Thanksgiving at the House of Horrors Starring Canferatu and his brother Cancula

Breast cancer the blood sucking stinking vampiric disease, here he’s spotted deciding if the blood of this victim is delicious payback enough for the pain, suffering, loneliness, and insomnia.


Ah, we meet again. You ugly, humorless, blood draining, fanged daemon from hell. You were born from a mother whose name started with Cancer. You picked up the baton and since the beginning of man-time you beat people to death, and remain uncured of the evil you’ve successfully spread.  Not one holiday goes by unscathed by the wrath of your conviction to kill me.  You silently chase me screaming into the grocery store where I talk to the granola, the vegetables, and the bacon I no longer eat. I chat with the asparagus and the bag of lemons who all look so bright and pretty.  “Don’t you lemons look lovely in your little yellow costumes today? Hmm?” You like to see me acting like I’m one carrot short of a full bunch, don’t you? You sit on my stomach during CT and PET scans at the cancer center.  You sit on my shoulders and demand piggy back rides while I try to meditate waiting for some appointment or another at the doctor’s office.

And, whenever you find a crack between light Nd night – at even tide – you get into my car well before I can do anything about you and take over the wheel and drive me to the hospital.

You catch me sleeping at night and wake me up and laugh in my face with your insidious breath on my neck as you raise those filthy talons to grab my chest and squeeze the light out of me. Which is highly unfair because I can’t see you at night but you certainly do see me.  You shake me wake me and bake me so every day is just a little bit more exhausting than the last.

Canferatu otherwise known as Cancer the Impaler, aka Cancula (shit, that’s what I should have named you in the first place but I am not your mother so maybe since you’re an imaginary enemy I can re-name you or create a brother for you named Cancula. It’s easier to spell and less pretentious than Canferatu.) I have some advice for you.  First you really might consider a small investment in a pair of toe nail clippers.  You could cut those dirty, curled, long, and greasy nails.  At least attempt to make yourself attractive, FFS.  Since your graded on the number of tits you grab you’d probably score a lot more if you snuck up on us and were more attractive. Polish your nails pink so they seem more friendly going into my body as I writhe in pain. On second thought the color pink does nothing to ease any of my pain – except the opioids I take are time release and coated in a pretty pink gel layer.  I bet you had something to do with that marketing genius, too. You really should see a lawyer and get yourself a big chunk of change that’s owed to you, – those huge gains and profits squeezed fresh from the hearts you tear out.  Then you could afford a manicure.

I mean seriously, women do have standards and your hygiene could definitely use some improvements. Oh, and a dentist, because that breath of yours could wake a sleeping giraffe. Why a giraffe? Well my chemo brain and probably the medication I’m on won’t allow my recall to get to that card in the catalog file where I keep cliche’s for sleeping, and since I don’t know how giraffes actually sleep and it’s kind of funny when you consider curling those long necks and legs around themselves.  It must be really hard to get up, too, and it’s hard for me to get up these days.  I used giraffes as a metaphor because I don’t know how you sleep all day in that coffin in which you might try spending the night alone. Always, Forever. Never come back out. No really. Keep to yourself. I hate you and everyone hates you.

The worst thing about you this year is the number of times you seemed to explode my intestinal tract, fill me up like a water balloon, send me for procedures and tests and at last steal my short trip to Reno to be with people I truly love for Thanksgiving holiday  with Craig. A spa day Friday while he went skiing and we planned to stop and give money and time if possible to the Camp Fire victims.  We are instead giving the money we would have spent on the hotel to help them have a thanksgiving dinner since I’ll more than likely spend mine in the hospital.

My hips hurt and may back s sore and I cannot go potty. I cannot think straight and Craig is still in bed at 5:00 pm. I am angry and hungry yet I cannot vent since I am only enjoying this silence for a short while before I can quietly sneak out of the house and get my errands run before I am run into the ground. Your stench causes nausea so eating is out of the question. Not much stays down because there’s no room for my stomach to expand since the ascites that was supposed to be gone is not gone.  Somehow it made it’s way down to my left foot.  I know you and your stupid brother, C,ancula, find this just hysterically funny, but it’s not even close to anything like humor.

You forced me to spend the day feeling like a failure, yet again, by disappointing people I love, yet again.  My mind tends to wander from where it’s supposed to be at the moment and I wonder if my tribe in Reno think I just didn’t want to go. Lacking much energy and feeling like a big pile of shit because I cannot join the club of pink-drenched heroines who can beat you into submission because I either deserve you in my body for something I did in some past life, or more fittingly for a life like mine, for reasons beyond my, or anyone else’s, understanding. Fuck, I’ve not been to the hospital before you attacked me since I had a tonsillectomy at four years old. I do not even have a cavity. Not one.  But there you are.

And so I’ll spend another holiday bereft of my family, my friends, and any of the accoutrements associated with said holiday. I probably will get creative and more than likely be apologizing randomly to everyone I come into contact with all weekend.  Craig said he’d take me to a movie but I made him promise so he probably become magically busy or too tired to bring himself to take me to see Bohemian Rhapsody. A movie which you’ll be part of too, since Freddie Mercury died of AIDS related illnesses one of which is a cancer, Kaposi’s Sarcoma. So if we go, I’ll be thinking about the two smelly brothers two or three rows behind us in the swanky new recliner seating theaters that are popping up all over the country.  We are a big bunch of whiny lazy potatoes if the cinema/ theater industry not only depends on our popcorn money but on literally competing with our actual living rooms. We’re all due for a bite on the neck from one of you two.  You’ll have no problem catching any of our fat asses if that’s what the future holds in store for us.

A future I will not see – one without my physical presence in it. Granted, It’s not death that scares me but the painful existence prior to that death that’s scarier every day. Canceling my trip was the worst thing you forced me to do this year. I am so pissed off I could just…whatever. I’m tired of cancer and I’m tired of hospitals, insurance companies, pharmacies, oncologists, palliative oncologists, shots, this stupid port in my chest, the aches and pains and lack of sleep and the feeling like this may be my very last thanksgiving and no one gives a flying fuck anymore because I cannot keep plans to save my life, literally. Since I am always. late to my doctor’s appointments as well.

Gobble gobble.

I even had a quote ready to read for a quiet moment before feasting:

i thank you god for this most amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue dream of a sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes

e.e. cummings

7 comments on “Thanksgiving at the House of Horrors Starring Canferatu and his brother Cancula”

  1. Hitting the keyboard randomly on the iPad makes for new and bizarre acronyms and coining words. I’ve tppp

  2. Thinking of you, Ilene, wishing you health and happiness. I’ve been off WordPress for a while and am grateful for reconnecting with you, LahLa

    1. Oh yeah! He went to the office to sleep again so I have time to get through some of my comments and respond as best I can. While I’ve spent several weeks in and out of twos hospitals the oddessey continues into new drip drop chemo as though I’ve meant to try that packaging type all along I’ve just now cleared my Tuesday’s out for lunch at the cancer center. Oh and husband decided to go deep web asshole on me and I’ve not seen hide nor hair of him since my Stanford hospital stay ending Wednesday. In retrospect I’m not certain where my rush to return sprug from but I’m quite uncomfortable with open hostility though that’s still not worse than never knowing why. There’s absolutely no excuse for it so I’m sad. That’s kind of it – scared and sad. My friend will arrive some time after Xmas and I will head back home with her for now, and then depending on my health one way or another- that will determine my future appropriate actions.

  3. Ilene,
    You were in my thoughts today. I am thankful for my virtual friend … You. Thank you for your post.

    Warm wishes,

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