When Life Hands You Lemons.. And Limes..

To say that I’ve been having a tough time lately would be the understatement of the year. And, speaking of years, to say that I’ve been having tough year is…also an understatement.

The summer started with me breaking my hand, it taking ~3 months to heal, and then finding out that I have clinically low bone density

My hand on June 28th, and 10 weeks later on September 5th…still pretty much broken.

Plus, all that time, I was having digestive problems, which I just chalked up to my pain meds and the summer heat. Plus, T-Man was working 70-80 hour work weeks.

In short, I was feeling like this dog:

I’m not sure anyone could avoid digestive problems after a few too many PBRs!

The cast eventually came off, but the stomach problems didn’t go away. In fact, when my cast came off, I found out I had lost 5 pounds…I never did regain those pounds…

The passing of my grandfather didn’t help much either.

just a couple o’ sad pandas

My doctor had prescribed me acid reflux medicine via e-mail, but it was making it worse. I avoided making an appointment because, without a car, I’d have to rely on one of my parents to drive me (T-Man was extremely busy and stressed the last month of his campaign).

Bawwwwww, sadface.

I finally saw my doctor when my brother took me to Kaiser the day before T and I went to New York. I scheduled some tests (including a biopsy of a mole on my scalp) for the day after we got back.

I’m only smiling cause we hadn’t eaten yet!

The trip was fine and dandy (with the normal stomach issues, but they were manageable)…and then came our return, and the return of bad news.

No conclusive results from an abdominal ultrasound, but I had/have a basal cell carcinoma (non-life threatening skin cancer) on my scalp. D’OH!

Stick a fork in me.

That was last week. On Monday, I posted about abdominal pain. Well, 4 days and 3 Kaiser visits later…I’m on an antibiotic regimen for some kind of digestive infection, and have at least an endoscopy (if not a colonoscopy as well :-O) scheduled for 2 weeks from now. 3 Thanksgivings can really wreak havoc on a girl’s insides, yadadimean?

I came back to work yesterday and I’m feeling much better…physically, that is. It’s tough to stay positive when a shit-storm of bad things have happened to you.

Plus, an actual shit-storm is happening outside:

for katie, sunshine –> happy

Last month when my Papa passed away, I sat down to listen to a comedy segment my dad had sent me weeks earlier. All he told me was that it was “Louis CK‘s favorite new comedienne” and that she talked about having cancer. Uh…okay. Sounds like a real knee slapper, Dad.

Here’s what Louis CK had to say about Tig Notaro‘s performance, now available for $5 purchase on his website:

I hadn’t seen Tig in about a year and I said how are you? She replied “well I found out today that I have cancer in both breasts and that it has likely spread to my lymph nodes. My doctor says it looks real bad. “. She wasn’t kidding. I said “uh. Jesus. Tig. Well. Do you… Have your family… Helping?”. She said “well my mom was with me but a few weeks ago she fell down, hit her head and she died”. She still wasn’t kidding….She held up a wad of note-paper in her hand and said “I’m gonna talk about all of it on stage now. It’s probably going to be a mess”. I said “wow”. And with that, she went on stage.

I stood in the wings behind a leg of curtain, about 8 feet from her, and watched her tell a stunned audience “hi. I have cancer. Just found out today. I’m going to die soon”. What followed was one of the greatest standup performances I ever saw. I can’t really describe it but I was crying and laughing and listening like never in my life.

Basically, the gist of her set is this: bad shit happens. You might think you’re at rock bottom, but there’s always something worse that could happen…and sometimes it does. Why not just be straight up about it, and try to laugh a little when it does? When I first listened to her set, I thought, “Well OK, at least I don’t have cancer I guess.” Now I do! (Albeit a seriously not dangerous form of skin cancer, but hey.)

It’s a very inspiring set and it has helped me put things in perspective. I recommend it to anyone who has ever felt sad. Yeah that’s right….if you’ve ever felt sad, listen to it.

Another thing that has helped: 33 Dogs and Cats That Just Don’t Know Anymore (the source of all of these amazing depressed animal pictures!)

Have a great weekend.

21 thoughts on “When Life Hands You Lemons.. And Limes..

  1. Oh my goodness! You poor thing, you are having one hell of time as of late. Hang in there, things can really only get better from here. I like your attitude on bringing some humor into your situation. I’m thinking of you!

    • Thanks Alisha! Haha, I was afraid of writing too much of a bummer post, but I really wanted to write about all this, since it’s been all I can think about lately. Funny animal pictures always help 😛

  2. Katie, my heart goes out to you! Cancer is something that nobody sees in their future, but its great that they caught it before it turned into a more serious cancer. My sister has been having gastrointestinal issue for about a year and she has finally been able to figure out a diet that works for her stomach, so I have faith that you will be able to resolve your stomach problems as well! I love that little bit about Louie Ck and Tig. It definitely puts life in perspective, which is something I need right now.

  3. Katie, my heart goes out to you! Cancer is something that nobody sees in their future, but its great that they caught it before it turned into a more serious cancer. My sister has been having gastrointestinal issue for about a year and she has finally been able to figure out a diet that works for her stomach, so I have faith that you will be able to resolve your stomach problems as well! I love that little bit about Louie Ck and Tig. It definitely puts life in perspective, which is something I need right now.

    • Thanks Theresa! Luckily what I have is the least life-threatening thing you can get. It does spread, albeit slowly, but thankfully it never goes beyond the skin like a melanoma can.
      That’s great that your sister has resolved her stomach problems! Gives me hope :)

  4. Oh my god!! As you know I can also attest that 2012 has been a shit year. I hope this is the absolute worst you’ll experience for a long time and that things will begin to look up very soon! So glad your cancer is non life threatening. Time for me to get my mole checked…yikes.

    • Seriously! I inherited it from my mom – she’s both Irish and Italian, but our skin tends to lean toward the Irish side…
      You should look into Tig Notaro’s comedy bit, I think you’d really like it! I know you feel my pain, both on the fair skin and the crappy 2012! <3

  5. Tig Notaro’s comedic outburst on that recording is without precedent.
    In addition to losing her mother and being diagnosed with cancer, her relationship with her lover also ended around the same time. She accepted the trifecta of pain pretty courageously and creatively.

  6. Tig Notaro’s comedic outburst on that recording is without precedent.
    In addition to losing her mother and being diagnosed with cancer, her relationship with her lover also ended around the same time. She accepted the trifecta of pain pretty courageously and creatively.

  7. Oh jeez. You’ve had the shitty year of all shitty years. I’m so sorry, girl! Rough patches suck. Especially when they don’t feel like “patches” anymore because it’s all the damn time. My heart goes out to you! And thanks for posting this… It’s nice to see some realness out there… It helps me realize that most lives aren’t just full of rainbows.

  8. Oh jeez. You’ve had the shitty year of all shitty years. I’m so sorry, girl! Rough patches suck. Especially when they don’t feel like “patches” anymore because it’s all the damn time. My heart goes out to you! And thanks for posting this… It’s nice to see some realness out there… It helps me realize that most lives aren’t just full of rainbows.

  9. coffeeandquinoa says:

    Sorry to hear about the tough time you’ve been having! :( Sounds like maybe things are looking up now that you have at least a diagnosis? Hang in there!! Also, I heard part of Tig Notaro’s cancer bit – very brave and inspiring.

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