Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Medical Weed in the state of Florida: Two years ago the people of Florida spoke, and demanded medical marijuana in the state. Since then the state has done a lot to try to block it, and tie it up in research. Last night I saw the governor on the news, he says he's gonna push it through by the end of the week, because he's not gonna deal with the lawsuits if he doesn't.
So I'm glad the governor saw something. I'm sorry he's worried about lawsuits and not sick people.

The office sends me an e-mail with all of the information. I have to pay $300 for the first seven months. After that it's $250 for seven months. Keep in mind that is just to see the doctor. You still have to buy the weed from the dispensary. Your insurance cannot cover it because it is illegal in america to get weed with insurance.
The problem with this is that I have cancer. I am on disability. It's cheaper for me to keep smoking street weed, than get the medical stuff. So what's the point? I understand that is part of life. There are some things you want that you just can't afford to buy. But this is medical. Should it be dealt out of compassion or good old american greed. Don't know the answers, just a rant.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Treatment Round 2 Day 6:
Today I'm gonna write about my walks with the dogs. Living out here in rural Florida can be treacherous. We literally live in the woods. All the roads are dirt except the highway.
If we walk all the way down the road we live on it bends around and comes back. There is a large dirt trail that goes over the top of the neighborhood. If we take that the total trip is two miles. The trail is mostly dirt, too thick for a car to go through it. This makes it popular with local trucks and atv's. There is one house on the trail. The road holds up until you get to it.
In that house there is a brown pit bull. I think it means harm. These peoples fence is wide open so it can get out. I think it means harm, but that dog is scared of me.
The first time I saw it it was just a puppy. He had a little brother living with him which was grey. The brown one came walking toward us, just calm like he wasn't gonna do anything. I looked back to see his little grey brother sneaking up behind us in an attack formation. So I waited for the brown one to get close enough and I kicked it square in the nose.
He flew back to the side of the road, his brother went over to check on him, and we just kept walking. He is still scared to come close enough to me. Since that incident I have bought pepper spray. I have only used it once.
You see the grey brother, he doesn't live there anymore. He lives wild, out in the woods. When I see him he always comes out of the woods somewhere. He'll follow us down the street. When he gets close enough Docker will start snapping at him. Docker wants to play with almost every dog he sees. Even if the dog is acting like it's gonna kill him.
The first time I used the pepper spray I only got him on the nose. I was hoping it would burn and he would just back off. But he kept coming at us, so I had to get him in the eye. He wiped his eye with his paw for a minute, looked at us and tried to decide if it was worth it, then turned around. I was glad the pepper spray didn't hurt him that bad.
Anyway there is a road that connects us back to the road that we live on. If we take that it's a mile and three quarters, and that is the way we normally go.
If I don't feel like going the whole way there is a path that goes back to a clearing. This clearing I like to call the neighborhood dump. People dump stuff all over around here. People are pretty poor around here and the dump cost seventy-five cents a bag. There is no garbage pick up. Anyway most of the stuff gets dumped in this clearing.
Two days ago on my walk I saw some guy dumping a bunch of chopped up trees back there. If I had brought my phone with me I would have called the cops. As we walked around and back I saw him going back with another load.
There is one more road that cuts through the middle, but I try to avoid that road. There is just one house on it. Gator is some kind of hound mix, the dogs love her. When we walk by she comes out, goes right for the hole in the fence and follows us. The little girls that live there come out. You can understand about half of what they say. Some southern English dialect.
Anyway they say they don't want her to go. She might not come back. So they physically tackle her, and roll around on the ground with her trying to hold on to her. I just keep walking. Eventually she gets loose and I'll hear her coming up behind us. It goes on with this cycle as long as it does. I caught her for the girls a couple of times. It's just best to avoid that.
There are more dangerous things than other dogs around here. There are coyotes which are only big dogs, but they are nocturnal and only come out at night. Even if I let Docker out in the fence at night I usually go out with him to make sure he doesn't get snatched through the fence.
Anyway I'm trying to blog more, which means write more. Just a look at where we live now. I'll be back in a day or two.  

Monday, February 4, 2019

Round 2 Day 3: The treatment is worse this round. I feel weaker. The first round was a wash. I have pills that I am supposed to be taking after day 10, and I'm supposed to take anti-nausea pills with them which I did, and I still threw up about an hour after taking the second pill for the first time. The pills have to be taken with food and I could not eat after that.
My doctor suggested that he find a new dosage that I can take, and we start over with the second round. Those pills are supposed to be taken all together four at a time so the doctor suggest that I take them like the others half at a time, and maybe start taking the anti-nausea stuff the day before.
The scans show there is new cancer growing and I can feel it. I can feel it as I get tired, I can feel it as my legs get heavier. I can feel it taking more out of me and I need to finish this treatment to fight it before there is nothing left of me. I don't even write much anymore. I can't read that much.
So with the updates all out of the way, I want to talk about family. There's an old saying that says blood is thicker than water. This is bullshit as far as I'm concerned.
Two Christmas's ago came down to Florida to see my family. Honestly I felt like I was dying and feared it may be the last time. So it's Christmas day and I'm too weak to get off my mothers couch. Too weak to pick up my cell phone really. My Aunt calls. My father is very disappointed that I haven't called him yet. She even says that she does not believe that I am too weak to do it.
So I call my father which of course by now is not a pleasant conversation. Why could my father not pick up his phone and call me instead of getting all mad? In fact I was in the next town over. He could have gotten up and come to see me. He could not make that effort yet he is mad at me?
Honestly I am disgusted  about the way I have been treated here. I have a lot of family in Florida and I can say one person has made the effort to come see me. That was my uncle's wife.
I've called my dad. He's never called me. The last time I called him I had just had my last surgery. That would be August two years ago. He just sighed loudly when I called like he was annoyed or something. Wasn't much of a conversation. At that point I decided that he was gonna call me next time, and I would wait and see how long it takes him to do that. I am still waiting. I am his son, so I know I can be just as stubborn as he can be. I don't owe him respect, I don't owe him anything.
On a side note my friends from Toledo did pack my stuff and my dog into a truck and moved it all down here. Plus they came down to visit me.  

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.