Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Not Ribbed For My Pleasure

Last night while hanging out at my parents', enjoying the first night of Todd being back from Texas, I did something many people do in the stretch of a normal day.  I leaned.  I leaned over the arm of the couch plugging in the charger to my phone when all of a sudden there was a loud pop on the left side of my ribcage.  I squealed, then froze, then did the thing where a person asks you what's wrong but you are in too much pain and too startled to answer.  So I sat there.  Waiting for it to not have happened.

But it did.  So The Moms, the ever wonderful and tolerant and graceful under my grumpy pressure Mom, drove me to Urgent Care and we ran the rounds.  He couldn't say for sure it was broken by the x-rays, it would take a CT scan for sure.  But my chest cavity isn't filled with air or blood!  YAY!  It is most likely the joint at the end that I popped and is making the whole rib all the way to the breatplate throb.  And me groan and wince everytime I get up, lie down, pick up something, take a deep breath and forget about bending to get something on the floor.  My neighbor heard me carrying up my laundry last night and came out to see what I was doing.  I started laughing.   

Since the treatment for a broken rib is the same for a cracked or a dislocated one, (I have two ribs on that left side in the back that are in a constant state of dislocating) he ordered a rib belt.  It has made 'some' difference.  Todd thought it was a weird thing to give a Vegan, a belt of ribs.  He also wished he had a belt to keep ribs in, easy for snacking. 

If you need me, I'll be not lifting things, or not getting up, or not raising my hands, and so on.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Above the Clouds

This is a monumental day for equality.  For the surety in the concept that love is love.  I am lucky and proud to have beautiful and loving people in my life that I can share in the victory of this.  But not Jason.  I can't tweet him.  Can't tag him in photos.  Can't celebrate with him in any way.  There is his gravestone.

Jason was mocked, teased, ridiculed, ostracized and even beaten up on the way to his car leaving work at night.  He contemplated suicide multiple times, giving away some of his belongings each time.  We would sit in his car and he would cry to me, asking why couldn't he be straight so he could marry me and then everything would be fine.  His family would love him, the world would accept him and he wouldn't have to live in fear anymore.

He never dreamt this day would or could come.  He couldn't imagine it.  He was tortured into believing he was less and worthless.  Not the sweet, funny, creative, forgiving, loyal and beautiful human he was.  It became too much and he couldn't fight anymore.

My joy does feel incomplete without him.  But a light is shining so bright, I can see a lot of happiness from here.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Where There's Smoke

My building is a no-smoking building. In truth the rules state you are supposed to smoke twenty feet away. But we all know that's not how it goes. So when I just went outside to take out my garbage to the dumpster,there sits my neighbour in front of her door filling up the breezeway with smoke.

There is just enough of a gap in my front door and the frame for all that smoke to come right on inside. So I've learned, and I cram it with rags when there are smokers.

I'm on the phone with my Mom, gabbing about the day, giggling about jokes my Dad made. What I say next, I say with no hidden dirty intent, no joking, simply innocent fact.

Me- "Well, I better go stuff my crack so no smoke gets in."

Mom- Starts laughing so much she stops breathing.

Me- "I just heard it."

Mom- She laughed/cried for ten minutes.

She was still laughing when we got off the phone and I told her to go blow her nose. No need to wonder where I get it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


I've been growing out my hair since there was the fear of losing it when chemotherapy treatments started at Huntsman in the Fall of 2011.  There have been three minor trims, but that is all.  I was lucky.  My hair thinned a great deal, but I didn't lose my hair completely.  We planned for it.  If you remember, I use the Royal We at times, because you don't go through cancer alone.    Case in point of not doing it alone: My Aunt Ruthie's knitting club knitted and donated caps in the event of my hair loss.  Since getting the all clear, I had a dear friend diagnosed with leukemia and I passed on these caps to her.  She did need to wear them.  After a time, her hair did come back.  After another time, she got the all clear also, so we passed on the caps to patients at Huntsman that needed the comfort and safety those caps provided.  Losing your hair is more than just, losing your hair.

I have been holding on to my hair, the ability to grow it, to not have it taken from me, in an attempt to conquer the fear that Cancer holds over you.  It strips away your identity, of whom and what you thought you are, you were.  My hair has gotten long.  REALLY long. I had no style, no shape.  It's just long.  So when talking with Siss about getting my haircut, she brought up Locks of Love. "Ooooooh, why don't we donate it?  Wouldn't that be great?"  I said "Who's this We?"  We laugh and that's the end of it.  But it isn't. 

I wasn't able to sleep.  Why did I hesitate?  Why wasn't the decision to donate the easiest decision to make?  Why wouldn't I immediately feel inclined to give what I have been so fortunate to regrow?  I felt greedy and selfish.  Scared and silly.  I literally tossed and turned for two nights straight.  This August marks tens years of the world being without Stephie.  Right before she passed, with all the radiation she had on the tumors in her brain, her one wish to not have to wear a wig in her coffin was sidelined when chunks of hair started falling out.  She saw it as a loss of her dignity.  Here I am, alive, walking the earth cancer free, balking at gifting a piece of myself that could do good.  I won't be that selfish.

As I looked at the eleven inches of my hair in two ponytails, on the kindest and most patient hairdresser's station, I was dizzy with amazement and relief.  Those ponytails looked like timelines for the last three and a half years.  Instead of rings on a tree it was strands of hair.

I feel freer, lighter, lucky and younger.  I am selfish in the joy it brings to ease someone's burden during the struggle of Cancer.  To share the We.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Room For It

I'm not on the best terms with Facebook as of late. It seems to taunt.  With terms such as "What is your status" and "Life event" weighing over every log in.  I don't really go "fun" places but rarely. Hell, I rarely go places.  Other than the kitchen, then back to the bathroom, the bedroom and the big finale will be the living room.  Reality is most of life is lived out in rooms. Yet, Facebook is the land of Keeping Up Appearances. The Put On Your Best Facebook.

I truly believe the pressure to keep pace with ALL THE JONESES really explains the phenomenon of food porn photos. I'm sooooo guilty. It also won't stop.  From me or anyone.  Where else does a person go everyday?  Shower Selfies?  That's for Snapchat.  Outfit of the Day?  Instagram has that covered.  But it's all superficial and safe. This quest for "What piece of myself can I share that is safe enough to survive derision without exposing the core of who I am?"

What constitutes a "Life Event" anyway?  Finishing a book.  Unpacking that last box.  A sunset that could never be captured on camera and filtered beyond recognition. Dinner by yourself.  Cleaning out your junk drawer.  Being diagnosed.  Losing a pet.  Finishing a project.  Reuniting with a friend.  Paying a debt.  That one clear moment of inner peace.

There is also room enough to share all the pain life brings.  People are afraid and bothered to engage past the headline.  Won't even take the time to click if it means taking them outside their original choice of social media.  I'm so ready for some real sharing and openness.  I'm going to give it a try.  There are many rooms.  Let's sit down and really engage.

The Bun

The Bun
If you don't like rabbits, you can suck it, shove it and then go soak your head.