Simple Questions

There I am talking to strangers about personal details. What in the world am I doing? How did I get here? The words are just rolling off my tongue. Am I making any sense? Am I taking the audience down a path that actually leads to something? I stop talking when I hope I have come to some kind of a conclusion. The next question is asked.

As I discuss my journey, vivid memories pop into my head. Some good. Some disastrous. Many dark, tragic. Lost in my autopilot-rambling-mode, I don’t skip a beat while the recall slideshow takes place. I choose to share my story with the objective that something I say will click with someone. Perhaps I will find that needle in the haystack this time around.

Exhausted from the day; nestled up to my warm husband and leg-room hogging cat, Yam, the mind begins to process. The slideshow involuntarily replays, it is unstoppable.

The clips are nonsensical. Why is this happening? Me, dentist, and X-rays in a room. “Listen, I’m playing the short game here, if this is potentially going to bother me in a few years, I’m not doing it.” “I’m interested in getting a copy of the document that states my student loans are dissolved when I die; my lawyer needs the document for my estate plan.” Stop please. “What is the reason for adding your husband’s name to the electric account Ms. Wieneke?” “Welcome back! So, you’re in remission now?” Two Tylenol PM and a chaser of water, now.

I sleep hard. Evidence is left at one corner of my mouth. AM arrives and I stagger to get my caffeine fix. Warm cup of joe in my grip, eyes widen, hint of a smile appears, Nina Simone singing comes to mind.  …And I’m feeling good….

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Cool Day in Seattle

Days ago I was offered tickets to the Seahawks game.  While in a state of blur I of course said, “hell yes!”  Heavy sleep, interrupted by the 7am alarm Sunday, made me second guess my decision.  You see, I have a pattern of overexerting and crashing.  By 7:12am I knew I my decision to go was crazy.  I rallied and managed to leave the house by the planed departure time of 8am.

Me in the driver seat and SW as copilot we made great time to Centurylink Field thanks to the WRX.

IMG_0638Pre-game field passes and tickets were generously given to us by Chris Draft and The Chris Draft Family Foundation.  It was pretty darn awesome. Standing on a field with 67,000 seats surrounding you was quite a jaw dropping experience.  Knowing that in an hour each seat was to be filled with a shouting fans made me shiver.  We got to watch the players warm-up before the game; sideline view proven again to be top-notch.  Such large strong men that are damn fast!  And, some had pretty swanky dance moves.

Making it to our seats before kick-off was a major accomplishment.  I managed to walk up countless ramps and 30-something stairs.  Reaching the chair gave me the feeling like I, a one woman team, had personally won the Super Bowl, elated and exhausted.  Assigned tickets placed me next to Lung Cancer Survivor Jessica Steinberg.  As always, we had a hoot together.  Thankfully she had her LUNGevity blanket to keep both of our laps warm.

IMG_0675Seahawks ended up winning 20-6.  (Go Hawks!)  The game was good.  The crowd was entertaining.  Traffic was manageable.  My hot apple cider was free. Successful!

I got us and an order of Thai food home at a reasonable hour.  We betrayed one of the few House Rules.  We filled our bellies in bed while Guardians of the Galaxy gave us something to zone out on.

It was a great way to spend a Sunday.  Thanks again Draft Foundation!

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“So….What do you do???”

The dreaded question comes up when interacting with strangers at parties.  This time of year it is on overdrive, when parties with strangers runneth plenty.

It is no longer only the smarmy guy at the bar who asks, “So….What do you do?” It feels like parents, grandparents, neighbors, and friends all seem to care what people do.  More often than not the do refers to, “do for income.

I’ve never been a fan of this line.  For starters, I’ve never felt that my job really defined me.  Yes, it did a part of me, yet not all of me.  Now I like that question even less.

I never seem to come up with the right answer.  The “I don’t work” line is a firm no-go.  That leads directly to the, “No, I don’t have children,” answer.  I get the head-tilt and furrowed brow back.  Oh, if I did not have manners I’d love to unload on them.

It seems that I am not the only person who feels this way about this simple-minded question.  This article

A Kinda Snobby Question You Need To Stop Asking When You First Meet Someone

does a fine job at explaining what questions we should be asking and what answers we should be giving.





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It’s About Time

While taking a few moments to admire my lit-up shiny & sparkly Christmas tree with my morning coffee in hand, I noticed something very peculiar going on.  My cats, technically my cat, Yam, and SW’s cat, Dyno, were in sync staring due north at a blank wall.  I ended up watching them for about 15 minutes.  Collectively I think there were 3 twitches.  It was so odd.  Then my deep study was interrupted by my own full-belly laughter.

Who in the world has 15-minutes in the morning to watch cats watching nothing?  I do.

I may be horribly sick but damn, I love the way I get to spend my time.

FullSizeRender-4As of late, I’ve been spending my time reading and re-reading a new to me cooking blog called Generation Y Foodie.  Sadly, it is no longer updated.  Favs so far include the bacon corn chowder and chicken corn chili under soups.

I am looking forward to the stuffed delicata squash tonight!

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A Boring Appointment

I welcome boring oncologist appointments.  (Sorry Dr C & Andi if you thought it was more than that.)

No scans to go over today.  The only business was some pharmacy housekeeping to get addressed before my prescription coverage gets tweaked in January.   Fingers are crossed that changing pharmacies and going to mail order does not cause me too much heart burn in the coming weeks.

I am still worn out after the day.  I think it is from the AM fasting before my labs are drawn.  Yet, it could be not giving myself the much needed 2-hour wake up period before leaving the house.  Or it’s the sitting and waiting.  One thing is for sure, I am certain it is not staying up past midnight rocking out to Gaelic Storm at the Aladdin Theater last night.


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Bag it up and Toss it out!

FullSizeRender-3Clusters of days have turned into weeks; I am still uneasy about so much.  I am a doubting woman as of late.  I ask myself why and I come up with no answer.

I prepared a well thought out speech and delivered it at Genentech earlier this month. I walked away unsure how it was received. Why?  How could I not tell if people liked it or not?  I’ve been told by many it was a job well done.  Why do I doubt myself? Why do I doubt the feedback?

I feel like I need constant reassurance.  What I am doing is right, right?  Yelling at the lazy contractor on the phone was not out of line, right?  Not trusting people that should not be trusted is the right way to go, right?  I know what the answers are.  Why don’t I trust myself?  Why am I being the version of myself who allows someone else to pick the Cranium answer when I’m fairly confident that they are wrong?  Ugh!  Just like then, I am annoyed at myself.  How do I stop this cycle?

I know I’m supposed to look at this as a way to grow and have a better understanding about myself. But I’d really rather find a way to crumble it all up and toss it in the recycle bin.  Move on and be my normal happy self!

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Do Not Do As I Do

If you see a person you know at a crematorium don’t get nervous and ask, “What are you doing here?”  Trust me….You will feel like an ass like I did.


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Earth to Kimmy… Earth to Kimmy… Come in Kimmy?

Yes, I am still here. Kind of in a barely sort of way, yet, kind of not. Lets just say the last few weeks have been filled with the polar opposites of one friend having a baby and another loosing his wife to cancer. True story, that was a hell of a few days!

I am feeling…well…sturdy. Between art projects, painting my nails, bubble baths, some Janet Evanovich awesomeness, walking, and venting to a few groups of friends (Thank you glass class, Jennifer and Alison!) I have found some clarity.

The timing could not be better as I fly to San Francisco tomorrow to speak at Genentech about what it is like living with lung cancer. It would not be very cool to show up and say something like, “Uh, cancer sucks, man…yup, it really sucks,” in my best Keaneu Reeves impersonation of his acting in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Now, just to get through the complicated travel bag selection. Do I use light and easy to lug around bag or the bag that is sure to give me the “4-hours of shopping room” I might just need? Now that’s a no brainer!

Oh, speaking of no brainers….  CT and MRI results from 11/3 continue to be clear, I am still NMD (no measurable disease). I am fortunate.




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Beautiful Baldness

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Thank you loved ones for participating!


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Got Cap?

If you live in the Portland area and have not ordered your bald cap yet – no problemo.

Bald caps will be available to purchase at Greg’s Bold Bald Birthday Bash!

The Boldness takes place Saturday, October 11th from 6:00-8:00 at The Hop & Vine. Purchase a bald cap ($10 cash/check) to support LUNGevity.  Enjoy a tasty beverage while personalizing your cap.  Don’t forget to wish Greg a Happy Birthday!

How this came about…

Greg, Stephanie, and me at the beach

Greg, Stephanie, and me

My neighbor & friend, Greg, has shown interest in helping me plan a fundraiser for some time now. Honestly, I’ve been a tad reluctant.  I have visions of grandeur but know that my energy is not able to deliver that…just yet.  When I saw this already put-in-place fundraiser for all cancer types I was all in. Greg, being an awesome friend voluntarily decided to have his birthday also support the Be Bold, Be Bald event.  How cool is that?!

Greg and I have joined forces for team Bold Bald Birthday Bash.

Unable to make the gathering but want to support the cause?  You can make donations here.

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