Posts from June, 2010

Ann’s Diary: Cash For Cancer

Did you hear about the woman who claimed to have cancer to make money?  It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.  Here’s the link: Claiming Cancer, Committing a Crime.

If you get to the tail end of this article without exploding, you will read that her lawyer claims she has a mental disorder. I would think so. Anyone who uses cancer in order to make cash has a problem beyond what I can determine. 

I promise not to go crazy on this person, after all, if she does have a mental problem then that’s awful. But mental or not, you can’t take one of the worse things that can happen to a life and twist it up and into your way of stealing other people’s money. Talk about taking the bang out of a donated buck.

So I hope all the people who gave her money can find some solace in the fact that I, a cancer survivor, thank them from the bottom of my heart for their compassion. And I ask them to hang in there for the rest of us real survivors, who leaned on other people’s time, cash and compassion during what was obviously the worst time of our lives. That kind of help and support made my pain a tiny bit more manageable, and six years later, I am still very, very grateful.

So I tip my hat to you and I am sorry you got mixed up in somebody’s alleged mental problem. The love you put behind those written checks or hard earned cash means something to me, who didn’t even receive them. You gave money to a fake cancer survivor and a real cancer survivor thanks you for it. 

I hope that knowledge puts some of the bang back into your stolen buck.

Posted June 30th, 2010 by
Ann's Diary: Cash For Cancer
Posted in: Ann's Diary

Ann’s Diary: Life In Tattoos

I have a friend who has 49 tattoos. They are beautifully displayed across her arms, back, backside, ankles and other places I haven’t asked about. 

I am not a tattoo person–meaning I have never gone out and paid for a tattoo. But I have three. They are the pinpoint pricks the radiation oncology group had to put on my smooth white chest after my double mastectomy and chemotherapy treatments were over.  They mapped out exactly where the radiation would hit in order to kill any residual breast cancer cells and in combination with my other treatments help to save my life.

That was 6 years ago, and I feel wonderful today, and I recently bumped into my friend with the tattoos. She told me she’d added 2 more to make it a grand total of 49.  She pulled up her sleeve and showed me her very latest one–it was the saying  “Life Is Not Neat.” 

I’d heard her mom say those words quite often during my childhood. She said it to remind herself and her children (and their friends) that our paths in this world can often be confusing and difficult but just as easily can be exciting and rewarding and full of adventure and growth.  So when life isn’t neat, you have to sweep up as best you can (my friend’s tattoo comes complete with a broom) and get to the next thing life has in store.

I remember those words all the time in my life and it was somehow comforting to see that wisdom inked out on the arm of my dear old friend.

Then I pulled down my neckline  and said with mock defense, “Well remember I have tattoos, too.”  There revealed was one of my three blue spots and  I told her, “the technician who put it on me said it’s the world from far away.” 

But now I see my tattoos say the very same thing my old friend’s does–Life Is Not Neat. Stuff happens. Cancer happened–to me.  And when the going got tough I had to grab my broom and start sweeping. I’m still sweeping today.

And so far I’ve found that if I sweep it up the right way, hold on tightly to my broom and keep up with people who make me smile, laugh, and hope–especially old friends with 49 tattoos, then life for this young breast cancer survivor, whether neat or not, is well worth it.

Posted June 13th, 2010 by
Ann's Diary: Life In Tattoos
Posted in: Ann's Diary