December 28, 2010

results are in: kara 3, cancer 0

Kara - 3, Cancer - 0. Bart Simpson photo generated at

Dr. Notaresident just called with some fantastic news: they got all the cancer! In her words, "The margins are clear." I must admit, it's quite anticlimactic hearing that for a third time. Where's the drama? The suspense? Turns out I'm about as predictable as a Dick Wolf drama. Having said that, I have a few words of my own for our dear friend 2010:

Dear 2010,

Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.


Between cancer (twice) and losing two surrogates, I've had enough of this year, you scraggly beeyotch. On to a happier, healthier 2011! Which, according to my acupuncturist - you know, the guy who saved my life earlier this year - is the Year of the Rabbit. And rabbits makes lots of babies, so I'm really psyched about 2011!

December 23, 2010

show time! cut this muthaluvin cancer out

Dr. Notaresident cuts whilst I play Angry Birds on my iPhone. Photo: Kara DeFrias.
Went into work this morning, and at 11:50 a.m. got a text message from IT Geek:

"Your cancer cab is downstairs, aww junk 8D."

My driver had arrived. God, I love him. I ask for bad jokes and inappropriate humor, and does everyone deliver or what? He picked me up, and we drove straight down to the Place Which Cuts Out Cancer.

Surgery was at 1:30 p.m., and check-in was at 1:15 p.m. (yes, you read that right). We drive up to the building, and were immediately thrown off -- it wasn't one of those old, crotchety BigHMO buildings that you have to stand 10 feet away from to get a cell signal. Lo and behold, in this stone and chrome beauty I got a signal in the minor surgery room!

Of course I began playing Words with Friends...which led the nurse to ask if I was going to put my iPhone away - and Dr. Notaresident (backstory: when I called to sked my surgery, they said I had a choice of 3 times/locations. I asked for names, and were told two of them were residents. teaching hospitals -- one of my major surgeries was at one -- but I want a full-fledged, actual doc for this.) immediately began talking Angry Birds with me.

So, after sending a quick tweet and Facebook update, I snapped a pic of her marking where she was going to cut and began playing Angry Birds Seasons. 20 minutes and 35 dead egg-stealing pigs later, it was over. Then I taught my nurse how to play.

Now, as I lay here with ice on my elevated foot, I'm happy to report Dr. Notaresident feels confident in the outcome. Full report expected in the next couple weeks confirming they got it all!

December 17, 2010

surgery date set for cancer #3

Photo: WP Modder.
Much like Santa, I'm making a list and checking it twice:

Who: Me
What: The exorcism of the stupid malignant melanoma
When: Thursday, December 23 at 1:30 p.m.
Where: BigHMO
Why: Why? Because cancer's stupid.

What success looks like: We cut. We cure. We move on.

Thanks to everyone for your positive vibes and well wishes.

I'm serious when I say this whole thing is comical. Twice in one year, and three times since 1999? It's funny, funny stuff. I take pride in knowing that I'm such a good planner -- I'm bringing 2010 full circle by starting it and ending it with cancer.

At least this time I'm getting it out of the way before tax season starts (I work for a Big Tax Software Company), unlike last time when I got cancer in the middle of tax season. Which prompted Nurse Mom to quip, "You have April 16th to December 1st to get sick and pull this shit now?!" I heart her.

Dear Cancer Claus,
All I want for Christmas is Vicodin. Or Percocet. I'm not picky.

ps - And I want a pony to carry me up and down our two flights of stairs, since my malignant melanoma's on my foot this time so walking's going to suck monkey butt.

December 13, 2010

we interrupt your regularly scheduled cancer announcements... rejoice over the best news all week: Cliff Lee's returning to the City of Brother-Lee love!

Cliff Lee. Photo: Ballcaps
Dear Rest of MLB,

Consider this your official notice: you've been served.

Pitchers and catchers report in 66 days. With Cliff Lee. 

The Phillies

In superbly awesome news, pitching sensation Cliff Lee is returning to the Philadelphia Phillies. That means our pitching staff consists of: Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels (aka R2C2). My grandmother, a lifelong Phillies fan, would love this news. I am SO excited about this - meep!

December 8, 2010

buy your "eff cancer" t-shirt today

When I announced yesterday that I have cancer, yet again (third time's a charm!), one of my friends said, "Where are we on some "F**k Cancer" tees?" Followed by another friend who said, "(He) 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."

A tee shirt, huh? Okay! I played around with some designs on paper (and have always been a sucker for ringer tees) so here's where I netted out. I really like the simplicity of the sentiment. I added my website as a way to spread the word:

Buy yours today (<- using my mad marketing skillz with a compelling call to action):

I originally was going to have all the proceeds will go toward our fertility preservation, IVF and surrogate costs, as my friend suggested, but after thinking about it I'm also going to give a percentage to charity.

If you like the tee, feel free to share the link with your friends!

December 7, 2010

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.