Where I am

Be sure to check out my blog over at the Epiphany Treatment webpage by clicking here.

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As for me personally and my cancer, let’s just say I’m incredibly grateful for each one of those sunrises I get from the big guy. The main tumor on my chest keeps growing, so much now I can’t hold my arm remotely close to my side. This no doubt another balancing of karma for brash steroid comments.

Thank you for the well wishes and prayers. Keep them coming. I’ll go what I can to get some new suffered up here.

Peace and love,
-MFJ

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Cancer Diaries: Afraid to Sleep?

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Mitt Romney, paraphrased at the 2012 Presidential debates, said something like, The emergency room can provide adequate health care to those who don’t have health insurance. Yeah Mitt, you’re deadly wrong.

A little history as to what I am calling Mt. Cianflone (elev 4.12825″ above sea level), i.e. the chondrosarcoma on my chest.

PLEASE NOTE: I’ve not seen scan images, but being a formal health professional, I don’t want to since it is easier to live in naive bliss. Plus, my imagination can get a brief workout, as I am confident Michael Jr. is none of the following: It is NOT the leftovers of my long lost twin I  only partially consumed in utero.  Nor is it the accumulation of Swedish fish and Five Guys’ burger ‘juice.’ It does not deflate when poked with a safety pin or syringe.

What it is though: I was born with what my family called bone spurs, one of which was under my left armpit. Dormant since birth, this calcified lump suddenly erupted about 5 years ago, becoming built up little by little, until it became a noticeable entity. It looked like I could only afford one boob in an augmentation, and this surge in growth I blamed on the Fukushima reactor meltdown. I was also getting very high at the time, a few years into a ‘this time it will work,’ multi-year love affair with heroin. I knew it was there, I certainly understood that it was a tumor of some kind, but that is where my curiosity ceased.

By the time I added cocaine to the routine, another year or so had passed, and it had grown noticeably. (Another shameless plug ALERT: Shoestring Theories (BUY ME) in fact begins with a trip to West Palm hospital. which is where I had this mass first scanned. I was told it was an osteochondroma, a benign bone tumor. However, if it grew in the future, I needed to get it checked out. It grew, I didn’t have it checked out. It stopped growing, then it made an attempt to really gain some attention, or finally make me pay it some mind.

Why I had avoided this for months:

  1. It was benign, I would get it cut out when it physically bothered me.
  2. I was fairly new in recovery, and didn’t feel I was ready for major surgery, the pain, and the pain killers.
  3. No insurance, if I could just make it til January 1st, I could afford this and not just be swept along from one cancer place to another.
  4. Couldn’t be living paycheck to paycheck

I was in a place that even missing one week of work would set me back because I was trapped in the Delray halfway house scene. Paying week-to-week rent, all that it takes to derail the locomotive is one unexpected expense and next thing you know, you’re getting thrown out over not paying the rent. Let’s just say, where I was staying, they were not flexible when it came to the money

All this has left me where I am at this moment, coming to an understanding that all the support in the world does not change the intimacy of my relationship with death. I have my good days, where my smiles are genuine. I feel it deep down inside- this path I am on has a beautiful outcome, be it survival or not. I’ve said it before, writing Shoestring Theories, if it reached just one addict or family of an addict and helped them get the truly awesome gift of recovery, then confessing all my sins was well worth it to help spur that change.

Today is not one of those days. The pain level is intense, every breath is a cacophony of high pierced wheezes that deafens as I close my ears. Days like this, where just trying to roll out of bed seem super hero feats of strength and mind control.

Worst of all is this new anxiety that attacks me at night- I am afraid to sleep. There’s this loneliness with sleep these days, unexplained, crushing. My eyes close but the lids are spring-mounted. Irrational fears hold thought veto control, am I afraid of not waking up? Or being startled conscious by sharp pain? Would company ease my mind?

I hope this feeling and I divorce quickly. It is absolutely draining, it’s soul-devouring and my first true ‘doomsday’ emotion. In the meantime, I patiently wait for exhaustion to take over. Somewhat ironic fatigue is lazy and can’t show up even on the same night.

Prayers please. Peace and Love,
-MFJ

Good and Evil Vs. Right and Wrong – Cage Match – Free PPV

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Love is a crazy thing, it’s a word I reserve for myself, for God, for family and dear friends. Only lately, after 15+ months clean and 99% serene, have I been thinking about that relationship  type love. It’s not tied to any one person. (Lie) Maybe it’s chained to two. One I know as well as myself. The other was a beautiful stranger a month or so ago, who I’ve gotten to know because of a little randomness in time led to an exchange in numbers. Since then she has been living a situation I went through years ago, where my world caved in around me, where I felt so alone.

When I got clean, and learned to strive to be selfless, that that was the key to a peaceful life, that helping others provides pure happiness, I began to pay a lot of attention to those who were living situations that tore my sanity into pieces, that pushed me into such a dark place, I couldn’t even see a glimmer of light in my imagination. I’m not letting that happen to a friend, he or she will know I’ve got their back in whatever way possible.

Naturally I do my best to help addicts, to get them through the steps, which for me birthed this change in me, that full-scale shift in perspective that altruism produces. The wholly selfish asshole was murdered when I tried to kill myself, and begged God to not intervene. Shift in perspective- God always listens, he’s always there. He answers with Mick Jagger wisdom- I got what I needed. I was lucky enough to be given incredible amounts of hurt, so that I can appreciate and feel joy to the extent of my pain.

There’s a lot of times things just don’t work out, regardless of mutual feelings. I get that, I am sadly beginning to understand this lesson. When I started this blog, there was no homework assignment, now it’s setting in, the years are not always kind, the roads we are on intersect at finite times, and who we walk along that path with isn’t always the one you dream about. Now I’m feeling a certain kind of sadness.

I am realizing this has little to do with the title, and maybe that’s more than alright. Good people can appear evil when assumptions are made, good people can make a ton of wrong decisions. More than anything, I can see myself in people, the miserable empty shells, that are so fun to be around, laughing and joking while everything inside is so wrong. Funny thing is this one isn’t an addict, but she’s mirroring my past so much it’s kind of scary. I know she feels nothing will go right, that the sky is falling around her and no one cares. Someone most certainly does.

I have no idea where this is going, and maybe that is the point- Spotify just played a Bustelo commercial- and if you follow this, you know Bustelo and I have this tangled affair going on, but that’s another clue where irony is the mystery that won’t be solved. I used to pack a ziploc of Bustelo in my bag, and add it to my Dunkin coffee. I stopped doing that, in fact, I’m out of Bustelo currently, but there are certain things I always have with me, I carry a Big Book, a composition book, and a journal. I carry the journal because it has a variety of words in its pages. Among them are words written in blood, a terrible habit when I was using.

Then there is that paragraph, that ideal girl description. I haven’t read that in a while, life has been so hectic, and well, that journal and I have this connection, Hear me out, I open it and there’s notes from a Buddhist monk, forgotten moments from Thailand that I read at the perfect time. It got me to make a leap of faith, and find something I lost many lives ago, my old soul wasn’t whole, and the lesson- a soulmate isn’t necessarily a forever thing, in the physical sense, it gives you back what was thrown away. I have that, and when my room is quiet, I find my mind thinking about her. Tangent drift…sorry, that ideal girl thing-

“Battle-tested, treasuring the losses for the wisdom gained rather than the spoils of war.”

I’ve met people who like that line, know that line but don’t live it. She understands. The best thing about life is I’m not afraid to see where this road takes me.

Peace and Love,
-MFJ

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PS- This poem, I just found, in that journal – 4/25/15

Shell Game

I’m pretty sure I knew what I was asking for
Fairly certain we were a shared exit
Now journeying to different destinations
Not even heading the same direction
Makes the separation inevitable
Adjust the rearview
I glance, she stares
Cosmic collision and I know my role
Overnight distraction when more was imagined
Hold my hand, maybe no envelopes should be pushed
No matter the stationary inside
Is it the words written, the phrases spoken
Or the flipped coin actions that caused the disconnect?
Who let go first?
Doesn’t matter, I wasn’t holding on either
Think what you must to sleep uneasy
My peace was the attraction
Especially in the context of my wreckage
Of self
Of soul
Wounds scar
Forever remember that moment
Where undesired freedom
Gifted a stranger on the same road as me
Where I grabbed an outstretched hand
And felt her grip tight
Maybe I’m not letting this one go…