Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Don't Rain on my Parade

Hello Darlings

On July 4th I had a bit of an adventure...

While Houston flooded I got stranded...

I literally sat parked on the Interstate for 3.5 hours (give or take...)

But I am getting ahead of myself.

I had a bike booked at Revolution for the 10:30 spin class with #myboys KuteKris and KuteJohn and I was determined I was going to pre-game the 4th of July party I was attending later by working off the calories ahead of time.

Because of corn dip.

Because of TotallyAwesomeTodd's corn dip.

Because it is my drug of choice.

Dear Todd's Corn Dip,
I love you
Let's be a couple
Fritos will be included in our love triangle
Because you are delicious
Anice (who waits all year to love you)

Todd and I have a deal: I make queso (if you are very nice to me I will teach you my ways...and yes it is still Velveeta) and he makes corn dip.

I stand there and shovel in all the corn dip I can with Fritos.

I strategically place myself closest to the corn dip and Frito after Frito will be loaded with corn dip and zoomed into my mouth.

And then I eat a hot dog...and then I return to my love the corn dip.

It's witchcraft...

So I knew there would be hot dogs, and desserts (KuteKari made a lemon pound cake...more on that later), and THE CORN DIP. Oh and Marvelous Megan made the most extraordinarily perfect deviled eggs I have ever had.

I don't even eat my own queso...I save it all for the corn dip.

So Wednesday when the rain started to fall I thought about cancelling my bike and just staying home.


So I got dressed for spin in my blue tank and my red, white, and blue headband...

And as I was dressing warning messages began to invade my head space:

Danger Will Robinson! Don't go out!!!!

It's Raining (sadly not raining men) and it might flood

The news says "possible street flooding"

You might not get back into the neighborhood!

But I got dressed anyway.

And as I got in my car and pulled out of my driveway the warning messages kept invading my brain.

And as I drove out of my neighborhood EVERY INSTINCT told me to turn around.

But alas I didn't...

Because #corndip

So I make it as far as 59 and I am approaching my exit and I see a line of cars in the exit lane...and as I pass over Buffalo Speedway I see cars are exiting the service road and going into the gas station parking lot...and as I look at the feeder road I see that it looks more like a lake than a street.

And I look at the time and I see no cars are actually exiting the exit.

Time for me to exit my plan of going to spin.

My heart sinks as I realize I will miss my boys and because #corndip the diet will be a wreck.

I call to cancel my bike and try to figure out what I will do next.

Because that lake on the street is getting bigger...

So I call someone I know will help me and I know she lives close and can see what is going on...

HeavenlyHeather to the rescue (I shall refer to her as HH for the rest of this blog for typing ease).

HH answers her phone and I tell her my dilemma...

and she looks out her window and tells me NOT to exit the freeway because I am in Beyonce the 4 Runner and not an ark or boat...

So then we begin to try to figure out where and how I can turn around and get back to the west side of town safely.

Because I am #sodamnsmart I decide that the PERFECT route is to go to I-45 and swing around downtown on the freeway and then get on I-10 because it's the BEST way to go and NEVER floods

(except that it gets flooded out EVERY SINGLE TIME IT RAINS ONE RAINDROP)

yeah...I-10 is the way to go...

it's an Interstate...

I'll be fine...

Danger Will Robinson!

But I keep on with my plan...

And I get onto 10 and hit some traffic and we slow to a crawl and then pretty much stop.

I'm still on the phone with HH who is watching the news so she can give me updates...

So we stop...the whole interstate shuts down...

I see a chance to escape but the water is rising and I worry it will be too much for my little SUV.

I see a Mustang GT that was trying to get up the off ramp but is stranded and flooded out. (had a dealer window sticker so someone must have been having a hell of a test drive)

I decide to take my chances with the freeway.

Bad call...

HH tells me that up ahead of me the freeway is under water and there is a Toyota basically floating around in it and that some fool in a $70,000 truck decided that he was gonna testosterone his way though (he made it...no clue about the Toyota).

I see no cars coming in the opposite direction so I surmise that the other side is also flooded and shut down.

I tell HH that there is a Blue Bell Ice Cream truck next to me and I might have to break in...but alas I see it is locked (duh) and besides I must save my calories for the crack...I mean #corndip.

So the Blue Bell truck was safe from my larceny but as time wore on I did wonder what I had in my car that could pick a lock. We weren't going anywhere and I was getting hungry.

 Then the thought strikes me I might need to go potty.

Uh oh...

I have had pelvic radiation...no telling how strong that bladder is but this would be a good test.

I turn off my engine (we are not moving), I tell HH that I will call her or text her (yes, it was safe to text---WE WEREN'T MOVING) and I look around for the "what if I have to pee" provisions...

Towel for privacy

But mercifully I did not have to go (and yay my bladder held for the whole ordeal---Dr Angel promised me he would preserve my organs and he was right...and did a great job that's why he is my Angel and the best at what he does)

And I also figured the beach towel would come in handy if I did decide to walk about and visit my neighboring cars and trucks. It was still raining but not heavily. I might have needed to visit the Blue Bell man...and my friend Super Stephanie was just ahead of me so I considered messaging her and trying to find her in the sea of non-moving cars...

(and I can now tell you that Beyonce the 4 Runner will never get on the road again without at least one beach towel in her because I hate to be wet)

So what does one do to amuse oneself while parked on the Interstate?

Social Media of course!

I wanted ERRRRRBODY to know that I was stuck so since I was safely parked (as was everyone around me) I posted to Insta and FB and the sympathy began to roll in.

I had one dear friend offer me her home as refuge with a comfy couch and wine and her company....MarvelousMaddy I love you....

At some point I got to crawl forward about the length of two semis which sadly took me out from under the overpass so I just sat there and listened to the rain for a bit, kept checking social media, texted my daughter to let her know where my will was (kidding) but did warn her to get the queso for the party started.

I called GOTTESS to make sure I was still going to get to eat corn dip...er, I mean to check to see if the party was still on and told her my plight. She had grand amounts of sympathy for me as did most of my social media friends. And HH kept checking in on me and gave me updates.

(HH is a great wingman...she was great at watching the news and reporting to me as well as keeping me calm)

After about 3 hours I noticed some cars beginning to go UP the on ramp (they were exiting the on ramp...basically going the wrong way) and then we began to inch forward and I began the Battle with the Big Trucks.

I'm in a 4 Runner

And I am surrounded by 18 wheelers

Guess who is gonna win...

(if you said the semis then you don't know me very well)

I couldn't see the cops ahead of me but from what I was seeing to my right someone was directing all the traffic up to a point and turning us around and sending us up that on ramp.  Because there are so many big trucks I figured that they were going to have to use the entire width of the freeway to turn around.

I was firmly planted in the far left desirable lane.

And of course the truck guys want to play "get outta my way little lady" but I am the fairness police and I had cars behind me that needed to get out too so I decided that the "zipper" method was the only fair thing and I wasn't going to let 6 trucks in front of me...we can all take turns.

Sure enough as one guy is trying to cut me off a knight in shining armor appears (a cop) and he motions me to go and tells the truck to wait...

Truck guy was not happy but I do what the cops tell me to do.

So I FINALLY got turned around after sitting in the parking lot that was once I-10 for about 3.5 hours.

I got off the freeway and found another route home (that was not flooded) and called HH back so I could tell her I got free and we laughed at the bravery of the woman in the Mini Cooper who was following behind me as I headed down Memorial Drive and at the poor man in the Porsche with the doctor vanity plates who was not risking his fancy testosterone machine with the flood waters.

(note to self: maybe don't date the guy who drives a Porsche...that's why you say you always want a man in a big ass truck...although a nice safe sedan is just fine too).

So in all that time I had to amuse myself while trying not to chug my water and go insane while I was living my best life on the freeway that was not moving I had some time to think.

About patience...
and about listening to the voice in my head...
and about maybe not doing something I know is stupid...
and about not being so stubborn...
and about how lucky I am to have friends who stay on the phone with me to keep me from freaking out
and about how to just accept that I am not in control of something
and about how lucky I was to have a full tank of gas and an empty bladder
and about not taking I-10 during a rainstorm

Cancer has taught me so much about control...or rather my lack of it.

I've lived a good "safe" fairly "clean" life other than being overweight.

And yet here I sit with cancer...a deadly vicious one at that.

A mother of two who's greatest vice is tacos.

So I have no control of my cancer...

(And while I am mentioning this I have a soapbox moment: please stop believing and posting the social media memes and videos that tell you that if you eat/drink something or diet in some particular way that it will cure cancer....if it was that easy I am pretty sure MD Anderson and Memorial Hermann (and my spectacular doctors) would just be feeding us lemons/alkaline foods/keto/whatever and cure the cancers. It's not that simple. Lemons are not going to make my cancer go away...I WISH I had that kind of control over it...getting off soapbox)

I had no control over the freeway that day so I decided to make the best of it by talking to a friend and just keeping calm.

Had this same scenario happened to me 2 or 3 years ago I would have been panicked and ready to just abandon my car and run.

Cancer has taught me how to be still...accept what I truly can't change....to do what I can to change what I can and to know that GOD HAS GOT THIS.

I do, however, need to listen and pay attention to the "Danger Will Robinson!" voice in my head and maybe next time when I am setting out to do something stupid I should take head of that voice and HAVE SOME CONTROL and not do it.  I knew when I got into my car I was making a mistake...

We do have control there...we need to listen to the voice of reason that tells us not to take the WRONG kind of chances.

But I am so damn stubborn I am pretty sure that at some point I will fail at this again and set out and do something stupid again.

As for having a full tank of gas and an empty bladder...well that is a roll of the dice people...I try to keep the tank filled but I have days where Beyonce the 4 Runner is telling me "Danger Will Robinson!"...

I did finally make it home 5 hours (almost to the minute) after I set out.

Next time I am in the car for 5 hours I better be headed somewhere fun like Baton Rouge or Dallas or the Hill Country...I don't want to spend 5 hours on the interstate again and not go anywhere.

I did make it to the very fun party and yes I ate loads and loads of #corndip and Kari's yummy cake and so many of Megan's deviled eggs I am pretty sure I smelled like eggs for days. And it was all worth it.

So here's my advice:
eat the corn dip
stay off the roads when they say it might flood

it's that simple...

Inspiration Song: "Don't Rain on my Parade" by Barbra Streisand...because even though it rained and I got stranded that day was a lot like my cancer--my cancer is trying to rain on my parade of my life and I just won't let it...that day still turned out GREAT (and I got #corndip) and El Diablo will not get me...because waiting for me at the end of all of this is my Nicky Arnstein and he's going to be waiting for me just like Omar Shariff was waiting for Barbra...CANCER WILL NOT RAIN ON MY PARADE--I HAVE TOO MUCH TO LIVE FOR

Don't tell me not to live
Just sit and putter
Life's candy and the sun's
A ball of butter
Don't bring around a cloud
To rain on my parade
Don't tell me not to fly
I've simply got to
If someone takes a spill
It's me and not you
Who told you you're allowed
To rain on my parade
I'll march my band out
I'll beat my drum
And if I'm fanned out
Your turn at bat, sir
At least I didn't fake it
Hat, sir, I guess I didn't make it
But whether I'm the rose
Of sheer perfection
Or freckle on the nose
Of life's complexion
The cinder or the shiny apple of its eye
I gotta fly once
I gotta try once
Only can die once, right, sir?
Ooh, life is juicy
Juicy, and you see
I gotta have my bite, sir
Get ready for me, love
'Cause I'm a commer
I simply gotta march
My heart's a drummer
Don't bring around a cloud
To rain on my parade
I'm gonna live and live now
Get what I want, I know how
One roll for the whole show bang
One throw, that bell will go clang
Eye on the target and wham
One shot, one gun shot, and bam
Hey, Mister Arnstein
Here I am
I'll march my band out
I will beat my drum
And if I'm fanned out
Your turn at bat, sir
At least I didn't fake it
Hat, sir, I guess I didn't make it
Get ready for me, love
'Cause I'm a commer
I simply gotta march
My heart's a drummer
Nobody, no, nobody
Is gonna rain on my parade

Bye Darlings---don't let anyone (or any actual rain) ruin your parade...eat the corn dip, have a full tank of gas, stay off the roads when it's storming and don't rain on anyone else's parade either...and I'll let you know when Mr. Arnstein comes for me...I'll be Barbra in the tugboat singing my heart out to get to him...

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

No Tears Left To Cry

Hello Darlings...

well after the cluster that was round 1 of chemo I am happy to say that Round 2 went a lot better...and round 3 even better (I got the pharmacologist to reduce the devil drug Decadron i.e. the "everclear" in the "trash can punch") and other than a little tiredness (and just one day of feeling like I had the flu) and a bit of nausea (but not getting sick) I did great....

I hope that first time was just a hiccup and that I had picked up a bug and this is not how chemo will go because I don't really like the idea of ending up in the hospital again.

I have better things to do with my weekend.

Things like:
watching Pioneer Woman and Trisha's Southern Cooking
petting cats
folding laundry
cooking and making bone broth
sitting in my easy chair
sorting mail
spin class
rearranging the dishes in the dishwasher
unloading the dishwasher
staring into my refrigerator
taking showers
doing costume research
playing on social media
being a human cat bed
floating in my aunt's pool
watching Netflix

you get the picture...I lead a terribly boring life...spin class, floating in my aunt's pool and the occasional pedicure are a high point but all of it is better than being in the hospital.

So thankfully I got a boring weeks at home of flipping channels and cooking and was not flipping channels from a hospital bed.

So today I want to blog about starting over again...

because that is what I am having to do with my exercise...

I have had a frustrating 9 months.

Starting in October when my blood got all funky and they got worried I might fall over and hit my little head I had to pull back on the yoga and frankly struggled to get through spin class.

It's a little hard to get your heart rate up and pumping if you have no hemoglobin and are struggling to breathe.

So I got thrown in the hospital and got to feel like a character in the movie "Twilight" as I was given bags of blood to help me get stronger.

Then I had the hernia surgery so no bike or mat for 7 weeks.

Then I got back to it and hit it with a vengeance...

I got in my 60 classes in 60 days and hit my 600th ride and 200th yoga.

I felt like a damn rockstar.

or at least not like a 53 year old cancer patient...

no, I'm gonna stand by the rockstar comment...or badass...you chose...

I felt amazing and I was riding that bike like a boss and flowing like a goddess.

I hadn't felt that good in 3 years...

not kidding....

and then all hell broke loose with my spine...

and I went from a little back pain...to struggling to walk long distances....to struggling to walk at all and not being able to sit in a chair....to pain like I have never had and it was unrelenting and constant.

So then spinal fusion surgery...

and then back to chemo...

So I finally got back on a bike May 24th...my 4 year anniversary of riding at Revolution Studio and I can tell you it has been 4 years of challenging joy. 4 years where I have loved each ride. 4 years of finding a sanctuary for my soul. 4 years of a tribe of people who I consider family.

But having been off the bike since March 7th took a toll on my body, muscles, fitness, strength, and overall ability to fully participate in class.

My heart rate---once so trained that it would jump up into my "zone" and stay there through class struggled to get up to my training zone because I can't pedal as hard or stand up.

My stamina---improving so much during January and February was nill...I just prayed to sit in the saddle and pedal and not give up before class ended. I've been talking to Jesus a lot...a whole lot...

My muscles---firming up and strong enough for heavier weights and looking good in my heels I was loving to wear once again became mush. My calves are the texture of my Tempurpedic mattress and I won't even discuss my thighs and glutes.

My core---so strong thanks to all the yoga and spin became a shadow of itself. Where I could once balance and hold myself up so well on the bike I can now only come up for about 10 seconds before needing to retreat back to the saddle (and lest you worry that I should not be doing this I have my surgeon's and oncologists' blessing).

My legs---once able to pedal fast to the beat and push hard tension on a climb are now just barely able to pedal for the whole 45 minutes at the bare minimum tension for each turn the instructor requests. And what little speed I was able to do it with is GONE...

My arms----once able to do 3 lb weights for the arm section (it's harder than it sounds) and finally able to stabilize myself as I did many many chaturangas in yoga can barely hold up 2 lb weights during arms on the bike. They are just flabby chicken wings that jiggle with every movement.

It's all so depressing....and I'm not gonna lie I cried after that first class back because I was so upset with what my body had turned in to.

I've fought so hard to go from looking like the female equivalent of the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man (or the Michelin Man) to someone who can once again wear heels and a cute dress and feel good about herself in it.

I've lost 70 lbs

I spent the better part of last year in tents and tennis shoes.

And a few weeks ago when something didn't fit right I had to have a little chat with myself...

and I realized that I have had more done to me in the last 6 months (medically) than some people have in a lifetime: blood transfusions, hernia, spinal fusion surgery, chemotherapy...and add that to the radiation and chemo I had leading up to it...IT'S A LOT Y'ALL....

And when I looked in the mirror and wanted to cry because everything had gone SOFT I realized that even warriors are not perfect all the time.

Warriors have to train to be ready to fight...

you don't just go from "woman" to "Wonder Woman" without some effort...

and right now I am back to square one...


and I miss yoga so much I can barely stand to look at the yoga room...

one instructor invited me to come in and just sit and soak it in and oh I was tempted to but whereas I can modify myself on the bike, when it comes to yoga if I saw the flow start I would just have to get up and dance on my mat...I would not be able to resist doing a prayer twist (completely forbidden) and I would have to half moon for sure...


so the other day before I climbed onto a bike in Marvelous Mel's class I had a chat with myself as I drove to Revolution.

And it went something like this:

Hey Anice!
Wake up you nimnull...
you have been through a lot in the last 6 months!
so what if you can't keep up in position 3...so what if you can't do a left lead while standing (you have never been able to do left lead easily)...so what if you have to sit through 90% of class...
it's ok...
you are there...
you are in the room...
and as Marevelous Mel says "it's not about perfection" (yes baby girl I LISTEN to you)
it's about being present

And so when I climbed on the bike I had a new attitude about it and class went by so fast..and of course when she played "I'm Alive" by Sia I couldn't help but cry and was so grateful that I am alive and I needed to quit worrying about my weight and my mushy muscles and all the other nebulous things that really didn't matter.

Throughout this journey with cancer I have had to learn so many things about myself and have had to change my attitude about so many things.

And it's all part of it.

And the big thing I have learned is that I am not just facing death.

I'm facing CHANGE

and nothing is as I expected it to be.

And cancer or not, it rarely is.

We are all thrown curveballs in life:

loss of job
change in income
loss of home

so my cancer isn't the only change in life I have dealt with...but it has been not only the most life-changing---it's also been the most life-affirming and perception altering event in my world.

I've lost my parents and grandparents

I got married

I had kids

I got divorced

I moved houses

and I got sick.

All "normal" things...things many of us go through...

I knew all my life I would get married and have kids and probably live in a house or two.

I knew at some point I would lose my parents.

And a few years into my marriage I was pretty sure I would get divorced.

But getting sick is NOT something anyone plans on or expects to deal with in your life.

You don't just go into this world waiting for the day when you are told you have an illness.

(And when you do you go into shock...and you hit your knees and you seek God real fast).

So the shock and reality of my illness was just that---shock.

Life is a road and we hit speed bumps.

And sadly my speed bump is the size of Everest.

And right now I feel like I am climbing Everest...each day moving closer to the summit (when I am well...when I am NED...when the disease is gone) and base camp is so far below I can't see it anymore.

People who climb Everest are brave...strong....strong willed...gutsy...and just a wee bit crazy.

I have a lock on the crazy...the other part I have had to gain...

more strength....

more bravery...

more guts...

So now starting over on my fitness feels like trekking back to a lower part on the mountain.

But that's ok...

sometimes you have to climb down to climb up.

And I am learning that a step backwards is not always just going backwards...sometimes you have to step back to move forward...

like backing up to catch a fly ball...

or backing up to take a running start...

So maybe all this "backing up" with my fitness is not just a move backwards but rather a way for me to move forward...

and I am inching forward and not launching myself forward like I did in January when I started over after the hernia surgery.

I kind of feel like I am playing the game of Monopoly and I kept getting sent back to the start corner...or playing "Sorry" and someone has made my token go back to start.

But the good news is I am not "in jail" or in a timeout I'm just at the beginning again.

And soon my core will gain strength, and my heart rate will return to a trained state, and my muscles will be less mushy and more firm and the weight will continue to come off and once my spine is good and healed I can wear my high heels again.

It will take time.

And I am blessed to have time.

So the other day I put on a dress that I had purchased but the first time I tried it on it almost ended up in the Goodwill pile. But I hung it back in the closet and said "soon"...

So I put it on the other day and although I didn't look "perfect" in it I looked damn good.

Heavenly Heather and I now refer to it as "The Dress" because when I wore it the other day I had a lot of very sweet people tell me I looked great (including Dr. Angel---and this time when he told me I looked amazing he did not follow it with a "but your cancer..." so yay for compliments without being told bad news!). I wore it last night to Aunt Jane's birthday dinner and felt good in it.

Every girl needs a "The Dress" in her closet that she can go to when she wants to feel good.

(Mine happens to be from kiragrace.com and it's called the "Goddess Corset Yoga Dress". It's made of the same fabric that they make their yoga clothes out of so its a bit compressive and smooths out the bad bits. And because it is athletic fabric it is moisture wicking and keeps me cool and dry on those days when it is hotter than the surface of the sun outside.  Athleta also makes some similar dresses...)

You will see me in it a lot this summer...

Pretend I didn't just wear it yesterday, mmk?

Because all it takes for me to decide to live in something is to have a handsome man tell me I look pretty in something (even if it is my sweet doctor...he's still a handsome man!)

See how helpful I am? You can all go shopping now...

And I am going to get dressed and go spin...because these mushy muscles need to pedal and I need to set my soul right and now that I have found forgiveness for my steps backward.

My cancer journey is a learning journey.

I'm learning each day more about myself...growing in ways I never thought was possible.

Finding forgiveness for my imperfections and stumbles and steps backward has been a challenge but I now know that my life is not on a straight forward trajectory.

My life is a series of stops and starts and and not a smooth path but rather one of hills and valleys.

And I am not alone in having a life that does that...most of us do.

Sometimes we get sent back to the start and we begin again...sometimes we have to stop in the middle and reset...sometimes we have to run backward to keep going forward.

I'm running backward right now but it's only so I can have more room to launch myself forward...

Look out...I'm gonna keep going...

Because I won't stop until I reach the top...the summit is ahead and I will reach it...

Inspiration Song: "No Tears Left to Cry"---because I am obsessed with it...and because I'm not gonna cry about it any more...I'm lovin, I'm livin, and pickin it up...

Right now, I'm in a state of mind
I wanna be in, like, all the time
Ain't got no tears left to cry
So I'm pickin' it up, pickin' it up (oh yeah)
I'm lovin', I'm livin', I'm pickin' it up

Bye darlings...I'm learning that life is a series of forward and backwards moves...maybe I should have learned to play chess...in any case I'll keep starting over as long as I am given the chance to....

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Dance with my Father

I'm gonna take a quick break from all the sturm und drang that is my cancer blogging and talk today about my Daddy.  It's Father's Day and it's been rough on me for the last 24 years that he has been gone. Today I am feeling all the feels and so I just want to let it out for a bit...back to cancer soon...maybe even later this week if I finish my "I started this 3 weeks ago" blog...

Hello Darlings and Happy Father's Day!

I'm sending love and best wishes to all the dads out there.

I lost my Daddy in 1994.

I miss him every single day.


I woke up this morning and so wished I could call him or better yet be with him at his house so I could get up and treat him to breakfast.

I found a photo of him and me when I was a baby and posted it on social media and then the tears started.

Going through these last few years has been rough not having him around.

I miss his wisdom and I miss his humor.

I think he would love having an adult relationship with my kids and I think he would be very proud of how I handled my divorce and building a life alone and most especially how I have handled my cancer.

Many of you who read this blog knew my dad.

Bobby was a man of great charm.

To know him was to love him.

He wasn't always easy to deal with (ask Super Sharon his former assistant) but most of the time he was someone you just wanted to be around.

I think he could charm a snake just with his grin...

My dad told great stories.

I think it is where I get my love of being a storyteller comes from.

I only wish I had made him write some of them down.

And oh how he loved horses and cars.

He was never happier than when he was in the saddle or driving.

When he had his heart attack and the docs told him he might not be able to ride or drive he said "well then let me die..."

He never sat pretty in the saddle.

Far from it.

He had a way of riding that we called "the funky chicken" because his arms would flap about.

He was put on a saddle as soon as he could sit up and he developed more horse sense than any man I ever knew.  And he wasn't too bad with the cattle either...

He won a World Cutting Championship (in the most ugly way possible) and was once featured riding hard on the cover of Fortune magazine.

He would come home from working cattle and would pretty much be a filthy dirty mess...but he loved every minute of it and I'm pretty sure his soul roams the Laureles division of the King Ranch looking after the cattle and the turkeys and deer.

Daddy loved to hunt but was always respectful of the animals he killed. We ate them or he gave the meat to friends. Hunting was sport but he also treated it as part of the circle of life.

He once killed an elephant (the elephant was old and sick and he was asked to put it down because he was a crack shot). He said it was the hardest kill of his life. He didn't speak much of it but he was gifted with the tusk (this was in the 60's) and some of the hide. He had boots made from the hide and he loved them so much we buried him in those boots.

He loved to hunt so much that he turned a car into a hunting vehicle.

He took a Tornado and had the roof and doors removed and had the King Ranch Saddle Shop make him rifle scabbards to go on the sides.

He would fly that thing (yes it had wheels but he made it FLY) around the King Ranch and once took his good friend Captain Pete Conrad for a ride in it. Pete was an astronaut. 2nd moonshot. Walked on the moon. He took my dad to a lift off for one of the Apollo missions and when my dad felt the rumbling of the Saturn rocket he asked Pete:

"how the hell did you handle all that rumbling and roughness?"

Pete answered: "because I drove across the King Ranch with you in your hunting car---it was great training!"

Yeah, to ride with Daddy was always an adventure.

When my stepmother gifted him with a Porsche one Christmas he couldn't wait to drive.

He made up an excuse to drive into Ingram and I was the unlucky and unwilling passenger.

We made it to Ingram in 8 minutes.

It usually took 10...

not kidding...

I came back from that little trip white as a ghost and as mad at him as the time he made me ride "Space Mountain" at Disney World.

No wonder Pete thought riding a Saturn rocket was a breeze compared to my dad driving a car with no door and roof across the south Texas landscape.

Speaking of that car---once he turned it into the Bat Mobile.

He came to pick me and Noel up from high school dressed as Batman (with my step mother dressed as Batgirl) in the "Batmobile".

Noel hid...

I ran to the car and my friends wanted a ride.

Only my dad could drive across town dressed as a comic book character and not be embarrassed.

I think it made the small town paper...and some of my friends probably still remember it.

As for the Batman costume it was a gift for his 40th birthday and my cousin Tio had a Robin costume to go along with it. I have photos...they are great...

My dad was an enigma of sorts---he was such a rough and tumble cowboy who rode horses and shot guns but he's also the man who chose my prom dress and cried so much when he saw me at Neimans in my wedding gown that I had to go and fetch him from the adjoining salon.

He collected western art yet loved Lalique crystal.

He loved scotch and red wine and good cold Mexican beer.

He loved a very rare steak and always had his beloved chilipetins on the table to go with it.

He loved to sing but usually only in Spanish (El Rey was a favorite)

He loved cars so much he once owned and ran a car dealership

He collected guns, cars, western art and children---there were 9 of us!

I had a complicated relationship with him.

When he said one thing I often had to prove him wrong

Like my wedding day when he said "are you sure" my answer was to grab my gown and his arm and said "the trumpet is playing let's go" even though he was right and I should have run out the church doors.

A particular conversation changed what I studied in college...

If truth be told I really just wanted to study to be a teacher.

I love teaching and I love kids.

If I had my way I would have been an art/art history teacher.

But a conversation we had when I was 13 changed that course for me.

After my father married my stepmother my mom would not allow us to travel to Houston every other weekend for visitation so my father leased some ranch property near Kingsville. We stayed in the guest house because the main house on the ranch was under dispute from the heirs to the property. They were fighting about it so they leased the property to my dad until things could be settled.

The ranch itself was in a bit of a mess and my dad was helping them by culling wildlife and grazing cattle there.

He took me out for a drive and we discussed why the ranch had not been properly managed which led us to a discussion of what would happen if he had a ranch of his own (we did have property in Montana) and he died.

Who would run the ranch?

And he informed me he planned to groom my brother to be his successor.


My brother?

I looked at him and said "why not me?"

and I knew the answer....

because I was a girl.

And I was supposed to grow up, get married, have babies, cook perfect meals and serve cocktails and be a lady...

So I went to Texas A&M and studied Agriculture and confounded all my professors and showed up to Animal Science class dressed in a mini skirt and heels...and once rearranged a set of steers all while wearing stilletos and tight jeans and a typical 80's top with my hair in a perfect version of big 80's hair.

A few of my classmates called me "Hurricane Anice".

I'll take it....

My dad never expected me to run his ranch but he was beyond proud the day I got my degree and despite his University of Texas loving soul he resigned himself to the fact that I was an Aggie and loved it.

And I still ended up getting married and having babies and cooking perfect meals and serving cocktails and I'm a lady...and I never ran the ranch...

My dad loved women.

He really really loved women.

And when he saw a beautiful woman he would say "now that's a chickipoo" (he called beautiful women "chickipoo")

Last night I went to go see "Book Club" with Twirler Girl.

We loved it (very cute movie if you are a woman over a certain age).

Candace Bergen is in it.

My father took my sisters and me to Paris (see my blog "La Femme Parallel" for those adventures) and we were lucky enough to get to fly on the Concorde.

The Concorde had a private lounge and we were waiting to board our flight while relaxing in the lounge.

In walked the most glamorous woman I have or will ever see.

She was a statuesque blonde wearing a full length mink coat and heels and sunglasses and she was on the arm of an older gentleman.  Back in that day you could go to the gate or the lounge even if you weren't flying on the flight. The man was clearly going on the flight but she was just there to see him off. She had eyes only for him.

My dad took one look at her and said "Now THAT is a chickipoo" and I could only stare.

I said "she looks like a movie star" and Daddy said "she is....She is Candace Bergen".

I had no clue who she was but I knew she was beautiful...

My poor stepmother was 5 months pregnant and had swollen ankles and watched my dad's eyes pop out of his head looking at the movie star.

But Daddy being Daddy he walked over to her...kissed her and told her SHE was the most beautiful woman in the room.

That was Daddy...

An appreciator of beautiful women but he knew how to take care of the women he loved.

I don't have any personal items belonging to him.

My stepmother never let me have anything but I have memories that no one can take from me.

And this is my fondest one...

it was the night before he died.

My daughter was 2 months old

Daddy was in the hospital and had had an angiogram and was scheduled for bypass surgery the next day (the surgery he would ultimately die from).

Daddy was so excited to have a granddaughter and he bought my daughter several over-the-top baby gowns and dresses that basically made her look like a giant meringue confection.

I dressed her up in one of the confection dresses and took her up to see him.

He opened his arms to receive her and held her for the hour or so we were there.

He was the happiest I had ever seen him and he was delighted to be holding and kissing his grandchild.

When it was time to go and I was taking him from his arms he said:

"She's the best thing you have ever done"

and at that moment any and all disappointment I had ever had from him vanished.

Because I truly succeeded in his eyes by producing this beautiful perfect child.

I kissed him and we told each other we loved each other.

The next day he had surgery and never woke up.

My last memories of him are of him in a coma but I truly prefer to remember that moment he handed her over to me.

I did something perfectly in his eyes.

I had strived all my life to do it.

And I finally did.

My dad was complicated, charming, funny, difficult, imperfect and easy to love.

And he will always be the first man I ever loved and even though we had a complicated relationship I feel blessed to be his daughter.

I have more tales to tell but there is a steak on my counter that needs cooking in his honor and some red wine I need to pour.

So to all who knew and loved my Daddy I hope you had a little remembrance of him as you read this...

and now I will go make a rare steak and think of him...

Happy Father's Day Daddy....I love you...

Inspiration Song: "Dance with my Father" by Luther Vandross. Because I wish I could dance with my father once again:

If I could steal one final glance
One final step
One final dance with him
I'd play a song that would never ever end
Cause I'd love love love to
Dance with my father again

Bye Darlings....back to cancer blogging next time but for now I just wanted to give you all a glimpse of the wonderful man I called my Daddy...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Here It Goes Again

Hello Darlings...

So it's been a few weeks since I blogged...sort of had a lot happen so pull up a chair, pour a cup of coffee (or wine, or water, or whatever), get comfy and settle in to hear the nonsense...


where to start?

in the past week I have had chemo, a hospital stay and my ex got married...so yeah your Magical Unicorn has had a lot of sheeeeet on her plate.

Let's start with chemo....

chemo...glorious chemo...

So let me tell you...Mondays in the MH Cancer Center are basically a circus.

Because Monday...

Because Cancer...

Because Monday...

Ever hear the old saying "Not My Circus. Not My Monkeys"????

Well that's how I felt the first time up there...

but guess what...

it's my damn circus and all the damn monkeys are mine.

And the monkeys are having a rave.

And they are serving trash can punch (chemo).

So there...that's what Monday is like in the MHTMCCC (Memorial Hermann The Medical Center Cancer Center).

But hey I like my circus and the tent has a glorious view of downtown and the lion tamers (the nurses) are the best.

So the ONE request I made..the ONE DIVA MOVE I have done was the following:


Because unless you get one of the 2 "suites" as I call it with the big window all to yourself and a real hospital bed the other two beds are the hard awful gurneys and and they are only bearable for an hour and there is no window and I get to have the trash can punch for about 5-6 hours.


Well when SweetMaria calls me up she says I am going to...

a bed...

oh no...

but lo and behold...

I got the Super Suite...I got the hospital bed with the big window...so my back was not in pain and I got to look outside and see our beautiful city the whole time.

My daughter and Aunt Jane came with me.

We made a party of it and brought unicorn horn headbands and played "Don't Stop Me Now" when the nurse gave me my dose of the newest brand of poison they have decided will kill El Diablo.

I cried...

not gonna lie...

looking at that bag of poison made me break down and cry because here the hell we go again.

Once the tears stopped (thanks to sweet hugs from my daughter) I handled the rest of the chemo like a boss (on a wicked steroid...that's the Everclear in the trash can punch: Decadron).

Chemo done we headed home, cooked dinner and I recovered.

The next day shall be known as the Day of Trying Not to Eat ALL the Carbs...

You know you are under the influence of a bad nasty steroid (ie the Everclear in the Trash Can Punch) when you:

Door Dash from JCI (translation: use a food delivery service to bring you food from a fast food place...in this case it was James Coney Island)

you order fries AND onion rings

you order a patty melt (and not a hot dog at a place known for hot dogs)

you forget to ask beloved daughter if she wants anything

you forcefully remove the fries (after eating 3) and onion rings (after eating 3) and half of the sandwich from yourself so you can't hurt yourself.

Yes...you Door Dash fast food and you don't look back...

(plan for next time: have a friend in place to bring me a healthy lunch the next day so I am not tempted to DD...or make my dear daughter fetch me something I should not eat.)

I survived the rest of the day and no more Door Dashers had to come to me and I didn't hurt myself with fast food.

And then Wednesday happened...

Let's start with the fact that I was launched out of bed by a call from the Ex.

The Ex got married this weekend.

more on that later...

but TCBITW (The Cutest Boy in the World) needed to be in an Uber at that moment and TCBITW was not answering his phone and his Padre was mighty worried. They had a plane to catch.

To Mexico.

More on that later...

So me being the NICEST EX WIFE IN THE WHOLE WORLD WHO PUTS HER KIDS AHEAD OF HERSELF got out of bed and stopped the Uber from leaving and got TCBITW out the door and headed back to bed where sleep eluded me even though daylight was barely dawning...

I had plans with KuteKris for lunch...now lemme tell you about KuteKris:

1)she is STUNNING (as in girl crush stunning)
2) she has the prettiest eyes I have ever seen on a human
3)her heart is bigger than her body
4)she is a badass babe cancer survivor (breast cancer....)

so we had plans and all of a sudden the "yucks" hit me...

KuteKris TOTALLY got it and I went to bed...

and then Aunt Jane and my former camp counselor (and Jane's friend) Terrific Tracy came by and I choked down some food and went to bed....

color Wednesday as :ugly...

Thursday: more of the same

Friday: More of the same...except I was having monster carb cravings again so once again the gods of Door Dash were summoned and dear daughter and I had IHOP.

Yes, we DD'd IHOP...

and I won't feel bad about it a bit.

IHOP blueberry pancakes can fix anything.

KuteKris fetched me ginger ale, my very favorite cookies (iced sugar cookies from Memorial Bakery are my drug of choice), and a beautiful rose plant.

I thought I was done.

Then Saturday happened.

Saturday I had plans with some of my #rideordie beauties to celebrate the upcoming birth of DearDom's little one Penelope (cutest name EVER). We had plans for pedis and lunch.

I made it to the pedi.

Lunch was when things got dicey.

1/2 an avocado toast and I called it a day.

And drove to school.

Now you are sitting there thinking "why the hell did she do that?" but it was auditions and I promised the kids I would show up.

So I showed up, saw that SashaFierce was there (y'all watch out...I'm 99% sure she's hitting Hamilton sometime in the next year...just a feeling I have but I'm betting on my girl.) and we headed up to the sound booth so I could nap.

I visited with her, napped, and heard glorious voices coming from below.

One voice I had not heard before but lordy I know talent when I hear it.

So I went downstairs, listened with pride to my kids as they sang their hearts out and then told GOTT I felt awful and needed to leave. He totally got it. I'm pretty sure I looked like hell.

Came home, got in bed, dear daughter climbed in with me and made me take my temperature and we watched it climb...


time to call Dr. Rockstar

And Dr. Rockstar quickly informed me I was gonna have a vacay in the hospital.but no


I had so many other plans for vacay...like KuteKaren1's lake house at some point....or maybe a quick trip to Austin....but no I get to go to Memorial Hermann...

Camiel and I packed my bag because there was no way I was gonna spend days in the hospital in the same underwear, in an ugly gown, with no skincare, and not have my pillow.

Fun tip: always pack your pillow

Fun tip: you will be more comfy in your own nightgown or pajamas

So I called up KuteKaren2 and she and her magic chariot got us to MHTMC and I got a fun visit to the ER (just the waiting room).  It was a hoppin good time in there...

Fun fact: Saturdays are not a great day to go to a level one trauma ER...I kept hearing LifeFlight but thankfully did not see anyone...

Because Dr. Rockstar is a rock star she called ahead and they were semi-ready for me so after about half an hour they stuck a beautiful hospital bracelet on me and handed me my walking papers...


they told me to walk up to my room...

with a 102 degree fever

I asked for a patient escort...

Fun fact: there should be more than one person to wield a wheelchair to get a patient from the ER to a room. We were told I could walk up there or wait. With my fever (and generally feeling crappy).

yes, I want to walk the length of 6 football fields when I feel like hell.

no really....it's a huuuuuuuuuge hospital...

so we inquired about getting a patient escort to take me up.



seriously--one hour...

I walked.

I had to stop several times but by damn I walked.

and collapsed on the bed.

I got into my gown, put on the adorable (kidding) yellow socks and got myself under the covers and yay I had a fever of 102.4

good times people...

good times...

I was having lower gut issues that were worsening by the minute.

I had been suffering for a few days but it had abated a bit...but came back with a vengeance.'

Fun fact: I do not like admitting that here but it is part of the reason I was in the hospital.

So first they have to make sure I don't have C-diff.

I'm gonna spare you the details but consult Dr. Google if you like.

If you are really feeling crazy Google one of the ways they fix it (hint: it's a poop transplant).


I did not consult Dr. Google until they cleared me that I DID NOT have C-diff. (I learned about the "cure" from cute Dr. Resident 2). Apparently it is horrible to try to cure, especially if you are a cancer patient.

All done with Dr. Google?

grossed out?

yes I was too...


So Cute Dr. Resident1 comes in and tells me about the possibility of C-diff and informs me that Dr. Rockstar says I am her favorite patient.

Because I am

Because I am a magical unicorn.

now I have proof that I am the favorite for BOTH of my oncologist.

Because I am a magical unicorn.

She says they are gonna try to figure out what is wrong so they will run test.

So they ran test

and never figured out what was wrong but I got a sheeetload of antibiotics and thankfully since I was on the oncology floor they could use my port so yay no iv...

They put me on some antibiotic called vancomycin.

Fun Fact: if they infuse it in you too fast you can get "Red Man Syndrome"

Fun Fact: I got Red Man Syndrome.

I noticed a tingling in my scalp and then the itching started.

I called my nurse.

Nurse Felix walks in, takes one look at my face, races to the pump and turns off the meds and runs out of the rooms saying something about Benadryl.

I look at my face.


Red whelpy blotches everywhere.

It's common so it has a name.

I text photos of myself to Angel Amy and Twirler Girl...because you have to have sympathy when yo look like hell...

Nurse Felix comes in and hits me in the port with the Benadryl and boy howdy when it hits it hits like morphine...woah...

Fun Fact: Benadryl can MESS YOU UP

That on top of my sleeping meds and I was out like a light until they came in 4 hours later to poke me again and then back to sleep.

In the morning adorable Dr Resident 1 came in and checked me and we had a laugh about what happened and she confirmed I was now HER favorite patient.

Doctors love me...

just saying...

So then Dr. Rockstar comes in and I inform her that I was sorry I messed up her weekend but I had given her all of November, December, January, February and most of March not to deal with me and I was ready for her to focus all her love and attention on me.

She's such a badass...she has 5 year old twins...

and me...

I get to be her third child.

She tells me I don't have C-diff and we have no clue why I am sick and lets hope the fever ends and that the gut issues resolve.

She cursed me....

gut issues hit relentlessly (but damn I did not lose any weight because a carby BRAT diet was what I was told to eat)

Fun Fact: I get along with carbs just not the carbs that make up a BRAT diet.

I got another fever at 4:30 in the afternoon when KuteKaren2 was visiting.


Cute Dr. Resident 2 comes in and we chat...she tells me about the poop transplant. We bond. She tells me she is going home to eat lunch (it is 8:30 at night)

Fun Tip: be nice to the residents...they need to learn...and they are TIRED....

Now while ALL of this is transpiring my son is down in Mexico with his father.

Who got married on Sunday.

Congratulations to him!

(REAL TALK: I am very very happy for him and his new bride. Honestly. 100%. I got rid of him. I haven't been in love with him for at least 10 or more years. I have never ever every considered going back to him and I have never ever ever regretted divorcing him. I am happy he has a new life with someone who is nice and is good to my children.)



I am soooooooo tired of being alone.

I just want a date.

I do not need to get married.

I just want a nice man to tell me I look/smell nice and that dinner was good and that he appreciates me and holds my hand.

that's all...

(but if I do get married I am totally getting my body into incredible shape so I can wear a copy of Meghan Markle's Stella McCartney gown)

So my ex got married

and I was in the hospital suffering

and guess what...we both came out ok

because he is happy now

and I was incredibly well cared for on this little step in my journey

and things were as they should be...because he needs a new life and my life does not include him and my journey is through this hell called cancer so that things can be shared...learned...experienced...

and I fully believe that somewhere on this journey the man of my dreams will be part of it...he will have a part in this situation.

I have a dear old friend (and by old I don't mean she is old but rather she is one I have known for a very long time).

She was lucky enough to find love again and married the sweet man of her dreams a couple of years ago. They are so happy.

And now he has cancer.

And he will totally beat it.

Because he is going to.

I know it.

And God gave him to my friend because God knows that SHE is the right woman to handle what is happening to him.

She will help him through it.

She will be his helpmeet.

And soon they can resume a happy hospital-free life together.

(Shoutout to my girl B and my man T...when we get this sheeeeet under control how about meeting in the Big K for some dinner at King's Inn? The drum is on me...you get the shrimp...I'll bring the champs...can I haz my own tartar sauce?)

It's been so hard for them but they will make it...and their love story gives me hope that somewhere on my road there is the man God intends to love me...he's there...somewhere on this path...maybe he's someone I have crossed paths with and maybe he's someone I have yet to meet....but he's on the path...I know it.

I promised my children that we would always be a family.

We might not be a married family but we are a family.

And I totally welcome my ex's new wife and her son as part of our family.

They are my family now.


Because family isn't just about rings, and weddings, and births and who's married to who.

Family is about who you love and doing life together.

It's about who you do the hard stuff with.

It's about who is there when the good stuff happens and the bad.

My kids have two parents that love them and now a step mother that cares very much for them (I can't say if she loves them but I bet she does as she is a loving woman).

They are lucky.

I am lucky.

If I was bitter and jealous my family could not work.

Yes, I sure wish I hadn't spent 2 nights in the hospital without a sweet love to hold me when I was scared and to laugh when my face turned red but that's not where I am in my journey.

Instead I had the help of very sweet nurses and awesome doctors and wonderful friends like KuteKaren2, Angel Amy and Heavenly Heather (who brought the sweetest card for me from #teamangel).

Angel Amy headed to Houston, plopped a casserole in my fridge before heading to the hospital with dear daughter in tow and came and fetched me for them to release me. We hit up Walgreens and Randalls and came home and gobbled up her delicious casserole and all slept like happy girls.

So there you go...the tale of my rollercoaster week....

a week of chemo...


happiness for my ex...

2 new family members...

my face turning red....

watching my kiddos sing briefly....

pedis with sweet friends...

delicious food prepared by a friend who loves me...

friends who took care of me and my dear daughter when I couldn't...


great nurses and doctors...


unicorn cookies....

and I almost had a poop transplant...

yeah...that last one was unexpected too...

Inspiration Song: Here It Goes Again by OK GO! One of the funnest (is that a word?) videos I have ever seen is to this song.... it's the one on the treadmills (watch it on YouTube)..literally one of the greatest videos ever (theirs are off the charts clever)...they once did the song live with the treadmills on an awards show and didn't miss a beat...because with me it's always "here it goes again"...


Bye Darlings....my family is happy and intact and has 2 new members...I'm ok and didn't need a poop transplant but did get a really red face...and I get to do the chemo again after the holiday (and Dr. Sweetmeds assures me that I won't be nearly so sick this next time...but I'm not holding my breath because if there is a wrinkle to be had I will make it into a mountain)

I'm going to start dedicating my blogs: this one is for you Brenda M....and Tom....

#uterinecancer #cancerblog #teamunicorn #princesscancer #uterinepappilaryserouscarcinoma

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Don't Stop Me Now

Hello Darlings...

It's been a while...and so much has happened.

It's time for some real talk....serious talk...scary talk...

It's not gonna be pretty...

I need you to be strong for me...and maybe go take a shot of whiskey or pour a strong cup of coffee because what's about to go down here isn't easy for me to say and won't be easy for many of you to read.

There will be some bad language used here...


Here goes...

Deep breath...

El Diablo is still with me.


the worst has happened

my cancer is not truly in remission.

My damn Uterine Pappilary Serous Carcinoma is still hanging around.

F'ing El Diablo...



I still have active cancer in me...

Thankfully my wonderful docs are calling this more of a progression of my disease rather than a recurrence.

Because a recurrence would be very very bad.

Like "make plans for end of life" bad.

But this is just El Diablo still hanging out trying to be a menace instead of me being classified as fully in NED (No Evidence of Disease) state and El Diablo returning.

Apparently when I had my scans in January and got so excited because Dr. Angel was so pleased we thought I was in the clear it was a bit premature.

El Diablo had other ideas.

El Diablo decided not to fully leave.

El Diablo decided to hide away in my pelvic lymph glands and hang out for a bit longer.

And lest you think Dr. Angel was wrong about anything he fully explained to me that it was a very very real possibility that my disease was still with me but at that time things looked very positive.

Because all it takes is for one cancer cell to remain and...





One of the lymph glands was a bit enlarged in January but it was more of a "let's watch this" enlarged vs a "let's worry about this" enlarged.

So a few rogue cancer cells remained and now El Diablo is trying to stir up trouble for me, Dr. Rockstar, Dr. SweetMeds and Dr Angel.


But I have a few things on my side:

I'm generally healthy (other than a recently fused spine and cancer)
I have badass doctors
I have a will and determination that will not be matched.
I have so many reasons to live.
I have so many prayer warriors who will pray for me
I have so many friends who will care for me.

So now I really have to fight.

Basically I am looking at last year with the chemo and radiation as being BOOT CAMP.



full on war.

Because I really don't have time for this shit.

I have things to do.

Somewhere out there is a man I am supposed to love and he is supposed to love me.

I have kids that need a mama even though they are adults. They need to have me guide and love them and I need more time with them. They are my happiest of happies and I need more years with them.

I have shows to costume and students to cheer and love on.

I have so much left here to do and say.

I think I might have a book in me...

I have places to travel (Florence in 2020 is GONNA HAPPEN)

I have meals to make...

I have so many things to learn, experience and try...

I have things to teach my doctors about how to cure my shitty cancer and I get to make them even more badass because they are gonna be even more expert in my cancer and they are gonna be known as doctors who have successfully vanquished a really badass tough extra extra extra case of UPSC.

I found out that El Diablo was still stirring up trouble during my hospital stay over Easter.

In fact the grand news was delivered to me by a teary-eyed resident on Good Friday (Dr. Rockstar was out of town and Dr. Angel was at his other office).

When I went to the hospital it was because the pain was so horrific.

But what I hadn't shared with anyone but my closest friends and family was that at my checkup with Dr. Rockstar (in the midst of the storm that was my torn disk) my CA125 level went from 13 in January to 43.


so we knew something was up.

So my "routine" PET scan was moved up a few weeks.

But part of the reason I went into the hospital was also because I knew that unless I was admitted and given some pretty good monitoring, pain meds and mild sedation that there was no way I could get into the PET imaging machine.

So the first test I was given once my pain was starting to be managed was the PET.

I don't remember much (thank you sedation) but I do know I hurt and cried and prayed.

And the next morning it wasn't showing cancer in my hip so we had a little party in Jones 326 (my room) but then the resident came in that afternoon when TwilerGirl and I were happily thinking I was in the clear.

And she told me the news...


F you El Diablo

All I wanted to do was cry my eyes out and scream...

thankfully TwilerGirl let me do it and we called AngelAmy and all had a good cry.

But then it was time to solve the short term problem of what the hell was causing me pain so I didn't have too much time to dwell on it.

I let my #teamunicorn know what was going on and my #teamAngel (my peeps at radiation) knew the bad stuff was back and HeavenlyHeather brought in Trixie the Magical Unicorn Balloon and I knew that my mascot was going to be a unicorn and like a unicorn I am a mystical creature. HeavenlyHeather gave me the perfect gift---she gave me a concept I can create my battle plan around.

I have often joked that I am a magical unicorn.

I've even told Dr. Angel that I am (so did KuteKaren1 when she yelled at him to fix me...thankfully he followed her order and is trying to fix me) and his team and I joke I am a unicorn.

Even Dr. Spine (my neurosurgeon) has been told I am a magical unicorn....I told him when he talked to Dr. Angel to get clearance on my surgery to tell Dr. Angel that he was gonna fix his magical unicorn.

I've told the nurses I am a magical unicorn....and everyone else at Memorial Hermann that will listen to me...

I believe in unicorns...they are real...

and I believe in me....I can do this...

so #TeamUnicorn was born and I am now ready to take this fight to the next level.

When Dr. Rockstar and Dr. Angel came to see me in the hospital after Easter Sunday they both acknowledged this won't be easy but we can do it.

Dr. Rockstar said she, and Dr. SweetMeds and Dr. Angel were gonna work on it and figure out how to vanquish El Diablo.  She said Dr. Angel and I were "peas and carrots" so she would not make any moves without his approval.

(He's the carrots----they are square so they are sturdy..they stay in place and you can easily get them and they are bright and they are full of good things. I am the peas....they roll around on the plate and you can't get them easily and they fall off your fork and it's harder to eat the peas...so yeah, we are peas and carrots...I'm gonna make t-shirts...)

Dr Angel was amused by my unicorn balloon and the unicorns in the room and I reminded him that I was his magical unicorn and his ONE JOB was to fix me. (Ok he can fix the other humans too but because I am so extra and so me he needs to make me the #1 priority in his life right behind eating, sleeping and breathing...

I told Dr. Rockstart that I'm her magical unicorn and I am gonna make her the most famous gynecological badass oncology surgeon in the world because I know she is going to spectacularly fix me. I told her she needs to get me to Florence.

And to my son's graduation in 2 years...because by damn who the hell does not want to sit in Kyle Field with 90 degree temperatures in May? (the engineering school has graduation in Kyle Field in May).

I told her that I am gonna come through this so amazingly that she will be amazed.

So once I was released from the hospital and surgery was scheduled my doctors got busy figuring out what to do about El Diablo and Dr. Spine got busy fixing my shredded disk.

(BTW Dr. Spine is pretty amazing....hit me up if you have spine trouble...he and his team are the bomb....Mischer Neuroscience Center at Memorial Hermann is top notch and only has the most badass of the badasses as part of their fancy collection of doctors...Dr. Angel is one too)

I had surgery April 20 and according to Dr. Spine I managed to spectacularly shred my disk and tear the little band of whatever that holds it in place (he was impressed by that). Basically my spine was acting like a mortar and pestle and was very unstable so he put in some rods and screws and used some witchcraft and fairy dust and fixed my spine. Thankfully the rest of my spine is good, strong and stable. He said my disk shreds were on the nerve and that is why I was in so much pain. He was pretty impressed that I wasn't in worse shape and then I reminded him I was a magical unicorn.

We still don't know how I did it but honestly I believe it happened as a way for us to find out El Diablo had just been hiding in a closet and was out and about playing in my body again.

So I gained a month which is important since just 2 months before I looked pretty amazingly free of the damn cancer.

As for spine surgery---listen to me with all your might:


I wish I could tell you what it is that can make that happen but we still don't know what I did to shred my disk up so it's all a mystery. So take care of your spine...listen to your body.

I have never ever hurt so much in my life. I thought the nerve pain was bad but waking up post surgery was the worst pain I have ever experienced.

I cried so hard it made my nurse get teary-eyed....

And I finally relented to have morphine as long as it was not on a PCA pump.

So that, and hydrocodone, got me through the pain.

I had all the big pain guns going...and yes I am fully free of them and have not needed anything more than a few Tylenol in the last week so there is no chance I'm gonna turn into an opioid addict on top of everything else.

Once I was stabilized in the PACU they moved me to my room.


If you are a Mischer Neuroscience patient you get the 4 star treatment (maybe 5 star as far as hospitals go). You get the fancy room...and they have their own fancy OR's....


we fancy here....

fancy cabinets in the room, fancy bathroom set up for a spinal surgery patient...


fancy nurses...

I begged him to let me go to the 3rd floor because my nurses are so incredible there...

I shouldn't have worried...

my nurses for fancy hotel hospital room were AMAZING and INCREDIBLE and LOVELY...

Oh my sweet JoyfulJoy was truly a gift from God...she took such awesome care of me that first night! And then I had Rani and then I had the magic that is RahRahRah....and sweet Keasha....I swear they were not only kind but truly beautiful...and Nancy and Grace were incredible too....


Those ladies were so wonderful...I don't know how I got so lucky.

So I spent 4.5 days in the hospital and was in pain but so grateful that the horrific nerve pain was gone.

So with the help of my #TeamUnicorn I got through these last 3 weeks and I had lots of yummy meals, sweet friends going to the grocery store for me, friends coming to visit and more precious unicorn gifts and flowers than I deserve (but I love them all).

I saw my docs this week...Dr. Rockstar and Dr SweetMeds explained the witchcraft they plan to do to me and Dr. Angel gave me hugs and reassurance and a vote of confidence in the planned protocol.

I've been warned that this horrific cancer might be like a chronic disease with me.

I might have too keep fighting non stop for a long long time.

So Monday I am going to start chemo again.

yup...more chemo

This time it's a new combo of drugs and thankfully it won't make me lose my hair.

I have to have it every other week....and currently I am scheduled through October.

it will likely go on longer than that so PLEASE DON'T ASK ME WHEN MY TREATMENTS WILL BE DONE.  If you ask me then I will tell you to read this blog again as an answer...in fact, let's just not ask questions, shall we? The worst thing you can do to a cancer patient is to ask them a lot of questions about their treatment...let them share if they want...

This is a marathon people...a war...not just a battle...

I'm ready...

#TeamUnicorn is ready on the battlefield too...

We got this...

and my daughter is home so she and Aunt Jane are going to take very good care of me....and TwilerGirl is on chemo duty once again so she is ready to help me with hydration (this chemo requires I drink a lot of water) and thankfully does not have to wrestle cold caps onto my head.

All my peeps in the cancer center are ready for me to come back and spread some more glitter around (but hopefully no spilled chemo drugs)

I'm gonna handle this like the magical unicorn I am...

because I got things to do people....

many many things to do....

and being at the mercy of my crappy cancer is not one of the things I want to do right now...

I have waaaaaaay better uses of my time than fighting cancer and I am pretty sure Dr. Rockstar, Dr. SweetMeds and Dr. Angel are gonna kick the shit out of El Diablo this time...

So I am sorry that I have kept this from most of you....it's not something I wanted to share until I was ready...and until I had a plan...until my children, family, students and those closest to me knew...and until I knew if this was an endgame or not...(pssst: it's not....)

I feel great other than the after effects of my spinal surgery and I am ready to take what they are going to throw at me.

So every other week I am gonna have poison put in my veins and then the rest of the damn time I am gonna live my life and use the time that God has given me.

You see He's not ready for me yet...He's leaving me here to do good works in His name and to be a badass magical unicorn.

He's leaving me here to show the power of faith and prayer...

He's leaving me here to demonstrate love...and hopefully fall in love...

He's leaving me here to mother my children....and to love my students....

He's leaving me here because GOTT needs a work wife (I am pretty sure he has been miserable without me)

He's leaving me here because I'm gonna teach my doctors how to beat this horrible disease...

He's leaving me here to drive Dr. Angel crazy....Dr. Rockstar is not thrown by my antics...she has 5 year old twins (nothing can throw a mom of twins---they are unflappable)...he on the other hand is completely baffled by the storm of energy that is me and I told him he needs me around to keep his life exciting...he doesn't have 5 year old twins so he needs me to keep things hoppin....

He's leaving me here so Dr. Rockstar can say "yes, you can cure Stage 4 UPSC" to other docs...

He's leaving me here so Dr. SweetMeds can know what protocols beat the crap out of UPSC

He's leaving me here so Dr. Angel can teach other docs how to make UPSC get the hell out of a patient...

He's leaving me here so that other Stage 4 cancer patients can have hope....

He's leaving me here so I can be an advocate for cold capping (I still plan to spread the word on it)

He's leaving me here so I can help my friend Grace spread the word about HPV prevention (via vaccine) to prevent future cancer....

He's leaving me here so I can meet Glennon Doyle and Oprah because they are my gurus...

He's leaving me here so I can love my kitties....

He's leaving me here so I can show others how to fight...and how to accept help.

Please don't tell me I am inspiring...or a source of strength...or anything like that....I am not doing anything that any of the rest of you wouldn't do if you were in my shoes.

I have proven I am strong and badass...so El Diablo is just gonna have to stand down.

I won't be stopped...

I have too much to do....

So El Diablo won't stop me now...

there is more ahead...

and starting on Monday I will get my port accessed and have the poison put in ...and it will do it's job and El Diablo will be no mas....

so sorry for all the secrecy but it's been a long recovery from the surgery and getting over the shock that El Diablo was still wanting to battle on.

I'll get through this...

one last thing...my daughter suggested that each chemo day have a theme so please suggest themes for me to make things a little less horrible every other Monday...

of course tomorrow is "UNICORNS"

and the next one is "PINK"

and the next one is "GLITTER"

I have at least 9 more after that so bring on the themes...

So tomorrow send me ALL THE PHOTOS AND MEMES on social media...put on your unicorn gear and send me love...

Thank you all for the love and support...with it I can keep going...

and El Diablo:



(sorry for the bad language...)

Inspiration Song: "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen...because before I got hurt I didn't think anything could stop me...and now El Diablo is trying to and I and #teamunicorn and #teamangel and #teamrockstar (which includes Dr. SweetMeds) are not gonna let him...so tomorrow when they start the new poison in my veins I am firing up this song on my phone and I'm gonna let Freddy Mercury scare the hell out of El Diablo...


Tonight I'm gonna have myself a real good time
I feel alive and the world I'll turn it inside out - yeah
And floating around in ecstasy
So don't stop me now don't stop me
'Cause I'm having a good time having a good time
I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky
Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity
I'm a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva
I'm gonna go go go
There's no stopping me
I'm burnin' through the sky yeah
Two hundred degrees
That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit
I'm trav'ling at the speed of light
I wanna make a supersonic man out of you
Don't stop me now I'm having such a good time
I'm having a ball
Don't stop me now
If you wanna have a good time just give me a call
Don't stop me now ('Cause I'm having a good time)
Don't stop me now (Yes I'm havin' a good time)
I don't want to stop at all
Yeah, I'm a rocket ship on my way to Mars
On a collision course
I am a satellite I'm out of control
I am a sex machine ready to reload
Like an atom bomb about to
Oh oh oh oh oh explode
I'm burnin' through the sky yeah
Two hundred degrees
That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit
I'm trav'ling at the speed of light
I wanna make a supersonic woman of you
Don't stop me don't stop me
Don't stop me hey hey hey
Don't stop me don't stop me
Ooh ooh ooh, I like it
Don't stop me don't stop me
Have a good time good time
Don't stop me don't stop me ah
Oh yeah
Oh, I'm burnin' through the sky yeah
Two hundred degrees
That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit
I'm trav'ling at the speed of light
I wanna make a supersonic man out of you
Don't stop me now I'm having such a good time
I'm having a ball
Don't stop me now
If you wanna have a good time (wooh)
Just give me a call (alright)
Don't stop me now ('cause I'm having a good time - yeah yeah)
Don't stop me now (yes I'm havin' a good time)
I don't want to stop at all
La da da da daah
Da da da haa
Ha da da ha ha haaa
Ha da daa ha da da aaa
Ooh ooh ooh

Bye Darlings: El Diablo might be still with me but I am here to stay...I have an Angel and a Rockstar and I am a magical unicorn...there is no stopping me....

Sunday, April 15, 2018

With a Little Help From My Friends

This blog is about my current condition with my back/hip...I will not be discussing El Diablo or anything about that right now...the jury is still out on that and so for now DO NOT ask me about my cancer or what is happening...I will let you know when I have something to tell...so let it go and let's focus on getting me over this hump right now...thanks!

Hello Darlings...

It's been a rough couple of weeks here for me...

actually pretty much a rough month...

I have NEVER

and I do mean



been in such pain

And I am pretty sure I did it in yoga...


I yoga'd too hard...

(and yes it is possible to yoga too hard)

About a month ago I felt a little twinge in my back.


but I went on and kept doing my spin and yoga...

and one night I did a stretch and in the middle of said stretch my brain said "um...not a good idea because I felt something there...hey Anice are you listening to me because you just did something to the spine down there and now spine is sending me a signal that you messed her up"

I ignored the message from my brain...


Now if you are a regular reader of this blog you know what followed was rest, a visit to a hip specialist, a shot in my hip and then all hell broke loose.

My amazing Aunt Jane surprised me with the gift of a ticket to see Garth Brooks at the Rodeo.

Now if you know me you know I HATE country music...

make that DETEST country music...

I only like Garth...and the Dixie Chicks...and Garth's wife Miss Trisha Yearwood...

that's it...

and it has long been my desire to see Garth


when I found out that Garth would be at the rodeo this year I told Aunt Jane that my reward to beating El Diablo would be to see Garth.

And when tickets sold out in seconds I gave up hope of seeing him...

but she and her friend Susan surprised me and Aunt Jane took me to see Garth.

But by then my hip hurt so much I could barely walk.

But I loaded up on pain meds, borrowed a walker and by damn I went to see Garth.

And I cried when he came out and I went out of my mind...he was the most entertaining singer I have ever seen...and he had as much fun doing the show as I did watching him...

And Miss Trisha was there.

And I cried when she came out and I went out of my mind.

Because I love her...and him...and her cooking show.

I know Trisha and I would totally be besties.

We love Garth
We like to Cook
We are blondes
we like to eat

and I know we would spend hours just gabbing and eating and having cocktails and laughing...

because she is awesome...

and one day I want a man to love me like Garth loves Trisha...

damn that man loves that woman and it shows...and it is sweet as hell...

So after I totally lost my mind (and thanked God through the whole thing....I thanked him for Garth, for the rodeo, for Aunt Jane, for pain meds, for my walker, for surviving cancer so I could see him...) I came home the happiest little Stage 4 UPSC survivor ever....

and then my hip got worse...

but 5 days later The Cutest Boy in the World was having a fraternity Mom's weekend and his 20th birthday...

and there was no way I was missing that

because last year for his birthday I was just trying to live and this year I wanted to celebrate

so Aunt Jane cancelled her plans and went with me to the weekend so that I could be with my son.

I booked a handicapped accessible room and in the hotel designer's wisdom said room was as far from the elevator as a room could be.

Mind you by this time walking was hell and sitting was impossible.

But I loaded up on pain meds and got myself to the mom's dinner where apparently I now own the title of "Mom Who Has Son Who Looks Most Like Her"...

he's my clone...

thank goodness it's my looks he has and not my brain

he got that from his dad

I speak glitter
My son speaks science

I made it through the dinner but the next day I was unable to do anything...I will spare you the details but basically I wasn't helping myself with trying to walk the halls (even with the walker) and I was destroying my body...

It was hell coming home but I made it and then spent the next few days crying and screaming and needing help to eat, feed my cats, bathe and take care of myself and doing the simplest of tasks.

And by screaming I mean that I literally could not hold back the guttural screams that escaped my mouth when I moved and I was in so much pain I could not function.

I finally gave in and realized I needed to be in the hospital under the care of professionals.

I called Dr. Angel's office for help because after many calls to Dr. Rockstar's office I was pretty sure the girls there were not understanding that I was in a serious pain and needed help and were not telling her (and yes there will be a serious discussion with Dr. Rockstar about this).

Dr. Angel's office and staff are like him---they work to help the patients as much as they can and as fast as they can. So I asked  HeavenlyHeather (the receptionist) to call and after talking to me she went running to Nurse Kim who literally talked me off the ledge and told me what to do.

God bless those women...they are loving ladies who take good care of their people...

So armed with knowledge from Nurse Kim I called Dr. Rockstar's office and informed them I was heading to the hospital (that resulted in them hopping like bunnies and finally telling her what was going on and admittance orders being sent) and I called KuteKaren2 and she fetched me and took me to the hospital.

I spent 4 hours in admitting waiting on a bed.

I spent 4 hours in admitting waiting on a bed while lying on a couch with my legs up in the air.

KuteKaren2 didn't care that I looked a fool and Heavenly Heather ran over from radiology therapy to check on me so she could tell the #AngelTeam that I was going to be ok...

I had to wait for a bed because apparently I was not the only person in need of a hospital that day.

They told me that they might put me on a floor other than 3 Jones for gyno.

I said "No"

"I will go to 3 Jones"

"Mimi is there and she will be my nurse. I need her. And Adam."

(Mimi was my nurse when I had my hysterectomy...we bonded...I have always thought about her and asked for her when I had my hernia surgery. She was not there but I had the awesome Adam to take care of me. I love my nurses. They are angels.)

So FiNALLY  they had a bed and I had the longest and worse ride of my life--the wheelchair ride up to 3 Jones was total hell because sitting was total hell. Poor KuteKaren2 tried her best to distract me and to get the guy pushing my wheelchair to get me up there as fast as possible but Memorial Hermann is a very large hospital that is like a maze so it takes a while...

As we passed the nurses station out of the corner of my eye I saw---


and then ADAM!

I got to the room and threw myself on the bed and went into my "lay on back with legs straight up" position for relief (right there that should have been a clue that we were dealing with a torn disk).

KuteKaren2 got me calmed down and settled in the room and by then I was begging for some pain relief....

and in the commotion of me getting into the bed and settled in the door opens and


Oh thank you Jesus in heaven...

KuteKaren2 sees her name tag and we both say a little "yay it's Mimi" which totally confuses Mimi.

I tell Mimi "I thank God for you...I pray for you...you won't remember me but you made an impact on me and your care for me was beyond amazing"

Later she tells me that she wasn't supposed to take a patient that day because she was charge nurse and they were very busy but the nurse who was to have me was overwhelmed by her patients so Mimi took me on. She had no clue who I was but did tell me once she saw my name again she remembered.

So God gave Mimi to me...

Thank you God...

What followed was a night of trying to manage my pain and get me to a state of comfort so that I could just breathe without crying.

Unfortunately all drugs make me itch and since it was in a pump I was dosing myself and over did it a bit but once I found the right amount to "give" myself and they gave me Benadryl I was ok...but for a while there I was in pain and like a dog with fleas.

Finally they got my pain managed and then it was time to see why the hell I couldn't sit, stand or walk...

First they give me to the orthopedic department.

I meet cute Dr. Aggie

He was a doll and tells me I get to have an MRI.

And so I got the MRI.

At 2 am in the morning.

Not kidding.


They loaded me up with pain meds, ambien and anxiety meds and loaded me in.

3 hours later they returned me to my bed.

Thankfully I slept the whole time.

(and it took 3 hours because...well I am not sure because I was sleeping...something about the machine not working and needing to be restarted but I was drugged out of my mind so I have no clue what happened).

Dr. Aggie says it's not my hip and I get another MRI

That one was done at 8 at night...

45 minutes with me drugged up again (I do not do well with closed spaces...very claustrophobic)

So after 2 MRI's, lots of pain meds, several days of nursing care and them handing me over to the neurology department it turns out that my "possible torn labrum in the hip" was...

drumroll please...

a torn disk between L4 and L5 and it's literally hitting the nerve to my hip unrelentingly.

The news was delivered to me by Dr. Adorable.

I love her.

She gets to be part of #teamunicorn

She's a resident but I plan to keep her around a lot.

When I asked her why this torn disk was causing me so much grief and I knew plenty of people who had torn disks who went about business as usual she informed me it was an "impressive" tear and that it was because the tear was hitting the nerve I was in constant pain.

There ya go.

Torn disk hitting nerve.

Apparently the neuro department was fascinated with my situation and gleeful that they stole me from ortho.

I told Dr. Adorable that I am a magical unicorn and that she could be part of the team and that I promised I would never bore her.

So I got to go home after 6 days and was given steroid meds and after a week I saw the neurosurgeon.

He did all kinds of strength tests.

And he checked my reflexes and sadly on my left side when he banged my knee with the little hammer it didn't move.

That is not good.

And then he had me stand behind a chair and try to stand on my bad leg and bend it while holding up my right leg and my leg crumpled under me.

That is really not good.

And now I am going to stop discussing what transpired between me and the neurosurgeon

Because you see as well meaning as most of you are there are some (many) of you who feel bound to give me your opinions on my condition.

And right now I need to trust my doctors.

I need to trust in what they are telling me what needs to be done.

And I need to trust that God has put me in the hands of who I need to be in the hands of.

So I am not going to say yet what my treatment is but I will say it is likely some surgery.

When it will happen I do not know.

What exactly he will do is something we are still discussing.

Who my doctor is is known to me and a few who need to know.

I learned through my hospital stay that sometimes I say too much...let too much out publicly.

Sometimes there are too many questions...phone calls when I am trying to be attended to for pain (yes please I love you all dearly but if I go in the hospital again please do not call the hospital and ask to speak to me...it seemed each time some well meaning friend called I was being attended to medically or was in so much pain it was really not a good time for a chat....)

I use this blog to get my feelings out but right now this particular medical crisis is one that I feel I need to sort out with myself, my team of doctors (including my oncologists because I am still a cancer patient) and my family and closest of friends.

I'm usually an open book but right now I need to keep the book a bit closed because I just can't have all the "you should go to him" or "you shouldn't do that!" or "you need second opinions from so and so" etc...

I had a discussion with my Aunt Jane as we left the neurosurgeons and I told her that I believe God has me on a path and has a plan for me and I need to trust in Him and trust that all has gone down as it should because it is part of His plan for my life.

I can go to many doctors and get many opinions but what was explained to me was pretty black and white and my anatomy is what it is.

Everyone's body is unique and different so hearing what your cousin's boyfriend's uncle had done to his back won't help mine...because it is MY spine and MY body...

I have to be in control here and use my own judgement and feelings on this so right now my judgement says that God is in control and I'm gonna follow God.

All of that being said I do have a point here and it's not so much about my condition itself but rather what I have learned about myself during all of this.

1) I can handle a lot of pain but at some point pain cannot be managed by my sheer will...

2) I am a warrior but no one can fight a war alone. You need an army. So I am building an army. We are gonna be #teamunicorn and for once in my life I will openly and honestly accept help from my friends because I am going to need it.

3) MRI's at 2 AM are annoying

4) my body is strong but sometimes it breaks...

5) hospital food is crappy but MH does make a damn good egg white omlette

6) God has a plan for me...it is not the plan I made but He is in control...I have to trust Him

7) nerve pain is far worse than surgical or muscle or joint pain...

8) I will never take walking, sitting or standing for granted again

9) nurses rock...and MH has the best ones in the whole world and I was so blessed to have the ones I did to take care of me...each and every human that attended to me was amazing and wonderful and I love each of them very much...

10) I can't change what happened to me so I have to move ahead...yes I hurt and it's been hard but whining about it endlessly does not change my situation or my spine...so I have to stay positive and look forward and move on the path.

So I will go back to #2 for a minute because that has possibly been the most impactful thing of all for me.

I've had to lean on friends.

Without KuteKaren2, Aunt Jane, Marvelous Maggie, Downtown Julie Brown, Super Sandra, Dreamy Deanna, my babes EthanBae and JohnBae, SuperSusan, SuperSuzanne, Marvelous Muffet, SweetLisa, GOTTESS, GOTT, TwirlerGirl, KuteKelly, HeavenlyHeather, MarvelousMichelle, and my AtomicBlondeTrish and so many I am sure I am forgetting I could not have made it through all of this...

I have needed help eating...feeding my cats...getting dressed...getting to the hospital...keeping my spirits up...getting groceries and cat food for me...bringing me treats to keep my spirits up...holding my hand seeing the doctors...

I have needed  a lot of help...

and if I have surgery I will need even more help

So I truly know that it takes a village to raise me and care for me...

I have needed the help of my doctors offices as well as my friends...and all the nurses who took care of me...

I don't ask for help easily.

I like to be the helper not the one being helped.

I'm the one who wants to jump in and take care of things and make things better for others.

But right now I am at the mercy of my body and I can't drive...lift or carry things...walk very far...stand very long...sit for very long...

I can't do much at all

So my friends have had to do it for me.

I can't tell you how humiliating it is to ask someone to bring you your toothbrush when you are stuck in bed but honestly I couldn't get up and walk far enough and stand long enough to do it...so others had to do it for me.

I've had to have help bathing and getting dressed.

Not easy for me (but lucky for me I am not modest so there ya go)

Asking someone else to help is hard for me to do.

But I also know that since I am someone who likes to help that others do to.

They feel helpless to change your situation so they want to help you by doing things for you.

I get that now.

I need to let my friends do things for me because it helps them too...it's acts of love and service and that means so much to me.

So I am learning...

and I will need to ask for more help so get ready...

I don't have a partner and the cats can't do anything for me other than snuggles and cuddles so I need my friends to do things I can't...

So when the time comes I will reach out and ask for the help...

and if you know me I will be specific about what I need...

and I can't tell you how much it means to me and how much I appreciate it.

I once said that friendships are like a garden...
you have some plants that bloom a short time and then go...
and others that bloom annually...
and some are vegetables and fruits and they nourish me...
and some are flowers and they add to the beauty of my life...
and some are trees and they shade and protect me...
and yeah there are some weeds...

Right now my friendship garden is in full bloom.

And right now all of you are the rain and sunshine in my world along with all the plants.

The plants are nourishing me as they do in real life because they give off oxygen and I need oxygen right now...and each plant in my friendship garden is giving oxygen and feeding me and making my days more beautiful.

My doctors are part of my garden too and so are my nurses and the techs and office staff that help the doctors...I guess they are the herbs and medicinal plants that help me stay healthy...

And God is the gardener...he is tending to all of it...

So thank you all for your love and support and prayers and help...

I need all of it.

And I am so grateful for all of it.

When a plan is made and things are clear I will let you know more.

For now keep blooming and flourishing in my garden of love and friendship...

Because as the Beatles say

I get by with a little help from my friends...

Inspiration Song: "I Get by with a Little Help from My Friends" by the Beatles...because these days I can't do things alone...I need help

Bye darlings...sorry to be harsh on the medical stuff but right now I need to sort things out for myself with my doctors and those closest to me. When I know more I will let YOU know more...