Category Archives: Cancer

…why I get so furious when I allow my mind to wander through the door of malfeasance.

Two Doctors in Miami had the right approach.  Aizik Wolf and Beatriz Amendola.  Both of them saw our ability to fight cancer as being good but still pretty barbaric.  They both very actively spent money and time to stay on the forefront of their chosen areas as well as staying abreast on advances in other disciplines.  Their theory was, do whatever it takes to keep the patient alive and as healthy as possible SO THAT they can benefit from the new REVOLUTIONARY things that come every 5-8 years.

The above is a REVOLUTIONARY thing if it pans out.  Even if it only shows a third of its promise, that buys time for the next great unraveling.

Then their are self centered bastards who refuse to refer outside their own little petty fiefdom.  Those who hide behind “standard of care” so bringing a successful lawsuit is tough, even when you KNOW they did not act in the best interest of the patient.  When you KNOW they acted in the best interest of their AMG Mercedes payment.

Chemotherapy, one of the few drugs where the prescribing doctor profits on the drug prescribed, directly.  Something lie 40% of the cost of chemo is prescribing doctor profit.  HMMM.

I will stop here before my rant really gets going.  But know that I know.  Know that many other people are starting to know.  Know that God and Satan know.  One is shamed, the other is stoking coals for your soul.



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June 20, 2017 · 12:33

Love or fear

As the few of you who read my blog know, my wife and I shared a deep binding love.  We stoked that love daily, which was a simple thing with the specter of cancer looming large in the background.  But that is not the aspect of love I want to discuss today.

As you all also know, I recently found a new love and I had it explode in my hands.

Both of those experiences have shown me a common thread and that is what I would like to share with you today.

Fear.  Yes, the common thread is fear.

I know you ask, how did we get here from love? That is a very valid question and like most things involving love, it is not a simple answer.  Not to mention, I don’t have a complete answer.  But, I will give it a go none the less.

One definition of love, is a lack of fear.  When you choose love you choose make your self vulnerable.  You are choosing to wrap yourself in the armor of love, knowing that in doing so you expose yourself completely to the one you love.  True love conquers fear completely.  In choosing love, you make a conscious decision to reject fear.  A strong love is not subject to any real fear.

Think on that for a while.

Some examples:

In loving your child, you accept the knowledge and risk that they will be hurt.  You know  they will intentionally cause you pain (the teen years).  Your love supersedes the pain no matter how directly and intentionally they harm you.  The nurturing love looks beyond the moment.  It looks back to the days when they were first learning to walk, when they were first learning to speak, when they were innocent in their love of you.  It also looks forward to the day when you won’t be such a boring stick in the mud, but once again will be a source of wisdom and a touchstone.  Sometimes you have to actively remind yourself of these things, but that love conquers the fears of today.

With your partner / your spouse that love is a little different; but it is mostly the same.  You chose that person and you have built a life with them.  You have intertwined your feelings, finances and your love.  They are a part of you.  You are a part of them.  The love is blind to the division as in many respects, you are one.  A person can no more not love their partner than they can not love their right hand.  Love conquers the fears of daily living.

Things are a little different here as the betrayal of a child is usually just youth needing to assert its independence and can be seen through that lens.  With a partner / spouse, betrayal is a much deeper cut.  Whether the betrayal is financial, sexual or whatever, the covenant is broken.  Something within the armor of love has attacked.  This attack has no defense and thus strikes home deeply and completely.  That is why this betrayal cuts so deeply.

As I stated earlier; love, in many ways is an absence of fear.

Betrayal creates fear.  Fear is a pernicious enemy.  It is like flowing water, looking for the lowest point and works to infiltrate any crack.  Fear will run cold and freeze, shattering the existing cracks.  Fear finds anger and turn to a scalding steam.  If fear is allowed to grow, love diminishes.  With enough unchecked fear, loves armor crumbles.

When a partner is the source of fear.  When their actions continue to reinforce a pattern of betrayal, fear will be the death of the relationship.  No sane person will choose, is capable of choosing to share armor with their attacker.  As horrible as the death of love is, sometimes it is the only, best choice.  Dawn fought fear for at least 15 years in her first marriage.  She learned way too late how much damage that did to herself and her children.  In the end, she stood without love, without armor and had only succeeded in facilitating her betrayer’s assault on those she loved.

We had very direct and frank discussions on this aspect of love.  I knew intimately the damage created in that situation.  She sought professional help.  In this way, she healed those areas so they would not contaminate our marriage.

We both worked very diligently to always mend the armor of our love.  I intentionally say mend.  Dawn occasionally damaged our love.  More often, I damaged our love.  We each instilled fearful moments in the other.  We are both human and fully capable of failing.  The difference was, we were focused on each other and any hurt to the other hurt ourself even more.  That aspect of our love made it impossible to intentionally hurt the other.

We also had one great advantage over most couples.  Every single day of our marriage, we faced a true fear.  We faced a fear much larger than any fear either of us could create between us.  We faced the looming jackal of cancer.  Every single day she had to face the fact that her own body was likely to betray her.  Every single day, I had to face the fear that I would likely be honoring her greatest wish. To die in my arms and it would not likely be terribly far in the future.

The shadow of that fear gave us great perspective.  It made our love much more like the love for a child.  We were forced to look at the big picture every single day and that gave us easy access to grace.  Many times we would visibly pause in our hurt, look at the looming shadow and extend grace to the other.  In seeing that grace extended, the recipient would be equally honored and shamed as they too looked at the shadow and accepted the grace.  In every such incident, that shadow reinforced the futility of selfishness, anger and petty fear.

In my most recent relationship, thankfully that shadow did not loom.  But in not having that shadow.  In not having that shared enemy, we allowed cracks to form.  There were other shadow that loomed in the background.  There were other forces that tickled the tendrils of fear.  Those tendrils fed.  Fear found cracks and rooted in place.  Well meaning people saw that fear and stoked it into anger.  That anger flashed into steam and our love was scalded.

Anyone who has ever been scalded, knows the immediate reaction to that is more fear and a quick retreat.

As a former Chef and as someone who has buried my spouse.  I have been scalded both actually and metaphorically, many times.  I know that a scalding can be a cleansing moment that results in tender fresh skin or a deeply painful a incident that leaves behind tough mangled skin.  As one who has been frequently scalded, I tend to bandage it up and go back to the complete the task, hoping that with action and work the skin will heal flexible and resilient.

In this moment, the bandages are still on the wound.  The prognosis is still too early to predict.  I am hopeful, but must admit that I see the stains of fear on the dressings. Not to mention my partner does not seem to be addressing the wound.

Fear is the enemy.  Ignore fear at your own peril.  Fear must be faced and directly attacked.  With the armor of love it is much easier, but even if that armor fails you must continue the fight or that tough mangled skin will repel the seeds of future love.

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Filed under Cancer, Dawn, personal, Uncategorized

I will never love…


…again, like that.  I wrote a while back how the love Dawn and I shared was a perfect (for us) love.  It was and is.  There lies both the key and the problem.

Dawn and I bashed our heads against the lock of love.

At first we actively avoided any chance of love.  To that point, our lives had shown us, we were not those who found love.  So as semi-sensible adults we decided to enjoy our time together and not make it all complicated with such things.  We had fun.  We enjoyed each other’s company while we were together and when she disappeared, no great loss.  I had my other relationship and so did she.

We found a refuge from the crazy of our primary relationships, with each other.  When our partners didn’t want us, we found each other.  It was very strange, but we were two likeminded people who desperately needed shelter from the storms of our other situation.  Our relationship was fairly casual but also very close.  We became friends almost immediately.  That friendship would become the glue that bound us.  We did not know it at the time, but that friendship was the first step in building a key.

I am not ashamed to admit that after the third or fourth round of dating, I knew I was falling for Dawn in a way that was NOT casual at all.  By this time I knew I was in danger of telling her it was more than casual for me.  Then she surprised me with her younger daughter coming down visit.  Then she really surprised me when she said she wanted to introduce me as her boyfriend.  She told me that with a bit of fear written on her face.  I scooped her up in my arms and told her she was a genius.  She looked at me with a bewildered expression.  I let her go and said, you can tell her that all you want.  From my side it is true.  I have been trying to figure out how to tell you… I am falling for you… and you go and do this.  A look of uncertainty spread across her face, so I grabbed her hand and told her.  It won’t be any kind of lie.  I was trying to figure out how to ask you to be my girlfriend, but you beat me to it.  Kiss me and make it real.

She shook her head as that crooked smile graced her lips.  She kissed me then said, you are a very strange man.

I smiled back and told her she was a strange woman, but my kind of strange woman.  Then I pulled out a card from my back pocket.  It’s kind of anti-climactic now, but…

She read it and teared up.  I thought I had been to bold or something.  She saw the tinge of fear in my eyes and grabbed me in a big hug.  She whispered in my ear.  “I don’t deserve you.”

For once I kept my mouth shut, probably because I didn’t want her to hear my voice crack.  Then with the perfect timing of a teenager, Tucker knocked on the bedroom door.

Another piece of the key.

We had many other seminal events that we did not recognize in the moment.  Each was a piece of the key being built.

As odd as this will sound, by February of 2009 we had all the pieces of the key.  We both knew we loved each other.  We both knew that Tucker was very happy to have me in their lives.  All three of us knew we were a family in all but name.  There was one very large problem.

That problem can be looked at from many different angles.  We had built all the pieces of the key, but neither of us really knew how to put the key together.  She knew she wanted to keep me in her life.  She had taken me to visit her family.   I knew she was the most awesome person I had ever met and I wanted her to be a part of my life.  We were just too broken to know how to do it.  So it slipped from our hands.

Shithead stepped in and charmed her into marrying him.  That was the absolute worst 8-9 months of my life.  The ironic thing, it was also a very bad time for Dawn as well.  She knew she was making a mistake when she agreed to marry him.  She had a little voice screaming RUN during the ceremony.  Then the firestorm came.  Cancer.  In the moment, that was the worst 6 weeks of her life.  She endured two breast surgeries, a husband going from actively ignoring her to demonstrating his desire to kill her by putting her head through an interior wall, being driven from her home penniless with Tucker as a witness to all but the physical attack.

Looking back on that time, she needed the fire to burn her down to the core.  With everything else burned away she saw a freshly forged key in the ashes.  She did not recognize the significance of the key, but she did see an opportunity where she thought she had none.

She tentatively pushed the key towards the lock.  She was too scared to push it in, so she tapped on the lock.  To my surprise, I found out I was holding the lock.  I was just as shocked to find the lock as she had been to find the key.  I tentatively gripped the lock and steadied it for her.  She couldn’t get her hand steady enough to line up the key.  She tried again.  This time the key went in, but she couldn’t muster the strength to turn the key.  I turned the lock instead.

The key was roughly forged and the lock was dirty and neglected, but the key fit and it worked.  The latch sprang open and wonders poured out.  Things we had never imagined sparkled all around us.  Before we knew it, the lock was clasped together but it no longer kept us from the garden of love.  Now it linked the chain between our two hearts and we both knew how fragile and neglected both the lock and the key had been.  We both knew how lucky we were that they worked.  Without a word, we both set about correcting the deferred maintenance.  As we worked, the lock grew stouter, the key  grew stronger and so did the links of the chain.

Before we knew it the chains were gone and so was the lock.  But, that was a good thing.  They had been transformed into a pair of rings binding two hearts for eternity.

That is why I say it is both the key and the problem.  The lock and the key have disappeared.  There is no longer a key to unbind me.  Even if there was, I would not use it.  My heart and my soul are bound to Dawn.  Dawn’s heart and soul are bound to me.

She is such a giving soul.  In the last week we shared.  She pulled me aside and demanded that I do something for her.  She demanded that I wait an appropriate time before starting to date.  She told me, “no dating for at least two weeks…and no bringing some bitch to live in our house for at least two months”.  Looking at my blank stare, she smiled and kissed me, “You are too awesome of a man to not share love again after I am gone.  Go and make some woman ALMOST as happy as you’ve made me.”

I may yet do that, but I can tell you at this point.  I am done.  I have made an effort.  I have “dated”.  But my head isn’t in the game.  My soul and my heart protest.  Even my brain asks why.  Maybe someday, I will trip into something casual that turns into something awesome.  Maybe lightning will strike twice.  I won’t be holding my breath or searching anymore.

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Filed under book, Cancer, Dawn, personal, Uncategorized

Not a hero

In the past, I have had people call me “hero” regarding my actions with Dawn.  They claim the things I did are mythical, unimaginable, breath taking…

I want to officially throw the bullshit flag.

I am not saying I do not appreciate praise.  I am simply stating it is undeserved.

Courage is not doing something without fear.  It is doing something despite fear.

Heroism is a similar thing.  I did not do what I did despite my fear.  I did what I did for a number of reasons, some of which I still don’t understand.  The only fear in that moment was somehow Dawn would slip away.

In order for you to understand, I need to give you some history of our relationship.  We met in April / May of 2007.  We hit it off immediately, but we were both in other fragmented relationships.  Those other relationships were the primaries and our relationship with each other was secondary.  Over time, my primary relationship ended.  The relationship between Dawn and I became increasingly close with each cycle, but she invariably broke up with me when the other guy wanted her back.  For the record we never dated when either of us was involved with our “other” relationship.

In December of 2008 thru early February of 2009, we made huge strides in our closeness.  The word love was often spoken between us.  Probably most importantly, she invited me to meet her family in Maryland.  Many of you know that my agreeing to enter Maryland is a HUGE tell to the depth of my feelings.  She assured me it wasn’t a trip to introduce me to her family, just a trip and she would enjoy my company.  About midway through, even she realized the depth of her bullshit.  I was being introduced to the family as a prospective husband.  In retrospect that became obvious, but I jump ahead.

At the end of the trip, I stopped in Georgia to hunt and she and Tucker went straight home.  The trip was awesome, but as we headed home I saw storm clouds.  We drove two vehicles and I knew she had sent Tucker to ride with me so she could text, privately.  I knew what that meant.  Sure enough, the next day I got no replies from my texts.  She had “disappeared” again.

In the middle of the first week in February, she reappeared.  She was a little bashful but very excited to see me.  In my normal subtle manner, I called her on it.  She fessed up and told me directly, he had finally snapped the last straw.  We talked about it and I took her at her word.  We spent three days together, 24/7.  That included a trip to visit her mother; which went swimmingly, much to Dawn’s surprise.  When we got back to my house, she asked me about marriage.  I have chronicled that elsewhere, so I won’t repeat the details here.  She left in the morning for work and I heard nothing.  It was like a black hole swallowed her up, again.

I thought I knew what that meant.  I did, sort of.  It meant she had somehow agreed to go back with the abuser.  What I didn’t know until mid-April was she had also agreed to MARRY HIM and had on Valentine’s Day.

Until that was confirmed, I was moderately hopeful she would come to her senses or he would throw her out again.  But marriage, that is another thing entirely.

The boy who was my son was removed from my life with an email that contained only two words “NO CONTACT”.   The woman that so recently asked me if I would consider her for marriage had married someone else 8 days later.  I was not a virgin to heart break.  My previous on and off relationship had been a drag through hot coals, but this.  I had no comparison.  I didn’t even have pain at first, just complete and utter shock.  I felt a little like Adam must have, when he awoke missing half his ribs.

Once the marriage was confirmed, the floor fell out of my life.  I kept up appearances as best I could.  I didn’t tell my family.  Most of my friends didn’t know.  They mostly just assumed Dawn and I were off again.  I just couldn’t bring myself to speak of it.  It was better to deny it to myself rather than face it and make it real.

Slowly, I got a slight handle on things and began to filter through our interactions.  Everything was examined; every disagreement, every missed opportunity.  I beat myself up pretty well.  Through it all I talked to God and I mourned.  Those talks were not overly friendly.  I mourned the death of our potential.  I mourned the abortion of our love.  I mourned the Death of Dawn as I knew he would either kill her outright or slowly drain her until she was an empty husk.  The steering wheel in my poor truck got pummeled frequently when a song came on that reminded me of her, us, our dreams…  The pain in my right hand helped dull the glass shards savaging my heart.

In my stronger moments I begged God for help.  I prayed he save her from the mistake and the monster she married.  I prayed that she might wake up and run.  No need for her to run to me, just that she be safe.  I begged God to protect her in my stead.  On really dark days, the prayer was that Tucker would not find his mother dead at the monster’s hand.  On weaker days, the prayer was that I be granted the opportunity and excuse to end the monster’s life even if that would insure Dawn’s enmity.  More than once I realized I was driving toward his house with ill intent.

Eventually, I met someone else.  We dated.  She was a wonderful woman, but she wasn’t Dawn.  She knew about Dawn and my issues.  She had her own issues with an ex-husband and we were good for each other.  We lived an hour apart and had our own lives, but we enjoyed each other’s company and both knew it wasn’t a forever thing.  Despite that, over the course of months we got close.  She helped me move away from the pit.  Spending time together gave us both some happiness and at least for me (in the moment) I didn’t miss my ribs, so acutely.

In retrospect, I hurt her.  When Dawn contacted me, I told her.  I saw the look on her face.  She knew before I did.  It took me the full week until Dawn and I actually talked on the phone to come to any kind of terms with it.  It took another two weeks for me to tell that her that our time was over.  She was rightly upset, but to her credit she told me she knew.  It was written all over my face.  She said, “I hope Dawn is as amazing as the look on your face tells me she is.  I hope she is worthy of that kind of love.”

She stunned me with that.  It was a good smack across the face.  It opened my eyes, but I knew the path I had to travel.  I spent MONTHS begging God for another chance.  I spent months inspecting every part of what “went wrong”.  Every single night I slept alone, Dawn was missing from my bed.  My failures haunted my days and nights.  I spent months chasing crazy ideas from my head and no matter what I did, it always came back to Dawn.  Not just that, but how could I be the man I claim to be if I didn’t honor the answering of my prayers?  What kind of man would I be; if when given a second chance, I turned away?  How could I even think about turning away the woman I love; especially considering the abuse, the cancer diagnosis, the theft of all her money and our son.

The simple fact, I was a shattered man.  I knew Dawn was the key.  Dawn was more shattered than I and she needed help, specifically my help.  My honor would not allow me to turn her away.   I had prayed, begged, bargained for this very thing.  God did not choose to do it in a way that I envisioned, but he brought her back.  I needed her as much as she needed me.  Sure she was still married to the abuser.  Certainly, things were going to be very tough.  She had cancer with no insurance, no job and no money.  She had our son in tow and he was having huge issues, but weren’t we all.  God brought us BOTH low.  He did that so we could rebuild together.  I did not see that, but somehow I knew it fit.

People bring up how she married someone else and I put that aside.  They mention how I stepped to the plate, despite her betrayal.  Betrayal, Dawn did not betray me.  She made a poor choice and she paid for it with brutal interest.  Why would I spite myself and cause myself pain by turning her away?  They cast me in the role of hero for that?

Other people imagine what they would have done in my place.  They imagine themselves (or their spouse) turning them away and call me a hero for not doing so.

Heroic: doing something despite fear.

I did no such thing.  In an earlier era, men protected women.  They protected women, family and strangers alike.  A woman in need, I think there are several mentions of that in the Chivalric code.  It doesn’t qualify as member of your family or a favored aunt or a friend’s sister – a woman in need.  Dawn was a woman in need.  I did what my honor code demanded.

Or put another way.  I did what we should all do for those who are important to us.  I did nothing more than what was right.  My actions were the actions that all men should do for those they love.  The things I did were nothing special.  I saw a need; one that I had the ability to fix and I acted.  The fact that many facing a similar situation chose another lesser path does not make me a hero.  I know what it makes them, but it does not make me a hero.

In doing what I did, it initiated forgiveness.  We were able to forgive each other and perhaps more importantly forgive ourselves.   As much as I helped her, she helped me more.  That pivotal moment at the bottom is what allowed us to build a relationship on the bedrock of an equally shared and equally treasured love.

If you want to see heroes, I can point you to heroes.  Many of them wear a blue ribbon with stars in the front.  The ribbon often holds a small gold plaque inscribed with “Valor”.  That plaque has a five pointed star hanging from it.  Here is a list of some actual heroes.

You will notice my absence from that list.


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Filed under book, Cancer, Dawn, personal


Another reason certain people should have held their contempt for my wife’s wishes for at least another 5 minutes.

You know, beyond the fact that those of us still living, have feelings, might want to honor her wishes, might have throat punched you if we didn’t have such solid self control in place.

The best thing I can say about certain people, at least Dawn died poor.  So I didn’t have to fight them over THINGS, as well.


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March 12, 2017 · 12:31

On need

What I am about to say is going to offend some of you, “trigger you” if you will.  But just keep reading, I think you will come around to seeing my way or at least my point.

I never needed Dawn.  Need did not even enter the equation.  Dawn damn sure never needed me.  She could have had most any man she wanted, no need for me.

When we first me, I thought she was HOTT and sexy.  Then within a few minutes, I knew she was smart and vivacious.  I also knew she was very practiced at hiding it, but she held some deep hurts.  All of these things intrigued me and I wanted to learn more, to spend more time in her presence.  I did.  We began dating and did the things adults do when they date.

For the first two years we knew each other, we dated sporadically.  She dated other people, I dated other people.  She and I would get temptingly close and she would break up with me.  That was fine, I didn’t need her. I was sporadic with someone else who would also break up with me from time to time, too. With Dawn, when it worked; it worked well.  But it never worked for long.  She didn’t need me.  She needed the other guy way more than me.  I was her distraction when he broke up with her.

As time went on, the dynamic evolved into a more complex thing.  Some deep feelings started to get involved.  My other primary relationship died off, but I had others.  Her other relationship became increasingly bi-polar and abusive.  We fit easily together, but I didn’t need her and she plainly stated she didn’t need me.  We could not manage to stay tightly together for any reasonable period of time.  So we did what reasonable adults do.  We kept it light, we dated others when we had issues with each other and declared everything to be fantastic.

One day, after spending a weekend completely entwined; Dawn asked me if I would ever consider marriage… marriage with her.  I could see on her face that her mouth had outrun her brain.  I could see the fear / panic in her eyes.  I rolled over to face her directly and smiled at her.  She quickly pronounced, “I did not just ask you to marry me.” She further explained that she had been thinking on it for a while and she realized she liked being married and did not want … to… waste time pursuing a dead end.  She figured out she liked me a lot and wanted to pursue the possibility of making a go at having a much deeper relationship with me.  But as I had never been married or a fan of marriage, she did not want to waste time if I was completely opposed.  She did not need me.

I smiled at her again and held her hand.  I told her, I knew answering a question with a question, was bad form.  But, the only way she would understand my answer was if I framed it.  She looked at me with confusion.

So I asked, “do you know how long is the longest we have ever spent, together?  Contiguous before you disappeared?” (her word from breaking up with me)

Her eyes got real big and her personality withdrew.  A much weaker voice, “no, but I am sure you do.”

“33 days”, I replied.  “In two years of dating, we have never been able to string together more than 33 days.  Would you marry someone based on that?”   There was a long pause and right before she said something, I said, “now, we can string together 6 or 9 months of YOU not disappearing…  We manage that, you ask me again and I think you will be happily surprised with my answer.”

Her face got very red, all the way down to the middle of her chest.  She turned away quickly.  I put my arm around her to pull her towards me.  She resisted a little.  (she didn’t need me).  I pulled stronger and kissed her deeply.  She relented.

A few hours later, she went home and didn’t return my calls in the morning.  (she didn’t need me).  I did not know until several months later, but the (abusive) guy invited her back, the next day.  Then, two days later he proposed to her.   She was ripe with marriage on her mind.  I had been a bit of a wet blanket (realistic) on the idea.  She kept going back to him despite the abuse, so after a bit of thought, she just decided she was going to end up there anyway so why fight.  (she did not need me).

For brevity and for my blood pressure, I will skip over the 8 months of the marriage.  But it ended with her penniless, homeless, without healthcare, with a diagnosis of cancer and no treatment plan.  She had $17, a small pick-up truck, some clothes, a laptop and a 17 year old son.

Two weeks went by.  The local woman’s shelter arranged a hotel room.  Some strangers helped her with some Walmart gift cards, a local pastor quietly asked for help for her and her son.  A woman (Missy) she barely knew took her on as a pet project and made the little necessities of life appear.   Then on Halloween night her son had a complete meltdown in their one bedroom hotel room.  She knew she needed something and the only place she could think of to get him help, HORRIFIED her.

The next morning she got him dropped off at school and swallowed her fear.  She swallowed that fear several times before she could act.  Then she reached out to the one person who would help her son.  She reached out to me.   It took me a day or two to figure out it was actually her as she was reaching out in very circumspect ways.  This made her fear grow each time she had to be more direct. (but her son needed me).  Eventually, I figured it out and gave her my phone number so she could call me.

I answered the phone with a bit of sternness in my tone.  I heard a very meek voice on the other end, “hello, this is Dawn.  Please don’t hang up on me…” then a long breath and a pause.

I replied, “ok,…why are we on the phone?”   I certainly didn’t need her.

She started out strong but quickly petered into meek, “I need your help with Tucker.  I know you hate me…. He is having a terrible time dealing with this … and if he… if you don’t…Please take him shooting or to the movies or …please help him.” As her voice failed entirely.

“Dawn, why are you even talking to me.  Why doesn’t your husband do this?” I spit.  (I didn’t need her or this.)

I heard the slightest of whispers, “I don’t have a husband.”

I softened a little (but I still didn’t need this or her), “You are not making any sense.  Please take a moment to get yourself together and tell me the highlights of the story.”

She recounted the basics of them getting married even though part of her mind screamed at her to run away.  She told me about quitting her job to work for his company, him refusing to allow her to get insurance.  Then she burst into tears and told me about her cancer diagnosis and no treatment without insurance.  Then she told me about Tucker coming apart at the seams and them living in a one bedroom hotel room paid by the Woman’s Shelter.  Then she begged me to help him.  She told me not to take out my justified hatred of her, on him.  She begged, that she knew I loved him and he loved me.

The sentence I will never forget.  “You pick a time and a place.  I will drive him there and leave 10 minutes before you get there.  You don’t ever have to see me or talk to me again.  Just please help my son.  You can set it all up with him.  Just help him get out of Cancerville.  Help him see some love, anything besides cancer.   I don’t really have any money or I would pay for the activity.  But,” and then the wracking sobs came in full force.  (she didn’t need me, but she needed my help)

I let her calm down a bit.  Then I answered, “Dawn, I can’t do what you want.  I really can’t help Tucker…”

She butted in with the most force of the entire conversation, “Please, he needs you.  I don’t think I can handle another person kicking me when I am down.”

“Dawn, let me finish!” I cut her off, “I can’t help Tucker, because taking him to the movies is not gonna help.  Taking him shooting is not gonna help.  The only way I can help Tucker is if I help you.  I have medical connections.  I know some people.  If you let me help you, then I can help Tucker.”  The line went dead.

About 20 minutes later, my phone rang again.  The weakest, meekest voice I had yet heard, “I don’t have a choice, do I?

“No, not really.”

Some strength returned, “I won’t, (much quieter) can’t be romantic with you.  I have drains in from my surgery. My brain is too…”

I cut her off.  “Did I ask you to be romantic with me?  Did I tell you my help depended on anything?  Are you suggesting I am blackmailing you?”

A very long pause, “I don’t understand.  Will you help Tucker?  Why are you predicating it on interacting with me, if you don’t want to be … John, don’t play games with me.  I can’t keep this up.  I can’t be beaten down again.  I might not get up…  Just tell me what you want.”

As calmly as I could, “ok, you are dead set on me having conditions.  My condition is you come to my house and we discuss the rest of it in person.  But I want you to understand part of the why, so you can process it on the way over.  I spent the last 8 months of my life KNOWING you were dead.  I now have the chance to literally and figuratively change that outcome.  I can’t do anything but act, help…  In case that is too abstract for you.  I spent the last 8 months knowing that I missed my one chance at LOVE and I will be damned if I will again.”

She burst into sobs and hung up on me, again.  About 45 minutes later, there was a very tentative knock at my door.  And the next almost 7 years proved how deeply we needed each other.


Filed under book, Cancer, Dawn, personal

Why do I find this on my Bing feed?


and not from any one of Dawn’s Oncologists?

In the gun / conservative community, we call what I am currently experiencing a RCOB moment.  Red Curtain of Blood moment.  A moment where you have to sit.  A moment where you have to sit still and focus so you don’t shred your entire house as a means of venting the anger (or criminally worse things).

There is a drug that shows serious promise at STOPPING metz.  Not slowing, not piddling around with it.  STOPPING it butt cold.  The side effects are puffy eyes, itchy skin and the PATIENT doesn’t DIE of metastatic cancer.

AND they have been studying this for over 10 years.


My dreams are going to involve lots of … and … and things I won’t even let my conscious mind consider… for fear of temptation.

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Filed under Cancer, Dawn