I think it’s really sad that grown men and women still find the need to hold grudges against one another. If you have been in a disagreement with a friend, spouse, co-worker, family member, and both parties have discussed the issue and it has been resolved – then everyone needs to just get over it. It is not about forgiving and forgetting – the feelings are there and it is hard to let those go – it is about not holding it against the person forever. I see and hear far too often the same “bitching” about the same issue with certain people. When I say to them, “Well it has been X amount of time, maybe you should move past it”, they always have an excuse. In my day to day life now I always treat people with the same respect they show me in that moment. As long as you do no personally attack myself or anyone I hold dear, then I will pretty much get over anything. What is the point of wasting my energy on negativity? In the end it does no one any good. The less drama the better is the way I see it.
I joke about my cancer all the time. If I am speaking with one of my friends and I want them to do something, I have been known to say, “But it is my dying wish.” I obviously do not actually mean it. It is just my sick sense of humour. One of the things I regularly joke about is if a stranger ever told me off, I would make them feel like shit. This scenerio could happen in a parking lot, or maybe I accidentaly cut someone off in my car – and said stranger decided to let me have it. I always joke about how I would pull of my hat, lift up my shirt and show them my battle wounds to let them know right then and there that they are an asshole for yelling at a dying girl. The same can be said about a run in with law enforcement. Now I never would go to lift my shirt up – I’m not that crazy – but I did always say I would some how tell them I have cancer to get out of a ticket. Well today that moment finally came. Driving down a hill my car accelerated because of GRAVITY and there was a speed trap at the bottom. I was flagged over. Well, here it was, my moment to shine – except something else happened. I realized that all jokng aside, I do not like to talk about myself with strangers. I felt awkward and weird to just work into a conversation that I had cancer. Did I cry? Yes of course. He even asked me if I was ok and why I was so upset, that was my moment! Yet still, I said, “Oh I won’t bore you with my life story. I’m sure you get that a lot.” I just took the ticket. After composing myself and driving away I began to wonder, why didn’t I just try and use my “get out of jail free” card? I am sure he would have felt sorry for me and let me be on my way. But that is exactly it. I do not want him to feel sorry for me. I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me. I can kid around with my friends but at the end of it all, I am not someone who wants others to sit around and feel bad for my life. My shit is my shit, and I have to live with that. That being said, if someone out there would like to pay for my ticket I wouldn’t say no…
Many years ago I was driving with Chris’s mom and she asked me this question, “If you could do one job where money didn’t matter – What would you do?” My answer – Buy and sell antiques. I love thrifting, and I used to buy a lot at the stores, but was always reluctant to purchase too much because I did not want to be a hoarder. Growing up my Dad gave me the bug of garage saling and taught me how to bargin with people – however I almost felt too shy to go out and do it alone. Also, when I was older I could never rationalize spending all my money on vintage and antique items – so I would only buy specific things I came across. It would put knots in my stomach at times having to leave really good pieces on the shelf in the store, and running away fast before I convinced myself why I needed it.
Now fast forward to last year – I needed a hobby. My good days when I wasn’t sick from chemo were becoming very boring. I did not want to sit inside all day, but going out meant spending money I didn’t have. During a lovely lunch when Chris’s mom was back in town, I began talking about my bordem with her best friend. We were discussing our mutual love of thrifting when she told me she has an antique booth at a market. My ears lit up when she then said, “You are welcome to put some of your items in there.” Now my thrifting had a purpose! Not only was I now able to see if my eye for things was a good as I thought it was, but it gave me a reason to get up and out of the house. I would help clean and reorganize the booth as well – which I love doing. Visual merchandiser at its best!
Today, I am hitting up garage sales on Saturdays, going to auctions on Sundays, and thrifting whenever I get the chance. Am I making any money? Who really knows. I tried to keep track at first but I let that slide pretty fast. The truth is – I don’t care if I am. I just love the thrill of being able to buy amazing pieces and then see them sell.
Now, could I have done this before I was sick? A few years ago I would have said “no way”, but now I say YES. Maybe I would not be able to spend as much time as I am doing it, but once a month I could have swung by an auction. The items I purchased I could have then thrown up on Kijiji. As long as I broke even then what would have been the harm?
The point is – do not wait until something bad happens to start doing something that makes you glow inside. Figure out a way to just do it. I love seeing different little companies of my friends pop up on Facebook or Instagram. I am their constant cheerleader whether they know it or not. They are still working a full time job some of them, but now they also have these side projects that makes them feel good inside. Whether it is yoga, nutrition, fitness, baking, make-up, photography, or styling – they are making their shit happen. So stop reading this and go out and do the same.
What is the definition? I think to each person it is different. Before I start I have to go back before I was diagnosed.
Like many relationships we had problems. Not large, but many small. At the time I was frustrated with the many small problems we had, so I left him. This was February 2014. He was devestated and promised things would get better. I wouldn’t budge. In many candid conversations with his sister I expressed if I saw noticable and consistant change, we would end up back together. We did not stop communicating and I kept him up to date when I started have multiple doctors appointments. After finding out my diagnosis, he again was devestated and begged to see me. I agreed and we began hanging out again – just as friends. He wanted to get back together but I told him no – especially now. I begged him to go on dates with others and meet new people. I would become a burden and I did not want him to experience that. He should have everything in life and not become a widow in his thirties. He didn’t budge. It was not soon after that our friendship turned back into love. A greater love than I have ever known. Now all of the small and pety things we used to argue about do not matter anymore. Our relationship is probably stronger than most would ever dream of. Along the way I have given him many “outs”. Even with my latest terrible news I said to him again that we should break up. I want what is best for him and this isn’t a life he should have. He proceeded to call me crazy and tell me to shut up.
He is now my best friend, my chef, driveway shoveler, landscaper, litter box cleaner, maid, taxi driver, back rubber, vomit bucket holder – he is everything. I will not be able to give him children or grow old with him. Yet through it all – he loves me. Most days the tears I shed are not for me but for him. Everytime he catches me crying he calls me a baby in a playful way, and reminds me that there are no tears aloud. He is my definition of what every man should strive to be. We are not staying together because I am sick – we are staying together because we love each other. No marriage vows of “through sickness and in health” are needed.
Saying that though he better propose soon lol.
While shopping at a health food store the other day, I hit the cash to find out my total was $450. Crazy. The natural supplements are things I believe will help to prolong my life, so to me they are a necessity. I noticed on their door when I walked in, a sign that read they provide 10% off for seniors. When two of the workers began to ask me questions about one of my purchases, here is how the conversation went.
“You are looking for Lactoferrin Ultra? We can order it in for you, but just to warn you it costs $360.”
“Yes I know, but the injections I take bi-weekly to help with my blood cell count cost $150 – so I am hoping this will prevent those.”
“For inbetween my chemo.”
“Actually speaking of, I noticed you provide 10% off to seniors. Would you be able to honour the same discount for a person on disability?”
“The discount is for seniors.”
“Yes I gather. I am asking if you would honour the same because I am on disability.”
“Oh, no sorry.”
“Ok, well I will just not purchase anything today and come in with my mom on the weekend in order to get the discount.”
I am not mad at the store. It is not their fault that many people in this society have decided to abuse being on disability. They are living their lives healthy but still claiming to have a problem so they can get paid out. Or maybe this store has encountered way too many people asking for a discount before and has just decided to be strict about it. That is their call because it is their store. Here is my beef with the entire thing. I am not trying to purchase the kale chips because it is a fad, and looking to save 50 cents. I am trying to purchase a large amount of supplements, that I will have to restock every other month – and would like to save $45 if I can. So whether they give me it today, or inconvience myself and my mother over the weekend – at the end of the day I am still getting 10% off.
Here’s the other catch – Since my time is short, I will never have the opportunity to receive the senior’s discount. Where are my perks for being on disability? I do not need discounted theatre tickets, or a cheaper coffee at McDonalds. I just want the over priced natural products that I am hoping will prolong my life to be a measly 10% off. Why is that too much to ask?
What comes up a lot at doctor visits and in all the groups I attend is the phrase, “the new normal”. Seems to be very popular amongst the cancer world. During a group session this evening the topic came up, and I heard various ladies discuss their idea of their “new normal”. It varied a little but it had the same thread throughout – in their life pre-cancer they were able to do things that post-cancer they cannot. I began to think as the circle discussion slowly moved in my direction – why do we have to use this phrase in a negative manner? What if the “new normal” is a positive. Pre-cancer I did not eat healthy on a regular basis. What if my “new normal” is to consistantly strive for healthy choices. Pre-cancer I would always flip flop working out. What if my “new normal” is to do something active daily. Pre-cancer I was quick to judge others. What if my “new normal” is to be more understanding and respectful. Why can we not choose to be better post-cancer? What if my “new normal” is a mentally and physically healthier and happier life? I think that is something to be excited about.
Sitting at home everyday is no where close to fun. I have no idea how other people do it. Mothers I get – you have kids that you are looking after. But the people who scam the system – living on welfare or abusing their disability because they don’t feel like working – these are the people I do not understand. Until July 9th I have to rest and relax. I cannot do anything that would take my breathing up to a “pant” level. Running up the stairs after my cat could cause me to pop my lung. So I just walk around dragging my feet. So boring. I would have taken another course from school but there wasn’t one being offered that would go towards my certificate. So here I sit. Watching endless hours of Netflix in bed while drinking coffee. It is what a lot of people who wake up early to go to work dream about. Just staying in bed all day and only getting up to eat. Yes sure, maybe once in a while it would be nice. But nothing is fun when it is forced upon you. Like sex. (Did I just make a rape joke?)
Try as you must, no one will ever truly understand what I went through and am continuing to go through. You can try to relate to me, and some lines may cross, but at the end of it all it is not the same. Even for myself, my particular experience is not the same as another’s with the same type of cancer.
When people say to me, “I can’t imagine what you have been through.” – my initial response in my head is you are right, you can’t imagine. If you think you can try, you will still not even be close. As hard as you think it has been for me, trust me when I say it has been harder than that.
It is ok though. I do not expect any one to fully understand my struggle. They are not me. Even if you were with me 24 hours a day, you would still not feel the pain of it all.
I also cannot begin to understand what it feels like to lose a parent or a sibling. I do not know how it feels when your child is sick. I cannot grasp the heartache of your spouse of many years leaving you.
This is how we can learn from each other.
Being open and honest about it all. Sharing and leaning on those around you. A small glimpse into my life my help you in some way, and a glimpse into yours may help me.
I am not one to read my own posts. I am sure eventually I will start from the beginning and read every single one. It will be very interesting to listen to how I was feeling at the time. This past year I have had many ups and downs – and I am sure my blog accurately reflects that. One post however I have always thought of is my “cancer snob” post (If you have not read this post, it is one of my early ones so get scrolling!). My attitude towards others and life in general has changed so much since then – that I have considered deleting it. I hated the thought of someone stumbling upon my blog, and having that as the first thing they read. What the heck would they think about me? I have evolved so much as a person since then. The funny thing is, without telling anyone – I have had many people tell me that my “cancer snob” post is actually their favourite. Why? Maybe it is because people love a good bitch.
I have decided not to delete it. It is part of my story and it is important to see how crazy the highs and lows can be. Now do not go getting all upset – I can still have my bitch moments. They are just on a whole other level now.
In my non social state after surgery, I am becoming slightly annoyed. The question is – why? I have no idea. Before, during, and after my surgery I received many lovely messages wishing me the best, and asking how I was. Here is the problem. That is a very hard question (as discussed in a previous post). I never know how to responded. I am not one to complain, but at the same time I do not want people thinking this has been a cake walk. Here is the bigger dilema – If you do not ask how I am doing, that bothers me as well. Hello? I just had surgery and you want to talk to me about your day? Not interested. So I guess there is just no pleasing me (typical female).