Monday, October 31, 2011


It has been almost a year since a neurologist strongly suggested that I not drive. As such, I have to "outsource" that task to others; friends, family, taxis, or my feet.

As of this writing my husband is out of town, meaning extra burden on other family members and/or friends. My sister had to take me to my son's parent-teacher conference. Both my sister and mom have to take my son to tutoring, while the Old Man is away.

So I'm trying to expand my network of potential drivers. I contacted Ride Connection, a transportation service for disabled people, and a volunteer will be talking me to my cancer writing group, which starts up again tomorrow. Another friend suggested that I contact the local chapter of the Cancer Society, and still another  said her daughter would be willing to drive me.

All of this requires better planning and organization on my part, so I can give potential drivers fair notice. Others can be more spontaneous with their plans.

It takes a village to me me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

my ode to pizza

Imagine there's no pizza
I can do that with ease
No crust below me
Above me only cheese

Imagine all the pizza
Eating til you puke
You may say I'm a glutton
But I'm very very nice
I hope some day you'll join me
For a beer and a slice....

Herman Cain's Ode to Pizza

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

self esteem

Two things are prompting this post, one is I'm seeing a number of males who have similar body-image/self esteem issues that females have. They want to lose weight, or they want more hair. The other is an article about Turner Syndrome forwarded to me by a woman in the TS community.

Regarding males and self esteem, its somewhat refreshing to know that males feel pressure to look good. God knows girls and women do, so why not men. I have to say though that I believe it's easier for a man to be overweight, for example, than it is for a woman. I think that is because I can honestly say that I have never judged a man, solely by his physical appearance.

Regarding the TS article, it was actually about how a girl with the syndrome can be diagnosed in the womb, so that HGH (human grown hormone) injections can start early. What bothered me about it was how in describing TS, the words abnormal and defective came up too often in reference the missing chromosome in TS girls (others have 46 chromosomes, TS girls have 45), and non existent secondary sex characteristics(breasts and womanly stature).

I think it was my 8th grade year, two boys, James Salisbury and Scott Blake, decided to play "Fuck with the dwarf". Scott told me James wanted to go out with me. He didn't. I assumed my looks had something to do with the prank. I do hope that before I die, I can put this unhappy incident in my life behind me.

In the meantime, I hope our society encourages and enforces the notion that beauty is not on the outside.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Walk! 2011

This past Saturday (August 20) I once again participated in the Portland Brain Tumor Walk. I've been doing it since I was diagnosed. Even though technically the walk is for brain tumor research, I like to think that this is my way of making a contribution on behalf of all kinds of cancer. Although I have lost many brain buddies, this year I dedicated my walk to my friend Paula, who is battling cancer of her bile ducts.

I have a team I call Eden's Army, thus the visor. The team usually includes my mom, sister and husband. Last year, I had a few former classmates join me. This year I was gifted by the presence of two very cool people, Travis and Heather Smith.

My sister wasn't able to join us, because she was helping my nephew prepare for a performance of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and my mom was feeling a little sick to her stomach, so the "army" was me, T and H and my husband.

There was a huge crowd this year, and hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised. However, I don't do well in crowds. I'm always thinking I'm going to bump into someone. And the walk happened to fall on the hottest day of the year. My sister says, that because of the crowd issue, she will sit future walks out, though she will still support the cause.

I plan to do it as long as I can.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

not bad, but not so good either.

I received a call with the biopsy results of some skin tissue taken from my ear. Apparently, it shows that I have atypical nevus or, in plain English, a strange looking mole. Duh! I thought that's why a resident whacked in my ear in the first place.

But do I have skin cancer? Do I have melanoma?

No, I'm told, but the path report recommends surgery to remove what's left of the mole.

I call the surgery scheduler, who says she wants the surgeon to look at the pathology report, after which, she'll call me back.

"How does next Thursday work?" I'm asked.

"Do you have any openings on Friday?"

"Not for a month, and we don't recommend..."

I'm assuming she means I shouldn't wait that long.

So next Thursday, I will once again make an offering to science. Between my two brain surgeries, and my hundreds of planter warts, I am already more intimate with science than I care to be, but this is how I've been rolling for awhile.

Regarding the planter warts, doctors have tried vaporizing with lasers, next they will try freezing.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Does lightening strike twice?

So, I go to visit the dermatology department at Oregon Health and Science University to have a doctor look at the stubborn warts on my left heel. Just for grins, the doctors also checked out my many constellations of moles on my back, ears, arms, nose and face. One on my right ear looked suspicious enough because of its coloring, that the resident took a sample for biopsy. Obviously, I am hoping that it is not cancerous, but I won't know for another week or so. It would be funny, in a sick gallows humor kind of way, if I had two different kinds of cancer.

As for Veruca and her sisters? They will be frozen in a series of treatments, but after I complete my summer business of walking in the Portland Brain Tumor Walk.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

If I could post Facebook status updates...

It has been nearly a month since I left social media. I feel like an alcoholic at an AA meeting. name is has been almost a month since my last post.

I am going through kind of a withdrawal. I got a sick high from people who would like my posts enough to "like" them, or comment. During the time I have been off, some things have popped into my head that I would have posted as as status updates:

  • I speak fluent bullshit.
  • On my walk, I have passed by the same pile of dog barf for the last two weeks.
  • Can I raise my debt ceiling?
  • Had a nice time seeing some former classmates at the Hillsboro Market.
  • I've lost 15 pounds since I started using "my fitness pal" an iPhone app, last November.
  • I'm getting ready to do Portland Brain Tumor Walk again.
Still, I want to stay away from social media. Lots of communication, but most of it gets lost in translation.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I have met the enemy, and she is me.

We went to our first session of marriage counseling. Ironically enough, the counselor has had brain surgery too. With a patch over his right eye, dressed in a biker shirt and jeans, he greets us:

Hi, I am Gerry.

Hi, I'm Eden.
Hi, I'm Bruce.

Despite his look, he does not talk like pirate.He gets right down to business. I explain that in addition to my illness and all the moodiness, fear and doctor appointments that have come with it, we have endured an extended period of unemployment.

We all agree that Bruce being back to work is a good thing, and regarding my tumor, he tells me to live in the moment, and plan to live, instead of planning to die. I have heard this before, but it is easier said than done. When I worked, I planned and scheduled. I do not have enough information about my brain to plan or schedule. Many say the part of my brain that does those things was taken.

We shall see what we talk about in our next few visits.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Peanut butter dreams

I am a huge fan of peanut butter. Unfortunately, it is my snack of choice even in the middle of the night. I have found that when I eat peanut butter in the middle of the night, that I have strange dreams. For example, last night I had a dream, where for no apparent reason, I was with my acoustic guitar, sitting among my co-workers from my news days playing a KT Tunstall song called White Bird. Only in the dream, I am playing the song well, and in real life, I'm still trying to play it by ear.

Out of nowhere, television news anchor Mark Hendricks, a man I have not seen since 1996, says, "That's really good, Eden."

Peanut butter also seems to work in conjuring up classmates, just as they looked back in the day. I even had a fight with one in my dreams...I still lost the fight.

Same with ex-boyfriends or crushes. In the peanut butter dreams, ex-boyfriends come back, and crushes are reciprocated.

Time to rest on Sigmund Freud's couch and ask him what this all means.

I can already forecast his answer:

Get over yourself, and stop eating peanut butter!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Another rock star for Jesus.

Troubled singer Amy Winehouse was found dead today at the age of 27. What is it about the age of 27 and rock stars?( see Curt Cobain, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin). Anyway, like so many before her, she most likely died of an overdose. Did she have talent? Talent is in the eyes and ears of the beholder. Personally, I found her signature tune "Rehab" catchy, but in light of her death, it plays like an epitaph, not an R&B inspired pop tune. In the CD from which it came, there are other songs about demons, be they bad relationships, boredom, or depression.

I always felt guilty about liking any song of hers, because I felt I was somehow tacitly endorsing her behavior. I don't.

Amy Winehouse. Now you truly are "Back to Black". I will play your music when I need a cautionary tale.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Random thoughts.

I guess that's the nature of having a head injury. The holes in my head are like sun spots, causing random flickers of light and darkness.

I read a blog post about regrets, and it made me think of mine.
  • not having a boyfriend in junior high or high school--my female friends don't understand this. These female friends by the way had plenty of boyfriends, and I was lucky enough to live vicariously through them. Anyway, having a boyfriend seemed like a rite of passage that I missed out on. Also having a boyfriend in my younger years might have prepared me for college men. I will always believe that the reason I didn't have a boyfriend until college was that I was too ugly when I was in junior high and high school. My senior year I looked as good as I ever did, but still had the baggage of the years that came before that. Anyway if you think that looks don't matter. Ask yourself what makes you want to purchase a car or an article of clothing. I would submit that the look of the car gets you to go for a test drive. Then if the thing drives well, in addition to being hot, you've just committed to 36-60 months of payments. Even houses have to have "curbside" appeal. I didn't have curbside appeal.

  • cancer--there are already things I am missing out on because of my disease: driving, and working, but I also regret what I may miss out on in the future. My goal is to live to see my son graduate high school, but that may be too much to ask for. On the plus side, I know so many people with life-threatening or chronic illnesses, and having cancer I hope has made me a better sounding board for those people.

  • not having a biological child: I do love my adopted son, but I always thought women were supposed to have babies. I was given a womb, even menstruation, but no eggs, so I have on many occasion felt, at best, inadequate, and at worst, a little cheated.
I will leave with you with a wonderful line from my husband:

I'm not interrupting, you just aren't thinking fast enough.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Veruca's back!

Just to get you up to speed. Veruca is what I call my plantar wart(s) because another name for a plantar wart is Verruca Plantaris. Why she decided to make me her host I will never know. But she loved me so much she multiplied and divided and colonized my heel. I did the home remedies--the duct tape, the acid creams and plaster bandages. Finally one podiatrist gave up on me and sent me to another for laser surgery. It is too bad I like to walk, because you can't after laser surgery.. here's why:

First week in August, I will go to the dermatology department at OHSU. I hope that whatever they decide to do with me, that I will be able to walk, specifically the Brain Tumor, which is also in August.

Speaking of my brain, chemo comes tomorrow, and the next week I swallow it.

Try not to be jealous.

Monday, July 18, 2011

the weekend

Friday: our family went to see the second installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Some Potter fans are upset that the kids aren't kids anymore, and that the movies have gotten increasingly darker. I loved the last film because the nerds are rewarded. Ron gets the girl and Neville summons the sword of Griffindor, and kills the final horcrux. That said I think one needs to have read the to understand the movies. Certain scenes get less treatment in the movies than in the books. For example, the relationship between Snape and Harry's mom is glossed over in the movie.

Saturday: I went to the wedding of my friend Sandy's son, Cory. I met her in elementary school, and have kept in contact with her, despite her moving several times. The bride and groom had looks of both excitement and horror on their faces. Understandable. I think most people get married with the best of intentions, but it is work, because people can change, circumstances can change. Specifically, your spouse can't stay the cute twenty-something. Your spouse may get sick or lose a job. Your spouse may not be able to produce for you that son you always wanted to play ball with..Then what?

I enjoyed going to the wedding, because it gave me a chance to see Sandy and our friend Carrie. Back in the day we were partners in crime. I recalled the time that I was left home alone when my folks went out. I was a teenager. Sandy and Carrie came by with two young men I had never seen before. Still I invited everyone in. The folks came back to find me chatting with Carrie and Sandy, and the dudes. My dad was so angry he couldn't speak, and my mom was left to read us all the Riot Act. At the time, I didn't see the problem. These guys weren't my guys. After my mom's speech, I got it. a picture from a slumber party that included Sandy and Carrie.

Carrie has the red hair, I have the glasses, and Sandy is sitting on the other side of me. They are very cool people, and I don't think I would have survived Junior High and High School without them.

Sunday: We had my friend and classmate Travis and his wife Heather over for dinner. It turns out Travis has similar musical taste to my husband, Bruce. The the evening included a dinner of grilled chicken and veggies, corn on the cob and a delicious lemon pie prepared by Heather.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What does it mean to love yourself?

I have been told I have to love myself to be loved. For reasons I may never understand, I find it hard to love myself without the validation of others. And I have difficulty telling the difference between loving myself and being conceited.

Getting off social networking is part of my learning to love myself, again, because relationships based on social networking are meaningless, and as much as I may miss sharing a funny video or a random idea, I don't want meaningless relationships. I'm doing a bit of emotional de-bulking, by maintaining those relationships that mean something to me, and the other person.

And I don't want the distraction of social networking as I try to get my house in order.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I have mentioned that cancer is hard on a marriage. During my journey, there have been times where my husband has not been able to accompany me to critical appointments, so I have felt like he's out of the loop, only he knows whether he actually IS or not.

This brings me to stresser number two. He was out of work for two years, which hurt his ego, and depressed him, and he turned to online games for comfort.

Thankfully, he started working again this past June, which is great, except for the fact I can't take my son places, because I shouldn't drive.

So it's time to see if counseling can improve our marriage, and if he is strong enough to be my man. I'm not sure anybody is.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Healing time at the beach

My recent posts have been very negative. Thankfully, this past weekend, I got some healing that was long overdue.

My sister has a beautiful beach house in Manzanita, Oregon, a beach town just south of Cannon Beach. One need only step outside to get spectacular views. Above are pictures I took during a short walk.

My family and I also had a very fun time heckling two of the worst movies ever made
Dunderklumpin and Manos: The Hands of Fate.

The first one has a nice premise. It's a holiday movie about how "treasure" can be found non-material things. However, it plays as if everyone involved in the film was taking drugs. With the strange music and editing, it is a wonder anyone can follow the "plot." Our nephew Simon was offering a running commentary regarding the many problems with this movie and I laughed so hard I cleared my lungs on several occasions.

The second movie was my husband's contribution to this bad movie festival. There are so many things wrong with Manos, I can't separate them all. But for starters, it was made by a fertilizer salesman from El Paso, Texas. The sequence where the family drives through the desert lasts way to long, and it was shot with a camera that could only shoot I think 30 seconds of footage at time. It shows.

Watch these movies only if you want to punish yourselves.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Done with Facebook

For my reasons, please read previous post, and I do hope this time it's for good.

Facebook has ruined friendship and love

My friend Carrie and I have had this conversation. We don't like how with FB you can "friend" someone you don't care about. It was with this in mind, that we pared down our old pages and started new ones, the idea being that the friends on our new pages would be our real friends.

That said, one of my "real" friends has over 500 FB friends. The egotistical part of me wonders where I rank..499 perhaps?

I also see the word "love" bantered about. For example "love you!" someone will comment or post.

I want the word love to mean something. And I want to know who my real friends are.

for no one (revisited)

read or sing to the tune "For No One" by the Beatles

You waste time
past your prime
and still you think that
that everyone can see you
he no longer needs you

You get sick
he leaves town
and then he wonders
why that hurts you
he no longer needs you

and in your heart
you feel nothing
what good are feelings anyway
you cry for no one
and wish your problems away

You lose steam
but you dream
you dream that someday
he'll appreciate your efforts
but he doesn't need you

You're selfish
still you wish
you wish that when you pass on
that he won't forget you.

But from his heart
you feel nothing
no sign of love behind the words
but he keeps talking
too bad that you cant hear a thing.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Princess and the Prune Prance through Pendleton

The Prune says to the Princess, "I'm looking for adventure. Can you take me on your quest to meet the cowboy from Idaho known as CMC?"

"Sure Thang Honey!"

The one called Prune was aptly named, because at age 44, her skin was rather wrinkled. The one called Princess was also aptly named. Tall and beautiful, she was every cowboy's dream.

And so one day, these two opposites drove the dusty highway in a red bug, armed only with cookies and enough clothes for overnight. About mid-day, they got tired and pulled over and checked into the nearest motel.

Princess gets a ringy dingy.

Princess? This here is the cowboy CMC. meet me for grub at sundown.

Can I bring my friend prune? She's extra ripe.

Well. I'm not big on prunes, but I'll try one.

It should be noted that the cowboy CMC was also an outlaw, wanted in several western states for stealing horses and bibles. It was the princess and the prune's goal to bring him to justice. Having grub with him would give them their chance.

CMC, Princess, and Prune met up at an old saloon in downtown. Princess and Prune were in their cowgirl finest sitting having beers, when they heard the sound of spurs--kching, kching, kching.

"Hey You!" Princess says to CMC. "Mighty good to see you."
"Pleasure's mine Little Missy,"CMC responded in a voice barely audible.
Prune, easily offended, got red in the face and demanded, "Who in the hell are you calling 'Little Missy?'" and kicked CMC in the knees, and then threw her bag of cookies at him, leaving quite a mark on his left eye.

"Good job, Prunie!" Princess said. "I'll tie him up and we can put him in the back of the bug and take him to jail."

And they did just that. Their reward? Two dollars.

And a dozen cookies

Monday, July 4, 2011

Comments Welcome

Please use this opportunity to tell me something you want me to know before I die. Self-serving, but sue me.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

messages unsent

Dear Scott and James, if you had a retarded daughter, would you still think it funny that the popular boys pretended to want to go out with her? This message also goes to anyone who knew about your evil prank. You have no idea how much that hurt me. My problem...just oversensitive.

Dear mean girls, if you had a retarded daughter, would you want others to threaten to beat her up...just because? My sister actually thinks you made death threats. Your lucky that if you did, I don't remember.

Dear Creator, Do you really love me if you allow me to me to roam a world that doesn't belong to me?

I'll take my answer off the air.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

my fantasy world

I am 5 foot nine and my name is Roxanne. I have long hair and it looks great wet. I brush it and guys want to ask me out. They ignore my companion who looks like a kindergartner. If she just told herself she was as perfect as I am, she would be, but she just wants to whine and not do anything about her circumstances. She has the nerve to eat when she is probably 100 pounds overweight.

My God screwed up making her and now Darwin is taking over. It is no accident that she was made of such faulty material that God didn't want to pass it on. Also she has a brain tumor. Again, faulty material. Sure, her parents think she's perfect, but now, it's her peers she's has to live with.

She is good, but not great, and it can be painful to be merely good in the midst of greatness, and with a brain tumor, one can only cling to the fantasy of greatness. Fantasizing can be better than realizing.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My first name's not's Eden...Mrs. Jones if you're nasty.

At 44, some people still call me "sweetheart" or "honey". Example: I went to get my teeth cleaned, and the hygienist kept addressing me as if I were one of her younger patients. I started complaining to my mother about this and she (my mom) suggested that I shouldn't take this as a dis.

But since when is a 44 year old woman a sweetheart or a honey. I mean, it's one thing for someone who knows me well to call me that, but it feels different when someone I see only casually calls me that. And I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I believe my child size stature plays a role when someone addresses me in the diminutive.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

That's the way I always heard it should be.

After 17 years of marriage, I have learned a few things about "love".

One does not get or give more love when one is married.

You can be married with children and still be lonely.

Having someone ask you to marry him does not mean you have "arrived" in some cosmic way.

Intimacy is frankly sometimes based on obligation, and not on some kind of inner fire.

So what is a good marriage? I don't know, but I no longer believe in fairy tales. I will use whatever power I have to make my marriage better. Problem is I don't have much power.

Friday, June 17, 2011

some thoughts on the artificial woman

A while back, I posted a series that I called The Artificial Woman. It was because I started thinking of how much of what nature should have given me, I have had to supplement.

I now need hearing aids to hear.

Due to a missing chromosome, I cannot bear children, and until recently was taking hormone replacements to "grow". Didn't work; although, I have big boobs, but again, they aren't real because I would not have any boobs without the hormones.

I can joke about these things, but I still don't always like it when others do. I can't have myself remade.

I'm surprised how "normal" of a life I've had for being so abnormal.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

happy birthday tumors!

In honor of living five years with brain cancer, I threw myself a party, invited friends and family, and drank a margarita as big as my head. I was touched by the turnout.

In this photo in the back, are me and Bruce, in the front are my my friends LaRae and Carrie and their spouses, Larry and Pat. My friend Mark Cook (whose wife passed away from breast cancer) graced us with his presence, as did his girlfriend Janna, and their kids.

I was very sad my friend and classmate Paula could not make it, but I recorded some messages and texted them to her later.

This past Friday, Paula began chemo. With my husband's permission, I took a cab to be with her and her husband brought me home. She's looking great!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

What is love?

I'm thinking that since I am 44 and have been married for almost 17 years, I had better get to answering that question, but I don't know what love is. In attempt to figure it out though, I will list what love is NOT:
  • love is not a computer game.
  • love is not just sex.
  • love is not a pretty face.
  • love doesn't go away.
I should know more. I have a husband, and have had men say they love me, but it seems to come with the caveat that I don't take them seriously or love them back.

All I know is right now, I am feeling an emotional void, despite the fact I should be perfectly happy. Hmmmm?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A colonoscopy and a job offer.

Yes they do go together. At the risk of revealing too much information, my husband accidentally scheduled a routine exam on the same day as he was to have an important interview. On the h of my sister, and being made aware of this mistake he rescheduled in order to have his head clear for his interview.

In one of those lovely cases of serendipity, he gets a good scan,comes home and starts playing World of Warcraft, then gets a ringy dingy on his cell phone, verbally offering him a job! Austin our son comes racing upstairs like he got the best birthday present ever, and we all go celebrate. He starts June 6th.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cancer is NOT sexy

I first had the realization that cancer is not sexy, when Farrah Fawcett died. One former co-worker of mine made inappropriate jokes about how he used to get his jollies looking at one of the many pictures of her (before cancer)

For me cancer has meant being bald for a period of time, with a scar on the right side of my head. I also tire easier, and some (including myself) have made jokes about how I rarely stay up past 9pm.

So it's no wonder my husband is hooked to the role-playing game World of Warcraft. It's the perfect companion. It doesn't get tired, and perhaps some of the avatars are hot.

The invisible women

I was talking to a friend and former classmate of mine who has cancer. She said something interesting; that in high school, she felt invisible and, that she was in in awe of my "smarts". What? My sister, who got straight As wasn't in awe of my "smarts", and I didn't awe anyone with my looks. In fact, I think I looked stupid.

So I told my friend that I felt invisible too, back in the day. In fact, when I first opened a Facebook account, I wondered if people friended me, just because, or if they friended me because they remembered something about me. I was not that noticeable. Anyway I told my friend that I remembered her and that she wasn't invisible to me. I remember her being in almost all of the school performances, and she always had a bubbly attitude. And yes, she is pretty, though she would say she is plain.

Two invisible women, floating among hundreds of invisible people.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What is a terrorist?

So Public Enemy Number One since the Bush administration, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, has been killed.

Lets all celebrate! Let's finally bring the troops home.

I say, not so fast.

Because there most certainly are people out there who are crazy and would think nothing of committing mass murder. There will be a new Public Enemy. It's also true that an act of terrorism can, and has been, committed by Americans. No one corners the market on anger and hatred. Examples:

Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist. He of course blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

White supremacist groups are terrorists, when they burn churches, or kill non-whites, fueled by their beliefs.

The student who went on a huge shooting rampage at Virginia Tech could be called a terrorist.

Same for the Columbine High School boys, who opened fire on teachers and classmates, and finally themselves.

My point is there is plenty of terrorism both home and abroad. Too often people seem to simplify the definition of terrorist.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

opening old wounds.

My friend and classmate Carrie, and my mom both like the show Glee. And I've been watching it on my phone via my Netflix account. The premise of the show is a group of high school misfits in the glee club. Or, at least the members of the club are treated like outcasts. So far, I have watched every episode in the first season.

Its a funny show,(particularly the cheer leading coach) but it opened up some old wounds from when I was in Junior High and High school.

I was reminded again of how two boys pretended to want to go out with me, and when I told them to back off, that I knew were joking, they didn't. Color me pathetic, but that incident shaped me in negative ways. I found it hard to trust boys/men after that, even though I'm 44 now, and I was in eighth grade when this happened. I have often wondered why have not been able to forget about the high jinx of two stupid boys after all this time. If only my brain tumor would affect my long-term memory.

Getting back to the show Glee, one of the club members is openly gay. A female member develops a crush on him, and in doing so, inspires to come up. This scene reminded me of another embarrassing incident from my high school years. I had a friend off and on through high school who was cute, I thought. One day I approached him and he says:

"Eden, can I drop a bomb on you?"


"I want you to think of me like you do your friend, Lori."

Oh, how humiliating, for both of us! Thinking of it now, it must have been difficult being gay in a small town (I grew up in Hillsboro, Oregon), but the straight guys weren't paying attention to me, so it was open season on our pride. I learned that you can't "convert" from gay to straight, and to his credit, he didn't try to hide it. I was just stupid, even before the tumor so I believed there was a thin chance that he wasn't.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I get caught up in my brain cancer, and I allow myself that.

Not having a brain has proved to me how important that organ is, even to accomplishing simple daily tasks others take for granted. I have been saddened by the number of my classmates, who are also suffering from cancer or other serious illnesses that have made "living" harder. It makes me wonder if the water in my hometown of Hillsboro, Oregon was contaminated.

The latest case and point? My classmate Paula. I thought my cancer was bad, but she has cancer on her liver. That's a lot of pain, and a frighteningly long surgery (8hours). I've been struggling with how best to help her. What I do know is that you can live with cancer, and I have tried to assure her of this. I also know it's not pretty-- a lot of worry, fatigue, nausea and sometimes pain. And there's the commuting to, and waiting at doctor's offices, sometimes just for the privilege of getting no useful news, or bad news. A patient has to pull his or herself up from the bootstraps, and tell his or herself that that it's worth it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Good news for people who like bad news

Let's start with the good news. I had part of my plantar wart of doom removed. The doctor thought it best to remove it in stages, as I am a cancer patient at an elevated risk of infection. I arrived at 1:30pm and left at 4:00. Although it was laser surgery, knives and needs were in the room. Knives were used to scrape and dig. Needles were used to administer local anesthesia that made me scream like a banshee. After the digging and painful needles, the laser machine cauterized the many craters. As soon as these cratere heal, it will be time to dig more craters.

Yes, that is the good news. The bad news is, after interviewing all day with a head cold, and driving a total of eight hours, told my husband he wasn't a good match. We'll see how far we can get with unemployment and Social Security.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Big Cupcake Explains The Dangers Of Kindergarten Cupcake Fruit-Cookie In...

This song is dedicated to Glenn Beck. Sing it to the tune of "She Talks to Angels".
He never mentions the word vanilla
on his Fox TV show.
Yes, he'll tell you he eats wheat grass
And you can trust him as far as you can throw.

Says he talks to cupcakes.
He calls them all out by name.
Says he talks to cupcakes.
Maybe he's insane.

He puts some frosting on his tongue now.
Pulls his chalkboard so he can write.
He gives a smile as his teeth rot.
the frosting's gonna make everything all right.

Says he talks to cupcakes.
He calls them all out by name.
Says he talks to cupcakes.
Maybe he's insane.

He connects the dots to nonsense.
Even his peers think he's nuts.
But the cupcakes say they've missed him.
Rupert Murdoch--not so much

Says he talks to cupcakes.
He calls them all out by name.
Says he talks to cupcakes.
Maybe he's insane.

The letter G

My maiden name Godbey starts with G.

I've been playing Scrabble on my iPhone in a feeble attempt to keep my brain strong. G is worth two points.

I'm not as good with words as I used to be. Still, I have forced a lot of online Scrabble players to forfeit.

G as in getting along;settling for less than perfect.
G as in God! I would like to take a trip-anywhere!
G as in getting through another round of chemo.
G as in glassess raised in celebration of the weekend.

Getting back to Scrabble, don't you hate it when you have a cool letter like Q, but there is no U on the board, so you can't make a word.

Gee I feel tired today--this whole week actually. Pucky on taking chemo for the rest of my life.

Goodness Gracious, but I'm griping. I forget sometimes what it's like to feel good.
G as in grief for another person stricken by cancer.

Lung, that word ends with G, probably worth five points on a Scrabble board. Cost on the board of Life? Too expensive to think about.

a fond memory

It was when I found out my tumor had grown to a point where I needed to consult a surgeon about a possible second surgery. Of course I was afraid. I was paralyzed after my first surgery, and now I was being asked to submit to a second. Who would I be when I was done? Me or a vegetable?

I talk to my mom and sister daily. Usually I call them, but this one time my sister called me, and she asked if I (we) would be interested in going to Hawaii or some other place where I could get my mind of my upcoming troubles. We (her little family and mine) ended up going to Kauai, truly a paradise.

Ironically, I was carded when I went to order my sister and myself lime daiquiris.

"Do you have ID?" the person behind the counter asked. I didn't, so I went to get my sister, thinking she could use her ID. During this time I am thinking There is no way in hell I look under 21, I'm 43 and I'm dying. Give me my drink for Chrissakes!

The rest is history: I had my surgery, my tumor is more aggressive, I had radiation and have been on chemotherapy since last July. I never would have made it through all of that without the trip. It was nearly impossible to think a bad thought while I was in Hawaii. And whether she knows it or not, I am very grateful to my sister for knowing exactly what I needed.

Going to paradise--a strange way to mark the unpleasant milestones of my cancer journey. I went there after my first surgery too.

taking care of business

Just to get you readers up to speed, my husband has been looking for work again, after being fired via a telephone call! Steady stream of interviews, but no Terra Firma.
Meantime, I just completed another round of chemo, and see one of my oncologists for bloodwork to bless more chemo.

On the plus side, my hair is growing back. My dad joked that it was a mustache on my head but I think it actually looks like hair. The ladies at my writing group commented on it.

And after six weeks off trying topical acids and taping to erode the Plantar Wart of Doom, a doctor has recommended surgery for it--laser surgery. I will need to be off my bad foot for a while.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

in the cuckoo's nest.

Portland Center Stage put on a production of Ken Kesey's chilling novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I remembered how life in the acute rehab center(where I worked to overcome paralysis) was like the nest. There were some stroke patients, gunshot victims, people who needed help to eat, and people who couldn't read. Like the Chief, and the sociopath McMurphy in Cuckoo's Nest, I wanted to get the hell out of there, and it felt, even looked a little like a prison.

I experienced the feeling of being in the nest yesterday while waiting to see my neurologist who prescribes my seizure medications. A patient was there who kept rocking back and forth and saying:
It made me sad and uncomfortable at the same time. My husband and I caught up with the patient in the elevator, where he randomly said "Hello" and "Goodbye".

Oh how I would love to fly the Cuckoo's nest, but I must belong here, because I'm here for life.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

fun with fonts

This blog was inspired by the one-act play I saw called Futura.

This sentence is written using the font called Futura.

Notice how the j has no tail.

Futura lives up to its name. It's kind of a modern, and hip-looking font.

This sentence is written using Baskerville.

Times New Roman.

Ah...Helvetica, my favorite.

Next to Arial.

This font is called Zapfino, but it looks like cursive to me..

But this one is called handwriting Dakota.

What's the point of this blog? Perhaps that writing can be fun, even in the digital age.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Unsafe at any speed!

My mom was kind enough to sign me up for classes at the local senior center. I chose a class that includes low-impact aerobics, strength and balance training and stretching.

I am 44...the other pupils are not.

Still it's fun to workout with my mom, and with my brain tumor, I need a modified workout.

Then one day before class, the teacher pulls me aside and tells me not to use weights during that portion of the class, and also stay up front. Reason: I move around the room so much, she was worried about me hitting one of the other ladies, or myself, with my weights.

This kind of thing can only happen to me, dear readers, and I DIG that about my life.

I am happy to say that the ban has been lifted, and I'm now allowed to use weights--in a modified exercise class.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Breakfast Club

I got reacquainted with one of my favorite movies, The Breakfast club. I purchased it on iTunes and watched it on my phone. If I were a teacher, I would consider showing it to students, perhaps uncut; although, there is foul language and the kids in it get stoned.

Students in Middle and High school feel awkward and a need to belong--anywhere. I believe the movie makes the point that, while the need to belong is a normal desire for a school kid, no clique is superior to another. Example:

Princess: "So (physics club) is an ACADEMIC Club."..."It's not the same as other types of clubs."

Bender: "But to dorks like him, it is."

It also makes the point that despite all the attitude and bravado, high school kids are still just kids.

By the way, I am most like the basket case.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Turd Years

Especially since I am an adoptive parent, I cannot fail in my charge to make my son a good citizen. No consequence seems great enough to teach him common sense. He is 12 and in seventh grade--the Turd Years, as our friend has dubbed this stage of life.

He is a very smart young man, but will forget about or misplace assignments. His math teacher offered to work with him after school hours to help him catch up. I suggested he accept her help, but he seemed offended that she didn't appreciate his math prowess. How dare she want him to turn something. in that was due IN DECEMBER!

Turd Years indeed.

In addition, I closed my Facebook account, and made him close his because he kept blocking me and posting threatening messages. When he found out that didn't work, he got mad at me for invading his privacy.

What I'm wondering is this: If the pre-teens are The Turd Years, then what are the teen years? The I'm an Infatuation Junkie and I know everything years?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A week in The LiFe

Just finished up a round of chemotherapy and today I had an MRI. Sometimes it seems I'm always at the doctor's office Here's how next week is shaping up:

Monday: Hopefully I will have the Plantar Wart of Doom removed

Tuesday: I will get the results of my latest MRI and find out whether I live or die (Well that's what it feels like when your wondering if your cancer has grown.)

Wednesday: Therapy, because everyone around me needs it

Thursday: Go see a play and get a break from doctor's YAY!

Friday: Entertain my son and his friend

Friday, January 14, 2011


Depending on who you talk to, I'm either handling my terminal illness with a positive attitude and humor, or am becoming so bitter and angry that no one will want to be my caregiver when I really need one. As in--wipe my bottom--need one.

The thing is, as much as I would like to, I can't make myself feel better about my illness, let alone someone else. My perspective is that of a patient, not a caregiver. Every day I do the best I can to work with what brain power I still have left, and compensate for what I don't have.

I have had a tendency since before my illness, and certainly now, to go negative and think about the things that suck, but especially since I am dying, such thinking is counterproductive. So from here on end I will try to adapt an attitude of I DON'T in:
  • I'm not jealous of someone who seems better off than I am
  • I don't care that someone called me fat and ugly 25 years ago
  • I don't care what someone else thinks of me
  • I don't care that my career was short
  • I don't really care that I'm dying but I would like to control the timing of my passing
In other words, I am going to try to kick my shit to the curb. I don't want to take it with me.
I hope I am successful in this endeavor.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Have bullies changed

My son is navigating the tough waters of Middle School and the stupid stuff that comes with it--crushes, mean teachers and bullying.

I am concerned that the powers at be don't seem to know the difference between a bully and a pain in the ass.

When I was in middle school I was bullied, because I was threatened, told (via a letter in my locker) I would be beaten up on my way home from school. In my case, I went to a counselor and named names. I assumed I was right in my guess, because I received no more threats.

My son says he's being bullied but won't talk to counselors or teachers at school about it. They don't seem to take him seriously. We have found someone he will talk to. Meantime he keeps lamenting how bullies seem to know when there isn't a safe person around, and how bullies bring their "friends" for backup. He thinks bullies are smarter than back in my day, but I don't think it was smart to write a note and stuff it in my locker. Whoever did that was just as cowardly as any bully today.

I'm glad bullying is getting some attention, because it didn't until some kids started committing suicide because of it.

School grounds should be safe for all. A child who goes to school in fear can't learn.