RECAFFEINATED MONDAYS: The One Where I’m Vulnerable

One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.

Golda Meir, My Life

Ukrainian-Israeli educator and politician, 4th Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir, was born ont his day in 1898 (d. 1978)


It’s Monday, and I’ve spent the weekend facing some realities.

I’ve alluded to it here before, but I’ve not spent an entire post focusing on it.

I have prostate cancer.

I’ve seen this movie before, and I didn’t give it good reviews the first time.

I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1990 and (rather quickly) had surgery and radiation. I’ve been cancer free since then. Until…

Being ever so much more than twenty I dutifully have an annual physical. Two years ago my PSA numbers were elevated. Maybe it was denial but I ignored them.

By the time I went back a year later, the numbers had doubled. There was no avoiding the appointment with the urologist. A biopsy confirmed that yes indeed, I have cancer. Subsequent tests indicated that, fortunately, it has not spread.

The next steps were immediate surgery or radiation treatments. After much consultation with my doctors,

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with my friends and with the internet, I opted for seed radiation. That meant that first I went for hormone therapy and then for the radiation.

So far the worst of it has been the side effects from the hormone therapy. There’s a long list of possibilities and I got a good few of them including hot flashes, insomnia, fatigue, and weight gain.

As if the “COVID 19 pounds” weren’t enough.

Let’s just say the last few months haven’t been all that pleasant. A pain in the butt, literally, if you will. But I was making it through.

Then last week, as I put it to a friend, I realized that $#!+$ getting real.

You know I often lament about the needed yard work. I’d be doing that if there was nothing wrong.

Thursday I mowed the front yard at lunch. It only took thirty minutes, but it wiped me out the rest of the day.

Maybe it’s not just the cancer and the treatment. I mean I’m not as young as I used to be. And the weight and arthritis already are problematic.

But, this time was different.

Friday morning I had my pre-surgery appointment at the hospital where they did some additional labwork and talked about the protocols.

Oh. The. Protocols.

It’s not that I’m scared. I have known since the beginning that there is a path to take care of this. I just thought of it as something I have to get through.

This weekend it sort of all came crashing home that the getting through it is not going to be pleasant.

Oh, I plan to get through it.

Like Churchill said “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

I’m not sure this is hell…but it’s getting awfully warm.

I realize that I am blessed. I have the best of care. I have employers who are very understanding and supportive.

I have lots of people praying for me. And I know now that I’m talking about it more, I’ll have more.

I know this post is all about me because, well, this is my blog. But I also know that I’m not the only one going through a rough patch.

What’s that meme? Be kind because everyone is going through something. That’s a paraphrase, but you get the idea.

But for my loyal readers (both of you), I thought it was time to tell the story.

I won’t write about it every day, but I’ll keep you updated.

We’re four months into 2021. If all goes as planned, in another four months, this will all be behind me.

So to speak.

Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash


 

MUSICAL INTERLUDE


 

WHAT I’M READING


 

RANDOM LINKS YOU SHOULD READ

Civil War Soldiers Glad They Didn’t Live Long Enough To Experience Horrors Of The January 6th Capitol Riot
The Babylon Bee
In a statement issued from the afterlife, various Civil War soldiers said that while it was tragic that they had to experience the war that threatened the Republic, they were at least thankful that they weren’t around on January 6, 2021, when the absolute worst attack on our democratic ideas occurred. Read more.

Poland rejects inclusion of third gender in new EU identity cards
Notes from Poland
The Polish government will not include the possibility of a third gender – separate from male and female – when it implements new harmonized European Union identity cards. Read more.

Franklin Graham Wanted to Honor Seattle Police. They Spat in His Face.
PJ Media
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is hosting dinners to express appreciation for the brave men and women in law enforcement. Yet after the BGEA’s president, Franklin Graham, invited police in Seattle, Wash., to attend one of the free dinners at a four-star hotel, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) issued a condemnation of Graham and his organization due to their support for biblical Christianity. Read more.

15 Things a Writer Should Never Do
Writers Digest
Former Writer’s Digest managing editor Zachary Petit shares his list of 15 things a writer should never do, based on interviews with successful authors as well as his own occasional literary forays and flails. Read more.

The WaPo’s Bizarre Detach From Reality
Shaun Kenney at The Republican Standard
This morning’s op-ed slamming the GOP field is precisely what one might expect from the crayon eaters. Read more.

The Worst Days
Sean of the South
It truly was the worst day ever. And I’d just come off the heels of what had been the worst month ever. Weeks earlier, my longtime dream of becoming a writer had been squashed—I’d been rejected from an academic writing program. (Read the whole thing, it will make your day better)

PODCASTS I’M LISTENING TO

The British History Podcast

Chopped Bard

 

 


BENEDICTION

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

SHORT STORY FRIDAY: The Best Dog

Jill
Circa 1964 – 1977


Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NIV)


We’ve made it through another week, and another month. Here is today’s installment of Short Story Friday.

The Best Dog

It was Christmas Eve.

I think it was the year before I started school.

Family tradition always had us gathering at the home place where my grandfather and aunt lived. My aunt, also widowed, lived there to care for my grandfather as his health began to fail. The family, the aunts, uncles, and cousins in town, would gather with them on Christmas Eve as they opened their gifts.

My brother and I were ready to go. Anxious. The sooner we left and came home, the sooner Santa would come.

But my father wasn’t home yet from working at the garage he owned with a friend. In later years I might have thought that he was drinking, especially when he finally came in with an unusual smile on his face.

He finally made it home and we prepared to go.  But he stalled us.

With a grin that I still remember more than fifty years later, he reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a tiny bundle.

A puppy.

A little black and tan puppy.

We didn’t think we’d be getting another dog. Our collie Tucker ate the neighbor’s lawn furniture and we had

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(click the pic)

to give him to another family.

Our kitten had been backed over on our way to church one evening.

We hadn’t had the best of luck with pets.

But a puppy.

My father wanted to name her Queenie.

My brother and I named her Jill.

We wanted to stay home to play with her, but we had to be at the family gathering.

My father found a box and we made her a bed. I gave her one of my favorite stuffed animals. She cried, but we had to go.

A few hours later we returned and she was happy to see us. Unfortunately, she had peed on my stuffed animal. My Mother refused to wash it and it was gone.

Jill was with us for the next twelve or thirteen years.

She lived outside. She barked at the trash men. She barked at the mail man.

Sometimes she just barked.

Jill would walk with me to the park where I often went after school. I loved the big swings there.

She would stay close to me and never run off. She was never on a leash.

She would cross the street when I did.

But when I was going to school, or to the pool and she couldn’t come, I’d just have to tell her to stay.

And she did.

That didn’t mean she didn’t feel free to roam the neighborhood. But she knew where home was.

When I was in high school, Jill got sick and could no longer walk.

My father knew that the best thing for her was to put her down. He couldn’t bring himself to do it.

In geometry class, I would talk to my friend Diane about Jill. It was months before I realized that Diane thought Jill was my sister.

Well, in a way, she was.

Jill would spend the day in the yard and every evening I would carry her back up the hill from where she had drug herself to go to the bathroom.

This went on for weeks.

One day, she stood and walked. She was with us for another five years and her health began to fail again.

By that point we had moved across town. Neighbor complaints meant that we had to keep Jill tied or penned. My parents had not accepted indoor pets at the time other than when the weather turned too cold.

My brother had married and moved away. I was away in college.

Rather than put Jill down, my father took her to a friend’s farm hoping she could live her last days in the freedom we couldn’t give her in town.

The urge to be home with her people again was far too strong.

She left the farm and we never saw her again.

She was the best dog.

Don’t tell Tucker, or Sam, or Ted, or Nic, or Nola

Because if you asked any one of them, they’d tell you they were the best dog.

And they’d be right.


MUSICAL INTERLUDE


 

WHAT I’M READING


 

RANDOM LINKS YOU SHOULD READ

Kirk Cox UNLOADS on GOP Gubernatorial Candidates
With positive vibes. Read more.
Shaun Kenney at The Republican Standard

Did Joe Biden just cost Virginia Democrats 47,416 votes?
Chris Saxman
Banning menthol cigarettes would disproportionately hit black smokers. In a close race, that could be a big effin deal. Read more.

Maricopa County Superior Court judge won’t pause vote audit; allows for appeal
AZFamily.com
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Martin has dismissed a temporary restraining order aimed at pausing the Arizona Senate’s recount of 2.1 million 2020 election ballots after hearing more arguments over voter privacy laws. Read more.

Black Leadership Group: ‘Biden Used Black Americans To Ascend To The White House, But Has Basically Turned His Back On Them’
Daily Wire
“A hundred days of divisiveness have hurt the black community, with damaging policies bringing more harm than help,” asserted Project 21 member Martin Baker. Read more.

That Polish pastor in Calgary who’s been warning us about totalitarianism now has a warrant out for his arrest!
Not the Bee
If you haven’t followed this story, Pastor Artur Pawlowski is a Polish immigrant to Canada who grew up under communism. Authorities have come to his church multiple times during worship to take pictures of those worshipping and look for reasons to shut down the church, as they have with others. Read more.

PODCASTS I’M LISTENING TO

The British History Podcast

Chopped Bard

 

 


BENEDICTION

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26