Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Congratulations Dana Coates

May 31, 2007

I want to send a special congratulations to our dear family friend, Dana Coates. Last Saturday, Dana, graduated from the University of Brandon, obtaining her teaching degree. Not only that she was presented with a gold medal award for having the highest GPA of all students taking their BGS/B.Ed concurrently.

Congratulations Dana, we are both very proud of you as I know is all of your family. We are sorry we were unable to attend but know we were there in spirit.

I have been trying to upload one of the pictures you sent, but seem to be having my usual problems with uploading pictures. I will get your picture up soon.

I have had many requests for a picture of myself so consider this: A Public service warning. I have figured out more of the photo stuff and bewarned all those who are faint of heart my picture will be up tomorrow. Be warned, be frightened and view at your own risk.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Brain tumor?

May 30, 2007

This will be definitely one of my write by installments days. I have a real major case of my wonkie head going on. Days like this it is just hard to organize my thoughts or think straight. Sometimes it is almost as if my body works independently of my conscious brain. Last night I has an occurrence, which was no big deal, but illustrates my point. In the basement of our home we have a family room plus several other rooms on of which has my computer. As I always do last night just before bed I came down to check here on the blog for comments and turn off the computer for the night. Anyway I was half way back up the stairs think of my favorite TV show which is about to start. (The Unit) The next thing I realize is I am back down the stairs in the family room heading for the fridge to get a drink of juice. It is a weird feeling, it is almost like some other part of my brain kicks into gear (some part seemingly beyond my conscious thinking). I don’t know, but it just feels strange. I can’t help but wonder if this somehow relates to the brain tumor. Doctors tell me it is in the area of the brain that affects judgement, reasoning and impulsively.

OK, I am back for my third try at this writing. Today is one of my big “pee” days. I take pills daily to help pass water, then twice a week I take a second major pill that helps pass excess that still builds up. I usually, pass a lot of water on these days, but that seems to compound the wonkie head as apparently it messes with your electrolytes.

Back for another go at this. My stepson Dave called, tomorrow he is to under go surgery on his nose, removing some sort of internal growth which is causing all sorts of problems. Dave our prayers are with you.

Today, I feel I have a lot I want to write about, but am having a very difficult time keeping my thoughts together. Instead of trying to do on longer post saying everything I want, writing in bits and pieces. I think I will maybe just do 2 or maybe even 3 smaller posts one on each subject. That way maybe I can keep my thoughts focused a little more. I have already written much of a post I want to share on my days living in Norway House, we had some real adventures there. Another thought came to mind reading todays newspaper. Today it has become like some people are throw away people. They are valued by, the business they work for, or to society or in some case even to their families as long as they are useful and productive. In many cases to be discarded, thrown away when that usefulness or productivity is gone, how sad.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Nobody says dying is easy

May 29, 2007

Up really early today, about 5:45. How perception changes that used to be about my normal get up time for years. Now that I am getting lazier and more tired all the time suddenly it seems early. I suppose it was my nap yesterday that may have messed up my sleep to the extent I’m up earlier. I am not sure if you take a nap and it last 6 1/2 hours is it still called a nap?

Yesterday, I mentioned I would share some of the “adventures” in some of the many different communities I have lived in. Many may feel the life of a banker is pretty quiet even boring, well not always the case.

Today is one of the days I seem to be writing in installments. I had every intention of today writing about my stay in Norway House. But I took a break and came back to find a new comment actually a pingback from my dear blogging friend babychaos.

Her posting is so very touching. Her today’s post titled, dealing with dying, nobody said it was going to be easy. She writes of the tragic passing of a family friend and of her personal struggles in with the entire situation. Please pop in and visit and even leave a comment to babychaos.

I suppose the very title of her post, “dealing with dying, nobody said it was going to be easy” pretty much says it all. Babychaos writes of her friends 4 year struggle with cancer and of the trials and difficulties encountered by the family. It is such a beautiful, well written post about Her worries and hesitation in making contact. She also writes of the tremendous weight that seemed to be lifted from her shoulders when she finally did write a letter. I am so glad she was able to write that letter or who is to know how much guilt she may have carried without it.

Babychaos, this is one of those times I wish I had some wise comment that could suddenly help make sense of all that has happened and take the pain away for all. I know there are no such saying. There is really nothing at a time like this when any mere words can help. Just know you and the entire family are in my prayers and in the prayers of many. Please offer my humble condolences to the family.

I have many more thoughts on this and will undoubtedly share them soon. A posting such as this strikes kind of close to home with me, makes me really think of everything.

I need to clear my head, I think I need a nap, may post more later.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal- Travels

May 29, 2007

As a banker I lived in many different towns and cities throughout Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. In the early years of my banking career the bank transfered staff often. This is the 26th or 27th different home I have lived in and this will be my last.

Somewhere along the line I came to the realization, life can be what you make of it. There was a time early in my career when you had no say in where you were transferred. You simply received a phone call followed by a letter, informing you as of a certain date you were to report to where ever. I accepted that as being part of the life style of being a banker in those days. You just packed up and moved to the next town where ever that may be. Usually, I was given 4-6 weeks warning but not always. I did my initial training is Dauphin. I was told Thursday night as I was leaving work that on Monday morning I had to be in Atikokan, Ontario. At that time I had no idea even where Atikokan was, but off I went.

I have been blessed in that I have never lived in a community that I did not enjoy, nor a community I did not find to be full of nice, kind and wonderful people. I went for a long time thinking I had just been lucky in where I had been sent, great places filled with great people. I was not the only one the bank transfered and at times there would be several of us at the same branch that had been transfered from elsewhere. Naturally, we would talk and I was always shocked when I heard that they hated this town or where ever we were. They were miserable and couldn’t wait to get the next transfer to anywhere as long as it wasn’t where we were. I was always surprised or confused by their attitude. They complained about the town, the people, the bank they were just not happy.

Back in those days, my attitude was something I never thought of. That is until one day while talking I mentioned how lucky I had been in getting transfered to the particular towns or cities that I had been. Now I can’t even remember who it was but someone suggested maybe it wasn’t luck but instead my attitude. Huh, could it be? I have always gone into every town or city with the idea, it was going to be a great place to live and full of nice people. That thought process never failed me once. Every place I went was exactly what I was expecting a great place to live and full of wonderful people.

I look back now and realize I was blessed to have a very positive attitude. Some thing I didn’t give any thought to or was aware I had. I looked at each new transfer as an exciting adventure and opportunity to live in a new community and meet new people. Certainly, there was an element of sadness involve with leaving a communtity and the friends there. Old friends don’t have to be lost and new ones can be made.

It was somewhere here that it came to me. Any town or really any situation will live up to your expectations. I went into each community with positive high expectations and was never let down. Others perhaps unhappy or resentful that they had been transfered came with that attitude and they weren’t let down either. Generally, a community will live up to your personal expectations, be they good and positive or down and negative.

Does this same thought process not apply to many things in life. I hate my job and am going to miserable doing it. I am sure you will be. Thoughts are just that thoughts and can be changed. How about, OK, this is not the ideal job I would like to have but, it is the one I have. I might as well make the best of it and my days, I am going to be happy and enjoy myself today no matter what.

I have lived in some interesting places and tomorrow or in the next few days I will write about them. I will start with Norway House. It is the home of the Norway House Cree Nation. It is a First Nations Reserve, the experience was unique. A tremendous learning experience for me.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Visit other Blogs

May 27, 2007

I know I am going to begin to sound repetitive, but I am such a lucky man. I have the love and support of my loving family, friends and my blogging and email friends. As I signed on here I looked as saw the blog is approaching 60,000 hits. This is so far beyond anything I had ever dreamed, daily I am encouraged and supported by this, I am so lucky. A couple of days ago, on an older posting I actually received a comment from a genuine celebrity. On reading it I was blown away that someone of this status would read my blog and even leave a comment. OK, I am still a little in awe, but I quickly realized, I am even more in awe of every single person that reads my blog and those that leave comments. You are so often my inspiration to keep going, all are my true heroes.

I think of how lucky I am in another way. I do have a list of medical conditions. I hope I can word this, in a way that really describes what it is I am trying to say. Yes I have serious medical conditions that I would much rather not have to deal with. Conditions, that will cause me to leave this physical world much sooner than I had planned. But even in this I am so lucky. There are so many that are facing the same destination I am and even in about the same time frame but are suffering greatly. I just have to say it again, I am so lucky. I complain of my wonkie head, my memory, shortness of breath, nausea and tiredness. I do get chest pain but that is quickly relieved with the nitro. I read other blogs see the physical and emotional pain of others and I feel a little embarrassed, that I even mention my “problems/symptoms”. It brings me back to reality and I realize what I am going through is NOTHING compared to what others face daily.

I often feel like such a hypocrite, how often have I asked all to leave comments here on my site, and yet so often I don’t do it myself on these other site. I read their touching stories and somehow become tongue tied at a loss for words. This person is enduring so much, what can I say?

Everything above was written yesterday Saturday. It is now Sunday and I will try to carry on, hopefully with the same thought process.

My own words have come back to haunt me. What can I say? I can say anything, I know from my own experience the writer of the blog will appreciate any message any thoughts. No matter how trivial or unimportant it may seem to me as the one leaving the comment it will be appreciated by the writer.

I vow to change that as of today. I will be leaving a comment on every site I visit. For those occasions when I find myself tongue tied, at a loss of what to say, I will be prepared. I will say exactly that, I am so touched and moved by your story, I am at a loss for words. My prayers are with you. Believe me any comment or even just the visit will be appreciated. Just a visit, how could that help? Each blogger has an administration site and it daily shows the number hits your site has received. Just knowing someone out there is reading what you write is rewarding in itself.

Occasionally, I am going to post direct links and ask all to just stop in for a visit. There are so so many deserving sites I don’t know how I will ever figure out which on to mention. Today, I am taking the easy way out in deciding which site to mention. I started this post yesterday and this lady was at the top of my list of visitors. So that is where I will start.

I am not even sure how I came across this blog. It is the postings of a lady with cancer. She often posts just of day to day events. But also of visits to the doctors and of the physical pain. Some of her posting are among the ones that leave me tongue tied at a total loss for words. Please take just a couple of minutes and visit rubyshooz.

So much suffering everywhere we look, can we cure it or stop it, maybe not but we can offer a little encouragement, share some love and support.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Giving Up as Navigator

May 25, 2007

In the past two weeks I have seen my cardiologist, my neurologist and family doctor. Cardiologist feels my condition is on a slow down turn. I like hearing the word slow in this situation. My neurologist says the brain tumor has only grown slightly and just keep on with my medications. Both recommended, I be referred back to the sleep clinic for my sleep apnea. Both feeling it may be a large part of my current symptoms. Family doc couldn’t say much as he hadn’t at that point received the reports from either of the specialists. At my last appointment with him, he had also suggested the sleep clinic and had at that time made a referral to that clinic for me. He made the referral several months ago, but this clinic is so busy, it may take up to a year to get in. They will be contacting and advising me of when.

I already wear the cpap mask when sleeping, naps and all. With the sleep apnea I often stop breathing while asleep. Usually, for short periods but have been recorded at times of close to 1 1/2 minutes. I know even 1 1/2 minutes doesn’t sound that long but I know I can’t hold my breath for that long. Depriving the brain of oxygen can destroy brain cells, sometimes it feels as if I am down to my final 2 brain cells and I want to protect them. haha.

It was though the trip home from the appointment with the family doc. that gave me another reality check. For medical reasons they took away my drivers license a few years ago.
Vi, is the driver in the family. I know the city much better than Vi, as I have lived here before and it is I that am generally the navigator, telling her where to turn etc.. Lately there seem to be more and more times when I am misdirecting rather than directing. My sense of direction is always something I have sort of prided myself on, but that seems to be gone. On Wednesday, returning from the family doc. I actual had a time where I was totally lost, confused about where we were and this on a route we have driven many times. Thankfully Vi, having driven the route many times knew exactly where to turn etc, without me. I guess it is time for me to acknowledge the memory issues and give up my navigators title.

I thank all that sent prayers for Vi’s brother John. John suffered a major stroke a couple of months ago and was left paralyzed on his left side. He had great difficulty in speaking or even swallowing. Slowly, John is beginning to show some signs of improvement. He is now able to talk more clearly, swallowing is no longer an issue and he is able to feed himself, naturally using his right hand. He has regained some feeling in his left leg. Recovery is obviously going to be a long slow process. I have not talked to John directly as he is in hospital in Thompson, Manitoba many miles away. But I understand he is very down, depressed over this issue. I ask for continued prayers please.

On the brighter side, I was very pleasantly surprised by a visit from my cousin Carol and hubby Garry.

xmas2005-chev-005.jpgCarol is by far my favorite and obviously most beautiful cousin. Carol, specifically requested I state this obvious fact to stir up her sisters. (This has been a paid family endorsement paid for with a large pan of my favorite desert). Garry, you said you would be reading this today. You left the charger for the batteries in your camera. Looks like I am going to luck out and get another visit after all.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Family

May 24, 2007

I am not feeling all that spry today and didn’t think I would be doing a posting. But on checking my emails, I find a very inspirational message that I think is just to good not to share. All that know me, know I love getting these kind of messages, thank you Brenda

> >>>>>This was too good not to pass along, I hope you all truly read
> >>>>>(don’t
> >>>>>delete) and never forget the message that lies within it!

> >>>>>F A M I L Y
> >>>>>
> >>>>>I ran into a stranger as he passed by,
> >>>>>”Oh excuse me please” was my reply.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>He said, “Please excuse me too;
> >>>>>I wasn’t watching for you.”
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>We were very polite, this stranger and I.
> >>>>>We went on our way and we said goodbye.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>But at home a different story is told,
> >>>>>How we treat our loved ones, young and old.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
> >>>>>My son stood beside me very still.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>When I turned, I nearly knocked him down.
> >>>>>”Move out of the way,” I said with a frown.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>He walked away, his little heart broken.
> >>>>>I didn’t realize how harshly I’d spoken.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>While I lay awake in bed,
> >>>>>God’s still small voice came to me and said,
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>”While dealing with a stranger,
> >>>>>common courtesy you use,
> >>>>>but the family you love, you seem to abuse.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>Go and look on the kitchen floor,
> >>>>>You’ll find some flowers there by the door.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>Those are the flowers he brought for you.
> >>>>>He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise,
> >>>>>you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes.”
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>By this time, I felt very small,
> >>>>>And now my tears began to fall.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>I quietly went and knelt by his bed;
> >>>>>”Wake up, little one, wake up,” I said.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>”Are these the flowers you picked for me?”
> >>>>>He smiled, “I found ’em, out by the tree.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>I picked ’em because they’re pretty like you.
> >>>>>I knew you’d like ’em, especially the blue.”
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>I said, “Son, I’m very sorry for the way I acted today;
> >>>>>I shouldn’t have yelled at you that way.”
> >>>>>He said, “Oh, Mom, that’s okay.
> >>>>>I love you anyway.”
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>I said, “Son, I love you too,
> >>>>>and I do like the flowers, especially the blue.”
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>FAMILY
> >>>>>Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company
> >>>>>that we are working for could easily replace us in
> >>>>>a matter of days.
> >>>>>But the family we left behind will feel the loss
> >>>>>for the rest of their lives
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more
> >>>>>into work than into our own family,
> >>>>>an unwise investment indeed,
> >>>>>don’t you think?
> >>>>>So what is behind the story?
> >>>>>Do you know what the word FAMILY means?

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – My Answered Prayers

May 23, 2007

I got some good news yesterday. I had an appointment with my neurologist. About 5 or 6 weeks ago I had an MRI done checking the progress of the brain tumor. Yesterday I finally got the results. Over the past year the tumor has only grown slightly. In the past I was told it is was the size of a walnut. I realize now I could have asked when it comes to a brain tumor, what does the term slightly mean? I suppose now I am picturing the size of a large walnut. Because of the slow rate of growth it is likely not cancerous. He seems pretty comfortable with it and is leaving all my medications the same. It seems the tumor has triggered epilepsy but some of those medications keep under control.

I only had 4 or 5 seizures when I actually fell. Those were the strangest things. I would be just doing what ever and the next thing I know I am flat on my face on the ground. No memory of falling or anything just there I am on the floor or on the ground. Usually, just a minute or two to clear my head and I was fine, just very tired. Now wouldn’t you think even just the law of averages would say out of my 4 or 5 falls at least once I would land on something soft like a bed or couch or something. Nope, once I even broke my wrist and a second time sprained my ankle. I must think, I am a macho guy or something because when I “pick” something to land on it is always hard. I think the one that creeps me out the most is finding myself literally face down on the floor of a not so clean public washroom (restroom), yuck.

It has taken me a while to realize that my many prayers over the years have been answered. Answered, just not in exactly the way I was praying for or I suppose even partially expecting.

OK, what are my conditions: damaged heart, heart failure, unstable angina, prone to tachycardia, edema, brain tumor, epilepsy, diabetes, thyroid problems, sleep apnea, carpal tunnel, peripheral neuropathy and post traumatic stress disorder.

I wasn’t diagnosed with all of these in one shot, it was over the course of time. Most though in 2003 and 2004 those were almost like nightmare years I even came to the point of “joking” about how I don’t want to see the doctor any more, every time I do, he has found something new.

Oh, how I prayed back then. Now I see my prayers were my own personal wish lists, I suppose it became almost comparable to a grocery shopping list, I need this and I need this and that. I can see that I was hoping, Our Heavenly Father would reach down touch me on the forehead and poof all my problems would be gone. What did I get instead within a month or two I would be hit with another diagnosis of another condition. This was like my prayers being answered in reverse, I am praying for health and am getting the exact opposite in response. What is up with this?

As I am typing this I have actually just sat here for about 5 or 10 minutes wondering. Wondering, why the thought never even seemed to enter my head at anytime, to maybe question my faith. Not once ever have I question or doubted my faith in God. Now that is certainly not to say that I never questioned or disagreed with His decisions. By that I mean I have ALWAYS known what is best for me, how wrong could I be. Was I disappointed in the lack of positive response to my prayers, for sure.

Over the years my prayers have changed as has my way of seeing things. I now see every prayer was indeed answered in a positive way.

When my health issues with my heart first began, I was praying for help, hoping for a miracle. My idea of the miracle would be that suddenly my heart would be healed. Instead, I was guided to the right doctors who were able to prescribe the right medications. All things I needed help with and I did receive that help. God works in mysterious ways and often utilizes people on this earth to help in His work. Who granted the doctor with the brains and the desire to help other. Who placed the doctor in the right place at the right time. Scientists somewhere “discovered” the medications I required. Who was it that inspired them to do so. To me the answer to all these questions is obvious.

As my list of conditions increased, my prayers changed to asking for strength in dealing with all of this. Here the prayer was clearly directly answered as I did reach the point where I could joke about it all.

Finally, my prayer changed yet again. Now, I pray for nothing more than for God’s will to be done in my life. This prayer has also been answered as I am no longer plagued with questions about the hows or the whys of all of this. I can’t explain any of all of this, why it is happening in my life. I don’t have to be able to explain it. It is God’s will and that certainly is good enough for me.

Everyone of my prayers was indeed, answered in a positive way.

My Brother Robin and nephew Trent

May 23, 2007

Can you tell I am having fun, playing with this.


My Brother Robin and Nephew Travis

May 23, 2007