It’s been two years. Two years since that journey started. Two years since that call – since…
Since the dreaded word, prostate cancer.
The journey to here hasn’t been easy but it hasn’t been as difficult as some cancer victims have experienced. I am alive and the treatments are done. There are scars. There are long-term effects. There are days I fear reoccurrence.
Then there are days in the shop. Days with Heather. Days just living and being alive.
There is a future. There are possibilities.
Today I feel a bit introspective, a bit melancholy, a bit wistful, a bit …
Part of me wants to scream in rage. Part of me wants to cry. Part of me wants to fly.
I want to fly away from this disease – to just take flight and soar among the clouds and leave all my fears on the ground. I want to create beauty. My soul yearns to take wood, fabric, paint and create an object of such beauty that it would melt your heart.
My heart still beats, still yearns, still hopes. The cancer failed to take that from me. The beast did drive me down paths I didn’t want to take and some times still steals my health. I was thinking of trying to catalog all the ways prostate cancer has changed my life.
I did try to write that long list, but when I looked at it again I realized that some of the items on my list weren’t true. For example, I put depression on my list but then I realized that I’ve always fought some kind of depression most of my life. Cancer just made it worse for a time.
After thinking, the list got shorter until it seemed pointless to keep. I am largely the same person I was two years ago. Perhaps I don’t think as far into the future as I use to. Sometimes I feel like I don’t dream the big dreams as much. I feel the need to be in the shop more and feel the need to create more. On the whole, emotionally and spiritually I don’t feel like much has changed.
However, my body has changed. The radiation used to kill the cancer has left its scars and most things below the waist don’t function like they used to. Last week I mentioned that I was going to see the doctor – well it’s not something you like to talk about in polite company. I’ll spare you all the details but the short version is “industrial strength internal hemorrhoids”. The radiation passing through my prostate also passed through my rectum and other surrounding structures and left scar tissue in its wake. In my case I’ve been suffering from some quite painful bowel issues lately caused by what is technically known as radiation proctitis. I just call it a pain in the butt. There are treatments – and I am getting better day by day – but it has slowed me down a lot lately. I won’t get started on urinary urgency – let’s just say I now have a mental map of where every men’s room in the county is and exactly how long it takes a cup tea to turn into a need to find those rooms. And the radiation damage to the nerves passing through my prostate has changed my sexual response. There’s a whole subject I’ll won’t be writing about.
I do feel that my writing, or rather my need for writing has changed. It was the cancer that really got me going on this blog and for two years has really been the energy behind my posting. Now, as I move further away from treatment, the energy fades and I no longer feel driven to my keyboard like I was when I wrote, “First Post Again”. I am a believer in following the energy, but don’t know yet where that will lead. There will likely be changes in how I write and how I use this blog.
Generally I don’t like to say what I am going to do since that often leads to promises I can’t keep so instead I’ll offer up a few things I’d like to be able to do in the next two years:
Find a new energy source for my writing
Do more marquetry work
Sell a piece of my woodwork
Discover a way to retire early
Improve my health
Stomp in more puddles
Fly a kite
Till next week,