Doctors Orders – It’s Got To Go


The background turned dark and grainy as the doctor gazed at me with a maniacal smile and screamed, “the liver has to go!” I may be embellishing this story a little, or whole lot, but that’s how it felt.

I popped a Xanax and begrudgingly had my semiannual MRI of my abdomen.  Im claustropobic and the MRI machine nearly causes me to have a panic attack.  I’ve gone through this process every six months since they found my liver adenomas two years ago.

My doctor’s preliminary diagnosis was everything looked fine.  The lesions appeared to be the same size or had shrank slightly.  All was well in my world for the next six months.  I said goodbye and went about my day.

The next morning my doctor called with a different story.  The adenoma on my right lobe had grown.  I would need to have another biopsy.  An hour later his secretary called informing me I needed to come in first thing the next morning to talk with the doctor.  Things seemed to be progressing quickly for the worse.

At my appointment I was told the Adenoma on the right lobe of my liver had grown in size and started to become amorphic.   There was concerns the lesion could be bleeding into itself.  Or worse, it could be turning cancerous, as that is a possibility.

I knew where this conversation was heading.  His recommendation was to surgically remove the adenoma.  The issue is I have two and due to the size and location of each, he will most likely only be able to remove the one on the right lobe.

The adenoma he will be removing is over 6 cm in circumference.  About the size of an orange.  The adenoma on my left lobe was smaller, but near two major veins.  He was afraid if they tried to remove both they wont’t be able to leave me with enough liver functionality.  I wasn’t thrilled to hear he wont’t be taking both at the same time, but that’s life.

I agreed to the surgery and he explained the recovery process.  I will be in the hospital 3-5 days, then out of work for an additional 2-4 weeks.  Because of the large incision he needed to make in my abdomen I’m supposed to be out of the gym for three months.

That’s when the panic set in and my mind started future tripping.   (more…)

About A Boy

Without even recognizing it, uncomfortable emotions have crept up on me again this year.  My Ex and I have been off and on for the past three years.  This time has been the longest of our break ups.  Each time we have split up we started talking on Mother’s Day and end up back together around Memorial Day.

We rush back into our relationship blindly without looking at the past wreckage we both have caused.  Ultimately the results are always the same.  It doesn’t work out because we have never resolved our past issues.  We take what we feel is a serendipitous reconnection and impulsively jump back into our relationship.

This year I am able to step back and assess my past relationship with her with a more discerning eye.  Too much has occurred between us for me to want to be with her again at this point.  I can’t allow myself to be hurt, or to hurt her, again knowing full well what has happened in the past.  At least that’s what I am telling myself.

The most regrettable part of this story is that she has a son who had to go through all this.   He deserves better than what her and I created.  I haven’t seen him in a little over four months now.  He’s the greatest little guy I have ever met.  I love him like he is my own.  I miss spending time with him playing , building Legos, and the bond we shared.

If I am being truthful, the reason I reached out to her on Mothers day is because I miss him.  I want to be a part of his life again.  When her and I broke up the last time we made an agreement I would stay in his life for as long as he wanted to see me.  I stuck to this agreement and saw him every other weekend for the next nine months.  However, I got to a point that I could no longer be around her.  It was unhealthy for everyone.

Unfortunately that meant I couldn’t see him anymore either.  I never wanted to stop being a part of his life, but I could no long be a part of her’s.

When I spoke with her yesterday I asked if I could see him again.  She told me she didn’t think that could happen.  She said he has struggled to adapt to no longer seeing me and she doesn’t want to confuse him further.  She went on to tell me how he talks about me and my dog often and wants to see us so bad.  Hearing her tell me that broke my heart.

She also mentioned that she wanted to protect herself from getting confused and backtracking in her life.  I can appreciate and respect what she said because the last thing I want to do is hurt either of them again.  I made it clear I don’t want to be with her or interfere with her current relationship.

She expressed that I was supposed to in his life as a step father.  She felt if I was to see him again he would be confused and want the three of us to do things together again and eventually he would want me to stay.  Her and I both know those things can’t happen anytime soon.  Or more realistically ever.

As we continued our conversation she brought up the past several.  She made comments about “us” and resentments she still harbors towards me.  I wasn’t the best boyfriend.  I understand where she is coming from as I harbored resentments towards her until recently.  I just know that I can’t allow myself to be resentful.  It brings me down and leads me back into a world that is unhealthy for me.  But I realize I can’t expect her to be on the same page as I am.

Im at a crossroads where I’m unsure If I am being selfish in wanting to be a part of his life.  I don’t know if it would be detrimental to him in the long run.  I have already been in and out of his life twice because his mother and I have not been able to keep our relationship together.  The last thing I want to do is hurt him more.

As an adult we have to make brutally painful decisions about what is best for other people.  In this case I’m not sure I’m able to do that.  I so deeply want to be a part of his life again that I’m afraid I’m unable to see what the right thing to do is.

Too often in my past when I thought I was being selfless I was being selfish.  I have difficulty seeing the difference while I am immersed in the situation.   I truly love this little boy.  Proving I love him may mean that I have to stay out of his life forever.  That’s the sad truth I don’t want to face.

And the Truth Shall Kick Your Ass

“Stop Brett!”  Those two words coming out her mouth broke my heart.  Again.  That familiar, empty, nauseous feeling rushed to the pit of my stomach.  My head felt like I had vertigo   My emotions were going a million miles a minute.  I wanted to rage and hurt someone.  But I didn’t.

My ex and I had broken up months before that moment.  I had moved out of the house we were living in together in April, six months prior.  During that summer we tried to make it work again between us.  But her feelings had already changed.  I think she was trying to make herself fall back in love with me.  Mainly because of comfort and the bond her son and I shared.  If I am being totally honest, those were the reasons I was trying too.  I loved her, but I knew it wasn’t right.

At the end of the summer she had a drastic “change of heart.”  She told me she couldn’t do it anymore.  The drastic change of heart was she met someone else.  She lied and gave me another excuse of why it was over, but that was the truth.

After the summer I still spent time with her son every other weekend.  This meant I was still seeing her as well.  We had agreed I would still stay in his life because he and I loved each other.  Looking back it wasn’t the right thing to do for anyone involved.

I saw him every other Sunday.  We would spend the day playing, going to Chuck E Cheese and building Legos.  I looked forward to those days from the moment I left until the moment I saw him again.  I also selfishly looked forward to seeing her.

The situation progressed to me spending  the weekend at their house.  At first I slept on the couch, it was all about the time he and I spent together.  That soon turned into the three of us doing things together as a family.  Then her and I started sleeping in the same bed and being intimate again.

I would ask her if she was seeing anyone.  I wanted to know the truth.  I didn’t want to continue being intimate if she was.  She would always say no.  She even went as far as to swear on her son’s life she was being truthful.  But I knew she was lying.

I started playing detective.  She had gotten back on birth control, there was a guys sweatshirt at the house one day, she was very nervous anytime I was near her phone.  There was so much writing on the wall.  But I chose to go head first back into this anyway.  I set myself up to get hurt.  I almost can’t even blame her because I allowed it to happen.

After she slipped up calling me the wrong name, I stayed the rest of the weekend to spend time with her son.  I just couldn’t leave him at that point.  Her and I talked and she answered some of my questions with partial truths.

Before I left I said my goodbye to her son as I put him to sleep.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I told her this was the last time I would see her.  She texted me a couple times on my drive home, but I couldn’t respond.

My birthday was that next weekend.  She texted me happy birthday and sent me a picture of her son holding a card he made for me.  I couldn’t help but cry.

I had hoped she would call me to show she felt remorse for her actions.  I wanted to see if she would try to prove that she cared about me like she had claimed.  But that never occurred.

I wanted to talk to her and hear her admit the truth to all of my questions.  I felt that I needed to know so I could have closure.  But I had my closure.

The more I thought about it I knew I couldn’t talk to her.  I needed space more than I needed the truth.  The truth didn’t really matter.  I knew enough that I could no longer have her as a part of my life.

Sometimes seeking the truth in delicate situations isn’t the best option.  Hearing her confess to all the things she had done wouldn’t have been the freeing experience I had hoped for.  It would have only served to damage me further and I would have brought that pain upon myself.  I accepted what I knew and moved forward with my life.  That was the gift of closure I gave myself.

I Hate the Fact That I Miss You

I have a tendency in my life to romanticize the past.  It’s this bad habit of remembering all the good times and feelings, even if they were few and far between.  I struggle to recognize the reality of how unhappy I was with whatever I am missing.

These feelings of longing aren’t just limited to my intimate relationships or people from my past.  I miss the places I lived, careers I’ve had, and even drugs I’ve done.  Some of this stems from regret for the choices I have made.  Maybe I gave up too soon or stayed there too long.

The majority of the time I revisit the past and the things I miss, they are never quite the same as I remembered.  They don’t feel the same.  They don’t invoke the feelings in me that I hoped they would.  The sex isn’t as good, the views aren’t as beautiful, the drugs never get me as high.

I’ve spent a great deal of my life brooding over the past.   I sit and think about how I could have made different choices that may have led to a different outcome.  Hoping that somehow I will get another shot at my past.  It’s always the story of “well if I had just done X differently.”  It becomes nothing more than an exercise in futility.

Habitually, I miss people, places and things for all the wrong reasons.  A fair amount of guilt and shame tend to accompany my feelings of nostalgia.  I often wonder why I spend so much time ruminating over what has been done.  There’s nothing I can do to change what’s happened; so why do I let it drain my life today?  I know that previous statement is very obvious and clearly not profound.  But it’s something I always struggle to accept.

And there in lies the key to this life lesson; acceptance.  Acceptance is the only thing that can give me freedom from my past.  It allows me to find inner peace and say goodbye to what once was.  One of the most quoted pieces of literature on acceptance come from The Big Book of AA:

      “And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation — some fact of my life — unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.”

Acceptance is the most obvious, yet powerful tool I can think of when it comes to dealing with the past.  It should be the most simple principle to apply because its makes the most sense.  Whats done is done!  There’s no time machine.  I can’t right the wrongs I have done.  But, I can accept was has occurred and move forward making positive changes in my life to ensure that I don’t make those mistakes again.

Many people before me have said that the past belongs exactly where it is; in the past.  It’s normal and natural to miss something or someone.   Reminiscing over the good times.  However, If I want serenity and happiness today I need to leave my past alone.  I need to live in the present and build for the future.  I can draw on the experiences and the lessons I have learned to be a better person today and in the future.  Spending time and energy focusing on what could have been keeps me from creating what will become.

“Yesterday is history and tomorrow’s a mystery
But baby right now, its just about you and me”