Tuesday, February 22, 2005 

The Itching

It is past 10:00 here tonight and I am exhausted but I cannot sleep. Megan and I had an amazing time in San Francisco over the weekend and it felt great to be able to celebrate our engagement. We did a great deal of walking in SF and I think that is what is taking a toll on me now. I have been tired all day today but unable to rest.

In addition to my sleepless state I am itching like crazy as a result of my liver disease and Megan is noticing bruises all over me again. One bruise on my arm is really bad and awful to look at but I have no clue how it got there. Right before I was diagnosed with the liver disease I slipped moving a washing machine and slammed my hand into it. My entire hand turned eggplant purple. It was nasty to look at but I was told that easy bruising is another side affect of my illness.

Needless to say, I am getting very scared. I had blood tests taken last week and Dr. Cheng will get back to me soon on those and I will most likely have to have another procedure done to clear my bile ducts. I am trying to stay upbeat and positive but I have spent an awful lot of time fighting back tears. I know that Megan is committed to me and that she will stand by me no matter the circumstance but for the life of me I don't know how she does it. I don't want her to see me in another recovery room wearing a gown and hooked up to machines. I don't want her to have to think about me losing this battle.

I had to put these feelings out here and just let them go. My heart is aching, my mind is racing and I know that I need to just take a deep breath and slow down but that is the hard part for me. That has always been the problem for me. Maybe I need to consider asking for a medicine to control anxiety. I am really at a turning point in my life right now and I want to move forward like a steam engine. I don't want to come to a skidding halt.

I hope all of you are well. Smile today!

Friday, February 18, 2005 

The Audio Post

this is an audio post - click to play

Click the little orange arrow above to hear my post. I will be using this cool service whenever I go somewhere and Megan won't let me take my laptop :-) Take care and smile!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005 

The Bumpy Road

I feel so lost tonight...again. It just seems like I am a walking disaster sometimes. I just spoke to Dr. Cheng, my primary liver doctor and he expressed concern in regard to some symptoms that I have been having. I have to go in tomorrow for some more blood work and then he wants me to schedule an ERCP to dialate my bile ducts again. This is all pretty standard for someone with the disease that I have but I still have fear.

This just comes at a time when I just want to live for a while. I just got engaged, school is going great this semester, I am writing and I am about to take off for a few days with Meg to celebrate our engagement. Meg is being understanding and supportive but I know that she is scared also. It feels like whoever paved the roads in my life had really poor equipment that left potholes all over the place!

I feel good getting this out of my system here and I know that I have quite a few people in my corner and that sure makes the fight easier. I'll let you all know what happens. Meanwhile I will do what I can to remain positive.

Smile today!

Also...I'm sure that you noticed that I added a homepage to my site. I plan on posting more photos soon and I thought that this would allow easier access to them. If you have trouble with this or you simply think it looks absolutely terrible please email me at ruben.porras@gmail.com or leave a comment here. Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 10, 2005 

The Stage Lights

***Quick technical note: Clicking on any photo will make it larger.***
Megan woke up this morning with a beautiful new diamond engagement ring on and I woke up with a renewed sense of dedication and faith in our love. It feels like we are new in love again; almost like we are falling in love all over again. I have this craving for ice cream shops, picnics, movies and long walks through downtown at night. I have the desire to do everything we did at the beginning of our relationship all over again. But we will do those things knowing that we will be married soon. We have sealed our commitment. We have decided to take a chance and fight the odds and put everything second to the most beautiful love that either one of us has ever known.

As I looked at her from the stage of the poetry event that I proposed at, her pretty face was filtered through the misty glow of stage lights. She was really enjoying my words and I could see that in her face. She has always enjoyed my words and I love her for that. We were surrounded by family and friends and probably at least 80 strangers and even though the house was packed I felt like we were the only people in the world. It is hard to explain how I feel today. I am happy and I feel passionate about everything.

I want pancakes. But I don’t want regular pancakes. I want gigantic fluffy buttermilk pancakes covered in thick syrup. That is how I feel about love I suppose. I don’t want simple love and easy love. I want love that I can consume and love that is heavy and hard to get through because I know that the harder that I work for this love the sweeter it will be. That may be an odd way to explain these feelings that are rushing through me but it is not easy to find the words. She is so pretty and so at peace with us. I am so lucky to be here and know that she has agreed to love me forever and ever.

Have a great today. Try to do what you can to experience love but remember that true love comes in all different shapes and sizes. My Grandfather loved his gardens. Our puppy loves his little green squeaky frog. I once knew a man that loved to sing in the park. Smile today. Smile everyday.

One more thing...Megan and I would like to thank Sam Pierstorff and Greg Edwards for making our engagement incredibly special. Sam and Greg share the mic as the hosts of Slam on Rye, a monthly poetry competition here in Modesto, CA. For more information on slam poetry click here.Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 06, 2005 

The Morning Glow

The three of us (Meg, Hector and I) are relaxing on the porch right now. Meg has just brought me a huge plate of fresh fruit for breakfast and she is now lost in a book, Hector is practicing the fine art of shoelace digestion and I am here with you typing along. In the background John Mayer covers a classic by The Police and the morning sun wraps us all in its gentle arms. This is the life.

I walked to The Queen Bean this morning and as I walked through the park near our house I watched as homeless men woke and stretched and basked in the rays. They must have a rough life but I often wonder if some of them enjoy their lives. Maybe a life as a nomad seeking soft ground or a covered entryway to duck the rain is not such a bad way to go. Maybe just saying, "fuck this cruel painful world" just makes everything easier. I should sit down and talk with some of them soon. I bet that they have the best stories that I could ever imagine. Stories of lost love, battles with the bottle and stories about fighting long bouts of heartbreak and loneliness. I would still be drinking even through the liver disease if Meg and the babies had not given me a reason to want to stop. Maybe I would have ended up in the park clutching a bottle and nursing a pounding head. I wasn't very far from that life after losing Carolyn. It is strange that the loss hurt but ended up just causing more anger and frustration than anything else. It was better that she went away.

My uncle David died because he would not quit drinking after he was told that he had diabetes. His kidneys could not hold the weight of his painful life any longer and he let go of his wife and children much earlier than he should have. I would have liked to have known him better. I would have liked to have understood his way of thinking.

I will end for this for now and continue forth with my lazy day. Kenny Chesney is filling the air now with the tropical sounds of his new album titled, Be As You Are (Songs From an Old Blue Chair) and Megan has moved her chair closer to the lawn to capture as much sun as possible. Her hair is glowing and her eyes glisten when I am lucky enough to have her look my way. I am glad that I looked her way so long ago. She rescued me. I may never truly understand why.

Saturday, February 05, 2005 

The Fire Inside

I took this picture of Megan in our backyard this morning. She keeps a book of photos that chronicles her journey after her weight loss surgery. She looks so amazing now (112 pounds down) and I felt that way before the surgery also. I told her that I would always walk with her as long as her heart never changed and she never lost the fire that burns inside of her eyes.

This week has been very difficult for me. I am having a great deal of trouble with my ex-wife in regard to the girls and I feel like just giving up. She was able to convince Lauren's school that I cannot pick her up in an emergency situation and that really took a toll on me. It's all so hard to explain. In short though...we have joint physical and legal custody and there is a court order reflecting that but it is never enforced if she violates it in any way. It is rough to be a father in California. I just don't know what to do anymore about the girls. I love them very much but she has managed to take all my rights away as a father and that is killing me inside. I know that I have a future with Megan and that is beautiful but I still have a past that is alive and breathing and they need their Daddy. My ex-wife grew up with various fathers and none of them ever gave a damn about her. One of their wives beat the hell out of her as a little girl and her father took the side of his partner. I am lucky that Megan loves the girls and even though she does'nt really express to me how she feels I know that it hurts her a great deal when we do not see the babies. Why is life so damn hard sometimes? I am trying hard to not fall deep into another battle of depression but there are times when I feel like I am falling into that dark place. I don't want to cry now. I don't want to medicate myself to sleep so I don't have to be awake for the pain. I am so lost. My heart is breaking over the girls.

There is some good though. We are planning a romantic trip to San Francisco and I have booked a great hotel in Union Square and an amazing restaraunt so that will take me away for a while. Also, my article in the paper I wrote about in my last post comes out very soon and it will be nice for me to read my words there. I am trying to write as much as possible lately. Writing truly keeps my heart beating and my blood pumping. I am trying to live as much as possible in the world at the tips of my fingers where the music never stops and the pain is easier too manage. Maybe I am getting lost too far inside this new world. I just don't know how to feel. Thank you for reading my scrambled thoughts. Thank you for giving a broken man a chance to piece himself back together.

Please smile today. A young woman at the mall smiled at me today and then asked my name because she said that I looked familiar to her. I had no idea who she was but she shined for a minute and I needed that light. Have a blessed day. Share your light. It lives inside your eyes just like Megan's light does. 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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