Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Computer Woes...

You may have noticed a drop-off on posts...that is because both of our computers are down for the count.  Until I can afford a solution or find a replacement, posts will be few and far between.

Please let me know if you can help.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Update! September 2015

Life is still chugging along.  Another school year has began, along with planning for Christmas.

All is well in our Brain Cancer world health wise....still battling head aches, nausea, and things, but dealing.  Living on less income has been a real challenge.  It makes we wish we had saved more money.  The fact that we are still barely getting by on far less income lets me know we could have definitely spent less and save more before cancer.

I know, now, I appreciate kindness and those special small moments more...honestly, it is the one thing I think cancer gives you.  I wouldn't call it "clarity" by any means, but there is a noticeable difference on how I react to seeing true kindness and those moments that make you smile, like a good picture or something you kid does.  I am pretty sure before cancer, I missed many of those.

So, here are a few of those moments...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Meet Jason. 27...Air Force Vet...Husband/Father...Brain Cancer.

Let me start by reminding everyone of one thing....

Brain Cancer is ruthless and devastating.

Recently, though a friend, was introduced to Jason's story.

Stationed over-seas, in the Air Force,  Young family...baby at home...and next thing you know, boom....Brain Cancer.

I am just learning his story and dare not make a mistake when telling it...but here is a link to his fundraiser:  DONATE!

I am trying help them with finding resources.  Currently, logistic military "red tape" is keeping him over-seas and holding up his post-operative treatments...something that could affect his chances of survival.  Our Military's politics and healthcare is ridiculous.

You will see more posts about these guys.  Please, DONATE or at least SHARE the fundraiser on your social media outlets....it is the least we can do.

UPDATE 9/10/2015 - Jason and family are back home in Tennessee, about to crank up treatment.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Taking Chances After Cancer

Like it or not, cancer changes who you are.  As a matter of fact, it changes the ones around you, as well.  For some, your outlook on life seems to come from a different angle.

Before cancer, I dreamed of being more adventurous in life...as most of us did in our youth.  Going somewhere new and even hoped to run my own business some day.  I was conservative, but willing to take chances.  After cancer, though, I am finding harder and harder to take chances.  For instance, I an scared to change jobs.  My income is our main income, along with the source of our health insurance...how can I gamble with that?  Moving away from my support system and from who/what/where I know also seems to be risky decision to make.  Then, of course, are the financial challenges that come with attempting to achieve those dreams.  "Adventure" has been replaced with "routine", "responsibility" and a seemingly never-ending cycle that you never really get ahead of...and though I might be spoiled compared to people in some parts of the world, most people around me seem to enjoy life a little more then we do.

There are a thousand different sayings to support taking a "leap of faith", but I find it very hard to think, plan, and work towards a future when the present isn't even sure.  Does that make sense?

I know where I am at in life is not very satisfying.  I want more for my family.  Cancer has not made realizing or planning those dreams seem even harder to imagine, much less accomplish.  Life should be an adventure, but maybe that is more about approach then results.

Since ones outlook on life can seemingly be thrust about by near calamity, I suppose it should also be adjustable through frame of mind and approach...so I am going to give that whirl and see what comes of it...as always, I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Wow! Over 200 views in one day!

I rarely look at the number views or "impressions" from my blogs.  I blog because I like it and about things I am passionate about.  At one time, I averaged about 100 views a day, but since posts are farther apart, those numbers had dropped a lot the past year.  Yesterday was a really good day for the blog, though.  Over 200 views in one day.  Was it my writing or the Beyonce Chicken Dance video?  We may never know!

Thanks to all my readers!  You make blogging even better!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Music Connection

Musicians are usually very interesting people. I love reaching out to them when I learn their tunes. Most the time, they never reply, but today one did. Pretty cool, really. Dan Baird was the singer/songwriter/guitarist behind Georgia Satellites. I sent him an email asking about some of the back story about "Sweet Blue Midnight" and "Another Chance", two tunes I have been tooling on. I mentioned how I seem to connect to tunes differently since Melissa's cancer, and that both kind of hit close to home with me now. Here is his response...

Hi Charles
I'll tackle the easy one first.
That would be another chance.
Turn the chords to Ooh-la-la around.
Get a catchy first line. Start singing about the 3 stages of life, birth, middle age and death, then write an honest chorus about when you'd like to go. Aka - when you're done. Remembering that if you're gonna rip off Ronnie Lane, do a good damn job.
Then arrange it like a vocal by "The Band" where it gets passed around.
Have your drummer go to bass, bassist go to mandolin, and unplug your 2 guitar guys.
Sweet Blue Midnight is a fair-thee-well to someone who's falling out of love with you.
You don't want it to happen, hope it's not happening, but it is.
And finally the acceptance of future absence. Hence "close my eyes, and let it go, (I) tried to be the kind of man".
Yet there is a desire for the old comfort, even though it's not possible anymore.
If you want more personal than that, I'm not gonna help. It's too personal.
Glad you enjoyed the songs, so sorry about your wife. Tell her that I've had an epiphany in my past. The spirit that came to me didn't bother with a name, but let me know one thing; there is more.
Peace to you both

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Surviving Isn't Everything

I found the following on a website about brain injuries...
I think is speaks volumes of what I deal with on a daily basis.  
Many think that surviving cancer means you can just move on and go about your life.  For some kinds of cancer, that is case, but not with brain cancer.  The injuries caused by the cancer, surgeries, and treatment do irreversible brain damage.  It has proved to be more difficult than dealing with the mortality issues that come with cancer (for me, anyways - cargiver).  I deal with things impossible to explain.  My wife is oblivious to these things, which makes talking about them or attempting to treat them nearly impossible.  Just remember, with brain cancer, surviving is just part of the struggle.
"Millions of people are seemingly affected with brain injury now a days. And the effect does not only fall on the person injured himself but even to those family members and everybody surrounds him. Most of the time, we think about the caregiver as always the victim, but what should be considered is not about who was or will be hurt or directly affected but rather, other issues that would arise within the family members which will create conflict.
Issues that needs to be faced when a loved one has a brain injury is not only limited to emotions finances and physical well-being of the caregiver. Every member of the family and even those that surrounds the brain injured loved one must be obliged to adjust as quickly as possible in order for them to provide proper care and be able to meet their needs.
People with brain injury must be understood and accepted and if possible, the family should join a support group who could help provide strength, wisdom, and much-needed encouragement along the way. Also, the injured individual along with its caregiver must adjust with each other. Concerns like emotional, behavioral and cognitive development might not come out as expected, so much adjustment must be made.
Person with brain injury most of the time, act unbecomingly, easily irritated and is not aware of how he acts, so the caregiver must be patient and supportive physically and emotionally."
This next statement speaks to why I blog about these things...

"Taking care of a person who has brain injury requires a lot of time, emotions and even physical endurance. They depend too much on their caregiver so in return; caregiver must be encouraged by people who are in the same situation."