You Look Lovely, Just Not in That.

Sorry, no more cute pics of the dog today. Instead I’m going to tell you another story about my weekend.

The short version (which is much preferable to the one I told Science Guy) is that my mom hates my new headbands. You may recall my Nexavar caused a pretty fair amount of hair loss. While I was in Portland for the marathon I found these awesome headbands called Bondi Bands.

They’re a great stretch material that stay put and they come in fun colors. More importantly they make me a little less self-conscious about my hair loss. I like them, Science Guy likes them, my girls like them, my mom doesn’t.

She tries to be tactful and instead tells me often how she likes my hats – and that my dad likes my tan one. If all else fails, play the dad card right?

I have a couple new hats that are ok but I really have never liked the way I look in them.  I decided it would be fun to make her admit it so on Saturday our conversation went something like this:

Mom: “I like they way that hat looks on you.”

Me (in my snazzy hat): “Better than my headband?”

Mom: “Well, I just like the hats better.”

Me: “You can be honest, I’ve already figured out you hate the Bondi Bands. It’s pretty obvious.”

Mom: “Well I’ve never liked headbands. Ever. Even on little girls. You girls never wore headbands. But maybe if I lost my hair I wouldn’t mind so much.”

Me: “Yeah, I might not be wearing them either if I hadn’t lost my hair from the cancer drugs.” 

Mom: ” Have you tried it with some bangs showing?”

Me: “No, but only because my bangs fell out!”

Mom: “Well I like the hats. Have you thought about wigs?”

Me: “Can we stop at the liquor store?”

Now I know she means well but WTF? Where in the family cancer support groups do they suggest telling the self-conscious bald girl she looks like a dumbass in her latest accessory?

I think most of her discomfort comes from the fact that maybe I look a little more “cancer patient-ish” in them. In a hat I might just be cold. Or on my way to a baseball game. Or maybe she really does think I look like a dork with an overly large forehead. It’s possible. I understand either way.

That was the beauty of Gleevec, the first drug I was on. There was no hair loss. It gave us the false sense of security. As long as I had a full head of hair we could all pretend I was healthy. I didn’t have the whole head wrap thing going. I didn’t look like a cancer patient. Now maybe I do, just a little.

When I brought up a family photo on our Christmas card she suggested maybe it would be a good year to have just the girls in it because “it’s so hard to get all 5 people to look good at the same time.”

 Translation: I’m afraid you have a headband with a poinsettia or lights on it.

I do realize she’s more comfortable seeing me in the hats. Maybe it’s a coping thing, so Sunday morning as I was getting ready to go I made the decision any good daughter would make.

I put on a headband.

Annoying your mother never gets old. It’s a good thing she loves me.


Over the River and Through the Woods

Once upon a time there was a very sweet dog who loved her home and family very much. But like a bratty adolescent, she liked to run away any chance she got. When her family left for the holidays she had to stay home in her fenced yard because her grandparents didn’t have a secure yard for her.

The neighbor took good care of her and she had an insulated doghouse on a covered porch but she was still sad. She missed her family.

Then one day her family looked at the forecast and saw temperatures way below zero over Thanksgiving. They told the grandparents they weren’t sure they’d visit. It seemed like too much to ask the neighbor to constantly come over to let their precious dog in and out. It was too cold for her to be outside very long.

But grandma very much wanted them all to come so she said, “No problem, bring her. I’ll ask grandpa to finish the gate.”

Grandpa came home and heard grandma’s idea and even though it was one more thing on a VERY long list, he said he’d be happy to finish the gate to enclose the yard for his sweet girl.

The day came when the family started packing for their trip and the dog got sadder and sadder. She remembered the suitcases meant she would soon be alone. They fed her and put her outside and she didn’t want to leave the door. She knew they were leaving and only wanted to be inside on her bed with her people, out of the snow and wind.

But then a funny thing happened. Her mom opened the door to the house and instead of telling her good-bye, she let her in. Not only that but she led her to the garage and into the car. What was her bed doing on the backseat?

The family all got in and even though the roads were a little bad, they headed off to grandma & grandpa’s house. Over the river, across the passes and through the snow they went. So did their dog.

And she was happy.

But just when she thought it couldn’t get any better, the car stopped. When she got out she found a big yard with lots of deep snow. And tennis balls. She played and played and buried her ball in the snow over and over until she was exhausted. Her grandma gave her a gingerbread treat and showed her where she could lay down to rest.

She was so happy she fell asleep with her ball in her mouth. Her grandma covered her up and tucked her in.

It was a very good day to be the dog!

Thankful Still

You’re probably all expecting a long serious post about how I’m thankful for my family, that I’m still here with them and that I’ve gotten an extra almost 5 years since my cancer diagnosis.

You’d be right – and wrong. Those are all the things I’m thankful for daily.

But on this specific day, this year, I’m mostly thankful that the roads are improving after the long storm and for cherry pie.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Thank you for making me feel welcome here in this world of amazing bloggers. Thank you for your comments, your tweets and your encouragement!

Have a wonderful safe holiday. I look forward to reading about the inevitable family dramas!

Old Man Winter Stopped by to Say Hi

Snowflake. Small microscope kept outdoors. Sna...

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My girls are home from school today – what is this snow day they speak of???

It’s virtually unheard of in our neck of the woods!! Hell, I grew up not far from here in an even more mountainous area and I walked 50 miles to school in blizzards every day – uphill both ways. Ok maybe not, but did I graduate from high school without ever having a snow day.

And because the weather is too terrible for buses to run and small frostbitten children are a big concern, my two youngest are at the neighborhood park sledding. I’m a good mom like that.

What? They have snow clothes. They’re with a neighbor girl whose mom is a doctor. We can treat them as needed. I prescribe hot chocolate.

It’s like living in a snow globe today. One being shaken over and over, and over, by a small bratty child hopped up on cocoa. It’s blowing, it’s drifting, it’s flying off roof tops. It’s a view filled with small white tornadoes. It’s 5 degrees. It’s gorgeous!

The only problem is it’s screwing with our Thanksgiving travel plans. Emergency travel only? Does that include emergency cravings for turkey and mom’s sausage and sage stuffing? Or my one slice of pumpkin pie per year? I really only like pumpkin pie enough for the one slice but she’s also making cherry. With cherries from the neighbor’s tree. I may cry.

I like snow, love it in fact but not when it fucks with my access to pie. All I have in my freezer are sweet cherries. Not the same.

And so we wait. To see if the -35 wind chills are going to happen. To see if we really will have 10 additional inches of snow by the end of the day. To see if my parents will get the forecasted 10-20 inches. To see if the mountain passes are more impassable than passable.

And I guess I’ll start cooking, because in my heart I know we’re stuck in this snowglobe for a bit. There are worse places to be.

Who Says You Can’t Have Favorites?

Solar System Planets.

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My sister called yesterday. That’s not news so much as the reason she called.

My 11 yr old nephew brought some papers home from school on Friday and among all his other homework was his will. That’s right, his will.

Apparently they’ve been studying Mars and are going to take a trip there. Only problem – it’s a one way flight. Hence, the will.

This was his list:

To my brother L – I leave my frog because he’s already in our room and he likes frogs.

To my brother D – I leave my books because he likes to read.

To my Aunt Annie – I leave whatever money she needs for her cancer.

To my mom & dad – I leave everything else.

Whatever money I need for my cancer!! I cried.

I’m birthday shopping for him today. Do you think it’s too soon to buy him a car?


AARP Called – I’m an Honorary Member

Wow, am I old!?!

That’s a rhetorical question by the way.

I pulled an almost all-nighter – well more of a half-nighter – and I survived! WooHoo! But wow, yeah, I’m old. Considering the alternative that’s great but I haven’t been surrounded by so many college students since I was one.

Yes, I just got up and yes, I am eating leftover movie popcorn for breakfast. Or lunch. What the hell time is it anyway? I can’t find my glasses.

If you recall, I agreed to take D1 and her friend to the midnight showing of Harry Potter Deathly Hallows last night. It would seem this wasn’t something many parents did. Or anyone else with any sort of parental supervision for that matter.

There were all kinds of perky young things working the room before the movie started. It would seem that movie theaters are great places for a meet & greet and exchange of phone numbers. One girl in particular stood out since she was dressed in a butt length sun dress and sandals. It went nicely with her ski jacket. It was 23 degrees outside. Even the middle schoolers with me saw that as maybe a bad wardrobe decision given the weather. I was so proud.

Thankfully they all sat down like good kids when the movie started and nobody’s phone rang. Which I understand wasn’t the case in all the theaters after hearing others talk on the way out. Apparently one guy with a particularly annoying Star Wars ringtone almost caused a small riot in the theater next to us. You really shouldn’t piss off HP fans!

There was however, rampant Facebook status updating and texting going on. The nice thing about that generation is that none of them actually talk to each other. They sit next to each other and text. Movies are much  more enjoyable now!

 Yes, I do realize that using the words “that generation” automatically qualifies me for a  nice room in assisted living.

I did eventually see a few women my age. They were outside the theater picking up their kids when the movie was over. That was a plan I considered at first. I’m so glad I changed it!!!

PS – The movie was great!! Followed the book nicely and still retained some humor amid all the darkness. I’ll absolutely be in line at midnight for part 2!!

Alert the Media

Flag of the Red Cross

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I think I’ve uncovered a huge medical scam and I wanted you all to be the first to hear about it. Screw the networks!

I suspect this little exposé will earn me a Nobel Prize or Pulitzer or Razzy or whatever the hell it is they give people who are especially brilliant and forthcoming with the truth.

Ok, here it is. Are you sitting down? Because this is huge!

I think the blood banks are cutting the blood with some sort of thinner –  like cranberry juice or something else red and nicely chilled to make it go further.

Either that, or they’re working with North Face to give thin Floridian blood to people in the northern states to make them cold so they’ll buy more down. I saw a bald goose the other day. It could happen!

Ever since my 1st surgery in 2006 I’ve been cold. They gave me either 5 or 92 units of blood. I can’t really remember. But that’s not the point. The point is, I went into surgery a toasty northerner and came out a thin blooded south of the border kind of gal. I’ve been wearing a coat and hat ever since. Really. Even in the summer. I can’t tell you how many mittens I’ve gone through. Do I really need more proof than that? I think NOT!

At first I suspected “natual blood thinning foods that I may have ingested in excess”. Because I’m really smart that way and that’s totally how I talk to myself in my  mind. But then I googled it and this is the list of foods I uncovered:

Tree Ear
Olive Oil

I do like Italian foods and so naturally the garlic and olive oil might come into play but surely I’ve covered them with enough cheese to more than cover the thinning properties – in more ways than one. But never, never, never have I eaten a tree ear and it’s been years since I sat down to a good hearty jicama.

So really, I think the blood bank conspiracy is the obvious other choice. I’m going to send a picture of my bundled goose-bumpy self to the Red Cross and see what they have to say for themselves! It’ll be just like Watergate but with blood.