Anne's Diary

Why Life is a Can of Tuna, One Year On

Last June 27, I wrote the diary below. At the time I was on radiation and chemotherapy. Nobody really expected me to still be here in May of 2014, but here I am. I'm on chemotherapy 5 days a month and so far my tumor, against all expectations, hasn't changed since the day of the surgery in May of 2013.

And now I've found some gems of wisdom in the comics again. In Bizarro: A woman is saying, "Mr. Fancy Toolbelt can't produce one toilet plunger?" This reminded me of how much Whitley has changed, now that he's got all the household chores on his hands. A year ago, he definitely could never have found the toilet plunger. Now he can put his hands on it with his eyes closed. (He's a darn good cook, too!)

In Mutts, the dog is barking and barking, endlessly repeating the same thing. The cat says, "He just repeats the party line." Remind you of anybody? Congress, perhaps? You get to the stage of life I'm in, and all their blather just fades into meaninglessness. It's actually a nicer place to be than you might think!

In Get Fuzzy, Bucky the cross-eyed Siamese cat puts the sweet old dog Satchel up for auction in EBay in order to pay gambling debts. But nobody bids. The result?  Bucky tells him the bad news: "Apparently nobody in the world wants you."

Don't we all feel that way sometimes? An awful lot of people will look for reasons to drop their friendship with you when you have cancer, believe me. You soon find out, though, that lots of other people do the opposite. I can feel unwanted, but when I do, all I have to do is wait to hear from one of my real friends. And then there's that guy on the other side of the bed, his eyes full of stars saying, "I love you."

Want wisdom? Don't be afraid to read the humble old funnies. A lot of those guys are good at what they do!

Or you could read an author like Oscar Wilde, who said, "When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers."

Oh, dear!

BTW, our book is now available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble in hardcover and paperback as well as in electronic format.
Get it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Now, here's the diary on the same subject from last year:

Now that I have a serious case of cancer (I go for radiation 5 days a week and take chemotherapy in pill form every night),I've begun to wax philosophical. Some of the best philosophy I've read is from Bucky the Cat, of the "Get Fuzzy" comic strip.

According to Bucky, "Life is like a can of tuna--it's messy, it stinks, you can fit all the good bits in one bowl, some cans are better than others and every now and then a bone pops out--BUT YOU STILL EAT IT!

I'm at a period in life when a bone has popped out, but I'm still lapping up that tuna.

My chemotherapy hasn't caused me to lose any hair yet, but I've got my wigs ready, and when I do, I expect I will receive compliments on my hair (something I NEVER get when wearing my REAL hair).

I have some of the best doctors in the world working with me, and I’m on a strict anti-cancer diet.

While this diet is designed to reduce your glucose (which cancer cells feed on) and substitute ketones (which cancer cells don't like), it also functions as a weight loss diet and I've been getting lots of compliments on how slim I look. I just politely tell them "Tank you," the way I used to do when complimented on my hair.

I've become one of those people I used to disdain--people who can't eat this or that and who seem extremely picky when it comes to food. There are lots of things on this diet that I can't eat that I COULD eat on a regular weight-loss diet, such as tomatoes.

I also try to be polite when people tell me about their sure fire "cures" for my condition (i.e. eat a dozen lemons a day). Here's more wisdom from Bucky: "I moved beyond 'facts' along time ago. Facts are for people who can't create their own truths. FACT.."

I sometimes feel like the "funnies" have been written just for me. Right after my brain operation on May 1st, I opened up the comics to read this exchange in "Dilbert:" A man comes into an office cubicle, and a woman (holding a cell phone) says to him, "It's your surgeon. He says he might have left something inside you."

The man exclaims, "What? Sponge? Scalpel?"

She says, "No, his watch, keys and wallet. He says he used your torso to store his valuables while he went for a run." Than a "meow" sound comes out of the man's chest.

At least I haven't experienced THAT particular bone yet!.


Ha! I laughed out loud. Good to here the book is out in paper. I'm getting the hardback. Excellent!

Yes, me too. Kindle might be convenient but it just doesn't feel like a book.

Anne, what I learned from my canned-tuna times was that we are stripped down to the basics, humour is right in there with comfort and love. For wisdom, I turned to Calvin and Hobbes.

Glad you're holding fast. God bless.

Your comics are my favorites, too. These guys (artists) are brilliant. Attended a book signing with Steve Pastis and he's just as funny in person. Did his wife really leave him?
Lots of new cancer treatment breakthroughs; hope one of them might work for you.
Cheers.

I have it on Kindle, great book! I love your sense of humor! Love you guys!

I bought it on Kindle, too. Great book! I couldn't stop reading it - finished it in 3 days. Anne, many things you and Whitley wrote about were so helpful to me in dealing with a situation I'm going through currently. And what a great blog post! I love your sense of humor. I remember reading that Dilbert comic about the cat inside the guy's chest. Wow, has it been a year?! So glad you're doing so well. Sending prayers and love your way always!

I'm a New Yorker who now lives in Mexico. I miss the comics. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face. You are one amazing lady! I read the Kindle version of your book and I loved it so much. I couldn't stop reading it! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

I love the comics too and those are my favourites as well-- especially Get Fuzzy... Thanks for sharing the chuckles and the inspiration. Recently I had an epiphany that no matter what life throws at me, I can grab onto my faith and believe that every bit of apparent "bad luck" is a blessing in disguise, and somehow that's what it becomes. (Has the love that you and Whitley share ever been stronger or more joyful than it is now? I doubt it.)

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