I was reading on facebook this morning, that my friend, and woodbadge mentor (my Senior Patrol Leader for course C3-312-14-2) is back in the hospital again this week. the stent that they put in his colon has failed, and he hasn't been able to keep food down. He is looking really bad, but the slight silver lining is that images show his tumor is shrinking to a small enugh size that they may be able to finally operate and remove it soon. But, if I read correctly, that is all contingent on getting the rest of his colon to start working normally again and then bypassing the obstruction so that they can get him strong enough for the next round of chemo and then surgery.
I am so sad for my friend, and for his family. Wife, teenage daughter in high school, and a grown son in his early 20's. My heart breaks for them. It all seems so utterly hopeless right now.
John is only about 6 to 8 years older than I am, and he is what I would typically refer to a Man's Man. This guy can do it all. And I have been in awe of his personality and skills since the day I met him. he can hunt anything that lives and breathes, fish, fix things, own his own business. He is the kind of guy that you could drop off in the middle of the woods, in his underwear, and he would emerge a few days later having harvested wild cotton and crafted everything needed to manufacture a full scout uniform all while keeping himself happily fed on the spoils of nature.
So, how is it that this Monstrous Rugged ROCK of a man is now laying in a hospital bed looking like a skeletal shadow of the person I last saw just 9 months ago? A man who was healthier than a war horse when I was a student of his teachings in Woodbadge. A man who, for all that I know, has always taken good care of himself, and worked harder than I have ever conceived of working.
He is the kind of person who is revered and remembered, and he is now stricken with this horrific infirmity. If it can happen to him,what chance do I have in life? What legacy will I leave behind me should it happen to me? How will my children grow up in the absence of their father (or mother, should it happen to Karen)?
All of this is weighing on my heart so heavily right now. And this is just the latest load to be heaped on top of my spirit. I'm cracking under pressure. I'm so tired right now. I have barely slept this last week. Fitbit says I have averaged about 5 hours & 44 min of sleep per night. That's not enough! Regulating my sleep patterns is crucial in me remaining in my current remissive state of not having any severe bipolar episodes. It's been over three years now, but I feel like I am slipping dangerously close to that cliff's edge.
I'm so exhausted, and frazzled, that I'm snipping at everyone around me; including my friends. I'm extremely grouchy, and snap at the slightest things. I even cracked and went off on a good friend on facebook over a couple of nagging comments that she made on a facebook post today. It was just one of those moments when the attitude was the last straw in the gist of the moment, so I reacted with the same attitude in return. I immediately regretted it, and deleted my first comment, but she had already seen it.
I sent her a private apology message a while ago, but I'm certain that she has already gossiped about the whole situation to her little chat group of friends. She is part of some text message group that my wife is part of; so I'm sure that if they haven't already heard about it, the chatter will be going on in that conversation by the time the afternoon is over. They call themselves some name that is like a 60's doo-wop group. Something 5, or 6, or I can't remember at this time (like the Jackson 5)
And I'm sure that no one in will consider if there is a "my side" of the situation, or stand up and give me the benefit of the doubt. I doubt that she will tell them that I apologized to her, because that part wasn't done where anyone else could see it, and it wouldn't be convenient. It's all good. Not going to worry about it.
I don't care. I just don't care anymore. I can't. So many things just hurt so much right now.
There are rays of hope and light in this darkness. Like the fact that Karen is going to help me plan a New York trip for May, and she seems to be opening up to being more aware of my needs for intimacy with her. The way that she opened up to me, and invited me to talk with her about what was hurting me so badly the other day, and never once got mad... I can't even put into words how GOOD that felt. I've spent so many years feeling like I have to tip toe barefoot around broken shards of shattered glass every time I want to say anything to her, or do things with her, or let her know that I need to be close to her.
I finally see a real chance for hope and change. She is not only allowing me to reach out to her, but is actively reaching back out to me; and it is like a shot of penicillin into a spirit that is currently so sick, weak, and fragile. I try to appear calm and strong on the outside. I smile while the tears of hurt and pain stream on the inside. For the first time in a very long time, I believe that can finally change.
Well, I have more that I would like to say, but I am running out of time, and the battery on my phone is getting low. I'm sure this entry is full of typos and grammatical errors,but I'm going to go ahead and let it post unedited. I doubt I'll have time to review it and clean it up before the end of the weekend, so I hope nothing I said offends anyone that might read it between now and then (yeah right).
I am still heavy hearted. But,... There is Hope. And right now, karen is the guiding light at the end of my tunnel. Love you, Sweetie. really do.
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