Thursday, January 28, 2010

Of Exhalation and Exhilaration

"Breathe. Breathe. Breathe."

Of all the advice I received over the course of the past week as to how to make it through yesterday, that is the only one I could remember.

"Breathe. Breathe. Breathe."

I couldn't always remember how to do it. Which could have been a problem. But those words would pop into my head:

"Breathe. Breathe. Breathe."

And I would.

"Breathe. Breathe. Breathe."

Earnest meditations would form on my lips, only to fade into nonsense thoughts. Prayers I have recited with fervent faith — prayers with words that I know as well as I know my own name — were stumbling around inside of me, unfinished.

"Breathe. Breathe. Breathe."

Yesterday was Mr. J's second post-chemo scan. Scan one was conducted about a month after treatment ended, in order to give his body time to begin to recover from the poisonous drip, and it was all-clear. Which was a relief. Because if any little cancer buggers had managed to grow while those hideous chemicals were killing off every other cell — well, that'd be more than scary.

So. Team Wedding made a promise. We would not live scan-to-scan. We would not live in constant fear about what rogue cells may have escaped Samuel L. Chemo. We would be grateful, hopeful — and keep looking forward.

That didn't mean we weren't — and aren't — wary. We'd be foolish not to be. Germs were not — and still are not — our friend. And to those of you who can't understand this, I have one word for you:

POISON. P-O-I-S-O-N. Poy-suhn.

When you have it pumped into your bloodstream for four months, and when you have to have a good bit of that bloodstream replaced with transfusions, or — when you have to stand aside and watch it all happen helplessly — then you can talk to me about being overprotective. We'll compare notes.

Vigilance aside, TW did a bang-up job on the positivity over the better part of the last four months. (QUICK NOTE: I have been thinking that Mr. J was six months post-chemo because this was the second "every-three-month" scan. That error — sadly — says much more about the sorry state of my math skills than it does about my state of mind.)

Until this past week. Knowing we were getting ready for the big one. Knowing that Samuel L. Chemo had pretty much left the building. Knowing that whatever little rogue buggers that were run off while Samuel L. was menacing through Mr. J's bloodstream might just come out of hiding.

And knowing that if they were to show up, the most likely time would be now.

To not worry about that? That's one big, honking, super-dee-duper dose of unwavering positivity. And to those of you who can harness that? I really do want to compare notes with you.

"Breathe. Breathe. Breathe."

I did. We did. And we waited. And we heard those beautiful, beautiful words again: All. Clear.

"Breathe. Breathe. Breathe."

I tried. I really, really, really did try. But instead, I cried. I cried. And I cried some more. Then I laughed. And I yelled. And I danced. And I sat in the bright Carolina sunshine, looked to the sky and said — over and over and over and over again:

"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mr. Manning, You Know What Must Be Done

Dear Peyton,

You know I love you so. Your leadership (on the field, and as evidenced by your work with children so beautifully chronicled by SNL). Your athletic prowess. Your determination.

You also know how much I despise the Saints. I know, I know, your father was (is!) a legend in New Orleans and throughout the NFL. And deservedly so. Inasmuch as I can love Archie and hate the Saints, I also love certain family members who, much to my chagrin, do include "Who Dat?" in their lexicon.

My brother-in-law is a diehard Saints fan.


While I wish my brother-in-law all happiness in every other way, I just cannot stomach the thought of the Saints in the big game (sorry — can't afford to pay NFL licensing fees, but I know you know what I'm talking about). Seriously. I've been ill all day. Even more troubling to me than the Saints actually being in the game is the thought of them actually winning it.

So. Please. My dear, sweet Peyton: You know what you must do.

I shan't distract you anymore. See you in two weeks.



Friday, January 22, 2010

Whew! Time To Spread The Sassy

Halfglassistan has been hopping these past few days and now has more news to report:

Comfy for Chemo blog is now live! Click here to check it out, or click on that snazzy little button to your right.

I thank all of you — WOW! — from the bottom of my squee'd-out little heart for your support of this awesome venture.

You? Rock.

(special shout-out to my SITS girls — thanks, as always, for stopping by! spread the sassy!)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Something Sassy This Way Comes

I have been ready to burst since New Year's Eve.

Remember this? The news I got on NYE that prompted: 
"I get why you're so SQUEEEEEEE! about this. How many times in your life do you get to give an assist to an actual angel?"
Had I known that the three days I thought I'd have to wait before sharing the story would turn into three weeks, I never would have posted the squee!-heard-'round-the-world. Well, heard 'round my world, anyway — my little gang of awesome wasted no time in messaging me wanting to know the what's-what.

So just what the squee(!) am I talking about?

First of all, CVZ was absolutely right in her assessment of the opportunity: I am giving an assist to an actual angel. Her name is Kimberly Hansen.

Known for her ever-present smile and signature "live sassy" slogan, Kimberly lived for opportunities to make others' lives better. And she so did.

Diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer in late 2008, Kimberly spent each chemotherapy session at Fort Bragg's Womack Army Medical Center with a cozy blanket. In her view, every cancer patient is "in the fight for their lives" and should have some comfort during it. With that, Comfy for Chemo was born.

I learned of Kimberly through our mutual friend KTP when she posted info about Comfy for Chemo on Facebook a few days before NYE. She had just learned that Kimberly was in her last days, and had made a request. She asked that donations of enough blankets like the one she had be made so that the approximately 100 chemo patients at Womack each could have one.

Don't ever doubt the good that social media can achieve. Word spread. Quickly. Within 24 hours, Kimberly's wish had been fulfilled.

To say that I was touched by Kimberly's story is such an understatement. Overwhelmed is more like it. The day I first visited her blog, her husband Bill had posted about how Kimberly had been able to pin his rank as he was promoted to Lt. Colonel. Contacting him the only way I knew how — a comment (don't ever doubt the power of those, either) — I asked for his permission to post a link here on my site, and a pro bono offer of my professional services. I struggled with the intrusion I felt I was making, but struggled even more with the thought of not reaching out.

Fast forward 24 hours. A post went up on Comfy for Chemo's FB fan page announcing that donations were pouring in, a non-profit was being formed, and volunteers were needed. Number one on the list? Marketing and PR support, in the form of a "fun logo" and more.

What's that you say? A sign? Yeah. I saw it, too.

I immediately sent the same message to the e-mail address provided, this time including a link to my professional portfolio, lest they think I'm just an overzealous squee-girl. I may have mad zeal, but I've got mad skills, too.

Fast forward one hour. My phone rings. It's someone calling on behalf of the Hansen family. They'd like for me to design a logo. And write a press release for the launch. It's around 2 p.m. Thursday, New Year's Eve. They'd like to go with the momentum and make a splash on Monday, January 4. Can I help?

Can I? Can I? Oh, wow. You bet I can.

I'm told that Kimberly had slipped into a coma, but she did know that her wish for Womack had been fulfilled. I find myself hoping that she'll also know how her idea is becoming such an incredible inspiration for so many.

Fast forward to 6 p.m. I'm getting my graphics groove on, and realized the sun's gone down. I lit a candle for Kimberly. I logged back into the Google to check my messages and learned that she had died 30 minutes earlier.

Fast forward another 24 hours. Getting my Comfy groove on, rocking the keyboard, making my mouse do all kinds of sassy tricks — all the while, humbled by the awesome responsibility with which I've been entrusted. And that candle I lit the night before? Still burning.

Fast forward to now. Comfy for Chemo is becoming a reality — and I'm still humbled and honored to be a part of it. If you haven't clicked on the words Comfy for Chemo yet and become a fan on Facebook — please do. Not only will you find donation information, but will also be updated on the blog and website launch, which are both coming soon.

Very soon, in fact.
So soon, I need to sign off here and get back to building that blog. 
Yeah. You read that right.

So, so, so squeee'd right now.
Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

5 Letters, 5 Numbers, 10 Dollars, 100 Percent Good

This may be more than a day late and more than a few dollars short, but we here in Halfglassistan are appealing to our citizenry.

Unless you've been in a total blackout, you know about the devastation in Haiti. And if you don't — well, just go hop on the Google.

Go ahead. I'll wait. This is something you need to know.

Why? Because you're human. Because you have a heart. Because you likely have a roof over your head, clean clothes to wear, fresh water to drink, food to eat, and access to care if you need it.

Any of our lives can change course in an instant, in any number of ways. I won't patronize you with a litany of worst-case scenarios, because I know you already know what they are. You know it every time you think, "There but for the grace of God ..." I know you think it, because I know I think it.

But very rarely does one's world literally come crashing down around them, leaving precious little to salvage. Except maybe hope.

Halfglassistan is not a wealthy place. But it can spare $10. So when I read that a simple text message of the word HAITI to 90999 would cause 10 little bucks to be given to the American Red Cross for relief, I thought: "That I can do."

I checked it out — and suggest you do the same here — and discovered not only was it legit, but 100 percent of the $10 charged to your cell phone carrier goes directly to the Red Cross.

I will admit that I was tempted to just keep texting at least a few more times (calm down Mr. J), but I did not. Because while Halfglassistan may not be the poorest place in the western hemisphere (guess who is? Haiti.), I know I can't spare much.

But I can do this: I can tell you about it here. I can post it on Facebook. I can spread the word on Twitter.

And maybe my 10 little bucks will be joined by more. They already have been, as the Red Cross has reported that more than 5 million little bucks have come from text donations.

Which brings me back to being more than a day late — this has been going on for a few days now. Maybe several, depending on when you're reading this. But the need doesn't end. So maybe we can do something about being more than a few dollars short.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Big weekend at Team Wedding HQ: Chili and NFL wild card playoffs.

No. No, there's not a trace of sarcasm in that statement. That is what passes for a big weekend 'round here. We're easily entertained.

A snippet for you:


WHEN: Saturday evening

THE SCENE: Mr. J in his chair; me on my couch; Tilly running between the two spots hoping against hope that this will be the day someone sets one of those steaming bowls of smells-so-good down for her to dive in; on the tube, a promo for a new Jerry Seinfeld-produced show on NBC called "The Marriage Ref," in which a couple argues over the wife's insistence on keeping her first husband's fake leg. Don't believe me? See it for yourself here. But come back.

MR. J: "I'd like to think you'd make mine into a nice, tasteful planter."

ME: (mouth filled with chili) "Mmm-hmm-grbrbaw ... I was so getting ready to say just that ... Grbrbaw-hmmm-mmmm."

MR. J: "I thought so."

ME: (taking time to finish the next mouthful of chili) ... "Or a lamp."

MR. J: (thumbs-up)

So easily entertained.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I Want You To Want Me

Oh, I am feeling all kinds of special.

Halfglassistan is becoming quite the not just my imaginary kingdom of all things awesome destination of curious bored work-avoidant discerning loyal subjects minions readers within six degrees of anyone everywhere.

Which is, ummmm, just freakin' awesome.

Because, as CatCon would tell you — loudly — if she were here: I want you to want me. I need you to need me. I'd love you to love me.

'Cause I'm just a needy obnoxious melodramatic attention whore an extrovert like that.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Of Comfort Zones And Cupcakes

Mental health is kind of a big deal here in Halfglassistan. So big, sometimes it's the only deal.

When Mr. J was in treatment, I was very careful to take care of myself. It was important, as a caregiver, that I stay healthy body and soul. And I'm very proud to say that I did a pretty good job of it. Proud, because that's not a claim I've often been able to make.

Mentally, it meant getting out. And away. Seeing friends. Having girl time.

But I stopped.
I don't know when.
I don't know exactly why.
But I did. 
And I've missed it.
And I didn't really realize it until now.

So when my sweet JV, of summer girl-date fame, wanted to meet for coffee yesterday, I went. She chose a lovely little place called Cupcake. (Yes. Cupcake. Cupcake of the great Mr. J birthday cupcakes.)

And it was good.
I got my girl on, I got my cupcake on, I got my coffee on.
I got my happy on.

Earlier this week, my sweet KTP asked if I'd like to meet soon for coffee, lunch, or cocktails. I said whichever would allow Miss AHP to join us. So when she said lunch, she said where, and she said today, I went.

And it was good.
I got my girl on, I got my salad on, I got my munchkin on.
I got my happy on.

I've been hiding out in a comfort zone that hasn't really been all that comfortable. And it hasn't been good for me.

So, to all of my girls reading this: Keep asking. I will keep saying yes. And I will start asking. Because I need to. I want to.

And I know you do, too.

Wanna get your happy on? I dare you not to smile as you scroll down ...

Inside: A little happy cake of joy.

Miss AHP: "For me?"

Miss AHP: "...nom, nom, nom, nom, nom ..."

Finger (and palm) lickin' good.

Miss AHP: "Thank you, Miz Cafwing!"

Thank you, Miss AHP. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Waiting For The Other Ball To Drop

Here in Halfglassistan, we have no problem admitting to the incessant occasional lifestyle of flirtation with procrastination. We know our flaws weaknesses well.

And sometimes we declare a state of procrastination for the greater good.

Go ahead, judge if you will. We're also well aware of the concept of rationalization, so we're way ahead of you.

In fact, while we're discussing various -ations, let me get to my point: We are in anticipation of our New Year's celebration.

Yes, I know it's already January 5. Yes, I know that for the vast majority of the world, real life began yesterday.

Guess what? When you're not receiving a regular paycheck and have no office other than the one above your garage to report to unconventionally employed as I am, you can make up the rules as you go.

Jealous much?

I didn't think so, but it makes me feel not at all a wee bit better to imagine you are.

Besides, being unconventionally employed as I am, I actually worked NYE, NYD, and straight through into the wee hours of the third day of this new decade.

Take that, bitches. (Eh. Not really. I actually enjoyed what I was working on and the bowl scene sucked. A "take that, bitches" just kinda felt appropriate with the snark I had going. Carry on.)

So, in light of the great-debilitating-emesis-worse-than-four-months-of-chemo that was inflicted on Mr. J after I unwittingly brought said evil into TWHQ, we toasted at midnight December 31 with Gatorade.

And that, my friends, just will not cut it after the year we've had.

So. Go ahead to your offices. Go ahead and start your diets. Go ahead and lace up those sneakers. Go ahead and start making (and breaking) all your resolutions.

Until next Monday, we're gonna party like it's 2009.

Take that, bitches. (Hmmm? What's that? Oh. Yeah. Yeah, that one I meant.)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Oh Snap! Look What I Saw ...

 [drumroll .................................................]


Hi. Welcome to a new year here.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Kiss Me Goodbye ...

... I'm defying gravity.

Things have been hopping in my little center of the universe of all things awesome corner of the world. I've been getting my glee(!) on like the painfully deluded and in need of serious help wannabe rockstar I am.

Mr. Santa put the Season One cd in my stocking, and it has been a tres fab soundtrack for my oh-so-gleeful endeavors these past few days.

Oh, that man must so wish for spontaneous selective and reversible deafness love me.

... sigh ... 

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