Today I woke up early with this True Story running through my mind because I decided “Time Is Of The Essence”. Since life is unpredictable and we are only given “this, the moment we live in now” for sure we can not assume we have a tomorrow. I will come back to this thought later but I need to start at the beginning In 2007 I was working for Special Dispatch. I was in between Entrepreneurial Ventures and needed some extra money. My job was to drive my Van all over the State delivering things that were always deemed to be needed ‘yesterday”.
It seemed to get worse the next day and the next day. My Wife saw that I didn’t seem to be the same old dynamo that I usually was and wanted me to go to the doctor for a checkup but I was in Denial. After a week or so it got really bad and I missed work. I never missed work and by this time I began to get scared. Needless to say, I ended up in the Hospital and had to have a quadruple bypass caused by my idiotic need to feed my face! My heart was OK but the plumbing pipes were clogged with the butter, sugar, salt and Payday candy bars I loved so much! Stupid, wouldn’t you say? I ended up with the best Heart surgeon in Indiana, Dr. Revtek at IU Med Center and after the surgery went well and I was recovering he insisted I lose the extra weight! My heart was OK. but my arteries were really bad. Of course I said I would try! Of course, I didn’t. I graduated from “Know-It-All-University” as you know. It seems I have to learn everything the hard way. It turns out 2 years later
I did go to Weight Watches though and lost all the weight over just 42 months, (but for all the wrong reasons). As you can see, I am a slow learner! You can read that True Story called: “The Elvis Impersonator That Saved My Life”. You can follow this link to read the True Story now:
You probably know by now I like to sing and I am very involved with Music and Karaoke. What happened next changed that for me to my dismay! One day about 5 years ago I got an irritating bump on my the left side of my tongue and it was Cancerous. I had it removed and went on with my life. No Problemo. I never, ever smoked a cigarette, never drank a drop of liquor in my whole life and never ran around with naked women, so why me? Well, it turns out that for years I sang in smoky old bars and sat next to booze and naked old women too many times. Maybe that did it! LOL. Anyway, over the next few years the Tongue Cancer came back, (on the same side of my tongue), 3 more times. In a few years, I ended up with 1/3 of the left side of my tongue missing. To stop this Cancer I needed to have my tongue rebuilt. Believe it or not, I said “rebuilt”! My Surgeon was the best at doing this, (Dr. Goldenberg at IU Med Center).
He took skin off my wrist and my leg and rebuilt my tongue. He also took out 27 lymph nodes on the left side of my neck to be sure the cancer did not spread. It was the worst recovery period of my life and I could spend the next 1,000 words describing it, but I won’t. I ended up having to go through it again on the right side of my neck four months later and it was even worse. We took out even more lymph nodes on the right side. I have been through 20 months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments since the first operation. I have been pretty much home-bound for all that time recovering and as I write this I am still undergoing chemo and still home-bound. The hardest part is losing my voice. I sound like a frog when I talk and my volume and pronunciation of words is awful! It is hard to understand me on the phone. I don’t know if I will ever get my voice back. Radiation causes scar tissue to build up where the lymph nodes were removed and that chocked off my vocal chords.
After Multiple different tries at different kinds of Chemotherapy, my last PET-Scan showed that none of the prior Chemotherapies were stopping the Cancer from growing. As of today my Doctors are saying there is one final Chemotherapy option left to try. Unfortunately, they also informed me that there was only a 20% chance of the treatment working. I have to try the treatment and I still believe if anyone can beat this, it will be me. I don’t intend to quit or surrender to this challenge. My plan is to beat this Cancer Challenge. I start the new treatment next week for eight weeks and then get another Pet-Scan to see if it works or not. Wish me luck.
This sounds sooo bad, Huh? Well I am alive and healthy in every other way. I have kept the 101 pounds off for all these years, thanks to Weight Watchers and I have nothing to complain about. In fact, I haven’t had a cold or been sick other than this since I lost my weight and improved my diet. I have been fighting this Cancer challenge for over 20 Months now. If anyone is going beat it, it will be me! If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger, Right? I feel lucky to be alive. Once again my Guardian Angel is looking our after me.
With so much time on my hands I decided to finally finish my Book of True Inspirational Short Stories. My oldest Sister Liz was going to write it years ago. She was an excellent writer but she died of Lung Cancer caused by smoking. She knew all that I went through and we were sure it would make a good Book. So here I am, on the couch with Tinkerbell our puppy, writing my heart out for you. Are you inspired yet?
I had to fill you in on the past in order for you to understand the next part of the True Story. Going forward to today, 16 days after my 76th Birthday, I decided to write this particular True Story # 24 because I have a strong, long lasting pain in the middle of my chest as write this particular True Story. It started slowly 6 weeks ago and because of my having a quadruple bypass in 2007, I recognized the symptoms. I went to my wonderful Heart Surgeon to check it out right away. I found out that the Bypass Surgery generally last for 10 years and the Surgeon set me up for the Heart/Blood Vessels Scan to tell him where the blockage is. I thought Bypass Surgery fixed the problem for the rest of your life. It is a good thing I followed the Weight Watchers Program all these years or I would have died years ago. I had a Stress test and my Heart passed with flying colors but I did need for the operation that put in a “shunt-stint” into one of my blood vessels. Thank goodness my heart is strong and well. A week later, I was OK again as far as the pain in my chest was concerned. We can all learn from this, right? If you hurt, don’t wait to go to the doctor to check it out. I will survive this but if I don’t or something goes wrong, I have at least been writing my epitaph in this True Story and my Daughters will have to finish the Book. If I survive I will add on to this True Story and make it more Inspirational. No matter what, this particular True Story will be the last True Story on the Blog and/or the Book! I have no regrets! I have had the gift of a wonderful 76 years pf life and maybe I will have even more of a great life, God willing! Yes, I am inspired.
http://www.RoyLeeUnchained.Com I am Sooo Blessed!
Roy Lee Barrett