Surviving In This Very Moment…

My Personal Battle with Prostate Cancer … And Life!

Archive for the day “January 3, 2013”

At the very beginning of this year I think it is appropriate to re-post this gratitude list. It helps keep me focused as I approach the day ahead.

Surviving In This Very Moment...

While waiting around for testing and results, for biopsy results and more, I decided to make a list of all those things I am grateful for rather than dwell on desired results.  I thought I’d share the list here and now…

  1. My wife, a true partner and friend…
  2. My cancer because it allows me to put important things in perspective…
  3. My kids who, like most kids, drive me nuts but so what…
  4. My grandchildren who fill my heart with joy…
  5. Parents, gone but did their very best to mold me into the man I am today…
  6. Family…
  7. Friends…
  8. Books that transport me to places unknown…
  9. Health, pretty good except for that cancer thing…
  10. Questions that drive my thinking and keep me sharp…
  11. Starbucks, I love coffee especially a quad over ice in a venti cup…
  12. Dave, my physical therapist who forces me to perform beyond my own expectations…
  13. Dogs, especially…

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With Apologies to Bob Wills–Time Changes Everything

Oh you can change the name of an old song
Rearrange it and make it swing
I thought nothing could stop me from loving you
But time changes everything

Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Time Changes Everything

With Apologies to Bob Wills--Time Changes Everything

With Apologies to Bob Wills–Time Changes Everything

I grew up on music called Western Swing and the king of Western Swing was a band called Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. I loved the sound of the fiddle and as an adult, learned to play at playing the fiddle. Popular tunes that were trademarks of the Texas Playboys like Faded Love and tunes that only those who loved the idea of a swing band that included fiddles like Rolly Polly and San Antonio Rose filled my record (yes vinyl) collection. Right now I have been playing the tune Time Changes Everything as a reminder that I am but five weeks out of surgery and cannot expect everything to be as it was prior to my radical prostatectomy.

This morning I awoke with an almost dry pad. I don’t think this is anything to write home about yet but it is clear that given enough time, the incontinence I have suffered since the removal of the Foley catheter will resolve itself. Phew, that is a relief.

The severe itching that I experienced from the steri-strips used to close the five small wounds is also beginning to resolve. That is also a great relief.

As things begin to resolve and side effects from the surgery diminish, the title of the song Time Changes Everything has been running through my thoughts. Look, I have what is known in some circles as an addictive personality. This means that I want what I want and I want it right now and I’ll do anything to get what I want. It has taken a number of years (22.5 to be precise) to retrain myself to develop patience (although my wife still thinks I am the most impatient person she knows.) Immediate satisfaction is no longer a requirement in my life. The phrase “This Too Shall Pass” taught me that even the greatest emotional or physical pain is not a forever pain, it will pass because Time Changes Everything.

I also learned that living in the moment, in the immeasurably brief moment of time that is always already past, is a powerful way to release negativity and embrace the positive contained within the moment of life. Measuring one’s breath during meditation is a way to engage in the simulacrum of that instant of time, the existential moment of the lived-experience.

I believe it was Edgar Allen Poe that said that life is a dream wrapped up in a dream, or something like that. What remains of the existential moment is a trace, a memory engram that seems to lose much of the negativity of the moment as it fades into distant remembrance. It is impossible to remember what physical pain feels like, rather, we recall that pain was present but not what it felt like. Time Changes Everything. The trace is not the event, is not the moment, is not existential reality. It is merely a recall of time past re-presented in its most positive light. Our remembrance of time past is much like a dream wrapped up in a dream…it is what allows us to survive to face just one more existential moment.

Yes, Time Changes Everything. In the Bob Wills song there is a verse that begins, “The time has passed and I have forgotten you, Mother Nature does wonderful things…” The simple words of the song, one speaking about a lost love, captures the very idea of existential time in terms of both hope and how the trace fades into acceptance the further removed from the moment of lived-experience it gets.

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