SOMETIMES Words Are Not Needed

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Diary of A Lung Cancer Patient – Day 399 (10/15/2021)

The other day I spoke with a person I’ve known for 30 years. We talked about a myriad of topics and then the eventual question came up. He said “I don’t know how to say this, but what does this lung cancer mean for you?”

I have gotten that same question from many people and I know they mean well, but c’mon people, use some common sense! I responded with “Cancer is treatable but not curable. Eventually, it means I’m going to die, but we all die. So, the difference between me and you is I know what my cause of death is going to be and you don’t. In the meantime, I am going to spend my time living instead of curling up in a ball and waiting for death.”

He said he couldn’t continue living and joking around like I do if he had Stage 4 cancer. My response was “Evidently I have more to live for.” After that, he had to get back to work.

If you were diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer, would you continue to live, or would you give up?

God Bless,

R. I.

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Diary of a Lung Cancer Patient – Day 396 (10/12/2021)

Yesterday, I had my 6th biopsy. After unsuccessful attempts to get enough cancer cells from lymph nodes in my chest, yesterday they went after a lymph node in my lower back; deep inside my lower back.

They gave me that magical concoction, that though awake, I remember nothing about the procedure. I remember going in to the cat scan room and I remember laying in the recovery room dressed again. All points in between are blank.

This morning, my left lower back is sore, but other than that, I feel pretty good. The nurse who took care of me yesterday just no called to check up on how I feel and to answer any questions I might have. To me, that was very nice of the nurse to do that. I was told that the results should be back with my oncologist by the end of the week.

The incessant cough is still there, but has eased up some.

God Bless,

R. I.

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Diary of a Lung Cancer Patient – Day 389 (10/05/2021)

It is difficult these days to keep a positive mind in this battle. About a month ago, the incessant cough returned and has gotten to the poiint where it wakes me in the middle of the night. The biopsy my oncologist ordered over two months ago, has not happened, although it is ordered for next Monday. I have lost more loved ones this year than any other before. And up until yesterday, I was having difficulty finding the drive to get out of bed each day.

Yesterday, I forced myself to get up, take my meds, and go for a walk around the block before I did anything else. A little bit of my will to continue to fight returned. Today, I made that walk into a walk around two blocks (big whoopty do). I was winded when I got back home, but I could not let that stop me.

I then installed a storm door that has been missing since we purchased this home four years ago.. After that, I started cleaning the garage. I stopped at 12:30 PM because I am not only winded, but my blood sugar had dropped.

I am not back to my old self, and I have a long row to hoe, but I am resolved to not just lay down and die.

God Bless,

R. I.

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Diary of a Lung Cancer Patient – Day 368 (9/14/2021)

Today I learned that a medical device that was meant to help me stay alive, more than likely is the cause of the cancer that is trying to end my life early.

The Philips Dream Station CPAP has insulation that breaks loose and gets into the ventilator and can make its way into the lungs and cause cancer.

I suggest if you have a CPAP OR APAP, make sure it is not one being recalled. For my part, I have contacted an attorney.

God Bless,

R. I.

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Diary of a Lung Cancer Patient – Day 359 (9/5/2021)

I know it has been two weeks since I have written. Dealing with a friend dying, the unknown of what is going on with my heart, not knowing when they are going to perform the surgical biopsy, and believe it or not, the 20th anniversary of 9/11, all came down on me like a ton of bricks.

I keep catching myself looking for my friend to post something on social media and then realizing it isn’t going to happen, has been a daily melancholy moment. When mom passed away, it was two years before I didn’t absent mindedly pick up the phone to call her.

I was referred to another hospital for another biopsy with a pathologist standing by to get enough cancer cells to get all markers necessary to customize my chemo. Even with the oncologist calling them weekly, I have yet to hear when they are going to schedule me…

I am going in Thursday morning to see a highly respected cardiologist so hopefully he can get my heart under control. The oncologist thinks I need a pacemaker. We will see.

Finally, 9/11 is coming up Saturday, and I keep seeing commercials for 20th anniversary specials this week. I don’t know about you, but seeing the footage of the attacks and the aftermath are triggers for me. Even though we were no where near the attacks, all that we knew about living in a country safe from terrorists became fantasy in very little time. My family were all frantic when I got the call to prepare for deployment. I learned after I returned that both my children were afraid that they would never see me again.

So, I spend a lot of time daily repeating the Serenity Prayer and reminding myself that all I can do is follow doctor’s orders and turn the dang TV off for a week.

God Bless,

R.. I..

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A Wealthy Woman

In 2005, while working at the federal building in Des Moines, Iowa, I met a kind soul.

Joyce was working for the Internal Revenue Service and I would frequently see her when I took breaks. We would exchange niceties and sometimes talk about nothing at all. I think our friendship was cemented one day when I saw her sitting there with a finite math school book.

Joyce was taking some college courses to improve her chances of getting a better job within the IRS. I had never taken finite math, but have a love for mathematics and also a need to help others (which I learned Joyce had that need to help others too). I asked to look at the book, and was able to figure it out and help Joyce understand. Soon she was completing her homework on her own.

The more we ran into each other and shared stories, the more I learned what a wonderful person Joyce was. She loved her horses “Brooks” and “Dunny” and any other of God’s creatures she came to meet. The dogs, cats, chickens, and goats were all individually loved by Joyce, and they were second only to her family.

She taught me to enjoy country music. She threatened to teach me to dance (that was not going to happen). She taught me what it meant to be a loving, caring soul. We joked with each other and I was frequently called “turd” in the most loving way.

Even after I retired from the military in 2008, we stayed in contact because friendship with Joyce was a life long commitment.

Joyce discovered she had cancer several months after my cancer advanced to stage 4. Unfortunately, the cancer in Joyce did not respond like mine was. Yet, she kept that brave front on for others.

Last Saturday, on my birthday, the Lord took her home, thereby welding Joyce to me forever. If I get to celebrate any more birthdays, I can guarantee my thoughts will turn to Joyce.

Years ago, I was asked to define wealth for my daughter’s homework. After giving it some sincere thought, I came up with:

Wealth is not measured by the amount of worldly goods we amass while we are here, but by how long and how fondly we are remembered after we are gone.

Joyce, you were an angel here on earth, and you are surely wearing wings now. You will be wealthy beyond all imagination forever more.

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The Universe

Big Bang theorists claim that pre-big bang, the universe was very small and compact. Think of it as being the size of a period in this blog post, floating in a vast vacuum sea of nothingness, larger than your mind can conceive.

Where did this period come from; what created the vacuum sea of nothingness?

Then, at some point, this period exploded with unimaginable force throwing its mass out into that nothingness, creating stars, planets, and other masses. If this is true, there should be a center of the universe somewhere out there because in a sea of nothingness, an explosion would propel debris in all directions at the same speed as there is no resistance in the nothingness of space to create friction to slow the expansion down. Theorists explain there is no center (or epicenter) of the universe using two dimensional examples when the universe is at a minimum of three dimensions.

The theorists say the universe continues to expand at its original speed. If that is so, how are solar systems formed around stars? Somehow, while travelling out from the epicenter of the bang, planets were able to create orbits around a star that was hurdling to the sea of nothingness at its original speed.

So, in a sea of an endless vacuum which has no origin, an explosion of mass which was very compact at first and has no origin, to create a universe that has no center, and planets orbiting stars while all masses are travelling away from the non-existent epicenter at the same speed.

Seems to be that this explanation is nothing more than a feeble attempt to validate our existence without giving God His due.

God Bless,

R. I.

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The missus is originally from South Korea and while we dated, she spoke no English at all. Then, during the first years of our marriage, she tried her best to pick up on English, but there were some mistakes.

One evening, I came home from work and she told me that she wanted me to go to the base and get her some penis. I asked her to repeat herself and she said “go to base and get me penis!” After several more attempts in English, I switched to Korean and asked her what she wanted. Her reply was “땅콩”. 땅콩 means “peanuts”. Mrs. R. I. loved the hot roasted peanuts that they sold at the snack bar right inside the gate. I explained the difference between what she asked for and what she wanted and then went and bought her some peanuts. Still, it was a blow to my ego for a while.

Another time, when the missus was pregnant with our first child, upon my arrival home she asked to be to go get her some barbeque kitchen. As soon as I heard it, I was able to understand what she wanted. I did ask if she wanted the whole thing including sink, fridge, stove… Then, I went back to the base and bought her a whole barbequed chicken.

There were many times I made mistakes speaking Korean too as you would expect anyone speaking a foreign tongue to do. But there were also times that native English speakers have made humorous errors.


I was riding along with a police officer who made a traffic stop. As he approached the driver’s door, the driver rolled down the window. The amount of smoke that rolled out the window could have been mistaken as the car being on fire. The driver had been smoking a lot of weed as he drove and the officer removed him from the car and brought him back to the patrol car.

He asked the driver for permission to search the vehicle (even though he could search without permission incident to arrest), and the driver gave him permission. The officer then took out a written consent form and asked the driver to sign it so the officer would have written evidence.. As far as signing goes, the driver would have nothing to do with that. The officer told him several times it was just a formality to show he had permission to search the vehicle, but the driver still would not sign it.

Finally, I suggested to the officer that maybe the driver was illiterate. Upon hearing that, the driver said “My parents were to married you SOB!” He thought I had said illegitimate. I explained the difference to the driver and he admitted that he was illiterate and apologized to me for calling me an SOB.


While stationed in Germany, I was present when my supervisor got a royal butt chewing from the commander. Later, back in my section, my co-workers asked me what happened. I said “The commander castigated Sgt. Smith.” One of the younger guys in the section blurted out “He cut his balls off?!?” I answered, “Castigated means to severely chastise or criticize.” The young soldier wiped his brow off and said “That’s what we call it back home when we cut the balls off of the hogs.” The guys in the section then explained the difference between castigate and castrate.


I went to college in my mid-fifties after I retired from the military. One day, while in English Lit class, a young student said “Do you know what I like about you?”

I said “No, what do you like about me?”

“I like your self defecating humor.”

I replied, “I think you mean self deprecating humor. “

“No” he said, “I’m sure it is self defecating humor.”

I couldn’t resist, “I shit you not, it is self deprecating humor.”

The professor, who had been quietly taking the conversation in, piped in “Your senior classmate is correct with it being self deprecating. But I can assure you listening to that conversation almost made me self defecate”.


Each of the above stories is true, and I have a lot more, but I think I have reached my posting limit for the day.

God Bless,

R. I.

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Lately I have been seeing a commercial over and over again that leaves me perplexed.

Neutrogena is advertising some kind of cream and at the end of the commercial they say “Neutrogena, for people with skin.”

For people with skin??? Are they insinuating that there are people out there without skin? If so, where are these skinless people hiding?

Could this be where skinless chickens I see being sold in stores come from?

Inquiring minds want to know!

God Bless,

R. I.

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