Fear

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There is not much I am afraid of… no comments from the peanut gallery who would challenge that statement. Yes, I’m afraid of spiders… and snakes. I submit to you those are normal and RATIONAL fears.
No I’m talking about the feeling of impending doom. When you feel like your holding your breath waiting for the other shoe to drop. I hit my 5 year mark in December 2017. Cancer free, without chemo or immunotherapy or radiation. Just, normal. Huge milestone. I was terrified. PTSD dosent just happen to soldiers, so I’m told. It happens with cancer surviviors. Who knew?
I’m better now. Just a 15% higher risk of someone who never had cancer. I can live with that!

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Side Effects

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Cancer seems to find new ways to torture me. I’m still cancer free. That’s great. But it’s like an epidemic. Since I was finished with treatment, I’ve had an aunt die as direct of bladder cancer,one that was good friends with mom. It’s the end of a era.

And then there’s me. The last few weeks have been terrible with pain , pleuritic in nature, that is getting worse and keeping me up. Sometimes my side where they radiated is so sore I have to concentrate to breathe. I figure it’s a chronic issue and so be it. Buts it’s extremely annoying.nurses are such God awful patients. Now she wants to do a bone density test and more blood work. I’m not old! Well ok pushing 50.

I figure either I have scar damage on my side/lung or I have a tumor. At least I’m optimistic. It’s part of that whole thing of everything you study you wind up with. Common problem among nurses and med students.

Welcome to my world. I know enough to be very dangerous. Every single thing that can go wrong. Meanwhile, I’m cancer free and honestly, except for the pain in my ribs, I’m doing great. Mom and Evelyn were friends. My aunt. She was like my second mom and didn’t give me any more slack than mom. Which was like.. None.

There was one I didn’t see coming. I have come face to face with my own mortality. I don’t really recommend it but I’m guessing it happens somewhere around middle age. Yeah, hush, I’m middle age.

I think I am a young soul. I would have to be to make so many mistakes.

A friend of mine once told me we do what to do. Hunker down and see what happens.

A Little Indulgence Of a still Chemo raddled Brain

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Another year has almost gone by. I doesn’t seem possible. In some ways, Im very grateful. Im at my two yr mark and so far as I know, everything is coming back good. Mammo from last Friday not withstanding. But in my experience, no news is good news. I had been told from the get go that if it were gonna come back it usually did in the first two yrs. So Im over the moon. Or at least, I should be.
Ive been racking my brain trying to figure out the cause of the so called ” cancer epidemic” in the south. Specificallly People from the deep south. Is it the copper mine that shut down all those years ago? The nuclear plant no so far up the road.. what the heck was the name….chernoblyl? no that was in another country. Well, it was close by, dosent matter. Its not so much about me , its my friends and family. I come from a huge family on my mom’s side and several of her brothers and sisters and others have had to deal with some form of this disease. Most since my mom died from it, and a few since I went through it. I also have friends dealing with it in varying forms, some very dire. Inlcuding a little 7 yr old whos mom I work with that had a tumor in her brain. She’s ok for now but looking at 6 weeks proton beam radiation. and it can come back.
THe whole thing pisses me off. I know how hard it is to go through those treatments and try to stay positive and not let them get to you. And for the most part, they are doable, but you guys know what I mean.

I went through all the stages, denial, angry, bargaining, grieve and acceptance. With my disease. Right now Im stuck in anger with all these ppl I love. Anger isn’t a mad thing. It motivates you. It gives you strength. It also makes you want to take a baseball bat and just beat in the skull of cancer til it cant bleed anymore. I want to tell it, go pick on someone your own size. Not young people, not children, Not people just trying to live their lives to the best of their ability without you going in and peeing all over their cornflakes.

Its almost Christmas. And although I am the first to admit I get mad at him more times than not, I also know he dosent mind. He’s got pretty big shoulders and when I yell at him that something isn’t fair, the wind whispers, “no its not, but I will get you though this”. I also hear things from time to time letting me know its okay to blame him, be mad at him, whatever I need to do because he has pretty big shoulders and if Im mad at him at least Im not ignoring him. Perhaps this season, we can all bond together and give thanks together that we are here, that we have families who love un unconditionally and although not promised tomorrow at all, woke up to the rainiest nasty day Ive seen in a while. But it was beautiful. Cold, but beautiful.
After all these yrs, I don’t expect rose gardens. Just the strength for anyone who is struggling.. with health, with faith, with money, whatever…strength to just believe he will hold us up whatever we face and walk through it with us.

I know sappy coming from me, but after almost 50 yrs, its what I finally believe. Was a long time coming.

Birds and the Bees

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War has been declared. There was no fan fair. No horns.just l lot of swattin going on.
All I wanted was to sit on my porch ,in peace, a
Nd smoke my cig. That’s all. But NOOOO. Unfortunately we keep the same time schedule.

I come out to sit and relax and before I can even sit down, they appear. In twos and threes, all a once. And I’m just mindin my on biddness. My only recourse is to fight. Now I am scared of about any bug coming and going. But not bees. So, I declare war after a couple days.

Marl goes to Lowes and comes back with some can of something. Told me how he asked the guys at work what the best for getting rid of them safely and cheaply and proudly hold up this can of stuff. I say “uh huh” as I swat one of the bees into the left field of our yard. I’m not just talking about a couple of bees. I’m talking two of them ganging up on me about every 5 min or so. And dive bombing our heads. I told mark. Cheapest? Me with a fly swat. If only my aim was better. When I’m really pissed, it’s great. When I’m just annoyed its so so. But I will win.

The only problem is we have humming birds too. Right on the porch. Number one, they don’t like fly swats. They also don’t like dogs much. ( although Zoe really likes them) I put feeder out and they have come in droves. They r beautiful.only thing is t hey sound like bees. I’m half way through a swing before I realize its a dang bird. Sometimes they drink the grossly over priced nectar and sometime they just fly on either side of you and look at you like, “I know” and fly on.

Ether way, they follow each other so
We r all stuck together.

I’m ready for fall.

Doesn’t have anything to do with cancer except what you miss if you get lazy and decide a checkup isn’t important enough.

Dog days of Summer

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I’m not sure when or if the fear goes away. You know, the fear of will it come back? Will it be worse this time? But most days I’m honestly too busy with life to dwell on it. That’s definitely not a bad thing! I just find that when I’m not even thinking about it, it has really changed how I view the world around me and how I react to it.
I’m driving home from work last Sunday morning. nice early morning with heavy fog coating everything in this white filmy mysterious mist. I was paying a lot more attention to the road as I have already seen several deer on the way home and have no intentions of wrecking another car. Plus, it’s actually rather peaceful driving in that early morning dawn….gimmes me time to wind down, thnk about the night and leave it in the car when I get home. All good things.
I go around a curve and see this tiny black and white rather skinny puppy. He’s in the middle of the road and doesn’t seem that interested in getting out of my way. I slowly scoot around him, noticing he’s awfully happy to see even a car….I look in my side view mirror as I go by and he is chasing my car fast as he can with his tail going 90 miles a minute. Now really, what would you do?
I did the most logical thing. I pulled into the next drive and started walking back to look for him. I found him. Still running toward me , tail spinning like it was gonna take flight at any minute. Then I saw mama. Mama didn’t look anything like her baby. She seemed to be a cross between a pit bull and a lab, with teats FULL of milk and her tail wasn’t wagging. Her whole backside was wagging back and forth. They were so happy to see someone, anyone. I’m pretty sure my heart just broke in two right then. Because I realized a few things instantaneously. Mama was not skinny but full of milk , guessing she wasn’t nursing just one pup. Puppy was little skinny but not bad. Neither had collars. They. Old have belongd to someone. Not that odd for dogs to run loose with no collars…I’m bettin there were more pups that were nursing somewhere. I couldn’t take mom away. And I couldn’t take puppy from his mom while nursing. I was basically….screwed. I had no where to take them because we don’t have a24/7 place to take them. I had to leave her and her puppy in case she had other pups and I couldn’t take her pup from mom…. When I left them, puppy still followed my car as far as he could. I cried all the way home. It broke my heart. Will dont know if I did the right thing. I DO know that I will know more about resources in the future, even on
(God forbid) on a weekend.
I was raised in the country… Dogs were dogs, sometimes you even had to take the babies to the creek and drown them because you couldn’t afford to feed them. Now tho, all life is even more precious. Or maybe I’ve just turned into a big baby. But I told mark I will never leave an animal like tht again… Dont care what we have to do. Hopefully they did belong to someone. But I won’t ever take that chance. I will see that puppy’s face in my side view mirror chasing my car, tail wagging, with that hope in his eyes, for a very LNG time. Thanks Cancer.

Well….

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You know it’s always something. CaNcer is vindictive and patient. I have a clean bill of health. That’s great. Mark has melanoma, oh and we’re buying a house. It’s on his back and it will probably be fine, but it’s one of those things. And they can’t take it out for two weeks. Really? Like tomorrow works for me. A part of me just wants to scream at them….it’s CANCER u morons. Time matters. Sorry. Unfortunately no one asked my opinion. Probably good thing, I got plenty to say.

You want to buy a house?

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So, I got my 3 month all clear about 2months ago. What’s next? Well buy a house of course. Seems perfectly reasonably to me.

Keep in mind we have been trying to buy a house 6 yrs, but something always got in the way. Life is life but it has a distinct sense of humor. I wasn’t always laughing.

Picture it, you move to area, you think, oh this is great. We both get jobs……good jobs. You cross your fingers nothing will go wrong and nothing does. For atime, all is well. Then it begins. First, he gets laid off after almost 3 yrs. then he gets sick. During that time you have put offers in and had to turn them down because you know it not wok for you. And the whole time the bank is telling you “it’s okay, you can do it. We wouldn’t let you have the money if you couldn’t do it”. If I said that was too good to be true would it be cliche? That was in 2009. Right before it all collapsed. I think they wanted my money. That’s what I think. Let that be a lesson to you. If something is too good to be true, it probably is. Always check the bottom line. If I had taken that deal I would have lost my house.

This time, I’m a little smarter. Cancer makes you smart. Is it smart to buy a house ayr after cancer diagnosis? Probably not. But what am I waiting on? To get sick again? That’s not how i roll. I refuse to live my life in fear of what might happen. Csuse it might not. I have the same chance of anyone right now. You negotiate. And if they dont meet your price, you wait. Thn you offer again. Never seem too eager. You have to be willing to walk away. And then you ask of everything you want. When they say “that’s our bottom line” say “no thanks” and walk away.come back in a bout a month. As long as your willing to lose it, you might get it. You might not….doesn’t always work. But you got to be willing. My dad taught me that. You want a real negotiator, get a southern gentleman.

Ask for everything. Expect nothing. Hope for the best. And never, ever, let them See your hand.

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