26 May 2018

(# 5) The Mystery of the Pulsating Cancer Mask Revealed!


This is the 5th of 50 posts on #Recovery from #Addiction, #Alcoholism and #Cancer

CANCER*****ALCOHOLISM*****ADDICTION
Recovery********Recovery**********Recovery

"The Mystery of the Pulsating Cancer Mask Revealed!"

QUICK INTRO to these 50 Posts: I am Alcoholic with 13+ yrs. of Continuous Sobriety, preceded by an 8-year period of Chronic and Perpetual Relapse. Now, leading a Solid & Joyous Life in Recovery, I Now Face Cancer & Recovery from Cancer.
These 50 Posts are my tool in Recovery from BOTH, addiction and cancer!
I AM A TOOL! (I've been called worse, in my drinking career and as recently as yesterday, ho-hoe!)
Without further ado... POST # 5....
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Every millisecond, a living moment dies, leaving a smattering of memories in its wake. The present, on edge between what's gone and what's left to come, seems both illusion and ultimate reality.
With thoughts like these, is it really any wonder that the highly-trained oncology-team specialist looked at me as if I were insane (a look grown more familiar to me with each passing year) when I asked her why (during my 15-minute radiation treatment) the form-fitting cancer mask pulsated during treatment? 
My days seem filled with ordinary/extraordinary eureka! moments such as these. Growing up, a nearby aunt or uncle may well have proclaimed "Will wonders never cease?!?!" - half-statement, half-question, reacting to whatever perplexing fascination was on hand. Today, I might gingerly call times like these my WTF moments! 
I did not know what I couldn't have known about this rigid, form-fitting mold of my face (photo from cancer.gov). This mask fits me exactly, following the most minute contours of nose and brow, along with all the rest of my face.
Initially, when the technicians placed this warm, moist mesh upon my face, it reminded me of a dishcloth placed over me. It took only around 10 minutes to harden into place, a far-cry from a sculpture in granite, chiseled over weeks and months by a Rodin, for example, but equally effective at capturing the details of facial identity for their exacting radiation procedures.
Prone, on the long table surface, strapped in, listening to soft music in the background, eyes closed, I felt the mask, sturdy, structured, unchanging as its form was meant to be. Forthwith the mask began to move more tightly over my features, particularly my nostrils and cheeks, not in rhythm with my breathing, more like the ticking of a clock.
How and why it seemed to move towards me and then as mysteriously away, again and again and again, I soon found out (in my imagination, aunt and uncle rhythmically repeating "Will wonders never cease?!?!").
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Step back from this experience for just a moment more, so that I may share a similar experience we've all gone through. Certainly, you've been on a train or in a car when another vehicle traveling in your same direction slows from the same speed that you've been traveling and it appears momentarily to move backwards, despite your absolute knowledge that such an observation was not possible, was an illusion which, despite knowing this, tricked you? Knowing that it was not so, that the train or car could not possibly be moving in the opposite direction which you categorically knew was impossible, did not, could not change the illusion, even when you knew that was the case.
SPOILER ALERT! (It's about time. This post is near its close, anyway!): It was not the sculpted plastic mesh mask that was moving closer to my face and then retreating, it was my own face, the surfaces of my skin, filled with the pulse of life, expanding and contracting against it. The mask remained rigid. It was I who was moving. It was I, striving to be as absolutely still as possible, but could not be because I am still so full of life.
How odd that this was all the proof I needed that I was still alive. I was not Rodin's thinker, sculpted in stone, I was living, breathing, pulsating LIFE.
We are working to beat this cancer, surely as my own heartbeat continues. Every millisecond, a living moment dies, leaving a smattering of memories in its wake. The present, on edge between what's gone and what's left to come, seems both illusion and ultimate reality.
There is hope here, wave after wave of hope. 
Resilience reigns.
Post (# 6) lags not too far behind, the mystery of the mask revealed.


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The first 4 other Cancer / Alcoholism / Addiction posts are immediately below this fifth one on the link provided here (Reverse Chronological Order): https://alldrinkingaside.blogspot.com
(If you're already on the All Drinking Aside Blog page, consider this link part of my Ridiculousness!)
*****
#SurviveAddiction #SurviveCancer #SurviveYourself
*****
Finally, whether it be Cancer, Addiction, Alcoholism, Recovery or All of the Above,
"Hear Ye, Hear Ye... Read All About it, Wherever, Whenever, However!
*****
You may also wish to Explore ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal, by the same author:
http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
An Addiction Fiction & Autobiography-in-One / Check out the 30+ 5***** Star Reviews!

24 May 2018

# 4 CANCER / ADDICTION / ALCOHOLISM / RECOVERY POST


This is the 4th of 50 posts on #Recovery from #Addiction, #Alcoholism and #Cancer

CANCER*****ALCOHOLISM*****ADDICTION
Recovery********Recovery**********Recovery

"From the Ridiculous to the Sublime"

QUICK INTRO to Posts 1, 2, & 3 through 50? I am Alcoholic with 13+ yrs. of Continuous Sobriety after an 8 year period of Chronic and Perpetual Relapse. Now, leading a Solid & Joyous Life in Recovery, I Face Cancer & Cancer Recovery.
These 50 Posts are my tool in Recovery from BOTH!
I AM A TOOL! (I've been called worse, in my drinking career, and as recently as yesterday.)
Without further ado, POST # 4
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"New Beginnings Are Often Disguised as Painful Endings." - Lao Tzu
That's a quote I just ran across on Pinterest, with interest, Lol!
It beats the hell out of a variety of alternative phrases and feelings which are grounded in the central theme of change.
My 13 Years of Recovery from Addiction has been like Kindergarten through 12th Grade for me. Initially, I sought pity and lived in self-pity when I got sober from my addiction to alcohol at the age of 46. Cancer is a completely different beast, but the tools I have acquired over the years are coming in handy once again.
You see, now I've Graduated to Cancer. The tools, the mindset, the hope, action, seeking help, helping others, etc. All part of becoming more human despite or perhaps because of what may at first appear only as setbacks. How we survive, how we recover and how we learn to be more present, more alive, are all in the stewpot. We can stew in our own sour juices or thrive on the new perspectives that adversity have brought our way. 
I'll admit it right here and now. All of the above is a Pep-talk for me/for you. The WE of our common humanity reveals itself in the most devilish ways at times. 
Human Glue, sharing and caring, will put me back together again.
"New Beginnings Are Often Disguised as Painful Endings." Lao Tzu uttered that well over 2,500 years ago. Take it from there. Carry it with you.
Cancer, and Recovery from it, will at times make me feel weak.
Recovery from Addiction has taught me to be strong in my weakness.
*****
Strive on!
Enough Already.
Mañana, Part Five!
(Suggestions for future posts warmly greeted)
*****
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Cancer / Alcoholism / Addiction posts are immediately below this fourth one on the link provided here (Reverse Chronological Order): https://alldrinkingaside.blogspot.com
(If you're already on the All Drinking Aside Blog page, consider this link part of the Ridiculous!)
*****
#SurviveAddiction #SurviveCancer #SurviveYourself
*****
Finally, whether it be Cancer, Addiction, Alcoholism, Recovery or All of the Above,
"Hear Ye, Hear Ye... Read All About it, Wherever, Whenever, However!
*****
You may also wish to Explore ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal, by the same author:
http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
An Addiction Fiction & Autobiography-in-One / Check out the 30+ 5***** Star Reviews!

23 May 2018

# 3 of 50, CANCER SURVIVOR GUEST POST (Cancer / Addiction / Recovery Series)


"Recovery is recovery. 6 years post breast cancer and there's not a single day that goes by that the 'Big C' fails to remind me of how it could still be looming. The ritual of repeated mental positive frame of mind never fades. It can't fade. Living in the moment with a positive attitude is part of the survival. Looking back, I know this for sure... I did what I did to survive... absorb and accept, have surgery, 37 radiation treatments and 5 years of oral chemo meds, side-effects, plus all that pre- and post-cancer crap... doctor visits, blood-work, scans and more scans, tests and more tests and waiting for the results... recovery. It all taught me to live in the moment. I'm not an alcohol or drug addict, but I've had my issues... mental, mostly. Support Groups and Recovery Therapy were a part of my life as well as throughout the battle with the 'Big C.' Your addictions are my phobia and my phobias led me to recovery, giving me the knowledge and courage needed for life's battles, including Cancer... just one of many challenges of life. And of course... striving to stay alive with purpose... Happiness!"
Signed, "Island Weather Lady" www.wildwoodweather.net




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P.S. (by Jim Anders www.alldrinkingaside.com) Thanks, Island Weather Lady and may I borrow a few words from your beautiful and intimate share by adding that "there's not a single day that goes by that" I fail to read your weather forecast Down the Shore, in Season, Every Season of the Year!
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A Special Note to those readers who have just now found # 3 of the 50 (Cancer / Addiction / Recovery Series) and wish to now read posts # 1 & #2, simple scroll down the https://alldrinkingaside.blogspot.com link (where all 50 posts will eventually appear in Reverse Numerical Order). 
*****
CANCER*****ALCOHOLISM*****ADDICTION
Recovery******Recovery*********Recovery


Feel Free to Share this Post (and any in the Series of what will become 50 Posts!) 
*****
Enough Already.
Mañana, Part Four!
(Suggestions for future posts warmly greeted, needed and sometimes repeated!)

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#SurviveAddiction #SurviveCancer #SurviveYourself
*****
Finally, whether it be Cancer, Addiction, Alcoholism, Recovery or All of the Above,"Hear Ye, Hear Ye... Read All About it, Wherever, Whenever, However!
*****
You may also wish to Explore ALL DRINKING ASIDE
http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

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Thank you for Reading & Sharing and a Special Thanks to "Island Weather Lady" for her important contribution to this Series of 50! www.wildwoodweather.net

22 May 2018

# TWO of 50: "Increase Alcohol Use with Prescription Medicine"


This the 2nd of 50 posts on #Recovery from #Addiction, #Alcoholism and #Cancer

CANCER*****ALCOHOLISM*****ADDICTION
Recovery********Recovery**********Recovery

I know I'm going all over the place here, but like the joke about what an alcoholic needs...
(A roof over the head, food on the table and someone to blame)... Day Two into Chemo-Therapy and Radiation-Therapy, my going all over the place is blamed on "Chemo-Fog," as I've been told and so as I excusably believe.
It seems everyone needs someone or something on which to blame their erratic, unpredictable and un-understandable feelings and behaviors.
"From the Ridiculous to the Sublime...," so similar, yet so different, like lemon & lime, I hope you will savor the flavor of all 50 posts.
QUICK INTRO to Posts 1, 2, & 3 through 50? I am Alcoholic with 13+ yrs. of Continuous Sobriety after an 8 year period of Chronic and Perpetual Relapse. Now, leading a Solid & Joyous Life in Recovery, I Face Cancer & Cancer Recovery.
These 50 Posts are my tool in Recovery from BOTH!
I AM A TOOL! (I've been called worse, in my drinking career, and as recently as yesterday.)
Without further ado, here is "Increase Alcohol Use with Prescription Medicine" (for me, and... )for you:
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"Increase Alcohol Use with Prescription Medicine," was how I intentionally misread ALL PRINTED WARNINGS on all Prescription Medicine and Over-the-Counter Medications back in my 30 year / 50,000+ drinks drinking career. (Redundant: over and over again, like addiction, yada-yada-yada)
WARNING! DO NOT FOLLOW this "Increase Alcohol Use with Prescription Medicine" headline. It is Addict Thinking / Alcoholic Thinking. Poor Thinking. Face it.... It's not thinking, at all.
CANCER is serious.
This is day two in my recovery process.
I no longer follow DR. JIM's orders (back in the day that lasted for years). I follow my team of doctors' and other health specialists' orders to the T. Ask Questions. Listen. Learn. Each and every medication and therapy I am involved in has purpose and side-effects. Some of the medications require other medications to treat the side-effects of the first. Cancer Treatment is a rapidly progressing, evolving art and science. Odd to say (bordering on sublime?), I'm glad (so far) to play some small part in it.
Recovery is Doable, Addiction is Screwable! (ridiculous!)
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My 13 Years of Recovery from Addiction has been like Kindergarten through 12th Grade for me.
Now I've Graduated to Cancer. The tools, the mindset, the hope, action, seeking help (look out! I feel myself devolving back into "From the Ridiculous to the Sublime.")
*****
Cancer, and Recovery from it, will at times make me feel weak.
Recovery from Addiction has taught me to be strong in my weakness.
*****
Strive on!
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For anyone reading this post who has Cancer, but is not in Recovery from Addiction, I'm reprinting the short form of "The Serenity Prayer" below. Let it be a tool in your Recovery Toolbox, whatever you're recovering from.
AND Remember, Everybody's Recovering from Something (even if that something is  a someone called YOU!).
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"The Serenity Prayer"

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 
Courage to change the things I can, 
And wisdom to know the difference.
*****
Enough Already.
Mañana, Part Three!
(Suggestions for future posts warmly greeted)

*****
The 1st Cancer / Alcoholism / Addiction post is immediately below this second one on the link provided here (Reverse Chronological Order): https://alldrinkingaside.blogspot.com
(If you're already on the All Drinking Aside Blog page, consider this link part of the Ridiculous!)
*****
#SurviveAddiction #SurviveCancer #SurviveYourself
*****
Finally, whether it be Cancer, Addiction, Alcoholism, Recovery or All of the Above,
"Hear Ye, Hear Ye... Read All About it, Wherever, Whenever, However!
*****
You may also wish to Explore ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal, by the same author:
http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
An Addiction Fiction & Autobiography-in-One / Check out the 30+ 5***** Star Reviews!

1st of 50 (Addiction/Cancer) Recovery Posts: REVERSE X-Ray Vision STRIPPED by Chemo & RADIATION Therapy


For those few who perhaps know about X-Ray Vision, but have never heard of Reverse X-Ray Vision (which I have... or rather, had) allow me to enlighten: Normal X-Ray Vision is the ability to see through solid objects, such as diaphanously frocked woodland nymphs.
REVERSE X-Ray Vision is my (former) unique ability to gaze upon photos of naked woodland deities with my reverse x-ray vision and dress them with my eyes.
My reverse x-ray vision powers were stripped by chemo and radiation therapy on this, my very first day of treatment for cancer.
Such is life in the Big Titty... I mean Big City (am I also loose-ing my powers of spich, too?).
Stay tuned tomorrow for Part Two (of 50!) of my "Alcoholic in Long-Term Recovery Faces Cancer"
Mañana!


*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
Have you yet explored ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Alcoholic Animal?: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
150+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/jHfdjq 

20 May 2018

ADDICTION = Impatience \ RECOVERY = Impatience Decelerated


SLOW DOWN....Because if you haven't slowed down, you're still living in addiction, whether or not your drug of choice still inhabits every cell of your body, whether or not your mind is still in the Land of More.
*****
(Surimi) [sums it up well, speaking to Vatchi (and Sotto, easily within earshot)]: Vicious cycles. Vicious circles. No vicious virtue.... You're right, Vatchi. Slow down, Jim. Impatience. If there's one character defect I've seen in most, if not every addict and alcoholic, it's impatience. Always waiting for and wanting the next hit, the next drink. The waiting and wanting have become character traits that have not yet stopped, even after the drinking and drugging stops. The waiting and wanting continue. It takes time to decelerate.
*****
SLOW DOWN....Because if you haven't slowed down, you're still living in addiction, whether or not your drug of choice still inhabits every cell of your body, whether or not your mind is still in the Land of More....
Be still your beating heart. Recovery is here... , is now....
SLOW DOWNSLOW DOWN... !!! (slow down.... )


(photo credit: Impatiens on Pinterest)
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
Explore ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Alcoholic Animal: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
150+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/jHfdjq 




17 May 2018

BARELY a TWEET this POST DOST MAKE!!!


If I can get over the TINIEST of Bottles, all other problems pale in comparison. Recovery from addiction has afforded me the BIGGEST of Toolboxes. 


*****
Add
ALL DRINKING ASIDE
to Your #Recovery #ToolBox
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& Find 150+ FREE Recovery Posts, here:

16 May 2018

A World Away / A World Between... Insanity & Serenity


Bear with me.
This post may require heavy lifting. Intuition and mental presence join hands here.
Take these two quotes, a Chapter apart, taken completely out of context:
First, separately:
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"In quarreling, the truth is always lost." - Publilius Syrus, 1st century B.C., quote cited in Ch. 80, "My Second Insanity," All Drinking Aside
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"Eventually the puking stops. But the drinking doesn't stop." - Ch. 81, "Empty Bottles and Refillable Pain," All Drinking Aside
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Now. Intentionally fragmented. And together:
"... the truth is always lost" when "... the drinking doesn't stop."
*****
A world away, that drinking game, that world my life became.
There is a world between Addiction's Insanity and the Serenity that Recovery will become.
Piece together peace. You will not miss what it replaced. Welcome back to the human race.
Don't quarrel with a drink. Walk out.
We wouldn't want the puking back again, now, would we?
The truth is always lost when the drinking does not stop...


*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
Passages in quotes are excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Alcoholic Animal: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
150+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/jHfdjq 

15 May 2018

As a Prelude to Chemo & Radiation, I Rediscovered this:


This simple excerpt sums up my feelings, felt deeply, brought to the surface. Like enduring recovery, it's almost self-explanatory, best felt and shared with knowing looks and quiet, understanding nods:

(Sotto): What has not died, what has survived, is a life to be lived more fully, Vatchi. I will give this one to Jim. I will go so far as to affirm his sobriety. He has become more than sober. Not a dry drunk. Alive and sober, this different kind of more, in absence of alcohol. More. This more. Sober.
*****
Tomorrow, I attend a Radiation Therapy Class. Then, starting Monday, 7 weeks of chemo and radiation.
Recovery has prepared me to face this, that, anything, stronger, belonging, grateful.
The only thing addiction prepared me for is recovery.


(Photo: "Wet Coppers and Greens" on Pinterest)
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
The passage spoken by Sotto is excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Alcoholic Animal: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
150+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

14 May 2018

Chasing Illusions (ADDICTION) / Finding Recovery (ATTRACTION)


Was I ever really attracted to addiction?
Is anyone?
Swallowed up by it, slowly, progressively, like a large pig eaten by an anaconda, the passage of time marked in years dissolving within the belly of the beast, my human refuse, this alcoholic animal, somehow salvaged, starting over at the end.
Yes, that last sentence was a run-on.
I know. I know. I know (unnecessary repetition, like addiction's insanity itself).
*****
Mid-Addiction (let's say 10 years in), "I imagined that I would one day be able to be successful, ... to be able to drink successfully, ... but I was chasing the illusion of all alcoholics that somehow, someday, my drinking could be, better and different. This was before several relapses finally taught me, that for an alcoholic like me, I could never drink successfully, and that, no matter what else happened, or how long I went without a drink, it would always and could only, end worse. The best I could do was to imagine that my drinking would [somehow, some way] be manageable...."
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"'I'll show them!' drinking has always been my most catastrophic. All it has ever shown 'them' is what a chronic alcoholic I am. My last 'I'll show them!' drink resulted in a four-day binge that got me neatly strapped into a hospital bed and nearly fired... "
*****
Soon after, a fictional character (unnoticed by me), chimes in...
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(Vatchi): All we have I now, Sotto. The drunken TV show host is gone. The anonymous drunk and disorderly nuisance is gone. Jim clings to these memories to keep himself fearful. The sirens are calling him to drink 'on the rocks.' "Surrender to win" is a tough, tough sell. Until the alcoholic learns that there is no alternative. And with the first drink,"now" ends and the old insanity begins again.
*****
I guess I never really was attracted to addiction, but once it got a hold on me, it was not long until it was I who could not let go, chasing, chasing, chasing... all the while swallowed whole.
My attraction to recovery was not immediate either, happening in real time, measured in sober days stretched behind me, before me, within me.


*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
The passages in quotes (and Vatchi's speech) are excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Alcoholic Animal: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
150+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/jHfdjq