Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fucking cancer! And guys who use Words With Friends to pick up chicks...

Sorry about the f-word in the title, but I'm feeling really upset.

Yesterday, two online acquaintances died of cancer.  Both were women who were much loved and will be missed very much by their friends and family.  I didn't know either woman personally, though we had interacted online.  One was a Facebook friend I first "met" on a support site for second wives and stepmothers about fourteen years ago.  I knew her story and she knew mine.  We both went through steplife hell, although her husband never lost contact with his son from his first marriage.  Bill lost contact with his daughters and we sort of faded out of that particular brand of hell and entered into a different one.

A couple of years ago, Pam found a huge lump in her breast that popped up very suddenly.  She went to a doctor who was very worried.  She had a very rare form of metastatic breast cancer-- a type that occurs in less than 1% of all cases.  After chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, she got another two years.  Nineteen days ago, she announced on Facebook that the cancer had come back with a vengeance and had spread to her lungs, liver, ribs, and shoulders, among other places.

She went into the hospital, where fluid was drained from her lungs.  She said it didn't help much and she was absolutely exhausted... so exhausted she couldn't even walk across the room.  She tried a round of chemotherapy, but it made her too sick to continue.  Yesterday, it was announced that she was going on hospice.  She lasted less than a day.

Last month, Pam posted pictures of herself with two of her three kids at graduations.  One just finished college and the other finished high school.  She was a very loving mother and often posted about her children and how much she loved and missed the ones in college.  It's hard to believe she was well enough to attend graduations just last month and now she's gone.

The other person who died was a fellow Epinions writer.  Beth and I weren't Facebook friends, probably because she found me too raw for her tastes (she was very Christian, but a peaceful kind-- not one to be pious).  She was friends with a number of my friends, though, so I became aware of her situation through them.  One of her best friends is a Facebook friend of mine.  For the last couple of weeks, our mutual friend has been writing beautiful, poignant, heartfelt messages about Beth and I've wished I'd had the chance to get to know her.  This particular mutual friend also has had cancer.  She's young and has a beautiful spirit, but she was stricken by ovarian cancer and plunged into menopause while still in her 30s.  

I didn't know Beth very well, other than through her writing and through other people's love for her.  I can see that she's left behind so many people who will miss her dearly.  They've been leaving messages of hope and love and it was much too early for her to die.

Both of these women died yesterday.  And other friends of mine have announced their own diagnoses with cancer.  One friend, someone I met at a karaoke show, is having part of her tongue removed this week.  She had already had some removed several years ago, but the cancer came back.  Another friend, whom I also met while singing karaoke songs, has been diagnosed with lymphoma.  Another musical friend has melanoma.  And both of my dogs have had cancerous masses removed.  My dog Zane is having two more taken off next month.  I don't know if they're cancerous.  They probably are.

I know it's been said many times, but I'm saying it again.  Cancer sucks.  I hate it.  I didn't really know either of these women who died... but I can see how much they mattered to other people and how much pain losing them will cause their loved ones.  I know their families will be burdened by all that comes from death, especially after extensive medical treatment.  I am grateful that neither Pam nor Beth will suffer anymore, but angry that they died way before their times.  My heart is with their families... especially their spouses and children.

That's about all I want to say about this right now, lest I get very depressed...  so...

Moving on to a less serious topic...   

Yesterday, I was watching The Karate Kid on Netflix, marveling at both the fact that the weather here is unseasonably cold and the fact that I remember seeing The Karate Kid in the movie theater when I was 12.  Once again, it struck me how damn old I am...  33 years went by fast.

Anyway, I was also playing Words With Friends when I got a request for a new game.  The other player was someone I don't know.  I am always up for a round of Words With Friends, so I accepted the game request.  As soon as I played my word, I got a message from the dude.

He started with the usual pleasantries, then made some odd comments that suggested he was either hitting on me or fishing for information.  I was already annoyed when he went beyond the usual "Hi, how are you." and wanted to know other information.  He might have gotten farther if he'd been playing words as he chatted, but he just seemed interested in a chat and wasn't playing his turn.

I thought he might fuck off when I told him I was married, but he just asked how my husband was.  I said he was "great".  Then he told me he's a single father and is currently in Afghanistan on a secret peacekeeping mission.  I immediately suspected that was bullshit, especially when he didn't seem to pick up on the fact that I'm an American in Germany.  If he's really military, that should have been a clue not to bullshit me.

Anyway, when Bill got home, I showed him the messages.  While I was showing Bill the messages, the guy sent another message about "trust".  I'm thinking to myself, "all I want to do is play Words With Friends" and you're wanting to actually make friends.  Which would be fine if the approach weren't so "hinky"-- but the comments he was making were making me nervous.  Anyway, I sent him to the block list.  I'm disappointed, because I really just wanted to play the game.

And finally, some hopeful news...    

Bill recently sent his younger daughter an email letting her know that his email address was changing due to his new job.  In his email, he didn't let on that he's been stalking her blog.  Instead, he said he'd noticed that her attitude had changed a lot since she went on her LDS mission.  He did ask her about the mission and apparently younger daughter's eyes were opened a bit.  She said she felt she had no right to judge, since people come from all kinds of circumstances.

I don't know if she's made the leap to realizing that her statement also applies to Bill.  Maybe there's more of him in her than we realized.  I hope so.  Anyway, she never brings up her mother or anyone else in the family except for her husband.  Bill says she's remarkably mature.  Maybe, in her case, a Mormon mission was a blessing.  

It's amazing how healing her contact with Bill has been for me, even if I don't really trust her.  The anger I felt toward her just a few months ago has largely dissipated.  I hope she turns out to be real, but I hesitate to give her the benefit of the doubt.  Time will tell, I guess.


4 comments:

  1. 1. Cancer fucking blows. My grade school BFF died in Feb, 6 weeks after being diagnosed with liver cancer. I'd reconnected with her on FB about 18 months ago after 30+ years. I found out she had cancer from an odd msg her co-worker posted on her FB wall. I'm so thankful I got to visit her before she died.

    2. I hate when creepers ruin a good online game. I used to play a trivia game back in the heyday of AOL and you could play repeated games against the same opponent. This guy & I were having a nice chat then all of a sudden, he started becoming inappropriate. Never played that game again.

    3. I hope that DD #2 doesn't break Bill's heart again and that she proves to be a nicer, more trustworthy human being than that C*** who spawned her.

    My fingers are crossed for Zane!

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    1. I have so many friends with cancer... it sucks.

      I hope #2 isn't an asshole. She hasn't asked for money, though, which puts her over her shithead brother.

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  2. cancer is frightening. i refused a clerkship in oncology because I really don't want to dealwith it on a daily basis. i realize that any physician or surgeon will face cancer in his or her work, but i don't wish for it to be the focus.

    Both cases are tremendously sad. Round Two for Pam went faster than i've ever heard of it going.

    The secret peacekeping warrior sounds like a complete tool. A liar needs to know his audience well enough to have a clue as to whether or not his lies will get him even as far as first base, which he clearly does not.

    I wouldn't be all that trusting of step-daughter, either, but I understand why the Lt. Col. may have to be. Perhaps she's the one in a thousand or more for whom a mission has been a good thing.

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    1. Well, I really don't blame him for wanting to talk to her. She is his daughter, all my snarkiness aside. I hope she has grown up into a reasonable person. That would be great. But we have been down this road before, so I hesitate to trust her. Bill says he likes it that way, since he has a tendency to get blinded by his heart.

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