Category Archives: the cancer made me do it

Angelina Jolie


Angelina Jolie has brought Breast Cancer to the fore front.   Oh wait, it already was in the fore front of “cancers”.  What I meant to say is that she has brought Double Mastectomy’s to the fore front of Cancer treatments.  Oh wait they were already the primary part of treatment for most aggressive Breast Cancers.  I guess that is the Catch 22 of Celebrity….It seems she’s been  given credit for what thousands and thousands of others have done before her.  And I am not even sure she wants any of it.

She seems to have shed light on a subject that already has spotlights on it…The media has called her for her heroic, and Brave and many other adjectives that don’t really capture the true essence of what she has done….and that is, that she has made LIVING HER PRIORITY!!!! And that is to be commended.   What she has done, and I what applaud her for, is how she did all of this, and how she has chosen to tell the world.  After the fact. And her explanation was brief, and reasonable, and SMART!

Ms. Jolie was presented with “Life Choices”; the facts about her future and how they can (and probably would) affect her quality of life down the road.  Then she intelligently, thoughtfully and prudently decided to have a surgery that can be very traumatic for a women.  especially one so stunning and waist deep in the “appearance business”.  I am not belittling her decision in any way!  Having been there, done that…I am glad that she is showing the world that this procedure is not an end to “womanhood”, but quite the opposite.  It is a call to arms, against a disease that tries to rob us of that same feminine exuberance which fuels our desire to remain the force of nature we have become.  And for that Angie…I thank you…

I think back to a few years ago…Different from Ms. Jolie, I didn’t have a the same decision to make as she did, well not completely.  I could have had a single mastectomy…But the odds that I would be back for the second where, frankly, to great (40-60%)…So I threw caution to the wind and went for the full treatment.  Many I have spoken were to worried to do both.  Amongst those that I know, I am saddened to say a larger % have had to go back to remove the second breast as well.  I know that is not exciting news to hear…But I will say that many of those women wished they had done the dDouble the first time around.

We survivors are all “Beautiful women”…just  like Angelina Jolie, and with this surgery she had, we will certainly be keeping “abreast” of her situation for a lot longer…

Angie, I wish you all the best!

Enjoy Today

Carol

Funnycancermom

 

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ASKED AND ANSWERED, AND NOT A WORD SPOKEN


dad at busch gardens

Sometimes firsts are good.  The first time you ride a bike, the first time you eat ice cream, the first kiss, the first kid (just kidding both of my kids are terrific).  Firsts are meant to be moments that you will always remember.  But honestly, some firsts you just want to forget.

This is what I am feeling today.  Tomorrow is my father’s birthday.  He came so close to making it to 85.  His death in October was surrounded by such craziness, that I am not sure anytime was really given for grieving.  I mean we mourned, but so much went on in just a few short days of his death that all of those extra emotions kind of got lost in the hubbub.

At the end of September we planned moving my parents to Florida.  Nov. 5 was picked.  Flights were booked, movers were scheduled…and the packing was able to begin.  The process was physically daunting, but even more so emotionally.  My Father was already beginning his final decline (though we weren’t as steep his decline was).  I am sure he was able to register what was happening, and I believe it caused him to withdraw into himself even more.  Many have said he didn’t want to go to Florida…Maybe they were right!  He died on Oct. 21, and the moment the “Shiva” ended, we were hit with Hurricane Sandy; which didn’t even stop the packing and moving process.  Nov. 5 we were on that plan, and off to start a new chapter in my Mom’s life.

My mom and I were speaking earlier.  We speak both talk him all the time, and today my mom said, “but he doesn’t answer.”  Which made me realize something.  He certainly does answer.  He has allowed you to Segway into this new, exciting and privileged chapter of you life, without the heartache of feeling guilty (and you don’t have anything to feel guilty about).  This is his parting gift to you, the woman he loved for over 60 years.  Be happy and enjoy he says…without ever uttering a word.  You and the children deserve it!!!!

So I guess this first birthday with out you dad is also a memory…Know that I wish you here with us…But every day you are thought of fondly, and cherished even more….

 

Happy Birthday Dad….

Enjoy!

Carol

@afunnycancermom

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Who’s In Charge Here?


Recently, my kids and I were talking about the show “The Biggest Loser”.  There was a commercial clip on showing Jillian screaming at one of the contestants.  I said, “wow she seems so mean, how can that be motivating.”  I was sure my children would agree with me (since they are forever telling me I’m a yeller, and it definitely isn’t motivating for them).    But, yet again, my kids surprised me.  My daughter said, “Mom what she is doing is changing their lives.  She is helping them get better for their kids and that is a good thing….you just yell about homework and stuff.  Totally different!”  Matt said, “having to answer to someone all the time is good for you when you are trying to change something about yourself.”  And while I wanted to tell them that cleaning their room or doing homework, or even being true to yourself are also good ways to change something about yourself…But I thought better of it!

 

It did get me thinking, however, is being accountable for our own actions and being true to ourselves the same thing?.  For example, I was on Facebook the other day….just roaming through to see what people (“friends”) have posted…I like to go on a few times a week and check-in.  There are always the same 3 “friends” that post 20x times a day.  No exaggeration…If I were being true to myself, I would send them a message saying, “99% of the stuff you say is absolute drivel.  Why do I need to hear that your dog is tired, or you were tired after taking her for a walk, or that I should be Happy because it is Sunday, Bitches!” Really, what is the purpose of that?   But, I am accountable for these words, and I realize they seem harsh and uncalled for (though true).

 

These Facebook dwellers live their private life in this public venue but instead of being angry at them, I should feel more sympathetic towards them…I guess it is a modern day depiction of Shakespeare’s soliloquy in Macbeth…

 

…Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury

Signifying nothing. — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)

 

Accountability is something I struggle with.  I believe it has a much-needed place in our daily lives, but often gets over looked.  Should we be true to our self or accountable to others?  Are they mutually exclusive?  In being true to myself as of late, I realize that I need to be more accountable to others for things.  Which brings me to my latest project. And back to The Biggest Loser for a second.  Since being sick, I have struggled with my weight.  And weekly I became more and more unhappy with the fact that as disgusted with my weight problems as I am, I have no one to blame but myself.  I have avoided the gym, I had given up on “healthy eating”, and I had found every possible excuse to let myself get this way.   I need to be accountable for that if not to myself then to someone I believe can help me.  So I have joined a group of 28 others on this journey.  I officially start Monday, but I am getting myself ready this week.  For the next 8 weeks, I have to answer to 7 other team members’ about what I eat, and how many times I work out, and how hard I work out and yes, even what I weigh.  I need to prove weekly that I am committed to this and to the team.  There are 4 teams pitted against each other, and I need to pull my weight (metaphorically and physically). …And while this is not the televised version, the benefits can only make me feel like a star.

 

So I have chosen to use my accountability for Good instead of Evil…Personal growth instead of Public ridicule…I will keep you all filled in.  And while my blog may appear on Facebook….My weight never will!

 

Go team Black….

 

Enjoy today

 

Carol

@funnycancermom

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Thank You Nannette Stueck – The Follow Up


IMG_2078Well after I wrote my November 30th blog about Nanneette Stueck, I received over 100 public and private comments on potential ways to find her. I listened to several comments and tracked a series of addresses to Maine.  I sent off a few letters hoping that at least one of the addresses I got would be hers.  But as you see from above, all of my letters were returned …NOT DELIVERABLE AS ADDRESSED.  It seemed to be a dead end.  I wondered if I was going about this the wrong way…But in the end, odd as this may be, it was her that found me.

 On December 17th I got a note posted to my LinkedIn account from Nannette, that simply said she was trying to find me and gave me her email.  I was thrilled.  The next day I got this…(I have taken out the personal details).

 

Oh finally, No, my cousin forwarded your blog Sunday.  I have been attempting to contact you since. Here’s some of the mail I’ve been trying to send you. I tried to post to your blog but it said something about needing moderation and now is gone,  linked in must have worked, I tried  Carol@fXXXXXXXXXX but that didn’t work

Carol –

Last night after watching / helping my daughter XXXXXXX decorate our tree I launched my email, The usual advertisements to be deleted, a note from my sister to call my mom in the face of Friday’s tragedy in Newton, and a note from my cousin Eileen in Pasadena, CA.

She stumbled upon your blog and found your note to me, and she forwarded it, in case you hadn’t found me.  She said she was later night, should have been asleep internet searching….I should probably ask what brought her to a cancer blog….

You are the first person I think of when someone says, “IF you know someone who has been affected by cancer,” but of course I had no idea how many new ways it would touch you in the 28 years since I’d seen you last.

I remember our quick and easy friendship and our talks, I remember our brief rooming while you continued your treatments at Tufts.  I remember too, the odd way people reacted to your cancer and I remember your strength.  I also remember how when you had beaten Hodgkins and graduated that you broke down and cried to me on the phone so scared about the future, and I was in such awe of it, like after all the bravery, why now??  Why is she so scared now, and so brave in the thick of it.  I have cautioned everyone I have known since when they have struggled with cancers, mostly breast and said be careful – watch your thoughts, be ready for the crash, and call me if you need to talk.

I, to date, have avoided the cancers personally as well as with immediate family members.  Great girlfriends and neighbors have had lumpectomies and mastectomies, all very brave and beautiful survivors! But, you were my first….and so you remain the first thought.

Great to find you and I’d love to stay in touch!!!

Love, Nannette

And even greater gift was that she was relatively local over the holidays, and we got to meet for breakfast.  I got the chance to meet part of her family.  They are as warm as Nannette.  And if I didn’t say it to you that day Nannette, you look great…and happy.  I have done nothing but talk about re connecting with you.  I know I owe you an email,.  I have been so busy telling and re telling everyone about that I don’t  didn’t even email to say what a great breakfast it was, and I look forward to many more meetings.

I realized I got a few details wrong, Like Nannette went to Simmons not Northeastern, but we figured why I thought that….But all in all our memories coincided.

What a great Holiday Gift it was to reconnect….It was a real great feeling finding you and thanking you.  I believe it completed  closure on that time in my life.  And gives me the chance to create a friendship with someone I know has a great heart!!!

New Resolution #1.

*Be grateful and always say say thank you to those you feel deserve it!

CHECK

 

ENJOY TODAY!

 

Carol

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Thank You Nannette Stueck


Over Thanksgiving weekend, my children, my husband and I were talking about sleepovers.  My son asked if I liked them and/or if I was ever scared to sleep somewhere else.  It was seemingly innocuous question.  Yet it caused the flash of a memory that I hadn’t thought about in a longtime.  It was almost movie like.   The memory was so vivid, and the emotions it conjured were so real.  So real I wanted to tell the kids all about it.  This is what I told them…

There was one time that I was afraid from being away from home.  As you know, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease when I was a senior in College. I was operated on around mid-December, and Christmas break was coming up.  It wasn’t easy or quick, but I made the decision to stay in Boston, and have the treatments there.  Away from my family.  The dorms would be closed for the holiday, so I needed to find a place to live for the month.  I guess I could have stayed in a hotel, but I didn’t want to be totally alone.  There was this other college senior I worked with at Copperfield’s.  Her name was Nannette Stueck, and we worked together at a bar between B.U. campus and Northeastern (where she went).  She and her boyfriend (now husband) Scott all worked together, and we had become somewhat friendly.  When I told her what was going on, she immediately offered me a place to stay for the month.  Her roommates would be going home for the break, and she didn’t want me to be alone for the holidays.  A single selfless act…

I was touched by her invitation, and moved in the next day, because two days later I was to start treatment.  I woke up at 5 a.m. and travelled via Trolley, then train to get to the hospital.  It was bitter cold, and dark, but I went.  After about 2 weeks, I began to feel the side effects of treatment.  Initially, food became tasteless. Everything I ate scratched my tongue and throat.  It was like swallowing extra course sandpaper.  Nannette decided to spend a day trying to cook different things that I could eat.  She made puddings, and jello’s and just a whole bunch of stuff.  It was unbelievably sweet.

A week later, I woke up because I felt a draft on my neck.  It was about 4 in the morning.  I got up and checked the window, but it was closed.  I checked the door to my rom, but it too was closed.  I couldn’t figure out what it was, but it was almost time to get up anyway, so     I went to switch on the light to the room.  It was then that I realized why I felt the draft, and I began to weep.  There, on the pillow, was a thick clump of my hair.  I couldn’t imagine that it would fall out like this.  But there it was Nanette must have heard me crying.  She came into my room and sat with me.  Told me you could hardly tell.  I knew she was lying, but she said it in a way that made us both laugh.

Nannette Stueck was my hero then.  She made me laugh and forget what I was going through!   Most people thought my decision to stay in Boston to get treatments was odd, at best.  But I knew I would never have gone back to finish my degree if I left.  I needed to continue, to go on as though nothing was wrong.  Because the alternative was that everything would stop.  My college career, and my life…And Nannette got that.  She saw I was right to do it, and made that month okay…Fun even!

It has been years since Nannette and I were in contact.  With Facebook, I have hoped that I would find her over the years.  I try.  I put her name in, but nothing comes up.  So Nannette Stueck of Ridgefield, Ct who is married to Scott from Sudbury, Mass (maybe Swampscott…I don’t exactly remember where in Ma. Scott was from.  Though I do remember the gorgeous church you got married in).  Because of you, I put every effort out to help others; whether I know them or not.  It is a truly fulfilling feeling to help others.  I thank you for introducing that to me!

Nannette, I hope you are well and happy!  I would love to find you, but understand that I may not.   I want you to know that I tell my kids about your kindness all the time!  I hope to one day say THANK YOU in person!  Your selfless act o kindness changed me forever.

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BUSY LIFE…and loving it


What a summer I have enjoyed.   With my kids in camp, and not a Dr.’s appointment scheduled…Well except for a yearly Gyno appointment, I had an “worry free and health issue free summer.”  I know that is how most people enjoy life, but for the past three summers, as many of you know, either I, or a family member, has undergone one sort of cancer treatment or another.  And this summer…that was not the case…Now, this is not to say that I don’t have friends being faced with this awful disease and treatment, because that would not be true.  And this is alos not to say that I don’t think about what they are going through, or ways I can help them get through it.  I have, however, enjoyed a summer of appointments, and errands, and meetings, and tastings, and dinners out, and visiting friends, and visiting family, and planning for the kids 13th, and…well just all things I have not been able to do for the last 3 years.  All things that are just part of LIFE….and boy was I thrilled to do them all.

With that being said, with my new found freedom, I gave up on the blog for a spell.  And honestly my schedule for the next 3 weeks doesn’t let up much, so my blog may lay dormant until the beginning of October (or maybe even November).  But fear not, I will return and with new inisght into just about everything.  Even though the title remains The Cancer Made Me Do It, I will begin to tackle all different “life” issues, from the same humorous (yet sometimes cynical) perspective.

My summer has also presented a new emotional turmoil.  My Mom and Dad, who I have written of often, are moving to Florida just after Halloween.  This move will give them a new and improved lifestyle.  I am so thrilled for the opportunity my brother and sister-in-law have helped to create; but I can’t help but feel sad about loosing my constant, and loving lunch mate.  Of course, now I have a reason to go to Florida (one other than Disneyworld).  I am thankful to Facetime, Skype and all of these other technological marvels because that will make it a little easier.

So while I am busy with so many things…helping to pack them up and move them just adds more to my schedule.  But, again, a busy life is better than no life at all…

So I bid you good-bye for a few weeks.  And wish you all well…

I will be back.

Enjoy today

Carol

@funnycancermom

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Maturation


Yesterday was visiting day at my children’s camp. This is year number 4. I can tell you the difference between them this year and the years before was huge. Their whole demeanor was one of ease, and happiness and contentment. It was just so wonderful to be with them.

Frankly, in years past, In years past, I always enjoyed seeing them, but the day had a different feeling. The first hour was usually calming one of my kids down from the anxiety of us arriving. I mean talk about a bull in a china shop…We parents storm the camp much like they stormed the beach at Normandy all those years ago. We throw our stuff down, reserve our space for the day and then go charging to the bunks. (This does present a problem with twins, because my husband still haste part the car…but we work it out every year). I watch as parents push kids out of the way just so they can get to their won kids 1 or 2 seconds earlier than the next mom. I think Sasha Baron Cohen would have a field day using “visiting day” in one of his satires.

Anyway, even though visiting day was from 10-4…The 1st hour was getting the kids calm and the last 2 hours were spent calming them down for when we left… But this year my kids were totally different. More relaxed, more self assured, more, “go with the flow of the day”…and for the 1st time I have to say…Visiting Day wasn’t long enough. We talked and played and roamed around. It was just nice. and I thought why this could be?

Yes my children are getting older, and that is a big part of it. But I realized, they had “no worries” this year. As much of a relaxing summer it is for me, it is for my kids as well. Last year I had given Alissa’s bunk “THE CANCER MADE ME DO IT” bracelets.When I arrived this year many of the girls were still wearing them…which was lovely . Many told me how happy they were that all was okay now.

Later I ran into an old friend (really an old Boss…but he was a really good boss so I considered him both). And he new about my year last year, and asked me about the blog and about the foundation. I was touched that he knew all theta was going on. Throughout the day I ran into women who are parents of campers who asked about the blog and the foundation…and they were also followers…also very cool. Later the kids and I were sitting and talking. I mentioned how nice it was that people asked how I was doing…my son Matt said something that struck me to the core.

Mom we told everyone last year how hard you tried to make things seem okay…This year you are okay and things are easier…Their are other kids in camp who has someone in their family going through cancer now…and a few have come to us and asked questions. I tell them what you always told us…There are some bad days but mostly the days are really okay…and honestly, have family and friends who love me…makes everything sealable….

He said it in such a way that I was stunned at how grown-up he sounded. I was so proud to hear them talk about it this way…At the end of the day, the good-byes were tearless, but still warm and loving…They both were glad for the day, and look forward to coming home in 4 weeks. But are filled with happiness to stay at camp and “play” with their friends for 4 weeks. They are in a great place, and spend their days laughing and loving life…and this year not fearing what is going on with their Mommy.

Cancer is a disease that does more damage than you can imagine. Their are many, many great charities that are working hard to find a cure…It is the day to day issues that I chose to focus on though…the family, the kids and how it affects them is what made me want start this foundation. We can help each other get through it…Cancer is still a growing problem. My illness made my kids mature a little quicker than they might have (and trust me this is only in certain areas…I still can’t get hem to make a bed or clean a room). But all in all, Maturation is good.

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CONSUMPTION


What can I say, this is my summer to enjoy.  My children started at sleep away camp 4 summers ago.  Honestly the 1st summer I was to consumed with whether the kids were enjoying/having a good time or not.  The 2nd summer, I had it a little easier — but my sister-in-law had been going through chemo so I  travelled out to help her a few times, so it was not a totally relaxing summer (no complaints though, I was happy to go and help).  Then of course last summer was my turn…and needless to say, 0% relaxation was involved.  Chemo, my Mom, and other family issues made for a summer I never want to repeat (though the kids enjoyed camp).  So when it came time to think about what I wanted from this summer there were a few different scenarios.

1st – I wanted the kids to have a great and stress free summer….With nothing to worry about….CHECK

2nd – I want everyone to be healthy and happy…CHECK CHECK

3rd – I want to relax and do what I want, when I want and how I want….CHECK CHECK CHECK (so far)…but this last has lead to a small issue….

When I was young, I remember hearing stories about relatives (usually my grandparents siblings) had been taken by CONSUMPTION.  It all seemed so common, and I could nt really understand what it was they were talking about.  I gathered what they were saying was that CONSUMPTION could kill – and often did.

We since my children have left, I have consumed massive (yes I mean Massive) quantities of food…I have been eating with abandon (an odd old saying, but seems fitting).  And as I got on the scale this morning…I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE….FROM CONSUMPTION OBVIOUSLY!!!!

I am back, and I missed writing to you all, I am going out for a walk now (because won’t that take off a good 5 lbs?)  Health and Happiness aside, I really plan on enjoying this summer…but maybe I will get out more and consume less  OR NOT!

ENJOY

Carol

@funnycancermom

 

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Nature’s Blessings


Today was an exceptional day.  Tis morning I received an email from my neighbor who was on her way out to church.  There was a newborn fawn at my front door step.  I open my garage door and went around to the front to witness this tiny miracle.  (Who by the way in few years I will be cursing fro eating up all my plants…but in the mean time exudes “AWWWWWness”…cause that is what you say when you see it).

 

Anyway, this small, adorable Bambi like creature consumed most of my day; I had several friends stop by to witness it.  Later in the afternoon, I actually got to witness it take its first steps.  What a joy to see. A thunderstorm rolled through which gave Bambi a little scare, so she/he went seeking some cover.  And she found it amongst my Oregano plants….A natural instinct to hide and protect oneself from harm.

 

 

Today I learned that the mom gives birth and then puts the baby somewhere for a while she heels from giving birth.  She places it somewhere safe from other predators. Which was perfect for me, cause all I could do was watch with wonder.  The mom then comes back to collect the baby.  Witnessing this whole process was a gift.  One which I will cherish and talk about for a while. Of course I also thought,  how great would it be to give birth and then take a few days off?  Heel and come back to care for your child (children in my case).  AWESOME……..

 

That Mommy passed around for a good hour, until it was safe to collect her baby.  She placed the baby in a place she knew it would be safe until she got back.  Her maternal instincts were in high gear.  Just like us humans. Watching this I realized how wonderful the cycle of life really is.  How similar we are to many other living creatures.

 

Nature versus nurture…in this case Nature absolutely brings out the desire to nurture.  The two are conjoined in many aspects.  Interestingly enough it is the basis for which my foundation is to be built.  I feel compelled to help nurture others going through their cancer treatment.  I want to help them and their families survive the day-to-day issues that come with the disease.  It just seems so basic a cause…so Natural…And with the new plan that the marketing team has outlined…Iwill have my chance to Nurture because it is what come naturally to me.

Enjoy today!

 

Carol

@funnycancermom

 

Just like Bambi and her Mom…AWWWWW

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WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH!


I guess it is weird that I can express my emotions better in word than I can in real life.   I just seem to be able to express myself in the right manner…not facing anyone.

If I looked forward at how I thought my life would be at the age of 50, honestly this is not what I would have envisioned.  I would never have seen the second cancer, and I would never, never, never had seen my Mom getting sick.  But life is funny that way.  All the things you don’t foresee…they eventually get seen.  Lately I have seen a lot more people I know facing what they never could have foreseen, and I wonder why that is.

Then I made an odd realization.  It is not just me…but a little bit more global than that.  On Facebook, yesterday, I noticed 11 different “friends” post some saying about how “times are hard but they will get better”, or “life may have thrown you a few curves but things will get better…”  All of them waxing philosophically on how “that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  Hit songs are being written to remind us of this.

But here’s the truth…DAMN IT I (and in many cases WE) AM STRONG ENOUGH!  I don’t really want to be any stronger, so if you could give us a break on the “life lessons for a while…I would truly appreciate it!”

Be Well!

Carol

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Building on the Foundation


Today was going to be a busy day for me.  I had Blood tests and Dr.’s appointments…All pre-scheduled check-ups.  Or Check-ins on my “post-cancer” progress.  It makes it asier for me to think about all of this in the “post” sense…because I view it as something from Way Way back in my past (even though today, ironically, is 1 year since my first Chemo treatment).   As I thought about my past, for some resin I became very nostalgic.  In between my appointments (I mean that both chronologically and geographically) I made a stop at the house that I grew up in.

While driving up the hills that lead to my street, I felt eerily at home…like I had never left.  (Truthfully, the last time I did live there I also had cancer, so I wasn’t totally off base).  The house has been altered…I know that from friends who used to live on one side of us (and whose house was totally redone by new owners).  But with regard to my house, they seem to have left the appearance of the front alone. I understand that the pushed out from the back of the house.  And seeing it today I understand why.  The house “shows well”.  It has good bones….The foundations are solid, so from that you can build or add on.

That is kind of like me…From the outside I “show well”.  You wouldn’t really pick me as the one to get cancer twice.  But like my house, I have a good foundation.  The Dr.’s have always said I was in great health for someone who is ailing.  And that good, solid foundation has served me well.  In my father’s case he, too, has a great foundation. …Unfortunately for someone with advanced parkinson’s that can be both a blessing and a curse.

Foundations are important.  As I work to start my charitable foundation, I have come to realize how important it is to make  sure it has the strong “sub structure” to give it staying power.  To enable it to always “show well” and promise to help others who didn’t have the support structure I have had.  I hope this foundation can stand the test of time, while it keeps up wit the needs of the times…

Foundations are important, because with out them our world has nothing solid to lean on.

Have a great day!

ENJOY

Carol

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HAPPY!





It doesn’t matter your “holiday” belief.  They all seem to begin with HAPPY….


So what ever you celebrate…BE HAPPY!

Enjoy the holidays….

From the Funnycancermom

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The Why Me Factor


Okay, I am an up kind of person…and I usually see the positive in almost every situation.  Today, however, I am taking a different approach…one, which I feel I have earned:  It is the right to the bitch about the small stuff.

A few months ago, I had one of my final surgeries.  While I was under anesthesia, I some how bit down hard on the intubation tube and cracked my front tooth.  “It happens so infrequently”, the anesthesiologist told me, “but it does happen.”  So straight from surgery my friend “SUPER NURSE AMY” drove me straight from surgery to the dentist.  Dr. Lipari was so nice.  He reviewed the mess my mouth was…(this was yet another bit of destruction the radiation from my early bout of cancer had caused…It really has been just the gift that keeps on giving isn’t it?).  Anyway, he was as sweet as he could be…and let me know that I he could fix the tooth, but in all actuality I would probably need an implant.   Yikes I thought, but had really put all that he said on hold…and went on with my day-to-day existence.  That is until yesterday.

I have been on weight watchers for the last 6 weeks, and on Friday I was craving something crunchy.  Trying to be good, I got an apple from the fridge, and took a bit.  The moment I bit in, I knew I had done something wrong.  I knew with this tooth, apples could only be eaten if I cut them into slices.  No direct biting.  Well it was to late.  I felt that I had loosened the tooth.  So I would call him on Monday so that I can go get it re-glued.  I went on with my day, aware that it was loose, but it still was intact.

Anyway Last night we had dinner at Super Nurse Amy’s house.  Amy and I got to enjoy the new H MART grocery store during the day, and then we all met up again for dinner.  Our other friends Elaine and Joe were also with us.  It was a great meal of Crunchy Noodles & Veggies, Panko Crusted Salmon, String Beans and Salad.  YUM (just a little bragging about the food, even though I didn’t cook).  After dinner we all sat around, and I was talking about my tooth being loose and how annoying it was.  Then BAM!  Mid sentence the entire tooth (post and all) fell out of my mouth.  I couldn’t believe it.  It was my front tooth…. so when I smiled you saw, nothing but air…I couldn’t have looked my back woods if I tried.

This morning Amy took me up to Dr. Lipari.  He was so nice.  He actually met me at his office on a Sunday Morning…. How many Dr.’s would do that.  He has put the tooth back in, and re-affirment that an implant is needed….which I will deal with soon.

But after I came home, my friend Meredith asked how I was?  And here is what I have to say to that question. (which I can’t really say but it is how I feel).  Physically I am fine.

Emotionally though, I wish this kind of stuff would stop happening to me.  I know that “this should be the worst that has happened to me” and it definitely isn’t the worst.  But if you put it all together I have had enough of these “I could have been worse” situations.  I don’t wish ill on anyone, but I could use a break from all of this.  A span of “how lucky you are that this has happened to you vs. I am sorry this has happened to you.

I look at the luck my family has had with me getting all these things…I drastically lowers their odds of getting anything.  In a family 1 out of 5 usually gets cancer (between me and my brothers I have covered their odds 2x).

I swear that this filling of being beaten down a little doesn’t last to long.  But I thought you should know that even though I am up/positive 95% of the time.   Even I have my down slides.  And it is perfectly normal.  For you Susie, going through the chemo and having the bad reactions, can make you mad…it is okay and all of those around you have to understand that you are allowed to have moments of anger or depression.  You bounce back….

By the end of me writing this, I already feel better…. but I am okay that I was annoyed for the last 24 hrs.

And I guess that is what is important….It is okay to feel bad, or feel like it isn’t fair, or like you have had enough.  But it is only okay to feel that way for a while…Then realize how lucky you are to be given the gift that you were given….Friends, Family, LIfe, and the time to enjoy them all….

Enjoy Today….

Carol

Funnycancermom

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Pound Foolish


I believe that honesty is the best policy.  If you can’t admit to it, then you know it is wrong.  Well I will admit it…Over the last year I got BIG.  30 lbs bigger than I was before Cancer.  And it really sent me into a tizzy.  I know how silly that sounds that my weight can phase me more than my health.  But it can.  I am the type of individual who cares about my appearance.  Not in the “designer clothes” sense…just in my appearance.  How that appearance is perceived.

It is along the same lines as when I lost my hair.  I gave off the appearance of being “sick”…and even though I had cancer, I never considered myself “sick”.  I may be generalizing, but I believe women feel that Hair and Weight are also personality traits — I mean a bad hair day can alter your personality for the day.  Now, due to the cancer, I won’t have bad hair days anymore.  No, not because I don’t have hair…because I do.  But because the way it grew in is so cute, that I am going to keep it short and silver…A friend called me a Silver Fox the other day,  and I liked it.  So that part of my appearance is in check.

So lets get back to the weighty issue at hand.  Weight.  I am not here to say that I am obese, but I am large for me.  My bones ached constantly from the additional weight they are carrying; I would loose my breathe easily when walking up stairs or exerting myself at a rapid pace.  And my internist and cardiologist confirmed it…(and to think I call these two my friends as well)  — I suffered from DECONDITIONING.  Over-weight and out-of-shape for us laymen!  As he said in the movie NETWORK…”I was mad as hell and I wasn’t going to take it anymore.”  So off to Weight Watchers I went.  That was 6 weeks ago.  I have had good days and bad days on the diet but this morning I got on my scale (not their’s yet cause I wear clothing there…Thank god!)  But on my Scale I reached 169.9 Lbs.  That is down 13 LBs.  13 is my new lucky number.  I have been doing exercise and dieting and it is really making a difference.

I was so happy when I saw that I went right down stairs and had a donut…JUST KIDDING! But I thought about it!  I have 17 Lbs to go before I hit my goal…which honestly was the heaviest I had been in 10 years, but right know that weight will be fine.

So I guess, after my anniversary from surgery was yesterday (if you remember, I had re-named my double Mastectomy day “Erin go Brahless Day”) I  didn’t worry about my weight during treatment (MUCH), but it has weighed heavy on my mind (& body) since…So I see this as another step in my recovery…

I will soon “Tip the Scales of Time” in my favor….and once again will be as “light-hearted” about this issue as I was about my cancer.

Even my puns have gotten a little thin….

Enjoy today!

Carol

Funnycancermom

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I can’t stop this feeling



Yesterday was an extraordinary day for me. Through a friend I was introduced to a women who was recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Her diagnosis was different than mine, but none the less she was going to go through many similar situations as I did. During the first few weeks, I could really hear the fear in hear voice…it grabbed me through the phone. It was almost as though I could visualize all of these crazy concepts circling around her head.

I would try to calm her with stories, or anecdotes about my treatment, or my mom’s and even my sister-in-laws..but It was hard. I do remember that the first few weeks after diagnosis everything seem so rush rush…to then have to wait for all the results…It is a massive sensory overload. Think of being tickled, frozen, rained on , pin pricked, and slapped all at the same time. Your mind doesn’t know which sensation to address first.

Anyway, after a few weeks she was calmer (especially knowing that her chance for long term survival was excellent). As chemo began, she unfortunately got several side affects, and then a cold…so she had to stop. Just for 2 weeks (1 cycle) though.

So yesterday, I went down to the city and met her and her friend (the one that had given her my name) so we could sit together at chemo. She is a doll. Funny, and hopeful, and lovely. And it was a great day because she was given really good news that her tumor was really responding will to the medicine (and was shrinking). I watched her crumble a little at the good news (It was a good crumble). Her tears were touching and they wordlessly expressed how much of a relief it was to get that news. SH, I was glad to be with you….

Some may have a concern that I am becoming to emotionally invested in all of these women I talk to. But I say not so. It is basis of what makes me want to start this foundation. I do it to help – that is for sure…BUT I DO IT BECAUSE IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD! IT MAKES ME FEEL BETTER…not better than anyone, just better about my past. And I don’t want to ever stop feeling better.

I hope everyone has a reason to feel better.

Enjoy today.

Carol

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Filed under a day in the life of a cancer patient, breast cancer, breast cancer blog, Cancer, cancer blog, Chemo Therapy, coping with breast cancer, the cancer made me do it

Stop writing and talk to me


Well I have been talking and talking…scratch that, I have been writing and writing to you for almost a year now.  Wow!  My posts have been read over 11,000 times…and that is pretty cool, as well.  But I thought it was time to put a voice to these words and let you know what I am up to…Luckily enough two unbelievably talented photographer/videographers were interested in my story – so they have created this to help me launch my new Charitable foundation (My Mission and vision is below).  Thank you all for being here with me!!!  You inspire me!

Blog Mission and Vision

Enjoy today!

Carol

Funnycancermom

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It’s My Anniversary!


I can not believe that is 1 year ago (well really February 14th) that I went in for my routine Mammogram.  A day that started out like many other – though because it was Valentine’s day I knew my husband and I would be going out for dinner at one of our favorite local haunts “Mima”.  Off to the Dr.’s I went.  I had  my Mammogram, my ultra-sound and then straight to an exercise class.  I was feeling pretty lucky because I had gotten in and out in just over an hour.  No waiting.  I should have known then that this wasn’t a good sign!

I had gotten home from the gym at 10:30 and the Dr.’s had already left the message that they found something.  The rest of that day was a blur until the night.  Then, recently John, the owner of Mima, and I were talking up this upcoming Valentine’s Day.  He was happy to see that Scott had made reservations.  I said it wouldn’t be Valentine’s day with out it, but it is also the perfect way to end a year of “Tumult”.  You see last year Scott and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner.  And over coffee and dessert (I had both because my lovely, thin, husband doesn’t eat sweets) I let him know about my day.

At first I think he was shocked that I had kept this news in all day…and I hadn’t called him at the store to tell him. How awesome was he!  He put his hand on mine and said “I am sure it’s nothin’, lets’ take one step at a time.”  I appreciated his calm strength…and I never told him I could see his true feelings in his eyes.  The following week I had learned my biopsy results (Surprise, it was malignant…oh wait you know that already).

What amazes me so is that it is one year.  365 days.   I just can’t believe how much CRAP I have shoved into that little time.  But Wednesday morning I will wake up and say…Happy New Year and start over again.  Day 1…Clean Slate, Clean Bill of Health, Clean House and Clean Clothes (you know cause Wednesday is the day I have the cleaning people come).  And to celebrate, we are going on vacation.  I have never looked so forward to it as much as I do this week.

To my friend Sue (who went through this after me) and to my new friend Susie (who is just starting her journey) I can’t wait for you to be on the flip side as well.  and we can celebrate the hell out of your anniversaries…

So here’s to having Valentine’s Day as a just another Hallmark celebration, rather than one that reminds me of my past year.

 

HEARTS TO ALL.

Enoy the day!

 

Carol

 

 

 

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Filed under breast cancer, breast cancer blog, cancer blog, cancer has a silver lining, Carol Abramson - Funny Cancer Mom, coping with breast cancer, crazy sexy cancer, Cristie Kerr Women's Health Center, Curvature Wines, Funny Cancer Mom, Humor, living beyond breast cancer, Mindy Grossman, the cancer made me do it

TCMMDI


What can I say.  I got nothin’.  I have actually been ecstatic about it.  Writing this blog is a passion of one, but so is life.  I have not written as often as I used to, and I am finding myself apologizing to a few fervent followers for that…But I am not sorry.  I am just living!

I have finally and officially set up my Charitable Foundation.  Yes, THE CANCER MADE ME DO IT, INC.  is an official charity (501 (c) 3.

THE CANCER MADE ME DO IT

A new 501c3 charitable foundation

And news of a

 Golf/Tennis event to raise funds for Research grants in the following areas:

Breast Cancer, Hodgkin’s/Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma, Head & Neck Cancer (THANC), Leukemia, and Parkinson’s

Some have asked why I chose these ‘diseases, and I that is easy to explain.  While I can switch the “grants” year to year, I wanted to begin with these that have effected my life directly.  Breast Cancer and Hodgkin’s for me, THANC and Parkinson’s for my parents, Multiple Myeloma for my Mother-in-Law, and Leukemia for some very dear friends….How I wish there was no need…but that is just not the case.

So, at the beginning of March I will hold my first meeting to recruit friends , family, neighbors, co-survivors and supporters to help with (what I hope will become) our signature charity event.  A golf/tennis outing – followed by a wine tasting and cocktail party.

I am nervous as Hell!  I am like a scared little girl navigating a playground at a new school on the very first day.  I know I want this to be successful, and I know I want people to want to be involved, but I worry that I can’t pull it off, and that I don’t get the support I need.  And then the whole thing falls apart.

But even with all of this nervous energy…I am going forward with it.  I am Lucky enough Cristie Kerr (#3 Golfer on the PGA Tour) as a “face” of the event.  Pride Family Vineyards – and Curvature Wines as sponsors, I am even in contact with the owners of one of a popular “fashion house”.  SO I think like I handled being sick, I hope to handle this next project…Eyes straight ahead and focussed on the end….reaching my goal and not letting any of the many hurdles I will face slow me down….

Yesterday my Mom told me of a conversation she had with my oldest brother.  She said he was certain that I would be successful at this.  His confidence in me is truly heartwarming and is a real bolster for my nerves.

For now, I am researching these kind of events, and gathering information.  I look forward to any help anyone wants to offer.  Whether it be in knowledge on how to run these events or just interested in being involved.  Or just listening tome talk about it for a while.

I am just glad to talk about it, and spread the word.  Who know’s maybe one day it will be as large as the Michael J. Fox Foundation…Or even better, I look forward to crossing off disease’s as cures are found…Then I can hold a Golf/Tennis event just for the fun of it!

Enjoy the day

Carol

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