Monday, October 25

Permission granted!

Halloween is almost here. I have to admit, it's not one of my favorite holidays. It's never a day off, it's something you have to do after dark (usually when it's cold), and my kids can't seem to get enough of it (which means they're bouncing off the walls ALL DAY until they can go out and get candy!)

The other day I got an interesting e-mail. Our neighborhood has a ton of community activities, and really does feel like a small town rather than just a planned community. (If I were childless, I'd live elsewhere. But with kids, this is an ideal place to raise them.) Anyhoodle, the e-mail was from our "Town Manager" letting us know that our neighborhood was going to hold Halloween Trick-or-Treating on Sunday this year, just like the surrounding city will.

What?! I was unaware that this had to be a sanctioned activity. I realize that these days there are people who are afraid to go door to door in their own neighborhoods, for fear of the boogeyman. (While I understand some people having this problem, most people don't, and it just seems silly to ruin Halloween because you don't know your neighbors well enough! And that is another post for another day.) There was even a letter from the Mayor of our fine City, directing residents to forego trick-or-treating on Saturday (October 30th) and plan to do it on the actual holiday.

I realize Saturdays are really the best day for this kind of activity, it's just not the way it's done! Your kids are supposed to stay up late, eat a ton of candy, get stomachaches, and head off to school in a sugar daze the next day! And we parents are supposed to "test" the candy every now and then, to make sure it's "safe" to eat. That's the way it works, people!

While I've been ranting about how things should really be done, I wonder if anyone out there feels differently. Do you? If so, I'd love to hear your side. I'm interested in other opinions, and it might even give me a chance to change my mind.

On the lighter side, I'll leave you with a photo I found while going through chemo. It really makes me smile every time I see it. I hope it does for you, too.

Happy Halloween!!

Photo credit:

Wednesday, October 13

Brain games

These days I'm spending alot of time at my kids' school. Thankfully, not because of their behavior. :-)

I'm the Parent Faculty Organization President. (We aren't the PTA, because that organization requires groups to pay a membership fee to be called that. And we don't want to spend our fundraising dollars on a name.)

It's been a fair amount of work so far, but I'm loving it! I like knowing what's going on there, and knowing that I'm doing my part to make it a better place to learn.

I'm learning alot, too. I'm learning how to organize and motivate a group of volunteers. Sometimes that doesn't go so well. I'm learning how to work well in a group, and not just take everything on myself so it "gets done right." Mostly, I'm learning how to juggle a million things at one time. I'm hoping that it looks easier than it is, or we'll never have another volunteer take this position on. :-)

I'm also learning that my brain doesn't work like it used to. Chemo has changed me. It has changed my brain. I have a really hard time focusing on one task for too long. I can't seem to remember things for very long, so everything has to be in written form, either by me or whomever I'm dealing with. And I seem to get easily confused, requiring me to go back to re-read things to re-understand them. That one really drives me nuts!

Before chemo
Photo credit: National Geographic

My doctor has had me doing Sudoku and word searches to keep my brain active and try and reduce my symptoms. I don't know if it's working. Some days I feel back to normal, and others are so hard for me to get through, knowing that I'm not the same. The frustration gets me worse than anything else. My hope is that I'm getting better at hiding my issues, so others can have confidence in my abilities.

After chemo
 Photo credit: Hailey & Heather's Blog

If anyone out there has suggestions for me, I'd love to hear them. Have you had similar issues after chemo? What did you do to get your brain back? Was there a way I could have avoided this problem? Please make a comment, and let's start a conversation.

I promise, I'll remember to comment back. I just have to write it down...

Wednesday, October 6


If only the power of one little color could change the world!

Before I had cancer, I knew about the pink ribbon and Breast Cancer Awareness month. I even purchased some things touting the pink ribbon, and never once looked to see if they were even donating money to a cause related to it.

But after cancer, every October is a dread. Or, as most of my cancer friends call it, Pinktober. Why is it a dread? Why am I not excited and happy to see so many people behind a movement to raise awareness for such a devastating disease?

Because I think by now we're all AWARE! All this pinkwashing has absolutely nothing to do with curing cancer, or finding a cause. It's a ploy to make everyone feel better, like they're able to do something to alleviate the devastation it causes in nearly everyone's life somehow. It gives people a purpose, and a channel for all that angst. But it doesn't do a damn thing about a cure!

The thing that really gets me is that now you can't get away from it, even if you wanted to. I mean, here I am, sitting on the couch on Sunday night, watching an NFL football game, and what do I have to look at the entire time? PINK! On the football players! I mean, give me a break, people! Is this really helping to find a cure? (I mean, thanks, New England Patriots' Laurence Maroney, but even you must realize wearing pink gloves on the field isn't helping anyone.)

And, to top it all off, my birthday falls in Pinktober. So, it turns out that I've been blessed to be diagnosed with the cancer de jour, and their chosen time to celebrate it is my birthday month.

I need to get away from all this. I need to be able to get rid of my anger. I need to be a part of something that's actually trying to find a cure, rather than making hoards of money off this thing and perpetuating the campaign.

Does anyone really believe that a cure/cause will ever be found now? There's so much money at stake, so many Races to run, so very many patients to treat. Why on Earth would anyone want to rock that boat?

Tuesday, October 5

Sanitizer needed ASAP!

Ah, yes. The campaign season is certainly in full swing. And I'm already sick of it all! How about you?

I'm usually eating up every little sound byte of political information, so this is an unusual year for me, to say the least. I am sick of all of it, though, because I'm amazed at how strange things have become. The Republicans are, as ever, on the side of the uber-rich. And still regular folks vote for them. The Democrats have no backbone, and just want to be friends. (And in my local race for Congress, the Democrat is the best Republican one could ever ask for.) So nothing they've done in the last 2 years has truly been progressive. Everything has fallen just a bit short of the goal.

So, to say I'm crestfallen, or depressed, or just plain concerned about the way things are going is an understatement. As I've alluded to in previous posts.

Today I read something that not only made me sad, but confirmed my tendency to assume money wins all in American anymore. The LA Times had a small article about how much money the healthcare insurers are giving to candidates this fall. And guess what? They're giving to candidates in the GOP. Why? Because they want to repeal SOME of the rules in the newly created healthcare legislation. The ones that make it illegal to put caps on payment for sick patients, or the ones that require insurance companies to cover children. (Well, some of them have already fixed that, since they stopped selling policies for children, they no longer have to follow that rule.)

The one rule they want to continue to have on the books? The one mandating every American to get healthcare insurance, of course! This actually is a sticking point, as most GOPers want to repeal healthcare reform legislation altogether. The mandate means insurers have a HUGE batch of new enrollees. They say they need them to keep costs low. But remember that insurers made HUGE profits last year? The biggest profits EVER? I'm sure after they buy donate to those GOP campaigns, those same candidates will start changing their tune about what to repeal.

As I always say: Follow the money and you'll find the puppetmaster.

On the bright side, I always enjoy a little of  "The Daily Show" no matter how bad it seems. And, I think everyone needs a bit more of this:

Just sayin'.