lpsrocks's Blog


Rockville, Maryland,
web developer, NOLA native, mom of two, concerned citizen living apparently waaaayyy too close to the Beltway, as I have become part of the "chattering classes"... just a political junkie, I guess...concerned about the environment, the wetlands, and keeping the world safe for democracy... no wonder we can't sleep at night...


NOVEMBER 18, 2010 5:39PM

F**K - I Need to Outlive Dick Cheney

Rate: 16 Flag

“Fuck, I need to outlive Dick Cheney,” flitted among the random thoughts streaming through my brain this past weekend. No, I don’t start all of my sentences with expletives and no, I don’t have a morbid fascination with death or with his evilness (ok, that’s debatable).

Here’s the thing: on Friday afternoon, I found out that I have colon cancer. A PET/CT scan would be required to determine what stage (or how far the cancer had spread), but that wouldn’t be until Tuesday. I was left to spend the weekend worrying, absorbing the news, reading what I could on the Internet about stages, symptoms, treatment, and prognosis. If it was early stage, it could most likely be cured through surgery with possible adjuvant chemotherapy. If it was late stage and had spread to the liver and/or lungs, the prognosis was much darker.

Although I tried to be hopeful and stay positive, my gallows humor somehow always manages to sneak its way in. As we were watching my son’s pee-wee football game Saturday morning, I shared my random Dick Cheney thought with my husband. His response, “Aren’t you setting the bar kinda low?” Me: “I’m just taking this ladder one rung at a time.”

You see, DH (dear husband) gets it. He knows that humor, even if it’s black humor, is gonna get me through. I told my BFF (who you’ve met in earlier posts) what DH said and she just told me, “Lis – just don’t tell anybody else that.”

She knows. Not everybody gets my sardonic side. People will think I really have jumped on the crazy train. My family, god love ‘em, will worry that I’m coming unglued. But S. – she gets it, too.

She’s always been the Shirley to my Laverne. She’s updated our friendship: she’s now Meredith to my Cristina. I’m her person. And, she’s my person. Apologies to those of you who aren’t Grey’s Anatomy fans; I’m sure (at least I hope) you have your person, too.

 “How come you always get to be the cute, bright and cheery one and I have to be the odd duck?” I ask. In our conversations, I think this is a perfectly reasonable question.

“Meredith is NOT bright and cheery,” she replies. True, Meredith is rather dark and twisty. But, Cristina – she’s just out there, doing her own thing. Hard-core. With occasional cracks in her armor. Last week, Cristina’s roommate found her doing the Flashdance thing with her headphones cranked up really loud.

“Oh, alright, I can be Cristina. Just be my person.”

S. feels bad that she can’t go with me to the PET/CT Scan – 2 ½ hours of sheer boredom, according to Brian, the Radiologist. “It’s ok,” I tell her (and DH, and my minister, who also offered to come with me). “I don’t think they’ll let you in the back with me anyway and I’ll just bring along a good book.”

Turns out books are not allowed. Nope, just me, a hospital gown, my socks & shoes (yes, I was a lovely sight) and an hour to rest with the radioactive dye coursing through my veins. And, then 30 minutes to lie still in the PET Scan machine.

Again, my dear friends (both OS & IRL) and their acerbic wit come to the rescue. I recall Freaky’s comments about the weird spa they were in during Deven and Daniel’s hospice stay. I try to visualize, telling myself it’s just a really strange spa treatment. I try to imagine the creepy gown open in back is really a plush terry Red Door Spa robe. I take deep, calming breaths – focus on the breath (so, ok, maybe all that yoga wasn’t a total waste of time).

As I get ready to head into the PET Scan Tunnel (imagine an MRI tunnel, but open on both ends), I close my eyes and tell myself it’ll be just like Space Mountain. Dark, scary, but when you’re done, you stand up and say, “that wasn’t so bad.”

Actually, after Space Mountain, I said, “let’s do it again.” Not a chance, here. But, I was trying. I was also trying to put all thoughts of the actual cancer out of my mind, and just focus on the positive. Like a facial or massage, it may sting or be uncomfortable for the moment, but it was to help me heal and get well.

I tried not to think about Dick Cheney. I tried not to think about the other people in the waiting room, most of whom were older, but a few who were much younger than I. I could sense the anxiety, as people asked when they would get their results. I tried to stay in the moment and not worry about results – there would be time for that. Someone told me the results should be read later that afternoon and forwarded to my doctor either that day or the next morning.

As it turned out, I didn’t have to wait very long. My doctor called a few hours later. “We got your results,” he said. “Good news. The cancer is still inside your colon and hasn’t gone through the wall or spread.”

I let out a very deep breath and said a quiet, “Thank you.”

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I get it. You can say what you want to me. Hell, seeing it's colon cancer, you can be as scatological as you want. Fuck cancer, and fuck Dick Cheney.

And YAY! for the diagnosis. I mean, it's cancer, but at least it's something they can get rid of. Good news Lis. xo

Also and--thanks for the update, you've been in my thoughts and not just because I was in Neaux Orleans.
That is excellent news.
Glad to hear you have postive news.
And glad you have "your person" to bring the dark humor to make it bearable.
Welcome to the world of celebrating weird things. Yay! You have cancer that hasn't penetrating the wall of your colon!! Yippeeeee!

Yeah, that is definitely weird, but I know you know that life is full of those sorts of weird moments where you are actually happy to find out that you are confronted with the least bad thing.

And this is one of the least bad things. Cancer sucks, but I'm so glad that the scans showed this to be a quite survivable cancer. Take a deep breath and keep that sense of humor alive and well!!
barry, dorinda, denise & susan - my dear OS friends - thank you so much for your comments and support. It feels good and necessary to reconnect with you and OS.

Yes, barry, I'm storing up all sorts of "crap" jokes - and yes, this is the least crappy of the crappy news. I'll take it.

For the record, from now on, we must all pronounce it CO-LAWN - as this is how dd's British/Nigerian literary media teacher pronounces it and B thinks it's hilarious to mimic him.

You had me holding my breath.

I hope you'll do what Mary Beth Williams did after her diagnosis and tweet "Hey, cancer. Go eat a bowlful of hot dicks."

And then kill it.
F**k yeah, you have to. Glad to hear the good parts of this news; I'm keeping you in my thoughts. But not Dick Cheney.
I am very, very happy to hear this news. Dick Cheney is a fucktard.
yay for the best scenario in a scary reality! I wish you strength and courage and all the black humor posts it takes to lift you up and through and far beyond the cancer. ...Does it count that DICK's heart (or lack thereof) will NEVER stop even when he ceases? rated...and yes, sucked me in w the title! thanks!
found this (and you) because of barry's link on FB. so glad i did. great black humor piece -- and great good news. oh, and what denise said, too.
Well, it IS a catchy title :-)

I 'spose we should be celebrating the "good" news that it is contained , but I still feel like it is a fuckity fuck fuck what the fuck?! turn of events. Downright shocking in fact. Hang tough and reach out whenever you want to. ((((((hugs)))))))))
Amazing what qualifies as "good news" sometimes, isn't it? Black humor, gallows humor, use what ever you can to get through this. I'm sorry you have to face it at all.

And may you still be here to spit on Cheney's evil grave!
Glad you got news, and NONE of us should die before that FUCK CHENEY!!
Read you post on Barry's FB recommendation and am glad I did. This was well written, and I look forward to reading you more and getting to know you, DH and "your person". Glad it was the lesser of evils this time, and that you should easily be around to dance on Cheney's grave!
uh -- obviously that should have been good news -- now for more good news -- how about Cheney's obit? Oh, gosh, did I say that?
Lisa, with your humor and optimism, cancer doesn't stand a chance. Always know that you're not in this battle alone. Your friends, both real life ones and virtual ones, are right here beside you, cheering you on. XOXO
I'm late learning this. And, like Denise, I was holding my breath while reading this. And YAY! for early detection. Fuck cancer, Dick Cheney and loads of other things, but especially cancer.
You are incorrect in thinking that Dick Cheney is still alive. Yes, there are animated parts of Dick Cheney moving through the world, but the various parts of his victims are keeping the blood flowing through his arteries. The shriveled portions of his brain contain secrets too terrible to share. Yes, Zombie Veep. I am glad that you had some good news to counter the bad news and hope that your treatment is short and effective. However tempting, do not donate parts of your colon to Cheney. He hasn't used one in years.
*Huge* sigh of relief at this news, lp. I hope everyone I know outlives Dick Cheney and I want you leading the parade. Take care.
This is one hell of a piece of writing--powerful and funny and gut-wrenching--which is what you need in this situation. Now let 'em take all that nasty cancer so you can show that big Dick who's got more staying power.
All - thank you so much for your support & for "getting" it.

Who knows? Any one of us might get hit by a bus tomorrow. As far as Cheney, there are many, many black spots on his milk bottle (my great grandmother's metaphor for the soul & sin - it's a Catholic thing I'm sure)

I plan to fight this thing and so far, I have a great team of doctors, family & friends on my side. Thanks y'all. & especially Barry for sending some of our Facebook friends this way. xxooxx
will be thinking of you and all will be well and you can enjoy your life without Dick Cheney.....
You on the road to a great accomplishment. Bravo.
Your on the road to a great accomplishment. Bravo.