Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hammers and Nails

"When the only tool you have is a hammer,
everything looks like a nail..."

~ Phish

Greetings, Imaginary Readers, where ever you might be...

I haven't written in here in a long, long time but I want to start again so off we go!

See, I've been in a weird place lately. It's not a very good place so this is hopefully the start of my journey out of it.

This won't be a post about my medical troubles.. most anyone bothering to read my blather knows most of that stuff anyway. Suffice it to say that I am still growing cancer in my brain, the docs keep zapping it away and I'm feeling not-so-bad for the most part and am ready to go back to work soon if I can wrangle it.

Here's the deal.. At some point, mostly over the last six months or so, I became convinced that I was going to be dead by now. The problem with this sort of thinking is that things change perspective in a very negative way. I originally thought it was just a way to stop myself from worrying all the time but it doesn't work that way.

Things stopped mattering to me. So, for example, I started smoking again.. Why not? It's not like getting cancer is a big fear of mine these days.. C.O.P.D. or name-your-smoking-related-malady? Who cared? I was going to be dead soon anyway, remember?

Why stay in shape? It's just a lot of hard work for a dead guy.. I'm supposed to be dead by now, I told myself, so I just stopped caring about much of anything. It seemed to me to be the easiest way to stop worrying and feeling sorry for my self. WRONG-O.

So what if I'm addicted to my pain meds.. I'll be dead before it matters. Right? Right? Bueller?

(I'm not really sure about the addiction thing but it's a possibility.. been talking with Mr. Percocet for quite some time now though I never take more than prescribed..)

I stopped reading for pleasure, I stopped writing, listening to music, playing with my computer. Hell, I even stopped masturbating or having any sex at all (Is that T.M.I. (too much information)? Probably. Who cares?

The one thing I never stopped caring about was and is my wife and family, whom I love beyond description. And things are mostly very good there. I didn't matter, only they did.

But any problems I did see there, mostly regarding their future well-being, seemed so insurmountable and unsolvable that I just tried not to think too much about that either.

Fat chance.

I used to spend an awful amount of time reading an awful lot about brain cancer statistics and median survival times and prognostic indicators and for someone in my position, what I read is not encouraging to say the least.

(Incidentally, for a more realistic and comforting view of such things, if you find yourself hung up on the odds of your own or a loved one's life expectancy, as I have been, I highly recommend the following article. It's called, "The Median isn't the Message" and here's a link: )
(I should read this on a regular basis..)

Someone I should have listened closer to once told me something about cancer and statistics.. Here it is: They said that Milk cartons have expiration dates, people don't. Sage advice, that.

So I'd like to say that I'm done with all that. I'm probably not, not entirely but I'm going to try my best. Instead of sitting around waiting to die, I'd rather just assume that I will live - be it six months or sixty years. It's better that way for myself and for everyone around me. It has to be.

See, my feeling this way effects more than just myself, it has an effect on everyone around me and those that love me. It probably hurts them more than it does me. I'm still not afraid of dying, in and of itself (not a big fan of pain though lol).

I guess that's it for now. I had more to say but everyone is home now and I've lost my muse, such as it is.

I'll try to write more soon, Mr. Blog, Sir.

1 comment:

Wayne Ross said...

Joe, I just found your blog. We used to play DAoC together, and man were those good times. I've lost contact with most of the folks from back then, but that didn't make the friendships any less real. I just wanted you to know that Carol and I do think about you often, and maintain hope that you are still out there, able to read this message.