Thursday, February 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Tick! Tock!

That's for damn sure! And after clocking in nearly 60 hours in the chemo room, I can honestly and earnestly say that there were times when all I heard was the sound of this clock's second hand. Trying to keep up with the metronome rhythm in my head, I found umpteen ways to pass the time. Reading, napping, snacking, watching my infusions drip, staring at the clock, chatting and laughing with the chemo nurses, surfing the net, striking up conversation with fellow patients in the room and taking my pole for a walk every couple of hours were my usual habits. And if truth be told, I think we all could use a little down time every few weeks. Really, I think I'm on to something here. Maybe there should be centers where we can check in, at our own will, for let's say, 4-6 hours and be forced to do, well, nothing really. Minus the toxic drugs of course, I believe we could all benefit from some voluntary R & R. I know I did and although looking at this particular clock brings some not-so-fond-memories of my first chemo treatment to the forefront of my mind, staying in the present time is an important reminder that we don't have to be doing everything at once. Note to self.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Chemo Through the Eyes of a Child

To this day, this is one of my fave pics because a) I LUV this kid! b) I ADORE his mom! and c) It speaks volumes of what kids might think about cancer and chemo.

But this young lad Jeremy was no chemo rookie as he had watched his grandma finish her chemo for breast cancer from this very room just 2ish months earlier. He was not allowed in the room for my chemo due to his age but his wonderful mom 'Julie-Bunny' was and she had brought me love and flowers for my first treatment. So instead, Jeremy simply stood at the door and stared at me for numerous minutes with bewilderment and a reluctant wave.

Little did I know, he was asking my partner Hil "What is Yog doing in Grandma's chair?" Not, why is Yog in the chemo room, or did Yog have cancer too, but really, what was I doing in his beloved Grandma Zeb's chair?

Having worked with young children for nearly 30 years now, I get where they're coming from with the looks, the blunt questions and forthright comments "Did you loose your part?" "You have a shiny head." "Don't take your hat off." "Do you have the cancer flu?" "I'm gonna go now."  Kids seem to have a simple yet sophisticated way of getting to the point in a manner that most adults just can't seem to manage. They want to know the facts and nothing but the facts just like Jeremy did. He wasn't interested in my emotional well-being or how I was feeling about my very first chemo treatment. His mom was laughing with me, I clearly had a (fake) smile on my face, and was waving back at him with enthusiasm. Next topic. He simply wanted to know why I was bogarting his grandma's chemo chair. Boom. Done deal.

As I continued to watch Jeremy and Hil with great curiosity, my thoughts were all about the good
ju-ju that I had hoped was in store for me. With my lucky necklace, alkaline water, some spiritual trinkets and feathers, I felt compelled to help Jeremy understand what was going on but simply couldn't because I was tethered to the drugs and my chemo pole. Plus, I figured if this chair brought good fortune to Zeb then I was there to cash in on some of that luck; a chair that I coveted for a year and one that I felt slightly possessive of (I did have to relinquish it a few times - with hesitancy) but I did play nice in the chemo room!

In the meantime, I cherish this precious picture, that day and the sweetest face one could ever hope for during one's very first chemo treatment. Good medicine for sure! So, to that, I say a huge THANK YOU to my little red-headed pal - back atcha buddy!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Going Purple! World Cancer Day

It goes without saying (again), that purple is my fave color. But today, this beautiful color means even more to people like me and all of my breasties, as it is officially World Cancer Day! A day when you can show your support in so many simplistic ways like turning your Facebook and Twitter profiles purple! This alone can raise up to $1 million dollars for the American Cancer Society by going to the Chevrolet website and going purple for a day. I mean, how great is that?! But if you'd rather donate directly to the ACS and know that any amount you donate can make the difference in research for finding cures for cancer and saving lives, then simply donate here!

On a more individual level, which can mean the world to people like me, Lorena, Pammy, Marion, Nicole, Jude, Lisa, Jody, and Jill (some of my fave warriors and some who are in the fight of their lives!), then offer up a more personal touch.

I for one had friends do things like bring dinners to our house when I started eating again (thanks Kristy & Eric!), knit a cap for my cold and bald head (hats off to Kim & Miss O!), drive me to treatment (thanks Deb & Sam), mow our lawn - for a year! (again, many thanks Deb!) sit with me in chemo (LUV to Julie-Bunny, My Angela, Dr. Polito, Zeb, Sydney) and drive me to get a walker (Cheri, you're a rock star).  My list goes on and on so, be creative and make your own list for someone you care about. But most of all, be personal and show someone some extra LUV today! If anything, just pick up the phone to say hi and that you're thinking of them as cancer is a lonely journey.

Well, what'ya waiting for? Join me and millions in going purple today for someone you love in the midst of the battle, young children battling this dreaded disease, someone you lost to cancer and those that will be diagnosed this very day and will have to hear those three words that will change the course of their life forever, "You have cancer."

So, come on - go purple!