Living With And Beating Cancer

Unfortunately, cancer has been an unwelcome, despised guest in our home many times. My mother, a beautiful woman, tall, intelligent, begging to live, suffered extremely without mercy from the cancer that ravaged her body. She died at 49. Ten years later, my father died with cancer.

My wife’s father died of cancer at middle age in 1971. He went into the hospital at the beginning of the week not feeling well. He was gone by week’s end, leaving a grief-stricken family of eight. His oldest son, my wife’s brother, died with brain cancer at 51. Her sister had breast cancer, requiring a mastectomy.

Over several years my wife has been treated for cysts, and has been monitored carefully. Two years ago she had a lumpectomy, requiring no further treatment. Four weeks ago, she underwent another surgery, this time the results were different. The pathology report, confirmed by a leading cancer center, revealed she has triplet-negative breast cancer. This type of cancer is rare, and is not a typical breast cancer. It can occur anywhere in the body. She will undergo chemo therapy, probably beginning in a few weeks, followed by radiation. She had another surgery which confirmed the sentinel lymph-nodes are clear, and cell margins are now clean. That, obviously, does not guarantee there are no more cancer cells anywhere.

My dear wife of nearly forty-five years, has been very brave throughout this journey, so far. We have received hundreds of notes of support, positive thoughts, and prayers, for which we are incredibly thankful. Even our Twitter and Facebook friends have been amazing. People we have never met, and probably never will, have expressed kind words of support and encouragement.

We meet with the medical oncologist tomorrow to learn more about the chemo treatment and will then have a better view of what the months ahead will hold. Even though my wife is scared, she is confident. Yes, a person can be terrified and confident at the same time. It would be unnatural to not feel a sense of fear facing this kind of situation. She is confident, however, knowing that the doctors will be doing their best to reach the highest outcome possible.

We will soon see how the chemo treatments will affect her. She is determined to continue doing the things she loves, which includes drinking plenty of coffee. And, of course, I will drink lots of coffee to support her. Our mini-golden doodle, Maggie, will be in irreplaceable part of the healing process.

Speaking of coffee, I need some.

– Dale Parsons

I’m Learning

Okay, I changed the title of my blog for the…I don’t remember.  Maybe the 8th time.  When I told my wife I was calling it Worded Blurb, she was confused, so I knew it was a dumb idea.  Obviously, the blog is not always going to be about coffee, but when I write, coffee is always close by, even if I’ve already had ten cups.  As is the case right now.  My mug is just to my left.

Yesterday, I was thinking about writing, which I do a lot.  It occurred to me that in order to be a good fiction writer you have to be a pretty good liar.  Honestly.  This is not a reflection on any writer, anywhere.  Only me.  Think about it!  A person has to be able to make up stories that are not true, which, in essence, makes them lies, in order to convince someone else the story is real.  Right?  If the writer can’t make the reader believe the story is true, she won’t get lost in the plot, engulfed in the scene and fall in love with or hate the characters.

When you think about it, this includes all fiction, written, filmed, portrayed, acted.  Take sitcoms for example.  Lies!  And that’s good!  Real life is funny, sad, heartbreaking, confusing, and unpredictable.  Billions of dollars proves it works.  People love to be fooled!

Commercials drive me nuts, especially the ones about drugs.  Some older, good looking guy tells us his body is not what it used to be, so he can’t run twenty mile marathons in the same time he once did.  And right about now, in very small print, the text says, “Actor Portrayal.”  That means this guy probably hasn’t run a race since he was in junior high phys-ed class!  I know it’s crazy, but that really bugs me!

So, does it bother me to read endless murder mysteries by an author with the same two main characters?  Of course not!  I love those!

So, what we end up with, is coffee.  Writing, plotting, scheming, editing, creating and wiping out characters, becoming upset when a character begins to take over even though we didn’t plan it that way.  Who does he think he is!  That’s when you sit back, and drink more coffee.  Maybe even go get your favorite barista special.

Life really is a lot of fiction.  Even the stuff that’s true, because everything is by interpretation.  I need some more coffee.

Have a great day.

-Dale Parsons





Coffee Makes It Better

Coffee makes everything better.  Not feeling well?  Coffee.  Worried?  Coffee.  Need to get to work?  Coffee.  Don’t have a job?  Coffee.  Hate your job?  Coffee. The only thing that really makes coffee better is whether it’s made or purchased. 

Coffee is like salads.  Have you ever wondered why salads taste so much better when someone else makes them?  You might have all of the same ingredients at home in the fridge, but no matter what you do, it just doesn’t taste as good as when that beautiful salad is placed before you at your favorite restaurant.

Coffee works the same way.  Sure, you can make a pot at home.  You might even have one of those fancy pod coffee makers.  Pop in the pod, close the lid, push a button, and slurp, drip, sputter, spit, you’ve got hot coffee.  Sorry, it’s just not as good as when you drive up to the window after reciting your order, “Grande, decaf, nonfat, mocha, extra shot of espresso, extra hot.”  Can you really make that at home?  I don’t think so. “Would you like something to eat with that?” “Sure, I’ll take a Danish, warmed up.”  Ahh, now you’re talking.

Writing cannot be done effectively unless coffee is involved.  Honestly, if you’re seeking an agent, editor, or publisher and haven’t had much success, I would take a serious, long look at what kind of coffee you’re drinking.  If you don’t drink coffee at all…I don’t know what to tell you.

Best of luck to all you writers.  (Writers really include anyone who is living and paying attention, and in some way making a note of it.)

Enjoy your coffee.

-Dale Parsons