Thursday, June 06, 2013

Sleeping with the television on...

I sleep with the television on.

I've been doing it ever since I could remember. I suspect that maybe it started as a kid being afraid of the dark. But now it's not about that anymore.

As an adult, I need the television on to distract me from my thoughts so I can finally fall asleep. My thoughts aren't usually dark. Most of the time it's just trivial stuff. Funny memories. Tasks that need to be done. Thoughts about my friends and family. Ideas and regrets from the day.

I need the sounds from the television to keep my thoughts quiet.

Maybe it's also about being in a room that's alive while I'm asleep. To remind me there's a world waiting for me to wake up.  It took awhile for Erin to get used to it. She likes the television off when she sleeps. In fact, I still don't think she's used to it.

If the television is on while I'm sleeping and someone turns it off I'll wake up in a panic.

The silence can be deafening.

It's been hard getting some sleep lately.

Part of the obstacle is that I work graveyard shift. 12:00 am to 8 am. Not that I mind that. In fact, I rather enjoy it. It gives me more time to be with the kids and Erin. But combined with the visit to the E.R. and the day of tests, which I have experienced these previous two days, I've only been able to get maybe four hours sleep... total.

Today with nothing on the schedule I tried to get some winks.

It didn't work out so well.

My thoughts are running away with me.

It's exhausting.

I keep wondering what the hell is going on inside my body. Is the cancer growing? Is it multiplying?

This morning after breakfast Evie wanted to play her favorite game, Zombie with me. The game basically consists of me chasing her around the backyard till I catch her, tickle her and nibble on her body parts.

Evie will play this game with me for hours if she had her way. It's a game that only daddy can play with her. It's not the same with mommy.

She especially loves it when big brother Brayden joins in because she uses him as a human shield. They will often run away holding hands. They hide in places together and will protect each other when I catch one of them. Now that Bohdan is older he has joined in on the fun. Except he squeels in delight when I catch him. And cries when I get distracted and won't chase him.

He'll get the hang of it.

Nolan doesn't like it when daddy plays zombie. He's happy watching the action from inside the house within earshot of mommy. So that he can run to her in case I should turn my unwanted attention towards him through the window.

This morning while chasing Evie. I started experiencing phantom pains. I got winded after a few minutes. I felt like my stomach was cramping. Back was stiffening. I felt a little light headed. I became acutely aware of the air in my lungs and my ribs expanding.

My thoughts were....crap these are the advanced signs of cancer.

The game ended early to Evies' disappointment.

I shared my thoughts with Erin and she pointed out that likely I was just fatigued from lack of sleep.

Not to mention that I'm also a computer nerd that's old and out of shape. Cancer or not.

I decided to try and catch some winks.

I got maybe a couple of hours rest when my thoughts and fears took over. After awhile I got up angry. Pissed that there was nothing I could do. And completely ignorant about what was happening to me.

I want to fight but I don't know who the enemy is yet.

The thing that continues to haunt me is that I waited too long to share my concerns about the mass. I decided to research the symptoms that Tom Green and Lance Armstrong experienced before they finally got help.

Apparently Tom Green experienced similar symptoms. He was actually misdiagnosed at first and waited before he got a second opinion. He was actually experiencing pain down in the scrotum for awhile before he got help.

I don't have any pain. Just a heaviness down there.

Lance Armstrong however waited till he had blinding headaches and was coughing up blood. Blood!  His cancer spread to his brain and lungs and were in advanced stages.

I'm nowhere near that point.

Even with all those odds against him. He had four rounds of chemo-therapy and was able to beat it.

Granted I'm not a world champion athlete. But I like to think I have more will to survive than Lance did. I have four little reasons why I NEED to live.

I shared the info with Erin and she assured me that everything would be okay. She was confident that I would be fine.

She was sure of it.

 I was comforted by her resolve and determination.

I could use some more of that confidence not from just her but from myself.

I need to convince myself that everything is going to be fine. That this operation is going to be as routine as the surgery I received when I was getting my appendix out last year.

Noticing that I was up and awake, Evie requested we play more zombie.

This time we played until SHE got tired and ran out of gas.

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