Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy New Year 2015...Cancer Survivorship

I actually do not like the holidays very much.....I admit it....I do not think that I have liked holidays since about 2009.  I am all for honoring everyone's religions however for me there are just too many reminders of what was and even what is.  And I am not angry or depressed.  I am just telling the truth. Because cancer really sucks and too many people have passed away and more will .....cancer never leaves me alone ...not for a minute.  And sure I forget every so often when I am busy working, having fun, and/or with wonderful people...but that deep joy in life that I used to experience on a daily basis...that I can not find....I just can't find it no matter how hard I try for so many reasons.

Once in awhile I have a glimmer of it...I remember it really well when I watch the sunset, look at the moon, or stare at my kids.  But it does not last for long.

And I am not depressed.  I am always thankful/grateful for a good day...I am not when the days are not so good.   I find my sense of humor saves me every time.  I do look for the humor in everything...because there is humor in everything.....I have a warped sense of humor :).

I am telling you this so you that you can think this way too and it is OK if you are or have been a cancer patient.

Go scream in your car...bang a few drums...hug people that you love...see funny movies and  then get on with it the best way that you can!!!   xoxoxo  It is OK.  It is just a holiday...whatever that means :).

Sunday, December 7, 2014

How to Help a Person With Cancer Over the Holidays..2014

I am so fortunate this year.  I am doing well.  Read the post before this.  However I thought it so important to talk about those that are not doing so well this year.  This is how to help them in a very real way.  No minced words and no bull shit.  Here goes.

1.  If the person  not feeling well wants company...Go see them!  Call them and say, "I would love to see you for a little bit.   Are you up for company?   Can I bring you some soup, a truffle, a magazine?  Can I hug you when I see you?    What exactly can I do for you?   Need some shampoo?   LOL....seriously...you will hear that person smile through the phone!   Go!  Forget the flowers....they die. :)

2.  Be yourself on the visit.   That person is still that person.  Talk to them like you normally would above and beyond cancer.   Ask me how my life is other than cancer....it may seem silly however the rest of that person's life still exists....ex...what are your plans after chemo?   How is your job?  Etc.   How can I help along the way?  You can say the wrong thing.....so what?   You do not know until you try.  Saying nothing ...not visiting is worse.  Being ignored is worse!

3.  Out of the mouths of babes...:)...years ago I went home from the hospital with a lung tube hang'in out the side of my body for about a week.   It looked gross and would fill with fluid.  If you know me...you know that would not keep me in the house.  I was not in pain at all.  I was sitting California Pizza Kitchen and was being stared at from all over the place.....a kid about 6 years old actually came up to me and asked, 'How does that thing feel?  How can you eat?". 

I gave him a big smile and said," Thanks for asking...I eat just fine and pretty soon they will take this out and I will be good as new"  You young man are a wonderful person and way beyond your years.  Then everyone stopped staring...smiled ...and perhaps saw me as a person having a good day.  It just takes a few words to clear the air.

4.  Dear people with an illness.....Remember that I am doing "this" since 2001.   Do yourself a favor...develop a thick skin.  You also have an opportunity to help others learn how to be around you.   Frankly it is not all about you, me....if you do not want to be by yourself you must accept that fact that your friends, family, strangers are going to say really stupid things to you.   Your choice is to either teach them or to walk away...and yes some will walk away from you as well.  It is ok for you to walk away as well and find new people.  They are out there even in cancer.

To the people at large this holiday season.  Be specific on how you would like to help someone and follow through.  To the patient...I hate the word patient...such a misnomer...Take each day at time...speak up if you can...if not ..pick a great persona and ask them to speak up for you.  Keep going.

Do not be that person that just shows up at a Funeral after not seeing that person for years.  Do not be a funeral person and not a real person.   That person that passed could care less if you are there and their family could care less as well.  Seriously.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

How to Survive Cancer ...Holiday 2014 Post

I have started this post many times and I find myself uncharacteristically speechless.  I usually always have something to say about everything :).

I have said this many times however for me cancer seems like a schizophrenic process.  Because I have been doing this for so many years with so much medical stuff...on this day I can not believe that I am still here.

Leiomyosarcoma is so very rare however not to me as I have met hundreds of people that have passed from it.  Currently I am watching a wave of folks I know that are slipping away.   I can do nothing.

I can live with cancer if it can live with me.  I say that so often.   If I die cancer so do you.

However you have so much been in the way of my "normal" life.  You cancer are my secret life...the one I do not discuss personally very often anymore.   You are the one that often takes the wind out of my sails.  You are the one I hate every day since 2001 and I want to kill you.  I do not know how.   I have tried everything....everything....that I can reasonably think of other than hanging upside down by my toes in the middle of the night.

And yet I am still here and functioning well enough....after about 20 surgeries, chemo, ports, pic lines...lung tubes etc I am still here.  I was in the hospital when both my parents died and/or were dying.   My ex husband passed away.  I arranged my Mom's funeral from my hospital bed years ago.

I have moved and lived all over Southern California since 2008 on purpose and met so many amazing people.   It has been quite a journey.

I have a little news for you cancer.  Don't waste anymore of my time.   I know that you are sitting in the wings.   I see you.   I feel you everyday.  I am done with you for now.   What will you do next? Take a long break I hope.   A few years  would be nice.   I could get a lot done in that time.....and play with my kids.

I need to start and finish a few things.   I need to chill out from food poisoning a couple of weeks ago ....I thought that was you trying to kill me.   Ugh.  PTSD....LOL....

My friends struggling with cancer, I wish you love and survival skills like I have.  I wish you time.  I wish you to be pain free and dancing with abandon.   I wish you life!   xoxoxo

Lots of new things on the way.  I am not going anywhere.  Next year I will smile at this blog post as I have since 2001....with wonder and amazement...I did it...I am still here!