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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.


A Note For Santa

by Lisa on December 24, 2008

in Cancer Sucks, Dude, Kidz

My youngest daughter is eight years old and in the third grade.  Going by those statistics I’d wage a bet that this is the last year she’s going to believe in Santa Claus.  In order to prove that he exists she tests him every year by throwing  in a monkey wrench on her list.  This year is no different.

I dragged my sick body out of bed and just spent the past hour and a half on her monkey wrench of 2008.

This year she crafted a list of gifts for Dude and I to give her and a separate list of gifts for Santa to give her…along with “A Note For Santa”.

Santa, please may I have a picture of your reindeer, the North Pole, you, Mrs. Claus, and all the Elfs.

Can you please take me on a trip to the North Pole before you leave?

You can wake me up, I promise I won’t tell anyone except my dad, mom and my sister!!  I will just show the pictures to them, no one else!!

I took care of the pictures by using Google and printing them out and putting them in frames.  I wrote a letter to her like I was Santa and explained that I just didn’t have the time to take her to the North Pole with all the gifts I have to deliver.  Of course I let her know that it didn’t mean I, Santa, didn’t love her…maybe we could do the ride another night.

I hope she buys that.

I’ve never seen her so excited about Christmas as she is this year.  At 7:00 am this morning she couldn’t sit still and said, “Mom I’m just too excited to sit still…this is going to be the longest day ever!!!”

As sick as I feeling right now, I’m just as excited about this Christmas as she is.  If I had to write a note to Santa I’d just thank him for giving me a child like Teenie and Cam, and a husband like Dude to spend the holiday with.

Happy Holidays,



Gettin’ Ribs

by Lisa on December 10, 2008

in Dude, WTF?

What’s this, another post?  What’s happening to me?  I haven’t posted daily in forever.  Don’t get used to it because I’m not sure I can commit to doing this again but let’s just go with it for now.

Perhaps I’m just excited because Dude PROMISED me that he’d take me to Smokey Bones for spare ribs today.  Yes, I’m still craving them.

Although she sent me a great recipe that I can make in my crock pot.  And anything I can make in my crock pot is a good thing, right?  I’ll save that recipe for another time…

Yesterday I asked Dude to drive me to the bank.  I often like to have him drive me around town like he’s my chauffeur when I don’t feel that great.  He agreed to take me.  On the way home I said, “I want cream chipped beef on toast” so we went to the diner.

At the diner I scoured the menu looking for creamed chipped beef…I’ve been getting it there for 12 years.  It was missing.  I panicked and asked the waitress where it was.  She looked at me like I was crazy, which is up for debate, and told me they no longer serve it.

“But that’s the ONLY reason I came here…for the cream chipped beef!  What do you mean you don’t have it anymore???”

She told me again that they no longer serve it.

I realized that I was acting like a spoiled child who wanted her to pull some out of her ass so I ordered a crab cake instead.  I still want cream chipped beef and there is no other diner around here that will compare to MY diner so it looks like I’ll have to make my own.

Damn them.

What’s with all my food cravings?  It’s not like I could possibly be pregnant (since I had a hysterectomy four years ago).

As he would say…on a TUA (totally unrelated asides)…more gifts have arrived for my birthday.  Some without the names of the giver which makes it hard to say thank you.

I received and iTunes gift card but the giver’s name was not included.

I also received a bottle of Philosophy’s Grace but the giver’s name was not included.  It smells wonderful.

I received a black, cashmere wrap which is beautiful and again…the giver’s name is missing.

Please come forward so I can thank you properly.

I received Cancer Vixen and The Rolling Stones Rock N’ Roll Circus from Jaquelynn.  Thank you so very much for both gifts.

I also received The Chrismas Sweater by Glenn Beck from Mary.  I’m looking forward to reading this right away since it’s the season.  Thanks Mary!

I think that the people in my neighborhood are beginning to think that I’m having an affair with the UPS man since he’s been to my house almost everyday.

Time to get ready for Smokey Bones…SPARE RIBS!!!!


Can You Spare a Rib?

by Lisa on December 8, 2008

in Dude, WTF?

Over the past month or so I’ve slowly integrated REAL food back into my diet.  I’m real careful about what I eat and the quantities.  The last thing I want to do is to end up back in the hospital.  Those damn hospital beds are so uncomfortable that I shudder every time I think about them.

While I was on strictly liquids though I became obsessed with the Food Network.  Dammit if I couldn’t eat food then I was going to look at it.  It’s not the first time I’ve done this type of thing though.

In 2007 when I was in the hospital I couldn’t have food for over a month.  I received my nutrition through an IV from a bag of yellow stuff.  I watched the Food Network every waking moment.  It drove my nurses crazy.  They couldn’t understand how someone who couldn’t eat would want to torture themselves by looking at good food.

I’m a sadist, what can I say?  Food Network is my porn.

So, last Saturday I was watching Tyler’s Ultimate Dim Sum in which he made Pot Stickers, fried rice and spare ribs.  A few weeks prior to Tyler’s show I watched Secrets of a Restaurant Chef with Anne Burrell.  Well, she made some delicious looking short ribs.  I was drooling over ribs at ten in the morning.

Now I have a serious craving for ribs.  Not exactly a healthy food for someone like me, or you for that matter but none the less I WANT RIBS.

The problem is that I’ve never cooked a rib in my life.  I don’t even know how to buy them.  And I can just hear some smart ass telling me to go to the meat department of my grocery store and look for “ribs”.  Please, keep that urge to yourself.  I’m clueless here.

So, I figured the closest I was going to get to spare ribs today was lunch at Smokey Bones with Dude.  Except my last experience at Smokey Bones was like something out of the Matrix and I thought I was Neo.

I found a red pill in my coleslaw.  No really, a red pill.  I put a fork full of coleslaw in my mouth, chomped down and CRUNCH, something hard that wasn’t cabbage.  I spit it out onto my plate and it looked like a red pill.  Horrified, I screamed.  The waitress came over and I said, “THERE’S A PILL IN MY FOOD!”

She was just as horrified.  And a little grossed out.

I felt like I was Neo in the Matrix.  “Which will it be Neo?  The red pill or the blue pill?”  Except there was no blue pill.  I was forced to take the red pill.  And really I was Trinity.  So my Matrix was really fucked up.

If only I could look like Trinity.


So, it turns out that Smokey Bones wasn’t trying to kill me with their drugs.  Some irresponsible nutjob in charge of coleslaw was eating Sweet Tarts while preparing the stuff.  The Sweet Tarts accidentally “fell” into the coleslaw, thus the red pill in my serving.

Just where that Sweet Tart was before it accidentally fell into MY coleslaw I still can’t stomach to this day.  I did, however get a free meal though.

I didn’t order the ribs that night and it’s haunting me right now.  Had I ordered the ribs then perhaps I wouldn’t still be traumatized by the red pill.

Dude has been putting up with this madness since last night.  How I have not driven him over the edge with my craving for ribs is beyond me.  He has this incredible knack for tuning me out, even when I’m in his face.

All he has to do is take me to Smokey Bones for lunch or promise to take me one day this week.  I MUST HAVE RIBS.

If I make them then I’m positive it will be a disaster.  A total disaster.  Besides, I don’t have any of those clever little wipes that come in those clever little packs for clean up.  However would we clean up after eating the ribs?

I also think a nice, cold beer would do me good too.  Or is that an ice cold beer?  Either way…beer would do me good.

Do you think I’ve lost my mind?


Close But No Cigar

by Lisa on October 16, 2008

in Cancer Sucks, Dude

I’ve been very ill as a result of this new chemotherapy.  This is the first time since Sunday that I’ve sat up longer than ten minutes.  I’m ready to lay back down but I’m determined to feel better.

I was surprised to find this post and I want to publicly thank Ezra for his efforts.

Even more shocking to me is the fact that the Phillies are going to the World Series.  I’m no sports fan but I can tell you what I know about Philadephia sports teams having lived here all my life.  They are all about close but no cigar.

There is nothing worse or more passionate than a Philadelphia sports fan…trust me I know because I live with one.

Dude is an avid Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies fan.  He’s lost some sleep in the past few weeks watching baseball games.  Last night he woke me up with his screaming.  I think I should punish him by screaming at him if he tries to take a nap today.

In the meantime, I’m going back to bed.


October Plans

by Lisa on October 5, 2008

in Cancer Sucks, Dude

Eat, drink and be scary. ~Author Unknown

I want to thank every single person who took the time to share the things that they are grateful for.  You shared every thing from sweaters for a crisp Fall day to family and friends, to the medical options available to me.  Most important, you allowed me to focus on the positive things I have in my own life and what I am grateful for.

After all, I’ve been living with cancer for seven months and we’ve made no progress.  Can you imagine how frustrated I feel?  More than frustrated, for the first time I’m scared.  Although there is so much progress in cancer research, there isn’t much known about the rare kind of ovarian cancer I have.  I won’t let the fear paralize me though.

For the first time since I stared this third battle with cancer, which is ridiculous to say because no one should have to battle cancer one time let alone three times, I’m starting to doubt my ability to kick cancer’s ass.  I only doubt my ability because lately cancer has been kicking my ass.  For example yesterday I spent the entire day on the couch, sick as a dog.

Yet I am determined to keep fighting…

And to keep living…

This week I start a new chemotherapy.  On Friday to be exact.  Then on Friday night, Dude and I are going to see the Australian Pink Floyd Show.  Dude has always been a big Pink Floyd fan.  When we saw Australian Pink Floyd on PBS one evening we couldn’t believe how great they were.  He wanted to go so badly that I agreed to go…on the same night I’m having chemo.  Thank goodness for anti-nausea meds.

The following Friday, October 17th, my university is holding an Alumi dinner.  I wasn’t going to go since I’m sick and unemployed but it sucks I can always go visit my parents because they live five minutes away.  The invitation says to bring my business card for “networking” and the door-prize.  Any suggestions on how I should come up with a business card since I’m unemployed?

The final thing to look forward to this month is Avitable’s Halloween Party.  Halloween has ALWAYS been my very favorite holiday.  I really wanted to go last year but my graduation from college was a few days before and it just didn’t work out.  This could be my last Halloween so I’m going to celebrate it as if it is at Avitable’s awesome party.

I was able to find a flight on Southwest for $79 from Philly to Orlando and $99 back to Philadelphia.  Extra things like this aren’t in my budget at all but Dude persuaded me to spend the money and in return he’s picking up a couple of bills.  My experiences flying Southwest have always been very, very good too.  Especially coming home from Disney when I got very ill on the flight.

So even though I feel sick on a regular basis I’m glad I have these things to look forward to.  I’m not worried about being to ill for any of these events because I can ignore feeling pain and nausea temporarily to have a good time.  I just wish I could do it all of the time.

What are your big plans for October?  Are you planning to go Trick or Treating?


A Trip To the City

by Lisa on September 24, 2008

in Dude, WTF?

Clearly, then, the city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo. ~Desmond Morris, The Human Zoo

Over two months ago I was supposed to go to the Social Security office and take care of some business regarding my last name.  Dude and I have been married almost 12 years and I’m still walking around with my maiden name on my Social Security card.  Since I want to file for S.S.D.I. this is something I that had to get changed.

I haven’t done it because I didn’t want to go into the city by myself.  Finally, Dude took me to the Social Security office today so I could get it taken care of once and for all.  Thank GOD he went with me or I would have had a few minor meltdowns.

When we got to the city we couldn’t find a place to park.  We drove around a few city blocks several times before Dude settled upon a spot in front of the Adult book store.  It’s open 24 hours a day and has a nasty smell outside the door.  I thought I was going to puke.

Dude and I walked down the street to the S.S. office.  Once we arrived there were two people screaming at eachother, “Fuck you!”, “No, you shut the fuck up!”  They continued screaming at each other until the security officer told them they would have to leave if they didn’t shut up.

This is only an observation…Dude and I were the only white people there.

We waited about 30 minutes until my number was called, took care of the name change and out the door we went.

As we were trying to drive out of the city we had to drive around a few blocks off the main drag and then got stuck at a red light.  All of a sudden a huge pack of motorcycles came revving down the block.  They turned and at one point we almost surrounding our car.  I started to have a meltdown until I realized they were going into the funeral home that was right next to us and that they weren’t purposely surrounding us.

It was all too much excitement for this gal.  I’m from the suburbs, what can I say?



by Lisa on September 12, 2008

in Acid Reflux Moments, Dude

Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through. ~R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience

Yesterday I went to Reading Hospital to see my oncologist. Just a routine visit to see how my last round of chemotherapy went and to see how I’m doing. I’m extremely puffy from the steroids and I don’t even look like myself. Other than that, I’m very tired and still in pain. Next Thursday will be Round #3 of chemotherapy.

After my appointment I went out to the parking garage and got into my car. I put the key in the ignition and tried to start the car. The dashboard started to go crazy and I heard this terrible clicking noise but the car didn’t start. I yelled, “Oh fuck me!” hoping that would help and tried starting the car again. The dashboard did the same crazy thing and the car didn’t start.

I panicked. One of my worst fears is having my car break down and being stranded with no help. Here I was in a parking garage, broke down and stranded. It could have been worse. I could have been on the side of a road but at that moment it was no different.

I know, I’m very strange.

So, I called Dude in a panic, “DUDE! MY CAR WON’T START!!!! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO???”

He told me to calm down. “No problem, I’ll come and get you.”

We live about 15 minutes from the hospital, so I found a bench inside, near a window and watched for Dude to arrive. Thirty minutes later I was still waiting and I was pissed. I couldn’t understand what was taking so long! Forty minutes later, Dude finally showed up.

“WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG???”, I snapped.

Well, Teenie was playing across the street, he had to shut his computer off and he decided to go buy some jumper cables.

I never told him to buy jumper cables so we started arguing in the parking garage. He was convinced my battery was dead. I was convinced it was something much more serious. After arguing for five minutes I gave him and let him try the jumper cables.

Dude gave me the motion to start my car and son of gun if it didn’t start right up.

Dude told me I should go get a new battery right away. I asked him to follow me over to the Honda dealer just in case I broke down on the way. We left the hospital’s parking garage and headed towards the Honda dealer except…

I wasn’t clear on which Honda dealer I was going to.

I just assumed Dude knew I was going to the Honda dealer in Reading because we were in Reading. It made sense, right? When we got on the highway Dude and I got separated. He says I “took off like a bat out of hell”. I say he drives like a little old lady.

I got to the dealer and realized that I had thrown my purse in Dude’s car. I kept my car running and waited about 10 minuted and there was no signs of Dude. Angry and pissed, I drove home.

I was home for about thirty minutes when the phone rang. It was Dude and he was at the Honda dealer…in Pottstown. Now he was angry and pissed. I tried really hard not to laugh. Why he thought I was going to drive that far is beyond me.

So now my Honda is sitting in the driveway, dead. This morning we started the argument about where to take it all over again. I’m ready to just shoot the damn thing and put it out of it’s misery…not Dude…the car.