Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I heart my blog stalkers

Hi friends,

I took a little unintentional sabbatical from my blog this past month. No reason. I'm not dead or anything like that, so hold off on running to the Hallmark store for a tasteful card to send to Neil. On the contrary, I'm doing really well. Y'all, I STOPPED HAVING ALLERGIC REACTIONS TO MY CHEMO. They figured it out. After months! It was the anti-nausea drugs and the steroids (also given to combat nausea) that were causing me so much woe, so now they've removed them from my chemo regimen, and now I get to do my chemo old-skool -style, full of vomiting and insane nausea but LEST YOU THINK I AM COMPLAINING, au contraire--it's a walk in the park versus doing chemo coupled with an allergic reaction, when your body is almost shut down, and THEN they hit you with 3 days of poison!

Oh, the cathartic joys of a good run-on sentence.

After my last round of chemo, I was actually up and in good partying form by Saturday night. (That's not to say I was doing shots and streaking down May Valley Road, but I was up and at 'em, happy and conversant.) This pleased me greatly, as it showed me I'm not falling apart at all, and I'm still strong as an ox. I love feeling like an ox. Every girl does.

The other ridiculously good news is that, due to my now-stable condition while receiving chemo, I get to return to the out-patient chemo center for my bi-weekly chemos, versus being admitted to the hospital and having to bide my day and night on the dreary oncology floor of Swedish Hospital. BLECH. (Maybe THAT'S the real cause of all that barf...)  I bet no person will have ever been so thrilled to re-enter the out-patient chemo ward as I will be this Thursday. I have half a mind to enter by doing a round-off/back handspring/back handspring/back handspring/back tuck down the hall as they escort me to my chemo chair.

I'm on a good path, people. It's going away again. I'm getting better. It's been almost 9 months of chemo, the time it takes to grow another baby (ah, but who's jealous), and I'm actually getting STRONGER. I've been swimming and hiking and my head is clear. Fuck off, cancer, you picked on the wrong ox.

And a final note to you, my dear blog followers/readers: Since I stopped blogging in the last month-ish, a few friends/acquaintances have sheepishly asked me why I wasn't writing anymore. Then each one of them followed up the question with a back-pedalling, embarrased comment like, "I'm not stalking your blog or anything, I mean, I hardly ever read it, I was just wondering..."

PLEASE know that I am THRILLED that you read this thing. I would never consider you a creep or a stalker. To me, it simply means that you CARE. That's worth a ton to someone in my position. I honestly believe that the collective "you" helps me get better, just by knowing you care. So read away. Comment, if you want to. I love reading comments. Don't be shy. Forward the link if you think it's worth something to someone else dealing this disease. I put this thing on the worldwide web, for goodness sake. It's fair game to anyone.

55 comments:

  1. Oh, thank goodness. I HAVE been stalking your blog, hoping for some news and worrying about you. So so happy to hear all the good news Shel.

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  2. Thanks, Erin! Love ya, girl.

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  3. P.S. If you write me a comment on this post, I will comment back at you. Won't this be exciting!?

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  4. I've been stalking you too, I feel better knowing I wasn't the only one.

    Great news! It was worth the wait!

    Keep up the great work!

    Xo,
    Alison Rasmus

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  5. it's true, i've been stalking too. in fact, you're my first ADDRESS when I go to Firefox (not to be confused with FolFOX) or Explorer, so consider that a compliment.I assumed you were taking a break from writing because you had a bigger name on the other line, so to speak...glad to hear you're still up for indulging us while you go about ox-ing the universe. SO GLAD FOR THIS NEWS.you're on an upswing, indeed, and because of that, we all are--jules

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  6. team shelly blog stalkers unite! love to hear the good news, shelly!

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  7. One of the things that I got from your most recent post, in addition to the standard hope/joy/inspiration, is that there is nothing that I can do to make you think I am a creep. That is a HUGE relief to me, and I feel like I can now be myself around you. Stand by.

    Isn't spring great?

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  8. Me, a stalker? Never. I was able to get all my Shelly news from other sources, anyway. The New Ox Times, Oprox, Ladies Home Ox, Glamox, Cooking Ox, The Oxlantic, Guns 'n' Oxen, Ox Parade, and on TV at HBOx.

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  9. Proud to be a stalker! And so very happy to read this good news. Keep kicking ass, Shelly!

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  10. Hi Alison! We are all very excited to hear your baby news, when it comes. xo

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  11. Hi Julie, How's the Windy City today? How was class? You're the best professor/counsellor I know. How you find time to be both a full-time professor and run a successful counseling business, we'll never know.

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  12. Katelyn! K-dogg. Coming at us from Boulder! Can't wait to see you at Tupper. Keep on stalkin'.

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  13. Casey, I've been waiting for you to let down your guard for YEARS. This post was actually written with you in mind, hoping you'd get the message. So glad it worked. Looking forward to getting to know "the real you" now that we've gotten past the phony bologna crap. At last.

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  14. George, you lovable freakshow. Hey, did you happen to see the latest Oxlantic app? It's rad. ps- give Chewie a kiss from Rhodes and Betty

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  15. Hi Anonymous! Whomever you are, I send you a big shout-out from Issaquah, WA.

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  16. Hi Shell, I know you are kicking ass and taking names. You go girl! Miss you all and can't wait to see you and the kids in June :) XOXOX

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  17. Love you Shell Bell, cant wait to see you at camp!

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  18. I'm here too, Shell. I just don't always chime in because, you know, we come from such a quiet, reserved family.

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  19. Dearest cousin Emily...Comin' at me live from T-Town. Glass City representing. Love you.

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  20. Precious cousin TimTom. Vice President of Club Fun. President of SIC. You're a powerful young man, indeed. xo

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  21. Brother Scott. Shrinking violets, we are. I'm blushing as I type. xo

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  22. Hi Jennifer, whichever Jennifer you might be! Love all of you. PS- why does no one name their child "Jennifer" anymore? Do any of you know anyone who's named a baby "Jennifer" in the last 10 years?

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  23. It's your Vermont Jennifer, Shels Bels. No one names their kid 'Jennifer' if they love them and want them to be happy. In my class of roughly 100 girls at SUA, there were six or seven Jennifers. We Jennifers are conditioned to never even look up when someone calls our name. Even in our own homes. It's that bad.

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  24. Rachel MoorheadMay 9, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    Hi Shelly!! I am so happy to hear this update--I have been thinking about you so much--and am going to send you a longer message via email today.

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  25. Rachel! Love all your goat photos. I've been thinking of you, too. Hope you are well!

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  26. Jenny: I suspected it was you. But I didn't want to be unfair to all the other Jennifers out there. Because they collectively DO have it THAT bad. Why make it worse, I figure. Hey, if it makes you feel better, "Shelly" has never been in vogue. Never had our heyday. Life's a bitch.

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  27. i still REALLY REALLY REALLY want a house update too. I like stocking your blog and FB page BTW.
    - shannon H

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  28. Shannon,
    No house news yet although stuff is brewing. I'll let you know asap when something happens. xo

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  29. YES! You're back online. Since i have a wobbly out of balance life and live more online than off, I'm delighted you're back in my neck of the woods.

    Shall we plan a day for real life meeting up, too?

    So glad you're feeling like an OX. I love that.
    xoxoxo

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  30. Hello my talented friend, Wendy, author of the Seattle Mama Doc blog: http://seattlemamadoc.seattlechildrens.org/ !
    Yes, you are one busy pediatrician. But we WILL get together before you head off to Hawaii, how about next week? We can act like children, and then you'll feel like you're working. Si?

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  31. I'm shy, but I stalk. Is that wrong? When all else fails I just stalk by text. A shy girl has gotta do what a shy girl has gotta do!

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  32. Heidi, It's true. You are one of the shyest people I have ever met. It's amazing I've even gotten to know you because it's like pulling teeth getting you to talk. Thanks goodness for this worldwide interweb, so you can interact with the world from the safety of your darkened bedroom. xo

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  33. Hi Shelly! So glad to see your post. I was pretty worried and kept flagellating (sp? word?) myself over the fact that I need to write you a real letter, but haven't. I actually thought something was wrong with my computer and hit the next blog thing at the top and started reading about some woman who's kid broke both of her arms. Before I got around the whole different name thing I thought it was Betty. Glad to know you're doing well and Betty does not have two broken arms. How was Kauai take 2? Inquiring minds want to know. Did you ever stay at the Grand Hyatt in Poipu with the fantastic, amazing, terrific pools? I hope so.
    - Katharine

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  34. Katharine! I just friended you on FB. I've bee thinking of you a ton lately b/c we have fallen out of touch and it made me sad. I even tried to email you but it bounced! So, thanks to the miracle of FB, I see you have MOVED! Your new area looks so beachy and dreamy. I'm really happy for you guys, getting out of the Whidbey darkness. Kauai was blissful. No kids, just us, very mellow, lots of fish consumed, lots of adventures, lots of long talks with my old friend Neil. A+. Keep in touch!

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  35. Hi everyone. My name is Shannon McGarity. And I am a stalker...

    (Rockin' report, Shelly!)

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  36. Hi there! This is Ada and I'm a big-time stalker when it comes to beautiful Shelly! Sending you lots of positive vibes, love and hugs Chellie!

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  37. Chellie! Forgot to add.....wonderful news. Keep kicking ass and please keep your posts coming. I like to know how you are doing.

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  38. Hello my name is Jen and I am Shelly stalker. I stalk for updates and silence. I stalk for truth and humor. I stalk for Ox and pig. Shelly, now I have your phone number so I will text stalk too.

    So so so so so glad to hear you kicked that allergy from hell. Also to hear you are kicking this cancer's fucking ass!

    That is because you are badass and who wouldn't want to stalk a badass?

    Keep it up, Shelly!

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  39. I am late to the stalking 12 step program. I am Katie. I have been stalking Shelly since 1996 when she graduated Kenyon College. :)
    Glad to hear you are rocking the puke tube(I like to call them elephant noses) in the outpatient chemo center again. One would never think that would be good news, but it is.
    Kick it Shelly...Kick it hard and kick it out of your body.

    PS...I am guessing that we are swimming again this fall? I have sponsers lining up again. :) Let's do it again!

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  40. Sweet Shannon, stalking me all the way from the proverbial Big Apple. Love that very much. It's nice to have the USA bracketed by McGaritys. One in NYC, one in Seattle. Plus! A pair in the heartland, too. Just knowing that makes me sleep a little better at night.

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  41. Ada! Adita Conchita! You really turned my life around the day you got seated next to me at work. Thanks to you, I know how to "go Puerto Rican on your ass". ("Your" meaning "cancer" of course-- not YOU. I'd never go Puerto Rican on a true Puerto Rican's ass. That's just a recipe for trouble. I'm no fool.) I love ya, Ada.

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  42. Jen, I knew it would take an identical twin like you to appreciate the duality in my nature. (update/silence. truth/humor. ox//pig). Nothing gets by YOU. I'm glad you also think I"m a badass. Probably because last time I saw you, I was blaring the song "Bad to the Bone" from my Camaro.

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  43. Katie V. Good ol' Katie. My fellow sprinter and relay-mate. Same size as me, same school. We're pretty similar. Except you became a doctor for work, and I just VISIT doctors for fun. But, who's counting?! Yes, we shall swim again in the late summer/fall! I hope to join this time, unless I'm hard-wired again at race time. Also, looking fwd to your summer soiree, whenever you decide to throw it!

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  44. Hi Shelly!

    I started stalking you when Amy French posted on your FB page a few weeks ago. I was on vacation and apparently had some time on my hands to troll the internet and find old SUA classmates! Your spirit and energy is exactly how I remember you from high school. Amazing.

    My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in October and I did the blog thing, but it was not nearly as interesting or well written as this. Even my wife, who has never met you, spent a good hour reading your posts. (She had just finished her chemo round and was counting her blessings. She's mostly done with treatment now.) Like you, we loved seeing comments on our blog and knowing that people were thinking of us. Thus, you can now consider us to be part of Team Shelly thinking of you and sending you good wishes!

    Jill Hoppenjans

    PS: Who is the Vermont Jennifer? I live in Vermont!

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  45. Hi, Jill (and Shelly!)-

    I'M the Vermont Jennifer! You may remember me as Jenny Oster from SUA's class of '91. It's a really small world, isn't it?

    I live in Middlebury with my family (husband Erik & two boys), as Erik and I both work at the college here. He's a professor, I'm a fundraiser in the grants office.

    What brought you to the Green Mountain State?

    -Jen(ny Oster) Bleich

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    1. Hi Jen!
      I think I remember you - your name is familiar - but I'm going to check out the yearbook to make sure. What a fun, small world!

      I'm at UVM. I came in here in 1998 for grad school and just stayed after graduation. I used to coordinate new student orientation, but I now run the UVM Student Health Center. Perks are great (free bandaids and free medical advice). :)

      Great to know another Arrow is in the state!

      jill

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  46. Shelly - This is great! Your blog stalkers are meeting new friends, all because of you. We should have a criss crossing of states / places / countries represented and then make new friends all because of you. Just reading about Jennifer and Jill who both live in Vermont connecting / reconnecting makes me smile.
    - Katharine

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  47. My name is Carrie, and I stalk your blog.

    I was delighted to see you had posted an update this morning, especially one so full of news that it started with a run-on sentence. Am also hoping for another update to let us stalkers know if you did in fact pull off the round-off/back handspring/double tuck combo into the chemo chair. Would be especially fitting with the Olympics right around the corner, you know.

    Next time you take a sabbatical, I'm going to Aunt Becky for news. So glad the ox is plowing ahead and doing well!

    - Carrie Seck

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  48. Jill! So great to hear from you! I vividly remember you from high school, too-- always a big smile. I'm soo sorry to hear about Liz's diagnosis, although it sounds like she is doing great, so that's wonderful! Maybe you and Jenny Oster (or "Jen Bleich" as she's known in her grown-up years) can get together soon to sing our perky alma mater song. Be sure to hit all those high notes. I know Jenny's got a good voice. You could harmonize. Please send me a video of it. That was one gorgeous song. Keep in touch!

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  49. Hi Carrie! For anyone reading, Carrie is what I'd call my "cousin-in-law", or my "cousin from another mother". Related through Aunt Becky, although we haven't seen each other since we were about 4. Anyway. I ended up not pulling off that gymnastic feat in the chemo hallways, but I did do a lot of the finger pointing, high-fivin', bad-joke-cracking action I described in one of my earlier posts, the one where I likened myself to the wealthy older gentleman at a country club. Chemo was ok, but I really have to get morphine with it now, to deal with the pain of it. I'm REALLY looking forward to being done with it! Good to hear from you, Carrie.

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  50. i'm stalking you again, shel. can you update? :)

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  51. I'm still stalking you, too. And I am secretly relieved you opted to forego the acrobatic display down the chemo hallways, though I might prefer that over you needing morphine. Hoping this is a good week for you, Ox!
    -Carrie

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  52. Yeah, I stalk you too! I try to stay updated. I want you to know that I'm always right here, rooting for you, just like when we were on the Foxes (wasn't that the name of our soccer team? Funny because that's Quillan's middle name :) Lots of love to you always, Tanya

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  53. Hi Tanya, Since our days on FOXX FORCE (which sounds unsettlingly like "Folfox", the name of my chemo--yikes!) you have always been a special friend. I see lots of fun play dates in the future. Hopefully we will be eating some of Matt's fish during these playdates. I'm still bummed we didn't win that goldmine in the auction!!! xo

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