As in, Rainbows and Unicorns, the day has arrived! It is my last day of my last week of chemo! It's been a loong three years, but it's finally over.
I can hardly believe it. Especially since my body's not quite aware of a reason to celebrate just yet. As special as this day is in my head and heart, as much as I feel like I've crossed some sort of finish line or reached the other side of some gianormous obstacle, it was just another typically yucky week of chemo for my poor tummy. She doesn't know that last night's little white pill of digestive unhappiness (who we love for taking care of that Terrible Tuber of Brain-Unhappiness!) was the LAST ONE. EVER!
I posted this the day before Election Day, but who knew I needed to wait until after the election to come across this magnificent graphic to complement it?
I usually don't do things like this, so, deep breath...
It's almost Election Day, and if it's not too late, or if you haven't yet decided, I have some thoughts for you. Our Presidential race is a close one. It is an important one. Especially to somebody like me, and here's why I'm voting for Barack Obama.
If Mitt Romney is elected and actually does some of the things he says he will, people like me will lose our much-needed Social Security or Disability benefits. People with cancer or any other pre-existing conditions, like myself, may not be able to get affordable insurance. Many of our parents' retirement dreams could be shattered. The list goes on, and you all know someone who could be detrimentally affected by Mitt Romney's bold statements about the 47%. I'm in that 47%, and I don't know what I'll do if our government decides to pull the rug out from under government services that I've paid into, and currently depend on, all because some rich, heartless, powertripping Republican says he'll "never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
Please consider how your vote effects the country as a whole, including your friends and families. It's really important.
But it's not over, just because the guy I voted for is still going to serve as our President for four more years. A lot of people are very upset that their guy didn't win, and I have some thoughts on that, too.
Enough is enough with all this US vs. THEM nitter-natter! WE didn't WIN, and THEY didn't LOSE. We're all Americans, and Barack Obama is our great country's President. That is an undisputable fact, whether you like it or not.
So - what's better for our country, our economy, our families, and the entire world, for that matter?
Continue all the polarizing, partisan bickering, which only serves to make America less functional, not to mention that our behavior resembles that of pouty schoolchildren? Or how about we work together, like the adults and proud Americans we are, and get behind the guy who's trying to help us?
(He does ride a Unicorn and shoot rainbows out his wrists - how bad can he be?)
I shop at the Trader Joe's on De la Vina in Santa Barbara, partly because it's on my way to the Cancer Center, so I drive by almost every time I'm in town, never mind that it has every thing I need to a real one-stop shop for all of my "Let food be thy medicine" needs.
Little-Known Girlbert Factoid: I like to play a game when I'm shopping in which I offer everyone I come upon a big, happy grin. It feels great to get a smile back, and I always hope I can brighten a fellow shopper's day, but it's still gets me a giggle when they look at me as if thinking, "What the heck is that goon so happy about?" You never know who really needs a smile, and they're so easy to give away! I don't count smiles vs. funny looks, but I like to think that everybody wins.
Now that I've been playing the Smile Game at Trader Joe's for a few years now, I've made friends with many of the employees (some of whom read this blog!), and several of them know that I use food (from their aisles!) and happiness as "medicine" to overcome cancer and stay healthy. Most of them have asked me why I'm so happy, and I tell them, "I'm shopping for yummy food at my favorite store - everyone here is so happy, and there's free coffee and snacks!"
So now that I'm a regular, many of the employees are friends I look forward to seeing, and my weekly grocery errand is more of a social event than a drudgerous task.
So when I went to grab a week's worth of sustenance at my favorite grocery store on Saturday, I got to see all of my friends, and when they asked me how I was, I got to tell them, "I only have TWO days of chemo left!" Several hugs, high-fives, and thumbs-up later, I was on a big fluffy cloud of happy. By the time I got through check-out with my cart full of yummies, my smile threatening to burst from my face, my friend Loren met me at the door with a bouquet of flowers! Who knew a smile could bring so much love, or that there would be flowers at the end?
Okay, so I'm only going to walk, but Boyfriend and I are raising money with some friends as Team White Horse for the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara's 20th Anniversary Walk/Run Fundraiser on October 14, 2012. All the donations for this event go directly to the Cancer Center's Clinical Research Programs. In other words, directly to help develop new cancer treatments, just like the one that saved my life.
We're doing this because it's what we can do to support an organization that supported us when I needed it most. When I first needed treatment, they gave it with no questions asked long before I was awarded Medi-Cal.
I'm also nearing the very last of 24 rounds of chemo so it's a big thing for us. The Cancer Center's goal for this fundraiser is only $200,000, which is not much when you consider that today's best treatments are developed in clinics like CCSB. As most of you know, radiation and chemo obliterated my tumor, but it's not like that for everyone. While it sounds funny to say this, we feel a large part of my success was because of the positive attitude everyone at the Cancer Center has. For us, that has as much to do with treating cancer as anything else, which is why we're asking for your help to support them.
The people of CCSB go above and beyond to treat everyone with the very best care possible and our support means they can continue to help develop better and less risky treatments. They're a not-for-profit, so your donation will be tax-deductible.
I will be walking with a group of friends as "Team White Horse". Our goal is to raise $3500 for the Cancer Center; my personal goal is $500. You can submit your pledge directly to Team White Horse on the Cancer Center website. Click on the link "Support" at the bottom of our team's page and make sure you fill in the "participant" section with my name.
If you're more comfortable sending a check, make it out to Cancer Center of Santa Barbara and contact me as soon as possible for a mailing address, so I can turn in all the checks together on October 14th.
Please submit what you can, because every little bit helps people like me when they need it the most. Of course, feel free to pass the word along if you know anyone else who would want to help.
Show your support with a Team White Horse t-shirt! We have a limited number of shirts available - for every $20 shirt you purchase, $10 goes to the Cancer Center. Please email me for details.
It was your last day on the planet, and you knew it. What did you want to do? Eat, obviously. Carrot puree, coming right up. Did you say applesauce? Got it. Chew some grass, spit it on someone's foot. Of course. But did I know that you wanted to run away one last time? Probably. That must have been why I put the lead rope down, just for one second. One picture, and you were gone. Oops.
Maybe you wanted to make me look silly one last time, but I didn't care. Because I didn't mind watching you run off, shiny, white tail over your back, mane flying and green grass under your hooves. Down the hill, around the front of the barn, just so everybody could see what you did. It's how I wanted to remember you - reminding me that even on the last day, you still had one more trick up your sleeve. You were still the teacher, and I wasn't through learning the lessons you have to teach.
One last lesson from the great teacher. A reminder that we're not through, not yet. A timely kick in the pants: Pay attention. You have more to learn. And you learn best by teaching. So, "Trot! Kick! Go! Now!"
And don't forget to have fun!