Swan Chisels


Tool Stories

  My Friend and a Holly Wood Walking Stick


It was Thursday, April 27 and I knew that my friend is having his first radiation treatment. For the next six weeks, he will be subjected to scorching rays to stop the growth and remove the cancerous cells on his voice cords.

I found my self shocked. I had never been that close to cancer. At my request, my friend kept me updated often on his therapy progress and his own feelings and observations. I learned about the initial patient preparation, the sounds of the X-Ray machine shooting the first burst of rays, the rotation of the ray gun to the other side of his body and the buzzing sound of another shot. This became a part of his everyday routine for next six weeks.

Shortly after he began his treatments, I discovered that my own health was not in the best shape. I continued my struggle with depression and new problems were discovered. High blood pressure was right here. I was facing several tests and weeks of “trial and error” of different medicine combinations.

Reports from my friend were not very uplifting. Soon I began feeling numb every time I had an update email from him. I read them with anticipation of good news. But as time went on, the news was more and more painful - the pain, loss of weight, loss of voice, burned skin on his neck, and more pain.

My own depression was bringing me to my knees. I was in panic and pain; I could not write an answer to my friend’s emails. I didn’t want to talk and he could not talk. We were drifting into our own worlds of misery.

And then, at the end of May he sent me an email with this comment about his own experience:

“Within a few months I came to realize that all the bad feelings I was having were generated within me. They were not coming from outside. I determined to stop that, and in time, I did. You can do it too.

I also find that keeping busy takes my mind off all my troubles. I have only one track in my mind, and if it is full of a project, I cannot think of anything else.

Now, my current problem: I have determination like steel. I attribute this determination to my military training. I will eat if it kills me. I may not eat as much, but I will get by long enough to get through this.”

During the first week of June my friend sent me an article to publish on this website. It is on making a Holly Wood Walking Stick. I knew that he was telling me to get up and walk again. So I tried… and I walk again.


July 22, 2006

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