Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Nine Years Extended Warranty.

August 7, 2007 was the day I was told I had cancer. I can still see myself sitting alone in my car, shocked and angry and crying. Tears of anger, despair and uncertainty streamed down my face as I sat in the parking lot of the Pathologist's office.

As I reflected on that day nine years ago, I talked to Wife about what I was feeling at that moment. My biggest fear was how to tell her and my kids I had cancer. I was more worried about what they would do, how they would act and how they would feel. The reason: control. I cannot control the emotions and reactions of others. But I wanted to, to tell them I'm going to live and beat the shit outta cancer no matter how bad it was or where it was in my body.

This is not a "I told you so" post. While there is great joy in the satisfaction that I lived through that first cancer, I have had to face "cancer" a few times after that day. Skin cancer is the next cancer I'm battling. In 2008, I had two surgeries to remove huge chunks of cancer. I just recently had another chunk frozen off of may face and a biopsy on my finger to see if it was cancer. Thank God it is not.

This is a post of hope, happiness, fear and anger. Hopefully that I can have another nine years of life. Happy that I get to personally experience so much love and joy in my family. Fearful that the cancer will come back again in another form. And angry that we keep losing loved ones to this nasty, fucking disease.

My cancerversary is also close to my Father's sobriety birthday. He has been sober for 40 years. One day at a time. Living on an extended warranty.

I'd like to continue to do the same.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Jazzy And Stormy Night.

I was not motivated to write down my thoughts.

After all these years of sharing my inner most thoughts, I began to think that no one was out there listening. Which is fucking stupid because I didn't begin writing this blog for anyone but myself. Then I thought I was being too much of an asshole to think that way. And I was thinking and thinking and yeah, thinking waaaaay too much. Get. Outta. My. Head.

Then I got a call from a dear friend. And it wasn't a good one––someone was beginning the battle against cancer. Again. And it is a BFF. You know the kind of BFF–––Brothers/Sisters from another Mother. When they hurt, you hurt. When they need you, no questions asked and you get there by their side any way you can.

I was listening to Stormy tell me about her friend. Stormy wanted to know what it would be like going through chemo––for her BFF, Jazzy and for HER. You know, the other side of cancer. (I've heard that phrase before). She wanted to know what she could do because she felt she wasn't doing enough. She was there by her side through all the upfront Doctor meetings and through the first chemo. She was there taking care of Jazzy when she came home from the treatment. She was there when the tears and fears came to the surface. I told her, "you are doing more than enough." She didn't think so.

She asked what else she could do. All I could tell Stormy was what I knew. This is what I said: "You are doing exactly what Jazzy needs. When you have a cancer diagnosis and go through treatment, you'll find out who really loves you. You'll find out who your real friends are and some of them will completely surprise you. I told her to keep it real. Tell Jazzy the truth. If she looks like hell, tell her. When she looks great, tell her over and over. She'll know you really mean it because you already told her she looks like crap. You may both even laugh at that, I know I did. I laughed because that meant I was ALIVE. We are all going to die some day. When you have cancer, the reality of life and death stares at you in the mirror every day. It what you see inside and the love of others that gets you to fight one more day. Because in reality, that's all we have. Today. And today if you're listening to Jazzy cry, complain or tell you she can't take it anymore remind her she is alive while telling you this. Being there unconditionally for someone you love is the greatest medicine. For Jazzy and you." There was much more. But that will be between me and Stormy.

Oh, and one last thing. Jazzy, if you are reading this––I have never met or spoken to Jazzy, ever but I hope I will––I am here for you. Any time.

Especially on a Jazzy and Stormy night.