Monday, July 20, 2009

I've got a little SomeThing I need to get off my chest.

So, I still have the cancer.

I was all zen when I went to the dermatologist last week. I got up and did yoga that morning. Watched an episode of Friends. I was in a good place.

I got there, got checked in, and waited a few moments.

And then I was told that my insurance was terminated.

Um, what? No, it's not. I still have insurance through the end of August.

It was a snafu and got figured out, but it was a very stressful 40 minutes or so. There were snot bubbles, yes.

Ultimately, I had to reschedule my appointment for next month.

The good news is that now the top doc in the practice will be doing my surgery. And as much as I say I don't care about scarring, it's in a pretty visible place, so the idea of having a better doc is rather appealing. Plus, I got all the insurance stuff worked out so that it didn't affect my vacation.

Friends were all indignant on my behalf, but once I left, I dried my tears, took a deep breath, and moved on.

So different from who I was six months ago...

And then the kidlet and I headed for points north to visit some dear friends... Who we actually hadn't met until we arrived at their house with our suitcases.

And they spoiled us rotten for three days straight.

There was lots of sitting around relaxing... The kids played game after game of Monopoly, Sorry, and Apples to Apples. They introduced us to Ninja Warrior, which is this awesome Japanese game show. E kicked my ass with the Pilates and the Water Aerobics. D made these amazing meals that nearly made me cry with the deliciousness. There was wine every night and coffee every morning... And one wonderful evening with margaritas and shenanigans.

We came home with a suitcase full of hand-me-downs for the kidlet, a memory stick with photos (many of which will never be posted on the internet! LOL!), a box of peanut butter bonbons, Skype on my laptop, a brain full of inside jokes and memories, and a name for my cancer.

I knew I needed to embrace it since it will remain with me for several weeks more.

And after racking my brain for a day, it took D about 45 seconds to name it: SomeThing. Because now I have a little SomeThing to get off my chest.

Yes, this is my sense of humor. And we all share the same kind. And it was lovely.

And I came home with things to anticipate, which is good. Kept me from slipping into the doldrums on the drive home...

And everything I anticipated has turned out better than I'd even hoped so far...

Time with friends, unexpected pleasures, hilly miles and a summer concert.

Yes, even with this SomeThing, I am good. Focusing on all that is wonderful and beautiful in my world.

And there is a LOT.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Laying down some ground rules so you don't piss me off.

Okay, so I have a little cancer. It's a very little cancer. It's a sarcoma, not a melanoma. It's a very common form of skin cancer. It will be removed next week, and I will be cancer-free.

Yes, it was a bit of a shock. We'd been watching this mole that had cropped up in the last couple of years, and when I went to have it removed a couple of weeks ago, the doc was just going to freeze it, like she was freezing one on my arm.

I told her that I had a weird feeling about the one on my chest, and maybe we should go ahead and biopsy it to ease my mind...

I didn't hear from her that week, and assumed that no news was good news.

Two days ago, she called me. And I'm standing there in my towel, fully expecting her to say that it was totally fine.

And that's not what she said.

It was a bit of a blur. I don't think anybody is prepared to hear that they have cancer. Of any kind.

So, I made my appointment to see the dermatologist to have the rest of it removed, and went about my day.

And when I did start telling people, I've made sure to say that it's a very minor little cancer. It's, like, the lowest form of cancer that can even be called a cancer.

Most people are being awesome about it... I like the clarifying questions. I like hearing the stories of the person they knew that had the same kind of cancer and that that person got it removed and is cancer-free. That this is curable, not just treatable. I like those stories.

I like it when people tell me that I'm totally going to kick cancer's ass, and that, yes, I CAN call myself a cancer survivor...

Because I'll be honest with you. I have a bit of an issue with being all, "I'm kicking cancer's ass!" I mean, it's a sarcoma. The doctor's going to poke me a couple of times with some local anaesthetic, cut it out, make sure she got it all, and then I'll be done. Cancer-free. No chemo. No radiation. I'm, like, a cancer loser. Leave it to me to go off and cure leukemia and develop a measly little skin cancer.

Although, I loved when someone told me that I had a very good excuse to shave my head now... I will be able to say things like, "Sure I look like I had cancer. Because I totally did!"

And I really love it when REAL cancer survivors tell me that I can totally brag about kicking cancer's ass.

Um, but I don't love it when you minimize it. I can minimize it. You don't get to. You get to tell me I kick ass. You do not get to say, "Oh, you mean it's a pre-cancer."

Because it's actually NOT a pre-cancer.

You do not get to speculate as to whether or not I'm freaking out about it.

Because I'm NOT.

You do not get to freak out about it. If you are going to spend any energy on my little ol' cancer, you can send some Light and Love my way. But that's it. I'm not gonna die, so you don't get to worry about that.

I appreciate so much the offers to come hold my hand while I get poked and cut, and maybe I'll decide to take you up on it. And maybe I'll just pull up the BGPs and just get it done on my own.

But in the meantime, know that I am GOOD.

I explained it to my son in a way that even has him joking about it (although, when he found out it was cancer, he apologized for saying "The one on your chest is gross, Mommy!" about the silver nitrate scar left there from the biopsy. My sweet little Bubba!)... We're good with this.

So, we are good.

Yes, I have a little cancer. And while it was tempting to text that guy from the last blog with, "Yeah, I was diagnosed with cancer today, so I'm not really interested in your crap right now..." I didn't.

And right now, I'm actually pretty damned grateful for this little ol' cancer of mine... Because it caused someone on the periphery to step up and bring me joy. And that's a good thing.

So, please. Keep your negativity and your minimizing to yourself. You may tell me I kick ass, that I've got this, that I rock. Keep the rest of it to yourself.


Oh, and while I have your attention, go get that mole checked out. And slather on some SPF 50.

And have a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Well, speak of the devil...

In my last post, I mentioned something about When I decided to stay away from the one who needs me to stay away, there was no closure... No conversation in which we mutually decided to stop speaking. Nope. There was just me. Deleting the phone number from my phone. Cutting the internet ties. And then... Nothing. And while a conversation would have given me something to reflect upon later, I don't think it would have been as positive as it could have been. So, I just left it. And I'm mostly pretty peaceful about that.

So, that was yesterday.

And last night I'm out for a wonderful meal with a dear friend, I got this weird text. I totally thought it was a facebook update... What with the string of numbers and all.

Um, yeah. Not quite. Turns out that string of numbers was from a phone number that my phone doesn't recognize... Because I'd deleted it.

And it was this disgusting text about something he was freaking out about... Including intimate details that he really shouldn't have ever shared with anyone outside of his marriage. Especially another woman.

Ugh. Ew. Ew. Ew.

And while it was tempting to respond with something along the lines of, "Yeah, well, I've been laid off and I've got some health stuff going on, so your problems with your wife are not exactly high priority on my list right now," I didn't.

I just told him that this was not my problem.

And he responded moments later. And I didn't respond.

And I giggled to CoffeeLady about how I took the ball from where it sat in my court and ran inside with it and hid it.

This brings me joy.

Because this person used to have a pretty fierce grip on me and the ol' self-esteem. And his opinion of me really mattered. He really mattered.

But now he grosses me out.



I got my closure. This was just validation that I can be done and stay done. Because I made a decision to stay away and I am doing it. I'm totally doing it.

Z's asking today if there's any such thing as coincidence.

Um, no.

So, right now I'm sending some extra L&L to a woman and a kid that I've never met. And, I suppose, to him, too. Because I really do want them to be happy together. Because that's what they promised to do.

And I refuse to be a party to anybody else's marital issues.

Oh, and I totally wasn't going to blog this. I was going to keep it under my hat (but on top of the pigtails with the matching rubber bands! LOL!)...

But then I saw that she wrote about how I helped her without even realizing I helped her... Because I'd written something that spoke to her.

So, maybe this will speak to someone, too.


Light and Love... Peace... ClaRiTy... Zen.

From up here on that damned high road... Again. Eesh. LOL!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Language of Goodbye...

It wasn't until moments ago that I realized every word I'd said was more true than I'd thought...

I burned a bridge recently... And when I say I burned it, I mean there is nothing but ashes... And no phoenix is going to rise from these...

I tend to do things in a big way... I would do some irreversible thing and then weeks or months later try to reverse it.

But something's different now.

When I decided to stay away from the one who needs me to stay away, there was no closure... No conversation in which we mutually decided to stop speaking. Nope. There was just me. Deleting the phone number from my phone. Cutting the internet ties. And then... Nothing. And while a conversation would have given me something to reflect upon later, I don't think it would have been as positive as it could have been. So, I just left it. And I'm mostly pretty peaceful about that.

There was definitely closure with some of the girls from last summer. Horrible, awful things spewed about on the internet. Made it pretty easy to say goodbye.

There's never been any kind of closure with HRT. And there never will be. Just this peace in knowing he is out of my world forever. Which is exactly how it should be. What difference would it make if he admitted to me that he knew he was horrible? That he stole? That he cheated? That he lied? Would I feel any better about it? There were many months in which I thought I couldn't "move on" unless I heard those things from him. But I know he did all of those things whether he can admit it or not. And for the last several months, I've just felt a sense of gratitude that he's out of my world... And that he doesn't live anywhere near me so I'll never randomly run into him! :)

The greatest gift I ever got from my first boyfriend was the day he stepped up, months after our breakup, admitted to my face that he'd raped me, and apologized to me. Such a gift...

I'm getting off-topic.

This bridge I burned... A bridge I've crossed and re-crossed and almost crossed since I was a teenager...

When I told him goodbye, I explained that we were poisonous to one another's relationships... Because he's in one, now. And his girlfriend, for whatever reason, doesn't want to meet me.

And I'm good with ex-boyfriend's girlfriends. I'll never forget an ex picking me up to go hang with his family, and his new girlfriend and I couldn't stop giggling together. She was an awesome girl. And she could tell within five seconds that I wasn't into her boyfriend. (Years later, I would get to meet his wife, and she and I went off for ice cream together. Without him. And it was all good.)

But for some reason, this seems different. Of course, it's probably that she's weird (don't get me started. I don't think this is a good match for many reasons, but I'm glad they're together because it takes the pressure off of me to try to date him! (I know. I'm a coward in some ways, still...))

But when I actually reflected this morning, I realized that he has been poisonous to just about every relationship I've ever been in. I remembered as far back to that first boyfriend. Who didn't like that I hung out with this guy. And the ex-fiancee and I got in a huge fight the night of my high school graduation about him. (He probably would have picked another fight, but whatever.) There were several years when I didn't talk to him during my marriage because M wasn't quite comfortable with this guy hanging around...

And then we reconnected a few months before I met HRT... And while he stepped back during that relationship, HRT wasn't comfortable with me talking to him. And I stood up for him. And explained that he'd known about that friendship before we started dating, so it wasn't fair for him to place limitations on me... Ultimately, of course, HRT wasn't worth it anyway.

And in recent months, he and I got pretty close. Talking on the phone most days, texting regularly, emails... Especially when he started dating the new girlfriend... We still saw each other when I went home to visit and we had some of the most amazingly candid conversations... I can probably say that he is the only person I've never been able to lie to... And we had these incredibly intimate conversations. No, not about sex... But about things like God. And the Universe and stuff. Which, in my world, is far more intimate than anything sexual...

And then suddenly, it was gone. And I tried to be understanding... I mean, when people get involved in a new relationship, their friends tend to take a backseat. I'm not saying it doesn't suck, but it's just how it is...

But then when I would hear from him, I would just jump right back in, like it was no big deal... And then hear nothing for weeks...

I'd pretty much written him off when I got a random text. And we texted back and forth consistently that day... Until I mentioned I would be in town the following week.

No response.

For, like, a whole DAY. (Which, in my world, is a long time, especially when he'd been texting me within 3-4 minutes all day.)

And it just felt icky. I felt like maybe he really hadn't told his girlfriend about me and that he was only communicating with me when she wasn't around. And I'm not actually okay with that.

Of course, it turns out I was wrong in my assumptions. Because when I called him the next day, she was there.

But I told him I didn't like where our friendship was and that we should probably call it quits.

Now, let me be clear... There are many people with whom I am perfectly comfortable with the ebb and flow of a friendship. Sometimes we're not as close and other times we're closerthanthis... But not with this person. Because I've never had to censor myself with him, and I am not okay with feeling like I have to censor... Like there are, suddenly, limits. When there haven't been for the 17 or so years we've known each other... Because even when months or years would go by without talking, we could always pick up where we'd left off...

And I really thought that this time, we'd just be able to be friends for always... I really did. He created the cover for my first novel, for crying out loud. That, to me, means forever friendship.

But I guess it didn't quite mean the same to him... Even though he'd already made a point of offering to do the cover of the next book...

At the end of the day, his girlfriend wasn't comfortable with him seeing me. She was okay with him texting and talking to me. But not okay with ever meeting me.

Well, I'm not okay with those limitations. So, I'm done.

And I called him that day and told him that. And he was all shocked. And I understood I'd blindsided him, so I told him that he should talk it over with the girlfriend and if he decided he wanted to talk further, I would talk to him the next day.

I deleted his number by noon. And at 8 that night he called. Trying to change my mind. Telling me that my friendship mattered a lot. That I'm important to him.

And I firmly told him that his girlfriend mattered more and that I'm okay with that. That we are poisonous to each other's relationships, so I will step away. That I'll miss him, but that I will be okay. And so will he. And to just let it go.

And I actually didn't make a huge thing out of it. I kept the conversation short. And then it was done.

And when we hung up, I cried a little. Because it's sad to lose a friendship. And for about thirty seconds, asked myself, "What is wrong with me that she doesn't want to even meet me?"

And then realized how stupid that sounded. This is about HER. She's the one with whatever insecurities that she can't handle meeting me. So, this actually isn't about me. Because if she spent five seconds with me, she would see that I'm fantastic (And also that I have ABSOLUTELY no designs on her boyfriend!), but that's her loss...

See how much I'm growing?

Well, mostly.

TheRaPist asked me a tough question the other day... And told me to reflect for awhile before blogging it and asking for feedback from my friends...

Which I've done... So, here it is:

On the one hand, you know you kick ass. That you're a wonderful person... You don't need validation when it comes to that...

But there are certain aspects of your life where you crave validation... And you get down about yourself when you don't get it...

Why is that???

I'm pretty sure I know why that is... And I need to get to a place where I don't need that validation... I need to know that I matter even when I don't hear it.

But sometimes it feels like I'm lying to myself... "No, you really did matter even if that season is over", or whatever.

I need to maybe take the ball back and lob it again instead of just leaving it in someone else's court. Because I know that even when things are spelled out for certain people, they still won't "get it".


Maybe these things have nothing to do with each other. But in my mind, maybe I was hanging onto that friendship because I was getting the intimacy of a relationship without actually having to SEE the guy. Haha.

Because, for the first time in a very long time, I find myself interested in someone who actually lives fairly close to me... And I think he might know it. And even though one person told me he's totally blowing me off, two others have told me that he's not. That I have to give him a few more chances to actually blow me off before taking it as a blow-off.

And I've been stubborn and not wanting to give him those opportunities. But maybe I should go ahead and put in a bit of an effort.

Hmmm... Maybe I will...

But only after spending this beautiful day with my amazing little boy...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Because my blogs are her espresso.

Last week, I got a text saying "You haven't blogged lately."

And I said I'd blogged the week before. Twice.

And she said, "But your blogs are my espresso when I can't have coffee..."

And while I promised to blog that day, I didn't really feel motivated to do so until now. I was pretty busy getting some other writing done... I entered a contest last week, and got some pretty positive feedback so far... I shall keep you posted on the results...

But speaking of not having coffee...

I think I've weaned. Today is my second day without caffeine... I had a slight headache for three days, but today was actually okay. Even after the 10 miles of hills this morning. Of course, Kev reminds me that there's still some caffeine in decaf coffee, but whatever. :P And the withdrawal headaches of those three days were nothing compared to when I quit cold-turkey two summers ago.

I spent two days in my hometown with the kidlet last week... The last time I'd been home was over spring break, and I was still a bit of a basket case... Afraid to go out and about. Afraid of running into any of the girls who were so cruel last summer... Afraid to go to that other town because I didn't want to run into the soulmate unawares...

Last week, I took my hometown back.

The visit was somewhat impromptu... I mean, I'd known I would be going, but didn't really think about planning anything until I was actually there...

And I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to fill my time with loveliness and love. We had a wonderful breakfast with a pal from elementary school/jr. high. It was cool for me that my dad was there because he totally remembered this friend as well... How wonderful to see what a beautiful woman she has turned out to be...

And that evening, when a few of us got together at a favorite restaurant... I loved that the kidlet told his dad that we weren't just meeting my friends, but his friends as well... And when I asked him which friends we were meeting, he included P's new baby as well. Even though they hadn't met yet... I love that children count the children of their parents' friends as their own, even if they've never met.

How uncomplicated are children's friendships? Such lessons to be learned from their innocence...

Speaking of P... He's a good friend of the ex-fiancee, SB. But he and I had been friends before I even met SB... And even though we hadn't seen each other in nearly 7 years (he came by once when the kidlet was a baby), it was so easy to just pick up where we left off... And so awesome to see him all settled and as a daddy...

There was a moment during dinner when we joked that I could never go to one of our high school reunions. That I "could never show my face there"... And then someone said, "But it could be really funny..."

And I realized why I was so comfortable in that town... It's because I am different enough in the core of me that I believe those girls wouldn't even recognize me now... They see me as this totally wild girl who indiscriminately kisses, and has to be the center of attention, and will say and DO whatever outrageous thing pops into her head...

And I'm not that girl anymore. Oh, she's still in there, but I'm a bit more mellow these days. More centered... Even my SoulMate said to me, "Your energy is totally different!"

And I realized that part of the reason why I played those roles is because that had somehow been established that I was "that girl"... And those friends came to expect that of me... And having always been a "people pleaser", I gave the people what they wanted... And that was that particular aspect of me. They were the catalyst for some of those behaviors.

They thrived on my drama and fed me the fuel to keep it going.

But I'm not really into that anymore. Like, at all. I flee from drama these days.


This last week was one of much reflection... Probably because last week marked one year since so much changed... When I met HRT... And every wonderful and awful thing that happened in the following couple of weeks. I spent last 4th of July with him and with a dear friend who was spending her first holiday without her little boy...

I didn't have to spend yesterday without the kidlet. Even though it was, technically, his dad's day, I still got to see him for several hours, and I love that we have such a flexible arrangement and that we can all still hang out for his sake... I am a very fortunate woman...

And this morning, with the 10 miles of hills... CoffeeLady asked why I jumped in with a story from last year when she shared something with me... And it's because I'm making connections all over the place... I'm picking up on them faster and faster these days...

Seeing things so clearly for maybe the first time ever.

Driving back from my hometown, with my precious boy asleep in the backseat... I heard a song that had me shaking... Because it evoked a memory from much earlier in my marriage... A memory from before we were parents... From a time when I managed to be able to arrange a spectacular date... And ended up only getting part of the evening I'd hoped for because someone else was more important... And as I sobbed in my car, I was so angry with myself... For having put up with that for so much longer than I'd even admitted to myself.

But I can never regret it.

Because staying netted me my boy. That precious little soul... My heart. My Number One Priority.

And as I grow inside this new skin of mine, I will watch with some sadness as some I've counted on move away... Because they were really drawn to the drama queen who isn't there anymore... But I will welcome with open arms those who are drawn to this woman I am becoming... Who will accept me, flaws and all, but who truly know the value of a more zen existence.