I Have A Confession…

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I’m going through a really dark period right now.  I have lost my mojo.  I have lost my desire to write anymore, my desire to take photographs, and a lot of happiness.  I am doing fine physically.  My CA-125 (the cancer marker) has been slowly decreasing every three weeks.  I am going to be taken a much needed break, and see if the mojo comes back.

Just an FYI– if you are a caretaker, or family member of a cancer patient, do not do an emotional intervention with said cancer patient in the middle of a harsh chemotherapy, particularly when said thing you are intervening about is five years old…  The longterm effects are incredibly negative.  Thanks…

 

An Open Letter…

Apparently I have a hater, who has gone from a few blogs I have guest-wrote, my own personal blog, comments on another article, my Caring Bridge, and a few other personal sites.  This person, for whatever reason, has decided I’m “faking cancer, am a troll, and have committed Stolen Valor.”  I spent my day e-mailing administrators at Caring Bridge, Go Fund Me, and various other sites to straighten out the accusations.  Instead of running away, and hiding, I would like to address these accusations head on.

This is not the first time someone has accused me of faking this illness.  The first accusation came a year ago, when I first started this lovely adventure.  It was from a running group I belonged to, so I’m not surprised that the accusations have come to light again.  And I think it’s common to accuse writers of making stuff up to gain hits, sell stuff, or even make money from something so heinous.

I can assure you that, despite my deepest wishes, I do have cancer.  Specifically, I have Stage IV Serous Carcinoma of the Ovary.  Currently, my cancer is in 4-5 spots in my abdomen– four lymph nodes and one small tumor located on my pleural cavity, sticking out of my rib.  I have done 26 chemotherapy infusions, two surgeries, and spent countless hours laying in bed so tired that I can’t even think straight.

My purpose for writing about it, sharing it, talking about is two fold (and believe me I am not being paid for any of it).  First, if I can save one person from the pain I went through it would be worth it for me.  Ovarian cancer is insidious.  I had very few symptoms, and the symptoms I did have are so subtle that they were easily explained by something else.  Secondly, it is very therapeutic for me to write about my illness.  It helps dealing with it.  Whether it be an open letter rant like this, or comedic naming my of my tumors– the one on my rib is Quatto, and the one in my rectum was Felicia.

So to the hater, I’m not going to provide overwhelming evidence that I have cancer to make you feel better.  Not going to post a picture of my pathology report, or my surgery.  I am not going to name drop my oncologist (he’s a really cool guy though, and I recommend him).  I’m not going to post my DD-214 to prove I was a veteran, or my VA award letter to prove I’m a disabled veteran.  I’m not going to post a picture of my husband to prove I’m a military spouse.  I am well aware that any you wouldn’t believe any of it any way.  I will tell you that your reports got to the right people, I was informed, and provided adequate proof of illness, and my various blog postings, Go Fund Me, and comments I made on other blog posts were not removed.

I understand your reasoning for questioning anyone who goes online and says, I have cancer.  There are sick people out there who DO fake cancer.  I actually with the help of the NY State Police, and the VA did out a faker.  She was arrested and currently facing charges for fraud.  Fakers happen.  A little piece of advice, though, once you report a faker, and appropriate action is taken and proof is provided– please do not continue to malign and harass the individual you reported.  Stalking only delegitimizes your claims of fraud.  I was contacted, and I provided enough evidence that any investigation into the matter was dropped…

That being said, for those who want to know how to spot a faker, I’ll give you a few guidelines:

  1.  If it sounds too good to be true, than it probably isn’t true.  Same goes with negative news.  If it doesn’t make sense it’s probably not true.  For example the faker I outed, said she was on oral chemotherapy for ovarian cancer.  Usually front line chemotherapy for gynecological cancers is IV carboplatin and taxol.
  2. Strangers asking for money.  I did end up needing to fundraise.  I didn’t ask for money from strangers, I posted on my Facebook.  A few of my classmates saw my fundraising effort to get on a clinical trial and it was shared on my alma mater’s website.  Most patients needing fundraising will not ask you for money unless they know you.
  3. Ask for verification.  If you have questions about whether someone has an illness, or is getting ill-gotten gains.  Ask questions.  Ask for doctors, ask for references.  Ask.  If anyone had any questions about my cancer, I would gladly have answered any questions.
  4. If you are still in doubt, report it.  But don’t let the anger consume you.  Be like Elsa, and Let It Go :)!

 

A Family Conversation We All Need To Have…

I am going to say one more thing about the election, don’t worry it’s not negative. But I would like to implore people in light of the hate crimes to sit down and talk to your children, because many children are saying and doing things that are highly inappropriate, and we need to have this conversation at the kitchen table.
 
A friend of mine who’s child goes to Maple Grove High School saw racial epithets etched into a locker. Chances are the kids who did this were not of voting age, so this means they are hearing this at home, or watched the news and saw the inflammatory language used during this election (not pointing fingers at anyone, as this applies to everyone).
 
We need to reassure our children that:
a. The people who voted for Trump as a whole are not racist, they are not sexist, and to the people who voted Clinton, they are people who have a differing belief system then you. Yes, there are some who are the above, but in general, I did not think that 48% of the population believes this.
 
b. The same can be said for Hillary. The people who voted for Hillary are not libtards (anyone who uses this language inflames me), we are not voting with our vagina, we don’t all think that those that voted for Trump are evil incarnate. We are not all on welfare. Nor do we condone murdering infants fresh out of the womb. We have different belief system than Trump Supporters.
 
c. Agree to disagree… There is no need to rehash everything to prove a point.
 
d. The people who voted independent did not waste their vote, they are not to blame for anything. They voted their conscious, just as Trump voters and Clinton voters.
 
e. Under NO circumstances is racially inflammatory language acceptable from EITHER side. It accomplishes NOTHING. Calling the protesters thugs accomplishes nothing. Etching the N-word in lockers accomplishes nothing. It causes division and violence and it’s heartbreaking.  Calling Trump supporters racists is no different than calling Clinton supporters race baiters– both accomplish absolutely NOTHING.
 
f. Reassure your children that their friends are not going to get kicked out of the country. That’s just not going to happen. Sure Trump said it would. Explain rhetoric, even though he said it, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, and that in Presidential elections people say things that they don’t mean. Jefferson called Adams a hermaphrodite back in the day. Was he really a hermaphrodite, probably not– generally infants with hermaphroditism were killed or institutionalized in the 1700s, so that was a high insult. Further, tell your kids not to go to school and say mean, bullying things to other kids, who are darker skinned. My daughter told me that some of the latino kids her class were told to say good-bye as Trump was going to kick them out. Come on, really? If my daughter said that I would b-tch slap her. If your kids are saying it, then chances are you need to b-tch slap yourself.
g.  Repeat the same conversation regarding Muslims.
h.  If you live in a community that these hate crimes have occurred in.  Go volunteer to clean it up with your children– be the example!  This behavior is not acceptable.  For those who are Christian like me, it is not Christ like.  There are two bible verses from Matthew that I reference regarding this: Matthew 24 and Matthew 19.  Something about a camel and eye of the needle, and hypocrites.  Don’t feel like looking it up, but it’s applicable here.
i.  Also explain to your children about how the system works.  It is not rigged.  It works as it was designed to.  It may need to be rescinded, but Trump won the electoral college, Clinton won the popular vote.  And if you are decrying the fact that all the votes are not counted– most of those votes were in democratic districts there are not enough of them make a difference in the results.  They are not fraudulent votes, and they probably are not going to make that much of a difference in the outcome.  Congratulations you won, be happy.
j.  It is OK to protest peacefully, and if you don’t believe it’s not OK, get out of my country and look up the first amendment, the one I think is more important than the second amendment.  But anyway, I signed up to defend this country, and I encourage those who are protesting– protest away.  Teach your children to protest.  It  is your constitutional right that I signed up to defend.  As to why the peaceful protests are necessary– Trump used very inflammatory language to get elected.  I highly doubt he believed half the shit he was saying, but he said it, and the electoral majority needs to know that it made other people angry.  As a woman, I am angry that he said he liked, “grabbing women by the pussy.”  As a woman, who was grabbed by her pussy in high school on a school bus it made me incensed that someone did this and still got elected.  I have a right to be angry.  Hell, if there were any protests near me, I would go to them too.  I accept the results of the election, but that doesn’t mean I think what he did was right.  And no amount of apology will make what he said right, in my mind.  He said it, it hurt, and “locker room talk” was a bullshit excuse.  For those saying, “well I didn’t protest when Obama was elected…”  Obama didn’t say anything about grabbing women’s pussies, Obama didn’t say he was going to deport Mexicans, and Obama didn’t say that Muslims need to be registered.  So he really didn’t do anything to offend your sensibilities other than exist.  Try to understand the why of the protests, these people are not lazy, thugs, or doing it to be ungracious losers.  They are doing it because Trump pissed them off.
k.  Finally, reassure your children that it’s going to be OK.  We are not going to go to war.  Trump is not going to launch nukes.  Barack Obama said a few days ago, after Clinton lost the election, “The sun is going to keep rising.” Tell your kids that the best thing to do after you are done protesting is protest with your wallet and your vote.  I for one will not be buying any Chinese-made Trump ties, nor will I be staying at Trump Tower, I will be voting, and I will be writing my Senators and Representatives.
In summary, we live in a democratic republic (the whole electoral college bit), it is already a great country (and we probably will go up from here), people are unhappy about the election– it opened wounds, there were not nice things said, and because the not nice things were said doesn’t mean we should behave like the candidates, that those not nice things are OK, and that we are better than how the minority on both sides are behaving.  My sister-in-law posted a really cool thing on her wall, and I’ll repeat it here:  “No one man can make our country great, and no one man can destroy our country.”