Disney Update

April 13th, 2008

I’d say it’s been my biggest problem all my life… it’s money. It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true. ~Walt Disney

Yesterday I received mail from Miss Ann containing a huge check from your donations. All of you who have donated to the raffle have been incredibly kind and generous. So far you have donated almost $4,500. I’m not even sure there are words I can use to thank you.

Apparently Miss Ann and Dude have been working together on the trip to Disney. Hopefully the plans will come together this week and we will know when we are going although my illness has thrown a monkey wrench into every thing.

I’ve been looking at vacation packages all morning and it’s going to be very hard for us to do this trip for $4,500 when you include my loss of salary for one week plus incidentals. If the doctor tells us that I have to start chemotherapy right away then we need to go on this trip right away. I’ve got to get those girls on a nice trip to Disney…

Right now I have to get my federal, state and local taxes done. I may not be going anywhere if we owe money. Yes, I totally procrastinated this year.

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Live Now

April 12th, 2008

With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

For so many years I’ve been at war with myself. Whether it’s been my struggles with depression or trying to live up to the expectations of others like parents, bosses, professors, family or friends…it’s been an ongoing war.

If I haven’t been trying to meet the expectations of others then it’s my own self-imposed expectations which I can tell you have been absolutely ridiculous.

I think my latest expectation of returning to undergraduate school eight weeks after having six surgeries last year and taking two classes while just returning to working full-time was probably one of more ludicrous and insane stunts. Sure, it was fantastic to finally graduate after five years but I paid a horrible price in depression even though I was bestowed the honor of being the class valedictorian…however someone should have had me committed for starting graduate school five days after graduation.

Although I will admit getting an iPhone as a graduation gift rocked.

Yet, the reason I did all of that was to calm the voice inside that said, “This will be enough. Yes, finally…this will be enough.” Enough for what though? Enough for the empty void? The void that fuels the war within that tells me I’m not good enough and that no matter what I do it will never, ever get me anywhere.

No matter how much weight I lose or gain, how much make up I put on, what clothes I wear, how many degrees I obtain, where I live, what car I drive, what my house looks like, what I own or who likes me…no matter how much of anything inside or out has made a bit of difference until recently.

The day that my doctor told me I had cancer for the third time…Monday, March 31, 2008…honest to God…the war finally ended. For the first time in my life I made peace with myself and realized that the only thing that mattered was this minute, this hour, this day. Beyond right now I cannot control anything and the freedom I’ve received has released me from the anxiety of fear…and popping Xanax like Pez.

It feels like an awakening, like I’ve come alive. As a big fan of the Foo Fighters I’ve been playing the shit out of Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace so th song Come Alive hits the nail on the head for me…

Dearest friends are you at peace with yourself? Are you living in the present, for today? Stop having such high expectations and give yourself a break because you aren’t perfect and never will be. Find a way to make peace with yourself before you are faced with a life threatening illness. Yes, cancer may suck ass totally but it’s given me a huge gift…peace and the ability to be present.

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Dear Friends…Here We Go Again

April 11th, 2008

Dearest Friends,

 I want you to know that we aren’t going to talk about cancer every day.  In fact, I will relish the day when we can look back and say, “oh remember when Lisa kicked cancer’s ass???”  Clusterfook is not about to become a cancer blog.  It’s just that cancer has become a big part of my life…and this is a “life” blog…my life.

Today my life took an unexpected, wicked turn and I’m right back to where I was a week ago, feeling like I have to apologize for what I’m about to tell you.  After all the support you have given me I feel like I’m about to let you down.  I mean, you can only take so much before you say, “whoa, this chick is a total downer…clickin’ the X, upper right!”

Here it goes…

I met with the oncologist to get the results of my biopsy and things didn’t go very well.  When they did the biopsy they had to do a CT scan to see what they were doing before they poked me with a very large needle, ouch.  I wondered what the flury of activity and excitement was all about but no one was saying anything to me.  I just figured that’s the way they all acted when they did a biopsy.  Well it turns out I’m an idiot who should ask more questions.

Well it seems that the cancer has spread beyond my abdomen and liver…it’s now in my lungs.  God only knows where else it is so I’ll need more tests but that’s not the bad news.  Here’s where you might want to use that ‘upper right “X” option’ if you are ready to jump out of your blogging window.  The type of ovarian cancer I have doesn’t respond well to chemotherapy so the doctor doesn’t have high hopes for a good outcome.

I looked at him and said, “I’m going to kick cancer’s ass…I have things to do!”

I wish I could tell you he was supportive of my attitude.  He doesn’t understand that I’m not ready to die, I’m not ready to throw in the towel, and I’m not ready to give up.  There is just NO FUCKING WAY!

So here we are at an ackward pause…I’m leaving you again, not knowing what to say.  Please, please, please do not tell me you are sorry.  Why be sorry?  You didn’t give me cancer or cause this.  Instead let’s talk about something worth fighting for.  What would you fight for?  World peace?  A place in line for tickets to the best concert in town?  The last peanut M&M in the bowl?

I, for one, plan on fighting for my life…and that last peanut M&M…

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SURVIVER

April 11th, 2008

Life didn’t promise to be wonderful. ~Teddy Pendergrass

There are times when I just can’t be the sunshine poster child for having a great attitude through the adversity of cancer. I feel like right now is one of those times…

Dude and I made the decision to sit down and have a discussion with our daughters last night, a discussion I’ve been dreading. I cannot not express how sick I felt knowing that I was about to tell my two angels that I have cancer for the third time after they spent almost four months visiting me in the hospital last summer. In fact last year at this time I was in a drug-induced coma so they weren’t seeing me at all.

“Girls, I have something I need to tell you. You know I’ve been visiting a lot of doctors for the past few weeks…well, they have told me that I have cancer again.”

Before I could get another word out I saw Cam bury her head in the couch to avoid the conversation and to avoid her emotions.

Teenie burst out into tears and said, “Is this going to be like last year?!?!?!?!?!?!”

I told Teenie that last year couldn’t repeat itself…that this time will be different but I felt like a liar. I’m one of those “keep it real” parents but this time, just this one time, I didn’t have the heart to tell her anything other than what she wanted to hear.

Cam is another story. She didn’t have much to say other than, “I love you Mom.” That and a big smile but that’s just the way she is and I know she will talk about it in her own time.

The girls know that I have a blog…Cam has her own blog, by the way. I told them what was going on and how there were some wonderful people trying to help us get to Disney World and that I hope we would get there before I have to start treatment. I love them because they were concerned about missing school and ruining their perfect attendance records and told me we couldn’t go until after school was over in June.

We talked about chemotherapy and the seriousness of how sick I am this time. I think they understand now…this trip isn’t going to wait until June.

A little later Teenie came into the living room with a teal ribbon she made from paper and colored with a teal crayon. On the ribbon with red crayon she wrote the word “SURVIVER”. Just eight years old and she knows way too much about teal ribbons, ovarian cancer and “survivers”. Yes, I know she spelled it wrong…but she’s got the spirit.

This picture was taken last March after I told Teenie I had cancer for the second time. She was six and had made a teal ribbon out of Magnetix.

Teenie and Teal Ribbon

Let’s hope she’s right…and that I’m a SURVIVER.

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Look Ma, I Got a Tiara!

April 9th, 2008

Thank you to Laci, Monique, Sodapop and Lucy for the awesome care package! You Klassy Bitches rock!

Check out my tiara but excuse the sucky quality of the video because my web cam sux.

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