Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Deepest Cut

In a past post I talk about photos and the kinds of feelings they evoke in us. I thought about this as I was rummaging through photos for a recent interview about Breastless in the City. One of the photos requested was of Paul and I. I cringed as I read the request. Then I wondered where I could have hid them. Then I thought about how I didn't want to look. It would be too hard to see his face again, to see us together, too hard to remember. In the past 15 years that he has been gone there has not been a day that he doesn't cross my mind. But looking at pictures of him is like dumping some alcohol in a fresh cut. I knew it was going to burn. It would burn my heart.

As I opened the closet and dug out the box I felt dizzy and my heart began to race. I grabbed handfuls of disorganized photos from my entire life hoping the sting wouldn't last too long. I wanted it to be quick like ripping off a bandaid. I watched photos drop to the floor around me and there it was...the picture of my dad and I circa 1971. I was about 2 years old at the time. It was Easter Sunday in the Bronx. I had hair in my eyes and was crying. My dress was mint green. He had his arms around me trying to stop my tears.

So as I was searching for a photo of Paul out fell my dad. I wasn't expecting that. Next week it will be a year since he died. I quickly realized that my box o' photos is crammed with dead people. All of the family I lost and miss so much. That is why the box is hidden away, why it is always closed. Just as I wish sometimes I could close away that part of my life. Because maybe the pain would go away...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Stupid Cancer Show Monday Nite...Tune In!

If you haven't heard of the Stupid Cancer Show now is the time to check it out. It is live on Blog Talk Radio every Monday nite from 9pm-10pm EST. It has a chat room where you can meet up and interact with other young cancer survivors during the show. It is hip, irreverent, and a fun place to hang out! I highly recommend giving it a listen!

I am excited because I am going to be a guest on this weeks show on Memorial Day! I will be chatting it up and discussing my book Breastless in the City and navigating the dating scene while going through cancer. Hope to see you in the chat room!

Have you ever listened to the show? What do you think? Doesn't it rock?!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Time You Weren't Invited

Every girl dreams about her Prom.  I was never invited to go.  So there I sat looking out my kitchen window on a warm breezy evening that June.  The girls were outside in their pretty, shiny, satin gowns with cute boys in tuxedo's pinning corsages.  They posed for pictures, there were kisses, there were hugs.  As I watched them step into the stretch limo I thought about how I wanted to be one of them.  

I quietly watched behind closed doors alone.  I was too embarrassed that I wasn't going.  Feeling like nothing, feeling unpretty, feeling unloved.  Wishing and wondering when a boy would like me.  

What I didn't know was that I had to like me first...

I wrote this during a writing workshop last year.   Is there a time in your life you weren't invited that you would like to share?  When was it?  How did it make you feel?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Radio Interview on Cancer Corner Live

This is an internet radio show for cancer survivors hosted by Bob Grayson a survivor himself. I was interviewed by Bob on last nite's show. It was a great time! We discussed Breastless in the City and the many topics/themes throughout the book. I shared my story of dealing with being a young widow, to dating through cancer and how I deal with life after cancer which it seems we are never prepared for.

Listen to the podcast and let me know what you think!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Missing Much

"In what twisted universe does that happen?" was the question I asked Lou the other day.   It was when we realized that this Mother's Day would fall on May 10th, the anniversary of his sister's death to cancer.  It was 4 years today.  And 7 years ago his mom also died of cancer.  It was just around the time he and I met.  

A double whammy for him.  I don't know what to say.  I don't know what to do.  What I do know is that I can't do anything to make him feel better.  Nothing will ease the pain.  I know it is a process.  I know it will get easier over time.  But for now the pain is still palpable.  

For me today it feels strange.  Thankfully my mom is still alive and kicking except today she is in NC kicking and screaming because she is stranded between houses.  She left 2 weeks ago to move down south.  That itself has been difficult for me to digest.  It is the first time we have lived so far apart.  I called her today.   And then felt a twinge of guilt that my mom is only a phone call away.  

Lou is frustrated today with feeling bad and missing them so much.  He turned and said  to me "We shouldn't loose a whole day because of these anniversaries.   We should be enjoying the day ourselves and making the most of it.  We are still here.  Why do we waste it feeling bad?"
I was startled a little.  He was right.  I wondered why I had never thought that same thing. 

I think part of it is because those are the moments that have shaken us, broken us and  knocked us down.  The moments we never forget.  And although those we have lost are always in our minds it seems worse on those days.   It is when all the bad stuff comes flooding back.  

How do you handle those days?  Do you get stuck in feeling sad and the missing or do you get out and celebrate life?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dating With Cancer

Today is the official re-release of Breastless!! In the book I share my experience as a young widow navigating the single scene during my cancer treatment. Dating and intimacy are very unique issues for young adult cancer survivors. I had the opportunity to guest blog for Erin Zammett Ruddy's Life With Cancer on Erin is a young cancer survivor and author.

My guest post all about dating with cancer is posted today just as Breastless hits the shelves! Check it out here!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Bridges of Bronx County

That is the title of a wonderful piece written by my friend and fellow cancer survivor Duane Bailey-Castro  from this weekend's New York Times!!  Go Duane!! Duane is a blogger and a fabulous photographer!  One of his photos is printed in the piece. 

It is an inspirational must read!  Check it out here