Friday, January 29, 2010


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.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Life During Wartime

I honestly think I would rather have awake brain surgery again, than start the day like I did today. It was time for my son to go back to school after a long vacation, so I knew it would be tough to get him out the door, but sadly, I was not armed against the verbal abuse that ensued:

"Time to wake up, Austin."

"I decline!"

(five minutes later)

"Wake up and get some breakfast."

"I'm not going to school today."

(still another five minutes later)

"Wake up Austin!"

"Mother! I'm going to be late. YOU should have woke me up earlier!"

At this point, Austin heads to the shower, comes out. I tell him I'll take him to school.

"No mother. You embarrass me."

He slams the door and goes to the bus. I know he'll be back, but while he's doing this, I go get dressed. When I come out of the bedroom, Austin looks at me, and points his thumb toward the garage as if to say, "Get your ass in the car and take ME to school."

Few words are spoken, but then he says "Mom, I'm angry."

"I am too, and you have all day to figure out why," I respond.

My husband misses all of this. He didn't get out of bed today until 10am. When he finally graces me with his presence, I tell him that I will not be doing this tomorrow, so he better set an alarm, and make sure Austin gets to school and/or take the blame if he doesn't.

When Austin comes home from school, he still blames me for not waking him up earlier. I yell at him as I remind him I tried THREE TIMES.

I'm on strike.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

pretty on the inside

No...I'm not that either...too big of an ego...too selfish, but I will never be pretty on the outside, and I'm not sure I will ever be convinced that outside beauty matters more than character.

When I was younger, looking good was the difference between getting a date, and getting a "friend". When you are older, it can sometimes mean the difference between getting hired for a job-- or not.

I have always been hung up on how shitty I look. I will try to take care of the part that's my fault. Most of my life I've battled weight, and sadly it's too much of an effort to get my weight where it needs to be.

But I looked at a picture of myself today and I nearly threw up. How can I go out in public like that, I thought. Must be the brain tumor.

Well, I would like to go to my 25th high school reunion, so today begins my quest to look as good as I can, so I don't shock my classmates. I really don't want to be seen looking like I do now. And I don't want to die looking like this.

So the quest begins.