Friday, May 20, 2011

Answering Questions with More Questions

Well, after a CT scan on Tuesday morning I did get a call from my doc with results late yesterday. All we know at this point is that one of the Bile Ducts is even more narrow than before, and they need to figure out why this is: if it's normal progression of the disease or a possible tumor that causing the extra pressure. Soon I'll go in for an ERCP... this is simply when they dope me to the gills, stick a tube down my throat, and go take a look around. They'll likely put another stent in to open up the duct, scrape some cell samples to check for the big C, and send me on my way.

As one, might imagine, it's a bit frustrating, but I'm remaining as positive as possible. I've come to realize recently that acting like Superman all the time and being the brightest face in the room is not a requirement, but I've become so used to it now as a defense mechanism, that I think it's simply a permanent part of my personality, and I suppose that's not a bad way to be.

Again, as always, I try to use these difficult times to renew and inspire me, if that makes any sense at all. I used to want to be like everyone else, but now I know that I have been given a gift in seeing the world through a different lens than most people ever will, and I certainly hope that it's helped me become a better person for those in my family and community. I also remind myself that my problems are no different than anyone else's. It's certainly all relative. We are all, in a sense, broken and jagged. But like shards of glass, I think that, in essence, is what makes each of us shine so brilliantly if we choose to reflect the sunlight.

I do feel this thing progressing. My energy level is not the same. My dreams of hitting the gym hard for that hot beach body have not quite come to fruition. Sorry, ladies, you'll have to wait another year! It's getting harder to keep the fluid off. Fuck it, though! I got over feeling sorry for myself a long, LONG time ago. There's nothing to be gained from it. All I can do is keep dealing with this, as I have my whole life. The stakes are a bit higher now, but it's the same game.

My wonderful acupuncturist, Ashley, is working with me to figure out some additional herbal remedies to help alleviate some of the symptoms. I truly don't know what I'd do without her. I also know that I'm surrounded by all the love and support I could ask for from my wife, family, friends, and work. Patience. Patience.

So, while I'm still alive, I'll keep on doing what I need to do and being everything I can be. But when I get to heaven, can somebody PLEASE buy me a pitcher of frozen margaritas?

Love, Pat

Last note: I keep wondering why I am drawn to this, Samuel Barber's choral masterpiece, "Agnus Dei"? I have come to realize this week that the entire human condition is wrapped up in this one beautiful song, in its proper order: Pain and Tragedy, Will to Overcome, Failure and Defeat, Solemn Acceptance and Reflection, and finally, Redemption and Glory. It's all there. Shhhh. Listen, friends:

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