The Ultimate Time Bandit

As many of you know a few weekends ago I made a fabulous trip to Las Vegas with my Besties. The trip was like none other I'd ever had as it was just me and "the girls". I had never really treated myself to such an adventure. I had an incredible time! We went to resort spa that first day, capped off with the Thunder Down Under and I felt like I was in my 20s again. The next night we went to Menopause the Musical as a sort of "counter balance" to the male review and when we partied until well after midnight at Club LAX I was reminded of 2 things. First, this ol' girl can still party with the best of them and second, I should really stick to my bedtime of 9:30! It was a wonderful time and I came home tired, happy and reminded that I need to treat myself now and then and that life is so good and made for living. Monday it was back to work and Tuesday we had lunch planned with a customer. She is more than just a customer, I count her as a friend and know that she has been praying for me the last 3 years. Anyway, I picked her up at 11 and headed over to the local steak house to meet my Bestie and business partner for lunch. We all hadn't been together for a while so we spent a great deal of the time catching up on "the drama" in our lives. Me with my cancer recurrence, my Bestie with her recent family members close call in an accident and my friend updated us on her life as well. She is going to be a grandmother (x2) this year and it wsn't hard to tell how excited she was. Since my bestie is going to also enter those ranks it wasn't long before they were both gushing and talking "grand babies". I just smiled and listened. I am so happy for them both. Suddenly my friend turned to me and said, so tell me about how your children are doing. I updated her on everybody's current life and we enjoyed the rest of our lunch in pleasant conversation with a bit of business sprinkled in for good measure. After we said goodbye to my bestie she climbed in the front of my car for me to run her back to work. She turned to me and said "Michele, I really need to apologize to you." I was puzzled and must have expressed that on my face. "It was thoughtless of me to go on and on about being a grandmother when you aren't even sure you will get to see your children get married." I assured her that she was not even remotely thoughtless and I had built a bridge and gotten over it months ago, no, 3 years ago. "I stopped worrying about things like that a long time ago." I told her and said not to give it a second thought. We stopped for a quick coffee and then hugged goodbye when she stepped out of car at the front of the hospital. I, of course, gave it more than a "second thought" on my drive home. What I told her was true. I am not saying that I don't get a pang of envy now and then when I see my girlfriends becoming grandmothers because that would be a lie. But I just don't dwell on it too much. When you have cancer, or any life shortening illness for that matter, this can cause you to dwell on what your disease may rob of you. I liken this to looking in the Mirror of Erised. You know, from the Harry Potter story. Harry finds the mirror in a room and sees in it his dead parents standing with him, putting their arms around him and smiling. His friend Ron sees himself winning a sports trophy when he looks in it. The mirror is "enchanted" to show you the desire (thus the name erised backwards) of your heart. The lesson, of course, is that you could spend hours gazing at something you may never get and thus waste your entire life. Harry's parents are dead but it is still his deepest desire to be with them. His desire won't bring them back to life even in the magic of his world. My point is this. I have cancer and the mirror I look in is one that reflects me today in the here and now. When I look I see my soul laid bare with a hope to live in the present. I can't waste any time (or worse, emotional energy) on what may never be. I have to stay in the present because this is where the action is and I can have ALL of it! "Right now" is mine for the taking and I am sucking it dry. My plan is to "run like I stole it" and never look back, because when my story is over everyone will know that I have been the ultimate time bandit!
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Michele, I know what you are saying. Everyone is less one day of time at the stroke of midnight. We wouldn't be human if an occasional "what if" didn't cross our mind. So, let's enjoy this life of ours while we can and be grateful for every single minute. Ron
Deborah likes this comment
Many religions and philosophies effectively remind us to live today as if it were our last day. Yet that's a tough prescription to take when you think it really may be your last day. So, hats off to you, Michelle, the Time Bandit. Take what is yours.
Michele, Deborah like this comment
Well said Michelle .. a lesson is written there for every mortal. Time is indeed the fire in which we burn - let yours burn brightly ! xx
I can only hold out my arms to hug you Michele. How wise you are. Much love...
Michele That is one of the coolest things I ever read. Its like magic. I feel like I was touched by a great spirit and I admire you so much. hugs and love and thankyou. your awesome! Sabina:)
Thank you...I think I am blushing. You are too kind!
Love the reference to Harry Potter! Those books and movies were truly "magical" in terms of allowing me to escape the present for a little while when going through chemo. I will quote the also good 'Game of Thrones' series back at you: Serio, dancing/swordfighting coach to Arya Stark advises her on Death, "There is only thing we say to Death. Not today!" I hope you keep enjoying every today! Take care.
Michele, Lisa like this comment
This touches me deeply and reminds me of a recent quote I saw by Lao Tzu “ If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present. ” The only thing any of us controls is the present, therefore peace is found there. I wish everyone peace in their fight against cancer. Live happy and with joy!
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your story hit home and reminded me of my old friend lori that lost her battle last summer. she was one of the first i contacted when diagnosed and the main thing she drilled into me was to take life one day at a time, enjoy it and be thankful for everything you have in the moment. OD@aT
I love this post, Michele! I knew I would never be a grandmother even before cancer, so it's a little hard for me to relate to that. However, I have many friends who are retiring, going on trips to foreign lands that I would also like to see, building retirement homes, etc. I often wonder if I will ever get to travel or downsize--or will I remain land locked in Georgia in a big house I hate to clean? Then I smack myself and remind myself that I am so very fortunate--to be here, to have a home, and have very normal days. Things could be much worse! I love you, my dear friend!
Michele likes this comment
10 seconds is 1000 years, 1000 years is 10 seconds! And you and I will enjoy our next 1000 years here on earth many times over, many! God Bless you Michele...
Michele likes this comment
Michele, reading some of your posts. Love the way you express yourself and find it to be simply inspirational.. Thanks and Bless you.. Kevin
I am a my entry below. I will eventually figure out how to use all the sites I am on lol!
Kevin, I read your profile today. You needn't feel alone. I had never heard of butt cancer either, but here I am with it and defying its sickening odds! I will keep you in prayer as you start your chemo. You can message me anytime. Kind regards, M
Kevin likes this comment
Hey Michele, you know it doesn't matter what type of cancer we have. Once you have it, it then seems like you have heard of it your entire life, for then you can't go a day with out the name on your mind .. No I don't feel alone since finding this wonderful site, full of kind and compassionate souls. Thanks for the kind words, prayers and the same to you. Love your sarcasm, it fits you well.. Kevin
Ops, sorry. Ment to say SARCASM AND SENSE OF HUMOR.....
I think we have to try and make the most of every day - even if it is just a normal "every day". While we are fit and well we have to carry on. HAPPY BIRTHDAY for tomorrow - See another year past Hugs Annabelle
Thank you! Turning 50 is on my bucket list!
Love this Michele! Recently I was feeling quite alone and searching for a cancer blog to find a place to fit in. My family is doing their best to understand me, but I needed to find a group of people who really understood what was going on. Your comments about grandchildren really hit home - I am hoping to see my youngest graduate from high school because I don't think any kid should go through high school without a mom. So here's to not worrying about things we may not have and being grateful for those we do have - cheers my friend and thank you for you post!
I too had hopes to see my youngest graduate from high school and I made it! Now I've seen 2 graduate from college and hope to see my youngest graduate from college now. I will be 50 tomorrow...and they said it wouldn't happen :) 3 years strong from diagnosis!! Hugs, Michele
Just stopped by to say hi.
Michele likes this comment
Last night I was jolted out of sleep to a tornado alert. 8 tornados touched down near where I live. I once again felt the powerlessness and fragility of life. Thankful to be here today to write this - who knows who will become grandparents. I am will you enjoy today
Michele likes this comment
And Now, Don't Look Back - another year has passed! Have a great day!!!
I soooooo agree with you Michele. Keep on keeping on! What a fabulous blog...
You are a beautiful writer and you have expressed 'exactly' how I feel about cancer in our lives. I have spent my share of hours agonizing into that mirror, until a very wise friend reminded me that I was missing the here and now. Thank you for your beautiful reminder. You are a wise soul...and THE ultimate time bandit ! Hugs and Healing Light
and the next time you come to Vegas you must give me a call, as I live 5 miles off the Strip.
Michele likes this comment
Will do! The chances of me returning to Vegas are pretty high, so it could happen!
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Vital Info


October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3


As much as possible

Proceeds from my published blog donated monthly

It is a thief

You have to live every day of your life and stay positive :)

Donate $$ to the anal cancer foundation. Raising awareness saves lives!

Is there anything good about poison?

Bone, lung recurrence 9/20/2012

Cancer Center of Kansas, MD Anderson

Bland diet, sitz baths, take your drugs...nobody gets extra credit for suffering.

Talk, talk, talk to somebody. I chose to write.

April 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

Rectal bleeding, itching, sciatic pain. (thought my hemorhoid was acting up)

My blog has been published and proceeds go to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation.


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