Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Update

March 31, 2011

Didn’t have such a good night last night and am really tired. Keeping this short and going for a nap.

I am very pleased to say, I was able to get in touch with our new blogging friend Meg. My response to her message didn’t seem to go through again. Setting up a different email account.

Just one quick question to the ladies. I was listening to the radio this morning. As part of the morning show, they put out a trivial question. Listeners phone in guessing at the answer and win some sort of prize. I am not sure where they get their trivial information from but this was this mornings bit.

What is something 57% of women report as being something they don’t like in a guy? Go ahead take a guess, I will give the answer later when I post again.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Prayers for the dying please

March 28, 2011

I received a comment yesterday that really touched me. It is from Meg, whom I hope will become a regular blogging friend. It is hard to imagine what she is going through unless you have been there.

I have copied Meg’s comment and my reply to here. I do this as I know all do not always read the comments. This one just can’t be missed. I sent Meg an email to which I hope she will respond. I ask for prayer please and comment of love and support.

I’m dying. This is the first time i’ve said or typed it out loud. I came across your blog and this post got to me. Reflecting on my life and trying to find where I matter, what difference I’ve made is hard. Yes, I’ve helped other people cope with their lives and deaths and that should give me a sense of something but it doesn’t. I find myself faacing my own death completely alone. I’ve reached the grand old age of 42 and have not aa single friend or family member. When the doctor said that my condition was terminal he asked if there was anyone he could call for me. The fact there was nobody caused me more pain than the prognosis. Reflecting on my life in the face of my death makes me wonder if loneliness will kill me before my diseased body gets the chance.

Hi Meg, welcome to the blog, I thank you for stopping by and leaving this message.
It is like I can feel you pain as I read your words and my heart goes out to you. I wish I had some magic words that could help ease your burden, you pain. There just are none that I know of.
I have so many questions I would like to ask you. There is so much I would like to say to you but that is all based on my experience and my feelings. The journey we are both on is an individual journey and we must each come to terms with it in our own way/ways.
Yes it is an individual journey and yes it is a lonely journey but it does not have to be made alone. There are many many resources out there to help us in this stage of our lives. This blog being designed to be one tiny resource to which all can turn. It has been a huge help to me and others that have passed by. Please know you are welcome here at any time. Welcome to share any thoughts or feelings you may wish to. You are welcome to rant, rave, cry or what ever. Talking.writing about it does help, I know from experience. Here a group of friends from all over the world has gathered and has become truly what I consider to be a part of my family. We would be more than happy to have you join our family. A lot of loving, non-judgemental support is here for you should you wish.
I hope you don’t mind but I am going to email you directly

Meg, if you happen to read this, I have had 2 separate emails returned. I know NOTHING about technology but they come with a message saying your domain is not configured to accept messages from gmail. Please contact me here.       Bill

dying Man’s Daily Journal – Men/Women/life like an apple tree

March 27, 2011

Women are like apples, men are like fine wine. REMEMBER THIS IS A JOKE. Females are like apples growing on a tree in an orchard. The very best a often high up where they get the most sun and can ripen to be the best they can be. Others, lower down on the tree may be hidden from the sunlight and while still perfectly good apples haven’t ripened in the same way and may taste a little bitter. Still others may be laying on the ground, perhaps blown from the tree by a strong wind. These apples on the ground can vary, some are perfectly fine having just been blown off the tree, others can be partially or even totally rotten having been deprived of the nurturing of the tree. When the male of the species goes looking for a life partner, he approaches the “apple tree”. Which “apple” does he chose, one of those easy to reach, one on the ground or reach high up into the tree to get the very best apple he can. To often the young male will be afraid lacking the courage or confidence to reach to high for fear of fallling and getting hurt, or not even try to reach, just “knowing” he can’t reach that high and settles for an apple easily within reach.

OK, I think, I can see a bit of a life comparison here, and realize the genders can be just as easily switch with the message remaining the same. But now comes the joke part.

If you compare women to apples men must be like grapes. It takes a good woman to come along and stomp the (#*?!) out of them to make them the least bit palatable.

Intended as a joke but it got me thinking about my life and life in general. Thinking of the apple tree, how often, not just in relationships but in jobs and all parts of life do we settle for something that is readily available. I think it is fear, fear that if we reach to high in any part of our life we will get our hand slapped and will be put “back in our place”. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of being embarrassed. Fear causes us to settle for our place in life and we live with our mind haunted by the “if only’s” and the “what if’s”. This isn’t just the males the females approach the male “apple tree” and do they reach high or settle. Food for thought.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Religion dwindling??

March 25, 2011

I read an interesting article in the newspaper the other morning. Apparently more and more people, larger per centage of the population are claiming to have no religious affiliation.. I have written about it often and it is certainly no secret that I lean very heavily on my faith and beliefs through my trying times. I firmly, without any doubt believe in God and an afterlife. Having that belief system in place has greatly reduced the burden I carry as I face what I know is coming.

I struggle to imagine how much more difficult it would be to travel this part of life’s journey, with out those beliefs, that faith. As firmly as I believe that I still have times when I struggle with it. Times when questions, then doubts and then even fear comes into this old head of mine. How do we really know what lies beyond? No one has really come back to tell us, what is next. Or, have they? There are all the near death experiences, experienced by many people. I am sure some of them can be explained away scientifically. But, I do not believe all can be and that they are true and genuine. I know what I believe is after physical life but am positive there is something, our existence does not end when we leave this planet.

I know we have  leaders and teachers from I believe every major Religion telling us of the glories that await us in Heaven. We are constantly being told that but our human minds still question what we don’t know for sure.

Something just popped into my head. It is something I know I have written about in the past. It is in a way how I can sometimes rationalize this whole thing in my own mind.

Use your imagination and try to follow me with this. Picture a pregnant lady nearing her due date. Imagine the baby as being I suppose magical, in that while in the womb it could totally understand everything that was being said to it and around the mother.

There could be a proud loving daddy, talking to the baby. Telling the baby how wonderful it will be when it comes into this world. The baby would hear of how loved it will be of all the wonders that await it in this world. This could be repeated over and over to the baby by the parents, siblings, aunts, uncles……..

Now if this baby really were able to understand and think. I have to wonder what thoughts might run though his/her little head. The only existence it has ever known is being tucked safely away in the mother’s womb. It is safe, it is warm, it is comfortable and it is likely content with the way things are going. Now how eager do you think that baby might be to come into this world. In spite of every thing he/she has heard, it will be giving up the only existence it has ever known. Just think about that. Maybe it is a good thing Mother Nature steps in after 9 months and forces the issue. If this were at all possible how many babies do you think would actually come into this world if given a choice. I know a stretch of the imagination, but what if?

I have heard death as being described as a rebirth into the next world. From many that have had near death experiences, they describe a long tunnel. Comparable to the birth canal?? I don’t know, what do you think?

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – MRI, pray request

March 24, 2011

Yesterday was a busy day that seemed to really tire me out.

Dropped Vi off at the airport in the morning. She will be gone for the next 3 weeks, visiting the kids and looking after grand children. Three weeks sounds like a long time. Daughter Shauna will be here through the week to keep an eye on me.

Went for my MRI. That went as well, I suppose as an MRI can go. I laid there and they took a gazillion pictures of my head/brain. The technicians are not able to tell you anything. Now it is wait until I hear from the neurologist or when I  see him next month, I am confident everything is fine.

That all seemed to really tire me out. About 5:00pm I laid down to for a cat nap. Next thing I know it is midnight. Could have kept sleeping but knew I had to get up and at least take my medications. Was up for about an hour. After a nap like that, I felt wide awake. I knew it was just too early to be getting up but thought I would lay down to see what happens. Not sure if my head even hit the pillow before I was gone, next thing I know it is 7:00am. Body must have needed the rest obviously and feels like I still need more.

I ask for prayers please. When I came out of the room in which the MRI was done. Next in line was a little girl of 5. Her mum and a nurse were trying to calm her down assuring her it wouldn’t hurt at all. She was obviously very scared. She saw me come out of “THE” room. I am not sure if I should of or not but on my way past her bed I stopped for just a moment to try and reassure her. I told her I had just had the very same thing and it didn’t hurt at all,not even a little bit. We all chatted for a minute or two before they came to take her for the test. I am not sure if I helped at all or not. As I was changing I could hear them trying to calm her about going into the machine.

I ask for prayers please. I do not know this little girls name. I do not know why she was in the hospital. I really know nothing other than she was there obviously for a reason and frightened. Prayers for her and family please.

Dying man’s Daily Journal – Brain Tumor – Meningioma

March 22, 2011

It has rolled around to that time of the year again. Tomorrow I go for an MRI on my head. They keep calling me back every year as they are completely baffled. I am sure they have never before seen a head that is totally empty. Then along comes Bill.

I have a brain tumor. It is not actually growing on the brain but on the sack that surrounds and protects the brain. Obviously located between the skull and the brain. As it grows it presses on and effects that specific part of the brain. Mine is located in the front on the right and I have been told it is about the size of a large walnut.

The location of mine presses on the area of the brain that affects judgement, compulsively, ability to make decisions, can cause loose of concentration and cause wicked head aches. It can basically change your entire personality. It can produce memory blocks, huh, says memory guy. I read that list and wonder wow does that sound like anyone I know. YUP.

In many ways it is very easy to deal with. Memory lose, who knows what you have forgotten. Affects judgement, who is to know. Generally, it is something I am blissfully unaware of the majority of time. When those head aches hit though, it is a different story, they are ouchie.

So I go for the MRI. I don’t actually see the neurologist until May. So unless there is a real change I will hear nothing of the results until that time. It is sort of a situation where no news is good news.

As I sit here writing this it almost seems strange to me. I can only image that having a brain tumor would be a pretty big deal in the lives of most. I sit here and realize with my heart issues, somehow the tumor has been place on the back burner of life.

Dying man’s Daily Journal – I/YOU can Make a Difference in this World

March 20, 2011

This past while I have been in a bit of a somber mood. Reflecting back on my life, just on life in general. I think that most if not all, as they realize they are nearing the end of their days may do this. All to often I think regrets come to the surface. There is the very obvious regret that you are nearing the end of your days. For most I don’t think age is a factor at all. No matter how old you are, when you reach this point it is too soon, we want more time. Memories seem to surface out of no where causing regrets. thoughts of things said or unsaid, done or not done.

I think that is eased at least a little if we can look back and appreciate we have had a good life, a successful life. As we went through our lives day by day, there may have even been a lot of turmoil, problems and issues of ever sort. Now with our 20/20 hind sight, we can look back and see the moments that at the time seemed so devistating were in fact just minor bumps in the road of life, really not even worth a second thought.

When you reach this point, if you are pondering the “success” of your life. All thoughts turn to the person, the human being you were while here. Financial success, career success all of  that suddenly mean nothing. We look at ourselves as how successful were we as a human being.

On a previous post a dear blogging friend Cat left her thoughts on this:  “When I die, I only hope it matters that I lived.” That’s how I measure my own success — if I’ve left the world a little better than I found it, if I’ve helped people and animals in need to the best of my ability, then I’ve been successful.”

Cat I appreciate that thought, it really says it all. To know I mattered, my time here mattered because I left the world a little bit better than I found it. The world is a little bit better because I was here. Now to some that may sound like a pretty lofty of even egotistical idea, the “WORLD” is better because I was here. I mean geesh, come on what can little old me do that could change the world.

Many seem to have the idea in their heads that to change the world would mean something like discovering the cure of cancer or bringing about world peace. No, for sure those would be wonderful accomplishments. Let’s face it, for most of us such things are beyond our reach. I ask this though, does it have to mean if I can’t do something huge I shouldn’t bother doing anything. There are a gazillion things we can do daily, think about it. Recycle one bottle, pick up one piece of trash, donate a little time to helping a friend or a charity….. that list is endless. i know many will think, yeah, why bother. Something that small would never make a difference. That is where you are wrong, every little bit helps, every little bit is a step maybe just a baby step but a step in the right direction.

This brings to mind the star fish story which I know I have posted before:

A woman was walking along a beach when she saw a man scooping up starfish off the sand and tossing them into the waves. Curious, she asked him what he was doing. He replied “When the tide goes out it leaves these starfish stranded on the beach. They will dry up and die before the tide comes back in, so I am throwing them back into the sea where they can live.”

The woman laughed, “But this beach is miles long and there are hundreds of stranded starfish, most will die before you reach them – do you really think throwing back a few starfish is going to make a difference?”

The man picked up a starfish and looked at it and threw it into the waves. “It makes a difference to this one” he said.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2011

An Irish Blessing:

May the very best day in you past, be not nearly as good as the worst day in your future

Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn’t find a parking place.   Looking up to heaven he said, ‘Lord take pity on me.   If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!’

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Paddy looked up again and said, ‘Never mind, I found one.’

OK. I changed the name from Bill to Paddy, Bill doesn’t sound that Irish now does it.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Take nothing in life for granted

March 16, 2011

Wouldn’t you think if there ever was a man that knew better than to take life for granted, it would be ME. I received a little poke yesterday that really made me stop and think, I am such a very lucky man. Thew out the duration of this blog I know I have stated that many many times. It is a fact and I know it, I recognize it, I appreciate it, yet I still often fall into complacency and take life itself, my wonderful life for granted?????? Please just think about this for a moment, do you take life for granted? Do you just assume there are many many years of living lying before you? Do you just take the people in your life for granted, thinking they will always be there.

With all of this dying stuff I really have come to see life differently. I appreciate the very fact I still have life in this body of mine, I appreciate those around me, I appreciate the life I am able to live. Yet, still I can easily allow myself to fall into that complacency, taking it all for granted. I work at it and am getting better at it but still it happens. Maybe it is called being human.

I find I often need little reminders to get me back on track. I hear of the passing of an individual or my health situation hits a little bump in the road and thoughts of my own mortality come to mind. Thankfully, I am a point where I am able to digest that and quickly come to the realization, wow, that could easily have been me that passed. I am such a lucky man. I immediately switch to “full appreciation” mode as I suppose what you could call “semi appreciation” mode. These little reminders are in fact good for me, but why do I need them?

There are thousands of examples of how good our lives are and how appreciative we should be. These come to us daily from all around the world. Let’s take but one example to try and make my point. My heart and prayers go to all of the people in Japan, I can’t begin to try and imagine the suffering and the depth of the pain they are feeling at this moment. We watch the unfolding events on TV and our hearts bleed for the people. We genuinely feel so very sorry for them. Many will make some sort of cash donation to aid in the relief, and that is good. We sigh, shake our heads in disbelief and that is that.

How many stop to think, there but for the grace of God am I. Yeah, I know, it is on the other side of the world and it started with an earth quake. We don’t get earth quakes in my part of the world so that is something I don’t even have to give any thought to. Now seriously do you think earth quakes are the only thing that can create a disaster, of that magnitude maybe, I don’t know. On that faitful day do you think the people of Japan awoke with any idea as to how their day would end. I think not, I imagine they awoke with the same sense of complacency about life that we all do. How that complacency was shattered.

I don’t care where you live, while they may not be of the magnitude of an earth quake, disasters, accidents happen. When we wake in the morning, lets take nothing for granted, who knows how our day will end.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Prayers Please

March 15, 2011

Today I am asking for prayers. Please read the comment left yesterday by Joanne. Reading her message you can just feel her pain at the loss of her step-father. So please prayers for Joanne and her family along with all the others in this world that are in their situation.

Over the time of this blog I have received quite a number of similar comments and more via email. I try my best to respond to all but do struggle to find any wording that may help or provide any sort of comfort. For a time such as this I just don’t believe there really are any such words. If anyone know of such words please let me know what they are.

Each and every time I read such a comment it hits me a little bring up thoughts of my own health and mortality. I hope and pray that possibly through this I am able to possibly identify at least to a small degree, what it is the person is going through. Some how I don’t think so, grief is such a personal, individual thing. Each of us deal with it in our own way and in our own time. At times like this words carry little meaning. My heart and prayers go out to all.

Joanne, I do thank you for sharing your thoughts at this so very painful time in your life. I do hope you will return and feel free to share more. I realize you were surfing the web when you came across my blog and well may not even know where it was, that you left your comment. I hope you don’t mind, I do not want to intrude on your time of grief but I am going to send you a brief email. I want to thank you for the comment and invite you to return.

I am not sure how to word this next part. Five words in the comment set me back on my heals for a moment. “His story is your story”…… and he died.

Have more to say but need a break and will be back