Saturday, 28 December 2013

Year end thoughts

It is Saturday today.  I went to the Jewish General on Tuesday to see my new Dr., The Dr. A.  He has some good reviews and some bad ones on webmd.  After one visit I could not like him more.  I started feeling stronger on Christmas day, and stronger still each day after.  I feel quite good today.  I am very relaxed.  It came to me on Thursday that this part of my struggle is over.  I don't have to fight anymore for a lung transplant evaluation.  It's been arranged by The Dr. A.

2013 started a lot like 2012 finished up.  The Dr. was still on medical leave, my primary pulmonary care was provided by Dr. Y.  I detested her for her complete lack of empathy as well as her harsh manner.  That said, I probably was a lousy patient.  She did send me for a second stint at pulmonary rehab at Mount Sinai. I don't think I would have made it this far without it.  I owe her that.  At the end of last year, boxing day, I caught something that lingered for months, leaving me worn out.  Nicole and I were coming to terms with my situation.  Our discussions centered around living for the moment and planning for the end.  I was and still am determined not to have a lingering,slow, death by a thousand cuts that emphysema normally brings.  We were good with everything.  J of The Dr. called me sometime in January 2013 to tell me The Dr. was resuming his practice.  The fix was in Doctor wise.  As much as I did not like Dr. Y., I did not trust The Dr. after being abandoned earlier.  I had no choice in the matter.  Much as I tried I had been assigned The Dr., and that was that.

During my first meeting after his medical leave of over a year, on March 3, 2013, I asked The Dr. if there were any extraordinary surgical measures that could be taken to help me live longer.  I asked simply because it was important to my peace of mind.  I expected the answer to be no.  I was good with no.  I had no idea what I was actually doing other than dutifully checking that out before I returned home to expire.  He said, "yes, you qualify for a lung transplant, you meet the criteria".  

The rest was war, a year of struggle, of fighting for everything, constantly every step of the way.  I was sorely tested, often.

Then, like magic, at the tail end of 2013 everything seemed to change.  Everything fell into place, seemingly.  I went from lost to found in a matter of weeks.  I have a team of caregivers at one of the best hospitals in the world.  I don't think I have to fight so hard not to get lost in the shuffle.  My transplant eval at Notre Dame is coming.  The surgeons know my name.  My cancer is being monitored.  I feel better physically than I dared dream even a week ago.  The new normal is ok!  

I love my life.  I love how I see.  I love who I am becoming.  This hope thing is not so bad.  Let's see where it takes me.   

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A very good day

I met Dr. A. this morning at the Jewish General Hospital.  I had my full chart with me.  He spent over an hour with me and Nicole methodically going through the chart, his own work up and the networked information he had available to him.  At one point I mentioned that I had been through the Mount Sinai  Pulmonary Rehab program.  He left the room for a moment and returned with Ester.  We recognized each other right away with big smiles.  She is my contact person with the pulmonary and cancer people at the Jewish as of now.  I call or email her with anything, anytime.  She has instant access to the Doctors.  All of my prescriptions were renewed.  Dr. A. says we will modify things as we go along but for now we leave things as they were, drug wise.  He agreed that I had to know if a transplant is possible ASAP.  He forwarded the department head at Notre Dame a consultation request, by email, phone and fax.  While I was sitting there.  Pinch.  

It's the holidays.  I better relax and let it happen naturally now.  Might be a couple of weeks, but, I am to have my answer.  I will know not so long from now.  

I am exhausted.  I am very lucky.  

Merry Christmas!  

Monday, 23 December 2013

Big day tomorrow

Feeling quite odd this morning.  Lightheaded, spacey even.  Time and place do not sync.  Out of time and place.  In about 24 hrs I meet the new pneumologist.  Going to the hospital on Christmas Eve.  I have to call Wayne later and remind him.  I have to remember that I am driving this thing, that I am making this happen.  I am not powerless, yet.  I am not just a passenger.  This is my life, still.  Hospital on Christmas Eve.  Must be something serious, huh? 

Nicole went shopping with Roger, an old cherished lawn bowling bud.  Younger than us even.  I decided to stay home.  I did not want to take the risk of pushing myself too hard.  While I will not say I am forevermore housebound, I am for now.  We are stocking up today.  

I have no energy to spare.  I am laying very low.  Tomorrow with the new pneumologist I make a new plan.  After Christmas back on the treadmill.  Back to work getting stronger.  Hitting back.  Today, not.  

I feel Christmas this season as if I were a child again.  I am remembering and feeling it all over again.  All the magic and love.  I feel it this year all over again.  It is beautiful outside like a holiday card.  I am safe in my home.  I will stay safe in my home.  Christmas day with our family!  No worries or cares, they love us and will come fetch us.  I am blessed. 

I imagine I will want to write tomorrow after my meeting with the new pneumologist.  If I do not for some reason, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Peace on Earth.  Love to all.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Watching the snow fall and fall and fall..............

Yesterday +Georg Tirebiter mentioned to be cautious about allowing "my brain to write cheques that my body can't cash."  I had encountered the expression somewhere, sometime, but I never really thought about what it meant, being young and fit and immortal.  I recognized it immediately and knew exactly what he meant.  What made it interesting was how it was so perfect for the day. Yesterday was a landmark day, a day where the lesson of the day must be learned right now if I have intentions of living a little longer.  Even a month ago if I exerted too much, too fast, I could adjust, recover by using my breathing tricks and generally keep myself out of danger.  Yesterday I got caught three times severely out of breath and was on the edge of not being able to recover. I figure that is because my lung or lungs is/are close to collapsing before I am aware it is happening. While that is going on I can feel my heart overloaded and complaining. I can push myself into oblivion. I probably should actively avoid that.  Georg had impeccable timing with those words.  It might even be life rule # 1.

I wanted to do a bunch of different chores like vacuuming and tidying up so Nicole would be free to play with her Smuf village under the tree.  After the two hour wake up period where I eat and breathe all those prescriptions, have a tea and attempt to manage my body as it goes from sleep state to waking state, I know how I feel.  Normally when I decide to lay low for the day there is a certain amount of guilt.  Not today.  I stared the guilt down and beat it with a stick.  

I made some maple almond brittle today from an old Gourmet Magazine recipe from the mid 90's.  I found it online rather than sort through a dozen years worth of my old magazines.  It turned out better than ever.  I think experience counts with this recipe.  I think I have done it twenty times or more.  I toasted the slivered almonds perfectly, the candy boil was slow and spot on.  It is really good.  I also made shortbread dough.  It be chilling in the fridge.  Tomorrow I will made a few types of cookies that I like to make for Christmas.  I did what I could do, and what I wanted to do today.  My most amazing wife Nicole right beside me all the way.  It's all good.  It really is.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Accepting new limitations

On Friday morning Sugar had to go to the vet to deal with a paw problem.  Poor little thing was starting to hurt and I was sure it had become infected.  Nicole wanted to go and visit our neighbour Lucy who is in hospital at the moment.  I told Nicole I could call a taxi and take Sugar without any problem.  I believed it, too.  

As it turned out it was a problem, a big one.  I got into trouble getting into the taxi, getting into the vets office and getting back into my house from the taxi.  Edge of consciousness, lungs almost collapsed.  This is new, at least it is new in respect to how quickly and how thoroughly my body wants to shut down.  Is it an exacerbation?  I do have a sinus infection that is being treated with antibiotics and I do not particularly feel much in the way of symptoms from the infection right now.  It feels like the new normal.  I also have to remember I am on steroids for another week or so and that could be part of what I feel.  

I will have to back off somewhat, physically and be more realistic, be kinder to myself.     

Over the last year I have stripped off much of my ego.  It all has to go.  Ego blocks the light. Vain, pathetic, cowardly ego!  Ego is a self constructed prison. Ego tells me to write pretty lies, not to share, not to express my wonder and joy at what I am finding in these difficult times. My ego must die before I do.  Then there will be nothing but love and light, right here, right now.

A big ass Christmas present

We have had some big happenings in the last week or so.  We had gotten significantly behind in our municipal taxes, two years actually.  I had a plan but it got short circuited by my bank when they paid the arrears.  That was great in one way, but it meant that I had three months to come up with almost $6000, because our mortgage is up for renewal at the end of January.  We would not have survived a reapplication.  It had to be renewal and the arrears had to be cleared.  Well, we did it, with a little help from my Sister.  We did it mostly on our own, but without her help I would have come up short. I have the cash.  We will have our renewal, a very tiny monthly mortgage payment and the equity that is Nicole's nest egg is safe!  I feel really, really good about that.

What a Christmas present eh?  A farking house!!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A meeting with The Dr. Too this morning

I just got home from a long, emotional and fruitful meeting with The Dr. Too.  She heard me.  It took everything I have to get her to commit to helping me directly, right now.  At first she wanted time, a vacation starting in two days.  Then she wanted me to wait to see how things set up with the pneumologist I might have next month.  Questions about why The Dr. did this, did not do that, all kinds of tangential shite.  I had to push hard.  At one point I thought to myself ok, she is not going to get actively involved right now.  She sees obstacles everywhere.  Who do I call? Who will listen to me?  What can I do?  I told her I have no more time left. Days count now.  I asked for the chart back and started to get up to leave.  I was not angry but I was immoveable.  I think about then she heard me.  She understood and picked up the phone.  She came up with a plan, a good one that will get me an oncologist for my cancer right away, a pneumologist right away, and make Notre Dame aware of me right away.  

She got me an appointment tonite at the Jewish General!!  Tonite. I listened to the conversation.  She sold it so sweetly!  Told him the whole crazy story, enlisted him into her plan to get me back on the fast track, get my ass on the list before time runs out.  I hugged her so hard, told her how grateful I was.  She is going to call me later today.  She wants me to call her tomorrow to tell her what happens.  The Dr. Too will not stop, she will be fierce and relentless and will not quit.  Thank you The Dr. too. 

I will not quit.  I am not finished.  I have Dr. P. and perhaps Dr.L. to draft onto the team.   I'll be on the local news if I have to. There is no more time.  Hello world.  I am a very squeaky wheel right now.  Look at me.  Pay attention.  My life depends on you acting right now.  

I am excited about tonite.  I feel cared about and looked after.  I am pleased.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Today sucks

A foot and a half of new snow, -20 C.  The long winter has arrived.  I went to get my chart this morning and I managed to get to Wayne's warm car without having to take a breath.  

I got the chart and had a chat with J of The Dr. that left me very disappointed.  She gave me the phone number of a respirologist who is starting a new practice in January.  That's all folks.  She ain't got nothin for me.  Not Russell anymore either, back to Mr. McCarten.  I am supposed to be grateful and I bloody well am not. I told her, begged her to call Notre Dame for me and explain to curious circumstances, tell them The Dr. was done and ready to send it before he died.  For three fucking weeks it sat on the desk!!  If any of my messages had been responded to the fucking application would be at Notre Dame!!  After twenty calm minutes of questions trying to figure out what help she could get me to I got her to agree to actually pick up a fucking phone and call them. You know, like do something.  Tell them The Dr. died with a virtually complete lung transplant application of mine on his desk. Tell them you want to know who to get it to, how to get it to them, get me to the door. That was like pulling teeth.  To get her to agree that this made sense and was within her powers was heartbreaking and frustrating.  She said she would and then call me.  I really suspect that I have had my last conversation with J of The Dr.. I was polite, nice and spoke without cursing.

I have an appointment with The Dr. Too tomorrow morning to drop my chart on her and try to motivate her into making some calls. She will be a challenge as well.  She will squirm and wiggle and try to pass the buck to someone else.  I know this lady well.  

I am writing an email to Dr. P., my cardiologist asking him for his help.  I called and left a message for Dr. L., hopefully my new pneumologist.  When her receptionist calls I will try to get a call back from Dr. L. before I see her sometime in January.  Lung Transplant new Dr.  Lung transplant.  I want my phone to ring now, today, tomorrow, really soon.  I ain't got six weeks to waste.  No time to waste.

I am having more trouble than usual breathing today.  Stress.  I cannot tolerate stress.  I don't have stress when I know where I am going.  Right now, I am going nowhere, I have to change that, fix it, fix it fast!  I do not have time to waste, anymore.

I will settle down.  I remember that I can turn the stress off once I am satisfied I did what I could do to help myself, today.  Once I write that email to Dr. P. I should feel better.

I have not been well and going somewhat downhill for the last few days.  A painful dry cough, unproductive mostly that leaves my trachea burning.  Sputum started to look the wrong colour.  I decided to initiate my Action Plan.  I am on day 3 of 5 of avelox and a prednisone burst of 10 days.  I feel better, the bliss side of the prednisone is every ache and pain goes away.  The bad side is I have to watch that I don't become angry and hurtful.  Roid rage is real my friends.  

I do feel lost a bit.  I do feel all alone in terms of managing my health.  Nicole is a huge help of course. I worry I am kidding myself, that I never really had a chance at a lung transplant.  I was so blissful in my own little way last March.  I knew where I was going and I really had come to terms with how to live with an incurable and fatal condition, how to be happy.  Now I don't know if I should plan for a new life or go back to accepting and enjoying my remaining days.  Hell is where I am now.  I got to get out of this place. I need to know how this story ends.  I am not owed anything by life.  All I want is a chance to see the Dr.'s, the thoracic surgeons at Notre Dame.  Yes or no, it will not matter.  I will know where I am going.  I wont be in hell anymore. Please world, I won't ask for anything else.  OK?

While vetting my new pneumologist I found this Youtube vid of her dancing at Dancing with the Docs fund raiser last April.  Can't wait to meet her.  I found her email addy as well at McGill.  I shall introduce myself today.  Why wait for next month?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

I had to write this morning, had to!

It's Wed. morning, almost noon.  Nicole is off on her volunteer work day at the seniors residence up the street.  I called J of The Dr. early this morning and spoke with her.  We talked about The Dr. for a few minutes.  I asked her if they were friends and she told me they were.  She held him in high regard both as a man and a physician.  I told her I understood why my file had not made it off the desk and why she had not called me back over the last few weeks.  She very clearly feels horrid about that.  She has contacted two pneumologists she knows well to take on my file.  I thanked her for that.  She says that we will get it done, we will get it to Notre Dame.  She promises.  I asked about getting my chart and explained that I wanted to also work on it on my own with The Dr. Too and she thought that was a good idea.  I will pick it up Monday next.  She seemed very confident that we will get to Notre Dame.  I believe her.  I told her I love her for all of her kindness over the years and especially because she is stepping up for me right now, in this moment of her profound grief and sadness. 

With Nicole out I am all alone.  I woke up in rather rough shape.  Bad cough, lots of sputum, burning chest, weakness all around.  Rough ragged breathing with wheezing.  Not great.  Few hours later now and its a lot better.  I have done nothing much, really.  I probably will not.  

How do I feel about where I am at in life?  I feel grateful I am not in pain, that my burden is not heavier than I can manage.  Numb.  I feel rather numb to it all actually.  I have become somewhat comfortable with death.  Death scares me less than a stroke that leaves me mentally incompetent does, or another episode like that of my second heart attack.  The thought of the pain that Nicole will suffer when I die is infinitely more troublesome to my peace of mind than that of my eventual demise.  Gone is any anxiousness due to worry about what is going to happen to me.  Will I, won't I, cancer, yes, no, maybe, what?  That does not mean I don't care.  I care a lot.  I will not though, stress about what I cannot control.  Right now I have done all that I can for today, and probably for the better part of a week.  So, no stressing about a future that does not belong to me.  Today belongs to me, and I have done all I can do today to influence and affect my fate, so we shall not ruin now over tomorrow.  It's like watching a movie that you do not know the end to.  You don't know what comes next.  Patience and assurance that I did all I could do, today is enough for peace of mind now.

I do not cry more than a stifled tear once in a long while.  I wipe my love's tears far more often.   I am not consciously fighting back the tears.  It only makes sense though, that somewhere along the line I would have broken down, did the woe is me thing.  I just don't feel it.  The waste of it all makes me very sad sometimes if I dwell on it, but that's not the same is it?

Being housebound is a bore.  Thanks to G+ I can see out at least.  
I wonder if when I am able to get some kind of car on the road next spring I will still be up to driving.  This whole thing has affected me in a lot of unexpected ways.  I am a lot older, less aware.  I am not sure I trust my reflexes anymore, and maybe not my judgement either.  I remember in a past life having difficulty relating to very sick friends.  I think I too found it easy to drift into distance and unintended indifference.  Writing this has led me to the thought that a lung transplant would restore me, make me whole, free me from the prison that is my body.  I want that chance with all of my heart.  

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Conversation this morning with The Dr. Too (family physician)

I put a call in to The Dr. Too this morning asking for a call back. Like always, she called me back promptly.  Any conversation with her is fun and challenging.  This one was no exception.  She is funny in a good way, although she is prone to riding any available tangent off into the sunset.  The conversation went something like this:

her: Hi Russell.  What's up?
me: The Dr. died.  I have a big problem.
her: Yeah, I read the obit yesterday.  What sad news.  How did you find out?  What can I do for you?
me: J called me yesterday to tell me and to tell me that my application for a lung transplant was still on his desk.
her: Wow.  Slow down.  Tell me what is going on.
me: Ok.  I'll give you the story in short form.  At the beginning of August The Dr. told me that we were ready to submit the application.  All that was left was to have another CAT scan of the lung tumour.  I had that done a couple of weeks later and the results were great.  No growth between May and August.  A week or two later I had a mild heart attack followed a few days later by a moderate one.
her: Wait, what, you had a heart attack?  When?  Two?  
me: one at home, one in the hospital.  
her: Did The Dr. know this?  Wait, something here in your file.  You had some tests done while you were in the hospital   MIBI
me: Yeah    I know.  Just listen.  I have this all worked out.  Just let me tell you the facts in order, OK? Let me bring you up to speed, tell you what I need from you.  OK?
her:  So ok.  Hospitalized for heart attack.  
me: Right.  Two.  Had a MIBI done.  Got out, saw Dr. A., my old cardiologist who read the MIBI and pronounced me ok and ready for a transplant.  He did not make a report to The Dr.  The Dr. saw me and the MIBI and promptly sent me to Dr. P., telling me no transplant application until my heart was certified up to it.  Dr. P. sent me for an angiogram and subsequently spoke to and submitted a written report to The Dr. informing him that my heart was strong enough for transplant.  
her:  So, what's the problem
me: Everything is on his desk, nothing sent to Notre Dame, they don't know about me
her: What do you mean they don't know about you
me: Well, The damn thing has not been submitted
her how do you know
me: J called me yesterday.  I asked.  I had left 9 messages asking if it had been sent over the last 3 weeks.  I left messages yesterday too.  One of those she returned.  Told me the news.  I asked what about my application.  J told me it was still on The Dr.'s desk.  I asked her if she could send it.  She said no, she did not know what to do with it.  She said that she would try to have someone look at my chart.
her: So, give it some time.  Let her work it out.
me: No.  Sorry.  I am going to get this to Notre Dame now, on my own if I have to, but I need your help.
her: Dr. P. would be better than me, you really should call him first.
me: No.  He is a cardiologist, I have met him twice.  You have known me for 15 years.  I have spent a year reading, studying many different hospital's protocols for lung transplant, and believe me, the most important Dr. on that team is the Family Dr.  They don't even look at someone who does not have the backing of a solid family physicians.  You are it, Dr.
her: Russell, you need to let J work on it, you need to talk to Dr. P.
me: of course I will let her work on it.  I love her, she is hurting now.  It's just that I am going to drive this thing now.  Me.  I can't wait anymore for others to take care of this exclusively.  I need you now.  Am I legally allowed to have my chart?  Do I have the right to obtain it physically?  
her:  Yes.  Of course.  It's yours.  Did you ask for it?
me: No.  I was in shock.  She was mortified because the damn application was still on the farking desk!  I expressed condolences, asked about what was going to happen.
her: And what did she tell you
me: She told me she was going to try to get someone to work on it.
her: So, let her  Give her a time    
me: NO  It is not going to work exclusively like that.  I will get my chart and bring it to you, now, ASAP.  I want you to call Notre Dame, find the right people, get me in front of them.  It's cool if J tries too.  I don't think Notre Dame is going to get pissed at me because of two agencies working on my behalf.  I have non small cell cancer, at death's door from lung disease and I do not have any specialists!  I ain't waiting Dr!  My best chance is to get to Notre Dame.  If on the outside chance they do say yes I don't need any other Dr.'s.  Everything will be done for me there.  That is what we are doing first.  Getting a yes or no from them.
her: Get your chart.  Bring it to me.  I will see what I can do.
me: No, Dr.  I am bringing it to you and you are going to drive me down there and get me in.  
her: Russell, you know I can't drive you there myself.
me: I know.  It was said figuratively.  I am going to put the chart in front of you, you are going to contact the thoracic surgeons at Notre Dame and explain the odd circumstances to them.  You are going to get me to the  door.  Please.
her:  Call J.  Get your chart.  Bring it to me.  We'll think of something.
me: Cool.  Thats what I need.  I need you now.  Right now.  I need you to step up for me.  I need you to save my life, The Dr. Too.
her: Russell, you know I am there for you.  Stay healthy in the meantime.  Stay good, positive.  We'll get it done, we will, give J a chance.  Be nice.  Such a shame about The Dr.
me: Yes.  J is suffering now, so sad.  He really was a good Dr. Thanks.  I'll call you soon.    :) :) :)

Monday, 9 December 2013

calmed down some since I wrote this

What a morning.  I don't think I have digested things yet.  All the effort, all the hope, all the pain might have been for nothing.  I am afraid of getting angry.  I am unsure if I could ever stop if I did. Of course I am saddened by The Dr.'s death.   I just did not plan on dying with him!  I did not expect him to take me with him.  All those unreturned call were due to June's embarrassment that my lung transplant application was still on his desk, week after week while I tried to get it expedited. 

It is not right.  It is not fair.  Why is this happening to me?  I was ok last March with what my fate was.  Then they opened a box that gave me hope.  I had to change the way I think, my goals, the way I life.  I did, too.  I got onboard.  I hoped and hoped and hoped.  Now the dream is shattered because they did not do their jobs.  I rang that fucking phone nine times while he was alive over three weeks and she did not have the decency to return a single one of them messages.  Today, after my second message where I asked if I still had a doctor did she bother to reply.  She told me she would try to find another pneumologist to look at it.  I expressed my condolences and only asked about the fate of my application. She promised to call me back.  I do not believe her for a minute.  I know she means well but I just cannot trust my feelings to her anymore. They let me down as much as you can let down another human being.  There was no excuse for not calling me back, for ignoring me all that time.  It was a vile way to treat me.  I really expected better from June.  I thought she was one of my angels.  That betrayal makes me want to cry.  

I don't know what will happen with this particular blog.  I sure as fuck do not seem to be in the hunt for new lungs at the moment.

I have lung cancer!  I have nobody following me.
I have stage 4, end stage emphysema, I had two years or less to live last March for fucks sake!  I have no pneumologist.

It has all fallen apart.  

You just could not make this shit up.

The Dr. died on Friday

I no longer have a pneumologist, The Dr. has died, my application just as dead on his desk.  Nicole is inconsolable, I am stunned.  He died on Friday night in his sleep.  June called me this morning after two more messages.  My application sat on his desk for three weeks, unfinished.  Trying hard not to think ill of the dead.  June told me she will try to get another pneumologist to take over the file and complete it.  Yeah.  I got lots of confidence in that.  Lets get our hopes up one more time.  Lets waste another nine months with false hope.  Two weeks ignored, two weeks my life sitting there unattended.  Now it's too late.  I don't think I want to play this game anymore.  Not one fucking little bit.


Three weeks.  Three weeks since I went and filled out the forms. Three weeks of messages not returned.  Seven in total.  My confidence in The Dr. and June is fucking shot.  Duck and cover. Thanks a lot, June.  Your empathy is extraordinary, and I sure don't mean that in a good way.  Glad I am not trying to report an exacerbation.  I would be dead already.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

I might be gone for a while

There is nothing going on doctor wise.  Dr. P. cleared me and my heart for a lung transplant more than a month ago.  Three weeks ago I let The Dr. and June know.  Two weeks and four days ago on a Monday June called and told me there were forms regarding the transplant application that I had to fill out.  I went the next day and did so.  The Dr. did not have hours that day but I was assured that the docs would be given to June the next day.  I called that day, a Wed, again on Friday, and again on Monday and Wed. of this week.  I could only leave a message each time, the phone was not answered.  The message was a really simple one.  Did my application for a lung transplant get forwarded to Notre Dame Hospital.  I am still waiting for a call back.  I feel really lousy about this.  The Dr. is known to "fire" patients who he does not like.  I simply have no choice but to suffer in silence and await whatever the fuck is next.  Luckily, for now, I am ok physically.  Right.  Ok for someone seriously fucked up with end stage emphysema.  Really.  Some days I don't even believe it myself.  Those days I figure I must be a fraud or one tough SOB. Fraud wins out most of the time.

I would not have posted a rant today other than the fact that I may be out of touch for a month or three.  It is a long complicated and stupid story but essentially I got behind on the taxes on my house.  I had a plan (dumbass) to get the oldest part of that cleared before it became a legal problem.  At the same time my mortgage is coming up for renewal at the end of January.  We do not want and cannot reapply or make changes, we would not pass muster. The arrears have to be cleared before renewal date.  The renewal will be automatic at a new lower interest with lower payments.  The mortgage is small and we have a lot of equity.  We have to keep out house.  The mortgage company contact is a sweetie, she is trying her ass off to help.  Yesterday we agreed that my next 4 bi weekly payments will get applied to the arrears which cuts a chunk.  I have some cash that I am sending them now and more when we get pension income in mid month.  We can just about manage it, it will work.  No matter what we will get it done.

Virtually every cent we have and will have for the next few months are going to have to go towards the arrears and there will be nothing for anything else.  Nicole and I are ok with that.  We don't care.  All we care about is not loosing our house.  It would be insane.  Rent would be double the current mortgage.  So, I suspect I am not going to be able to keep the cable and the internet going for much longer.  

Things will be better towards the spring.  We both have significant increased pension income coming in late Feb.  We are ok with everything, we just have to sacrifice now for long term good.  

So, I will be around as long as I can, I will keep writing and see you all soon.  Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, have a helluva nice Quanza and generally have a nice time.  Nicole and I will.

PS.  This was hard to write.  I am proud that I did.  It is far worse to worry about what people will think about you than to stay silent and not share.