Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Turning Things Around

As a rule, I am generally a positive person. I have to be. It would be too easy just to be swallowed up by all the negativity in the world whether it be the news on the television, co-workers, or even family and friends. The “deck” has been stacked against me my entire life, but I always found a way to get through whatever challenge was thrown my way. No matter the challenges, being bullied in school, cancer, heart surgery, and now in the later stages of my second divorce, I am always able to find my way through, “rise up from the ashes like a Phoenix”.

At the age of 48, it is time to stop living challenge to challenge. I have always had strong faith in a supreme being (I am respectful to all religions which is why I worded it that way) so that has never been an issue. Physically, as the school bullies found out, I can take a pretty good beating. However, emotionally, it has always been a struggle of the old “one step forward, two steps back.” I would get so far through one crisis just to realize that another crisis had been lying in wait. But, as always, I was positive I was going to get through anything thrown at me. I am ready now to take two steps forward, and push back against anything thrown at me.

As I recovered from my Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, having gained over fifty pounds from the chemotherapy, it was positive thinking and commitment that helped me to get back into physical condition, drop the excess weight. I had done it. But just that quickly, as always, was another set back.

My recovery from emergency heart surgery was no different, just more cautious. But as time went on, again, there were factors standing in line against me. It was discovered that late developing side effects were now coming to the front of my physical condition. And as I have done every time, I have taken them on head on. But over recent years, it has required the help of prescription medications, meaning, it has not resolved my problems, just hidden them. But that is going to be my next post. Right now, I am so pumped up because I think I have finally found the right direction to stay several steps ahead of negativity and finally talk the talk, and walk the walk.

To have a positive outcome, I have had to surround myself with the most positive and supportive people, professional, family, and friends. It sounds simple. I had heard through my life “you can do it” or “hang in there.” That is not good enough. Positive support and reinforcement means just that, constant, all in. Unlike my recovery from my cancer and heart surgery, I am surrounded by people who genuinely want to see me live a life, free from all the forces that try to stand in my way.

I have struck gold in a dietician who has told me, “I’m not going to give up on you”. Evidently something that I said sparked that response. I have gone through three other dieticians to get a grip on my finicky and poor diet choices. And I am heading in the right direction no longer struggling to try new foods, and also eat healthy. I am being encouraged very strongly, with plenty of incentive, to exercise. Yes, the incentive of a healthy body should be good enough, but there are so many wonderful things that are waiting for me. I have been exercising regularly and it is beginning to show. Finally, the emotional part of this journey, dealing with the stress that often comes along with the trials, but also contributes to their effects. I strongly believe that a lot of the medications that I was placed on following my heart surgery were due to the stress I have been under.

A challenge has been issued to me within the next 30 days. It is a realistic goal to me. I can reach this because I am surrounded by people who want to see me succeed. This time, I really want to turn things around.

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