Thursday, December 3, 2009

no more bah-hum-bug but cancer still sux...

i'd love to start this off by saying how much i hate cancer. and the holidays... but i've kinda secretly vowed to myself to be more positive in 2010 (note: not a new year's resolution as i don't make those)...i'm TRYING to use my blog to practice now...

therefore, i can't really say i hate anything now. dangit. i'll get this...

so let me start by saying i don't warmly embrace the holiday season...there, that's not so negative right? hrmmm. this will be harder than i thought...because i really do hate cancer.

it used to be our family's tradition to put up our tree on thanksgiving night. we'd play the christmas music, sing & dance while we decorated the house. we'd drink hot cocoa & practice being kids used to love it. then we'd make a calendar to count down days til C-DAY.

once christmas eve arrived, we'd have dinner w/ grandma (aka my mother-in-law). even after the kids' dad & i separated, we still celebrated christmas eve with her. my babies sure did adore their grandmother. we'd exchange gifts & all would be good as long as their father & i could be civil. and it happened. christmas miracles, right?

on christmas morning, i'd usually make a quick breakfast or we'd have donuts & chocolate milk. (c'mon it's christmas for crying outloud) and we'd open gifts. celebrate with just the few of us, then we'd head off to dad's or my brother's for christmas dinner.

then the holiday mood mid-dec 2003, my uncle john was diagnosed with acute leukemia. he passed just a few days later,right before christmas. he was my dad's only sibling. that tragic event started a steamroll of tragic events for my family. in mid jan 04, we lost my god-mother to lung cancer. within 2 wks of her passing, my daddy was diagnosed. stage 2 bladder cancer. holy shitballs and happy birthday to me. yah. not really. (does sarcasm count as negativity? i did say happy...) the dr's did what he referred to as his "hysterical-rectomy." the drs took dad's bladder, prostate, seminal vessels, & lymph nodes. but thankfully they left his sense of humor intact. the next few mths life proceeded as normal, just adjusting to his bag but still fishing & doing his thing...there was no chemo or rads intially because the surgeon was sure "we got it ALL!" ... that is til dad's hips started hurting. he went in for a scan. his pelvis was lit w/ cancer. it has metastasized to his bones. (can i say i hate cancer now?!?!)

that rest of the year was draped with words like, "will. chemo. radiation. sick. cancer. death"...the holidays came & went. no memorial day picnic, no 4th of july bbq, father's day was nice & quiet for him. no labor day bbq. halloween bonfire didn't happen. no thanksgiving dinner or christmas dinner @ dad's either. he was too "sick from the chemo/radiation. his cancer was wearing him down. and since he was open about his impending death, he was busy working on his will." nice eh. told you the words clouded our existence.

dad was housebound alot & quite bored. so i brought dad the book Tuesdays With Morrie to read. then we dad decided that he wanted his own LIFE PARTY. he was pretty excited about this. it was his choice to celebrate his life NOW rather than missing out on all the eulogies & such that he didn't want delivered anyway. he wanted to hear all the things that would be said about him while he was still alive to hear them. he decided there would be no funeral, no stage for mourning as he put it. i had to laugh with him. he's such an awesome man. so we started planning. on may 21, 2005, we had his LIFE PARTY. what a party it was! people who we hadn't seen for years, stopped by to help us celebrate- they came to say hello...and to say goodbye.

on father's day (june 19, 2005) dad took his freedom flight from cancer. we held a private memorial for him over 4th of july wkd (his 2nd favorite holiday)& had another party...i don't pretend to love cancer, i don't pretend to even like it. but it earned my respect. i used to say cancer took my father's life. but true as that is, i've come to realize that cancer also taught my father to live.

can you see the holiday trend here!? about the only "untouched holiday" left was easter & thanksgiving. until 2008. i lost my cousin, trey, 2 wkds past easter (to a car accident) & my beloved mother-in-law passed from sepsis just 2 days before thanksgiving. my holidays, off & on, have been chocked full of sadness for over 4 years now...ugh.

and now here were full swing of the christmas season 2009, another year's end fastly approaching. my personal goal (again, not a resolution) is to focus on the positive things in my life, which yanno, i have had many. both present & past. and yanno what else? i think i'll call it a gift to myself....

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