goals

An Ordeal I would not Wish upon my worst Enemy

I have battled Cancer, I’ve endured Chemotherapy and I’ve suffered the indignities of Surgery and yet I have seen first hand just how fortunate I was to be dealing with my particular ordeal. Cancer was a formidable foe to be certain, warranting the battle of a lifetime. Chemotherapy was an out-worldly experience, one that I would never, ever want to go through again in this lifetime; I found the experience to be horrifying, an encounter which exposed me to be the coward that I am. I had Surgery to reconstruct the humerus on my (left) dominant arm after a cancerous tumor ate into the bone resulting in a fracture. Several horrible elements combined for one hell of an ordeal, though I know for certain many others faced even more horrendous situations and they have a faced it with grace, courage and dignity in their own ways.

One year prior to these events, among other things, I had rekindled my passion for writing and had taken up jotting down notes and ideas on a semi-regular basis. I kept it as a hobby, more or less, writing thoughts and ideas, a little more earnest as time went on, making sure I filled any spare time I had with writing. Soon I was writing on a regular basis, albeit for limited time, again mostly thoughts and ideas, and then short story ideas, and some script and stage play ideas. I submitted a short story based on an actual event, then a short stage play, then a fictional short story, none of which were accepted. I felt as though I was getting somewhere with my writing hobby and was looking for creative writing courses when disaster struck, I broke my writing arm and discovered I had Cancer which turned my life upside down for several years.

I was in no state to write, not of mind or body. Six months after the fracture we got smartphones and so that enabled me to start jotting down ideas, all with my right thumb. When, after a fashion, I could prop myself up I was able to write on paper, again with my non-dominant arm. Not an easy feat, to start to write with ones non-dominant arm, try it for a while. I had the added bonus of dealing with the side effects of the Chemotherapy which gave me a temporary cognitive dysfunction to muddle through. Google ‘Chemo brain’ (or maybe I can link it) for a better idea of what that is, or wait a while because I know I’ll have a whole blog post devoted to chemo brain. It took me well over one full year before I was able to even attempt to write with my left arm again, and I am sure my recovery sped up after that.

Though I survived I don’t like that term, ‘Survivor’ or ‘he was a fighter’, somehow, to me, that implies the poor unfortunate souls who succumbed to this horrid disease were not putting in the same effort; we are all different, our Cancers and treatments differ from person to person. Yes, I survived, a victory for me, but it was a Pyrrhic victory

Working Hard to make Writing my Side Hustle

I am working towards this end. Sorry, this is not a ‘how-to’ blog, right now it’s a ‘how I am currently doing it and here are all my mistakes’ blog. I enjoy writing, as a hobby, and an interest, but now that I am ramping up my writing time, word count and projects, I need to pursue my other interests and hobbies. Soon enough, once I become a millionaire from writing daily fragmented thoughts, I will be able to embrace my other hobbies. So, any minute now, I will become an overnight sensation. As much as I’m happy to have a well paying non-writerly job, I would like to make writing my side hustle.

I am creating a habit of writing daily. I have several writing projects on the go, and now I have this wonderful blog. Thanks to this wonderful blog, I have carved out an extra hour per day, every day, to write. I am currently averaging five hundred words per day in about thirty to forty-five minutes. My typing is improving quite well, though I am making some good spelling mistakes as of late. Writing five hundred words daily has changed my day for me and I feel great that I’m devoting more time to this.

I am a long way from doing anything freelance, so for now I need to take it slow, I am happy enough to keep writing this blog. I am working on a short story that I need to finish the first rewrite. I have a number of Nanowrimo’s sitting in first rough that are on my list of things that need my attention sooner than later. I have a number of poems, two of which I’ve posted on here. Never say never, but I am not yet ready to freelance or anything of the sort, and so, for now, I’m happy with hanging out here at The Rusty Prose.

Life keeps us all busy in one form or another, and I have busied myself right up with tackling all these projects, dealing with a full time non-writerly job, and, of course, life itself. I don’t have kids so I don’t know how parents manage to have any time for themselves. Now that I’ve carved out an extra hour out of my day for writing I’d like to look into carving out more time devoted solely on writing. For now, that will have to be weekends, which are already full and they go by so fast.

I battle fatigue, I work full time, as well as making more time for writing, so I do need to watch that I don’t burn myself out. I have to keep the enjoyment factor in play, the always learning factor is always in play, and, of course, keep on top of the quality. I’ll get my short stories dusted off, edit and rewrite them, then sell them for a million dollars each, that will move this side hustle along pretty good I think. I get tired just thinking of how rich I’ll get with my new side hustle.

My Blog

As I’ve stated, I started this blog as a way to find my voice, but, obviously, that is not the only reason. I like to write and mostly I wrote in my spare time; I needed to ramp that up in terms of making time to write rather than waiting until I had a moment or two here and there. I also needed, or rather, still need to put more words down to get more practice in, as they say in woodworking, to get good you need to make a lot of chips. Well, I suppose this blog is chips.

I will be doing many renovations to The Rusty Prose coming up in the next week or two, I have a long way to go in terms of getting this blog to where I want it. My writing is improving, to a small degree, so my posts will be a little more informative and entertaining. One day, I may even start writing articles and spending more time writing, rewriting, and editing. I’m sure it shows that my posts on here are more like quick sketches, but, again, this is why I started this blog, to grow, learn, and improve.

We were experiencing some strange times today at The Rusty Prose. I don’t mean to boast, but usually my posts will get anywhere from seven to nine views and maybe five to seven likes, but today, for some unknown reason, I had a low traffic day. So, as a matter of course, I googled the whole situation and came up with the fact that I’ve somehow angered the google gods and am being mercilessly punished and will continue to be punished for all eternity. Personally, I think it was a nice day outside and people were just outside enjoying the sunshine.

I’ve added one hour of writing time to my day. That time is spent writing for my blog, I don’t write and post on the same day, I do at least one rewrite and a whole lot of editing. I’m posting these quick and easy posts to get myself used to putting in that time, I also think about my blog quite often during the day, thinking of ways to improve my posts, the renos I want to do to the blog, and basically getting myself established as a writer and a blogger.

I am spending more time writing and thinking of writing, well, writing and blogging. I have a number of other projects and works in process on the go, but right now I’m focusing on life down here at The Rusty Prose. Once I’m established and writing more quality posts focusing more on quality than quantity then I will make time to sit down to my other projects. Some of which will make great blog posts, that’s another factor in keeping this blog, once I get to sit down to my other projects I will use this blog to hold my self accountable and see these works through to completion.

Climbing the Walls

A Cancerous tumour ate into my Humerus bone causing it to break. This was many years ago, that aspect is well behind me know. I had surgery, there are now two steel plates, several pins, and numerous screws embedded into my Humerus. I underwent a few years of therapy to get my arm back into functionality. I can now make a fist and raise it over my head in triumph.

I spent several months doing yoga. I did the Bikram’s hot yoga. They have several challenges to get people to practice yoga on a daily basis. I took the one hundred day challenge, well, I went one hundred and one days. It’s quite the feat even for a healthy individual. That three months of daily hot yoga practice did wonders for my body, my psyche, and my arm.

After the one hundred day challenge I hit the pool and gym with a personal trainer. We worked together to get my entire body back into shape and to get used to moving around doing different types of exercises. The yoga was fantastic, it also got me moving, worked on my endurance etc, but it’s good to change things up for your mind and body to adapt to new situations. Working with a personal trainer was also beneficial to my over all rehabilitation programme. All the while I was also going through physiotherapy.

During my ordeal, while I was dreaming of being able to become left handed again, to regain the use of my left arm, and to get back to normal I had considered adding rock climbing to my then future rehabilitation programme. I had a bigger, extended vision of my rehab than the people in my life at that time and was told to take it one thing at a time; obviously we do need to take these things slow and one step at a time, but I like to plan ahead. As I was planning and scheming, a local high school opened a climbing gym. It was fate yelling at me loud and clear.

So, a few years later after Chemo, no more Cancer, all healed up, yoga’d and all rehabed, and with my strength and energy building up I took up wall climbing. I love it, it’s fantastic. I’ve been at it for a couple years, I only do it part time as it really takes up a lot of my strength and energy. Yes, it does add strength and energy, but I need to keep it low and slow to give my body time to adapt. There are teen clubs in there, and, in watching them, I’ve gained so much knowledge and have improved greatly. I have a fantastic climbing partner but he’s only available at certain times; he has kids and a life.

Once again we are quite pleased with ourselves here at The Rusty Prose. On day my arm almost falls off, the next thing I know I’m laid up for a long period of time, and now I’m pulling myself up a wall with said arm. Oh, by the way, did I mention my crippling Acrophobia? that’s right fans, I also suffer, and I do suffer, from fear of heights. it’s all about mind over matter. My body doesn’t seem to mind that I’m climbing a wall with an arm that had previously come loose, and my brain doesn’t seem to mind that I willfully clamber twenty feet up into the air. Twenty feet may not seem like much to you, but it’s plenty enough for me. I’ve faced my fears and my so called disability and have conquered them.

I didn’t actually conquer my fear of heights, it’s still there, I’ve found a way to work with it and around it. Believe me, there are moments up on the wall when I freeze up, or, at the very least, question my sanity. I’m not disabled, but my arm sits funny and I don’t have 100% mobility, but my strength is returning. I don’t consider it a disability, especially once I get to the climbing gym. I can’t have a bad day at the climbing gym, the fact that I’m using that arm to pull myself up a wall is quite the victory for me.