Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lean on me - I'll be your friend - I'll help you carry on

The Hand
So yesterday was a schmoobly about RadLad and his awesomeness.
I also have an A-MA-ZING group of friends I can rely on.
Niki Baker told me once that you can count your true friends on one hand. People come and go but there are five people who are constant in your life. So I am going to tell you about my five and then quite a few more.
My middle finger is NIki Baker. She is ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS there to talk to. She’s not one of those, call me anytime people who never pick up the phone when you call them. No, friends, she always picks up. It’s 2am and I can’t sleep because of stupid drama headspace, Niki is there. Life is falling apart, she’s there. I fall in love, she’s there. I find out I have cancer… she’s there. She is far from me and I don’t get to ‘see’ her as much as I should.  But she’s always THERE. She made me a pillow for when I go to chemo. It has a hand on it. On the middle finger of that hand is a ribbon. That pillow goes with me to chemo and I hold on to it tightly. I do not tell her enough but I love her. She is my family. She is forever a friend. I am so lucky to have her.
My pointer finger is Brittney Boswell. She keeps my ass in line.  She points me away from trouble. She points me to the right choice. She also kicks my ass. She’s been a constant support since I met her. (She made me cry the first time I decided to be brave enough and introduce myself to the sparkle in the room.) But, man, she’s got my back. She’s closer on my back then my bra. If she could hold my sword and shield while I fought this stupid cancer; she would. She keeps me from working too hard. She keeps my mind on the fight and what is actually important in this, and many, aspects. She helps me keep my body nourished. Even if she does not agree with my decisions, she stands by me when I make them. She is my sister.
My thumb is SAPA. I am cheating here and including a while group of people, :-P .  The reason for this is that no matter how the group changes and no matter my ability to be full-time, part-time or just showing up.. they are there giving me the thumbs up. Entire 140+ members of cast present plus previous cast members. I have the largest group of the prettiest cheerleaders ever. Take that, Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. We can dance, sing, wrestle, fight with weapons. We do all these things together while being FABULOUS! They are my supporters, protectors and a group of the best huggers ever. They all know how to give a real hug. Not those half assed ones where you feel like you have cooties. But the ones where they squeeze you so hard that you feel like your insides will fall out. They found out that I was not supposed to be anywhere near site because of my immune system and I immediately had people offering to guard me so people would be prevented from touching me. And hand sanitizer and hankies.. And even offers to pay for my scooter when I was too weak to walk.
My pinky is Mick Moreau. Holy cow. I wasn’t expecting this one. We have not been particularly close in the past but in the past year I have learned a lot about him and him me. I know I can tell him anything and not be judged.  His life has ups and downs at about the same time mine does. I always feel like I’m on a roller coaster with him. We are holding hands, laughing and screaming the entire time. He’s been my partner in a lot of things the last year and especially the last few months: Never taking sides, being understanding and compassionate. He probably has no idea he’s a part of my inner circle.
My ‘ring’ finger belongs to my parents and RadLad. That finger is a direct line to my heart. Radlad had an entire while blog for him so you all know why. My mom is always there for me. She tries super hard to not be too much of a Mom. I can talk to her (and have always been able to talk to her) about everything. My Dad and I have never been super close but since this whole cancer crap, we have gotten closer. It has been super nice to have both parents in my life. Many of my friends have lost a parent or both. I am super lucky to have both parents still alive and both active in my life.
All of these people have one thing in common. They are not afraid to be honest with me and I can be honest with them. I cry. I talk out the stupid headspace that we all have. And shit, we’ve had disagreements. Here we are. Still friends.
True friends have troubles. True friends argue. True friends make up. True friends are love.
 Megan Hartman – She is always there. I vent, I rant, I rave, I cry, I laugh. She pats me on the head and kicks me in the ass. Always a friendship that exists even when I forget or have the stupid.
Sharon Sullivan – I can’t say we have ever had an argument but I am sure I’ve made some decisions she’s shaken her head at me for. She has NEVER judged me. HOLY CRAP is she an amazing woman that I admire. An inspiration for me and many other people.
Paul & Eris – I can’t even begin to list the amazing things they have done for me. They are great friends to both Radlad and I. Super supportive, friendly as hell… and apparently I mean a little to them ;D.
Pat & Lisha – At least once a week, or more, I hear from the both of them. I am blessed. They are truly kind people with a sense of humor that keeps me on my toes.
Matt & Jessica – Both people I hear from at least once a week. Neither is afraid to tell me exactly what they think. Always there with a kind word, a hug or just to kick my ass. Kind words are not always what is needed and holy cow can they tell me the truth.
Chris – We are still friends, be shocked.  
Shannon & Allen – I have never had people come through for me in my life like these two. Their strength and kindness was leant to me and I will repay the favor.
Leah & Patrick & Dana – Keeping my mental ‘holy crap I’m so ugly’ at bay. Three people that make me feel beautiful by just existing in my world. They keep my mental spirits up.
****This is in no way a list of everyone who has helped me. These are the people on my hand(s) who can be interchanged. I know I could call upon more people than named here and any of you would come help me. I love you all dearly.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Beloved One – Ben Harper


We have both been here before
Knockin' upon love's door
Begging for someone to let us in
Knowing this we can agree to keep each other company
Never to go down that road again

My beloved one, my beloved one

Your eyes shine through me
You are so divine to me
Your heart has a home in mine
We won't have to say a word
With a touch all shall be heard
When I search my heart it's you I find

My beloved one, my beloved one, my beloved one

You were meant for me, I believe you were sent to me from a dream straight into
To my arms
Hold your body close to me
You mean the most to me
We will keep each other safe from harm




Many people do not know the story of Radlad. So take a seat and let me spin a yarn for you.


Radlad and I were dating when one night I had a coughing fit. I had coughing fits MANY times before but also had a history of bronchitis. So I thought it was just a bronchitis thing, no big deal. The cough was so bad that he made me promise to go to the doctor. And you all know the story from there to the, “Hey Look you have cancer!” portion of it.


What you may(or may not know) is that I gave him three opportunities to walk away. I told him I would completely understand if he wanted to walk away. I gave him the gentlemanly way to go away. I gave him three opportunities to take the easy road. I told him I would still be friends with him and call him to let him know how things were going. He could walk away and find someone else who was not going through all this drama (divorce and cancer .. the ultimate relationship killer). I gave him every reason to leave. I did not want the news to get worse and him look like a giant asshole. We were very fresh into our relationship and had already been through some crazy times.

And he stayed.


Radlad has been to EVERY chemotherapy appointment. He waits patiently and keeps me calm. I scurry around trying to keep my mind off the fact that I’m about to poison myself, ON PURPOSE for the sake of a longer life. He gets me juice or water when I need it. He helps me get disconnected so I can skate my chemo pole with me to the bathroom. He gets me coffee when I want it. He goes to get fruits and yogurts at the cafeteria in the hospital. He forces me to relax. He protects and saves me from myself. All of this while just at chemo.


I tell him, ‘Thank you’ all the time. Sometimes, I just tell him thank you randomly. He always asks, ‘what was that for?’. I always want to tell him, ‘everything’.


He is amazing. He is so many things.

I am a very lucky girl.

Friday, June 21, 2013

I want your sex - Chemo/cancer's effect on my sex drive

TMI post – so if you don’t want to know or don’t care. Stop now. I’ll be talking about sex.. and fucking.. and porn. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.


After chemotherapy they don’t want you to have sex for three days. After doing research, here is why:


·         Some types of chemotherapy can lead to changes in the lining of the vagina, which may make vaginal injuries more likely during intercourse. During intercourse, normal bacteria that live on the skin or in the genital tract may be introduced into your bloodstream.

If your chemotherapy reduces the levels of your germ-fighting white blood cells, you may not be protected from these bacteria. Your doctor may recommend you avoid sexual intercourse until your white blood cell counts rise to safe levels.

If chemotherapy causes a low platelet count, intercourse could cause bleeding. If your platelet count is extremely low, severe bleeding could occur.


So there we go. Not because it will cause cancer of the dick but because I could bleed and have the ouches. Fun times.


Ahhh cancer. You really have to mess everything up. The physical part is not what gets me. It is jumping past the mental portion.


 It is REALLY, REALLY hard to feel like a sexual creature when you are sick to your stomach and you want to vomit. It is a serious Oscar winning shit to put all that aside and just try to live in the moment. To try forgetting the pain and try to live in the touch or kisses is FUCKING HARD.


It is hard to believe that someone wants to be intimate with a stage 4 cancer patient and all the drama that comes with it. My life since January has been like Jerry Springer lite. I am sure my life is fodder for all sorts of conversations. I am doing what I need to do to stay alive. I won’t lay down and die. Apparently I can’t just lay down and have sex either. So I get the mental downward spiral..


You feel bad, then you feel bad that you feel bad.

Then you feel worse that you feel bad for feeling bad.

Then you get angry for feeling worse that you feel bad for feeling bad…

It keeps going.


And then you wonder, why anyone would stick around for this. And you worry everyone will leave your cancer ridden ass. And you’ll be all alone. So it’s like a horrible depression session.


OHHHH and then you get to deal with the fact that you have random hair loss. You don’t look like the person you were months ago… Oh and weight gain issues and it’s all together a cluster.


I need constant reassurance that I am attractive and sexy... I need to be told. I have to hear it. I have to believe it. The only time I feel sexy is when I am dancing. I don’t even need a drink. I just seem to let go.


Which is something I wish I could do in the bedroom (or where ever). I get stuck in my head. I get nervous. I can’t seem to let go. I mean, I’ve watched enough porn to say, ‘hey that looks like fun’ or ‘how the hell is that possible’. I’m open for about anything (except one thing….) and I just can’t seem to get the courage to jump. I think a lot of people are like this, not just Kari the chemo girl. But adding the ‘Who the hell wants to have sex with the girl filled with cancer?’ in the mental picture sure makes it harder.


So cancer.. gives me the big unfuck you.


How does chemo girl work around this?


Well, it’s hard. It’s really hard.


I don’t get why anyone would find me attractive. I get it when I’m all dressed up at the club but I don’t get it in normal life. SOoooo I do little things to make me feel good. I can’t shave so I spend a while covered in VEET. Wash that all off. Spend time soaking in the tub with a LUSH product. Then come out, moisturize.  I’ll wear a wig. Find something comfortable maybe a little sexy. Just being  comfortable and smelling good in my own skin does wonders.  So that helps boost.


Communication. So it’s hard to tell when the sex should happen. He knows when I don’t feel good and he also thought that the escape to the bathroom meant, ‘fuck off’, when it meant the exact opposite. Sometimes when I am feeling the mood.. I have to say ‘HI! I WOULD LIKE THE SEX NAO. PLZKTHNKSBI’ and he does too. It seems stupid but it works. Especially if you aren’t feeling worthy of breathing and your loved one is finding the need for you. And you’re in some other world hating on yourself…


Self Worth – Even though I am going through all of this nonsense. I am worth it. I am worth the fight. I am worth the worry and stress.


It’s a hard, hard battle. But worth it. Cause that after glow is totally amazing.



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ready to run - Dealing with weight issues while going through chemo

Many of you know this.


In 2011 I made a major decision in my life. I decided that after being obese all my life, I was going to have gastric bypass surgery. I lost over 150 lbs. I have had weight issues all my life and my body doesn’t seem to recognize when it has hit full. So I’m always hungry. I eat when I am bored or alone. I can’t resist food being left in the break room. It doesn’t matter if I just ate or not. The call of fresh warm Shipley’s donuts is a siren song I cannot resist. But dammit I try.


I got down to 128 pounds. My bones were showing and I was wearing a size 6. Sometimes a 4. Now that’s somewhere I NEVER wanted to be. My goal was a size 10.


Well, chemotherapy has made me gain weight. 15 pounds in fact. I am comfortably sitting in my size 10 jeans. They are tight on my thighs and hips. I sit all day at work.


I’m not allowed to get my heart rate up too high because of the chemo. Last night I got on the treadmill and started to walk. Well then I decided to run. Radlad’s treadmill is at an angle which makes it significantly harder to run. But I am a stubborn ass. I ran anyway. Now I didn’t get very far. In 15 minutes of walking and running I made it a little over a quarter mile. (Before chemo I was running 11 minute miles). So as the sweat was pouring out of my body.. my legs were screaming. I just could not go any further. I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest.


I got frustrated. I threw my phone.


I am really trying hard to lose 10 lbs now. I want my size 10 jeans to be comfy; not tight.


I am doubling my intake of tea. Yes, I should drink water but it’s too plain. Water flavoring is so boring now.


I am going to SPEED WALK/NOT RUN on the treadmill (or outside if weather permits) for 30 minutes a day. Except Sundays.  AND if I am going dancing, I will bypass the treadmill and opt for dancing my ass off instead.


I will eat fruit instead of pastries.


I will take it easy and not have a heart attack while trying to maintain my weight.


Apparently, dieting is not supposed to be a part of chemo. But it will be for me.
I will not let the voices inside my head win. I am still beautiful. 15 pounds is nothing. I can lose that in a month, easily.
I know how to eat. I just need to get back to eating correctly. Treating myself once a week instead of nightly.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Keep on a rockin' me baby...

The baby dilemma

A side effect from the chemo is that I could be sterile.

In my previous years, this would not have been an issue. But I am finally to the point where, yes, I would be an awesome mom. I’m not scared of babies like I used to be. Crying babies still make nervous. I don’t want to mess it up.

The downer here for me is that I lived most of my life not wanting babies. My sister was born really sick and her eventual death from the illness made me scared of babies. Not only that but people don’t raise their children anymore. They sit them in front of electronic devices and hope that the tv or the internet teaches them the difference between right and wrong. Then I got to thinking…..

I have an amazing support system of friends who are having babies. Friends who raise their children the way I was raised; A hands on nurturing environment. I would make a great mom and my baby would have plenty of friends who were raised the way I raised my child.

I could totally do this whole motherhood thing.

Then a week later I got the news. The oncologist and I had a talk about children and told me that they may not be possible after chemo. Sterile, he said. This broke my heart. I’m not getting any younger and the chances I could have another cancer come in is high. This cancer could come back. There are so many things that tell me that I should not have a baby.

But I still want one.

It’s heart breaking to me. I think I finally found my path to happiness and cancer just put a big ‘fuck you’ in the middle of it. Things were going rather swimmingly (minus a divorce that was getting nasty).

Yes, I am available to watch your kids. I may be tired but I want to give it a shot. See if this motherhood thing is something I am really missing out on. I have made the offer a few times.

My friends are spawning and have no time for those of us who aren’t spawning. When I get together with friends who have kids, I/we (RadLad and I) get left out of the conversation. Just because we don’t have children doesn’t mean I don’t want to take that trip. Sorry my lack of child makes me less worth to travel with you. Try being the only nonparent in a room full of babies and parents. It’s sort of like being nonsapa in a room full of SAPAites talking. You get left behind.  We don’t mean to do it but we leave people out of conversation. Like we have nothing else in common but faire.


Just because I don’t have children doesn’t mean I don’t want to watch them. Sure, for many years when children would scream I would high five my husband and say ‘No baby high five’. But my situation has changed.

My perspective has changed.


My life has changed.


Sure if I can’t spawn one of my own I will adopt.


And If I can’t do either, I’m still going to Disneyland.



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I was going to write a post but then I got zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Now this isn’t a woe is me post.

These are the facts

As of right now I am tired, more tired than I have ever been.

How am I? Tired

How was your weekend? Full of sleep.

What did you do with your day off? I slept.

What are you going to do when you leave work today? Eat some oatmeal and sleep.

Why aren’t you home right now? I still have work to do


Are you surprised I am still working at this stage of chemo? I’m not

I’m a hard headed idiot who doesn’t know to rest until her body says stop. I will work half a day today. I will work until 2 tomorrow. Then, hopefully, full days the rest of the week. It’s EXHAUSTING to be this fucking tired.


I’m so tired I just sleep. Walking to my car is tiring. Talking to people is irritating. I just want to be left alone and sleep. I’m trying really hard to smile and be upbeat but that takes effort. And I’m all out of effort.


I don’t understand why this is happening. The nurses and doctors tell me, ‘it’s just a part of what happens’. But no one tells me why. I want to know why it’s happening. Is there some sort of chemical build up? Do I need my masseuse to work it out for me? Can I do something to get past this nonsense?


I realize I am more than halfway and I should be happy. Too tired to be happy. I’m miserable. I don’t want to be around people. I’m tired. I want people over.. then I feel bad because I go to sleep when they are around. SO I want a group of people who can interact after I leave my own invite. This is not normal hostess behavior and I get it.


I have my halfway through chemo party this weekend and I’m too tired to plan it. Or bake something. At this point I’m just going to show up with a swimsuit and some cupcakes. Bring some Monster energy drinks and 5 hours and just pray I make it to the end of the party. Otherwise, I’ll be napping during my party. And that’s fine. An hour here and there isn’t so bad.


Have I mentioned how tired I am?



Monday, June 17, 2013

What I have learned - The halfway point

1. I am much stronger than I give myself credit for. You really never know how strong you are until you have to fight for your life. It's a different fight than a gun bring pointed at you. You can control this fight. No one controls this fight but you f and your willingness to believe the medicine will work. It's called medical practice for a reason.  I don't believe in much but holy shit.. I believe in me. I can do this.

2. A lot of people care for me. I'm not talking friends. I'm talking people wanting to make sure I am alright; friends or not. If it's been morbid curiosity, random messages, hugs, random people on the street... People give a shit about me. I'm not sure why, some days but I have never felt so loved.

3. I HAVE GOT TO LEARN TO REST. Taking care of myself after chemo has been dead near impossible. I got carried out of my favorite diner yesterday, sobbing from embarrassment. I had to be carried in my house and onto the couch. I feel like a prisoner to the cancer right now. I have to let the chemo work and learn to rest. Perhaps I should say I feel like a prisoner to the chemo instead. I cannot keep working at the pre cancer pace. I have to stop trying to pretend I am the same person. I will be soon. October will be like nothing ever happened. But it is happening and I have to let it run it's course.

4. Cancer is hilarious... Having cancer is not funny but the shit that happens to you can be very funny if you take it that way. Shit yourself when you think you have farted? Hilarious. Chemo farts? Hilarious. You can laugh or you can cry. Most of the time, I do both.

5. Having an emotional response is completely ok! I am allowed to be emo. I am certainly allowed to cry. Crying has been one of those releases that feels guilty. I want to cry sometimes. I want to scream. But I get that kick ass attitude that says, "FIGHT, DAMMIT. STOP CRYING". I let myself cry yesterday. I ignored the fight response. I just cried. And it felt good to get it out. I have ups, I have downs... and it's TOTALLY fine.

6. Someone always has it worse than me. I feel bad about my cancer. I mean I have stage 4 cancer and that is nothing to sneeze at. I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. Other people are suffering worse and have questions they cannt get answered.

7. If someone else tells me that 'of all the cancers to have this is the best one to get'. Is going to get kicked in the dick. For the last time... Yes this cancer is curable but the chemo is what is going to hurt me. For people with my cancer and my chemo the 5 year survival rate is 65%. Less if you have a bulky disease and less if you are anemic. Guess what, folks? I have both of these. I'm not throwing in the towel but I am certainly going to live my life like I have these five years. And yes, when I make it past the five years, I will be happy and aim for 10. But I am trying to be realistic. I started this journey with 2 weeks TOPS to live. So every day is a blessing.

8. Sharing my story helps me and helps you too. It allows me to tell you what you want to know about the cancer and helps me just say the words. It's hard to talk about what's going on, sometimes. Blogging has been amazing for me and has hopefully helped you all too. I love telling my story. I love helping people understand. I want everyone to know what is going on so if you have a relative going through it you know what to ask and not to ask.

9. Love is hard. Finding the right words to say when you are sick is hard. Trying not to push people away is harder.

10. Baths are amazing. They force the needed rest, relaxation, skin moisturizing, and thought time that is needed. 15 minutes is all I need for a recharge.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Needful Things

Things I have found helpful during chemo:


1.       People checking in on me. I hear this often , “I know there are a ton of people checking on you”..blah blah blah. Well, here’s the hard truth; there aren’t people who check on me. There are 5 people who check on me routinely. FIVE.  That’s it. So if you think you want to call and say hi, you should. Text messages are perfectly acceptable. Sure I know I have an army behind me but it’s nice to actually KNOW it.

2.       LUSH products – Yes, I am specific. LUSH makes amazing bath products. They are amazingly helpful with my nausea, extremely dry skin/face/body and relaxation. There is nothing that calms me down like a 15 minute soak in a nice lavender bath. Or preventing my ultra dryness every day/night with their lotions and bath soaks. Feeling like I don’t look like I am flaking away helps so much. And the 15 minutes of alone time helps me gather my thoughts.

3.       Make up – Sephora and Ulta have been a god send to me. I can put on some bare minimums or go full gusto. It’s amazing how feeling nice on the outside feels good on the inside.

4.       SOUP – After chemo it’s all I want. I have someone who has been making it for me but tonight I am going to make my own to prepare for this weekend. My favorites are matzo ball and tortilla.

5.       Friends hanging out – I can’t go any place on chemo weekends because we don’t know how I feel. The last few chemo weekends have had a few people over for games. And these people have been really understanding when I had to get up and go to bed. They keep RadLad company while I rest and have kept my spirits high.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Come on get down with the sickness

So Friday the 7th was my 5th chemo treatment and it’s just taking me this long to tell you about it.


My chemo has six stages, two for each stage = 12 treatments. I just started stage 3 and it’s


Now is the time when ALL of the things they warned me about started happening: ALL AT ONCE.


Hunger? What’s that. My need/want to eat is gone. When I do want to eat, all I want is bread and soup. I lost 10 of the 15 pounds I gained.


I’m sick to my stomach all the time. I want to spew chunks at the thought of eating some foods. And I have been known to spew chunks after everything I eat, no matter what it is.


I shaved my head and it’s hardly growing back. Neither does the hair on my legs or my eyebrows.


I am tried all the time. When I have a not tired day, I try to do everything and I end up exhausting myself so I can’t even move. RadLal had to carry me from one chair to another so I could eat dinner. And I hardly ate anything.


Everything tastes weird. Metallic. Even chocolate. Boo.


All I want to do is lay about and do nothing but I end up sleeping.. So I feel like a lazy sloth who doesn’t contribute to life. Soooo I work myself harder and get more tired. The vicious circle.


Chemo is again this Friday and I’m all out of meds.. so if you wanna donate a little to the fund, you can.. There is a link on the right ---à


I’m doing ok. My wigs are hot and I had to take it off yesterday while at breakfast. I cried, a lot. No one seemed to notice, or care. EXCEPT ME.


It’s still traumatic that I have stage 4 cancer and I’m handling everything like a trooper. I’m pretty proud of how strong I have been.  Even in my emo crying moments, I stop crying, shake my head and move on. I have a pretty amazing support system. So that really helps.


I’m coming up on my halfway through chemo this Friday or appointment 6 of 12. Then the following weekend there is a halfway through chemo party. I’m super excited to be halfway through the treatments.. I hope I can make it all the way through the party. Since I just want to sleep. Motivation to do anything sucks!!


Anyway! I love you guys!


Thanks for reading my babble today.





Thursday, June 6, 2013

Things that would make chemo better

1.       A mani/pedi person. I would pay for this service. They highly recommend not to have any of these services done while on chemo due to risk of infection. But if you have it done WHILE in chemo, if you get a cut, you’re already in the hospital!! So two for one.

2.       Healthy food at check in. They preach and preach about eating nutritiously but when you get there: muffin tops and cookies.

3.       Movies to watch – Some new releases that just came out so people who bring their laptops in and realize their wifi sucks ass have something to do for 3 hours

4.       More light. I am really lucky to have a well light chemo room. It’s bright, cheery and the nurses are as well.

5.       Less light for those who want to sleep

6.       A wristband with my information on it so you stop waking me up every 30 minutes to hour to make sure I am who I say I am. Really? You think some sick fucker wants to come have chemo. Sweet! Let them take my week.

7.       Any spa services. A facial, some eye creams, something other people have tried that works on their skin

8.       Being on time. You all expect my ass at a certain time, then you should run on time, as well. My phlebotomist gets me in speedy so I know you aren’t waiting on my blood work to get me into chemo. I realize I’m at your mercy but I have a life to live too.

9.       Private rooms when/if needed. I don’t want to be chatty all the time with people.

10.   Hugs. When you’re done with chemo for the day, the unplug you and that’s it. I would like a hug when I’m done. It makes the sickness easier to deal with.