Friday, September 28, 2012

Is Passive Aggressive Aggressive?

CancerGirl had an "incident" yesterday  and was accused of being "Passive Aggressive" and "unstable",  she was pretty hurt by this as she tries to not have those kind of traits.  After a few hours of contemplating (and honestly being VERY VERY upset about the whole situation) she called SuperShrink to get his views on it.  I have been seeing him for over 10 years now, and well, he is my sounding board and I can always count on him to tell me if I am justified in my feelings or not.

When someone has been abused in their past they tend to not trust their feelings.  They learn to push those feelings down and not acknowledge them, this causes one to not be able to tell when they are being abused.  Those internal "This isn't right, I need to do something about this" messages get ignored, and it becomes easier to ignore them in the future.  Because of this, CG tends to not speak up when someone has wronged her, and rather then confront the person head on, she will speak about the situation in very general terms.

When I asked SS if he thought I was passive aggressive, he said "Yes, but I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing", I was kinda shocked because I had always thought of it as being a negative thing.  He went on to explain that many times people feel that being "passive aggressive" is a bad thing and they have guilt feelings for it but that it in fact is many times it is better then being "outright aggressive" as that would be very very wrong.  One of the things that I appreciate about him is that he is very god at breaking things down for me.  This was his explanation on the positives of being Passive aggressive"...

If someone is being passive aggressive they may say something like "Some people just don't know when to keep their big mouths shut and mind their own business". This is very passive aggressive.  It makes a statement about someone or something that does not specifically name that person or thing.  This leaves people to look at their own behavior and consider their own thoughts and behavior in relation to this statement.  Those who you may be meaning the comment for may well see that as an attack upon them, but that is their own issues and I am not responsible for what others "read into" such a comment.

Being outright Aggressive would be to say "Melanoma Man just doesn't know when to keep his big mouth shut and mind his own business", this is very aggressive and very mean.  Not only does MM know this comment is directly about him, but so does EVERYONE who sees or hears such a comment.  This brings that person into the spotlight and does not allow them any opportunity to think about their behaviors within themselves and possibly change based on their own perceptions.  It also doesn't give them any way to not be "defensive", as aggression usually causes defense against the aggression.   I think I would rather be "passive aggressive" then be outright aggressive and cause hurt feelings.  PA also can cause feelings ot be hurt, but because I didn't call people out or put them in the "spotlight" it is their own issues if they get upset by such things.  Of course everyone is entitled to their opinions, but as for me, I will continue to take the high road and not name names, if those who are in my life see that as a problem, well then they are more then welcome to remove themselves.  As SS said, if I change every thing that someone doesn't like about me (and there will be things, as everyone has different views and truths) that I will lose myself, and that it is far better to loose people who don't love and respect me then to loose myself. 

As for my being "unstable", SS had some very good points on that and I was greatly appreciative of them.  He explained that if I didn't value and cherish my sanity and stability (which honestly he is even amazed by and those who know me and knew me 10 years ago are as well) that such a comment wouldn't have bothered me whatsoever.  He also explained that very often when someone is unhappy with the truth, they tend to turn the other person into someone who is unstable.   It makes it easier to excuse the actual truth.  He pointed out the ways that I am actually more stable then many out there, and most likely even more so then those who said the same thing about me.  I laughed about this but he said "I am serious, are they going to a therapist every week and talking about themselves and looking into their own lives and their own actions? Are they spending hours a week actively pursuing their own sanity by seeking the help that they need?".  I told him I didn't know if they were or not.  he said that it is very easy for those who DON'T spend time looking into their own behavior and actions to be judgmental because  they tend to not see how their actions and words can hurt others.  He also pointed out just how "outright aggressive" calling me passive aggressive and unstable actually is and I tend to think he is right.

In the interest of not being "unknowingly passive aggressive" I will say now that this post is meant to be passive aggressive, it is meant to have others think about their own behavior and actions, and it is meant to do so in a "not putting them in the spotlight" manner.  In other words "You know who you are". 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Introducing CancerGirl Enterprises!!!!

Hello there everyone!!! 

The SuperDogs and I have been setting something up for a while now, the announcement was going to be held off for a while, but well, like happens in politics as well as corporations...there was a leak!!!  A LEAK!!!! How did that happen????   Well SuperDog... someone who was helping us set up the big surprise ended up telling people about it before we were ready to announce it.  CG was kinda upset about it at first, but then she realised that it was actually a great way to turn a maybe not so great situation into a REALLY great situation!!! 

As you all know, CancerGirl founded Hats For Happiness in 2009.  It was a grass roots effort, funded pretty much solely by SuperHubby and CancerGirl. Don't forget all the chewies and extra treats that SuperDog BanJo and I sacrificed to help out!!  Yes SuperDog, and your waist line thanks you for your sacrifice!!  Anyway....we were sending out hats (we were a fairly new organization, so we were not getting many requests on a day to day basis, so the cost of shipping was easily affordable by SH and CG) but as we got to be larger we began to get many more requests then CG could afford to send out.   Because CG knows that many are on hard times, rather then doing fundraisers and asking those who CG knows support us, but may not have the funds to be able to make financial donations, and because of requests by volunteers to send a hat to a CancerSuperHero themselves   I began the program that would not only help CG and SH continue to afford to be able to run HFH but also enable others to help to help CancerSuperHeroes directly!!   Volunteers now sign up to directly send a hat to a CancerSuperHero, along with a word of encouragement and any other goodies they want to include.  This helped to curb our costs, while still not having to ask those who may not have it for monetary donations. If you would like to sign up to send a CancerSuperHero a hat, please fill out this link  I WANT TO VOLUNTEER 

Through doing Hats For Happiness, CG would get many requests for other things that were not "hat related", one of the earlier things was when our good friend Abby Acuna's computer broke down and she was in treatment,  CG put out the call for anyone with computer experience to help her, she also, in case  Abby's computer couldn't be fixed, acquired 2 other computers that would have been shipped to her (luckily the computer help we got her fixed it and she was able to be back in contact with her support system!!) and the other 2 computers were sent to 2 other CancerSuperHeroes who had their computers crash and needed them to get online and access their support system.  I tried to get her to give me one of them, you know as a Canine SideKick I need to communicate as well!!  

There have been numerous other things that HFH has helped others with (and when she is unable to help them, she has sent them on to other organisations to get the resources they needed, our friends at the Debbie Turner Cancer Center   have helped a number of CancerSuperHeroes we have sent their way and we truly enjoy being affiliated with their organization!!  

Because CG has wanted to do more for CancerSuperHeroes, and we technically are somewhat restricted to our missions statement, and that mission statement is about Hats and not about computers, or other helpful things, CG wanted a way to possibly make "divisions" of Hats For Happiness.

  CG as you all know has been going to college to get her degree in Social Work so as to someday be able to work solely with CancerSuperHeroes in the mental Health field, specifically using animal assisted therapy.  Part of that animal assisted therapy that CG herself has received great benefit from is Equine Therapy.  After speaking with some of CG most respected advisers and mentors (Including Debbie Turner) about whether this was something that CancerSuperHeroes would benefit from, (thank you Debbie for your wonderful words of encouragement) and finding a wonderful rescue organization to work with, CG decided to add the Horses For Happiness Division to Hats For Happiness!!! It is going to take us some time to develop this division as there is a lot more involved with it then sending out hats, but we have begun the beginning steps of this process and have high hopes for the future of the program!!
CancerGirl and SuperDogBanJo with SuperHorseRaven!!!

Because it didn't make any sense to have Horses for Happiness be a division UNDER Hats For Happiness, but rather should be a division IN ADDITION to Hats For Happiness, the decision was made to reincorporate as CancerGirl Enterprises and have the divisions of Hats For Happiness and Horses For Happiness (as well as a few other divisions which will be worked on in time and introduced as we grow) but this way we can help more CancerSuperHeroes in many more ways!! I look forward to our continued work with the Debbie Turner Cancer Center, and look forward to the day when Horses for Happiness is ready for her to send her clients our way to further their HAPPINESS!!! 

Because CG wants to expand, and these other endeavors are going to require more funds then SH and CG can afford ourselves, we will in the future be having multiple smaller fundraisers to help with the costs of building our organization.  This  has been a hard decision for me because I have tried my best to not ask for financial help in a time when I know many are themselves having financial difficulties, but I think that if we all do what we can when we can, that it will all work out in the end.  In the meantime, thank you very much to our supporters, our volunteers, our friends and most importantly to all those CancerSuperHeroes out there,  you have all brought many tears and laughs to my life, and for that I am grateful, but I am most grateful for the HAPPINESS that has been brought into my life and my world by being able to "pay it forward".

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Banjo Goes Medieval!!

Hey there everyone!!! Guess who it is??? It's SuperDog BanJo!!!  Since CancerGirl types in Purple, and SuperDog types in red, I am going to type in BLUE!!! I told him he should type in pink and he tattled and told CancerGirl and she said to leave him be.  He is such a tattletale!!  Ok, back to my story!!! Today CancerGirl and SuperHubby (I call him dad, something that SuperDog always tells me is unprofessional, whatever!!)  And that is why I still have to go to work every other day at school, because you still have a lot of growing up to do mister buster!! I am looking forward to my retirement of only going out for lunches with CancerGirl and my Aunt Lynne, so you need to be more professional in the field, and stop telling little kids that your a superhero, and that you have special powers,  that is supposed to be a secret!!! You see the kind of nagging (she calls "training") that I put up with.  This is supposed to be my Blog post, CG promised!!  Well anyway, today Clarice, and Laurence (SuperHubby's undercover regular name) and I went to the Hoggetown Medieval Faire    We had such a great time!! I am going to share some of the pictures and tell you guys all about it!! I had to work today, because CancerGirl had to do a lot of walking, so I wore my harness, but I still got to have a lot of fun!!  CancerGirl had the camera for most of the time, and she spent most of her time taking pictures of the shows and such and then realised she hadn't taken any of SuperHubby, she apologized about it, she feels bad, I can tell. 

This is a Picture of me and CancerGirl standing in front of the wall.  See those guys up there, they yelled down to us "That's a beautiful Horse you have there!" and I was shocked, because I know I'm a dog, and I wondered to myself "hmm, CG and SH have real world aliases, SuperDog didn't say anything about us changing, but maybe I am a horse when I am not being a SuperDog!! That is soo cool!!" SO now I have it all figured out!! 

They had the STRANGEST of people and things there!! This lady said to CG when she took her picture "Don't let the Queen see you taking my picture, she is already jealous of me as it is".  She said that she was the most beautiful woman there of course.  I thought she looked a little different. 

CancerGirl thought this guy was from a horror movie, he said he wasn't scary, he was just an ogre and he was looking for some goblins.   CG said that we would let him know he was looking for them if we saw them. 

Then we ran into of all things a pair of PIRATES!!!  I had never seen a pirate before!! They talked in some strange pirate language too!! A lot of people kept calling me a horse too, I think they were confused!!

I have NO IDEA what the heck these things were!!! They were REALLY big though!! 

This is something that CancerGirl said was "chess", but I have seen people play chess and they never needed this many people and  no one whipped out a sword!! I think everyone should play chess like this from now on!!

We saw these HUGE horses, I mean they were GIANT!!  And they had these big metal things all over them.  I am so glad that I only have to wear the harness and not a bunch of metal like that, it must be pretty heavy!! 

I got to say hello to a LOT of people, and I got to get hugged by a lot of kids!!  I love little kids!! Hey!! Are you whispering in that kids ear?? You better not be telling them you're a SuperDog!!

I saw a goat!!! I remembered right away what a goat was! There were goats where i lived before I joined the Hats For Happiness crew!!  
As we were leaving, we ran into this HORSE!! I saw why those guys and the others had called me a horse, I am as big as he is!! I wonder what that is all about??

Tomorrow CG and I are going to Oveido to go to the Martha's Angels Fundraising Event to spread some happiness and tell everyone about Hats For Happiness!! CancerGirl has made a blanket or two to be raffled off and  best of all you get to see meeee!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

CG and SH New Life!!!!

SuperHubby in his work uniform.
Monday starts a whole new life for SuperHubby  and CancerGirl !!! For the last 20 years, SH has worked a very early morning shift and has gotten off work at 9am.  He went to sleep very early every night, usually in bed by about 6PM.  Most nights CG and Sh didn't sleep in the bed together, he took a short nap during the day, and then he went to bed early. 

Monday, SH begins a new shift and job at work.  He has recently (the past 8 months) been working both his morning shift and the afternoon shift most weeks.  This has caused major tiredness on his part, (Exhaustion is more like it)   (Yes SuperDog, he has been exhausted, and I have been worried, but he promised that he would fix it, and he did.  I know you have missed him, I have missed him too.)   Anyways.....starting Monday, SH will be only working the afternoon shift. 

I am very proud of SH.  He has worked very hard for many years.  He has had knee surgery from stepping in and out of trucks all night long, he has back pain from bending over a belt scanning packages all night.  This job will allow him to have a much less stressful life and a much steadier sleep schedule.  

SuperDog BanJo wearing his harness at the event for the  Debbie Turner Cancer Care Center!!
Another part of the beginning of our new life is that CancerGirl will be bringing SuperDog BanJo to school!! On Tuesday SuperDog BanJo has his first day of school!! CancerGirl has been holding off on taking SUperDog BanJo to school with her.  A large part of that is that SuperDog does such an awesome job and already knows exactly what to do and when to do it, I know that SDBJ (SuperDog BanJo) will be awesome and he will learn very quickly what is expected of him. 

I know he will love school and now that CancerGirl is walking from school to SH work after school, she needs SuperDog BanJo to start going with her because SD is too short for the harness that CG has and she cant really use it effectively.  SDBJ is a much bigger dog and the harness fits him and I perfectly!! I will need him for balance and to help if I get tired or if my back starts to bother me when I am walking.  I cant wait to take him now!!

I can't wait to see how the new schedule and working with BanJo at school works out!! I can't wait to spend more time with SuperHubby!!! I can't wait for the lair to be paid off in less then 5 months from now!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

SuperDog's First Day of the Last Semester

CancerGirl and SuperDog went to school today!! Today is the first day of SuperDog's last semester.  Our first class was Statistics which is in the Math building.  (you can see me in the picture in front of the Math building here)   Yes SuperDog, you were beautiful in your Backpack!! Lucky I got to wear it, I told you yesterday "I need my backpack washed" and you didn't put it in till night time when the pipes froze.  Luckily they defrosted early enough to have it finish washing and get dried.  I would never ask you to go to school NAKED!!  

You certainly are complaining a lot in your older age SuperDog!! Anyways, back to the story!!  This is the second time CancerGirl is taking statistics.  She took it as an online class during the summer (a shorter semester) and she did fine right up until the last few chapters and she ended up getting a D in the class.  This was very upsetting to CancerGirl as she had never gotten anything but A's and B's in every other class she has ever taken!!  The professor asked "Who here is taking this class for a second time because they have failed it once?" and about 2/3 of the class raised their hands.  CancerGirl felt much better about having failed the class before after this. 

Her professor had everyone introduce themselves and tell a little about themselves.  I happened to sit next to an older gentleman when I came in.  He was before me in the introductions, and during his introduction he mentioned that he was a 8 year Cancer Survivor.

I immediately thought about how odd it was that of the over a dozen seats that were empty, I happened to choose the one that was right next to the other Cancer Survivor in the room.   After class we talked for a while about both of our journeys.  When I introduced myself I mentioned and he asked about my going to school during treatment.  He said so many flattering things, about how strong I am for having done that, and how to have done school, and chemo and radiation, and then still want to help others and create a non profit organization, that he thought I was amazing.

  I don't often think of myself like this. Mainly because I think that everyone is amazing in their own right, and there really isn't much about me that makes me any more amazing then anyone else!! I don't feel the same way. I am sorry, but there is no other dog as amazing as I am!!!  Yes, yes SuperDog you are amazing!!

After that talk it was off to Environmental Science for us!! Yaaay Time for another picture of me!!!! I am in my second class here.  CancerGirl will try and tell you that she is the one who "goes to school" but we all know I go and she just brings me.   Yes, and I suppose you write all the papers and do all the homework too huh SuperDog?? Well anyway, here is the picture of SuperDog in OUR Enviromental Science class

My ES professor is very "lecture based" and very old school professor.  He said the classes are lecture, he will lecture, we will take notes.  This will be a hard class for CancerGirl to follow, since she reads lips even when she has her hearing aids in, so writing (or typing) while trying to look at the professors while they talk is hard for me!!  I will get through I am sure, I will just have to make sure to read the chapters carefully in case I don't catch what he says in class.  

After our ES class, CancerGirl and SuperDog had to wait a while for SuperHubby to come pick them up.  While they waited, CancerGirl told SuperDog to go lay in the grass while she sat at a table (about 50 feet away) and read her textbook and studied.  SuperDog laid down and relaxed after a hard first day back to school!! I am going to end the blog with the pictures of SuperDog relaxing.  Classes let out while she was laying there and she stayed there while about 100 students walked between her and I.  I picked up the camera to take some pictures. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

CancerGirl is STILL Nervous???

CancerGirl and SuperDog start another semester of school tomorrow!! We are both so very excited (I am much more excited then she is, even though I got a bath today!!)  SuperDog got a bath today I just told them that!! Oops, sorry SuperDog!! Well anyway, as I was saying before I was RUDELY interrupted, CancerGirl starts school tomorrow.  This is the last semester then she moves on to her next degree!! I have gone to school amny semesters now. I have been bald for some of them.  I have been very sick for some of them.  but for EVERY single one of them I get soo anxious and nervous just like it was the first class I ever sat in.

I have thought about why I am so nervous, and I have come to the conclusion that having a Service Dog has a lot to do with it.  Hey now!! My behavior is impeccable, if there is anyones behavior you should worry about it is that BOY dog you got to take over for me, he is not nearly as serious about this school thing as I am!!  I know SuperDog.. it's just that I worry about one of my professors not liking dogs, and what if they try and give me ahard time about you.  I know that you belong, but I also know that sometimes even students have cultural issues with dogs being in buildings.  I worry that I will end up not talking to anyone.  Has that ever happened with me with you? People love me!!  I know it usually doesn't happen, but there is always the what if.

I know that tomorrow will be another AWESOME day!!! It is always an awesome day here in paradise even if it did get VERY cold last night and is once again getting VERY COLD tonight.  CancerGirl is all bundled up though so no worries about her freezing!!

Till the next blog post, please everyone have a wonderful time and ENJOY LIFE!!! Most of all remember Cancer isn't Contagious, but Happiness IS!!!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

CancerGirl Hits One Year!!!

Hey everyone!!! I can't believe it has been 1 year that I have been "Cancer Free" although I hate when people use the phrase because it leads one to think that there is such a thing as "Cancer Free".  I guess in a way there is.  If you look at it from a strictly physical standpoint, you can be "free of Cancer cells".  So I will concede that there is a "Cancer Free".

To me, being Cancer Free would mean that you are forever now free from Cancer.  That doesn't happen though.  You walk away from that last PET scan being told that there is now no more Cancer Cells being able to be seen.  If one was truly Cancer Free, then they would be free from Cancer in their life.  This doesn't happen.  It is much more likely that your first year Cancer Free will include these milestones of freedom:

      You will have a tiny little almost barely a symptom happen.  This can be something from a fever (and after Cancer, 99.1 is now considered a reason for alarm bells to ring) to more then a few days of not going to the lair's "facilities" you will begin to swear that you have Cancer again, and that will lead to the next  milestone

     You will call your Oncologist panicked.  If you are lucky, this call will be made during the day, and not at 2AM when you still haven't been able to "go" or that itch on your breast hasn't gone away all day, you will call him and tell him (or her) that you need to see them as soon as possible. If it is during office hours, and you have a truly awesome SuperOncologist, he will fit you in to see him.  If it is at 2AM, no matter how SUPER your Oncologist is, they do not like to be woken up to be told that you have a 99.1 fever and do they think you should go to the ER yet or not.  The idea that "catching it early" is the best thing, will ring in your head, and you think over and over again "If I catch it soo early it is a speck on a PET scan, then I wont be caught off guard again!!! This brings us to the next milestone

     You will insist on ANOTHER scan.  If you didn't wake your SuperOncologist at 2AM you will get an appointment, When your oncologist comes in, you will tell him your symptom, HE will tell you that yes, it is one symptom, but that you are only out of treatment 3 months, and I don't think a slight fever warrants another PET scan.  He will then tell you how "normal it was" to be having fears.  He will tell you that you don't have to worry, you are Cancer Free.  You won't feel very Cancer Free, You will also feel like you are still waiting for it to come back.  You will talk to friends and family, which brings us to the next milestone

     You will ask everyone in your friends and family what they think of the symptom.  This especially applies if your family members are in the medical field.  You will ask your husband over and over again if they think that you seem sick.  You will ask your family members if they sometimes have a pain in their side that came for like 5 minutes then never happened again, and what they think it means.  If your friends and family are as awesome as mine were, they will tell you not to worry.  They will tell you that you need to go out and do things!!!! This brings us to the next milestone.

     You will be asked to walk in a number of different "walks".   I am not saying that you shouldn't do Cancer walks, I am saying that you will be asked to walk in a lot of them.  I say if you are up to it, go for it.  If you don't feel up to it, don't feel guilty that you don't walk.  I don't mean just physically up to it, I mean mentally up to it as well.  Walks are VERY intense emotional events.  The survivors lap of a Cancer Walk alone is enough to make every single being able to cry shed tears.  Some people want to be "done with Cancer" and they don't want to walk, they don't want to go to benefits, they want to put Cancer behind them, and that's ok.  Every one's journey is their own, so if you don't want to walk, then don't let anyone make you feel like you have to!!  The next milestone was probably the most surprising one

     You will have a lot of fear of that 1 year visit.  You will spend the 2 months before your visit wondering if you are going to have something bad happen on that 1 year PET scan.  You worry even more about the little tiny twinges of pain or you ask yourself (and others) "Do you think my glands feel swollen" and then ask them to touch your neck.  The fact that you have touched your own neck so many times that you cant tell anymore if they were that big before.  SuperFriend Lynne told me at lunch the day of my 1 year PET scan that there is a muscle that runs along side the neck that can get sore, and that many times it is mistaken for glands being swollen.  CancerGirl amazingly didn't worry about her glands the rest of that day.  You will have to cut some of the safety net away now, this was probably the hardest of the milestones.

     You will loose the safety net of your regular Oncologist visits.   During treatment many patients get very close to their Oncologist. They trust him, this man or woman has saved their life, literally!  There was definitely a grieving process involved.  I loved my Oncologist.  He was AWESOME and I was very fortunate to have had him on my team.  He was always positive but realistic.  He called me lucky one time, and it caused me to spend countless hours venting to my therapist how I couldn't believe his AUDACITY to have used the word LUCKY to a cancer patient.  It brought me around to truly realizing how truly lucky I am.  I have a husband who loves me, even with my many faults.  He loves me even though I have a Diet Coke and Mc Donalds addiction.  I will work on those things. 

I have become closer to my family, to my mother, my sister, my extended family who I hadnt talked to in many years.  (Love you Cousin Laura!!!)  I have the best BFF in the world, and I am alive and able to continue my mission of spreading the SuperPower of Happiness!!! I said goodbye to my Oncologist and cried a little on the way home.  Then I saw my SuperHubby and the SuperDogs and I realized that I was actually kinda happy that I am not 100% "Cancer Free", having Cancer still be a big part of my life has brought many AWESOME things into my life.  Tomorrow I will post about all those AWESOME things as they are too many and this post is long enough as it is!! Here is a picture of me and the SuperDogs, 1 year not so "Cancer Free"