Modesty and the Loss There Of

iStock_000020837312_ExtraSmallNo matter how conservative and modest you might be, going through a medical crisis like cancer can cure you. After who knows how many surgeries, radiation and all the goodness that goes along with it, and some rude comments from ignorant people, I got over the embarrassment and became a little “in your face,” about the experience (for better or worse).

Let’s face a few facts… Having more male nurses and aids after surgery and being told that you can’t walk to the restroom because your doctor hasn’t cleared you to walk, with or without crutches puts you in the unfortunate situation where a bedpan is required. Now, I don’t know about you, but I had spent all of my thirty-seven years being told that you DON’T pee in bed and suddenly telling me that I CAN in a bedpan created a complete disconnect… I couldn’t go at all. Lost track of how many times these poor guys tried to get past the issue, while I was bargaining to try to sneak into the restroom, just so I could go (which worked wonderfully, when I was free to get out of bed).

Then there was tag team bandage changes where a group of medical students were observing and all taking part in the process… It’s fascinating listening to the doctors instructing the up and coming doctors on my freaky cancer, but modesty goes out the window. Not to mention, having an infection that made my leg look a lot like a geyser going off repeatedly… Yeah, good times. 😉

After such things, you tend to get over any issues you might have with getting easily embarrassed. Even now, I don’t hesitate to share it because, besides being funny, I might be able to help someone else dealing with such struggles. I went from terrified for anyone to see, to “Hey, look at this!”

Don’t be embarrassed by what you’re going through, you just might be surprised at how many people know EXACTLY what you’re going through and they will likely be glad to offer advice and or help.

No matter how bad things look and negative the situation, sun can shine through it and you will have opportunities to smile, even of you don’t want to. I lost my best friend to lung cancer and she found a way to crack jokes to the end and even in the end, she brightened the world.

Be the light that brightens someone’s world…

“Freedom lies in being bold.”  ~Robert Frost

Channeling Rainbow Brite

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Fully involved in my training and preparing for the Pretty Muddy event in September and have decided to do a whole rainbow themed outfit. From the wild socks to flashy shorts and t-shirt, I should stand out well before the mud flies.

As you can likely tell, I’m a kid at heart and love color passionately… I believe that life is all about the color and we shouldn’t worry about coloring in the lines all the time. Sometimes it’s all about the living and experiencing. Too many years were spent staying within the lines and when cancer struck, I realized it was all for nothing. I had wasted most of my life, living by someone else’s standards of “good” and “grown up” and it was killing me.

It all changed over that year of treatment and in the years that have passed since it has snowballed to the point that I LOVE my way of living and thinking! My friends are real, my life is bigger and the colors are vivid! Also, I love to color and paint like a kid, again.

This is how we should all live, true to ourselves and channeling our own Rainbow Brite (or whatever you love). It shouldn’t take something like cancer to bring us to life… Live a beautiful life, run your races (Pretty Muddy is pretty awesome!), and be something more.

Joy is in the living.

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”  ~Kahlil Gibran

Pain Sucks… And You Live With It

ImageThe whole time I had cancer growing inside me, it was painless and I’m glad for that… From what I’ve read, if your cancer gets to the point where it hurts, it’s a very bad thing. That said, I never hurt until they “fixed” me. Now I know the way the weather is going to go before and more accurately than the weatherman, but that’s okay.

A nerve was removed and I can’t feel the skin on the back of my calf, which makes for adventures in shaving and there’s nothing quite like having an itch, but being unable to feel yourself scratch it… But that’s okay.

Radiation has made my leg so dry that there are times that it scabs over, but that’s okay, too.

It’s all okay because I have a working leg and am living a wonderful life, despite cancer. I can live with pain. I can live with numbness. I can live with dryness. I’ve been living with this for close to ten years…

I can live with all of this because I’m alive to live with it. Pain hurts less when you look at the alternative.

It’s amazing what we can live with!

“Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.”  ~Erica Jong, How to Save Your Own Life, 1977