It’s Not A Bucket List. It’s A F*CK LIST!
DISCLAIMER: There’s a lot of curse words throughout this Post so, my apologies for my potty mouth!
I don’t remember who taught me to use this phrase, or if I read it on another cancer blog but I LOVE it. A “Fuck It” List.
I’m only 40 years old. Yet, I’ve spent the last 7 years of my life suffering through 9 surgeries, countless hospitalizations, tests and epilepsy.
I graduated from law school, passed 2 bar exams all to lose my ability to work at just 35 as I was just establishing my career. For all the time, effort and stress I spent trying to pass the bar, “moving-up the chain” and dealing with so much unnecessary bullshit, I should have just spent all that time in a bar!
I had only been married for 1.5 years when I was diagnosed with brain cancer. We have known each other since I was 12. Yet, we deserve to have so many more decades together! I want to see him as a grumpy old man, and I want to be that grumpy old woman holding his hand.
However, now my husband has to help his young wife (and YES, 40 is still young!) get out of bed every morning. He’s on paid leave right now. I fear what happens when he has to go back to work.
We’ve been lucky enough to have traveled extensively. Thank God! However, there’s so much more of the world I want to see.
Yet, now I need a wheelchair or walker. It’s not exactly easy to plan trips to the jungle or some exotic location when you can’t walk so well…
So the fact that I’m now, faced with my own mortality, YES, FUCK THAT!
Death is a very real thing I’m up against
I don’t like to say it, and I sure as hell don’t want to memorialize it in writing, but death is something I’m really facing this time.
Don’t get me wrong, my boxing gloves are on!
I’ll fight like hell for my life, but this is my reality.
I’ve Lived An Adventurous Life
I’ve lived a good life. and done things many people only dream about doing.
I surfed in Costa Rica while backpacking through the country with my best friend. We also achieved one of our biggest dreams – we visited the Sloth Sanctuary there!
I toured through the beautiful country of Cuba, taking a pink convertible American 1950’s car from one area to another ending-up in Old Havana, one of my favorite places in all the world.
In fact, I’ve been all over the Caribbean, swimming in crystal clear waters, sailing on various kinds of boats and soaking-up every bit of sun I could.
On every beach, no matter where it is, I collect seashells. I love it! Seashells from all over the world are together in various fishbowls in my home.
In Turkey, I toured some of the most ancient, wondrous monuments in all the world. I did the same in Thailand.
I’ve been zip lining so many different places, through woods and jungles.
I’ve seen the breathtaking Redwoods up close and personal. On that trip I also tried my best at white-water kayaking in Oregon with some of the greatest, most resilient cancer “thrivers” I’ve ever met. #firstdescents #outlivingit
I’ve spoken before hundreds in Times Square and at countless special events for various charities. Just by speaking my truth about my story, I always hope to encourage and inspire others. I’ve brought strangers to tears with the power of my story.
I’ve been inside the prestigious Mansfield Room in the Capital Building for a special reception for brain cancer awareness, and “overstayed our welcome” so that my group had to be escorted out by Capital Hill security! 😂
I’ve partied my lil butt off in so many places all around the world! I partied at tables next to and with celebrities. I danced on bars, on tables, couches, you name it. Hey, I even got a personal invite from the comedian Jamie Kennedy to a private party thrown by Ja Rule down in South Beach. (Hey, that was pretty major back in 2002!)
Yep, I knew how to get into any VIP area.👌
Little known fact: I was even an extra in an “after-school special” type movie: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117123/
Yet, I’m noT ready to end my amazing adventures! My Wanderlust remains and it’s stronger than ever!
My Fuck It List
So, here is my List, in no particular order:
- Cage Dive With Great Whites
- I used to be a scuba diver, but I cannot dive below 20 feet anymore because of my epilepsy. It’s something I grieve deeply.
- The ocean was my “happy place” and there is nothing like diving down to swim through a huge school of fish; to watch a Moray Eel peek its head out of its coral hiding place; float alongside giant turtles; see stingrays glide through the water and, especially to be up close and personal with sharks!
- Although I’ll never be able to freely scuba dive again, I can cage dive to witness the beauty of the Great White! If you’re interested in sharks, follow Ocean Ramsey https://oceanramsey.org I want to come back in my next life as her!
- Return to Thailand where we had our honeymoon
- Return to Bodrum, Turkey and see all our friends there
- We had planned our 3rd trip there for September 2020, but of course, the coronavirus prevented that!
- Get back home to Ireland to see all my family
- I had planned a trip there in July 2020, but of course, again the coronavirus prevented that!
- Write my own eulogy (Yeah, I’m THAT Type A!)
- Finish my Book and see it published
- Try an adaptive activity for the disabled, preferably skiing
- See more advances in brain cancer treatments
- Travel to South America and Africa (cage diving would likely be in South Africa anyway)
- Float in the Dead Sea – if ya can’t swim anymore, ya might as well float!
- See this damn coronavirus end so that travel is possible again…. I live in and out of hospitals, yet I’m one of the only people I know who wasn’t contracted it!
- Trust me, I know how horrific the virus is, and please know, I am not making light of it in any way, but only I could possibly be living my last days, months, hopefully years, in a pandemic, which I’ve remained immune to all this time!
I’ll have more to add, or my list may change. It might just be hoping for one more day. One more kiss from my husband. Another hug from my parents. More doggy kisses from my pup.
Only time will tell.