Final Preparations For Jordan’s Celebration of Life

Final Preparations For Jordan’s Celebration of Life

February the first is just about here. A day I dread. The day my wife, Jennifer, my oldest son, Randy, my youngest son, Dakota must say our farewell to our son and their brother.

For those who have asked, here are the details and location of the Service and Reception. Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 4 PM – 7 PM at the Canadian Legion Hall Number 73, 2 Robinson Avenue, Toronto, (Danforth Avenue and Danforth Road)


Anxiety is high for the family.
I am worried for my wife.

She has been staying strong as she can.
Yet, I know how she feels inside. I know she is hiding ninety-nine percent of her pain. She is brave that way. Forget not that she is also watching me slowly deteriorate. Everyday wondering if this is the day Dann passes from his cancer?
A father’s love is like no other, also, A strong genetic companionship of the Alpha and his Beta’s. `Daddy Know`s Best` so follow your Father and learn to be a good man.

A Mother’s love can only be felt by her.
For nine months our son grew within her, sharing her very life giving oxygen and nutrients, reading each others minds.
Their bond goes all the way to the genetic and cellular level.

I am worried for Jennifer and I will be here when the need arises for I have never left her in the emotional sense. Of course I love her – I have done so for forty years and always shall.

To see her devastated, sadddened and just broken hearted hurts me. My heart is all I can offer her, except my shoulder and ear.

I was lucky in sort of a way,
I had a large climatic breakdown and needed professional help as for that few days I was out of control and devastated with emotions.
Jennifer has not released the enormous volume of sorrow she is holding within. I believe that the Creator allowed me to still be living so as I will be here for my family.
I certainly will do my best to be here.

Jordan and Randy in the East Coast for their Grandfather’s Funeral

I will try to stay positive and stand tall in this hurricane of life we are facing.

After all, I am a “LIGHTHOUSE” so it is my destiny to Shine my Beacon so as to bring others to Safety, Peace and the safety of Life.

I just wish I could have succeeded in helping my son more than I had. Maybe, he would be sitting here with me if I had ………………

I am publishing this to help alleviate the turmoil in my mind and prevent the Darkness to cloud my mind. When I cannot “Reach Out To Someone“, I write.

When I can do neither – I cry – and then I cry a while more – then I bawl until my tears have dried.

I cry both the tears of losing my son, the sorrow and the despair. I , also, cry happy tears for the love and joy Father and Son shared during his brief time here with us.

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

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.