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It Is What It Is

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.

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Regrets

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.

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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.

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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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Idiot List

by Lisa on April 15, 2008

in Cancer Sucks, Dude

I soon found out you can’t change the world. The best you can do is to learn to live with it. ~Henry Miller

For the past two weeks Dude has been requesting an “Idiot List” and not only has been requesting it, he’s been starting to nag me about it.

“You have got to make me an ‘Idiot List’!”

It takes everything I’ve got not to say, “Dude, you are an idiot.” Only, because it’s a wide open playing field.

On Sunday evening we finally sat down and got to the heart of the matter. My husband and I started to have some of the hardest conversations that we’ve ever had in the 11 years we’ve been married. We discussed the real possibility that I may die no matter how hard I fight, no matter how positive my attitude is, no matter what we do.

That’s a hard pill to swallow.

Look, all of us are going to die and none of us know when our number is up. That’s the way life is and we should live our lives that way, but when you are faced with a disease that you know is killing you I think it’s a lot different.  Maybe I’m wrong, I’m not an expert or anything…I’m just someone trying to make sense of this mess.

All I can think about are my two daughters.  They need me.  Dude can’t raise two tweens alone let along two teens. There are so many things left to teach them. Who is going to teach them everything if I’m not here and how can I cram it all in now? I can’t and that makes me so feel completely helpless.

My husband suggested that I make videos for the girls so that they can watch them in the future like when they graduate from high school. Teenie is in second grade and as I write this I’m sobbing because I can’t imagine her going through school without a mother, without me.

I thought about deleting this post because it isn’t uplifting, positive or cheerful but not everyday can be that way.  I wish it could but you know me, I keep it real.

So, here we are again at the end of a post and you probably have no idea what to say. Please, don’t tell me your sorry because like I’ve said before, you didn’t cause this. Instead, help me out. If there was one thing or one lesson you had to teach a child, be it your own child, a nephew, a niece…what would it be? Let’s talk about that.

I’ve always taught my children the Golden Rule…to do unto others as they would have done to themselves…

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Live Now

by Lisa on April 12, 2008

in Uncategorized

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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