the gift that keeps on giving: cancer rears its ugly head a third time

Fabulous Las Vegas, indeed. Photo: The Daily Green.
(Warning: Strong, sailor-level swearing ahead.)

"Hi Kara. It's Dr. Derma."

...Cut to one week earlier, when I was sitting in his office getting a mole removed from my foot. It had begun to change a little, get darker...back to tonight's conversation:

Me: "Oh cool, you're calling instead of emailing so it must be good news."

Dr. Derma: "No. Blah blah cancer is back blah malignant melanoma blah."

Me: "SHUT THE FUCK UP. Again?! Son of a bitch."

Dr. Derma: "I thought that's what you might say."

Me: "Okay. so what do we do. You gotta admit, it's pretty cool to bookend 2010 with cancer on both sides of the year though, right?"

Him: "Love your attitude. Basically, it should be about an hour surgery. Doctor speak doctor speak blah blah blah."

It's pretty comical at this point, what with it being the third time and all.* No, really. Three times? That's some funny shit. At least I'm consistent: with all three cancers, we caught it early. (Okay, taking a moment to acknowledge the utter fucked-up-ness of the phrase "all three cancers.")

Meh. steps. They cut it out. We stage it. If need be, we fight it.

I suppose it's a nice way to bookend the year...cancer on both ends, right? Leave it to my semi-OCD tendencies to appreciate that kind of balance. ;)

My favorite comment so far was from a friend who I chatted with earlier this evening: "Did you grow up next to the power plant? Seriously: what the FUCK?"

As with earlier this year, I'm planning on fighting this with wildly inappropriate humor and gales of laughter. Feel free to join in -- the more, the merrier.

Oh, and the best part of this announcement? It came as I sat in our suite at the Bellagio in Las Vegas (upgrade FTW!). After we lost our second surrogate, Dr. Hope suggested we take a break for awhile and take a little trip. So here we are, under doctor's orders to get away from it all for a few days, and "it" follows us. IT Geek as we head to bed: "There's gotta be some irony that we took a trip to get away from thinking about stuff..."


The lesson for you fine folks? Pay attention to your moles. Both times I got malignant melanoma, I caught it early because I noticed moles that went from a light brown, normal shape to a dark color. Read up on skin cancer over at the Mayo Clinic. And check your damn moles.

* First time: malignant melanoma in 1999. Second time: uterine cancer 2010.


Jerseygyrl said…
Oh Kara!! You are stronger than anyone I know.. You will kick cancer's ass in the face (old saturday morning kung fu theatre style!) Keeping you in my prayers and saying a few sailor-style cuss words right along with you! XOXOXO Tonya
Deep Thinker said…
I'm so sorry Kara. I'm sure you'll beat this thing to a pulp.

Karyn said…
Well, this just sucks. No mincing words here - it just sucks. But glad to hear that it's early, that you have a kick-ass attitude, and that you intend to, as your other friend mentioned, kick this "old Saturday morning kung fu style." (Love that!)

Not sure if you're the praying type, but I'll be praying for ya ...
Roger R said…
Where are we on some "Fuck Cancer" tees?

The doctor was right to love your attitude.
Gingerbreadmama said…
Roger is on to something...get to Cafe Press and create some F$&@ Cancer tees, then use the proceeds for a surrogate. Make some good come out of this. I am so so so sorry that you have to go through this again. You have a battalion of friends to help you fight this. Please let menknow if there is anything I can do! Xo
Mary Camp said…
Love ya ,Kara. Kick this cancer thing in the ass! I left you a long, babbling voicemail.
T. said…
Your spirit and ability to keep laughing in the face of everything astounds me. You're handling this better than I am!

That is why you will win again!
Gretchen said…
Just so unbelievable, but SO glad you have the support, and the sense of humor you do! ;) You are one tremendous force to be reconned with and cancer has NOTHING on you chica!
(oh, as for the shirt idea, I have thought of an appropriate one for the EBO to wear too!) ;)
...not so much 'what happens in Vegas' this time huh? bleh.

Unknown said…
Oh me when I say this I what you're feeling. After the second or so time it's a mix of "Are you f&^%ing kidding me" and "at this point it's just funny." I had my seventh, yes seventh, round of what you're going through in August and it just plain suck. Let me know if you need a shoulder; always here for you even though I'm not in SD anymore. xoxo, Ali
Kara DeFrias said…
Thank you, everyone! Quite the day today. Apparently karma was on my side in Vegas...I won at the craps tables (unfortunately, it wasn't my money, it was money friends gave me to play for them).

So, a tee, huh? I ran with that idea. Thanks to a few of you who voted. Here's the final design, available for purchase (25% off to boot!):

:) Kara
DawnJMahoney said…
You're welcome on the tweet. Dealing with C in my family BIG TIME. Had none then my Dad had a bladder tumor removed one week before Thanksgiving (this year) and the next day my sister found out she has a so far inoperable Adrenal-Cortico Carcinoma on the right side. We've been doing the Mayo Clinic "thing" ever since. Your sense of humor reminds me of my sis. She wore a pink mirabou (feathers) tiara to her 2nd chemo appt yesterday early a.m. Keep fighting! Keep laughing!
Unknown said…
ok i like a few things about what you are saying here, and do not be fooled I happen to realize your choices in life:

a) you make a conscientious effort to educate us

b) you make an effort to be funny in the most tragic of life issues

c) you make the choice, the ones i truly like to listen to, you always choose life :)

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