Posted by: jility | April 22, 2014

Dear Diary

If you grew up before the electronic age, you will remember diaries. That is where we wrote about our feelings and secret thoughts. We wrote the ups and downs of our lives and our deepest secrets. They even had a little lock on them to guarantee that the words hidden within were for the author’s eyes only.


I had several such diaries where I kept a record of my feelings and secrets. Unfortunately, I kept losing the keys so I would write a little in one, lose the key and have to start a new one. The funny part was that nobody in my family cared enough about my thoughts to give a crap what I wrote. I really didn’t need the key at all.


Fast forward to now.


When I first heard about the blog, I was fascinated. I didn’t know what they were but kept hearing about Soandso’s blog. Once I realized what blogs were exactly, I was hooked. I love writing short things and what better vehicle for that than the blog?


The first one I started is still around, but the second one (with some of my most favorite blogs) was taken down and all my blogs were lost in the process. Kinda like losing the key to a diary only worse ‘cause you can break into a diary. Those blogs went down permanently the day I dropped my laptop and killed the hard drive.


So blogging for me is cathartic, especially now with what I am experiencing with my cancer and treatments. What once was kept private, is now on the open market for all to see. It is amazing to me that people actually read other people’s blogs. I don’t. The only blog I read is Denise Fenzi’s because she writes some kick ass training stuff that interests me. I don’t read anyone else’s blog. I have no interest in other people’s lives or private thoughts. I have no idea why people are interested in what I write, but they seem to be.

I am flattered when people write to me expressing support and nice things about my writing. I love writing and it makes it even more special when somebody appreciates what I write. Not so much when somebody writes me a nastigram about my blogs. This has happened three times in my blogging “career.” In two of the three, two different folks thought my blog was about them. I found that very amusing since neither one was even a blip on my radar when I wrote those blogs. I even wrote a blog after the first nastigram I received. It was titled, “You’re So Vain…”


If somebody doesn’t agree with me, they are certainly entitled to their opinion, but I write my blog for me. I am not paid for it. I don’t get advertising to support it. It is just my very public diary containing my opinions on life and agility.


I love to laugh and I love to write about things that make me laugh. However, I am not a laugh machine, especially lately. I am going through some pretty crappy stuff in my life right now and the worst stuff I have never shared publically. Only my closest friends know. I have been very open about my cancer and treatment in hopes that I can help somebody else going through the same thing.

Sometimes, I have a nothing is very funny day or week or month or year. Other times, I find humor in the blackest of things. That is where my great friend, Uncle Jef, helps me. He and I can laugh about things that might shock and horrify others. No matter what I say or write, there is no judgment from him, just laughter. Friends like that are priceless. It is so funny how some tell me not to judge and in their next sentence, they pass all kinds of judgment (foundation based or not) on me. That too makes me laugh out loud.


So, to those of you who enjoy my blogs, THANK YOU! It means so much to me, especially in these times I am facing! Thank you also for taking the time to let me know when you enjoy what I write. You are special for caring enough to brighten my day.

For those who want to send me nastigrams, keep them to yourself please. Or better yet! Write your nastigrams on your own blogs. That way, I won’t ever read them or your negativity towards me.


Thanks also to the person who invented the blog to give people like me a place to vent, tell stories or just pour out our hearts.


On the Cancer Front


Last Monday I had a blood draw before my chemo treatment. My wonderful Doctor told me he would come get me if anything showed up on the results.


While in the waiting room, I began talking with a young woman across from me. She was in her mid to late twenties. Her significant other was by her side, holding her hand. They made such a beautiful couple. She asked me who my doctor was and why I was there. I told her and she responded, “Me too! I just got the news that I have a spot in my lung and on my liver as well.”


As she spoke, her beau got up from his chair next to her and climbed into the same chair with her and cuddled with a huge grin on his face. She too was grinning from ear to ear. They were so cute together. She went on to say that they had only been married a year and they had been through the year from hell. It was obvious he was completely devoted to her and she to him. I told her I was so sorry. To which she said, “NO! Don’t be sorry! I am going to be just fine! I know it!” I smiled at them and knew that with her attitude, she was right!


Just then, Dr. Lenz came zipping around the corner towards me. My heart sank. I said, “OK, what’s wrong?” He put his hands on his hips and looked at me as only he can and said, “Now vat makes you so negative?”



He gave me a smile and a “TISK TISK” and hit me over the head with the papers he had in his hand and said in his thick German accent, “Look, your liver values vent up quite a bit since last time so ve are going to vizhold ze Oxiliplatin today. You vill only have two chemo drugs zis time. Ve vill not start ze other back up until your liver is happier.”


I liked that I was not going to get the Oxaliplatin! It does the most damage to me and makes me very sick, but I also was concerned about my liver. It doesn’t do me much good to be cancer free only to have my liver fail! YIKES! I am getting weaker and weaker from the treatments now and I hate it. I can’t really train my dogs or do much anymore. I so look forward to better times when I have more energy and can live my life fully again. Never take health for granted!


On the way home I sent a text to a physician friend and told her my liver values. She assured me they were not THAT bad and things were going to be fine. I love her. She always makes me feel so much better (well, except for the time before I was diagnosed and she took one look at me after not seeing me for a few months and exclaimed, “HELEN! Are you OK? You don’t look well at all!” It was then I really knew I was in deep doodoo LOL).


Yes, just like that young woman across from me, I feel I will be fine. Sometimes it is hard keeping a positive attitude when I feel like, in the amazingly eloquent words of Sir Cussalot, “I have been drug through a knothole backwards!”


I promise this MIGHT be the last of my dark humored blogs. I will watch the Three Stooges to lighten up my mood and try to get back to my formerly positive, funny self.


In the meantime, please cut me some slack. I need it right now.





  1. I’ll cut you some slack, and tie it to a bungee chord; so you will bounce right back! Xoxox

  2. We love and adore you and your blog!! I agree with Mary, just look at Pankins and that is bound to put a smile on your face. You’ve just hit another bump in the road that you don’t need. One day at a time though Helen, you will get there. Surround yourself with the positive people who love you and your beautiful dogs. ❤

  3. I found you blog a few years ago only by seeing the poodle logo, one read and I was hooked. Thank you for just being you.

  4. Helen, I love reading your blog……I love the way you are so upfront about stuff, really important stuff. You inspire me with your gutsiness as you deal with your cancer. You inspire me when I look at what you do in the agility ring and lead me to dare hope I may after all be able to at least get out there and have some fun. You speak for many people on many of the subjects you write about. You make me laugh, and you make me cry. Both of which are good. Long may you continue to write, comment, stir and inspire. I don’t know you personally, but I feel that in some ways I do know you, at least a little, from your writing, and I reckon that if anyone can beat cancer, it will be you. Thank you for your blog, your views, your humour, and your humanity.

  5. Helen, I have no words of wisdom that all the eloquent folks before haven’t already said, but I can tell you why I read your blog — you say it like it is!! Amen!! You have the gift of articulating your insights with humor, irony, or straight up honest. Feel the love and appreciation w/ which I write this and give those cancer cells another kick in the a$$!! Hugs Helen

  6. Helen, you rock. Even if I don’t always agree with you. You always rock!

    • Helen you are one off the best people i have ever know in my life and you are going to be fine we have plans. neta

  7. I reach your blog because you make me laugh. And because…poodles! I don’t know you personally, but you sure seem to me to be far too tough to kill off easily. I look forward to reading your posts for many years to come.

    Just in case this didn’t occur to you, have you checked the Wayback Machine for the lost blog? It’s got at least part of “Helen’s Blog” from Yahoo Pulse:

    • Yes, we checked the Wayback. Not there :(. We found one or two but not the ones I wanted.
      Thanks for writing :). I so appreciate it

  8. Helen you will be fine! You have the right attitude and I firmly believe that life is all about attitude. I also wanted you to know that in your last blog; one of the things I hate about the agility community the most is the attitude that so many carry with them and feel that others should see them in a glorified light. I personally almost quite agility nine years ago because of that attitude and how awful I felt when I was around it. Now; I just move on…enjoy the time with my dogs and try to teach my students to do the same. It is not about what you do, how you do it, where you do it or who you do it with – its about you and your dog and enjoying those short memories that we have with them. Having just picked up one of my dogs cremated remains today – this is in my thoughts more then ever. So – enjoy those moments and don’t let the blackness of the agility world get you down!

  9. I read your blogs because you make me laugh. I hate that you have cancer and chemo and all that shit. If you need to whine, whine my way because I can take it. I may not always agree with you, and there are times when I get pissed at your holier than thou attitudes (well I see it that way), but I care about you as a human being. I would like to think we are friends, but I also understand that you may neither want not need me as a friend Anyway, I enjoy your blogs and I am jealous because you are doing what I should do – writing – but am too lazy to do.

    Kim Sent from my iPad


    • Thanks Kim. I ain’t holier than anyone let alone Thou 😉 I am just opinionated.

  10. Helen, you are a very talented writer! It is a gift, and we’re lucky you choose to share your gift with us, and make us think and laugh in the process. Keep up the good work, and we’ll keep our thoughts and prayers coming your way for your good health, so that we can enjoy your blogs for decades to come.


    Sent from my iPad


    • Thank you Hildi. Your words mean a lot to me 🙂

  11. Helen, I only lurk on the blog and the agility site. But I wanted to tell you that your writings are the most enjoyable to. I think your opinions are delightful, and the things you talk about don’t only apply to agility but to everything. When I was going thru cancer I even had someone say (since I wasn’t given much chance to live) “well, I guess you should have gone to another dr.” No, stupid, I say, I love the one I have and guess what……I will make it. And Helen, I did and so will you. You have lots of prayers and joy going out to you and when you feel down look at Pankins and smile. She has been a joy to watch, and you did that. I wish you only the best (and I know you will win this battle} and keep up with your posts and blogs for those of us who laugh and cry with you. Mary Gray

    • Thank you so much Mary 🙂

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