts or in hospital “enjoying” these comforts. For whatever reason the last thing I wanted to do many times was write and tell everyone how I was doing, but I did manage to send some info and I’m sure that was good for me. The My Friends email group represents one of the few commitments I have made and kept since early November and that is important to me.
I think at this point in my Cancer Challenge I have begun to understand why I have being feeling the way I have in the past two weeks. I hit it two days ago when I said “I’m sick of being sick”! And I really think that is it, for the past couple of weeks I have really been uncomfortable with my situation, as XMAS gave me a brief return to my old life almost exactly as it was. This was a great experience and I had an excellent XMAS, but I think it made it that much harder for me to come back into hospital. The chemo portion of game 2 was much more difficult than game 1 on the mental side, as I willingly walked into hospital. That walk I will remember always, and I kind of enjoyed the actual walk. I got chills in my spine, and I honestly felt like I was walking to the ice for a big hockey game, it was something I remember finding so strange at the time. I haven’t thought much about it since except that the feeling was very distinct. And just like the Newfoundland weather my feeling changed completely once I arrived at 4 North A, I was in a ward room with two really sick men who were as loud as a rock concert, there was noise everywhere the room was cold, no privacy which is very important to me, etc… This didn’t fit the mental picture I had been working on for game 2, I went from playing in Toronto’s Air Canada Center to Mundy Pond’s Twin Rinks in the blink of an eye. From there I decided that I would not start chemo unless I could be guaranteed a private room, lalalalala so the process began. My second hospital stay started at 11:00 a.m. on the 2nd, I didn’t start chemo until 7:00 that night which furthers my frustration level as I was doing other things all day, things which I thought were looked after. Hey, the learning continues. That is how game 2 started and I think it was a little foreshadowing as things have not flowed as smoothly as I thought they would, and that is when I realized that things probably aren’t flowing smoothly because I am getting a little tired of the direction things are flowing.
I must qualify these statements, as I do value this experience, which is something we will talk more about in the future, but what I have found is that I am starting to miss many things that I used to do. I think most of you can remember my message when I talked about “what having Cancer means to me”, well here is the paragraph I wrote just to refresh your memory.
To me having Cancer means, I can do very little if any work, it means having no energy to do regular things like walk around, it means having no hair, it means having platelet counts that are regularly under 20 when they are normally 150-450 and hemoglobin levels of less than 70 when they should be around 140, it means I’m in bed almost 24 hours a day 7 days a week, so far but that will change, it means I take a lot of drugs some of which give me a bad stomach and other aches and pains, it means these aches and pains lead to tests and often more drugs, it means I get way too many needles, it means, I can’t believe I’m writing this, that I am getting used to way too many needles, it means I get to hear from people I haven’t heard from in a while or ever even, it means a delay in my schedule to take over the world, it means a change in short and long term priorities, it means I will have an opportunity to help a lot of people after my victory, it means I’m facing the biggest challenge of my life, it means that I may be in hospital for a very long time, it means when this is over, I’ll be stronger than ever and were going to have a big dirty party(dirty means good for those of you in more senior age brackets), it means a lot of things get put in perspective, it means you learn a lot about people and more importantly it means you learn a lot about the people in your life, and it means you look forward to the little things.
I said at that time that I would most definitely add to that list, and I think I will with a little twist. Many of you have written and told me how much more you have enjoyed the little things, that especially this XMAS you didn’t take as many things for granted. I feel partly responsible for that and I am glad that I contributed to that experience, hopefully we all will enjoy the little things more often throughout the year. The above paragraph talks about a variety of things, but I will only talk about the things I miss, the things that I really enjoy doing that I haven’t been able to do as I have wanted since November. The things that I have had stolen from me.
I miss living on my own, in my own apartment, playing my music at my own level, I miss Friday night gatherings with my buddies which often see us act our shoe size not necessarily our age, I miss being the life of the party, I miss having parties, I miss the view from Signal Hill, one of my favourite places in the world, I miss being able to eat whatever I want where ever I want, I really miss hockey, playing and coaching, this is one of the things I miss the most, I miss working and all the ups and downs that go with it, I miss the feeling of accomplishment that accompanies the completion of a project, I miss being in public as a regular person, something which I feel I will never experience again, I miss going out to dinner, I miss the Nachos at Jungle Jim’s, the milkshakes at Dairy Queen, the wings at Greensleeves and of course the Onion Rings with “extra seasoning and five ketchup” at A&W, I miss being 215 pounds and saying “man I have to get my ass in shape some time soon”, I miss dressing up and wearing a tie everyday, I miss “laying it on the line” with prominent Newfoundlanders such as Mr. Geoff Stirling (laying it on the line means introducing yourself to someone who has no idea who you are, and more to the point probably won’t care), I miss working to grow the Young Entrepreneurs Association, which is a place I selected to make great contribution, I miss watching “The Saint” for the 37th time, I miss my memory, which seems to come and go, and right now its beginning to go…. I may continue later.
I think you understand. Next time you get a message that is short or overly direct it may be because I am feeling as I have felt recently, or else it may be an entirely different reason. Either way I give you my best effort always.
Stay in touch,