Leontine found me through an article in the local newspaper – a nice fluff piece about the importance of early detection*. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when i was, and she found resonance with my words.
It was about risk management, “getting on with it”, and about not letting yourself be a victim. During our surgeries and treatments, we’d meet up monthly to slog through an assload of wine and brie and compare notes. Mostly, counting our blessings for getting off lucky in the grand scheme of things.
On the surface? Not much to build upon. She is in her mid-60’s, the wife of a local dentist, and mother of three grown children – happily spawning a flock of gorgeous grand children. We found we had a lot more in common than just cancer nuggets buried in our titties. We drink. And we dish. And we play. And we travel like there’s no tomorrow…
Although our prognosis was similar, she opted for more aggressive treatment, including chemo “just to be damn sure”. Leontine and i looked forward to our monthly sessions – swapping stories about living aggressively, and dishing gossip on the locals**, as well as discussing the merits of a merkin for a chemo patient! To celebrate her one year anniversary? She showed up with a tattoo on her left tit – a pink ribbon with the words “I won”.
Last year, we added a new member to our posse. Doris, a good friend of hers, was diagnosed with her own pesky little cancer nugget. And so we meet. And we drink. And we dish. Doris – a lovely 68-year old grandma – is now sporting a smokin’ hot blond wig since she’s bald as a cueball from her chemo. It is a replacement wig, since she burned the crap out of her original wig by leaning a little too close to the stove.
Last Thursday, the three of us met for another session. It wasn’t easy to arrange, as we beat through our busy schedules to pick the date. Doris was looking fabulous – meticulously dressed, matching outfit – right down to the coordinated earrings in her triple-pierced ears. She’s been dealing with weekly chemo for six months, and is looking forward to being done at the end of June.
i was surprised to learn that Thursdays are her worst days. She receives chemo on Mondays, and says she feels ok through Tuesday, but by Thursday, she’s hitting rock bottom, recovering a bit to be able to enjoy her weekends. Didn’t slow her down much from what i could see***. Her words: “What’s the point of staying in bed and whining? Life is out there! Live it!”
i love these women. Not to mention the fact that i’ve got friends named Leontine and Doris. How cool is that?
* It also provided an opportunity to get some shameless publicity for the show i was in at the time of my surgery. Pimpin’ my cancer to get butts in seats. No apologies…
** Dentist’s wives know shit about everyone. Big fun… especially the dirt on the local politicos…
*** We killed two bottles of wine and two plates of brie in about 90 minutes… We are nothing if not efficient!
**reminds me of the saying “No one is a hero to his wife’s psychiatrist.” Or the psychiatrist’s wife either, I’d bet.
Sounds like big fun. Not sure I want to go that route to make friends, but that’s the way it is sometimes.
This is why I’m glad my sibs think enough of me to make sure I have a wheelchair. If I relied on the government for transportation, I would be stuck home a lot. Although I love my internet friends, it’s much more fun when I can unexpectedly drag them off to see a carousel. We should change that part of Medicare. Folks will be mentally healthier if they can get out and do things.
That tattoo is incredible. I could only hope to overcome something like that with such a fantastic outlook – and I’m referring to all of you, when I say that.
Some women have bigger balls than a few guys that I have met in my time. I’m proud of you.
love the tattoo idea. you and the grannies rock xx
Dasyfae, I truly enjoy reading your posts. You are indeed a gifted writer. Best to you always,
sledpress – it was a good reminder for me to keep my damn mouth shut at the dentists office. unless i’m being drilled, of course…
silverstar – i completely agree! one of momma’s biggest frustrations is being stuck in the house, dependent on others to get out. i’ve reminded her that she can take a walk, but it isn’t the same for her… it’s people she needs… and a carousel? flowers in the market? nothing better on a dark day, is there? 😀
rassles – i chose not to do chemo. only a 1% improvement in my 5 year prognosis, and decided it wasn’t worth it… so i got very, very lucky and really didn’t have much to complain about. my two drinkin’ grannies are the heroes! doris – a secretary at a pre-school – hasn’t missed a day of work through chemo. AND SHE’S 68-fucking-years old! how amazing is that?
jimmy – as i said above, i got lucky. nothing to cry about from me – i even got my rack rebuilt! i’ve got the breastages of a 25 year old (Shhhh…. don’t tell her… she may come and take them back!)
nursemyra – they are delicious! and inspire me… and let me know that there’s a helluva lot of life to be lived on the other side of 55!
Steve – thank you. you are very kind… wish you had your own blog so i could read more of your words!
Your posts often inspire me to make my own weather – hats off to you and the cool grannies 🙂
I do but they’re hardley worth reading ……..
What a great bonding agent. Human kindness.
That was a beautiful post, Daisyfae. I hope our paths cross one day.
Hey, I had a Mother named Doris! Great post and those grannies are really cool people. Love the tat 🙂
tNb – and your posts always inspire me to get out of the “now and urgent”…
WTG – i suspect you’re a better writer than you realize…
unbearable banishment – i love hearing them ‘dish’ and share stories about their families, and they get a kick out of my dating adventures, and the ‘boy toy’ collection…
amber – i’m looking for an excuse to get up your way one of these days! i wanna hear you singin’ with the band!
archie – they inspire me! well, to do more than drink and get tattooed…
Pingback: Mission: Accomplished « Trailer Park Refugee