“Follow That Dream”

When you get a life threatening disease, you begin to put your life in perspective. Have I made any kind of difference in this world. Did I do anything that made a difference in anyone else’s life. As a Christian this one should be paramount in our lives. Would I even be missed by the world if I were to leave this world. Not my family, I realize I will be slightly missed by those I love, hehe. I’m talking about the rest of the world.
Now like everyone else, I have had dreams of what it would be like to be able to do something that I love. When I was much younger I wanted to be an actor. I did plays in my younger days in high school and at The Greenville Little Theater. I then transitioned into running spotlights for the theater which wound up leading to other spotlight jobs like for the Pablo Cruise concert and several beauty pageants including the Miss SC Pageant one year. Lot of fun. I thought that might be the path I wanted to follow for awhile but alas, that was not to be.
I also wanted to be a rock star. I began taking guitar lessons. I wrote lyrics/poems and sang my songs into a tape recorder that I had. I eventually I realized that I wasn’t that fond or very good at playing the guitar and even less talented in the singing department. And since I couldn’t read or write music, that only left my sappy poems. Of course you may want to reconsider your lyric writing when you start having titles like “She’s Not Bad, Just Slightly Trashy”.
Finally as I grew older and slightly wiser, I took up photography. That was and still is something I immensely enjoy doing. I began taking photos of every church or sporting event I went too. I actually began making some money doing some side jobs. I decided to try and start my own business doing what I loved. Funny thing happened. When it began to be a job, the fun got sucked right out of it for me. I began dreading having to go to a shoot, especially weddings. They scare me to death! That business didn’t last very long. Now I only do pics for myself and family events and my love of photography has been restored.
Another thing I have always wanted to do is write a book. I have always loved to write. I used to write short stories, mainly horror, I was a big Stephen King fan so I naturally leaned that way in my writings. I look back on some of those little stories and they weren’t half bad. A little amateurish of course, but not too awful. I started writing a book titled “The Nightmare Chronicles” which was going to be a collection of horror short stories. I wrote a couple of stories but as it is with most endeavors I set out on, I never finished the job. It’s a problem I have. I have trouble following all the way through on a project.
Now since my illness, I’ve been wondering what I could with this “extra” time I have since I have not been able to work. The thoughts of writing an earth shattering novel has crossed my mind but my attention span for that may not work out. I have began writing this blog which has been very therapeutic as well as very helpful with my writing. Most writers will tell you that the key to writing is to write….everyday….something. I also am writing a movie review blog. Just something to keep me busy. But that is not enough. Suddenly I find that I want to write all of the time. Therefore, I have begun writing, of all things, a children’s book.
Now there may not be much things about children that I can write from any kind of experience that I may have gleaned from my few years as being a grandfather (or G-daddy as I am known by my grandchildren.)
Writers say you should write about what you know. I could write a book about living with cancer, and that may happen sometime later down the road after I have beaten this disease. But for now, I will write stories about my grandson’s and their adventures. I have the first story written. I will have to find me an illustrator as my artistic skills are far below those needed for such a task.
Now is this why I have been stricken with this disease? Something to finally get me to do what I was always meant to do? I don’t have those answers. I just hope to finish what I’ve started….for once. If I do finish, will it change the world? Doubtful. But if it inspires or helps anyone else to go out and find their true calling, then maybe everything was worth it. Don’t let something like cancer force you to slow down and re-evaluate your life.

“Keep your dream alive. Dreaming is still how the strong survive. “–Oliver and Company

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” -Walt Disney

“I’ve got to follow that dream wherever that dream may lead.” -Elvis Presley

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“My Silent Fear”

Fear is a word that conjures up different images for each of us. For some, it may be an icy hand slipping out from under the bed grabbing your ankle as you’re climbing into bed. Perhaps it’s that moment you hear on the news that a killer is loose and has been sighted in your neighborhood and you are all alone. It’s the feeling that creeps up on you while you’re watching your newborn sleep and for an instance it appears that it’s not breathing. Or maybe it’s what you feel when the doctor comes in the room and tells you that you have inoperable cancer.

How do you handle fear? How do you respond to those moments and feelings when all you want to do is curl up and pretend it’s all a bad dream? Some use humor to diffuse the situation. Others rely on religion to overcome one of our strongest emotions.

I’ve just recently been confronted by that most loathsome of emotions again and although my sense of humor allows me to get the better of most any situation, I am human.

My latest PET scan shows a small improvement in my colon. That should be great news. They can remove your colon and you can still function. However that news was followed by the sobering news that the spots on my liver (which you cannot live without) seem to show no signs of improvement. The current treatments are maintaining my situation. At least it doesn’t seem to have gotten any worse, which is a positive. The docs recommendation is to continue treating it the way we have been and do another scan in about 3 months. The doctor tries to be optimistic, but he was disappointed in the results. This does not bode well for my future blogs.

Now granted this does not mean that I will turn belly up in a couple of months. The prognosis for most people in my situation would be fairly dim, however I am much younger than most people who are diagnosed with colon cancer and there is not enough research on people under the age of 50. So I do have a much better chance of hanging around longer than the average life span of those who have the same thing.

Still, that one certain emotion has a way of creeping up behind you and putting it’s icy fingers around your heart. Putting questions in your head like how long can I live with this? Will I get to see my grandchildren grow up? Will I be able to grow old with my wife as I had always hoped? Am I truly believing that God will heal me or is that just comforting words I keep telling myself? Now before anyone goes all Billy Graham on me, I am saved and I am a Christian although I may not be very good at it some days, but I strive to be better every day. And I truly believe that if I am to be healed from this, it will have to be God’s hand that does it, not the medicines that are being pumped into me everyday.

Fear can do some crazy things to your mental facilities if you give in to it. I refuse to let it get a good grip on me however. Love is also an emotion that is far stronger than fear could ever hope to be and I am surrounded by family and friends that demonstrate that emotion every day. I have many people that pray for me daily, some of which I have never met or even know, and I thank you all.

I choose not to fear any of those things right now. Every day is precious and I won’t waste time on what or when things may happen. Now if only I could do the same thing with my fear of heights.

Granny Wendy: So… your adventures are over.
Peter Banning: Oh, no. To live… to live would be an awfully big adventure.

The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible. –Charles (Alice in Wonderland)

“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

“The Heart of the Matter”

When I first learned I had cancer, it was like a dagger through my heart. My wife Brenda was there beside me. I can only imagine how she felt. I’m trying to make light of the situation so as to keep her from losing it but in reality that’s how I deal with things anyway. Throughout that first terrible week, Brenda was there with me through all the bad news and never showed how bad it was affecting her, at least not to me. When I began my chemo and the sickness and side effects began taking their toll on me, she was there with me the entire time. She got permission to work from home, which I will be eternally grateful for the generosity and compassion that Legendary Homes has shown during this time. My wife has been there for me at my lowest and most humbling points during this illness. She does everything without complaint or consideration for herself. When you promise to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, in sickness or in health, you hope to never have to put those words to the test. She has lived those words and my love for her grows stronger everyday. She makes me stronger. She makes me a better person and I love her very much and she knows this because I tell her everyday several times a day, just as she does to me. She is the love of my life and I would never want to live without her.

This Valentine’s Day couples will show their affection by going out to dinner, buying flowers, going to see a romantic movie (we will be seeing the new Die Hard movie. That’s just how we roll.), and maybe buying a heart shaped box of chocolates. I hope that every couple would do these things more often than just this one day that is dedicated to the affairs of the heart.

My illness has shown me that everyday is precious and nothing should be taken for granted. The Cancer may take my colon and my liver but it will never be able to get my heart. That was taken years ago by the most incredible woman I’ve ever known. I love you Brenda. Happy Valentines Day!

With you here, I know that life is much more fun. –Pooh

Sometimes the things that you’re looking for, you can’t see with your eyes. You have to see them with your heart. –Peter Pan (Disney Dreams)

Invisible Voices

I sometimes hear voices. Not all of the time. And they never say much more than my name. They will sometimes wake me from a dream and on some occasions, I will hear them while I am fully awake. Now don’t worry. They never tell me to go kill my neighbors dog or anything like that. They are very succinct in what they say. They can be a woman’s voice or a man’s and in at least one instant a young child’s voice. And the only thing they say is “Scott”. I will wake up and look around for who is speaking, knowing full well that there is no one there. But the voices seem so clear and sound as if they are right beside me. A couple of times I have heard them while I was awake and my wife in the next room. I’ve asked her on a couple of occasions if she had said something to me and of course the answer was no. I’m not sure which of the many medications I’m taking is causing my invisible voices, but it is another interesting side effect that I am dealing with.

Recently I’ve been having vivid hallucinations of people. At least with these I know that I am asleep, or rather, the space in between consciousness where your eyes are closed and you hear things going on around you but you have begun the process of slipping off to Neverland. These people never seem to be harmful. It’s almost as if they are just stopping by to chat. Sometimes it is people I know but mostly faces that I never recall ever meeting. I’ve always had a very vivid and imaginative dream life. Someday perhaps I will write a blog or book or something about that. These drugs have definitely taken my subconscious life into a whole new level of strangeness.

I’m pretty sure I don’t need someone putting me in a little white jacket and putting me in a padded room just yet. I might be able to get some good writing material out of this side effect. Although it is 3:51 a.m. When I’m writing this. Insomnia……another side effect. One of the many reasons cancer sucks.

Most everyone’s mad here. You may have noticed that I’m not all there myself. –Cheshire Cat (Alice in Wonderland)