Something Old, Something New

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Hey everyone, I know it has been a while since I’ve last posted, as I have been very busy with just life in general. Milestones, Achievements, Travel ect. That being said, I will try and write like I used to, as best as I can.

Sticking to the name of this post, Something Old, Something New. I will tell you what that entitles. I am beginning to learn a new language. Although I have learned a new language before, this time around is an entirely different language. Before, when I was living in Japan, of course I was learning Japanese. But now, having been in the states for the past 7 years, I choosing to learn a language from a place I’ve always wanted to go. Russia.

Not only is Russian one of my favorite sounding languages in the world, but the country its self, is one that I wish to journey to in the not to distant future. Something about traveling across the world, gives me a sense of freedom, and exploration, as I would imagine I am not the only one whom gets this feeling.

Growing up in Japan, as a military brat, I was able to travel around from town to town, and see things through young eyes, places I’ve never been before, things I’ve never seen before and people I’ve never talked to before. Being a young kid in a foreign country was both the greatest experience I’ve had, and quite the eye opener, that North America isn’t the only part of the world. For those of you whom haven’t left North America, I strongly urge that you try it at least once in your life. And don’t wait to long to do it, like I feel I have with learning a new language.

At first, learning a new language seemed like a monumental task. Having to learn to read, write and speak a whole new language. It seems like a lot at first, but I try not to go about it like that. I rather like to think of it as a whole new form of communication, a way to extend your knowledge and a way to talk with people, and get to know people, hear their life story and maybe share some knowledge. Something that I’ve always wanted to be able to do, is be able to talk to someone from another part of the world, and share stories with this person. Who would I be to this person? Would I be this amazing kid that people tell me I am? Would I be just some average Joe to them?  And what would they be to me? Would they be just some average Joe from across the world? Maybe being average somewhere other then here, is amazing to someone from here. A million opportunities and possibilities open up when learning a new way of communication. 

I know it really helped knowing Japanese when we lived there, though I was not fluent in the language. I could understand my fair share, to help me during my time there. Something like asking for help when lost, to just finding a sign that says “Bathroom” When it all comes down to it, knowing a little, can help out a lot.

I’ve been very blessed to be able to travel with my family, in my life. See different places, and meet different people. Get to make a new home, away from home. And learn to love it so, that when you go back home, you miss being away from it.

I really do urge you to try something new in your life, something that you’ve always wanted to do, but have always waited, or put off. There are 7 days in a week, and “someday” isn’t one of them.

Sort of a short post tonight, I felt like I could write something small to hopefully start something more in the near future, as I really need to continue posting on here.

Hope you all enjoy it, and thank you for reading!

Cheers!
Ty

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Something Old, Something New

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Coming off of a sickness is much like saying goodbye to an old friend, though they can be irritating from time to time, it’s something that’s always there to remind us that we’re still human, and we’re not invincible like we were when we were younger. And though I say this with much knowledge in the ‘sickness’ category, it happens to us all.

In light of the new year, and just getting over a cold, I look back on the Christmas I’ve just had with family and friends. We planned it all year, yet it has come and gone in the blink of an eye, I guess time proceeds the thought process of the human brain, when we have our mind set on one date, that is. A year has come and gone, laughs have been had, tears have been shed, stories have been told and new ones have been made. 2012 has gone away just as fast as the years before, yet it feels much shorter. Is this because I’m getting older? Or just because I now know what it’s like for time to have passed, as I’ve done nothing but sat and watched. I feel as though the ‘simple’ things in life exceed me, yet the more challenging are within grasp. As I sit and watch the time tick by, and moments pass without so much as a word, I’ve realized the hard way, that life indeed is very short, with the passing of another year, we should all ask ourselves. “What have I done in the last year?” And I’m not meaning things that everyone does like pass or fail something. I’m meaning something that you’ll want to remember next year, or something you’ll look back on and wish you could be there again.

For me, this is easy. I know very well where I will want to be next year, I will want to be right back here, surrounded by visiting family and friends, having the time we will forever remember, and will look back on as not just a Christmas with the family. But memories with the family. All the laughs, the good times, and what now has become fond memories. We will look back on this time with joy and fulfillment, as we end a year of what was, and bring in a year of what will be. I’ve only just realized the true meaning of the new year. As we look back, we either wanted 2012 to be over, or never wanted it to end. But honestly, we have no control of it, no matter how bad we want to stay at this one point in time, time carries on without question, and there isn’t a thing we can do about it.

As we are forced to welcome 2013. What will come of it? We won’t know until it happens. We think of each year as a milestone. A single piece in the puzzle of life, that moves on without hindrance of anything that might have happened, be it a tragedy or a triumph, no single moment in life will ever pause the flow of time. Moments that take our breath away, often take our breath away because we either weren’t expecting it, or we were, and now we’re living what we’ve dreamed about so long.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Kind of a view inside my mind, and my thought process. Though I cannot layout how my Brian works on a page of a blog, I can explain my reasoning behind how I come to a conclusion of said thought. Confused yet? Hopefully not. But in we shall go!

What I said earlier, about things that are ‘easy exceeding me yet challenging are in grasp’ well. What I meant by that is. I’ve done nothing with my life in 2012 per say. I’m 17 and not in school. Nor am I about to graduate, this is due to the fact that I’m not in school. I haven’t done any type of schooling since I had been diagnosed almost 4 years ago, and I don’t plan on going back to high school. But rather study for my G.E.D. Sure, mock me all you want, or agree with me, either way, it’s what I’m going to do. Eventually. Okay, so I’ve put off studying for almost the whole year of 2012, call it a bad habit of procrastination, but it is what it is. Also I’m 17 and I don’t have a license, nor a permit, amazing right? What did you want to do when you turned 17? Get your license and get out of the house, right? Though I do agree with the ‘getting out of the house’ part, getting my license is something I’ve been dreading for a while now. Is it because I’m afraid of operating a motorized vehicle that could potentially harm a life if used incorrectly? Or because getting my license will allow me to step into the adulthood that I’ve been so dreadfully postponing for so long? I’m going with a little bit of both.

Yet I, as an amputee, am wanting to play hockey. A sport that some people with both legs can’t even play. Why is this? 80% out of the sheer love for the sport, 10% because I strive on doing that which people declare impossible, or very difficult, and 10% because.. Well, I’ve wanted to do something that I could relate to some people to on a normal base of play. Sure, I can relate to other cancer survivors or amputees, but I’ve always found it hard to relate to someone of the ‘normal’ breed. I’ve never really been one for people my own age. 80% of my friends are above the age of 21and those whom are my age. Don’t share the same interests as me, I feel that hockey could change that. Or perhaps I’ve found someone whom I’ve ‘clicked’ with already, and I just don’t know it. Or maybe I do. Only time will tell.

As you could see, my mind is a strange place. Or is it? Who knows, because I sure don’t.

As the clock strikes 1AM it is time for me to put down the head phones and stop with the blogging, and catch the sleep that so eludes me. For I have to get up in 6 hours to take my beloved grandmother (Aka Grubba) to the airport, and see her off. Yes the end of a Christmas visit is always the worst..

Goodnight to all, and here’s to a great new year!

The First of Many

Tonight, I start the first of (hopefully) many more posts to come. So let’s start with a little introduction.

Hello, My name is Ty Ulmer. I’m 17 years young. I have an amazing family. With my mother Kim and my father Darrin. And the greatest brother anyone could ever ask for, Josh. We are the Ulmers.
And We (well, most of us) live in the great state of Idaho.
Those of you whom have never been. I strongly suggest you give it a visit. When I first moved here, way back in 2006. I wasn’t sure what to expect. But that changed quickly..

You see, I’m what you would call, different. I’m not quite your average teenager. As you’ll come to see. When we first moved here, I was 11, but moving here a month before my birthday, I quickly grew to the age of 12. And what a great age it was. Not a care in the world. Waking up, eating breakfast, and starting school, all in the same house. You see, growing up as a military brat, I was.. Spoiled when it came to schooling. I never had to get up at the crack of dawn. I never had to ride the buss with 20 other kids, all half asleep. I never had 7-8 hours of school. I my daily study’s. Sure, I had math, science, history, all the usual subjects anyone else had. But I didn’t sit in front of my teacher. I didn’t learn at the pace the teacher decided to teach. I learned at the pace I was used to, my own. I had all of those subjects to do, sure. But if I wanted. I could skip lunch, and be done with school in 4 hours. It was all up to me. There were days that I got up early, and finished before lunch. Then there were days that I was lazy, and finished shortly before going to bed. Of course I had more days finishing after dinner, than before lunch. But you get my point. Yes, growing up in the Ulmer household. I had quite the life, as I still do.

I would finish school, and wait till the buss stopped by our house, to wait for my friends to come home. So I could show them the new nerf gun that my parents bought me for my birthday. And we could go out and play. Yes, life was good. On a military base, safety wasn’t much of a concern, you had to ride your bike with a helmet, and had to be home before the street lights came on, but that was it. Me and my friends would go off and play at the park, not even a minute from my house. Perfect for mom, she’d walk out the front door, yell “Dinner’s ready!” and I’d be home in no time. Just to go back out and play after my food had settled for 30 minutes, and not a second before.

I’d go to bed that night, after saying my goodnight prayer with my mom. Feeling safe and secure in my bed. Just to wake up the next day, and do it all over again. I’d finish my school and go for a bike ride almost every day. No, not for exercise, just because I liked to get going really fast, hit the breaks, and try to make the longest skid mark on the concrete. I would compete with my friends on who had more style, and who did it better. If we weren’t making a mess of the concrete, we were riding around the outskirts of the base, looking for dogs who’d ran away. Just to take them home, and call the number on the tag, so the owners could come pick them up. They always wanted to pay me for returning their dog. They’d ask “How much do I owe you?” I reply with “What ever you feel comfortable giving me” I never asked for the money, because back then, I never did anything for money, I did it because I knew if my dog ran away, I would want someone to return him to me. And because it gave me something to do everyday.

Day’s would go by, and before you know it. It was my birthday again. What did I get this time? A cell phone. Just so my mom could call me when she wanted me home. Most times I would never hear the ringer, and she would have to come find me anyways. Can’t say much has changed. Haha.

Shortly (I mean a month) after my birthday, which still happens every year, on August 2nd. It was a sad day for everyone who kept up on news. It was September 11th. And everyone now knows what that day means. For us being in the military, it meant all the more. I’d go out and ride my bike with my friends, just as I had the day before. But when they had to go to the store with their mom, I continued making skid marks, and doing the things I normally would.

I circled the neighborhood, gathering speed with every pedal. I was going for the biggest one yet. My hands made the mistake of hitting my front tire break, when my brain clearly said rear. And I flopped forward over the handle bars, my feet slipped off the pedals, and the pedals caught on my shin. Tearing the skin on my right shin. Feeling like an idiot. I got off my bike, and limped home. Cleaned up the cut on my leg, just before mom got home from work. We had dinner, and went to bed as usual. Over the next few days. I noticed the pain never really went away, as with other cuts. But being 13. I thought nothing of it. At night I would ask mom for the occasional ibuprofen because my leg was sore. After about the 3rd day of asking, mom realized something wasn’t right. And looked at my leg.

Mom: “Growing pains.” Dad “That, or shin splints.”

After a while, I began to limp. And not like your average ‘pants on the ground’ limp. Like an ‘Ow, my leg hurts’ limp. I remember my mom putting the back of her hand on my leg and saying “It’s really warm.” And feeling the bump that had risen from my shin. She knew something wasn’t right. And made a doctors appointment. Being on a military base. We had to deal with deployments. And yes, doctors included. So we had to wait. Almost another month, or so it seemed. When the day finally came, we showed up to the appointment not knowing what to expect. We bumped into one of our friends who was a nurse there, on our way to our exam room. We get to the room. And it felt like we (me and mom) were being watched. Or I felt like I was. The doctor comes in, and looks at the bump (now doubled in size) Feeling it, and so on, as doctors do. And he said “Let’s get him in for an x-ray”
He leaves, and we wait for the x-ray tech to come get us. They lead me back to the room. I remember feeling really cold. Could be the fact that most hospital A/C units are set on a strict 45 degree temperature year round. Or something just didn’t feel right.

X-ray finished, and now waiting. Waiting. And more waiting. Just as all hospitals do to their patients. We go back to the doctors office. As he is looking at the x-ray, he asks us. “Could you come back at 4 for an MRI.” I remember my mom asking. “Well, do you know what it is yet?” and the doctor looked at us both and said. “It looks like bone cancer.”

I’ve never jumped out of a plane, but I’m pretty sure the feeling I felt after he said that. Was pretty close. It’s as if you jumped out of the plane and realized. “I forgot my parachute” The clock on the wall, stopped ticking. My hands, started to sweat. My mom looked like she was just punched in the gut. Loosing all air in her lungs. And brought to tears. The feeling when she grabbed my hand, and squeezed it tight. I will never forget. As we quickly walked back to the van, and sat down. Still in disbelief. My mom holding back the tears, asked me “Are you okay??” I nodded. But never spoke a word. The quick drive home was silent to say the least. I don’t even remember hearing the engine running. We pull up to the house. My mom still gasping for air. Told me. “Go inside sweetie, I’ll be right there” as I walked to the house, stumbling in the door. I laid on the couch. And didn’t move for what felt like hours. I could picture my mom out in the car, calling my dad, crying, and saying “Come home now.” And I pictured my dad, Standing up from the meeting. And saying “I have to go.” and walking out. The first real thought I remember having was. “I’m going to loose my hair?!?” “Oh no. I’m going to be bald!!?” As if it was so important.

I blinked my eyes. And here I am, at 2:03 AM.. 4 years from diagnosis. And 3.5 years cancer free.
As I write, I try to make it as if I were talking to you, and explaining what was happening. You’ll see a lot of that in the coming posts. But as the time passes. My bed gets more and more comfortable. And now I must give in.

More to come. Hope you all enjoy it!

“The things we deem important in our lives, shouldn’t be things, if they’re really important.”

Ty