Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Those of us who have had the amazing gift and grace to be parents will remember car trips with our kids. We once had a ginormous van with bucket seats, individual lights, heat, and air-conditioning controls front and back seats--perfect for long trips. But despite the luxury I remember the dreaded phrase, "Are we THERE yet? How much longer? I have to pee. I need a new action figure, I'm hungry."

I would hand out books to read, snack bars, and sometimes throw little riddles written on scraps of paper rolled up in an old film container to my kids in the back. Wonderful days. Tiring days. Days when you shoveled everyone into bed, hoping you hadn't damaged their tiny psyches for life and longing for the oblivion of bed.

But now I am in the "Recovery" stage from cancer; from 3 separate kinds (in case you are interested), 2 cancer surgeries (in case you want to know,) and many months of chemo--carbo/taxol (in case you are interested).  Things are better, no question about it. I am not kvetching about where I am now. Far from it. I am grateful for: the marvelous medical treatment I received; the support of friends, family, and faith community; the love of my dog; the beauty outside our decks; God's love; and the fact that I am upright, walking around, and still cooking and praying, two of my favorite activities. Outside of sex and talking with my honey. 

But here's the thing--I am an impatient broad, and I want it to be OVER already. I am so done with fatigue, wobbly legs, foggy brain, strange hair, and the sense that my life is still on hold until I know if the cancer is really gone.  I feel like someone who has begun a conversation on the phone when suddenly a voice interrupts, "Can you please hold?" I am on hold, waiting for someone to pick up the phone and resume the conversation. I realize I am mixing my metaphors here, but I have chemo brain.  I have a free Hall Pass for the next, oh, two years, maybe five.

I had lunch recently with a close woman friend who is recovering from major surgery who complained, "I can't believe I still have to take naps. I get so tired. I can't even grocery shop." I get it.

We both want to be beyond the recovery stage. We want our old lives back, whatever that means. I'd like to take up running again, but suspect that won't happen. I'd like to think about writing a book about cancer and tarting up my blog, but I don't have the spoons for it yet. (Remember:  My friend would like to go for long walks on the bike path, make luscious dinners, sing in the church choir, and generally have way more energy and strength.

Me too.  I am like my kids from long ago, waiting restlessly in the back seat, kicking my heels and sucking up the dregs of
my Micky D's pepsi, asking, "Are we there yet? When will we be THERE?"

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


No, that is not World War II. Though in some ways, I wish it were. Because then we would be talking about bravery, courage, sacrifice, and friendships that survive catastrophe.

No, I am talking about Weight Watchers. Every 3-4 years, I decide that I weigh too much, that my stomach is pooching on out, and it is time to get serious about losing weight.  No one knows I do this except for my best woman friend and my husband, both of whom say--"You are fine as you are, don't worry!" But I do. Because I am am a 1950s-60s broad who grew up with an insane idea of female beauty. I thought I should look like Ginger Rogers, wearing a swirling dress, high heels, and dancing about the room with the seriously cool Fred Astaire.

So--despite surgeries and cancer--I think my body needs to be whipped into shape. Steroids will do that to you.

Alors, I rejoined Weight Watchers, but this time using the Online Plus, because I hate, loathe, and cringe at WW meetings. Simply awful. Kind of like AA meetings without the bad coffee and cigarettes. Just with all the expensive WW food they try to sell you and the insanely cheerful leader who has lost 100 pounds. God bless 'em, but I will avoid the meetings.

I signed up, full of anticipation, resolution, and a kind of shaky courage. THIS time I will do it right. THIS time I shall lose the 6+ pounds I have accumulated, like a bad Federal loan debt. With this new system I find it is fun typing in the points for the food I eat; then registering the steps I've taken during the day, as I have a Fitbit 2 which tracks my steps, even in the shower, saints preserve us!

All goes swimmingly for the first month or so. I lose about 3 pounds and feel virtuous and sanctified.  Then I begin to waffle--cheating on the amount of Smart Points I log in (that mouthful of granola surely doesn't count...), minimizing the count for mini muffins I bake at home. (Turns out, you have to use THEIR recipes if you want to put in 2 points for mini muffins. Mine classify as being soaked in vodka or something, as I stir in granola, nuts, raisins, and all kinds of goodies. They are "mini" only in my imagination.)

The next steps is to start cheating on the Smart Points for my wine at night. I have even ordered--at great expense--little wine glasses with lines incised on them from WW, so I will know how many ounces I have consumed.

God save us, the whole  point of drinking wine is to enjoy and become mellow as you eat fabulous food. So I log

8 points for 2 glasses of 5 ounces of wine, but I suspect I am fooling no one but myself. Or, as my husband gaily puts in, "You are seeing other calories."

Do ya think this is why my weight stays stubbornly at 143.3?  Sigh. I either need to get way more serious about this (1 glass of wine, 1, 1, 1) or give it up, even though I've paid for 3 months of WW. It is a struggle, and I wish it weren't, but here I am once again--a WW fail.