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Bitching

I’ve got nothing interesting, captivating or inspirational to share. In fact anything that I write will probably come out sounding pathetic, needy and whiny. If you are looking for something pithy or enthusiastic it’s just not here today.

I’m worn out. I keep telling you and everyone else around me how I’m a cancer bad ass, I’m a fighter and that I’m going to win once and for all. Well, it feels like a load of crap right now.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for a lot of things like the kindness of my family, friends and a co-worker who went to bat for me so that I could keep my job for a few more weeks. In fact I’m surrounded by love and caring from so many people it should be enough to carry me but it’s not. All it takes is one person to tell me they don’t care and I obsess about it…no, I’m heartbroken.

Every day is getting harder to pretend I’m O.K. I don’t feel like doing the things I normally enjoy because I’m in physical pain and I’m depressed.

Writing a post is down right agonizing.

I’m sorry but today I just can’t be your poster girl for kicking cancer’s ass.

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Really Doctor?

by Lisa on May 18, 2008

in Cancer Sucks

Restore a man to his health, his purse lies open to thee. ~Robert Burton

I went to see the oncologist on Friday afternoon and I left the office frustrated. Not only did I have to pay a $40 co-payment but I had to take 1 1/2 hours off from work unpaid. Add that together.  The co-pay plus the unpaid time equals about $55 out of my pocket in addition to gas…$10 for a grand total of $65.

For $65 I expected answers, progress and plans for the future. Instead I got confusion and no where fast. I’d like my money back or at least the next round for free.

The CT Scan showed there are multiple tumors in my abdomen but I’ve been telling them that because I can feel them. My belly has swollen to twice the size it was in February and although I am a big girl I look pregnant. There are also multiple tumors on my liver and tumors, not lesions on my lungs.

I had some blood work done and there were three different markers done. The one for pancreatic cancer came back fine so that’s a ray of sunshine in a pile of shit. Its the other two markers that stink. The markers for colon and ovarian cancer came back 15 times higher than that of a normal person.

Here’s the problem…the board of oncologists at the hospital cannot conclude whether or not I have recurrent ovarian cancer or colon cancer.

Even bigger problem…ovarian cancer and colon cancer are treated differently.

So where does this leave me?

Without treatment…

In pain…

Sick…

The doctor needs more information but I’m not sure what he needs or where he’s going to get it but if he does he will give me a call. Otherwise I’ll have to lose another $65 - $80 in two weeks for my next doctor’s appointment.

In the mean time I’m going over every symptom I’ve had over the course of six years…anything that can help these doctors diagnose what cancer I have.

I want to get this show on the road.

I want to rock n’ roll.

I’m ready to fight, showdown and kick some ass.

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I’ve been flying high on the “Disney Vacation” buzz for the past week with lots of false energy. Now the fatigue, lack of energy and crawl-to-the-bed tiredness is back. Something has to give and I think I really need to evaluate every thing I’m doing like sleep, nutrition and activities. I truly don’t want to bore you with the way my body has gone south like an 80 year old woman.

I really want to tell you how you rock. The Disney raffle ended at midnight on Sunday and Miss Ann has announced the winners. The total amount raised was $4864.87! That’s enough to completely cover our trip. Cam and Teenie are going to have the time of their lives if I have to take 10,000% of the RDA of Vitamins B6 and B12 each day!

Thank you…from the bottom of my heart.

And thank you to those people who have been donating directly to me.

A special thank you to Karen at Karen Sugarpants for sending me this exquisite gift. I’m starting to love the mailman, I’m telling ya! (Click on picture to see it up close)

Strength

She found this great necklace at Inspired Gemstone Creations and I thank Robin for including such a kind card.

So, you have voted and the results so far are on the classic Minnie ears for the flight to Disney. Oh, you think I’m kidding? I most certainly plan on wearing ears in the car on the way to the airport, in the airport and on the plane. If anyone says one word to me, just one word…and just dare them to look at me funny.

It also looks like the vote is leaning towards the longer length wig. It should be fun at the consultation on Saturday.

One last thing before I crash to the ground. In yesterday’s post I mentioned that my child “hated” China and someone mentioned in the comments that a little tolerance would be nice so I felt that I should clarify a few things…even though I did this in the comments.

I’m a responsible parent and I’m not about to defend myself as a parent to the internet because it’s not necessary. “Hate” is a very strong word and a very strong emotion. I believe I mentioned that in yesterday’s post and to my daughter, however the discussion with Teenie was in much more depth. I teach my children about tolerance, patience and understanding for all people. I teach them about diversity because that is exactly how I was raised by my mother.

Teenie is eight years old and gifted. I have an IEP from the school district to accommodate her learning needs because she’s more intelligent than the grand majority of her peers. I don’t say that to impress you or to brag about my child. I mention it because she understands a hell of a lot more than most eight year olds understand about the world so having a conversation about China, the environment, how products are manufactured, the conditions people work under and what’s in those products is something she can understand…on her level.

In frustration Teenie wants to boycott all products made in China not by my suggestion but by her own accord. It’s a very difficult thing to do which makes her more frustrated. Especially when she wants a new pair of Hannah Montana sunglasses…Made In China.

At no point am I teaching either child that Chinese people are bad people. In fact I’ve tried to explain that the Chinese people live under the rule of Communism and many times have their voices and opinions oppressed by the government. I did my senior project for my undergraduate degree on the very subject last October.

In teaching them the truth about the world they have a better understanding about how lucky they are to live in the United States and in my house where I allow them to have choices. Hey, I have to get my parenting angle in somewhere you know.

So, if in the discussion with my children I have taught them some kind of intolerance for people who are different or intolerance for different cultures then I’ve completely missed the mark. Report me to the DHS or something because quite frankly I think I’ve got it right…much more so than most parents or we would not have so much hatred in this world.

(Getting off the mommy blogger soap box now.)

Now, can we all go back to the gooey love-fest we were feeling when we started this post? After all, it is you who restored my faith in humanity, kindness and giving…

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Stop The Drama

by Lisa on April 6, 2008

in Cancer Sucks

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.  ~Henry Ford

Edit:  Please read the quote! 

In the past 48 hours I’ve been incredibly stressed out over some deep shit and drama that’s been going on in the blogging community. I haven’t slept which is adding to the sleep deprivation I have from the news I got last week. You know…that I have cancer for the third time?

I’m pissed. No, I fucking angry and it’s time for me to open my mouth here because no one seems to be listening to me. It seems that there is a lack of respect for my request to stop the hatred and I’ve had it, absolutely had enough of it.

In fact I think that it’s pathetic I have to address this. God, I’M PISSED!

You know, I’ve got cancer and I’m realistic about my situation. What I want and what’s real may be two different things. I want to kick it’s ass. That may not happen no matter what I do. That’s real.

What’s real are my two daughters, Cam and Teenie. Since 2004 they have lived with cancer. They were ages seven and four. Seven and four. After I recovered from cancer their grandmother, Dude’s mom, got cancer four months later. They watched her suffer…and I mean suffer…until she died a year later.

Cam and Teenie watched my health decline after they lost their Mom-Mom and then I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer again in February 2007. There was no family vacation last summer. They spent every day visiting the hospital. That was their family vacation.

In the fall of 2007 my children had to deal with cancer again when their grandmother, my mother, was diagnosed with uterine cancer.

And here we are in 2008…I have cancer again.

These two children have not a family vacation with Dude and I since we went to Disney World in November 2004…just a week after I was diagnosed with cancer the first time. Dude’s mom took our entire family…thirteen of us. My dream was for the four of us to go.

We have never, never, ever had a family vacation with just the four of us…just Dude, Cam, Teenie and I. We don’t have the financial means to do it either. It’s just not an option.

I can’t afford to miss a week of work even though my take home pay is only $378.00 a week. Pathetic for a college graduate I know however that’s what happens when you’ve had cancer and been ill. I work as a temp so there is no vacation time. There’s no disability time either. Once I’m incapacitated there’s no more income.

So, why am I pissed?

Well, when Miss Ann decided to put together a raffle with an afghan she had no idea that things would snowball. Other people started adding prizes. People started adding banners to their sites. Things grew quickly and then the finger pointing started.

Drama ensued. There were other people who decided she wasn’t trustworthy and called her out publicly on their blogs. Someone else apparently got called a “flaky bi-polar bitch” and now she’s turned things into a drama.

I’ve got news for you people, I’ve had bi-polar disorder since I was 17. I’m fully functional and take medication. It’s an illness, just like cancer, not a personality defect. STOP IT!

I’ve reached the point where I’m ready to ask Miss Ann to return all funds to everyone who donated because I’m so upset. I didn’t ask for the drama. I hate it, it has me sick to my stomach…physically sick to my stomach and I just can’t take it.

The sad thing is that it costs a lot of money to go to Disney. I’ve been pricing trips all morning and since we are going on such short notice it’s probably going to cost us more than $3,000. Plus I have to equate my loss of salary for a week…$378.00 and the cost of food for four people while we are down there.

I don’t want to put up my own donate button because it wasn’t my idea. Is that what you want me to do?

What are you all gaining with the drama? Did you consider the impact on me? Did you consider what I’m already dealing with? Did you think about how hard it is for me to keep it together right now? Do you understand that I’m trying to stay as positive as possible and this doesn’t help?

Look at these faces…I forced them to put Mini Mouse ears on. See, how thrilled they were sarcasm. Give me the chance to make them wear these on an entire plane trip from Philadelphia to Orlando. I’m sure at ages 11 and 8 it wouldn’t be as embarrassing.

Mini Ears

So, to those of you who keep turning this into a cat fight I’m begging you to stop. You are stressing me out. All I want to do is fight this battle against cancer with a positive attitude. Let there be a lesson in why I have this for the third time…that is has brought together an entire community of bloggers doing something good. Don’t let my fight be in vain.

And please, let me take those two beautiful children to Disney World one last time before it’s too late.

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PuppyBasically, I gave up looking for a job because if I couldn’t get a job with the university I’ve attended for the past six years or the organization I’ve volunteered for the past three years, then who exactly will hire me? The job I have now is through a temp agency and they were desperate to fill the position on short notice.

So I’ve stopped getting excited about job opportunities and please, don’t get excited about this one. A director of operations for a very large company is in my class. For the past two weeks he has been asking me to come work for him. Tonight he told me the salary is six figures. I don’t mention that to impress anyone…I mention that because I make $10 an hour right now.Rainbows

I told him that there’s no way I’m qualified for a position that pays that much money. He thinks I am qualified and he really needs someone with my experience and education. I’ve asked him to send me a job description. If I think I’m remotely qualified I’ll send him my resume.

Me…making six figures??? Like that’s ever going to happen.

It’s really hard to focus on a job opportunity when I’m trying to calm the inner insanity of Oh my God do I have cancer again???

Sunshine

It took two days for the staff of my doctors office to get a pre-authorization number for an MRI from my insurance company because they did not understand what to do. WTF? Is picking up the phone, providing information and writing down a fucking number that hard???

Yes, today’s post is brought to you by a gratuitous puppy, some rainbows and some sunshine. Enjoy!

Photo Credits: Nicholas_T, Terry Bain, Predi

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