The Long thaw Week-12
So winter if officially over for me and I'm back chasing my dreams. A lot has gone on since my last post. A lot is going on right now and this summer is going to be Epic as plans for this summers Epic Adventure come together I find myself getting more and more excited. I have committed to riding down the West Coast starting at the end of June.
I sure can rock a hospital gown
I had the operation to cut the nerve on the left side of my tongue because I had a sore spot that felt like I had a hole in my tongue exposing the nerves below. Even ice cream hurt to eat. Two years of the nightmare of having that constant wispier of doubt about the source being cancer. No matter how many times the doctors reassured me I could not shake that feeling, that fear, oh I packed it deep down, but that came at a cost, a cost to my faith, a cost to my soul, and a cost to my family. I had the same operation last June. It failed. Zero results. I ended up with there was the three months of PTSD as 23 years of memories flooded back. Memories that I spent a lot of money to forget. I was that 17 year old boy again, my life was over again!
I don't know how, but I allowed the doctors to do the operation again. I just could not enjoy life with that pain and my pain was causing my family pain, It's taken about six weeks for me to make it work. It's been hell. I could not chew anything. I could not swallow anything for a good 24 hours. It was really hard because I had no pain control because I could not get the pills down. The doctors should have sent me home with a pain patch due to my swallowing problems and my history of chronic pain, but I didn't think to ask and the doctors never offered. WOW. I can't do that's again. I've said that a few times now!
In 10 years I'll be a several 1,000 miles from here experiencing new fears and new joys. Living in a world so filled with hate and rumors of wars it will be a joy to be able to visit the countries in the news, and to meet and interview fellow survivors from those countries, cancer destroys borders, it bonds people of any creed, a gift given at a heavy price. It's taken me awhile to learn to use that gift. I might fail on this ride like some have said I failed on my last ride. I have set a major goal that for most of my life I never would have dreamed possible
I have a really hard time doing things. I don't really like interacting with people that I randomly come across. I've found myself filled with anger and sadness and madness all at the same time from the simplest look. Wow the people on TV really exist. The reactions you get when you stick your finger in your throat hole (stoma). You would think that I just stuck my finger in my butt. Let's not even talk about the questions people ask.
I have always had a hard time not getting mad at peoples stupidity, but what I later learned from volunteering in my daughters Head Start classroom is that those looks and reactions are natural human reactions. You can't get mad at a kid for making fun of your voice or pretending to have a stoma. One of my favorites is when they talk in my voice. I can ride a bicycle a 100 miles in a day. I can climb to the top of a mountain, I can enjoy the pain, or I can endure the pain and just sit at home fretting.
It can be so hard to step outside, but once I do I'm on fire. I do rides for breakfast that most people think is impossible. Getting out that door is so hard. When you're in pain it's really hard. Emotional pain or physical pain or both combined makes life hard. Sometimes people ask me what drives me? Or where do you get your energy?
I have a purpose to get out of bed and out into the world. It's purpose that drives me. A purpose given to me by God! When I'm on the bicycle I enjoy meeting with, and talking to new people. I have no anger or resentment, I can freely enjoy the world. Those are the days, the hours, the seconds that I long for.
When I felt like I could take no more, when I cursed God, and begged him to end my life, he said to me you think life is hard now?, here is a kid to care for!
He gave me a purpose and I had to tell myself 'Suck it up Buttercup'
'My purpose gets me up early and keeps me up late.'
I had to find my why to give my daughter a father to be proud of. It took me a long time to find that purpose. I just wanted to go on a bike ride. While doing a fundraiser to get a recumbent bicycle a man wrote me a letter and told me that watching a video of me on top of Mt. St. Helens saved his life. He could not see living this way, but seeing me on top of the world changed his mind and he lived and went on to live well!
'I have been pushing myself hard'
Oh, Thank you Lord! I went to pick up Eva and her friend for a sleepover. I was really really not looking forward to having to listen to them all night. We were going to camp out in the back yard.
My legs are still tired from last weeks Farm Ride and I have to get up and go out and do it again tomorrow, 'WAIT' did I say 'I have toooo?'
I meant to say 'I'm lucky I get to ride out to the farm tomorrow and learn about farming and homesteading from Heart2HeartFarms. I love it that I will be sent home with some meat and some vegetables and fruits that I can hand out to the homeless peeps sleeping on the streets of our beautiful city of bridges.'
Last week I had five bunches of bananas and some other random items from the Farms food bank. I wish I had video. It's 10pm and I'm rolling around with food falling off my bike.
Three homeless people would only take one banana. I can't talk because my hands are dirty and I just rode my bike 20 miles in the rain with 50 pounds of meat and I really just don't have the energy to put my finger in my hole, but I have learned my own gestural language over the years and after some effort I got them to take the whole bunch.
This one wheelchair bound lady just rolled out of a dark doorway and she looking into my eyes and I looked down and grabbed a bunch of bananas and again she only took one. She ended up with a loaf of bread, a bunch of grapes, and $5 for a pack if cigarettes, I just wanted her to have some comforts that night.
I'm so blessed to be able to ride my bike, I'm lucky I have the strength to ride all day, I have worked so hard to get healthy. To be able to dream and plan an adventure riding my bicycle around the world. Not now, Not tomorrow. but can see myself doing it soon. I have never been able to see myself doing anything past a year since having cancer.
I gave up my dreams of flying jets for the Navy because someone told me I would not be able to communicate with the tower. After 63ish hours of flight training, I'd have to get my logbook out to be sure, but I just had a long cross-country flight and my check ride to get my ticket punched and get my licence to fly
At my age everyday I need to use every muscle in my body that I want to keep. I need to ride my bike 50 miles a day. I just feel better when I ride. It feels like flying! The pain feels good. The pain feels good at the end of the day after riding over a mountain down to the sea to camp on the beach with a bunch of Canadians with a bone fire fit to honor the gods .
I feel so alive when I'm on the road and being able to spend part of the day riding out to the farm to learn now skills and get meat that I help source. I'm really alive again. Cancer robbed me of my life for so long. Half my life was wasted. As I look at my life now I find there is no looking back, my fears still surround me, but I'm moving too fast for them to truly catch me.
I'm Lucky that my God's son Jesus gave me a purpose I can share with the world!
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