Thursday, November 20, 2014


I picked this particular prompt because I thought it would be easy, believe it or not. Piece of cake! I'll have this whipped out in no time!  Which curiously leads me to the very first thing on the list...

Five Things You Don't Know About Me

1. My mouth is bigger than my brain sometimes.  I often speak before I think, which means that what comes out of my mouth isn't always what is expected.  It's sort of the equivalent of a drunk man shouting "Watch this!" before he tries to juggle chain saws.  I've improved over the years, but still have my moments. 

2. I was in an actual commercial once.  It was for the United Way in Washington D.C. in the early 80s.  It took all day to film in the hot sun. A bunch of hot and sweaty kids sang a song over and over again while they filmed.  I am pretty sure that we all sucked horribly, because I never actually saw the commercial on TV. Ever.  If I ever run for office, someone will find the video and use it for blackmail.  It is that bad.

3. I sang at the Kennedy Center.  In high school I was asked to try out for the county choir, and I actually made it by faking an ability to read sheet music. Oh, and sing. not only did we record an album, we also were asked to perform a Christmas show at the Kennedy Center. That was actually cool, even if it didn't lead to a fabulous career in the music business.

4. I was in a rock band. It was high school.  One of my friends wanted to start a band, and I had not a thing better to do.  We weren't horrible, if you don't count the time that I completely forgot an entire verse of a song during a performance. Just stood there until I remembered it.  Most people who were there still remember that, which is another reason why I haven't been to any of my high school reunions.

5. People seem to faint a lot around me. During the filming of my one and only commercial, my friend fainted.  During one of my choir concerts, another one of my friends fainted and fell from the back row of the risers.  One time I went to the movies, and a random guy behind me fainted.  If I think about it, at least one person faints around me approximately every two years.  That's too often to be a coincidence, I think.  Maybe it's that electromagnetic thing? 

And as for the other Fives, I'm not going to go into detail, but if you want to ask me about anything in the comments, I'll try my best to actually answer.

Five Things I'm Knowledgeable About
1.  Special Education
2.  Behavior
3.  Serial Killers
4.  Emergency Planning
5.  Cats

Five Things I Know Nothing About
1. Physics
2. Math
3. Combustible engines
4. The Chinese Language
5. Polo

Five Things I Believe
1. No child should ever be unloved.  Ever.
2. If an animal is terrified of a person...stay away from that person.
3. A closed mind is usually an empty one.
4. Trust your gut. Or as I like to call it, your spidey-sense.
5. Always try to learn something from every experience, good or bad.

Your turn--what are some things that nobody knows about YOU?

Head over to Mamakat and check out all the wonderful people over there sharing the love!  I chose the following prompt: 4. Five Things. List 5 things we don’t know about you, 5 things you’re knowledgeable about, 5 things you know nothing about, and 5 things you believe.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Microstories: Persephone's Love

Prolonged gazes, 
surreptitious smiles
Brief patters of flirtation
Drew them together
Every spring

Bright drops 
Melting ice
Rivulets rolling,
Over trembling hands
As he drank 
Her sweet kiss

A deluge of passion

Halted only by the 
Sudden arrival 
Of hateful Winter.

Five Things To Remember When You're Diagnosed With Cancer

I have cancer.  It just showed up one day without permission, and set up shop in my left breast.  Then it hit the road via my lymph nodes, which is what cancer tends to do.  Having cancer has been a huge learning experience for me, although I would have been happy to never know about any of it.  I've read books and talked to people, in my efforts to be prepared.  There are some things that I wish I would have known about cancer before I got it, but we all tend to ignore such things when they don't directly involve us.  Until it happens to us.  I wish that I had known a few bits of information before I was diagnosed. 

1. There are lots of tests.  And they're not the kind of tests you can study for.  I've had several mammograms, plus sonograms, CT scans, MRIs,  and PET scans.  And blood tests, lots of blood tests.  For the last two months, I've been tested way more than I ever would have thought possible. I imagine that I'll have more tests once the chemo starts. And I cannot count the number of men who have seen my unclothed breasts lately.  They're doctors, and it's a simple examination,  but I'm not used to whipping out a boob upon request.  Or having men I barely know fondle my breast looking for the mass that is my cancer, or checking my sutures, or whatever. At least when I was dating, I got dinner and a movie first.

2. There are lots of needles.  If you have a needle phobia, you will either get over it or you will die. Every time you turn around, someone will be drawing your blood, injecting you with something, starting an IV, etc.  Because of the onslaught of needles, your veins will start trying to hide, or they will simply collapse at the most inopportune moments.  Your arms will look horrible with all of the bruising from people attempting to locate veins.  If you end up with a mediport in your chest, that's something entirely new.  You will feel a bit like a cyborg, with that little piece of plastic in you.  But it will take some of the pressure off your veins, so just get used to it. That's where they will stick the needles after that.

3. Get ready to glow. I have been injected with radioactive dyes, radioactive glucose, etc.  I have been injected in my arm.  I've been injected right in the breast(Are you wincing right now? Yeah. So did I.), so the dye would travel to the right lymph nodes. No super powers have emerged, much to my chagrin.  And when you're radioactive, it completely screws up your day. You're not allowed to be around people.  If you actually have a family, they have to stay ten to fifteen feet away from you, especially children.  You can't be around pregnant women, either.  I'm sure that if I went to the airport, some alarm would sound. Part of me really, really, really wants to test that theory. After all, I tripped the nuclear detector at the White House; I have a reputation to uphold.

4. You will have all the feels.  All of them.  Think of PMS and dial it up to 11. Emotions that I didn't even know existed have surfaced since my diagnosis.  I'm terrified, sad, angry, and anxious simultaneously.  Half the time I can't even begin a sentence with the word 'cancer' in it; my eyes tear up and my voice suddenly jumps into the upper octaves as I try to fight a sudden tendency to bawl.  Even if I'm not discussing my diagnosis, random things will have me bursting into tears.  It's downright embarrassing. The rest of the time, I just want to punch someone right in the face, for no other reason than I have cancer and they don't.  It's not right, but the emotion is there.

5. Get used to waiting. And waiting. And then waiting some more.  First there's the wait while all the tests are completed.  Then there's the wait for the surgery.  After the surgery there's another wait, so you can heal, and also so they can make sure that the cancer they removed did not expand into the surrounding tissue.  If it did, you have more surgery.  I opted for a lumpectomy, and after two surgeries, they still haven't cut all the cancer out of my breast. So even though I went the easiest route for me, I'm ending up with a mastectomy with reconstruction.  Except I have to wait until after the chemo and the radiation for the reconstruction.  And I have to wait until I've healed from the mastectomy to start chemo. 

Maybe I'm supposed to learn patience from all this.  God could have just sent me a memo.