Tag Archives: Penance

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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Want To Get “DAMAGED” For Free?

When was the last time you were able to get damaged for free?

Starting tomorrow and until July 31st I am offering to give you “DAMAGED” for free via download on amazon.ca in e-book format.

Here’s a quick link, always available for free to all KindleUnlimited subscribers – as are all seven of my books.

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B077SGXHLB

ALL MY PAPERBACK BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM

ALL MY E-BOOK FORMAT ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.CA SEARCH “LIGHTHOUSE VERNER” OR GO TO MY MAIN PAGE AT:

https://amazon.com/author/lighthouseverner

Here is why I have left the numerous spelling, grammar and formatting mistakes in this Volume 1 of my fictional autobiography …………….

DAMAGED”

Walk With Dann Collection

Volume 1

A Walk from my birth till I meet my second wife.”

I left It raw on purpose as a testament to the honesty of my words and work.

It contains humour, murder, explosions and motorcycles.

It may or may not be fictional or may even be non-fictional.

Only my hairdresser knows for sure…….

So, come follow the beacon and see what lays within “The LightHouse” we call “Dann

Many ask me why I write.

I write my books for me.

I tell my stories for my readers.

I am not sure if my works are badly written good stories or well written bad stories.

Not too sure I care either way. I do care that, in my “Walk With Dann Collection”, I am telling my life as brutally truthful as possible. In shame and in honour.

I do care that my ‘stand alone’ books, such as “The Last Canadian Cosmonaut” touch your heart.

I pray that my other collection, “Walking On Dawes”, shows that the gang life, although often ‘exciting’, leads only to karma biting your buttocks.”

My Walk With Dann Collection

Volumes 1, 2 & 3

Damaged” is my first book.

Like me, it is raw and full of mistakes.

I have left it “unedited” as life has left me.

book-covers126358494

DAMAGED”

Walk With Dann Collection

Volume 1

A Walk from my birth till I meet my second wife.”
It is rough, crude in fact, numerous format conversion errors.

I left It raw on purpose as a testament to the honesty of my words and work. It contains humour, murder, explosions and motorcycles.

It may or may not be fictional or may even be non-fictional.”

bane-cover

BANE’

Walk With Dann Collection

Volume 2

Walks you through my middle years and three decades of marriage.

It does not contain the excitement of it’s predecessor.

It begins to show you who I was and who I was becoming.”

 

BOON

BOON”

Walk With Dann Collection

Volume 3

Walks you deep into my personal life of trials and tribulations and my uniquely twisted none the norm perception of my realty.”So, come, Walk With Dann.

The first three Volumes of “WALK WITH DANN” are available in one book also.

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TLCC (2)

THE LAST CANADIAN COSMONAUT”

(My first ‘standalone book‘, my personal favorite.)

Here is the first page ……..

The smell of the ocean danced on my nostrils as I walked, slipping and sliding, across the flats. My eyes darting to and fro, carefully scanning ahead for sink holes.

I should have been walking the other direction. Towards the junior high school. Towards hippie teachers trying to teach me of science, faith and nature.

I could hear the train in the distance. Pulling it’s tonnage of sugar cane around the bend to the refinery.

The tug boats crested the horizon. Their wake spewing behind them as they pushed against the mighty tanker so as to slow it’s unforgiving momentum. Lest it run ashore.

The shore. My foster home was there. High up the hill. It’s windows like two large eyes, taunting me with guilt.“Go to school“, they seemed to say.

I can’t”, my reply.

 

Walking On Dawes Collection

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I WANT TO BE ‘FLOKI’”

Walking On Dawes Collection”

Volume 1”

I dedicated this book and based it (fictionally) to my dearest and most missed Brother-In-Arms, Big Roy Sills and his first born and namesake son, Little Roy. Big Roy’s sons are a huge and much loved part of not just my life, but my heart. I appreciate their love and respect beyond any words that can or could be spoken. I am honoured  to watch them grow into men and I am forever grateful to have his grandchildren in my life.

Big Roy - Dedication

This is a tale of a family who live their lives within the gang life. Except Little Ray. He and his family want him to break the cycle and live a normal life.”There is tragedy, laughter and most of all ‘insight’ within.

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You Can’t See Me”

Walking On Dawes Collection

Volume 2

This is a portrait of a broken man living a broken life in a broken world where family and friendship are one and the same.

Where wrong choices can lead to lifelong regrets. Haunting the very soul and stabbing the heart daily to remind you of the penalties of actions.

Where a man can be all alone and un-noticed in a crowded room.

Where sadness shadows joy and joy masks sadness.

This is the life of one man on one street in one city.

A man who let his darkness blind his Light.

The third Volume of this Collection will be published within the next few days.

It is titled

“6315”

A tale that takes you around the world as 6315 tries to escape the gang life and make amends for all he has done to others.

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO FIGHT TO SURVIVE. 

 

In My Secret Life

We all have many ‘lives‘ per se.

We all have that one secret life. With most it is a harmless secret.

I have put most my lives out there. In blogs and in my novels.

Yet, I have that one life I rarely reveal …….

My ‘secret‘ life.

The one where I cry dry tears, moaning silent cries of regrets and anguish.

To quote Leonard Cohen,

“I bite my lip
I buy what I’m told:
From the latest hit
To the wisdom of old
But I’m always alone
And my heart is like ice
And it’s crowded and cold
In my secret life”

The one that haunts my sleep and steals my rest. Leaving me ashamed and broken.

The one I have no words to describe. The one that stole my happiness in life.

I had a concept of happiness in my life, not to say I had never experienced such. But, I stole that from myself by my refusal to follow my dreams at a younger age. A theft of my future. Robbing myself of what my life could have been if I had dropped the masks of being an old school rebel tainted by my hatred of living.

Perhaps it was my Heroin fogged adolescent years. Or perhaps the intoxicated cloud of my twenties. It may have even been my refusal to secure a solid base for my elder years.

It may be the guilt of stealing away my many children’s futures.

It definitely has led to my self flogging. To my lashing my spiritual back thirteen stripes each and every evening before I lay down to suffer the horrors of flashbacks for crimes of my past.

I have done things most only read about in novels or see upon the screens of televisions during prime time movies.

Things best never revealed. Lest cause more pain for my family and friends.

I have danced with the Devils. I have shared meals with Evil. I have choked down the truth as I concocted lies to cover my tracks. Burying the evidence six cold feet below the eyes of society.

I will dance with the Devils again. In an eternal ballet of penance and regrets. Karma and her brother Chaos have shadowed me for six decades. They await me still in Valhalla.

Perhaps my beloved mother, (ironically her name is ‘Mary‘), saw this at my birth. Thus, leaving me to thrive or die at six months of age.

I have ‘Walked‘ my seven plains of time and space continuum’s. My eighth, the final ‘Walk” we all will stride, shall be my version of your ‘Heaven‘ or far more likely your ‘Hell“.

I already know what awaits me after my final death. Perhaps many years from now when I know it is my time I shall write that final chapter in a book or blog.

Part of my penance has been remembering my first seven cracks at the bat of life. We are not suppose to remember the ‘Seven Walks’. That is a pleasure only those with no guilt get to enjoy. Reserved for those who followed society’s basic rules. Your Ten Commandments, for lack of a better term. I broke nine of the Biblical ten – I have never committed adultery while still with my beloved wife. Having not divorced and having been separated for years, as she went her way and I mine, I have technically committed adultery as defined by their Bible.

In reality, I have never strayed while loving and living with my wife, Jennifer.

“Why eat a cookie when you have a beautiful cake at home?”

All my life I often joked that I was awaiting the return of the ‘Mothership‘. This I now know was my inner child waiting for my mother to return to that cold, damp crib in that empty house and show me a mothers love. I never have had the opportunity to be rewarded with that emotion.

My secret life is/was the pain that moment implanted into my soul. The Mothership will never come. For that ship blasted off to a different world then I shall ever know.

The scars of her choice left me with a defiance and darkness that can not be explained. The only physical evidence being my life of refusing to bend to the ways of man. My strong willed desire to shout blatantly,

“And I will not be commanded
And I will not be controlled
And I will not let my future go on
Without the help of my soul.”
(The Lost Boy – Greg Holden)

But, does one born into evil and abandonment have a soul?

Unfortunately for me, I am not in the position to answer that. For what I experienced while dead seven times I am not able to explain in words. I have detailed most of the experiences as best I could in my books and past blogs.

Some things are best left untold so as not to destroy your concept of life and death.

I have tried to make amends. Hence my inviting you to come “Walk With Dann.” A futile attempt to reach out to hopefully steer one soul away from the path I chose.

My Walks with you can only take you as far as your reality. For my reality is only shared with others who have strode a similar path as I have. I am not the only one to have been cursed with remembering the Seven Walks. Knowing that number eight holds no choice. That there will be only one path the final ride. Not the seven choices we are all given with the first seven. Dante’ knew of these when he scribe his “Inferno”.

The saddest part of all this is that I have many years yet to pay my penance. There lay before me decades carrying the weight of wrongs upon my broken back. I suspect I shall bear this cross till I reach the age of 112. For I have been told by the Creators that I shall live till then. Mind you they lay no guarantee that it will be a pleasant journey. In fact, it will be a painful existence wrought with discomfort and pain.

Physics teaches that for every action there lays an equal yet opposite reaction. Faith teaches the same. Good versus evil – push versus pull. Light versus dark. Truths versus lies.

Each night for nigh on sixty years I have been plagued with sleep not arriving until all my wrongs play out like a collection of short vignettes and seal my eyes into sleep with dry tears and silent screams.

This is my “Secret Life