Out! Damn spots

For once, I’m not talking about cleaning. Today is random spot and throbbing hip joint day. I woke up and noticed new brown spots on my fingertips and palms. Plus, a side order of tingling, numb fingertips. When I walk, it’s weird hip pain. What am I, 90? All that just in time for Steven to get sick again. I put on a mask and took him to the doctor. I love how kids don’t even notice me in there. They must think I’m an overgrown newborn who learned how to walk early. Anyway, he’s got an ear infection, but they don’t treat that in 11 year olds. So it’s back to school for him tomorrow.

I thought I was doing really well today, taking Steven to Starbucks and lunch after his appointment. But after that, I tanked big time and went to bed. What-ever, Weird Cancer Guy. Steven came in to check on me, rubbed my back and told me he had a really good time with me today. That’s when I remembered what he said at Starbucks: “You’re a really great mom.” When I woke up, it was already dark outside and I felt like the luckiest mom ever.


1- Steven said I was a great mom.

2- Steven said I was a great mom.

3- Steven said I was a great mom, and I took it in.

The pressure of positive thinking

Whoa, it really has been five days since I posted. Round 4 of chemo has seriously wounded me this time. At 3 am one day, I woke up freezing cold and shaking uncontrollably. Then, I got super sick, and Brian had to get up and help me. I felt so bad about that. You don’t want your spouse having to clean up after your sick self. My ears ring almost constantly. I feel nauseated all of the time. I get headaches in a flash. And, I get mentally overwhelmed quicker than a toddler. With all the talk about everyone’s “journey” and staying positive, I almost feel like I’m not allowed to acknowledge how much this SUCKS. But it does suck. I’d like to see the Successories version of cancer: EVEN WHEN YOU’RE POSITIVE LIFE CAN STILL SUCK, SUCKAH! People have told me “don’t succumb to it” and “stay strong.” It’s getting harder for both Brian and me to keep that going. Is it a position of strength to acknowledge that my situation sucks, but it still is nowhere near as bad as some people’s?



1- We got a mystery drop off of beautiful flowers and banana bread. Thank you, mystery person!

2- Loved seeing Silver Linings Playbook with Maria.

3- Steven said: “This cancer thing is going quicker than I thought.” Glad he thinks so!

Zombies are more productive

A blog is supposed to be daily, but I just couldn’t hang after Round 4. The only way I know how to truly express the level of SUCK is to overuse the letter U. Here goes: Round 4 suuuucked. Every side effect took over from cranked up ear ringing to the complete inability to deal with anything. Even sleeping irritates me. My mouth feels like the inside of a sweaty 1970 Samsonite. Out of nowhere, my scalp erupts into blowtorch heat and beads of sweat. I’m constantly thirsty, but water tastes really bad and burns my throat. You suuuuck, Weird Cancer Guy. Good thing chemo has turned you from overweight fat man to sand. At the end of treatment, it will be worth it.


1- Sturkie Circle of Friends is on the scene. Look out Weird Cancer Guy, Trina is organizing an auction with our friends and you’re gonna get it. Trina also makes a mean smoothie – she made me a whole bunch. Those smoothies love me so much, except for that one calling me a tart.



2- Ravens won! I still remember when Irsay, the owner of the Colts, creepily snuck the team out of Baltimore in the middle of the night. So happy to see my hometown win. Thanks, Anne and Max, for duding me up with Ravens gear! I felt too sick to go to a party, so we watched from home base.



3- A totally sucky day got turned around yesterday when a box full of hilarity showed up from my friends Jen and Matt in New York. Who doesn’t need Happy Gum for Your Crappy Life and SPAM mints? Jen and I have been friends since shoulder pads were hot.






4- Sari and I went to Look Good, Feel Better, a make up class sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Learned some valuable tricks, like I really should wear make up.


Bring it on down to Chemoland

Tomorrow is another trip to Chemoland. So much better than Legoland. No lines, free snacks and heated blankets. Legoland can’t TOUCH heated blankets. I’m one notch past the halfway mark, but can’t stop that horrified feeling. How is Weird Cancer Guy going to get me this time? He’s getting to Brian and wearing him down emotionally. Today was Day 2 of the rock-pulling-up-a-mountain feeling for Brian. It just seems like forever in so many ways. Plus, we’ve got a super-sick Livvie at home with a menacing fever and barky cough. Don’t we have enough punches in the Frequent Illness Card already? I’m supposed to wear a mask around her, but I just can’t do it. When I gave her a teaspoon of honey for her throat, tucked her in and kissed her on the head, she said: “I’ll miss you tomorrow, Mom.” I really hope I can still take care of her tomorrow.


1- My friend Linda, who is also going through breast cancer, gave me a CD with meditations on chemo. I’m hoping it changes my attitude from dread to wildly excited. Every cell in my body is screaming, Noooo! like a chorus of one-eyed Mister Bills.

2- I am ready for battle with: a cape and dinner last night from Jessica; dinner from Shonda tonight; a rad pillow that heats up in the microwave from Kate; and sweet smoothies from Trina (more on that later!)

3- I busted Steven caring about his sister again. I swore I wouldn’t tell her.

Wonder twin powers activate!


Form of… Friends forever. That’s my bud, Loy aka Vince Adame. Master drummer, bass player and all-around stud. Sharon, his wife and my other friend forever, took the picture while laughing. We’ve known each other forever. They’re family. See that, Weird Cancer Guy. I’m getting massive support from my friends, so look out. My friends are making me laugh. My friends are egging me on. Get it? My friends are making me feel powerful.


1- We went to Red Lobster for dinner. There. I said it. Red Lobster. Home of maximum cheese. Ironically, our friend we had dinner with at Red Lobster runs a cheese factory.

2- Steven’s team won their basketball game. It was a well-deserved win. Proud of my guy!

3- Still happy about hearing the chemo is working while dreading Wednesday’s next round. But with so much support behind me, I’ll make the best of it.