Ding! Ding! Ding! Single Silly Dosage of Self-Deprecating Humor

 I was at home on the laptop Saturday evening & commenting how repulsed I become hearing a person hack up crap from their throat when they’re sick.

“C’mon, like we haven’t listened to you a thousand times when you’re sick,”  immediately countered my Mom.

What a line! And to her only daughter for Pete’s sake! (All right, there’s actually 3 of us, but still . . . )

“Oh, puh-lease!” I shot back to her obviously absurd comment to me. “That’s an understatement because you’ve heard me being sick

at least a thousand times! . . .

 I put the “ick” in sick!”  



A Superb Phlebotomist Who’s Excellent with Patients!

Halfway through my leukemia battle I met this precious gem, who I’m blessed to call my unbelievably special, very bright, & remarkable “little sister”! She’s been a spectacular support & friend through it all. I love you SO MUCH Leah! (Side note: In answer to a question Leah continuously asked me as a toddler whenever my gut became ill: “No, I’m not gonna fro up.” 😉)

Move it or lose it? Nah: Move It AND Lose It!

 Giving credit where credit is due, I give my fantastic friend Jessica colossal credit for my current lighter status.

Visiting Jess recently for a week was something I was really looking forward to, not least of all because I knew I’d be influenced by her incredible lifestyle which includes both a Significant & Conscious effort to move around a lot. (The fact that she’s become a dedicated, talented & motivating fitness instructor doesn’t hurt either.)

Now at home I dance around & stretch in my room, usually holding a colorful little juggling ball in each hand for no other reason than they’re fun to look at. And I still have green & red stretching bands from my early 20s when I did occupational therapy (since the right side of my body is weak), that I pull in multiple directions to exercise my arms. (I added this new movement to already lifting small weights & riding my exercise bike a few times/week.)

Simultaneously Easy & Fun! Seriously, name 1 person who doesn’t like to dance around in their bedroom . . .

Results come for me in the way of a lighter body which helps my bum knee that needs a replacement as well as overall feeling better by making a point to increase my activity level.

I’m Overjoyed – Completely Ecstatic –  to be lighter without even

Trying hard


Knowing it was happening so fast,

until I saw clear undeniable evidence Saturday morning. Now the truth comes out: does Amy prefer more a slimmer self or a remarkable fit friendship? The latter certainly because people are “weigh” better than, well, ANYTHING in comparison. 

Thanks SO SO MUCH for your excellent example Jess!

“1 + 1 + 1 = 2.5”

“It looks like it could be in Ann Arbor,” she commented about the distinctive style of the coffee shop she’d never before frequented. The restaurant was perfect for a fifteen-year reunion between my tenth grade math teacher looking fabulous in her chic black & white ensemble, my Mom & me.

“I’ve never been here before either,” I replied after a friendly hug. “My Mom meets her friends here a lot.” We ordered our coffee & food before choosing a spot to do what women do best – which, clearly, is chatting nonstop. I couldn’t help but be a little self-conscious, though, of my own possibly too-rapid speech. So I warned my former teacher.

“Feel free to poke me in the arm & say ‘Amy, calm down & slow down, you’re talking too fast!’” She laughed & said I was fine.

“Tell her the muffin story,” my Mom told me while explaining to Ms. Chugh our shared unique brand of humor.

So I recalled how two years ago we were on a plane to Florida & my Mom was eating a muffin. I looked over at her no more than three minutes later & saw she’d eaten the entire muffin in that short amount of time. “I could never do that with my dry mouth, I’d choke & die.” With a mischievous look on her face & faster than an eye can blink, my Mom had blurted “Want a muffin?” & we both burst out laughing, both then & also as I recounted the tale.

“You & Ms. Kozian were great math teachers,” I told my former Algebra 2 instructor. “That’s the only reason I aced your class & Pre-Calc.”

“I just saw her at Meijer,” said Ms. Chugh who also inquired about the college I’d gone to.

“I used to work there,” she informed me to my surprise. I never guessed she once taught at the university I attended! She rattled off the various locations she’s worked.

Enjoying each other’s company led us to continue happily conversing. On & on the three of us went as we talked about everything from former high school students, including Mohini Prasad, Chase, Lesia & Eugene Antonelli, we’ve had contact with over the years to occupations of our family members to . . . BRRRRRRRRRRNG!

A phone call for Ms. Chugh halted our endless discussion as we were jolted back into real time.

“It’s my son,” she reported.

You know how it’s said that time flies when you’re having fun? Well, I suppose time was zooming by in a lightning-fast rocket ship because a glance down at my watch told me a whopping two-and-a-half hours had simply vanished. No wonder the boy wondered where his mother was. So we wrapped it up.

Allow me to assess our interaction.

Location of visitA

Quality of Food & DrinkA

Successfully Enjoyed Reunion A+

The End

By Amy on 5-27-17



Delve into Twelve – “The Sender” Similarities

Was it worth it?” is a poignant question the writer of the anonymous letters who calls himself “The Sender” asks Charlie, referring to Charlie’s life-changing battle against Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (Side note – That’s the Same Kind of cancer I fought). He’s asking if everything encompassed in the cancer journey was worth it. The good & the bad.

If I was going to answer that question, I’d have to say what was worth it is nowadays being able to share my story of survival & faith to (hopefully) encourage, help, & relate to people. Every life faces hardships of some variety & we all need to be lifted up. But the physical part – aka the negative sometimes very stressful side effects I face 24/7 –  will always haunt me. It sucks.

A few pages before the book’s conclusion, I like the talk “The Sender” gives in his letters about being twins. “Human nature” is “to be of two minds about things.” He continues “We are all twins. The one that intimidates. The one that has self-interest in mind. And the one that wants to help other people beat a disease. There’s the one in us that wants to love strangers. Give to charity. And there’s the one that wants to judge and gossip. Which twin emerges when you lose? . . . Well, the twin that emerges is the one you feed. . . Feed the right twin.”

And on the 3rd to last page comes a good line –

“You may feel like being bitter, but you have to choose to be better” –

for us all.

The End!

“The Sender” Similarities – Beginning to Wind Down with Part 11

Page 217 says “Cancer had changed Charlie, and he was a better man for it.”

Hmmmm. Am I “better” after being changed from cancer? Certainly not physically, because both inside & outside of my body, physically I’m much worse. So I can’t live the way I want to AT ALL. That’s not changing me for the better.

I suppose the many lessons I learned in the cancer fight made me a wiser person, but I’d never be one to say “I wouldn’t change my life for anything” because OF COURSE I would.

  • Who wants to walk with a cane starting around age 19, Every Day For The Rest Of Their Life?
  • Who wants to live with their parents as an adult instead of starting an exciting new life full of challenge & adventure while you learn as you go?
  • Who wants to only have the abilities to drive a car for 3 years & then without warning just have to stop?
  • Who wants to never be able to smile – to another person, in a picture, because someone said something funny – Ever Again?
  • Who wants to suffer daily from both dry AND weakened eyesight as well as a dry mouth that’s now more susceptible to cavities due to its dried out condition?
  • Who wants a hugely lessened amount of energy to get through each day?
  • Who wants to deal forever with long-lasting negative effects All Throughout your body from unforgiving cancer treatment?
  • Who wants to try to carve out a place somewhere, anywhere, in this world after you’re left as a physically disabled cancer survivor struggling desperately, under ENORMOUS INDESCRIBABLE stress, to find a purposeful life in a world where you no longer fit?

Not me. But I have no choice.  

. . . Yet if I had a 9-5 typical job with a “regular” life, I wouldn’t have been able to spontaneously hop in my sister’s car on Tuesday after she called me, while I was at home in my sweats, in the middle of the day to spend time with her & my niece & nephew. So I am reminded that God does, in fact, know what He’s doing; I’d much rather be with them than behind some desk working. So my repeated imperative lesson here is to Never fret about your circumstances, but Keep Trusting your life to All-Knowing God. Always. No need to ever worry. It’s under His Perfect Control.

The second to last paragraph in the forty fifth chapter speaks to a bond between 2 cancer patients. Right on. Only other people also battling this ruthless killer understand the depths of what you are going through. As a young teen, my Mom & I used to pass other moms & their children we came to know in the huge hospital who were also fighting for their young lives against the hateful “C.” I remember telling another kid we saw a couple years into my leukemia diagnosis that I hated the annual pulmonary function tests we had to do. He agreed with a knowing look, fully understanding all the dreaded things that cancer fights made us endure.

Me as a young teen in the midst of my war against leukemia, under local anesthesia while getting a bone marrow aspirate in the Cancer Clinic – my lower back is riddled with countless scars from innumerable aspirates & biopsies in that room



Tenth Time of “The Sender” Similarities

The second page of the fortieth chapter describes cancer-treatment fatigue well. “Charlie felt pretty good, considering the short walk down the hall tired him a bit.” “The hall” was a dreaded term for me on the hospital cancer floor. Continuous daily suggestions to get out of bed & walk down the hall were not times I wanted to partake in, feeling so weak & lousy from all the nasty strong drugs pumped into me.

Often a goal from my nurse or my Mom would be for me to get out of my hospital bed & walk – accompanied by my constant companion the IV machine & somebody to help my broken body stay upright to take steps of course – down 3 doors, & a little more each day just to get my body moving until I could make an entire EXHAUSTING lap around the floor. I hated that! Not to mention the tangled mess of IV tubes all around me; 1 slip = potentially yanking out an IV line. Nothing was better after that than collapsing back into bed.

You’re more likely to get cancer again if you’ve already had the disease once, so sunshine is strictly limited since no one’s looking for skin cancer or any other ailments. Charlie spent “a few minutes” in sunshine, “only what was allowed,” so reading the latter quoted phrase sparked the memory.

One lesson in a letter from “The Sender” is that you can either live in “Vision” or in “Circumstance.” My spectacular Mom chose to live in vision, informing doctors while I was deathly ill in Intensive Care that I would go to college one day; the doctors, she told me later, would sadly shake their heads at the impossible thought she envisioned for me. Luke 1:37 “For nothing is impossible with a God.” God gave me an incredibly special hardworking & encouraging Mom who never let me dwell on my sick circumstances but rather, had me always look towards a bright future. I love you so much, Mom, THANKS!!!!!


Did a ton of bricks just hit me? No, it was page 207 of “The Sender.” Although Charlie was experiencing the physical negative effects of cancer in many ways, ways like his weakness which was easily noticed by others, those close to him knew he was “stronger in so many ways. Ways that mattered. . . What he’d gained was immeasurably more valuable. What he’d gained was a heart and spirit that money can’t buy.” Same For Me. EXACTLY THE SAME.

However, even with the above paragraph in mind, it’s impossible for me to say “I wouldn’t change what I’ve learned from 8 years fighting cancer for anything” because of the hell on earth that I went through to get where I am. I mean, even if I never had cancer, I’d still be the smart person I was before I got sick. The side effects I live with now make life enormously difficult; I’d go with never having had cancer in the first place if I had my druthers, but this is where I need to trust All-Knowing God with my life’s plan because He Knows Best.