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

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Dracula: Dead and Loving It – The Weekly Belly Laugh

If you’re a fan of Mel Brooks, this is a movie for you! If you’ve never seen any of his movies, where have you been??? Twisted fun and often making fun of other movies, his movies are irreverent fun that you never forget.

This one is starring Leslie Neilson, Steven Weber, Peter MacNicol and Mel Brooks (of course) as Van Helsing. If this movie doesn’t get you laughing, you might need your pulse checked because it’s a nonstop laugh-fest.  Amy Yasbeck plays Dracula’s love interest Mina and she’s her usual comedic genius (she doesn’t get near the recognition that she deserves, in my humble opinion).

Grab yourself some popcorn, a mirror, garlic and a stake or two and get ready for fun! This one won’t keep you up at night and will tickle your funny bone.

Have a great week and ALWAYS remember that laughter is the BEST medicine.

“Laughter is an instant vacation.”  ~Milton Berle

Weekly Belly Laugh

As a true believer of laughter being the best medicine for about anything, each week I’ll be posting a comedic movie recommendation. Some will be new and others older, but all are a mood improver (in my opinion, for what that means).

(Oh yes, to my cyber stalker… There will be a post script just for you)

This week’s Belly Laugh is actually an action movie, but I was amazed by the humor in it. Those that know me well, know that from the moment that Tom Cruise came on the scene in the 80’s I was NEVER a fan (an understatement in a BIG way), but in the past couple years he’s won me over with his sense of humor. This week’s Belly Laugh is Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and I was blown away. I haven’t even seen the rest of the Mission: Impossible movies, but this is a RIDE!

I love Simon Pegg to begin with, from Shaun of the Dead and Paul (Yes, I watch some low brow humor, get over it!) and he’s a riot, as always, but the humor that came with the rest of the movie shocked me. Somewhat a “Murphy’s Law” thing happening here and any of us that have had a HUGE URGENT project, will get it. Tom’s expressions when things go wrong are gold and the comments made by the entire cast are perfect.

The action is farfetched, but do we REALLY watch this sort of movie for reality??? I think not. This is a wonderful escape from reality and a joyride for those needing a smile. I give this four stars, but I’m easily impressed. Definitely worth the time.

Next week will be diving into a Mel Brooks classic…

Until then, keep smiling and freaking out those wondering what you’re thinking.

(To my cyber stalker, yeah you… Now you’ll see just who I am and I must say, you’ll be surprised. I told you I was scary smart and pretty incredible. You might want to check out my other blog, it’s more your speed).

 I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.  ~Woody Allen

Wickedly Fun Ways to Live with Post Cancer Issues… Part 1

Cancer sucks and we all know that, but with a wicked sense of humor, it’s a lot easier to deal with. The load is a lot lighter if you can laugh about it…

When asked about my scar, I’ve told people that I was attacked by a tiger shark while diving off Maui (with a very straight face). The expression is priceless because even though common sense should kick in, they actually hesitate and say “Really???” and I say “No, it was cancer, but it’s a much better story, isn’t it???” This is priceless, as it keeps them from necessarily feeling sorry for me and lightens the mood. They quickly realize that if I can laugh about it, it’s not something I need to be pitied over.

Not everyone can do such things with their scars (or is unstable enough to want to), but mine is nearly a foot long, down the back of my leg and my thigh looks like it has its own butt cheeks (I kid you not!). I could avoid shorts in the summer, but I’m not so shallow to allow myself to roast when it’s 90 degrees outside.

Am I bad, oh yes I AM, but if you can’t smile, what else is there?

Just remember this formula:

Curious Stranger + Tall Tale = A Look that’s Priceless

Have a spirited week!

50/50 Movie – A Users Guide to Surviving Cancer

I recently bought and watched the movie 50/50 and all I can say is “Wow! I needed that when I was diagnosed!” Now, I’m not saying that it’s 100% how I felt, but knowing that some of what this guy felt made me feel normal. When diagnosed, no one explained the emotional side of what you go through and how it changes you. Even when the doctor is explaining the diagnosis and how It’s heard is on the mark.

This movie touches on so many areas with humor, but you need to understand that it earns its “R” rating with a lot of language, but considering what is going on in this young man’s life, you kind of “get it.” Besides, I’m not one to swear (hate it for the most part), but after meeting my radiation oncologist with his god-awful bedside manner and him saying that 20 years ago, I’d have just lost my leg at the hip… I dropped the “F” bomb about the whole situation. To say I was under duress is a bit of an understatement. Face it, cancer sucks and people should allow for such things.

The humor of 50/50 will strike a note with many survivors… Your sense of humor tends to get a bit “whack” when going through treatment and let’s face facts, some of what you see in the movie has happened to many people. People bail on you because they can’t handle the diagnosis or some stay around just because they feel sorry for you, but there are those awesome individuals that will hold your hand while you scream in anger and laugh with you when you look back on it. They’ll smuggle you treats into the hospital and help you use your diagnosis to get out of events (yes, the guys admitted to doing this in the Special Features).

Speaking of the Special Features, you MUST watch them to meet the guy that was the inspiration for the movie. Seth Rogen actually stood by him through his cancer and their stories will make you smile all the more.

This is a great movie and will help any survivor realize that we all go through a process when we’re diagnosed and it involves all the emotions. That it’s also great to seek out help in dealing with these issues, but most of all it shows how a great friend can make the whole process go a lot easier…

Enjoy the movie and have a great week…

Here’s the movie website: http://www.50-50themovie.com/

 

Pardon???

Now tell me, if someone told you that you had Liposarcoma… Wouldn’t you be scratching your head, wondering what the heck they were talking about? I KNOW, ME TOO! Shoot, it sounds more like something that you pay to have done, than something that you get diagnosed with! Throw in the fact that I was diagnosed on Friday the 13th and you have the makings of some twisted joke.  Yep, that’s my life!

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a pleasant period of my life, but looking back I see the humor (I’m really sick and twisted that way). From the argument with the Operating Room nurse that included the whole head bobbing thing that I mock others for doing, to walking around with the ability to make water spray from my leg and actually saying that “I’m fine.” Yeah, I was an idiot, but a cute and entertaining one!

So when life seems bleak and without a boatload of hope, remember you can go further than you believe and when you look back, there will be moments that will make you smile.  If I can do it, anyone can.

“Every survival kit should include a sense of humor.”  ~Author Unknown

Let’s Get Chaotic!

There are some pretty amazing cancer survivors out there.  They go through their treatment with grace and style; courageous throughout… Get over that, that’s not me. I was all about insanity, banging head against the wall crazy… Yeah, that was me (as I curtsy semi-gracefully).

Through cancer we learn that it isn’t necessarily how well we survive, just that we DO survive. You can do it with style, making it look easy or again, like I did it and get chaotic… Hey, it’s okay! You just do it and when all is said and done, know you did your best. Sometimes just finding a little humor in the situation can help.

Here are just a few of the fun Chaotic Lessons cancer offers:

Radiation “Perks UP” muscles in areas that are zapped.

During rads, it pulls fluid out of the tissue that it’s making toasty and this creates some entertaining after effects. I had a seriously pumped up looking calf and from what I hear, other nifty areas get “perky” too.

The music they play when you’re stuck in a MRI machine is NEVER loud enough to cover the trash can banging sound.

I don’t care where I’ve had it done, no matter how much you tell them to “crank” it up, it ain’t going to do it. Oh yes, their radio stations are generally lame also.

A doctor with a wicked sense of humor can make some of creepiest procedures fun (yes, I said fun).

Even having something like a PICC line installed… Let me explain PICC line. When you have a severe infection and need to be on heavy hitting antibiotics for a length of time this line is installed in your arm and ran through increasingly larger veins over to your heart. When installing it they are X-raying you to see that it’s going where it needs to go. When lying on your back you can see it going by your beating heart…. Creepy, huh?  Now toss it a comedian of a doctor telling cooky stories and it actually can turn into a game. Normal people don’t usually get this, but once you have cancer, your sense of humor gets a bit twisted.

Getting creative with explanations about obvious scars makes it easier to deal with.

Okay, this is a true example of a twisted sense of humor, but when you can’t hide it or refuse to become an artist. Liposarcoma left me with a nifty scar on my right leg and in the beginning it deeply bothered me, but after a couple of times of saying that it was a shark bite from the rare Fresh Water Great Lake Great White and enjoying the look, my point of view changed. It’s all a matter of how you look at it.

Cancer is a terrible disease and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, but if you’ve got to go through it, get a little crazy, find the humor, and you just might kick it’s tail.

Have fun, get chaotic and be well…

Oh yes, the picture was chosen because he made me laugh! ;o)