Living With Multi Myeloma…#409

Sharing with my followers a page from my daily diary…

A myeloma diagnosis can drastically affect the quality of one’s life. The disease gives me a feeling of isolation and being alone.

Myeloma has had a significant effect on the quality of my life, as well as my emotional well-being. I am managing it and have a close and meaningful relationship and conversations with my doctor. She has me on treatments that work and is slow in progression. She is my “rock.”

“Quality of life” is a broad term that describes a range of topics on exactly how myeloma affects the quality of my life or anyone’s life. Despite the impact of myeloma, I do everything humanly possible to make living with the condition more manageable.

About 99% of the time, I feel anxious and depressed, and stressed. I find it hard to exercise; mostly, it is slow walking, along with everyday chores in my apartment. I have no social life; it is difficult when you must ask someone else to drive you anywhere, including doctor and treatment appointments. I feel that most days, I am isolated and alone.

My circle of people has grown smaller over the past two years. I try not to let that stress me out, as stress is a killer too. On top of all the things that harm one who has MM is the unrelenting pain; it never goes away; it goes up and down in degrees. Like the medical team that works with me, always ask on a scale of 0 to 10 how your pain is. I always answer that it depends on what time of day it is and what I have done to aggravate my body. On a good day, my pain level is a 5; on a bad day, it is off the charts.

I know my doctor is trying to slow down the disease. I have great emotional support from most of my children and grandchildren; they have become why I continue to fight. The disease has also caused the family to pull away. I do not fault them; watching a loved one slowly die must be very difficult. My sons and grandchildren allow me to talk to them about my dying. Everyone should stop thinking that death is all I truly know to be certain in my life. Dying is like a divorce; no one wants to talk about it, hoping it will go away, that time will take care of it.

I write this to hope that if you have someone in your life that has or is dying from any disease or reason when these relatives ask, you say, “I am OK?” Well, that means that we are in control of the pain. It never goes away.

The dying individual does not want pity; they do not want anything but your love. They want ask for anything but listen if they talk to you. Take the time to remember that they were once active people who have been thrown into the pits of fiery hell because of their sickness.

May each of you have a great Wednesday. E.

©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Books by the author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com…

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/elizabeth%20ann%20johnson%20murphree

Mini Vacation – July 26, 2022…#394

I recently returned after being away for a few days. My granddaughter and I went to Door County, a vacation spot for many from Wisconsin and out-of-state people. I had to get away after over two years of being shut in because of Covid. I was going “stir” crazy. I decided that cancer could do no less harm than being out and about.

We also had my great-grandson, who will soon turn ten. That is something to write—a spoiled ten-year-old. Of course, this is not anything new to me. If I heard “Mommie” once, I heard it a million times over four days. I doubt if spoiled is the correct term. I believe his parents try, yet they are not too successful in setting boundaries. They allow him to decide everything from ordering off the menu in a restaurant to when he wants to stop at some money-making game place. By the fourth day, I was living on my last nerve! We would leave on the fifth day and not a moment too soon.

Like Tina Turner sings, “What’s love got to do with it .”I love him very much, and he is a sweet loving kid who is spoiled. I sometimes wonder if there is enough time for him to get out of this entitled stage. His half-brother, who has lived an entitled life, does not know anything but to be catered to. He is thirteen years older than the other one. To clarify, neither comes from a “well-to-do” family. Yet the parents and a grandmother want to be friends with the two of them. I believe the term “will they love me” comes into play.

The grandmother is my youngest daughter, I have raised five children by myself, and as they grew up, they knew that I loved them and wanted them to love me. Yet, I was never their friend, each taught to respect me, and they have all turned out to be fine citizens and outstanding children. I believe that they have brought up their children as I did them. The youngest daughter is the only one with grandchildren; they are, as stated, brought up to be entitled to have all they need and too much of what they want.

However, it was a good trip. I enjoyed getting away from my own home, my book had slowed down, and I needed to recoup. The walls seemed to be closing in. I understand that this happened, but I did enjoy the trip. I came back with a much clearer head than when I left. The pain went with me, but it is only with pain that my mind remains clear. I refuse to take enough to stop the pain; it is then that the mind stops as well.

I wish all of you a wonderful day.

 Altered Senses

Existence, scene after scene, characteristics of life environment, genetics, and promises that reveal nothing, the past descends like rain from the sky, washing away all dreams.

Phantoms of youth chanting within the soul, paths blocked; evil has spread across the landscape of a lifetime.

Rethink the future! Loneliness limits love and happiness; boundaries set slow down the process of moving into the future. Nevertheless, a future shrouded with abundant solitude from which there is no escape.

©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Books by the author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/elizabeth%20ann%20johnson%20murphree

Stop Daydreaming and Live Life …#392

I hope that I have learned many things as I have walked through this journey, walked a path that is redeemable. I had no choice for the first 52 years of my life on direction and plans. I lived in a world created by my mother, then my husband. It has been a short 30 years of making my own choices in life. I have spent 20 of those 30 years trying to find out who I was and in what direction I was going. Again, I hope that they have been the right ones.

In those 30 years, I have lost my daddy and my mother. My biological sister and ex-husband have passed on to their next journey. I have an adopted sister who has chosen not to have anything to do with me. Her reason was only that of her own. I sometimes think that our mother’s control over her in life has continued in death. I believe she is trying to carry my mother’s hate for me on into our lives with her gone. She has hardened throughout the years, and I feel bad that she lets her fear of a dead mother continue to chart her life course. I ask God to watch over her and her family. It saddens me to think I will die without ever seeing her again.

Life is too short, and we must never allow the beliefs of another to get in our way of living life to its fullest. Life gives us grief and sorrow, life can deceive and disappoint you, but it can also bring satisfaction, loving children, and joy. You have heard the saying, “He or She has a mind of their own.” These words are so true. We can dig holes and cover ourselves up, shut down and let life pass us by, or we can dig ourselves out, embrace life, and live it to its fullest. Create the world that your life is in Heaven, not hell.

World-Weariness –

The sands of time explode with agony.

The sun is dying!

The moon will be one day.

Be Heaven’s only enchanted view.   Be

Watchful, beware, the hours are few.

copyright©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Books by author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com…

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A State of Mind…#375

A State of Mind –

I never believed

that I should be

immune to grief.

I accepted that

living in a

constant state of

unhappiness

conditioned me

to think it would

be my world my

existence.

I begin a journey

that I did not have

a “lifetime” to seek

the answers and

understanding now

it is urgent. We

must live within our

own schedule; we

all experience grief:

we can’t define it

the same way.

Whether a lifetime

or only moments,

days what causes

grief are many

times the death

of those we love.

But it all results

in one word: finality.

When we lose, we

grieve happiness

and grief go hand

in hand, my grief

comes in the

form of abuse,

Both physical

and mental. Of

never being

wanted, this

has caused a

a lifetime of

anguish.

Nevertheless, the

child in me

cannot heal,

so I allow her

to grieve, and

I have given her

permission to

recover in her

own time, if

possible. After

all, somewhere

within, I am still

that child who

wanted desperately

to please, hear that

I mattered, and I,

as a grown-up,

must now search

for the answer to,

“Who am I.”

A painful death

awaits me, I live

one day at a

time, life is slipping

away with no

answers. Art,

painting, prose,

and poetry from

the first to the

last word. When

Nature in all her

nakedness brings

us to our knees,

through storms with

rain, lightning, and

Fallen trees and

tornado-shaped

leaves that defeat

us?

It is not learning,

poise or grace,

but knowing that

touch of pain and

fear. That making

creation thinks.

When in this

world’s unpleasing

youth, your god-like

the race began, the

most extended arm,

the sharpest tooth

gave man control.

Dig into a bruised

and bitten bone

that was taught

by pain and you

have learned that

with the deadly

stone, that “He”

felt on that far-off

shore, when

jabbed by the

singing spear.

When bone against

bone, tooth, and bone

were a means against

a foe. Man was bored

by consistent defeat.

some minds built the

stone and javelin

proved as vain as the

old-time bone against

bone, man fashioned

how to kill as he rose

from fear and pain.

Spurred anew by

fearful cries of terror

embedded deep

within the ancient

millions were killed

for one leader who

taught through fear,

soon the armor

disappeared then

the sword, bow and

pike, and the smoke

of battle cleared,

all men armed with

bombs were alike.

Copyright©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

The Writer…#370

The Writer

Sleep, never-ending consciousness,

thunder, spray dashing against

the windowpane, in the distance

railroad cars, clang, clang, clang

Sleep, gulls screaming float through

the air, wild and free, diving into

the frothy white waves, living without

care.

 Sleep, ghost trampling upon the mind

and soul, brushing shoulders with

death they surge across time wanting

their story told.

Sleep, wanting the body to relax, flip

right, flip left, the noise of the world

springs from every nerve, wistfully let

there be silence, calmness come back,

come back, come back.

 Sleep, brooding, daggers in the back, rise,

dress, the night will never be soothing.

those words in the head keep moving,

mind in a rage sitting silently staring at

the blank page.

The mind locked in a writer’s block,

the page is blank, time is slowly

moving forward, as the writer stares

at the face of the old wind-up clock.

copyright©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Books by the author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com…

https://wordpress.com/view/dailythoughtspoetryfiction/

4.13.2022

April 20, 2022…#368

The Last Chapter

Have a safe and healing Sunday.

Bitter Recollection

A crystal moon, a

frozen

branch waving, a fire with ash blowing

into the four winds. A  

charred

log; memories extensive and

angry,

like a paper chain flowing in the wind of life. 

Remember,

the day, the hour, each day, each hour,

destiny,

insistently climbing, seeking, nothing in life is

forgotten. 

Copyyright©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree 

April 9, 2022…#367

The poem below was created by my thoughts about my grandmother, whom I never knew. The influenza pandemic of 1918–1919 was the most severe influenza outbreak of the 20th century. A virus called influenza type A subtype H1N1 is now known to have been the cause of the extreme mortality of the influenza pandemic of 1918–1919. The disease that caused this devastating pandemic has also been called the Spanish flu.

The influenza pandemic of 1918–19 resulted from such an occurrence and affected populations throughout the world. An influenza virus called influenza type A subtype H1N1 is now known to have been the cause of the extreme mortality of this pandemic, which resulted in an estimated 25 million deaths. However, some researchers have projected that it caused 40–50 million deaths. Many were not reported; they got sick and died without it being reported. During this pandemic, an estimated 25 million persons worldwide died of the so-called Spanish flu, which was first widely reported in Spain but originated in the U.S. state of Kansas.

My grandmother got sick and was dead three days later, on January 11, 1919. It would be 1954 before my daddy would place a tombstone at her grave; I was 15 years old. All those years later my daddy let me pick out the writing on the stone. “Mother is not dead; she is only sleeping.”

Two days after her death, she was buried. My daddy always believed that she was in a coma. He would say that they opened the casket for him to say goodbye to her, and her hand felt warm. He ran from the cemetery and did not stop until he reached the woods surrounding Tarrant City, Alabama. He spent several days roaming in the woods to find a reason for her leaving; she was only 34 years old. 

The tombstone states Emma Hall Evans, but she was never married to but one man, Thomas Johnson, my daddy’s father. His grandmother Jane Hall had asked him not to be placed on her tombstone. My daddy said she was never married to any man. She lived with Thomas Johnson until he found a younger woman. Her maiden name was Overton; she had two children by two separate men that no one ever knew. She called them both Evan’s. He was a womanizer. She was never supposed to go anywhere unescorted after moving back into her mother’s house when Thomas left her. It was always thought that my daddy’s siblings were his half-sister by a white man and his half-brother by a Hispanic man. Yes, she led a colorful life, slipping out of the house at night going to the nightspots in Birmingham, then she slipped back in before daylight. Daddy’s grandmother had him sleep in his mother’s room, thinking she would not leave or that he would tell on her. He loved his mother with all of his being. He never told of her roaming around in Birmingham, Alabama, after her mother went to bed. He would be punished when it was noticeable that she was pregnant. He remained faithful to her until her death.

Few have known this kind of love between a mother and her children. I have been so very fortunate that the love between my children and me has followed in my grandmother’s and daddy’s footsteps. I was married to their father, he is now gone, but the love and trust between my children and myself have not waivered very much throughout these years.

For my grandmother:

Black Feathered Angels  

Old memories, new memories, memories

that last for a lifetime.    Unstinted

buried deep, hidden from the surface

of the mind. As I sit on steps where

paint is peeling and rotting, I have,

but one thought. Childhood is dead.

Some refuse to stay buried; I see a

small country church, a chorus of

crows, the splashing sounds of a

brook running through Birch trees.

The wind caresses the colossal

row of Oaks in the nearby field.

Death, departing the small, weathered

house of worship, a wagon pulled by

six black horses, and a manifestation

of black feathered Angels. My

great-grandmother is gone. Everyone

we love soon leaves us. A sad memory,

a heart has been silenced, and a rocker

on a porch stilled. 

Copyright©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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April 8, 2022…#366

I have begun to post my days on my blog site for my followers, and for me, many may be facing the same problem, cancer. Documentation of my life. I have kept a diary most of my life, so this is only a different decision on how to do it. I will continue to create and blog my poetry.

Today has been the worse day in several weeks; the pain has taken over my spine. It does not help that I broke my back on July 4, 2021, and was in what they call a turtle brace for four months. It completely immobilizes from neck to waist. I live alone; therefore, no one sees the pain that must show on my face, and the movement of my body is slow and protective. My fur baby Dixie keeps a smile on my face, and the demand for attention does not allow me much time to lay or sit very long.

I am in Stage 3 of multiple myeloma. My daily fight is chronic infections, body pain, weight loss, muscle weakness, decreased appetite, thirst, constipation, fatigue, and nausea. Yes, the fight is the correct word. I have Chemo treatments 22 days out of each month. I have been hospitalized an average of 5 times a year. I am not asking for anything in telling you this; it is to know what happens when you have this type of cancer. 

In addition to all the side effects from Chemo treatments, I have chronic depression. I stare down at the hole I know is about to fall in and stop at the edge. Balance wavering, I ask myself who is holding me from falling in. The Angels watch over me every moment of the day. My parents were not church people; my daddy never and my mother for Easter and funerals. I walked to church alone and sat alone since I was about five years old. I stopped church when the pastors lived higher than his poor parishioners. Yes, I have always believed in a Higher Power and Angels. I do not apologize for my faith and beliefs, and I will respect those of others. I do not believe in organized religion; my faith has no need for such. I believe that we are all accountable to someone or something. My body is my church, and right now, my church is being challenged. 

I am accountable for my transgressions alone and will pray for guidance. However, we must all make decisions that will affect those around us and ourselves. I pray for the “right” one to be shown to me as I travel along this difficult road. I wish all my followers health and happiness.

My books of poetry, a biography of my daughter Charlotte who passed in 2010, and a book of my artwork from 2010 to 2021. Today I share the poem that I created below. Please enjoy.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree

An Earthly Journey

Evidence is clear about an unwanted Soul; the possessor wanted to cast away fear or greed upon conception. One life could not see a future, yet starvation by the mother did not kill the seed, no fear… self-greed.

Why did the tiny Soul survive, destiny or fate; it survived life without love, never held by the mother with her heart filled with hate. The new Soul is born within a life of oppression from the moment of birth, scared and burdened with emotional wounds throughout its journey on earth.

All of its tomorrows found the Soul’s path long and steep; it searched a lifetime to find out why the mothers’ anger ran so deep, to the moment it laid the mother in the ground. Truth in its abandonment never found this abused Soul tries to remember that sanity and sorrow are closely bound.

Copyright©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

April 6, 2022…#365

    Today is Wednesday; I try to do things that help distract me from the pain in my body since I woke. It is, of course, a daily thing, yet I must push it aside. Taking care of my fur baby Dixie is my first concern, then all the medications, dressing, and starting a new day. My day is filled with painting, checking out what is on the internet, email, Twitter, creating poetry, and things of interest to me. Sometimes, I sit quietly, hoping for the pain to go away. I talk to or text my wonderful children and grandchildren, which holds me up when I can no longer stand alone. Their love takes away the pain. I thank God daily for giving me these wonderful angels. I continue to write my autobiography; recalling all that I need to put in it takes me to another level. It takes away the presence and carries me to the past, reliving the years that have gone by so quickly.    

It seems as if Cancer controls my life. I let it think so; I own my life. Its presence makes me stronger, braver, and wiser. It is I who chooses how to live. The word “Cancer” does not live in my soul. I have not been afraid of it from the moment given the diagnosis. My soul belongs to God and me. It can never touch the divine spirit that cries out, “I am not my body.” My soul will not allow it to pull me down into the depths of despair. Those close to me will surround me, and they will fight with me to let Cancer know that I, We, will not surrender to it. Cancer does not own me, I own myself, and it will not kill me without a fight.

Poem of the day:

In the Mist of Grief…#365

Memories emerge in the darkness

of the night, becoming one with my

soul like the rivers that flow into the

sea. These hours before dawn are

like a cold rain pounding into my

heart. The grief is fierce as it

raises and then returns to consume

my spirit, assaulting my senses.

The depths of my courage wounded,

I am listing in a sea of sorrow, my

life filled with more grief than many

can bear. In search of a miracle,

hope merges with despair. It is my

destiny to lose all that I have ever

loved. It is the hard cold hour to

depart this misery. 

©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree