Sunday, June 16, 2019

THE FACES OF MY CANCER – ‘THAT PART’.

Some may find the visual aids within to be too emotional for many people. The written media also targets at the minimum 14 years plus.)
Here are some pictures from various stages of my Cancer treatment.
“I have always been highly spiritual. Rarely religious.
My Queen Heals Me Spiritually
AS YOU CAN SEE I LOOKED FINE.
But, I had slowly been feeling flu like symptoms for a few weeks at this point.
I spent most mornings reflecting about life. Subliminal messages telling me to beware.
I should have not procrastinated.
Night-sweats became day-sweats
7
I have a strong survivalists side. I do not lay down in a battle. It is an Irish Genetic Inheritance.
There’s humour in all instances of life. I soon had to find reasons to smile.
Hospital stay 7. Combined weeks since January 4th, 2019, equal 19, so far.
The smiles are half truths. I hide many emotions. Or rather, I ‘used’ to hide them. Now, I let the truth be told.
THE PRINCESS MARGARET CANCER HOSPITAL. I AM VERY BLESSED TO BE UNDER THE WORLD CLASS CARE THAT THEY GIVE. MANY DO NOT HAVE THIS TYPE OF EXCELLENCE AND PROFESSIONALISM.
This pain is relentless. None stop for two weeks now. 24/7, has not stopped once.
It is by far the worse pain I have ever experienced. And pain and I are lifelong buddies.
This pain is a b*dstard!!!!
Many battles won. No losses. Round Two! Finish HIM!!!!
So, this is just a tidbit of the Faces I have and must endure. There are smiling ones with genuine joy. There are sad ones with devastating sorrow. There are bland boring pictures and there are silly ‘selfies‘ taken inthe middle of a night when sleep evaded.
Here are 3 pictures that tell exactly how 18 hours of my day presently go.
Picture 1 – Pain rushes in like an out-of-control freight train. All I can do is squeeze my skull as tightly as possible and strap in for the ride.
Picture 2 – Accept that it is what it is. Unstoppable, untreatable pain. Let the tears flow – they earned their journey.
Picture 3 – Recover. No time for this to be stealing moments that are best held for love and joy. Cry it out. Hold my head high and dance in my Light.
I am an Urban Viking. The last of the Canadian Cosmonauts.
Cancer is soon to be dumbfounded when I kick it’s demonic ass into the dust of Hell whence it came.
I had a double session of radical radiation therapy every morning and another double set every afternoon for 20 days. 80 treatments, 20 days.
STRAPPED DOWN – MY VERY FIRST TREATMENT
Amazing technology
GRADUATION DAY!!!
I kept my mask. A gentle, but stark reminder of this “Walk With Dann.”
March 2, 2019 4a.m.- My spleen literally exploded. I bled out. I was brought back.
The surgeon and various doctors could only say one word to describe the recovery and my being alive.
“MIRACLE”
“Valhalla does not wish for my company and Helheim has a Peace Bond on me.”
I will post a few more similar blogs such like this one.
To add a face to my “Diary of An Old Man With The C”.
Until then I shall be writing in the two works I have in ‘progress’.
I want to leave behind my story for my future generations to understand who and why I was placed upon this beautiful blue marble.
Till then,
Adieu

GOT THEM MONDAY CANCER BLUES

When it comes to the Cancers, it’s the constant “hurry-up and wait” game that lays responsible for fifty percent of my stress.
I despise waiting, unless for a cab or a bus.
Waiting on the Specialists, the Surgeons, the Radiologist Oncologist, the Surgical Oncologist, the General Practitioners and the various Nurse, Psych and Support Staff is extremely nerve wracking.
This is compounded by the seriousness of my current status. I am now classified as “Late Stage 4 Squamous Cell Carcinoma”. Presently, “Non-Treatable”. “Terminal” if suitable and efficient therapy is not developed.
That is “Stephen King Scary.”
In Princess Margaret Cancer Center’s defence, I must say that no singular party is the blame.
The system is well stretched to the maximum, yet the Hospital still manages to get the patients through.
Yes, we may have to wait. Not long for most procedures or test results. Usually with in hours as an in-patient and a day as an out-patient. I have many an occasion to base this on.
I am waiting because I have SURPASSED the treatment window for conventional chemo or radiation therapies.
Hence, my signing on to my previous radical radiation therapy regime of a double round of experimental rad each morning and another six hours later.
In a 20 day therapy I received 80 doses. I graduated March 1st, 2019 from a successful run.
A miracle in my books.
March 2nd, 2019 at 4 in the morning my Spleen decided to self-destruct and explodes in my belly.
If not for my living mere blocks from the Michael Garron Hospital, I would not be writing this. I bled out in the ambulance.
I have very rare blood. Hard to obtain on a good day.
4 & 1/2 hours in O.R.
By lunch time that day I had received 16 liters of rapidly infused fluids.
Including:
4 pints whole blood
2 pints red blood cell concentrate
1 liter iron sucrose
And Ringer’s Lactate and various other fluids.
I was dead (again) – Number 9.
I was not looking so well when I woke up in I.C.U. – but, many professionals and family alike where awful surprised when I started speaking.
In October, 2018, I weighed in naked at 168 pounds.
By mid-March, 2019, I weighed barely 102 pounds in Hospital garb.
This decimated corpse is not laying down!!!!!!
For I am “The Original Urban Viking” and Cancer does not scare me.
Waiting does.
For, I know not what I am waiting for.
I know they must biopsy the ulcers in my throat. A very difficult task considering the obstruction of the swelling caused by necrosis laced flesh. This and my previous incubation difficulties make the simple biopsy a surgical operation under anesthesia.
Apparently, it will come with a painful recovery.
I can handle the pain.
I do extremely well with pain control once I know the source.
By knowing I can focus my Meditation, my Crystals, my Mineral & Stone Buddhist Bracelets and my Legion of Mary energies upon the Cancer directly.
Believe or not. I believe. Even the Treatment Team agree that there was no way I should have survived the Spleen rupture.
Their words, not mine:
ONLY EXPLANATION IS SIMPLY, ‘A MIRACLE'”
I still get shivers even typing it.
Changed my life for evermore. My Faith and Spirituality grew stronger.
I have always had a strong spiritual belief. Brought on by my 8 previous “Life AFTER Death Experiences”.
(Long story – read my autobiographical series, ‘Walk With Dann Collection.)
Waiting scares me and I do not scare easily.
Waiting for the biopsy. Waiting, most of all, that hopefully these gifted surgeons, doctors, nurses, social workers, grief counselors and all the Team can come up with an attack plan.
Otherwise, I could and will soon ascend. This has not been hidden from me.
Yet, as scared as I am, I am equally confident.
Valhalla is not ready for my soul.
Helheim declares me, ‘Persona non Gratis’
I have a calling.
I have yet to understand what the calling is, but I feel it’s mighty presence rising from my very soul.
My time is not now. My death, (I despise that term – (I prefer ‘ascension’) – will devastate too many innocent souls.
My wife, my sons, my adopted sons, my precious Maria, my best friend for life, Terry, Candace, who has graciously opened her home and heart to me do not deserve nor can handle just now, such a dark blow.
So, I simply will not go – I refuse to ascend till I have successfully completed…..
Firstly – properly preparing all my Family and Loved Ones for my ascension.
Be it of natural cause.
Or trauma incurred with my “Do Not Resuscitate” clause.
My previous blog explains why
OR…..
I invoke my “Death With Dignity” contract. Let me tell you right now that I would have to be in one superstorm of a Hell Hurricane to invoke such.
So, I sit here scared.
Secondly – as I have stated, and as numerous member of my Prayer Army can attest, I have a Calling”.
I know soon it will reveal to me exactly what I am Blessed to undertake.
As the Jewish say:
‘HINENI’
‘I AM READY MY LORD’
I used this term previously when I spoke of giving-up, laying down to waste away and, yes, even suicidal thoughts.
I should bow my head in shame to use such a Holy statement in such a Dark thought.
I am ready to begin my quest. I am ready to use my gift of Light and my past life lessons to tackle whatever tasks lay ahead in this, most definitely,
“Final walk with Dann”.
I will wait, still.
WHY, YOU ASK?”
What choice do I have but to wait till I know my purpose?
I am scared of waiting, yet, I am waiting to be scared.
I do my best work under pressure.
I will fight this demonic cancer with determination, your Prayers, your Love and my Creator’s will.
I have believed that I may have been Rasputin in another plain of space/time continuum.
They have poisoned me, stabbed me, shot me and once tried to drown me.
To quote Elton John:
I’m still standing. Even after all these years.”
I have Faith. Not your typical, “Oh now you have cancer you pray to God?”
My Faith has always been present. For years hidden incognito within my eclectic personality.
My devotion to my Spirituality is my weapon. My fearlessness of Ascension is my Army.
Hineni

THE FEAR OF CANCER CONTINUED

Today, May 30th, 2019, I attended the Head & Neck Cancer Clinic in the marvelous Princess Margaret Cancer Center.
This was the appointment I so eagerly awaited in my previous blog, “The Fear of Cancer”.
I was not expecting good news. Many years ago I had trained myself to always expect the worst in this type of a situation.
Why, you ask?”
If I expect the worse, then no matter what the diagnosis is to be I will be relieved as it is not the worst.
By the way, “It was the worse I have heard so far.”
Soooooo, I will break down the first three parts.
I will be receiving 39 sessions in a hypobaric chamber. They average 1 to 2 hours per session.
As you all know, from the previous and numerous blogs, now that the tumors have been destroyed by the radical radiation, I am plagued with ulcers of a yet ‘unknown’ type growing in the pockets of necrosis flesh left behind by the diminishing tumors.
These come in three types.
1) Non-cancerous ordinary ulcers
2) Cancerous ‘Treatable’
3) Cancerous ‘Non-Treatable
A biopsy is need to determine which. This is going to be schedule super a.s.a.p. at my surgerical oncologist at Mount Sinai Hospital. I suspect as early as Tuesday.
I will also have another CT scan of my chest and head.
All this is on super rush.
Tests I have had are still inconclusive.
I need to be put under for the biopsy as they cannot get down my throat far enough the conventional way.
The specialty surgeon is going to have to evaluate what to needs to be removed.
What my quality of life shall be if I have surgery will determine my choice of having surgery or not.
I will not allow any surgery that renders me invalid or disfigured.
I will not suffer my family or loved ones such sorrow.
The ulcers are not healing. This is where the hyperbolic chamber comes into play. By infusion my body with oxygen it will promote faster healing.
Hopefully.
We still are unsure as to whether or not they are cancerous or non-cancerous.
It may be necessary for me to have the g-tube re-installed. I may have no choice but to stop eating orally completely. This to allow my throat to heal.
I would be 100% reliant on the g-tube for all nutrition and hydration. For as long as it takes to improve.
For the past week or so I have experienced a pain like no other in my life! Far worse than anything I have experienced. And I have been through many physically painful situations.
It starts behind my eyes – as if there is someone attempting to push my eyes out of the sockets with their thumbs. My ears are constantly feeling as if they are being stabbed with sharpened pencils. The base of my skull has someone hammering in nails and my throat pain is beyond description.
I literally cry like a baby. I want to scream.
But, I can and will do my best to pass through this, the biggest storm of my life. (Death?)
Thank you all for the love, positive vibrations, encouragement abs mostof all your Prayers.
I am humbled by what everyone has done for me and the love that has enveloped me.
Maria MacDonald – your loveand devotion is a large factor in my surviving this far and I will never give up this battle for I have a lifetime to spend sharing with you.
You are the fire in my life. My heart. My love.
I appreciate, respect and loveyou beyond words.
I will say my Prayers now and ask for relief from this barrage of pure pain.
Remember my friends, it does not take much to …..
PRAY IT FORWARD


#LightHouseDannVerner
#FuckCancer
#TheOriginalUrbanViking

THE FEAR OF CANCER

Not often I have 'fear'.

I have it now. I fear that I may not beat this cancer.

I was diagnosed on October 22nd, 2018, with Pharyngeal and Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Stage four.
I was past the ability to be treated via chemotherapy and conventional radiation. My only three options were let nature take her course or surgery to remove my complete tongue and lymph nodes (leaving me with zero quality of life) or receive radical aggressive radiation.

I chose the latter. Receiving a double session twice per day for twenty days. The actual treatment was easy. Just lay down, strapped in a cage and a mere fifteen minutes listening to Pink Floyd as the machine's robotic arms did their task.

I was pleased when on March the first I completed the therapy and was told it had succeeded in killing all the tumors.

What I didn't understand at that time was the worse part comes after the therapy. As the tumors diminished the damage from the radiation and cancer surfaces. This, apparently, can go on for up to two years.

My throat swelled and on the exterior turned purple. A side affect of the radiation burn and dying tissues within.



I had a few complications during the course of treatment. I developed a huge abscess in my lower abdominal cavity, possibly from the feeding g-tube implant. It required minor surgery to remove and drain. This was followed by a major battle with septicemia. A battle I thankfully won.




I was released from the Princess Margaret Cancer Center on January 31, 2019. After being hospitalized for twenty seven days. I was glad to be home.

At four in the morning of February the 2nd my spleen exploded. I bled out and have only survived because I live blocks from the Michael Garron Hospital. I was revived. Received four pints of blood, rapid infusion of Ringers lactate, a litre of iron sucrose and twenty nine staples on my abdomen. Complete removal of my spleen.





I spent all of February and half of March in Princess Margaret. My weight dropped down to ninety seven pounds. A far cry from my average one hundred and seventy.
I look like a survivor from a Nazi Death Camp.




I was sent home mid March to complete my treatment as an out-patient.

Things were well at first. I could not swallow most food so I was dependant on six cans of condensed Isosource nutrients to feed my body. I managed to get my weight up to one hundred and twenty-two pounds.

But, a big but, the damage from the tumors and radiation was surfacing more and more. The pain of swallowing increasingly getting worse. To the point I feared swallowing even my saliva.
This I am still plagued with as I write.

My weight loss increased and depression tried to take over my logic. I feared that I would definitely die. I have that fear still, as do my caregivers.

No longer able to function properly I resigned myself to the reality of coming back into the hospital.
Presently, I am hospitalized in the magnificent Toronto General Hospital. A Blessing of living in Toronto with the world class treatment of Toronto General and the adjoined Princess Margaret Cancer Center. Two of the best hospitals worldwide.

If I lived anywhere else I am positive I would not be authoring this blog on this foggy Sunday morning.

I am not sure what is to happen to me next. Neither are my team of doctors.

I have been here a mere few days, having been admitted on the twenty four of May. So, I am awaiting the results of my MRI, CT Scan and numerous other tests.

Tomorrow I have to have minor surgery to re-implant a gastric feeding tube and biopsy of my tongue and throat.

So far my diagnosis is as follows:

1) as my body absorbed the dead tumors it left behind holes, like potholes in a road. These 'holes' have developed ulcers.
2) The ulcers can be one of three types. (A) non-cancerous, (B) Cancerous but treatable and (C) Cancerous non-treatable
3) I am severely malnourished and dehydrated.

Hopefully, by tomorrow evening I will know for sure what battle lays before me.
I am a 'realist'. Hence, I take things in stride. It is what it is and I will deal with whatever falls my way with logic over emotions.

I also trained myself to always expect the worse possible scenarios. Reason being if I am expecting the worse no matter what my diagnosis is to be it shall be better than what I expected. A small comfort in such a serious situation.

I am not being unrealistic in my expectations. I am in a serious situation.
After many discussions with all my treatment team and my beloved family, I made the difficult decision to put in place a DNR, (Do Not Resuscitate), on my medical record.

This is justified and many tears were shed coming to the decision. It is the best avenue to take considering the condition of my physical form. My bone density is very low which means that if I were to receive CPR my ribs would shatter. Greater risk is that my heart and poor physical condition makes it ninety nine percent positive I will slip into a coma - a coma I will not recover from.
I pray no one ever has to have this discussion with their family. It was/is the most heartbreaking talk I have ever imagined having to have.

Saddest part being the reaction of my family and friends. I, being the patient, fully have accepted that I am knocking on the gates of Valhalla. I did not wish to accept it, but it is what it is.

I also have refused any major surgery that will disfigure and disable me. I refuse wholeheartedly to have my love ones suffer the anguish of watching me whither away, perhaps for weeks or months. That would scar their very souls for life. It would be selfish of me to put them through such.

They understand. They don't like accepting it, but, once again, it is what it is.

I am not, by far, a 'religious' man. I am a man of faith. I believe in a higher, supreme power. Over the past 15 years I have been brought back to life 9 times so far. I wrote about these times previously. It's suffice to say my life has been full of numerous ups and downs. Often down. It strengthened my personality and outlook on life. To most they would say my life was tragic. I see it as just 'my life'. Sixty-one and a half years of learning and growth.

So, as it stands today, I have a battle to win. And I shall win because I am surrounded by true caring and love. I have a large group of beautiful souls who have formed a 'Prayer Army' on my behalf. Believe or not, but there is a power in prayers. They don't have to be church indoctrinated chants, but rather sincere and positive praise to whoever you perceive as your Creator.

I am anxious to get the results of the tests tomorrow. The waiting and the fear of what may be is far more disheartening than the cancers themselves. The fear of the unknown instills an anxiety that clouds judgement.

I prefer sunny days over cloudy ones.

So, I will leave you now and I will blog whatever happens next in my wonderful life as soon as I know.

Until then, I remain 'Dann, just as I am - - - The Original Urban Viking'.

NAMASTE' MY FRIENDS

And remember to ......

ALWAYS PRAY IT FORWARD
BLESS