Your Smiles Make Me Smile

If you really want to get the most out of my blog, it's best to start with the first post written in July to the present since some blogs refer back to earlier posts; but any order is just fine... Thanks for visiting! Now scroll on down to the good news! ~Renae~

Saturday, February 18, 2012


In my fantasy of me, I live in a very clean house.  I did in fact take pride in my cleaning skills, prior to kids and dogs and cats and cancer….that was back in, 1989.  I had a special toothbrush for cleaning any stain that appeared in the carpet. The perfumes were aligned from tallest to shortest, with proud perfection, and you could drink water out of my toilet bowl. Okay I’m exaggerating, because that’s downright disgusting, but if you were seriously dying of thirst or needed to throw up, the toilet was always clean for the taking.

Some call it OCD, but I call it crazy. Clean houses are overrated, unless you have company coming to visit, only then should you make it a priority; that is if you actually care about the company.  If you don’t, don’t clean. They'll know where they stand without your saying a word.

Since Lillian sleeps with me with her head on the pillow doing her dog snore chasing squirrels routine, (sometimes I roll over and mistake her for Richard), I do change my sheets a lot; that I will admit. There is nothing quite like the smell of clean sheets.  Just thinking about it makes me want to crawl into bed. Ha, like I need a reason.

Oh and I like my kitchen clean, at least the counter tops. Real germs freak me out.  So, why is it that people feed their cats on their kitchen counters?????  People.  Do you know where their feet have been? Double gross.

Other than that and gross germy stuff, my only cleaning guilt is that I don’t clean my toilet regularly.  I mean to, I know I should, I truly think about it even though I’m not going to catch anything from myself, but I simply hate cleaning the toilet.  I will pull weeds on a cold rainy day during an earthquake before I'll clean the toilet. You know all those little nooks and crannies around and in back of the outside of the toilet bowl? Those are time consuming, and if you want to clean a toilet right you need at least forty minutes to do it.  So I procrastinate.  I put it off until I hear the voice of my deceased grandmother haunting me with a vision of her disappointment that I didn’t inherit “the cleaning gene” and the thought of what she might say while shaking her head (!Ayyyeeeeee que Cochina!), and the guilt prevails and only then do I clean the dang toilet.  Guilt in fact, up until a few days ago, was my only motivating factor.

But two days ago, I was sitting before the onco-neurologist who without my knowledge was testing my brain function. I swear I didn’t know she had started “the test.”  I actually didn't even know there was going to be a brain function test.

“What’s your name?” she asked.  How could she not know which patient she was seeing?  Doesn't she have my chart??  I gave her the benefit of a busy day, and told her my name.  Then she looked at me seriously and asked “Where are you?”  “HUH?” I responded.  “Wh…eerree…” she asked again, ever so slowly.  “Um” I thought.  "...doesn’t she know where we’re at? What’s wrong with her?"  “I’m at....Stanford???”, I sort of said with that questionable unsureness that only a confused girl would ask.  She didn't respond, but proceeded to ask me today's date.  I couldn't remember. That's how it goes when you are going through treatment, and my real treatment hasn't even begun.  You just get overwhelmed with so many doctor's appointments, responsibilities you have to take care of prior and during your treatments, and then trying to live your life know, the bills, the cleaning (I threw that in for effect), the job, the groceries, the pets...I mean really, we are all tired.  Does anyone remember the date anymore?? And then I realized, she knew the answers! She was testing my brain function!  Okay, I admit, I felt stupid. Really, seriously stupid.  I wanted to say “Wait! Start over! I know all the answers! I'm really really really, I am!”  But it was too late, she was on to smacking my thighs and feet with a metal tool that vibrated when it got to my toes while I held back the ticklish feet giggles.  Unfortunately, my left foot wasn't responding appropriately.

Apparently, the bad news is, I may have inherited my dad’s peripheral neuropathy gene, which means, I can’t have the latest and greatest chemotherapy regimen which can cause neuropathy or exacerbate a pre-existing condition (I really wish she would have asked me something intellectual or the definition of, let's say...elyeemosynary, which I could have smugly responded with "Oh, that's legal ease for a charitable contribution").  But no such luck.

So.....when the sun comes up early Wednesday morning and I start my first round of chemo, we are going for Plan B.  Plan A didn’t have the other intense side effects, and so, Plan B will bypass the neuropathy issue, but cause, as my doctors say politely “insult to my immune system.”  That is code for "Be prepared to puke."  Which is how all this toilet cleaning business started.  There is nothing worse than puking in dirty toilet.

And so, I am motivated. I am determined to make the most of this and I will clean my toilet with such pride that even Howie Mandell would sit on it with a sense of germless comfort that all is right with the world. 

After all, if I am going to have to have a relationship with my toilet bowl, then it might as well be a good one, and that, my friends - is the good news.

Sweet Dreams And Always GOOD Dreams,

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