It's with a very heavy heart that I write today. An author who inspired me to keep following my dreams with all four of my pen names and continue self publishing with Sassy Vixen, left the world this week.
Brit Blaise (aka Judi Thoman) fought cancer and won the first time it entered her life, but the second time blindsided her. She fought hard and soldiered on during the battle, continuing to write and share the posts of other authors through social media. Finally her body could take no more and she moved on to the next chapter. Now she's free of the pain and never has to battle fucking cancer again.
Sorry. Normally I don't let the swear words fly on this blog but I'm pissed. It's not fair someone can win their battle against breast cancer only to have it thumb it's nose at her and come back with a vengeance. It seems to me there are more than enough people for this nasty group of vicious killers to attack. Why does it have to go for seconds or even thirds?
I know that sounds morbid and that if it wasn't Brit, someone else would be attacked. Well why not some of these evil shits who take great pleasure in causing others grief? Why does Cancer have to bulldoze it's way into the lives of caring, loving, people?
Where is Karma? When someone gives so much back to her peers why did she have to go out this way? Where was her reward for paying it forward and reminding people to live every day as if it could be their last and follow their dreams wherever they may lead? Where is her kudos for going through hell and back the first time?
Losing Brit has brought back so many of the memories and emotions I went through losing my dad in 2005 to Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He braved through EIGHTEEN rounds of chemo and the original tumors continued to grow. He did everything right. He quit smoking nearly thirty years before his diagnosis. He was physically fit, a retired Marine, and worked for the local police department. At the same time he developed his own company and traveled for speaking engagements. He was the last person you would think cancer would strike down...
A year after his death, my uncle (Dad's brother) was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. Our family had to go through it all over again, but this time the cancer was knocked back and my uncle is still in remission.
I have had a lump in my breast for several years now. I've had it checked out multiple times and it remains benign. The last mammogram confirmed it too. My doctor has suggested additional testing for myself and my other family members since there is breast cancer and others on both sides of the family. Up until now I've been reluctant to pursue it. With the loss of Brit and several other author friends dealing with various types of cancer, I've changed my mind.
I've finally found my happily ever after with my husband Liam and I'll be damned if I'm going to miss out on any moment of it because I'm too scared to find out the full extent of my health issues. I owe it to him to be tested and more importantly, I owe it to myself not to be cheated out of my life because I waited too long to be diagnosed. I'm setting up my doctor appointments for the coming weeks and taking charge of my life. Enough hiding!
Until next time,
~"The Fat Chick"
Hi Ho! The Fat Chick is back and ready to share more of her crazy ass journey through life after forty. For those of you just joining us, thank you! This is a little feature where I share my journey through all the bumps and briars of my life now that I'm in my late forties. Don't get me wrong. I love my age but there are some things that happen to all women in this age bracket that are just too damn funny to pass up talking about. Of course there are some things hard to get through for all of us and I hope that by sharing my story, the journey of others is a little bit lighter.
This time I'd like to talk about conquering long held fears. I have many and some are pretty mild. This one is quite debilitating. I have a fear of drowning. I can swim, fish from a boat and go over short little bridges without a problem but put me on a long spanning suspension bridge or on a...ferry...and I turn into a blubbering bag of flesh and bones.
Part of my job requires that I travel throughout the Seattle region to work at various veterinary hospitals. The best routes to one of them require a ride on one of the Washington ferries or drive 90 miles around. The first time I worked there, I did drive around. I wasn't ready to get on that ferry no matter what anyone said to me. Last week, I tackled it with my husband at the wheel.
It wasn't pretty.
I shook and cried and yes tossed my cookies. So many people offered me remedies for my nausea and sea sickness. Problem is, I don't suffer from sea sickness and the nausea had nothing to do with being around the water. What they were witnessing me experience was a full blown anxiety attack.
Dramamine doesn't help that. Meditation doesn't help me for it. Getting drunk off my ass doesn't help either although it would be perfect if it did. Just kidding! (maybe) The only tried and true way for me to get through it is to experience it over and over again. This is a process called flooding.
By going through it repeatedly, step by step, my brain can process it all and analyze it. The unknown is held at bay and my mind is occupied with getting through each step. The thoughts of the ferry going down and me being trapped in my car in the center of it, unable to get out stop running on a loop in my brain. The return trip only set me shaking. No vomiting. Yay me!
Today was the big test. I had to make the trip alone. I have to work at this hospital again tomorrow and by traveling over tonight, I stay at a local hotel so I can be there ready to rock and roll at 7am. My dislike of mornings is topic for another day, let's just say there was no way in hell I would make it up and over here in time if I had to drive in the morning for this shift.
What happened? Nothing but a little stomach butterflies. I purchased my ticket and parked in the waiting area. Within fifteen minutes we were moving. They directed me where to go and I ended up in full few of the front and the water. So cool! I waited a few minutes to be sure I wasn't going to go postal and then got out of the car. I made my way to the galley and got myself a hot pretzel and a Dr. Pepper to celebrate.
I did it! I made it through the whole process without any freaking out. No vomiting. No visions of the water rushing around me and into my car while I struggle to fill my lungs with enough air to be able to swim to the surface...
ohhhhhh...damn it...Just kidding! None of that happened today. Whew!
Here I sit on my little Netbook writing this post and smiling. I made it through one more trip and survived. Day after tomorrow I have to make the return trip bright and early so I can be back in time for a 9am shift at another hospital. As long as I have my plan of action, I think I'll be fine. Just in case, I'm going to take the advice of one of my friends.
Since my fear is being in the middle of the ferry, trapped in my car while the thing sinks, she told me to get my butt to the top of the ferry. Let the insurance replace the car. If the ferry goes down, I'll be on the sun deck and the first off that bad boy!
Until next time,
~The Fat Chick