Tag Archives: depression

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

Advertisements

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

My Apologies

I have to apologize to everyone for the roller-coaster of emotions I have been going through.

I am having a difficult time dealing with the cancer diagnosis, the stress of my financial situation and all the ripple effects caused by these.

I am lost. I am 61. Very sick. I am in such a disastrous financial situation that may lead to our being homeless once again come the new year. This is mainly due to the identity theft I had earlier this year. It left me four months behind in all aspects of my finances.

The duo cancer diagnosis has devastated me and plays chaos with my emotions.

I am ashamed of myself for the financial crisis and for not being able to show Dakota a very good Christmas, if any Christmas at all.

The waiting for the treatment and surgeries for the cancer has and is causing me many sleepless nights and numerous anxiety attacks.

All this has greatly affected the way I have been treating my precious Maria, my family and my friends.

I apologize and I am trying hard to come to terms with the reality of what my life has become. But, it is not that easy.

I Am Afraid of Darkness

I am afraid of the darkness, but not the dark.

The darkness pushes back the Light. Allowing sorrow, pain and discomfort to steal joy from your mind.

I try to push it back. Hoping to gain back my Light.

The dark does not scare me because my Light knows it is harmless. It takes merely the flick of a modern switch to drive the dark away.

The Darkness brings out evils and torment.

It lives and thrives in the soul.

Mocking your sorrow.

Laughing at the pain you have endured.

Only love of life, love of family and the love of a true soulmate can push back the Darkness.

I pray someday we will evolve to the point where Darkness is no longer.

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

Surrounded by the Darkness and wishing it were merely “The Dark”.

But, it is not – it has gripped my heart, my soul and my life in ugly arms.

And whispered in my ear,

NO SOUP FOR YOU”

Be a Lover Not a Liar.

I died the day I started to live.

I lived the day after I died.

Sounds strange. This I know.

What is death to you?

I won’t get into the details of my times experiencing death. I have wrote many blogs and a few books concerning that.

Death changed my perspective of life. It brought a sacred logic to the way I look at everyday existence.

Life became more precious and at the same time became lackadaisical. It is black and white with gray areas.

The gray areas are what defines our quality of life.

Wander too far into the gray and you may become trapped in a lightless world.

All living life requires ‘light’.

The greatest thing I have learned in my 61 years is that life without ‘Light’ can never be enjoyable.

Modern society has become so automated and stressful that the average soul only ‘exists’. They are alive but not living.

Love has become a mere word. It is spoken too freely. It has become almost meaningless to many.

Love is a word I speak ONLY when I truly mean it. If I tell you that I love you then I mean my heart, my soul and my whole existence loves you.

This is a simple but very deep message.

Don’t lie about loving and for God’s sake don’t love lying.

Do not play god with the hearts of others. No person has the right to destroy another person’s life.

Never ever cheat on a partner you have told you love. For by doing so you become a soulless liar.

Be a lover not a liar.

Let’s bring morality back into society.

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

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/

I’M TIRED AND OTHER COMPLAINTS

Exhaustion is not only a physical affliction.

Succumbing to mental exhaustion is often misconstrued as “Depression“.

Although they are often hand in hand, they are two separate and stand alone maladies. 

I am very emotional and generally, ‘mentally’ done. 

I am ‘tired’. 

I am very ‘tired’.

It is to the extreme whereas I could easily slip into an agoraphobic coma. 

If only to escape the realities of my life and the sixty years twenty four days I have ‘Walked With Dann‘.

Yet, I am not depressed.  

Perhaps I should be. 

Most adults living as I do would certainly have spiraled down the dark caverns of depression.

I am not permitted that luxury.

I was raised far too strong for that. 

I am not capable of sitting in a corner, wet cheeked, whilst crying out, “Poor me”. 

Of waiting for Princess Charming to come along, kiss my aged lips and rescue me from all my life’s tragedies. 

Yet, here I am. ‘Tired’.

Very ‘Tired‘.

I wish I could rest. 

Meditation calms my thoughts, soothes aching muscles, but has yet to bring relief to my unrest. 

I have been this way for nigh on five years now. 

Fear and six decades tell me it shall last till my ascension. 

Apparently it is a human genetic affliction. 

We all have it. A genetic secret that accompanies us to our grave. 

That final ‘six by three farm‘ we all retire to.

I am ‘Tired’. 

I am very ‘Tired’.

What causes this?

Our socalled ‘superior’ race has been ‘self harmed’. 

We purposely design and commit ourselves to a never ending sensory overload. 

Our modern lifestyle has become twenty-eight hours squeezed into a twenty-four hour day.

Our thumbs have become slaves to high definition screens. 

Most check their electronic devices constantly. 

To the extent which I believe twenty years down the path will cause a health care overload of elder people with severe neck damage . 

I haven’t seen my friends faces in over five years now. 

If it were necessary for me to identify their bodies I would do so by their bald spots or perhaps the part of their hair.

We have no ‘me’ time. 

Often we say we are taking ‘me’ time, but in reality we take time to do whatever we did not have time to do in our regular over extended lives.

Since the time of Gilgamesh, man has strived to become bigger, better, faster and smarter.

 “The only reason we humans believe we are the superior race is we have never  been capable to communicate with other species to discover we are not.” (LDV 12/15/2002)

I speak to and with my dogs.  

I honestly believe that they understand me. 

Beyond any doubt. 

They attempt to speak to me. 

Their body movements, subtle whines and growls and their eyes all speak to me. 

But I can’t hear what their saying. 

Only what I perceive them or hope for them to say.

But, we, being so ‘superior‘, have no way of knowing for sure what any other species is telling us.

All the creatures on Planet Earth communicate effortlessly with each other. The mouse speaks to the cat who speaks to the dog who speaks to the cattle whom speak to the wolves who speak to the ravens who speak to the flies who speak to the spiders. 

Who are we capable of conversing with and what other creature do we exchange knowledge with?

On a good day we are barely capable of speaking to each other.

We are definitely NOT the superior species on this beautiful Big Blue Marble.

If I could be Blessed to understand and speak with another species, I would inquire as to whether they, too, were ‘Tired‘.

I am ‘Tired‘.

I am very ‘Tired‘.

Are you also ‘Tired’?

I would suspect that the other creatures are ‘Tired‘.

‘Tired’ of watching mankind excellerate their existence beyond their  physical and psychological capabilities. 

Fatigued with fleeing the destruction of humans. 

Exhausted with our blatant superiority complex. 

Our ‘Holier than thou’ attitudes.

We have managed to lose our natural  rhythmic pulse. 

That inner drum that keeps our mortality in ‘check’

That tells us when to rest.

That was designed to warn us when we are becoming, you guessed it, ‘Tired’.

Lest we become psychologically ‘Tired‘.

Regardless of all this, I am at peace with myself, YOU, Planet Earth and The Cosmic Muffin, herself.

I am ‘Tired’.

I am very ‘Tired‘.

Aren’t we all?

Try slowing life down. 

Try understanding creatures. 

Try, real hard, to set the electronic devices down and looking at and speaking to each other at the dinner table.

Mankind is on a Nantucket Sleigh Ride that will end in a spiritual oceanic calamity.

It is instilled within our very DNA to never be satisfied.

To always want more.

The problem with that attitude lays in the facts that if we are never to be satisfied,  how will we ever reach our imaginary final goal?

Suffice to state we will always be ‘Tired’.

So, in conclusion, I must thank you for taking time out of your busy life to read my words.

I pray you rested your psyche for even a moment.

So as you won’t be as drained and end up like me, “Dann – just as I am”.

Because  …….

I am ‘Tired’.

I am very ‘Tired’.

Namaste’


“POSITIVELY NEGATIVE”.

Positively perfect.

Seems to be what we all are searching for or perhaps “looking” for.

Not going to find it, though.

If we were, there would be no reason to awaken each morn to search for your individual ” holy grail”.

Personally, I believe that most of my fellow humans are stressed out or depressed far more often than at peace or relaxed. 

Human nature. 

I try often to start days positive. Many are positively negative.  Yet, I stay positive even when being negative. 

Those times I post very angry or ‘dark’ blogs. That’s when I’m “POSITIVELY NEGATIVE”.

There is nothing wrong with that.  We all do it – only difference being most are unaware.

It is a healthy quirk. Depression and “bad days” renew our awareness of positive and “good days”.

Everyone has them. No one can state they are always “happy” without lying. 

The brain needs to experience all emotions.  Otherwise it would become wrapped in a loop – much like that of a Windows operated laptop trying to upgrade.

If we were always ‘happy’ our lives would be a phony meaningless existence of melancholy. 

There would lay no motivation to explore life.

No matter how negative or depressed I appear in a blog, I still have hope and ‘LIGHT’ somewhere deep down in my pool of emotions. 

Even on this day as I sit wondering where life is headed. Unsure of my finances and still sleeping in friends homes.

I have faith that eventually my life will either completely come back together or crash beyond repair.

Either way, life goes on.

The trick to surviving crisis is to expect the worse.  Then, no matter what the outcome, the result will be far better than the worse case scenario. 

So go forth amidst the flatulence and burps of each day. Smile. Laugh. Cry. Frown. Jump up. Jump down. 

Be a human.

Do not be ‘trapped’ in individual emotions.  

All human emotions are interconnected and need one another to exist.

Utopian society will never exist.

Humans are not wired to live without having mixed emotions. 

I sit here today, “Dann – just as I am”. An Empyrian pool of humanistic feelings.

And yet, I am ‘The LightHouse Dann Verner’.

NAMASTE’ HUMAN 


☆♡☆♡☆♡☆☆♡☆♡☆♡☆♡☆

NOW YOU KNOW

Stress is killing me. Literally.

Those who know me understand why I say this.

Medically, since November 11th, 2016,  I have battled through nine kidney surgical procedures. Including one that became infected and resulted with damaging my heart.

My first Laparoscopic Surgery

My heart has been iffy since an electrical accident in 1989, whereas I suffered electrocution resulting in a major heart attack.

For eighteen months I suffered with pericarditis.

Then came 1999. The most tragic year of my life.

During the month of February I noticed that with every step I took I felt a “shock” up my spine.

On March the fourth it became so severe I attended the emergency department at my local hospital.

March the fifth I was in surgery having my C2, C3, c5 and C6 dissected. 

They used bone from my hip and Titanium Semple plates to re-build my neck.

I was five foot nine before the surgery and five foot seven after.

I passed away during the operation.

After a forty eight minute battle and the Blessed hands of Dr. Tek Soo I was, thankfully, revived. 

This was the first of my ‘seven‘ deaths over the coming years.

The doctors were amazed that four hours after the seventeen hour operation I was up and walking.

That was a Friday. 

Monday morning I was sitting at MY kitchen table having Morphine and coffee.

All the surgical team stated it was a miracle.

This contributed to my life falling to ruin. 

Before the surgery I was a very well paid electrician making well over a hundred and twenty thousand per year.

After, I was on disability making a year what I once made per month.

To shorten this part of the story, let me just say that by 2004 I lost my wife of thirty two years.

I was consuming, via a pain management doctor, Fentanyl patches, combined with Oxycontin and Morphine. 

I was an unwilling “Junkie“.

On August 22nd, 2002 I committed suicide. 

(Read about this in “I COMMITTED SUICIDE ONCE” … lighthousedannverner.wordpress.com)

That was death number two. 

I spent two weeks on life support.

After six years I quit all opiates, cold turkey, against medical advice.

I suffered yet another heart attack and dropped dead for a third time.

Once again waking up after many days on life support.

The only Blessing I received throughout all of this was the gift of my youngest son, Dakota. 

Dakota’s birth gave me reason to fight for life. 

Dakota

During death number four I was “INSTRUCTED” to return to the living as he needed me.

I was dropping dead so often that no family member would jokingly say to me, “Drop dead”. Cause I may just have. Joking or not.

I would die three more times during the next few years. The worst leaving me on life support for a very long six weeks.

I authored a few blogs concerning my journey to death and back.

Justified to say my stress has gradually built every since. Like an invisible cancer growing, festering within me.

I have three boys from my wife.

Randy is nine years older than Jordan who is thirteen years older than Dakota. Thus, Dakota’s oldest brother is twenty-two years older than him. Quite the age gap.

Dann, Jordan,  Randy

So, suffice to say that since that fateful day on March fifth, 1999, my life has been one stressor after another.

Now we are here in late August 2017.

Earlier this year, due to a severe mess up of my pension cheque, we lost our home.

Our lives have been a turmoil ever since.

If not for the kindness of friends, we would literally be living on the streets. LITERALLY!

Everyday is a constant struggle and each day I grow more desperate.

The greatest difficulty being how do I pay my way living in a friends home with my child and two loving sister pups, while also trying to feed us and, worst of all, save first and lasts month rent for a new home?

Pringles, Dann, Ruffles

With an income barely more than one thousand per month?

It is appearing as an impossibility.

I ask my beautiful Irish Guardian Angel, Sheena Eve, constantly to guide me to the proper path.

Sheena Eve

I seek consolation and reconciliation from my FAITH in YAHUWAH and the Blessings of my Natsarim beliefs.

Yet, my health is dwindling as I approach my sixtieth birthday this coming October the fifth. A day I pray I am Blessed enough to see.

We cannot continue to tax our friendships by overstaying in their homes. 

Dakota begins high school in two weeks and there once again lays more financial burden upon my aged weakened shoulders.

Dakota and my dogs need and deserve a home. But, I am lost as to how to obtain the necessary funds to secure such.

Blessed I am to have such loving friends who I am sure will be glad when we depart their humble abode. For without them only the Creator knows where we would have been.

Unfortunately, there lays no agencies to assist me in this terrible plight.

My family is not in the position to help.

I have been on my own since the age of twelve and my life has many stories. Some happy – most sad.

I try to stay positive and take solace in prayer.

Alas, most days I fight the demonic thoughts of depression and battle the urge to just lay down upon the floor and give into the darkness………

But, I am “LightHouse Dann Verner”  – a watchman in a modern day LightHouse. It would be a hypocrisy to fall into the darkness.

SO, I REMAIN, DANN – JUST AS I AM.

HOMELESS – SLEEPING ON THE FLOOR AND PRAYING FOR MY OWN DOOR.