Friday, January 29, 2010

I Know This For Sure

Once upon a time, I got a much-promised spanking from my Mom because I had misbehaved while we were at the IGA. (don't gasp, we had already gotten home.) No sooner had she completed the task, that I whirled around with great confidence and candor, looked her straight in the eyes and triumphantly said, "Ha, that didn't hurt!" As any Mother worth her weight in salt would've done, she promptly tore up my hide. And it did hurt. They didn't have parenting books back then for wayward and insecure parents to consult. No sir, my parents had a leather -bound raggedy old book that told it straight and didn't mince words: spare the rod and spoil the child. 'nough said.

Well it seems like I'm gettin' a good old- fashion butt whoopin these days. I guess my 'tough girl' talk was a little too much for somebody....."bring it on", I threatened, "that cancer doesn't know who he's dealing with...." I quipped. I was all bowed up for a fight, (and still am-- don't get me wrong), but the rules of this game have changed. My tone has shifted just a's not exactly the fight I thought it would be. Or maybe, I'm not exactly as tough as I thought I would be......

It's kinda like when you go to the fair for the first time with your friends (read: NO PARENTS) and you're all excited about the "I'm so ready for this" adventure; the loud music, the bright lights and the fast rides; the corn dogs and those deep fried things with all the powdered sugar caked on top. You've been picking up pecans at your grandmothers house and selling them for an entire month to pay your own way and you've got something to prove, baby. You are allll that. There you are on the midway, enjoying another corn dog, having a great time with your peeps, when next thing you know, on a very public dare, you're getting all strapped in "The Bullet" with a belt that some ax murderer from Plant City, Florida, personally put together before his "New Hire" papers were dry.

As he slithers by to check the life-saving lock, you say, "thank you Mr. Tattoo. Heeeyyyyy. Waaait a minute. Haven't I seen you o n t e l e v i s i o n n n n?" Ink-man gets smaller and smaller, and your car starts to rock to and fro , instinctively, you begin snapping your neck like a turkey to the rhythm of "Slow Ride." You're feeling pretty cocky about now and become completely oblivious to what really lies ahead. A mere 30 seconds later, already at mach speed, you suddenly realize that no matter how loud you scream or cry, you can't get off until the man that looks eerily like the fugitive featured on America's Most Wanted crushes his cigarette butt with his state-issued boots and stops this vomit bomb of a ride. As you slowly exit to the left, clutching the metal railling, not even noticing it's covered in old snot and chewing gum, you immediately know 5 things for sure:

1. You'll never again eat fried weiners, powdered sugar and a blue slushie in the same night.
2. You now hate all music performed by Foghat.
3. You would've rather had your grandmother's Pecan twirlies instead.
4. You're not as tough as youthought you were, and
5. You want your Mama.

I just got home from Birmingham after receiving treatment number 8 and wanted to give you an update. Just briefly----I'm so nauseated I can't turn my head side to side. My vein(s) are busted from 2 mis-fires and my head hasn't quit hurting since October. Oh, and I can't forget the chemo-induced hot flashes. Within seconds, and with absolutely no warning, my entire body feels like an off-brand car battery. And like clockwork, all of the sudden everything tastes like I'm sucking on BB's. But really, aside from all that, it was a great trip. I originally typed "fabulous," but that word makes me laugh. My sweet candy striper friends, Courtney and Dona, drove me to Birmingham on Thursday and made me laugh for 24 hours. Until they made me cry. Twice. (yes you did) But even with this glow-in-the-dark look about me, I have concluded that good food, even better desserts and great friends make for excellent palliative care. I'm certain, however, that my beet, arugula and goat cheese salad may have had real healing powers. It was faaabulluss.

According to tradition, for the next few days I won't feel like typing or being witty. But I just had to tell you that in spite of all this crap,(and you're just hearing about the things that are for public consumption.....) at this very minute, this is what I know for certain: I wouldn't trade this experience for all the money in the world. And when this is all over, and it will be over, I just won't have new perky bosoms--cause it's not really about them-- I'll have a new meaning. From now on, I will live with intention. Greater intention, that is. My perspective has changed and it took an out-of-control cell to do it. Believe me,

I will waste nothing on this cancer

My God has allowed and empowered me to take on an incredible foe, a mean, doesn't-play-by-the-rules kinda jerk. But even through non-stop nausea, blinding headaches, hypertension and severe constipation, (can you spell bloated?) I still say, bring it on, cause cancer, you may have found my weaknesses, but you have no idea the strength of my God! He's in charge of this carnival sweetheart.

Just so you know, I threw up all over my sweet friend Jeter Brock when he made me ride the Bullet back in 1977. I've not eaten a funnel cake since. I gag when my children offer me a blue drink of any kind. Foghat still makes me nauseated. And I desperately want my Mama.


  1. I sit here smiling, laughing, tearing up while I read this post. You are a gift. A gift to all of us who doubt our strength, who doubt our purpose, who just plain out doubt. I am sitting here reading, typing, and listening to Howard and Gracie play the piano and sing "You Were There" by Avalon. Just for fun on a Saturday morning. Great song. Very fitting for your post. You give me courage, you give me hope, you help me fight the depression that so often consumes me and tricks me into thinking I can't do things. Thank you M - I love you!

  2. Thank you for sharing. Your writing from the heart(and stomach)means so much to so many. I am here for you, anything, just holler. Dona and Courtney are responsible for many of us wetting our pants in laughter!

  3. Hey Lou! I'm cracking up! "Slow Ride"...That song perfectly describes a wonderful trip that could never be titled "Fast Ride". I enjoyed every second of our 32 hour trip! Our laughter and tears far outweighed the calories we successfully consumed, although the physical side effects may appear to prove otherwise. I cherish your friendship and your willingness to share this journey with us all. Loving you!

  4. Hilarious fair story. I can't even hardly walk on the midway without getting sick, all the swirling and twirling and lights...yuck. Just thinking about it makes me queasey. Thanks for sharing. You are amazing and I just don't think I would be so graceful or greatful if I was in your situation. Prayers from Madison....

  5. Isn't it funny how when we are teens we can't wait to get away from Mom, but when we are older and in times of crisis, the first person we think about is Mom. Not really a question, but a statement of fact. Melinda, your Mom is right there with you every step of the way. She always made her children a top priority and I am sure she still is. You amaze me with you humor at a time when most people would curl up in a ball and cry. Love to you and your family.

  6. You are precious!!!!!! Please call me anytime you need a break!!!!!!!