Rejection Revisited

I appreciate everyone’s kind comments in regard to the Under Armour deal.  Y’all are just sure that my entry must have been the funniest, most entertaining piece of writing since my post about the potential of mobile blogging.  In reality it wasn’t.  Not because I didn’t have anything marvelously hilarious to say, but because I was supposed to write my “story” in 1000 words or less.  My best writing usually involves taking single events and expounding on them—painting murals across the minds of my readers like a blogging Michaelangelo with phrases such as “bald sweaty cancerness” and “Oh, look Edy’s has their limited edition breast cancer awareness Pink Ribbon Swirl with Palpable Lumps!”  Not trying to condense the drama of the past year or so into 1000 words.  It was really hard to make it interesting, let alone funny. 

But, there’s another factor that played into the selection.  The official rules stated that the winner would be decided 50% by the essay and 50% by the photo the entrant submitted. 

Maybe I just don’t have that “power in pink” look that they’re going for.  Or maybe I just look like a fritter eater.  Probably not the image that Under Armour wants to portray.  After all, the slogan is “power in pink” not portly in pink, or pudgy in pink, or Pete’s Pride poured into pink pants.  Between that and the fact that I’ve *only* been a survivor for a year—and there are some folks who wouldn’t even give me that long because they don’t consider a person to be a survivor until after treatment—I think I was pretty much doomed to fail. 

Curse you Under Armour But it’s okay, I’m not bitter.  I’m sure that the winners are not nearly as witty as much more deserving than I am, and I hope their moisture wicking undergarments are entirely too tight congratulate them.

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Tasty Thursday – Pork Fritter Pig-Out

Ugh.  It never fails.  Whenever Hubster has to go out of town for work—which doesn’t happen very often—I take the opportunity to avoid actually cooking, and indulge my inner junk foodie. 

 You guys know I really do love to cook good food. Those of you who know me well know that most of the time you won’t find anything pre-fabricated in my fridge or cupboard.   But there’s something about having a night with just me & Mini Me that just screams for Mister Fritters and fries, with an apple turnover chaser. 

 I guarantee that we would not be eating like this if Hubster were home.  First of all, if he *were* to decide to eat pork fritters, you can bet he’d ONLY eat the Pete’s Pride pork fritters.  Hubster’s all high falutin’ like that.  That’s the only kind his family ate when he was coming up, and that makes them, therefore, superior.  Born with a silver fritter in his mouth, he was.  Quite obviously, coming from such an affluent background (one where money was no object, and the Pete’s Pride was abundant) he has no appreciation for what us poor folks ate.  Hence his disgust at the mere mention of Mister Fritters.  And don’t even think about Spam.

 Secondly, Hubster is so doggone spoiled by being married to me, that he thinks he’s too good for pork fritters these days.  He thinks because he gets actual FOOD for supper 364 days a year, that someone OWES him real food on that rare day when someone might just want to fry up some pork fritters. 

 And so it is that whenever Hubster leaves town, Mini Me and I go off the deep end.  Last time, I was really hungry by the time I got the fritters fried and scarfed one down, then thought, “Hmmm, I’m still hungry…I think I’ll eat another one.”  Yeah.  That’s what happens when you eat too fast—your stomach doesn’t have a chance to tell your brain that it’s full.  So, I about made myself sick eating another half fritter before I realized that the second helping wasn’t such a good idea.  Oh sure, a self-controlled, rational person might have just thought, “Is a second pork fritter EVER a good idea?  Nah.”  But I’m neither self-controlled, nor rational most of the time.  I’m pretty much still the same little girl who ate Cornies ‘til she puked hunter orange all over the avocado green carpet back in 1975.

 Of course, I want to eat healthy, so I got a loaf of Flavorite wheat bread to put our fritters on.  And, you know, ketchup is almost like a vegetable.  I’m pretty sure that cancels out any of the bad attributes of the fritters.

 Hubster will probably read this and be like, “No wonder every time I come back from a trip your face is greasy, you’ve gained 5 pounds, and the house smells like the Spelterville Inn.”  Now you know, Honey.

Rejected

A while back I submitted an entry for the Under Armour Undeniable Survivor contest.  According to the website, they were looking for three BC survivors to become representatives for the 2008 UA Power in Pink Campaign.  So, I thought what the heck, I’ll submit an entry.  After all, writing is kind of my thing, right?  Problem was, they wanted me to write my “story” in 1000 words or less. Oh yeah, and it was supposed to “illustrate why a physically active lifestyle is so vital to a healthy life with or without cancer.”  And, they were looking for examples of “undeniable courage”.

First of all, you know how word limits chafe me.  After all, it was the 4000 character limit that drove me from my former blog home.  Secondly, who are we kidding?  I’m no super fitty.  Not to mention that I could either write my BC story, or write about the physically active lifestyle thing, but 1000 words did not give me enough space to write about either of those well.  I did try to weave it all together in 1000 words—I even mentioned my blog.  But undeniable courage?  Not so much.  I guess I just have a hard time saying “Look how undeniably courageous I am” when the truth is, being told how brave & courageous I am totally makes me squirm.

Yesterday I received my official rejection letter.  As rejection letters go, it was a good one.  The lady even told me how funny the dragon boat entry was.  I guess they weren’t looking for undeniably funny, though, since I didn’t make the cut.  (And really. how ironic would it have been if I’d become “the face” of somebody’s promotional pink-o-rama?  You’d probably all be posting comments telling me what a sell-out I was.) 

It’s just as well, because I don’t know that I qualify as having “undeniable courage”.  It’s not like I killed a gator with my bare hands, dyed its hide Komen pink and made a set of luggage out of it.  I’m just, you know, living.  Nothing exotic.  No undeniable courage goin’ on.  I did open up the fridge the other day and smell some undeniable spoilage, though. 

Does Arm & Hammer have a contest I can enter?

Boats, Blogs, & Dr Beer-hurray

Had an appointment with Dr Birhiray Tuesday.  No big deal.  Just a check-up.  I always look forward to seeing Dr B, though.  He’s my fav.

While we were waiting to get in to see Dr B, a lady came into the waiting room, and struck up a conversation with me.  She was dressed in a pink sweatshirt, and pink hat, and she carried a pink bag.  It was no great shock, then, when her conversation was all about breast cancer stuff.  “Are you involved with any support groups?” she asked.  I told her that I was not, and added that I wasn’t from Indy, and that I live over by Terre Haute.  I figured that would put a damper on her recruitment efforts.  I was wrong.  “Have you ever heard of the Indy Oars?” she said.  I had not.  She then proceeds to explain to me that they’re a rowing team of BC survivors who row a big pink dragon boat. (Really?  You say a PINK boat?  Well, I never would have guessed.)  “They practice Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays up in Geist—you should check it out.”  I’m thinking, lady, I just told you I live over an hour away.  You know exactly where I’m coming from, because you told me that you’re originally from Terre Haute yourself.  Last time I checked, gas wasn’t free—even for survivors.  In other words: Are you nuts?

Not that I’m hatin’ on the Indy SurviveOars, as they’re actually called.  I think it sounds like fun.  You know, they even have a drummer to keep everybody paddling in unison.  I’m thinking I’d want that job—you know like in Ben Hur?  BATTLE SPEED! Bom–bom, bom–bom, ATTACK SPEED! Bom-bom, bom-bom, RAMMING SPEED! Bom-bom-bom-bom-bom-bom…  What?  You say there’s no ramming in dragon boat racing?  Well…fsssst….I don’t want to do it then.  Here I was thinking it was going to be like a cross between canoeing and demolition derby, in a big pink boat.  Dang it.

But, hey, at least she didn’t flash me.

Eventually I got called back to have my vitals taken.  This includes the requisite blood samples and the dreaded weigh-in.  Happily, Dr Birhiray’s Scales of Doom weighed me at a dainty 8 pounds lighter than my previous visit.  Woo hoo!  Go me!  Of course, my previous visit was 3 months ago, so it’s not like the weight is just flying off of me or anything.  But, I’ll take what I can get.

The first thing Dr B asked me about was my blog.  Seems he’s not the one that’s been googling his name after all, although he said his wife might have done it.  He had not actually been to my newish home here on WordPress, as he noted when Hubster pulled it up on his laptop for Dr B’s perusal.  He got a kick out of the fact that he has his own category, but he quickly clicked from there over to Dr Schmidt’s category to see what I had to say about him.  Yeah, that’s right, while everybody is wasting away out in the waiting area, Dr B is in the exam room with me & Hubster reading my blog and cackling.  I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it either, since I’d spent my time in purgatory, too. 

We did actually talk medical stuff.  Shoot, he even did a full-fledged physical exam which only happens, like once a year.  I told him about the memory loss issue.  Bear in mind that he’s never surprised by anything I say, and he always has an option for dealing with it.  This time, he told me that if the memory loss/lack of focus thing was really bad, it could be treated with Ritalin.  “Ritalin?” I said, and then started laughing.  “No, I’m serious” he said in his Nigerian accent.  “I know, I just think it’s funny.”  And you know, I have been feeling a little ADD.  But in the end, I told him I didn’t think another prescription was necessary.  It’s not like I forget how to get home or anything.  Besides, the stories I have to tell about my little amnesia episodes are pretty great.

And really, Ritalin is a stimulant, so I’m thinking I can self-medicate with caffeine if I need to.  You hear that, Honey?  Those iced caramellas with the whipped cream on top aren’t over-priced luxuries—they’re therapy.

Thanks for the Memories…or not.

(We’d have a Flashback Friday, but I can’t remember anything)

It’s a good thing I have a sense of humor about this whole short term memory loss thing. 

Chemo kind of scrambled my brain, but it was getting better until I started taking Tamoxifen.  I don’t know that cognitive issues are part of the official list of side effects, but ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that they should be.  And I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal about how researchers have been using estrogen to combat memory loss in menopausal women.  Tamoxifen is a freakish drug that acts like estrogen in some parts of the body, and acts against it in others.  Now, I’m no fancy-pants researcher, but I’m thinking that Tamoxifen’s effect on my body’s estrogen could be to blame for this lack of memory deal.

Of course, you may be thinking, “Moody, what do you mean by memory loss?  I forget things all the time.”  Let me tell you a story that illustrates precisely what I mean. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was at homeschool co-op.  I’d had to run out and get something for Mini-Me’s class project, and also some snacks for the science fair.  After I got back, I realized that I’d forgotten to get ice.  (No, that’s not the story) I didn’t want to run back out, and I asked another mom (Tonya) if she’d mind picking up ice.  She was needing to run an errand anyway, so she said, “Sure.”  Fast forward about an hour or so.  Susie says to me, “It’s getting close to lunch.  When was Tonya supposed to be back with the ice?”  I said, “Well, she had another errand to run, but she said she’d be back before lunch time.”  Ten minutes pass and Susie and I are walking down the hallway, chatting.  All of a sudden, I see flashing across my memory, Tonya handing me the ice and me putting it in the freezer.  Yeah, that’s right, Tonya had already been back.  I nearly fell over laughing.  “Susie—I already have the ice!”  <insert hysterical laughter>  “What?”  <more laughter> “I already HAVE the ice!  Tonya brought it to me and I put it in the freezer!  I totally forgot when you asked me!”  

Wow.

The other thing I’ve noticed is a lack of focus.  Like, Hubster will be talking to me and all of a sudden I find myself thinking about something completely unrelated to what he’s talking about.  Then, I realize I’m supposed to be listening, and I try to focus, but within 2 minutes, it happens again. Usually at this point I giggle at how ridiculous this all is, and Hubster just gives me a knowing look, and then answers all the questions I have about what I didn’t hear him say. Fortunately, Hubster has been pretty good about rolling with it, although he did tell someone the other day (I can’t remember who—imagine that) that I’m not the woman he married brainwise.

But he’s really been amazingly patient with my inability to retain information.  I mean, I think it’s funny, but I’m pretty sure if the tables were turned and he was the one who couldn’t listen for more than 30 seconds, or told me the same things over and over, it wouldn’t be funny anymore.  I’d be like, “How convenient for you that you can’t “remember” anything I say!  Are you sure you even “remember” who I am?!” 

(You know, there really needs to be separate punctuation for designating something in “finger quotes”, because that’s what I was going for in the above sentences.)

Relay & Rebellion

Last weekend was the 2008 Relay for Life.  Because I’m kind of a rebellious survivor, I neither wore a survivor shirt, nor participated in the survivor activities.  I tried that stuff last year, and man, it about sucked the life right out of me!  I mean, sheesh, you go to the survivor dinner and all anybody wants to talk to you about is cancer!  And they don’t want to talk about fun stuff like taking your foob mushroom hunting, either.  They’re all, “When were you diagnosed?” and when I told them I’d just been diagnosed a couple of months prior they were like, “Oh.”  You know, like I wasn’t a real survivor because I hadn’t done anything but had surgery so far.  And truth be told, that was kind of how I felt during last year’s survivor parade–like, I hadn’t really survived anything yet.  And so, it was just weird for me because it kind of felt like I was parading around like, “Woo hoo!  I’ve got the cancer!” 

Of course, now that I’ve done four surgeries, chemo, and rads, I’d say I qualify as a legitimate survivor.  But I still didn’t want to participate in the survivor activities, and have the life-sucking cancer conversations.  Not to mention that the survivor/caregiver dinner was at 4:30.  I just can’t be eating supper at 4:30 for at least another 20 years.

So, Hubster and I went out for Mexican at about 9:00.  That way I could skip the luminaria ceremony.  It weirds me out, too.  I know some folks really get into it, but as someone who has been fighting cancer, I have to say that I don’t really need to be reminded that cancer kills people.  To that end, a big candlelight ceremony where they read the names of everyone who has ever died of cancer is not a happy place for me.  Especially since luminaries can also be bought in honor of folks who are living—so they read those off, too.  It’s almost like, “These people died from cancer, and these people are in the queue.”  Or at least that’s how it makes me feel.  Like I said, plenty of people like that sort of thing.  More power to ‘em.  It’s just not for me.  I’ll be down at Lucio’s scarfing down chips & salsa.

You may recall the drama that unfolded during last year’s Relay involving the silent auction.  I’m happy to report that there were no such altercations this time.  Maybe that’s because in the aftermath of last year’s rumble, the committee changed the way the silent auction was run, and put it in a separate room where bid sheets could be monitored.  Or maybe it was because the purses this year were completely hideous, and I told Susie that the only person she’d be dukin’ with was me if she even thought about bidding on one of those for my benefit.  Either way, there was no big scene.