Despite everything (like my personal self doubt, tears, anger, blah blah blah), at this moment, I am happier than anyone with cancer should be. I was given one of the best doses of medicine anyone could possibly receive in the world… a “F-off Cancer” party… Yes, you heard me right – F-off Cancer (and I don’t mean the letter F, I mean the WHOLE “F” word)!
One of my many passions in life is art. I’m still very much a beginner but belong to a life drawing class full of wonderful men and women who’ve become more than drawing buddies, but dear friends as well. I’ve really stressing over the fact that I may (as in probably will) lose my hair. I admit it – I’m vain… PLUS, I don’t like to be treated differently. I have multiple sclerosis and have always hidden it to the extent possible and fought against being treated differently from others. It’s just my thing and in my mind (at least right at this moment), a bald head is something I won’t be able to hide very easily. I feel like it will be waiving a flag to coworkers that I’m sick. I personally prefer to remain in denial regarding the fact that I have cancer but losing my hair is sure going to make it hard to deny!!!
My dear (and very marvelous Stage 4 Breast Cancer survivor) Jon suggested that it might help if I had my picture made or if Cotton (that my husband, you’ll hear a lot about him in these blogs) and I had our picture made together. Picture taking wasn’t really his cup of tea so I asked the art club if they’d let me model and give me one of their sketches (you know, a record of when I still look healthy, vital, alive – and have hair)…. and so they agreed. BUT, they also threw me an “F-OFF cancer party!
Imagine this…. Italian cream cake (one of my very very favorites – now how did they know that?), creamy lovely frosting, AND pink letters in nice big words saying “Fuck-Off CANCER!!!” It that MARVELOUS or what? I made the first cut on the cake – you know, symbolically stabbing the cancer and killing it and cutting it right out of me. I future communicated with cancer via an expressive hand sign language and told it to f-off as I’ve chosen to LIVE. (My daughter was so proud…. I’m always telling her to not use the F-word in front of me as I don’t like it. But, honestly, telling cancer to F-off seemed WHOLLY appropriate!)
The sketches they made of me rendered my husband speechless. He’s an artist as well and these amazing talented men and women produced some remarkable drawings that are already treasured. I’m totally humbled to have these ladies and gentleman in my life.
My dear ones, I cannot control what has happen however much I wish I could. I can however, control (at least to some extent as I’m only human) how I choose to respond. I choose life, I choose love, I choose all of you for a long long time to come.
Oh yes, I will henceforth instigate a F-off cancer party for anyone else I know diagnosed with this terrible disease. It was the BEST medicine!