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Calling out the Dogster...

Old Sep 10th, 2009, 05:41 PM
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Calling out the Dogster...

How ya doin'? Back on all fours?
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Old Sep 10th, 2009, 10:12 PM
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Yeah.

And that's a little miracle in itself. Sometimes something comes in and silently steals your soul, inch by inch - so subtle and secret that you don't even know it is happening.

Like you Mang, some hidden bell goes off in my mind: Attention! Attention! Alert! Alert! and, for a period of time I attend.

Like all me, I only attend to the business at hand when I have exhausted all other possibilities, run into every brick wall I can find, squeezed every second out of the already empty bladder of my previous life.

Then, when I can prevaricate no more I put my hand up.

'Oh, sorry - forgot to say. Can't walk. Any ideas?'

Like you trying to find the toilet at the Banyan Tree, I can get lost in simple spaces, Mang. What was extraordinary to me [and you missed it, I think] was the ton of care and kind thoughts I got. That helped. My 'friends' certainly weren't there. This one I did entirely on my own, having realised that me friends were more trouble than they were worth.

My travel bug is a bit extinguished at the moment. So is the beat of my enthusiasm for life in general... but I was born to fight; clamp my terrier teeth into anything handy and chew, chew, chew. That force isn't extinguished.

I've seen the future, Mang. I don't like it. It's not good enough. I want more. Sometimes, you have to clean out and make less before you can create more. That's about the state of play right now.

I'm saying this to you Mang, 'cos I think you understand - in your own Mangular manner. It's not easy being green.
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Old Sep 11th, 2009, 01:50 PM
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Apologies in advance Mr Dogster if my post is presumptious; I don't know you at all. I just want to say do not become too disheartened. Sorry to cliche, take one day at a time. You want more than you have right now - you may get more tomorrow. My life's experiences which are a hell of a lot for a 40 year old, believe you and me, have taught me so much. I know health is everything and boy, you need it with your zest for life, but use what you have and just wait and see. I love your writing so much. Stay positive
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 07:47 AM
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Dogster,
I don't know you either, but I can relate. My story..well, with apologies to any disinterested parties, I'll give you the Reader's Digest Condensed version, so to speak. In the 1980's and first half of the 1990's, I worked in a hospital in a clerical then managerial capacity. In the mid-90's, I got fed up and quit and got hired into my current job as a book buyer. I moved into my parents' home for a period of time as I took a pay cut. A couple of years later my dad took ill and I stayed a couple of more years, then it hit the fan, so to speak. My mom became quite ill almost overnight, and my dad died very suddenly. After my mom died in 2006, I began to feel ill almost immediately, but chalked things up to stress, the loss, etc. Finally saw a doc in 2006 who referred me to some specialist for my dry cough, which, the specialist told me, was due to acid reflux. Only it wasn't, and the cough kept getting worse. In early '07, I drove myself to hospital short of breath and was admitted for a couple of days. Hospital did a series of heart tests, told me I had high blood pressure, and sent me home. Unusual swelling of my face, neck, arms and hands sent me back to the internist about 6 weeks later, and it turned out I had multiple blood clots, so I was admitted back into hospital. While in hospital, it was presumed I had lymphoma (which is correct), but getting a biopsy proved to be an amazing challenge. I went through 4 surgeries, spent 32 days in ICU, 30 of those on a ventilator, 2 rounds of chemo while in hospital, 1 round of radiation, total of 7 weeks in hospital, and had to learn to stand and walk all over again because my muscles had atrophied during my prolonged stay in bed. My voice is permanently damaged due to the pressure from blood clots in my neck, the rock-hard cancerous tumor wrapped around my trachea, and and prolonged time on the ventilator.

Disease is a funny thing in that the damage one sustains psychologically, I think, outlasts the physical/emotional damage by quite a wide margin. I have only just reached the point I am able to write about what happened to me. I think I couldn't express myself for quite some time for 2 reasons: whether they admit it or not, every (cancer) patient goes through supressing things because they are reluctant to be thought of as a disease, they know they HAVE a disease, but fear some will think of them only AS a disease and I was and to a large extent, continue to be overwhelmed by the whole experience. I think the overwhelmed factor came about because I had to go back to work so soon after my diagnosis, and treatment hadn't even ended yet.

So..I do understand, Dogster. I am still pitching things out of the house that had been here during my mom's life. I don't mean disrespect to her, but she just had a lot of "junk" in the house. And I don't need that stuff to remember her and how important she was to me, and I have sold some of it, but, I do understand the need to "deconstruct". I am also in a phase of my life when I am doing little to no travel. I'm going out to Boston for the GTG which coincides with a check-up at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute with my hematologist. A couple of my cousins are going to fly me up to Montreal to visit family in early November. But that's all I've got on my plate in the foreseeable future. And that's fine with me. A year after getting out of hospital, I went to Rome for about 10 days to celebrate my birthday, because I'd had a "milestone" birthday while in ICU on a ventilator that was never celebrated. I've been to Boston several times since my diagnosis, been to Louisville and Denver to visit friends, and that's it. And I'm satisfied to know that right now I have my immediate needs taken care of--every life is filled with seasons, and currently it's not my season to do much traveling, and I don't honestly know if I'll experience another season of my life in which I do much traveling--but that's okay, too. It's been a very good, full life, and I hope to live much longer. I had a set of scans done recently that showed my cancer hasn't returned.

So Dogster, live your life as you choose, as you see fit, and as you are able. It's yours, after all. But please check in here from time to time, because you have people here who care about you, enjoy you, and rely on your advice and wit to get them through, too.

Best wishes always, and apologies to anyone who thinks I over-shared. I guess that may be a disease with me, too, at least on this level!

BC
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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This thread is a good example of what makes Fodors (the Asia board in particular)a community rather than a mere list of questions and answers.

There was some discussion a while back about 'insider' relationships evident here. Understanding the human dimension of the posters makes Fodors far richer. I hope we never lose that.
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 02:47 PM
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Femi, I couldn't agree more! This group IS special.
Carol
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 03:03 PM
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BC, please tell us this was the American medical system you were in and not Canada's! Just kidding. That was some story. Glad you pulled through. You're right about the psychological aftereffects. I know.
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 03:29 PM
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Yes, it was the American medical system. One of my aunts, diagnosed with breast cancer, was treated much better than I was and not charged a dime. I just recently learned that I was (by their admission) "overcharged" by the hospital, and now have a "positive balance" on my hospital account. Oh joy.

BC
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 05:02 PM
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Hi Dogster, it's been awhile hasn't it? I loosely followed the other post about your impending surgical treatment. Life was hectic for some time so I felt bad for not chiming in and offering support, but I couldn't get enough quiet thinking time to write anything meaningful. Things are more peaceful now.

Anyhow, "can't walk?" Go back to India! You can hire in all the household help you could possibly need for the duration of your convelescence. Ok, so maybe that type of travel isn't realistic, but the thought of it is tempting!

The future isn't bad...you've already been through the worst of it. Take care.
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 06:01 PM
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BC, my father has one of thsoe "positive balances" with his oncologist. He can't seem to get the dough back. I believe that's illegal. It's also creepy, like they know you'll be back...
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Old Sep 13th, 2009, 04:55 PM
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Hiya Dogster. I wondered when you would begin to hit the wall from intensive traveling (but didn't expect it to happen this way for you, very sorry). There's certainly nothing like the serious kick in the ass you can receive from a nasty illness or injury when abroad. After I came home from that trip I experienced an alarming aura of depression that stuck with me over a week.

My getting disoriented in our Horng nam at midnight, in the Banyan Tree, was the worst I've felt in Thailand. I couldn't tell if I was dreaming or awake(and I only do bourbon and coke!). Definitely killed my spirit for travel, so I have some idea of what you're experiencing. My bout of food poisoning on Soi Convent was nothing compared to that.

Anyway, Dogster, when you eventually get back to speed you will soon see the clouds part- which is where I'm currently at- except I can't convince the THAI (read THAI) wife that we should go to THAILAND in December...go figure!(crazy b..)

I hope you take up some form of exert-ive exercise to prop yourself back up. Exercise can truly make you feel young again (works for me). Truly a wonder drug from your own internal pharmacy. Please keep your snout up and heal quickly! Regards,

Mang
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Old Sep 13th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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oooops, that's bourbon and COCA-COLA, lmao!
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 06:01 PM
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Dogster, We need you!!!! You have no idea how many of us look forward to your messages. How many days you have given us the excitement/interest to make our day special.
So many of us have gone thru terrible illness and we have gotten better. You will walk again!!!! You will have more adventures and I hope we will get to read about them. You are very, very special and we are so glad we have been able to share part of you life. Bark on...
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Old Sep 17th, 2009, 03:10 PM
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The Dog is with us. He floats like a cloud, reading our minds and hearts, but he has his own battles to fight. Once he has conquered his demons, he will come back to us with his own patient (usually) and kind comments. No nagging from us. When he's ready, we will hear from him.
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Old Sep 25th, 2009, 01:08 PM
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Dogster, sending healing greetings to you while over looking beautiful Boston Harbor on a sparkling and gorgeous fall day. Keep the faith Dog, this shall pass and you will be on the road again soon. I would take Jaya's advice. Get back to India and hire a squadron to serve your every need. You could be like a British "DogRoy"of the Raj. Stages: Dogster three weeks ago: Dogster now: Dogster soon:

We'll toast to your health at the Boston GTG! (yours too Bookchick!)
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Old Sep 25th, 2009, 07:32 PM
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Dogster,

Just had a great time reading all about your Mumbai "experiences"--certainly very different to those on board the Q !!

However, then read of your health problems and just want to say that I sincerely hope you are well on the way to recovery and soon again on the road to Mandalay posting descriptions of your incredible adventures.


My very best wishes to you.
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Old Sep 26th, 2009, 05:34 AM
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Hey dogster - we need you to get that tail wagging again! Did you pay attention to our advice on the other thread about physical therapy? When the cast came off my broken wrist I could only rotate it 85 degrees. Several months of (painful) therapy and help from my chiropractor got it back to 180, so it does work. Did wonders for my broken ankle, too.
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Old Sep 26th, 2009, 07:39 AM
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Dogster, if your spirit is a bit crushed, I hope you can find someone to talk to and pull you up bit by bit. My friends have been able to do this for me, rather than a therapist(maybe I just never found the right one) but I wish you a speedy recovery, both body and soul.
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Old Sep 26th, 2009, 08:39 AM
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He might be taking a departure from the travel scene much like I had to do. Sometimes you have to submerge for a while until the dark clouds part. I hope he's in good spirits nonetheless.
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Old Sep 26th, 2009, 08:48 AM
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I'm not I sure I deserve this ton of love. In this and another post I've been the lucky recipient of a bucket of praise and affection - I do thank you. None of you will be aware of how much it meant, how salient and appropriate it was - and how kind.

I'm O.K. Not exactly bouncing around, but every day I'm better. Well, at the start of the day, anyway. I see no reason for the doc not to give me the all clear next week, by-pass wise. I can't pretend I'm not extremely aware of this new bit of plumbing in my body. It makes me realize just what an amazing event I've just been through. I just have to exercise now.

Spirit-wise, I've been seriously battered, but the worst is over. No need for concern, lol. Dog will not leap off a tall building, he will recover magnificently - but not necessarily in anybody's terms but his own. But things are going to have to change. So I'm doing 'change' too.

Maybe I should get a shrink. lol. Maybe not. Maybe just cut to the chase; I have a number of pals who take their 'happy pills' every day and go through life in a gentle confusion, calm and concerned, going through the motions, not giving a sweet rat's arse about anything at all.

Life as an Azamara cruise. Mmmm... no-o-o-o, I don't see that as an option.

We all self-medicate, dont we? One way or another. A few others have taken to the grog - for breakfast. Charming, voluble, lots of fun, talking absolute drivel with braying passion.

Not for me. I talk my absolute drivel sober.

Is extended adolescence a drug? For the Australian male it certainly seems to be. I just turned 60. I think I might leave the last vestiges of adolescence behind. Moving on. Get thee behind me Viagra.

Life as a grown-up? Gawd. Interestingly, one of the many salient facts to emerge out of this little endurance test is that I'm completely happy when I'm traveling and a great deal less happy when I'm not. I wonder if there's a message in there?

So-o-o, I think 'in transition' is the best I can offer us at the moment.

'In Kolkata' would be better. Soon.
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