This is a long read, it is actually two posts from JWG, the Invisible Man of QuitSmokingMessageBoard (QSMB), telling us of his problems and fate. Please read it all, it gives wonderful insights into who he was, and the strength and dignity he shared with us.
A Tale of a Life by JWG
Posted 16 November 2013 - 02:17 AM
I am a thinker a tinker and fixer. Sometimes I like to think of myself as an craftsman or artisan, vagabond and poet
But truth be told my life has been a tumble weed longing for a brier bush to snag me from the wind to take me in and claim me for there own. As The Who would say “ I have been from soho down to brighton”. I have traveled much of the world and seen sights many just read about or dream.
I have been a carpenter and bottle washer and many things in between. I have been a best friend and lover. A roll model to my son, a hero to my daughter. But also true times the village idiot and on more then one occasion had to much to drink. Always longing to find my roots, my calling, my belonging, Or perhaps, I have just been running.
I have written a many story and shared with you my friends. But today its time to sweep the fiction from the room and share with you in honesty as I have learned my journey is
coming to an end.
Near four years ago . I had nothing to my name minus a rented bed two streets down from homeless boulevard. Bad credit, a truck payment over priced insurance . Not to mention I had my addiction to nicotine, that I paid for hand over fist with the money I did make. Leaving me little to next to nothing to “live”. So like a brasin gambler I took the chance and threw all I new away betting on an unknown future. I sold the truck got rid of the insurance payment it required. I threw down the cigarettes and began to invest in me and the things I wanted to do more then I wanted to smoke.
I was getting older it had been some time my last venture and my urge to run was retuning, a feeling to “live” began to overwhelm me. No longer could I sit another day passively on a step smoking one cigarette after another, only dreaming of what “could be” if only I had the nerve to “quit”.
In the time cense my last cigarette I have accomplished and done more things then I had in many of the years prior combined. The spirit of youth filled me, the bounce I once new to my step began once more to carry me. I could go on with a list of things from motorcycles I have bought with the money not spent on smoking. I could write of the plane tickets I have bought and the places I have traveled with the money not spent on cigarettes. I could write of many things I have better spent my funds , Like going back to school and retraining . Getting a better job and making more money.
But of all of these thing no matter how great and wonderful they were all pale in comparison to the beautiful people and friendships I have made along the way.
While the motorcycles, computers and toys are great. And I love to feel the rumble of the engine throttling between my thighs, it’s the wind , the acceleration , the freedom of the experience that I will always carry with me.
And while the trips were great and the place I saw captivating, It’s the people I spent that time with that now comfort me.
Quitting has brought to me friendships I never would have ever known sitting on a step smoking my days away.
Quitting brought to me – myself once more , the ability to be loved and the ability to love
And too provided the people to share this with.
These are the true gifts of quitting. Money is just fold or spend. It can not comfort you
When your laying in the bed. Its the things you do with the time you do have no matter its length that makes the difference in the end.
I have said from day one – “I did not quit to save my life, I quit to spend it better”
And this I have accomplished.
My ticket has been bought and paid I have boarded the train , I see the conductor walking my way . The time he takes to get to me still remains a mystery but I know with certainty he is on his way.
To break from prose and dip into harsh reality
On the morning of Nov 8th By a strong recommendation from a pulmonologist at the VA medical center I consent to a lung Biopsy. The following morning after spending the night in ICU I was informed of the results
“ I am sorry , I have bad news” stage IV Adenocarcinoma
By that afternoon I was in the MRI only to find it had also moved into my head
I received my first round of chemotherapy (approximately) 24 hours after the biopsy
And the following day my first round of radiation. Chemo is now on hold until I complete Radiation and from there I am scheduled for 7 more treatments
For now we wait and see:
The doctors goals at this point are to make me as comfortable as possible and perhaps buy me some time.
I realize this can seem as “un-motivational” for some to read. But are lifes and motivations Should not come from the negativity of what could be if we dont , but rather the positivity of what can be if we do.
Guadelupe River by JWG
Posted 12 December 2013 - 05:19 PM
A lazy Texas river spanning form Kerr county Texas to the San Antonio bay on the Gulf of Mexico. If you ever need to find a place to relax enjoy the sunshine while refreshing from the hot Texas sun, nothing beats a lazy day tubing down the slow winding of deep greens and blue. Some place your arm able to reach down and feel the stones polished by the millenniums. Hiding secrets of the Alamo and days gone by. A sacred place, where no worries in the world can follow, No troubles from work are allowed to enter, only you and your desire to be at peace can break the waters edge.
In my resent ventures over this past summer I had the opportunity to experience the river , its majesty and glory , Not only was I with the river I was with the finest people in the world to share the experience. By day floating lazily carefree and by night telling stories lounging about the cabin or sitting under the stars on the porch, cooking out burgers some night or fajita’s..
I often think of that trip and the fun we all had, to go back in time , even in memory can be so nice . Some days we would float solo or holding hands keeping close together. other days we banded are pack together by twine and traveled the river as one , like a Robin Hood and his merry men , or maybe Tom Sawyer and some of his boy hood chums.
One particular day we were going solo , but I lashed the tube with the cooler to my rig
6 hours or so , surly you need some sort of refreshment and maybe even pull up on to a clear shore line for a bite to eat.. And so we did. After lunch two of are young explores
Decided to forgo the tubes, swim a bit and comb the bottom of the river for secret hidden treasures,, Lost sunglass or the mother load a Iphone or other such valuable loot.
Now with no use for there tubes , the young explores piled them on top of the cooler . So there I was, in my tube tied to a stack of three tubes and a cooler. To which the wind had greater strength to control then the slow easiness of the river current.
Some times I would find the wind speeding me along , while others the wind dragging me back and my group of merry band of men flowing down the river far in front of me.
While still enjoying the river the ride and the scenery I really had no control of the speed of my travel , to which side of the river I would coast. Sometimes the wind would bring me in to the tree line . Catching me on limbs and others casting me out into the deeper waters. Basicly I was at the mercy of powers much greater then myself..
As history repeats itself ,, this is where I find myself once more, only today laying in my hospital bed.
With each day that passes more tubes are added to my burden, and now with each tube the wind carries me faster down the river then we could have ever imagined.
Just a few hundred yards back the option of chemo loomed in the air to slow the winds and the current giving me more time to enjoy the river, but now once more due to powers beyond my control I find myself helpless. My illness grows faster then can be controlled.
I am at peace, I am comfortable. I am in my tube enjoying every last minute of my ride
Down the Guadalupe
I can not see the end to the river nor do I look forward to its end..
I have my friends , I have my family , I have you all , and I have the love of a beautiful women , my angel, my everything to comfort and care for me
I love you all
And will to my best keep you posted
In the mean time
Don’t put things in your mouth and light them on fire !!
John Passed on 12/28/13, at the age of 50, of lung cancer)##