Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Don't Let the Bastard Get the Better of You

For goodness sake, Alice,
Everyone knows,
It's just the way life is,
That's how it goes.

Sometimes life deals you aces,
Other times not even one match.
You have to do the best you can;
That's the catch.

So gird your loins, make lemonade,
Or use any cliche of man,
Don't let that bastard get the better of you,
Do all that you can!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I'm Still Here

It has been a while since the last time I have come on. I don't know how many people are following this or have given up, but I am still here. I am still battling my own beast and living with the side affects of the battle. If you have the same, you are not alone.
Sometimes I get tired and don't feel like doing anything. I sit, doo only what I have to do, and then do nothing else. I get behind in my correspondence as well as my writing. I have been thinking of and praying for all others who have or are battling the beast, cancer. Last week I heard about a woman who is in a fight for her life. I feel so helpless to send comfort to her or give any to her brother who told me of her. I don't kow if any of my poetry or thoughts could bring any comfort. It did shake me up to continue this blog and to promise myself that I would make entries every Tuesday if I can.
My wife's God-daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby boy last November. We have seen pictures of him and sen what he has done for this woman, her husband, and their families. Many times I have thought about my battle with cancer and complained and people have said, "At least you're alive." Many times this is not a good answer for me. The problems the fight causes aren't magically sent away by those words, "At least you're alive."
I am thankful that I am alive. My consulation does not come from just being alive, but what I have in my life. What I have and what makes it worth living. Seeing this woman who has grown from a child to become a wife and mother. To see the spiritual growth of the children I teach at Church and to know that I have helped them in their journey with God. The joy I have when composing poetry and saying something in the way I want to say it.
Living the best way you can is another way to defeat the beast. To do all you can to be fully alive is a very important weapon. All of us who are battling can take hope in the fact that we haven't dispared; that we are living for all we have. When I was first told I had cancer, the grandmother of my wife's great neices was also suffering, and was expected to die at anytime. We are close to that family and one of the main reasons for my fight was that I didn't want to put the burden of mourning for me on them. It was one of the lights at the end of my tunnel for survival. With the help of God, I made it.
I guess what I am saying is that there are many reasons to fight and battle the beast. The greatest reason to fight is for the people who love us. Believe it or not, there are those who love you. Your life with them, with all of us is a blessing. Do it for them as well as yourself.

When in battle with the beast,
When in the midst of the fight,
I look for a reason to continue,
To stay away from the white light.

People who love me are the ones
Most affect by my victory or defeat.
They've given me everything I have,
Through them I am compleat.

If I have a reason to fight,
To win the battle I'm in,
It's to stay with the ones I love,
To fight each day for them.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Everything Old is New Again

It's been a while since I've posted anything. I have been busy doing nothing. It seems that time goes much faster now than it did yesterday. Many old friends and comrades and I have touched base once again. It is like a good setup of dominos. I contacted one person and then others contacted me. People I hadn't spoken to in 40 years or see in almost that long a time have E-mailed me a hello and Merry Christmas. It's great hearing from them. I hope to keep some sort of contact.
One of the oldest therapies given to anyone is to keep a positive attitude. I recalling my own experience with battling the beast, I found that believing that I would win, that it would not defeat me was essential. Most people I have seen who have conquered illness or misfortune had one thing in common, they had a positive attitude and did not give up. I know that I still had too much to do. There were too many kids yet to teach, too many poems to write, and and still too much love to give my wife yet. I have also met many people whose lives I have affected for the good since my second victory over cancer.
I guess that I want to tell any of my readers that it is important to be positive and never give up. No matter what beast you are fighting can be beat. God will give you the strength to overcome all. He may not take the beast away, but He will help you to endure and be victorious.
Jesus prayed in the garden to take away His beast of suffering and death. God gave Him the strength to overcome and then He rose on Easter morning. He stayed positive and by His wounds we are saved.
suffering and battling any beast is part of life. It will never go away. To endure and survive is all important. To do that we must be positive that we will be the winner. Here is a presentation of my thought in verse.

The Secret Weapon

The greatest weapon that we can have
In battling the beast so shrewd
Is our minds, our very souls.
We have to possess a good attitude.

We need to be positive
Not complaining of where we are.
Recovery will be with us,
Victory will be ours.

It's all how we look at the battle,
Will we lose or will we win?
Determination is a life-giving virtue,
Depressed resolution a mortal sin.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Another Opinion

As Thanksgiving Day is upon us, I suppose that I should post my blog stating everything for which I am thankful. The first is for being alive and being a cancer survivor. For this I am tremendously grateful. To those still fightinc cancer, something like this may seem trite. It is easy to be thankful when the fight is not so bad now and you're not fighting for your life. Believe it or not, when I look back at battling the beast for my life, it was a time of deep thought, experiences, and something for which I am thankful.
As bizzare as it seems, I am thankful for what I learned during this time, and what the experience did for me. I learned a great deal during my first round of cancer. I looked at my life and what I had done with it. I looked very deeply and thoughtfuly at it. I found out that I had been the person that I always had hoped to be. The greatest thing I learned was what I meant to a good many people. I discovered that a teenage son showed his mother that there was a tender side of him when he cried telling her that I had cancer. I found a great deal of love and support from the people at church who lied to me eack week when the told me that I "looked good." I found love from my wife's neice who came from Canada to see me and help any way she could. I later found out how much friends were in their actual support and not just words. I also found out what the healing power of God is. It is not in miracles, but in the miracle of the gifts and talents He gave the doctors, nurses, and those who did cancer research. The miracle is in the everyday or ordinary. God's part is also in helping me to get through everything.
I learned a great deal in my battle with the beast. The two greatest thing I learned was first how much my wife loves me. I always knew she did, but what she went through taking care of me, I can't put into words what she has been and meant to me. I would be dead right now if it weren't for her. The second thing I discovered is how much God loves all of us. I don't know how someone can get through all of that without belief in God. He gives us hope and if we put oursekves in His hands, peace.
I though about my possible death many times. When I realized that I had made a difference in the lives of kids I taught, I was rteady to accept what was to come. I wanted to affect the lives of kids like the men who taught me in high school had done. I realized I had, I knew I had. I knew because of my faith what did await me, I was ready. That's not to say I wanted to die, just that I was not afraid. I had made a difference.
Surviving had now given me other things to do, the most important was to write poetry. I hope that my poetry on my own fight with cance can be of some hope and comfort to those who are noe struggling. I know that all of us are battling a beast of some kind, be it cancer, other sickness, addiction, loneliness, or whatever. My own story shows that you can get through it. I found that putting your trust and hope in God helps a great deat. I only hope that my poetry can bring some consoluation.
So on this Thanksgiving, I give thanks to all of you who are reading this and giving me some validation of my gift of poetry and cancer. Whatever happens, put your trust in God and He will help you get through it no matter what. He will give you peace and what you truly need. God bless all of you and Happy Thanksgiving.

The Gift of Suffering

For many years of my life
I've run away, have rejected
The reality of suffering
To keep safe, to stay protected.

I saw no value to it,
Just a part of everyday life.
Something to be endured,
Be it cancer or merely strife.

Of late I have seen a new purpose,
Though to many it may be odd,
But I have seen my fight with cancer
To be a gift from God.

If I never battled the beast,
My life would be different, it's true.
I never would have come to this point,
To have this point of view.

I would not be a poet
Who shares his battle, in short
How to survive that bloody beast,
And give others support.

I experienced that special love of God,
Of prayer that lifted me high.
The miracle of medicine;
To see it with a different eye.

The miracle that got me through,
God's mighty gift of strength.
The gift of healing given doctors,
And nurses who went to an extraordinary length.

If I had not suffered
From the beast and its side effects too,
Never would I have been able
To pen comfort poems for you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Take Time for Yourself

I just got back from a week in Sedona, Az. It was a most relaxing and renewing experience. When we arebattling the beast, we need to remember to take time and try to refresh the soul. It is so exhausting just living with cancer that we don't get the time to heal the spirit as well.
Sedona is in the middle of red rock country. The beauty of the area as well as its spiritual healing does word a certain magic to keep us going. Last year when I was battling cancer for the second time, I wa fortunate to be staying with my brother-in-law who lives 10 minutes from the Pacific Ocean. The calmies lapect of sitting thre and listening to the waves lap upon the shore was very theraputic. It kept me calm and allowed me to go through with the radiation therapy and everything else.
In Sedona, this "feeling" that one feelas is called the "vortex". It is not some extraordinary psychic place, but a place where one can feel the spiritual healing of God. Here in the Vrgas Valley we have a couple of places where you can go for nature's healing. There is Red Rock Park, The Valley of Fire, and Mt. Charleston. There you can see nature at its best. If you are still, you can hear the wind call your name, sooth your brow, and let nature do its part in your healing. It does help.
If any of you have experienced the same thing, please let me & anyone else who reads this know.
God does help us to heal in very natural ways.

The Vortex

The magnifance of this place
Is impossible to capture
in pen on paper; on canvas
Can never reveal the rapture

Of being here wrapped in time,
The completeness of the me.
Never moving, silent revelation
Of what it means to exist, to simply be.

God created this place
To bring us back to where it began.
One magical, mystical moment
Where He touches the heart of man.

God's hand descended from the heavens
To awaken awaken a slumbering entity
Within the meaning of existence,
The soul of infinity.

November, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Don't Let that Damn Beast Win

I'm not sure how many people will read this. I have given the address to many. I hope they read it and pass it on that I have a way to share the battle with cancer, or any beast that is ravaging onyone. Thanks Tom, for your kind words. You are in my prayers each day. I pray for your recovery and total victory over the beast.
No one is ever to give up hope or surrender to cancer. We see that it affects all people, the young and old, famouis and not so famous, the rich and poor alike. We must continue to fight to the end, and support one another to live with cance. It does no good to criticize anyone who fights like a certain blond did concerning Patrick Swaze. I applaud Whoppie for saying what she said about the comments. KEEP ON FIGHTING!!!!

Fellow Knights
We must remain united;
Committed to each other,
Companions in an everlasting struggle,
Continual enciuragement for each other.
My ear's for you, to listen
To the battles of a fellow knight
Who daily wrestles with the beast,
Who stands fast in this unending fight.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Never Give Up!

Since I last posted I received the results of my latest PET scan. As of right now, I am cancer free. I hope that any of you who may read this and are cancer patients or survivors can say the same. You are in my prayers. Here is my latest poem about the fight we have every day to live and defeat the beast.

Pay the Ferryman

A toll was demanded from the ferryman,
The price was already fixed.
Twice there and back again,
Across the river Styx.

He wanted the last cent that I had.
I would not pay him for
The trip to the Elysian fields
Where the beast was waiting on the shore.

I refused to surrender even one coin.
So he turned the boat around;
He carried me back
To the life I had found.

I am so glad I did not pay
To join that damned bloody beast from hell.
Never surrender to the ferryman,
Or give into the beast as well.