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Meaning of life

"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." ~ Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Leaving on a Jet Plane

The last few months have been a whirl wind of events. After spending Thanksgiving in Detroit, I arrived home for a very short period. Soon I found myself back in the air, on my way to MD Anderson for a complete check-up and to have cataract surgery in my left eye. My right was done over 2 years ago, just after my cancer surgery. I’ve never been happy with the result, so I’ve put this off. I figured it’s time to just do it and get it over with.

With anxiety running high, I always find myself stressed when it comes to these regular check-ups. My mind twirls. Has my cancer returned? What will I do if it does? Should I begin to mentally prepare for more surgery? Maybe the cancer has traveled. Take a Xanax...ahhh all better!

After all my tests (CT, X-rays, and blood work) all was looking well. I was just too tired to report in at the time. My white cell counts are normalizing, but my red counts are still low. My eye surgery was scheduled for the next morning and I had already been seen by the anesthesiologist.

It was now time to see my dear friend and surgeon, Dr. Stella Kim. The staff ran me through a battery of eye tests. Then we did the same ones all over again. I assumed they were just being thorough. After a few hours of this, Dr. Kim entered with her sweet demeanor and said, “Sweetie, I have some not so good news. I am unable to perform your eye surgery. Going by your results, insurance won’t pay for it.”

OK, now I’m puzzled. What is the problem? It seems that my vision in my left eye, which was 20/80 in 2007, is now 20/30. After two years of recovery my vision no longer qualifies for cataract surgery to be paid by insurance. A script for glasses is plan of action. But, I have to ask…Is this normal? I guess it’s a good thing, but sounds odd to me. Can your eyesight actually get that much better with time??

With my trip to Houston cut short and Christmas only a few weeks away, I thought I would continue the road trip and travel on to visit my mom for the holidays. She was again in a rehab facility, but I was told I could break her out for Christmas! Poor mom has spent her last 3 Christmases and birthdays in rehab or hospital.

With the Rain Comes a Storm

Upon my arrival, mom had the flu and I was not allowed to take her home and Christmas was once again a bust for mom. She lost all her momentum and was basically back to square one on her rehab progress due to the set back, a month of rehab down the drain.

I’m also beginning to suspect that this rehab facility, which once worked miracles on mom, was beginning to lose its effectiveness. There has been a major turnover in staff and I have to admit I’m not happy with what I am witnessing. The place has gone down hill. Mom spent all of last month trying to recover. A bit brokenhearted, I returned home to wait for her release.

I’m exhausted, I know I’m pushing myself too much and I’m trying not to give into the fact that my body is drained, coupled with pain in my jaw causing me trouble. For this reason I have not been very active on my blog. I have been preparing for mom’s release and when I catch you all up, you’re going to be surprised at the outcome. When I find more energy I will fill you all in on "The Circle of Life.”

Thank you for all for your emails and phone calls with your concerns.

Peace B


Leah said...

I am hoping your strength is returning to you and that you are feeling stronger emotionally as well. I have been taking care of my husband for the last twenty-three years and I know the emotional drain of watching a loved one rollercoaster back and forth can have on the caretaker. Please, remember that you must conserve and protect your strength. If you are worn out neither of you will benefit from the situation.
Keep positive and remember there are many of us (that you may not even know) who are pulling for you and keeping you in thoughts and prayers.

Dr. Swill said...


Thank you so very much for your kind thoughts. The support is truly needed at this point. When I post again you will see how much. I so appreciate your kindness.

Peace B

Leah said...

Whenever I want to send support to someone I care about, I go light a candle at the site below. I lit a candle for you and it is in the group "Dr. Swill, in case others want to send their wishes to you in that manner. I have read your blog since you posted on Rosie's site. My nephew has a rare form of lymphoma and he is thankfully in remission right now. We have lost so many of his friends. You begin to feel connected to all of them even if you don't personally know them. I am sure you understand. I cried over your dad's Christmas card! I know he is with you every day. My own dad died 21 years ago on Feb 13, 1989. He was my heart. He died from colon cancer. I know you are facing some tough times right now. Draw your strength from others. We are here for you, even if you just need to talk to someone. Here is the web site for the candles.

Leah said...

The candle is under "Swill" group

Anonymous said...



Dr. Swill said...

Thank you TampaGranny...send me your email to DocSwill@aol.com

Daria said...

Brian thanks so much for the update. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom.

Try to rest and take care,

Words To Live By:

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service to others." -Mahatma Gandhi