Tuesday, January 16, 2018

#545 A Grumpy Old Bear

Yep, this looks like me.

Some days when I feel like a million bucks it is as if I am back to my old self again.  I crack jokes, smile at the world and jump up and down screaming, "I'm alive, you *&^% cancer cells so back off."  Those are the good days that I embrace and cherish


When the bad days pop up I feel my eyes crossing and my ornery cantankerous personality surface with a vengeance and watch out to anyone in my path.  I snap at poor Rob (he's learned to stay clear) or criticize my dear friends when all they want to do is help.  It's as if I can't help myself.  I am one gigantic bitch and I want everyone else to feel as miserable as I do.

And I hate it when I'm like that.  That is not me--not the me I remember before cancer.  Yes, I might have had my moments (don't we all?) but nothing, absolutely nothing like what I do now on a bad day.

Anything can trigger those mean son of bitches days--lack of sleep, sore bones, another mets sister dying--you name it the fury will rise out of nowhere and I am ready to knock anyone or anything to the moon and back.

How do I combat this need to slice and dice my good friends or my beloved husband?  Meditation in the morning seems to improve my sour mood for a short time.  Catching myself before I say something hurtful has proven to rid those ugly words on the tip of my tongue when I feel need to spew venom at anyone near me. Exercise can be two fold--either it's that winning sense --I'm on top of my game-- or a depressed --can't do what I used to do and I'm going to hurt someone today--feeling. My goal is to have at least a few good friends left and my loving husband by my side before I kick the bucket, but at times it feels like it might be a wash as everyone will begin to desert this foul mouthed cancer riddled woman before she can make amends.  Let's hope this won't be the case.

Enough!  Tomorrow will be what it will be and if I can stay on top of the pain and the mood swings I might be pleasant enough to either make peace with those loyal friends or at least apologize
in advance for this cranky old hibernating bear.

Love to all (must be a good day for me).

Thanks for reading #545 of 7777.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

#544 The Keister Kicker

 Daily Mail--Wish this was me kicking the keister!

On a cold January day six years ago I heard those fateful words, "You have cancer". It's mystifying how our minds work because I vividly remember exactly where I was and who was with me but have little recollection of what was said after hearing the confirmation I was dreading.  Those three little words profoundly changed my life and the lives of my beloved family from that day onward.

Little did I realize it was only the very beginning of a life long relationship with this disease but at the time I was devastated, angry and felt completely out of control.  How could this happen?  Wasn't I a model of good health being physically active and eating right as I prepared for the next phase of life attempting to be on the top of my game?  Cancer, I later found out, does not care what shape or size you are in or if you have eaten kale every day of your adult life.  It is often a random occurrence that stuns its recipients and attempts to knock them off their keister.  And knock me it did.

I eventually learned the nitty gritty details about the diagnosis and discovered that it was a small (the medical team's words) 3 cm tumor which was surgically removed, afterwards the breast was zapped with chemo for six months followed by six weeks of radiation.  It ended up to be an exhausting nine months of terror but when the final rays blasted through my body I was done--a survivor of this ungodly year from hell.

Recovery from the onslaught took more time than I had anticipated but I was thrilled to be able to run a race shortly after the last radiation treatment and began preparing for a triathlon the following June.  I was on a roll and felt cancer was just a blip in the radar of life that was finally over.  Unfortunately my celebration was a short lived "cancer free" existence as twenty months later my oncologist carefully explained what happens next because those nasty cancer cells had metastasized.  Another kick in the old keister but this time it felt like more of a stomp.

Back to this "anniversary" of sorts. On January 6th I will not celebrate my six year cancer diagnosis.  It is the antithesis of a beautiful memory so will simply nod as the day flows by and remember how this gut wrenching disease has not gotten the best of me yet.  I will never be a survivor but I am a thriver and every day I get up, see the sunshine, the clouds or whatever is outside my window and think, "I am not dead yet so turn around you #*$#* cancer because I am kicking your keister as hard  as I can...of course with a little help from my friends. "

To be a keister kicking helper, please donate to UW Carbone Cancer Center.

Thanks for reading # 544 of 7777.