Hollywood Script: Cancer & Love

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Typically I scoff at Hollywood’s portrayal of cancer.  Particularly chemotherapy.  Only because I have personal experience. I don’t know.  Maybe it’s me.  Maybe not.  But, in any case I feel that it doesn’t do it any justice.  And of course it wouldn’t and it shouldn’t.  They’re acting, after all and  I wouldn’t want them and by “them,” I mean the actors, to feel even a fraction of what a cancer patient has to go through.  However, I will say, this chemo round, chemo 3.3 we’ll call it, has been pretty on par with the Hollywood script of what cancer looks like.  

Keep in mind, my head is now buzzed.  So from a physicality standpoint, I look a little more like a cancer patient these days, whatever that is supposed to mean.  I guess once again I am referring to what Hollywood depicts.  Picture a standard, five star type of white robe on a once meaty body that is slowly getting less and less thick by the day.  Each Doctor’s visit, the scale becoming less and less, something most women dream for under normal circumstances.  Pale, weak and hanging over the cold porcelain toilet.  Imagine your worst hangover times a squillion, headache and all.  Textbook chemotherapy, textbook Hollywood script.

Last weekend, my best friend, Crystal was in town.  My sister from another mister.  Seriously.  We grew up together.  My brother’s and sister didn’t come into the picture until I was eleven, so Crystal and I grew up like sister’s.  We met on Halloween.  One of my favorite holidays, next to New Years, where I met my other best friend Allison.  I meet all the greats on holidays.  Even meeting Steve the day before the 4th of July — so I count that.  I digress.  Crystal was in town and what I love about our friendship group is that we’re all inclusive.  We all gathered together and celebrated being alive, young, happy and the wonderful things that each of us have going on in our lives and the friendship we share.  There was a big group of us.  And a rare occasion these days,  as I have become such a homebody since treatment has picked back up.

When we got home from the Irish pub that we regularly attend when we actually do make it out of the house, Steve and I sat outside on the chaise lounge on the terrace of our condo.  It was far past closing time, so it must have been three in the morning.  I nestled my head into his chest and we both put our feet up on the table that was before us.

With so many serious conversations under our belt, we looked up at the stars and Steve whispered, “You’re not allowed to leave me.”  

I of course knew what he meant.  He didn’t mean leave him, as in pack up my belongings and move out and onward.  He meant leave him as in from earth — leave him alone in this big world.  I tenderly squeezed his hand knowing it was a promise I couldn’t make.  Tears began streaming down my face as my heart began to ache for him and selfishly, myself.

We sat in silence both knowing what the outcome would eventually be.  Without words it was as though we both realized our love and resiliency was bigger than any Hollywood movie script could ever depict with regards to both love and cancer.  We kissed under the stars like it was our first kiss almost seven lucky years ago.  Sometimes life doesn’t make sense, but I can’t think of anyone I’d rather figure it out with than my man-bun, Ben Sherman wearing, House of Cards obsessed, hubby. xx

Love,

Britt x

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In Bed W. Britt: #BSMHB

This is what happens when you’ve lost sense of space and time, but enjoy yourself nonetheless.

Cheers,

Britt x

Sunday: Sitting Naked Smoking a Joint B/C I Can

Moments ago I sat on our outdoor chaise, smoking a joint out of an Audrey Hepburn like fashion cigarette holder, only mine was good old fashioned Mary Jane, not a ciggy.  The backdrop being pure zen as the Japanese Friendship Garden takes my breath away, although I see it day after day.

Hance park, behind the garden just so happens to be hosting Mountain McDowell Music Festival over the weekend, where the likes of Beck and Animal Collective were a part of the line up.  Being blessed with our location in Downtown Phoenix, we were able to hear the show as if we were present.  It was clear as day, all three days!  Whilst enjoying my smokey treat, the band, The Senators were up, soothing me and the rest of the actual MMMF goers with their song, Music From Another Room and I thought how fitting. 

Here I sit, in another room, per usual because of my resistance to join the rest of the public in fear of my condition.  Just yesterday Steve, myself, my family and a ton of friends went to the horse track, as they held the annual wiener races and we of course now have our little, Zoila — sausage dog.  That morning as we were gearing up to go, I felt extremely fatigued, dizzy, clammy, so on and so forth.  Mind you, within the last few weeks I have had chemo (poison) pumped into my body, switched a total of four large doses of vital medications and was placed on hormone replacements due to going through menopause at the ripe age of thirty.  Intense doesn’t even begin to skim the surface.  Long story short, I put on a brave face, per good form and off to the races we went.

Typically for me, it’s a mixed bag of nuts going out in public, meaning anything outside of Doctor’s visits and affiliate/branding jobs.  Perhaps it’s because I’m a bit nuts myself, but  often times I suffer from anxiety because I shelter myself in so many ways.  I get weirded out and nervous thinking and believing that people are weirded out and nervous by my cancer.  The reality is, that I am able to comprehend that the world does not orbit around me and that it is all in my head.  But, hey, these are the things that go through my head and I’m being honest here.  This is my circle of truth.  Then by that point, once we arrive and I see all of the beautiful faces of my family and friends all of the woes and worries of the world seemingly disappear.  That along with the spirit of my reality and my set of circumstances, as I am able to giggle and escape in which case I would take over a doobie any second.  That is the highest of all highs.  A high that any Doctor or Dispensary cannot provide.

Although we had to leave the races early and take a little visit to the Mayo Hospital, I was cleared and sent home with good news that I was just dehydrated and out of whack due to my recent changes in medication.  But, even if it was for a sliver of a second, I was able to be normal and engage with friends and loved ones, crack open a beer, enjoy the sunshine, smile at strangers, wait in the ridiculously long ladies restroom line.  You know, normal stuff.  It’s the small things, truly.

On our way home from the hospital Steve and I were starved being that we hadn’t eaten, had been in the sun and then to follow had been at the hospital.  We decided to go on a classy date to Chino Bandido, a delicacy for Phoenicians, a Mexican and Chinese combined taker-outeree.  It’s the least classiest place I can think of, but by far the most delicious.  We chowed down, crashed on the bed as soon as we walked through the door and other than watching American Restoration and answering boring emails today, you’re pretty much up to date.

Yet, there is a point to all of this rambling.  As I lay on my terrace on my chaise lounge, listening to The Senators at MMMF, I realized it’s okay that I cannot do it all anymore.  These are the cards I have been dealt.  Instead, I decided to strip down to my birthday suit. You heard me, correctly.  I got completely stark NAKED, smoked the hell out of my joint and escaped to the most beautiful and cerebral place that exists only in my mind.

I live on such an extreme spectrum in life and I’m not quite sure if I will ever figure that spectrum out, or rather if it will figure me out. And perhaps that’s for the best.  Things come to me in other ways; I am so in tune with myself in a rainbow of other ways and at the same time I am a complicated woman, a Scorpio woman at that.  But damn, it felt so emancipating and comforting all at once, to stand in front of the sunshine in my bare, raw state — showing my scars and my body without any shame or guilt for who I was in that very moment.

I can only wish that everyone experiences such nirvana.

Have a beautiful sabbath day if that is your thing, beautiful ones. Otherwise, peace and love, always.

Love forev,

Britt x

Chat BS with B&S For Your AM:

Some people may think it is strange that I also recorded the audio of Steve buzzing my hair, but what they need to understand is memories.  Now at this point in my life, nostalgia and memories is something I thrive on.  Chemo and cancer can take a toll on your thoughts and your memory due to all of the drugs, and so forth.  It’s important for me to capture the big moments, but also the little moments like this.  Our little conversations that are silly and I will cherish forever.  It was during the whole  length of while Steve was buzzing my hair.  I hope you enjoy and get a bit of a laugh.

Happy Friday,  beauties!

Britt x

Sing Like Dolly: Past Predicts Present & Future 🔮

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At two years of age, Dolly Parton was my idol.  In fact, I should have been the creator of an American Idol genre of entertainment, as my wide eyed vision of fame and the game was futuristic and quite unreal.

When I was younger, maybe eight, I asked my Mum to take me to a general “famous” audition to be a singer or an actress.  Aside from wanting to be just like my gorgeous Mum, I loved Dolly, Pasty, Marilyn, Edie and I can’t leave out, Mary Poppins .  For as far back as I can recall, I genuinely believed that being just like them, a celebrity, would be a hop, skip and a jump (all things I thoroughly enjoyed, on a side note).  But, I figured it would be a one stop, shop type of audition.  A decision, a yes or a no and I was certain that I had what it would take.  I loved and thrived on creativity and being famous seemed like the closest thing to being an artist — something I sought out to be when I grew up.

Being the glue to my confidence, my Mum agreed to take me when I was in fifth grade to audition to be “famous”.  Never once putting down or deflating my fleeting dream, she knew that I wanted to entertain, express myself, and connect somehow artistically.  Turns out, I cannot act or sing and I did not become a star, as we all know.

Coincidently, the first time I ever lied was to my best friend, which happened to be  around the same time I asked my Mum to take me to Hollywood.  I had told my best gal, Crystal that I sounded just like Mariah Carey and gullibly she believed me.  It was only briefly, until one day we were in the parking lot of an Astro Van dealership, circa 1993 as her parents shopped for a new family vehicle.  Boldly she asked me to sing for her. I was stunned.  I hadn’t lied before and I didn’t know how to get out of it.  She saw right through me.

By the time fifth grade rolled around, my Mum kept her promise, enrolled me in acting lessons, reached out to agents, the whole kit and caboodle.  If I would have wanted her to be a stage mom, she would have gladly signed up for the job to support me in all forms of the spectrum. The thing was and still is, I’m only good at being myself.

I had been a ham since the day I was born and my life had been documented via camcorder, by the lovely and lively ladies in my life.  It was the 1980’s and quite the BIG deal to lug around a ridiculously large camera, but they did it regardless in an effort to capture my life.

Soon after my Mum’s persistence in trying to aid my flighty dream, I realized I am absolutely rubbish at being anything other than myself.  I couldn’t pretend.  I was unable to follow anyone else’s script outside of my very own.

All the while, creativity and imagination was never lost upon me.  I was just highly unaware at the time of how to channel it; how to open the pages of my fate in the creative realm.  If I were to take it back to those years, I’d say I always struggled being phoney.

As a young adult, sans/prior to the evil cancer taking residency in my insides, I came to terms with reality and realized I had to work in order to have an apartment and the things I lusted after.  My goals had shifted, my viewpoint was more mature and University and Corporate America seemed like my only option.

Strangely, in the seemingly thick of my career, unbeknownst to me that it would end in a few short  years, my Mum randomly said that she hoped that one day I would get compensated  for being one hundred percent, Britt; for being my true self, and sharing my creative mind with the world.  Of course I agreed and appreciated her love and wildly, amazing support, but I knew for a fact that a talent I was not.  I knew how to write, dress, decorate and apply makeup like a pro; but what did that all really mean in the real world? — nothing.  I still had to earn a paycheck if I wanted to dress well and I knew singing and/or acting was out of the question.  Feeling stuck was an understatement, but I didn’t see any other way of being an “artist” and was certainly not up for the “starving” bit.  I just wasn’t cut out for it and proceeded to work towards my career climbing the ladder, never looking back down until I hit a glass ceiling.

When I became sick and inevitably had to give up my career, I felt that I had lost a piece of who I was.  It was all I had known for the past ten years.  I was well groomed and manicured to continue moving on up.  The nine to five taught me savvy business lessons, yet oppositely managed to cripple my creativity, to no fault of the Company, but otherwise due to the type of industry, numbers were all that mattered.

Once I gave up that part of my life, I began to gain my creative power back and realized that even if you do have a regular 9 to 5, it doesn’t mean you should ever give up on YOURSELF, or what makes YOU happy and ultimately charges your soulful creativity.

Being sick, my mind often wanders off to far away places. Not necessarily Neverland, but rather memories from as early as I can recall.  I think back to the little girl who thought anything was possible, who fearlessly shared her creative self without any doubt or resistance towards caring what others opinions were.

Many may see cancer as a death sentence, but I see it as a destiny.  A journey.  A life that I may not have otherwise had the complete freedom to be who I am to my absolute core.

Nostalgia is a funny thing and history is just as important as the present, as  well as  whatever the future may hold.  Without gagging with cheesedom, the best thing you can do for yourself is to be your own muse, celebrate your own sense of self and celebrity (not literally), but I know you are picking up what I am laying down.  Stay true, be you, as everything unites and comes full circle in the end.

I’m not here to find fame, fortune or anything of the sort.  I’m here to be myself in hopes that I can inspire someone, perhaps expand my social ability to connect with people on deeper levels and tell my story along the way.

As I work on a project, a walk down memory lane has been an interesting one (not sure of the ETA — probably forever).  Finding out what makes me, me, brings great hope to share that with anyone that feels they want to experience the wonderful life I have lived and will continue to live on my journey as a cancer survivor and fighter, amongst other things I am blessed with.

It may not be blogging as often as I’d liked to, although that is my New Year’s resolution, but life. Am I right?  

Follow along on @bestillmyheartblog on Instagram and Be Still My Heart Blog on Facebook for everyday updates on my happenings.

PS-  BUT MY GOAL IS TO BLOG WAY MORE, BECAUSE DUH!

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Love forever and talk soon,

Britt x