Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Raining Down A Hail of Bullets

On my last bullet point post, Biting The Bullet, I started with the wind sock (stuck in the gutter) and ended with the idea that I wanted to be like wind sock when it is flowing free and fulfilling its nature. I linked that old post if you are interested in my idea of metaphor. (Hint: It is a rambling post that SEEMS to go nowhere and then doubles back and actually finds a point.)

Let's try it again.
  • The wind sock is once again hopelessly caught in the gutter.
  • I would snap a photo, but I already did that once and, seriously, how many photos of a wind sock in a gutter does a person need to see?
  • I finished reading the book The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green, a little over a week ago. 
  • Yes, there is a movie based on the book at the movies. I have yet to see the movie, but I laughed and then cried through the book. Since I know how it ends, I think I will save it for home viewing. As much I love sobbing at the movies, I will take a pass.
  • I don't think this is any sort of spoiler alert, but the teenage characters in the book (and movie) have cancer. The boy, Augustus Waters, is a huge fan of metaphor. His constancy in looking for it in everything around him made me fall in love with him just a bit more than I expected.

  • Okay, it is a little creepy saying that I fell in love with Augustus Waters and then SEEING Augustus Waters. He is a teenager. It was a whole lot cooler when he was just a character in a book.
  • But, I still love that metaphor clip. It was exactly the way John Green wrote it. So, maybe it is HIM I fell in love with just a little bit. That is slightly less creepy given that he is closer to my age, but married.
  • Let's move on...
  • So, I read this book about cancer and had a bit of a breakdown. I did mention the crying, right?
  • One of my friends from high school has been battling cancer since his 20s. I thought constant, chronic migraines were a bitter pill. Lest you ever forget... there is ALWAYS someone who has it worse than you do.
  • So, anyway, he posts these horribly long (and dreadfully sobering) updates on his Facebook page. The cancer is slowly becoming him. As it is in his brain, spine, lymph nodes, legs, and now pelvis. The fact that the guy lived this long is a miracle in itself. The treatment stopped working a while ago and he has decided No More. So, now it is just a waiting game. 
  • I told you about my friend from high school whose son died of cancer. Well, I mentioned it. I didn't really go into it. That was last December. I feel surrounded by cancer.
  • A friend from college just announced that her teenage daughter has been diagnosed with osteoscarcoma (bone cancer), which is the same cancer Augustus Waters had in The Fault In Our Stars.
  • Since I just read that book I know a whole lot more about osteoscarcoma than I did a week ago. 80% of people beat it. That is a great statistic unless you fall in the 20%. I have debated sending my friend an email to NOT read this book or watch this movie.
  • Yesterday I just had tissue biopsied to determine if I have cancer. Isn't that exciting? I could be the next person on Facebook to create a page that is devoted to cancer!!!!
  • Before you get too excited, the doctor who performed the biopsy took me aside after and said that it was unlikely (though not certain) that I had cancer. He had seen cancerous tissue many times when it was OBVIOUSLY cancer and mine wasn't. 
  • So, for right now, I am riding on the good side of the stats. Of course, he was less than thrilled about everyone on my father's side of the family dying of colon cancer. Well, not the young people (as in my age or younger) yet. He made sure that we had a sobering talk on the importance of colonoscopies. I assured him that I am well aware.
  • I am well aware.
  • I am currently reading George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones. Now, that is a tome. And it is the first of a series. The first book tops 800 pages. 
  • I watched the first three seasons of the TV show that follows the book and am glad I did. It makes the book much easier reading.
  • Spoiler alert: No one dies of cancer in Game of Thrones. No one lives long enough to die of cancer. They live in a medieval time and are much more likely to be run through with a sword, battle axe, or one of those wicked spiked balls that warriors like to throw around.
  • As I read it, I find myself pondering the bigger issues of holding to honor and valor and honesty when lying, corruption, and deceit seem to repeatedly win the day. I think on how things are going down in George R.R. Martin's fictional world and then take a look at how things are going down right here... and it all seems frightfully the same. The surest way to lose the game is to fight it honorably and the surest way to win it is with cunning and deception.
  • And that brings me back to the wind sock. You knew we were coming back to the wind sock...
  • All the wind sock desires is to blow free and fulfill its Nature. That is its greatest happiness. 
  • Yet it remains glued to the gutter. And so it shall be until I walk out there and give it another good yank. 
  • Is it our destiny, like that of the wind sock, to constantly return to the gutter and consistently require a good yank from an outside source to set us right again?


  1. I'm believing and praying you do not have cancer!
    And you are correct - no one dies of cancer in Game of Thrones. Beheadings, stabbings, but no cancer. I've not read the books, but I imagine watching the series first does help.
    Perhaps your windsock needs a buddy in that gutter?

  2. I was completely unsure of what to say until your last line. Me in a nutshell. Here's hoping you never have to start that FB page. Following in the family footsteps is overrated. Or, I'll be dead of leukemia in two years.

  3. People who have cancer understand the metaphor. Everybody is dying, with cancer you never give it the power to kill you, or define you, or live your life for you. Just like anybody else, it's important to live every minute, right up until your last.'

    Here's to hoping you never truly understand that.

  4. Alex ~ I am believing that also! I think I must be the windsock's buddy since I am the one only who ever gives him a good yank:)

    CW ~ I totally understand. On my father's side is colon cancer. On my mother's side is alzheimers or severe dementia (can we even tell the difference?). My grandmother and great-grandmother were raving lunatics for something like ten years, yet were physically very healthy. So, there is cancer or losing your mind. On the place side, they were funny as crap when they were out of their minds. So there is that to look forward to... maybe they will make a reality TV show featuring me and all my crazy when my mind goes.... hahahaha. As you say, following in the family footsteps is way over-rated. Maybe I will do something completely unexpected and die quietly in my sleep. How often does that happen any longer????

  5. Perhaps that windsock is the sign that you need rejuvenating, that you need to take care of you. Cancer scares us all, and when it's people we know either online or in person, we look it directly in the face. Good luck and keep talking about it, it sometimes helps.

  6. Well, I must say that this did distract me from all of the actual bullets being reported in the news....sending you happy thoughts!

  7. FAE ~ Again, without giving too much away (I hope) the thing that The Fault In Our Stars and Game of Thrones has in common is that everyone is extremely aware of their mortality. If you have cancer (or any other terminal illness) or live in a violent time death always seems to be at the door. Armed with that information, each second is important. Imminent death has a vitalizing factor unlike anything else. Sometimes just being reminded that no one lives forever is a good thing. We always need to live our best possible life today.

    D.G. ~ There seem to be a multitude of wisdom to be gleaned from the windsock. Who knew? As I said, I feel confident that - at leas this time - cancer and I are not doing the two step. But it is EVERYWHERE I look. It is part of my past (having lost close family members to it) and my friends face it. It is scary. We cannot pray too much for those suffering with it.

    Andrea ~ The best kind of bullets!

  8. Dear Robin,

    I recently went through a cancer scare. I also went to the hospital several times on my own. Somehow, this made me more resilient as I looked at all those around me with the support of others. The day I went and saw the consultant for the results, I was ready for any news. No matter what, I was calm. I got the all clear. I'm with you, my kind friend. Keep riding on the good side of those stats.

    A wind sock goes with the breeze. A different breeze brings a different hope.

    In kindness,


  9. I read "The Fault in our Stars" last week at my son's recommendation. He doesn't read very much, so when he recommends a book I take it to heart! I also think I'm going to wait for it to come out on redbox...or go see it at the discount theater.

  10. For the sake of trying to lose weight I try to stay away from books and movies like this! I must be an emotional reader because a book like this would have me chowing down on bon-bon's! Emotional movies can do the same thing. :/

  11. I've been hearing good things about this Green book and the film. Yesterday I read a review that said the film is actually more effective than the book in handling certain aspects. I'll probably see the film when it comes out on DVD.

    Let's hope we all remain in good health and good circumstances.

    Tossing It Out

  12. Great post, Robin. I'm praying you don't have cancer. I, too, have a number of people around me who are battling the beast. As for the wind sock, my husband is my wind sock. He can always get me steered in the right direction again. Thank God. :-)
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

  13. The Fault in Our Stars is a good book! I'd like to see the movie.

    I'll keep you in my prayers regarding your health!

  14. "All the wind sock desires is to blow free and fulfill its Nature. That is its greatest happiness." I guess you do get it (and I love the fact that Nature is capitalized).

  15. I'm sorry that so many people you know have been touched by cancer. Stay healthy my friend, and try to breeze through life like the wind sock.


  16. I hope that your doctor is right with his gut instinct that says this is not cancer.
    And yes, we are all that wind sock that gets caught in the gutter and has to be yanked out.

  17. I'm a huge faith person, so I think the wind sock is only for a little while. :)

    That movie looks so intense to me that I'm scared to go see it. I cry at Bambi. That may be an at home movie for me too, unless my daughter wants to go see it in the theater.

  18. Thank you all for the encouraging comments. Sometimes it just FEELS LIKE something negative surrounds us. (I occasionally get overwhelmed by the numbers of people stricken by cancer... my family, my friends, and a scare of my own brings it right Home.) BUT... all we can do is live fully while we can. That is it. We can try and be like the wind sock and fulfill our Nature!!!

  19. Oh, a lot going on here. First off, I finished TFIOS too. Loved it but didn't cry. I just knew, at the very beginning what would happen, so I prepared myself for it. I don't want to see the movie, yet I am. My daughter is dying to go, and I've agreed to attend...today, I think. I know I will drown in tears in the theatre.

    My husband has been just finished reading the last available Game of Thrones book. FYI, he says the last one is the hardest read. You may want to revisit the decision to read them all...the third book as 32 points of view.

    The big "C" is hovering around my world, too. I'm praying for your test results.

    "The surest way to lose the game is to fight it honorably and the surest way to win it is with cunning and deception." It depends on what your perception of the "end" is. I'm still in the fight honorably camp.

    One more thought? Perhaps there is a better place to hang that wind sock? (It's Liza. Can't sign into Google from this computer.)

  20. In spite of the encouragement found in the words, "Cancer is a word, not a sentence," the word still has the capacity to terrify us. I'm sorry your life has been so touched by it, and am praying it never gets any closer. Take care.

  21. Oh friend, I can feel the angst and suffocation in your words. I'm praying for you, that you are not sick with cancer. I totally relate to how you feel. I have health issues right now that I'm battling with and as you, hoping and praying for the best. But like you, I refuse to let uncertainty and fear take its hold on me. Chin up, Robin!


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