murphyormel

wacky reflections from a nutcracker wannabe

Category: Goiter

Why “Murphy”*?

“The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.” – unknown

 

Funny things just happen to all of us. For me, it has become a normalcy. While the previous blog posts re. the cancer diagnosis are most certainly not “Murphy moments”, the “gooooiter” growth might well be.

And while it’s very hard to top being given honors from my friend, Mark, as a combo Jackie O and Dick Butkis, my ‘Melissa Murphy Moment’s’ are just part of what make me who I am. ūüôā Thus, this blog- “Murphy or Mel” – was born.

So, you ask, what is/has been a “Melissa Murphy Moment”……(and many of you will recall and giggle and/or want to share …it’s ok, my parent’s are fully aware of what they created.)

– Just out of grad school and teaching my first college class at 28, I wore a student provided adaptive hearing device into the ladies room accidentally still turned to “on”.

– Being new in my career and first real job (probably first or second year) and wearing red panties under white linen pants.

– Using the phrase “that’s a great money shot” when reviewing final production for our new television commercial with the (national food company) CEO sitting directly next to me (without knowing what the phrase meant until later AND being the only woman in the room). (btw- there really was a photo of a dollar bill in the actual TV spot.)

– Being awarded the very prestigious “40 under 40” award by the St. Louis Business Journal in 2010 after 400+ submissions, only to have a big apology and the award rescinded, because I turned 40 just three months prior. The graduate school Dean who submitted my entry entered my birthday incorrectly. (I keep it in my LinkedIn profile and resume because I earned that damn award.) My former CEO, Bill Shaner, called me to congratulate and shared great advice…”when did we go from being the rock star to the mentor?”. His wisdom and ability to laugh at the issue dulled the hurt. Until now.

– Trading in my dying but wonderfully fun Audi for a new Saab automatic, only to drive it thru the garage door in the first 24 hours. I wasn’t used to the difference after 20+ years with a manual transmission. Mol said “Mommy, why are we driving thru the garage door?” $1000 later, I owned a new garage door too. ūüôā

– Having a great idea in the shower only to not have a notepad handy. So, I found a pantyliner, wrote my thought, carried to work and planted on my desk, got distracted by another project just as the (male) Division President came in and sat down to talk. Yes, panty liner in full view.

-Locking my keys in the car two times in the same day. Once at the gas tank. Once while the car was still running at 9:30 at night at the bank drop box.

– writing 100+ thank you notes before my daughter was born signed from “Melissa and Hannah” to instead name her “Mollyanna”

– crying when I got a tattoo the size of a quarter but being told to wake up when giving birth to my sweet girl. (ok, drugs and an episode of Oprah were involved there ūüôā

– Scared of horses but dating a boy who I didn’t know was a national rodeo champion until three weeks later. He said Purina-Nestle.

– Asking to borrow the brand new shuttle bus for a two mile parade to have it not start in what would have been its first day in use- Just after the parade.

– Finishing a motorcycle riding class after dropping the bike, only to send and receive a letter from the IL Dept of Transportation thanking me for NOT getting my motorcycle license.

– Marrying a man with a Golden Retriever who has been beautifully house trained and won’t even get sick on the carpet. My yoga mat however? Not part of the training and more than once a select spot for Barkley’s sickness.

– Hiring a local lawn company to ‘pretty up’ my lawn to sell my house, only to have them do one spray and completely kill the yard in 24 hours, setting me back three months of sales opps and $$$ of watering…in the worst year ever to sell a house (2011).

– Asking for a fake name at the hospital for a recent procedure and getting a name with a misspelling and then best yet, a bill to her not me.

-And travel misadventure (a future blog for sure)…likely having an FBI record for an airport bomb threat scare (misunderstanding, really) in Cleveland; Watching news crews in Chicago surround our plane after some dude dropped a bag of large white powder as he entered first class (probably beignets mix- lol); Working a motorcycle rally in Laughlin, Nevada both before and after a gang motorcycle shooting hit national news; Being on a plane to Portland where the toilet blew up; Working truck stop focus groups in New Jersey with folks who lack teeth; accidentally carrying produce across the Chilean border; Booking a flight to Vancouver and realizing they meant WA not BC; Being stuck in countless airports all over the world- both with and without luggage; and one of my personal fav’s….being placed in an unmarked car in Buenos Aires and pretend texting (that wasn’t working) while hoping I was actually headed to a hotel in the right Argentine city and not being abducted.

We all have stuff, but how can you not giggle that things just happen? This is life.

No, this is my life. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything. ūüôā

*http://www.murphys-laws.com/murphy/murphy-true.html

The only time being called a large Mack truck is a compliment…

In the last few days, I have been reminded of who I am to the outside. ¬†That in itself is an immense gift. ¬†Being called a “Warrior” and “Mack truck” are my personal favorites. ¬†No other time except when facing cancer is being called a large Mack truck appropriate. ¬†Never. ¬†But today, I know my friend sees me as tenacious, driven, strong and capable of moving anything that gets in my way. ¬†He is right.

ok, so I actually haven’t kicked thyroid cancer’s ass yet, but I will. ¬†Just around the corner. Doc assures me that “if you are going to have cancer, this is the best kind to have.” ¬†LOL! ¬†Those are words I never expected to hear, much less typing them in a blog I didn’t plan to write until 20 minutes ago. ¬†I also must acknowledge that once I kick this, cancer can always come back. ¬†No worries. I’ve had my share of ups and downs and always land on my feet.

Know that song by Blue October, “Jump Rope”? ¬†If not, get it.

That being said, if you read, “Get a goiter, grow a goiter”- this would be part 2. ¬†You see, that goiter that Ms. Crazy Aunt Delilah designed for the work costume contest and actually became one two years ago, was checked and found benign. ¬†But over time and with repeated ultrasounds that never showed cancer, it was time for surgery to remove. ¬†Mostly it was cosmetic and sometimes I would feel pressure on my vocal cord (perhaps a gift to my friends, as I do possess the gift to gab). ¬†Me? ¬†I was just happy to get rid of that word in my vocabulary. Seriously, who named that thing a Goiter anyway…… “gooooooiter”? ¬†It just says, “make fun of me”. ¬†(And Seinfeld did nothing to help those of us with the curse of the “goooooiter”.)

Regardless, I conceded and took on the surgery when it fit my schedule. ¬†When the doc came back in after discharge to tell me they found malignancies, even he didn’t expect to give me this news. ¬†It wasn’t seen on the previous ultrasounds, and no one seems to know for how long I had been growing the cells. Again, no worries, I get some radioiodine¬†and a total body scan and soon enough I’m back to being a bad¬†ass marketing professional.

But here’s what I’ve learned along this ridiculously insane journey:

–¬†Many folks have thyroid issues, but unless they “get the goiter”, they may not be aware of the cancerous cells. ¬†Ask your doc how you can be sure you are safe.

РLaughter heals.  So too does investing in a good therapist.

– ¬†My 11-year-old¬† daughter has a capacity for amazing resilience and understanding. ¬†We haven’t yet used the “c” word (not that word, you goof), but I am transparent about needing much rest and meds that will make me radioactive and need to keep me alone for a few days while she stays with her dad.

– “Ask for the order”. ¬†Social networking has a completely new meaning for me this week- beyond a buttload of professional experience. ¬†(oh dear, I may have to rate this blog differently). ¬†An insane amount of emails, notes, personal stories, public thoughts, encouragement and kindness continue to come my way from people I haven’t seen in years. ¬†And it took me weeks to admit to folks even outside my closest six¬†girlfriends what was happening in my life. ¬†Suddenly, I am flooded with white lights, love and healing from around the globe. ¬†Just with a touch of a button and a polite request to have my back.

– Never allow anyone-¬† a sibling, parent, spouse (!!!!), friend, family member, colleague to hear the diagnosis alone. ¬†Partially, b/c they are likely loopy on ¬†Vicadin or Morphine, as I was and only heard one word, and partially b/c we need to be holding a hand or taking notes or something….and for me, I was still in the hospital gown, arse hanging out, connected to tubes and hair looking rocking hot. ¬†I was in shock and there was no one to hold my hand.

РSome folks you think will come to your side will not. And that is ok.  Not everyone is comfortable and knows what and how to be there for you.  Accept that this is not easy for anyone and move forward with folks who will not pull from the positive energies you need in reserve.

– Toxic people are bad news. Move on.

– I have always been good with “asking for the order”. (Daughter of a psychotherapist and attorney.) ¬†But, I’m not great at asking for help. ¬†Too damn type A and like to believe I can do it all. ¬†This time, I couldn’t. And you know what, asking wasn’t hard and the return has been the best investment of all time. ūüôā

– Next time you enter a hospital, consider that every patient¬†– you, your friend, your parent, etc…this is their story. ¬†It is not just a visit from you. ¬†It has a beginning – when they first call the doctor knowing something is “amiss”- to the end diagnosis or worse. ¬†Everything else in between is the plot. ¬†You are part of that plot and can make it even the smallest bit easier- even offering an ice chip or calling the nurse or a trip to the bathroom with someone other than a stranger means something. ¬†Be there and be present. And know it’s their story, not yours. ¬†Even if dinner needs to be made, or the kids have homework, or the laundry isn’t done. ¬†They are scared and need you to be with them.

Р Touch.  People need human contact.  We need to be loved.  Ask to hold a hand or give a hug, or frankly, just let me cry without solving my problems or telling the story of iodine radiation that your uncle bob had.  I am not Bob.

– ¬†I don’t need you to tell me you are sorry. ¬†Of course you are, you are my friend. ¬†Instead, just be there and remind me of all the things you know me to be. ¬†Because in that vulnerable moment, I don’t recall who I was before the diagnosis.

– ¬†Nurses run a hospital. ¬†I can be the lead for the marketing department, but I am nothing but support to the men/women who have ¬†(as my smart, loving, nurse based CEO says) “the privilege to touch the patient”. ¬†She is right. ¬†It is a privilege, and nurses deserve incredible respect.

And finally, Crazy Aunt Delilah may not have been just karma, she may have just saved my life.

Just imagine this next Halloween when she reappears with a new look, a fancy scarf to cover what appears a neckline intruder incident and a rockin’ story about being a cancer survivor. ¬†Probably wearing the survivor card on a tiara……(note to self).

Grow a goiter, get a goiter.

Four years ago in an effort to win a work halloween costume contest, I created a character. ¬†I don’t have a Crazy Aunt Delilah, but I thought something bigger than life and more creative than the standard Target purchase was a must. ¬†I was, afterall, the quirky (or I liked to imagine) head of the Marcomm team for a medical equipment company.

I visited the local thrift shop and selected a lovely floral housecoat but jazzed up my look with hot pink lipstick (over the teeth of course), many pearls, a flowing black Hannah Montana wig and a fantastically designed goiter with those awful nude colored pantyhose no woman ever chooses unless she is over 80.  (forgive me grandma, your knee highs were darling, and we loved you for being fearless to wear them as kneehighs.  You, HS, rocked a pair!). Crazy aunt Delilah, not so much.

The New York accent was a hit and the boa got me many hugs and several bizarre looks from the uptight stiffs in the office.  Nonetheless, $100 at stake, and I wanted that prize.

I only took second.

HOWEVER, the goiter crafted by pantyhose actually became a real goiter two years later. ¬†Karma or Murphy’s law?

I should definitely get my $100 now.

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