This just in: The cancer did not spread! They found a couple of “residual” cancer cells, but chemo killed them. It’s the best possible news I could have gotten. Now the word “journey” can be used to describe big hair band, Journey, instead of cancer. “Don’t stop believin,'” ya’ll.
Not that I really want to find out. But still, I’m wondering what’s next. Will my fingernails pop open like trunk lids? Will I become 55% more agitated and annoyed? Or, will actual appendages just fall off? How about we start with my gut? I’m worried when I get a double mastectomy that my gut will officially be the biggest part of my body. I’m thinking about writing: TAKE MY GUT, PLEASE across it with a Sharpie before surgery so maybe they’ll feel sorry for me and just take it. Anyway, Weird Cancer Guy, I’ve gotten the laundry done, work done and groceries. But even you can’t save me from: “Mom, where’s my jeans?” Coming to flatten you and be flattened tomorrow.
1- Lisa is so great at picking out cards – check out the one she got me for tomorrow. She also got me flowers and a big chocolate bar that I hid from the kids. Thanks, Lisa!
2- Michelle D called me. One of the things I’ve missed is what the kids call “Mom Talks.” That’s when I stand and talk to other moms as the kids roll their eyes like teenagers. I miss talking to Michelle.
3- Going in for the next-to-last round tomorrow. Already thinking about how I’m going to miss the people who work there and hope I never have to see them in that context again.
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.
My boy Steven turns 11 today! He got a special delivery of a bacon burger and shake at school (Thanks for that super-rad idea, Shonda!) In celebration, Livvie threw him a “surprise party” in her room with stuffed animals and a big sign. He actually grinned big time. Victory for her! What a great sister. Moments like that make me feel like we actually must be doing something right. We want our kids to love each other, even if it’s for five seconds. No doubt that they motivate me like nothing else to take care of myself, crush Weird Cancer Guy and move on to help and love them for a good, long time.
No cake for you!
1- Today’s a great day. I’m not sick today. Suck it, Weird Cancer Guy.
2- While I was out walking the dog, I saw a crow carrying a lollipop. Crow + Lollipop would be a great name for a store. How many pecks does it take to get to the center anyway?
3- Went to yoga today and realized how bad chemo makes your balance suffer. I’m happily going to the gym ever day I can before I get Whak-a-Moled next week.
Today, I went out like normal people. People who shower and put on make up. That’s right, I went to The Pearl District. I had a meeting about work, and I liked it. I’m starting to love work even more now. Every tagline I write makes me feel power over Weird Cancer Guy. How you like me now, Weird Cancer Guy? I’m W-R-I-T-I-N-G, and I’ll bet my client LIKES IT. Oh yeah, I’m still smart. I’m still clever. Then I lost my car. I walked block after block and couldn’t find my freaking car for like an HOUR. I prayed for the police horses to walk down the street and drape me over the neck until we clomped around and found it. (What kind of crime fighting can a draft horse do anyway?) I tried to let myself into other people’s black MDXs. Brian called worried, then offered to come straight there and help me. I turned a corner, and there it was, parked right in front of a giant sculpture at the park blocks. Never noticed that sculpture before. Whew.
In other news, I added a page about fundraising right here on this blog: https://jackikane.com/you-caring/. As much as I don’t even want to ask, I have to. I never want to ask for help – it’s embarrassing. But my friends are lobbying to raise money for me so I can beat this. With two kids and a paper-thin workload, I’d be a freaking idiot not to let them. Please visit the youcaring.com page and donate if you wanna. I’ll be forever grateful. What am I saying – I’m grateful to you for even reading this.
1- Barrett took me out to lunch at a place where we could seriously talk. It wasn’t loud at all. Barrett convinced me to move to Portland 14 years ago. We’ve been friends and collaborators ever since. Thank you for your compassion and laughter all these years, especially now. I love you, Barrett!
2- Loy is flying to Atlanta to attend our friend Gary’s dad’s funeral. I so so wish I could go. Gary’s been there for me countless times. I love you, LG and Gary, and will be there in spirit.
3- Hooray, my dad and his wife will be here tomorrow!! They’ve been there for me every single day. Now they’ll physically be here. How cool is that!
Sorry about going dark for two days, but Round 3 flattened me. Just barely crawling out of it after being so tired and heavy, I couldn’t lift my head up, think or even talk. I need pills to not barf and pills to sleep. I feel like Elvis. Today, I dragged myself outside and took Xena for a walk, barely. Then, I saw two vibrant moms from school running up the hill, laughing. I caught up to them at a mailbox while they stretched and told them I was living vicariously through them. When I got home, I cried a pathetic feel-sorry-for-myself cry. I guess I can have at least one, right? Pinkie swear, I haven’t cried since the day I found out I had cancer. Regular life just feels so far away and unattainable, but I keep telling myself at least I have a chance at normal. Some of the cancer moms I’ve met through this won’t. My cancer is nowhere near as severe as theirs. Even still, there’s no getting around letting chemo do what it’s supposed to – this sucks.
1- All the pain is worth it if I get to stay with my family and be a fantastic mom to my kids. They’re the best team I’ve ever been a part of. Brian said I should let myself cry.
2- Trina brought me a burst of fresh tulips in the middle of winter and much-needed red-blood-cell boosting iron supplements. Even better, she sat down and talked to me – I so needed that.
3- In a flash, Lisa heard I was struggling, somehow found the perfect card and wrote magic words that made me feel empowered again.
I’m always wondering – how can I take advantage of cancer? What about my needs? If it’s going to invade my body, the least it can do is pay rent. Here are the Einstein things I came up with:
1- Figure out a way to sand the stairs…with my head.
2- Use chemo as an excuse. Parking meter ran out? Chemo did it. Chocolate ran out? Chemo totally did that.
3- Work chemo into my dieting strategy. Any food I take into chemo becomes associated with chemo. Later, when I see said food, I feel sick instantly. So if I take things I love but shouldn’t eat (chocolate croissants, pizza and nearly any flavor of Doritos), chemo will make these items repulsive to me. And, voila! I won’t eat them. It’s already happened with coconut water and marconi almonds. But it needs to happen with junk food.
THREE POSITIVES FOR TODAY:
1- Got to hang out with me friend Sandra and catch up on some serious smack talk.
2- The kids had an awesome day back to school and no homework!
3- The tumor went from Lego hard to Jello, and now I can’t feel it at all. The surgeon’s nurse said that was a good sign the chemo is working. Sure hope so!