You fix you

“You fix you”

These words hit me square in the face.  Who is this person to tell me to fix myself?  What do they know?

A year ago today (April 12) I became a little lighter on one side. The cancer roller coaster had begun and I had a prime seat.

What wasn’t really written about in the original blog post was an interaction between myself and a volunteer coordinator at the American Cancer Society.

I remember soon after the chemo effects had simmered down, that I wanted to get out and share my story to anyone who would listen.  I wanted to get involved and say to folks, “You don’t have to be scared alone.  You don’t have to be anxious alone.  You don’t have to go through this alone.”

I am one of the lucky ones who has great family, friends, colleagues, and students who were nothing but supportive.  But I know not everyone is so lucky.

That bothers me.  No one should be scared alone.  No one should be anxious alone.  No one should have to go through this alone.

One day, sometime last year in the summertime, I met with a volunteer coordinator at the local American Cancer Society.  I had the Spain charm primed to 11 and was ready to be sent wherever was needed.  She chatted with me for a few minutes about my cancer journey and then said to me…

“You fix you first.  Then we’ll see about getting you involved.”

“Say what?  Ma’am I am a-ok.  You don’t know me.  It’s go time.  Point in a direction.  Any direction.  Fix me?  Yea.  Ok.” was exactly what I said in my head as a response.

Out of my mouth came, “Ahhh.  Sure.  Ok.  Gotcha.”

It’s now been a year and how right she was.  Time was needed to put my physical life back together and my mental life back together.  It worked.

In my New Year’s blog post, I spoke about how my mom is encouraging me to live life with gusto.  That gusto, combined with some random resolutions has really made 2014 interesting so far.  A quick update on the resolutions:

1) Run a 5K- Thanks to Couch to 5K, well on the way.  Almost done with the program.  Probably would have been easier if I didn’t eat everything in sight post cancer fixing process, but the weight is progressively getting better.
2) To end a raucous speech with my hand gesturing towards the sky- Spoiler alert!  This will be accomplished April 25th at RPI’s Relay for Life.  My tiny request for support.
3) Get back on the darn stage- Working on it.  I semi-accomplished this by being asked to be the RPI Basketball Public Address Announcer but it wasn’t technically the stage.  It will happen though.
4) Travel-  Saving the coin.  Keeping an eye out for good deals.  Probably going the solo traveller route.
5) Learn how to pick out Men’s Shoes- Ahhhhh… nope.
6) Finish one of the six-ish scripts that I started- Semi-accomplished.  During some recent work with RPI Orientation, we came up with an idea to have students create small videos that would get them thinking about college.  Some in the room thought that we should create one as an example.  So I drew up scripts for two possible videos:

School Supply Take 1.pdf

School Supply Take 2.pdf

I’ve still got time to finish one of the big ones.  I’m making progress!

7) Road trip to a random place in the Northeast- My original idea was to put a map on a spinning dart board and drive to wherever my dart landed.  Do you know how hard it is to find a spinning dart board?  I probably could have built something but being the techie that I am, I turned to the Internet.  So that you don’t think I’m cheating, here are the screenshots from when I did it:


Thanks Random Point Generator!

Thanks Random Point Generator!


Looks like I’m headed to Long Island!  There will be a pics and blog post after I get there this summer.

8) Learn to play guitar- Thanks to some friends in town from Quincy and some other resources, I’m on my way to rocking out on a guitar:-)



The cancer journey continues for me in a positive way.  But for many, it is a challenging and troublesome road.  I feel lucky and blessed to have you readers take the time to just read briefly about my journey and all those who’ve called, texted, emailed, or voiced out loud words of support and encouragement.  This year may have been physically lighter on one side but it is not because of the removal of this tiny piece of my body, it is lighter because many of you have reached out to help lighten the load.  The laughs, the stories, the high fives, the love, the hugs, the notes, the smiles… all the efforts to check in do not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

From the bottom of my heart, thanks…


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