Tagged chemo

Lifting a Not-a-Chemo-Cocktail on the Occasion of #SHAKEN’s Birthday

A Real Live Book!
Beside myself holding the first copy! #tbtNovember2011 #hotoffthepresses

Holy WOW! Seems like yesterday. They grow up so fast! But yesterday was in fact Shaken Not Stirred…a Chemo Cocktail’s birthday! Once upon a time 4 years ago yesterday aka 11/11/11 at 11:11pm I made the biggest dream of my life come true, pushed PUBLISH, my book went live on Amazon, and we popped a cork on a bottle of champagne to celebrate!

Besides the obvi popping of another cork in celebration, I thought it would be super fun to ‪#‎SHAKEN‬ things up a bit and give away 4 signed copies in honor of my book baby’s 4th bday.

The New Phone Books Are Here!

So if you’d like to enter to win one, for yourself or for a gift, send me a ‪#‎postcardfromtheroad‬ from wherever you are, and I’ll #shaken them all up and randomly pick 4. (Don’t forget to write down the name and addy for me to inscribe and mail to.) Send me postcards and make my mailbox happy at: PO Box 882, West Chester, OH 45071.

And in case you are wondering what to buy a 4-year-old? The best. gift. EVER. that you could (pretty please _/\_) get my sweet book baby that would #shaken up and rock it’s (and my) world like no other…would be to give it the ol’ thumbs up and shiny stars on Amazon and/or Goodreads. 4-year-olds LOVE stars! (As a self-published author, that is not just my bread and butter, but like Popeye’s spinach to me.) So thank you from the bottom of my heart to anyone who has already written a review or will go do that most uber epic act of kindness for my book baby!

Click HERE to go forth and do uber epic act of kindness!

Cheers and BIG love,
Joules

MASK

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This is a #fbf to a superpower freaky Friday I had two weeks ago, in which I did a superkaPOWer scary thing and go up ON A STAGE at a storytelling event in Cincinnati. The event was produced by my friends at Rebel Storytellers. These BESPOKEN events are seriously one of the funnest night’s out in #Cincy. (Save the date: the next BESPOKEN event is January 15, 2016!) The storytellers (and the band) (also there is improv) all riff on a 4-letter word. Previous words have been: KISS last Valentines Day, HERO this past summer, and MASK was the one we just did the week before Halloween. None of the storytellers know what any of the other storytellers are riffing about. It’s pretty magical how it all fits together and unfolds.

Here’s a selfie I took from the stage to remember that time I channeled my inner #littlebravetoaster and did a superkaPOWer scary thing. (As you can see some of those scary peeps are obvi zombies getting ready to jump the stage…or break out the thriller dance;)

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Here’s a video the hubcap made of my MASK story:

Click HERE to read my MASK story. So superpower STOKED to have it up on my friend Jen Pastiloff’s most uber fab Manifest-Station!

To sum up: doing scary things ROCKS!

My next BIG scary thing is the #Route66 marathon/world’s shortest ultra in Tulsa later this month. I signed up before I got sidelined during August and September, when I had to have Operation #outdamngolfball #golfballectomy #hysterectomy #oopherectomy #wholeshebangectomy surgery. I feel like I’m back at least 75%—which is way better than when I wondered if I would ever be able to run again without my insides falling out! I ran the #cincinnati #queenbee #halfmarathon a few weeks ago to gauge where I was in the #comeback process, and whether or not I thought I could/should go for the full at Tulsa’s epic #route66marathon. My conclusion is: #ithinkican #tulsaorbust #okiedokie. It may not be the fastest or prettiest marathon in the world, but the finish line and obvi the BLING will still taste superpower yummy! I will run, walk, CRAWL to it if I have to! #turtlepower #slowandsteadyeatsthebling #cowabunga! And also obvi, I’ll be instagramming it UP! So make sure you follow me there @joulesevans if you wanna get some kicks on Route 66 by taking a virtual run on #themotherroad with me!

What’s a scary thing you’ve done recently and what’s the next scary thing on tap for you? Post below. #ithinkyoucantoo!

Dear Cancer (A Spoken Word Retrospective Upon The Occasion Of My #Lucky7-Year Cancerversary)

[An Open Vein I Mean Letter To #fuckcancer]

Dear Cancer,

I am still here.

#lucky7 years out from that day

(the mother of bad daze)

when my doctor called and said that damn c-word

(the mother of curse words)

to me

(the mother of my sweet Redheads)

My. 3. Reasons.

Who fell into 3 separate heaps on the floor

At the sound of that word.

Sticks and stones…

—My ass.

Words don’t hurt…

—Bullshit.

I call bullshit on that.

That one word hurt like hell.

It shook the ground beneath us.

I stood my ground though

A little #shakennotstirred

—but only because I am mommy hear me fucking ROAR if you hurt my kids

And that damn word

Knocked all 3 of my babies—

Amanda 17.

Matt 15.

Mikeyy 13.

—it knocked all 3 of them

Down

To the ground

In one fell swoop.

3 separate, sobbing heaps.

3 puddles.

And there I was

One very sick and mortal, broken mama

2 heaving, soon-to-be-leaving, breasts

3 broken hearts to hold

But only 2 arms

And 1 lap.

THE hardest mommy moment EVER.

But something kicked into gear for me—

Some superpower mommy gear I didn’t even know I had

Somehow I managed to gather them up

With these two hands.

We held on tight.

Literally, for dear life.

My life.

It’s been 2,565 tomorrows

That I didn’t know I would get to see

Since that damn day.

2,565 gifts

I’ve gotten to open.

2,565 days I’ve gotten to seize

Days I’ve wrung both the sunshine

And the daylight out of

—before the sun set on me.

2,565 chances to make sure my 3 reasons knew

Out loud and clear and proud

That my one thing

Was to cash in all my chips on loving them

And playing my cards in such a way

That they would miss the crap out of me—

If, by chance, the odds were not in my favor

(But, they were. Thank God. And may they ever be.)

2,565 days to spend myself making sure they remember me loving them HARD.

P.S. I think they do.

So take THAT cancer.

Or should I say, CANTcer?

Anyway, 7 years in a nutshell?

It’s been the ride of my life.

And what.

A ride.

It’s been.

Even the hard parts

Cuz even they meant I’m still here

And my hands are in the air:

Yes…and…

NOW.

Cuz it’s where I’m at.

And what a gift the present IS.

Raise your hand if you’re present…

*raises hand

HERE!

(I don’t see your hand CANTcer.)

Now, in case you’re wondering

This is NOT where I say thank you, cancer

And bust out singing how you made me into this fighter.

Hell no.

The truth is—

My 3 Reasons,

And loving THEM. (Not fighting you.)

That’s what made me stronger.

I thank THEM.

I thank my sweet Amanda.

I thank my sweet Matteo.

I thank my sweet Mikeyy.

But you?

No thank YOU. Very much.

Then why am I even bothering to tell you all this?

You’d think I’d be over you by now.

You’d think I’d have gotten everything “off my chest”

#breastcancerhumor

But I haven’t.

You may be done with me

And God-willing, this is my case

Closed.

Period.

End of THAT story.

But, it’s not your will.

It’s God’s

And I’m cool with that

Come what may.

And may his will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

And in me, too.

Amen.

But…

Regardless of all that

You oughta know [cue: Alanis Morissette]

I’m not done with you yet, damn cancer

Not as long as this ticker

—That you tried to seek and destroy

With the Red Devil

And the mustard gas

And even the good Herceptinis

Aka my chemo cocktail.

Not as long as this ticker keeps ticking.

Not as long as you keep picking on my friends

—Especially, when you go picking on kids.

That’s the lowest blow of them all, you motherfucker.

So, let me repeat…

Not as long as this ticker keeps going and going…

Like that pink bunny

—I don’t know what keeps him going.

Or my heart, for that matter

Except this is what I do know:

It beats for my friends

And especially, the kids.

And you, cancer, have ticked. ME. Off.

 

 

Pre-Surgery Pep Talk

[Update: I’m home from the hospital. Doing OK. Managing discomfort rather than pain yesterday and today. Today is better than yesterday. Yesterday was WAY BETTER than the day before that. But thankfully that day is in the rear view mirror and I got the pedal to the metal. Anyway, the scoop is: Every day I get a little bit closer to feeling fine *nods to Sheryl Crowe _/_. We are still waiting on the path report for a proper post-surgery report. We expect it will be a good report and will post STAT when we get the good news. Meanwhile, here was my pre-surgery pep talk to myself, with a little help from my writing/creativity/bigmagic sensei Elizabeth Gilbert. She threw down THIS SUPER AWESOME POST<<CLICK IT,  on her FB on Friday, and I thought about it all weekend, while I was getting my shit together and composing myself and my thoughts for my pre surgery pep talk to myself. The coolest thing about the process of dialoguing with one of your favorite writers like that, is that it pretty much feels like you are hanging out with them, not just chewing the fat, but sucking the freaking marrow, talking about all the important things. That’s my idea of damn good surgery prep, the kind that’s gonna pump. you. up! Which is exactly what hap’d…]

Monday, August 3 Noon: Believe it or not, I’ve had a pretty awesome weekend getting ready for my surgery today. ‪#‎OperationOutDamnGolfBall‬ ‪#‎FORE‬ (Which is at 1:30pm in case you didn’t get the memo and want to pray my surgical oncologist has a good “golf day” taking out the cyst and the whole she-bang.) Anyway, besides the pre-op testing I did at the hospital on Wednesday, here’s some of the other important prepping I’ve been doing before my surgery and hitting the sidelines: 1) Got ‪#‎fightingcolors‬ ‪#‎flyingcolors‬ haircuts with my little warrior sister Maya the Magnificent. 2) Finished Deepak Chopra‘s & Oprah’s 21 meditation day adventure. 3) Run as much as possible. ‪#‎runhappy‬ ‪#‎runfree‬ ‪#‎runwhileyoucan‬ 4) Finish moving in as much as possible. Unpack books. ‪#‎konmariallthethings‬ 5) Take my mom to the dentist. 6) Family night out at Red’s game with Hubcap’s company. 7) Help my sweet Mateo move. 8) Groceries. 9) Laundry. 10) Have ‪#‎allthefun‬ I can squeeze in. Like: sneak off to Indy to go see Liz Gilbert speak/go see Trainwreck, eat popcorn with real butter, and lmfao/watch the TIG doc with the fam. 11) Get prayed over at church. 12) And THIS…

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Click HERE to read Liz’s super awesome post.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about THIS post Liz Gilbert threw down Friday. In my pre-surgical procedures I’d been casting a vision for the down-time of my 6-8 week recovery (Finish selection and begin editing ‪#‎Route66‬pix for photo exhibit. Record audio book version of Shaken Not Stirred . . . a Chemo Cocktail and rerelease hard copy with 7 year cancerversary update and fist chapter of next book. Walk my butt off, since I won’t be allowed to run. My Route 66 Marathon training must go on.) But THIS post made me want to cast out a little further. When I got diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago on august 20th, I had a hard time seeing myself in future tense. (The fact that I have almost made it to my ‪#‎lucky7‬ year cancerversary BLOWS MY MIND!) Part of this was good for me, though, cuz I got pretty damn good at being present in the now. But this weekend while I’ve been sucking the marrow out of life, the present, and all the things, I also have been sipping ok slurping on THIS delicious post.

So I thought I’d ante up with my own thoughts about where I wanna be 5 years from now…

-12 years cancer free
-audio book version of ‪#‎shakennotstirred‬
-re-release #shakennotstirred 7th cancerversary edition with update and first chapter of Route 66 Bucket List Road Trip book
-2 more books published (#Route66 Bucket List Road Trip and Homeschool Memoir)
-Route 66 photo exhibit
-enter photo contest
-winter in a warmer climate
-figure out how to do what I do, doing what i love, to pay my way around the world
-get TSA priority boarding
-fly first class
-Write writing workshop based on Alice in Wonderland
-Take yoga teacher training or life coaching
-learn to make an origami crane. make 1000
-learn to play my uke
-do a Triathalon
-publish a book of my poetry
-take a selfie with Jesus in Rio
-spend cervantes bday in Spain, hike the buen camino
-road tripping the country with my friend Isis to photograph 800 breast cancer survivors for the Grace project
-and because go bold or go home, and to tag onto Liz Gilbert’s list, I’d like to write a tv show with her.
-…

Well, that’s a little where I wanna be 5 years from now. Especially right smack dab middle of that yummy ellipsis…

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What about you? Anybody else wanna play? Where do you wanna be 5 years from now? ‪#‎castaway #comesailawaywithme‬

I Walk (Hop/Skip) The (Dashed/Dotted) Line

WalkTheLine1956

So I’ve never done this before, but sometimes I get a note from somebody who’s reading SHAKEN NOT STIRRED…A CHEMO COCKTAIL, and today I got one that just started my day off with the biggest and best kinda bang like kaPOW! and I thought I’d share…

“I’m reading the page in your book with the Boob Lube and had to stop to tell you how hella-fabulous it is. I mean, seriously…a dashed line for me to dog ear the page? You, my friend, are a literary genius. Yep. Right up there with ole Bill S. himself.” ~Kim.

First of all, thank you, Kim. For this kind note, your kind words…but also, let me not neglect to say, for your service. _/_ YOU. so. very. much. made. my. day. today. Before my day had even started! Your note was the first thing I read this morning. Before I’d even had a sip of my coffee. But boy did it make my coffee taste like the best. cup. ever!

I remember cracking myself up about that dashed line. I had to ask my youngest son, Mikeyy, to help me put it in the book since I am so. very. NOT. tech savvy. Also I’m basically not good with straight lines (even dashed ones) (even when I haven’t been “cheers”ing;).

Anyway, most of the notes I get about SHAKEN are from peeps downing their own damn chemo cocktails…and they all humble me down to the ground, which I figure is a pretty damn good praying position, so that’s how I usually roll with it. It means more than words, to be able to walk with someone through their own journey, as they walk through mine, via SHAKEN.

And this note I received this morning…from a badass military veteran/breast cancer warrior sister/friend of mine reading my book and sharing my joy over that dashed line…walking the line with me, if you will…also makes me hit the dirt, heavily laden with gratitude. So I thought I’d lighten the load a little and share;)

And while I’m in this uber fab/fun sharing mood, I thought, why not also share this link about Boob Lube, which I remember making me LMFAO a little when I found out about it when I was writing SHAKEN. I thought/think it was SUCH a superpower freaking clever product to encourage breast health awareness. Still do.

And while we’re on the topic of breast health awareness…this would be a mighty fine time to go check yourself. In fact, I’ll end this post now so you can go do that.

No Peas in the Pod!

So. Very. Thankful.

#18 my oncologist, Dr. Lower, and all the amazing cancer ass kicking staff of Ohio Hematology Care. Yesterday, I had my 3-month check-up. Everything seems peachy, and although I wait for the blood tests to arrive by snail, no news is good news.

#19 my breast surgeon, Dr. Stahl, and her cancer ass kicking side-kick nurse, Rita. Today, I had my 6-month check up. There were no peas in the pod.

#20 holidays from doctor’s appointments.

#21 lunch with my chemo sis-tahs, Shelly and Julie.

#22 and #23 Two thumbs up and a clean bill of health, for 3 and 6 months, respectively.