Friday, December 15, 2006

That's MRS Doofus to you!

So, remember the time in the Chinese take-out place when I was feeling like people were staring at me because I'm a moon-faced hairless freak?

Jim and I went out on Saturday to take care of some stuff and have our anniversary breakfast/lunch. I noticed that people were staring at him and giving him odd looks (more so than usual). He noticed it too and we wondered why... then I looked at him and realised that he was wearing a black ballcap, complete with an embroidered image of a rifle on the front. They probably thought he was a mass murderer or something, rather than a supporter of the Bill of Rights.

Because that's how people get, I guess. Either that or they were thinking of asking him what his screen name is...

ANYway... that night in the CTOP (Chinese Take Out Place), I'd borrowed his Arfcom hat... I think that's what generated the attention. Maybe. Or maybe it was being a zitty, moonfaced hairless freak sporting a ballcap with *gasp* a firearm on it that did it.

Anyway, in the spirit of honesty, I wanted to post that. Doofus? Moi?? Mai, oui.

So Tuesday was my last day of treatment. I'm pretty glad that's over, it was do-able, but the logistics were challenging. I'm doing okay, pretty tired, a bit headachey, nothing major at this point and certainly able to function normally. Keeping my eye on these headaches because I don't want to land up in the ER again. Half a Lortab seems to put the pain away nicely...

I have done no Christmas shopping. None. It's going to be an interesting weekend... The most I've done is put up some lights, no tree yet either. I need to get my butt in gear. Jim's had the flu/headcold thing all week, so there was no way I was asking him to bring me in the truck to get the tree. Poor guy's working in a cold building feeling like crap all day, he deserves to come home and rest.

This is a funny Christmas for me... On the one hand, I want to make is so special, and on the other hand, I have practically zero interest in the accompanying rat race that people put themselves through. If I didn't have kids, I don't think I'd bother too much this year... a little bah humbug I know, but it's been a heck of a year. I'd rather go on a cruise and be waited on hand and foot. Nowhere warm, maybe one of those Alaska cruises.

You ever feel like just being a bit selfish?

I know I can't, not ever, but sometimes I'd just love something good, and for it to be about me, rather than it being about everyone else. Because apparently (new realisation as I'm writing), I'm still feeling guilty about having cancer and breaking everyone's hearts and I think I'm trying to overcompensate for it. As if anything could ever compensate for facing the thought of losing your mother or your spouse...

I so sound like I need a break, huh? It's all good. I'm not special, we all need a break, all of us melanoma warriors and caregivers.

I do know how important these memories are going to be to my children though, so I'm determined to do the rat race if I have to. If this is the last one I get with them, they deserve to have it be special, they deserve the memories. If it isn't my last Christmas (and who knows? I'm not special, like I said, there's no reason why I can't keep on keepin' on here), maybe we'll go away next year and get waited on hand and foot!

Call me a whaaaambulance if you must, but I feel the need to be pampered.

The holidays kind of snuck up on me this year... actually since I've been living in the USA, this has been happening a lot. I think Thanksgiving throws me off a little. When I lived in the UK, I'd have all my shopping done by the end of November...

Doesn't look like a white Christmas here this year either. Buffalo is having unseasonably warm weather, which is great for the heating bills, but sad for the Christmas lights. Oh well... no icy roads to traverse to get to Toyr'R'Us, no slippery parking lots to stagger through... maybe that's why my Christmas spirit isn't in full flow... no snowy-snow!

I found a new subcutaneous tumor on my butt this morning, same cheek as the other one, same side as my LND. I was laying in bed and went to pull my nightie down and brushed it with the back of my fingers. It came up fast, it's at about 1cm, I think... Scares the crap out of me as to what else has grown inside me that I don't know about yet, but am still reluctant to go through any more tests/procedures right at this point. It'll all still be there the week after next.

So there's me for today... Take the funny and laugh at it and ignore my whining. I know that I'm trying to.

Just... answer me one thing if you can, before you go...

Through all of this, I've been so focused on my family, and wanting to survive for them, and everything they're going through and I'm so determined to stay strong, because that's the message I want to send to my children, a gift that I know I can give them which will last forever. But... last night, at 2:30am, as I was waiting for the Ambien to kick in (for my 2 hours sleep, heh), I suddenly thought, what about me? This is my life... What about me? I mean, I know... I KNOW it's not about me. I know that.

But is it selfish of me to feel that for a moment, sometimes, even in the privacy of my own mind?

Ah, screw it. I'm not doing this. It's just those damn demons trying to get in the side door using my insomnia as a crutch. Best get my guns back up.

Thanks for listening anyway.

Please come now I think Im falling
Im holding on to all I think is safe
It seems I found the road to nowhere
And Im trying to escape
I yelled back when I heard thunder
But Im down to one last breath
And with it let me say,
Let me say...

Hold me now
I'm six feet from the edge and I'm thinking
Maybe six feet
Ain't so far down...

I'd far prefer to put the demons down there though!


Blogger Carver said...

Dear Heather,

I love that you got that insight about how people aren't always looking at what you think they are looking at. Before I dropped my vanity and started wearing my glasses all the time, I found out that some people who later became my friends thought I was snobby because I'd walk right by without speaking. It wasn't until after I started wearing glasses all the time that they realized I could barely see and wasn't avoiding them but just couldn't see them. For some reason I thought about that reading the first part of your blog. I've been wearing glasses all the time for decades now but if I don't have them on for some reason, I could walk right by my own child and not speak. I think about that sometimes when I feel like people are staring at me or avoiding me. For all I know they can't see very well. I think it's great that you could make the connection between the cap and people staring. That said, it's still rude of them to stare unless of course it's someone like I used to be who appeared to stare or ignore but just couldn't see.

I wish so much that you could be pampered on a cruise or some other fun outing. I'm hoping you will get that next year. As a mother I understand your putting your children first but you are important too. It's not whining or selfish for you to consider yourself. I hope you have a good Christmas with your children and do get some kind of break for yourself.

I'm so sorry about the sub q's. I wish you didn't have the daily reminders of MM. My vibes are winging your way and I hope you will have a fun Christmas with your family. I also hope your husband is feeling better soon.

Love, Carver

1:54 PM  
Blogger M said...


Some of this post sounds like something I would have said! Especially the part about feeling guilty, which will only get worse soon because I also haven't done anything for Christmas. I keep thinking every year, I'm only doing this for everyone else, Christmas will come and go just the same with or without decorations. Bah humbug?

I love your blog and I've been a faithful reader for months now.

Enjoy your holidays!

Melissa V.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Shelley said...

No, Heather, it's not selfish to think about you. I think it's natural and I think it's a shame that along with dealing with such a vicious deadly disease, you're having to face the thought of hurting the people you love the most because of it someday. It must be pure emotional torture, I can't imagine, not with my silly little diagnosis, when you're going through so much.

I emailed you the rest of what I want to say.

Love Shelley

PS I also think you deserve to be pampered. I bet your Jim does too and I bet you won't let him. :)

3:41 PM  
Blogger King (Kathie) said...


My heart is breaking for you and your family. I know you don't want sympathy but please, yes, think about you, too! It's not selfish, it's not selfish at all. I can relate to the guilt feeling of having cancer and I'm not a young mother of four. It's just a crazy feeling.

I hope you don't exhaust yourself this weekend with preparing for Christmas. I know and understand you wanting to make it a special one for your family.

I wish I lived near you. We could shop together and I could even pamper you a little. That would make me feel great - I'm a nurse and would much rather be on the giving side than the receiving side.

I'm sorry to read about the subq finding.

Just know that others care very much about you. Your courage just amazes me.

I'll say an extra prayer for you tonight while I'm waiting for my Ambien to kick in. :))

Stay Strong


8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lied about going back to lurking because once again here I am.

I think that you absolutely positively deserve to be pampered. I have never seen someone so focused on other people's feelings. I think that's part of what's keeping you strong with this, but imo you need to think about yourself too.

It's about balance.

Concentrating on everyone else to the detriment of yourself isn't going to balance correctly. Know what I mean? Be a bit selfish if and when you have to. It's not going to hurt anyone and you have to think of this too;

if (IF) something happens to you, your family is going to feel lost, right? They, especially the children, are going to have to learn how to be a bit independent from you at this point with you right there providing security when needed in order to be able to survive that.

I'm sorry if I spoke out of turn, but I see the dynamics very clearly. My intention isn't to hurt, just my observation from an outsider's pov.

It's a hard lesson your kids are having to learn and I wish they didn't have to. But teaching them independence doesn't mean not loving them. I think it's one of the greatest most loving gifts you could give them right at this point.

Very honestly, I think you already know that and are probably doing that very thing but in your own way, which I'm positive is better than anything I can say.

But I find myself caring about you very much. If I lived close to you, I'd bring you a tree and buy your hubby a beer (or three) after we dropped you off at a day spa for some pampering and paid the kids to babysit each other.

And no I'm not married which is why I probably got that wrong.....But I mean well.


10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just e-mailed you, but wanted to say something here too.

Of course it's about you. This is your life and you have every right to feel whatever you want to feel about the situation you're dealing with. You're doing a great job better than most people could possibly expect. I wish you'd give yourself a break. The holiday season is about giving of yourself, don't give in to the rat race, you have other races to run which will need your energy. Just love your kids and enjoy the feeling of family, that's what they'll always remember, not the gifts, or the tree, or any of that BS.

Anyway I wrote more in a [long] e-mail, I titled it 'your blog' so you won't delete it.


6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for what you're going through. Your story is inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time. I pray for good health for you and much longevity of your life. I thought it was funny about your husband's hat and checked out the site mentioned. I think I'm going to have to sign up. If I do, I'll let you know my sn.

Merry Christmas!

10:55 AM  
Anonymous JanetteT said...

I think you're pretty amazing Heather. Your blogs are inspirational, heart-wrentching, sincere, gritty, humourous, and reflect just how strong and real you really are. I am so appreciative that you have shared and are sharing with us all. It's as if sometimes you walk with us and sometimes you lead the path and teach us. Wishing you an enjoyable,lazy, and sometimes fun holiday with your wee one and not so wee ones (your family, ofcourse)
JanetteT from the Netherlands (3b, from MPIP board)

3:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dummy me, I should have sent you a hat too! All this time I was wondering when you were going to mention about having your "own" time. You do deserve it and it isn't wrong to feel that way. Since my hubby's depression/anxiety, he never feels like getting into the Christmas spirit, it does wear off on others too. But we do it for the grandkids. Just like you do it for your kids.
{{{{{{Big Hugs}}}}}}}

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's kind of funny about the hat, could it have been? I love that you gained that perspective. I think this definitely is all about you. Regardless of the heartache left behind, this is about you as a person too. That must be remembered.

In a heartbeat everything in your life changed. Childbirth to cancer. I can't imagine. The mere thought makes me want to break down and cry.

Thank you for sharing your story with us lurkers (me) and posters alike. I know that it's changed the way I see a lot of things. I see you as real and honest and courageous and I think that you lead the way with the strength of your character and your spirit shines through the dark to light the way.

Long may it shine.

A lurker, but no less of a fan of yours.

3:22 PM  

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