Monday, February 05, 2007

It's Okay to Laugh . . . and to Just say "Hi"

Yesterday after church, my friend Jackie said that she'd been reading my blog, and found herself laughing (especially at the post about my cold sensitivity after the Oxaliplatin infusion). Then she backed up as if to apologize, as if laughing at something I've written is somehow not taking my diagnosis seriously. "Good grief," I said, "I want to be funny sometimes, and if you find it that way, good!" Many of you reading this blog only know me through these written words, and perhaps I do come across as serious; when I'm speaking, I have trouble being funny or making jokes, because folks do take me very seriously. I do have a dry sense of humor, so when I see what's funny in this unfunny situation, I try to make the most of it. Please laugh! And tell me any funny stories you have about Cancer World!

The photo I posted here is of our family at Arches National Park last summer, laughing. A stranger took this picture; we found many strangers who offered, or agreed to take our picture while we were traveling. As we posed, Patty would say, "Think Christmas card!" and I would add "No pressure!" I think it was at this point that we all began to laugh. And, we did select this photo for our Christmas card in December.

About saying "Hi," I want to speak to all of you who have not responded to the blog, and who haven't even sent me an email on the side. It really is okay to just say "Hi" after you've read a post; it's not necessary to have something profound to say. If you look on the right side of the blog page, just below my photo, you'll see a little box that says "site meter." I added this feature last month to get a sense of how many people are reading my blog; check it out! It's not a secret.

Today, the meter says that I am averaging 91 views per day. That's a lot! Now, I'm not saying you should "check in" every time you read the blog, or that you have an obligation to let me know you have visited. I just want to say that I'd like to have a better sense of who is reading the blog, and what your responses and experiences are. So, remember, it's okay to just say "hi" in the comment section. (And you can post as "anonymous" and just sign your first name, and not go through any fancy process with blogspot.)

Finally, I want to say that I continue to tolerate the chemo well, and the "sea bands" (see yesterday's post) seem to taking away my unsettled gut feeling and leaving me open for a better appetite. I am still recovering in the nether regions from the stent placement on Friday, but I trust that it will settle down, too. The urologist said he had trouble getting past the place where the ureter was blocked, so I'm really, really glad the procedure is done, and the path of the tumor is blocked instead of the urine.

Today is February 5. In one month and 4 days, my family and I leave for our Caribbean vacation. Sunshine, snorkeling, swimming, and just laying in the sun! Can't wait.


Anonymous said...

Hi Lynne,
Good points today. I'm so glad that you can laugh at some of the stuff going on. Seeing you smiling at church and choir is great.

Beverly Lacey said...

Hi Lynne,
Here's confession time. I often check your blog several times a day just to inflate your site meter numbers! :-)
In reference to yesterday's blog, I've been using Udder Cream for years thanks to Lehman's Hardware Store in Kidron, Ohio. (Remembering all our wonderful visits to Holmes Co. makes me smile!) I had withdrawl when I moved to Virginia, but found a funky little feed store that carries it. Fabulous stuff--chemo or not chemo!
Sending you lots of hugs,

Anonymous said...

wkjpvwurHi Lynne,
Just want to add our names to those that are praying for you.
Maria's parents..Dom and Diane..
And Maria has probably told you that I have completed 30% of my long scheduled treatments. Have surfaced from last week's treatment and anticipate 10 good days before going for next one
Love and God Bless, Diane

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynne,
I've been following your blog since it was featured at the I too am glad that you can laugh at all that goes on. It is a saving grace for many of us. I lost my mom last year to cancer but remember fondly the times that we were able to laugh inspite of it all. I've just finished 6 cylces of chemo for breast cancer myself and am slowly getting my energy (and hair)back. We must laugh when we are not crying. I wish you all the best and thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

It seems reasonable that you've asked us "lurkers" to leave a comment. Thank you for your blog. My husband of 45 years has had a GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumor, a rare soft tissue sarcoma) metastasis. His first surgery was in 1999, when we were told that a canteloupe size tumor was benign. 3 years of follow-up CT scans were ok. But in 2006, he was told that he had a same size GIST mets on his liver. He took the wonder drug, Gleevec, for 8 months and it shrunk his tumor to orange size. In November, he had surgery by Dr. Ronald DeMatteo at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in NYC - right lobe of liver was removed and GIST mets was resected. After a CT scan 1/17/07, he is considered NED. He will take Gleevec unless he develops resistance. GIST almost always returns. You guess when and where. I wish I could focus on the slim possibility of a cure, or even be satisfied with this period of NED. But I can't. It seems to help calm me to read about other people's cancer experiences, including yours. I truly wish you well. We are heading for Florida Wednesday with kids, kids-in-law and 6 grandkids. Surely, that will shake me out of my worries! I'll have my laptop with me, so will check on you.

noone said...

I always check in on you Lynne :) It just depends how tired I am whether I comment or not. Sorry about not commenting more often but {{Hug}}

I agree with you on the laughs too. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynne....How amazing you are to be able to reassure and encourage "US" to just greet you and see the, oddly, funny perspective of cancer! I do check in and read your words daily. In a strange way, I find comfort for you in reading what you've written! And, even if I don't write to you here, I always say,"Hi!" to you in my heart, Lynne! Jamie :o)

Sandy said...

Hi Lynne,
I'm just another one of those daily checkers - saying hi, and offering sincere thanks for the gift of your story and your teaching by example....

love, Sandy

Judy said...

Hi Lynne,
I too check on daily to see how you are doing and enjoy reading what you write. Don't they say laughing is good medicine.
Glad you and your family will be getting away to someplace warm and sunny.
I agree with Sondra seeing you smiling at church and in the choir is great.
Judy R.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lynne,
I have been reading your blog ever since getting your holiday card.
You are amazing with your courage, wisdom, and spirit!
I wish you a miracle!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynne,
I am checking in on you daily, and today I've decided to say "Hi". I also checked the site! I love reading all of the wonderful,loving comments. Just close your eyes and consider all the love,good wishes,thoughts and prayers of all the folks who just check in..... amazing and beautiful, isn't it? Thinking of you with warm thoughts. Maria U.

Anonymous said...

i really like laughing, lynne- and you are one of the best to laugh with !!!!!
if we can't laugh, no matter how grim the situation, we're so done !!!! amd i'm not ready to be done- and neither are you !!!!!
let's keep laughing, friend !!!
and how about that udder cream !!! now that's a hoot !!!
love, alice

Anonymous said...

You've got GROUPIES! All you do is ask people to say "Hi" and look what happens! A regular American Idol!
It's going to be sunny and in the upper 60's here tomorrow. I'll dip my toes in the Gulf of Mexico for you.
Susan H.

Tia said...

Aloha, Lynne,

Yes, I can attest to your sense of humor: Yesterday, after you told me that you had in your home three jugs of Udder Cream and I muttered "No pun intended, I'm sure," you chuckled right along with me.
I've got sticky notes all over my refrigerator with quotes that I like. Two are: "Of all the forms of courage, the ability to laugh is the most profoundly therapeutic," and "Things may be grave, but they need not be serious."
I start my Gemcidibine on Thursday and my Oxalyplatin on Friday, so we can compare side effects. Or lack thereof.
I'm so glad you'll be off to warm, tropical waters next month with your family. That can work wonders.
Mahalo for encouraging your fans to post comments; you got me off my okole.
Take care, fellow GBC friend!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynne, I'm also a lurker. I found your blog when I was searching for info on Gallbladder cancer. He got sick the first time ever on his 49th birthday 6-19-06, then diagnosed 6-26-06. His was aggressive and he passed away 12-22. All through his illness, when we weren't in the hospital, I would check on you, just to make sure you were ok. I admit, I stopped visiting for a while. I was jealous. Your family still had you, but my sons 4 and 6 didnt have their dad. I'm past that lil bit of insanity. I'm glad to see your still well, and that its a slow cancer. Peace to you and for your days ahead. I'll keep checking in on you. Michala

Sarah said...

Hi Lynne,

Scott and I think of you often. I check your blog most days before school. Sending you lots of love!!!


Anonymous said...

Humour is an element that adds spice to life and without which may be life would have been very difficult to spend. But contrary to what many people believe, humour is not all about smiling and laughing, though it caters to these fields mainly. Humour is actually the capability to see the lighter side of life, sometimes even in a serious environment. But this lighter view of life should be done intelligently. Slapstick humour is no humour at all, it is just trash.