7 things you should never say to someone who has cancer or better yet…How to properly use your brain before you say something stupid to someone with cancer.

idiots guide

I truly believe that people are entirely well meaning. I believe in the inherent goodness of people as a whole. (Also I believe in fairies, ghosts and that I saw Santa in a Delta terminal so take it as you will) I also believe in people’s inherent ability to speak without thinking and that much like the universe, stupidity can be truly infinite. To be kind, we shall call these instances of foot in oral cavity “brainless” moments. We all have them. I know I do. Having cancer though leaves me more exposed to the brainless moments of others, exposed like a flasher on the “N” train at rush hour. I am exposed to those people who want to say the all right things but oh dear sweet lord does it come out all colors of wrong. So I would like to dedicate the following blog to those wonderful souls, those amazingly well intentioned people who should perhaps consult with the following blog before speaking to someone like me.

#1. “How much chemo do you have left?” Oh my wonderful well meaning people, I love you all but trust me, most cancer patients could tell you down to the millisecond…to that last drip of chemo how much chemotherapy they have left. And they will readily share it. Happily. Cuz it’s kinda a big deal. If they do not share how much longer they have on chemo there may be a reason. But feel free to ask anyway as long as you like the taste of shoe leather and feet. Yum. Oh and do not be surprised if the only responses you get are a blinking of lash less eyes and the sweet cacophony of crickets chirping. You may be in for a real treat and get snarky remarks like mine usually are, like my personal favorite…. “till I die” or “for the rest of my life” or the ever popular “as long as the cancer lets me live”. Pick one, any one. I do not mean to be so snarky but that particular question only reminds me of how much this cancer sucks balls. I hate to be reminded it makes me cranky.

#2. “Why don’t you wear a wig?” or “Do you own a wig?” My question to you is, “Why? Does my baldness offend your tender sensibilities?” You don’t ask a MAN that question do you? Why are you bald? Why don’t you use Rogaine? No…Of course you would not ask that! Unless you have been recently dropped on your head and are still recovering. The truth is I own over twenty wigs. At first the novelty of it all was fun, kinda…sorta… But I have decided that wig wearing is every cancer patient’s personal decision. Some people will wear it all the time even to chemo. Which if fine for them, we all have our reasons. I chose not to wear them. Yes from time to time for fun I throw one on for an hour maybe longer. But usually I go without. I don’t like wigs. Even my lace cap was probably-made-by-fairies-knitting-gold-spun-diamond-fiber-holy-crap-that-was-freaking–expensive- human haired wig is bloody annoying. I have decided that my current baldness is a much a part of me as my big brown (I say hazel my husband says I am seriously color blind) eyes, the little mole on my nose and my crooked pinkie toes. I am bald. I have cancer. It’s all good. Besides no wig can ever look like my wild long curly hair that once bloomed from my scalp…so why bother? Also try not to remind me about my lost hair. I know it is missing. I promise it did not sneak off my head in the middle of the night to party with the neighbor’s hair. And it is not playing a ridiculously long drawn out game of hide and seek with me (because if it is no one told me and I am apparently losing). No I cannot tell you when it will come back. After chemo is over and please refer back to my answer for question #1. Honestly I really really liked my hair. My hair was rather like a first love. I forgot about what a pain in the ass it was and how it enjoyed torturing me on the days I least expected it. All I choose to remember are the good things, like how pretty it was on a good hair day, that it was long enough to cover my entire back down to my butt, and how nice it felt to be grabbed during…yeah my hair. I miss it. BUT as I like to say, better to lose my hair then my life. Sometimes that makes me feel better and then sometimes I just think this whole cancer thing pretty much blows. The following picture is my hair…this is why I don’t wear a wig…and why I would notice if it ran away.

me hair

3. “But you look so good”…This one is a statement. But again stop it. If I tell you I feel like crap, please for the love of all things holy and all things that glitter…do not say, “Really but you look so good”. Because you know what you are really saying…”You are full of poop because you look healthy, so you cannot be that sick. You lying bald chick!” Umm..If you ask or I just happen to tell you I feel horrible then accept it and know I feel ten times worse than I am expressing. I am sorry that the only way people believe me is if I walk around looking like Uncle Fester. You know complete with dark circles around my eyes and no makeup. Therefore you are telling me that in order for you to believe that I feel like the worst kind of lousy I need to look it. You claim to be smart…do I ask to see your brain matter? I have cancer that does not mean I lost my vanity. I still like to look pretty. Or as pretty as this damned disease and what God gave me naturally can possibly achieve. So please do not contradict me. I really really hate that. I will end up shoving my remaining glitter monkey sock up your butt if you continue. In the world of a cancer patient looking good does not necessarily equate to feeling good. But I never feel so sick that I cannot smack someone upside the head to get the stupid out of them.

4. “Have you seen….insert stupid sad cancer movie here”. And speaking of smacking the stupid out of people… This ranks up there as the “oh dear lord he didn’t give you a brain did he scarecrow?” question. WHY on this good green earth would you ask me if I saw; Terms of endearment, Beaches, A walk to remember etc. Really? Really? That’s like saying hey…have you cut yourself open and rubbed salt in it and rinsed it out with lemon juice? And please do NOT for goodness sake recommend I see this movie or that. Seeing Beaches, Terms of Endearment of any movie with someone dying of cancer in a cancer flick is NOT going to lift my spirits or move me with its sweeping cinematic beauty and wonderful Oscar winning acting. By the way watching actors portray people with cancer is rather annoying. Because they really never do it justice. Take my word for it they just don’t. By the way dear well intentioned person I seriously doubt you have any remaining brain cells left to even ask such a question. Conversation should never become that desperate. Note to self I will start speaking in smaller words and slower when addressing you.

5. “Why don’t you change your diet or have you tried the holistic approach?” I know you mean well, but there are only so many vitamins I could try, or organic blah blah blah… And if you are in my position (which I would never want for anyone) you can try all the natural approaches you want. Me? I am a science girl. I will stick with the science. My chemo works for me. My doctor and his team rock my socks and have brought me to where I am today. Which if you ask me is all kinds, shades and flavors of wonderful. By the way yes dear nature girl…I have heard of a coffee enema. Umm yeah, no thanks. I would rather not have anything up my rear, especially stuff that was brewed in a coffee pot for breakfast. I like coffee. Please don’t ruin it for me because that is a something that I would need therapy to get over. And may I say, “Ewww..double ewww squared to infinity”. Ick.
seeking-health-coffee-enema-kit-basic

6. “Oh my so and so had cancer too and they… (insert the following): they died, they lived then got it again then died…they thought it was gone then died etc & so forth.” I too have known people with cancer and can tell you stories. I have made some great friends on many of my cancer groups that have lost loved ones to my particular illness and I actually want to hear their stories. BUT if you realize I have cancer (which I hope that you caught on from by my utter lack of hair and if that failed you noticed my huge port scar/mark whatever.. it’s ugly) and you barely know me, then please do not tell me about your great aunt’s best friend’s cousin’s brother who also had cancer but died because they caught it too late, but I was LUCKY to find it when I did. First off I don’t want to know. Secondly…there is NOTHING lucky about having cancer. There are good things that may result from it, but that is another blog. For now suffice to say keep your story to yourself. I am glad you feel you can relate. But honestly unless you are going through it, or are the caregiver or super close family member/friend of someone with cancer then you do not understand. And you know what..that’s ok. I do not ask for my friends to understand it, just support me. Love me and put up with me. It is less painful to understand. Because to understand means you have gone through it in some way and that is not something I want for anyone. You do not have to swap stories with me about people you barely know in order to relate to me. Really. I would prefer if you just talked about the weather or clown caber tossing…or the fact the national animal of Scotland is the unicorn (true fact and enough reason for me to want to move to Scotland).

7. “How much time do you have?” Geez oh petes…really? Time I have to what? Pee? Till retirement? Till my kids are in college? Till I lose my patience and end up in prison orange cause I actually did try to smack the stupid out of you and because no amount of beating could do this I end up in prison? How much time do I have? This question is rude and upsetting. It is something that should never be asked of any cancer patient. If I do not ask you how much longer you intend on being a complete and utter moron then you are not allowed to ask me how much time I have left. Because frankly I do not know!! I could be in remission tomorrow, I could die in a few months or next year, I could die when I am 98 and ¾ or I could die as pull my leg back to kick you in the shins and slip on an unseen puddle of water, fall and crack my head open. Who knows? I try not to think about it one way or another. So ummm yeah to this one I must say…STFU. Or to be polite… shut your blow hole you idiot.

I understand a compromise may be in order (fun fact of the day #2 spell check auto-corrected my accidental misspell of compromise to “come ponies” . I am beyond tickled. Now I am trying to use come ponies in a sentence. Sometimes I think I am still 5 years old. Really it takes so very little to entertain me). So yes back to my compromise, perhaps I should not be so prickly about these things. I do know that people mean well but I also think that people should use at least a small portion of their mental capabilities before speaking. Don’t you agree? Really that is not asking too much. Ok, maybe for some. I think I need to try Yoga. Find my Zen. Screw it I think I am going to find my Ben & Jerry’s and just ignore the rest.

So that’s it folks, friends and followers. Catch you on the flip. Thanks as always for delving in my little world of rants, raves and revelations.

Normal is grossly underrated. But vacations rock!

20130722-173135.jpg

We just came back from a week of sun, (ok it rained all week) sand (just a wee bit of it. I hate sand, sand gets all up in places that not even my gynecologist has seen) and fun (which it was truly, but my version of fun may be different than yours…remember I like chicken noodle soup and bananas. So it is all about your point of view and taste buds). But it was just what the doctor ordered.

Well not really.

You see vacations and chemo don’t really mix too well. And I am tired. Tired down to my bones, hell down to the mitochondria in my cells. But I know in my heart I am on the road to recovery. How do I know that? Well I realized it when I was more concerned over how crappy I looked in a bathing suit (who’s lying? I bawled like a baby) than how utterly tired, sick to my stomach and swollen I was. My hubby was kind about it, he always is. But really. Enough is enough. Cancer takes away so much more than just your hair. It is really starting to royally piss me off. Which is a good thing. It is bad enough that it threatens my life, I will be damned if it permanently mars my looks. In all honesty it is a heck of a lot easier to focus on the “smaller” picture i.e. my stupid vanity issues, than to focus on “will I live another year?” Because truly that is just soul-suckingly exhausting. Besides I miss the me of two years ago, she was as my daughter would say, “so awesome and cool”. At least that is how I remember the me of BC (before cancer). I could be wrong. But according to my spouse I am never wrong (of course when he says it he may mean it sarcastically but I chose to ignore that fact).

Once upon a time my husband and I used to play more interesting games like…”who is hiding a surprise”(insert lascivious eyebrow wiggle here) and the ever popular, “let’s talk dirty while you are in the middle of work and cannot do anything about it”. Oh yes how I miss those days. However now we play much more adult games, grandma approved ones in fact. My favorite being “which one of us has more swollen ankles today” or “Who can fall asleep mid-sentence first”. His swollen ankles are blood pressure related but his exhaustion is a lovely combo of he works like a dog and he has a pretty packed family life. Kids, sick wife, dentally challenged dog and a beta he swears wants to bite his finger equals a great deal for one man to handle. He is exhausted for reasons of his own which in their own way are cancer related too. So our games are not as much fun as before. God willing that will soon change. I was hoping that this vacation would recharge our batteries.

Sadly, I think I need new batteries.

You never really relax while on vacation. You try to shove so many things to do in such a limited amount of time and then add a precocious toddler to the mix and you have an exhaustion cocktail unlike any other…sprinkled liberally with some Demerol pills, yes kids Demerol is not just for childbirth anymore! (Which incidentally they do NOTHING for my pain but loads for the happy happy joy joy feelings).

Speaking of my little girl…ahhh…nothing is creepier than a child. I mean it. Children can be really scary. For example, we were driving back from my cousin’s house after a really wonderful time and our little girl is playing with some silly doll we bought her from the souvenir shop. Our son is on his Iphone as always and the little one was being a little too quiet. I look back thinking she is asleep. No, but the Barbie~esque doll is now naked. No big deal right? A few minutes later I turn around again. Suddenly the doll is now naked and headless. Our sweet little angel baby has this impish look on her face and there is no sign of the head of the doll. “Bean (not her real name of course) where is her head?” My sweet little daughter smiles at me ever so innocently and slowly pulls the head from where she had hid it and says in the softest, sweetest voice you ever heard, “Here it is Mommy”. barbie
Then proceeds to laugh. Creepily. Very very very creepily. My husband and I look at each other, silently acknowledge that our daughter just freaked us out and start to laugh along with her. I know my daughter will one day rule the world. I just hope it is a peaceful takeover.

Anyway, I just had to mention that. Because in spite of cancer, life is quite good. Life is blessedly normal in so many ways. Vacation is just vacation and vacations still sort of suck because the minute you feel relaxed and are into the groove they “POOF”…are over and you are left with the cruel bitch slap of reality right across your head. I still do not know what a bitch slap truly is and I should goggle it, but I like the mystery not knowing exactly how it is done, that way I can never do it wrong. Although I do not think I would ever put the skill to any use.

Sure I was off chemo for the week, sure I kinda resemble Uncle Fester (remember the Adam’s family?)Well that is what I look like these days…and you wondered why I was crying earlier. Go ahead picture Uncle Fester in a purple bathing suit. Here this should help..

20130722-173220.jpg
Are you done laughing? Yep. It is that bad.

So, sure I am tired. But honestly…my vacation was really rather normal. It was amazing. I got to see my sister that I adore, and my cousins that I love, my son spent time with my wonderful niece who is like his best friend and my husband and I spent time like a family…all of us. Not running around from hospital to work. Or not spending enough time with our nocturnal little girl or our almost grown 14 year old. It was great and not dominated by cancer. Not controlled by that sickness that takes over when we are home.

Do you know what I have learned from cancer? I used to strive to be unique and different. As a teenager I wanted to be remembered for my differences. I marched to my own song and I refused to uphold any sacred cows. But now? From cancer I have learned that I rather like normal. It’s not so bad after all. I think if I am lucky enough to find “normal” again I would embrace it like a long lost friend. I realized that just because I want normal does not mean that I ever need to be boring. And quite, quite honestly I really miss playing the “who is hiding the surprise” game.

Ahhh…I think I need another vacation…soon… but Uncle Fester is not invited. Therefore it is beyond time that this cancer hits the damned concrete.For GOOD!

Ok friends, folks and followers..that’s the latest and the greatest…thanks for reading my ramblings it makes me feel all warm and gooey inside. Catch you on the flip.

Cancer is so last season!

fingers crossed
Last week I received what could be super good news…but I am holding it tightly to my chest. Hard to do with my considerably sizable bosom. But it is too important to not try; besides I would not want to jinx it. So for now, til my next scans I am guarding my secret fiercely. And my heart is silently singing, completely off key of course, the praises of my awesomely awesome doctor. But good news may be coming down the road. Cross your fingers, toes, the fingers and toes of the person standing next to you…the toes and fingers of anyone you come into contact with would be completely appreciated and a true testament of your love for me. I would be eternally grateful for it all…BUT if you get arrested for crossing the fingers and toes of strangers please wait to call me at a reasonable hour. I promise to gladly post your bail.

Ok back to today’s blogfest.

As I have never had any other cancer I am putting the following disclaimer out there: I can ONLY speak about pancreatic cancer, that’s the straw I drew and that’s the cancer that is currently squatting within my traitorous body. My mother and sister both had breast cancer (and are both in remission I can happily say) so I can speak very little about that, but not with any great authority. Although I can bore you to tiny little pieces, with my voice of booming authority, if you want to hear about all the statistics on my particular cancer or how to make a really good banana cake.

First of all, most people do not have cancer for as long as I do. They do not go through chemo for years on end. They are usually given a very precise number of treatments to expect and when they can see an end, or at least a very faint glimmer of an end, to the toxic parade I loving call Chemotherapy. I cannot imagine what this is doing to my body. Actually I refuse to imagine it. I am a one hurdle at a time type of girl. We can worry about this tomorrow. Or never even. I am good with that.

Recently though I am beginning to have a very sneaking suspicion that people are actually…bored… with my cancer. It’s true. I feel somehow that I just may have fallen *gasp* out of fashion.

munich2005_4

When I was first diagnosed in 2011 everyone was a MESS. My family called me almost every day. They all live states away, so my family members took a turn visiting me every month. Sometimes twice a month. My friends salivated at the chance to go out with me, have lunch. (Actually they probably were salivating over the idea of lunch and not me really because that would be disturbing.) It was as if they thought I was dying or something. Ok. So maybe I was according to the doctors. BUT I never said I was dying. My plans remain just the opposite. So it is not as if I was indulging in false advertising. I had told all my friends and family that I had planned to beat this. And I am still working on that! But the calls have dwindled, the visits do not come nearly as often and I kinda think that they are just rather done with my cancer for now. Or they are done with me and my usual self centered cancer complaints. I feel like the same song just with a varying beat every so often. Even my super amazing fantastic husband seems a little tired of my cancer. He is still really great and supportive please do not misunderstand….but….

Sometimes I can almost hear a voice say…”Geez why aren’t you better yet?” I suppose it can be exhausting for the people around me. Hell I say it to myself. All. The. Time. I would love to snap my fingers, wave a stinking wand…grab Tinker Bell by the throat and shake over my head like a damned salt shaker. Fairy dust. Fairy dust. Fairy dust. Anything to make it go away and just be better. I wonder if people realize how I long for that normalcy. I would like to be better. Now. Please and thank you. So lacking the fairy dust we go through chemo. Often. Way way too often. And the cycle just goes on and on. Pancreatic cancer is kinda an all the time thing. Let me clarify. Stage IV pancreatic cancer is an all the time thing.

Even I suffer from ennui occasionally with my illness. But I have this little cruel gnome living inside me and for fun and to alleviate the boredom I let it out and play. Like when a neighbor asked me “Oh Monica what happened to your hair?” and I said looking simultaneously appalled and confused while frantically grasping at my bald scalp…”Oh my God..what happened to it?????” Oh yeah there is a little black heart beating in my great big heart. It is also the one that responds to the following question thusly, “So how much longer will you be on chemo?” Inwardly I sigh then utter my usual tart reply with my great big innocent eyes, “The doctor tells me til I die”. Blink…blink.. flutter eyelids (don’t have eyelashes cannot flutter those) flutter eyelids. I get a rather macabre kick out the reactions. Most do not know how to react and frankly I do not mind a second of someone else’s discomfort. I know it sounds cruel. I do not let them flounder for long. Of course within a moment I smile grandly and say, “Oh no, it’s ok, don’t worry. I am fine.” But honestly sometimes the question pisses me off! My husband thinks I am over reacting. He is right, I probably am. But hey, sometimes people are really rude. I don’t ask people how much longer they are going to be on a diet…how much longer they are going to be a dumbass…how much space they plan to take up and for how much longer. I know. I know. People do not mean harm with the questions. But it does get exhausting from time to time. And a girl does what she can to entertain herself.

Quick pet peeve. I have pancreatic cancer. Would people please stop staring at my boobs. Not every young woman with cancer has breast cancer. Although I think one day I am going to tell people I have testicular cancer…just for shits and giggles. They will undoubtedly look at my boobs and then look for my balls. I am going to do that this week for sure! The evil gnome within me just cackled in glee. Ok actually the cackling was entirely me and entirely out loud. I think I frightened my dog.

But yes, my cancer has become almost tedious. Friends Mitzy and Muffy are discreetly covering a yawn while on the inside they are saying, “We know you have cancer Monica, blah, blah, blah, but really that is so yesterday’s news. What else is going on in your life?” What you really hear is, “So how are you?” I do believe the very true and accurate translation for this is, “Please for the love of God and all things pretty and glittery can you talk about something else?”

sloth

The truth is friends, folks and followers…there is not much else. My life really does revolve around my illness. And it is so self centered. I was never that kind of person. I blame the cancer. I wish it was different. Honest. I know from my blogs that it seems that cancer is all I talk about. But it is the tone and direction I decided to go when venturing out into the blogging stratosphere. Of course we have the kids, which are stories in themselves and drama and fun. Like the fact that aliens have stolen my little boy and replaced him with some hulking 6’2 14 year old behemoth. Who still vaguely sounds like he swallowed my little boy…voice changes are pretty damned weird, funny but very odd. Or my little 3 year old princess, who when asking her to go to sleep she says, “No Tanks mommy…you go to sweep you yook tired”. This little girl will one day rule the world. I know it. Maybe the universe. And The husband? Well I can discuss him forever. Like the way his check twitches when I hatch some particular witless plan. Awww… And work. My facebook statuses seem to revolve around cancer and my boss, whom I threaten with bodily harm almost daily. But they are rather interchangeable in my mind, he can be like cancer, daily exposure to him causes horrible side effects and I cannot seem to get rid of him. And…and…and …you know what? Screw it. Sure life needs to be directed according to my illness but it does not need to be taken over by it. Because I still have a life. A full one. A great one.

So I have exceeded my original expiration date provided by the first set of doctors I saw. That is freaking awesome! And maybe I psyched out a few people who were expecting my early demise. That’s right…Psych…Oh snap! (Oh yeah I am still a 90’s teen on the inside.) Oohhh snap! Oops where was I? Yes cancer does get boring. It really does. But I need to remember that there is so much else to talk about and to think about.

But I wonder if I can bore my tumors to death????? I think I need to try that one out.

Catch you all on the flip friends, folks and followers. And if you did yawn while reading this blog I hope you covered your mouth…Native Americans believed that a part of your soul would escape if you left your mouth uncovered…oh and they probably did not want to see spit and tonsils any more than the next person.

Death is NOT my BFF

20130205-191858.jpg

Sorry for the delay but life has a mind and time table of its own. It’s also tax season in my happy world of angry little numbers…so there is little time and lots to do.

Recently I read on Facebook someone listed the following as an occupation: “dying with grace and dignity” and I thought WTF??????? This person had been diagnosed with terminal stage III pancreatic cancer and all I could think of was, ”holy crap nuggets!!! I could really die huh?”

Selfish of me to think only of myself in that moment. Really it is…

I guess I know my diagnosis, but I have hope. No one puts an expiration date on me except God. I want to fight. I want to be stubborn, scream and yell and rail at Death.

Death is NOT my friend. I will not be inviting death over for coffee, tea and rousing game of Jenga or coed adult twister. Death is not welcome at my next birthday party and I will NOT be opening my arms to it anytime in the near future.

Therefore…screw you death.

I will not go gentle into that good night!!! (ahh one of the greatest poems ever written!) There will be nothing dignified about my fight with death. I am going to fight dirty! A huge ugly street brawl. Greased up with Vaseline and all that …I have already lost my hair so no need to tie that back…and I am going to scratch, claw, knee it in the balls.. gouge it’s sorry beady little eyes out…you name it I will fight as dirty as I can. Death will not mess with me for a incredibly long time after I am done with it!

So I simply cannot believe that someone could even subscribe to such a notion as dying with grace and dignity. How can you give up like that? What makes you turn and say, “Oh death..yooo hooo…I am ready now.”? Do you neatly fold your hands over your chest, with a flower clutched tightly in your sweaty fists and wait for death to steal your life away?

I won’t.

I refuse to.

No matter how much it hurts, no matter how sick I feel or how many procedures I must endure.

Screw you death and your friends too!

Ever have a moment, just one of perfect clarity? It’s a kind of matrix moment, where everything moves in super slow motion and all the lines are razor sharp and crystal clear. I had a moment like that sitting across my husband at some quiet Italian restaurant. The moment hung in the air suspended in amber. And I said the words,

“I don’t want to die”

I cannot tell you if I had ever uttered this particular phrase before this moment…I do not know if I have said these words since. But I know that I felt every inch of them in my heart and soul. I never wanted to put a face to the possibility and by uttering those words I felt I gave death power…a sense of truth. I opened a door to the possibility.

Sure, I could talk about a terminal illness etc. and blah blah. But somehow it never seemed real..tangible. But to actually say I don’t want to die really means that I can, this stupid disease can actually kill me. Kill me? Can you imagine? The unmitigated gall that cancer has. Ugh. Death is rude.

But those words will not and cannot affect my outcome.

So bite me Death!!! Yeah I said it. I will say it again. BITE ME DEATH…you cannot have me. Not now. Maybe not ever…so there!!!!

Because after uttering those words I saw them blossom on my love’s beautiful face…ravaging it with pain. I saw his world, our world… my world fracture into so many shards of sharpest glass. Destroyed by an enemy we cannot see. And I cannot bear it. I will not bear it.

After witnessing the pain those words wrought on my husband’s face, I chose to fight even harder than ever.

I refuse to be the cause of such sorrow. I refuse to be the cause of heartbreak. And you bet your sweet bottom that I REFUSE to be years and years of expensive therapy for my kids.

Yeah, screw you Death. You cannot have me.

Well at least it will be be only on my terms. When I am ready. When I am 95.5 years of age with my husband tandem by side and the parachute fails…that is when!

I hope you took good notes Mr. Death, you bastard, because I do not want to have this conversation with you again.

Thank you…see you in about 6 decades give or take a year.

I am so fabulous, I piss glitter

Rottenecards_29628060_8kcmb4k76c

My oldest sister sent me a picture text today that had me in gales of laughter. It said, “I’m so fabulous, I piss glitter”.

I piss glitter and should I mention that I also poop rainbows? On my endless list of tee shirts I will make for myself (I will never get around to it of course but I still dream) this is at least number 8.

Glitter pissing is something everyone should strive for, at least once, perhaps twice in a lifetime. And should you sprinkle when you tinkle at least it will be pretty and sparkly.

Actually, I feel somewhat less than fabulous these days. Lately, I am tired, beat, exhausted, fatigued…my ability to mimic a thesaurus is admirable no?

Part of this utter exhaustion is caused by a something called a pericardial effusion with a side of pleural effusions just for fun (the walking thesaurus that I am is caused by a condition once called ‘too much time on my hands’). So next week I will have a heart procedure done. It is not such a big deal really. But regardless, I still do not have to like it. And I DO NOT like it, not one little bit! As my acid trippy idol Dr. Seuss says,” I do not like it here or there, I do not like it anywhere”.

My heart surgeon (who is not nearly as cool as Dr. Seuss) says it is not a major situation. On a scale of 1 to 10 of dangerous heart procedures it is only a 3. Gee whiz, when you put it that way, heck sign me up for a weekly one! *insert eye roll here* I wonder how they would feel if I said the same to them. Or maybe if I tell him in terms that I use in the course of my occupation,”You are going to have an IRS audit next week…on a scale of one to ten as to how much tax you will owe it is only a 3.” Ahhh perhaps then he would understand that this stuff if scary to those not familiar with it. Perhaps then in the face of an audit he might even poop a rainbow. He still would not be as fabulous as I am though.

According to this lovely doctor, they will end up cutting a small hole in the pericardial sac that surrounds my heart. They call it a window…I wonder if it comes with its own pretty lace curtains that flutter gently in the breeze, or at least with every heart beat. I can almost picture it. It kinda brings a silly giggle from my throat. But then I may be missing a few more marbles than usual these days. The window does not bother me so much, I can handle a little window…it is the SPIGOT they are putting in my side!

Spigot, catheter whatever you call it. They are putting in a drainage system to get all the fluid out. So I will be Monica on tap. Draft Monica (lite of course…no calories here! See I am nice like that). I will open up said little spigot and drain drain away. Yeah…but no…I don’t want that thanks so much. Especially when the doctor says it could be weeks or months or longer with the damn thing attached to my side. Honestly I think I have enough going on with this traitorous body and its squatting resident tumors.

Ugh. Not that I have a choice my friends. So we will suck it up and deal. Slap on a smile with a side of snark and deal. I will be on tap for a wee while, honestly it could be worse.

And maybe instead of me being so fabulous I piss glitter, maybe I can be so ultra, amazingly fabulous that I have glitter on tap! Admit it…now you are jealous.

Catch you around next week on the flip friends and followers 😉

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.