Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Sunday, July 11, 2010

good wishes, prayers and being a Luddite

I am a Luddite.  I know that does not seem to fit someone writing a blog on the computer, but blogging gives me the opportunity to journal and to keep up with those who know what is going on without me being on the phone for hours repeating the same information over and over to my beloved ones.  I have been a professional clown, and with my job with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services I have had to speak in front of crowds of 100s as well as one on one to discuss pesticides, fertilizers, feed and seed.  I have acted on stage, but I prefer to be behind the curtain.  I have been open and faced this cancer head on.  But that does not mean that my real self wants to be in the spotlight.  I have had more then my fair share of 15 minutes of fame.  I am someone who likes spending a lot of time alone, reading, gardening, spending time with my "kids".   Not dealing with modern technology and not being in the spotlight.  I will use technology to do something I want, but that does not mean that I enjoy technology.  It is simply a tool like a zipper or a shoe lace to be able to do what I want.  And this journal is for me, to keep a record of what is on my mind as I deal with things in my life at this moment.  And hopefully in the future to record all of the wonderful things in my life post cancer.

My "kids" consist of Maggierose, a 14 year old black lab, her 12 year old chocolate son, Harry one of the largest most un-lab looking dogs you can imagine.  But I promise with no vanity that he and his mother, and his sister who just passed on a few weeks ago are AKC registered labs.  I had an incident in college with a dog biting my face, and since then I want my dogs to be registered labs.  I know that does not go with my normal rescue and adopt  instead of bringing more into the world.  And for any other animal, I will take in anything, literally anything.  I will foster a non-lab dog, but my dog kids are labs.  Each with its own personality, but with a certain underlying predictable behavior pattern when I raise them.  And my last dog kid is Bob.  Bob is the first dog that I ever bought just for me, and he is mine.  Since I have had been dealing with this thing, Bob has been like an amora.  You know those fish that swim so close to a larger fish or shark?  Well that is Bob.  He has to be near or on me at all times.  I named him after my dad, older brother and a dear friend I have worked with for 25 years.  He is kind of shy around people, and even if you have earned his trust one visit, the next visit you will have to work at gaining that trust all over.  And he is the center of my families universe.  That is why his middle name is Copernicus.  Harry was always the center of the universe, and he is still my biggest baby, but even amongst all the animals in this crazy world of mine, Bob has managed through a bloodless coupe to take over the center of the universe spot from Harry.  And Harry is so big and feeling his age, that he seems quite happy to give up the center spot light to the young upstart.  After all he is Harry Angus, the worlds largest loving heart covered with dog hair.  

But the family goes on, Marina and Henry, my Manx cats, Stella and Luna, the "kittens", now almost 3, but still the babies.  And then there is Jefferson, my rooster and his hens, Zora Neal, Ethel Merman, Bea Arthur, Rose Nylen, Buttercup Stancliffe, Dani Quail and Marnie Weaver.  And then rabbits and gold fish.  My family.  My kids.  My world.

When I first became sick I had to tell some people because they were impacted by my illness, but for the most part, I thought  it was no big deal and I would be well soon, and it would barely be a bump in the road of my life's story so I didn't tell most people.  But when I found out that it was cancer I had to make several decisions.  And the first one was to get it out there.  Tell everyone now, get it over.  I don't want to be going through whatever treatment is decided and maybe look like I am going through cancer treatment and run into someone and have to explain what was going on.  Also I felt that I had denied this for so long, that once I had to face the fact that I have cancer, that since I am not a warrior but a compromiser, a fixer, that the best way was to turn and look at the disease, put it in perspective.  

It is my story, right now, but it is not going to always be my story.  And if the most unheard of possibility should occur and I do not survive this (don't worry, I am going to be fine) NO ONE better say she lost her battle with cancer.  I am not in a battle, I am not fighting.  I am in negotiations with my body, even the little crazy party cells that have gone off on their own.  The oncologist with his WMDs will straighten those crazy party cells up.  So remember, promise me, no matter what happens, because after all we all have an expiration date, and I hope mine is years from now.  But cancer is not going to be the main story, and no one is ever to refer to me as battling.  I have Sweetie to be my warrior, I have my doctors with their weapons of mass destruction, and Ms Moon to be my nurturer and I stand in the middle of them and am grateful to learn from each and balance out what I must do to gain back the rest of my life, because right now it feels like all of the rest of me has been put on hold so that i can live in this time in learning about my self and cancer.

And so each person must play their part in this world.  Some get the lead roles in certain situations, others get supporting or directing or behind the scene management.  And as you pass in and out of each story, your role, your part changes with the story.  I have always been confident of my own life.  I am not beautiful like my mother and father have always been, but I have grown into a beauty of their genes and my experiences, a kind of beauty that I am comfortable with, but I am not comfortable about others talking about it.  I have also grown into this confidence in my life from the normal awkward child and teenager.  Part of that is I do not seem to posses the normal fear genes that we are given through the fight or flight dna of our ancestors.  Maybe that is why I won't fight this disease, I don't understand fighting.  I will not vote for a political candidate that says they will fight.  I want one that will work with all to give the best outcome to all.  And to me that is much much harder then fighting.  So I don't like to fight, that does not mean I will not stand up for a cause.  I do not appear to have the flight dna either.  Nope, don't get to feel fear like normal people.  I do share some irrational fears with others.  Like I have a fear of tall inclining bridges.  But I am working on that one, and have come so far along that path.  

But I have experienced true moments of horror.  In Key West I was stalked, abducted, beaten, raped and left on the side of the road.  Do you know why he did not kill me?  He told me as he dropped me like a bag of garbage in the dark hours of the night on the side of the road that I had never had any fear in my eyes.  That I had only pity in my eyes for him and he didn't want to see those eyes staring at him forever, so he dragged my beaten self to the side of the road, I think he spit those words out at me, kicked me for good measure then got in his car and drove off.  I got up and walked home.  The memories running through my head like a bad movie. It never felt like it happened to me.  I had the bruises, I had the positive pregnancy test showing what had happened.  I miscarried but had to have the dnc to remove the no longer living fetus from my infected self.  I tested positive for Hepatitis C and still carry that virus in me.  But I do not have the horror or fear or true sense of self as I just blurt out these horrible events in this very public way.  

 But that is what I am doing putting all the cancers out there and facing them with the clear strength of myself.  The self that can be brave because of all that surrounds me.  The people, the animals, the gardens, life.  

I don't mind saying those things here and now, but I don't want to talk about them.  I don't want people to come up and say they are sorry for the past for the cancer for anything.  I am not sorry I have cancer.  It is not what I would have willingly chosen, but for me not being one of those people who say I can control my universe, it is my reality.  And I am not afraid.  Actually I am excited.  Please don't misunderstand.  I am sure that it is more anxiety then excitement.    I have a challenge and I am going to face it.

I want people to treat me as a normal person, I want to be happy and to move past cancer and have a long healthy life.  I want to sit on my porch with my friends and drink wine and eat chocolate and laugh and talk and cackle and snort and enjoy every opportunity or challenge that comes my way.  


  1. Oh, darling. I love you. I'll see you in the morning and I'm looking forward to taquitos at Wataburger. I don't think I spelled any of that right.

  2. Sis, I'm so glad you have good friends with you. We will be thinking of you tomorrow. We love you alot.

  3. I have eight Labradors of the English type and two greyhounds that were rescued from the track. I also have 3 cats. They are the children also.

    The rape and beating that you endured made me sad. I am sorry that this happened to you. Nothing more that I can say because it sounds like something no one can really understand except you.

    I agree with you about not letting cancer define you. Or any disease. So far the genetic roll of the die has been good to me. Only time will tell but I take that one day at a time. Every day counts.

  4. Yeah, I know that absolute dread of having people feel sorry for you for some reason or another. I always try to explain to my closest people how much that does NOT help -to know that others think you are pitiful- but still, folks seem to think that reacting to being sorry is the best way to deal with any situation that may be less than ideal, of which cancer is um DEFINITELY one of those.

    Hi -good luck with this journey. I'm a Ms Moon reader, for many many years, and welcome to the family!

  5. I am happy to have a way to be directly in touch with you here, Kathleen. I wish you good winds on your life-journey, and I look forward to meeting you on the porch at Ms. Moon's one fine day, face-to-face.

    You are in my thoughts.

    Blessings and love,