Thursday, December 23, 2010

but not the barreness




I think my hair is coming back. There are still a few thin spots, but I'm going to see if the hair I have will cover them.

Considering the worthlessness of my womb, it's good to know I'm fertile somewhere. My head it like the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree: It just needs a little love. It needs a lot of love, actually. To the left you see what my hair looked like while I was having my head shaved to even things out. To the right, it appears to be growing back. Below is the status of my hair today.

More on the "wedding"



The wedding and the honeymoon will most likely be at the University of California San Francisco, one of the best brain tumor hospitals on the west coast and in the nation.


The wedding night will be spent in one of those MRI machines...Should be cozy and quiet.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An Open Invitvitation

Me and Temodar...We have a thing going on now. I have produced for the poison two bastard children in our four-year on again/off again relationship.


Man up Temodar...It's time for a commitment!
We will be married. I'm shooting for June 27Th 2011, the fifth anniversary of my first surgery.It will be an elegant dinner affair with a DJ playing songs like:

Wanted Dead or Alive
Tears in Heaven
Another One Bites the Dust

Dinner will be fiber cereal with prune juice, served in champagne glasses
Instead of wedding cake, we will serve Temodar Spiked Brownies.
Our party favors will be anti-nausea pills for our beloved guests to bring home.
By the way, we are registered at Walgreen's Specialty Pharmacy in Pennsylvania
Indeed, till death do us part.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Eden Godbey Jones

Sung to the tune of Eleanor Rigby


Ah...look at all the cancer patients
Ah...look at all the cancer patients
Eden Godbey Jones
puts on a wig that she keeps on a Styrofoam head
glad she's not dead

Isn't she cute now,
flapping her arms in frustration
as if she could fly.
instead she just sighs


All the cancer patients
You see them more and more
all the cancer patients
and still there is no cure

Ah look at all the cancer patients
Ah...look at all the cancer patients

Dr Johnny D...
takes a saw to your head,
it's his idea of fun.
fun in a bun.


Look at him working
wracks up the cases so he can buy a new boat
or maybe a lab coat

All the cancer patients
You see them more and more.
All the cancer patients
and still there is no cure.



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Weight Update

Well I have lost five pounds since starting this latest diet. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and and that will present a problem. There are other problems, which will make this diet hard to maintain. Things like measuring food. Also, I get hungry in the afternoon with no room for a snack. For now, I've been increasing my cardio, but 1200 calories adds up quickly. I may take a break over the holidays.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Weight

Today I start my millionth attempt to lose weight and keep it off. Just like brain surgery, I'm wondering if it is really worth it to try again. Maybe I was meant to be fat. At any rate, my weight is the latest brick wall I shall run into at ramming speed.

But I've already failed at my first step toward this goal. I don't stop eating; close the kitchen, as it were. I get up at midnight and snack, when I should just starve overnight.

I found an application for the iPhone that lets me make a diary of what I eat all day, my weight and my workout too. I've set a goal of two pounds per week, 1200 calories a day. It's not easy. I was hungry late in the afternoon, and had no calories left for a snack, not even yogurt, so I exceeded my quota of calories by 200. Better luck tomorrow I guess.


I wrote in my last post about gays are stereotyped and treated differently. Well I think the same is true for us fat people. People snicker at us, maybe even pass us over for jobs because of our appearance, not knowing that obesity is a more complex problem than just eating too much ice cream. From hear on end, my smart phone will be my personal trainer.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

That's so gay!

Is it me, or do the majority of people have problems with gay people? The military doesn't want gays openly serving, some churches think they can "cure" gay people, and/or think gay relationships are morally wrong, gay teens committing suicide, because of alleged bullying.

My message to gays and lesbians is: Come out, come out where ever you are. You don't deserve the tremendous burden of hiding your feelings. Come out and feel the freedom of Authenticity!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Verruca Salt

I'm changing my name to the famous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory character, after doing battle all summer long with a plantar wart the size of Ohio. It feels like a starfish on my heel, or like I'm stepping on sharp pebbles.

I've tried plaster adhesive bandages. I would put on on overnight, and take a layer of my wart off in the morning. I also saw a dermatologist who told me about a specialty pharmacist who makes Magic Wart Cream. I put some on Verruca, and it's supposed to make the wart blister. So far, it's not gone.

By the way, if you want to see something gross...do a YouTube search for plantar wart surgery. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Shaved Paradise

They shaved paradise... and drew in a parking lot
around a mole and a scar, and a radiation hot spot.
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
They shaved paradise, and drew in a parking lot.

They've taken all the Eden's, put in an Eden museum
And charge all the people 13 dollars just to see them


Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone.
They shaved paradise, and drew in a parking lot.....

Late last night, they declared me insane
And a Big Yellow Taxi took away my brain.


Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone
They shaved paradise, and drew in a parking lot.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Like sands through the hourglass...I'm running out

I'm running out of new material to write about. There are only so many ways I can say cancer sucks. Basicsally, loss is the biggest suck factor: Loss of hair, loss of rights and privileges, loss of respect and self-confidence. Unless and until some of those things come back, we'll just consider these facts as read:

I know I have losses
I am mourning those losses
I don't particularly like being reminded of those losses.

I'll be back later.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

updates

cancer: I got a clean f scan today...my first one post-radiation. Sometimes radiation scarring can look like another tumor. Next scan will be in January. Meantime, I will talk to a neurologist about possibly driving again.
Reasons against driving:

  • Seizure risk
  • sense of direction
  • reaction time
  • hearing and vision
Reasons for drivBulleted Listing:
  • I'm on seizure meds, and I haven't had a seizure since 2006
  • I wear hearing aids and glasses
  • I make short trips and my car has a navigation system
  • husband won't be here to drive me places
employment: Husband starts new job on Monday. I'm pleased he has a job, but I hope he doesn't tune out the problems that remain. He's going to have to learn how to wake up in the morning, and play WOW only when not at work. This will be interesting.

Monday, September 20, 2010

two things

The first thing is: Husband got a job. Great news! He was starting to lose confidence. One less thing to worry about as I continue to try to slow my cancer. I go in for a scan tomorrow, and I will need chemo until the cancer kills me, or until chemo makes me too sick to take it.

Which brings me to my next item. My cousin and I were having a discussion about why I'm so obsessed with being normal and why I don't think I'm normal. I have been asked this question many times, sometimes by "normal" people. It's a fair question and I will do my best to answer:
  • It is human nature to compare and contrast, but when I do that, I don't measure up. I shouldn't compare myself to others, but it seems the only way not to, is to hide in a shell.
  • When one has a medical condition, and those without that medical condition are referred to as "normal", it can be difficult to understand what normal is. I want normal without qualifiers, not "You look good (for a person with cancer)," or "I can't do that, and I don't have a brain tumor!"
I do hope to someday be comfortable in my own skin, but I've been waiting 43 years for that to happen, and I'm still not there.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My god's better than your god.

This seems to be the rhetoric of late. A lot of fuss was made about a cultural center going up near Ground Zero where buildings collapsed on 9-11-01 after planes crashed into them.

"Can't 'those people' put it somewhere else?"
" I don't want 'those people' spitting on the graves of those who died!"

Meantime a Florida pastor called for burning the Muslim holy book, then called it off, called it back on. Thankfully 9-11 passed with no holy book burnings.

Here's my take: The zealots who flew planes into building are crazy and so is the Florida Pastor.

So, if I want to believe in a higher power, where should I go? Can I be a Christian and NOT hate Muslims, or think homosexuals just need therapy? The answer seems to be no. I fail to understand why anyone who believes in any god, wouldn't allow their neighbor worship in his or her own way.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

forgiving but not forgetting.

Oh how I wish I could forget: The guys who pretended to want to go out with me, and thought it would be funny to make me think I had a chance with them. If people only knew the collateral damage words can cause. I try to rise above what people may have done to me when they were young and stupid, but I can't forget, and I'm still waiting for an apology

Friday, September 10, 2010

venting

To those who think you have problems--

You may have problems, but I bet you wouldn't want to be me. I've been rendered stupid and ugly by my stupid illness. So I get a little sensitive when I hear people complain about bad hair days, how the iPhone doesn't work right, or obnoxious people on the tram. I have flippin cancer! It's work every day just to NOT think about death. And don't compare me to you. You are nothing like me, and your life will always seem perfect compared to mine, unless you want to trade.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

News Stories

It's a huge ego trip, but one of the things that makes working in television news fun is watching the news unfod, and gathering the news before it hits the air. When I started in news, the first Gulf War happened. I sat in a little room watching the now-famous CNN coverage of the war games.

One of my jobs was sitting on the assignment desk, listening to police scanners and dispatching news crews accordingly. Sometimes, I would work from late afternoon until the wee hours of the morning, and let me tell you, weird shit happens after midnight.
One time, I'm listening to scanners, and I hear the word "hostage". The story ended up that a young boy named Nathan Thomas was taken hostage, but police accidently killed him instead of the perp. To this day, the Thomas case is textbook case on the importance of good police communication and proper training in the use of deadly force.

Another time, I hear that a hazardous materials team is being called to a hospital, because a patient is emitting a sickening oder. It turned out that out that the woman had drunk a pesticide, and made her kids drink it too. The fact the woman was Asian was significant, because this was somehow a culterally appropriate way to get herself and her family out of a bad family situation,

When authorities were storming the Waco compound of Branch Davidians, a feed of the burning building was on several monitors. Ditto with the reading of the OJ Simpson verdict, and the resignation of Oregon Senator Bob Packwood, who was facing embarrassing sex harassment claims.

In television news, you are prasied if you come in sick. I did that one time producing the early morning show. I got a a about a fire in Aloha, a small town in Oregon. Flames were spreading quickly, and reports were that people had to jump our of their apartment buildings. I decided to call out our own crew. First I called a cameraman who lived near the scene. He responded," Eden, do you realize what time it is? This better be good." Then, I called a reporter and we decided we'd to live reports for the morning newscast. The only problem was, I had no voice, and the crew didn't want me barking information at them, such as when they'd be on the air. This story took a sick twist, when it was revealed that the fire-starter was a tween boy who somehow had the knowledge of where to start the fire for maxi mum damage. I think the fire killed eight people. Since people who work in TV news are are a sick bunch, and since the arsonist had pet rats, he was dubbed "rat boy. The new news director congratulated me for my role in covering this breaking news story(especially since I came in sick). I wish he would have remembered this when I resigned.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Cancer Lane

I've had some time out of the cancer lane since completing radiation. I had my head shaved to even out the hair I have left with my bald spot. I have to say that there is a certain ease in having very little hair: The wig fits easier, and I don't have to dry it. Still I'm hoping it grows back.


I will merge back into the cancer lane next week, when I start my 3rd round of chemo. A the end of this month, I'll have my first post-radiation MRI. Again, at this moment, my position is, when it grows back, I'm not going to flog the dead horse again.

Monday, August 23, 2010

This osne is for the guys

Dear Guys:

I know much you loved me, but didn't say, but, I'm dying, so I'm afraid it's too late. There are times when I am sorry I let you occupy a space in my heart, my head, or any other place,when I was evidently just a joke to you, or at best, a charity case.
Some girls just had to brush their hair to get your attention. It will always amaze me how I brushed my hair, and my teeth, and even lost weight for you, and you didn't notice. I'm not sure I blame you. I certainly don't stand up to a side-by-side taste test--meaning I look horrible compared to just about anybody, especially now that I'm dying.Even my husband would prefer not to look at me.


So thanks guys for showing me what true love is and contributing to my self esteem.

Love, Your little joke,

Eden

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Mask/Face Condom

Three more radiation treatments, and then I am done quite literally, I can't bake anymore. Based on my personal experience, wearing the mask has been the most unpleasant part of radiation. Although it has holes, I find it hard to breathe with it on. It is tight, so my head doesn't move. I will not miss it, but want to give it a proper send-off. Here are some of my ideas:
  • explode it mythbusters style
  • drive over it
  • take it on the road in a comedy act
  • use it as a Halloween costume (The Fly)
  • use it as a pasta strainer
I'll think of more...Dear readers, feel free add your own ideas.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I wish

I wish I could correct what I've done wrong.
I wish I didn't let opportunities pass me by.
I wish it wasn't too late.
I wish people didn't hate.

I wish I could read minds.
I wish I knew the truth.
I wish I didn't believe the lies.
but what else can I do.

I wish we didn't have to say goodbye
I wish it made me feel better to cry
I hope you know how grateful I am.
for having you in my life.
Maybe we'll meet again.



Friday, August 13, 2010

There she blows

Second round of chemo, perhaps out of infinity...My surgeon told me I could be on it forever. I'm on an increased dose this round, so this morning, I responded in kind by barfing out the contents of my stomach... I have done nothing of any use to anyone today. It's days like these I really hate what's happening to me. Everyone else seems to be living normal life, I'm just trying to have one. I hope I remember this day, and look back on this post when my tumor comes back again. As of right now, I have no intention of doing this again.


I have been asked many times if I have prognosis. I don't, but the facts are these:

The doctors are treating this aggressively;

my tumor is a grade 3 out of 4;

when radiation is over, that will be one less weapon I will have in my arsenal;
It took four years for the tumor to grow to a point where is needed to be resected again.

Today was a bad day. No one may want to hear that, but that is my reality.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I was struck by two postings I read relating to cancer an/or life threatening illnesses. One was of an interview The Atlantic magazine conducted an interview with author Christopher Hitchens, who has esophageal cancer, and also happens to be an atheist. He talks about how he copes, since he does not have God on his side, as it were. The interviewer asks him good questions, such as, is he ready to accept God as his personal savior, now that he is dying, to which Hitchens replies that he is not, but, even as an atheist, he is touched by his well-wishers.

"How are you?" asks interviewer.

"...I"m dying." responds Hitchens.

Hitchens goes on to say that " I am trying to die more like you."

"You don't know how I'm going to die"

"But I'm pretty sure how I'm going to die"

I think I understand what he's trying to say; that there is a certain luxury in not knowing how you're going to die, and therefore, some oppression in carrying a life-threatening illness. To me, it's like a stalker that threatens to strike, at any time and you can't hide from him.

The other posting I read dealt with how modern medicine had changed so such a point that the ill go through the stages of death, along with their families. I have mourned my death ever since I was first diagnosed. And now that I'm acting in Tumor 2--the Sequel..I am moving toward the stage of acceptance.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's still rock and roll to me...

What about the frizzy hair I'm wearing
Can you buy me a straightening iron
You know I can't hear the tunes I'm playing
my hearing aid needs an amplifier.

Well I hope it doesn't matter that I'm not too cool
I'm 43 years old, and need a cup to catch my drool.

Once I was a young girl.
Now I am an old bird
It's still rock and roll to me.

Do you want to touch the scars on my head
They feel like railroad tracks.
Have no money for my healthcare
I gave it all to Goldman Sachs.

I haven't changed enough since I left high school.
I get mistaken for a whale, everytime I swim in a pool

Feel like a sausage
And the swimsuit is the casing
It's still rock and roll to me.

Everbody talks about how they hate getting older
but it's still rock and roll to me.....


Donald Trump could use a makover because

He needs new hair
He sells real estate
He actually doesn't have much money, so he needs to figure out new ways to make some
Rosie O'Donnell hasn't been here to kick around much
His BFF Joan Rivers will help him choose a good plastic surgeon
And he'll ask Omerosa for etiquette tips.
He's probably already contemplating his next marriage.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

more on hope and cancer

I hesitate to admit this, because hope is necessary for coping with disaster, but I have to say, I have lost mine.

I'm pretty sure it happened when I was told I needed surgery again.That was a huge wake-up call for me: Hi Eden, It's your tumor calling...I'm back, and I regret to report that your previous attempt to ignore me failed.

Yes it did...big time...and I'm having a hard time believing that this latest attempt to fight it will be any more successful. In fact, the fact the tumor returned is a signal that resistance is futile.


I will undergo more chemo, perhaps for a lifetime...and radiation. My surgeon comforted me by telling me that this "new" tumor is more agressive than the old one, and that we need to start treatment sooner rather than later, so the thing does not paralyze me. So I'll do that, until surgery is required again. The surgeons say I can have as many awake craniotomies as I want.
I never wanted any.
I honestly don't know what to do...I'm getting tired.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hope and stupidity

Hope comes in wearing a lab coat
that covers his ass
in case anything bad happens
He can just wash his lab coat

Hope thinks I'm strong enough for torture
But he didn't ask me.
He thinks I'm fine because I'm not dead.
But he didn't ask me.


Stupidity comes in wearing a lab coat.
He looks all important and shit.
Still he tells me there are no good answers
But he doesn't want me to try to find my own.

Stupidity leaves with his tail
curled up between his legs.
I'm sorry for wasting his time.
Is he sorry for wasting mine?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Won't come back again.

I'll be falling out of bed
with a huge lump in my head
And soon
all my memories will be gone

So a surgeon looks a me
And my pictures on a screen
In a few weeks his buzz saw sings the song.


I'll tip my hat to a new kind of cancer.
Even though there still is no answer
Smile and grin about the things I can't do now.
I picked up my guitar and played
as badly as yesterday.
And I'll get on my knees and pray..
It won't come back again.

They want a central line
up my behind
so the medicine gets
where it needs
And the tumor on the right
is still the tumor on the right.
although it seemed to grow longer overnight.

I'll tip my hat to a new kind of cancer.
Even though there still is no answer
Smile and grin about the things I can't do now.
I picked up my guitar and played
as badly as yesterday.
And I'll get on my knees and pray..
It won't come back again.
I'll tip my hat to a new kind of cancer.
Even though there still is no answer
Smile and grin about the things I can't do now.
I picked up my guitar and played
as badly as yesterday.
And I'll get on my knees and pray..
It won't come back again.

I"ll have my family put me aside
sometimes I feel too much trouble alive
No I know that the doctors and stats don't lie.
Do they?
I'll tip my hat to a new kind of cancer.
Even though there still is no answer
Smile and grin about the things I can't do now.
I picked up my guitar and played
as badly as yesterday.
And I'll get on my knees and pray..
It won't come back again.


Meet the new tumor...
same as the old tumor...


Monday, June 14, 2010

Thank you!

We'll it's done...the birth of the Toxic Twinkie's sister. I'm tired but walking, so that is a goodness.
I was really suprised by the support I received before, during and post surgery. And I want to thank a few folks:


To my parents: For being a constant comfort to me. It's hard being sick, but it's harder having a sick kid.

To my sis, who helped put me in the mood for the hell that was to come. She also took some award winning photos of me. I hope she learns to use her iPhone soon.

To my old classmates who really stepped up to the plate and offered me daily encouragement. So good to know you care.

To some folks I worked with in TV news who also expressed their support for me.

To my son, who wheeled me out of the hospital and made sure I had a stuffed animal to snuggle with at night.

To my husband who is making sure I take my post-op meds.

To my book group friends who came to see me at the hospital
To everyone who has brought over dinner or flowers.
To my cancer writing group friends, who I hope to see again soon,
I have to admit it's getting better... a little better all the time.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Under the Knife

In two days time it will time to give birth to the Toxic Twinkie's Sister. In her honor, I have written her a song, set to the tune of the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb".

Under the knife
The tumor that crowded my head
Under the knife
Then days of fun spent in a hospital bed.

Yippee Yippee
Oh Yeah
Let the doctor do just what he
Wants to with me
No time to cry
I'm under the knife

Under the knife
Hoping that I can walk
Under the knife
But you better hope
That I cannot talk

Yippee Yippee
Oh Yeah
Let the doctor do just what he
Wants to with me
No time to cry
I'm under the knife

Under the knife
It's medical experiments for me
Under the knife
and oh how I wish I could flee

Yippee Yippee
Oh Yeah
Let the doctor do just what he
Wants to with me
No time to cry
I'm under the knife

Under the knife
I wonder what will happen next
Under the knife
Can I just get my rest

Yippee Yippee
Oh Yeah
Let the doctor do just what he
Wants to with me
No time to cry
I'm under the knife


Hawaii 2010

Over Memorial Day weekend, we went on a trip to Hawaii, to get my mind off my upcoming surgery, and to get some fun and sun in. Mission accomplished!
































Sunday, May 23, 2010

Well she went in the tunnel for the millionth time
Excitable girl they all said
The machine took pictures of her frontal lobe
Excitable girl they all said.

Well she's just an excitable girl..
Woo, Wah Hoo
Woo Hooo
Excitable Girl

Her brain looked like a Polish frank
Excitable girl they all said
So the doc said de-bulk it while she is awake
Excitable girl they all said

Well she's just an excitable girl..
Woo, Wah Hoo
Woo Hooo
Excitable Girl

The gas-passing team warned her to not throw up
Excitable girl they all said
For her head was in pins and all screwed up
Excitable girl they all said

Well she's just an excitable girl..
Woo, Wah Hoo
Woo Hooo
Excitable Girl

After five long days, she tried to walk again
Excitable girl they all said
And they pumped her with steroids til she was insane
Excitable girl they all said.

Well she's just an excitable girl..
Woo, Wah Hoo
Woo Hooo
Excitable Girl


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Knives, gamma rays and chemo

I had a grand mal seizure
I fell out of bed
That was how I knew
There was something in my head

I went to a doctor
I took a little risk
He said knives, gamma rays and chemo
Will get me out of this

I'm an innocent bystander
But somehow I got blown
By the storm that is cancer
The tumor seeds have been sown

Gonna hide in Hawaii
A desperate woman
Knives, gamma rays and chemo
Catch me of you can.....

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Toxic Twinkie's Sister

It's official...the tumor's back. Since we called the first one the Toxic Twinkie, we'll call the recurrence The Toxic Twinkie's Sister.

According to the neurosurgeon I saw yesterday, the sister is smaller than the first-born, but recommends another awake craniotomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiation when I'm "feeling better" from the surgery. Really?

I should add that my husband and I got to spend about three hours at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). Total time with the doc=maybe 45 minutes.

I'm still consulting with doctors, and honestly, there is not a good time to do what needs to be done. I keep remembering how I was paralyzed following the first surgery (or as the neurosurgeon said, "you were a little weak") so I am anticipating that happening again, which is ironic since the purpose of the surgery is to keep the tumor from paralyzing me permanently.

The chemo the doctor proposes me taking is called Avastin, a drug not approved by the FDA for brain tumors, but still a standard second -tier course of treatment. It is also given on an outpatient basis, but I would not be able to take it at home.

As for radiation...never had it, but it will require daily hospital visits for perhaps six weeks.

I was going to go see my sister-in -law get married, and I was going to go to my 25-year high school reunion.

But I may spend my summer just being sick.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

You learn

Something I learned early on my cancer journey is that not everyone dies right away from it. I had thought cancer was an immediate death sentence, so it is a relief to know that it is not. I have lived almost four years with brain cancer.

But I have learned that the threat and the worry doesn't go away. That's what keeps me awake at night: the unknown, the future, the past and today. All remain mysteries for me to solve. Reality is still difficult to face, as difficult as looking in a mirror or taking a step after too many margaritas.

Sadly and selfishly, I have learned to embrace the notion of The End, because I will no longer worry, and I won't be a burden to anyone. If only I could control when The End comes, and tell God, or whoever is listening, that He can take me, but only after my son gets married and gives me grandchildren, only after my husband and I rediscover each other.

Meantime, I'm preparing for a new phase. People will say to me that I don't look sick, because I'm fat, and still have my hair, and I can still tap into what gray matter I have left. But last time I saw my doctor, she suggested that if my scans confirm that my tumor is growing back, it may be time for radiation. I may as well still my head in a microwave.

Okay, not funny. What I'm trying to say is that is when that time comes,I won't be able to fake it anymore. I will look AND act like someone with a damaged brain. Perhaps I should search for a substitute brain. I want to be prepared for the unpredictable.

I will always be thankful for the time I have had between chemo and whatever comes next. It was so nice to be able to go camping, and not feel sick, to get off the couch for longer periods of time. I felt free, almost cured, except for the occasional times when I would babble, or my brain would shut down like a computer. I also gained a new fear of crowds. Maybe fear isn't the right word, discomfort seems like a better one. Crowds get me way overstimulated, and not in a good way. It's hard to avoid them though. I cant stay inside all day, either literally or figuratively. So, I venture out from time to time, and try not to bump into people.

On thing I will never know is what caused my cancer, and why I have lived four years, while some are lucky to live two years. When I was first diagnosed, I asked if there was anything about my lifestyle that could have triggered this. The doctor said "no", but I think the most likely answer is: many things contributed to my cancer, and because I'm not like everyone else, neither is my cancer. It is as unique as I am. Like everyone else, I have no choice but to take what life gives me, and no that life's rules may change at any moment.

The Door

I came home after doing errands. As I pulled up to the house, I discovered that my garage opener didn't work. So I parked the car at the curb, went to the door, and dug through my purse for my house keys. I couldn't find them, and began to feel my blood pressure rise.

Not satisfied that I had looked properly the first time, I looked again, and again. Still no keys. I thought my husband wasn't home, so I called him on his cell phone. Don't ask me what I was thinking, I don't think anymore, just act on instinct. I guess it made sense for me to call him, even if he was an hour away.

No answer on the phone, so I leave a message, the panic still rising in me. I go for a short walk, then call again and leave another message more frantic than the first.

But then I hear something that sounds like it's coming from inside the house. I hear my husband's voice, so I ring the bell.

"Why didn't you go through the garage?" he asks.

"The opener isn't working," I respond.

"I called you. Why didn't you answer?"

"You didn't call me at home."

" I called on your call phone."

"I don't know where my cell phone is, so I didn't hear it."

We find it in a pair of pants on the floor, out of batteries,.

I find my house keys later--in the fridge.

All of these cool ways we have to stay in touch and still we can't seem to reach the ones we live with.

SIGH!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Austin the Epic


It was almost 12 years ago that we (my husband and I) waited at Providence Hospital for our son to be born. His birthmother, a 16-year old girl, was in a dark room, with me and about five of her friends. She was receiving and answering calls until she was 9cm dilated. Weird.

I was in the room, while my husband sat in a waiting area, appropriately enough, reading science fiction. I ran in and out of the room to give him updates.

"Breathe!" a nurse instructed the birthmother.

"You!" she shouts back.

About six hours, and a muscle relaxant later, our birthmother produced Austin the Epic. He had a big head and skinny legs.

Knowing that I was to be the mother of this adopted baby, the nurse handed him to me, after weighing him and recording his ABCAR scores.

"Oh fuck!" I heard the birthmother whisper under her breath.
I moved swiftly to give her her son, but she wouldn't take him from me, so the nurse became the middleman, and sheepishly took Austin the Epic to the girl who just gave birth to him.

I left and started to cry. To say that this is not how I envisioned parenthood is an understatement; anger and sadness instead of happiness.

Eventually Austin the Epic would become our son, but not then. My husband and I were outsiders in the most important event to happen in our lives.

Three days after Austin was born, we were allowed to bring him home. His other mother wanted to have some time with him at the hospital before offering her goodbyes, and we granted her that request.

For the first year of Austin's life, I felt like I was babysitting him. I think I finally felt like his parent the first time he threw up on me. Now I know I'm his parent, because he's 12-years-old, and like any pre-teen, doesn't want to be seen with me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Pot Calls the Kettle Black

Almost every Friday, I am part of the Positive Reinforcement Committee at my son's school. What does that mean? Well, it means handing out dog tags, and chains to kids who basically do what they are supposed to do: take responsibility for mistakes, remember homework, be courteous to other students.

When I started doing the job at the beginning of the school year, the kids swarmed me like bees at a honeycomb. Now no-one is interested. The kids have bored of the dog tags. Some may wonder why middle schoolers need positive reinforcement in the first place.

Still I love going, because I get to see the kids, and it takes me back to when I was a kid. I especially enjoy checking out what they wear. On Dress Up Day, for example, plenty of boys dressed in suits...with high tops. Some girls attempted, and failed, to walk in very high heels.

Last week, there was a group of about three girls, and I couldn't tell if they were Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, or Madonna wannabes. They all had big hair, big bows in the big hair, and knee-high combat boots. Meanwhile many of the dudes sported High School Musical type male haircuts.

Back to boots, though. Uggs are all the rage. What are Uggs? Ugly boots that are more like slippers. Saw someone wear these with running shorts. Either I'm old, or out of touch, but I wouldn't wear that combination. Having said that, I'm as plain and frumpy as they come, and I never dressed in style, and still don't.

So this is the pot, calling the kettle black.



Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm excited

Because my son is wearing pants to school, instead of shorts. A great transformation has occurred, overnight it seems.


One day he's wearing shorts and dirty shirts in 40-degree weather, and the next, he's wearing pants, a hoodie and shoes that aren't crocs. And if that weren't enough, he's showering AND washing his hair (and rinsing everyday). He also has discovered the wonders of using a messenger to carry his stuff. Before, he just carried several 2-inch binders, and a box of writing utensils in his arms.

I know the reason for this change, and I don't want to embarrass him. I'm just having a blast seeing him go through the stages of growing up.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Reelin' In the Years--

I wasn't expecting it, but I experienced a big emotional tsunami looking through my old yearbooks last weekend. All of our books remain in boxes in our crawlspace, and I needed to find a particular one that we'll read in my book group. While doing so, I found said yearbooks, and got the urge to pull them out and even read autographs my classmates were kind enough to give.

The pictures struck me first--once young kids, now middle-age adults. Some are grandparents now. Others are dead. More on that in a bit.

One picture that I loved then, and still do, shows a little 7th Grade boy eating a corn dog, whilst listening to music on 1980s-standard headphones, ignoring the buddies on either side of him.That boy is now a man with 16 years of experience at Intel.

As I flipped through more pictures, I came upon some of a friend(Christina) I made in
Kindergarten about 37 years ago. We remained friends through junior high and high school
She died of leukemia our Junior year, as did two other kids. She played on the volleyball team,
so there were many of her with her fellow athletes. What got me emotional was reading her
words to me. Her nickname for me was "spot" because I'm short. We went to separate schools
Freshman year. In many of her notes, she thanked me for my long-term friendship.

While her comments made me sad, others made me laugh at the adolescent goofiness that
produced them. Here are some of the better ones:

  • Let me be the first to sign your crack!
  • I hope you stay sweet!
  • Thanks for your help on the Africa crossword puzzle ( don't think I could do that now).
  • Next year, keep your hands off my french fries!
  • Hey Eden, I'm writing in pink again this year.
It also made me laugh to see what I had done to the yearbooks, including sketching some
mustaches on girls that scared me, or writing "bitch" on their pictures. Again, adolescent
stupidity. I also made note of the boys I thought were cute, but will always be worshipped
from a distance.

And then when I finished looking through the books, I got on Facebook and discovered that
the 26th anniversary of Christina's passing was near.

How coincidental that I had just been thinking about her.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Disabled Anonymous

Hi. My name is Eden and I am disabled. You see, almost four years ago I had a tumor the size of a twinkie removed from my head. If you thinking working with a cold is hard, try working with a big chunk of your brain missing.


I am a bad person though because being disabled entitles me to Social Security benefits, and government services. However, in the United States of America right now, the government isn't supposed to help you, but it is supposed to tell you how to conduct your personal life.

Just yesterday a bill passed that would give government more control over health care, and based on the negative comments I read on Facebook and the Internet, I'm a lazy thief and a Pinko Mutant Commie Traitor, because I am entitled to government help.

But let the record show, that when I could work, I worked long hours for little pay, relative to my co-workers. I have put in hard time, and I simply can't do that now. I mean I could, but I'd probably be fired in seconds.

So let the public flogging commence. I deserve it for being a Pinko Commie Mutant Traitor!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Shitstorm!

As a writer, of sorts, it would help if I could do a five-star rant about the rocks and garbage that have come our way of late, but I don't want to reveal too many details, so I'll make it a 2 1/2-star rant.

At least two family members that I know of are sick, and they may not get better. With sick family members comes the bickering over who will take charge, and what will be done to help said family member(s).

Speaking of sick, I just got the first post hubby layoff bill for an MRI--$942 bucks, and I feel so special, because no one can decide who's paying for it, United HealthCare or Medicare. We still have a nest egg, but more and more will be coming out of our pocket for healthcare, and my tumor may be growing. Smiles everyone Smiles!

My husband has now decided to take some classes to improve what's on his resume, a step in the right direction we hope.

I've been thinking about not going to the brain tumor support group for awhile. I believe that I have mentioned in previous posts that the support is great, but getting attached to the people there is hard, because they do die--they have brain tumors. One very dear friend of mine is recovering slowly from a second surgery, another is in hospice, and another just died. I once tried to go to all of the funerals, but I discovered that I can't do that. Some are too far away ( I have a brain tumor too, and try to avoid driving when I can). And there have been so many.

Anyway enough sad talk. I'm sure I'll weather the shitstorm.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Marry Me Jon (Stewart) aka The Jon Stewart Blues

Sing to the tune of Wedding Bell Blues by the Fifth Dimension--


You rock my world and always will.
Because you make me laugh at all the absurd things
that make the news.
But no you'll never get a show
on Fox News.

I've watched your show for a long time
since you had Steven.
Now Steven has his own show
and you don't seem to need him.

Your satire and wit won't carry me,
til you marry me Jon.

You rock my world and always will.
Like when you told the blowhards on Crossfire
they're partisan hacks.
And how you call out opinion shows for pretending
they use facts.

I think it's quite scary
you're the most trusted name in news.
I once worked in television
and it gives me the blues.

Still you're more fun than Sean Hannity.
Please marry me Jon.
Marry me Jon.
I've got the Jon Stewart blues....

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Cow With The Crown

A cow named daisy grazed in a pasture with other cows, about a dozen in all, all looking the same, all producing milk.


They all lived on a farm called Milky Way Farms, operated by Mr and Mrs. Jersey, and their daughter Bovine.

Bovine loved Daisy best. Daisy seemed to have the ability to talk to her--smart. And even though Daisy, more or less, had the same coloring as the others, and was after all, just a cow, Bovine found her prettier than the others--beautiful.

One day, Bovine decided to make Daisy a crown out of cardboard and tin foil. When she went to feed the other cows, she placed the crown on Daisy's head, and it seemed like Daisy's moo of response had a special note of appreciation.

But alas, when Daisy moved, so did the crown, into the cow pie she just created.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Tale of Gordon T. Allen...The Video Cowboy

Back in the Stone Age, when I worked in TV news, I was surprised when I answered a call to the newsroom and a man speaking with a drawl said, "Hi. This is Gordon. I've got video of a shooting in Crack-of-my-ass County. Ya wannit?"


He was referring to Clackamas County. It was the weekend and we had no other big stories. I told him to bring it in. Gordon was a stringer--a freelance television news photographer, who primarily shoots breaking news that happens while the rest of us are sleeping.

What was so much fun about the Gordon videos was not the breaking news, but the b-roll, or extra video that they contained. It would not be unusual, for example, for him to bring in a video of a house fire, at which a marijuana grow operation was also discovered, and Gordon would crack a joke to the officials on the scene, "Hey, anybody got a pipe?" He also loved cats, so he had to get the obligatory shot of the pet that escaped.

And then there was Thelma.

Thelma was his rubber companion that went everywhere Gordon's specially- rigged video vehicle went.

One of the anchors I worked with used to say his worst fear was that at his passing, Gordon would be hovering overhead with his camera. That anchor remains alive.

Gordon shot video of the first babies of the new year. I can only imagine how the mother's felt, seeing Mr. Thelma getting video of their first moments with their newborns.


I've been wondering a lot lately what happened to Gordon T. Allen, roper-in of news, and one of the unforgettable figures in my life.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Eden's Choice.

There are many things pressing on my mind. I'm pretty sure I have mentioned them all, but this past Thursday, I needed to make a decision. That day I had no other appointments, so I had the option(s) of:
  1. Visiting my aunt, who I have not seen since her Alzheimer's diagnosis.
  2. Accompanying my dad to an MRI. He's getting checked because he is noticing some changes in HIS memory.
  3. Visiting a friend(Lisa), who just had her second brain surgery.
I wanted to do all three, stupidly feeling like just my presence would help them, but I chose to make the drive to visit my friend, thinking she was in the most need of my support.

By the time I arrived at SW Washington Medical Center. I was sent home, as Lisa was not well enough for visitors. Thankfully her sister briefed me on her condition, and after being in ICU since last Wednesday, Lisa may finally be moved to a regular room tomorrow.

But I realize that I can't make anyone better just by being there. I have no power or control, and I keep wondering who does.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Getting old...It's not just for old people anymore.

This thought has struck me on a number of occasions, because more and more people that I know and love have some kind of chronic illness, or even life-threatening illness. And some of them are just in their 40s:

I know three women in their 40s with brain cancer.

I go to a writing group of about 8 women who have breast or ovarian cancer or both.

I have former classmates who have horrible illnesses such as MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, brain cancer, and congestive heart failure, just to name a few.

And just this week, my aunt, who has always been spry and vivacious was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

I don't consider myself old, but I am hard pressed to find a friend or loved one who is in good health. My former classmates and my aunt are all freeze framed in my mind from when I was a child. When you are a child, you don't imagine getting older, or those around you getting older.

Time is the avenger.

GLEN CAMPBELL - DREAMS OF EVERYDAY HOUSEWIFE

Dedicated to my Aunt Vivian who turned 73 today. She always liked this song.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Can God Cure Cancer Or Other Illnesses, and Does God Provide Jobs?

A brief update: My tumor may or may not be growing. It looked bigger on my last scan, but contrast didn't show any new growth. Still, my doctor is concerned enough about it, that for the time being, she is increasing the frequency of my MRIs. Meantime, my husband is back down to no job and no current prospects. After interviewing him six times, the company at which he most recently interviewed decided that it would restructure and not hire. Goody Gumdrops!

When I go through a bad patch in my life, some people will say that they will pray for me. That is there way of saying they care, and I appreciate it. What I don't understand in my naivete about God is: How does He get one through a difficult time? And if tragedy befalls someone despite prayer, why? Were there not enough prayers? Did God for some reason want the tragedy to happen, to teach a lesson? If I were a stronger believer, would I not have cancer, and would my husband have a job ?

Questions=Millions; Answers=0

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Smells Like MIddle Age Spirit

Sing this to the tune of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

I can't get up
I'm in pain.
In my back
And in my legs.

Blood pressure's high
And I can't see,
Or hear,
Or let my breasts be free.

Oh no, Oh no, Oh no, Oh no,
Oh no, Oh no, Oh no, Oh no!

Well my bod looks
like a road map.
Now I better
go get my nap.
My memory is
Starting to fade.
Can I get a
System upgrade!

YEAH!

My kid thinks I'm
An old dork.
We fight all night
'Bout his homework.
He says it's done
I know it's not.
He sucks the energy I've got.

Oh no, Oh no, Oh no, Oh no,
Oh no, Oh no, Oh no, Oh no!

Well my bod looks
like a road map.
Now I better go get my nap.
My memory is
Starting to fade.
Can I get a
System upgrade!

YEAH!

And now it's time
to go out.
I announce I'm leaving
with a shout.
My keys are hard
hard to find.
Well, whatever, nevermind.

Friday, January 29, 2010

FEET

With my creased toes and my wide feet, I walk four blocks downhill to Metro Perc. I have to cross the busy street to get my much-needed pick me up.

I walk in and take three steps to the counter. Standing there is a young man of college age ready to take my order. With his feet, he is running, rather than walking. It's busy today at the coffee shop.

"Hi there," I say. "Can I get a 12 ounce bag of Indonesian beans?"

He smiles as he fills the bag. I take four steps to the register to pay with my debit card. All this time, he is running between me and the drive-thru.

Afterward, I walk up 14 steps to the neighboring nail salon for a pedicure. My toenails curl up, making it both easy and difficult to cut them. It's not summer, so I don't get them painted.

The lady scrubs my feet, dips them in wax. Then she peels the wax away, and with it, dead skin.

When my feet are dry, I put my socks and shoes back on. I walk down the 14 steps, and four blocks uphill, back to home.

And I think how nice it is to have a coffee shop just 100 steps or so form home, as I put my wide feet up and drink.

Mike K.

I met Mike at my first support group meeting. Yet, I had lived next door to him when I lived in Hillsboro. I didn't recognize him, but my sister, who accompanied me, did.

She said, "Hey, don't I know you? Aren't you Mike K?"

He responds with a smile, "Yes, I am. Did you guys live in Hillsboro, too?"

"Yes, I'm Marie Godbey, and this is my sister, Eden."

"I'm the one with the tumor," I clarify.

Mike, like all of the members of his family has a permanent smile on his face, but his cheeks were sunken from his cancer--a GBM--the most deadly brain cancer. His hair was short, and gray, from cancer and surgery.

By the time I had joined the support group, Mike had undergone two surgeries. Still, he never complained, never wavered from his support of the group. He always had plenty of hugs, and we always needed them.

He became the unofficial facilitator of the group. I would go just to see him. He seemed to know what we were going through in a way the real facilitator didn't. His optimism was infectious, and one who has a brain tumor finds optimism hard to feel.

Which is why I became a hallow shell when he died. By the way, by the time he died, he had braved five surgeries--so may that the doctors wouldn't perform any more. It was a terrible loss to the group, because, we didn't have his leadership, and it reminded us of our own mortality.

I went to his funeral at the Forestry Center. I hugged his wife and tole her I was sorry for her loss, and sorry for our loss too.

I held it together until a video was shown of an interview his wife conducted with him, shortly before he died. There he was STILL SMILING, and saying how wonderful his life was to have her in it.

Then there was the slide show set to his favorite songs. Pictures of a younger, healthier Mike filled the room, making me smile and cry at the same time.

By the way, Mike was CFO for Rassmussen BMV. But he would not want to be remembered for that. He would want to be remembered as someone who never gave up, and who fought for his life.




Monday, January 25, 2010

Patience and Grace.

I lost grace a long time ago, but now I'm losing patience, with my husband's job search, with my son's disrespect for our advice, and with my stupid brain.

My husband has had six interviews with the same company, and STILL no job offer. What do they want from him? But again, I was advised not to look for work, since I am DISABLED, so he has to carry all of this burden, or to put in differently. I am dependent on him. I don't like it. Sorry, but I don't.

It seems I spar almost daily with my son about homework, and he yells at me when I bring up the subject ( see today's earlier post).

And I had an MRI a week ago, and still don't know the results. To me it's like a parole hearing. I want to know if I have to be sent back to prison or free. Actually, I'm in prison until I die from this thing, or something else, as there is no cure for my cancer, but I'd like to know sooner what is happening to my body.

It's time for me to truly be the change I want to be.

I would rather be pooped and barfed on again.

I'm still struggling with my son's pre-teen attitude. This past week, for the first time in awhile, I was totally in charge of him. My husband was out of town on a job interview. Thanks to the school district website, I find out he is pulling Cs, Ds and Fs in his classes, and I throw the book at him. Just as he's beginning to start playing on the computer, I shake my head, and tell him he's lost his computer privilege until he's my age.


"Mother!" he screams, thankfully not followed by "fucker".

I tell him as calmly as I can that it seems like the computer is a distraction for him, and until such time as he brings his grades up, he won't get the computer back.

"You're making me angry!" snorts the son.

"Oh good!" say I.

So, I'm thinking that as a parent, I have a choice: I can intellectually spar with an 11-year-old boy, or be sleep-deprived and pooped and barfed on in the middle of the night.

I very much want to live to see the day when all of this translates into my son being the good citizen I know he can be. Still I wish I could skip his adolescence and go straight to the well-rounded adult with a nice wife and kids.

To the parents of the world, I feel your pain, every time I ruin my son's life.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Let's talk about sex.

Yes, I have to-to my son. He learned some stuff in health class, but recently he complained about confusion about girls, and asked a friend. My husband has stalled having the talk with him, because he thinks our son isn't ready. I say, if he's asking friends for advice (plus I know he's kissed girls) it's PAST time.

I know that some get uncomfortable saying "penis" or "vagina". I'm thinking perhaps I'll say those words over and over until I become numb to them. Why don't you practice them too, dear reader, in your own time, of course.

Problem is, I'm not a boy. I don't know what it's like to be an 11-year-old boy. Hell, I'm not even a normal woman. But it's clear that he is thinking about girls, even though his emotional maturity hasn't caught up with his physical maturity.

When he told me he was kissing a girl in 5th grade, I asked him if anything happens to him when he kisses her.

"What do you mean, mom?"

"Does anything happen to your body?"

"What do you mean, mom?"

"Do you know what an erection is?"

"I don't want to talk about this."

I don't either, but I want him to know, he's not a weirdo, just because he's going through puberty, and doesn't have total control over his body. I also want him to know that a planned pregnancy is wonderful, but an unplanned one is tragic. Sex can equal pregnancy, so it's best to act responsibly, and prevent pregnancy until one is ready to parent.

I'm afraid I will have to use the words penis and vagina somewhere in our discussion. I'll try to remember that they are just body parts.




Saturday, January 9, 2010

If I Were a Celebrity

It's amazing what becomes important to the media when you are celebrity. One need only look at all the stories about Tiger Woods' alleged sex addiction, pictures of whatever Lady Gaga is, Angelina Jolie's lips, or her baby bump. So it is with this in mind that I offer some ideas about what the media would cover about me, if I were a celebrity. Some potential headlines:

Eden Jones has brain tumor, uses that as an excuse for her strange behavior on Letterman;

Eden Jones gets breast reduction, after injuring her eyes;

TMZ has pictures of the dimples on Eden Jones's rear end;

Eden Jones, not pregnant, just fat;

Eden Jones's fashion no-no: black bra under white shirt;

And my personal favorite would be:

Thousands request refund for boring Eden Jones sex tape.


Honestly, I can't believe I ever studied journalism. What has happened to it? The comedy shows do news better than some news outlets, in my opinion. And the news shows are opinion shows, with a token opposing one thrown in, and squashed like a grape.

I remember watching a clip of a certain CNN broadcaster, who was covering the "balloon boy" story. And just as the interview was getting good, the broadcaster said goodnight and good luck. Unbelievable! I will always be an advocate for various sources of news. There are some stories that broadcast media can cover better than print. And I like online news for the variety, but the reader may or may not be getting facts.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A new bedroom toy.

It's become a bedtime ritual. Our cat Sprite senses when I'm getting ready, and circles and slinks around the bed until I get in. When we first got her, she'd knead where my surgery scar is. Now, she kneads on the web of my neck. It helps us know when to have her claws trimmed.

She'll race to the comfort and safety of my neck, and knead and purr, until I fall asleep. But sometimes in a state of kitty nirvana, she'll drool, in my ear, by the eyes, on the pillow.

So I've been thinking that instead of covering my eyes with my hands, I may borrow my son's science goggles and wear them to bed to keep the kitty slobber out of my eyes. Even though it's her way of telling me she loves me. It's good to be loved.