Monday, September 17, 2018

So I went to see an oncologist last week. The insurance company says all he has to do is file an out of network request. Once that gets denied they will be able to release me.
The oncologist takes a look at the treatment we are trying to get and says, "Oh, I know a guy that's trying to get this set up here locally. Let's see how that's going."
He takes out his phone and calls the guy, and asks him how it's going.
"We're about a month away. Just waiting on funding."
"Well I'm sitting here with another potential patient of yours, he needs the treatment."
"That's excellent. I just got another new patient refereed to me this morning."
"Well I'll cc you on his charts so you can track his progress."
The doctor then reads the letter from the insurance company. "If he takes too long to get this going, maybe a month or two, then we'll go this way." Holding the letter.
Isn't that just the best of luck? Or maybe it is in disguise. Oh well the wait continues.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

So after about a decade of being head Poetry editor at Red Fez I have stepped down. The truth is the preservation of literature in the modern society is more important than ever. The truth is the way I've been feeling I cannot even imagine trying to do this upcoming issue. I just need to clear my plate and focus on staying alive.

Friday, August 31, 2018

So last night I was printing out a letter that my doctor's social worker had sent, from my doctor to send to the state medicaid commission. I don't think I was supposed to read it. It just stated what I can already tell is going on. I mean it's my body. Right?
The letter stated that the cancer is growing at an alarming rate, and if I don't receive treatment soon I could die.
With all of the depression and pain that comes with cancer I have to say that I'm not ready to die just yet. Why not? Well I've got a reading coming up in Gainesville on September 29th. My people that I met through Poetry in the Midwest are all coming down. Crazy times ahead when we all get together, and I'm sure this will be no different. There will be plenty of laughs and laughter is the best medicine as I have found.
Another reason is that I've got a novel. I wrote it while busting my ass in a factory in Toledo with cancer, just to make ends meet. I keep thinking of things I need to add to it. It's not quite ready yet. I have to make sure this novel sees the light of day. It's never gonna be a best seller. I just need to know that it's out there before I leave.
I can tell the cancer has been getting worse. My legs have been getting heavier, the back pains have been getting worse, and I've had less energy.
Right now I'm kind of conflicted as to how to think of my doctor for keeping this from me. Part of me says he did it for my own good. Part of me says he should have told me. I guess we should hear about the treatment soon and this will not be an issue.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

   I often ask myself how we got here as a country. Two months ago my doctor started to try to get me cancer treatment at Moffit Cancer Hospital in Tampa. It turns out Moffit does not deal with the Medicaid company I have, so we have to change it. After two months of listening to different people try to tell us how we do it, we finally seem to be reaching the end.
   I know my doctor has his entire staff working on it. I called there to tell them what I found out today, the guy told me he was familiar with my case and they were already aware of the last step, and they are trying to figure out a way around it. I should hear from them tomorrow, if not by noon on Monday. If not call them after noon.
   So maybe the end is in sight. The hoops that poor people have to go through just to get cancer treatment.
   This morning I woke up and had bad back pains, what I know of this is that if I don't sit down and chill out when I start to get back pains or I'm just gonna throw up for hours. So I let the dog out and sat down and chilled for a while.
   I had to drive to the hospital and get my injection today so I got to where I could do that and drug myself out of the house. The lady from the insurance company called me while I was on my way.
   "Hello Michael."
   "I hope it's a good time."
   "I was just driving to the hospital to get my injection."
   "You drive yourself?"
   "How far is it?"
   "It's about fifty miles."
   "You drive yourself fifty miles to get your injection?"
   "Well how do you feel today?"
   "I woke up and I had back pains. When it get back pains I need to sit down for a while or I'll start throwing up."
   "So how did you go from there to driving yourself fifty miles to the hospital?"
   "The pain goes away. I knew what time I had to leave. I just made sure I was ready." I neglected to tell her there might have been a couple of hits of marijuana involved. What can I say? I try to move forward.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

   So we pretty much live in the woods. I walk the dogs every day. When it's not Summer there are two female turkeys that hang around the neighborhood. You can see a lot of little rabbits in the woods. One day I was walking down the street and I saw a fox in the middle of the road. Of course it saw me walking two dogs toward it, and it took off into the woods. One night I was outside after midnight I saw a coyote in our neighbors yard.
   I bought a garmin watch so I would know how far everything is. I figured out if we walk all of the way around the neighborhood it's two miles.
   There are some pit bulls. There were two puppies, you can look at them and tell they were brothers. There house has a fence around it. The gate was left wide open. They both came out. The one came up to us from the front. I looked back to see the other sneaking up on us from behind. I recognized the attack formation, and waited for the one coming from the front to get close enough. I kicked it right on the nose.
   The dog flew back and sat on the side of the road stunned. His brother that was sneaking up behind us ran over to check on him. We just kept walking.
   Since then I've gotten pepper spray. The last time we walked by their house the one that I kicked came out. It was fully grown now. Just him. He was starting to chase us, I just reached in my pocket and pulled out the pepper spray. As soon as that dog saw that canister of pepper spray in my hand it sat down at the end of it's driveway.
   The Florida heat and humidity does make the walk difficult. Just about every day I'm covered in sweat. Some days I overdo it and pay for it.
   There is a big bulldog that lives down the street with our closest neighbors. He comes down and plays with the little dogs through the fence. Sometimes when we walk he'll come along. It's kind of funny. He'll get behind the little dogs and kind of nudge them along with his nose.
   There is a horse that lives down the street. Every day Docker yips at him, and he does his little horse dance for him. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

   So after over two years I'm back doing this blog. I guess I just need the creative outlet. So why did I stop in the first place? Not that I owe anyone an explanation but here it is. I had a family member trolling this blog and not telling me. Just waiting for me to write something that they did not agree with so they could start a shitstorm. I just wasn't into this blog for a long time. But now ask me how many fucks I give.
   I guess we have some catching up to do. It's been so long, so much has changed. So when I last posted I was living in Toledo, Ohio. I was convinced that I was dying. I could not get up to do anything without having these pains in my back, and if I pushed them too far I'd be throwing up. The doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me.
   So two Christmas's ago my mom talks me into coming home for Christmas in Florida one last time. I get there and I can't get up off the couch. Finally she takes me to the hospital, and they figure out what's wrong with me.
   I was very close to death at this point. I remember once the nurse came into my room all panicked saying that my bowels had fallen asleep, and I needed to get up and moving around to get them back going. This sounded funny to me. I had never heard of anyone's bowels falling asleep. My friend Drew's wife is an OBGYN so I texted him and asked if your bowels can fall asleep. He texted back right away "No!". So I was terrified. I was up and walking around that hospital so quick.
   So after several surgeries down south the doctor decided she could do no more for me. She needed to send me to a bigger hospital with a university. She said there we would find a doctor that could handle this,
   She sent me to Shands in Gainesville. When I was seeing the Endocrinologist before the surgery she noticed that I had a rare kind of cancer. She knew a doctor that worked at the VA Hospital across the street and also did some work with them, who was one of the few experts in the country at the kind of cancer that I have. So she asked him to sit in on my appointment.
   Right away as soon as I walked in the room he asked me, "I'll bet every doctor that you've seen has told you there is no cure for the cancer that you have." Right away I just knew he was my doctor and he is still to this day. We moved into the woods outside of Gainesville so I can see him.
   Make no mistake. Cancer is fight of anyone's life. Every day you are fighting just to exist. I am glad I am not fighting alone. My doctor is definitely fighting right beside me. Right now he is trying to get me treatment at Moffit Hospital. We are just going through the red tape with Medicade and such.
   Anyway they finally fixed the problem. When you have multiple surgeries and you have cancer, what can I say? Recovery is a very slow thing. You start to think you'll never be the same again, and maybe you won't be.
   I think I've rambled on enough for now. Maybe I'll write more tomorrow. Maybe not.