Friday, May 10, 2024

Reality and the next steps

Work is good; very good.  I like this job and the people I work with a great deal.  I feel valued; I contribute and I have nothing but positives.  It's been a joyful uplifter.  

Clover is now seven months old; she's a happy, healthy, sweet and very loving kitten and she brings us nothing but happiness.

My health is in a state of slight imbalance.  Saw something slightly alarming last month and made an emergency trip to my urologist.  He scheduled a cat scan and a cystoscopy - his fear was possibly bladder cancer.  Having been down the road with the prostate cancer scare two years ago, I simply said "let's schedule these."

I saw my regular physician a week ago - my blood tests showed even lower cholesterol and glucose levels than before; my blood pressure is normal and healthy.  The blood test and catscan showed no bladder cancer.  The cystoscopy, which was painful but not like the prostate biopsy, showed that my bladder is now being compromised by my enlarged prostate.  So...  I will have to have a procedure - most likely in October - to basically reduce the prostate and restore full function to my bladder.  It's not surgery - no cutting - but I will have to be in the hospital for at least a day or two.  It's called "aquablation", done with lasers and water.  It takes less time than a colonscopy and has a 98% success rate, which is very reassuring.  The negative - I'll have to have a catheter for the five days of immediate recuperation, which is something I'm having difficulty in trying to digest.  The process is:  go in on Thursday; be discharged on Friday - come back on Tuesday for the catheter removal.  Very hard to imagine.

But - in order to regain some normalcy with my body, it must be done.

So, as always, I'll just go forward.

Sunday, April 07, 2024

April rains (ad infinitum)

The second of two - and maybe more to come this week - ugly, dark, cold and heavily rainy days.  Today is not a good day, as I had to take an emergency day off from work; I had to book an unwanted appointment with my urologist's office.  I won't go into the unpleasant details, but there was a serious concern yesterday morning when I got to work that made it necessary to call and ask to come in.  I'm doing everything I can to not overthink things - it could be nothing.  But I want to be checked and tested and have facts, not speculation.  I don't feel ill; I've been fine, so that's why I was (for lack of a better word) alarmed.  We shall see.  

Having to drive to the opposite end of Staten Island in this downpour is not a good thing; however, it was quiet and the streets were not heavily occupied.  All in all, the next steps are clear - three tests to ensure that this isn't serious (hopefully) and what may have caused it (more importantly).

Unlike 2022, when I had the cancer scare, I'm not letting this consume me.  I want to know the realities, not the unnecessary fears.  And in that respect, I'm well ahead of where and how I was then.  It doesn't make it any more palatable that this month is just one long medical headache - 2 blood tests, visit to my regular physician, cat scan and then this awful procedure.

Grin and bear it, I suppose.

Friday, March 15, 2024

March of times...

The countdown is on; the clocks have been set forward an hour and then spring will finally be here in another four days.  I can't wait.  Having been feeling so good and so different, the change of seasons only brings better, more (inevitably) optimistic feelings.  These positive vibes I attribute to the recent purging of parts from my past life.

It's an interesting thing - when you actually stop and take a long, hard think and reassess/re-evaluate everything; who you are, who you thought you were and who you would like to and should be.  If you have a sense of balance, perspective and reason, you wind up thinking clearly, rationally and pointing your own way forward.  It's hard to explain, but my best guess is that you know this is that "final chapter" phase - not in a morbid way - and that there are still good things ahead and life can be enjoyed in a different fashion - you just can't keep being who you were.

Regardless, I do feel pretty good (especially after a 21-pound weight loss - and going for more); as soon as my shoulder starts healing, it's back to the gym and I'm now looking forward to a week away in August (LONG overdue).

So spring has a lot of happy table settings ahead!

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Before the seasons change...

I decided with the oncoming spring - albeit a little over a month away - a massive purge would be helpful, since I've been lax in doing it with consistency over the last few years.  It's not about accumulation, but the proverbial "out with the old; in with the new" and letting go.  There isn't clutter (or worse), since I'm neither a pack rat or (God forbid) hoarder - I just want room and to see some of the past physically disappear.  

In going through my drawers and closets, I made an observation that while I'm very good at maintaining what I have, keeping things longer than a decade when you haven't thought about, seen or done anything with them, isn't a worthwhile proposition.  Starting with the most obvious and basic place, it began with my clothes.  Two enormous plastic bags filled with items from the early 2000's is the first massive step forward, including getting rid of my too-many-to-count rock t-shirts and jerseys.  Shoes, pants and coats that no longer fit, look awkward or age-damaged all went.  Regular shirts were replaced by simple classic/elegant/austere/age-appropriate ones and it makes an immediate impact in positive ways.

Turning 59 last month made me realize that I'm not who I used to be.  That isn't bad, frightening, upsetting or the slightest bit negative.  I see myself exactly as what I am - a man in the late stage of his life.  And I'm comfortable with that; I'm fine being 59.  I wouldn't feel right in an old Van Halen concert jersey or wearing old Kickers shoes that I've had since my Atlantic Records days.  It has nothing to do with anyone else; this is all about me and what I can no longer see or view myself as.  And it makes me very happy.  Acceptance is everything. 

The next thing is to see if I'm ready to start selling off some of my guitars.  There are signs that it may be time - I don't play; haven't played and really, haven't had the desire to, either.  Again - none of this is negative; it's good.  The realization that something you once loved - held sacred - no longer interests you is a very powerful thing.  You can use it for positives or you can let it make you sad and wrapped up in a coccoon of the past, which isn't constructive.

It's great to have been young and had so many varied passions, motivators and inspiration.  And I couldn't ask for more.  I'm fortunate and grateful to have had all of it.  But now, it's time to keep moving forward.  I have the memories - I don't need the physical "stuff".

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Turn the page; turn the corner...

I thought I'd wait a few days after my birthday to post.  Turning 59 sounds and feels a little surreal, honestly.  I've been doing this blog since I was 39 and THAT was an oddity!  But now, I do feel the pangs of time and age creeping up with me.  And yes, I am well aware that it's reality.  It doesn't make it any better or easier.  

The world itself is simply on a one-way runaway crash course with itself.  I have little-to-no time or desire to speak with people, save for what I need to do as far as work goes; my friendships no longer have any great meaningfulness, I'm sorry to say.  I don't trust most people and "friends" have proven themselves to be the least trustworthy or deserving of time and effort.  Not being a fatalist or negative - I just see everyone and everything as they are now,  I don't want to spend an afternoon "reminiscing" or talking about nonsense.  It's just unnecessary and wasteful.

By turning 59, I'm lightening the load.  I don't need excess or abundant anything in my life - not people; not items - nothing.  I'm working/focusing more on contentment and peace.  It's good for the mind and body.  

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmas miracle...

 I'm usually not taken by the concept of "Christmas spirit", although I have been fortunate enough to experience the feeling on several occasions in my life.

Losing Roxy tore me apart; I don't know if I will ever get over the heartbreak of her passing because she was indescribably special to me.  I loved that little girl more than life itself.  And the emptiness; the void remains.

But sometimes, the kinder side of fate intervenes.  We met a beautiful and sweet little 3-month old girl through the cat rescue we've worked with and adopted from over the years.  This precious kitten has had a difficult start to her life and we knew immediately she was meant to be ours.  We brought her home yesterday; we named her Clover.  And within 24 hours, she's begun to bond with us and settle in to her new surroundings - filled with warmth, food, toys and an abundance of love.

When you lose a "pet", which is a word I don't like, since I view them as family members, it's a pain that doesn't go away.  I've loved every cat I've ever had and each time one goes, part of me dies as well.  When we lost Midnight ten years ago, we immediately met Roxy and she helped the healing process.  Clover is doing the same in the wake of Roxy's death.

The best way to honor the memory of a precious, loved family member is to give another deserving little being a chance to have a happy life of security, a home and love.

And as an aside, it's now 19 years since my first entry into this blog.  Who would have thought?

Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 07, 2023

The indescribable

I'd been bracing for impact for about a month.  From the day we took Roxy to the vet and were told that she needed dental work and had an infection.  The words "she looks like she has a mass under her tongue" set me up for the ultimate in pain and heartbreak.

Last Tuesday night, I had to say goodbye to the one little creature I loved more than anything in this world.  My beautiful, perfect, hilarious, precious, sweet baby Roxy.  I hoped for at least five more years.  11 is too young to lose a cat.  
The cruel irony is today would have been ten full years with her.  
I didn't get it.

And I miss her more than words could ever convey.