A couple months ago I received a request to fill in 25 random things about me on the VERY SAME DAY from friends in Maine, Tennessee, NY, Puerto Rico, and S. America (Isn’t the internet great?). I felt a little pressured and didn’t get around to it until today when I got in that special kind of mood I need to be in.
1. I told X art was whatever he wanted it to be and that he didn’t have to color in the lines if he didn’t want to. My husband made me take it back and tell him it was okay when his kindergarten teacher commented on his first report card.
2. When I was under ten, if you asked what I was best at, I would say “getting in my dad’s wallet.”
3. My first memory is of me screaming and being dragged out of the hospital by my father, because I didn’t want to leave my mother who was giving birth to Patrick. A grandpa type gentleman asked if he could buy me M&Ms. He told me it would be okay, and it really was.
4. I know some of you read my first memory and snickered about my “way with men.”
5. My father told Heather and I our eyes were brown because we had “shit for brains” and convinced us that if we shut our eyes, we really were invisible.
6. Heather and I had a life plan to live in a big house exactly where I do now with as many adopted children as we could handle. We were going to name our orphanage “Bethel” (God’s house). I would work and she would be a full time mom. No men were ever included. This plan only changed when Jon and I decided to get married (as opposed to when we had Xander, which was before).
7. Sometimes Heather and I still hide somewhere, refuse to talk to anybody else, and talk about how stupid we are for not sticking with the original plan.
8. For as long as I can remember, I would cry about how wrong people treated people.
9. I died at birth and every once and while if I’m having a bad day, I look around and think “ich, I’m here” and wonder why God sent me back.
10. On the really bad days, I will find irrefutable evidence that ANYBODY is an idiot. My current doctor whose been described as a “hot shot”, “genius” and really has helped pioneer stem cell transplantation, is not exempt. I don’t care if he does teach at Harvard.
11. Before I even met the man I just referred to, I called myself the “Anti-Alyea” since he roots for Duke, the Red Sox, and received a medical degree at Harvard. I root for UNC, the Yankees (I’m reformed), and planned on attending Yale Nursing School.
12. If you think or say “Yale only accepts 18 graduate nursing students a year” I’ll look confused and respond with, “what exactly are you saying?”
13. In high school I considered dating a teacher. I asked the “big guys” (a group of grown father type men) about him. They told me no, I could not see him, because he was English and he sucked at soccer. Nobody ever said “he’s your teacher and that’s inappropriate.” I turned his ass flat down, and agreed, he did suck at soccer.
14. I would never have a relationship with a football or hockey player. It’s a long term deal breaker. Any child of mine will play soccer and basketball.
15. I have never slept with a man that I would not co-parent with. I’ve never jumped into bed without knowing a person’s disease status. I would joke that to seriously date me, I reacquired blood tests, cultures, and an ATM receipt. I’ll say this is true, unless you’re my son. In that case, I’ve only ever been with your father.
16. Jon and I were set up by my sister after Heather called him at 2am to bail her out of protective custody because her ex, a friend of his, was arrested for DUI. He came to bail her out, even though they’d never had a conversation. As a consolation prize, she made me go on a double date and invited him to a party. The rest is history.
17. The first two movies we saw together were “Erin Brokavich” and “Joan of Arc.” I wanted to make it clear the type of woman he was getting with. He showed up with 8 days scruff and his diesel smelling work clothes.
18. I’ve lived my life without regrets, but if I had a bucket list, rip chording through the jungle, base jumping, and eating and dancing with indigenous tribes would make the list.
19. I really do think everything in life happens for a reason, and in general, I am only as significant as the master plan. This doesn’t mean I will accept something I know is wrong, not try everything to survive, and fail to make a difference.
20. For a while, I would call my first two cancer providers my “best friends” because they “legally had to keep my secrets.” I think this is why Bill and Hillary are still together. Married couples can not testify financially against one another.
21. I really think Hillary Clinton has her own lovers and when she heard about Monica, she was pissed only because her husband was stupid enough to get caught.
22. I love geek jokes. In college, my friends and I would sometimes get irritated and joke that “all those cells should go commit apoptysis.” Those cells configured a person. Apoptysis is the process by which cells kill themselves.
23. I really think if a subgroup is misunderstood by a majority then the cultural barrier will be too much to reach them. My favorite anthropologists are the ones willing to immerse themselves within a culture and become a part of it, knowing it will change them forever. I am still excited I get to be among the baldies in their 20s and 30s, because I know what we can learn and teach.
24. As a youth, I wanted to run an orphanage in Africa. By nineteen I realized I didn’t have to go to Africa to care for orphaned and abandoned children. There are too many here. I’d rather take the cost of my plane ticket and give it away.
25. If I’m in the right kind of mood, I’ll fill a comment card in with statements like: My waitress/nurse/doctor was (name) FABULOUS. All the ratings will be great, 5 stars, or 10 out of 10, and in the comments I will write “BEST HSCU EVER,” “Best staff seen,” or “I’m telling all my friends!” even though I can’t remember the name of who cared for me, because I like to imagine the look on the face of whoever reads it and how they’ll treat everyone they encounter for the rest of the day.
26. I’m imagining how you are responding right now. It’s making me happy. And I do know the list only said 25.
Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.
He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.
Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."
I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.
I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."