Updates from March, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kurt Brindley 10:41 am on March 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , alternative health, , , fentanyl, Industrial Music, , , oxycodone, , , palliative care, Static-x, Wayne Static   

    Drugs, Death, and Rock & Roll 

    Wayne Static in 2005 [WIKIPEDIA]


     

    Did not know Wayne Static had died in 2014.

    What a frikkin’ bummer.

    I’m a fan of Industrial Music — Rock, Metal, Electronic — with Nine Inch Nails being my typical band of choice whenever I’m jonesing for a deep, dark, dystopic fix.

    But whenever I was in need for an adrenaline fix, Wayne Static — his stage name obviously — with his band Static-X would always get me to where I was fixin’ to go.

    It’s been a while since I needed a high-tempo rush like that so I hadn’t heard nor thought of Static-X in many o’ moons; however, now that I’m to the point where I’m working out regularly, a Static-X classic popped up on my Apple Music Industrial Rock Workout Playlist that Apple nerds had kindly and conveniently curated for me.

    Warning: If you’re not familiar with this genre of music, you may want to check, first, with your doctor to ensure your heart can handle it, and then, second, with your Priest/Spiritual Advisor to ensure your spirit can handle it, as well…
    (More …)

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    • Satin Sheet Diva 11:03 am on March 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      OMG – LOVE! I listen to such a wide variety of music I don’t ever know the specific genre or artist name, but this is most AWESOME.

      On the drug note – I’m such a light weight that anything stronger than an Excedrin extra strength and I’m subject to trip for DAYS (daze)! When I had my hysterectomy they hooked me up to a morphine drip without my consent. As soon as I could get conscious (and yeah, it took me a minute to figure out what was knocking me on my ass every so many hours) I told them to take it out. They kept trying to push some kind of pain killer on me, and I kept turning them down. When I was released from the hospital, I used the prescription for the pain meds as a book mark and never ever thought to fill it. The prescribed my daughter with Vicodin after wrist surgery to set a broken bone. She was 12. Never got that prescription filled either and she didn’t miss it or ask for any painkillers, ever.

      I hope I am never in the kind of pain that would have me asking for those major narcotics.

      Liked by 1 person

    • cinderellaeveryman 11:34 pm on March 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      so that’s where you get your incredible stride, Kurt.
      love the bit about pain letting you know that your body is [what was it?] drawing from an inexhaustible source of infinite wisdom, etc. etc.
      I so totally agree with the whole slew of this post.
      have been a chronic pain sufferer for 20 odd years. No drugs. Never use em. Body can deal with healing much better without that sickly, soporific, artificial interference.
      I meditate, I walk, I listen to…. in my case a stiff cocktail of Beethoven’s 7th or Mozart’s Requiem. same ride, different means. or Jimmy Hendrix.
      I write. I read.
      Them’s the only ways my feet know how to climb the mountain.
      and the mountain gets you a good view. Oxygen pumping and the lungs soaring.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 2:53 pm on February 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: body core temperature, breathing, breathing techniques, , cardiovascular system, extreme breathing, , , health science, , , , , Wim Hof   

    Any Wim Hof fans out there? 

    If you’ve never heard of Hof before… prepare to have your mind blown.

    This dude, known as The Iceman, can withstand the coldest colds and endure the hottest hots for practically as long as he wants all because he can control his mind and, through that, his core temperature, all through a radical breathing technique of his.

    I’ve lost nearly half of my lung capacity due to a side effect called graft versus host disease after from my bone marrow transplant so, apart from the fact my survival rate chances were in the cellar, I never expected to be able to do much in the way of cardiovascular work ever again.

    My son turned me onto Hof last year and, while I’m still in my initial stages of learning from this guy, you should see me going for it on the exercise bike and with the weights. I cannot imagine how much more I will be able to progress the more I progress with Hof’s techniques.

    Reminder, as per clearly stated in my Terms & Disclaimers I am not a doctor so don’t go doing this stuff without consulting the experts first.

    But if you want to experience a new reality of living… watch the fascinating Vice documentary about him below and then go check out this wild man’s youtube site.
     

     

     
  • Kurt Brindley 10:28 pm on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , inspirational books, , , , , , , , , Tibetan Bells   

    Get Mellow 


     
    If I had been given a 14% chance of living to five years after my Lung GVHD diagnosis instead of a 13% chance, I would have then had to call my little self-help book HOW NOT TO DIE: In 14 Easy Steps instead of 13.

    And as the additional step to keep one alive, I would have added “Get Mellow,” because I have learned throughout my years that life is stressful — it is even more so when your health fails you. One has to take action to keep it cool or the stress just compounds the damage.

    In addition to prayer and meditation, I listened to many different varieties of relaxing music to get and stay mellow. However, once I found this Tibetan Bells video it became The One and Only.

    It’s been a while since I’ve listened to it.

    But, seeing how the stress levels seem to be rising…

    It’s time for me to once again… Get Mellow.

    OMMMMM

     

     
  • Kurt Brindley 6:29 pm on February 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , lung gvhd, , , , , , ,   

    The Purpose of Pain 

    Kurt receiving acupuncture treatment for his many ailments

    When it comes to physical pain, it’s purpose is hardly in question: It focuses us to where our immediate attention and action is required.

    We accidentally rest our hand on a hot, stove top burner and, without our sense of pain, our hand, if it weren’t for our sense of smell, would become cooked well enough to serve up at the next meal.

    We could laugh at this, but sadly and horrifically there are some who do not experience the sense of physical pain due to a rare condition known as congenital analgesia.

    (More …)

     
    • Jackie Oldham 9:42 pm on February 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      So interesting that you wrote on this topic today. I have a life-long diagnosed depression. And in recent years, I have come to understand the truth and power of using the depressed state to withdraw, ruminate, and most importantly, allow my ruminations to guide me to solutions to the source of my despair. I was in the middle of working out a current problem when I read your post.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Kurt Brindley 3:19 pm on February 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I’m sorry to hear about your condition, Jackie. It sounds like you haven’t let it determine your fate and that you’ve become a forward thinker in regards to managing it. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us, my friend. I hope others like me will gain from it.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Rajiv 12:37 am on February 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Very good post. It gives much food for thought

      Liked by 1 person

    • andysmerdon 1:45 am on February 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Kurt – for me depression and anxiety are not terribly rewarding. Having said that I am caused by the condition to look at what it is that is pissing me off, with a good deal of scrutiny – the key though, is coming to terms with whatever you find, because sometimes its not a pretty picture. I’m thankful for the subject matter it sometimes gives me for a poem or two, but I’d happily live without it – Take it easy mate and Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 12:19 am on February 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I’m sorry you have to deal with that, brother; I’m grateful to you for sharing this for others to learn and hopefully heal from.

        Liked by 1 person

        • andysmerdon 2:02 am on February 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

          Its a subject that needs to be spoken about by guys – we tend to think we are to tough for this. Take it easy Kurt :)

          Like

    • avwalters 11:37 am on February 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Another symptom of depression is lethargy, the inability to move forward. Maybe this is the “it” for which you’re searching. That lethargy may mobilize you from taking drastic or inappropriate action. (Maybe, here the rumination occurs.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 12:22 am on February 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Very interesting concept, avwalters. I guess it would be similar to the aches and pains one feels from an infection that forces us to remain in bed to heal. Thanks for sharing this.

        Like

    • KatieComeBack 7:20 pm on February 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve had some issues with not recognizing pain – while I feel it, I seem to have quite a high tolerance for it. That got me into some medical trouble a couple of times (gangrenous gallbladder and walking around for weeks on a broken foot.) I think the same can be true for recognizing my mental state….I have a high tolerance for it, so I don’t always know when I’m in trouble.

      Not sure that adds anything to the convo except I can relate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 12:26 am on February 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t have a necessarily high tolerance for pain; however, I do have a high resistance toward going to the docs to deal with pain, which didn’t serve me well when I resisted for 3 weeks before getting checked what turned out to be a blood clot in my leg that revealed my leukemia.

        Liked by 1 person

        • KatieComeBack 5:46 pm on February 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

          That’s pretty common. After my gallbladder tried to poison me I’ve done a much better job listening to the whispers of my body….

          Like

  • Kurt Brindley 12:54 pm on December 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #trumpacolypse, , , , , , psychological issues, , , trump tweets,   

    2017: #TRUMPOCALYPSE* 

    This dude has some serious issues…

    Seriously…

    (More …)

     
    • nonsmokingladybug 1:10 pm on December 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      There are many things one can buy, but you cannot buy class or style. No matter how hard you try. It shines through, doesn’t it? I shook my head in disbelief. I think I am going to buy me a neck brace, just in case. There will be a lot of head shaking in the years to come.

      Like

      • Rene L Miller 2:28 pm on December 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        nonsmokingladybug! I had to giggle first because you are soooo right about the class thing and the man has not an ounce. I don’t know how his woman does it unless she is just like him underneath all of her outside parts. To think of it honestly gives me the heebee jeebies! But we must remember that this man is in the position today that he has been given because “he borrowed a million dollars from his father to get his start in life”. I truly wonder how smart this man really isn’t because he did have to file bankruptcy recently, correct? If I could have borrowed a cool mil from my father to get started in life, I surely would have done very well but then I’m an accountant.??? oops he does know how to work a calculator.
        You know, I was wondering when he was opening his mouth during the debates, how long it was going to take people to read between the unremarkable way he said he was going to fix things. That is something that we know, simply never happens.
        Thanks for letting me say something about how I am feeling about this very scary fraud. Did you know that he likes Putin because he said Putin liked him?? Pretty sure that was the conversation? Was anyone really impressed with that little “trump card”? Have a great day.

        Liked by 1 person

        • nonsmokingladybug 3:54 pm on December 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply

          Don’t get me started. I wrote about (and against him) since a year and the election result still seems surreal to me. How could we as a nation sink that low?

          You know, there is a reason why he doesn’t show his tax returns. I assume he is not as rich as he says he is and I am certain that he is in “bed” with a few countries that we wouldn’t approve of.

          As for his New Years tweed, it’s almost comical. As I said, no class and no style…none.

          Happy New Year!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Kira 1:18 pm on December 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, just wow.

      Like

    • Alli Farkas 1:21 pm on December 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      So happy, relieved, grateful…that I don’t do Twitter.

      Like

    • Joy Pixley 1:50 pm on December 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      “Mental health” is right. The man takes “not presidential” to a new level, and then manages to find even lower levels as he goes.

      Liked by 1 person

    • tanyafyfe 10:53 am on January 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Look up Narcissist. He is the embodiment of the definition.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 5:49 pm on December 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , cancer support, Coping with Cancer, , , , magazines, , support groups,   

    COPING with #CANCER? 

    coping-quote

    Hey! How about that?!

    Our good friends over at COPING With Cancer magazine featured an excerpt from my little book HOW NOT TO DIE: In 13 Easy Steps in their recent edition.

    Pretty cool, no?

    Yes, indeed.

    You can learn more about the magazine and all the good folks there doing God’s work here.

    You can learn more about my book here.

    You can check out the post the book was inspired by here.

    And you can learn how I feel about pink as the color of cancer here.

    #cancerisjustastateofmind
    #peace

     
     

     
    • holisticlifestylecoachblog 6:15 pm on December 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Congrats on your article and book. I am coping with cancer too and it sucks. None of the treatment they have tried has worked. Another Christmas suffering cause third type of chemo not working. Would love to hear how your book came about, want to write my own but find it hard to face it as I live it. I’ll review your book for you if you like

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kurt Brindley 9:12 am on December 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I’m sorry to hear about your condition. I actually started blogging after my diagnosis in 2009. It’s been a long road and my writing was great therapy. If you want to see my early writings you can search this site for “cancer” leukemia” “gvhd” or “health.” You can also see them in their original place at http://marrowish.wordpress.com. The book, itself, is just a self-indulgent compilation of the original post “How Not To Die” as well as relevant haiku and other writings. I wish you the best. You can email me through my contact page if you have any follow ups or just want to talk. :)

        Like

    • Aimer Boyz 9:46 pm on December 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Congratulations, Kurt. That is indeed, cool :)
      It must give you such a warm feeling to know that your experience and words are out there helping others.

      Like

  • Kurt Brindley 11:36 am on July 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Alzheimer's, , brain games, brain health, , , , , , neuroscience,   

    More Brain Drain Stuff 

    Meningitis Brain

    Image courtesy of National Institute on Aging


     
    So… based on your very kind, honest, and funny feedback to my last post, it appears that Cards Against Humanity, while being fun and completely aligned with my temperament, may not be the game best suited for building up my brain muscle.

    I know there are several companies out there now that say they have games and apps that will improve one’s cognitive function and may hold diseases like Alzheimer’s at bay. However, those companies were pretty much debunked by a group of neuroscientists with this.

    The good news is that there may actually be one game out there that does improve brain function.

    From the LA Times:

    If you’re intent on keeping dementia at bay, new research suggests you’ll need more than crossword puzzles, aerobic exercise and an active social life. In a study released Sunday, researchers found that older adults who did exercises to shore up the speed at which they processed visual information could cut by nearly half their likelihood of cognitive decline or dementia over a 10-year period…

    The data that the LA Times is reporting from was presented at the Alzheimer’s Assn.’s International Conference.

    The study the data was drawn from was conducted by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging.

    The game used in the study found to be effective is called Double Decision.

    Of course you have to become a paid subscriber to play the game. If you pay monthly, it costs $14.00. If you pay annually, it costs $8.00.

    A monthly membership to Golds Gym costs around $25.00 a month.

    I am not yet sure if I am going to subscribe to play the game but I am sure, based upon your feedback and my research, that muscles, brains or otherwise, are expensive to build and maintain.

     
     

     
    • brandenburg 11:45 am on July 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Crétins!Quand on a la tête vide,inutile de la muscler,elle sera encore plus vide!

      Like

    • Alli Farkas 12:06 pm on July 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Will have to brush up on my minimal French. Much more fluent in Spanish…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 12:37 pm on July 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        My grandpa always used to say that he could speak to you in any language except Greek. However, if you asked him to say something in say, French, he would just shrug his shoulders and say that it was all Greek to him. :)

        Liked by 2 people

    • insideoutconversationsblog 12:19 pm on July 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Perhaps we can convince every gym out there to open up a section of brain exercise equipment.

      Liked by 2 people

    • vbthompson 3:03 pm on July 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Learning second languages is one of the best ways to exercise your brain and keep dementia at bay according to scientific research. So it seems that you might be just fine, Kurt! ;) Perhaps learn some Greek?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mellow Curmudgeon 7:35 pm on July 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      There is a fairly strong consensus that aerobic exercise and social engagement are helpful. I would guess that serious efforts to think outside of the box about tough problems is helpful too, whether or not anything that might actually solve the problems emerges. If unifying quantum mechanics and general relativity sounds too easy, U might want to ponder how it is that the pols who are most strident about wanting to keep Americans “safe” are also the ones who think appeasing the NRA is more important than making it harder for crazies like Adam Lanza to murder school children and their teachers.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 5:44 pm on July 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , board games, , , , chemo brain, , , , , , ,   

    My Chemo Brain Counter-Offensive 

    So… yeah. I’ve been having some chemo brain issues for quite a while now and I’m in search of interesting ways to build up my brain muscle to counter these “cognitive disorder” side-effects, as my neurologist so neatly calls them.

    I’ve never been a board game – or any game for that matter – kind of guy, but I’ve read and I’ve heard anecdotal evidence that board games do help with one’s focus and clarity issues.

    With this anecdotal evidence as my impetus, of course I went to Amazon, the event horizon of the internet, and searched around for what the best board game for my particular interests would be.

    And I found this:

    Cards Against Humanity
     
    As you can see, it tags itself as “A party game for horrible people.” And while I don’t feel that I’m all that horrible, after reading a few of the many thousands of reviews, it does seem like a game that would appeal to my interests.

    Does that make me so horrible?

    That was rhetorical.

    Anyway…

    Which brings me to the point of this pointy post…

    Research, with you being my source information.

    Have you played the game? And if so, what do you think of it? Is it fun? Challenging? Stoopid? Do you feel you have a stronger brain because of your playing it?

    And don’t worry, just because you played the game doesn’t mean I will judge you as a horrible person.

    Necessarily…

    I will, however, admire your courage for admitting it.


    If you’re not familiar with the game, you can learn more about it here.

     
     

     
    • Johanna Rosberg 5:54 pm on July 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve played the game once at a party. It is horrible, but mostly pretty funny, too! I definitely wouldn’t say that it gave me a stronger brain, though, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

    • V. Gabow 6:10 pm on July 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      One of my all-time favorite games, if you happen to have a few gutter minded friends as I most definitely do, I’d highly recommend it for some laugh therapy. As Johanna said, I don’t know about a stronger brain, but they say laughter is the best medicine, so maybe? :)

      Liked by 1 person

    • little monkey 7:16 pm on July 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve played it a few times. With my adult kids and their friends. It’s very very funny, and can be very, very uncomfortable as well, depending on who you are playing with. A Particularly suitable game for those that tend to fall on the snarky side of the spectrum. I think trying to make those unusual associations, and the sheer level of horror/humor at your own depravity exercise the brain. I don’t think I’m a horrible person, but I definitely needed a bath after I play.It’s a symbolic bath, but necessary.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Produce Your Freedom 7:25 pm on July 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I used to play this quite a bit mostly with college friends having a few adult beverages. It’s really funny and infinitely replay able since it depends more on the group you are playing with than the cards themselves. It can get really creative and the answers people choose and come up with might shock you. Great game, but I wouldn’t count on it to help with brain development. If you like strategy games you might want to check out Settler’s of Catan. A bit geeky but it can be fun.

      Liked by 1 person

    • maggie0019 7:34 pm on July 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Marbles the Brain store has lots of good puzzles/games to help, too. And Mom recommends taking krill oil, if you aren’t already. As an aside – now Mom wants to get this game and have some evil fun. Woof! Love, Maggie

      Liked by 1 person

    • JJ_Dugger 8:18 pm on July 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Played, it’s hysterical, and yes horrible, but then my friends and I have a sick sense of humor! Enjoy! Prayers for your healing going up.😀

      Liked by 2 people

    • Christin 11:57 pm on July 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve played it, & own it. Its my favorite card game! And it’s totally horrible but that’s okay!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Robyn Elliot 5:41 am on July 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I think I could have invented this game. Never heard of it, but will definitely take a look – particularly as it will suit my menopausal brain which renders me with ZERO TOLERANCE over just about everything these days. Kurt, it may not clear the brain fog, but you’ll enjoy the hilarity of hate at least!

      Liked by 1 person

    • kristianw84 9:38 am on July 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      This game is is so funny! I don’t think it strengthened my brain. It is more like an adult version of apples to apples. The more people you play with, the funnier this game is. I don’t think anyone who plays it is a horrible person, it’s all in good fun! ;)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Doug 11:23 am on July 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      My favorite cards are the multiples, where you play two or even three answers to the prompt. You can get really creative with those. Also trying to match your answer to a particular person’s humor is good exercise. It good fun, but rude.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Don Massenzio 10:36 pm on July 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve played it. It’s a great way to really get to know your friends and family in ways you might not have dreamed. My wife, for instance, was Googling many of the terms. That explains so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 2:22 pm on July 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        As popular as this game seems to be, I’m surprised I’ve never heard of it before. I’ve lived the sheltered life, I suppose. :)

        Liked by 1 person

    • KatieComeBack 9:08 pm on August 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It’s an equal-opportunity offender. And I play it with my teenage kids, because I am the coolest mom evah, yo.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 10:07 am on April 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , writing therapy   

    The Power of About 

    THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON MEDIUM


    I may be mistaken, but it is my belief that we’ve all been to that dark, lonely place at least once or twice in our lives where we, and the lives we have led, seem…

    Insignificant.

    Less than.

    Pointless.

    It’s a scary place and one which I suspect, and hope, the majority of us visit only infrequently and fleetingly because our lives are fulfilling and rewarding enough to steer us clear from the depression that can lead us there.

    However, I also suspect that there is a significant minority of us who visit this dark, lonely place more often and for longer periods than most since, according to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly 19% of the United States’ adult population experience some degree of mental illness throughout the year [1]. And, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States [2].

    I, myself, became a frequent visitor of this dark, lonely place not long after I began taking high doses of the steroid prednisone to combat a deadly disease that was destroying my lungs, and one which I was given little chance of surviving.

    It was a hard enough to mentally process that my life may soon be ended by an aggressively fatal disease — pretty tough for anyone to process, I would imagine — but couple that bummer news with a steroid that induces psychosis-like side-effects and, yeah… double bummer.

    Consequently, it wasn’t long before I found myself spending nearly as much time in that dark, lonely place as I was out of it.

    It’s hard to explain what I and my mind were going through whenever I visited there. I’m not sure there is a way to describe it wholly in just a few words. It is both a tangible and intangible feeling. A cold feeling sometimes. A heavy feeling other times. But it was almost always a feeling of pointlessness. A feeling of… Why bother?

    I was dying. My body had failed me and I had failed my family. The only thing I felt I was good for now were my less than adequate disability checks. Were I gone, my life insurance payout would have been much more rewarding and helpful for those whom my absence would release from the burdens my illness had placed upon them.

    Yeah… I was down there in that indelible darkness of depression pretty deep.

    Fortunately for me I had a saving grace — several of them, in fact.

    One, the primary one, was a support network of family and friends who loved me, cared for me, and prayed for me.

    Another, was that I like to write.

    The Writing Hand

    The Writing Hand

    I began blogging shortly after my leukemia diagnosis. Nothing too deep or introspective — though scared, I was completely confident I was going survive — just updates to keep my friends and family informed of my health and happenings during my treatment.

    But months later after learning my lungs were slowly dying away as a side-effect result from my bone marrow transplant, and having to begin a hefty prednisone regiment in an effort to slow the dying process down, my positive perspective on things changed significantly.

    Though the drug-induced and drastic mood swings made it difficult to focus, I began to blog more often and about more personal matters. And while I regard my blogging experience during this difficult time as a very beneficial, therapeutic activity — an activity I presume many others regard beneficial as well, for a simple Google search of the term “writing therapy” resulted in around 259,000,000 results — it wasn’t helping me to shake the persistent feeling of irrelevance; of feeling that I others would better off if I were dead.

    Fortunately for me, since I was spending more time thinking deeply about my life for my blog, I eventually began tinkering with my blog’s “About” page.

    And this tinkering proved to be yet one more saving grace; for it led me on a path to try to discover things about myself that others might find interesting enough to inspire them to read more of my writing.

    And once I began thinking in more of a self-promotional, third-person kind of way about my life, I began realizing and rediscovering things about myself that I found to be very special and unique.

    For the next week or so, I stopped blogging altogether and, like a gold digger after finding his first valuable nugget, I worked passionately on mining through my past to dig up and write down all the meaningful nuggets I could find.

    And when I was finally satisfied that my life was properly represented on the page, I began to craft the long, meaningful list of me into a voice that, when others read it, would be heard distinctly as mine.

    When I was finished*, my “About” page was more than just being about me… it was me.

    And even now when reading this long and winding written documentary of me, I am filled with a sense of gratitude and purpose so powerful that, even if I were to once again visit that dark, lonely place, I could never do so feeling as if my life were pointless and without meaning.



    1. https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers
    2. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adults.shtml


    *As I live and grow, so too does my “About” page. It will never be finished completely… until I am.

     
  • Kurt Brindley 3:44 pm on March 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , AML, bone marrow donors, , , , , Donors, , , , , ,   

    On why I choose to refer to those who help fund my film as “Donors”… 

    Admittedly, with these newfangled campaign funding sites such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter, where they have their “Backers” or “FUNders” or whatever else they call those who give money to a money-raising campaign, me referring to my supporters as “Donors” seems a bit anachronistic.

    However, there is a very important reason as to why I do.

    It is, perhaps, a term the most near and dear to my heart…

    For, it wasn’t a “Backer” who was willing to sacrifice her time, effort, and self for someone she didn’t even know…

    It wasn’t a “Backer” who had to take off work, find her way to the hospital, prepare herself mentally for an operation, sign all the forms, wear the silly patient outfit…

    It wasn’t a “Backer” who had to endure the days of pain and discomfort caused by the operation…

    And it wasn’t a “Backer” who blessed me with her bone marrow.

    She was a Donor.

    A Bone Marrow Donor.

    And she saved my life.
     

    Please consider becoming such a selfless and life-giving Donor as is mine.


     

    BONE MARROW DONATION FAQS

     
     

     
    • sanseilife 4:05 pm on March 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Blood donors, platelet donors, and bone marrow donors. We are here for you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • wscottling 5:01 pm on March 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I used to donate blood every year. I can’t anymore… they turned me away the last two times I tried. For the life of me, I can’t remember why. >_< I believe it has something to do with the medications I take, but I honestly don't remember.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 5:04 pm on March 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Could be. Seems those requirements change occasionally based upon latest research. You should check to see if you’re able to donate bone marrow. It is as simple as a cheek swab.

        Like

    • theycallmebetty 5:55 pm on March 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Well said! As the spouse of a BMT recipient I echo your statement. Although she is still fighting to survive GvHD, without her donor she wouldn’t be here to fight.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 9:11 pm on March 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I’m sorry to hear she’s having a tough time with the cursed GVHD. If you think she’d like a copy of HOW NOT TO DIE, please email me your mailing address via my contact page and I’ll mail one out to her. Or, I could just email an electric copy if an ebook is better. If you prefer not, I understand. She’ll be in my prayers, regardless… as will you as her caregiver and biggest supporter, theycallmebetty.

        Like

    • Alli Farkas 11:03 am on March 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Signed up 20 years ago. Haven’t been needed yet…

      Like

  • Kurt Brindley 7:49 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , eye disease, , , , , , lists, , , , ,   

    HOW NOT TO DIE: In 13 Easy Steps 

    On this day five years ago, I received the news that a recent lung biopsy showed that my lungs were inflicted with a severe form of graft versus host disease (GVHD) called bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). BOS, I came to find out, was a known but uncommon side-effect resulting from a bone marrow transplant (for leukemia) that I had had earlier in the year. And by severe I was told it meant the BOS was incurable, non-reversible, and, in most cases, aggressively fatal. I was also told — because I had asked and insisted on an answer — that, according to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study of the time, BOS had only a 13%, five-year survival rate. In other words, there was an 87% chance that within five years I would be dead.

    Well, it’s been five years and here I am – a newly minted Thirteen Percenter.

    Can a brother get a “Hell yeah?”

    Hell yeah!

    Anyway… at my most recent appointment with my oncologist, in addition to his standard declaration whenever he sees me of, “So, I see you’re still alive,” he also declared that my present condition may just be a miracle of sorts because it appears that my incurable BOS may have actually been cured… somehow.

    I don’t think I would be overstating if I said that, because of all my goings on these past five years – goings on such as leukemia, GVHD (and not just of the lungs, but also of the eyes, liver, and intestines), prednisone side-effects, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and heart failure to name a few – I think I’ve learned a thing or two about life in general and living it in particular.

    Now, if you search around this site, I’m pretty sure you will find that much of my writing, mostly encapsulated in my haiku, reflects a lot of the insights and learning I’ve garnered from these goings on. However, just because I like you all so much and don’t want you to have try to sift through this site for days on end in an effort to discover these insights and learning, and because short, pithy lists are all the rage these days, I will identify for you the top thirteen things I learned about how to not only not die, but mostly about how to best live your life filled with happiness and meaning, regardless whether death is looking you directly in the face or not.

    Cool?

    Okay, so here we go…

    (More …)

     
    • wwwpalfitness 7:56 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      My mother had Leukemia with the highest mortality rate within a year. She went through it all, then was told to do a bone marrow transplant. Being she was clear she was advised to transplant her own bone marrow months before she had it taken out before the transplant to keep any bad reactions. So I know what you went through. She managed to live 15 years and is the third highest on the list of survivors with the deadliest Leukemia. It really was scary but she squandered the gift she was given, sadly.

      Liked by 2 people

    • devenbhagwandin 8:02 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Amazing piece. Amazing read. I hope you don’t mind, I shared this on my FB. Everyone should read this.

      Liked by 2 people

    • KIA 8:03 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Inspiring and hopeful. Cancer deserves the beat down

      Liked by 2 people

    • Joy Pixley 8:05 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Happy to give you a big HELL, YEAH! And wow, what a great list of things to remember to do — as you say, it may not help us live longer, but any one of those is likely to make you live better in whatever time you have left. Congrats on still being alive and kicking death’s ass.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Kurt Brindley 8:15 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks so much, Joy. Your hell yeah is awesome and greatly appreciated. :)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Joy Pixley 8:44 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

          I actually had the opposite experience with the odds with my (much less serious) thyroid cancer diagnosis. Through asking a lot of questions and reading all the published medical studies on my treatment options and then conducting a statistical meta-analysis of them (because that’s how I roll), I determined that I had about an 88% chance of doing fine if I chose a less aggressive treatment that would allow me better life quality (i.e., keep the other half of my thyroid and not depend on pills the rest of my life). My doctors recommended the most aggressive treatment possible, because that’s the only speed they understand, but they went along with my decision. Well, turns out I was in the 12% failure category and not the 88% success category. Someone has to be, and this time it was me. So two years later I was back getting the more aggressive treatment. My endocrinologist said this proved that I was “wrong,” but that just shows that he doesn’t understand statistics or predictions. Anyway, I’m fine now, total remission, down to checks only every two years. Can’t complain about that!

          Liked by 2 people

          • Kurt Brindley 9:32 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

            Hell yeah! Def cannot complain about that… or in the way you roll. Very inspiring. Thank you for sharing that, Joy.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Carol Dunnigan 8:23 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hell yeah! And now I don’t feel so bad about my lung biopsy last year. I heard that people have died from what I had/have, but I’m one of the lucky ones. So glad you’re still here with us!

      Liked by 1 person

    • persoinpoesia2015 8:27 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      HELL YEAH!! to the infinity

      Liked by 2 people

    • KIA 8:32 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on The Recovering Know It All and commented:
      This is an Amazing Story of Living in the Face of Death. Aren’t we all? But this brother is daily Snatching Victory from the Jaws of ‘certain’ Defeat. Life is precious and sweet. Life to the fullest every moment you have. -KIA

      Liked by 2 people

    • k~ 8:40 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The inspirational voices that are heard from those people, like you, that look death in the eye and tell it to take a hike (okay sometimes the verbs are a bit stronger) deserve attention. Your attitude, and consistent strength is worth so much to people who hear the results and accept that they will never be the “thirteen percent” that you have claimed as yours. Kudos to you for your ability to love, laugh, and live in the face of choices between faith and giving in.

      I saw that you did not mind another sharing your post on FB, so I have done the same. This is inspirational to me, and I imagine it will be to many more.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Kim Hurst 8:58 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s my HELL YEAH! I feel blessed to have read this will be passing it on!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kurt Brindley 9:41 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Hell yeah! indeed. It goes without saying, sister, that your love and prayers are integral to me being here right now. :)

        Like

    • pezoldo 9:08 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      My mother just got the news that she’ll likely make the 8% 5-year-survival rate for her particular brand of cancer… good to know that there are others out there beating the odds right alongside her! Great to hear the news :)

      Liked by 2 people

    • juniperpine 9:13 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hello, Yeah!!! Thank you for the 13, plus one, steps.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Satin Sheet Diva 9:20 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      AMEN. And may I say, Im thankful that you are around to post such insight. This was a message I needed to read.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Julie Senita 9:30 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      So glad to hear your inspiring story Kurt and words of wisdom that we can all live by. Blessings my friend for sharing it with others and giving hope. Take care and be well!

      Liked by 2 people

    • writingblissfully 9:42 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Congratulations! And oh hell yeah! :-) Truly inspiring!

      Liked by 2 people

    • seanpatrickwhiteley 9:55 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Simply amazing. There is nothing else to say. Good on ya, man!

      Liked by 2 people

    • niaaeryn 9:59 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Congratulations! That is excellent news and inspirational advice. :)

      Liked by 2 people

    • tpesce2015 10:49 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hard won wisdom. Generously shared. Thank you, warrior!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Allen 10:54 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Awesome piece — this is very inspiring! I’m definitely making a point to express gratitude and to appreciate everything that life has to offer.

      And yes, at the very least, you definitely deserve a “Hell, yeah!” :-)

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kurt Brindley 10:02 am on November 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Hell yeah… thank you very much, Allen. I really appreciate you taking the time leave me such a kind, encouraging comment. :)

        Liked by 1 person

    • Lilka Raphael 11:44 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      What a testimony! Great post that certainly puts things in their proper perspective.
      Thanks for sharing your story. B Blessed!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Karina Pinella 12:10 am on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Keep on kicking!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Annie 7:06 am on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hell yeah! Thanks for sharing this, and for the reminder.

      Liked by 1 person

    • hilsart 7:11 am on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you so much for that Kurt. And may you have a brilliant day – and week – and month – and years ahead of you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mike Fuller Author 8:00 am on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      14. The Powerball numbers will be…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Suburban Leaves 8:23 am on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      A great read, thank you Kurt. This was for me a little nudge to reposition my perspective. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mike Hartley 10:50 am on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hell Yeah Kurt. Continue loving each day and each person in your life. I’ll look at your list to remind me along the way and try to add to it. Love your positive message but also really like the picture. Here’s to many more days and finding the best in each.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Robyn 12:06 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Kurt, it’s all about you, you, you, isn’t it.
      But, dude, seriously…you rock. x

      Liked by 2 people

    • Aimer Boyz 12:34 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Smart advice on how to live life whether we’re ill or not. Stay healthy :)

      Liked by 1 person

    • wscottling 1:04 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll give you a hell yeah. and a step 14. Gather the Dragon Balls. ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 9:55 am on November 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Haha… Thank you, my friend. I better ask my sons how to best gather those suckers. :)

        Like

    • Leland Olson Hoel 1:11 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “Hell yeah!” and “Hell yeah”
      Amen and Amen also! God is GOOD all the time.

      I like the picture of the invincible Kurt in the baseball cap better. You put a lot of thought into your How Not T o Die In 13 Easy Steps. It should be a must read for everyone. I have been a spinal cord injury survivor for 54 years because I don’t play by the doctors rule book. I have pretty much done what I felt like doing, and control pain without drugs so far. If a person is busy they forget about the pain, and stay half way in shape, that sounds kind of flip but has worked well for me.

      Stephanie Butland said, “Bah To Cancer.” I like your reply better, more meaningful and straightforward.

      Best wishes, My hope is, we will both be blogging till the cows come home.

      PS
      The National Institutes of Health (NIH) told me in 1985, I have a rare spinal cord disorder, Syringomyelia, caused by my spinal fracture in 1964. Still keep on keepin on tho???????????????

      Liked by 2 people

    • k rawson 1:42 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Truly marvelous post, Kurt. Thanks for putting this out there.

      Liked by 1 person

    • amariesilver 2:14 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Beautifully said! So glad you’re still with us!

      Liked by 1 person

    • maggie0019 2:44 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      wonderful. simply, wonderful. Woof!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Clara Erving 3:22 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      hell yeah! Congratulations and here’s to five plus more years of life and love with your wife and family!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • avwalters 4:09 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Good rules for living….regardless of the circumstances. Hang in there.

      Liked by 1 person

    • raphaela99 4:12 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Great news! I adore your list too!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Alli Farkas 11:03 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      My personal philosophy on dying, courtesy of Alan Alda: I know I’m going to die, but not in my lifetime.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elusive Trope 1:22 am on November 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hell yeah!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lori 8:21 am on November 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You’re an inspiration and I’m so happy to have you as a friend! Keep that finger high!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 9:45 am on November 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Haha… Yes, the finger will remain high and pointed. My circle of real friends outside the virtual world of the internet is small… so glad you are within it. :)

        Like

    • EKS 11:40 am on November 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I am glad you are still here to tell your story… and… well we are too old to die young.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The Vintage Vixen 4:50 pm on November 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hell YEAH!!! Keep kicking death’s ass!!! Prayers and blessings to you, Sir!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • jacquelineobyikocha 10:53 pm on November 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Quite informative. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tony Martin 2:24 pm on November 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Kurt How we doing? I love your posts man i really do. I have nominated you for a LIebster Award, i know you may not qualify cause your like way up there lol, but hey change of the times. I hope you will accept dude.
      Be Amazing XxX

      Liked by 1 person

    • marina kanavaki 6:19 pm on November 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Ah, Kurt, not a ‘Thirteen Percenter’, you are YOU and there’s only one thing I can think of you should keep on doing and that is: being YOU! Thank you for sharing, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 9:34 am on November 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Haha… thank you, marina. For good or bad, I suppose I shall continue on doing just that to the best of my ability… :)

        Like

    • CJ 6:06 pm on November 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on What's wrong with me? and commented:
      Along the lines of my post yesterday, here is a list worth reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    • MjBee 2:58 am on November 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on MyShadowWeighsATonne.

      Liked by 1 person

    • dreamingever 7:54 pm on November 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on everthedreamerblog and commented:
      Here is a truly inspirational article from a man who has looked Death in the face. God bless you, Kurt. Wishing you the best!

      Liked by 1 person

    • bryanknower 8:05 am on November 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for following my blog. I found this post inspiring. Very best wishes to you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • nickiek16 9:26 pm on November 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I just want to say Thank You for giving me a ray of hope. I was diagnosed with BOS 2 years ago after a bone marrow transplant and was told the same odds of 5 year survival rate. I also have gvhd of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes and have had a couple near death experiences due to the BOS. I was just recently turned down for a lung transplant because they said that I was not well enough to receive it as of now. I struggle everyday to do the simplest of things. Just as you were saying, it is a struggle to even put on a pair of socks. After reading this I truly feel that there may still be a chance that I can be a 13%er too!! I was wondering if you would be willing to share with me some of the treatments that you tried? I am currently on predinsone, many antibiotics, an inhaler and getting ready to get back on cellcept. Again, thank you for your inspiring words!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kurt Brindley 6:25 pm on November 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Hello, nickiek16. So sorry to hear about your condition. I was on prednisone for the first year but knew right from the start that I had to get off it as soon as I could. I began taking montelukast (singulair) along with azythromicin and Bactrim for the lungs and about six months after starting that regiment I was able to be weaned off the prednisone. I did go through ECP treatments two times a week for nearly two years but I stopped doing that almost two years ago now. I continue to take the S, A, & B along with gleevac (to prevent the leukemia from returning) and Valtrex (for shingles prevention). I written a lot about my health if you’re interested in searching this site but if you want any further info, please feel free to email me through the contact page. Best of luck to you, friend. Stay positive and try to exercise the best you can and as often as you can. ~ Kurt

        Like

    • egbertstarr 11:26 am on November 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Your words here are so important for those who have not had to endure or suffer grave illnesses themselves, bestowing upon us wisdom that can only awaken the soul and mind. Thank you. It’s a good wake up, like being splashed with fresh water.

      Liked by 2 people

    • f2fwiththesky 5:39 pm on November 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      This has to be my favorite blog article I have found on WordPress so far!!!! Thank you for sharing your hard-won wisdom. It means a lot to read it. Facing death, and reflecting on life not with romanticism, but with honesty and hope…that takes courage. Honesty is so important; it is easy to romanticize life and healing. “Embracing Modernity” is a form of being honest about healing–some “hippie stuff” works, and it’s on point much of the time, but there have been times in my life when my world has been crashing down and I just needed some modern medicine already. Balance. Thank you!

      Liked by 4 people

      • Kurt Brindley 12:32 pm on November 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you very much for taking the time to leave me such a kind, encouraging comment, f2fwiththesky. It’s truly appreciated.

        Liked by 1 person

    • egbertstarr 1:04 pm on November 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Part of the point of it all is to share our experiences and suffering with others so that they may avoid unnecessary pain and suffering—if possible— themselves. That, to me, is the essence of what sharing is. So, thank you for your generosity.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Pamela Spiro Wagner 7:33 pm on November 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Kurt,

      I just wanted to tell you that having just gotten out of the state hospital yesterday i found that you had followed my blog a month ago, while i was hospitalized. This incredible post of yours is the first of anyone’s i have read since my discharge and it was a needed shot in the arm ( though given the state hospital’s propensity to force medications and use mechanical restraints and locked door seclusion, that may not be the best metaphor under the circumstances). Thank you for your wisdom and having the kindness to follow Wagblog, which must seem seared with bitterness and rage by comparison.

      If i can figure out how to reblog this, i will do so immediately on Wagblog, as my first effort at positive thinking. I cannot thank you enough.

      MTFFGBWYA – or May The Forces For Good Be With You Always. (My subsitute for God Bless you.)

      Pamela Spiro Wagner

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kurt Brindley 2:20 pm on November 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Pamela. Thanks so much for sharing this and for emphasizing more clearly how relative life is. Your strength and determination is evident and exemplary. I too have many bitter-written posts littered throughout this blog; though now I am able to regard them less as bitter and more as therapeutic. I really appreciate your kind, encouraging comments. Thank you – Stay well and stay strong.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Pamela Spiro Wagner 7:36 pm on November 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on WAGblog: Dum Spiro Spero and commented:
      This is an incredibly uplifting and inspiring post by Kurt Brindley.

      Liked by 2 people

    • nugget59 2:50 pm on December 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I like your style! Thank you so much for taking the time to look at my blog. Given that you have “kicked Death’s ass” more than once, I expect your time is precious. I appreciate it very much that you spent some of it on me. :o)

      Liked by 1 person

    • grannyspider 7:50 pm on December 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on Grandmother Spider and commented:
      Kurt knows how to live. Thank you for your sharing your wisdom.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Forever Alaskan 1:01 pm on December 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      This is an amazing piece which I am going to ‘reblog’ on my site as it is too important and well written not to share! Although I have yet to truly face death I recently was reminded of my own mortality thanks to a fall that seriously fractured my left radius and ulna. Ultimately I required orthopedic surgery and now have a plate and six bone screws as reminders that I’m no longer ’18 and invincible’! The wisdom in this piece is deep and well crafted; a wonderful blend of experience, philosophy and perspective. I so much concur with much of what was expressed and I keep a three CD set of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s “There’s A Spiritual Solution To Every Problem” in my car for long drives. It certainly ‘feels’ as though you have discovered a simple yet immeasurably powerful secret which I only truly came to embrace a few years back: ‘Attitude is Everything!’. I’d often read about this but until I really came to live it I found it to just be some interesting words. Now it forms the foundation of my existence. Thanks so much for creating this masterpiece!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 2:22 pm on December 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        This makes me very happy, Forever Alaskan. I truly appreciate you taking the time to read, comment, and share the piece. I’m humbled by your kind, encouraging words.

        Like

    • Forever Alaskan 1:03 pm on December 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on Rualli and commented:
      This is a truly memorable piece which contains deep wisdom and amazing perspective. I humbly reblog it because it is so very meaningful and offers a well crafted synopsis of a plan to enhance one’s life that is relatively simple and easy to understand.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Cathy 5:19 pm on December 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Firstly I’d like to add to the collection oh Hell Yeah’s and then to say thank you for the list – wise words and good advice that I will try to add to my own list for moving forward in life. Happy and healthy 2016 to you.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kurt Brindley 10:05 am on December 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Awesome. Thanks so much for your “Hell Yeah,” Cathy. It really means a lot to me, as do your kind, encouraging feedback and well wishes. I hope for you the best year ever in 2016.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Forever Alaskan 11:09 am on December 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

          Your piece is really lighting up my site, Kurt! I’ve shared its existence with a number of folks who do not follow blogs and to a person they were blown away by your perspective, your experience and your wisdom. Just a truly wonderful piece that I suspect will continue to positively impact people’s lives for a long time coming. Thanks again for creating such an inspirational and useful piece!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Kurt Brindley 11:36 am on December 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

            Hey, thanks for letting me know, FA; and thanks for sharing it – it makes me happy to know you’ve furthered its reach. :)

            Like

    • Grandtrines 4:21 am on December 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on Lost Dudeist Astrology and commented:
      Wow! That was REALLY good!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tracy Bezesky 12:38 pm on January 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Congratulations for remaining here with longer than anyone thought you could, and for making that gift worthwhile! Keep it up!

      Liked by 1 person

    • faithbradytravel 11:51 am on January 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hell yeah! Your beautiful words of wisdom are my inspiration today. Life is truly a gift every day but it’s incredibly easy to let people or other factors get you down – but not today. Thank you :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 11:55 am on January 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        And your kind, encouraging words have inspired me deeply, faithbradytravel. Thanks so much for taking the time to share them with me.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Arlene Powers 5:26 pm on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hell yeah! I am totally with you. After a stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis last September, I am taking on the WAR with cancer, and I am going to kick butt! Glad there are others out there who picked cancer’s butt!!!! Love the book, will be following your journey too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 6:43 pm on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Hell yeah! right back at ya, Arlene. Thanks so much for sharing your kind, inspiring comment and keep us posted as you continue kicking cancer’s butt. Awesomeness. :)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Arlene Powers 6:55 pm on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

          Oops, kicked cancer’s butt. Just another day in my Lucy Riccardo life! So I am starting a new art project today, have been doing smaller projects that I can finish in a few days…first the pastel bird drawings, then the dreamcatchers, now I am starting to draw small drawings for Christmas cards next year, so everyone on my list will get an original instead of a print. Stay tuned, will post on blog.

          Like

    • ellen3625 11:14 am on January 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll give you a “Hell Yeah”. My husband also had a sever form of cancer that was not supposed to go away and it has been 6 years without cancer. We attribute the animals and plants for healing him and have spent those years using our gifts and talent to help homeless dogs. Thanks for following The Journey of Phillip, the Forgotten, to Phillip the Fabulous, on wackedoutonweeds.com. Be Well, Ellen

      Liked by 2 people

    • shivasiddula 7:27 am on February 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Great insight and wonderful expressions Kurt Brindley. A good reference for people to follow when sick or depressed. A doctor is just a trained person and a knowledgeable doctor knows his/her limitations. Nature is great. As you said we are all connected in this Universe. Positive vibes always result in better life and happiness. When we do not know facts behind some occurrence it is miracle. Unraveled mystery is science. I experienced the benefit of prayers. When my ability to help my clients is limited I always ask them to pray. Some feel it funny. But that is my last resort for a better life.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 12:55 pm on March 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for your kind words, shivasiddula. Prayer and meditation, for me, are both a first and a last resort when it comes to healing…and most other things, too. :)

        Liked by 1 person

        • shivasiddula 10:58 am on March 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

          I am a medical professional. First I do my best then pray for Almighty’s help. I do meditate regularly that calms and keeps me peaceful.

          Like

  • Kurt Brindley 11:46 am on May 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bronchialitist obliteran syndrome. health, , , , , , , , pulmonary function test,   

    Breathin’ Easy 

    image

    Reporting live from the Johns Hopkins Pulmonary Function Test Lab

     
  • Kurt Brindley 12:59 pm on March 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

    The Capital of Care 

    image

    Reporting live from the National Institutes of Health

     
  • Kurt Brindley 3:36 pm on February 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , fitness, , , , , , , , weight lifting   

    No Excuses… 

    image

    Except excuses...

    #notetoself

     
     

     
  • Kurt Brindley 12:10 pm on December 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , forsight, , , , mental health tests, , , planning capacity, Porteus Maze, pscyhology, psychological test   

    A Very Merry Mental Health Holiday Season Maze For All* 

    And let us not forget ~ Seasonal Stress Is As Seasonal Stress Does

    A Porteus Maze Christmas Tree

    PORTEUS MAZE CHRISTMAS TREE

    *See psychologist for results

     
     


    FOR MORE LIKE THIS >> CLICK CLICK

     
  • Kurt Brindley 11:02 pm on October 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , assaut victims, , , , , mixed media, , , ,   

    PTSD 

    These moving images were selected from the results of a search I did on the term “PTSD” through foter. Attributes and rights can be found in lower right corner of each image.

    Peace be to the sufferers and those who care for them.


     

    The Intensity of PTSD
    Truthout.org / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
    PTSD Nation
    Truthout.org / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
    PTSD
    Soaptree / Foter / CC BY
    Reeve041476
    otisarchives4 / Foter / CC BY
    Helplessness
    Dr.S.Ali Wasif / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
    Inner Anguish!
    Dr.S.Ali Wasif / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
    Loneliness
    Dr.S.Ali Wasif / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
     
    • raulconde001 11:53 pm on October 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting images!

      Like

    • irenedesign2011 12:24 am on October 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Very describing art as looks like PTSD, which is not nice to live with.
      Could it be possible for you to use a bigger font? Even with reading glasses I find it difficult to read.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley ✍ ✄ ✍ 12:28 am on October 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry about the font. If you press the Ctrl key and the + (plus) key several times, you can increase the size of what you’re viewing on the screen. Use the Ctrl and – (minus) key to decrease the size.

        I hope this help.

        I really appreciate you visiting, irenedesign2011.

        Like

        • irenedesign2011 12:32 am on October 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

          I use my tablet here in the morning, and I have ordered a big font, but still found it difficult to read. I don’t have a scroll bottom here.
          Thanks for your help for PC.
          Irene

          Like

          • Kurt Brindley ✍ ✄ ✍ 12:39 am on October 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

            Oh, I see. I’m using the fonts that come with the theme I’m using. Occasionally, though, I do use code to make the font smaller when I don’t want too much attention drawn to the text. Sorry about that.

            I’m surprised that there isn’t a way to increase the viewing size for your tablet. I’ve never had one so I’m not familiar with their ins and out…

            Like

    • Robert Jepson 9:06 am on October 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Very moving images Kurt. The central character in my first novel suffers from PTSD so I researched the subject in depth. The images portray the condition so well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley ✍ ✄ ✍ 9:51 am on October 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah, they move me as well. I’m glad you’ve brought your creative power to bear upon and highlight this important issue, Robert. Good luck with your work. Thank you for visiting.

        Like

  • Kurt Brindley 12:17 pm on October 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: breast cancer, , , , , , , men's issues, , , , ,   

    Cancer isn’t pink…and neither is football 

    Cancer isn't pink

     
    • burlwhitman 12:49 pm on October 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Love it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • peeversandpenguins 2:12 pm on October 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hang in there!

      Liked by 1 person

    • wifemothersurvivor 6:36 pm on October 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Nope. The actual color for universal cancer is purple :) As a survivor, I am sick unto death of the pinkwashing that is October! Nobody even knows/wants to know that October is also liver cancer awareness month, huh?
      Good luck, and hang in there. Healing vibes your way.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kurt Brindley ✍ ✄ ✍ 10:13 pm on October 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Seriously…my pink protest has only just begun.

        And thank you for the healing vibes. Definitely hanging in there. Doing quite well actually.

        The picture in the post was from earlier in the year when my heart took a hit from the cancer drug I take as a prophylactic.

        Thanks for stopping by, wifemothersurvivor.

        Be well.
        #iamthatiam

        Liked by 1 person

    • john flanagan 8:19 pm on October 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Strength and healing to you

      Liked by 1 person

    • J 12:21 am on October 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Stay tough, Kurt.
      I too am sick of the general pinkitude of October.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley ✍ ✄ ✍ 9:56 am on October 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Seriously. For some reason, probably all the slick overbearing marketing and all drowning everything in pink, this breast cancer campaign reminds me of Catch-22’s Milo Mindbender. Why have enough when you can have more than enough…

        Liked by 1 person

    • InfiniteZip 5:38 am on October 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Cancer sucks…sending healing thoughts that have no pink in them :) chemo sucks too but bald is beautiful :)

      Liked by 1 person

    • sherinsk 1:11 am on October 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know what to say kurt.I am from south india and if you ask me can god heal everyone the answer is yes but is he doing that-No.why?I really don’t know.i will pray.
      Now i can really see why you liked my old age home haiku.Thanks and god bless :)

      Like

      • Kurt Brindley ✍ ✄ ✍ 11:55 am on October 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Hi, sherinsk. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving me such a nice comment. Thank you for your prayers and for your old age haiku. Great stuff. Peace.

        Like

    • Nikolas Larum 5:50 pm on October 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Finally had time to check your blog out today. Thank you for following mine. I dig your attitude (thankfulness combined with defiance – a winning combination if there ever was one!). Just had my one-year check up from head-and-neck cancer treatment (chemo and radiation). All clear and all is well. But as you know, the battle is just that, a battle. Loved what you said about your kids in your About section. I feel the same about mine. What a wonder life is that from us can come such beings that are far superior in every way (must be the wives).

      I’ve been searching for a better term than “cancer survivor”. Victor seems a bit presumptuous, but “survivor” paints it as a closer call than I care to believe it actually was. Any thoughts?

      Like

  • Kurt Brindley 3:23 pm on June 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: boston lenses, , , ecp, extracorporeal photopheresis, , , , , , Johns Hopkins Dermatology Center, Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, , , , , , , prose lenses, scleral lenses, ,   

    If You’re Here You Must Be Sick… 

    (OR CARE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS)

    I’d like to think that one or two of my three regular visitors (one of whom is me) come to this site to gain a deeper understanding of my creative writing by exploring my short stories, and poetry, and my insightful and sometimes witty flash fiction, and, most importantly, to buy my books.

    Yeah, that’s what I’d like to think.

    However, the reality is far from it.

    The unfortunate truth is that, by far, most people who visit this site do so because they are seeking out information about my diseases, past and present.

    The most common search terms that lead these seekers, or anyone for that matter, to my site are:

    gvhd lungs
    bone marrow biopsy
    hickman line
    graft versus host disease lungs
    bone marrow needle
    (the article these terms lead to provide for some interesting pictures (viewer discretion advised))
    prednisone and caffeine
    prednisone and coffee

    The most popular article on this site, which has nearly triple the amount of views of the second most popular article, is Lung GVHD By Any Other Name, where I discuss my frustration about finding out I have the incurable disease.

    I say the truth is unfortunate not because I’m upset that people are not here to read my creative writings (although I confess my ego is a bit miffed), I say it is unfortunate because I know that if someone is here to learn about my experiences with leukemia and graft versus host disease, then he or she probably is in for some challenging times.

    And that is unfortunate.

    About a month after I was informed I had leukemia, I started blogging about it at a site I called Marrowish. And I blogged there regularly for two years. For two years I was consumed with wanting to know as much about my diseases (first leukemia and then GVHD…of the lungs…and eyes…and liver) as I could find, and I wanted to share this knowledge with as many people as possible.

    But eventually I got sick of being sick…and of having my thoughts and actions being consumed by it.

    So I stopped thinking about it (the best I could) and writing about it.

    That was over a year-and-a-half ago…

    But, seeing how “popular” all my sick-related articles are, perhaps it’s time I began providing updates on my health again from time to time.

    I’m still certainly sick of being sick, but the good news is I haven’t really gotten much sicker since my last update (which was more like a major whine-fest than a health update).

    In fact, I’ve been pretty stable and have even improved in some regards. This stability and improvement may be because I have been doing some pretty cool health-related things lately (I say “may” because during the past four years of my involvement with the medical community, one thing I’ve learned is that there are not many certitudes when it comes to healthcare).

    I’ll try to expand on these in later articles, but here is what I have been up to health-wise the past year-and-a-half:

    • April 2011, I began a five-year Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome (BOS) study at the National Institute of Health. This study’s goal is to get FDA approval to use Montelukast (commercially known as Singulair and typically prescribed for asthma) as an authorized treatment for BOS. Since I began taking the drug I have been able to stop taking the steroid called prednisone—which is a major victory—and my lung condition has remained stable, as proven by regular pulmonary function testing.
    • January 2012, I began twice weekly Extracorporeal Photopheresis (ECP) treatments at Johns Hopkins Dermatology Center. While there is no conclusive evidence as of yet, it is thought that this blood treatment may be effective in bringing calm to all those crazy outta control T-cells (affectionately called GVHD) that we post-transplant patients tend to get. I cannot say for sure that these treatments have helped; but I can most definitely say that they haven’t hurt — except for the fact that they take a big painful bite of time out of my life. Each treatment is about three-hours long; add to that the drive time coming and going plus the system prep time and it comes close to being a five-hour-per-treatment bite of time. Ouch. But, if you’re looking for options to treat your GVHD, you surely want to consider ECP as one of them.
    • May 2012, I was fitted for Prose lenses at Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute. These scleral-type lenses used to be referred to as Boston Lenses, since Boston is where they were invented and was the only place where one could get them. Fortunately, Johns Hopkins now also provides the service. These vision-saving lenses have drastically changed and improved my quality of life.
    • August 2012, I had cataract surgery in both eyes. Yeah, prednisone may have saved my life, but it definitely took a toll on my body. However, after I had the surgery and once my Prose lenses were readjusted for my new vision, my eyes are now bionic.

    Those are the major things that I’ve been involved with that I feel could benefit others who are dealing with similar challenges as me. Of course, there are other things I have done and continue to do (like my countertop calisthenics, for instance) that may be of use, too, and of which I will write about at a later date.

    Who knows, maybe someday I might even coral all this health stuff into an easy-to-read ebook, or something…

    We’ll see.

    Until then please remember that whatever it is you’re seeking, or regardless your reason for visiting, I hope you find at least a little bit of solace from the words that have accumulated here over the years.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    ~~~~

    PS… Please take the time to read my Disclaimer for this site.

     
    • Michelle Argue 9:47 am on June 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, we are sick. Really enjoyed reading your blog. love your sense of humor and thank you for sharing your experiences with leukemia,GVHD and the treatments. your writing brought a smile to my face, something I’ve needed

      Like

    • Vicki 11:00 pm on October 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I got sick and tired (of being sick and tired and in constant pain) some 4 1/2 years ago.

      Now I’m a PHOTOGRAPHER (as you will know having just started following one of my PhotoBlogs – Living and Nature). Thank you for following my photography journey and as much as I’d like to reciprocate, I’ve just UNfollowed nearly every one whose blog I love, purely and simply because reading just tires me out these days and I was spending too much time on the computer and not enough time outdoors doing the very thing I love best – Photography and communing with Nature.

      I don’t have Cancer fortunately, but severe Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Fibromyalgia (at the beginning of the long list of Health Issues), are just as mind-numbingly ‘boring’ to the uninitiated.

      Delighted to see your wonderful writing in the published form. Hope it continues for many, many years into the future.

      You have such a wonderful sense of humour. Don’t every let it diminish into the background of Chronic Illness. It can be a lifesaver in this uncertain world of severe and often debilitating illness.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kurt Brindley ✍ ✄ ✍ 1:17 pm on October 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry to hear about all the pain issues, Vicki; but how you are managing them is inspiring. Actually, things have progressed unexpectedly well for me since I wrote this. Probably should do an update just for the record. Thanks for stopping by, the nice comments, and the completely understandable non-follow.

      Like

    • Sandra 4:05 am on December 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I always mean what I say. I didn’t come here for your sickness of any sort. I know a poet-short-story man in PA and so I clicked to see if I could tell you two apart. Good thing is all writers don’t read the same or look the same in text—much like real people, I can tell you apart.

      Since the L word has inserted itself into your life and also into your blog conversations, I’ll share that my grandfather was diagnosed when I was too small to know anything except, “that doesn’t look like Grampa.” That was in the mid 70s; he’s nearing 90. Some 38 yearsish have seen him in full remission. Every body is different and leukemia is different from case to case.

      To each of you who stop in because you’re hurting or you’re hurting for someone else who is hurting more, I have nothing to say but only compassion to offer. Trite isn’t something to which I aspire.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 10:50 am on December 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Grandpa is quite the inspiration. I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment, Sandra.

        Like

  • Kurt Brindley 11:52 am on February 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , diseases, , , , , uicc, union for international cancer control, world cancer day   

    WORLD CANCER DAY: Dispelling the Myths 

    Today marks another World Cancer Day, where we, the world, attempt to focus our attention on the deadly disease. There are many misunderstandings, misconceptions, and myths about cancer that could be eradicated rather easily with only a little effort on all our parts. It is hoped that by educating ourselves about the disease, and then, educating others we can increase awareness, ease minds, and most importantly, save lives.

    Knowledge is contagious. Please spread the facts.

    http://www.worldcancerday.org

     
    • "Beware the Sleeping Dog" a mystery by k.a. libby 7:06 am on November 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Actually I am visiting your site because you were kind enough to follow my blog. Next I’ll read something about your creative aspects. But back to your health blogs, perhaps all the positive karma that come from people reading your blogs will benefit you in some way. I hope so.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley ✍ ✄ ✍ 8:37 am on November 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you very much for stopping by, checking things out, and leaving such a nice comment. It means so much to me. And I agree, all the positive karma is definitely benefiting me greatly. Thanks again, “Beware the Sleeping…

        Like

  • Kurt Brindley 11:34 pm on November 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , imaging, , , , , ,   

    The Brain, As It’s Never Been Seen Before 

    Video courtesy of the National Institute of Health

     
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