Wednesday, September 29, 2004 

The Findings - HEALTH UPDATE

Well, it's not Ruben this time...and this writing won't been nearly as informative, captivating or eloquent as his. I'll leave that to him when he's up to it.

Ruben asked me to post to everyone about what has gone on in the past week. As you know from the previous post, Ruben was taken by ambulance Thursday to the hospital after waking me in severe pain. Friday morning he was released from the emergency room after blood work came back normal and was told that he just may start experiencing intense episodes of pain due to the state of his liver. Friday I ran him around for more blood work and testing and we then spent the entire weekend at home allowing him to rest. He was still sore and shaky and in pain, but not nearly as bad.

Monday afternoon my Grandmother again rushed Ruben to the emergency room this time for pain much worse than before in his right side (liver area) , back, fever, and a feeling he described as, "Someone sitting on my chest." After long hours of waiting, he was admitted into the hospital overnight for pain control and further testing. I contacted his parents and they came down that night and have been staying in our home since.

After going through many circles the diagnosis is that Ruben has a very inflamed and infected Gallbaldder. He is going in for surgery tomorrow at 8AM to have it removed. We have spoken extensively with both his Gastrointeroligists and the doctor's at the hospital and they all feel that although he has higher risks going into surgery because of his other diseases, the risks of not taking his gallbladder out could be much higher. So, tomorrow we fight this battle and climb over this hill. If all goes well, he will come home Friday sometime and Saturday we will cuddle together for the first time in a week on the couch and watch movies in celebration of out two-year anniversary...and there is nothing more I want in the hole world than that for our special day. His parents will be staying with us through Sunday, and then back again next weekend if needed. It's so nice to have them close right now! They have been life savers this week!

As soon as he is up to it I'm sure Ruben will tell you all about his experience. Most of you have only been following him so closely for the last few months with this site and watching his fight, but we have been fighting things since we got together. We have battled many obstacles with life and short comings and both of our health issues. Just six months into our rocky relationship I had to tell Ruben that he had this terrible disease. It's funny how life works and what God lays out for you. Most new couples would have given up if their first six months were as rough as ours, but something told us to keep working at it and I know now that if we wouldn't have gone through so much prior to his diagnosis then we would not have made it through that. But, everything happens for a reason and everything before and since has made us as a couple and as individuals so much stronger. I know we will get through this just fine too, and hopefully surgery tomorrow will help him to feel a little healthier than he has the last few weeks.

Many Prayers, warm wishes, and good vibes will be much appreciated tonight and tomorrow...and daily. I know God will get him through this and bring him home to me, to all of us. Still sick, or healthy, I just want to walk through our door and see him in our home soon! There is nothing that warms my heart more than to see his smile when I get in each evening, even when I know he's hurting behind it. There is something about us being together that just takes everything away. Anyway, I didn't mean for this to be so long when I started out. Some of you have never met Ruben, but follow this blog almost daily. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind hearts and encouraging words. There's not a day that goes by that he doesn't say, "Honey you have to read what so-and-so wrote on my blog today." You all give him hope and whether I ever meet you or not, I am forever in debt to you. Thank you.

Saturday, September 25, 2004 

The Ambulance Ride - HEALTH UPDATE

It is Saturday afternoon here and I am reflecting back at the past week or so. My Oncology appointment went well and I appear to still be cancer free and that is a blessing! It is just so hard for me to go to appointments like that because the doctor tries to be sincere and helpful but she knows that she must tell me that even though the cancer is remission that I still suffer from all the other diseases that I have and my life is still at risk. It may sound crazy but I often wish that I only had cancer. I know that cancer is something that people don’t ever want to get but I would take it in heartbeat because there are some treatments available for it. There is not a damn thing that can be done for my liver and that really makes me sad. I am just frustrated.

Anyway...On Thursday I was mowing our front lawn and I started feeling strange. Usually I have enough oomph (is that a word?) to mow both the front and back yards but I just could not muster up the strength. I was becoming winded quickly and feeling lethargic and disoriented.

At 11:30 that night I was reaching across the bed like a maniac and yelling for Megan and pain was raging through my right side like a cyclone. I was hyperventilating, crying and fighting for breath and as usual Meg was calm and organized and she got me to the hospital right away. That hospital could not do the tests that I needed and I was taken by ambulance to another hospital. I have never been in an ambulance before and that scared the hell out of me. The whole way there in that ambulance I was in and out of sleep but I could not help asking myself..."Is this the way that I will have to live now? Will this be what I end up going through frequently?"

So the tests were done and I was released. I feel much better now that the pain is gone and I have settled down. One of my gastroenterologists will evaluate the results on Monday and they will determine what if anything they can do from here to help me. I may have to have my bile ducts dilated again.

I just don’t know how to feel. I am starting to isolate myself again and I feel depressed. My parents even wanted to come visit me and I told them no. I had no right to do that. They just want to see me while I am healthy but there are just so many issues that I don’t want to deal with in regard to them so I leave them out of my life. I know that they love me and just want to help but I just don’t know what to do. I just long for peace.

This week I will do my best to alright and safe. I am tired of being tired. I am sick of being shakey. I am done with being in pain. But alas, this is my life and I shall accept it. There has to be something that can be done to save me. But while I am waiting for the doctors to save my body...have I already lost my soul? That is the question I need to focus on now.

Have a great week and smile. Thank you for the dedication, understanding and faith. Thank you for letting my words just flow. It means a lot for me to be able to put my emotions on these pages.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004 

The Rain Tears

I have been wanting to write a story for a long time and I thought that I would write it in pieces and post it here for others to read if they are interested. I have not written for a long, long time but I have to start somewhere I guess. Here it goes....

The Rain Tears

The last time I saw her she was walking alone in the rain. Her head was hung low and she was soaked from head to toe. It was almost impossible to tell that she was crying because the rush of water from overhead soaked her face but I could tell. I could always tell.

We met two months before I decided to give up on us. I knew in my heart that she cared for me and wanted me to make more of an effort but I couldn’t risk the heartache that could occur so I walked away from her. Actually it was more of a run. I ran as fast as I could; just as fast as I had run from so many other things in my life but this time was different. I recall the confusion that came over me that night when I realized that I had left something behind and that confusion literally sacred the hell out of me. I had never left anything behind before. I always walked away with my things packaged neatly and my feelings safely tucked inside my steel heart. I always walked away knowing that there was nothing that would ever give me a reason to return. I had a way of making the memories fade and the emotions cease to exist.

But that night was different and as I sit down now to think about it I realize that seeing her walking away actually hurt me. When I watched the others walk away nothing ever really occurred to me. Nothing ever really came back to harm me. But watching her was frightening and sad and for the first time in my life I knew that I was wrong and that I would forever see her in my mind. She would forever haunt my heart.

As she walked away my mind went through a crazy slideshow. The kind that you see in a soap opera dream sequence as a woman is being kidnapped by mobsters or a man is having chest pains. Images of her nude in Mexico cut through me violently and rapidly just like the images of her and I first meeting. The reality of the images devastated me and as I stood there watching her walk away I actually began to cry. Thoughts and questions burned through me like a river of red and orange boiling lava about to swallow a small town. I recall saying quietly to myself, "What the hell was wrong with me? I don’t cry. I don’t give a damn. There is always another girl. There is always another night." I was drowning in the heated pain that swirled within me and there was nobody to save me. There were no sticks to grab onto to escape the burning flood inside of me. I knew right then that I may never feel alive again.

So standing there with my heart on fire and my mind racing faster than I have ever seen a race car drive I felt lost. I felt broken. I felt dead inside. I had felt like this once before in my life and I promised myself then that I would never allow myself to hurt again but I could just not help it this time. All I could see were her eyes when I closed mine. Her eyes were as big as saucers and as blue-green as the Caribbean ocean. All I could hear was the sound of her voice and the beating of my heart. I was standing on a busy street corner in San Francisco surrounded by people and cars and clubs alive with music and all I could hear was the purr-like whisper of her soft voice. It echoed through me like she was standing in a canyon and screaming out for me to love her. I wanted so much to scream out to her. I wanted her to stop walking. I wanted to hold her and keep her safe. I wanted to make her tears stop and shelter her from the rain. But it was too late.

The last time I saw her she was ducking into a dirty old yellow cab with her head hung low. The last time I saw her she was crying and I was standing alone with a broken heart that I was not supposed to have.

To be continued... Posted by Hello

Thursday, September 16, 2004 

The Old Days

I just found this picture on the web as I was just digging around for pictures taken in the year that I was born. It was strange and very, very depressing to me that alot of pictures taken in 1975 were black and white! How freakin' old am I? :-)

Anyway when I saw this picture I thought about my Mom. It is hard to believe that just 30 years ago she was a free spirited hippie chick. I wish that I could have known her then. Luckily for me though she still remains very free in her spirit. Approaching 50 she just got her nose pierced and I like that about her.

I guess that I have been feeling a bit nostalgic lately. Yesterday I walked to the college and I noticed a melted popsicle on the ground and shoes hanging from an electric line. It is funny the things that take you back!

My cancer appt. is in just a few hours and I am scared. I know that my cancer is in remission but I still worry about it coming back. I pray that there is no cancer in my back. Cancer is the reason that I cannot have the liver transplant that could save my life. I just feel too damn young to deal with all of this.

If you have some time try to find something to take you back to the time when you chased ice cream trucks and scraped knees climbing trees. What the heck...go chase an ice cream truck and climb a tree! I don't have any idea who the women in this photo are but I hope that they still look at it once in a while and smile. I hope their children have seen it! Smile today and be free. We are all lucky to have every day that we have to live and breathe! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 

The Border

I just saw this photo and I thought that it was very interesting. This sign is now at major border crossings all over the U.S. The child flying behind her parents is very sad to me. It is pretty powerful what people do to try to seek out a life that they feel will be better for them.

Anyway, my oncology appt. is coming up and it is really on my mind. I am sure thankful for all the kind words that I have received in support! I would really like to thank Debi and Nicole out there in the blogosphere for the great comments and kind words.

I really don't have a whole lot to say this time because my mind is just elsewhere I guess. I will do my best to keep this blog going. Hopefully I will have great news to post soon. Please don't give up on me yet! :) Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 08, 2004 


I went to visit my primary doctor yesterday and I think that the visit was helpful in a way. He wants to do some more research on my lower back tenderness and pain and he hopes that the research will lead to a better understanding of the pain that I constantly feel there. I have an appointment with my oncologist on 09/16 and my primary doctor believes that my oncologist will reorder many of the same tests that were done to diagnose my cancer initially just to verify that I am still doing fine in that regard. Those tests may also help to determine the back pain and if they don't more tests will be done. When he was examining my back the doctor did feel a small lump but he said that it could be a million different things and that I should just wait to get test results before I get worried about the chance that more cancer could be present.

For pain relief in the meanwhile the doctor has prescribed Oxycodone because it is essentially like the Percocet that I was taking except that it is a bit more powerful and does not contain acetaminophen which can be be very dangerous to my liver in high dosages.

Thanks again for reading my updates and stay tuned for more. Posted by Hello

Sunday, September 05, 2004 

The Pain

I sat down today and organized my pills for the week and it struck me that this is what my life has really come down to. For the rest of my life I will consume over twenty pills per day to eliminate everything from acid reflux to pain and I will rely on these pills to help me to live as long as possible. It makes me wonder; Is it worth it to live this way? These pills cannot cure my liver or stop the cancer from creeping back into my body. These pills offer no help to me other than pushing me painful day at a time.

Maybe I am just depressed today. The last few days have been very painful and the pain is getting worse and more frequent. A few nights ago I fell during a dizzy spell in my yard and I was all alone. I was so scared. I did not know if I could get up. Last night Meg and I decided to walk around Target just to grab a few things and kill some time and we were really having an enjoyable time until the pain came again. Grabbing a shelf for support as my eyes fought back tears I realized that one of these spells will hospitalize me one day. One of these spells could be fatal. But I did not fall last night and I was glad to have Megan there with me. She has always been the one to catch me when I fall.

So life has been funny lately. I am having trouble with math, I have not taken enough time to read and Meg and I have had a few more little arguments than I like to have but you know what...I am alive today and she is here caring for me and she can take away the pain. She can do what the pills cannot do. A kiss can be more powerful than Percocet. Passion can be more beneficial than Protonix. I feel better now that I got these feelings out and let them free. Thank you again for reading my rantings. Posted by Hello

Thursday, September 02, 2004 

The High Wind

I am feeling really sad today reading all this information about Hurricane Frances. For the second time in only 3 weeks residents of Florida are boarding up and heading out and just praying that when they return they will have a home and that their loved ones survive.

Hurricane Frances is supposed to be as fast as Charley but wider in distance. This will be a devestating beast that will consume Florida. Ed Rapaport of The National Hurricane center was quoted as saying, "This is a much bigger storm than Charley was, maybe two to three times the size. There'll be a large area of damage when this comes ashore."

I live in California and others that read my rantings are all over the world but today we should all direct our prayers to Florida. The loss of life and property could be massive there. This is a very sad day when we should all be lucky to be ok no matter what our unique situations may be. Posted by Hello

About me

  • I'm Ruben
  • From Modesto, California, United States
  • This space could be a million lines long but I will try to make a long story short. In April of 2003 I was diagnosed with a rare terminal liver disease and treated for Hodgkin's Lymphoma in my neck. Because of the combination of diseases and amount of liver damage, doctors estimate that I have between 2 and 5 years to live. Hence the name of this site, "Each Day Counts." If I cannot win this battle I will fight, love and travel until the very end!
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