The stuff nightmares are made of….

Turns out Columbo is on at 4 AM

Why do I know this?

I know this because at 3:30 A.M. I was awakened by a nightmare.

I get them often, nightmares that is. Generally I refer to them as night terrors. They are usually of brutal murders and I am being hunted by the murderer because I was a witness. Most cases it is a child or a women who was murdered and I am always a witness and always hunted. I usually wake right before I am found hiding in a closet or a shower by the bad guy. They terrify me. I can’t shake the seriousness of them.

This is why I am so selective of what I watch and read. Many times people laugh at me when I won’t watch something with them because I worry it will trigger the night terrors. They just don’t understand.

Tonights nightmare was different. It had an Alice in Wonderland kind of feel to it. There was only one way to save the day. All of us had to crawl into this very small door and hangout there for an hour with complaining. (I know it is weird, but explaining who ‘we’ is and what led up to this is weirder)

So I watched everyone climb though the door. When I tried to go through head first, I got stuck. My arms pinned to my side and no wiggle room. To  top it off the “room” was filled with fine dirt and I couldn’t breathe. I cried out, ‘I can’t, I can’t’. I was stuck, breathing in dirt and was helpless. Needless to say  it woke me up at the ungodly hour of 3 A.M. ish.

Many years ago I had a dream I was drowning. It turned out I had pneumonia. All I could think is maybe my lungs are full of something and that is what triggered the stuck, breathing dream. Then again it could just be the chemotherapy drugs playing with my head.

Just one more thing…..

I wanted to have my picture be of nothing but the color black. I suck at figuring out how to get pictures on to my computer or saving them or downloading.

So I have this picture of a sunrise in Tucson, AZ that my cousin sent me last month. I think it is better than the black. It is a reminder to me that the sun will rise and the light will shine and my head will once again be safe and warm.

I wear the mask….

I wear this mask.

To protect myself from whatever is going around at work. Fevers, stomach viruses, and colds. The mask makes me feel safer, invincible, protected from harm.

I get funny looks from co-workers. I assumed by now everyone knows about the cancer and chemo. Apparently I am wrong. I get people asking all the time.

I have decided that I needed a super hero name, or an avenger name or something. You know, since I am fighting the good fight and I wear a pink mask. My boss (who is my friend) and I spent time looking up synonyms for torpedo. We found one that fit closer to my size/personality. Carronade. The Pink Carronade! It is a short (get it) cannon used in the royal British military.

The nice thing about this mask: I can talk to myself and no one sees it. I can stick my tongue out at someone and no one knows. I can not be smiling and none are the wiser.

The bad thing about the mask: it makes my face sweat like crazy. At the end of the day my face is itchy. Small price to pay for not getting the bug going around.

I wear this mask.

I wear my smile as a mask. I refuse to let anyone see me down. So I place the smile on my face and leave it there.

The smile makes others feel safe, reassured and no need to worry.

The nice thing about this mask: It comforts others. It reminds me to find joy to make it real. It gives people hope. Sometimes it makes others smile too.

The bad thing about this mask: More often than not it is just a mask.

The head games that a cancer diagnosis plays on you are difficult. It never truly leaves your mind, ever. It is a game changer.

In every moment of time I fight with my thoughts. My smile is real, it is not a mask.

I wear this mask.

A moment…..

As I was making breakfast for dinner last night I had a moment.

A moment that felt trapped in time.

A moment that was as real as I am.

A moment that I tried to capture with a picture.

I don’t know if it was the bright evening spring sun shining through the kitchen window. Or  that I was making breakfast for dinner. All I know is in that moment I felt normal. Normal like there is no cancer. Normal like there was never a surgery. Normal like I am not in chemo. Just me being me and feeling normal.

I wanted to somehow capture it and make it so it wouldn’t be a fleeting moment. I tried to take a picture of the warmth shining through my window. It doesn’t even come close to expressing how it truly was. I stood there embracing the moment, the warmth, the time standing still. Please don’t let me wake up out of this trance.

Then I burned the pancakes.

Reality.

A moment gone not likely to return and I am at a loss how to recapture it.

 

 

I know….

I know I want to write. I know I need to write.

Something. Anything.

I feel it screaming at me to let it out.

The blank screen stares at me. Mocks me. Reminds me that I don’t write.

Reminds me the words inside are fleeting and meaningless.

Haunts me with the nothingness in my brain.

So I walk. I walk to jog the thoughts into words.

My walk becomes pointless. Thoughtless. Aimless.

I know what is right. I know what I need to be right.

One thing. Everything.

Squelching the scream inside.

Staring down the oblivion. The absence.

Catching the certain. With uncertainty.

So I sit here and write about nothing. Knowing it is not right.

 

 

 

It is just a cold.

 

When is a cold just a cold?

Today, today I called in sick. It is the first time in five years that I have called in sick to work. Seriously, I have what they call perfect/perfect attendance. I haven’t even missed a lunch punch on the clock. They make a big deal out of that at work. You get a pretty decent cash reward for perfect/perfect attendance. It makes me feel like I am reliable, dependable and responsible. I like that people just know that I will be there if I am scheduled to work. I don’t like to let people down. Ever.

Which then makes me think about my job.

When I was first diagnosed with cancer I met with the surgeon. When I was given the choices of radiation/lumpectomy or mastectomy/reconstruction surgery, (from original diagnosis) I asked what kind of downtime was involved. Meaning, how much work will I miss. She immediately told me that people will not remember you for your job, they will remember you for how you lived. Missing work to get better should be the focus.

I disagree.

I am not defined by my job. Showing up for work on time and everyday does not define me.  It does however show my personality, my drive, my commitment, my loyalty, my responsibility, and that is what defines me. I take pride in doing a good job. I think it is a trait that is lost in this day and age. It gives me purpose. It gives me a reason to be up and out and a functioning part of stimulating the economy.

I define my job.

Now, now I feel like I may have a cold. I am clammy, have an ear ache, my chest has congestion, and I am achey. I have to realize that a cold is not a cold when you are going through chemo. It is a full on attack while you are basically defenseless. I have to make the call. The call to protect myself so I can BE myself once again.

This is a state of flux that I have never been in before. It is a new challenge for me. Accepting that I am vulnerable. Understanding my new purpose. Seeking, searching and living out what I believe with balance.

After all it is just a cold.

Inspiration…

Just be the damn inspiration! Don’t wait for someone else to inspire you.

It is rough. It is very rough today. But I made a promise to myself and the doctor and the World Wide Web of YouTube. I will workout everyday! EVERYDAY!!

All I want to do is sleep. I set my clock. When it goes off, get up and workout online, for the world (of 20 subscribers) to see how tired you are. DO IT!!

So I did. And I felt better afterwards. So much so that I made my protein shake, sat outside in the fresh air to drink it. Walked up and down the stairs 4 times and washed the dishes.

Now, now I set my clock. I set the clock to remind me to take my medicine. I set the clock to remind me to get up and be my own damn inspiration and go for a walk!

I have to. It has to help me through this.

No one else can do this for me. Just me.  Only me.

Inspire yourself.

 

help yourself to some tasty poop water

The Shameful Sheep

I live on a cul-de-sac in one of the top 5 safest towns in America. Seriously. People are happy here with their pedigree dogs and their perfect families. Everybody waves. Everybody’s polite. It’s  goddamn sickening, guys, and completely unnatural. But everyone deals with neighbors that need to be slapped upside the head once in awhile. Even here in Perfectville, USA.

I’ve had an ongoing issue with one of the neighborhood kids. Now, you don’t need much introduction to this kid, except that he lives across the cul-de-sac and he specializes in being strange and an asshole. Good times. I know that sounds harsh, but really…. all kids are strange as hell. Yes, even yours. This kid will do whatever the hell he wants and has parents who are never home to correct the behavior. He climbs over our fence and tramples on our garden. He’s opened and walked right into our front door. He’s…

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BRUNCH PARTY TIME…LIVE LINK it’s a PARTY!👔👡🎶🍦🍰🍛🍕🍗

I finally figured out how to get to the BRUNCH!!! It was great. I have already found several new blogs to follow that are inspiring and fun! You should totally check this out. Be a part of the party!! AND I FINALLY FIGURED OUT HOW TO LEAVE A COPY OF MY LINK!!!!! Practice makes perfect…well makes it easier….well it helps.. Thank you again Jacqueline!! Means so much to be a part of the blogger community, newbie and all! ❤

a cooking pot and twisted tales

PLACE YOUR ORDERS HERE ;-)PLACE YOUR ORDERS HERE 😉

Hop in let’s get this party started. You are most welcome.Just make yourself comfortable.

Refreshments are nicely arranged down the page: Drinks, Chocolates, Cakes, Donuts, freshly squeezed juice, Coffee, Tea and so much more. 🙂

We even have an Intercontinental Chef in the house. LOOK UP and place your orders 😉

Just a little rules of play:

  1. You must mix and mingle with others. Don’t be a wall flower. Go say hello to someone and you can participate in the Tag a poem up above.
  2.  Please leave your blog link or post link in the comment box below along with an introductions.
  3. It’s one link per comment, but come back as often as you’d like, that way it’s easier to focus on a link at a time for others.
  4. Please reblog, spread the word of the party like butter, or like, share on Twitter…

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Just an update….

I am three days into my chemo. I am very fortunate that I am only on two medications/poisons. My friend that sat with me Thursday was on three. My other friend was on five, five! I feel lucky.

The first of the side effects hit me yesterday afternoon. The metallic taste in my mouth they all warned me about. Everything tastes like my permeant metal retainer has leaked all over my tongue and lips and teeth. I don’t have the best taste buds, because I really don’t have a sense of smell. I was hoping this wasn’t going to bother me. I was wrong. It even makes water taste awful.

So this is my game plan. I made a list of healthy foods that I do not like. Kale, apricots, nut butters, avocados, tomatoes, mangos, etc. I am going to the store to buy them all today! I will force myself to eat them so I can get my fruit, veggies and all important protein!

I have been told that I shouldn’t eat food I like because I will never like them again after chemo. So I figure this is a safe list for me!

I have a secondary list of foods I kind of like but if I eat them now and never want them again I will be okay with that. Broccoli, apples, collard greens, persimmons, oranges and etc.

If I eat bad foods it will be pasta, white bread, white rice, potatoes salad..and things that I should kick the habit of.

I only have one thing on my list to never eat while on chemo…BACON!! I want to still like bacon after all of this…

If I have already said all this I apologize now. My chemo brain is also in full effect. I have notes to myself everywhere in the house! Just so I don’t forget to do the thing later. Seriously, even one that says: Get up and MOVE!!

I know the fatigue is coming. And the inevitable hair loss (which probably won’t happen until the next to last treatment) but if this all I get, fatigue, metallic taste, hair loss, poor immune system I will be a happy chemo camper.

I am still on my quest/challenge to post a workout video each day on my YouTube Channel Cancercize with Renee B. I feel it is so important to document that you CAN workout while going through chemo/cancer/surgery. And that it will help your mental health as well as your physical health. I hope to one day turn it into a real class and offer it to all who need a place to workout. We only have one place that does it out here and it is extremely hard to get into. (closed group) Even with doctor notes you get turned away. This saddens my heart. There needs to be more classes for this. After all cancer is not a respecter of age, health, personalities, or anything. It is growing, and attacking. There are many people who need to have a place to workout safely to help themselves be stronger!

Anyway, this is just an update of where I am today. I know, not very humorous. Just an honest update.

P.S. this is a picture of my feet outside. It was so nice out and my energy was good I walked around the block, TWICE! I am pretty darn proud of myself. A workout video and a walk.

#mylifeisshort #ichoosetolaugh #itiseasiertolove #onwardandupward #atpeace #ventinghelps #youarestronger