Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pieces Of Me (Part I)

     Since I had a fairly emotional past few weeks with a lingering CT, masses, & liver "what if's" (side-note: as of now, these very, very small lesions are nothing to worry about; my next scan is scheduled for the end of December & we'll also have the chance to meet with the liver specialist to check in - no worries), I wanted to do something a little different. Something I hope will bring the fun back to this part of e-town & also give you a look at my life from a different perspective. As I've said before, cancer is a HUGE part of my life but it by no means defines it. So, without further ado & in no significant order, here are 10 things (to start off with) you may OR may not know about me. A'letsgo! 

1.) I get asked fairly frequently where the name "Goodbye Dancer, Hello Cancer" came from so I thought what better FYI to start off with. Initially it was pretty cut & dry; I was a coach & choreographer for a local high school dance team at the time I was diagnosed so I literally had to say goodbye to the physical aspect of dance & hello to the billion different aspects of cancer.  Once I found myself submerged in the cancer world, I realized the title had much more meaning than just the obvious. When dance found its way back to me through coaching, I was able to rediscover the trance it so effortlessly put me in. I thought my future, career-wise at least, was in the world of dance but, as it so often does, life had other plans. I'm a strong believer that everything happens for a reason so I have to believe this disease was brought into my life for a reason. My passion is fighting this dragon called cancer. My passion is giving the hopeless hope, the faithless faith, & the comfortless comfort. I used to dream of a world full of dance; now I dream of a world deplete of cancer. 

  2.) My "security blanket" as a child wasn't a blanket at all, instead I had a "stuffed" (so they say!) bunny who I brilliantly named "Bun-Bun" & he became my first-ever BFF. Everywhere I went, he went. He was my ever-ready play buddy & confidant. We were so attached that my mom used to have to sneak him out of my crib while I was napping to run him through the washing machine (don't worry guys, he's a GREAT swimmer!) & have him back at my side before I woke up & had a toddler panic attack from Bun-Bun separation anxiety. These days, 29 years later, I still have Bun-Bun & he is still my every-ready friend. He may not be much to look at these days but Bun-Bun will always have my heart.
Oh & in case the pictures didn't give it away - I was quite the thumb sucker. :)

3.) If I don't keep my nails painted a dark color (which is usually my favorite black "Onyx" shade by OPI) or have artificial nails, I'm a habitual nail/cuticle picker.

4.) I save my hospital bracelets & write down a few words on them to remember what had happened that day, like blood labs or scans - you get me. I actually didn't start saving them until my recurrence in 2011 but I think its safe to say I have my fair share.

5.) After my now 10-yr-old nephew, Brian, began talking as a toddler he "assigned" names to all of us. I expected to be Auntie Lisa but, somehow, my first "title", if you will, was "Dah-Dah", which quickly evolved into "LaLa", which I still am until this very day. Bonus Random- Chad's family name is "Puncle" for 2 reasons: (1.) Brian couldn't pronounce the word "uncle" & (2.)Chad was a "pretend" uncle because we were only dating at the time. "Puncle" has somehow shortened to "Punc" which probably sounds incredibly obnoxious to strangers when they hear Brian, Emma, or Brea say "Hey Punc!" to Chad in public but it's really a name of adoration. :)

6.) We all know I'm a medical freak-of-nature, but did you know I have "idiocentric chemical reaction" to medications? Basically what it means is that meds that would usually make you tired, relaxed, zen, what-have-you, make me ridiculously awake & productive whereas on the other hand, super-caffeinated drinks (like coffee & Redbull) make me ridiculously tired & useless. As for actual sleep meds, prescribed & over-the-counter, nope! It's like taking a placebo, they do nothing for me. 

7.) I have a confession to make. I'm absolutely, without-a-doubt, 100%, head-over-heels, to-the-moon-&-back-in love with........e.l.f. cosmetics! I'm a total fan girl & proud of it! I love experimenting with their newest products & relying on my "ol' faithfuls" for casual everyday looks. The best part? They're a cruelty-free brand with a HUGE selection of *paraben-free* products, including an entire mineral line. So if you ever want to know the way into my heart, it's with e.l.f.! Did I mention how ridiculously affordable this line is? Brushes & actual makeup pieces start at $1. Cosmetic craziness! Oh...& in my defense, all of the makeup in the picture below was definitely not purchased at 1 time; it's been an ongoing love affair for quite some time. 

8.) You know I love Fall so naturally I also love HALLOWEEN! My favorite, all-time, forever favorite costume was Halloween 2007 when Chad & I were "Hulk & Linda Hogan" - Hulkamainia, brother! 

The real "Terry & Linda" divorced about a year later but we had so much fun with these costumes! Chad was dedicated - he grew out his beard, which we originally attempted to use hair dye to go blonde, but didn't think about having to strip his facial hair of it's natural color first. Yes, 2 college graduates with 0 common sense. The hair dye actually ended up giving him a chemical burn around his mouth (that shows til this day) so we eventually ended up going with a yellow Halloween spray color that turned neon.  Still awesome! 

9.) You know how you can have your cell phone contacts automatically transferred over to a new phone when you purchase it? Well, my brother Jay's number was been transferring from phone-to-phone-to-phone of mine since he passed away from acute bronchpneumonia in 2006, however it's only the 7-digit number because it was before the area-code had to be entered before the number. So, occasionally, if I'm feeling out-of-sorts & feel like I need to reconnect with my big brother, I text him; usually something short like "I miss you". Of course it just sends the message directly back to me but I think being able to psychically see my words being sent to him is comforting.

10.) I'm OBSESSED with F.R.I.E.N.D.S! Yes, that FRIENDS. I began watching it occasionally in May & just happened to catch it in sequential order on Nick@Nite, so I thought, why not?  Somewhere along the way I got Chad into it with me & we began watching it pretty much every night before we went to bed. That turned into buying the complete series (another side-note : shout-out to Walmart for having 2 seasons in 1 box for 1 price! Nice!) & having "date nights" every night to watch our 6 favorite NY'ers. Yes, I know it's like 20 years after it premiered but I am just loyally finding it now. We do A LOT of laughing, rewinding, & I think it's safe to say we're pretty damn close to knowing episodes line-by-line. Oh, & I must say that Phoebe Buffay is absolutely 1 of the best-created TV characters of all time; I'm constantly throw-out "Phoebe-ism's"!

Part 2 coming soon.

Lots of love,
- LISA -


  1. Hi, I found you at the colon club. i have to brace myself every time i go there. most of the posts (including mine) are so depressing. I too was a dancer, love costuming, fire spinning, music... all that has changed. I also blog but I haven't posted since my marriage fell apart and I can't bring myself to put it out there. guess I'm not ready to accept it. I'm about to start chemo and I'm really scared. and miserable and sad and heartbroken....

    1. Hey GM! Let me first assure you that you are absolutely NOT alone. You're so right, that's a great site for information but it's incredibly emotional...that's why I created my getaway. I didn't post for a long time...us writers are extremely private, aren't we? I think you'll feel when the time is right to put it up. Please feel free to email me ANYtime and/or find me on Facebook. Dancers stick together. ;)