Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fine Print

Fine printsmall print, or "mouseprint" is less noticeable print. Smaller than the more obvious larger print, it accompanies, advertises or otherwise describes a commercial product, service, or state of mind.

My fine print is rather bold. It reads:

Chemo, solo, sucks.
Chemo sucks.
Solo sucks.

That's my truth. That's why I haven't posted in weeks.

If I don't spin sunshine and honey out of this debauchery, my reality is difficult to digest. I am your worst nightmare.

Right now, most of what flows from my heart and my head is counterproductive.

Right now, I'm squatting in a vat of self-pity, self-loathing and self-punishment.


I hate the holidays. Always have.

Under the best of circumstances, the pressure to be merry and grateful is exhausting.

I don't like to be told what to do, or how to act, so I resist shopping and forced expressions of gratitude.


They say you lose friends along the way. That your cancer beats them down. I certainly hope that's not true. I need everyone. Every single one of you.


Because, in the past, men have been my drug of choice - I've elected to give them up for a period of one year.  It's harder than I thought. I'm counting down the days (307 remaining).

I need to learn how to love myself. And my love of self has nothing to do with how desirable and irresistible you, with penis, think I am.

Clearly, after 54 years and three failed marriages, I am a slow learner.

What angers me the most are the choices I made that brought me here. And the reality that most of my pain is self-inflicted.


I adored my father.

"Don't look back," my father would say after each of my failed relationships.

And yet here I am, fixated on the rearview mirror.

LOOK ... that's ME ... back when I was healthy. Back when I thought my marriage was strong. Back when my smile said it all.

I don't know for certain who ME is anymore but I know that ME is not my cancer.


xo, MonkeyME
whoever that may be

For a complete list of my ridiculous cancer journey click HERE


  1. I don't sit and wait for your posts in hopes of finding you happy go lucky and full of smiles. I know right now, that wouldn't be true. Cancer sucks and sucks and sucks. And the end of a relationship also sucks.
    I believe you will be happy and smile again. Because underneath everything that feels so awful is still your spirit. And you have a shining spirit....just trust that to be true.
    Okay, now here are a bunch of big hugs....again, all the way from California. HUG HUG HUG HUG.....etc.

  2. There is no deeper knife in the heart than a loved one who couldn't be relied upon in genuine time of great need. I'm sorry you have to work your way through that on top of everything else. It is so very unfair.

  3. I was thrilled to see a new post from you!

    I hate the holidays, too. Oh, and I have learned not to rely on anyone else for physical or psychological support. Supporting yourself is supposed to be harder, but I think it averages out better anyway!

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  5. We probably should be allowed to look in the rearview mirror for just a little while to learn from our past mistakes so we won't make them again. And we should be allowed to look in the rearview mirror to remember our fond "memories".

    It's hard to let to.

    And time away from a man can be an enlightening time of learning "who u really are".

    U have support on this blog. And I hope that u find some joy somewhere in the holidays. I went back to my church that I attended 35-years ago two weeks ago. I feel so connected again. The Salvation Army. Yes--they have churches. I'm learning to get back to the real meaning in life for me.

  6. Oh, Miz Monkey, I am sorry you have to deal with so much suckiness. I hope when you look in the rear-view mirror you see how strong and lovable and love-worthy you were, and then I hope you know that whatever else is true you are lovable and love-worthy right now. Strong, too, although I understand you'd rather not have to be. Sending you hugs and hope.

  7. Love it. Absolutely love it. And don't you DARE spin sunshine OR honey out of your ass. It's been through enough!!



    Oh crap that's not what you said..you said debauchery...but my post isn't funny that way. So...

    Anyway, I love you!!!!!!!

  8. Hey you...

    Life is full of fine print, or so it seems.

    When it is all over and done, I've learned that one really can't rely on brothers, sisters, spouses, kids...

    They will let us down... they will break our hearts...

    When I was married, I was defined by my then~wife... (oh, you're so-n-so's husband... and became so-n-so's ex...)

    Your Dad's wisdom was due to his head start in years on you... we just can't seem to be that objective when it comes to ourselves.

    You are going to be ok, dear...



  9. yes I too hate the holidays and I too had cancer ~two times. (i'm a hog") I so love your honesty. Keep it coming.

  10. Not too sure if I should chime in here. I have some experience with cancer, I am not a huge fan of holidays and their consumerized expressions of socialness, and I completely abhor labels. That said, I think there are many perspectives on everything, and a male perspective is not always bankrupt.

    Rely on all of us, and all of your future friends. Indeed, that is all I ever did.

    Warms regards, Ed

  11. dear Shannon,

    okay baby - I think the time is 'nigh. let me bestow upon your already fabulous word-smithy lexicon - for hated holidays, self-loathing, the suckedness of cancer, alone, and the suckedness of chemo, alone - I give you - ta da! the
    BUCKET OF FUCKEDNESS. it's a mighty, huge vessel, it's bottomless, and perfect for dumping all sorts of mind boggling, barf-inducing feelings and thoughts. anything or anybody you want to let go of - the bucket of fuckedness is your friend. and it doesn't require recycling! HAH!

    and just to let you know - you are way too beyond in wonderfulness to get stuck in any label or definition. you are
    Shannon, you are loved like crazy, over-the-moon loved, you have fairies to do your bidding, for Christ's sakes, and you are not alone. be in whatever place you need to be, know that whatever it is it is as it should be. you will find yourself again, and all who love you will be right beside you to catch you when you fall, to keep you embraced in love and in hope.

    much love and light, warm and gentle hugs,

    Karen, XOXOXOX

  12. Giving up men for a year? So...uh no..shaving? That's good right?

    But in all honesty I loved this post, you are honest just let it all out, it might help with the process of finding oneself.

    Big hugs!

  13. Men are never the answer! I've given up men for life - just ask hubby!
    I tried being weak once - only made me stronger!
    Sending you love and sunshine - it heals all, eventually - because eventually the fighter in you says enough is enough and no matter what the sun does you get up and you move forward and just writing this was your first step in that new direction! Will always be there to support you!

  14. I'm afraid everything I say will seem pointless. Hang in there. When I hear people say that 'cancer' or other illness made them stronger and they were glad they had it, I want to slap them. I didn't need a disease to make me a better person.

  15. nothing wrong with how you feel right now....
    I love that you have not let this cancer define you.

  16. Expressing oneself always helps. Keep writing from the heart - I look forward to your blog posts.

  17. Well thank GAWD!!! Because if you were going to tell me that cancer was a piece of cake, that being single was awesome and that finding yourself was as easy as looking into the mirror, I'd have to get my fat ass in my car, drive through this nasty of a New England rain storm, stalk random people to find where you live and then smack you (flamboyant style) across the face.

    So yeah... I can't moon walk, so I'm still here. And.... I will be... because I'm stubborn like that. :)

  18. Shannon, everything you are feeling is normal. Your body has gone through a lot and your mind/emotions are catching up. Blogging and/or journaling are good ways to release your feelings. I too have been married 3 times. In my younger years, I allowed men to define me. Now I am a cancer survivor. I now shit-in-a-bag and I am ok with that. Cancer will not define me either.

    The holidays have turned into a mindless game of "shopping" in order to buy something for someone we really don't like that much, in order to keep from looking like the Grinch. Its total b.s.

    Cancer taught me to throw that Zombie behavior away and do what I want to do. I don't need a specific date to buy a gift for someone. I can do that anytime. I never liked Thanksgiving! I stopped that nonsense over 20 years ago. No more cooking. No more pre-cleaning and post clean up.

    I went through a period much like what you describe after my treatments were done. You are doing what is called " the examined life". That is something we can all use, but most of us walk through life on auto-pilot -- living life the way others think we should. We are the lucky ones. We got our "a ha!" moment, and we paid attention.

    Keep writing.
    xo Inge

  19. Ah Green Monkey,
    My heart hurts for you. Yes, chemo sucks. Sucks bigger than anything I've ever lived through sucking. In my opinion, it doesn't suck any more because you're alone. Everyone goes through it alone, even if someone is sitting at your side.
    Wishing days of strength to get through this and peace to calm your soul. Sounds good in theory, right?
    Take care of yourself

  20. Hi Shannon! I am in the Philippines, working on our boat, lots of rust but it's still floating. The internet is feeble here and my computer died too, but finally I have managed to get into your blog. Keep trucking, things will, eventually, get better; look, here I am in front of you waving back at you, come on.

  21. Shannon, your writing is so beautiful, no matter what your mood. YOU, the person, comes through loud and clear, and those of us who have known you since before all this unfair *^&^%$# began....we will always be here with you, and for you.
    (P.S. I'm mailing you a copy of my memoir asap. There are many funny parts that I know will make you laugh!)

  22. Thinking of you tonight. Sending along a glass jar of your fairies and a sky full of my clouds - so we can smile together.

    I miss you my friend. And I pray that you are doing better.

    In my heart and on my lips, Janine

  23. Shannon, I have been remiss in my blog reading and am just now seeing this post. (Strangely, my last blog post was entitled "rearview mirroring.") You have so much on that plate of yours. I understand the release of feeling you have to be the strong one. You don't always have to be strong. Place that mantle on someone else for a while. You only ever just need to "be," whatever that is in the moment. I completely and whole-heartedly respect the struggle you are in right now and the place you long to get to. And I respect you for unleashing the negativity that came wrapped in the body of a man you loved. Float that boat and cut that buoy! You, my dear, are the queen of your universe. And you needn't do anything to wear that crown. Just being you; it's all you need! xoxoxo


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

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison