Our page is gone

I am a bit troubled.  A bit heartbroken.

When my wonderful mother-in-law passed from ovarian cancer, we researched to find the best cancer research foundation to honor her memory.  We found OCRA – Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance.  We looked into how much of the donations went to ovarian cancer research, it was the right place for us to forward donations from us, and those from our loved ones.

We created our own tribute page, uploaded the perfect picture, one from my in-laws 50th anniversary Alaskan cruise, and I sent it out to the world.  It was included in the obituary, and I linked it on my blog.

Today, I went to update my blog a bit, sort of organize things a bit better, and in doing such, I clicked on all my links, to make sure they were still active.

I clicked on the link to our tribute page, the one we had titled “In Myrt’s Honor.”  Gone.  The link did go to the main OCRA page, but the tribute, the picture, the counter showing the thousands of dollars we raised for the cause in Myrt’s honor was no longer there.  I searched the website, to see if I could find a way to see the page, and if the fundraising counter was still active.  Also gone.

Gone but definitely not forgotten.  Never forgotten.

I had gotten emails from the site, informing me they would be making updates, I guess I never thought the history of our tribute page would disappear though.

I have updated the link on the side of my blog, with the main webpage, for anyone that would like to donate to an ovarian cancer fund.  I still believe in the work the organization does.  If you donate, feel free to add “In Myrt’s Honor” to your donation, to honor a great lady, Myrt Klein.

 

Link to the OCRA website, in case you want it:

https://ocrahope.org

Our original donation page, because I can’t bring myself to delete it:

http://support.ocrfa.org/goto/InMyrtsHonor

We miss you every day.

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I refuse to make it a capital c

You all know I’m writing a book.  A mash up of a guide for what to expect, and a memoir of what I went through.  As I write, often, I think back to the lessons that were drilled into me at my first job, on how to punctuate presentations.  Completely different than what matters when you are learning how to write in your English and writing classes.  Those classes teach you more about structure, sentence and paragraph arrangement.  Not how to make things aesthetically pleasing.

There were lots of rules.  What to capitalize, what to leave lower case.  The rules used grammar words that maybe you don’t hear day to day.  Prepositions, and what not. The rules included font size, and how to do bullets, sub bullets, and the like.  But it was nice to have a guide.

Often, in my writing, especially with my titles, I continue to adopt some of those same rules, especially for when to capitalize and when to leave lower case.

But I refuse to give cancer a capital c.  Refuse.  It’s not important enough.  It doesn’t deserve it.  Have I done it in the past, I wonder?  Maybe.  But guess what?  From this point forward, it will not be granted capital status.  Little c.  That’s what you are.  You giant turd of a disease.  You don’t even deserve to be capitalized.  Take that.  HAHA.  Am I a bully now?  If my victim is cancer, then, yes, yes I am.

Take that.  Little c.  turd of an existence.  take that.

End of an..era? aka Head Shaving mini-anniversary

I just finished up the last bit of conditioner in the bottle.  In the bottle that I bought before I was diagnosed with cancer.  The bottle that I had before my hair all fell out.  In 2016.  The bottle that sat, untouched, for months in the shower, but I didn’t find the need to move it to the cabinet.

I noticed, of course, that it was running low.  Just last week, I had to turn it upside down so that I could get the last bits out if it, and not be wasteful.  In our last trip to the store, I went to the shampoo/conditioner aisle.  As I went to grab some conditioner, I had to pause and consider…do I really need conditioner for dry/damaged hair?  It’s not been up there for that long, it certainly hadn’t had a chance to become dry or damaged, heck, it’s barely been in the ocean once since it came back.  Do I need the kind for flat/limp hair?  Something to add body.  Well, no, it’s got quite a bit of fluff to it, in fact, if left to its own devices, it can get a bit pouffy…so, what’s the right kind?  Decisions I’ve not had to make, well, ever, to be honest.  Back in the day, mom would buy the hair products and I would use them.  By the time I had to fend for myself, my hair was really long, so something to add moisture, usually the one for dry/damaged hair, sometimes one that added body was my way to go.  What should I buy now?  It’s my brand new hair.  It was an interesting quandary to be in for sure.

So, earlier this week, I squeezed out the last tiny bit of the perfect conditioner for my old hair, and set up the new bottle, to take care of my locks for the next phase.  Hope I made the right choice.  If not, well, it will be a lot less than two years before I need to replace it, and start all over again.

It’s funny that as I entered the week that I replaced my conditioner, I have a calendar reminder of one of my mini-anniversaries.  Oct. 25th is the two year anniversary of my first round of head shaving.  It’s hard to believe that it was two years ago when that took place.  It seems so much more recent, but at the same time, so very, very far away.  We took Miranda’s advice on that first shave, and let Nick do it.  There was a second, final shave, but that one wasn’t nearly as exciting.

It’s weird to let someone else shave your head for the first time.  I totally get why young children get so freaked out about it when they’re in the chair.  Clippers buzzing near your ears is not natural.  We took some large chunks, and used scissors on them first.  I must admit, I was not entirely trusting of either of the boys for this part…I didn’t think they would cut me, or cut an ear off, I mean, not really, but…the possibility of being stabbed did worry me.  Nick finally getting those clippers in his hand, after months of waiting, was a great prize for him.  Even Mike had a go at the shaving experience.  Eventually, the buzzing got the best of me, and I took over for the finishing touches.  Prior to this cancer nonsense, I never thought we’d have a family head shaving day on MY head, that’s for sure.  And while no one will be knocking down my door to change careers to a hair styling profession, I think we did ok.  And Miranda was right, Nick did have a great time doing that, I was glad she put that thought in our heads, and that we told Nick early on that he could shave my head when the time came.  He loved it!

 

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Don’t hate the ribbon

The past few days I’ve seen many anti-pink posts throughout the breast cancer community.

I understand a lot of it.  The October, pink-turning of everything drives some people crazy.  Angers others.  Brings overwhelming sadness to a great many.

Pinktober.  Pink doesn’t solve anything.  Doesn’t bring back those that have been lost.  Doesn’t ease anyone’s suffering in the darkness of their cancer treatments.  Yep, I get it.  It does not.  Lots of celebrities wear pink because it may be trendy, or put them on the cover of a magazine, or give them a little attention.  Lots and LOTS of companies put things out for sale with pink ribbons on them.  Or maybe they throw out a t-shirt with a fun, ‘I beat breast cancer’ slogan, maybe something catchy like ‘my boobs tried to kill me’ sentiment.  I get it.  Those are the ones we frown upon.  Those that are trying to profit from our suffering.  Shame on all of you that do that.   Shame.

Those that are against the turning of the pink may be those that have endured.  Maybe those that have watched loved ones endure.  To some, the pink may be an in your face reminder of a loved one that’s been lost.  That just sucks.  I feel for all of you.

Every October there is merchandise sold to the unsuspecting masses.  Pink ribbons and likenesses that only line the pockets of the giant corporations, sales that give nothing back to our community, nor to research to fund cures.  You people truly suck.  There are some companies big and small, that do sell things, make things, pink things, that give back to things that matter.  They take their profits, or some of their profits, and put it into research.  Make hats and comfort items for those going though chemo and other treatments.  Don’t be afraid to ask if any of the sales support breast cancer research.  Maybe they do, and in those cases, Bravo!!!  Thank you for your support.  You do not suck.  I will buy something from you and gladly fund something good.

To me, though, the ribbon is a symbol to promote awareness.  Awareness brings knowledge.  Knowledge helps to fund things that support breast cancer research.

To me, the ribbon is a reminder to others to take care of themselves, do their exams, schedule their appointments.  I hope that every time someone sees my pink ribbon, they remember to take that few minutes that may save their lives.

One of those people may even be the one that finds us a cure.

Don’t hate the ribbon.  Hate the merch.

And do your exam.

xoxo

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From teal to pink

I recently updated my facebook profile to teal, as a tribute to ovarian cancer.  Teal is the representative color for ovarian cancer.  September is ovarian cancer awareness month.

As September fades, and October emerges, I am changing the colors to pink.

Pink.

The color I always hated growing up as a tomboy.  It is now my representative color.  The representative color of breast cancer.

I am changing my profile and cover photo, to remind people, do your exams, schedule your appointments.  You are your first line of defense.  October is breast cancer awareness month.  I don’t have to love the color.  But I hope those that see it, will remember to take care of themselves.

 

 

 

Sentiments of caring

5D4DB3E4-E49C-4C16-BBCB-729640672D75There were so many kind things my friends did for me when I was undergoing chemo.  Sadly, so many of those kindnesses do not leave lasting keepsakes.  Outward keepsakes that is.  I mean, the keepsakes that have been left in my heart and soul will never leave.  Those, I treasure often, and reflect on as a reminder of how awesome my friends are.

I thanked them all, but I hope they continue to know my gratitude.

Mike can never be thanked enough.  Ever.  Love you!!

My friends who knew how to be there for me through all the crap that can’t be explained.  My rocks.  Thank you.

My friends and family who loved and comforted me.

My sounding boards for my journey.

The mom who picked up Nick after school to play, and fed him, them brought him home just before bedtime while I napped my chemo away.

The mom friends that did my first day of school pictures, when I couldn’t be there.

The dear friends that brought me, and my family food, so that I didn’t have to worry about that responsibility.  And let Nick play at their house, and entertained him.

My friends, that visited, and just were there for me.

The gift basket full of heartfelt mementos and that lovely lavender lotion.

The flowers that arrived to brighten my day.

The movies and activities that my thoughtful friends dropped off to occupy my mind while shit was hitting the fan.

The painting party that gave me life long keepsakes.

The notes and encouragement I received to help push me through the quagmire of crap I was going through.

I thanked, and I continue to thank you all.  Thank you for being there for me.

I do have tangible keepsakes though, that give me strength, that remind me to be strong.  These are my medallions.  Some of these are on my refrigerator, one I wear around my neck.  These are my reminders to be strong.

F*Cancer.  And Thank You.

I will win

There are some days that I think that there aren’t others that can hate cancer as much as I hate cancer.

Then…

I read their stories.

They.  All.  Suck.  (The stories, not the people.  Of course.)  Stupid, F-ING, cancer.

What a vile disease.  What a terrible thing to do to a person.  The cure is not much better.

I wish I could challenge cancer to a grudge match.  Let’s get in the ring together.  You win, I go down.  I will bow out gracefully.  I win, well…listen up buddy, you are gone.  You hear me?  GONE!!  Never to plague my loved ones, my family, strangers on the street ever again with your black soul.  Gone.  Cancer – you are a coward.  You know I would win.  I dare you to show up.  Let’s do this.  F-U Cancer.  You suck and are the scum of the earth.

Stupid.  F-ing cancer.  You just suck.