Three Years

Three years ago I was getting up every weekday morning at about 5:30 to get to the cancer clinic by 7:00 am for my radiation treatments.

It’s not an experience you easily forget.  It gets burnt into your being.  Every six months I still get a PSA test.  Every six months I hold my breath for two days waiting for the result.  It changes you.  You fight to be back in the innocent time before treatment.

Only, there is no going back.  The best you can do is push forward with what you have left and I am still writing these posts with the time I’ve been gifted.

Although lately, I’ve been devoting most of my writing energy for my poetry book so I won’t write much tonight.  One of the things I’ve been doing for the book has been rereading some of my old posts.  Some of these posts have poems I am revising and adding to the book, while others are source material for poems.  A couple of days ago I came across this one, Two Years, that I wrote last January.  I did something at the end of that post that I don’t normally do – predicted what I might do in the future.

Well, I thought I’d bring you up to date on a few of those things.  First, I am changing how I write this blog and what I use it for.  If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll see that I’m doing much more poetry and less long essays.  That is likely to continue.  I’ve done voice recordings for a couple of my poems.  That will continue, and I hope to start doing some short videos soon as well.

Here is the list I wrote last year with updates:

Find a new energy source for my writing – poetry is the closest I come to a new energy source.  There is just something about the poetic that gives my brain a different view and energy.

Do more marquetry work – well that hasn’t been happening but in the post I did give myself two years for this stuff.  And I do have a new marquetry piece on the workbench.

Sell a piece of my work – did that.  Donated one of my crosses to the church.  It was sold at a silent auction for about $40.  Okay, I didn’t get the money but it was bought.  Today the lady who bought it asked if I was putting anything into the auction this year.  I am – the mouse cheese boards (have six to donate).

Discover a way to retire early – still a work in progress.  Still having problems with my financial adviser as he seems to think early retirement is age 62, while I am thinking – next spring?

Improve my health – well, um.  Okay I’m still working on that.

Laugh more – I’d like to think I am, but likely my perspective on that might be a bit skewed and others might not notice my regular bursts of laughter.  Perhaps if I laughed when people where around to hear it?

Stomp in more puddles – I would, if there were puddles, but in California we’re suffering from this epic drought and there just aren’t any puddles.  Yes, I know, and you know, I meant the metaphorical puddles of engaging in childlike joys.  Can we just put this on the ‘failed’ list and move on?

Fly a kite – Actually forgot about this one.  That sounds like fun.  If I do this one, would you give me partial credit for ‘stomping in puddles?’

Let me know.

Till next week,
Andrew

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I work in the high tech world doing software release engineering Then I got prostate cancer Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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17 Responses to Three Years

  1. booguloo says:

    It’s great to read that you’re Doing what you want to do! I think that’s the best medicine around. I just shared your blog with FaceBook. You’ll have tell what prices you’re planning for your services. This little group of writers we have in this flock(?) will probably have their arms opened wide or is that wings and feathers..? I appreciate your visit and your likes. \o0/
    Michael

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    • Andrew says:

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing my blog. There’s a lot of things I haven’t figured out yet, but I’ll keep everyone updated.

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      • booguloo says:

        Right around 5 years blogging now and I can’t add the 3 like minded poem titles below the poem you’re reading I know where command is but it won’t cooperate. AArrghh!!!

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  2. koehlerjoni says:

    Thanks for your openness about your cancer. My husband finished radiation in December, and will have his first post-radiation PSA in a couple of weeks. The whole experience changes you, and I think I would have gone crazy if I couldn’t have written about it. I’m so glad that you are feeling better physically and emotionally. If you take your shoes off before puddle jumping, you won’t have to worry about wet shoes. Here’s hoping you find a few to jump in.

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    • Andrew says:

      I credit writing about the experience to be one of the reasons I got though with my sanity. The other was the support of my wife.

      Here’s hoping for a low PSA number for you.

      The weather service says we’re in for a major rain storm this weekend so I might be jumping in puddles whether I want to or not. 😉

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  3. I’m glad you can talk about your cancer in the past tense.

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  4. Andrew says:

    I was 52 at diagnosis – a common age for prostate cancer. Men between 50 and 70 are the high risk age group. Depression was something I’ve always had to guard against. The treatments made it slight worse but the cure has been staying creative by writing and being in my workshop.

    I never thought about doing a Monopoly board – more detailed than a cheese board but very doable. I just might make one.
    Thanks.

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  5. Hi Andrew, got around to reading your posts in depth, I did refer back to your Two Years post, you are not exactly travelling first class mate, I think I understand a little of what you are experiencing but definitely not to the extent you describe, tried to work out your age to get some idea of the timings of the disease, ie onset, warnings etc, I’m 64 and get checked once every two years.
    I appreciate the feelings of depression you must suffer through, you have much to keep occupied with mate, poetry, a book, recordings and I do like your Marquetry, especially the chess board and goblet. Wishing you well my friend, keep smiling.
    If you can make a chess set maybe you could consider a Monopoly board with everything etched in, big challenge but I saw one once and it was inticately beautiful.
    Kind regards
    Ian aka Emu

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  6. This was moving. Good for you. How frightening cancer must be. And how frightening the threat of its return. I had it once also, only skin, but deep down I know it was only the beginning. The warm up, if you will. Though I’m fairly certain it won’t hit me again until I’m older, I’m always mentally preparing myself. That might seem odd, but …

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    • Andrew says:

      It can scary you for sure. The good news is that everyday they are coming up with better and better treatments. If this had happened to me 30 years ago the outcome would likely have been very different. As it was, it was more of just a big bump in the road.

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  7. LuAnn says:

    Flying a kite sounds much more exhilarating to you. I say go for that one! We know that feeling well Andrew, each time Terry has his PSA test done. Cancer does change both of you, the one who fought the battle and the one standing by his side. Best to you.

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  8. prospermind says:

    You can always create a puddle of your own and stump into that one. 😉

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    • Andrew says:

      I don’t know – move beyond the metaphor and take real action?!? sound scary. But the weather forecast is call for rain this next weekend so I might get my chance then.

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