Thursday, August 30, 2007

I would like to state for the record

Yeah...for the record...

that there are several things that are fear inducing

  • Michael Vick shows up to pet sit.

  • Finding a suspicious warm spot while swimming with friends.

  • Finding out your friend accidently booked a cosmetics party with a registered sex offender...uh oh...

Some things you should least conservatively fear...other things maybe some healthy angst or terror is called for. September is coming and the fear is creeping up again. My 90 day scan will take place in this month as well as the 3 year anniversary of my first cancer diagnosis.

But instead of worrying about things I have no control over I've taken a lesson from Kris Carr. Her documentary film, crazy sexy cancer showed how she used her own diagnosis as a challenge to harness her fear and go forward. Unbelievably inspiring.

Who's afraid of some tests, some anniversary or cancerversary. Big deal. After all, there was a brief period in college where I was fearless. I still am the same girl who stage rushed and grabbed Donny Osmond at the Hill Cummorah paegant.

Donny, if you're reading this...I admit was me... but I was 19 and impressionable and thank you for not having me arrested.

Thank you Kris, for showing me I need to make contact with that gutsy girl inside. She's in there, I just have to keep calling her back every now and then.

Travel down the road and back again

My Golden Girls addiction, that's no secret.

Secretly wouldn't we all like to be happenin' chicks like the Golden Girls in that twilight of life?I found this on the made me laugh so I thought I'd share.

No deep thoughts today...JUST SMILE!

Monday, August 27, 2007

The tribe has spoken- 'survivor'ship isn't about silence

Suddenly it happens to you and immediately they call you a survivor. Even if you've just begun the journey it doesn't seem possible that already they're calling you a survivor. Maybe some people think now I should just put it behind me, shove it under a rug and try not to speak about it again. I've learned something about myself through this...I can't. If putting this behind me means forgetting the whole purpose that inspires me then I won't ever put this completely behind me.

Suddenly I've added a role to my life that is just as important to me as what I do for my paycheck. I am an advocate. Last year it started with a team that my Mom and I formed in one week for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. I'd been involved with the organization and it meant a lot to me, but just then I wasn't sure I felt strong enough to participate. I was too weak to walk...I was hairless and I just didn't have it in me. How could we be a fundraising force with one co-captain ripe with chemo-brain and the other the care-giver trying to give care to said co-captain? Somehow happened we created a team...17 friends and family members showed up. We walked, I wheeled and we raised more than $900 that went to area blood cancer patients and research. It really showed me the power of being involved.

So I invite you now to join me in
September 28th 2007 at Monroe Community College, Rochester NY.
We walk to celebrate and commemorate the lives touched by blood cancers.

UP NEXT...this latest project I've been involved with is through a pretty hip organization...

I'm Too Young For This!

Thanks to Matthew Zachary and an organization he heads nicknamed i2y or I'm Too Young For This I am really seeing the power of young cancer survivorship and advocacy. Frankly, Matthew is a force to be reckoned with in cancer issues that relate to the young adult population and a pretty cool guy. And he had the good sense to add me to the i2y Advisory Council, which right there means he's a very good judge of character. wink wink

So anyway, why am I telling you all this? Because first of all, not all cancer survivors fit the AARP demographic...and if you know someone now, a peer, co-worker or friend that is dealing with need to direct them to this site. Seriously, if you do know someone and have heard yourself say "he/she is too young for that" the odds are you were half right. They are too young for this...but perhaps they also felt too young for the help offered, the resources available and the support around them. Maybe they went to one support group meeting and never returned because they felt out of place.

I am working on organizing what Matthew calls a "Stupid Cancer Happy Hour" right here in Rochester. That's right. Imagine a group of young adults in a bar one night drinking and celebrating survivorship. Yeah buddy. Oh, yeah, and this is not an exclusive invitation. You don't have to show the C card or have ridden the Chemo Canal to come...just support the cause and support the young survivors you toast with.

SO with that in mind...if you are in Rochester, Buffalo...heck anywhere in driving distance...I want to hear from you! I am in the very beginning stages of planning this know basic things like where and when to have it. BUT the important thing is finding a base of young survivors who really want to get together for a night of common ground, socializing and supporting a phenomenal organization.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Serious questions

Do you take things for granted?
I am going to go out on a limb here and assume yes.
We all take things for granted.
I took a lot of things for granted even though I considered myself a relatively grateful person before cancer.

This past weekend Gramma had a stroke. I was there with her at that moment. It happened so fast...and as she faded and I held her in my arms I felt that I was losing her. Had I taken for granted the state she was in just moments before? The truth is yes.

Now she's back from the hospital and I'm sitting here tapping away on my keyboard listening to my Mom and Aunt Betty help her in the bathroom. I'm not sure what's next...I'm not sure that she knows either. I'm not sure whether she'll be able to live in the same house she raised her children in anymore. The simplest personal tasks are all the more difficult for her now. It's a fulltime job for my aunt now and inevitably a decision will have to be made.

Taking something for granted is normal...that's why I said in the beginning of this blog that all of us take things for granted. Just admit it. We bemoan some things in life, never fully appreciate the status quo.
That's just the way it is.

But it kind of makes you feel grateful to be young and terrified to grow old all at the same time. Wait a second...I want to grow old don't I? After all...looking at the possibility that you might die young scares you into hoping you'll grow old.
More time...when it seems to be limited...all we really want is more time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

House Cleaning

My next door neighbor is doing his spring cleaning. Umm...he may have the timeframe a little messed up...we're on the heels of Labor Day.
Well, he has chosen a rather unique way to do the task.
The crashing and banging was my first clue and I had to investigate.

When I got to my own window I saw the top floor window of the neighboring house wide open. I watched a hand passing out boxes and an assortment of items and releasing them. Items which can only be classified as garbage-like were rolling off the sloping roof and down three stories banging to the ground...half of which is my yard. That yard mind you, as we speak, is covered with absolute garbage strewn everywhere.

Now suppose I was to have gone outside innocently to say, water the flowers right before the onslaught began. BAM! It would have seemed such a pity to have gone through all this melodrama with cancer treatments just to be put to an end by a blow to the head from a folding lawn chair and a giant Cuisinart box.

I do not propose to suggest to him a better way to do this. Perhaps he just doesn't like the whole process of carrying things downstairs but my brave sister who had come over decided to call up to this litterer.
"Uh...what do you think you are doing?"
"Cleaning the attic"
Well sure yeah...isn't that how all of us clean our attics.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Continental drift, sleep deprivation shift

You say its been almost a month since you've heard from me..
Well, must say it's been a dazing three weeks of European adventures
Let's recap for the sake of rendering some organization for the bits and pieces I reminisce on in later posts.
Friday the 13th of July...arrived in London.
Saturday the 14th of July (Bastille Day) flew to Paris...narrowly missed the flight.

Sunday the 15th...still in Paris

Monday the 16th...early train to Brussels, the reputed Chocolate capital of the world

Tuesday the 17th...train from Brussels back to London

Wednesday the 18th...departed from London on Contiki's European Magic Tour, arrived in Amsterdam

Thursday the 19th...Amsterdam by day tour...much less seemly, back on bus to head to Rhine Valley in Germany. Dinner time arrived in St. Goar, Germany.
None of the souvenirs below made the weight requirement or price to fit into the suitcase, mind you.

Friday the 20th...Munich...Have you ever wandered around Munich on a Friday night with a pack of 40 total 20 and 30 somethings...the fun will find you.

Saturday the 21st...Innsbruck Austria, evening arrival in Venice

Sunday the 22nd... Venice...ahhh...Venice

Monday the 23rd... Lucerne Switzerland

Tuesday the 24th late afternoon...Paris again
Wednesday the 25th... ahhh Paris

Thursday the 26th...End of Contiki tour. The bus hauled it from Paris to record time.Just in time to connect with the reunion peeps at the West End for a show...then went back with them to Oxford.

Friday the 27th
and Saturday the 28th---Oxford
Sunday the 29th---boarded a bus for North Yorkshire...Ripon
Bus got lost in Leeds...
Finally got to Ripon
Monday---Ripon with the cousins
Tuesday--- Ripon with the cousins
Wednesday AUGUST 1st---boarded early train...from Harrogate, England...
changed at Leeds, changed at Birmingham, changed at Reading Station...
boarded bus for London Heathrow Airport.
Home THURSDAY AUGUST 2nd 1 a.m.