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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Let's Go To The Hop!
Nancy's Summer Blog Hop Challenge

Time for Nancy's Summer Blog Challenge and this time it's a Blog Hop! What a great idea! Here we go with the 14 Random Questions.
Blog Hop Challenge Questions
1.  Who are you? If applicable, share anything you want about your cancer (type, stage, when diagnosed, whatever.) Share something about yourself such as where you live, the name of your blog and it’s “mission”, a challenge you have faced or are facing now, or whatever you want.
I was diagnosed on June 30, 2009, Stage III, HER2+ at barely 40 years old. I had known about my lump for a couple of months. It did not show up on my mammogram. I got an all clear letter in the mail. I had 2 lumpectomy surgeries, 15 lymph nodes removed - 4 positive and had a mediport placed before beginning chemotherapy. My chemo regimin was 6 rounds of Taxotere, Carboplatin and Herceptin. Herceptin continued every 3 weeks and ended on August 26, 2010. I also had 33 doses of Radiation, including 8 boosts to the tumor site.

I am not a fan of all the pink party like breast cancer awareness bs.

I also love to cook and eat good food. 

 2.  Have you ever participated in a blog hop before?
No. This is really cool though.
 3.  What’s your favorite sort of blog post to write and/or read – personal story, informational, how to, controversial, political, opinion, rant or other?
When I was posting more regularly, I would post about all kinds of things. I would even post about things that have absolutely nothing to do with cancer. Like, how difficult it can be for O and I to grab a bite to eat! I also post some ranty rants from time to time. I love to read a good rant. 
4.  Describe yourself in three words. Yes, just three!
Hmmmmmmmmm.......... Short. Foodie. Empathetic. 
 5.  Name three of your favorite books from your youth (whatever age that means to you.) that had an impact on you.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
 6.  What are you reading right now, or what’s on your to-read list for when you have time?
I prefer to read non-fiction. Biographies in particular. I'd love to have time to read more, from an actual book. I do use the Kindle app too. Right now I'm reading lots of recipes and cooking blogs.
 7.  What’s your favorite dessert of all time?
I'm not a big sweets eater. But I think it's a tie between chocolate mousse and creme brulee. 
8.  Tell us about a special pet you have, had, or would like to have. (Never wanted a pet, that’s okay too.)

I miss my pets. We have none currently. But my black kitty, Spaz, was such a loving kitty with a spunky personality. And our pomeranian, Simba, was just the sweetest dog ever. He knew lots of tricks! We loved them both so much and still miss them.

9.  What’s something people don’t know about you and might be surprised to learn?
I always thought I would work in the music industry. Either in the Recording Studio, or even as a Roadie. 
10.  Do you believe healthcare is a privilege or a right?
Everyone should have access to healthcare without the risk of becoming bankrupt or having to burden or bankrupt their family. Healthcare here in the US is completely effed up.
11.  What’s your favorite thing about blogging and/or reading blogs?
Blogging, for me, has been like therapy.  And I have "met" sooo many wonderful people through blogging. Some of my best friends I most likely will never get to meet in person.  
12.  What’s something you really suck at?
Blogging, lately.  And complicated math.    
13.  What’s something you’re pretty good at?
I think I'm pretty good at cooking. Especially spaghetti sauce lately.
14.  How do you escape from cancer (or life in general) worries?
Now that I am living back in coastal Georgia, I like to take what I call a "Mental Health Day" from time to time. We'll either go to the beach, or to our Historic Downtown district. I am a native tourist. 


Well, that was pretty fun! 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Ten Years Have Got Behind You....

I have officially been NED for 10 years now.  (As far as anyone can tell.)  It went pretty quickly, and super slowly, all at the same time.

It is the only cancer related date I celebrate. I acknowledge them all, but only this one has me raise a glass anymore. And it's always a nice martini.

I always want to give a big shout out and send much love to all who participated in my care and treatment. Big, big love to you 
Dr. V, Dr. W, Dr. L, Dr. D, and all the wonderful day surgery nurses whose names I don't know, and especially my friend and chemo nurse, Ms. C, and also my ob/gyn nurse and long time friend Ms. F!

I'm also so thankful to the friends, both in real life friends, and those online friends I most likely will never meet in person. Y'all know who you are. Huge hugs from us in Georgia to you all.

And of course, my love, my O, and my mom..... All my family. Y'all know how I feel for y'all. Super lucky to have all of you. 

Grateful doesn't come close to describing the emotions when I look back on these past 10 years. Grateful, but also, still grappling with "the fear". That insidious asshole that lives constantly in the back of my mind. And I'm working on some fresh words about that, so that, especially right now, is a topic for another post.

So, join me, won't you, in raising a glass to NED, what I like to call "cancer-freeness", and also let's raise a finger to cancer.

Thought I'd something more to say...... But I don't. Here I am on the anniversary of the cancer-freeness on June 23.

In case y'all were wondering what 10 years of cancer free-ness looks like.
July 23, 2019

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

(REPRISE: 10 Years) Do You Remember The Time...

Ten years ago today. I'm pretty sure I roll this one out on Facebook every year, but this time, I'll re-post this one from 2014 as a Reprise. Funny how time seems to move so quickly and slowly, all at the same time. I have had several events remind me of how true that is. 

Today, for whatever stupid reason, I remember just about every single thing about the events of 10 years ago. Biopsy, lunch, some food shopping, and lots of news coverage about MJ. 

It was the beginning of "b.c." Before caner. The beginning of the end of life as we knew it.

This is also my birthday month. Ten years ago, after lump discovery, but before diagnosis, I was so happy to celebrate turning 40 with family and friends. And a couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed VERY much, turning 50 with family, friends and multiple celebrations. We were all celebrating not only the fact that, I am now eligible for my AARP card, but also that I can still be here. That we can still be together.  
Left turning 40 - 2009. Right turning 50 - 2019

I'm letting the birthday memories overtake the biopsy memories. May it remain so.

Do You Remember The Time...
Today.  Today marks five years since Michael Jackson passed away. Farrah Fawcett as well, but all you saw on TV was Michael Jackson. I remember this day well. Ok, not "well" but, rather, vividly. Because when I heard the news that the King Of Pop was dead, I was resting on the sofa, ice pack on my boob, really flipping the fuck out from having just had a biopsy.

It was the beginning of the shit hitting the fan in our life.

Although I do tend to Remember The Times through all the procedures and treatments, this particular one might have been forgotten...except for MJ. And Farrah.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

It's Been Too Long, I'm Glad To Be Back!
Nancy's 2018 Summer Blogging Challenge

Sooooo, it's technically not even summer anymore, but I can't not participate in Nancy's Summer Blogging Challenge. I think I've participated every year since it started in 2015 when the challenge was to share stuff about yourself. So my 2015 post and the 2016 post were so fun because we all learned interesting and random things about our blogging friends. Last year I wasn't as late and I am this time.

As many of y'all know, we've been in a bit of a transition for just over a year and have been moving and trying to get set up in our new home for the last little while. Like, O and I have moved 4 times in the last 3 years. Three of those 4 moves were cross country. I'm hoping that I really can get back to blogging, at least more than I have been the last couple of years, now that we will be able to stay put.

Yes, I continue to be always SO late to the party. But better late than never, right? 

2018 Summer Blogging Challenge Questions! 

1.  How long have you been blogging (or reading blogs)?
I started blogging in August 2008. It was not a cancer blog at that time. And in 2009 that changed. 
2.  How has your blog changed?
Well, it appears to have gone dormant. It started off really as a CarePage, to keep friends and family up to date on my treatment, and then I decided to chronicle my hair loss and regrowth journey and just other random things that happen in life, like how it seems O and I can't ever seem to get food after a late or hard day.
3.  What is your biggest blogging challenge/frustration?
Time to write and what to write about. 
4.  What is your favorite post that you’ve written (or read)?
The Hair Regrowth Timeline post of course. I love to get the comments from readers who say it has helped them with the whole losing your hair from chemo thing. It's not a vanity thing to be so upset about the hair loss. This post gets clicked on daily from people all over the world. 
5.  What are your goals for your blog? (Why do you read blogs?)
Lately it would be to just get one written! Like, I have over 50 incomplete posts in a draft folder. Wonder if I'll ever get back to blogging regularly. I really hope so. It was really like therapy for me and I've made SO many friends in the cancer blog community from blogging. I used to try to get a post out each week. Lately, have just had no time to write or even be online much, with being in such a transitional phase and all. 
6.   How many blogs do you read on a regular basis?

I'm not sure.... I'm sad to have to admit that I haven't been able to read my favorites for a few months now, and hope that will change. But go check out my Blogs I Like tab at the top of my page.
7.   How do you determine what to share and what not to share; in other words, do you have blog boundaries? (or comment boundaries)
Sometimes...I try to respect privacy and I don't use full names in my posts. Some personal subjects I just don't blog about. And lately, pretty much don't blog at all, so there's that lol!
8.  When things get hard, what keeps you blogging (or reading blogs)?
9.  What is your biggest Cancer Land pet peeve today, right now, this minute?
The cancer warrior language. In particular, when people say that someone "lost their battle with cancer". OMG I HATE that so much. Nobody loses! I think this will always be my biggest cancer land pet peeve.
10.  What one piece of advice would you offer to a new blogger?
Be honest, be yourself and just do it! And don't look to me to be any sort of role model. I'm SO not. 
11.  Share something most people do not know about you. A secret sort of thing.
I like to make people laugh. Not that I could ever do stand up or anything, but, like, when hanging out and chatting....if I can get some laughs when I'm trying to be humorous, I love that. And sometimes I think I'm being funny and I'm so not. And I have been told more than once that I do tell some pretty corny jokes. Wow, that's not a very juicy secret, is it? There's not much about me that most people don't know... Guess I'm kind of an open book...
12.  What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Eating good food. OMG I sure do love to eat. And cook. O and I enjoy cooking together. We love to share our food with family and YES, I am that person who takes photos of our food and posts them on social media. Yep. 

And with that, I hope this to be the beginning of the end of my blogging hiatus. 

September 2018