Thursday, May 30, 2013

Off to See the Wizard




Well, that didn't work out as planned. I'm not sure which one of you dropped the Love and Light ball (I'm almost certain it was a cousin on my mother's side), but please know that I forgive you (everyone but my cousin on my mother's side).

Yesterday, after an endoscopic ultrasound (aka more ass probing, this time with colored pictures), I was diagnosed with a T3 tumor. This is not the news I was hoping for. As soon I heard the words come out of the doctors mouth I knew my 5 year survival rate went down 37%.

FUCK CANCER!!!  Fuck, Fuck, Fuck FUCK CANCER!!! 


Speaking of FUCK CANCER, did you know that 90% of all cancers are curable if caught in Stage One. I was poised to do some major fundraising for Lets Fuck Cancer, thinking I could be the poster child for early detection, until I discovered my wrecked-tail cancer. Even so, this is a great organization - 100% MONKEY endorsed - so please take a moment to check them out. 

fuck cancer, fuck cancer, fuck cancer
(deep breath)

In a personal essay I wrote titled, Kerry's Wallet - a futile attempt at understanding the circumstances surrounding my son's death - I relay the contents of his wallet.

Late last night, between tears and screams and lip lined bowls of wine, I felt compelled to clear out mine.

In the center pocket of my wallet, pressed between old sales receipts and wilted business cards, was a half-folded, yellow sticky note. Written on it was the name, "Dr. Felice Zwas."

It was November of 2011 when my gynecologist, Dr. Donna Hagberg handed me that sticky note and said, "don't put it off." I remember thinking, "Zwas sounds like Oz, how bad can it be?" so I made the appointment for my first colonoscopy (syrupy Seuss rhyme alert).

Unfortunately, I was hyper-vigilant that day and also made an appointment for my yearly mammogram and we all know how that turned out.

14 months, and 7 surgeries later, I finally visit the great and powerful Zwas and the trip is not so sweet.

This time it's not self contained. This time it is not two, dried up udders being chopping off. This time I'll be losing something functional and necessary. (notice how angry I am)

What lesson did I miss from my breast cancer? I understand that I am here to learn and grow. I understand that adversity is my greatest opportunity for growth. I understand that I signed up for all this before touching down. So what piece of the puzzle am I missing??? (That is a trick question... don't answer it. You know I hate being told what to do and you know I have to figure it out for myself.)

I know, I know, I know I am strong, I can take it. But even so, I must confess, I spent the past week trying to figure a way out of this mess. (why is everything rhyming?)

What's next...

Two more opinions. One in the city at Memorial Sloan Kettering. God, how I hate the thought of going there but if you're unlucky enough to have cancer, and you want to live, it's hard to avoid.

The other opinion is a local doctor who is well respected.

I'm getting hugs, and tears, and even a few appropriately placed kisses from doctors and nurses who are compassionate and sincerely concerned. I find this extremely comforting. I like to make them laugh and I have a slew of one line ass jokes that I practice on them. Making them laugh helps me feel less vulnerable, less humiliated. Besides, I'm hoping my twisted sense of humor reminds them that I am human.

I love you all. 
Please keep your love light flowing.

If you don't give up on me, I won't give up on me.

xo, MonkeyME








37 comments:

  1. I will never give up on you. Nothing I say can express what I feel, so I'll leave it at that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Myrna! I know I can count on you :)

      Delete
  2. oh, shannon

    WTF??? i am so fucking mad that this is happening to you. IT IS NOT FAIR. as soon as i can rid my mind of the piss-offedness - no - right now! - i will send you the most huge, shining hope and waves and waves of love to enfold you, and keep the light shining. please know that i will hold you close to my heart and i will never give up on you. i am glad you have laughter and the slew of one line ass jokes to lighten things up with the doctors and nurses - i just wish i could give you a few of those hugs and kisses to comfort you. i can't reach through this screen to you, but i can send them winging onwards towards your sweet heart - i hope you can feel them.

    love, XOXO,

    karen, TC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do! I feel them!!! thank you karen

      Delete
  3. Shannon, I'm almost wordless.I am SO ANGRY FOR YOU! Why? Why? Why? Why should ONE person have to go through so much?? You are the strongest person I know...so you WILL get through this, just like all the other "challenges" thrown your way. I am not giving up on you!! Therefore, you know what that means! You just wrote it! I'm sending my love light to you....Big Hugs...and shoulders if you need them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Becky, I owe you a long email. I've moved from anger to intense sadness. The most important thing I have on my side is love. thanks for always being such a strong force. xoxo

      Delete
  4. I am so very sorry for everything you are going through-AGAIN-this just sucks big time! I have been saying prayers for you since I found out and any other force that will listen. Call me if you want to talk.

    ReplyDelete
  5. U know that I will definitely be thinking of u a lot. I don't have to say it ur are at the number one spot of my prayer list. What am I praying for? "Complete and total healing."

    I hope this doesn't sound selfish but please please please please please keep us up-to-date. It's a lot to ask. If I lived near u, I would come visit u and hold ur hand and sit with u through out this but atlas I'm not so I spiritually will be with u.

    I'm sorry Green Monkey. So so so sorry. But please do not give up hope and faith.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm worried about keeping everyone up to date. My reality is just to painful. There are intense moments during these digestion days, that my sadness is so overwhelming I find it hard to breath. All I can do is cry. I had to pull the car over yesterday and cried for about 10 minutes straight. I can't accept any aspect of this - the surgery, the colostomy bag, the side effects, the shortened life span, etc...

      Delete
  6. I will never ever give up on you, sweetie...

    Never...

    Ever...

    *sighs*

    Big Huggles...

    Always...

    ~shoes~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ditto. A thousand times, ditto.


      xoxoxoxox

      MG

      Delete
    2. shoes and monkey gurl huggles and x's and o's and faith.... what a great combination

      Delete
  7. My late husband had a cancer with an 85% cure rate....and he fell into the 15%. I believe it doesn't matter the odds, it just matters about you, individually. We are here on our own journeys, to learn what we're supposed to. We don't get to decide what those lessons are going to be, which kinda sucks. But that's the way the universe works. We are all here as long as we're supposed to be and then we move on. I don't know why my stepson's life was cut short, you don't know why your son's life was cut short. Maybe someday we will understand. I don't know you personally, face to face, but I am very happy our paths have crossed. You will fight, we will all support you in your fight because you are very special, very important, and you have a very strong spirit. I hate this, I hate cancer. Thank you for sharing your most vulnerable self with all of us. BIG BIG BIG HUGS all the way from California:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh Denise! big (((((((HUG))))))))) to you as well. Above all, I just want to make certain I learn my lessons otherwise I'll have to repeat them in the next life. Thank you for your strength and your support! It really helps me

      Delete
  8. I know you understand these things (opportunity for growth, adversity, blah, blah...) I get it. I also get why you are so pissed, because if you can not tell from the pounding of my keys, I am beyond pissed. (Tony calls them my angry fingers) But what I can't understand is this...

    "between tears and screams and lip lined bowls of wine"

    Why the hell dirty a bowl darlin'??? Drink the wine straight from the bottle. You've EARNED it. :)

    Lots of huggles and all ditto what Shoes said.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sending you love and support, hugs and all the good vibes, I can get out into the universe! You are a real blessing, and God is using you in this Thank you!

      Delete
    2. thank you Yolanda!!!! I sooo appreciate your support!

      Delete
  10. Get the cousin on board, and we'll make a love and light laser beam, and if any of it goes astray, I'll reflect it with my silver ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. nothing can beat reflected silver beams of love and light!!!

      Delete
  11. You have every right to be angry, Shannon, as well as puzzled and resentful and anything else that comes along. I'm glad to hear that you are finding some empathetic and humane doctors and nurses. And I continue to send all the positive energy I can muster!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sort of move from shocked to angry, to tearful, to joyful. I'm feeling very unstable. thank you so much for the positive energy Blissed!

      Delete
  12. Fuck! But there is always hope. Bighugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HOPE is something I really need to focus on! Thank you Caroline!

      Delete
  13. I rescheduled both my mammo and colonoscopy today, which I cancelled last month when I got sick then Spunki got sick and passed away. Again, it does just suck and I keep you on mind throughout the days and know that your spirited self will kick this in the, well I'll say balls in this case!I hope all is well w/Mark and the doggies and kitties..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. glad to hear you rescheduled your mammo and colonoscopy. wishing you clean results!

      Delete
  14. Oh Shannon... I decided - quite spontaneously this afternoon - to return to blogging, and so I am making the rounds. I am so sad (and angry for/with you) to learn this news. Your spirit is SO remarkable. It's unmatched. And I remember that post about Kerry's wallet... So, although I've missed your news for the past year+, I've been on the love train, thinking of you often and hoping you were okay. I'm sorry I didn't drop by, but know that now, I am sending every positive thought I can possibly send in your direction. The world needs you, woman! Big love, Katie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh Katie, I have been thinking about you and I'm so glad you stopped by. I wish I had one of my silly posts up. Life sure is crazy... I have often said that I think so much of what happens to me happens so that I have something to write about. I should stop saying that. I hope you are well. BIG LOVE BACK, Shannon

      Delete
  15. Shannon, I'll never give up on you! Nope. Not eva.
    PS I am angry at the news you received. I am glad you are seeking other opinions. You will know the right path after those meetings. Please keep us posted, even if only with a sentence as a post. We are all pulling for you, praying for you, and in your pocket.
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Renn, I'm sort of staying away from the breastcancer discussion boards. I don't want to add fear into women who are already dealing with their cancer. thank you again, for your post and for your continued support. it means everything to me!!! xoxox

      Delete
  16. So sorry to hear this... Sending love and light from California. And a really big hug.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. west coast hugs, love and light gain strength as they shoot from west to east.

      Delete
  17. Shannon so wrapped up in my life long goal of survival that I didn't see this till now...my soul hurts to read this...if you have had any kind of life like mine I am sure you have had days that were worth a month of years like the last few a fair price...I have hundreds...but it is in times like these it is hard to remember that...one night many years ago a friend from afar dropped some doses on me and I had a journey to last a thousand lives, I go there and many places like it when things


    Wander

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. soooo glad you are out there Wander!

      Delete
  18. Could never give up on a monkey. Especially a green one!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing
greenmonkeytales@live.com

Shannon E. Kennedy

***

Photo by Joan Harrison