I was wheeled into surgery on November 19 2014 to say goodbye to lefty. Through a whirlwind of information, emotions and mental instability, all I knew for certain was that when I woke up I would have a ‘man down’ (or girl down as was the case). And now, here I am, exactly one year later to share what I’ve learned.
There is no real way to break (whispering) The Cancer news to friends and family in a lighthearted way. Believe me. I’ve tried: interpretive dance, Haiku, 20 questions, charades… There is, however, a ‘right way’ and ‘wrong way’ for friends and family to respond.
Here is the right way is:
- I’m sorry to hear this news. What can I do?
- No, I’m not going to shave my head. What else can I do?
- Yes, I will shave your head.
- If you twist my arm I’ll fly to San Diego.
- and eat junk food with you.
Here is the wrong way to respond:
- Do nothing.
- Say nothing.
- Pretend like the problem doesn’t exist and stop calling.
I’ve whittled down my friends to quality, not quantity. You’ll know you made the cut if you’re reading this on Facebook.
I’m not 18 Anymore
Remember when you were 18 years old? I don’t… it was way too long ago. But I like to pretend. One year and four surgeries later I can admit that:
- I am not 18, or 28 or hell… even 38 anymore.
- I am not a fast healer.
- I am a hard-head who refuses to take it easy
- I am shocked when something gets hurt or pulled.
- I do need help. Oodles of it. So who’s in?
On My Deathbed
Here are the things I will not be saying on my deathbed:
- I wish I spent more time in front of my computer.
- I wish I had more things to clean, hang up, dust and wash.
- Worrying about what might could possibly happen someday was time well spent.
- My friends took great comfort in knowing I cleaned my house to prepare for their visit.
- Marrying Andy was a huge mistake.
- I wish I yelled at Nathan more and enjoyed his “Nathan-ness” less.
- Does this cancer make my butt look fat?
It’s Anxiety. Drink More Water.
Doctors cringe when they see me coming. They don’t even try to hide it. But honestly, it is just a waste of everyone’s time going through the motions of pretending that I don’t know what they’re going to say. Anxiety and Stress are King and Queen in the medical field. Whatever ails you is caused by anxiety, stress and dehydration. But good news… there is an abundance of great drugs that will cure anxiety and stress when taken with 16 ounces of water.
Silv was Right.
(If you’re reading this and you are saying to yourself “Who the heck is Silv?”, check out www.jewishbaltimore.net). If you knew Silv, you’ll know I would never admit she was right about anything unless she was dead (which she is, by the way). This year I learned:
- I don’t have to be liked by everyone.
- I don’t want to be liked by everyone.
- Don’t ask for my opinion if you don’t really want it.
- You won’t get what you don’t ask for.
- If you want ice cream, eat ice cream.
The Phun in Phunderwood
My comfort is zoned. It has a person maximum, decibel maximum and time limit. This year the zoning regulations have changed. The maximum population is smaller, the decibel ceiling is lower and the time limit is capped. In compliance with these new regulations, our time together is quality, not quantity. Just us. the Phunderwoods.