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)


Welcome! Forgive me for being a novice at blogging. For now I want to provide you with some videos and links for people to get to know me a little better. Thank you for stopping by.