Wednesday, February 16, 2011


My "demon" stranger visited today and caused me to think things that should not have entered my mind. After some contemplation the following exited through my fingers and into the keyboard.

I was thinking about you today,
And all that you’ve done
During your many years of life.

Somehow I found myself thinking
Of what you could have done.

My heart cracked a little when I started to think
How you missed being a leader in a big business
And you missed being a computer whiz too.

I thought of how you were never a writer or poet
And never sang in front of large crowds.

It was at that moment I realized I was just thinking about all I’ve done
       and continue to do them even now
But if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t know how.

You taught me patience and level-headed thinking
You taught me how to respect Mother who together with
      You made me a Man
And you set the example of how I should respect all females
      Along with my fellow man.

You set the example of how to love people when they didn’t love back
And you taught me how to respect them even when I thought I was right.

You set the example of how to take pride in my country and its leaders too,
 Even when they can't get it right and don't know what to do.

You gave me examples of how to count numbers and to talk just right
And you taught me (through many tough lessons) when to stay quiet.

My heart is breaking now because I started by measuring you to me,
And in the end I realized that it was the reverse,

My measuring stick was you just being you.

Posted on 2/16/11

Saturday, February 12, 2011


A small boy was standing in the street as a rumble could be heard somewhere in the city. Looking around from store front to the next he obviously could not determine the source of the sound. Looking down at the ground he saw dirt shifting around his feet and small gravel dancing on top of the soil. His bare feet could feel the rumble growing stronger. He reached down with one hand and touched the ground. 

He screamed, "The earth is moving!" and ran down the street. Oddly he ran toward the sound, not away from it as several other children followed him. 

From around a street corner the children and I could hear a screeching sound. Like a gigantic horn or alarm, the sound continued to screech loudly. Another sound, a distinct rumbling sound joined in and then a new, different rumbling sound, like pounding.

"Boom, Boom, Boom", the sound continued along with the alarming "Screech". The group of children stood still. Only one brave boy looked around the corner. He motioned at the others to join him, but none would move.

Finally he bolted around the corner.

Moments later he ran back around the corner and toward the other children, but now he was laughing. Speaking a language that this author was unable to translate I watched as he smacked another boy on the back and shoved him around the corner. Moments later one of them called out to the others while the laughed. The rest of the group ran around the corner while the sounds grew louder and louder. The rhythmic "Booming" increased in speed. 

A few minutes later I understood what the excitement was about. A parade filled with drums, horns, clowns, clapping people, animals of all types, and elephants blasting their natural 'trumpets' rounded the corner. A celebration of some sort was taking place and the smile on everyone's face told me that it was a special type of celebration. Something had happened, something great, but I did not understand the language so I could only watch.

But as a group of jugglers which looked like a family passed I could not help but smile too. Some men came by patting me on the back and laughing, I joined in the laughter.

Children ran past me and then jutted directly in front of the elephants, laughing and pushing one another. The men driving the elephants laughed at the small children and clapped with the beat of the music as it continued to "Boom-Boom!" It was a merry time!

I was not even involved in the celebration; I did not even know what it was about. As the elephants passed by, along with the drums and horns, I noticed some people crying while they laughed. I asked an elderly gentleman what it was all about. He looked up at me and said something about it being sad, but joyous, miraculous and heavenly. Then he walked on down the street with the parade.

I sat on a bench while the last of the parade drifted away and I just smiled. I was happy for something miraculous that had happened but I did not know the people or exactly what had happened.  

A few minutes later while sitting on the bench a young lady sat down and said, "Hello." I thought to myself, 'I understood her' so I asked her what had happened. 

She looked at me and said, "It is a really special day. The old Bryant man had a test and the doctor told him the cancer had shrunk, that in less than 6 months something special had happened, that it was better."

I looked at her and said, "That is great!"

She went on to tell me that at first the Bryant man had considered not using chemo-therapy but after hearing that he would be dead in 6-8 months he had decided to go-through with the treatments. The result was this happy day!

This is how my heart felt when I spoke with my dad and mother last night and received the good news. It was like a parade of good news was passing by. We are excited but still cautious, the cancer is not gone but it is smaller and less deadly at this moment. 

We will continue to be prayerful and diligent.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Monumental Day - 02/10/11

Well, another monumental day is arriving for Dad. Before the end of 2010 the doctor did a scan of some sort and determined that the cancer had been reduced. I made note of that in another blog post, along with the fact that my parents didn’t want to know how much it had been reduced. Well, he has reached another measuring point. 

A few days ago a CAT scan was done, a full body scan was done, so that the size can be reviewed again and several of us are thinking the doctor is reviewing dad’s body to see if it has spread. This has Mom worried and of course Dad too. He is always a little anxious, has been for years, and she is just worried. I’ve always wondered how families can take it while they wait for an appointment with a doctor to test for cancer, or while waiting for test results to come back.

Tomorrow he gets the results from the scan. 

I know a man that reads the tests and gives the news as to whether a person has developed cancer. He has shared many times the weight he feels on his shoulders when he reads the scans. I’ve seen him cry just talking about it and trying to explain.

I talked to my parents tonight, just a ‘checking-in’ phone call; anxiety is evident and worries are cramming into their minds.

Mother and I talked for a few minutes and then she put dad on the line. We talked about the weather, with all the snow this winter how, how can we not. It was only a few weeks ago that he was snowed in and unable t o make a treatment and some tests. Then we discussed the tests. It is worried and I can understand.

Shortly after talking to dad he went to bed and mother was left up by herself, I am guessing to worry, pray, worry a little more. I tried my logical thoughts, which I did not expect would help but she expects me to do my Mr. Spock. You know, “Why are you worrying tonight? It will not change anything.”  But this time I just did it half-heartedly, because now I know that there is a reason to worry, or at least be concerned.

So, we are waiting for tomorrow and what God holds for us. I will report back once we hear and I can post.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Doubts and Concerns - 02/03/11

I was advised to take a little break from this blog, that the intense feelings after the diagnoses and the events that followed were not the best to work through publicly. So, I’ve taken a little time away from this blog and am back to share. I am not sure that the writing will be any different, I am myself, but I may be more selective as to what I include; time will tell.

So, what is going on?  Dad has been going in for his chemo treatments. Three weeks on, then 1 week off for labs. He continues to share his food treats with the people in the center and during the holidays he mentioned that several people brought treats of their own. Maybe it was just the Christmas spirit of sharing and eating different treats, or maybe some people were feeling more open and talkative. Accepting change is not easy but once people open-up sharing and being friendly becomes contagious.

Four weeks ago Dad fell while trying to get out of the bed. His bed would probably be considered an antique (they’ve had it long before I was born). So, its low to the ground and when he gets out of it his legs have to push to straighten up and stand. I mentioned this difficulty and the danger of him standing up to my mother when I was home for Thanksgiving. What I was most scared of was that he would not be able to stand up and would instead fall, hit his head on the dresser, or break a leg or arm. Mother told me to not bring this up to him, that he had seen it before and that a hospital bed coming into the house would probably be considered a ‘mark of death’, similar to Hospice coming out to help a dying person. For my non-U.S. readers hospice is a medical service that is prescribed for a person who is considered to be in the latter stages of death.  Hospice personnel visit the patient and manage them, which is considered by many to be more human, or humane; Death with dignity.

Mother found him sitting in the floor, sort of dumbfounded. When describing it she mentioned he didn’t recall what happened and didn’t call her for help. It was as-if the shock of falling just got the best of him (my stranger will allow me to consider this one for awhile). It took some effort but she got him up and on to the bed. That’s when Mother noticed the bruises had already started to show, from his shoulder blades to a spot below his buttock.  Of course he didn’t want to report this to his doctor and it was not mentioned. But 2 weeks later he fell a second time while he was out on the porch that I wrote about in another blog post. The second time he fell against some bushes which saved him from hitting the ground and possibly his head on the sidewalk. God works with small miracles many times. 

When mother told me about this my visitor stuck his head in the room and told me, “This is the end”, but I was able to ignore him. It could be signs of him losing his mobility, but that happens with many elderly people.

He had a PET scan to measure the density and size of the cancer, measurements which can be used to determine the effectiveness of the chemotherapy. My mother reported to me that the cancer had shrunk but neither asked the doctor how much it had been reduced.  After asking several more questions I came to the conclusion they did not want to discover it had only shrunk a little bit, instead this way they could hold on to hope that it had been significant.

One last comment to bring this blog up-to-date (sort-of); Dad will have another scan this coming week to measure for reduction in the size of the tumor. We are praying for success but the demon visitor has come to him and raised much fear and concern. Dad mentioned to me, “What if it didn't shrunk enough?”  “What if it’s still the same size?”

I will post on a more regular schedule, the demon has returned and causing doubt and worry to enter the story.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

THE DEMON IS BACK!!! - 02/02/11

The demon is back!!!

He has visited, stirred my heart with a cold breath and I am writing again. 

Today is my birthday, don’t worry about how old. Things started well; I woke up and everything worked (meaning arms, legs, organs), I got dressed and drove to work. While on the way my automobile did not stop or breakdown, I was not in a wreck and no police officers stopped me for anything (not that I was doing anything wrong). I got to work and led a weekly meeting that I host; everyone seemed to have their work in order and ready for their presentations. I approved everyone’s work and we all left happy (at least I was, I did not take a survey of the others). I got back to my office and did some work and responded to a ton of Facebook “Happy Birthday” wishes. My people had a lunch for me; salad, chicken, rice, guacamole and spinach dip with chips, some cake and my favorite, “Diet Pepsi.” Things were good; I’ll be going out this evening for a little birthday dinner and then home to tweet, twit, write and Facebook some of my friends.

Things were good.  Then my cell phone rang with my parents’ number displayed.

My mother started talking, wishing me “Happy Birthday”, and remembering when the day came and what she was doing hours before I was born; the best I can remember she does this every year. When I was younger I did not listen to her as close as I should have, but as I got into my 20s I realized that this was important to her and each year it took on more significance as the lady who birthed me, and helped raise me talked about her special day.   

She talked with me a minute this after, I was at work and neither parent wants to stay on the phone long. Then she said, “Here’s Daddy.” He came on the phone and started singing “Happy “Birthday.”  His voice was a little gravely and I immediately broke into tears. He didn’t know (I don’t think) and I jumped up and slammed my office door. I have an open door policy so I’m not sure if anyone noticed. He finished the song and told me he loved me, but that he didn’t want to stay on the phone and interrupt my work.

Will my stranger never leave me alone? Will I always be tormented by this demon, even before mine or my Dad’s death?  My eyes are pools of tears now. They are not running down my face but they are ready to overflow my lower lids, my throat and chin are quivering.

What HELL have I been cast into with the diagnosis of Cancer and prognosis of Death?

Will it remain this way for the rest of my life to always feel this way when Dad is in my thoughts?

Will I have a double-dose of HELL when my mother passes away?

** I have a couple updates that precede this post, I will write them up and try to post one or more this evening after a birthday party, but I just had to write this now.