Chapter #4 “Who Farted?” (From My Book “Rectal Cancer My Ass”)

After my ass was cauterized, the tumor stopped bleeding and I was happy about that but I was not allowed anything to eat except ice chips because my colon was a mess (My words, not my docs). My rectum had to heal and that would take time. The last thing I needed was to start bleeding again. On day three of no solid food, I offered my nurse twenty bucks if she would give me a Saltine cracker. To my delight she handed me a menu and said I could eat whatever I wanted. Yay! Hospital food never tasted so good!

Now that I was eating I figured I could go home but ..no. Now I had to wait until I pooped…and then I could go home. Pooping took another day and a half and I won’t lie to you…it hurt like hell!

But I got to go home.

My son picked me up and our first stop before heading home was to Sprout’s grocery store. I wanted to stock my frig with healthy food and my son wanted a sandwich from the deli.

Everything was fine until “It” happened, that silent but deadly fart. I’ve had some stinky gas before, but ever since my rectum was cauterized, my gas was lethal and all I could do was hope none of the poor, unsuspecting people standing in the deli line in front of us noticed.

A few seconds later my son turned to me and asked, “Mom is that you?” and I burst out laughing. By now a few of the customers looked around (probably for an exit door). It was really awful but what could I do? So, I did what I always do when I’m in an embarrassing situation… I laugh!

Luckily the line moved quickly and before I knew it my son got his sandwich and we were on our way home where I could (and did) fart as much as I wanted and this time I could blame it on the dog.

Be well!

ingebird

“3 Things to Remember When Everything Goes Wrong” ~ Excerpt From Marc & Angel Hack Life

The following post is from an email I received from Marc and Angel angelc@marcandangel.com. https://www.facebook.com/marcandangelhacklife/

“Today, I’m sitting in my hospital bed waiting to have both my breasts removed. But in a strange way I feel like the lucky one. Up until now I have had no health problems. I’m a 69-year-old woman in the last room at the end of the hall before the pediatric division of the hospital begins. Over the past few hours I have watched dozens of cancer patients being wheeled by in wheelchairs and rolling beds. None of these patients could be a day older than 17.”

That’s an entry from my grandmother’s journal, dated 9/16/1977. I photocopied it and pinned it to my bulletin board about a decade ago. It’s still there today, and it continues to remind me that there is always, always, always something to be thankful for. And that no matter how good or bad I have it, I must wake up each day thankful for my life, because someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.

Truth be told, happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them. Imagine all the wondrous things your mind might embrace if it weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles. Always look at what you have, instead of what you have lost. Because it’s not what the world takes away from you that counts; it’s what you do with what you have left.

1. Pain is part of growing.

Sometimes life closes doors because it’s time to move forward. And that’s a good thing because we often won’t move unless circumstances force us to. When times are tough, remind yourself that no pain comes without a purpose. Move on from what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you. Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing. Every great success requires some type of worthy struggle to get there. Good things take time. Stay patient and stay positive. Everything is going to come together; maybe not immediately, but eventually.

Remember that there are two kinds of pain: pain that hurts and pain that changes you. When you roll with life, instead of resisting it, both kinds help you grow.

2. Every little struggle is a step forward.

In life, patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard on your dreams, knowing that the work is worth it. So if you’re going to try, put in the time and go all the way. Otherwise, there’s no point in starting. This could mean losing stability and comfort for a while, and maybe even your mind on occasion. It could mean not eating what, or sleeping where, you’re used to, for weeks on end. It could mean stretching your comfort zone so thin it gives you a nonstop case of the chills. It could mean sacrificing relationships and all that’s familiar. It could mean accepting ridicule from your peers. It could mean lots of time alone in solitude. Solitude, though, is the gift that makes great things possible. It gives you the space you need. Everything else is a test of your determination, of how much you really want it.

And if you want it, you’ll do it, despite failure and rejection and the odds. And every step will feel better than anything else you can imagine. You will realize that the struggle is not found on the path, it is the path. And it’s worth it. So if you’re going to try, go all the way. There’s no better feeling in the world… there’s no better feeling than knowing what it means to be ALIVE.

3. The best thing you can do is to keep going.

Don’t be afraid to get back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again. Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart. Life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes. There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t. When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best.

Yes, life is tough, but you are tougher. Find the strength to laugh every day. Find the courage to feel different, yet beautiful. Find it in your heart to make others smile too. Don’t stress over things you can’t change. Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Work diligently. And even if you fall short, keep going. Keep growing.

Awake every morning and do your best to follow this daily TO-DO list:

– Think positively.
– Eat healthy.
– Exercise today.
– Worry less.
– Work hard.
– Laugh often.
– Sleep well.

Be well,

ingebird

“The “C” Word” ~ Chapter #2 From My Book “Rectal Cancer My Ass”

Over the next week I was given four pints of blood and went through a battery of tests. I was staying at a teaching hospital which means, every day a group of resident doctors showed up in my hospital room taking notes, and asking to look at my caboose. Whatever modesty I had before my hospital stay was gone by the time I left.

A colonoscopy revealed I had rectal cancer. After the test was done, a nurse presented me with a Polaroid picture of my colon. (Who the hell wants a pictures of that? I should have kept it though and made copies and sent them out as next years Christmas cards). The cancer looked to me like dryer lint, grey and fuzzy. A few hours later an MRI showed the cancer had spread to my liver. I didn’t just have rectal cancer; I had STAGE FOUR rectal cancer!

Shit! I was pissed!

My son and my hubby were devastated by the news, but I refused to get upset. I was determined to survive, so I spent my time marching around the halls of the hospital, wearing my Ugg boots and a hospital gown, waiting to hear what kind of plan my medical team came up with. I told my family and doctors to never say the word “cancer” around me, but they could call it the “c” word. Maybe I had cancer, but I wouldn’t let it define me. The blood transfusions gave me energy and I didn’t feel sick anymore, except for that persistent diarrhea. I joked with the nurses and tried to watch television to pass the time; waiting for my doctors to come up with a plan to kill the cancer growing inside me.

One night a nurse came in to see me. She wanted to know if I was alright.

“Sure I’m fine.” I said.
“Can I ask you a personal question?” She asked.

I nodded.

“How can you be so positive after getting such devastating news? Patients usually fall apart and can’t stop crying. We have to give them medication to calm down, but you seem happy.”

I thought about it for a minute. I figured she thought I was in denial and maybe “psychologically” speaking I was, but in my mind I refused to believe that this cancer was going to kill me.

I said, “I’m only 56 years old and I’m not ready to die. I will do everything I can to stay alive and having a positive attitude will only help. Besides, I was never much of a ‘crier.’ I’ll get mad before I start crying and if you do see me crying, it’s because I am really mad!”

A few days later my medical team (I called them my Dream Team) came back to my hospital room with a plan; they would resection my liver, and then give me chemotherapy and radiation to shrink the tumors, so eventually my colon could be removed. In its place would be a permanent colostomy bag.

Now that’s a plan I could live with.

Be well!
ingebird