Tag Archives: broken spirit

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

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Do My Testicle Look Swollen Because They Just Got Kicked Again

They say, whoever “they” are, that love is blind.

Well by God I must have been walking into quite a few walls these past 6 years.

I have closure now.

Actually I think the door slammed my ass because I didn’t move fast enough.

My biggest fear now is going to be will I lose trust in all women who say they love me?

Not in a friendship way because Lord knows I have plenty of female friends, more females than males.

I mean in a relationship way.

I have no desire to date again anyways but I also do not want to become a bitter old women hater of a man.

Looking back 7 years I had vowed never to date again, but one day in our hallway she glanced at me and her smile stirred something in my very soul.

I have been many a bad type of person over the years.

From growing up watching foster parents, my real parents and friends cheating on each other I vowed I would be honest with that part of any relationship I was in.

In all my years with Jennifer I stayed true.

I was a flirt, big time, still am. But why eat cookies if you have Angel food cake at home.

Many will not believe that but I know the truth and I will stand before St. Peter or the Lord himself and say, “Yes, I broke nine of the ten commandments my Lord, but I honoured my wife for over 30 years.”

Life goes on.

I have been granted yet another crack at the bat and I will play by the rules.

I never once in my life thought I would be able to say
“I am 61 years old.”

Yet here I am and I am willing to bet that in ten years I will be listening to Leonard Cohen and dancing with my beloved Pringles and Ruffles.

I cannot hate over love, for maybe at one point she did love me.

Maybe ….

I will have to believe that to be true because I don’t want to realize there are people that are that cold hearted in real life.

But, I have to ask myself why did she only visiting time out of all the two months I have fought for my life in these hospitals?

Would I do that to her? Not a hope in Hell, I would have sat beside her bed from day one for I did/do love her.

And now I must put on my “I am okay” face and carry on.

I Am Scared

Was all excited yesterday when I heard I was soon to go home, (Thursday), then an hour later, BAM!!!

I was a completely different person.

Very ill, extremely lathargic, dizzy, confused and in pain beyond comprehension.

I slept from one in the afternoon yesterday till 6 this morning. How does anyone sleep 17 hours?

Doctors are increasing my Fentanyl to 75 milligrams. “To make me comfortable ” was their words. I have found in the past that when doctors say such things to patients with terminal illnesses, what they really mean is they won’t let you die in pain.

I am not being paranoid. I was told from the get go that my chances of survival were slim. For 2 months I have heard everyday how everyone is amazed I have “made it” this far. Add in the constant use of words like make me comfortable, use as much pain medication as I feel I need, and then there are the constant “team meetings”.

And yesterday they asked how I felt about going into a hospice. No one walks out of a hospice.

All this makes you think the worse.

I have asked for a case conference later today because if what I suspect is true just send me home to be with my dogs.

But, I won’t know for sure until they all get at the same table and tell me. It’s hard when there are so many professionals involved. 2 regular oncologists, 2 radiation oncologists, 1 ENT surgeon, a whole team of pain palative care and five or six others from dieticians, physio and psychology.

Until then all I can do is pray and pray I will.

I Cannot ‘DO’ This

I have tried and tried to keep myself on the positive side of all this.

I knew if I were to start crying the tears wouldn’t stop.

I realize now that there is no positive side.

And the tears will not stop.

For where lays the positive side of dying a slow, very painful death?

Show me.

My Maria Angelica M who had said she would always be there for me through out this has up and walked away.

Her false vows of love meant nothing to her – easy to say, but much to me on this tearful darkened day.

Her anger misplaced on my shoulders leaving a trail of blame on my heart.

I am losing my home. I have no time to find a place before months end.

I have lost my beloved Maria Angelica M or perhaps she has lost me.

I have the love of Roy, Dakota, Lisa, Randy & Emma in my immediate life.

I have the extended love of family & my many friends.

But, as I have feared, the tears are here and they just will not stop.

Where is that shoulder to cry on Maria Angelica M?

Oh yes, I forgot.

They were texted with false nailed fingers and etched onto my heart.

Some falsehood testimonials of how we would never be apart.

I discovered one lie after another and and the blame you sent to my heart.

Your love and devotion were quite easily redirected and here is the saddest part.

Your reason for running to another was the most hurtful part.

It took you but one minute to easily rip out my heart and here I do quote the answer you sent to me and destroyed this foolish heart.

I “pissed you off so you turned around”. and abandoned me for your love was a lie from the start.

I needed that shoulder to cry on. But in your deceit towards me you had already found some other arms to hold you so lovingly sweet.

I was shown by a mutual friend and saw through my own eyes on your Facebook these words you did speak.

They were not written for me, but another love in your life.

You may as well etched them with a knife for they have scarred my broken heart.

I needed your false love, if only to get through this one storm.

Then like the many other times in six years you could roam night after night.

And once again leave me crying at home for yet one more night.

I needed that shoulder. I needed your false love, if only to get through this one storm.

For a false love is better than no love when your whole world has fallen apart.

Now, like the skies out this hospital window, my very heart and soul have turned stormy and dark.

For …..

These tears are too real and the pain is too great.

For this broken man named Dann whose soul needs a break.

These tears are embarrassing as I sit here on display.

And pray to the Creator above to take me this day.

I will cross into oblivion when Death has her way.

How easy it was to deceive me with the words of love you say.

I know I sound foolish and broken for believing the love you did say.

I was raised never to say I love you unless the love would forever stay.

I cannot stop loving you forever more each day.

For my love is more real than your hurtful display.

#LightHouseDannVerner #FuckCancer

Disgusted

I am absolutely disgusted – only word to describe it – that because of all the damn junkies abusing the system, cancer victims like myself no longer have their opioid pain medications covered.

Believe me, I need my pain medication. I don’t take them to get “high”. I take them to stop from crying.

Literally.

There should be some sort of regulation to bypass this punishment.

I am now in the position of choosing between groceries or medication. I have to choose “groceries”, for I have a child to feed.

All I can say is, “Fuck you pill head scum.”

JUST BUILD THE SHELTERS 

Think about this people, “Why do we have ‘temporary’ shelters? Is freezing to death in winter or boiling to death in summer ‘temporary’? If we can build ice skating paths and bike lanes and spend money debating “shelters”, then why don’t we just build the much needed shelter???????
Tell me, tell me true.
https://lighthousedannverner.wordpress.com/2017/12/31/homelessness-in-toronto/

WHEN WILL I UNDERSTAND? 

I am confused by all the confused people in this dawning of the Age of Confusion. 

To comprehend what is happening in society these days is beyond my capabilities. 

Society is confused and confusion is spreading like a plague. 

We have the “gender” confused.

I honestly do not get this one.

You have a penis? You are ‘male

You have a vagina? BINGO, you are ‘female‘. 

Born with both? You are a ‘Hermaphrodite‘.

(There, problem solved.)

Gender‘ confusion is a term society is presently using to misconstrue ‘sexual’ confusion.

Teaching our ‘maturity underdeveloped‘ youth that there is a complete alphabet of sexes is only adding to the stupidity of political correctness.

(Bring on the hate and anger. Regardless,  you know I am speaking truth.)

Everyone is praying for a higher wage.

I call this ‘monetary’ confusion. 

People think if we raise minimum wages and wages in general we will all have better life qualities. 

WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!#

The higher the wages, the higher the cost of manufacturing and services.

This raises the price of every item and services we purchase.

Minimum wage will still be ‘minimal’. 

The end result will be five dollar bread and ten dollar milk.

Which will bring us further protest and demands for ‘higher’ wages.

Best bet for all is to lower wages and close the gaps between lower, middle and upper class.

Or better yet, return back to our roots and re-invent the ‘bartering’ system.

(There, problem two resolved.)

Now we also have ‘political‘ confusion. 

Yes, some political parties are better than others. 

(When I cease laughing I shall continue)

Answer me this ………….

“Has any elected party in any country ever brought Utopia to the table?”

Nope!

Without sounding like the neighbourhood ‘Doom Sayer’, I must state that politics is and always shall be the greatest single confused habit of we humans.

Definitely it is somewhat linked to our genetic disposition for dominance over our fellow souls.

(Politics cannot be fixed.)

SORRY. (Insert sad face)

Next we have the swirling ugly pool of confusion we have labelled ‘Religion‘.

Over five thousand ‘Gods’ being worshipped on Earth, presently. 

And, singularly, each one is the ‘only’ true supreme being.

(Religion cannot be fixed.) 

It, too, is a left over genetic need for superiority over the masses.

Religious belief is no more than an implanted ‘hope‘ for a better existence. 

My solution?

Instead of being a ‘religious‘ person, try being a ‘Spiritual‘ soul.

For religion is man-made and faith is from soul.

(There, problem sort of solved.)

‘Racial’ confusion is a gigantic abscess of human flaws.

Again, a left over, undeveloped genetic emotion.  

A struggling anger wrought during Neanderthal days. 

Developed to secure dominance over our fellow man.

Eventually, racism will cease. 

It will be in tens of thousands of years when evolution and cross cultural breeding renders us all the same colour.

Yet, even then we will still possess racists thoughts.

Why“, you ask?

Because humans are rude and cruel. 

We believe ourselves to be the most intelligent and dominant species on Earth, but, yet we cannot speak to any other creature we share our planet with. 

But, the lessor animals communicate easily with us.

The average ‘Joe‘ does not realize that humans and the Earth in general are universally ‘young‘.

We are still breast feeding from the ‘Big Bang’. It shall be many, many, many millennia before we evolve through natural evolution to become the true beings the Cosmic Muffin meant us to become.

So, children, put on your adult diapers and calm down for a few thousand years and, (you may quote me), 

“All shall be well.”

Until then, I remain, Dann – just as I am. 

“Confused”.

EVERYBODY HURTS, SOMETIMES 

My birthday is October the fifth and this year I would be sixty. 

Six decades of hurt. 

REM performs a song whereas they sing, “Everybody hurts, sometimes.”

So, why do I hurt MOST times?

Since my earliest memories I hurt. Even during happy times I suffer the pain of knowing the hurt will always be a constant companion. 

My biological mother left me to die in an empty apartment at around six months old. 

Unfortunately, my father came home to his empty home and ‘saved’ me. 

Discovering that Mom had taken all their furnishings and my two older siblings and fled his tyranny to the safety of Regent Park in Toronto. 

Did Dad ‘save’ me or just prolong my existence of agony and tears?

Only the Shadow knows that truth.

Sixty years, 21,900 days, and I still do not know. 

My life is fairly well documented within my blogs. I will not rehash the evils of my past. The violence, the drugs, the lost loves and the sorrows.

I was Blessed with living a life many could never understand.  I was born into this world at a time that will never be again. 

A time when technology consisted of ‘party line’ telephones, round television screens,  the birth of rock and roll and a time when families had values and respect.  

An era of playing in the dirt with ALL the neighborhood kids. Of never disrespecting authoritive figureheads. A time when men were men and women were women.  A time when bathrooms were either male or female. 

When every song on the radio was a message of some positive sort. Not teaching greed and disrespect. Not ‘money, weed and whores’. Not promoting guns, gangs and frack authority. 

I believe that society is at the end of days as we know it.  The world is not going to ‘end’. 

I believe that whatever gods you believe in – beit the Cosmic Muffin, God or Odin – are about to slap mankind in the face with a hardwood stick. 

Many will perish, yet those who survive hopefully will learn from past societies and bring back the days of old. That they may teach their children well in the ways of coexistence with their fellow man and all of Earth’s beautiful creatures. 

Hopefully I am right or else history will repeat itself once again. For if man does not learn, then the end of days for we humans will come to be.

I did not learn.  I convinced myself I did, but I lied to me.  I was never a greedy bastard. I was a simple man with a simple plan.

All I ever desired was to be a loyal husband and father. My heart felt want was not to raise a child who would live as I was forced to live, with thirty-two sets of foster-parents in their first ten years.

My first marriage lasted eight short months. Falling into ruin upon the edge of the boning knife that Robert George Stevenson used to murder my mother.

“Ever since your Mom got murdered you have been acting strange and I can’t take it”.

And out the door Michelle,  aka ‘Mrs. Dann Verner’ went. 

I was Blessed with a second marriage of thirty- two years and raising three sons. One of my sons was even my biological child. Lol.

Despite what any other soul may say, I NEVER committed Adultery during that relationship.  (The only Commandment of the Ten I did not break.)

But, today, Sunday the sixteenth of July, 2017, as I sit here trying to avoid suicide, I am broken. 

Maybe beyond repair. 

A failure to myself,  to my youngest child and to my beautiful loving dogs. 

Homeless with no known way to ever get first and last months rent deposit together. Knowing that even if by some miracle I were to get the funds my son and I have no furniture. Just a truck load of meager cardboard boxes containing thirty plus years of memories. 

Boxes of reminders of my failures. 

And my youngest child looks upon me with an emotion I cannot comprehend. 

I have failed him. 

I have failed me.

Hell, I even failed my pups.

The monster called ‘Suicide’ dances in my head. Taunting me. Laughing at my disgrace.  Edging me to take that walk down the path of physical destruction. 

And that monster is winning.

I actually committed suicide on August the twenty-second in 2002.  Only to be revived by the gifted hands of the EMS team.

Another failure of me, LightHouse Dann Verner or Shakie Dann Verner, my other self.

What part of suicide did not they understand? 

Presently, I have little hope of my life getting back on track. (How selfish of me to say ‘my life’.) 

I have lived my life.  

My son’s are yet to live theirs. 

 Did Henry “Harry” Verner save me that cold winter’s day in March 1958,?

I am not sure. 

If I post tomorrow he did. 

If not I failed once more. 

Till the morrow I remain, Dann, just as I am. 

Broken