Vanilla Ice Lives Rent Free In My Brain Even Under Pressure

source: icanhascheezburger
source: icanhascheezburger

This post is a bit of a goof, some will find it funny like I do, but I promise it is all true…for better or worse! This IS my life and how I live it. 

In the summer of 1989, I had just graduated high school and was trying to enjoy some free time NOT learning anything before going to college. But when I saw “Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail” that summer, I inadvertently learned a lesson I did not know would help me later in life when I got cancer. There is a scene in which Indy asks his father about the clues the father collected all his life to identify the location of the Holy Grail. Indy is shocked that his father, the foremost Grail expert in the world, cannot remember any of the details written in this book of collected clues, which of course has fallen into enemy hands. The senior Dr. Jones says something like “that’s why I wrote it down in the book, so I wouldn’t have to remember!”

For the already scattered mind, chemo brain is a bitch. By nature, before cancer, I was always dealing with a short attention span (think that stupid t-shirt that says something like “I do not have ADD….oh look a bunny,” yeah, I’m actually like that). Things like having a crawl on the bottom of the screen telling one news story while a talking head yammers on about something else, or OMG, the interwebz and its constant distractions, just don’t help. I’m sure many people, who’ve never even had to deal with cancer, get overwhelmed or over-saturated at least, with too much information to clog up the mind, because we are just having so much useless crapola fired at us all the time.

Post chemo, it’s like my brain is a net with very large holes, and only the really big tuna stays in there. Even worse, I suspect it erased some items that were formerly ensconced in my brain, and had been for years. I recently had lunch with a friend, a good friend, I was her maid of honor in fact…and she began recounting a certain drama that unfolded during her wedding back in 2000. Once she began giving me the details, sentence by sentence, I started to remember the drama, I remember calming her down during it, but I could not provide any of the details of it myself while we had this conversation. With each new detail she revealed, I went “oh yeah, that did happen,” like a lunatic or someone who just agrees a lot.

So I’ve adopted the methods of the senior Dr. Jones, and I write new pieces (of important) information down. My only obstacle nowadays is, of course, where did I write it down? Computer? Phone? Sticky note stuck to who knows what? Well, practice makes perfect, and I am perfecting the art of herding all of my Things Not To Forget notes into corrals of like items, where I can find them again later. And I’m still learning to never fall for it when I say to myself, “oh I’ll remember that!” I cannot even guess how many times I thought “I need milk, I’m going to the store, and will get it then, I’ll remember, no need to put it on the list.” Only to get to the store, buy ONLY the items on my list, get back home, and rediscover I have no milk. Then I kick myself, remembering and realizing the exact moment I should’ve written it down. I confess, I still sometimes fall into the “oh I’ll remember something so important, no need to write it down” trap, and get a cruel reminder each time: no, I won’t.

But I think I also subconsciously developed a system of retaining, examining, and then deleting information. For example, I recently signed up for a few breast cancer studies via Dr. Susan Loves’ Army of Women. I went through steps, including answering a set of questions to make sure I matched the criteria some weeks ago, and yesterday went to get the blood drawn for the study. I was asked many questions by those at the facility about the test (mostly to make sure that neither I nor my insurance would be billed for the procedure). As I struggled to answer the questions, I realized I had mentally discarded the info having to do with how I qualified for the study. Once I qualified, I thought I no longer needed it, I did not allow it clutter up my brain. I did not say this to the person asking questions, but quietly congratulated myself for only allowing just the necessary items to be in my brain (the info I was being asked was not really that needed–they just needed to stick me with a needle and fill tubes with my blood for pete’s sake), so I can at least try to function without being overwhelmed each day.

Here’s the catch, and the story behind the title of this post: I seem only able to delete certain pieces of information. How do I know this? Because anytime I hear the opening bars to that slightly-different-from-the-superior-Queen/Bowie-song, out of my mouth flies these words:

All right stop, Collaborate and listen
Ice is back with my brand new invention
Something grabs a hold of me tightly
Then I flow like a harpoon daily and nightly
Will it ever stop? Yo — I don’t know

Now, if ever there was an example of retaining unnecessary information, this is it. I’d even go so far as to say that I wish I could delete all song lyrics just to make room for important things, especially health info, so I would not have to repeatedly look up, well, most everything. I’m a major music fan, so maybe deleting all song lyrics from my brain is drastic; but good grief, Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” is one I retain? Really?! My inner punk rock girl is embarrassed. But on the other hand, the good news is I still know all of “London Calling”  by The Clash as well.

A few years ago, Vanilla Ice was on MTV or VH-1, and he symbolically smashed a copy of the video for “Ice Ice Baby” so it would never be shown again. He shouldn’t have wasted his energy. His legacy, in the form of this ridiculous song, lives on in my chemo addled brain. Cancer took so much from me, but this, THIS, I still have. What will happen if I am lucky enough to avoid more cancer? In another 40 years, will I be in a senior home, possibly with memory loss resulting from old age, maybe even dementia, singing this song? Will I maybe not really have dementia, but the nursing home staff will think I do, simply because I can recite those lyrics? Can’t say I’d blame them, if I went around saying “All right stop, Collaborate and listen,” I’d think me demented too.

BTW, I should now mention that the reason why this music snob-alterna-grunge-girl knows “Ice Ice Baby”. My friend, the one mentioned above whose wedding I’ve forgotten much of, is still a big fan and loved, Loved, LOVED that song. Sometimes you learn stuff you’d rather not!

So perhaps I should find peace with this stupidly selective memory of mine. So what if I cannot remember every day/time of my cancer appointments, I can look it up. I was advised at diagnosis to keep a binder of all my cancer-related info, and I did. Lists of family history, of all drugs, dates of treatment, it’s all in the in the binder. I don’t carry it everywhere with me (trying to NOT be a cancer patient, even when others expect me to be one). So what if I don’t always get it right at the grocery store, I can go back and get what I forgot. I know the words to hundreds (dare I say more) of songs and I can sing along, and for me that is the best way I know how to keep the horror of cancer at bay.

And I wonder
When I sing along with you
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again

“Everlong” by the Foo Fighters, lyrics by Dave Grohl, see more on him here

Ones and Zeros

You can almost see the Matrix, can't you? Source
You can almost see the Matrix, can’t you?

I know that the battle cry of Komen and pink crap sellers, “1 in 8,” is a bit of a myth as it is relevant to lifetime risk, not just women of any (younger) age. I know this is misunderstood by many of those lucky enough to not reside in Cancerville. I see the point made by those who criticize Komen and pink crap pushers when pointing out the statistic is twisted to sell pink crap and fear; and from that fear mammograms and unnecessary procedures are sold as well. I get it, I do. It always irritates me that percentages, averages, majorities, stats, and just plain old concrete numbers are presented in a manipulative way in order to obfuscate facts to get people to spend money. Since this happens every day for every cause and/or product for which there is a stat, I am destined to live my life in a state of constant, mild irritation. No matter, I am always mildly irritated about something, I am a curmudgeon after all. Fuzzing over the facts to make money happens in every industry, why should the breast cancer industry be any different.

Make no mistake I am certainly in the criticizing-of-pink camp. And in theory, I agree with this criticism of the way 1 in 8 is presented. It is wrong to misrepresent the whole truth, even to get good will and funding for research. But deep in my gut, and my heart, I am irresolute.

Often in critiques of the misuse of the stat I see the analogy of a group of 8 women in a room, looking around at each other, wondering which one of them will get or has cancer, and for the 1 in 8 stat to be realistic, that room needs to be in a senior center, since it represents a lifetime of risk. A group of women in a college dorm room have less, some say nothing, to fear.

But here’s the thing: being just a few days shy of 39 when I was diagnosed, I am 1 in 233. No matter how many times you gather 233 women who are between 30 and 39, I never get to be one of the 232. I will always be “The One”. Insert random, lame Neo/The One/Keanu Reeves/”The Matrix” joke here.

source: mozillablog
source: mozillablog

The odds may be ever in the younger woman’s favor, which may seem like good news, but I can’t say it’s much fun being one of “The Ones”. Maybe I wish I really did live in the science fiction world of “The Matrix”. Hey Morpheus, which pill, the red one or the blue one, makes my reality cancer free?

Maybe this is my only child self-centeredness, my self-involved cancer patient orientation, or heck, just simple natural human instinct to be self-absorbed, but I do look at this through the lens of my own experience. And from where I’m standing, I got cancer when the odds said I shouldn’t, so I’m not sure I could be very convincing in telling any roomful of 39 year olds (233 of them) not to buy into the deception of 1 in 8, because I am one horror story in 233.

Of course, that is not to say I’m in the “a mammogram saved my life” group, quite the opposite in fact (read my About page), for me mammography is next to useless. I won’t be giving any cancer advice in a peer program anytime soon, since I do not toe the pink line. As stated above, I am squarely in anti-pinkwashing group. Maybe the worst/best/most interesting piece of this is that the 1 in 8 slogan may be pinkwashing’s undoing. Willful deception by not being transparent and completely honest will just cause an unpleasant backlash if people ever pay enough attention to become wise to the true nature of the statistics. That is just ONE simple reason non-profits need to be above reproach. Furthermore, if pink marketing is still pointing to such a devastating statistic as an argument that more fundraising is needed, at what point will people begin to question, “hey we’ve given all this money and the stats have not decreased, and there is no progress?” When will it become a lost cause? When that happens, will the fundraising income dry up?

I once read a comment or tidbit that researchers and number crunchers cannot think about the people the statistics represent. Again, in theory I understand that, but as a person who IS a statistic, I don’t. I’ve mentioned this before (here), just because a disease impacts more people, does not make it more important to those impacted by the rarer disease, a lower statistic. While doing research and potentially making a breakthrough in diseases (and types or strains of diseases) that affect the many rather than the few may get more money and glory, but so little changes for the few who represent all the ones out of the bigger numbers.

But ultimately, maybe I just don’t care if any cancer patient—of any age—is 1 in 8 or 1 in 1,000,000. How about changing all the 1s to 0s? Isn’t that the goal, what we all want?

The Other Other Language of Cancer

There was a great post some time ago on Nancy’s Point called Tiptoeing Through Survivorship which, in conjunction with some other random posts made me think about a small aspect of living in the shadow of cancer. Most of the post and discussion had to do with fear of recurrence, that gut feeling that we’re never really done with cancer, even after whatever number of years out of treatment. Recurrence is certainly one of my biggest fears, but as I read the post I realized I had a bigger problem: after being about two and half years out from my diagnosis and a little over a year after completing treatment, I still feel like I am under the yoke of it, still somehow a patient.

Trying to sort out this odd feeling in my gut, I had to think hard about why I feel so unsettled and unfinished. I realize it has to do with my interaction with my oncologist. I’m not picking on him, or the others at the cancer center, exactly. I’ve mentioned before that I still do not know what to call myself. I agree with what I’ve seen on tons of other blogs: I cannot be a breast cancer survivor until I die of something else (not really looking forward to that). Having that view reveals that I fear or expect cancer to come back, especially since it seems to happen quite a bit (damn the stats, I’m just thinking about all the people I know IRL and that I read to which this has happened, and each one is one too many).

I continue to call myself a patient, because I find I am still treated as one. It irks me that every six months I get a list of appointments, without any warning or consultation, or maybe just a simple “hey you need this, this, and this, shall we schedule for you?” Every six months I fall down that rabbit hole again, in which the cancer center takes over. That was fine at the time of diagnosis, I was too overwhelmed to do it myself, had no idea what I was doing, and was lucky enough to take time off to start dealing with cancer, since it was going to consume much of my life at that point, so when I had to be where did not matter. But now I am an informed patient, almost a professional at it. I get unsettled because there is an overall “you can beat cancer and move forward with your life” air, which is great in its positivity, but in my view, is the opposite of how I perceive what is actually taking place: that I am still viewed as a patient whose cancer, treatment and health must be managed by the center, not me.  I’m trying to move forward, and trying not to be a patient anymore. And I have lots of bills to pay and being self-employed, I need to manage and be in charge of every aspect of my personal schedule, since professionally I need to be flexible for my clients—because that is how I get paid, so I can pay the doctor, hello! It’s not really a big deal, I can change the appointments, it is the way the pre-scheduled appointments just appear in the mail, like a command, that bugs me.

But scheduling conflicts are not even the worst of it. It is because of another word in cancer language that has never been used with/to me. I’m not talking about the battle language of cancer, which I dislike, or the dumb stuff people say to patients. I’m talking about the word remission.

Not once has this word been said to me. I hear it coming out the mouths of other cancer patients, or I read it loud and proud on other blog posts—the minute they get that last treatment, I see blog posts screaming “I’m in remission.”

Now, I don’t expect to ever hear the word “cured,” in fact my oncologist has said he would never say that because there is always that risk, however small, that it will return. He thinks it highly unlikely to return (but then I think about all the times I fell outside the stats). I appreciate his honesty; I don’t need him blowing sunshine up my ass. I’ve waited for him to say the word remission, but it hasn’t happened. I’ve never asked, always holding my breath during my examination, waiting for the dreaded words about seeing something that looks or feels wrong. I’m too happy to not hear those words so I just forget to ask if I am in remission.

It is not until later, when I see at random a celebratory post that I realize this lack in  my life, and frankly I get jealous. Even though I’m a curmudgeon, I’d like to have a little something to celebrate. Or at least a definitive end to this round.

My six month check-in is coming up. Damn right remission is on the list of topics that need discussion. Geez, do I have to wait until I’m at that magic five year mark?

Preemptive Strike

So a week after the Big Announcement I see a blurb about how mothers likely to get post-partum depression can be identified by genetic markers. No mention in the blurb of how to prevent it (I guess not having kids). Of course, any prevention would be dangerous to the fetus I’m sure, so prevention is probably out of the question. Perhaps the treatments currently in place are not a big deal (but I doubt it), don’t know, never been pregnant, and never will, not going to look further into it.

It was the way the information was presented that irked me. Perhaps it is the way, and the amount, and the types of information I consume these days. It’s like science is going “hey look, we can tell you this horrible thing is going to happen to you!” Uh, thanks? It’s like going to the world’s worst psychic, hearing about your impending doom, yet the psychic is pleased with himself for being able to see the future in the cards or crystal ball. He’s an expert at what he does, you should be happy you know your future, what’s the matter with you?

Not saying science or gene research is stupid and should be stopped, I just wish other searches in science were keeping up, so the impending doom can be averted. If you could know the date and nature of your end, do you want to know it? Ugh, forget it, I’m too tired to get into some deep, meaningful, philosophical discussion—I just want to stop my cancer from coming back.

It almost no longer matters to me if they identify the gene mutation that caused my cancer. For starters, I already have cancer, so I can only prevent more cancer. And then for those who don’t have cancer yet, the prevention offered in a word, sucks.

I KNOW I’m not the only one who thinks options like preventative mastectomy and Tamoxifen prescriptions are awful. Why are they awful? Because they are cancer treatments, and treatment sucks. Seems to me a perk of prevention of cancer should, ya know, be the avoidance of treatment.

Is it just me, or are preventative mastectomy and preventative Tamoxifen regimens preemptive strikes masquerading as prevention?

I want something else.

Breast Cancer Riot

random find

“Takes a teen age riot to get me out of bed right now”

-From “Teenage Riot” by Sonic Youth, song released in 1988

A/N I started this post a couple of weeks ago and life kept interfering. But I kept randomly adding stuff to and it became a long beast. What got me to finish was a bit of strange synchronicity. I based the title on that song that imagines king slacker J Masics of Dinosaur Jr. as an alterna-president. Last Saturday night I was delighted when Masics and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth made an unannounced appearance on SNL, in the very tasteful goodbye performance of a departing cast member. It reminded me, hey I need to finish that thing I started.

Reflecting on a few posts regarding the fall-out from that infamous 64%, I started thinking about the challenges of getting the public (as in, those who are lucky enough to not have cancer) to understand some truths about breast cancer, which have been made pretty and untrue by the pink machine, and the media’s inability to get facts right. Dissatisfaction with pink is starting to spread, but the truth is not out there, no matter what Agent Mulder thinks. It is often acknowledged that most people do not want to hear the unpleasant and/or abstract truths. In some comments on other blogs I seem to remember (not sure where, sorry!), someone suggested anarchy (cue the Sex Pistols song getting stuck in my head) as a method for making people pay attention, or hell, even just stopping traffic at an intersection. But anarchy, rioting, and heaven forbid, stopping traffic, would just be viewed as an unpleasant interruption in the public’s daily lives, thus making the masses even more unwilling to hear an unpleasant truth.

Still, I think it is worth it to at least stage a mini or pseudo riot. Maybe a mini riot is what it takes to make the facts more clear. There is so much misinformation out there, it is overwhelming. But driving me craziest lately is the misinformation/misdirection that early detection is somehow equal to prevention. (Yes I’ve already ranted about it before, not just a breast cancer issue). Mammography, a detection tool, is sold as the best defense in that “war” on breast cancer. And people believe it. To paraphrase the late Barbara Brenner in “Pink Ribbons, Inc.”: selling mammography was done too well, so that some women got cancer and confusedly said “but I got my mammogram,” upon hearing their diagnosis, like that mammogram should have protected them against cancer.

There is much animosity toward Komen, and I certainly agree with it, but they aren’t the only culprits. Take the Keep A Breast Foundation….please! They are the ones behind the “I ♥ boobies” bracelets, and according to their website, their whole mission is about education and awareness. This is the great fallacy of most of these organizations. Educate and make me aware of what exactly? That breast cancer exists, that many people will get it? What all these cutesy slogans and stupid products sell is that early detection is the only way to protect oneself. But they fail, egregiously, in telling the public that if that sacred and revered tool—mammogram—actually detects cancer, it is quite likely that breasts will be removed either completely or partially. So much for keeping any breasts. If you’re going to call your organization keep a breast, the singular goal should be research into how to prevent the ways in which tumors get in there and cause, duh, the loss of breasts.

And then there is the Save the Ta-tas stickers and foundation. Yeah, yeah I know, “save the ta-tas” is just a slogan to bring awareness to breast cancer, proceeds go to research that saved your life so stop your whining, you ungrateful breast cancer patient, blah blah blah. But that is NOT what the slogan says. The sticker says only that ta-tas are to be saved, not lives. Always read exactly what something says. When it came to naming their organization, they chose poorly.

A quick (not in depth) look at the Save the Ta-tas Foundation website shows a few admirable points—they donate from gross not profit, and understand they are a marketing or brand organization, not scientists. So on that score, the money goes through a series of hoops and winds up going to the Concern Foundation which disseminates the money to various researchers. Or at least, I went through a series of mouse clicks to try to follow the money (these things are always better at asking the reader for money than telling them what happens to it once pried out of donor hands). The best I can tell (this is lots of clicking; the url says savethetatas, but the actual page isn’t specific about breasts, or perhaps that was a few more clicks away), the grant recipients work on all kinds of cancer, and not strictly in preventative measures, but all kinds of treatments. That is a good thing—all stages and preventative measures should be researched on all kinds of cancers (silly me, I want all cancer cured and prevented…I want the world and I want it now). But how does it save any ta-tas, specifically? I keep reading about the increase in preventative mastectomy, so looks like even less tat-tas are getting saved than ever, even with the alleged progress in science. Save the Ta-tas, you FAILED. It isn’t the truth that bothers me, it was the being lied to in the first place.

I recently complained about a couple of editorials implying that the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s 2020 Deadline should focus on non-breast cancer disease, and whadya know, if I’m reading the Save the Ta-tas Foundation site right, here is one way breast cancer and the pink ribbon is helping other cancer issues: money from ta-ta t-shirt sales goes to this Concern Foundation, and I cannot see that the money is specifically earmarked for breast research; so I assume it is funneled into all the cancer projects. So pink is helping other cancers by the sexualization of breast cancer. While organizations devoted to raising awareness about various other cancers may be trying to imitate the success of pink, they lack the thing that makes selling breast cancer awareness so successful: paraphrasing Brenner in “Pink Ribbons, Inc.” again, with breast cancer, society gets to talk about boobies. I hope folks who defend Brinker, saying CEOs work so hard, remember that she has what all corporations need in the first place, desirable product.

Before anyone begins to howl at me for picking on Save the Ta-tas and Keep a Breast, and for not doing my homework: yeah, kind of the point. Those “save the ta-tas” stickers and boobies bracelets are everywhere. Don’t get so well-known and expect all love, no haters. I’ve always hated them and it was torture to visit their sites; I’d studiously avoided them prior to this. I picked on those two because of the offensiveness of the products, and the visibility. But they are hardly the only ones I could pick on. There are tons of examples of pink deception. My favorite local example? A car wash that advertised one October that in honor of breast cancer awareness month, all ladies got $2 off the price of a car wash; no mention that the $2 would go to any particular organization to help anyone with actual breast cancer; also kind of a nice “fuck you” to men with breast cancer, huh? I don’t have to point out the numerous problems with this do I? And as for not doing lots of hard research on the organizations I picked on, again, that’s the point. I only did what any cancer industry consumer can do, and probably more than most consumers bother to do. No, most folks just buy the pink plastic crap, utilize the service that purports to support breast cancer charity, and blindly think they are helping.

So, getting back to the proposal of this post–why isn’t there more active rioting against the pink. Or at the very least, a cohesive movement that gives a disgruntled soul like myself an alternate to pink. I have a secret fantasy every time I see one of those “save the ta-tas” stickers on a car. I wanna grab a sticky note and write “how about saving my life? –signed, a breast cancer patient who lost part of her breast”, and I could then stick it to the car. I think this comes from spending too much time on funny websites featuring notes people leave on cars admonishing the cars’ owners for offenses like bad parking, blocking other cars in, etc. I don’t think it is illegal exactly, but one could probably get into some sort of trouble for touching other people’s cars, if caught. Or maybe in light of the 64% increase in salary, I can go around to those Walk/Race for the Cure posters, and write on my sticky notes, “salary” and stick it over the word “cure”, that would be ok, right?


I wanna rebel against pink culture, in a way other than ranting in (ahem) my overly wordy posts that are too exasperating to read. I want something as attention-getting as those ta-ta stickers. I want to get the truth out there. And it needs to be short phrases (not a talent I possess), able to change minds in a split second, because no one bothers to read/listen long enough to get the whole story, or if they do, they are unlikely to pay enough attention to get the facts.

In “The Birdcage”, Senator Kevin Keeley (Gene Hackman), said to his wife, “Louise, people in this country aren’t interested in details. They don’t even trust details. The only thing they trust is headlines.” That says it all, doesn’t it? Seventeen years later and the line is still very true. People misconstrue words or fail to listen completely all the time. Flashback to the 80s with me won’t you? Remember when Regan wanted to use “Born In the USA” on the campaign trail until he got clued in that with the song The Boss was not exactly giving a proper salute to the red, white, and blue?  R. E. M.’s first ever Top 40 hit had the lyric “This one goes out to the one I love,” and girls were so busy cooing over that line they failed to hear the next one in which Michael Stipe called his lover “a simple prop to occupy my time”. Yikes, Michael (don’t hate on me, I love that band, seeing them live was one of the best days of my life).

Is it any wonder one of the biggest songs of the 90s, “Baby Got Back”, was much more straightforward? “I like big butts and I cannot lie”. Thank you Sir Mix-A-Lot, for giving us the clearest, most honest song of all time! (For the record I’m not being my usual sarcastic self here—I actually think it is a clever song, despite the objectifying.)

So, short of getting Sir Mix-A-Lot’s help in designing a slogan, song, or campaign, what can be done?

Pretty sure my sticky note idea is not the solution. As stated earlier in this over-long post, I think the time is ripe to motivate the growing numbers of those disenchanted by pink.

“I wanna keep my breasts, Mammogram is a lie/You other sisters can’t deny…”

Harmonic Convergence

If you didn’t grow up in the city, maybe you spent time outdoors. Maybe you turned over logs to reveal all the icky bug and wormy things that lived under it. Kinda like how we have to upturn the pink crap and observe the icky things that make cancer conversations uncomfortable.

The Sarcastic Boob

When the planets align in the breast cancer universe things get interesting.  It has been an unprecedented four-five weeks.  The first planet to get into position was that of oral arguments delivered to the Supreme Court of the United States on the legality of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s practice of granting patents on human genes.  The next two planets to align were the publication of Peggy Orenstein’s game changing New York Times article “Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer” and the news that Nancy G. Brinker™ received a 64% pay raise.  The fourth planet to line up was the announcement that a Reader’s Digest poll named Brinker™ one of America’s most trusted celebrities (a list that includes Pat Sayjak, Clarence Thomas, and Rachel Ray).  The fifth planet to assume its position was the death of breast cancer advocate Barbara Brenner.  And the sixth and final planet–with rings and…

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Worth Reading

A couple of people I follow on Tumblr have posted excellent pieces recently:

A woman on her second go round with cancer, this time ovarian, explains in detail why that hope-and-be-positive shit can annoy some of us with cancer: Think Positive!

 Pay attention when she says:

“I feel like I’m not allowed to express my pain or sorrow or petulance or anger and it is a suffocating feeling. “


“Nobody likes a cancerwriter who isn’t shitting sunshine all the livelong day.  Nope, everybody wants a feel-good story.”

 Love, love, love the part of shitting sunshine, I’m sure I can’t be accused of that, LOL!


Greg with Stage 4 prostate cancer: Thoughts of Death and Life

I’m a selfish person, and I don’t care about that. I don’t want to miss you yet Greg. 


In the 1994 film “The Crow” the late Brandon Lee’s Eric Draven comes back from the dead with superpowers to exact revenge on the gang of men who killed him and his fiancée. There is a scene in which he places his hands on a villain to make the villain feel all the pain he and his fiancée felt, which ends up killing the villain if I remember correctly.

I don’t wish cancer upon anyone. But if I could have one superpower from the world of comic books (although “The Crow” is considered a graphic novel, but I’m not getting into that), this is the power I want to have. Not the power to fly, be invisible, shoot webs from my wrist, or do whatever the hell Aquaman does (“Aquaman sucks!” –Raj, on “The Big Bang Theory”). I wish I could somehow transfer all the fear I’ve felt since 2010 to those who criticize preventative mastectomy as being fear driven, so they would KNOW fear. Come here honey, let me tell you the story of fear and cancer. And while we’re at it, let me remind you I did not have a mastectomy, I was able to do lumpectomy, but I know damn well not to judge another’s medical decisions, just as everyone else damn well better not judge mine. It’s called empathy, look into it.

Oh, BTW, y’all already knew I’m The Hulk, right? Ha ha. Always angry, trying not to smash everything.


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