Monthly Archives: January 2016

Family Illness

Another complication has arisen with my family’s health situation.  I will return to adding to the blog as things improve.  I appreciate the readers who have discovered my blog and visit on a regular basis.  Feel free to explore posts from previous years.  Thank you for your understanding.

Cancer Chronicles Thirty-Three

We spent Christmas Eve in the emergency room.

The doctor said she probably has an inner ear infection and a mild flu.  He recommended admitting her to the hospital because of the danger of her falling at home.  Her general practitioner did not agree with that, so I brought her home and have been pushing her from room to room in a wheelchair borrowed from a friend.  She is taking an antibiotic and medication for the dizziness.

While what her affliction is not dangerous in the long run, she continues to feel rotten and has not felt like ingesting more than a nutritional drink.  She ate a couple of slivers of turkey for Christmas dinner.

I cannot help but think that if she had been admitted to the hospital and given those drugs intravenously at higher dosages than in the pills, she would be over this by now.  But what do I know?  I ain’t a doctor.  On New Year’s Eve she took her pills and went to bed early.

While this is not directly connected to the breast cancer, we think the treatments weakened her immune system to make her vulnerable to infections.  Since the conservative approach of low-dosage pills has not worked we will be calling soon to make another doctor’s appointment.  She cannot go on not eating and not walking.

I bought her pretty new clothes for Christmas, and she hasn’t even gotten to put them on.

New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve got some New Year’s resolutions for you—accept the fact that life is not fair, that you cannot control anything or anybody, and that nowhere is safe.

We’ve seen people on television accepting an award or read about someone’s uplifting struggle against the odds in Reader’s Digest.  Each one of them will say all you have to do is set your mind on reaching your goal and you will succeed.  We teach our children never to give up, don’t listen to naysayers and keep a positive attitude.

Now all of those things are good.  None of us should ever give up.  It is a fact that you will never achieve anything if you never even try.  Here I am at sixty-eight years old and still writing, not wanting to believe that dreams don’t come true for old people.

On the other hand, I know that no big New York publishing house like Doubleday or Random House will discover my writing on the internet and offer me a huge advance to publish my novels, which will also win a Pulitzer Prize.  Maybe I’m not really that good of a writer.  Maybe I didn’t really try hard enough.  Maybe I am a failure because of inherent character flaws which I purposefully chose not to correct.

Or maybe I can decide that life is not fair and I’m not going to let the “bastards”—whoever they may be—keep me from writing, keep me from feeling good that I have written, and keep me from hoping there are people out there who have read something I’ve written and they feel better for the reading of it.

As the great entertainer Roger Miller wrote, “You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd, but you can be happy if you’ve a mind to.”

No kidding, don’t try to control a herd of buffalo.  They will run right over you and won’t even know you were there in the first place.  You can’t control Simon and Schuster.  You can’t control how everyone else will vote in the next election.  And if you think you can control your spouse or your children, you are in for a lifetime of grief.  Not only can you not control them, you will also end up alone and frustrated.

I understand why a person would want to control another human being.  My mother-in-law’s mother told her to follow her father home from the coal mine and keep him from going into a bar after work.  That is a worthy goal—to keep your father from drinking himself to death—but how frustrating and guilt-inducing is it for a child to fail both her mother and father.  My mother-in-law believed if she had only tried harder she could have saved her father, so she tried even harder on her family to make sure they never made a mistake.

There’s a lot of money to be made in telling people if they buy a high-tech security system for their home they will keep their families safe.  Many people believed if they bought Humvees they could make sure their children would not die in a car accident.  Of course, someone else’s child riding in a sedan hit by the Humvee was a goner, but at least Humvee’s owner kept his children alive.

I’ve read news stories of families that moved from the big city to a rural community to keep their children safe.  But the first time they sent their child to the corner store that child was never seen again.  No place is safe.  Never flying because airplanes crash will ensure you never see the world, but you can still die in your own home when the next tornado hits town.

A big debate is going on about how vaccinations can permanently injure or kill your child.  Not vaccinating your child can leave open the possibility of contracting rubella, small pox or a dozen other loathsome diseases which have killed children through the ages.  But, yes, giving your child the vaccination has its own dangers.  No matter how hard you try, you cannot keep your children safe.

So if you resolve to accept the fact that life is not fair, you are not the captain of your own destiny, and there is no such thing as safety, you have a chance to be happy.  If you have a mind to.