Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Sick For The Holidays


For many, myself included, the holidays are more than just stressful.  They can be downright depressing.  The key for me all these years, decades if you will, is that I always believe the next year will hold better for me.

My dislike of celebrating holidays goes well beyond the year I was diagnosed with cancer, although that holiday season definitely did not leave me feeling jolly.  But there have been more than a handful of serious events and tragedies around the yuletide time of year.  To be honest, I do not really dwell on it.  I move on from one year to the next.  I will say that I put a lot more effort into at least faking it, once my daughters came into my life.  Okay, perhaps “faking” is a bit strong.  I did enjoy seeing the innocence of the holiday return through my daughters’ eyes.

As I mentioned, and have listed elsewhere on “Paul’s Heart”, a lot seems to happen during this time of year.  A recent “memory” that popped up on Facebook reminded me of one such recent event.  Like I said, I have the ability to block out the events that happen during this time of year, as I did with this particular incident.

I was put into the hospital, in serious condition with my second bout of pneumonia in just 9 months.  This is one of those “gifts” that I have received from treatments for my Hodgkin’s way back when, resulting in a lowered immune system.  My earlier case I was actually diagnosed septic.  This particular time, I had it in both of my lungs.

In December, it is not only the month of Christmas, but in less than a week, I should be celebrating another birthday that I thought I would never see.  My stay in the hospital was longer than the earlier battle, and it took a lot more meds to get this under control.  But I did make it home for my birthday, and for Christmas.

I want to be perfectly clear.  I do not take each holiday season for granted.  I am part of a large society of long term cancer survivors who battle long term side effects and deal with these issues every year.  I have also said good bye to so many.

But there are so many, that will be heading into this holiday, either facing a serious illness, or worse, having lost a loved one.  And as all of us will tell you, it is not easy getting through this holiday as it is, especially this holiday because it was a holiday that was shared.

For those of you dealing with a new crisis, or having suffered a loss, I keep a place in my heart, and special thoughts in my mind for comfort for each and every one of you.

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