Saturday, March 20, 2010

" The Loneliness of Pain, The Isolation of Illness"

Today Cancer kicked my ass and as I write this continues to do so. I have tried to be lighthearted about it all, I joke have fun at my own expense and do not generally whine about feeling shitty. Tonight that stopped as I hit a wall of crappiness that I can only from now on call, "The Night of My Cellular Coupe". It all started to go genetically pear shaped a couple of days ago with extreme pain, mixed with spinal swelling, fever and less energy than a pot smoking sloth.
 I am if you do not know undergoing gene therapy, in which they alter a virus then pump it into me to try and turn off the cancer's DNA. Not as bad as Chemo from what I have gleemed from others but a whole different bag of side effect goodness. This week I have maintained this lovely list;

  1. A Running Fever: oh yes like swine flu but without the nose crap and hacking and look of fear from strangers.
  2. Weight Loss: Yes I can use to loose some weight but I love 10 lbs. in 7 days
  3. Headaches: Holy Baby Jebus it feels like Nancy Grace is screaming in my head
  4. Opportunistic  Bugs: I now have some flu like symptoms but different, it seems by Immune System is working off the reservation, deciding to throw a spring break party in my body.
  5. Nose/Mouth/Eye Bleeding: Oh yes it is like i was bit by that fucking ebola monkey from "Outbreak".
  6. Pain Extreme Freakin Pain: My back where one of my tumors is pressing against a nerve root has me in constant pain and leg strength loss. Also I have a tumor on my pelvis which also causes bone pain.
 I do not ask for help much as I am a stubborn old badger, I am not good at it. I am trying to get better at it but it is a work in progress in the same way that I am a work in progress as a good man.

   Worse than the pain, hives, and immune system that is running amok like a grade 6 class after eating 50 lbs of sugar is the abstract loneliness. I know that I am not alone, I have many wonderful friends who care deeply about me. People who call me all the time to check on me, offer assistance, spend time with me and have shown me on a regular basis a kindness that I do not know that I deserve and hope I can show them someday in return. But I still feel alone, when what I really want is to be tucked in, have my hand held until I fall asleep. I am not looking for the "awww" factor just some selfish care taking.

 I feel that for me the worst part of this illness is the isolation you feel, and for me the battle not to seem needy or weak. Again thank you for reading this post, as I know that if you know me this was not a easy read. I hope that soon I can be the man I once was again


  1. You'll never be the man who you once were - you're already greater than that.

    I may not be in the ring with you, but I'm in your corner, cheering you on.

    It takes strength to be humble, and it takes humility to admit weakness or need. So, by admitting these, you've already become stronger.

    And don't thank us for reading. We're the ones who must thank you for writing.

  2. Thank You Guacira,

    I only know you briefly, and you have been so supportive of me and that support has filled a place in my heart that I cannot fill myself right now. I was before I was sick i fear less critical of things around me. I fear that I may not be as kind as I was. I hope not. But I do appreciate you and the others who have and or supporting me now, again thank you.

  3. Hi Steve I didn't know you before your cancer but reading this sure helps me understand what you are going through. Thank you for sharing and know there are a lot of people wishing you well.

  4. Hey Steve, I know how hard it was to write the real, hard truth that comes only in the wee small hours. You are an inspiration. Tanya and I are with you, even from a distance. She's holding your hand, and I'm keeping the monsters away while you fall asleep buddy.

  5. MJ,

    Thank you for your support and i look forward to getting to know you better in the future.

  6. Barry, & Tanya,

    You two have always been a support to me I miss you guys. I hope Calgary is treating you well

  7. As we discussed the other day, yes, it is lonely, no matter who else is around to help you. But I do have my lovely Air and my daughters to hold my hand when I really need it, and the dog who doesn't care why I'm mopey and tired, but will lie warmly with me no matter what.

  8. Steve, I have spent a couple of days not having any idea what to say, let alone the strength to type it. But it just occurred to me that the best thing I could say to you is: you are never alone. I wish there were more that could be said or done, but I'll offer that. Wishing you the best...