Archive for November, 2010


Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Yes, I fucked up National Blog Posting Month but, I have been working on NaNoWriMo and my brain hurts. I started this novel on November first, unfortunately, I have been reading a series of books, throughout. My brain tried to intertwine the two so I had to whomp out all the bits that do not fit my story.

This is the first fiction I have written in a couple years that may actually be publishable. I am a nonfiction writer, I know that. My writing is based on my life, my experiences, for the most part. It is only when my brain delves into fiction that writing becomes difficult for me.

Don’t get me wrong, this journal is not good writing, it is always “stream of consciousness” and never edited for grammar or spelling. It is the one place in the world I can let it all go. Or I used to be able to let it go. Over the years it has become more difficult as more and more people from my life come to read it. Just offhand I know my sisters do (hi Mary and Katie!,) my best friends do (Hi Huzzy and Stacy!) as well as a multitude of local people that found me through my Hurricane Isabel pictures, or from when I finally gave up on keeping “Suzy Smith” and “Susan Pietras-Smith” as two separate people.

Hiding from who I am has never worked for me. The more I hide it, the worse things become. Over the last few years, as my writing here as become less and less (except for NaBlPoMo and Holidailies) I have felt trapped within myself.

Then, I’ll write an entry that actually means something and having it sitting out there is hard. There are two from this past few months that are difficult to have out there, one that I can not reread as it brings me back to the 19/20 year old Susan who I don’t really like all that much. She had issues, major issues, that were compounded by bad choices, bad relationships, and other things that make me cringe.

I left her behind until August of this year, until seeing one person let all that bullshit flood back. It took a couple months to get past that, to put that time of my life to rest. It has finally worked. It is gone, I have laid ghosts to rest that I never did before.

This seems to have been the year for that. I don’t know if it is turning 35 this year, or seeing people from my past so much, but, I have let things go, emotionally I have worked through parts of me that I had squashed down. Or I don’t know if it due to having had cancer. I know that once I was past the initial fear, the surgery, the recovery, that I was facing, well there is no better word for it, demons of my past.

It seems as if my mind wanted to purge all the bad, to embrace the good, to heal not only my body from the cancer, but my emotions from the cancer of all the bad that still dwelled within me.

I’m better now, there is a clear future ahead, where Tony and I move on to the next part of our life, and letting go of the old stuff. We both have to let go of the horrible things that tested our relationship, that tried to tear us apart, but never succeeded. With that we are moving. Only a short distance from here but, into a small home of our own. It’ll be just the two of us, again.

It is time to move on to us, to be together as our own little family, just the two of us, and let go of the other things. Yes, even without children of our own, we are a family. For 14 years we have been a family, even before we were married, we were family. From the first time we went out, it was us, there was never any doubt.

Now, we are full circle back to us, not our families, or the kids in the families, not my cancer. Don’t get me wrong, we love our families, the kids, (not so much the cancer) but, it is time to be us, no matter what.

Moving on

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Busy week. I’ve been working on learning my new cellphone better (Pantech Jest yay for free phones) and starting to par down some of our stuff.

I have to get rid of things because we found a house! It is a rental, not a buyer, as we do not want to take on the purchase of a home and all the subsequent responsibility of having to fix everything. It is only about a mile from here, so we will remain close to my family, which is a good thing.

It is smallish, two bedrooms, laundry room, kitchen, living room and bath. That is plenty of room for us, as it also has a shed in the back for storage which makes me very happy. We are supposed to meet with our landlords this weekend to get everything set, including our move-in date.

Our female half of the owners is awesome. She and I talked for close to two hours the night I went to look at the house. I like the fact that we will have a landlord that seems to be decent, instead of the last one whom treated us like shit.

Have a good one.

It gets better

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

I was talking to a few new kidney cancer survivors recently, mainly about how the diagnosis, and subsequent surgery and treatments change your entire life. They do, I’m not going to lie to anyone about it. A diagnosis of cancer, no matter what stage, no matter what type, is life changing. For the rest of your life you will have had cancer, or be living with cancer, or fighting the cancer.

At first it is absolutely terrifying. That word alone strikes fear it most people’s hearts. Any of you who have read me for the past couple years know how bad it was. I have never been more scared in my entire life then I was at the start of my cancer journey.

Throughout the doctor search, the surgery, the recovery, I was scared and angry and just pitiful. I wanted to know why I had this cancer, why I was the one dealing with it.

Of course, we’ll never know why this happened for sure. I’ll never know why my kidney decided to grow a cancerous tumor. I mean, it is a hereditary cancer in my case, but, why am I the one in this generation of Pietras and Doans, to have it?

Now, almost two years post nephrectomy, I am doing better. I still have health issues from the cancer, the lymphedema in my right leg, the constant watching of kidney function, the spot on my incision line that continues to open up (it is a half inch section that opens again and again, my pain management dr seems to think that one of the “dissolvable” internal stitches never dissolved,” and I have a couple small hernias on hte incision line.

Okay, some of that stuff is a pain in the ass, but, damn, I am here to experience it. I am alive and able to bitch about the aftereffects. I am here for the good shit, too. Like celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary on October 24th. Moments, like the Halloween party for kids, where Corey, in his baby monsterPlague Doctor and Baby Monster costume costume refused to walk (he’s a new walker) and when he got tired, just laid his whole body on the floor.

The moments like when my husband comes home from work and smiles when he first sees me. Even after all these years, he still smiles when he first gets home. All those things make everything I went through, and continue to go through from the cancer worthwhile.

I’m not going to say that getting cancer was a good thing for me. I know some people are changed for the better. I just think it happened, I am alive, I am still Suzy, just Suzy with one less kidney, one more big scar, and a lot of friends in the cancer survivor community whom I would never have met without this.


Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

It looks like we have found a new place. A small white house not far from here, so, we remain close to the family. I’m very excited and ready to move. Other than the fact that I have to pack, and I hate packing.

In other news, NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo are my two writing projects this month. Unfortunately, I am too tired to get really involved in a post tonight, so let’s find a picture to add to this. Any topics you want me to discuss? Hit up the comments or email me.

Costumed peoplecostumes

Pumpkins 2010!

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Cat by Moonlight and Vampire Kitty (two of my entries for the Razor Sharp Kittens contest.
Pretty Poison, PatchMaster, Bat. These are 3/4 of the foamies. I will have better pics of these soon, as by the time we got around to taking pics their glow sticks were almost dead.

Pretty Poison and Happy Flamey Jack (all foamies)
Zombie Hello Kitty
Oogie Boogie from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”
Eric Northman from True Blood
Bill Compton from True Blood
Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood
Sookie and Bill (on the same pumpkin
Samhain Skull
(kids designed)

Creepy hands
pumpkinLightning McQueen

Thomas The Tank Engine


Animal (woman! woman! woman!

Zombie Michael Jackson from Thriller video

StayPuft marshmallow Man

Sam from Trick R Treat

Tre and Charlie’s first time carving

And just for giggles, Tony and my costume. Yes, he’s a whoopie cushion and I’m a plague doctor.