Archive for the ‘Bladder Cancer’ Category

Good Grief…


Good Grief…

Definition: deep sorrow, esp. that caused by someone’s death

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Is grief good? I have not figured out the answer to that million dollar question… as of yet. It’s been approximately 1 1/2 months since the passing of my Papa. The grief is STILL palpable and seems as though it will never end or at least lesson.

Everyone grieves in their own way. Some outwardly weep daily, some feel anger, while others become introverted with their feelings of loss and may not express grief in public or with others. No one way is the correct way to express grief. No one person has the exclusivity on grief. All ways of grieving need to be recognized.

The question of the day; will the grief really ever end. Or will a band-aide just cover up the deep wound? I’m not sure at this point. I have been told by others who have experienced a loss of a loved one “it will get better, missing them will always be there.” To me, that does not sound like much of a trade-off!

Yesterday the marker (headstone) was placed on my dear papa’s grave. Knowing it was being placed made it all too real and final…as if the funeral did not do THAT! Next weekend I will go visit Papa for the first time. Hoping to find some peaceful closure.

So is grief good? Intellectually, I understand the body must release all the intense emotion in some form. My heart however, tells me something very different. Is the saying “time heals all wounds” true? Not sure…

The loss of a loved one is truly heartbreaking, Anyone have any words of wisdom? Anyone?

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Heaven Has A Hell Of A Guy!


Heaven Has A Hell Of A Guy!

July 5th I lost my beloved father to stage 4 Bladder Cancer. He was such a tenacious fighter. This December would have been 4 years of battling this horrific cancer. He did it with such grace and dignity. He passed at home with family all around him surrounded by things that made him happy. While preparing for his upcoming services, I had the task of calling his long time business associates, friends and family. At first I dreaded this daunting task.

By the end of the 100th call, I found that I was in such a better place. The conversations I had with his business associates were so amazing. I heard over and over that they never met a kinder, upstanding, loyal, smart and classy man. I must have heard the phrase ” he was a hell of a guy” 50 times or more. I found myself laughing about stories they were telling me on the phone. People were actually honored and looking forward to being part of his send off to Heaven.

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Even though it is a great and tragic loss for our family, friends and his business associates, Heaven has received a hell of guy!  Will see you in heaven. Save me a seat next to you and we can have a vodka on the rocks and  listen to Louie Armstrong’s record, “”What a Wonderful World over and over and over like old times. Love you forever Papa.

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2012 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Bald Is Beautiful…


This past month I had the dreaded task of taking my papa to his barber and requesting his head be shaved, due to his ongoing chemotherapy treatments. My mom asked I take him, she was not sure she would be able to keep her composure. Oh how I was dreading this, trying to put on a smile as we drove silently down the street to his local barber shop. 

Upon walking into the barber shop I quickly noticed the mood was upbeat; it was your typical old fashion barber shop where all the men hung around in over sized chairs … shooting the bull. Oscar (my dad’s barber) greeted my papa at the door. Oscar said, “What are we doing for you today Ed?”  Papa replied, “we are shaving it off.” Oscar sat him down and let papa know it was not his first time doing this procedure. He had other clients who were cancer patients. He let my papa know he was in very good hands.

I felt my eyes watering up as his barber took the first shave of hair off the back of his head. I quickly pulled myself together. I knew if my papa saw I was upset, he would be too. Suddenly the barber said “see that dog over there laying down next to the guy, that dog sings you know?’ Oscar quickly made one little howling sound and the dog started his operetta solo. We all broke out in laughter. That’s when I knew it was going to be alright.

Without missing a beat, I said to my papa, “you look like Uncle Fester from the Addams Family TV Show. All you need is a light bulb in your mouth.” Papa replied “ha-ha-ha you’re so funny.” I tried to get him to place a light bulb in his mouth and let me take a photo of him … that was a BIG NO!  I said, “you know papa there are many handsome men who were bald … actors Yule Brynner, Telly Savalas, just to name a few. Lets not forget Mike Meyers as the famous “Dr. Evil.”

You can’t help but place your pinky finger to your mouth and utter the line “One Million Dollars!”  I could have broke out into character from “The King and I” and repeated etc … etc … etc. Or a Kojak famous line “who loves ya baby?” But I held THAT back. The more famous bald men I pointed out the more I laughed. All the sudden I found the situation not as “doom and gloom” as perhaps I first anticipated. I looked at papa and said “you look pretty handsome, nice shaped melon.” The barber turned my dad’s chair around, so he could take a closer look at his new hair-do in the mirror … or lack of one! Papa replied “Oooh my God.”

I quickly pointed out to my papa he now has the chance to wear his beloved USC cap more often. I could not wait to get him home so mom could get a glance at her bald beauty. Mom saw us walking up the from the driveway. 

The door opened and mom broke out in a huge smile. Mom said “oh my you look so cute.” She immediately kissed his cheek. Mom admitted to being nervous about taking dad to have this done. But upon our arrival back home she felt relieved. My mom went to the bathroom to get some sunscreen for his head. She started smiling as she was rubbing his shiny little head with sunscreen; I knew then we were all OK. Funny, never in a million years did I ever think I would be taking my papa to have his head shaved due to chemotherapy treatment. Life is strange sometimes. I guess it is true what they say, who are “THEY” anyway?? Some of the hardest life experiences make for some of the best memories.” Remember Bald Is Beautiful!

Be A Leader … Not A Follower.


Be A Leader … Not A Follower.

Watching all the chaos around the world lately, including here in the United States; I often watch in pure amazement of the stupidity of people who have become followers instead of leaders. What happened to the days where people actually had a  mind of their own and did not go along with mob mentality? Do the various college students believe if they choose to NOT part-take on campus and elsewhere in the ant-American demonstrations they seem uncool among their so-called “peers?” Do these students and others who take part in mob mentality/violence and spew anti-American diatribes think they are among the en-lighted ones? What happened to being a leader?

At first glance, I thought perhaps ONLY the college age students were the most ignorant to our own American history and government policies. Sadly, not the case if you tune into the late-night comedian Jay Leno-“Jay Walking” segments. What is the saying “you can’t argue with stupid.” I am at a loss college students in the U.S. are not learning much or anything at all on campus, about our true American history.

Often times what the average college students hear in classroom setting is a skewed version of our history, by a particular professor with his/her own agenda. I don’t think I have met a college student today (I have worked in a university setting) that can even speak with any intelligence about the Vietnam War or Korean War.

Or aware that the U.S. was even in Vietnam for a horrific conflict. I have yet to meet a college student who knows or understands what President JFK- “Bay of Pigs” days was all about in early nineteen sixty. (No … NOT Senator Edward Kennedy-his brother President John F. Kennedy).

Digress … with the last name Kennedy, when asked to spell my last name while on the phone or in person, I say, “as in President Kennedy.” More often than not the response I get … who?” Seriously! Back on track.

The most disturbing realization to me, is the lack of knowledge college students have about WW-ll.  I dare you to ask the average student if they are aware of the “Greatest Generation.” You will hear crickets! Give them another “ding-ding” bonus round question. Do they know where Omaha Beach is located and the historic implications? This is perhaps the most upsetting subject for me as an American. Without the “Greatest Generation” Europe, United States and the rest of the world would be a far different place. So many gave their lives for OUR freedoms today. I recently cringed in horror the other day reading a post on Facebook(I’m paraphrasing) “that it was nice to see someone bow their back to the bullying and “bellicose” of Israel. An ignorant statement, which truly turned my stomach. Was this person real? I realized they liked to use fancy “words” to make an ignorant point.

Some may feel that I have no respect for the college student of today … they would be wrong. I highly respect the one’s who understand  and GET why they are now able to attend such fine institutions. Or how they are now able to own multiple Apple  iPhones-Version 5 and the newest iPAD. View on-blocked internet sites and drive fancy cars. Could today’s students handle being on war ration points?  H’m not sure Ms. Fluke could buy her condoms with war rations. I even respect students who demonstrate on campus and other locations,  for what they THINK they believe. As long as done in an orderly, peaceful non-drug-fest atmosphere. (something the 99% were not able to avoid with over 7,000 arrest to-date). If not for those who served and died during WWll the “Greatest Generation and other wars, so many luxury’s and freedoms would just a be a dream!

This post might not be popular to some and may get much praise by others. Either way, please don’t respond to this post with a long-winded paragraph about President Obama or Presidential Candidate Romney. And please for God sakes don’t respond with another old blame game session about George W. Bush. Snore-fest! I welcome a mature, intelligent dialog with any of my readers. See the greatest freedom for me about this blog … is the right to delete you!! 🙂 One-Baby Boomers View On Life.

Does Heaven Have An Address?


DOES HEAVEN HAVE AN ADDRESS?

With this Wednesday, September 5th, comes my dad’s third Bladder Cancer surgery. The most recent and unfortunate news that his cancer metastasized further, felt like a bullet to the heart. We (as a family) have done everything humanly possible to try to stop the spread of this destructive illness.

Sitting in my parent’s house discussing the next plan of attack to destroy the cancer; my father with a calm voice looked over at us and uttered these profound words “Does heaven have an address and if not … how do you get there?” My mother and I let out a small nervous chuckle. Without missing a beat my mother responded. “Well, when it is your time to go to heaven you will feel it and you will know it’s time. You will not be asked to go to heaven until you have completed your journey in life.” Dad laid back in his comfy chair; perhaps to contemplate if his journey in life was complete.

After leaving my parent’s house that evening, I spent the rest of the week trying to figure out just how I felt about the journey to heaven. I do believe that your soul goes to a much kinder place after death. But do I know it’s a place called heaven? I was raised Catholic as a child and I still attend Catholic mass today; but now on my terms. I have always been more spiritual than religious. I often think I could easily practice Buddhism. Approximately 300 million people practice Buddhism; which makes it the fourth largest of the world’s religions. I truly believe in Karma, the law that every cause has an effect, i.e., our actions have results.

However, attending Catholic mass with all its pomp and circumstance, brings me back to my childhood. A time and place where I felt safe. I sometimes worry because I do tend to lean more spiritual than religious, I might be shown the long, wet and windy road to the afterlife. Gosh I hope not … I might just stick a pair of galoshes and some Dramamine in my afterlife luggage!

With my dad’s operation looming this week, I will be searching for my true faith. Whether I pray to God or meditate (meditation a yoga practice I dearly love) and call on Buddha for enlightenment … I will be searching. Does Heaven Have An Address?

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