Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Lovesong for Sparky Redux: Love Smells Like Frozen Lasagna

THUNDERJOURNALIST'S NOTE: This post is not another in the series that have been ridiculing and parodying former porno mag editor and smear blogger Weiner / Avidor. Resist the urge to look for hidden subtext or obscure backhanded insults. They're not there.

October is breast cancer awareness month. Those of you familiar with me and my wife's situation have probably noted the irony that she and I were unaware of that October was breast cancer awareness month until she was diagnosed with breast cancer, almost one year ago. I think whomever came up with BCAM probably hoped it would work the other way around.

So here we are, 358 days, 3 surgeries, 8 chemo treatments, 2 implants, thousands of dead hair follicles, billions of frozen lasagnas (more on that in a minute), and one well-needed vacation later.

She is cancer free.

Her hair's grown back.

She joined a health club.

She's in better shape than me.

Of course that's not the end of the story for her. She is still undergoing hormone therapy, which means 2 pills a day, every day, for the next 5 years. And she will need annual CAT scans and frequent bloodwork to make sure the cancer hasn't returned or popped up somewhere else. But compared to getting rid of the damn thing, its pretty much pure vanilla.

To say that the courage, grace and grit she exhibited through this whole ordeal were inspirational would be a gross understatement. Through the process, I rediscovered why I love her so much and have come to cherish her even more. She's my idol. Yet, I'm positive that her deepest hope would be that others who are going through, or will go through, the same ordeals and challenges would take hope or inspiration from her. She is not merely surviving - she is living, in the most profound sense of that word.

Of course nothing this challenging can be done in a vacuum. Dozens of family, friends and neighbors were always ready to lend a hand if the children (NOTE: "children" includes Moonchild) needed to be watched, to call if Mrs. Foot needed a little pick-me-up, or were willing to make a meal for the family when Mrs. Foot was too weak or I was too late from work to cook. Words cannot express the gratitude she - and I - feel toward all of them; many of them readers of this ThunderJournal.

One piece of advice for anyone who gets a meal for a friend in chemo: avoid frozen lasagnas. It's not that they're not good or unappreciated. Stouffer's frozen lasagna is a perfectly acceptable and even delicious substitute for the real thing. The only problem is that *every* *single* *other* *person* offering a meal is also buying a frozen lasagna. It does get old after a while.

Not that we didn't eat each and every single one.

What was that phrase I used last year?

"Life is good"...

No.

"Life is good."

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