White Noise

When my eyes cracked opened on Independence Day (July 4th) it felt like sand was coating them as my thickened lids dragged against them, a sure indication that tears had been shed the day before in a higher than usual volume. I suppose from the outside looking in that others think I have plenty to cry about and many may even assume that I weep quite often, that below my "Susie Sunshine" exterior lies a despondent girl that does some sobbing in private on a regular basis. Just so you know,this is far from the truth. From the beginning of anal cancer I have rarely cried about it. I have felt plenty of sorrow, for certain, but I decided early on that cancer didn't deserve my tears of sadness. Cancer has gotten it's fair share of waterworks born out of anger, frustration, fear, and dread but self pity has never been the source. This most recent bout of tears came just after getting a pedicure. Not just any pedicure but one with my girlfriends. There are 5 of us in this group. We are tight knit and 2 of them are my besties described in this blog but we are truly a "besties" group and meet once a month for drinks or pedis to celebrate birthdays, up lift each other in the midst of busy work weeks, or just to catch up on our busy lives. This particular occasion was to make sure that I had a proper send off to MD Anderson complete with pedicures and wine. One of my besties ( the one who knew first about my wretched disease) was accompanying me and my husband to MDA for the consultation. She remains the smartest person I know and an emotional stronghold for me. My hubby and I depend on her knowledge a great deal as we make decisions for my care and I am blessed to have her. Anyway, I had been having some, what I like to call "sneak attack", emotions the last few weeks based on the sources described above. We had completed our pedis when it happened. We had consumed a little wine (and pizza - courtesy of the nail salon) and had just finished taking photos of our blue toenails (I got to pick the color...for everybody) and the group with our arms all around each other proclaiming that this proper send off meant great things for me at MDA and that they would have the answers and it was going to be "just fine". I sat down in the waiting area while the standard argument concerning whom was paying for what for whom was well underway. That's when the emotion latched on to me. My other bestie saw it start and leaned in placing her forehead against mine to murmur quiet consolation. "What's wrong?" she asked. "I am so sorry." I sobbed, "To put you all through this. This is such an 'epic fail'." She tried to console me with words of comfort and encouragement, but the helplessness of my ability to change what was coming was clung to my spirit and I just nodded through the tears that would not stop, not believing a word of what she said, my soul refusing the comfort offered. The cleansing had to come via tears and no amount of talking could stymie the onslaught. She just waited there with our foreheads touching until I had been washed clean within and by the time others had noticed my crying it had ceased except for a few shudders that wracked my body intermittently after. We all gathered outside to say goodbye with all my besties offering a warm hug, asking if I was OK to drive and giving me words of encouragement. I managed a smile and walked off to my car for the 30 minute drive across town. "Get a grip!" I ordered myself aloud when I had pulled out of the parking lot and just like a child the tears came after the self spoken admonishment.

I navigated out to the main thoroughfare in Wichita and started cruising toward home when my phone rang. I saw the name of my bestie, Laurie (the one traveling to MDA with us) flash on my screen. At the sound of my voice she knew the melt down was continuing so she started with a question. "Guess what I just saw?" Expecting a story about a strange roadside person in a multicolor wig or something I took the bait and said I didn't know. "A light up billboard that says "Come to MD Anderson for your cancer care!" She went on to say she had never seen it before in our town and this truly was a "good sign". "Thank you for telling me that!" I said and instantly started feeling better. She assured me that I was not a pain in the ass or an epic fail and that she would be there helping me and my family every step of the way. We said goodbye knowing that we were both busy over the holiday weekend. As I closed the distance between downtown and my home I felt lighter than I had in a week. When I pulled in the driveway I my mantra that my sissy and I had used during my last treatments started playing in the back of mind over and over. "It's going to be okay, no matter what." It's my white noise :)

Helen Marshall threw a punch at your cancer.
3 people sent you a hug.
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Sometimes when I get down and it spills over into nagging my husband about something I will say "Just because I HAD a pain in the ass does not mean I AM a pain in the ass!" :) I am SO glad your besties understand this and are giving you as much comfort and support as they can. I am slightly in awe of that, as my closest besties are hundreds of miles away. I haven't shed many tears of "why me" or "poor me" either. But yes, I've been plenty pissed off and frustrated in the last 5 years and the flood gates have opened on occasion. That sign was there for you, Michelle. There are answers to be found yet. Keep seeking them. It is going to be okay. Love to you, my friend.
Betsy likes this comment
I love your story about your best girlfriends and how they support you. Husbands are great, don't get me wrong, but girlfriends just "get it". You have a wonderful support system. I am glad there is always someone will remind you that "It's going to be okay, no matter what", because it is. I think the sign was a definite "sign". Smile and believe it. Hugs, Linda
Betsy likes this comment
excerpted from an article in the houston chronicle, you are in great hands michele! "M.D. Anderson Cancer Center took its share of hits the past year, but they apparently did no damage to its reputation. The University of Texas research hospital again finished as the nation’s best hospital for cancer care in U.S. News & World Report’s annual hospital rankings out Tuesday. The hospital has now held the No. 1 spot for the last seven years and 10 of the last 12." OD@aT tj
Smurf likes this comment
What wonderful friends you have. I am so glad that you were able to have a cathartic cry and they were there to support you. My sisterinlaw and brother inlaw live in Houston and have nothing but wonderful things to say about MD Anderson. You will be in good hands!
Michele, I read your post and my first thought was she will be OK no matter what.I also thought the sign was a visual for you reminding you that you are not alone. you are not treading water, you are being held so you can rest. You have a great support group and I truly believe they bring us through. I am sending big hug and prayers to you.
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January 31, 1963 - June 10, 2020

Vital Info


October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

June 10

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. http://tinyurl.com/72bjjfp


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