Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Archive for the category “Family and Friends”

Getting Through This Crisis Called Corona Virus


The recommendation from the Center For Disease Control (CDC) is really quite simple.  All they recommended, was for us to minimize contact with each other, self-isolate or social distance each other, for a period of fifteen days.  It did not seem like an over burdensome thing to ask, given the potential severity of the Corona Virus crisis.  After all, many time away from others through vacations and other trips, voluntarily.  But this was being recommended.

For the most part, only astronauts and scientists are the ones most frequently performing this act of socially being isolated.  In fact, they train for this.  Others, those with serious illnesses such as cancer and auto-immune diseases, are often forced to stay away from others.  In either case, we do what we have to.

Unlike astronauts and scientists, cancer patients, etc., who endure many months of isolation, having to kill time and loneliness, we are only being asked to do fifteen days.  It should not be so hard.  At least it should not be.  I mentioned before how I dealt with this necessary, and sometimes unfortunate behavior.  The bottom line is I always got through.

So, how am I doing it as a “healthy” person, a non-scientist, definitely not an astronaut?

STAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA

I am a bit of a hypocrite with this one.  Because of my health issues, I do spend time looking for information, as it will help to protect myself with this crisis as I am one of the more vulnerable people.  It is just, when you are on-line, one thing you are likely to see… others not following the social distancing guidelines.  And this is guaranteed to make you go crazy, perhaps in anger.  After all, you are following the rules, but they are not.

Then, there is also information overload.  I try to keep this to a minimum, so as not to get overwhelmed.  I rely on facts, not hopes and opinions.  And as long as the numbers continue to climb, the risk of me developing this, increases as well, and I must continue to be even more aware.

BINGE WATCHING

With a variety of video streaming services, there is no shortage of things to view from documentaries, concerts, movies, and some very interesting series.  I will say though, it would be nice if Umbrella Academy, Ozark, Stranger Things and others would come out with their new seasons.  This might help some stay inside.

MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC

Play it.  Listen to it.  Write it.  Sing it.  Enjoy it.  No matter how you do it, I am certain that you have a variety of media options to enjoy some cool tunes.

A PICTURE IS WORTH A 1000 WORDS, AND MIGHT TAKE UP A 1000 MINUTES OF TIME

Between my laptop and a huge tote of hard copy photographs, I spend a lot of time looking at old memories.  This also helps me with another issue, as I am currently geographically separated from my daughters, so these memories help keep them fresh in my mind.

WRITING AND OTHER COMPUTER WORK

My laptop is over fifteen years old.  In other words, there is a lot of old “memory” that I could probably eliminate to help extend the life of my old computer.

Also, as I do with this blog, there are also other projects that I have been working on.

This is also a good time to reach out to old friends, if not by email, by phone.

We can all get through this period.  The more that comply with the recommendations, the sooner it has a chance to resolve.  Hopefully these ideas will help sparks other suggestions to help.

As always, I wish you health and safety during this difficult time.

Home Stretch To Adulthood


The two greatest blessings in my life occurred when I became a father.

I was supposed to spend this passed weekend with my daughters celebrating my older daughter’s “final” birthday of her childhood.  Of course, with my health concerns, putting me at a high risk of complications from the crisis our country is dealing with right now, those plans had to be cancelled.

A slight irony, is that when she was adopted, the world was dealing with a SARS type virus (just as this Corona Virus is a SARS virus).  That episode back in 2004, caused a delay in the adoption process which actually caused a “surprise” birthday party, in Hong Kong.  We went from being concerned of missing her first birthday, to the rapid response and dealing with SARS, to celebrating her birthday, with her fellow adoptive “siblings” and their families.  Sadly this time, a SARS virus has kept us apart.

She had several nicknames, but one that I told her she would always be, “my little ting ting”, a reference to one of her original Chinese names, referring to a graceful swan.

The most amazing thing about being her father, has been watching her grow.  To actually see the influences that I have had on her through her formative years, she still carries with her today.  There is so much that she has done on her own as well.  Look out world, she is coming for you.

Fun.  Intelligent.  Full of surprise.  Empathetic.  A loyal friend.  Respectful.  Determined.  Loving.  Talented.

I cannot believe it.  The next birthday I get to celebrate with her, will be her first as an adult.  Where did the time go?  As I peruse through all the photos that I have taken of both of my daughters, I see all the blessings and time that have passed.  At the same token, it has just gone by, way too quickly.

I wish I could be with her, and she knows that.  But we both know it is safer for me where I am at because of my health.  My attention will be directed to another important date with her, Father’s Day.  Hopefully by then, the danger of this crisis will have passed.

Happy Birthday Madison, forever my “ting ting.”

Love, Daddy

15 Days, Limits Of Group Size – It Is All About Perspective


This meme came across my feed today.  It could not be more appropriate.  Honestly, I had been hoping to follow up my 30th Anniversary post with stories of the adventures of my next ten and twenty years.  Instead, my last several posts have all been geared to help everyone understand the big picture, and why it needs to matter to everyone.

This afternoon, President Trump announced an extreme measure meant to help contain the spread of the Corona virus.  The result from this press conference is simply, politics needs to be thrown out the window dealing with this crisis.  If you were anti-Trump, you heard a press conference that appears to have nearly everyone on the same page, hopefully giving confidence that were will progress forward.  If you are pro-Trump, you should stop hearing (at least for the time being) attacks on the efforts, but rather, from the President himself, this is serious, and it is not going away any time soon.  Both sides should now be on the same page, going for the same goal.  Slow the progression, buy the time needed so that the medical system does not get overwhelmed.  More importantly, casualties kept to a minimum.

One of the hardest things for most people to accept, is being told their life needs to be put on hold, at least temporarily.  No secret, I am a cancer survivor, and I think I can speak for anyone who has ever had to deal with a serious health issue, when I say, “hold my beer.”

15 days.  We, as a country, are being asked to limit our interactions to groups less than ten people.  In some places, businesses are either being recommended or required to close to assist with this effort.  Chances are, if you are a healthy individual, the news of being told to restrict your social activity probably resulted in the same result that a teenager would give being told they could not go to the movies or mall with their friends under normal circumstances.  Que the eye roll and thunder as the pupils hit the back of the head, and the screams of exasperation at the perceived “end of days”.

I just heard a great analogy, that pushing to find out how much longer we are going to have to deal with this, is like asking a fireman how soon we will be able to move back into the house, as they are still putting out fire.

Perspective.  Also known as “keepin’ it real.”

My chemotherapy lasted 8 months, 240 days.  No hair.  Sick as shit.  Fatigued to no end.  No one wanting to hang out with someone looking like a freak.

My radiation therapy went 30 days.  My skin burning worse than any sunburn imaginable, resulting in a peeling that you could only imagine being equaled by a Hollywood makeup artist.

Recovery from open heart surgery, six months, 180 days.  With one full week in the hospital, 2 days in the ICU, I lost all my strength.  I needed the full six months to heal properly, before being able to return to work.

Enough with the sick stuff.  Are you reading this and old enough to remember the events of September 11, 2001?  Have your forgotten all of the changes that were immediately implemented, leaving us no choice to accept the way things were, many of which still exist today, some methods even stronger?

Do you think only bad things in our lives can make us appreciate perspective?  Nope.  I know it is a bad example, but how many have gone on a two week cruise?  Spring Break?  Family vacations?  The truth is, we have no problem with a “social distancing” when we are able to make that decision ourselves.  Because that is a good thing.  But you know what else is a good thing?  Keeping your health.

President Trump has made it very clear today.  We need to do this, limit our social activity for fifteen days.  It is not like we cannot do it, because we can.  But just as I lost control of my life to fight cancer, and the many late health issues have come up, of the events of September 11, 2001, this situation is no different.  I cannot control the outcome of the spread.  But I can deal with how it affects my personal life, which as a collective, will help everyone.

I have gone through this many times.  So can you.

Post Navigation