inspiration

How to handle being Rejected after being diagnosed.

As we’ve spoken about in the past, there are no easy or right answers to any of the posts I make.  My fingers are still crossed that someday, someone will create a book titled              ” Handbook for the recently diagnosed” but until that day comes, ::cracks knuckles:: I will continue giving my unsolicited advice!

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Recently,  someone broke it off with me in the hospital, first she didn’t believed me because I didn’t reply to her text messages fast enough; probably because I was in the hospital.  She then proceeded to accuse me of Munchhausen syndrome until I showed her pictures and video chatted with her in the hospital. Finally, she called it off because   “it was too much drama”.  This is also someone who couldn’t miss an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, so the humor is not lost on me.

Now my first instinct was to put on my cape and cowl and demand justice but after a tumultuous nights sleep, I knew I needed to move on.

Remember the important people in your life, the people who have been there for you from through the hard times. Trust me, I know you’re mad, I know it hurts and I know it’s not fair. The best revenge is living the better life.

Imagine living in a world, where you are too afraid to love someone, just because you are afraid someone is going to die. In truth, I feel sorry for her, we’re all going to go at some point, but I don’t think wanting to live should be considered “Drama”

Remember to laugh,  do something new or old; go on a spontaneous adventure. For me, I love baking, seriously it’s a problem. I own so much flour my neighbors probably think I’m the reincarnation of Pablo Escobar. There’s something so cathartic about baking cookies and pies to me; it’s about control for me, the measurements have to be exactly right in order to have a great product.

Cry; ain’t nothing wrong with shedding a tear. As a man I’ve been taught to hold my tears back because it’s not considered “manly”. Whatever, I don’t ascribe to that toxic masculinity bullshit. Let it out man, it’s a part of the process and an important one at that.

Give yourself a reasonable time to talk about it. I would suggest a therapist if you don’t have one. Having said that, I know how expensive that can be. If that’s the case, I would suggest choosing a close friend to talk to about this.

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Never rely on a single person to give you a reason to live.  I don’t care how pretty they are, we all look silly putting our pants on one leg at a time. I know it’s easier said than done, but take this time away from your partner to realize what a catch you are. Also,  autonomy is important, while relationships are good, they also can mutate into co-dependency problems; so take advice from the former king of Pride Rock:

“Remember who you Are!” -Mufasa… R.I.P

After looking in a pool of your own glorious reflection for days or months, begin dating again. Love does exist, we just have a bigger hill to go up before we find it. The good thing, though, is that through this process, you will find the real people who will want to be in your life. People will always reveal their true selves to you during hard times; that’s our gift, that’s our curse but just like anything in life, it’s all in how you look at it.

Life is just a state of mind.

 

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Chemosabe: The Web Series episode 1

Hey All! A lot has been happening in the wonderful world of cancer! My mother who was diagnosed with cancer is finally doing better, I’m looking into different treatment options.

The last woman I dated decided that a relationship would not be in the cards, because my protein levels were too high. So don’t worry ladies ( All 2 of you who read this thing) I’m still single. Beware though, my cancer is a jealous sob who doesn’t like it when I go out with other gals.

What else… Oh that’s right! My web series is finally done! Right now, we’re slowly working out a couple kinks, but I’m proud to present to you all the very first episode of Chemosabe!

Thank you all for your love and patience! Also if anyone is looking for a great blog to read check out the the Cancer Chronicles http://boldbaldbattle.com it’s a great blog with with deep insights with thought provoking content! Definitely check out ” Dear Former Self” Without further ado

Chemosabe: The Web Series

 

When your Significant others parent doesn’t approve of them dating someone with cancer

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Last Month, I sadly had to part ways with my girlfriend, because her mother didn’t approve of her daughter dating someone with cancer.  The interesting thing about this break up is that her mother has breast cancer.

Folks, I have dealt with a lot of situations and odd prejudices from cancerphobes, but I was definitely waylaid by this. Granted, her mothers fear is based on her own personal experience and a very stark reality. The question I pose is, where is the line when seeking your parents approval? For instance, the girl I was dating had to constantly lie to her mother about meeting me. Folks, I just turned 30, as Danny Glover once said, “ I’m way too old for this shit” especially to play Romeo and Juliet: The Game.

*If you can, talk it out; work on a plan that will strengthen your friendship. I am a big fan of doing the work to level up.

There’s also the question of how much trying are you supposed to do before calling it? For instance, her mother refused to meet me, we tried several times to make this happen, but she refused every time. Even when her mother accused me of playing the waiting game I stuck with it. (She was planning on Applying to Medschool after she graduated) her mother figured I was waiting “in the wings” for her to be a doctor so I could take advantage of her skills. She really was something else.

*** There’s just no debating crazy, you can try for days, but like a bad horror movie, there’s always a sequel. In all fairness, I suggest meeting the mother face to face or try calling her on the home phone if you can. Unfortunately my ex didn’t want me to do any of those things, but the important thing is that you try.

Letting go is the hardest thing to do. The weird thing is that I can completely understand where the mother is coming from. She personally had to take care of her husband as he slowly succumbed to his disease and she doesn’t want the same for her daughter. Who’s to say that this will or will not happen; I’m pretty sure her being second generation and living at home didn’t help either.All in all, it really doesn’t matter; at the end of the day, we both deserve to be happy. The old me would have been devastated, but I truly believe there’s someone out there who can look past the cancer and see the real me. I spent almost five years allowing myself to be affected by how others view my cancer and me; I shall not make the same mistakes again.

Thanks for reading!!

Conversations with cancer: Twilight Zone or Friend Zone?

As I’ve always mentioned on my blog, dating in general is pretty difficult, but add cancer into the mix and it’s damn near impossible. Today I decided to ask my cancer what his thoughts are on the matter.

Tales From the Diagnosed: Breast Becomes Her.

While interviewing over 150 cancer patients for a new stage show I’m developing. Leanne’s’ worry free attitude was very refreshing, silly and cathartic.

Leanne:

Saturday night I was hanging out at a friend’s house
enjoying a barbecue with a small group of friends. We
were enjoying lemon margaritas and getting silly. We
were taking a picture and one gal jokingly put her hand
on my boob. Because, you know, it’s not a real boob.

The next thing you know, I whipped out one of my
prostheses and all the gals were poking and squishing
it with interest. The two guys in the room, however,
suddenly became very uncomfortable. This was really
funny to me because it doesn’t even look like a real
boob.

(At that moment during the interview she reaches under her shirt and
grabs the prosthesis and begins to play with it.)

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It’s a tan, rounded pyramid shape with an absorbent pad on the side that touches your skin.

If it was lying on a table and you had no prior knowledge of breast forms

you probably would have no idea what it was. And yet

the guys were embarrassed and uncomfortable. Now I was
always a modest person about my body, I never talked
about boobs this much before. But then cancer engulfed
my life and now the words “breast” and “boob” are part
of my daily conversation.”Breast cancer isn’t like
getting lung cancer or skin cancer or liver cancer. You
can talk about your liver and no one gets embarrassed
or uncomfortable. Mentioning your lungs over dinner is
never crass or inappropriate. But breast cancer? It’s a
private, very feminine, and sexual part of your
body. It’s kind of weird. And kind of funny.
Especially when men get embarrassed about it. I could
talk about a liver transplant and no one would care.
But I talk about breast reconstruction and it’s
suddenly embarrassing conversation. Women don’t seem to
care because they all have boobs.

(Well okay, most of

them do – currently I am one of the few that don’t.)

Boobs aren’t a big deal to women. You mention boobs in
mixed company, though, and the men don’t know what to
do. Is it okay to talk about it? Do I laugh? Do I act
interested? Do I act aloof? What’s appropriate? If I
look at her chest am I a pig even though they’re fake
inserts? Is it okay to notice? What do I do?!! Last
summer I went a good month after my mastectomy without
a prosthesis. My chest was too tender so I waited until
I was fully healed. Right after I got it, though, Bill
and I went out with another couple to the movies. The
guy was a longtime friend and even he wasn’t quite sure
how to handle it.”Suz, ummm, I don’t quite know how to
say this… you look nice??”Poor guy. So a note to the
men out there: I can’t speak for all breast cancer
survivors, but as far as I’m concerned you can relax.
You aren’t going to say or do anything to offend me.
When I got breast cancer any hang ups I had about
talking about boobs went out the window. They had to.
Which actually isn’t such bad thing. I think our
society has given far too much power and intrigue to
breasts. Yes they are beautiful and desirable, but they
are also a normal part of the human body. Let’s lighten
up about boobs, shall we? Instead, let’s laugh about
them and have some fun.

Conversations with my cancer ridden body: Shakespeare had cancer!?

Today we hit 50% of our fundraising goal! Thank you so much for all the love, support and donations!  Words can’t describe how honored and thankful I feel….  Even though most of you don’t know who I am , several of you donated anyway. All I can simply say is Thank you, thank you for believing in a world where we can use laugher as a way to heal, communicate and educate.  That means the world to me!!! As a special bonus we are releasing one of the many conversations with my cancer ridden body videos. Come watch me argue with the physical manifestation of Cancer.

Also Don’t forget to DONATE Now! 50% is great, but it only counts if we hit 100%. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ashes/chemosabe-the-web-series

Tales from the diagnosed: A Ball to remember.

Hey guys, as most of you know I interviewed over 150 cancer patient to help a new stage show I am doing here in New York. I wanted to share some of the interviews with you, because I feel it’s important to hear everyones story; from mothers, to fathers to friends to even the suicide hotline.

Frank

Feb 2001 I was headed to Hawaii and decided to get a tanning session to avoid burning on my trip. Got out of the tanning bed and noticed my left nut was hanging lower. Felt it and it was maybe 10-20% larger but felt hard at the bottom ya know, less squishy. So like any self respecting hypochondriac, I Googled testicular cancer and Called the doc on Monday, appt Wednesday. Had it removed Monday. Two weeks of radiation. Six weeks later, I suddenly lost ALL hair on my torso in the shape of CA to include key lymph nodes. Three months later it grew back just as quickly. Tired for a year. I have 9 permanent tattoo dots for radiation alignment. Scary at the time with young kids. There was one funny part. Had to lie face up on a table feet together and knees apart for 90 minutes while a pretty young Asian technician X-rayed me and drew on me to tattoo my dots and create my X-Ray lens. At the end she had to scrub off all the markings with soap and warm water. One is on my pubic bone. I was furiously thinking about baseball to divert my attention. Atleast she tried to make small talk though, she eventually blurts out “has anyone ever told you that you look like Toby Maguire?” (This was shortly after Spider-Man 2 came out, and yes I did). To this day I don’t know if she was just nervous or legitimately trying to flirt. My ball and I will never know…

Also guys. In addition to the Cancer Chronicles I’m developing for the stage. Please check out my Kickstarter for my new web series “Chemosabe” 

Check out our new prologue as well!

 

 

handbook for the recently diagnosed

 

recently deceasedI wish there was a handbook for the recently diagnosed! Oh there is, it’s called CHEMOSABE!
DONATE NOW! We are 300 dollars away from making our daily goal. With YOUR help, we can continue to tell truthful, humorous stories that touch upon the lives of people who are affected by cancer.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ashes/chemosabe-the-web-series

Check out the new prologue on our kickstarter page!

Tales from the Diagnosed-Losing a child

Hey guys, as most of you know I interviewed over 150 cancer patient to help a new stage show I am doing here in New York. I wanted to share some of the interviews with you, because I feel it’s important to hear everyones story; from mothers, to fathers to friends to even the suicide hotline. This is a story about a mother coming to terms with losing her son.During the interview she was cleaning his room.
Carol
Life Is Never the Same. I Will Never Be the Same. Those
are only two of the many things I’ve learned since I
lost my son to Rhabdomyosarcoma.

*She starts folding his clothes and putting them into
garbage bags to donate to the goodwill*

CAROL
Another thing I learned is that God DOES give us more
than we can handle sometimes. If God didn’t give people
more than they could handle we wouldn’t see people end
up in rubber rooms with drool puddles beneath them. We
wouldn’t see people drink themselves to death just
trying to numb the pain. We wouldn’t see parents give
up on life, on themselves and all those that love them
but don’t understand their grief. So, sometimes…God
does give us more than we can handle.

* She goes back to folding again*

I just had to get that off my chest, because if I had a
nickel (okay maybe a dollar with the economy the way it
is today) for every time I’ve had that said to me since
my son died..I wouldn’t be struggling to put gas in my
car and pay my rent every month. I have other children
to live for. And I do thank God for that. If it were
not for my twins who are 5 years old, I honestly can’t
say that I would be able to find a reason to get out of
bed in the morning, much less decorate a Christmas tree
or ice birthday cakes.

*After folding the clothes, she takes the banner
that spelled his name above his bed down, along
with clearing out the rest of the room *

CAROL
My son was diagnosed with this horrible disease a month
after his 8th birthday. He had an inner ear infection
which wasn’t responding to antibiotics. We went to have
tubes placed in his ears to drain the fluid and that’s
when the mass was found in his right ear. It was
biopsied and I guess I knew even before I knew..a
mother’s intuition..that it wasn’t going to be good.
Nothing could have prepared me though for just how bad
it was.Have you ever even heard of Rhabdomyosarcoma? Me
either. I just remember thinking when I was writing it
down on a piece of paper, that it was the ugliest word
I had ever heard.

She picks up the broom and begins the sweep the
empty room.

CAROL
He was admitted the very same day to A.I. Dupont
Hospital and Chemo began almost immediately. I remember
his doctor telling me that although this was a very
aggressive disease, it had already metastasized to his
lungs and that there was no need to make plans for
Disney Land.

*Stops sweeping to get the dustpan*

CAROL
He was wrong. If I had known then, what I know
now..about the disease..I’m not so sure I would have
put my son through all the anguish the last six months
of his life turned out to be..especially the radiation.
I think I would have just spent the time I had left
with him doing all the things he so looked forward to
doing. Things we’d lay in bed and fantasize
about…..But, hindsight’s 20/20 or something like
that. You know…This is the first time I’ve been able
to talk about my son;the first year I couldn’t even
speak his name out loud. I can do that now. Baby
steps,it’s all baby steps,but right now..it’s time to
go play with my other children..lots of hugs and kisses..there are never enough of those. Another thing I learned.

Thanks for reading guys, if you’re New York in 2015 make sure to look out for the Cancer Chronicles.