Oh What A Night!

red ink…

imageArriving to a receiving line of cameras flashing, smiling faces with headsets on, pink ink had her red carpet moment. At last! Once inside the door of the theatre, a special center seat awaited her where she was surrounded by love in every seat and on every side. The place was packed. Pink ink’s play “Life in the Cancer Lane” debuted last night in Phoenix and she was there to see it all. Now let’s be clear, this was no small feat. She left the hospital yesterday morning, rested for a short while, and rallied to get herself up and ready for her big night! So many of us worried about whether it would be too much for her to make it out because she was still weak following her hospital stay, but she, as always, was determined. The night before, she basically threatened the nurse who was administering her night medications saying “you’re NOT going to stop me from going to my play!” I think the lady was a little scared honestly. Lol! Pink ink’s play has been a labor of love. She has poured her soul and her journey into writing this wonderful series of vingettes that chronicles, not only her journey, but that of many other breast cancer survivors. It’s real talk, full of insightful advice for anyone going through this themselves or with someone they love. She hit every topic imaginable from the expected “diagnosis” and “chemo” to the more sensitive like “hair,” “sex,” and “crazy-ish people say.” I laughed out loud and cried unconsolably recognizing some of our conversations in the play, all within the span of a couple of hours. For me and everyone in the room, it made us think about the effects that breast cancer has on everyone it touches. She took the task of telling this story more seriously than almost anything else I’ve ever seen her do. She was disciplined and precise about her writing process, and deliberate about soliciting and receiving feedback. I don’t know that people, including me, understood how serious she was about this at first, but her commitment made each of us get on board, one by one, so that we became as invested in her achieving her vision as she was. She inspired me and so many others (We started writing at the same time and my book still hasn’t been published BTW.) She wanted to be heard because she had something important to share – and last night all ears were open. There are a whole host of people to acknowledge – to be clear, I don’t know everyone. Just know, whoever you are, that I’m certain that pink ink is eternally grateful for everything, from the smallest thing to the most monumental, to make her dream a reality … from her girls in Phoenix who had the idea to put up the show, secured the backing for the show (Thank you Cox Communications), and laid out the beautiful reception, to those who recorded every bit of revised dialogue and stage direction to those who assisted with props to the unseen narrators, to those who traveled from near and far to fill the house, to her husband who gave her introduction in her stead, and to everyone who inspired one of the monologues. It was a beautiful night. At the end of the night, she had just enough energy to spare to spend a little bit of time at the reception to take photos with the “cast” – those in the play and the rest of us who are in her much larger “supporting cast.” Everyone wanted her to know that they were there to be a part of her vision, and by the looks on every face – we were all SO proud of her. Pink Ink you made your mark! My mother always said that she wanted to “receive her flowers while she could still smell them.” Just before leaving the reception, someone walked up to pink ink and put a single pink rose in her hands. She got into the car, exhausted, and on the way home and held that flower in her lap, and no doubt, took in the scent of sweet success. Now on the to book and the movie!

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You!

Pink Ink…

2008 Throwback picture! 3 generations...

2008 Throwback picture! 3 generations…

Happy New Year!

That’s right!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Sounds crazy huh?  Well it is my Mini Me’s birthday, and also the 1st day of school!   So in a lot of ways, it’s the beginning of a new year!  Time passes by so quickly.  So much has happened in a month, that I can’t possibly address it today.  It has been filled with a few good times, and LOTS of pain.  Pain I have only seen when I had my mastectomy and last summer when I had the crippling headaches.  But rather than go through all of that…today…I thought I would take a few minutes to honor my Mini Me.

In November of last year, I remember praying and crying and praying and crying that I would MAKE it to see my Mini Me’s 11th birthday.  You see, when it sinks in that you are terminal, at 1st you spend a bit of time wondering “when”.  After a while, after a bit of trial and error, I  learned to focus on the time that we have.  That we have NOW to spend together.  This year has definitely had it’s ups and downs, especially the last few weeks.  But for the most part, it has been as good as can be expected.

They've take out 3 liters s far!

They’ve taken out 3 liters so far!

I am constantly amazed by my daughter’s strength.  I know most parents think their kids are awesome, and I am no different.  But I am also honest.  Sometimes she makes me want to scream.  After all, she is a preteen!  Two weeks ago, she asked me,  AGAIN, why everything has to be about me, when we are planning something.  Big B grabbed my hand because he knew she was about to “catch a loss”.

Or she makes me laugh.  Example….Recently, I asked her why she thought I was writing the play.  Her answer?  TO BE ON TV!!!  Really?  TO. BE. ON. TV.

So imagine me sitting there explaining to her that I was doing it for HER.  So she would be proud of her mom when I was gone.  So she would know that I always fought, always wanted to educate.  So she could be proud of ME!  She turned to me and laughed.  “I thought it was so you could be on TV”.  WOW.

But then I balance that with her incredible strength while on a quick family getaway a few weeks ago.  It was shortly after my 3rd lung drain.  My meds were not working enough.  All I could do is lay there and cry.  My body was shaking from the pain.  I couldn’t speak through the pain.  I did manage to whisper to her NOT to tell Daddy.  He needed to rest!  (It was his vacay too, after all! )  Lil B and my mom sprung into action…into stealth mode.  Next thing I knew, I had more meds, ice packs, Lil B was wiping my nose.  Wet washcloth on my head.  Then she and mom climbed in bed with me and soothed me until I could finally fall asleep. (Side note! HATS OFF to my mother for allowing a 10 year old to take over and guide this process.  She is of the “you’re the child” generation” so I know this was tough!  Thanks mom) All the while, my dad and hubby were out front enjoying a cocktail and catching up!  A lot of kids would freak out in this situation.  Not my little one.  She even pushed my wheelchair through the airport. Head held high.  Gotta love her.

One of the better days of vacay. 3 Generations!

2013! One of the better days of vacay. 3 Generations!

After my play reading, I was surprised by how many audience members appreciated the “caregiver” scene, where characters acknowledge their caregivers.  Many came up to me and shared that they never thought of kids as caregivers until viewing the play.  Well today I salute my caregiver! My Mini me!

Baby girl, one day you will read this, and hopefully you will know how proud I am of you!  Proud to be your mom! Guided everyday by your strength, your laughter, your love.   I hope you will be proud of me, for everything I do is for you, and daddy.  I hope to be around for many more birthdays, many more 1st days of school.  What ever life brings us, know that I will always be with you, as you have been with me during this journey.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY LOVE!

Unfortunately, I can’t have a cocktail.  (damn meds…)  But today, I celebrate…YOU!

 

UPDATE: I sit with tears streaming down. Typing with one hand. Other hand not working.  I am unable to go to her birthday dinner.  I tried. I stood, I sat back down. No energy. Can’t breathe. Heart. Is. Broken. I saw the heartbreak in her eyes.  She rubbed MY tears.  Told ME to stop crying.  “It’s ok Mommy”. (But it’s not) I apologized through tears. I have never missed one.  She is OF me. Why today of all days?  Transfussion tomorrow…

I PRAY I can make it up to her next year.  Must sign off. #LifeInTheCancerLane

Find the humor

Pink Ink…

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last year, I barely managed to pull myself to the Thanksgiving table.  Yet, we managed to find some humor in the day.  (Ironically, I will be thankful for ZOPHRAN, again this year!! Maybe I should be thankful for the scientist who discovered that it is a cure for nausea!) That’s what it is all about.  Finding something to laugh about when all else looks dark.

This Thanksgiving I am surrounded by all of Big B’s family. That is a miracle in itself, as it has never happened in 17 years of marriage! Yes, there will be drinks! Ha! Usually, it’s babies that bring families together.  But…well…you know.  Sometimes, it’s other things.  Suffice it to say that my family is rallying and coming at Christmas.  My cousin is even flying in from Peru!  Trust that I hope, pray and believe that we will have many more holidays together.  But it brings me joy to see Lil B surrounded by the love of cousins she has only met once before at a funeral!

Cousins on Thanksgiving Day!

Thank you to ALL who are sending prayers, cards, emails, texts, jokes, pictures, gifts, etc.  While I may not respond to each of you, please know that  you are all appreciated on this day and everyday!  

So when you are stuffed, the dishes are piled in the sink, the football games have come and gone, and you are officially sick of  ALL of your relatives, remember to…find the humor!