Saturday, August 29, 2009

Your money or your life???

Imagine this scenario: a robber comes up to you and says "your money or your life??" Which would you choose? Of course you would give the robber your wallet and hope that he will go away. Now imagine this: robber says your money or your life, and says to you, if you keep your money I will kill you at some point in time, but not right now, you wont know where and wont know when.

What would you do?

This kind of situation happened to a friend of mine. My friend went to the doctor a few years ago and through a scan they found a spot on one of his organs. He was told that he needed to watch it, go in for follow ups and scans every few months. But he didn't. He didn't have health insurance. So he didn't follow up, and now he's gone. He was well loved by friends and family,his funeral was filled with to capacity, standing room only. All those people, loved my friend and miss him dearly, as do I.

We could have had a fundraiser for him if we had known.

Now its too late.

Not having money is not an excuse.
Not having health insurance is not an excuse.
Hospitals and doctors will treat you, I think it is the law.
I have said it before I would rather be broke than dead.

Now I ask you the question again:


Mel is the producer of The Vic McCarty Show. Listen Live Monday-Friday 10am-noon eastern standard time on

Friday, August 28, 2009

Believe it or not its just me


Why can’t cancer come with a manual? Maybe it does and someone just lost it, like that guy in the tv show from the eighties “The Greatest American Hero.” If you don’t remember the show it is about a guy who gets a superman type suit from a ufo (yes you read that right) and lost the manual to the suit, left it in the desert.
Things sure would be easier if I had a manual. I recall one person, who I haven’t seen in a while, commented on how good I looked, if I working out, nope, cancer is the best diet ever I exclaimed! I wonder if that would be in the book. The manual would have chapters on nausea, fatigue, although most of us would be too sleepy to read it, chemo brain, that one I would probably have to read over and over again, forgetting that I had already read it. Chapters on baldness, what to eat, what not to eat, and just dealing with life after cancer, that is the hardest part for me, that everyone expects you to be exactly the same, and on the outside you may look the same but you feel completely different. Cancer Sucks.
So if you are out somewhere and you find the manual, make me a copy, ok?

Mel is the producer of the Vic McCarty Show. Listen Live Monday thru Friday 10am-noon eastern on

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Not exactly with the greatest of ease, but it sure was fun!!!

This is a picture of me doing a trapeze experience at a local resort that I used to work for. They have had the trapeze up every summer since I started working there in 2005. I never really thought about doing it until I had cancer. The resort allows the local media to try it for free then talk about it on the air, (how freakin cool is that really? get paid to talk about fun experiences that you do for free!!)

Last year two of my co-workers from the radio station tried the trapeze. I was still working at the resort at the time, and at the radio station. I was jealous that they were able to do it and I was not, I still had my port in and you are not supposed to do any contact sport when you have it in, yes it actually says that in the manual!!! I was not able to see how they did, but it looked like fun, and I vowed to myself I would do it this year.

When the time came I contacted person in charge of the trapeze and told him I wanted to do it, he set up a time and I went home excitedly and told my fiance that I was going to do it. The look on his face was what? really? why the hell would you want to do that?

I don't have a death wish, I don't want to climb mountains or do extreme sports (unless you consider hockey an extreme sport) I am not one of those people who wants to do something "just because it is there."

I had seen other people do the trapeze and I saw it was safe, you are harnessed in, there was a net underneath, and sure I had to sign the in event of death you do not hold us responsible waiver, in case of emergency contact, insurance info blah blah blah, ironically enough most of the same kind of paperwork you sign when you have major surgery. So after that was all taken care we stretched and got some instruction and were good to go.

The climb up the ladder wasn't so bad, and I am not afraid of heights, but I did forget one thing before I even decided to do this. I get motion sickness real easy, I usually have to sit in the front seat of a car or else I will be nauseous. You would have thought I would have remembered this little gem of information, but no I think the excitement of doing the trapeze made me totally forget about that.

The trick they have you do is stand all the way out on the platform with your toes on the edge, grab the bar with one hand,push your stomach out, grab the bar with your other hand and then on their signal jump off the platform then try, while moving, put your knees on the bar so you are hanging on it upside down.


They said it was about momentum, not about upper body strength. Ya right, is that why my upper body feels sore today? I had 3 tries, was able to do it on the last one before the motion sickness took control and I had to stop.

Would I do it again? Probably, after a couple of months of serious upper body and core workouts and a lot of dramamine.

Mel is the producer/co-host of The Vic McCarty Show. Listen live Monday-Friday 10am-noon eastern on

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This is your brain after being on drugs

Recently I had a routine follow up appointment to the Oncologist. I equate these checkups to getting your car looked at, just change the oil, look under the hood, you know that kind of thing. It was my second appointment since finishing up herceptin and getting my port surgically removed. As a cancer survivor there is always that thought in the back of your mind that yes it could come back, but you go through your days and weeks keeping that thought at bay, filling time with the regular routine of life. Back to the appointment, after a blood draw that afternoon and an exam the news was good, see you in six months. Gotta love those kind of appointments.

I just got a book in the mail called "Your Brain After Chemo." I got it because the publisher saw my blog and wanted me to talk about it here, I just started reading it and the author and I have a similar cancer background. I told the publisher I will have them on the Vic McCarty show, I gather that the cancer survivors who listen to the show have what is commonly referred to as ChemoBrain. I have blogged about this quite often, because it is the most annoying side effect that I have. I usually have a great memory, but chemo brain takes away from that, it is like trying to find a file on your computer, you know its there, you can see it on the desktop, but cannot access it, or you forget where you put things, you see things like that. I know this book will have some good tips on helping me with my memory. Some days are better than others. Some days it doesn't bother me at all, other days I struggle to find the simplest thing that I should know (I am a trivia hound, I have more useless info stored in my head than most people.)

I know as I read more it will give me more insight and tips. Why am hoping that this will help?
Because when I went shopping the other day I was putting the groceries away and later found I put the ziploc bags in the fridge. I am glad I didn't put the fish we bought for dinner in the cupboard.

Mel is the Producer of The Vic McCarty show. Listen live Monday-Friday 10am-noon eastern on

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Don't give it power over you

I read alot. Books, articles on the internet, other blogs. One thing I have noticed is that people give cancer too much power. Of course when it is all around you it feels like it has power over you, over every little piece of you, your mind, your body, sometimes even your spirit. To battle it, the drugs they give you can make your skin feel weird, your hair fall out, make you feel like someone else. After treatment is over your survivorship begins, back to work, back to the normal routine of everyday life, going from 6 doctor visits a month back to the daily routine of work is kind of like a culture shock, kind of like when I moved here from California.

Cancer can consume you if you let it, taking over your thoughts and everything around you. That is giving it power. Writing about it, capitalizing the actual word cancer in my mind gives it power. Don't get me wrong, I obviously know the hold this disease can have over you, your friends, your family. Some days I used to feel that I would go into work and try to hide being upset and think that my co workers would think "oh there is cancer girl", upset at (fill in the blank.) Some days I would feel like I would want to crawl inside myself and hide, like no one else in the world could possibly feel like I did. Talking to other survivors I know that is not the case, but to me that is what it felt like.

A good friend of mine and 4 time cancer survivor said that a positive mental attitude can go a long way. I agree. Keeping a good sense of humor during a difficult time like battling a disease can be hard, especially when there are bills to pay, side effects to deal with, friends and family not knowing what to say or what to do to help, and just dealing with, well, life in general. I was able to keep my sense of humor during recovery from surgery, chemo, radiation, and now just survivorship in general.

Find your bliss, find what makes you happy in difficult times. Don't give cancer power over you.

Mel is the producer of The Vic McCarty Show. Listen live at 10am-noon eastern Monday-Friday on