It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Holy cow!  It’s been a really long time since I posted.  Closing in on two months.  I know that half of you probably thought, “Oh, she’s moved on with her life since all of her cancer stuff is done” and the other half thought, “I wonder if she’s had a relapse? I bet she’s dead.”  The answer is neither, really.  I’ve a got a couple of other irons in the fire.  Plus, Mini Me, who was previously homeschooled, is going to school this year, and let me tell ya, this school thing is kind of involved. So, we’ve been going through a few adjustments here, and I just haven’t kept up on the blog very well.

 But you really didn’t think I’d miss our favorite time of year, did you?  Yes, that’s right folks, it’s almost October, and we know what that means: Pink Ribbon Overload.  Yay! So, be on the lookout for those fabulous articles of awareness—like the Pink Ribbon Blow Dryer, or the infamous Tiny Hair Tongs—and email me your pics at themoodyfoodie@gmail.com.  

 This year I want to do something different.  At the end of October, I’ll pick my favorite 5 submissions.

(Now if I were you, I might include a witty comment, or a poem, or some awesome alliteration with my submission, just to have a leg up on the competition—but you do whatever you want.  Bonus points for items photographed in a store rather than ones you found online.  Super bonus points if you, or a partner in crime, poses with the item like you’re a Price Is Right model.)

Then I’ll let the readers decide which one is the best, most ridiculous example of the P.R.O.  To see last year’s submissions, click here.)  The winner will receive a fabulous prize of my choosing. 

 I’ll be back later in the week with a post about my latest visit with Dr. Beer-Hurray, and news on the final phase of my reconstruction.

The Pink Mafia

There haven’t been too many haters show up here.  Except for Jamie, the person who told us all that we were collectively lame and needed to “get real” because we made fun of breast cancer Barbie.  Funny, I haven’t heard a peep out of ol’ whatsherface since I explained that I’ve got a 10 inch scar across my chest that gives me the right to dis’ BC Barbie all the livelong day.  Of course, it could be that she was just so disgusted by our fun that she’s never come back.  But I like to think that it was the verbal beat-down  she got that silenced her.  Take that, fun sucker.

 Sometimes, I write things that I know might provoke those humor vigilantes out there.  Of course, I do enjoy a certain amount of immunity.  You know, one of the perks of having The Cancer is the immunity you gain.  I think this may be rooted in the pity people feel, which would probably annoy me if I really thought about it, but I don’t.  I just enjoy the benefit. 

 In real life, the Cancer Immunity was way more powerful when I was bald.  Shoot!  You can get away with just about anything when it’s obvious you’ve got The Cancer.  If I were smart, I would have robbed a bank or held up Starbucks.  Chemo brain would have ensured that I forgot where I left the getaway car, and I’d have had to run away on foot.  Sure, I’d be easy to spot—you don’t see too many bald women running around with big bags of money slung over their shoulder (like a continental soldier)—but gee, can you see me getting arrested like that?  No way!  They’d feel too sorry for me. 

 But these days, I don’t get much protection from The Cancer Immunity, because it’s not obvious to the random person I run into.  Dang it.  I don’t want The Cancer, but I want Cancer Immunity forever.  I do get a little bit of that when I blog though, since the blog started because of The Cancer and I continue to talk a lot about The Cancer.  However, there is one fear that always looms over me when I post snarky things about breast cancer awareness: the fear of getting hated on by The Komen. 

 So, the other day when I got an email from Mildred Jones* with the subject line “Susan G Komen for the Cure” my mind flew immediately to all the smart-alecky things I’ve ever written about the pink ribbon, survivor walks, etc.  Oh crap.  It’s the Pink Mafia.  I’m in trouble now.  They’re gonna bring that pink ribbon cement truck over here and make me some new shoes to go swimming in. 

 I must just have a guilty conscience.  All Mildred really wanted was to see if I was planning to be a team captain at the Race for the Cure in October.  Guess she hasn’t read my blog after all. 

 *Not her real name, because like I said, I don’t want to anger The Komen.  Nothing to see here, Komen.  Move along.

The Pink Parade, and Why I Won’t Be in It.

Saturday is the day of the local Race for the Cure.  Last year was my first year participating in this event, and I have to say, it was a good time.  When I did it last year, I was still mostly bald from chemo.  When I did it last year, it was the weekend before my mastectomy—in fact, I had the mastectomy date bumped out just so I could attend.  When I did it last year, I had only had two surgeries.  When I did it last year, I was another month away from beginning radiation. 

 

I didn’t participate in the survivor activities.  Didn’t go to the breakfast.  Skipped the survivor parade.  At the time, it just all felt really weird to me.  I was in the middle of my various treatments, and I didn’t feel like I’d survived much of anything yet.  Several of my survivor friends asked me, “Hey, where were you?” when they saw me after the parade, and I told them I’d just been hangin’ with the fam.  I was way more comfortable watching the parade than I’d had been walking in it.

 

Fast forward.

 

I’ve now done the radiation.  I’ve had three more surgeries.  I’ve been cut, and fried, and poisoned so much that people long ago got bored with my drama and stopped sending cards.  (Probably couldn’t afford to, what with the price of postage these days.)  My hair is long enough that if you didn’t know, you’d never know.  I suppose I’m probably an official survivor now, but I still don’t want to do the parade. 

 

This time last year, I thought maybe I’d feel differently the next time around.  I don’t.  I know that it’s supposed to be a celebration of survival, but to me, it still feels like “Woo hoo! I’ve got the cancer!”  You know, I’m not special because I’ve had to go through this crap.  I’m just me.  And I’ve gone through some crap.  That’s all.  And I don’t like the squirmy feeling I get inside when it seems that people are admiring me for simply living.  “Look at YOU!  We thought you were gonna die, and here you are breathing and everything!”

 

That’s not to say that I want to be all in the closet with my cancer experience or anything.  Obviously, that’s not the case.  If nothing else, I’d wear my pink shirt just because I think people need to see that there are a whole lot of young survivors.  (Isn’t it cute how I’ve somehow convinced myself that I’m still young?)  Maybe one of these days that will result in some better options for post-mastectomy garments.  The kind that say “Grrr!” instead of the kind that say “Grandma!” 

 

So, I’ll be at the Race, but I’ll pass on the survivor celebration.  I celebrate every day by living a normal life. 

 

p.s. Tomorrow is October 1, the official start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  (What?  Breast cancer?  Who ever heard of breast cancer?) Check in to see the first of my readers’ favorite pink ribbon products. 

Shame

I went to co-op yesterday. Of course I’m not allowed to drive, so Susie came and picked us up. Everyone was surprised to see me, and I enjoyed chit-chatting with my homeschool mom friends. When I got home in the afternoon, I had 9 messages on the answering machine. There were also 4 cards in my mailbox yesterday. I really appreciate all the encouragement and concern. Today I had had a good belly laugh when I read the card from Cherylle thanking me for keeping everyone *abreast* of my condition. She claimed there was no pun intended—yeah right, Cherylle! They removed a boob, not my brain!

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Last Saturday was the big Race for the Cure. Check out the pictures I’ve added to the gallery. It was a good time—although the heat was downright oppressive. Since Potato Fork Sister and Sister Basketball Fingers are both pregnant, the heat was extra fun for them. There was even some trash-talking between Potato Fork and I as we ran (Yes, ran.) the last yards of the 5K. It went something like this:
Me (over my shoulder): “Ha ha! I’m ahead of you!”
PF: “Yeah, well I’m pregnant, so cut me some slack!”
Me: “So?! I’ve got the cancer and I’m still beating you!”
PF: “Shut up!”

About this time we come to where the rest of the fam is standing and hollering. I go over to them, mistakenly thinking that I’ve already crossed the line. Potato Fork, who is merciless to poor cancer patients, keeps running. Even guilt can’t catch her as she trucks away from me in an effort to come out on top. The fam is like, “You’re not done yet! Keep going!” So, I take off, as fast as I possibly can (you can almost feel the wind rushing by, can’t you?) in an attempt at a come from behind win. Hubster, who is about 2/3 legs, is running along side me offering affirmation and encouragement in the form of, “Can’t you catch her?” (Well, as a matter of fact, Daddy Long Legs, I WAS on pace to catch and pass her until she HEARD you say that. Thanks a LOT, Honey.) She then sped up the last couple of yards, and all hope was lost for me.

Beaten by my pregnant younger sister! Oh, the shame of it all.