Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How I Cope...

Besides being asked how the children are handling my illness (they are great, thanks!), I'm often asked how I seem to cope so well with all this cancer crappola. There are a few days I fall apart, but mostly, I think, I just take each day as it comes. Of course, having a sense of humor helps greatly. After I get a treatment and I'm lying on the bathroom floor enjoying the feel of the cool tile on my face, I think of things that make me laugh. I thought I'd share some examples:
Ok, so here's what happened when we were getting ready to move to Olathe, KS from Topeka...

Our house sold to the first person who looked at it - which was the first week on the market. Tom and I were not prepared for this, so we started working like crazy people to get ready for the move. The worst part of the entire move process was going to be cleaning out our garage. It was an over-sized garage and while we both parked our cars in there, the backside of the garage was wall to wall junk. In Topeka no matter how much trash you put out on trash day the trash men would take it. We decided we had 4 weekends to throw as much of the garage junk away as possible.

I couldn't help much because the garage was just too dusty. But by the time the 3rd weekend rolled around, I realized Tom couldn't finish alone. I donned a dust mask, went out to help finish the nightmare job. As far as I was concerned, everything out there was trash. I paid little attention to what I was tossing quickly away. We worked the entire weekend and got up early on trash day to make sure everything was finally either packed or tossed.

After we finished, and heard the trash men in the neighborhood, Tom decided he had to leave to do some sort of important errands. I peeked out the window to watch the horror expressions of the poor men who were faced with a mountain of junk in front of our house. They took it all; squished it down and went on their way. About 5 or so minutes after the trash truck left I heard the most incredible explosion - it shook the house. Then quiet. Then the sound of firetrucks. I shrugged my shoulders and went about my business in the house...until I saw two very angry looking men walking up to my door.

Crap. They clearly were from the city of Topeka, and I figured they were coming to yell at us for putting too much junk out that past month. Nooooo... that was not why they were there. The conversation went a little something like this:

City Dude: (angry voice) Are you Mrs. Strickland
Me: (trying to decide if I have to answer this honestly or not) Um, yes?
CD: Mrs. Strickland did you throw pool chemicals away today?
Me: (remembering the bottles of pool chemicals Tom had shoved aside, but I tossed without thinking into the trash can.) Hmmm... I'm not sure I did, but my husband - who is not home - might have done that...
CD: Ma'am, you cannot throw something like that into your trash! The bottles opened and once the chemicals hit the water inside the truck they exploded.
Me: (jaw dropped and unable to speak) (at this point I step out of my house and look down the street to where they were pointing) (there was a trash truck being sprayed with water from one of several firetrucks, which was being filmed by many news crew trucks) I... uh... er... umm... whoa... uhhh...
CD: No one was hurt, thankfully, but you have got to be more careful!
Me: Absolutely! I'm so sorry. I didn't know...I mean, my husband didn't know. It was him. Not me. He's not home or he'd tell you he did it. Yep, he did it. Not me. Stop staring at me like that! Fine! It was me! I did it! I exploded a Topeka trash truck! I did it! Me! Me! Me!
CD: Just don't do it again.
Me: You have my word that I will never, ever, ever blow up another Topeka trash truck!**

The following week was our last week in the house and once again we put a pile of junk in front of the house for the trash men to pick up. I carefully peeked out the window when they arrived - I was fearful they would no long take our trash. They took it. But first they grabbed a large hose and sprayed everything down with water before picking it up and throwing it in the truck.

This was the same move in which the moving truck backed into the side of my van and Spike ran away. Moving into a beautiful new neighborhood with a dented up van and running up and down the street screaming for Spike while knocking on doors. We made a great first impression.

My neighbors are amazing. People actually brought us cookies while we were moving in. I want to give a Shout Out to my neighbor/friend Sonya for all that she's done for us since we moved in and especially after finding out I have cancer. I feel blessed to have moved next door to such an awesome family. Thank you!
**I've kept my word and have never again blown up another trash truck. In Topeka.


  1. Ohmygosh, that was funny but not funny! I'm glad no one was hurt, but jeez who knew pool stuff could be so volatile. I would of been right there with you sister throwing it out, LOL. I'm glad it all worked out! And BTW, even bald - you are so beautiful! Keep up the good humor and memories, they will coast you thru the rest of this challenge! God Bless!

  2. Thanks for a good laugh, I had to read that to mark it was so funny. That totally sounds like something I would do. I can't beleive you never told that story to us before!
    Praying for you!
    val s.

  3. too funny, but not funny.... keep smiling Sheri and keep making yourself (and us) laugh!!

  4. A good story. Not too many people can have cancer and blow up a trash truck.
    I like your new background too.

  5. Oh my goodness...I would have blamed my husband too..lol

    Hope your having a good day


  6. That's the way to relieve stress... blow somethin up... Just make sure no peeps at risk next time!!!! Here's one to try: put canned ham in the oven, without removing the lid, or opening the can in anyway. Bake at about 375 for 30-40 minutes, clear the house, and presto, instant kitchen sky-light and in a few days a brand new oven... My grand-fathers recipe.

  7. with proper planning, an a.p. calculus book and a little luck, u might be able to take out a Chinese satellite as well as get a kitchen make over!!!!

  8. Actually, I have been complaining a lot about the stairs...I wouldn't get a sky-light I'd get a hole to jump from the second floor to the first...right into the kitchen!

    Val - the reason you never heard this story is no one was allowed to speak about it. At the time I was truly horrified! The Topeka news was covering it - talking about how careless and thoughtless someone was...I kept checking over my shoulder for an angry mob with torches and pitchforks.

  9. Holy Cow! How on earth could they pinpoint it to you? Well I guess it probably didn't take long to happen so they narrowed it down between houses. I would have dies of humiliation! Great blog here girlie! Keep up that fight!
    I am stopping by to give you a big welcome to the SITStahood! Glad you joined us and we look forward to seeing you around!