So, now that I am officially unemployed and have TMTOMH, "Too Much Time on My Hands" (TM) I have been looking for something to do. I've come up with a lot of ideas, none of which I'll probably end up implementing, but at least my brain has been busy and buzzing with plans and purpose. I have created organizational systems involving sticky notes and whiteboards and manila folders for all these things I hope to accomplish, items, I might add, I bought myself from Amazon and did not steal from work. My brain has been busier than grandpa with a new Sudoku puzzle, and should I live long enough, I probably won't get Alzheimer's because I've been using it extensively.
(Except yesterday I forgot to go to chemo. Really. Flat out forgot. We won't go there)
One thing I know I am going to miss is the social aspect of working in a school. There is always a kid to yell at, a parent to make fun of, a teacher to deny paper to, or a principal to boss around.
Okay, just kidding.
Truly, there is a lot of talking in a school. You don't really need an extra social life because you get plenty of interaction all day long at work. Transferring from such a busy and convivial atmosphere to being at home alone all day in my silent little house with a timid dog who is afraid of the ceiling and a cat whose sole purpose in life is to destroy my furniture and ignore me until bedtime, when she insists I sleep in a position that makes HER comfortable - well, that is just going to be a huge culture shock.
But, you are asking, don't you live with people? Yes, I do. A husband and a 15 year old son. 'Nuff said.
In truth, I'm a solitary woman who could actually be really happy just reading all day, and never talking to anybody again, but is that good for me? Will it make for a full seating at my funeral? I think not. So, I want to keep in communication with others.
How do you do that without a job?
I'm at the age where everybody I know has a job. We, in our early 50s, aren't old enough to retire, and we are not young enough to be home with children. My neighbors are either 80 year old women who take their daily walks pushing decorated walkers in front of them, or they are 30 year old mothers pushing strollers decorated with toddlers. In either case, the only thing I could do for these people is babysit and change diapers. It would be hard to relate on the same level to either group.
So, who am I going to talk to? Am I going to end up calling my 25 son every day, asking him how his day is going? Will he sigh and say, "fine mom" and look at ways to get off the phone? I already know not to try it with my 15 year old. Will I talk so much to my dog that she'll become afraid at the sound of my voice?
What if I turn on the TV during the day, and get hooked? What if....what if... I start watching The View?
That cannot happen.
One plan that has been percolating in my brain has been to do a talk radio show on the topic of .....you guessed it.....cancer. I had found a site called Blog Talk Radio and there are some young people who do a show called the Stupid Cancer Show who are excellent. They once interviewed my friend, the Carcinista. They fill a different niche than I would fill - they market their show towards the younger cancer crowd and both the hosts have not had cancer for decades, and neither had breast cancer. I thought there might be room for me too, to talk to others going through cancer, who are living with active cancer and going through treatment, and also to help the newly diagnosed know what to expect.
And, most especially, to give a voice to those of us with metastatic disease, who are overlooked and underrepresented in the breast cancer community. Because, of course, we are the ONLY ones with breast cancer who die, yet the breast cancer community leaders, starting with Komen, are all focused on "awareness" and not research. And, awareness never saved a life, I might add.
So, I signed up. My internet radio show starts in four days, on July 2nd. It is on the Blog Talk Radio network. Here is the page for the show:
Those of us with free accounts are only allowed three shows a month, so mine are:
July 2nd at 2:00 pm. The topic is General Breast Cancer Discussion with an emphasis on discussing when we were newly diagnosed and those first, tumultuous days. If you are a cancer newbie, this is a good show for you to call in and ask questions of others.
July 9th at 2:00. The topic is Chemotherapy. We will discuss types, and tips for managing side effects, and other topics such as hair loss.
July 16th at 2:00. The topic will be metastatic disease. How do we live with a terminal illness, how do we learn to mourn the loss of our healthy lives, and how does one get diagnosed as being metastatic, anyway?
You can only schedule a month at a time, but if people call me and it's fun, future topics will include caregivers, emotional aspects of living breast cancer, and even something amusing, like clothes to hide mastectomies and putting on fake eyelashes.
Please call me next Monday at 2:00. I would love to talk to you and hear your story about cancer. More than that, I don't think I'm capable of talking by myself for 30 minutes so unless you want to hear a show where I just go "la la la la la la la" you have to call. You may need to register an account at the blog talk radio site, I am not sure. But please do, you can register an account, :follow me, and have them send you a reminder about the show. They do not spam you.
The number is (347) 215-7838. Yes, you will have to pay toll charges. You may be able to Skype or use Google Voice, but I know I can't unless I pay to upgrade. So, I am paying to talk to you fine people. That means you should call me!
I can't wait to hear from you.