Friday, March 10, 2017

The Cancer Chronicles - Part 2

The Cancer Chronicles
An Anthology Series
Part 2

By Kevin Keyser


So this is Part 2 of the Cancer Chronicles. This is about settling in to home, but more about the spiritual and life changes that have occur to all make this work for you.    

So then you get to go home. But it’s different….

The Way and the Willow

I will bend like the Willow tree.
I will not break.

I shall heed the words, unspoken.
Knowing is never as fun as guessing.

I know what I have given up.
Or think I do.

Perhaps I have given up nothing.
All things being equal.

Life is change.
Maybe that is a message?

Change, Kevin.
Adapt and grow.

Spread those wings.
Even though it hurts so much to do so.

The Monster is sitting on the floor;
Smiling at me.

Wants me to give in.
To give up.

No, I won’t.
There is a plan.

There is a path I must walk.
To learn more of the Way.

There is only one thing to do;
Walker in hand I take the first step.
K.J.K.  9/10/2016

Today Is Tomorrow
The sun is out.
Peeking ‘round the corner.
Like a child playing hide and seek.

Another day.
Another gift to be used.
More lessons to be learned.

Come with me.
So we can be together.
Enjoy this gift.

Blue sky.
Grey sky.
Whatever sky.

It is time to live.
Grasp sunbeams with our bare hands.
Enjoy the wonder of it all.

K.J.K. 9/25/2016
Pushing Through It
I have to push through this;
The tiredness and the fear.
Sometimes it's hard to remember there is another purpose.

One the drugs can't steal away.
I am a writer, dammit.
I'm supposed to chronicle this journey.

Time to get back to that.
This Mission I'm supposed to be working on.
Without depression and with the best possible of moods.

Hard to do while you're all drugged up.
But God will find a way.
And I will follow.

K.J.K. 10/23/2016


Love, you have no idea how important it is, until you need it. You always have God’s love, never forget that.


I feel so very loved.
I am no longer going to say I have three families  (Blood, Soul, Church.)
From now on you are all family.

I have realized so much these past few months.
Through tears.
Through laughter.
I have seen miracles.
Large and small.
Felt God’s embrace.

Wrap around me.
Whisper: “I am here.”
I whisper back: “I know.”

I don’t know what the future holds.
But family is love.
And with you and God I will face it.


K.J.K.  10/25/2016



I have challenges.
The legs sometimes don't work properly.
And other things too

But don't we all have challenges?
One man doesn't have enough to eat.
That's quite a challenge.

Another person considers themselves unloved.
Without seeing that love is all around them.
Waiting to be embraced.

The child sees only a wet sandbox they cannot play in.
But there is a jungle gym right next to them monkey bars and a slide.
For want of a Sandbox the rest are missed.

We don't know what challenges other people have we only know our own.
Frequently we think we are the only ones who have them.
But we are not.

We are all challenged in some way. We have to grow and sometimes that requires challenges.  Scary life changing transformative challenges.

We all have challenges better to learn their lessons. Then turn them loose. Let go of them. The Lord will take care of the rest.

K.J.K. 10-27-2016


Quiet time.

It's the time of day just before the break of the Sun.
I'd like to say all is quiet with the world but that would be a lie.

I hear the cars rushing by on I-90 and I-294.
The uptick of planes taking off.

They used to say that Vegas was a city that never sleeps.
But now I think it's all cities. Awake and pulsing with energy not all of it very good.

Still it is quieter than normal and I can be alone with my thoughts a little bit.
Before the miasma of the drugs kick in cloud my thoughts.

It's a still and chilly fall morning.
Leaves are falling.

All's right with world.

K.J.K.  10-28-2016


I love waking up to rain.
Even 4 a.m. Cold and wet rain.

There is something about rain.
A promise of growth ahead.

Something that no matter how cold it is makes me feel warm inside.
Maybe it's a promise made long ago.

Maybe it's that pot of gold at rainbows end.
Maybe it's just the pitter-patter of the raindrops as they fall around me.

Protected in my house.
Waiting for the marvelous things to happen.

K.J.K.  10/30/2016


Then There is Peace

I finally got to go to Church today.
For the second time since the tumor was removed.

Waiting for my ride I was nervous.
It’s weird to be so isolated and then find yourself in a group of people.

After arriving all the nervousness melted away.
Like it was never there.

All I felt was comfort.
Happiness and love.

As if Jesus had his arm around me.
Saying “let me be your peace”.

And he is….

K.J.K. 11-27-2016


This concludes Part 2.

Look for Part 3 in a month or two as it is still playing out.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Cancer Chronicles - Part 1

The Cancer Chronicles
An Anthology Series
Part 1

By Kevin Keyser

They say your life can change in an instant. And they are correct it can and will.

On June 6th 2016 I was having some problems with my arm thought myself fairly healthy.
On June 7th 2016 I found out I had a brain tumor my world has never been the same since.

I'm alive I've had a retraction/resection of the tumor on June 10, 2016. They drilled my head open with me awake so could I could help tell them what I was feeling. It was fascinating. Unfortunately they couldn't get all of the tumor there are parts of it that are still there.

So I do chemo once a month and it messes with me for two weeks so. But I'm alive and happy for it. I have so many friends come visit me here was just my home that makes me happy.

So what to do I'm forcefully disabled now. I get very very tired because of the chemo everything. Well I'm a writer I write this stuff down and churn it out for you all to read.

So that's what I'm going to do in The Cancer Chronicles Part 1. As I don't plan on ending it anytime soon and each one is going to have its own Focus

Part 1 Is going to be from the moment of diagnosis until going home.
Part 2 Will about settling in to home.
Part 3 Will be about my second rehab stay, currently underway.
Parts 4 and 5 will be about whatever comes next.
So this is Part one of the Cancer Chronicles I hope you enjoy it and though it is a very very very serious subject you draw humor and inspiration from it.


So I have an infection with my inflection. but I shall overcome this like I've overcome so much before. I shall be back  reading poetry sooner than you think.I have a ride to tell you about. Now starts the telling…

KJK  6/21/2016 (11 days post surgery)

The New Guy

“Hello, I’m the new guy.”
Around me are people who are aged well into their 90s.
I am, quite literally the baby man of the floor.

Heads pop up.

“Were you in African theater of war?”
I puzzle on question and realize that the war in question was WWII.

“No, I wasn’t even born then.”

Shocked looks follow.

“So - what are you in for fella?”

“Brain tumor.”

Everyone whistled.

“Hard time!” It was the 93 year old dude.

He raises his glass to me: “Here’s to you my young friend.”

We drink a toast with apple juice.

“To the better days ahead.”

And they will be.

K.J.K.  6-25-2016


Mornings I love quiet mornings .
Like today they must not be running the airplanes on the runway near me.
So what am I supposed to write about today? Some of this stuff is going to be random streams of consciousness ooooo big words. This is not the ending this is a beginning.”

The Journey

It’s not like the song.
That’s the first thing I learned.

There are no oxygen masks.
No Bellevue hospital.

There isn’t even a beat;
You can dance too.

So, what’s real?

Their hopes.
Their worries.

Just slugging away.
Building their lives.

While saving mine -
All part of the job.

Part of a plan.
Which is still unfolding.

Before my amazed eyes….

K.J.K.  7-2-2016


“In here we have hiding places for the thoughts we all think but are too proud or scared to admit.
Life, Death, Love. Of these I have life and love down, at least somewhat. Still figuring out death. He’s not in any hurry, though. Or so I am told.”

I Feel

I feel words.
Still rolling around my head.

They are like billiard balls.
Maybe the cueball.

That’s OK, though.
They are still here.

They comfort me.
Like they always have.

Because I am only the co writer now.
There is another hand.

Holding my crippled hand.
Telling me about the love I already know exists.

Compelling me onward.
To heal, adjust, and make it work.

Are these just ramblings?
A fevered brain?

Of course they are.
But like in Harry Potter, they are very real.

Challenge accepted, sir!
Bring it on.

K.J.K. - 6/26/2016


So this whole thing is a test of wills. One I do not expect to lose.”

I Have This

Sometimes I think it’s all going to work out.
Sometimes I am scared it won’t.

But I have this.
Come what may.

This is a battle.
With my body and my mind.

My body is in God’s hands.
My mind is in my hands.

It’s like my squeeze ball.
Sometimes under pressure.

Sometimes clear with purpose.
Sometimes calm.

So, I have this.
Sometimes by myself.

Sometimes with the help of friends.
And their love within.

K.J.K.   7-7-2016


“Then there's the time when you get out at the hospital and it's hard figure out what's going to happen next and how much of the journey you still have to go…”

Look at Life In Rehab

7 AM, the chimes start.
Day crew is on and everyone knows it.
Time to get your request in.
To get up and dressed for the day.

If you wait too long you will still be in bed when food comes.
Looking lovingly at it’s heat waffing away.
Getting colder and colder as you lay in bed.
Until the bacon is cold and the juice is warm.

One of the staff come in and “assist”.
The best ones are the people who have time to let you do all the work, until you can’t.
‘Cause you have to learn this stuff.
If you want to “Move on”.

I get half dressed.
Pants, socks, shoes.
Other things...
I keep the gown on until I eat and shave.

Then I finish getting dressed.
I commiserate with my roommate for a bit.
Fellow inmates.
Each dreaming of life on the outside.

Then it’s on to therapy, chemo or radiation.
On to build this body up.
To face the challenges yet to come.
Moving to life on the outside.

K.J.K.  8/7/2016

To be continued later on in “Look at Life In Rehab - The Grind”.


The grind is not your coffee. It is figuring what and how you are going to live by doing many exercises and things. It’s planning out a life….

Look at Life In Rehab
The Grind

So here’s the deal:

You are here to work.
Work hard.
Perhaps harder than you have ever before.

Not for someone else.
For yourself.
For your life.

The grind starts shortly after waking.
There are things to do.
Mundane, everyday things.

Except that here they aren't everyday things.
They are extraordinary things.
Those are not pants.

They are two fabric tunnels.
Filled with toenail traps and snags.
Uncharted passages your brain has to figure out.

Work the COG*.
Figure the puzzle out.
Got those pants on yet?

How about everything else?
The grind has just started.

Finally dressed?
It’s off to rehab or treatment.
Then something afterwards.

You have to push yourself.
Beyond where you think you will break.

You won’t.
The therapists will make sure of that.
But they will let you get close, very close.

Then stop you.
Soaked with sweat.

Finally they sit with you.
As you drink your water.
And talk with you.

Until you can give it another go.
Get it done.
With as much of a smile as possible.

Get that confidence built back up.
That’s the key.
You have to believe.

Don’t forget to pray.
Talk to the Lord.
He will help you push through it.

For this is the grind.
Which will become mundane, everyday things.
In due course….

K.J.K.  8-9-2016

*COG = Cognition, figuring out things, challenge your brain.

To be concluded later on in “Look at Life In Rehab - The Prize”.


Then there comes a time to go back home. You may feel that it is the same home you left. Newsflash - It’s not.

Look at Life In Rehab
The Prize

Home is the goal.
The prize of your stay in rehab.

A place that you will dream of -
All perfect, all inviting, exactly the way you left it.

Except that this is a dream.
Like all dreams it is idealized.

In reality the home you will go back to will be vastly different.
With new things to help you continue to recover.

You will have to relearn many of the things you took for granted before.
That’s all right, though.

Think of this as re-birth.
A new you is on the way.

It will be weird for a while.
As you learn how to be “you” again.

Eventually, it gets better.
Things get easier.

Especially when you start to do things your way.
Putting your mark on the new routines of the day.

You feel less of a guest in your home.
And more of your old self.

Then one day it all feels natural.
Your new life firmly in place.

Time to go on living.
Congratulations on winning the prize.

Your new life unfolds before you:.
Make it a good one and God bless.
K.J.K. 8/28/2016

Love, you think it means one thing most of your life and then you realize it means all not just romantic love. Love of friendship, Then the warm cradling support love of God wrapping himself around your soul…

Revelations of Love

Introspective, been doing that a lot recently.
Been thinking a lot about myself.

There is more to this than myself.
I have to know that.

This journey I am on is not a solitary passage.
There are others along the way.

Others who love me;
An idea I only recently have accepted.

Spending years thinking myself unloveable.

I don’t know.
Maybe I had to learn it the hard way.

I have so much family now.
Blood, Soul, Church.

So many prayers.
So much love.

My pledge to you all:
I love you.

I will stand.
I will fight.

I will live.

K.J.K.  07-13-2016


Have you seen the sight?
Of all those bald heads done up right?

With red and green bows.
A little tinsel.

Maybe some popcorn.
Draped over these huge ears.

Yes I am bald.
Getting balder.

The horror!
Someday soon there will be no hair.

It will all be a memory.

I won’t miss it…

K.J.K.  7-16-2016

Music’s Return

It’s been awhile since I could handle music.
The complex emotions it stirs up.

The words music calls forth.
The tears, God the tears!!

A switch got turned back on in my head this morning.
Music is back, I am told to stay.

These are tears of joy.
Like meeting an old love and wondering why you ever broke up….

K.J.K. 07-30-2016

All I will say is that faith is very, very important. The rest you have to figure out….


Five days a week I go to Luther General’s “Center for Advanced Care”.
It is a cancer treatment center.
I get radiation and chemo treatment five days a week there.

I have always known that cancer was a big deal and lots of people have some kind of it.
But to know something intellectually is not the same as living it.

The “Center for Advanced Care” is huge.
It is filled to the brim with hundreds of people fighting what I will now call the scourge of our time.

Maybe the scourge of all time.

I see so many brave people, who are sometimes weak.
Like I am.

There is a bond, a secret handshake.
The knowing nod from someone else in the “club”.

We are fighters.
Like Dan Millman’s Peaceful Warrior we all have our game faces on.

Working our asses off to become the champion.
To beat this spectrum of diseases back into the genetic soup from whence it came.

All stories will not finish happily.
Some will.

Science may solve this one day.
There are lots of people working on this.
Probably thousands.

It would be nice to see these places less crowded.
The secret handshake no longer needed or remembered.

Until then we will keep up the fight.
Praying that the story finishes happily.

K.J.K.  07-31-2016

This concludes Part 1.

Look for Part 2 ASAP.