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Cancer Sucks- Being Strong Is Hard

Some days you don't feel like being strong. You need to dig deep to find a reason to keep on living like this. I still have yearly colonoscopies to check for colon tumors and I am happy to report that instead of biopsies, I am monitoring my cancer with MRIs. Here is an exceprt from my new book on one of my not so strong days.

 

When the colonoscopy and biopsy days came, I would start my prep, work from home and manage it. Those days the emotions would work hard at generating fear and anxiety, ending in irritable frustration. I was living alone in my little one-bedroom apartment. I remember coordinating my work calls between bathroom runs. It was hard to concentrate. I had decided to cook a turkey so I would have food during my recovery period. Forgetting it needed to thaw, I had forgotten to purchase it in time. 

 I used the bathroom in hopes of holding on while I rushed to the supermarket a few doors down. I made a list on a sticky note to minimize my time in the store. I jumped in my car, pulled into traffic and a moment later I was parked and walking into Hannafords. I grabbed a basket, plopped a turkey in it and then found the stuffing, onion, apples, walnut and an aluminum baking pan. I dropped everything on the cashier’s conveyor belt. She rang it up. It was $19 or something. I reached for my wallet. I had left it at home. I just began to cry. It was all too much. “I’m sorry.” I blubbered. “I’m having a procedure tomorrow and I am a little out of sorts.”

“Oh honey, it’s OK. What are you having done?” The cashier asked.

 “A biopsy. I just don’t like them.” I saw her name tag. It said Donna. I started to ask Donna if she could set my purchase aside when she made her way around to the front of the payment terminal and swiped her personal debit card and  paid for my groceries.

“God bless you, sir. I hope it’s good news.” Come back and let me know how you are doing. I am always here on Thursdays. I thanked her more times than I could count. I went home and put my turkey in the refrigerator. Then I lay in bed, my mind racing, tears, and utter despair swept over me. Today - the next day or so, I would be in the “worry about cancer” compartment. Gratitude and fear of the unknown were the anchors of those thoughts and feelings.

Anesthesia Is Your Friend (Part II and III)

These are excerpts from my new book The Pathetic Runner, due out in December.

Part II
In college I was an amateure pharmacist. It was a pretty good living and I was a popular kid, having such an esteemed vocation.

It paid for books and supplies and kept a small New England town financially stable. Nitrous Oxide was one of my favored inhalants back in the day. If you are practicing to be a comedian, this stuff was it. However, It was a bad choice as a telephone operator. “You want to call who? Let me connect you to the president.” Speaking of presidents. The sitting president came to my college. We entertained him with a talent show and a redneck state dinner. My band Insanity played a few tunes for Commander-In-Chief. White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane and Light My Fire by the Doors. Sadly, it was a 2nd place performance. Jimmy Carter got my vote that year. If he had liked my music a little better, he would have gotten it the next time, too.
 
Part III
Nurse Jennifer: You can change into this *handing me the surgical gown and cap* with the opening in the back. You can leave on your clean underwear. Put the rest of your clothes in the plastic bag. I will be back in a couple of minutes.
Me: Don’t be too long, because I came dressed for action. (I really only was wearing flip-flops, underwear, shorts with no pockets or belt, and a t-shirt.) This is a 30 second job. I was done before she pulled the curtain.

A little later...

Nurse Jennifer: We are going to give you something to relax. But first can you tell me what you are here for?
Me: The relaxation drugs. 
Nurse Jennifer: Anything else?
Me: Nope
Nurse Jennifer: What procedure are you having.

More to come.

Stop the Food Pushers!

Don't you just hate it when "no thank you" doesn't work? What do you do if those inconsiderate family members, friends and Type-A soccer moms continue to offer you food, suggest the worst restaurants, drinks and other deadly treats?

Well, here is an arsenal of snide remarks from my first book, which should stop them in their tracks. Feel free to mix-n-match. Gender options can be used as needed.

Them: You have to try it.
You: That's what they said about remote control underwear.
 
Them: I made it myself. You'll love it!
You: No thanks, I'd rather drink sour milk.
You (alternate answer): I make poop myself, but I keep that quiet.

Them: Here, have {some crap you don't eat.}
You: Did you check the package? I heard that was recalled due to E. coli.

Them: It's just once a year!
You: So are OBGYN visits and I am not sure I like the stirrups.

Them: You should have a beer.
You: No thanks, I am going skydiving at lunch and don't want to splatter on the roof of your wife's mini-van/husband's BMW, it might scare the hell out of the kids.

Them: Have another piece of cake.
You: So, I can look like you?

Them: One bite isn't going to kill you.
You: Unless it's cyanide.

Them: We have so many leftovers. Take some!
You: You are really going to give me the crap no one else eats?

Them: But it's your favorite!
You: No, running at 4 am is. Would you join me tomorrow?

Them: Let's stop at McDonald's.
You: You are what you eat, and I am not interested in being fat, cheap or passed out a window.

Them: You should have some {Name of some food item that your MFP friends will delete you over.}.
You: I am allergic to sugar, fat and sodium, but thanks for asking.

Them: Let's go to KFC.
You: I heard some one got a fried mouse there - pretty gross, right? 

Them: Have a piece of pizza.
You: I just saw the {name of the person most disliked in the office} sneeze on it. It's hard to tell with the broccoli, I know.

Them: How about a Margarita?
You: No thanks; I was looking for a José/Juanita about my age with ripped abs.

Them: Try some banana nut bread.
You: I can't, I am fasting for my colonoscopy. Actually I need to run...

Them: You are a vegetarian?
You: Yes, the only animals I eat are crackers.

Them: It's good for you.
You: Let's see *picking up the package* Bleached Flour, Corn Syrup, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Vegetable and Animal Shortening, Dextrose. Modified Corn Starch, Glucose, Leavenings (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate), Sweet Dairy Whey, Soy Protein Isolate, Calcium and Sodium Caseinate, Salt, Mono and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Soy Lecithin, Soy Flour, Cornstarch, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sorbic Acid (to Retain Freshness), Yellow 5, and Red 40.

I think you are wrong.

Them: If you don't try my dish, I'm just going to have to force you to eat it!
You: Is this food rape?

Them: This is to die for.
You: Last time it gave me raging gas and I was asked to leave the bait aisle at Bass Pro Shops.

Them: You should eat another serving of turkey.
You: No, thanks, it makes me fart and I sound like a tuba with benefits.

Them: You can go off your diet.
You: Think of it like this: I am speeding down a mountain road in Argentina; there are no guardrails. Would you tell me it was safe to go off the road?

Them: You don't look like you weigh too much.
You: Not on a scale of 1 to 10, no I don't.

Them: Here try some pork.
You: Was that once a real pig? It looks like your ex.

Them: We've got donuts in the break-room.
You: Is Michelle Obama on vacation this week?

Them: Looks like someone is obsessed with dieting…
You: I would say passionate about health. But what would you know about that?

Them: Come on, you only live once.
You: And when I die, I'm leaving my body to science fiction.

Thanks for the votes and comments. You guys are amazing!

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