You don’t know me, but I see you every day, I walk by you as you argue, as you yell, scream, fight and run out of breath! I walk by you as you laugh, cry, and so much more, I see you run, push, challenge and submit to others ways and laws. I see what you’re doing, and watch daily, but I say nothing and carry on myself, hoping for changes that never happen. Funny how when you look you can see everything, but, you may never understand it all, until you are on the edge of survival in life. Sometimes it takes just a phrase or a line by a Doctor to awaken you to the world around you, but, then you figure it out too late, for your dying! I am a cancer victim and, each day I see life slowly passing before me in stores, at home, and other places I go, yet I just watch because I don’t have the energy anymore to interfere or affect what you or anyone else may do. All I can do is watch as my eyes scan all around me, I move slowly, my breathing is rough and ragged at times, I stop to rest and no one notices. Yet I go on knowing I have cancer and I am dying on the inside and no one would know unless I say it.
People will not notice cancer victims unless you tell them you have it or they see you when you are thin and can’t move anymore. But they tend to ignore and run from it all, they don’t want associated with a dying person who has cancer they think it is contagious, when it isn’t! Sad isn’t it folks, how a cancer victim can go get tested and scanned, find out they may be dying within a limited time, but never tell anyone? It happens every day in America and in the world, and it has finally happened to me, I don’t want pity or sadness around me, I just want to know I helped those I loved in some way and that when I am gone they will think good of me, is that wrong to say or believe, I doubt it. We all want to be remembered in some way, at least I think so, we want to know we had some effect on the humanity and world we live in and on don’t we? My way has always to be there when I could for family and friends, and to write and tell stories and poems and in blogs. I discuss life, emotions, feelings, right and wrong choices, loves, hates, rants and raves. I try to tell the world in a not overly emotional way what is happening and why, but I am no Shakespeare, Hemingway, Ludlum, Spielberg or any other famous author or director or star. I am an everyday American with cancer who tries as hard as possible to affect the world he lives in before he dies. Am I wrong for just watching and passing by, I doubt it for when you have cancer all you want is two things, one no pain and two to die with pride and in peace. Is that asking too much?
Each day brings me closer to things I thought I would never face, pre-op procedures and necessities needed at my age so they can take my tumor out and a lobe of my lung. I need blood work to see if my blood will congeal in a proper manner, I need to get an ok for surgery from a Cardiologist is your heart strong enough to make it, when they remove the lobe of the lung? I need to see the Anesthesiologist, so they can measure how much gas to give me when they put me out for the operation, and to make sure I wake up when it is done. All is coming shortly in less than two weeks, now, I will roam the halls of a Veterans Hospital, getting it done and trying not to think of the fact I may not wake up when it is over. I have been assured I should survive the cancer at this stage, but, fates change and if my missions on earth are done, God may recall you at any time. Yet I shall never give up, I have too much here in the world to let go yet!
If I were to go what I would leave behind, my written words would be my thing, a wife who loved me from day one and a sister who loves me so much she cries when she thinks of me with cancer. My, two daughters in another state, and, many grandchildren, all who I love dearly. Old friends I have from my teenage years are still out there and who I am sure will remember me. But in the end it is not the material things you leave behind, but the loving moments, thoughts, emotions and caring you give to others that count. Few people even think along those lines, for they set up Last Wills and Testaments, leaving this or that to one person or another, I leave nothing except what is stated above, I am not rich in money, but I am rich in people I love. God Bless the ones who always believed in me, who pushed me to achieve, who were there when I was hurting. Who stood by me in good and bad times and understood me at all times, I love all of you. I will never surrender to anything, because I am me and I have seen cancer before in others, as it ravaged them and took them from me.
I saw this disease take my Grandfather in 1970 and watched as mom cried. I ran to see my own father in his wake from cancer in 1984, as he died from it. I then came home from serving my country for 16 years to watch my step-father, die from it in ten month and my mother die from it in 15 months. One from prostate cancer and three from lung cancer, like I have crazy huh. I cried for each one in private, comforted my sibling as I could and paid my part to bury my parents as needed. I did what was right in each case in my mind and heart.
My daughters who live in Pittsburgh, Pa. with their mother around them and their Grandmother to guide them, do not know me 100%, because their mother asked for a divorce when they were young and I gave in to her. I had not a leg to stand on to try to take my daughters with me, even if I could have, I had no place to raise them in. I forgive the eldest for what she did, because she was misguided, driven by anger and fear, and directed by a vindictive mother. The only regret I have with her is I didn’t get to say goodbye back then to her, she was in school. The younger one, I hugged and kissed goodbye before I left back then.
Today they live still in Pittsburgh and I chat with the younger one online, in text and she has been to my home with her husband and children and met my family here. I have met my grandchildren by going to Pittsburgh, Pa and three of them coming here. I love all four of the grandchildren I have in Pittsburgh and always will till the day I die. I hope they know that, nothing cuter than a little grandson running around saying grandpa to me. Or the laughter of my granddaughters when I tickled them and they laughed so hard they almost cried. So these would be the things I would miss if I die, not the material things of life, but the people I love most.
Today is the 15th of August 2013; I am now nine days from the pre-op and 20 days from the surgery. I have only had two other operations in my life; my appendix was removed in 1979 in The United States Navy when it burst on me. My recent nasal surgery done by the Veteran’s Hospital in early 2013, so I can breathe again properly was the second. This time is the third and biggest for a lobe of my lung with a tumor in it is coming out. Am I scared you can bet your ass I am, but I also know if it isn’t done and removed what cancer can do to a person. So I shall brave it and hope for the best and hope I wake up, when they finish. At least I am going to fight as much as humanly possible against this disease which has affected too many in my family and my life. Il ook to the ones who survived it in my mind and praise their guts, their strength and their spirits for overcoming it and hope I am just as strong to do so myself. Time shall tell now!