This week has turned out to be anything but the lovely, relaxing, well deserved Spring Break that I have anticipated. Truthfully… It has been one of the saddest and roughest weeks of my life.
Where do I begin?
Well… First… I just want to say that I’m not looking for a pity party here at all. This blog has been therapeutic for me. It has been a place for me to let out the emotions that seem to get bottled up inside. If you have been following, you know that I have had my ups and downs over the past months, and having a place like Tumblr to reflect and share has really been just awesome. I hope it helps me this time too.
Let me take you into my mind for a moment and have all this come together… The BJJ part is coming… I promise.
I haven’t had many people in my life that I can really call a great friend or best friend. My Wife, My Dad (lives in NJ), and the best man in my wedding (who sadly recently moved to Germany). And then… there is my friend “The Scientist” who came back in my life recently and really enriched it. We were friends in high school many years ago and lost touch as most people do as they start their lives. I went off to another school and joined the Marines shortly after. He went to undergrad school at Rutgers and came to the University of Maryland to attend Grad school and has been here in Maryland since. About six or seven years ago, we ran across each other on MySpace of all things. (does anyone even use that anymore?) Anyway, we hung out once and it was just like old times. We quickly became close friends and started hanging out quite often. He is really the only “friend” I have around here. Sure I have friends and co-workers, but no one (other than my wife and “the Scientist”) really know me for me. Where I am from, what I have been through, who I am… all of that. Someone I ca truly be myself around with no reservations. Long story short… he’s moving… on Sunday. Not like down the street or even a state or two away… He’s headed to Hawaii. Now, I couldn’t be more happy for him (and I must confess, slightly jealous)! He is taking action on his dream. Good for him. He just got sick of spending his life in a cubicle and is actually going to do something about it. So he quit his job and bought a one-way ticket to Hawaii. Not many people have the balls to do something like that. I commend him but I surely will miss him. I know our paths will cross again someday, but until they do… Skype will have to do… I will miss him.
A few months ago, my Aunt was diagnosed with colon cancer. She had some surgery to remove a tumor and part of her colon. The initial thought was that the cancer was contained and they were able to get it all. Well… after some tests, blood work and scans, they found some more. I am terribly sad but hopeful for her. About 9 years ago, she lost her father (my Grandfather, and one of the most beloved and influential men in my life) to what started as colon cancer. This disease really hits home for me and my family. Rightfully so, she has been taking it pretty hard. My problem is that I’m not really sure what to say or do to make her feel better… As if anything I say or do can take away the pain and difficulty that she will face as she fights through this. I guess the best thing to do is just be there. Be there to listen, and keep things positive, honest and rational when negativity can can seem to take over.
The other person who has been taking this news pretty hard is my Grandmother. My Aunt and Grandmother live together. They are best friends. You can almost say that they share the same brain sometimes. My Grandmother had a stroke about a year ago. She has been rehabbing since to regain control of her left side and doing well. She called me last week crying and telling me how sad she was about my Aunt and what she will be going through. We chatted for a bit and she calmed down for that moment. …and then came Friday…
I got a call from my mother on Friday evening who was just arriving in Florida to start a vacation. My Grandmother was being rushed to the hospital. My Aunt came home from work to find her seated in in a recliner, conscious but unresponsive. She had another stroke. I sped to the hospital about 45 minutes away and met my Aunt there just as she was arriving behind the ambulance. My Grandmother could hardly talk or form words or sentences. She has always been a talker, full of life and things to say. It was hard to see her struggle to communicate. Needless to say, I have spent more time by her side with my family over the past few days than I have ever spent in a hospital. Fortunately, she has been showing excellent improvement and was released on Wednesday to an acute rehabilitation facility about an hour and a half away from me. It’s the same place she went to last time for rehab. She did really well there and it really is the best place for her now, but it sure makes it difficult to go see her. But really, that’s my problem. I guess I should feel fortunate that I can drive there and that I am as close as I am. I guess things could be worse.
With all of that going on this past week and a half or so (I promised the BJJ part would come), I went to the doc Thursday for my MRI follow up as I mentioned in my last post. Guess what?…. I have three extruded disks… AGAIN!!!!! I am scheduled for a surgical consult on this coming Tuesday, April 3rd. The worst part is… She told me that I may not be able to Wrestle or practice Jiu-Jitsu ever again… EVER AGAIN!!!!
The week from HELL!!!
Venting / Rant is over… Thanks for reading. As always, I’ll be sure to update how things go on Tuesday at the surgical consult.
…and I guess… Unfortunately for me, I will NOT be seeing you on the mat anytime soon. :-/