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.
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.
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!
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.
Just like Bambi and her Mom…AWWWWW
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!”
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!
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….
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….
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.
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!
Honestly, what’s so funny about cancer? Well believe it or not there has been plenty. If I look back at the last year, what I remember…is the Funny. Not the crappy. So I thought it was the time in the movie (or the blog) for the flashback sequence. All of these sties have been told or glossed over in previous entries, but if you look at them as a whole: I could see “Cancer ” the sitcom
Lets begin at the beginning.
In February, I was still meeting with Dr.s and Surgeons and deciding a course of action with regards to having a Mastectomy or not. My friend Wendy knew a women who had been to the the Surgeon I was considering — Andrew Ashikari. Anyway she had introduced my to this woman who was incredibly helpful. She even offered to come to my house so I could see and touch and feel the end product (notice how I made a ‘boob job” sound classy). It was a Sunday morning, and my husband was on carpool duty when the woman came to my house. After talking to me about what was going to happen, she took off her shirt and let me “feel her up”. Frankly, it was amazing, awkward, and weird all at the same time. But what an unbelievable help. Knowing and seeing what was going to happen was huge — (figuratively speaking of course). My husband and I giggled about this for days. What he wouldn’t have given to be there to watch me.
Many memories included my friends. Like my 1st day at chemo. Julie and I walked into this long white, long room. each area was divided by those curtains you see in emergency rooms. But very few of them were drawn. Almost all of the chairs were taken, and I wasn’t exactly sure which way to go. I just looked all around – as all of the patients looked at me – the newbie -And said loudly. “Excuse me which way to the bar…I have a reservation, so if you could just call us when our table is ready!” And we started laughing. Even a few of the patients (who were already hooked up to their chemo cocktails) started laughing.
Of course the many, many days where I left the house to run an errand, and half way to my destination realized that I forgot why I was going or what I was going for. And usually came home with many items from the grocery store…but not 1 that was on my list.
I have memories of times I would laugh at myself or my circumstances. My friends and I were always able to joke. I remembering making fun of my friend Amy when she didn’t text me back immediately (she was in surgery at the time — like that’s a valid excuse). texting her “I can’t believe you didn’t text me back…I have cancer you know!” Stupid and childish – yes…but lite-hearted and funny — also yes! Why not be childish and silly…all the other stuff going on was so serious –which is why I always looked for the funny!
And then of course their was the weight gain. Certainly always a source of horror and Humor for me – mostly horror. Since I constantly talk about how much I have gained through this whole order. But this particular evening was during the US Open. Serana was on the court and we were at Amy’s having dinner. Amy’s family, Elaine’s family and all of us. Sititng on the couch was Amy, Dan, and 2 of their children; Elaine, my husband, my son and I. We were watching her intently when someone said “look at the size of Serena…all muscle whadda ya think she weighs?” I said “180 Lbs” Scott said, in his way, “NO Way…She is big, but not that big. 180 Lbs is a lot for a woman to weigh.” and with perfect comedic timing, I turned to Elaine and Amy and loudly, yet demurely, “Uh Oh!” And as the tears of laughter came rolling down our faces…I realized how great laughter feels. IT is truly JOYOUS!
I am talking to my 3 new friends going through this ordeal. For however much it seems like it is going to suck (and of course that is true) I just want you to know – that night (and many others) there was no cancer anywhere…just laughter. I tell you this because I know it doesn’t seem possible, but it is. These times can be about other things…not just about being sick. Look for the humor, cause there is funny here…and the funny is what brought me to where I am now — on the flip side helping you who are just at the starting line.
I will be here with you all the way through and will be waiting with a joke and smile at the finish line…
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!
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
It is rare, if ever, that I have been happy with a photograph of myself. The photo above is the closest I have ever come to being happy about the way I look. Especially after the year I have had! I am thankful for all of the comments and compliments I have been given on it. I have even taken steps to get a copy so that I can have it framed and displayed in my home. Seeing the abundance of great and the flowing rolls at my waist gnaws at me, but overall I am happy with it!
When I see myself in the mirror, I don’t see the same individual who was there before my illness. And while friends and family tell me that what I see is not what they see; I have still felt like the lead in a Hans Christian Anderson story — you know the one about the duck.
Recently, I was introduced to a woman who has just been diagnosed. We have spoken several times over the last few weeks, and her story has touched me. She is further along than I was, and her chemo regime will be more stringent than mine; but I believe she will be fine in the end. I think she sees that now, as well. Her voice today was much calmer and more sure – which was a relief. I was concerned that her fears could become an obstacle for her, and could cloud her capacity to gather the information she needed.
She told me of some good news that she had gotten. Awesome, I thought! Then she wanted to know about my weight gain. She had asked me this several times during our talks. I told her honestly that I have “packed on the pounds (30 to be exact). I know it sounds weird that I gained weight during chemo but I did…Anyway, I know that much of what I said was helpful, but she was still focussed on the weight gain. So here is what I said. “If it is weight gain you want to focus on – you can. But focus on the fact that after you are done with all of your treatments and healthy again…you will have a new project…getting back in shape. Keep thinking about the future and what you need to do. Because no matter how you look at it…you are looking at your future – and that is a good thing. But when you have completed it all (the treatments I mean), don’t waste your time (like I have done) being unhappy with what you see in the mirror.
Because what you see is ALIVE AND WELL..and looking good in a photo or two will happen again!
Alright it is official, I have submitted my first article for consideration in the NY Times! YIKES! They probably won’t pick it anyway, but as they say at the Oscars “It’s an honor just being nominated.” In this case, it is enough for them to even consider my article. Nobody I grew up with would have ever pegged me for a writer – EGADS!
I finished the editing process this afternoon — I had written the piece 3 weeks ago. And after getting some “editing” help. I nipped and tucked it into its final form. And then I read it, and read it again, and just to be sure…I read it 1 more time. Cause all of you know “SPELLIN’ AND GRAMMAR AIN’T MY THANG!” But I thought for the NY Times, I should try to do my very best. I am actually scared to go back and read it again, for fear (now that I have submitted it) I made a silly error….Anyway, I sat at my computer with my finger floating over the “enter” key which would send it soar through cyberspace. Should I do this? Why do I want to do this? Screw it! I am doing this…and
Well, I will not hear for a few weeks; I find solace in that somehow! And then if it doesn’t make the paper…atleast I have a future blog written!
I have got my fingers and toes crossed!