Sep 292006

picking-up-the-pieces.jpg I stumbled upon this book at an event called Word on the Street last weekend.

The book is called Picking Up the Pieces : Moving Forward After Surviving Cancer. It’s written by Sherri Magee and Kathy Scalzo.

I’m not one for the self-help books as a general rule, but I have to say that from flipping through this book just a bit, I have felt much less isolated and much less like I am some crazy-ass disgruntled bastard who should just be happy about having made it through the fire and stop wandering around complaining about a life filled with uncertainty and chaos.

Folks in this book talk about the whole range of emotions cancer survivors go through and how we have to find ‘the new normal’.

I would recommend it to anyone who is a cancer survivor and to anyone who is trying to understand why some cancer survivors are not all about puppies and rainbows and cotton candy all the time. Some of us are still learning to crawl in this new crazy scarred up world.

The book is really fresh off the press so it may not be on the shelf of your favorite book retailer, but I would recommend it.

P.S. – For those that are interested, I uploaded the pictures of me and my friends doing the Winners Walk of Hope a couple of weeks ago. They are here:

 Posted by at 4:39 pm
Sep 252006

Thanks to everyone who has written in with their support.

The situation really really sucks. Sometimes I feel paralyzed by the grief and then I think, ‘that’s not really grief, that’s more like agony’ and then I think, ‘well sometimes it’s agony and sometimes it’s an overwhelming despair’.
I know folks go through this sort of thing all the time.
It’s funny, cuz when I was doing chemo, lots of people went out of their way to tell me how brave they thought I was. I always found that odd, since I really had a limited number of choices and I was making the best of the lousy choices I had.
And I don’t mean to be freaky, but I just don’t know how to imagine myself on the other side of this, at that point in my life where I say, “Ahh, sure it hurt like the Dickens at the time, but I see now that it’s all for the best.” I can’t ever imagine thinking this was a good thing.
I reckon that day will come, cuz I have lived through lesser heartbreaks, but damnation, sometimes the best I can do is just slip into a wee coma and wait for it to pass. Those are the good moments.

I don’t know which arsenal of personal strength I am supposed to draw on to give me the strength and hope to make my way back to shore on this one.
In some ways, it’s like I lost my sense of purpose.
How am I going to carry on with the crazy world of cancer and all those follow-up appointments without holding each other’s clammy little hands?
Who is going to hold my hand so I don’t faint when I do bloodwork?
Who is going to keep me from coming right out of my skin and punching the lab technician when I do an MRI?
I guess we get tough and figure out how to do this stuff on our own. But I ain’t looking forward to it.
Really, I am scared. I’ve already gone to a few appointments by myself, which was weird and freaky, but I guess it was a good dress rehearsal for the new world order in cancer land.

Scared, scared, and scared, but one foot in front of the other. Off we go.
So far, I seem to still be at Ground Zero but I guess I can work my way somewhere safe from there.

But, thanks to everyone. Your kind words really, really do help me.
Thank you.

You guys rawk, as the kids now say.

Really. You all help a bunch.


 Posted by at 9:38 pm
Sep 212006

Let’s just get this over with on a global level, shall we?

I am madly in love with Elaine, and have been for a very long time, and, having said that, she and I broke up yesterday after 5 years together and some primo years of friendship before that.

I am heartbroken beyond words and I have no idea how I am going to put one foot in front of the other and carry on. Lots of folks know the grumpy side of me and so I suppose those folks will be surprised to know that I considered making Elaine happy my number one priority. And I was pretty successful at that in the beginning, if I do say so myself. And then the cancer thing happened, and that sort of messes up a person’s life. And then things just stayed phuqued up. As is the way with these things, we have our differing ideas about how we came off the tracks. In my opinion, we never got over the cancer stuff and we just got more and more screwed up and hurt and mangled. And then, we broke up.

So, I wanted more than anything to be the one who could make her happy, and, in the long run, I failed at that so miserably. And I feel such a spectacular degree of shame around that.

In case anyone is wondering how I am with all this, I can safely say that I would rather do another 8 chemo treatments than lose Elaine as my partner. She is the love of my life. But my life ain’t no Disney film, it’s more like a Russian novel, where you love the girl with your whole heart, but for whatever reason, that ain’t enough.
I don’t know how to do this and I am so tired of so much hard stuff. When do I get my vacation in Palm Springs, floating on an air mattress? Aren’t I due?

 Posted by at 12:38 pm
Sep 102006


Some friends and I did the OVCA Winners Walk of Hope, sponsored by NOCA. It’s the first time the walk has happened in Vancouver.

It was a beautiful day for a walk through Van Dusen Gardens and my little team raised over $1,000. It remains to be seen, but we may break the $2,000 mark. A big thank you to everyone who sponsored me or any of the other folks on my team.


 Posted by at 5:29 pm