Breakdown or Breakthrough, I’m Back.

My last post I asked you to cross a few fingers for me as I went into hospital for six days to have Dr. Chung remove half my liver and its six metastatic lesions; The last of the tumors that were trying to kill me. It all went to shit. They took too much liver and cut into the biliary tree, resulting in my remaining liver spewing bile into my abdominal cavity rather than duodenum where it belongs. I spent nearly half the Summer in a hospital bed and I am writing from hospital now while they try to find some way to stem the flow.

I’ve been home a few times for a few days or a week or two, recovering slowly with a drain hose protruding from my back in the most uncomfortable position they could possibly have chosen. In those weeks I have begun writing this post in my head at least a dozen times. It is overwhelming. Not because of the sheer volume of subjects I could cover, or the daunting expanse of time I feel it should cover, but because one particular lesson keeps overshadowing all of the rest. Something I never thought I would share with you. Something private and personal. At once a breakthrough and a breakdown.

I’ve never considered myself a macho man or a tough guy, but I believe I’ve been emotionally strong and resilient. I’ve needed to be.  There have been difficult times in my life. Grief and loss far too early. A lot of it left unresolved.

A lot of my pain and sorrow accumulated over the years tucked away in little corners of my psyche just to be glanced at periodically to be compared with each other; never really examined for any sort of closure.

I have lived with the fundamental erroneous belief that painful events need to be ranked appropriately to determine how I should respond to each. If I didn’t cry at my father’s funeral when I was fourteen, it would be wrong to cry at my mother’s a year later. The result, of course, is that there is no loss, pain or grief great enough for me to shed a tear over. Is it more worthy than all those other closeted sorrows?

Intellectually, the wrong is clear to me. Naturally, any life event that triggers any level of emotional response is independently worthy of that response just by virtue of the fact that it is there; it triggered the response. That’s all simple enough on an intellectual level. I’ve still got some work to do when it comes to letting that stuff out.

For good or bad, my lengthy hospitalization and the pain, frustration and fear that came as the free gift with purchase was, I hope, the last time I compare today’s grief with the ones in cold storage to see if the emotions I want to feel are, in fact, warranted.  I will always remember the evening it all snapped; when that final straw was loaded on my hump.

Sometime in late August, I found myself curled up in the arms of my loving wife and crying like a small child, sobbing, “I just wanna go home”.  There was no comparing this day to any other. There was no questioning, no analysis, no rating. I thought I was broken.

In reality, I think I had just begun to heal.

Whether it was a breakdown or a breakthrough, or both, that day changed my life and will change the way I look at life events of all kinds, forever.

I’m going to return to the day-to-day posts now. I won’t be attempting to reconstruct the last three months for this blog. No words that I could string together would carry a fraction of the meaning for me as those five I shared with the one person who has been there unconditionally for me every day. It is because she is there for me that “I just wanna go home”.

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18 thoughts on “Breakdown or Breakthrough, I’m Back.

    1. Not selfish at all Carol. I made a commitment to this blog for all concerned and intersted followers and have neglected the responsibility. I’m in hospital right now but gathering strength and will be home soon to write more.

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  1. Good to see a blog! I have been worried about you too. We all come to a place where we have to deal with our ‘sh*t’ …sometimes all at once and sometimes in dribbles over long periods of time. Either way, it is never easy but so much better on the other side of denied emotions. Take care, keep your chin up and continue to inspire us all!

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  2. Thank God, thank God, thank God you are back, if not actually in your home. I have been so worried, which is strange considering we’ve never met. So much time had gone by since your last post that i feared the worst. I actually googled you several times to see if there was anything written about you and your situation.

    I emotionally clenched when I read your post. I get it. I understand it. I’m actually happy for you that you were able to let go and just admit your most simple desire…to go home.

    I know you wrote that you won’t be recounting those months in hospital, but if there was any other learning experience, any piece of knowledge that you think would be useful to others, I hope you change your mind and write about it.

    In the meantime…welcome back to blogging!!! xxxxxxxxxxxx Hugs to your wife for being there for you no matter what!

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  3. Lillian H

    You have been strong and courageous through the last year and fighting to overcoming huge obstacles this summer. My thoughts and prayers have been with you and the family. There is an old saying my mother used ” that tears are the beginning of the healing of the battered soul ” easier for women than men. Cry and heal together with your incredible wife Wendy.

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  4. Carol

    Welcome to nirvana. I too suffered from many regrets and pains,at least the ones I was able to see at the time. I call this new recovery the gift of cancer. It is a pain full process of confronting and recognizing everything that makes us who we are. Learning to embrace all the good,bad that we have caused or lived through. I found I had closed do many doors on events that I did not want to. Confronting your fear of dying and what it means. Making amends to every person and of course your self. And at last letting go and believing. Forgiveness to yourself. I am crying with you, I thought of you daily. Welcome home
    Carol

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  5. ❤ "I wanna go home" seems to be the response to broken-ness for Me also … it explains in not so many words, the yearning to be somewhere safe, loved, protected and comfortable.
    I hope you get to go home soon my friend … a very brave man you are!
    I'm pleased you are still here and I can learn more things from You.
    Blessings to You and your beautiful wife and family!

    (Btw .. .a little trick I learnt … when I can't get home … is to being 'Home" to Me. The smell, the familiarities … favourite things etc xoxo)

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  6. Mary Trusty

    Teddy’s comment could not be expressed better. I too feel the same way. I’m just not good at expressing my thoughts. I do want to say I love you for the wonderful person you are and the husband you are to my so very special and wonderful Wendy who knows nothing other than being a kind and good person. And a fixer! She sees everything through her rose coloured glasses, and only the kindest thoughts and love are allowed through. This truest love will always be with you by your side every inch of the way and see you through your most anxious moments.

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  7. Andreas Lambis

    What you said about things building up inside of us and having to let them out, I think is normal for us all. What I believe is important to know is that we all feel that we haven’t dealt with them properly. That’s what’s makes us human, or at least more human than those who think they have. You’ve gone through a lot, but you are now definately recovering in all departments.

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  8. E Henkel

    George you have travelled a long and rather bumpy road , hard times and sad times , but I truly believe your journey was meant to lead you to your wonderful wife angel Wendy and happiness ever after! Just get yourself well! Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. wgould

    I’ve thought quite a few times that I was glad you found your tears. And I’m also glad I was there to love you through them. When we are together we are always home. My heart is yours always, your wife ❤️

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  10. Melona

    It’s unfortunate that we humans feel we need to have a valid reason for the way we feel…and you are most definitely not alone. From one stranger to another, from one human to another, I hope this nightmare for you ends quickly and you can go back home to your family & friends and live this life healed and happy.

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  11. Teddy

    Your words have made me tear up. Crying is a good thing. It is a release. George, you will never be judged for being human. You have endured far too much. It’s ok to cry. I know this would have broken my sisters heart, but at the same time she was and always will be there to comfort you. Welcome back from the dark side.

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