From the category archives:

It Is What It Is

Hey gang. Just got off the phone with Dude and he’s feeling brain dead and like he’s on autopilot. Understandable.

Here are the funeral arrangements for Lisa for those that wish to go or send flowers.

Lisa Gift Kelly

Saturday, March 7th

1:00 PM

Immaculate Conception church, 905 Chestnut St, Douglasville, PA


Right, thanks to all of you that have emailed me and left comments requesting a way to donate to Lisa’s family. There are a couple of ways to go about this:

Use the Donation Button on Lisa’s Donations page. I’ve changed the Paypal address over to her husband’s address so he has access to the account.

Flowers are wonderful, of course, but for those that want to donate to causes close to Lisa’s heart, perhaps you’d care to view the list of organizations on her Ovarian Cancer page. A donation in her name would be great.

I hope this gives you a couple of options for those of you that want to do something more. John appreciates all the kind words and support. He says the girls are doing well.


Hey, Karl here.

After a couple of voicemails left for Lisa and not hearing back, which is unusual for her, I called the Dude a little bit ago and found out the reason. She’s not going to be returning phone calls any more, nor emails. No more Tweets from her.

She’s in the final, final stages now, people. So out of her mind with pain and drugs that she often doesn’t even recognize her husband or children. Dude says it’ll be “lucky” if she makes it through the weekend, though he also says it’ll be luckier if God takes her away sooner. She’s that bad.

I’d been riding her to get a “last post” done, but it doesn’t look like that happened. There’s a fragment of a post she was working on, which I’ll post here soon, but there won’t be any more posts from Lisa beyond that.

Those of you that live locally to Lisa and her fam, I know Dude and the kids would appreciate any meals brought over, since the last thing on Dude’s mind is cooking dinner right now. Everything is on hold now, just waiting for the final moment, and Dude is doing everything he can just to keep it together.

He says that the kids are taking it much better than he is.

My heart is just breaking. From here on out, I won’t be posting updates about Lisa on my blog…I’ll keep you posted here, of course. I’ve been getting an inordinate amount of traffic and email from you folks hoping to hear news. I answer it all, but it may not be instantaneous.

If you’re of the praying sort, pray that Lisa doesn’t suffer much more. Pray for her family.



by Lisa on February 1, 2009

in Cancer Sucks, It Is What It Is

There is a small segment of my family and my friends who can’t handle that I’m dying.

I understand.  I get it.

I believe they will regret cutting me out of their lives now instead of actually letting me die and then taking the time to grieve.  However, I realize that we all deal with death in our own way.

After all, the doctor told me last week that I have anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to live.

It would freak ME out to talk to someone over the weekend only to find out they died the following Wednesday.

My point is that I’m hurt and part of me wants feel that I’m entitled to be a little selfish right now.  Like I can stand here with my hands on my hips and tell people that enough is enough.

Instead I’ll focus on the family and friends who have come out in droves, come out of the woodwork and have been faithfully supporting me on a daily basis.  I love all of you for everything you unselfishly do for my family and me.

To those who can’t do it, I hope you don’t regret that decision some day.  I still love you and I’m still here.  It’s not too late to take advantage of the time I have left.


A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won’t cross the street to vote in a national election. ~Bill Vaughan

I went to chemotherapy yesterday and thankfully my blood levels were passable.

This morning I woke up feeling a little, well a lot queasy but I wasn’t going to let that deter me from getting out and voting.  I felt so excited that Election Day was FINALLY here, almost as excited as Christmas morning!

Dude drove Teenie to school this morning because we made 20 Whoopie Pies yesterday for her class.  Yes, that’s what I do when I come home from chemo…make Whoopie Pies for five hours.  I didn’t get to taste them but they looked disgustingly sweet.

On his way home from taking Teenie to school, Dude swung by the polls to see how crowded it was.  He flew home.  He walked in the door and said “Let’s Go!”  So, I threw on my sneakers and out the door we went.

By the time we got down to the polls there was a long line and I thought I was going to lose it.  Thankfully it went by fast, like 15 minutes.  It didn’t matter to me because I was going to vote no matter what!

Then it was my turn.  The curtain closed behind me.  And there was my candidate…the one I’ve been waiting to cast my vote for for months.  FINALLY, I was able to cast my vote for Barack Obama.  I think I may have squeed.   Dude also cast his vote for Obama.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to be a part of such a huge election.  If you are registered to vote, get out there and do it!  I did!


I’m very frustrated. I’m here at the hospital in the infusion center starting my third new treatment. As my infusion started I wrote this very emotional post about how I’ve lost all the hope I once had.

The part about my complete emotional breakdown in front of the oncology nurse was a stellar piece of writing. Seriously, is there anything better than reading about me teetering on the verge of a nervous breakdown? Or the fact that the nurse wants to refer me to the hospital psychologist?

Really, that was sweet of her but I have a therapist I’ve been seeing off and on for seven years. She’s incredible and she helped my family deal with the death of Dude’s mom. I love her. The nurse just gave me the nudge I needed to give her a call.

However I tried posting from my iPhone and something went wonkafied. You should now thank God that you’ve been spared the spewing of my hopelessness and despair. Because seriously, who wants to read that crap.

To be honest, I’m tired of my own attitude and whining. Even though my closest friends have said over and over, “Lisa, if anyone has something to whine about it’s you.”

Bullshit. To my nearest and dearest friends…I love all of you but please, I’m begging you to revoke the “all access whining” pass you have given me this past month. It’s time for you to tell me to get out of my shit, O.K.?

When I get home from chemo today I’m making a call to my therapist. It’s all well and good that I took care of the medication aspect last month but that only addressed the physical part of depression. Like all diseases depression is multi-faceted…physical, emotional and spiritual.

Time to take care of the emotional part of both cancer and depression. I’m an adult and I can admit when I need help. I’m also not ashamed of it in any way either. In fact, I think it’s a travesty when people feel weak or shame in seeking out therapy. It can be life saving.

What do you think about therapy? Would you feel ashamed if needed counseling? Do you judge other people for seeking help? If you do judge them, why?


Seven months ago I wrote a post that broke my heart to write and I feel like this is no different.  In fact seven months ago I swore that this blog wouldn’t turn into a cancer blog but cancer has taken over my life.  It’s effected every single facet of my life and so it’s also taken over my blog.

I really wish I didn’t have to tell you this.  I wish I had better news but the truth is that I’m not responding to chemotherapy.  It seems I’ve been fighting  a losing battle.

Next week my doctor will try a third type of chemotherapy.  He’s not sure if it will work.

Please don’t tell me you are sorry because I just can’t handle that right now.  Like I asked you seven months ago, I’d like to ask you now…what are you grateful for?  I’m grateful that I’m still here.

So, let’s talk about gratitude today, O.K.?


Keep On Blogging

by Lisa on September 26, 2008

in It Is What It Is

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

Three years ago when I started this blog I kept it very private and it was my intention to keep it that way.  I had no idea that there were other bloggers out there either.  I knew nothing about the blogging community or the fact that it existed.  All I knew was that I had this angst inside and it needed an outlet.

In the beginning I lived in fear that people I knew, like family, friends and co-workers would find my blog.   I’m not sure how they would have found it or how they would have known it was me writing though.  I never used my real name or posted my picture.  Yet, I was concerned what people would think if they found out how I feeling on a given day.

After a year of blogging anonymously I got brave and decided to a public blog for my local newspaper called Not the C-Word.  It was supposed to be a blog all about cancer and my experience with cancer.  What I never bet on was that I would get cancer a second time.

I also never bet on a lot of old friends finding me through that blog.  Suddenly I started getting a lot of email from people I hadn’t hear from in 25 years.  Then clients from work found that blog and I felt paralyzed with writer’s block.

Since I was having such a difficult time recovering from second fight with cancer I decided to shut Not the C-Word down.  I was having an emotional meltdown and felt like I couldn’t write about it in the local, public eye.  Besides, I never felt like I could truly be myself in that blog because I was on public display.

While I had the public blog though I always maintained this blog.  This was my hiding place where I could stamp my feet and have complete meltdowns.  This is the place where I let it all out…however things have changed a lot for me.

I no longer blog under a fake name but I blog under my real name.  That might bite me in the ass some day but I’m willing to live with it.

All of my family and friends know about this blog…even my mom (Hi Mom!).  I’ve now let everyone in.  It occurred to me that my remaining time may be shorter than theirs and I wanted them to have this piece of me…just in case.

But that’s what this blog is…a piece of me.  It’s not the totality of me.  Sometimes when I write a post it’s an update.  Other times I may write about what’s going through my mind at that moment so that I can let it go.

What I never expected was that anyone would really read the jumbled crap that runs through my mind.  When people leave comments saying that I’ve inspired them or made them re-think something in their lives, I’m completely blown away.

I’m also very humbled.

All I’m doing is living my life and sharing parts of it with you.  The fact that it affects anyone, in a positive way is a gift and inspires me to keep blogging.  And I’ve needed that inspiration because I’ve thought about giving it up lately on several occasions.

I have to be true to myself.  I have good days and bad days.  If I’m going to keep blogging then I’m going to share them both in order to stay true to who I am.  Lately, I’ve been hiding on the bad days because I haven’t wanted to let anyone down.

I’m letting myself down because when I started this blog three years ago I made the commitment to write no matter what.  I’d like to keep that commitment.   I’d also like to keep blogging.

What keeps you blogging?


Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once. ~Lillian Dickson

From the moment I was diagnosed with cancer for the third time my view on life has changed dramatically.  I used to be one of those kind of people that asked, “why me?” when something bad happened.  I also used to think that God was always punishing me.

I know that depression played a big role in how I viewed life and myself.  It’s can be an ugly monster in that regard.  Last year around this time I was fighting depression related to my second fight with cancer, asking “why me?” and feeling as if God had punished me by making me go through six painful surgeries.

Not only was were those self-defeating thoughts but they lead me down a self-destructive path.  Fortunately, I got the help I needed to put me on a positive and healthier path.  Had I not, I’m not so sure I would have been able to accept the news that I had cancer again six months later as easily as I did.

In the last six months I’ve never asked “why me?”.  Why not me?  I’m not anyone special.  Cancer can happen to anyone.

I don’t know how much time I have left to live but I’m grateful that I’ve been given the gift to see life differently while I’m still here.