I went to sleep after getting the restless leg mess under control with the greatest desire to sleep in and have a leisurely time just hanging out. Sitting in the spot Liz put together for me on the side of the house that's out of the wind and most harsh sunlight so I'd be comfortable. Seemed like a good plan at 2235 last night. Comes the time when the bone in the jaw decides it and the muscle/nerve join hands and make certain I have to get out of the recliner, take a shower and get a cup of joe. Yeah, the damn jaw did cry Havoc, and it did let slip the Dogs of War. It's up on me now, but I believe in a fluid battlefield. In twenty minutes or so, I'm gonna hit it again with some more Morphine, catching the nerve and muscle unaware. Boy howdy do I wish it were that simple. This is the worst the pain has been in close to two weeks. I can hear the TMJ pop and screech like I've got a bearing going out on the right side of my face and jaw. That would make sense, a lot of people think I've got a screw loose to begin with, losing a bearing seems to fit right in there with that. So, in reality there is no new pain, it's just a boost up in the same old shit that's been going on for a bit now. Liz says she sees a big change in me in the last two weeks. I could go with that. I know I've felt less like getting up and going the past two weeks. All this is expected, though.
The pain today is damn near debilitating in that if I move in certain directions it's like being slapped with a two by four. And it tends to limit my movement more than it has in the past. I suspect this is also going to continue to get worse, until it hits the point where I won't be able to drive at all. I'm okay so far, I can bear the pain to move well enough to clear the road ways both directions. And it's not painful all the time, only on days like today. The cancer is stepping up it's game, or so it seems. It's almost like it calls a time out when I get ahead of it for a week or two. Then comes back onto the field with adjustments made to offense. I don't mind though, it keeps me on my toes, working on how to stay ahead of it. Now the lovely and sensual Liz has asked to help. We, as a team, can probably stymie the cancer for a bit longer. In my foolishness of trying to protect her feelings, I'd cut Liz so far out of my life at this point, that she felt useless to me. That wasn't true, nor was it how I wanted her to feel. I've been showing her how I do the little stuff for myself, the out side things. Like staying a couple of trach tubes and collars made up ahead of time. It seems like a small thing on the outset, but that extra minute or two that it takes to put one together that's comfortable for myself can seem like an eternity. I've given her a lot more of an active role in talking with my Hospice Nurse, so she gets answers to the things that bother her. It's something I should have done from the get go, I know. But I went into "Protect Liz" mode right off the bat. It came so natural to me that I didn't realize I was making her feel like I didn't want or need her to help. That's total bullshit of course, because I do want and I do need her help and always have needed her. I hope it's as much easier for her now as it is for me. I'll be damned if having help isn't such a bad thing after all.
It's a bit amazing to me how quickly my day can change. In a matter of minutes it can go from absolute misery to being just a damn happy spot to be in, for a dying man. Some of it lies in how quickly the pain meds kick in and how long they last. If I can get myself over that initial hump, and get just a half step ahead of the pain, and being ready to hit it again if I need to kick it one more time at the soonest possible moment. That helps more than keeping a positive attitude at times. The simple act of saying "Not today, bitch", although that's an exhausting position to be in for any length of time. If it's under control, then that's a win.
On the other side of that is the day starting out being wonderful! Little to no pain, feeling like I want to get out and do something really fun. Or just take the time to read a book because those are the nice things to relax with. On the way home from dropping the kid off at school, I took a look around. Not just to see traffic, but to really LOOK. I'd been down that street, God, I can't even fathom how many times I've driven back and forth on Wadley, Midland Drive, Midkiff, crap all over Midland. And driving along thinking how NEW it all looked 21 years ago when I told Liz moving here would be a step up for us. Good lord it seemed like it took forever when it was coming along, but now if I look at it with those same eyes I used 21 years ago. It was a drop in the bucket in reality. I'm looking at the entire thing with the fresh eyes I should have used every day, just to help make it the best days of my life. And you know they were, and still are, but it would have been so much easier by using those fresh eyes of a man hoping to make his life better for his wife and family. I look out there, and wonder when the next time I see that street will be the last time.
Sure. There'll come a day that will be my last to see the sun, Liz, the kids, friends, and I'll shed these mortal coils. One day. But not today, you mother fucker. You don't get to tell me today is my last day you life sucking, worthless, sack of shit. No fucking way. Cancer gets a little piece of me today, tomorrow, next week, chipping away, not stopping, not slowing up. You do your damage, and fight your ass from one end of me to the other. There's a why, a very simple why. I've talked about dreams, they are nice. Your mind can do things, Cancer, your tool ass can't fathom. After all, you're a group of cells that's gone bat shit for growth, and that's all you will ever aspire to be. Here's what my mind sees, when it has a chance at rest, where (with a little chemical help) the pain is pounded down far enough that it gets a crystal clear picture.
I see myself, full of piss and vinegar, not willing to let anything stop me without a fight. Along with Liz by my side, Cancer is gonna win eventually, but that cowardly bastard doesn't realize that it's just the body, he doesn't get me. Liz gets me. All of me that is the best of the sum total. She got it 5 minutes after I got up off a couch in Elkhart Kansas on her birthday. I gave it to her that night. She's had it ever since that evening, at my best times, and my worst times she's held it for me, making certain it was always taken care of and given a chance to grow.
She's always had it, and didn't know it. She has my heart. It's what gives me the strength to see the next day. To want to try and share it with her, even now when it's time is growing shorter. My heart will be in a safe place, because Liz always has taken care of it.