Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I never thought I would say these words out loud. It has been some time since I visited my own blog. I had forgotten what I had written about, courtesy to the chemotherapy that I took 3 years ago, but mainly due to the fact that I was in a coma. My short term memory suffers a great deal. The lapses of memory scare me sometimes, because I had a great memory. It is what it is. I have to deal with it.

On Saturday May 5th, the night of that glorious full moon, a very close childhood friend of mine, left this earth. Her name was Ioanna. She was one of the most perfect human beings , one could have the privilege of meeting. I need way too much space to write about her ethical, sunny, but strong as steel character. Her brilliant mathematician's brain, her contributions to her family, her friends, strangers. All her life she was battling one adverse situation, after another, with a smile on her face and love and attention left for all of us.

Life finally turned around for her. Her lot in life had started looking enviable with a wonderful husband, who survived a bout with cancer, a great career for both of them and mostly important with an absolutely beautiful, intelligent and talented daughter. They built a new home for their family and bought a summer house in an unusual, very pretty, next to a beach, area in Greece, where they reside.

When I visited my home town, she was the very first person I was used to talk to. Her home was open to me, any time, any day. Her dear husband accepted me as part of her family. We had great moments together every time I visited, memories that make me smile even right now.

Then a few months ago, she got in touch with me and without melodramatics, she explained that she was battling the same battle, I am fighting.  She made the decision to fight cancer the conventional way with chemotherapy. Her daughter and I tried to influence her to give the "natural way" a chance. I took some chemotherapy and I am happy I stopped it. It would have killed me by now. I may still die soon, but at least the quality of my life has not been destroyed as Ioanna's.

I had spoken to her only a few days before I got the news that she "departed." I knew she was suffering, I just did not know how much.  I still grieve. I still cry late at nights, despite the fact that I know, she is "free" now. How am I going to go, if I am meant to visit my home town again, and she will not be there? How am going to face her husband and daughter?

All of a sudden, I want to be here for a few more years. I do not dare to dream of being cured. I was declared "terminal" with absolute confidence, by my doctors. I dare to think of a miracle that I may stretch the 6 months to 6 years, may be. My son still needs me. People love to see me show up at their support groups or churches and tell my story. Heads that are hanging in desperation, rise and a smile of hope shows up in people's faces. They are not alone. God saved me once after the coma and he is giving me an extension in life now. I want many people to hear this. I am a miracle walking. I want to live a bit longer, so more people will be inspired to fight back, before giving up without a fight.

If you are reading this, will you pass it on to someone, who has lost all hope and is full of sadness and anger, why this is happening to him/her? Tell them about me.  Persuade them that miracles DO happen. Not too often, but they do. I am praying for a miracle for myself. To keep on going, helping others in this difficult journey and be here for a few more years. As many as God deems I deserve or need to be here. Please pass it around.You have no idea, what a great gesture you will be doing, showing another human being to believe, have faith and hope. Point at the miracle that is still here, ME. God's grace keeps me here and helps me everyday. If you are in a similar situation, share it with me. I need encouragement too. The rest of you healthy, good people, support us in our difficult course, please.  Thank you on behalf of all of us, who need support and encouragement. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012


How many times have you been told, or you read yourself "live for today," "forget the past" or similar variations of the previous saying? I know I have, numerous times. I have been guilty of not being able to practice it. Why should I? My past was better than my present. My past was full of fond memories. It had its bad ones too, but the joyful ones outnumbered the sad ones. My past included love, passion, family, material comforts, family, celebrations,so much, sooo, so much.

What do I have now? I am fighting death from cancer, I have no material goods, no handsome, affectionate husband, no home (my beloved house caught fire,) nobody significant other, who can make me sweat thinking about him, no close friends close by, no family members, besides my son- in other words, I have  very little.

It took me years to walk outside my previous house. Last year was the first time. I walked by it slowly, looking at it with eyes full of tears and an upset stomach. The idea that "others" were using MY bedroom, MY yard, MY bathrooms, MY everything, made me literally ill. Since then, I managed to pass by the house and pay attention to the changes that the new residents made. I resented them. How dared they? They tore down the little flower beds that the previous owner had built meticulously in a feng shui fashion and I maintained them as well as I could. I was becoming ill every time I noticed a new change the "barbarians" imposed on the house. I felt robbed, violated and homeless. What a preposterous feeling. My brain knew it, but my heart was refusing to accept it.

About two months ago, I started having pain associated with my illness that I did not have before. All of a sudden my priorities changed. If I missed work outs or dance practice, it did not seem important. Most of my days, I had to spend a considerable amount of time and energy in calming the pain down. One of those days, I walked by my house (in my mind, it is still my house.)  This time I needed the walk for my feet, which have been hit by neuropathy and the sun, which hits this part of the country not too often. I looked up at the house and it suddenly was just a beautiful house. Well maintained, it suffered from absence of color, because there were no flowers; they had been destroyed, so that nobody had to bother with their up keep. The grass was neglected and there were no wind chimes and bird feeders, as before. Selfish, crass, lacking of taste, people. That is all that crossed my mind. I was feeding the birds and I even had a bird fountain running constantly from Spring to Winter.

I did not throw up. I did not resent the people. I judged them-couldn't help that part- but I did not resent them. All of a sudden, I was breathing better. I was walking faster and my head was not hanging down with tears all over my face. I was facing my tormentor. My fear and the feeling of being homeless. I realized a new home was waiting for me out there. There is a reason, to which I am not privy as of right now, why I am not the owner of that house any longer.

I do not cry about it anymore. It did not happen overnight. I am struggling with my past, even as I am writing right now. One less thing  to deal with, the house. I am not sad about the house any more. It is not mine  any longer. It will never be mine again. I can live with that. I want a new one. One that will hold new memories, happier than the old ones. All I have to do is ask for what I do every night, a miracle. I need to have faith that I will survive to create new experiences. I finally understood that I was allowing my past to make me sicker.

If you are in a similar predicament-whether you are ill or healthy and simply unhappy- I am asking you to take stock of this particular subject in your life. Is your past blocking your present and eventually your future? Just take a quick, examining look at the subject. Be merciless in your assessment. If the answer is even a weak yes, do something about it. I know I have to work on more important issues from the past. The house was the easiest of them all. At least I started. Your turn now.  I shall report my progress. Will you share yours? It is therapeutic for all of us. It takes courage to strip your soul for the world to see. But it is worth it. People come out of nowhere in support of the truth and real need. Trust me. I am experiencing it and I am so grateful. Will you join us?   

Sunday, April 29, 2012


I have not written for a while, because I have not been feeling really well. All and all, I should be thankful, because I am living longer than I was given. I still function, but my energy is lower, because on top of everything, I was informed that the Epstein Bar virus is present in my blood. It makes one very tired on a permanent basis. From what I hear, it can be totally debilitating. Thank my lucky stars, I only need some extra rest. I can not work out as rigorously, as I would like to, because it is good for my health and my mental outlook. I have to wait it out. I was told, eventually it works its self out of one's system.

I have been experiencing unusually high levels of pain. I tolerate as much as I can, the rest I help my system ride through it with the help of painkillers. I take the minimum, because I would turn into an addict, if I took everything that is prescribed to me. I do not feel like being "high" on a permanent basis. It does not agree with me. I get nauseous and I can not work or function as a normal human being. I still have to fulfill responsibilities like every one else. I need to pay my bills, do my shopping, some cooking, cleaning and all the mundane chores we all have to perform, like them or not.

I could easily give up and do nothing. Nobody would blame me. They can see I am not well. But that is the whole point. If I gave up, then cancer would have won. We are suppose to be warriors. I want to be an example to others, who are told that they are "history." There are many of us, who have been told that our days are numbered and it is a very difficult concept to deal with. That is why I decided to write about it. I video blog under "nature vs. meds" in You Tube, recording and sharing, what I am doing, trying to stay alive with quality of life. Not poisoned with the toxins of chemotherapy, not burned with radiation, but by trying to eat differently, taking supplements and the most important part, trying to think and act differently. Being positive is such a cliche, that I cringe as I am writing about it. But it is true. It is a very difficult task for most people, because life is hard for everyone out there. Can you imagine how hard it is for us, who have been "sentenced to death" by doctors? We have been given months to put our affairs in order and prepare to depart.

I had a horrible experience with the medical establishment this past week. I was treated, as if I have been written off by every one. I was misdiagnosed, given antibiotics that I did not need, was refused a PET scan to see where my cancer situation stands, since my CEA levels in my blood have fallen significantly. It was and still is a nightmare. It took all my energy and free time, fighting the bureaucracy to get some basic tests.  Meanwhile, I know and I have experienced that a big part of fighting this disease, is staying calm and finding joy and laughter. How can anybody do that with all the odds against him/her?  I shall tell  you how, by saying "I shall not let you win, cancer."

 I am aspiring to be an example to many souls that feel beaten up, exhausted by the fight, weakened by pain, discouraged by the results and the difficulty of the ordeal. I hear you, I understand you. I am in your shoes. I suffer enormously too. But, like in any war, let us close wagons. Let us support each other and accept help from whomever is willing to give us a helping hand. DO NOT GIVE UP. Even if I manage to inspire one person, to dust off himself, stand up and go on, bloodied up and all, I will have achieved my purpose.

Three years ago, I woke up from a coma that almost ended my life. I am still having trouble walking, because of nerve damage. I feel there is a reason, why God spared me.  For the first two years I was trying to figure out the reason. Until it finally unfolded in front of me. I must help others in this difficult journey. This is my mission. Whether I feel well or not, I still have to try. I have to be an example for others on how, not to give up easily. It is one thing to say it, especially by somebody, who is not suffering first hand and another to actually go through the whole excruciating experience yourself.

If  you are a cancer patient, especially in the same predicament as I, I implore you, join me in the fight. Do not let the tide take you under without resistance. Do whatever your instinct tells you is appropriate for your body. Do your research, ask others, try different venues that other individuals with the same disease have practiced and they are still here. That is what I do. I constantly communicate with people, who are still here, despite the prognosis , they were given, years ago. Their relatives are kind enough to provide me with much needed knowledge about the subject of cancer. I absorb the information and I try to practice as much of the given "advice" as possible. I want to share it with you too. Try and see, what agrees with you and pick and choose your regimen. Watch my video blogs "nature vs. meds" and let me know what you think. We shall even try to cook recipes appropriate mainly for cancer patients.

I am still here. I must be doing something right. Mainly, I believe that I am still here, because God decided so. I have to serve the Higher Power by serving others. I am being asked to share my information with church congregations and different support groups. I am honored to do so. I shall continue, for as long as I can. Meanwhile, I would be so grateful, if some of you kind souls, who read and share my journey, to give me some feed back. I am lonely and scared too. I need the support too. Please, give me a helping hand, by letting me know that you hear my plea. I thank you all.

Monday, April 2, 2012


I have not written for a while now, because I have been feeling poorly. Not just simple aches and dull pains. Not just lack of energy and dysthymia. The last 12 days have been HARD.

It started with just a sense of over fatigue, more than the usual, daily "I have to push my self, no matter how hard this task is." Getting up and down the stairs was a major accomplishment. The word "invitation" to even the most desirable event, came with fear. The pain was daily, ranging from dull to intense and continuous. The intake of painkillers became more often, because without them, I would be doubling over and screaming from pain.

It is exactly 6 months ago, when the "death sentence" was given to me. It read "life expectancy 6 months to a year."  I did and I am still doing everything that I am supposed to "starve" the cancer cells. I am very careful with my diet and my supplements. I try to exercise, but during the 10 last days, it has proven impossible.  Were the doctors right? Should I start preparing for my "departure?" I shall have the usual tests done and a PET scan, which shows exactly where the tumors are, as soon as my oncologist , can arrange for one.

I was ready for a miracle. I thought God wanted me to stay for a little longer. I started a business that will benefit, not just cancer patients, but patients afflicted by similar diseases. It will not be ready until the end of April, beginning of May, when I shall announce and invite everybody to participate and help all the hurt, wounded birds. I feel my wings are broken today. They do not seem to want to mend. But I need them. I need to fly for a little longer, so that millions of of others can benefit.

If I do not feel well, I can not help the ones that are in more difficult situations. I can not volunteer for Reiki sessions, or massage, or simple driving. I am becoming a burden myself. This coming Wednesday, I have to take my room mate, who is also afflicted by cancer, for her last procedure to finish reconstruction of her lost breasts. She counts on me. I have to feel well.

Whoever is reading this, please say a prayer for us. Just a simple request to the Higher Power to gift me a little more time to finish what I started.  I  am like the rest of the gravely ill people. I want to live years to see my son succeed in life, get married, create a family, procreate, the cliche, simple things that  most people expect out of life. I want that too. But, the way thing are going, I shall settle for a "time window" to finish the projects that I started. It is not a matter of pride or ego for the first time. I simply want to see with my own eyes, that we can all be "heroes" to others. I want to be alive to see the smile and the happiness, hopefully, that my efforts will bring. Because I am convinced, they will.

I am aware that once in place, somebody else can run my projects and make them succeed. It is fine with me. All I want is to see  the start of their  blooming. People enjoying the reasons, I created them. Just a little more time, Lord.
I am not asking for Healing. If that is in the cards, it will be given to me, by my Jesus. He is my Guiding Light in this dreadful darkness. I shall ask him to give me a "pass" for a little bit longer. Can you ask your Guides or your source of Light, whatever it is, on my behalf, for the same? I will be so grateful.

My love and blessings from a Higher Power to all of you. Be kind to a person in pain. Extend your hand in support. You have no idea what it means to individuals with very few people in their lives, as myself. I depend on your kindness. You are not strangers to me. You are compassionate souls that I can not see and hear everyday. I wish I could. Some of you, are childhood friends, some friends made in this country. Most are total strangers. I am thankful to all. You are all supportive in your own way. From Vaya my 13 yr old "little diamond" as I call her, from Greece, the daughter of a childhood friend of mine, who also suffers from cancer, to Despina , my older "diamond" in my life. From Oceana, whom I never met, but I can not help but love, because she is so loving herself, to my own child, who is stoically watching his mom dying,  trying to keep a brave appearance and make her comfortable.

Thank you all. I am sure God is going to listen to every body's prayer and He will decide what the outcome will be. And that will be fine with me. I know, at least I tried.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


"Grouchy old men" have nothing on these creatures.

Today an incident reminded me that the picture of an older, kind faced, sweet, smiling, inviting you to her warm embrace woman, is or has become, an urban myth.

I belong to the same gym for 22yrs. It is national, so no matter where I go, I have access to my fitness routine. During these years, I have made many casual friends there. We formed different groups. The "die hards," the "simply regulars,"the "socialites," the "shoppers," and some other ones. I belong to the "die hards," but I socialize with all of them. There are interesting characters in all of them.

What I want to get off my chest is a medley of some incidents that happened, involving old gals that stuck in my mind. Now, as an older, middle aged woman myself, I will try to remember that I am supposed to get better with time, not bitter and annoying as these ladies.

I shall start with today's incident, because it is fresh and it still makes me laugh, when I think about it.

Today was X's birthday. She is turning 76. She is saying she is 62 and presents herself as 58 in the dating website we both belong. It would be good and all, if she had had some plastic surgery, something  done to cover up somewhat the passage of time on her. Because old man Time has been very cruel to her. Granted, she should be thankful for her perfect health, her energy to show up at the gym like clockwork 3 times a week and having being prudent with her financial affairs, free of economic worries.
She is also a red head, she still keeps it VERY red, therefore her nickname "carrot top," with light skin. Back in those days, I hear, they were not using sunblock at all. Personally, I almost sleep with it on. I slap it on, even in snow storms AND 20 below zero weather AND indoors. Not our friend. She keeps a slim, svelte figure of a 4'10, 90p frame, out of which you can make a bag and a pair of matching shoes, from the extra skin that is hanging and proudly presented for all of us to see and want to barf.

Today, when she announced her birthday, I think I was the only one, who forced my self to offer some kind of  a "good wish." Right away the tirade started in a loud, shrieking voice, how cold our fellow human beings are. First, everybody ignores her birthday and second the men from the dating site, whom she practically begged to take her out, offered only coffee.
" Those cheap bastards, they do not even ask you for a simple meal anymore.  F...g aholes, all they want is sex!!!!"
"Really, and you turned them down?" I hear W.'s voice right behind us.
Oops, this is not going to turn well, I thought.
"How dare you say that? I am a lady."
"OK, if you say so, but daaaaaamn lady, you are older than dirt. You should be thankful, ANYBODY is willing to take you out for anything," W. is talking with his perennial chewing gum and his "don't give a shit about anything, except hot chicks, attitude."
Bingo. X, exploded. Her face turned red as a poppy and those lungs, oh boy, those lungs, fired like pistons. Every bad word, ever said to a man, was uttered with a volume, intented to be heard at least up to the moon.  Hands, feet, mouth, all were moving at the same time, while saliva was dowsing, poor W's face.

He stood there with a poker face, while she was jumping up and down, trying to go close to his face(he is over 6 feet tall.) His beefy arms were folded in front of his chest, you could see his 6 pack from under his second skin shirt, his lips were semi-departed, so that his pearly white, teeth could still blind anybody in a 5 mile radius, head tilted somewhat to the side, gazing at her in a patronizing way.

After X ran out of breath and calmed down a bit, W. went to the second floor, where the tracking circle is located and he announced that he would pick up the tab, if somebody could take "an angry, old, broad out, for her birthday" and he would throw an extra $300 for the trouble.
He got a standing ovation but no takers were located.

X then proceeded to curse almost any male in her path on the way out, especially the older gentlemen for "knowing better" for "not appreciating, what a catch she was" and variations of these complaints.

The coup d' etat of the whole episode.
Another gentleman who is W's caliber, tall, dark, extraordinarily good looking and a professional model, was celebrating his birthday  today too. Only, not only he had a thousand invitations, but to be exact 4 ladies, baked a cake for him from scratch. He just had an injury, so they were trying to make him feel better, on top of everything. By the way, I got a bouquet of carrots for my birthday, because I am not supposed to eat sugar. A BOUQUET OF CARROTS!!! How f...g humiliating.

X saw that and she grabbed one of them, threw it at Mario (birthday gorgeous boy,) missed him, because Mario is young and his reflexes are still perfect and the cake  hits Norm. Norm is old, even though, he is one of those old guys that you want to tear their clothes off. Norm is an ex professional athlete. His entire body is a map of surgeries. He is also a cancer patient. He has rods all over his body, supporting his bones. He walks with a slight limp and he could not avoid the coming pie, with nothing.
So, poor Norm, getting ready to get on the treadmill, dressed in his always pristine white outfit, finds himself the target of a multicolored cake hitting him smack on the chest, turning him into a fancy looking pinata.

The expression on each person's face was priceless. Where is a camera, when you one needs one? Reality TV. can not touch anything like that. Somebody said, he caught part of the action on his "smart phone" camera and he may upload it on You tube.

Oh man, just for that alone, it was worth going to the gym today.

Lesson of the day. When the time comes to retire as a sexy ingenue, let us do it with grace. There is a lot we lose with age. We can fight it as much as we can. When it is time to withdraw, may the Good Lord give us the logic to not lose our dignity, along with our looks. We do not have to turn into bitter, older women and take our fury on men, because they want us younger. It is, what it is.

I am tired for another story. That took a long time. I am still laughing, while I am saying
"Goodnight and sweet dreams to all of you." 


Friday, March 16, 2012


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am size 0. I have been this small for about 2 decades now. Fluctuating between 0 and 2. It was not always like that. As a youngster, I hit even 130p. Now talk about a pig. That translated into a size 8, roughly. Nobody minded, but me. No man ever complained, no woman ever disliked  (really,) how I looked.

Once I had my son and being vain to begin with, I undertook the task, that I would look better than before.
I met the appropriate people, in the right environment and they shaped me up to look beyond good.

Even before I got diagnosed with cancer, I was a size 2 for a very long time. I do not have to tell you ladies, what kind of dividends it pays to be a size so small. It is like hitting the lotto. No matter, what they say about curves and how much they  try to sell the appeal of a JLo or one of those disgusting derrieres, do not buy it. Men like petite, adolescent looking figures.

Not everybody is built or meant to look that way. So be it. Make the best of what you have, try to keep that weight down and live and let live. Just do not have illusions. It makes me sick, when, even the nurses, knowing that cancer is eating some of us up, they glorify, admire it and try to emulate it.

I love being ultra thin. I can wear whatever I like and it looks acceptable. I do not look for "forgiving" attires. They are all flattering. An ultra thin figure with boobs, is every male's secret fantasy. I do not make  a big deal out of it, because I already got out of it, what I wanted. Now, with the health in jeopardy, it lost its importance.

Today we had some bad news concerning my close friend's health progress. She also suffers from advanced cancer and the news were devastating.

The solution, for two immature adults was, to eat and do all the things that are non-nos for cancer patients especially. I am not big on food, but I have a sweet tooth. So picture this.The order in the restaurant went as follows. The following is just for me.

Four crepes, not two, the regular portion, filled with super extra filling and a big, extra size plate of the filling that I adore, on the side. On top of that, an extra super size french fries, on the side. I never eat fries, I do not even like them. Today was a weird day, I ate a whole plate o fries.  Then at the end, out of the blue, I craved french onion soup and I ordered one. The young girl taking the order called a more experienced server for advice. Should she serve all these totally outrageous combinations of foods to a probable nut case? The second server, more sophisticated with false eyelashes and such goes "Grrrl, what's wrong with you, you have never heard what a weirdo, pregnancy can make you?" She looked at me, winked and went:
"and you blondie pie, eat whatever your heart desires, ignore the surprised stares."

You know how well it made me feel, her saying that? First, she thought I was of child bearing age. Yeah!!! Second, she did not discriminate thin, chunky, can, can't handle it, weird taste or anything. Her attitude was, she wants all that, our job is not to question it, give her all that.

I felt dozens of stares, while I was inhaling my strange combo of foods. This little hanger of a woman, eating for 4, not 2. I enjoyed every bite of it and I should not tell you the rest. But, I promised the truth, always, no matter how ugly. All that food came right  out within the hour.  It was waaay too much for anyone, let alone a tiny person, with a tiny stomach, missing one foot of her colon and in general in poor appetite.

You may be wondering,  why I wrote about this.
I wanted to remind you, that it is perfectly OK to do silly things, every so often, to satisfy cravings of every kind, as long, as you keep some sense of decorum and you do not break any kinds of laws.
Do not get intimidated by stares, "where are you going to put all of that food?"
"hopefully not on my ass."
Do not allow any kind of rigid diets or regimens to constantly spoil your fun on this earth.
 Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow. So, eat, drink and be merry, as much as you can. Do not concern, what your guilt will be whispering in your ear, or your strict life style, will impose on you. Every so often , it is so good to be bad.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Or is it the other way around?

I have known Barry for many years. We met at the gym, back when I was spending there, at least 3 hours daily. He is tall, dark, handsome and muscular. A regular at the gym, always a gentleman and always hanging out with the hottest women there.

I talk too much. Therefore it is easy for me to conclude certain people are not just "men of few words," but simply, non talkative at all.

I noticed that Barry had trouble expressing himself verbally, but I did not give it a second thought. That is how a spoiled, popular, shallow female behaves. She thinks the Universe revolves around her. I am ashamed to say, I was somewhat like that. Not as bad, as the really beautiful women behave, but I was not a role model for a good person.

Barry, on the other hand, was and still is, the kindest, friendliest, easiest to get along person.

I found out that along his regular job, he was a handyman. He painted my house more than once. He repaired countless little things that went wrong in the house, after my husband's departure. Barry fixed my flower bed, straightened out the bricks that surrounded the flowers and made it pretty, just to please me.
He had his regular job, of course, so I had to acquire eventually a full time handy man. But, until then, Barry was always there, fixing something or other.

It was not all that  easy.  You see, Barry is a deaf/mute. He learned how to read lips. I am a foreigner. Even to a deaf person, I sound speaking with an accent. It was frustrating to both of us. I was trying to speak slowly, placing my tongue and lips as precisely as I could, for him to understand. He was paying extra attention to my mouth, trying to figure out, what I was trying to tell him.

In hind side, it was comical. I remember how loudly I shouted, with the hope he would understand me.
He tried so hard to speak clearly and curse me only in sign language.
At the end of the day, we somehow achieved, what we had started and we would eat dinner in silence  at the back porch.

I do not know how, but I remember, we were laughing at jokes we had just shared. Between "legitimate" sign language he used and I never learned, "auto improvised" sign language by me, using every part of my body, we somehow communicated and gossiped, laughed, shared some precious moments together.

I lost touch with him, when he started dating a married lady, who also did work in my house. She also did my hair, every so often. The whole situation was getting too "sticky" for me. I withdrew from both of them.

I was very surprised to see him even in a night club a couple of times, trying to dance.  His lover's husband was the DJ. Boy, is life the biggest story teller, or what?

Years passed and I saw Barry, after I started going to my old gym. It was after I got diagnosed with advanced stage cancer, but I was getting better.

I looked of course like a corpse, after 2 surgeries and chemo. He just had some gray hair.

We cought up with each other's life and he gave me his number.

I went through the coma, the rehab. and the final statement from the doctors that I am dying within a year or so.

I shared all these things with Barry. He never lost his nerve. He did not make an extra effort to understand. He was just there. I did not try sign language to communicate with him. Somehow, he understands everything.
He brings me something that I need a lot of:joy. Now that I need him the most, he understands me the most. He visits and plays music that he thinks, I might like. He even tries to dance with me, because he knows that I get annoyed, when I dance with people, who do not how to dance structurally. He thinks it is funny, annoying me. It actually is, the way he does it.

He came to the ER, when I ended up there, bleeding one night. No one was at hand. Another friend, supposedly "real" friend, old lover, left me there, with no explanation. I asked him to come and keep me company, because I was scared. He was available, he said he would stop by, but he reneged. He never showed up. Barry, a casual friend, dropped everything and came.

He was listening carefully to what the doctors were saying to make sure he understood and transfer the information to me, when my head would be clear. And he did. And I understood.

Barry, finally understands everything. He brings me joy with his silence. He makes me feel less alone with his presence. He feels my pain and he simply tries to do, what he can, easier and better for me.

We finally understand each other perfectly. God is good.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

....and we kept on dancing.......

I have a very poor imagination. When I first read someplace, that Oscar Wilde made a comment, what a deep flaw that was, I was depressed for days.

I could never sit down and come up with a totally beautiful tale of romance, drama, funny story, nothing original. I am simply dried up and devoid of imagination.

Then, I am one of those individuals, who had a sign outside  their bedroom door hanging and reading  "DEATH BEFORE BOREDOM." Does everybody see  the inconsistency here?

Thank God, Somebody up there took care of the problem early on, by giving me a life that resembled a soap opera. Ever since I can remember, I did not have to try too hard to entertain myself. Something was always happening to impress me. Real life was always more interesting than fiction to me. It had more of everything, from funny to supremely sad moments, surreal and unusual incidents, name it, it was happening at one point or another.

Last night was one of those moments. The whole evening unfolded so smoothly, with such perfection of details, that if I were not there, I would bet that somebody made it up. It was a scene out of those Romance novels. I can not stop thinking about it. I may have become too melodramatic with middle age and battling cancer every day. I still think, you will find it, at least poignant, bitter sweet and a guilty pleasure, snooping into somebody else's deep emotions, while an incident was taking place, transporting them to the past and mirroring their future.

I have been working extra hard recently, despite the fact that I am not supposed to. I need a great deal of money, because my health maintenance is an expensive ordeal.  I had decided that Friday evening was going to be the day that I would decompress.  I was invited to a formal ball and it had been a long time, since I had attended one of those. For somebody, whose biggest joy in life is ballroom dancing, you understand, what that meant to me.  PAAAAARTY!!!!!!!!!!

I love the whole ritual; from the moment I start putting the make up on, to hair and finally the dress and accessories. The whole preparation, is such a beautiful routine to me. These days it is a bit cumbersome, tiring, but I still enjoy it.  This time, instinctively, I got out of the closet a gown, that I wore only once before, years and years ago. My custom made, engagement party, gown. I wore it for my formal engagement, Christmas Day, when I was 17 years old. It  was a great party my father gave me back then. I did not enjoy a moment of it. I felt I was being sold to slavery that night. The gown and the memories of that night, were locked in some  dark place in a closet.

Last night, I felt a yearning for that particular dress. I dug it out and I admired it's sustained beauty. It is a real old fashioned ballroom dress, with the all the glamor and sparkle that goes with that. The "dusty rose" color was faded slightly, but the rest was perfect. I am terribly thin now. I was not that thin then, but it was barely fitting my tiny waist. The theory that after 40, all your fat is being carried around your waistline, was proven true.

It still looked smashing, with the appropriate soft make up, the pulled up hair and the rest, that made me look and feel like a princess. Heads turned and people wanted to know, where the dress came from and all that stuff that take place in a fancy ballroom affair.

I danced mostly the "elegant" dances, as in Waltz, Tango, Rumba and some Foxtrot. The dress was not appropriate for the cha-cha or the other Latin, fast dances.

In the next room, there was another formal affair taking place. Being curious and slightly bored after a while, I wondered in the ballroom next door. It turned out, a Greek festivity was being celebrated. The orchestra was playing only Greek songs, mainly from the islands, because those ones are the dances of courtship. There were professional dancers dressed in Greek, traditional attire and they were executing dances from different Greek regions. I used to dance all those dances while in high school. Our little dance co. was touring Greece, ever since I can remember.

I walked in, uninvited. I am Greek, what would they say, if they caught me "Get out of our festivities?" Their festivities, are MY festivities too.
I sat on a chair, right at the edge of the dancing floor, watching and clapping while the professionals were performing.  When they finished, the guests took over the floor. Still, most of the people on the dance floor seemed that they knew what they were doing. They were not improvising too much. And then....

I saw this dashing figure, making his way across the dancing floor, avoiding carefully the other dancers and kept on coming towards my direction. I could make out that his eyes were glued on me and he was smiling. When he came closer, I recognized him from my days, when I was living in New York.  The same impressive EVERYTHING, that as a youngster, I had such a crush on him. His hair was gray, but full, wavy and beautiful, as ever. His dark, double breasted, expensive suit, fit perfectly his still, very athletic physique. His green eyes were hooded a bit more and had beautiful expression lines around them.
My heart started pumping faster, because I recognized him. I always admired him from afar. We knew of each other, but we were not even friends. Just distant acquaintances.

He came closer and closer and without saying a word, he offered me the "handkerchief," the Greek way of asking somebody to lead the dancing circle.
I took it and I followed him, while he placed me in front of everybody and he was holding the other end of the handkerchief. Once we started dancing and people noticed we REALLY knew what we were doing, they left us alone in the middle of the circle, so that we could execute all the fancy steps of the "courtship" dance.
"How are you?" he screamed from the top of his voice, while he had his arms around my shoulders.
"I am dying from cancer" I answered dryly, as if I was saying, "fine."

He stopped dancing. He stopped smiling. He drew me closer and asked me to confirm what I said.
"I am dying from cancer," I repeated.
He stayed immobile for a minute. Then he hugged me so tight, I thought he was going to suffocate me. I looked at his face and he was crying.
"Don't cry, do not ask any questions right now. Go back to your table, to your wife, your friends and do not discuss it, please. Not, now. Just be grateful for your life."
He kissed me on my cheek for the longest time, while holding me tightly. Just before he walked off the floor, he whispered in my ear "You will be fine, otherwise, nothing makes sense. You were always the gold standard. That never dies."

I appreciate the vote of confidence. But the gold standard has died in many places of the world.

 I can always be the exception.

 He walked away and the rest of us kept on dancing.....

Friday, March 2, 2012


I am writing this text in a bold color with the hope that I will attract the reaction that I am looking for.

I am very  grateful, pleased, flattered and I have a sense of accomplishment, when I receive comments, about what I am writing on the blog. The problem is, that they are done mostly in person.

Part of my daily routine is to visit, when time or energy levels permit, institutions with people afflicted by cancer or other very difficult diseases. I go to hospices and I do not do much, because I can't, due to my own difficult situation. My main mission is to make them feel remembered. To put a smile on their face. To celebrate somebody's birthday by "butchering" a dance or two in their honor.

Yesterday in specific, because it is 2:20AM EST right now, I visited a hospice, where I am rather popular.
An older gentleman, named Norm, confined in a wheelchair, stopped me while,  I was passing through the isles. 

"Darling, before you leave tonight, will you please read to me, even for 5 minutes?" he was almost pleading with me. 

When we do not have other activities, one of my contributions there, is reading or simply visiting and talking to patients, about anything, they desire. Many of them expressed this wish. Many phrased it in the usual cliche "read to me, even if you are reading, from the package of a toothpaste, as long we can listen to your voice."

Yesterday, Norm was holding my hand, kissed the palm of it, not the top and he put his request in this way. 
 "Kalli, you have not written often enough recently. But, even worse, I miss your video blogging more. Because then, I do not need anybody to read to me. I put your voice, next to my pillow and I fall asleep listening to you. Will you please, put a smile on my face before you leave? I want to know that the last thing, before I go with Morpheus tonight, will be your voice."

I am aware that many of these people love my voice and my accent more than what I am saying, even though they deny it vehemently. Many discuss what I am writing and it pleases me, when I see them touched. I was wondering, why they never bothered  to leave a comment, never mind becoming followers; that last one is not that important. But, I would have loved to hear everybody's comments, every time. I can not be there to hear it in person.

I found out, after a bit of asking and digging around, there were two main reasons. 

The first I understood and empathized a great deal, because I suffer from it too. Intimidation from technology. In the past, I tried to leave comments in other people's blogs and I had to give up in frustration, because  many steps were involved and something or other would go wrong and I ended up with my opinion unexpressed and me just frustrated. 
So I gave up, more than once.

The second reason, was  and still is to me, surprising and somewhat fascinating, because I can not identify. The common denominator for the reason that people avoided leaving comments, even though they were dying to get a hold of me, to tell me their opinion in person, was the fact that the subject matter, even funny many times, deals with CANCER. They do not want to admit in "black and white" staring at them, that they are suffering from the same problem that I am. It is OK to read stories and incidents about it, as long as they are not involved.

That is why they admire my courage, as they put it, to talk so openly about it. I asked a doctor and a brief explanation he gave me was that, by not talking about it, they think they deny the situation and they hide from it.

Well ladies and gentlemen, who are  reading this. First, as I said before, I can not meet and talk to each one of you individually and discuss, what I am writing in these pages. I wish I could, I would not mind; it is logistically impossible. Secondly, what is wrong, in admitting we are ill? There is no shame to it.

I made the vow to everybody out there to be honest, uncensored, raw and real. I promised to allow my pain to show, my goofiness not to stop me from sharing some silly things that I do. I promised to share my desperate and joyful  moments, days and incidents. 
I understand the intimidation coming from the technology, which is foreign to us. But, if I can do it, so can you.

If I am willing to open up to you so much, I would love a bit of reciprocation. Make me feel less lonely in this difficult journey. You make me so happy, when you tell me in person, how much you admire me for being me. Tell me in the comment section too, please. 

My challenges will feel lighter, if I know that you are out there, supporting me mentally.

If my voice or a thought of a silly deed of mine, puts a smile on your face, let me know. If my pain reaches you and a tear drop falls, let me know. It is only fair. I need your support too. I am alone and scared. But I came to terms with my fate. I am not hiding from it. I am just living day by day, trying to do my best with my time and, if I know there are so many of you behind me, I grow wings. 

So, please do not hide in the shadows. Every so often, just push that button that says "comments" and say anything at all, even if it is anything as simple as, "keep on going Kalli, we are with you."

Thank you.


Monday, February 27, 2012


Hello to all.

I have a confession to make: I went on a spending spree, that I actually could not afford.

When one has limited funds, even one thousand dollars, is a great deal of money to spend, on even necessary things.

There were days that a thousand dollars meant one cent to me. My credit cards had a balance of  40k per month average, each one of them and there were many. They were paid off always, to the last penny, every month, the very next day the bill arrived.

Those days are long gone. They will come back, because I hate being poor. I hate it more, than I detest being sick.

I bought more undergarments, because they were on sale and I loved them. A few here and there should have sufficed. But I bought, as if I was going to be alive for more than one year, so that I could get to wear them out.

I bought more dancing shoes, when only 3 pair would have sufficed. I will need at least 5 years to wear those out, with constant lessons, practice and general partying.

They were beautiful, they were ridiculously low priced -I could not resist.

When they arrived, I put them all out, arranged them beautifully and I kept admiring them.

The meticulous craftsmanship and the shiny colors of the shoes. The bold colored, practical, but utterly beautiful and some sexy undergarments. I was so happy. It did not cross my mind, even for a second, this act was rather foolish, especially with a premature ending to everything, looming over my head.

That would have been an acceptance of the "death sentence" I was given. That would have meant catastrophic results to my fragile emotions.

I do not know, but I am perceived as strong. I do not feel strong at all. I feel vulnerable and exposed to hidden and obvious dangers, with no ammunition and no fighting gear.  I can not stay on my diet. Its a daily struggle. I can not smile easily, it is a chore. Finding joy in things, is an unattainable goal. Where is this strength that everybody is congratulating me for?

I think they refer to my newly found strong faith in God. When I look at my situation up closer, I find and I listen to a quiet current of relentless determination running, almost in total silence. It is a constant flow of hopes and dreams, with a few rocks and other debris getting in the way, slowing down the flow.

So, sometimes, I have to do some "irrational" acts to defy the logic that would be appropriate, according to what I was told. Having been given 12 months to live maximum -out of which 6 have passed already- and buying items for the next 3 years, is a total act of incogruency to the facts.

It was necessary for my survival. I do not accept the death sentence. 

With God's help and infinite Grace, I shall live long enough to wear  and get a lot of joy from my new lingerie. I will be given many nights and opportunities, to dance long nights away.

This is what keeps me going. If it means, I have to wok extra hard, until 4 in the morning, to pay off the seemingly "unnecessary" purchases, so be it.

They are my oxygen, the engine that pumps life in my lungs and makes me want to keep on living.
Therefore they are worth it.

My fellow warriors, think like that too. It helps. DO NOT GIVE UP TO LOGIC. LONG LIVE THE MIRACLES, because they happen.


Thursday, February 16, 2012


I was called both in one day. Last Monday, actually.

That day started hectically and ended with two silly stories and name calling.

I dropped my ill friend in the hospital for surgery and I left. Being ill myself, I try to spend as little time there, as possible. I am sick of the medical establishments. So, I decided to spend the next 5-6 hours,  until pick-up  time, doing things that would keep my mind occupied with things that had nothing to do with "illness."

My first stop was the library. On my way out and in the middle of a conversation with a lady whom, I do not know, an older gentleman, whom I know, from different discussions we hold in a section of the library, injected himself in our conversation. The other lady and I were both admiring, how "famous" couples were planning to spend Valentine's Day, according to a gossip magazine. I made the comment, after I read something that impressed me .
"I wish I had a husband to buy rare flowers for me," something to that effect.

I do not like flowers and I urge men not to waste their money on silly gestures like that. I prefer practical presents. It was so out of character, what I said. I guess I was feeling lonely and with the Valentine's Day around the corner, a tad more sentimental.

"Well, may be if you looked like PP(the name of the actress in the picture,) you would have a husband to buy these things for you and you would not feel like such a loser." My old geezer sounded off, pleased with himself.

My usual self would have attacked right away and would have made him feel poorly by pointing out his wrinkled ass, his Bulgarian trashy girlfriend, who had just stolen money from him and disappeared and other mean comments like that.

No, this time, I  stood there and I just said: "I am not a loser, I am a fighter. Losing is part of fighting. When it comes, I will have no choice, but accept it. But for now, I am not a loser."

No reply was made. He just put his head down and left.

I refuse to accept I am a loser, because I do not have a husband, a great job, perfect health and perfect little everything. I have value and nobody can tell me otherwise.

While I was contemplating all these things, I had made it home already. I do not own a cell phone. The only way I can be reached is the good old fashioned land line. My phone was ringing and the answering service showed I had about 20 messages. I panicked. I thought something went wrong with the surgery. Thank God, no. What happened was funny, really funny.
 Now stay with me.

Mark is Rebecca's husband. Mark was the one calling frantically. Rebbecca is an old acquittance of mine and her step mom is only 2 years older than her. Her father is a super wealthy lawyer, with his own law firm, where  Rebbecca is still working. Erika, the step mom, also worked for the firm for a very short period of time. Her real goal was to marry the owner, (Rebecca's dad,) so that she would never had to work hard for all the rewards of wealth. Both ladies are brilliant Harvard Law School graduates and they get along famously. Erika was the one, who found Mark for Rebbecca through a trip to Alaska, taken just for that purpose.

Mark is a man's man. Very "Alaskan," very masculine, very manly. Manly men do not take care of children in his book. That is a woman's job, mainly. He is trying to  help, because he loves his wife and that is what is expected of him. But every time, something goofy happens, because his heart is not in it.

I forgot to mention that both couples have twins. Erika has 2 sets and Rebbecca and Mark have one.

This past Monday, Mark was entrusted with 2 sets of twins to be dropped off to two different activities.
The frantic call to me had to do with the fact that both sets were missing, because they were dropped in the wrong place. Mark was aware he would get yelled at, so he called me to help him out.

I met him, we retrieved the children, dropped off the right set to the right activity and begged everybody to keep it to themselves.

When I asked Mark how could he make such a mistake the answer, the tone of voice and the face that went with it, were indescribably funny.
"The kids are so close to the age and one set had to go ice skating the other ice hockey. Both activities involve ice, it is easy to make the mistake. And, what  difference does it make anyway? All we want, is to keep them occupied and active, either activity would have done that."

That was Mark's logic.

 Mark is really grateful for my helping that day with making the swap and helping to soften the blow, when we told the "women." I defended him and I told them that he was right. That they had plenty of help and if, he did not want to participate in things like that, he should not. He is a good father otherwise and yes, I am with him, it is a woman's job mainly to tend to the young ones.

In one man's eyes I was a "loser," because he does not like my political views and the fact that I talk back to him( he is an ex-judge, you see.) In another man's eyes I was the "hero," who rescued him from a small misunderstanding , which could have escalated to an ugly fight with his family.

I am neither a loser nor a hero. It just goes to show, how we are viewed in different  ways, by different people, for different reasons. We should try not to buy the negative views, because they will bring us down. Instead, let us enjoy, the joy or the help we give to another human being. There are no small gestures. Everything counts, big or small, good or negative. Let us strive to stay with the positive, see the silliness and humorous side of things. It feels better; positive, funny, supportive, helpful. All good stuff.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I decided that I am going back on the dance floor, not as an"injured" dancer, but as a dancer, period.

It takes a lot of courage to even think this way, because my feet are still numb with dead nerve endings, I have trouble keeping my balance , even walking, never mind trying to spin on the ball of my foot.

But, I decided, it was time. No more cutting corners, no more avoiding taking classes from tough coaches, no more procrastination. This is something that gives me immeasurable pleasure and I am going back to it.

So, I invested in some social dancing shoes, practice ones and one pair for each division. The smooth division uses a different type of shoe, as opposed to the Latin division.

It was an investment on my psychological state of mind, that I will live long enough to wear them out, by dancing.

I still did not have the confidence to go to one of those studios yet. So, I went to a smaller, less professional  establishment with my new shoes , my new music and simple routines, uploaded in a small computer that I take with me everywhere. It would help me remember "school figures," the grammar  of dancing, and technique.

I started working with a great deal of enthusiasm and anticipation, because, dancing is my passion.

Within 5 minutes, I was getting so frustrated, because I had no partner to help stabilize my balance and my turns were beyond pathetic.

When I fell more than once, practicing moving turns (because they can be stationary,) I sat in the corner of the ballroom floor and I started crying.
I am willing to give up a lot, but not dancing. If it kills my body by practicing, I will have to do it.

While, all these thoughts crossed my mind and how I  was going to attack my problem, my head was hanging between my legs, sitting on the floor, feeling defeated, rubbing my slightly injured ankle. A little hand showed up and rested on my thigh. I looked up and the prettiest face of a little girl with a typical pink tutu, was looking deep into my face.

"Did you hurt your self?" I heard her sweet, concerned voice.
"No, not really. It is my pride that is wounded, because I can not perform, what  used to be second nature to me."
"So what, with practice, it comes back, right?"

I could not explain to her that I had my numb feet in the way,  the lack of a regular dancing partner and all these details made a big difference.

"Come on, get up, try it one more time and then leave it alone. The next time you will find progress in your routine."

She extended her perfect little hand to help me up and smiled a smile of an angel.

"The next time I see you, you may fall again, but I shall be here to help you up as many times as it takes. That is what my instructor does and it works. I am progressing every time, as long I overcome the fear of what  might happen. So remember, no fear."

I got a wonderful life lesson today from a young "angel" in a strange studio, with a special message, "first conquer your fear."

And that is exactly what I shall do. No thinking about "terminal illness," no embarrassment from constant falling, while spinning due to the lack of balance. Just practice, lose myself self in the music and concentrate on what I can do, not what I can not do.

And I needed to be told that by an 8 year old?


Since I have been declared  a "terminal case,"  I belong to a Hospice. I am an outpatient, as of now.
I have a wonderful nurse assigned to me, a social worker, access to volunteers for errands, and many other "tools," designed for people in need of help  living their life with some kind of normalcy.

June, my nurse, makes weekly visits to my residence. Sometimes more often, if she decides I am in need of a visit and I do not ask. She is an angel.

Today, during her routine visit, in the middle of giving instructions about something or other, she inserted this: "Kalli, you do not have to be stoic about this whole thing. This is not time for stoicism."

Come again? I have been accused of a lot of things, but "stoicism?", that was a first for me.
Being stoic and I, do not belong in the same sentence.
I can be temperamental, moody, pushy,"spilling my guts out," when nobody wants to hear anything, whiny, but STOIC, no.  I wish I were one, but I am not.

Who knows how poorly I looked and my misery, thanks to the physical pain, was probably written all over my face, for June to make that remark. I guess my complaining was not intense enough, for the level of pain I was experiencing, hence the "do not be a stoic" remark.

What June and most people do not know is, that I am more miserable for another reason.

Living with cancer is devastating.  Not having a steady source of income from work that one enjoys, is horrible. I have to deal with both of these issues and they both torture me. But, they are nothing, compared to the real reason of my perennial sadness of these days.

I am crying myself to sleep, not because of fear or physical agony, but because I miss him. That person that comes only once, if you are lucky, in your lifetime. The one that gives you the kind of happiness that you can only imagine.

I got lucky for a while in this lifetime and I met him. I experienced with him the most intense human feelings. He gave me so much happiness, that, if there is another level, I can not even fathom it.

The source of my happiness left me a long time ago. We outgrew each other, but stayed co-dependent for a long time. Even then, I was not as unhappy, as I am right now.  I always had hope, that the person that I loved so much and loved me back in return, with the same catastrophic intensity, would appear suddenly again, after a long absence.

Now, it is official, he left forever. I will never see him again, because it is impossible.

I want to scream "June, I am miserable, because he is not here; he will never be here, ever again."
I have nobody to hold my hand and tell me that "we are in this together, we shall overcome, no matter how hard it becomes."

The irony of the whole thing is that, even if he had not left me, he was not going to be supportive at all. The person he had become was not the same person that I loved. He had stopped loving me and he was brutally cruel to me many times for the last 10 years. He was totally insensitive towards my illness and its ramifications; I should be hating him.

I do not miss him per se. I miss the person that I met a long time ago. The one who would give up his life for me.  I miss having a partner in life, who made me as happy, as he did.

Ever since he left, all the lights have dimmed down. Life is not as sparkly any more.

The fact that I may be dead in a few months or years, does not phase me. I would gladly sacrifice even some time, from the little that I was given, by the so called "experts."

I would give up as much, as would be asked for, so that I could spend the rest of the precious time left with him by my side. The one, who loved me and made us the center of  our own universe. The one, who adored me and accepted me with all my flaws and problems.  Not the person he had turned into, a callous, selfish, cruel, bully.

I miss that person so much, that, if it were not for some people, whom I love a great deal, I would "throw in the towel." If, I did not have my son, whom I love more than anything on this planet, my few close friends (Despina, Ornella, Elias,) my love and faith in The Higher Power, I would give up.

But, I am not going to give up. I shall fight, because I know that the people that I love, love me back. They would miss me.
I have an ethical obligation to preserve my life, to make every attempt to prolong it. And I shall.

To whomever out there, ill or in perfect health:
If you have people, whom you love and close to you, let them know, how much you love them back.
Be grateful you have them, especially a husband, a wife, a significant other.

I find life intolerable without a mate. Cancer, I can battle and live with. Missing my dead love and having to go on without him, is pure torture.

I hope and wish none of you out there reading this, has to experience either kind of pain.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I have every good intention and enthusiasm to write often and share in this little space many significant and mostly insignificant events that happen in my life, especially in association with my illness. But, this is the "funny" thing with having advanced, "terminal" cancer; you can not plan your day.

Every day is totally unpredictable and the factors that determine how one feels are unstable.

I wake up and I do not know how tired I would still feel, even after 8 hours of sleep.

I have to sit still for a few minutes to realize fully, if there is pain and how intense it is. Will I be able to function with that level of pain or not?  I usually do something everyday, no matter what the pain level is, unless it is excruciating. Those days, you just stay home and you try to chase your pain away, without becoming too much of a burden to your friends and family.

The last couple of days were very difficult. I still functioned, but I did not meet even half of each day's quota.

While I was driving around town, with every sense heightened, due to intense pain levels,  I noticed little things that usually do not register with me, unless somebody punches me with a fist to wake me up from my intense stupor. I am told that I am being perceived as, either terribly "focused" on what I am doing, or aloof  and unapproachable; depends, whose angle you want to see me through.

It is true, up to a point. I have a tendency to miss many things that other people find fascinating or simply interesting. I can stumble and fall, because I tripped on a pile of diamonds and I would describe it later as "the incident that I fell and cut myself all over my legs on a pile of pretty, shiny stones." It is true. I can be that moronic. My life is so surreal, if I did not get to experience it first hand, I would not believe half the things that I say, or do.

Yesterday, unlike all the other days, everything was registering. All the irrelevant, non worthy of an iota of any body's attention, was  getting mine. How freaking annoying.

At first I thought that may be I was supposed to pay attention to all the little things that were happening around me. May be there was a sign or a message from above, that one of my "guides" was trying to get to me. Yes, these days, I am out of the closet, I am a full blown "flake." I believe in miracles, messages, guides, hidden signs and all that good stuff and I am proud of it.

By the end of the day, I realized why I was so annoyed by certain things. There was TOO MUCH of  it.

The one incident that stuck on my mind was, that many cars had way too  many " bumper stickers" and  most of those stickers, were "cancer awareness" related.

I felt that the behind of each one of those cars was attacking me with pink ribbons, coming to hang me. There were that many in one car.  I do not know the specific colors  associated with the different types of cancer. All I know is that one SUV in front of me had at least 6 pink ribbons (breast cancer, that I know,) 2 blue, 2 green and all other kinds of colors.  I guess the owner of the car was going by the number of the ill breasts that she knew, not taking into account they are counted in pair and one sticker is enough. Actually one sticker should account for all the boobs that need to be recognized as sick and in need of attention. I am sure one of those stickers were representing sick male balls. Those come in pair too, people. One sticker is enough to get our "awareness" of all of them.

I am serious, after a while I was so sick of those stickers, I wanted to rip them off the cars. No wonder we become so numb and we do not pay attention to attempts  that try to promote awareness of something or other. We get inundated with so much of it, we shut off the awareness valve altogether.

So, the next time you are ready to put one of those stickers and defile your car with it, don't. Instead, run an errand for a person in too much pain to go get her own medication from the pharmacy. She/he will be eternally grateful and you will be aware that you can do something, which contributes to the battle against a formidable foe to the human race.

Thank you ahead of time, because you will also take away some of my stress. Those ribbons were chasing me even in my sleep. They made me "aware" alright. "Aware" not to pay any attention to any
 them any more.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The "CANCER" card

I have always been a spoiled, only child, strong willed, somewhat arrogant and "full of myself." And why not?
In this society, and actually in most societies, looks, education, charisma, will give you everything. People will step on each other to be in your field of gravity.

Today, as I usually do daily recently, at the end of each day , I take stock of what I did during the day. Did I accomplish anything that I wanted or needed? Did I find at least one thing that made me laugh? Did I perform an act of "random kindness" so I could brag to God in my prayers?  Things like that.

Well, now that I am thinking, how my day went, I want to hide. I am ashamed of it, but I shall share it with you, because only this way I shall stop doing, what I have been doing all day long. Playing the "illness card" like a 4 yr. old, so that I can get my way.

It started morning, in the bakery shop, where a young girl ahead of me could not make up her mind, what pastry she wanted. After a couple of mind changes and silent thinking in between, I lost my temper and I yelled my order on top of her little head.
"But, it is my turn, she whined softly."
"But, I have cancer." Yes, that was my mature answer, to which nobody said anything.
I got handed my order ahead of the girl and did not think anything of it.

In the afternoon, I stopped by the local library. Coming out of the car, I got reprimanded by an older gentleman for parking in the "handicapped" zone.
"Well, I have cancer, what is your excuse, being prehistoric?"
 What came over me and I was so rude?

Later in the evening, all dressed up for dinner in a fancy restaurant, I was getting restless waiting for our turn to be seated. It was way past our reservation time and three couples were in a heated argument on who's turn was to get seated. I simply grubbed the menus from the Host's hand and I said "the table is mine, because I have cancer." And I told the Host to lead the way.

Nobody said anything and I got my way, as usually. It was rather funny every time, and totally uncalled for.
Dressed and made up over the top like Marilyn Monroe, but claiming cancer as an excuse to get ahead. Mature, very mature.

Now that I think about it, I realize that there was nothing funny about what I did. I just acquired and started using a new excuse to get my way.

Having cancer and using it as an excuse,  like I do, lightly and for personal gain, for even the pettiest of things, is wrong.

It is good on one hand, that I do not concern myself too seriously with it, but I should stop using it as a tool of manipulation.

I shall try.
I shall not hold my breath that I will succeed. Having cancer comes in handy many times and it is difficult to resist using it to get what you want. I shall still try, I really will try  to do the right thing.

And if you believe me, you need to take some classes in "Modern  Cynicism."

When you look at the abyss and the abyss is looking back

I have been trying to recover from a light case of pneumonia since November. I brought a bad cough from a trip to the Caribbean, which stayed unattended and turned into pneumonia.

My doctor, being overcautious, as she should be, ordered a cat scan of my lungs to make sure that we were not dealing just with pneumonia. She wanted to make sure that cancer had not migrated there too.

Being a terminal cancer patient is a frightening concept. Having refused any more chemotherapy and other standard western medical treatments, make it worse. The people around you make sure to remind you that you are committing suicide by refusing all the extra toxins in your system, which rob you of any quality of life.

I am an athlete, a dancer and a hyperactive person. Chemotherapy damaged so far most of my nerve endings. If I continued taking it, I would never be able to dance again. Because I stopped it, after the very first session, the second time around, I can dance.

I take no medication that counteracts the cancer cells, therefore I have no side effects.

But, the night before the c-scan, I could not sleep, not even for an hour.

What would I do, if it had gone to the lung? What if the pain increased? I have no intention of taking any new cancer fighting drugs, because of the devastating side effects. But, if the pain gets unbearable, I shall not say no to the strong pain killers.

The abyss , dark, impenetrable, mysterious, frightful, bottomless, was looking back at me, during my sweaty, disturbed attempt for sleep.

What does one do in cases like these?

I , pray and then I surrender. Not to the abyss. That I will fight, till the end. To a Higher Power and fate.

It turned out, my lung is improving drastically and my CEA(cancer levels) dived dramatically the last two months. We shall discuss this in another session. The doctors are mystified, I am not; I shall share the whys with you eventually.

To all of you who see the "abyss" in one way or another and it makes you sweat, I suggest to you to look right back with no fear, just determination that it will not absorb you. It will not, unless you let her.
Tell her to go f... her self and go scare somebody else. You are a warrior, you worry, but you do not give up that easily.

Bonus point for me and strictly for laughs. The inside satisfaction must have been reflecting on the outside, because I got out of a ticket, the officer claimed "blond sex bombs do not get tickets," the manager of a  specialty store gave to me a new imported Dutch torte for free to "test" it and the good-looking guy I had my eye on, asked my out for Friday night. He is petrified, because we are going
dancing among other things and he is intimidated, because of my dancing background. He seems to forget my foot nerve endings are still repairing, I can not be that good. Who cares?

Not bad for a woman who is supposed to be dying. Let it be a lesson to all of you who think of yourselves as damaged goods. We are not. I shall tell you stories constantly, until I prove it to you. If you do not believe me, I shall have to post pictures of all the foolish things I do and get away with them.

Until then, I love you all, you, the rotten ones too.

Your fellow warrior,

Not Just for Cancer Patients Only (Episode 1)


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