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

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Thought’s in the Day of a Writer…#405

I am in my second year after being diagnosed with Multi Myeloma (Bone Cancer). The life expectancy is as low as 2.5 years and tops 4 years. I kept the depression and anxiety levels down the first year, not because of denial but the sheer strength of my mind. In the second year, the depression and anxiety returned with a vengeance. I have gotten weaker and fatigued and have this sense of urgency about accomplishing what I have wanted since retirement: writing. I have published several books of poetry, including an autobiography about my daughter, who passed away in 2010. I have begun my own life story this past year. Then this cloud that many carry above them, depression, and anxiety. I have found that poetry is making a comeback, but slowly. Sales have not been at the top of my money chart. Another worry is that I am starting something that I will not have time to finish. My life has been long, more of a saga, filled with bits of happiness given to me by my children and emotional and physical abuse woven in and out throughout the years.  

The urgency involves my writing. I have been writing since I could print words, simple words. Poems for my aunt and daddy, which she would destroy if found by my mother. I had been told since I was old enough to remember that I would never be anything because I was not as beautiful as my sister Billie nor as bright; all I could hope for was to marry and have someone take care of me. This non-encouragement caused me to work toward good grades and educate myself if schooling was not available. Like many southern girls, I was married “off” to someone much older than me, an abuser. I never gave up wanting to write. I was a closet writer until I retired from the public workforce, fearing that it would be destroyed if it was found.

This brings me to when I give thought to be a writer. Also, what type of writer did I want to be. I have always loved poetry; my poetry books are filled with heartache and anguish that was my life. Many have said that it was “dark” poetry. It was mainly dark as it was given birth from that dark place within me. Many have suggested that I seek help and counseling. Don’t we all need counseling in some form, depression, and/or anxiety?

To be a writer, one must have good communication skills and be able to share a point concisely and clearly. I began years ago by keeping a daily journal; with this journal, I could draw upon incidents in my life that would allow me to put them into my poetry or short stories. I have been told that writing is never a lonely activity; for me, it was because I have always thought of myself as a loner. I turn within, thinking about what I wanted to say, how I wanted to write it to bring others into my “dark” world of reading what I wrote. I know I am not alone; many carry the same burdens that I do, much worse than mine. We may not be alone, but it is a lonely world for me. A world where I can hide and play the part needed to be played.

I have never looked at my writing as a job, one I could make a living regularly doing; be another Sylvia Plath or Grace Paley. That was why I waited until retirement to pursue my desire to write. I write because I love to create, to share with others. Yet, to share those, others must buy my books; maybe poetry was not the best choice. Perhaps a collection of short stories would have been more profitable? However, once again, urgency raises its worrisome head. There are constant changes in publishing and marketing, and I try to keep up with those when necessary. Writers must have adaptability when needed. Discipline is something that comes naturally to me. However, with cancer, treatments and the side effects that come with it does override discipline. It overshadows time, fatigue takes over no matter how committed I may be, and my challenges are health problems I have no control over.

I am organized, have a designated workspace, and have all the proper writing tools; I research what is needed to put out the correct information. I edit, edit, edit…I know what I want to write. I follow all the principles and have proofreaders. I copyright my material. I have had this blog for years. I am a people watcher, listen to tones, and am always mindful of syntax. I try to switch topics, poetry, short stories, newsworthy information, and opinions in my blog. I try to think critically, change styles, and learn new techniques. I follow some social media. However, I am a loner and a lone thinker.

There are two things that I need to observe. Slip away from fatigue and pain; my work may be more productive. Secondly, sales!

It has been a very long day for me, so I will leave you with this, never give up on your dreams.

©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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The life story of Charlotte Jean Murphree 7/13/1958 – 7/21/2010

Searching for a Miracle…#403

The hours before dawn, and a cold rain pounds into my heart. The grief is fierce as it raises and consumes my spirit, assaulting my senses. Memories emerge from the darkness, becoming one with my soul. In the depths of my wounded courage, I am listing in a sea of sorrow, my life filled with more grief than many can bear. It is the hard cold hour before departing this misery.

I search for a miracle; hope merges with despair; my destiny is to leave all I have ever loved. I am uncertain and afraid. Hope has expired. Sometimes waves of anger and fear hang above me, a cloud circulating over the earth. I do not speak of death. Yet, the elderly where I reside; talk until they see their own grave over the horizon.

Much is written about grief, soft words meant to calm the grieving heart. There will be those who say how lovely these words are, and I doubt they are all true. Grief is not calm and comforting; the comments do not stop the pain. Words penetrate the brain; they shatter the heart.

Most are choked with emotions under the flesh where the heart is sheltered by outward affliction; they close their eyes, hoping to have the scene before they disappear. Grief has no place to hide! The speaker believes the words that enter the ears will comfort despair.

©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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Altered Senses…#400

Altered Senses

Existence, scene after scene,

characteristic 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.  Loneliness limits

love and happiness; boundaries

set slow down the process

of moving into the future…

nevertheless, the future may

be shrouded with abundant

solitude from where there is

no escape.  Rethink the future!

©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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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

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July 2022, Alive or Dead…#391

My mother did not know if I were alive or dead. When the car drove away, she did not come out to see who it was; it would be four years before she saw my face. My cries are forgotten. A man I thought to be my daddy was my uncle. Yet they never hid who I was, and my daddy came to see me when he could always say he would take me home one day. By the time I was three years old, I could take care of myself. I took to the boys like a fish to water. They made me tough. Aunt Vina taught me manners; She was a brilliant individual. She took me to the local library and taught me how to read. By the time I left, I could read some simple words. That last year I could remember my life there, but nothing before. I could dress, tie my shoes and eat without help. I was toilet trained. There was nothing left to teach me, or so they thought. One Sunday afternoon, my daddy came to Birmingham. He said it was time for me to go home.

As the years have gone by, I have thought about how my life would be if I stayed with Aunt Vina. On that ride home, I had no idea who I was or where I was going. My life on the farm was simple; I wandered the hills above my family’s house and cared for myself. My mother ignored me, my sister hated me, and there was no love in that home, not even from my daddy. I don’t think he knew how. As the years went by, the only thing I could not do was get on the bus for school. I came home to chores. From age four until twelve, I ran the hills during good weather, always exploring. I learned to not care that my sister had pretty clothes and mine were hand-me-downs from my mother’s customers. I learned to not care that I was not loved. Eventually, my mother would not allow me to go to Aunt Vina’s during summer breaks from school. The clothes she bought me my mother gave away. If she found my journals, she burned them.

I learn to live in “Hell” at a very young age.

EAJM

©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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July 7,2022 Forgiving Evil…#389

Forgiving evil. Within this past year, I have removed the toxic people from my life. It was not an easy thing to do. However, after years of forgiving their toxic ways over and over, it was beginning to affect my health. Then another evil entity came to visit, CANCER.

There are some evils that one cannot forgive; you must first love before you have the need to forgive. There are evils in our nation, our world that I cannot love; therefore, I have no reason to forgive. Some things are just too evil to forgive.

I love those that became toxic in my life dearly, and I have forgiven them. Was I perfect? No, but I was not filled with toxicity as they were. I had room in my soul to forgive and still love, even though they do not feel they have done anything wrong.

I wish the world could be like my fur baby Dixie. She is filled with so much love she believes that she belongs to everyone, and she shows them what love she has to offer. Most return her love. I believe Dixie sometimes keeps me alive, my prayers, and those who send me their prayers, thoughts, love and having a wonderful family.

During our lifetimes, we can give and take love; it will go on if you continue to fill all your empty places with passion, mindfulness, and kindness. EAJM 

copyright©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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A Mother’s Love…#385

In the stillness of the midnight hour veiled in

Glory, my mother, stood next to me. She touched

My face where there are always tears. She

Placed her angelic arms around me to take away my

Fears.

What are these thoughts you have, my child? She

Said to me with a mother’s smile. Embrace my

Love, let it take away your sorrows. We are all

Here for only a short while. Be joyous of each

And every tomorrow.

Seek life, not death; things are never as bad as

They seem to cherish your life…follow your dreams.

I opened my eyes, sat up, looking around; this was

Only a dream. It was one I always held dear, love, from

My own mother was never found.

©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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Searching for a Miracle – The Poem…#378

Searching for a Miracle –

The hours before dawn, and a cold rain pounds into my heart. The grief is fierce as it raises and consumes my spirit, assaulting my senses. Memories emerge from the darkness, becoming one with my soul. In the depths of my wounded courage, I am listing in a sea of sorrow, my life filled with more grief than many can bear. It is the hard cold hour before departing this misery. I search for a miracle. Hope merges with despair. It is my destiny to leave all I have ever loved. 

I am uncertain and afraid. Hope has expired. Sometimes waves of anger and fear hang above me, a cloud circulating over the earth. I do not speak of death. Yet, the elderly where I reside; talk until they see their own grave over the horizon.

Much is written about grief, soft words meant to calm the grieving heart. There will be those that say how lovely these words are, and I doubt if they are all true. Grief is not calm and comforting; the comments do not stop the pain. Words penetrate the brain; shatter the heart.

Most are choked with emotions under the flesh where the heart is sheltered by outward affliction; they close their eyes, hoping to have the scene before they disappear. Grief has no place to hide! The speaker believes the words that enter the ears will comfort despair. It will not.

Unwanted from the Moment of Conception…#377

Old slave quarters – My birth home 1939

  

A passage from the book I am writing, my story.

I believe that from the moment of conception I was searching for a Miracle – I am far past the time when I can hope for a miracle. The hours before dawn, and a cold rain outside the tiny slave quarters pounds into my tiny heart. The grief is fierce as it raises and consumes my spirit, assaulting my senses. Memories emerge from the darkness, becoming one with my soul. I left a place of warmth and goodness to be channeled into a world of heartache and disappointment. In the depths of my wounded courage; I am listing in a sea of sorrow my life filled with more grief than many can bear. It is the hard cold hour before departing this misery. I search for a miracle, hope merges with despair, is my destiny to leave stop the beating of my heart and return home.  I chose this path to learn of such things to take back to my creator, to show and feel human despair

©May.2022.elizabethannjohnson-murphree