Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 2012 Showers

April Birthday Dinner @ Rasika DC
Gift from special friends @ GUH ;) is my current update : Coco's uLMS update --Hello! I had my PET/CT on Friday and got to see both Drs. B and C to review the results. The good news as that I am overall healthy and they are happy with my general vitals. The not so good news is that 1 of the masses in my back has returned and 3 new spots have surfaced (right thigh 2; left calf 1). All spots are about a carat -- if only I could convert to a lovely ring ;). I'll be working with GUH radiation oncology to set up CyberKnife starting with my back (it's under my right shoulder blade -- that diamond would be much prettier in my ear). We will also be reviewing my original labs for hormone receptors and determine a hormone (estrogen or progesterone) blocker to keep things under control. 

No panic here...this is not unexpected just not really what I wanted to hear. Upside -- more time to see my friends at GUH and friends in DC all summer!Thank -- as always for the love, prayers and support. To paraphrase Lance Armstrong, knowledge, community and positive attitude are all keys to managing this beast. 


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

If I die young...

"A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I'll sell 'em for a dollar
They're worth so much more after I'm a goner
And maybe then you'll hear the words I been singing
Funny, when you're dead how people start listening..."

Kimberly Perry

Every time I hear this song, the verse above makes me smile to myself.  Would the thoughts and things I have to say be heard if I hadn't gotten this nasty diagnosis?

Thoughts? Let's discuss....,0,514016.story

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wasted Time, The Stray Cat and Room in the Universe

Well baby, there you stand
With your little head, down in your hand
Oh, my god, you can’t believe it’s happening
Your baby’s gone, and you’re all alone
And it looks like the end.

And you’re back out on the street.
And you’re tryin’ to remember.
How will you start it over? 
You don’t know what became.
You don’t care much for a stranger’s touch,
But you can’t hold your man.

You never thought you’d be alone this far
Down the line
And I know what’s been on your mind
You’re afraid it’s all been wasted time

The autumn leaves have got you thinking
About the first time that you fell
You didn’t love the boy too much, no, no
You just loved the boy to well, farewell
So you live from day to day, and you dream
About tomorrow, oh.
And the hours go by like minutes
And the shadows come to stay
So you take a little something to
Make them go away
And I could have done so many things, baby
If I could only stop my mind from wondrin’ what
I left behind and from worrying ’bout this wasted time

Ooh, another love has come and gone
Ooh, and the years keep rushing on
I remember what you told me before you went out on your own:
’sometimes to keep it together, we got to leave it alone.’
So you can get on with your search, baby, and I can
Get on with mine
And maybe someday we will find , that it wasn’t really
Wasted time

Seems like once you get the big C diagnosis, you beome acutely aware of how you are spending or NOT spending your time.  It's often hard to digest that for you everything is different, but for those around you things might not.  It's a time that you think that people will really step up for you.  And YES, they will.  But, guess what? It won't be who you think it will be nor will it even be who you want to step up.  You see Cancer brings out the step up and the runaway in all of us. You will find that you family loves you more unconditionally than you ever dreamed.  They will make sacrifices and spend time with you on the good days and the bad.  You will find that people who have known you all your life will go farther for you than you ever thought possible or even think that you deserve. the notes, the cards, the encouragement will move you beyond words. Alas, you are human and there will be those who just disappear or surprise you with oddness, insensitivity, coldnes and just plain clueless-ness.  We will give a few of them a break because at least they tried. Sonething is better than nothing.  

And then there is the Stray Cat. 

We all have had the stray cat in our lives.  Mine has been around for nearly 14 years.  When I met Stray Cat a friend said..."you should date him. He's crabby and you'd be good for him..." Oh, LW why did I listen to you?  Suffice to say that I wasn't too attracted to the Stray Cat at first.  But I felt bad and put the saucer of milk out.  He was kind of cute and kind of grew on me.  But, like all stray cats, he started to take advantage and I kicked him back out to fend for himself. 
meeeoorrrwww...meeeorrrwww...meeoorrrwww...what Stray? Ok...yes, you can hang out.  And so in 1997 begins a never-ending roller coaster.  The Stray Cat and I have been through it all and you'd think that we'd be prepared for this, right?  We went through his brother's death, his father's bout of cancer, my mom's loss to the cancer battle, we made it through looking at rings; breaking up; making up; breaking up; friends; not friends.  We both played the game to the hilt. If he thought he "got" me, I got him back and vice versa.  It was ugly.  But it was what it was. I'm not proud of my behavior. 

And then comes Cancer. Everything should change right? We should drop it all and call a truce and realize we love each other -- because after all we do right? right? Stray Cat said he was there for me and to a degree he was. He visited. He brought meals. He loaned me money. He watched movies and discussed politics with me.  This is all great, but in my confused state, I wanted more.  Uterine LeioMyoSarcoma resulted in a radical hysterectomy and instant menopause for me. Sucker punch to the GUT literally for the girl who never figured how to be vulnerable let alone needy and now I don't have a choice.  Romance is hard enough for a single 40-something girl.  How do I date? How do I do this? Can't I just go with a known? Stray Cat -- can you be my Lap Cat now?  

So, I took a deep breath and had that conversation with the Stray Cat. And, you guessed it, I didn't hear what I wanted. He would be my friend because he thought we were better as friends.  Perhaps, but I was still confused. Having the Stray Cat around was more important than letting him head off to another door.  I didn't like it, but I was too confused to say get lost.  And he made just enough effort that I really couldn't argue.  Besides friend and some family even said to give him a break and don't fight.  OK. So that brings us up to fall 2010. 

Cancer is BAAaaaaAAAAck.  It's worse and now I have to buckle up for chemo because it's Stage IV.  Ok...those are about the scariest words you will ever have to hear let alone share with your friends and family.  Stray Cat just plain denied it saying it wasn't true and not to talk that way.  Remember, he is the Stray Cat. Sigh.  Long about the holidays, Stray Cat and I are having odd conversations.  Note: All along I asked him if he had met someone. I needed to know so that I could manage my expectations.  He wouldn't tell me because he thought I'd be mad. I'd say I wouldn't like it, but at least I'd know what I'm dealing with.  At no time did I ever get an answer.  Grrr. Finally, around Christmas, Stray Cat asked me what I wanted for Christmas.  I said "I didn't know we were exchanging gifts, but I'd like a New Year's Eve date."  He said. " I don't do NYE."  4-5 days of bitter arguments ensued.  Clearly, this could have been diffused very easily if he had just said something adult and manly like..."I"m sorry Coca, I love you and I'm here for you, but I made plans. In fact, I've gotten involved with someone and haven't known how to tell you....blah blah blah..." That would have hurt like hell, but I would have known where I stand.  

Instead, Stray Cat posted pics of his Paraguayan honey basking in the sun and sand of the Turks and Caicos.  'Nuff said. 

The Moral of the Story is that no matter how much cream you put out for the Stray Cat, a stray is just a worthless stray.  And the ones who love you will always love you.  

But...just for good measure Stray -- Take This:

PS: Sissy -- I know you think this is bad karma, but I've been sitting on this for 2 months and need to send it out to the Universe and clear space for the people who really do love me. XXXOOO

Friday, February 4, 2011

World Cancer Day

Please have a look at my CaringBridge update.  I will have a new story for you very soon. A good one finally worked itself out for me this morning and I need to share with you.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Father - Daughter Thing

Not long ago I was chatting with a friend via instant message. Naturally, we discussed the topic of my cancer and the return and upcoming treatments. Since most of the information from the doctors uses words like "chronic" or treatments are "palliative, not curative", he had a pointed question for me.  

"So, how is your relationship with the guy upstairs?"

His question set me back for about a half second and then the answer came to me quite naturally (and I paraphrase) but I said..."Well, it's like any Father - Daughter relationship -- He is usually right and I don't see it or understand it now but I will see the Light one of these days.  Right now, I'm kind of like a pouting teenager because this is really not in my plan right now."

I guess that really sums up things for cancer patients in general.  We get angry -- I mean really angry.  Some days I would love to throw myself on the floor and throw a temper tantrum and scream until i have no voice and am blue in the face.  Really? Really God? Do I have to deal with this? I was just getting my life together. Another curve ball? REALLY?   I have a career I'm liking. I want to travel. I was just getting my hair healthy from the last round. Really? Sigh...some of the anger seems relevant and some of it seems petty and small, but feelings are feelings and they are all over the place. 

So, after I got over my anger and put all of my plans in place -- moving, shopping for my wig, picking up my whole circle of friends and going back home, re-living teenage "space" issues with my parents, it finally dawned on me. I am right where I am supposed to be. 

Home.  I can look across the living room of the Coco Lounge and see Dad over in his TV room.  He's here for me and I'm here for him.  So together we are right where our Father upstairs wants us -- taking care of each other.  This, of course, includes my sister and brother and their families nearby as well.  I'm making up for all those selfish years on my own. 

The Man upstairs and I still have a few things to work out and so does the Man across the hall, but we will get by and have a good time for now.