Tag Archives: cancer

Words Make My Mouth Exercise

16 Sep

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to a touch of whiplash from the last few weeks/months. In the continuing theme of ‘never a dull moment,’ I could never claim boredom or being stuck in a rut. Here’s why.

As you may recall, all hell broke loose on us yet again about two years ago. No, it wasn’t the year of hell that was 2010, but it was still a three-punch in the gut. (These sets all seem to come in threes, no?)

This year was humming right along. Hubby back in school to prep for the CPA exam while he continued his job hunt, me going strong with Mugs & Wit. We even started a cleanse to kick off the year with a (ahem)…clean slate.

Then round about January 20th, one of the Va-Jay-Jay BFFs, Lady Lou, had to go and join the Big C Club. Cleanse aborted and many bottles of wine later, we had almost all cried ourselves out. So we dusted off those big girl panties and armored up to take this shitty cancer thing DOWN. AGAIN.

She finished up chemo the first week of June, ran away to do the hula in Hawaii for a few days and came back to get radiated (as if she isn’t radiant enough already). She is now in the after care phase with Herceptin injections every three weeks until February 2016. Tamoxifen is her daily friend for the next five years. Take that you big bully, cancer. She is doing GREAT. And I’ve been privileged enough to be there with her through most of it all — even when I’ve had to cry to make her let me come. (I’m a good friend like that.)

And while we’re on the subject of crying….that seems to be my new modus operandi. I cry over sinks full of dishes, friends who won’t let me go to their oncology appointments, dear uncles who get diagnosed with ALS, and other friends who up and have a kid with bone cancer.

I try to blame it all on the other letter that should always have the word BIG in front of it: M. And maybe it is that. Hot flashes suck ass. I had my head in the freezer the other night and the hubby says, “Gross. You’re going to get hair in the ICE.” I thought, “Maybe I should go buy an ice pick to stick in his head.”

But I digress. Crying over dear friends/family members fighting for their lives while you helplessly sit by and wring your hands is pretty normal. It’s the sink full of dishes things that isn’t really like the others…

To progress this story forward, I’d like to say that when I highjacked Lady Lou’s appointment (on my birthday in April) with the doc that we share announcing that the hubby was FIVE YEARS ALL CLEAR, and we hugged and cried, that was a full circle moment. She could see for herself that the little yellow-ish flicker at the end of that long, dark, drafty tunnel will soon be HERS TOO.

And forward from there, we had a summer of fun. Camping, 10 days at the beach in SC, hiking, day trips to Denver by bus. It was really great — even though work was busy as holy hell. We got through and the hubby had landed himself a newfangled job just as it was all coming to a close. Awesome.

It’s the last few weeks that have made me dizzy. Weird I know. After 2.5 years of getting my company ramped up, bringing home the bacon and feeling like my head was sizzling itself from it all, business just dropped off. The timing was fantastic since I am playing single, SAHM most days with the hubby traveling, doing the job of two people since his coworker was fired 8 days in AND trying to finish up his accounting classes before he goes on halfway-through-I’m-going-to-lose-my-mind hiatus. Oh. And having his back freak the shit out and double him over. Right on the conveyor belt in the Whole Foods check out line. (ER visit plus MRI showed a pinched nerve and compacted disk. The meds worked. He’s getting better. Much. Thanks for asking.)

Seriously great timing. But. I am struggling mightily with it. Living in this strange gray area that isn’t quite SAHM OR bringing home the bacon/money-making fool. I’m so used to being one OR the other that I can’t quite wrap my head around being a seriously half-assed BOTH. Or with how quickly it all changed.

I would say that in light of the other shit that has gone down this year, this is NOTHING. But it sure feels like SOMETHING to me.

The only glimmer of hope in this freshly-minted identity crisis is that I haven’t cried about it yet.

And look at me, would you? I’m all writing again and shit. At least until the next big deadline rears its head. Amiright?

TODAY’S THEME SONG: When a problem comes along (you must whip it). Devo

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If you don’t like it, then hey *^@! YOU.

4 May

It was this week. Wednesday to be exact. We’re sitting in the backyard of our cancer-partner-in-crime. Sipping rosé with a cool breeze rippling across the tablecloth. Kids playing in the grass. She raises her glass and says, “Here’s to me taking one for the team.” As we clinked our glasses and laughed at the joke (and its inherent morbidity —a sense of humor we cancer people all share), I thought GDMF. What I said was, “No. You broke the pact.”

In my mind, we had a pact that was to be untouchable. AG, you’re in it. And so are you, RV. And you too, SH and CS. We are all supposed to be toasting to the end of fucking cancer. Not one of you — and I mean NOT ONE SINGLE SOLITARY ONE — of you bitch-asses are supposed to have it come back. We had a deal.

It’s funny because we have said the same thing to our closest circle. “We’re taking this one for the team.” The statistics should back that up, right. 1 in 5 or something? I said at girls’ night right after the hubby was diagnosed. “We’ll take this one. You just all be well. Mm-kay?”

Then CPIC went and had hers come back and blew it all to shit. Best laid plans.

I told her and the hubby that same night, “You guys blow me away.” Both of them getting pumped full of the poison, yet keeping up at work. With life. She said, “Keeping a sense of the normal is what I need most.” The hubby nodded. The two of them in cahoots. Craving normalcy when everything just seems all shot to hell. When her four-year-old runs up to her upon his return from swim lessons. Hair still damp. “Mommy? Where’s yo’ pump? It all gone? Medicine all gone? Mommy all better?”

Did you hear that >crack<? That was just me. Cracking wide open again. But trying to stay normal. Cause we all are. Just wanting to stay —and BE— normal.

She’s doing her thing. Slogging through. Making memories (her phrase). Chemo for three days. Off for 11. Then back again until her six month sentence is up. Scan in June to see if the remaining lung tumor (bitch-ass-ho) is all gone. And it damn well better be. Just sayin’.

As for us, we just wrapped up the six and 12 month testing cycle. Blood work. Oncologist meeting. Surgeon meeting. CT scan with contrast. Then a flex sigmoid scope. It all came at once like it will when it’s time for the annual scan and six month scope during the same timeframe. And with CPIC’s recent recurrence, we were white knuckling it through.

It’s like a chink in the armor when someone close and with the same type of cancer has theirs come back. We mentioned it during our oncologist visit and peppered her with questions about the hows and whys and what-to-dos. It made enough of an impression on her that she made a note in the hubby’s chart and our Dr. Asshole mentioned it to us this morning at the scope. Go figure.

I think we are just now in our new normal. Living life as fully as possible. Trying not to lose our shit when testing time comes around every 3 (blood work), 6 (scope) and 12 (CT scan and colonoscopy) months. And embracing being part of a new club where we sit in the backyard of a dear friend with cancer that has come back and know we are part of a team fighting the good fight.

The fight for the right to party. (That’s for you, MCA. RIP.)

TODAY’S THEME SONG: Crazy Ass Shit. Beasties. “So take it from me now I’m gonna give it all I got (got). I’ll take a licking, still tick tick tock (tock). Smoked salmon, ate old school lox (lox). A zooted buddha baby and I buy gray socks.” – Adam Yauch

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