Happy Thanksgiving and Why Cancer does not entirely suck…

I am 38 year old girl, a joyously married mother of 2 great kids (that only need to be disciplined once a week) and full time employee extraordinaire who incidentally has pancreatic cancer. They tell me it is terminal. ”They” tell me a lot. I refuse to believe “them”.

As everyone knows, cancer sucks. In order to fight this nasty critter you need chemotherapy and all that fun stuff. The medications you ingest or have pumped into your veins are designed to kill cells in your body. All this means is that not only does cancer suck because you have it, but cancer sucks because of what you need to do to get rid of the bugger! But I think in honor of Thanksgiving I am going to try to find various ways that cancer does NOT suck…

#1. Poof. Instant electrolysis! No more waxing, threading, bleaching, tweezing, pulling, tearing… I am as bare as I was the day I was born. I have now saved at least $5,423.62 on various hair removal products and/or treatments. Who’s not a hairy beast anymore? Oh yeah that would be me. Thanks cancer!

#2. Just say no to hair products! I no longer need to spend hours on my hair. No more dying it and no more slathering gallons of product to reduce unsightly frizz. No longer am I spending my paycheck on the entire hair care line of Wen products because I could not sleep, stayed up watching infomercials and I believed in the magic of Wen, just as feverently as I believed in the magic of Santa Claus. (By the way I have discovered that infomercials are only on at ungodly hours because our defenses and inherent sanity apparently take naps during that time.) So now, for a good hair day I grab one of my many wigs and ta da!! Great hair day! Perfect color! No frizz and no need to style! So yeah….THANKS CANCER!

#3. Who needs daylight savings? I can now sleep an extra half hour (depending on when my three year old wakes up) in the morning because of reasons #1 and #2. No longer do I need more than 10 minutes in the shower! I simply lather up (who needs shampoo anymore? Not me!) and rinse…perhaps repeat if I am feeling plucky! And I am DONE! Hot damn! So I have bonus time on my clock because my showers are now so short! So again I say…Thanks cancer!

#4. Diet? What Diet? No more crazy yo-yo dieting. Now the sores in my mouth and down my throat control all those silly food binges. So when they flare up, just give me a cold glass of juice or water and I am a happy girl. And when they don’t flare up, trying to find something that does not have the wonderful overwhelming metallic taste of blood is more fun than a rousing game of Where’s Waldo. In fact it helps keep the weight on. And when the scale shows that I have gained ten pounds in one week I can with 100% honestly and certainty say it’s just bloating from retaining water. So yeah! Take that cottage cheese diet…Atkins…weight watchers! And wow…thanks cancer! You rock!

#5. Power naps! I nap now. I never truly mastered the ancient art of napping till now. And oh boy, what I have been missing!!! Just about an hour a day for my “lunch break” I nap. Sometimes on the weekends I take two maybe three hour naps just to be decadent. Never before did I appreciate the body’s need to sleep, especially smack dab in the middle of a day. Wow is all I have to say. But now I am sure to get my nap once a day, sometimes twice…and always on a Thursday. Goooo naps, and yeah….Thanks Cancer!

#6. Days off! Or what I lovingly call “the get out of work because I have cancer card” oh cancer this is one of my favorites! Now instead of the everyday monotony of going to work 9 to 5 (or in my office 9 to 5:15…yes I work for crazy people) I actually leave if I feel ill, I go to the doctor and once a week I go to my hospital for chemo. Truthfully all joking aside, this is not necessarily a bad thing. I spent so many years of my life saying I HAVE to be a work for such and such a thing. I acted as if my office will crumble without me there. But it is not true. My office still functions if I am not there, people still do their jobs and taxes will still be paid. So if anything I learned to take a little bit of time for ME…for my family for all the things in my life that make it mine. So with real sincerity, thank you cancer.

#7. Role Playing! I get to look like a different woman every day if I want to. Who needs role playing games with your husband when all you have to do is slap on a sassy wig and draw in your eyebrows any way you want…It’s like magic. I can be Jessica Rabbit in a long Red wig…what man did NOT love Jessica Rabbit? Or I can be a cutting edge vamp with red lips and a swinging black bob. Or sweet little Bambi the college coed with a short skirt and long blonde wig. But now…poof I can now add a dash of sassiness in my love life. In this case the plural of spouse should be spice, since I am playing all the roles in this cast! Sadly I am all talk, so far I have not the courage to try the role playing idea out yet, but at least I now have the option..So for giving me new options…Thanks cancer! You’re swell!!

#8. I could be prom queen! I have a new popularity thanks to cancer. When walking onto the infusion floor in the hospital I feel like Angelina Jolie…and with my husband who, if you scrunched your eyes a little, tilted your head, walked back a few feet and spun around four times, could almost resemble Brad… Although I seriously doubt my popularity is owed entirely to my effervescent personality. I think it is mostly because of the really great people who work at the hospital. (But I don’t mind pretending.)

And every darned day it seems I meet someone new. If I cannot get out I find people in my computer. Yes I have a few friends that live inside my computer…or maybe in my head…possibly both. But this disease has made me even MORE optimistic than I ever was before and I did not think that was possible. Smiling has become like my underwear, I never leave home without it and I always make sure it is bright, shiny and clean. So for expanding my social network…yay Cancer! Thanks!

#9. I get it now. I cherish every single moment with a ferocity I cannot even explain. I have never been closer to my husband than I am now. I have discovered that he is truly my rock and my heart. Without him I am only half the me I could be, should be or will ever be. Truly he is my best friend in the whole wide crazy world. He is my solace when I am inconsolable and he is my laughter when I have forgotten how to use it. Cancer has taught me that my 13 year old son has a heart of gold unlike anyone I have ever seen. That child/man has a core of strength that is unmatched by any other. I never knew it; I had never seen it before. And my teenager is nothing but optimistic he will not hear of anything other than that his mother will beat this disease. There is no question in his mind. I pray that he is right, if only for his sake. I have learned to treasure every moment of my daughter’s toddlerhood. Every step, every new word. At 3 she is discovering something new every day and I am living that through her eyes. She is sweet, charming, feisty and so stubborn it hurts. I adore that little girl.

I have never loved as I do now. I have never felt as much as I do now. And every day I want to spend surrounded by those I love. My friends are dearer to me than ever before. Every kind word and gesture takes on a rosier glow, a new hue. I appreciate so much more than I ever did. My family…sometimes I still would like to believe that I may not have sprung out of that particular gene pool but I value each and every one of them. Their love is unconditional. And I realize that now. So, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you cancer for letting me experience these things through different eyes. Thank you for sharpening every feeling, every moment…I have never lived so much until I was told I was dying. So yes, thank you cancer.

Now please would you kindly vacate the premises! Oh, and Thank you for coming.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cancerkickingirl
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 03:58:23

    hahaha love this!! So so true. Although I lost my hair on my head, I never went bald and it’s grown like crazy but I never lost any other hair and I don’t get cold sores or the metallic taste. I love this post though and can relate 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!


  2. Erin
    Nov 30, 2012 @ 22:44:16

    I love this blog! Monica you sound like such an awesome gal! I am just figuring out all this blogging bizzo (yep about 5 years after everyone else), and I am definietly glad to have found yours. My dad has this horrible cancer too, and is starting his chemo and we are all just getting our heads around it. I like how you travel!


    • monica923
      Nov 30, 2012 @ 22:50:25

      Aww thanks! If there is any advice or help I can give to you or your dad please let me know. It is so scary in the beginning..but just keep seeing the positive. Sometimes it will get difficult, but as long as you can find the humor and a smile it can be beaten! And good pain meds never hurt…although he should be the one taking them not you lol 😉


  3. Nicole Kristal
    Dec 02, 2012 @ 02:39:47

    I think you’re the one with the good attitude! Keep up the fight! And fuck cancer! (Sorry for swearing but that’s about the only emotion I can feel about it!)


    • monica923
      Dec 02, 2012 @ 05:23:25

      Don’t be sorry, you are so right..fuck cancer! It sucks moose balls? And honestly sometimes you have to hold on to a good attitude because if you don’t you may go on a crazy bitch slapping rampage. I find myself teetering on the edge of one rather often 😉


  4. Rose Chimera
    Dec 02, 2012 @ 16:53:27

    You really have a great attitude and wonderful writing ability. While I know its a very serious topic, you managed to make me smile a few times while reading. I thank you for that. Yes they may say its terminal, but remember no one was born with a expiration date stamped on their foot. Do not give up! As Nicole Kristal said above, fuck cancer!


  5. Teeny Bikini
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 21:54:57

    Amazing. Thank you.


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