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Thursday, August 25, 2005 

Seriously now...

Warning: This is a long one. Grab some nachos and a drink and relax! :-)

It is after midnight here and I am doing alright. I should be sleeping but I just don't want to close my eyes. My endoscopy and colonoscopy were performed today and I tried to stay strong but I will share with that I was very, very scared. It is not the procedures that scare me. It is the possible results. There are not many people that I believe can see through the wall that I put up to hide the fear but there are a few.

Megan can see my fear. Her mother can see my fear. My mother can see my fear and my Grandma Rose could see my fear or even hear it in my voice if I was a million miles away from her.

For the first time all day I am alone right now just typing my heart into this machine and I am crying. I feel so relieved that it is over but at the same time I know that there is still an uphill battle to face. Directly in front of me there is a massive mountain that needs to be climbed. The damn thing is taller than Everest and I hope to God that I have the right gear to take me to the top.

But you know something...I made today count! I got new advice, new medicine and some news that I have never heard. So today may have been a little shaky but I have some shiny new tools to show for it and I will use them to help me climb the mountain!

Tomorrow will bring something new my way and I don't care if someone shows up at my house with a pile of dog crap. I'll just call Meg at work and say, "Honey did you order some crap?"

She will probably say something like, "No but don't throw it away! Maybe we can harden it in the sun and use it as a vase later. It will look much nicer with some flowers in it!" She is that sort of person! If we were in a flaming car crash and stuck in the car I would say, "We are finished! We are going to die here! She would say, "Come on now! We are warm and we are together. Just like every night at home in bed!"

So the medical news is...

  • I have developed an unusally large vein in my esophagus and according to Dr. Cheng (liver guru) we are lucky it did not rupture today with the insertion of the scope. I could have bled to death. Luckily he found it in time and has given me a low dosage blood pressure medicine to help battle it. Bleeding to death would be a bad deal.
  • The colitis and Crohn's disease seems to be under control for the moment. That is great news!
  • He took samples of my colon for a biopsy. That worries me. Cancer is not an option for my survival.
  • But the strangest thing is that my alkaline phosphate levels have doubled in the last three months and that is a very bad sign. They should range between 37-117 for a healthy person but mine are now at 451. That is pretty bad news. But at the same time, I am not turning yellow with jaundice and that is a blessing. Maybe my bile ducts are not clogged or in worse shape. More blood testing (evil needles) tomorrow should shed some light on this.
The best news is that my Oncologist will have CT scans, X-rays, today's test and biopsy results and several blood tests to look at to rule out cancer. Meg and I are 100% sure that I am cancer free. I mean we have a wedding to plan right? We have no time for cancer!

I am trying so hard here to stay strong guys! Thank you for reading this long post and for thinking about me through this rough time. You are all good people. Funny little angels all over the world with internet connections and golden hearts hell bent on soothing mine. God bless you all! Smile today! Smile everyday!

One more thing...I am having a problem with comments. After you type in the comment hit post just once and it should appear just once if you exit the comment box and reload the page.

Ginger, what is up with this blog genius? I know you can fix anything!!! :-) If not please have Bub come over with that new tractor and run something over!

Ruben- I cannot say that I know what you are going through- my own little scare with cancer was pretty freaky to us - so I am praying to no cancer, good luck with all the poking needles today, and lower those phosphate levels. You have important work to do here!! Sending prayers and hope from Texas! BerryGirl

I don't know what to say. No futile words of mine can make this easier for you, although I wish to God they could. Just know that I am so thankful you have Megan by your side. You are so brave! Yes you have fear, of course, but look how you are facing it! You are showing people what really matters and teaching us what it means to be strong. You still live. You still laugh. You still love. I'm saying a prayer for you, Ruben.

p.s. I'll see if I can check the comments when I get home this afternoon.

You know that you are special
When you can look beyond your troubles
And focus on the time you have.
Knowing each day counts.
Don’t give up,
I’m counting on you.
Dream big!

Hang tough Ruben. As always, you're in our thoughts.

Keep smiling Ruben and Megan! We are all praying for you here in Seattle. For you, from us:

Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Every moment, thank God.

You guys are an inspiration to us all, with you great attitude and those beautiful smiles. When you are on the other side of this (completely healed and cancer free) what a testimony it will be! Sending big hugs right now!

Wow. I wish I had the words to say to make everything better, but I can't seem to find them. All I know is that reading your words brings me happiness and joy, and you have been an inspiration to so many. Hang in there. We're all pulling for you.

Oh Ruben, I wish I could spend all the time in the world figuring out how to make this better for you. I'm not sure whether what you have is a rich white person disease or not, but if it is, there should be funding to study it somewhere. Science sucks that way.

But I'm sure there are people out there who are working to find out how to beat this. But I'm sure your positivity and love for life (and Megan) is probably doing you more good than all the drugs put together.

You're a star.

Each time I read your posts, I automatically think about my own life, my own health. I think about you and Meg and the daily trials you both endure because of your illness. I imagine you, sitting in a doctor's office, trying to smile, trying not to worry.

Ruben, no matter what kind of brave face you put on each day, those of us who have seen illness and pain in the faces of OUR friends and family know a little about your struggle to remain positive in the face of something so overwhelming.

By the grace of God alone, I enjoy good health. But tomorrow, that could all change for me...so I will continue to live each day like it is my last. I will chose to love fervently and completely without worrying about another heartbreak...I will make time to spend with my family and friends because none of us are guaranteed another day. I will not fail to make 'each day count'.

Thank you for reminding me, again, what life is really about.

Love to you and Meg, and looking for POSITIVE test results! The wedding will go on as planned :)

We ave tred to call ou 3 times esterday and you do not answer our calls. Ruben, I love you so very much and want your life to be lon and happy. Whether or not you feel like you deserve that.... You do. I am off to work.
I love you,

Ruben i wanted to let you know that yesterday was as hard for me as it was for you. I don't understand your silence and also don't understand your motives for not returning my calls. You might not know it but we feel the pain you endure daily. We love you and there is not a day that goes by that we don't pray for you. I trust in God that your life will get better. Love dad

I've never gone through this but if it happens, I hope my loved ones and I have half as much determination and optimism as you.

Ruben... I wish I could make you better. But your wonderful outlook and shiny personality shine through your words even through this deifficult time. I know God has great plans for you and Meg. You will long and happy. And tell us joyous stories everyday. :o) I am so glad that God has put you and your blog in my life. :o) I am honored to know you and chat with you. :o) Keep smilin'

God, you are so amazing. I'm not sure I would be strong enough to blog about this quite so eloquently. Mine would have a lot more CAPS and WHY GOD WHY's. But I'm a drama queen like that :)

I'll be thinking of you today, as I do every other day, during your blood tests. I wish I had something better to say than that, but you're truly amazing and will remain in my thoughts each and every day.

And I'm confident you'll make that wedding. I've never seen anyone so hell bent on something in my life!!!!

You have such dedication. I turned jaundice about a year ago... They never discovered what made me turn jaundice besides the riboflavins or whatever going crazy in my body. All they did was give me pain killers, and run lots of expensive tests, that determined nothing. I was so sick too, throwing up, really high fever, it felt like a severe kind of flu.... Anyways, I'm all better now, I really hope something about it doesn't come back to bite me in the ass though.

Keep your head up! Blessings always come in disguise, or so I'm told! :-D

So many people hear "bad" news about their health and just focus on the bad. These people are miserable, and they bring everybody else down. You have the ability to not only draw out the good and the positive in what can be perceived as a "bad" situation, but you manage to enlighten everyone else who crosses your path, and show them that the glass really is half full! You are truly one in a million!

You are one in a million

You are an inspiration, Ruben. I hope today's tests bolster yesterday's good news and explain the bad. You are so dedicated to the fight that I know you can conquer it, once you know what "it" is.

Being a mama myself, I gotta say. . .I hope you'll call your parents.

keep your chin up! I have faith that it will all work out. As you say, you have wedding plans. Being positive is the best medicine.

As to the question is my dh a "bad ass"? Not w. me and I wrote a tiny post about him. He does look like Mafia dude doesn't he. All sexy and stuff....

Smile, it's gonna be OK!

Oh dahlin' this world has to have you in it. There isn't an ounce of hope anyone can give you. You and Meg have it all already - keep your chin up and stay strong cowboy.

I am sending good thoughts your way!! Bless little Megan's heart, she is a good one. BIGG HUGGS for you!

Hope everything went well at the doctor today. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

Sending good thoughts your way.
Everyone else already said it best.

Blogger is a comment eating four letter word. :)

you are in my thoughts and prayers this day.

Hope you get more good news soon!

*handing you a tissue to wipe your wet eyes*

Ruben, I'm thinking happy thoughts for you and praying all your tests come back better than expected. As most have already said, you are a true inspiration for us with your positive outlook. Of course you're scared, but you don't give into it. You're stronger than this crap and will overcome it, marry Meg and live a long happy life! Few deserve it as much as you two do!

(((((BIG HUGS!)))))

Thinking of you and sending you lots of prayers and hugs.

One other thing-when you post a comment here, there is a pop up that comes up to say the message has been posted. If someone has all pop ups blocked, they then would not see that and know their message was received.

Hang in there Ruben!

You're in my thoughts everyday .. even though I don't get over here to comment everyday :P

Hang in there Ruben.... My thoughts and prayers are with you and Megan... Come and see me if I can help you in any way.. I hope you got my letter... I have a son about your age, I would be
heartbroken if he was in your situation and he shut me out.. Call your parents.... You need their love now..... You keep me smiling!!
and bring tears to my eyes.....

Man, Ruben.. you are amazing. I am humbled every time I visit your site. Some days, it's easy to get into a rut of self-pity when I think about my own health problems, and visiting here always reminds me that I need to be glad that I'm alive. And I am, and I'm glad that you are, too, because there are so very many of us out here who could stand to learn from you.

hang in there! i am sure you will be fine! the world is beautiful and hope is too!

Ruben, your words are so strong, you have more faith now than I have ever heard in your voice, you are a very strong person and in some ways you are very healthy..you keep right on thinking that the special angels will help you overcome anything..God bless you my grandson and you pray harder than you ever have in your life, God is powerful and he will help you through all this if you talk to him now and then, it won't hurt anything, I love you and you are in my thoughts and my prayers...keep in touch, as always, Grams

you are one of the strongest people i know. may God be with you.........afterall you have a wedding to plan....anything i can do to help you and your wonderful lady, please do let me know...even if it's just surfing sites for wedding stuff...since i planned one before i know how stressful it can be. hang in there trooper.

Aw, Ruben, you're amazing. As everyone else said already.

I have a request that no one else has asked in response to this though -

If Bub comes over and runs something over with a tractor can you please videotape it and share it here? That sounds like fun! :D

As you can see from the number of comments you are NOT alone my dear! We all care so much... Your sweet mom and dad worry over your silence, but I'm sure understand the magnitude of things you deal with--they deal with them as well. Talk to me anytime--I'm right here--just waiting...It's gonna be okay Ruben!!

Oh Ruben. Chin up, sweetheart. You're so beautiful.
And you have a wonderful woman there. Lucky man!

ruben, thanks for visiting me again...and thus reminding me to check in on you. keep your chin up. you are an inspiration for taking whatever mountains have been put in front of you and scaling them, with force and passion. you're doing great! fear is part of it. they journey wouldn't mean as much without it.

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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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