Thursday, December 30, 2010

Her Jane, Me Writing

Today I'm just going to send you over to my friend Jane's blog "Me Jane", because frankly, it's just brilliant (but be're going to laugh but you're going to cry). And also because I'm busy with some re-writes on my book proposal (per my agent! Did I mention the memoir has an agent??). I'm off for the next 5 days and planning to sink into the writing (and maybe a few home projects...but mostly, I'm all about the writing...okay, and some reading, but then it's the writing...I mean, I'll have to walk Seamus of course, but then, I'm all about writing; it's unfortunate I seem to have a cold coming on, but I'll power through it and write. Yep, that's me. Writer. Serious, serious, writer.)

And in honor of my five days of writing, and my friend Jane's brilliant blogging, here's a photo of me (right), Jane (left) and our other writing buddy Lori (middle, obviously) at the Maui Writer's Retreat circa 2004. Ah, those were the days...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Something to Celebrate

Two years ago today my (now former) primary care physician called to tell me my mammogram was "highly suspicious of malignancy." Of course, he didn't call me in the morning. He called me at 3:45 pm and he told me I needed to get to a surgeon right away and I should call the next day. You know, on Christmas Eve. And so began my breast cancer journey. Five years ago today Seamus was having his second chemotherapy appointment. Of course, he kicked cancer's butt (which, as you will recall was literally trying to kick his butt--because, um, that's where his tumor was located).

This photo was taken on December 26, 2008 (I'm just beginning my cancer odyssey and Seamus is a 3 year survivor):
And here's this years photo...

I think we've recovered nicely, don't you? I'm a month away from "2 Year Survivor" status and Seamus is a 5 Year Survivor (and hey, that's 35 people years).

Merry Christmas! (And Cheers!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's Not Just Kids He Terrifies

So, we took Seamus to see Santa. (I know what you're thinking. Here's my excuse: It's a fundraiser for the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center.) Seamus is nothing if not expressive. Here is how it went:

("Are you fookin' kiddin' me? Who is dis guy?")

("I will not put up with this. Dis is bullsh*t. Seriously.")

("Mom, you are completely fookin' humiliating me. A scarf? Where da hell is dad??")

("Are you seeing this?? Dude is tryin' ta kill me!! He's choking me!! I want my lawyer!!!")

("Fine. One pose. But just one.")

("And then I'm fookin' out of here. Seriously. Take me home. To steak. Steak and toast. Now.")

Here's wishing a Merry Christmas and a Happy Home for the Holidays for all the gorgeous animals at the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center!! We did this for you.  (And Seamus is almost over it.)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Not Fair at All

This has been a difficult couple of weeks. [Be warned: not much any humor in this post.]

By now we've all heard that Elizabeth Edwards died from cancer today. It's not like I knew her, but I'm saddened by her death and by her obituaries that focus on her asshole jerk of a husband and all his betrayals. She seemed like a very decent, intelligent person, and it bothers me to no end that cancer doesn't really care about that. Her passing and the news coverage of it is just one more reason that I have been unable to put cancer, and more to the point, the possibility of a recurrence of cancer, out of my mind of late. Elizabeth Edwards death today brings me back to the vent.

I haven't been able to blog lately for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I don't really know what to say. I still don't. Cancer has been omnipresent of late and I may well have lost my sense of humor about it.

In the past two weeks we have once again been dealing with cancer in our family. My beautiful sister-in-law (my brother's wife) lost her father to throat cancer just before Thanksgiving. He was 63 years old and his diagnosis was shocking and his battle was very short. My sister-in-law lost her mother to breast cancer 11 years ago on December 14th at the age of 52. I remember being at her mom's funeral on December 23rd, the year after my father's wife died on that same day.  It's just not fair. Cancer never is.   I think of my niece who has a grandmother, a grandfather and an aunt who've all had cancer and what this might mean for her future (and I hope it means early screening, extra attention and vigilance...but mostly I hope for a cure before any of that matters)

And very recently, with seemingly no warning, Chris's aunt has been diagnosed with Stage IV metastasized breast cancer, with a pretty grim diagnosis. I've been helping her on the legal side of things (the "get your affairs in order" side of things) and Chris spent several hours with her at the hospital today. I can't help but think that she's probably had cancer for far longer than I have (or did? what's the proper word here...we don't know) but for some reason hers wasn't caught, but mine was. Or was it?

I think about these people, these cancers, and I think about my blogging friends battling various stages of cancer, and another business colleague who recently went to a hospital to say goodbye to a friend of hers whose breast cancer has recurred and was nearing the end of her battle, and I think about my new "virtual" friends recently diagnosed with breast cancer and in touch because they found my blog and reached out for support, and I think...F*CK CANCER.  I wish I could be more articulate than that, but no...F*CK CANCER.   And I think about the possibility of a recurrence of my own cancer and I just want to say that again. F*CK CANCER.

Usually my logical mind takes charge and so yeah, I can figure out that none of us knows how long we have or if cancer will strike or strike a second time and that I'm maybe no more likely to die of cancer than anyone else despite my recent encounters, because the thing is...none of us knows.... but also, I can't stop thinking about cancer right now.And the possibility of recurrence.

Have I mentioned how much I dislike this time of year? There is a lot of good stuff going on in my life right now, but at the moment, today, I can't seem to focus on that. Because life is just not fair. Not fair at all.