Here are some of the stupid, serious and hilarious things I have learned.

I have a lovely trail of battle scars and permanent assorted damaged parts from treatments. Self-consciousness is for weenies.

You will lose friends but hopefully find yourself surrounded with even more people who love you. Offers to bedazzle your walker or hold your hair while puking are priceless.

If you’ve always had a healthy lifestyle without a bunch of medication, good luck with that.

Thank you notes are great but people understand if you can’t get them out – play the cancer card, you’ve earned it.

If your pride prohibits you from allowing friends to bring over meals, flowers, drive your kids around, or do laundry, you are doing a disservice to yourself and to them. Get over it.

When you’re about to be discharged after surgery with drains (be thankful if you don’t know what a drain is) ask for extra tape, gauze, and whatever else they are using to manage your oozing. Contrary to popular belief, the largest Stayfree pad left over from seventh grade will not work as well when your chest hole is streaming fluid onto the bathroom floor.

Vomit is not a big deal unless you’re already indisposed due to diarrhea. I recommend a bucket. Try to keep the dog away.

Find something to have faith in and cling to it.

A theme song is a must.

Write things down. Or forget them – it’s your choice. It’s all about you.

Love, Laugh, and Celebrate everything.

Internet support groups can be very helpful. I have two wonderful friends, one from Indiana and one from Michigan. Watch out for the nut jobs though.

Get out and live your glamorous life the best you can.

Hair, makeup, and meals are optional.

Flowers are great. Save yourself the guilt and throw away any plants people give you.

Sleep when you need to.

My entourage has never been stopped for bringing me food in the hospital. The best pizza I ever had was in cardiac step down, Mellow Mushroom.

Find smart, caring doctors and nurses you can trust. They will do more for you than you can ever imagine. It is ok to disagree with them but be nice. (HUGE thank you to my two Drs S and Debbie for keeping me functioning and alive).

Decide your actions purposefully. You might not get a tomorrow.

Exercise helps but if your hubby almost kills himself getting the treadmill in the house, it’s probably not worth it.

Cancer does not exempt you from electric and plumbing problems, sick kids, bills, and forgotten homework.

You will get to know the pharmacy and insurance company intimately.

Stuff hurts, but that doesn’t mean its cancer. Body parts will go awry. Call and ask. Don’t follow my lead here, I’m known for letting things go too long. Follow your own instincts.

Parenting school aged kids can be incredibly difficult when you have cancer. It may also be the only reason you get out of bed.

Melanoma made me a sunscreen zealot, advocate, and a reluctant blogger. What will it do to you?

Melanoma is NOT just skin cancer.

Find one thing to be thankful for each day.

The checks are counted, the tally is final. Working together we raised $9365 for Miles for Melanoma this year. Incredible!! Thank you!!

Peace and Love to you all. I am off to two different pharmacies. Told ya.