Average. Everyday. Sane. Psycho.
Today is World Cancer Day. This is the day that we all sit and attempt to raise awareness for Cancer as well as help screen for it in third world nations because of just the devestation that Cancer can cause. Part of this is raising awareness through advocating about cancer itself. Whether we want to talk about it or not we all have been touched by cancer in one way or another. Hal’s manternal grandfather died after his third round with a cancer. He’d survived two other types. Me? I have my own personal cancer story. I’m sure we’ve all heard it but quite frankly I want to get it out of my system so you can read it or not. I don’t care.
I’m not a survivor of cancer. I do the usual things to scan for cancer but what I am is one who is left behind. It’s a pretty common state to be in. People get left behind in the wake of something senseless all the time. This is the great tradgey in my life.
I remember when we all first knew something wasn’t right. Mom had been sick of and on for almost three months before the diagnosis. There had been nurmerous blood tests which had yeilded no results. She was going to Bristol for a better look after Thanksgiving that year. I remember it because it wasn’t a final Thanksgiving really. It was pleasant enough, we drove up to a ski lodge just outside of Harrisonburg, VA and met my brother and his family for a meal. If it was going to be the last holiday she celebrated with her grandchildren it was good one.
Then the news came, there were growths in her liver and bile ducts that they had to biopsy. I don’t know how long I prayed for it to not be cancerous. I don’t know how hard we all prayed and yet…it was. For all the things I could say she recieved the best care she could have gotten and she got it quickly. Sadly, it wasn’t enough. What they don’t tell you about liver cancer, and not suprising since no on lives that long, is that surgeries on that side of your body can damage your kidneys. There isn’t a way around it and it meant that they were worsening which meant that her body couldn’t process the chemo and slowly the cancer that had been in her body slipped to her lungs. After all the hard fighting, Mother lost but not with out a hell of a fight.
What is the point of this? Because I don’t want to see another family go through this. There is a giant void in my life and the life of my family that we can’t fill. No matter how I try to stich it the wound opens and it hurts terribly. I can’t get my mother back no matter how hard I try. Sadly, Necromancy isn’t real and is black ass magic. My mother lived a good life and I would like to think if this was her last year it was a good one. She got to go to Savannah before she died and my happiest memory from that time is the look of pure joy on her face when we sat in the Duke Memorial Chapel listening to the pipe organs which was something she’d always dreamed of doing. The pipe organ is quite famous for organists. But I think about people who aren’t as fortunate.
So here it is my advocating on World Cancer Day.
Liver Cancer itself is rare. Typically, its a sign of cancer spreading from another site so liver cancer itself accounts for 2% of all cancers. I told mother that she had hit the Cancer Lottery. She made a face and we didn’t speak of it again. The causes range from things like cysts and polyps to scirssois and Hepatitis. Its why people were confused, my mother didn’t drink and took efforts to take care of herself. However I believe there might have been a digestive disorder which would have caused the illness. As I’ve said before its more common in Asian Americans which also didn’t make sense with out family. Treatment is agressive which means that once diagnosis is met that the next stage is treatment which is surgery followed up by chemo and radiation. Even then the life expectence is short. So my mother died of a rare and agressive cancer that had no business in her body. What do we take from this? Get screened early. We talk about doing pap smears and breast exams (for ladies) and various other checks you can do for testicular and colon cancer. This means being on top of your health. Mother had started getting a rash on her body that wouldn’t go away. We know now that was the tumors starting to obstruct her liver and bile ducts. Mystery illnesses are never good and should always be take care of. Other than that we can only hope we are marching towards a cure. Becuase one person is too many.
Wow, its been a while since I did one of these. If you guys read my other blog you know that my life has revolved around the death of my mother, the novel I’ve been working to get out to a waiting public, school and life in general. This means that my regular blogging has been well, halted. Don’t worry, I’ve got another one of these that doesn’t deal with professional wrestling that I’m hoping to finish later today and we can forget this one was published. That being said this is about professional wrestling. For those of you who don’t watch the WWE, Impact! RoH or live under a damn rock, this week’s big story is CM Punk up and quitting the WWE. While I find rage quitting to be something that a person should only do with a video game I think I get it. As of now, I don’t know if its a work (though the dirt sheets will tell you is totally isn’t) or if he’s gone for good. Since everyone is treating it like its him gone then we will as well.
Let me start by saying I’m a huge fan of CM Punk. It’s not just because he’s an amazing wrestler but also the idea of being a straight edge is something I respect. I know that in an industry where your livelihood is based on how hard you can work and for how long the desire to use drugs is always a temptation and for that he should be commended. Of course he’s also charming and somewhat of a nerd which is attractive to me. So when I write this keep in mind that I’m writing this as a fan of CM Punk. Sure, I wasn’t exactly a fan before I saw him in ECW but when I became aware of him then well…it was on.
Before Hal and I were married, we went to a taping for Smackdown in Roanoke with our very good friend Alan (who would be upset if I didn’t mention him. He and I had a great time). Part of that was because they filmed that on a Tuesday before they did the live ECW show. At that ECW show, there was a skinny guy with lots of Tattoos. Hal leaned over to me and said that his name was CM Punk and in ten years he’d be the most important person in professional wrestling. Hal has been very good at spotting talent. To date he called, The Rock, Jericho’s run in WWE, CM Punk and now as of late Daniel Bryan just to name a few as big names in the WWE. He also said that Cena was too entertaining to be a heel and given the chance he’d be a top face. Time will tell if he was right about John Moxley and Tyler Black and Claudio Castionli (sic) but his hopes are high for the RoH class of 2008. So, WWE hire my husband to do your scouting. You won’t be dissappointed.
Hal was right of course about CM Punk’s influece when it comes wrestling. Since the dropping of the now legendary pipe bomb the focus has changed. The idea of being a big beefy guy to get over in the industry is no longer the standard now it can be the weird looking guys which is why we have the RoH class of 2008 popping up as midcarders and main eventers. This is a a great thing really because quite frankly we needed a little diveristy in the WWE which is why its nice to see it go back to having the three ring circus. Sorry IWC, it can be serious all the time. Even Shakespeare knew when to throw a pie in the middle of a tradegy. No, for reals look at any of his tragic plays there are jokes all over the place and comedic plays. Even Homer knew when to throw in a joke or two in his great epics. This isn’t great epic, it’s entertainment. Look at that word, entertainment. This implies that there needs to be something that appeals to more than just one nitch of the community. Sure, go ahead and argue that Professional Wrestling is a sport but I will counter with half time shows, cheerleaders, the Super Bowl Commericals. Hell, even baseball has the seventh inning stretch where you sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” so there is more than one thing to appeal there. Now that I’ve made everyone upset and went completely off topic.
Stop treating Punk like he’s Jesus Christ when it comes to wrestling. He’s great sure. He did revolutionize what we think as a top preformer but lets all back off. We all know who saved us and it wasn’t Punk. I know that the IWC can turn on a hair pin when it comes people. People will love someone until they sell out so to speak. It’s the hipster mentality. We all do it. Thing x is a person’s personal thing until the very moment they become popular. Then they were better before they were popular. Give up. Just accept so and so is popular and let them have it and stop hating.
In the same vein I understand being frustrated and burned out. Everyone gets frustrated and burned out. Its something we all struggle with espeically when we do something we love on a semi-professoinal or professional level. Its exrustrating when you see your work not be reconized on the level that you wantedMore so when you give it your all and all you get is broken down and beaten up. So, no, CM Punk is leaving because things have gotten terrible and it’s time for a break. Do I wish he went out a little more with some kind of closure, sure. Who doesn’t want one more match?? But none the less, good luck on catching up on the Walking Dead.
Don’t worry about the product kids. It’ll be okay in the WWE.
I’ve been trying to figure out what I wanted to write in regards to various things I’ve been reading lately about the new Doctor. As I understand Peter Capaldi is a life long Doctor Who fan who was about as obbessed with the series as David Tennant is. I think that’s wonderful that the older the actor is who plays the Doctor the more likely they are fans of the classic series which I think is wonderful. When you can work for something you love then it’s the best job in the world. It’s part of why I wanted to publish the novel. Despite everything I aboslutely love to write to the point of it being an obbession. That being said, I’ve been reading what quite a few people have been saying in regards to the long running popular show and science fiction and fantasy in general.
Lets make no mistake, I was an outsider in high school. I’m fat. I wore glasses in a time that no one wore them. For a long time, I was the only Catholic kid in a public high school where denominations like Southern Bapitist and Pentacostals reigned supreme (despite the largest church in town being the Methodist church). Admittedly, though you can’t tell from these rants, I’m smart but I also am dyslexic. So being too smart for the LD crowd made it hard and being too dumb for the honors class kids wasn’t easy so I read quite a bit. The other thing I had was the X-Files. So combined with that and the influence of the youth leader at the time I became a science ficiton nerd in high school simply so I could just escape. In that time I’ve seen geek and nerd culture become embraced by the world at large. The fact of the matter is the people who make our technology, write our entertainment and so on are the generation that came up on these things. This comes with some major problems for a genre that I once loved.
I’m not going to sit here and do the hipster thing which is I was in to xyz before it was cool. We’ve moved past the days of James St. James. Being an innovator doesn’t get you anymore points that normal. I know we all want to think we’re special but we’re not really not in the way that we all want to be. So this isn’t one of those rants. Not what I want to talk about is the lack of understanding about what is in the scifi commnunity.
I think the beauty of a piece of work is simply because you are able to find something you can idenfity with. A very good piece of work whether it is art, comics, movies books or music will have something that you can feel like the creator is speaking right too you. I’ve always liked the X-men becuase it did speak right to a feeling of being an outsider and using that isolation for good. I’ve been reflecting on my own work lately to realize there is a lack of diversity in the cast but that’s okay. If I’ve done it right there should be deeper themes in the work that will speak to other people. I don’t know if its as strong in Spring Blessings as it is in Summer Sacrafice. I think Summer Sacrafice does have more of that theme to it by virture of the fact I started my treatment for mental illness when I started writing it. I want to say that the biggest theme in that one is simply finding someone who is willing to deal with your bullshit. I think that there are ways to find things you want to express with in the confines of what we need. When they announced the new Doctor the first thing I saw was a quote from Stephen Moffat who said a female doctor would like the Queen being male. This caused people to be upset but I understand it so to speak. Why do we need a female Doctor? As I recall the Rani, an evil time lord, changed genders once and it caused her to go insane because having to adjust to being male and then going back to being female. The implication was going against one’s natural state causes one to go crazy. I think that this is wonderful if you think about it. If your natural gender isn’t what you were born with it does cause a bit of madness. More importantly if your going to slam that from a show that brought some forward thinking aspects such as the lesiban couple (written by Moffatt by the way) as well as Captian Jack Harkness then you really haven’t been paying attention.
I think that’s the major problem is the lack of postive gay role models as well as gender queer individuals. I think this is because you aren’t looking at it the right way. Hal and I have dicussed this quite a bit and his suggestion was that the enxt time someone argues for the need of a transgender hero in science fiction point them towards Jadiza Dax from Deep Space Nine. For those of you who aren’t familar Dax is a symbote that moves from host to host for quite sometime. It’s an honor to host the symbote. At the beginning of Deep Space Nine, Dax had just been transplanted from Kurson Dax to Jadiza. Kurson had been an old man and became a young female. There is even an early episode where Dax had to deal with a former lover whom she still cared for. If that isn’t a major concern then I don’t know what is.
I get it though. You’re concenred about little girls wanting to have a super hero. it’s like the arguement for wanting the Wonder Woman movie made. I’d love to see it but the next time I hear someone say they need to make a superhero movie for girls I’m going to scream. They made one it’s called Thor. But to say that there aren’t awesome female characters out there for little girls is wrong. There are plenty of kiss ass ladies out there, Princess Leia, Katniss Everdeen, Zoe Washburn, Ellen Ripley, Jean Gray, and so on. Even Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time is probably one of the best things ever. She’s a princess but also a scientist.
I think my major problem is that odd critisim but also the fact that because we have now people cowtowing what they consider nerd culture things are starting to be dumbed down and mainstream. My major complaint has always been people are trying too hard. You know, people will like what they like. I say we just go out and create. That’s all I have.
Reciently, Hal pointed out a segment from Fox and Friends talking about Fred Rogers being bad for children’s self confidence. This clip has reserfaced reciently thanks to things like Upworthy and numerous Facebook groups with a liberal bais. I know Fox and Friends can be a vile cespool of misinformation so I won’t go ape over the content of this segment. I just think that it was in poor taste to attack a man who did so much for children’s programming as well as public television and helped usher in an era of media that we all take for granted (or at least anyone born after 1983 does). Fun Fact: part of the reason you have DVR and Netflix and home movies is because Fred Rogers supported the VCR industry when it was becoming popular. Had they been banned or more regulated you wouldn’t be able to fast forward through the commerials while watching your Wife Swap and had died a good five years from one of the worse cancers out there is a little cold. Maybe one is over reacting but to be fair the core message of Mr. Rogers was pretty simple. You are special the way you are.
I am a big fan of the musical Avenue Q which presents the idea that things like Mr. Rogers and Seasme Street lied to us. That we are meant for great things and when we don’t we fall flat and are damaged. But as it seems to me that as I go through whatever I am going through at this point, it doesn’t hurt to think of yourself as a unique individual. In fact in the crux of ever class I’ve ever took in Special Education that is the case. No two people are alike and typical doesn’t mean that intervention that works for person a is going to work for prson b. I don’t see the harm in telling a child that they are special. I look at someone like my brother who is servere and profoundly handicapped and cannot think of a better way to describe him. It’s the same for my nieces and nephew who are clever and probably will accomplish more than I can ever imagine for them. There is no harm in taking pride in who you are. What you’ve done to get as far as you have. Does it mean we’ll have a generation of supermen and women running around as rocket scientists? No. We will all have paths and roads to take. Settling for less than what will make you happy is not being special.
Lately I’ve been doing a photographic study of the left side of my face which has the most scar tissue. I’ve been messing with Instagram to accentuate parts of it and so on. It might be an exersice confidence building and accepting what I look like and what will never change. I can lose weight. I can dye my hair any color I want. I can make my appeance be causual or business like. I could even wear make up to hide my scars but at the end of the day they are still there. The events that have led me to this point are always going to be there. I cannot erase them. I am special. I am unique.
I think that’s the problem with our generation and the ones behind us. We are told that we are special so much that it we’ve become apathetic to it. We hear the words and we don’t know what it means. It’s not Fred Roger’s fault. It’s the fact we accept mostly that you are special and that should be enough build confidence. I suspect it takes more than that. Accentuating what we do well. Sure there is always room for improvement but that isn’t something you tell little children.
No seriously, don’t.