Days 118 to 125 – F*#! Cancer

OK Fuck Cancer. I am SO over it. Sometimes I want to yell at it and chew it out and get pissy at it and smack it in the face. And kick it. Then I get scared it will get mad at me and kill me. Then I also see it for what it is. A thing. And I realize maybe I am so pissed at it because I see it as this “thing” that means so many other things, when really it is just being all it is and just doing what it’s DNA is telling it to do.

This all comes from an instance when I was mountain biking this past week. On our drive back to Oregon from Colorado, we decided to hop out of the car and go for a quick ride to get the blood flowing near a pass in Nevada. I was enjoying the beautiful view. And then we came down this steep hill and I could see the steep uphill in front of us. I got ready, and pedaled pedaled and pedaled and then I just couldn’t do it. I was so tired. So I got off to walk the bike. That’s OK. I’ve had to do that. Then I could barely even walk it up.

WTF? I had just rode hours yesterday in Moab up and down all these trails, and I thought I was getting in better shape. I know I am in my own personal worse shape I’ve been in a long time, but I thought it was still better than the average American and certainly better than the beer-bellied dudes who were riding past me earlier in the week. So my only conclusion brought me to tears as I pushed the bike uphill, heavily breathing and not understanding why…

I started sobbing, and my then-boyfriend (now husband) looked back at me, put down his bike,  and as he was walking towards me he asked, “What’s wrong?” “I’m sad,” I said through my tears.

“Why? It’s OK. I’m tired too,” he consoles.

And he put his über-fit arms around me. Hummmph. I wish I was that fit.

I’m getting there.

“I’ve never felt like this. It makes me think I have metastases to my lungs…” I say to him with reservation, not sure if he’ll think I’m a freak.

Are you fucking kidding me?!!! (Sorry, I do swear my share, but even moreso when I talk about The Big “C” sometimes) I haven’t had cancer for years now. For those of you new here, I had renal cell carcinoma in 2004 and melanoma in 2009, I think. That’s right. I don’t remember off the top of my head and I refuse to stop and do math for the Big C. After my second cancer I kinda stopped keeping track of exact dates. Like I do with birthdays. Or AP History.

In any event, it is incredibly frustrating that when I breathe hard at altitude with a sport I’ve only done maybe five times in the last 4 years I think I have renal cell carcinoma or melanoma cancer cells that set up shop in my lungs.

Now that is messed up.

So I let it wash over me, and I cried and cried. I told him it was OK, that I just needed to let it out. He told me his lungs were burning too and that he was breathing really hard. And he has been super-cardio-fit forever and even he was feeling it. Whatever. I guess I believe him. At the very least, I love him for even saying that.

I told myself it was the allergies, the tall grasses and wildflowers, my mild reactive airway issues, and my late nights catching babies on call 5 days in a row several times a month all winter – and oh, yes, those Annie’s cheddar bunnies chock-full of gluten goodness that led to this panting fate.

And I tried to enjoy the ride down…and I dare say I actually did enjoy it.

Then last night I have this caffeine headache because I decided to stop caffeine since I am so hyper anyway, and I swear it just crept into my life unbeknownst to me and my coffeemaker. But it started while I was asleep.

And you know what I dream? That it’s a melanoma on my freakin’ head and no one noticed it so I am pissed that no one saw it and told me there was this massive cancerous crap on my head. And I know too much about medicine (thanks, UCSF) so I know it’s likely categorization/staging and I think FUCK. I really messed this one up. This is what I get for rarely combing my hair.

And I then realize I am dreaming. HOLY CRAP I AM DREAMING! YAY!!!!! And I decide to change the course of the dream, and wake the hell up.

I comb my hair.

I order “Crazy Sexy Diet, ” (written by the badass Kris Carr who wrote Crazy Sexy Cancer and lives with a rare “incurable” liver cancer for WAY longer than they thought she would…plus she’s hot) to be shipped via free 2-day UPS, and think, “Dang. I need to eat more greens. And maybe even a little less bacon. Done.”

We all have “cancer” in our lives. Its that thing that scares you, that makes you feel powerless. Something you want to get rid of. What’s yours? Let me know below…I’d love ya for it!


Note: Ana Verzone (Neff) is a personal life coach, guide and FreedomJunkie® She helps individuals awaken their lives of freedom and personal success with confidence, clarity, self-love, and passion. Her monthly Ziji Up!™ eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. Her Full-On 365 blog posts stem from her commitment to living full-on, every day, for 365 days in a row. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download  her FREE Getting Clear Guide by visiting

23 Comments on Days 118 to 125 – F*#! Cancer

  1. Linda B
    June 5, 2012 at 8:08 am (6 years ago)

    Just want you to know-my mind goes there too with every new symptom I get. I’m currently worried about bladder cancer. I try to remind myself to not jump to conclusions which works for awhile, until I get a new symptom.

    • Ana Neff
      June 5, 2012 at 9:02 am (6 years ago)

      Oh Linda, I hear ya. Rationality can only work so long;) In the end, what truly comforts me is trying to make sure I live Full-On as much as possible, no regrets, true deep love of my friends and family…I sure do love YOU!

  2. Kimberly
    June 5, 2012 at 10:51 am (6 years ago)

    Yep. As a VERY sensitive person all my life, I just feel stuff in my body, like, almost all the time. Right now, the left side of my head is hurting. And my left leg got cut a little on Saturday and it’s itching like crazy and welting up like some kind of staph? infection. Usually I heal fast or at least there’s not this massive welting and itching. Sheesh! So long story short, I hear ya. You don’t even have to have had cancer to feel like it’s “something” going on in your body. It’s stressful and makes me sad a lot. I just want to feel normal and have no odd pains, no hip pain, no knee pain, no head pains.

    Meditation has helped me a lot, but I think being uber-sensitive to body sensations and to the world in general, it’s something I’m kinda stuck with. It’s ok though, and surely beats the alternative. 🙂 xo!

    • Ana Neff
      June 5, 2012 at 2:06 pm (6 years ago)

      Kimberly, YES I understand what you mean about being sensitive. I think this is why many people just check out of their bodies completely, because it is too much. So I am glad you’re staying present.

      I think one lesson that is important to remember came from Eckhart Tolle about being in the now : just noticing it hurts or feels weird, but not allowing a story to flow from it. It’s the story that causes most of the anxiety (and as you expressed, sadness).

      I’m thinking of you and sending you love to let go of the sensitivities that aren’t so important so that it is clear that you and your body know what to focus on. So be it!

      A quote from Alan Watts: “There will always be suffering, but we must not suffer about the suffering.”

  3. Ann Schweizer
    June 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm (6 years ago)

    Hey,Sweet Ana… I think it is something in the air because I have been having overwhelming need to get stuff done. Take care of things I have’t done…..not a bucket list, just stuff that needs to be squared away in case I leave. No one an seem to figure out what is happening with my body, so I believe that is why I’m having this stuff. The other day, my dad woke me up. Funny thing is that he passed in August of 2011. I am just feeling peaceful and knowing that whatever is happening, I’m good.

    Be present, just don’t live in fear. Why go through it twice?

    Love you, Ann

    • Ana Neff
      June 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks for your lovely words, Ann! I know your journey has been less than smooth, AND that you heart is larger-than-life. Blessings to you! You’re exactly right – why go through it twice!? Amen!

      • Ann Schweizer
        June 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm (6 years ago)

        My Heart bigger than life? Really? I think your energy is so amazing, It’s easy to have a big heart when your energy is out there.

        Thanks for inspiring me. I feel like I suck up the energy you share to keep me going!

        Love you so much Ann

  4. Belinda Smith
    June 5, 2012 at 8:28 pm (6 years ago)

    Tough question. I think I can say my cancer is self-loathing. It’s not something I consciously live in, but as a disabled woman who will NEVER have what society terms a ‘perfect body,’ that little voice pops up when I least expect it: who do you think you are? what are you thinking? you are sooooo not welcome at the cool table.

    You’re right, awesome Ana, we all have cancers. They present themselves as authorities, and let me clear: CANCERS SUCK.

    • Ana Neff
      June 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm (6 years ago)

      Sing it, sistah! All that self-loathing is such BS!!!! And just as crappy as physical cancer – JUST AS CRAPPY -and sometimes sneakier because it doesn’t seem as urgent to get rid of. Let’s punt that out of here;)

      • Lani
        June 6, 2012 at 5:38 am (6 years ago)

        PUNT. For the record? You’re being at the table is what makes it ‘cool’. You’re fantastic. Let’s shut those voices up.

    • Skye
      June 6, 2012 at 7:33 am (6 years ago)

      Belinda, you need to know something (and I totally mean this, it’s not to fluff you up and make you feel better):

      You ARE the Cool Table!

      • Belinda Smith
        June 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm (6 years ago)

        I’d like a t-shirt: I AM THE COOL TABLE. LOLOLOL!!! Oh, my friends are the BEST!

        • Ana Neff
          June 7, 2012 at 9:08 am (6 years ago)

          Hmmm sounds like a good project for July in Atlanta;) I hope I get to see you there, Belinda! I want to give you a massive hug. You are beautiful and powerful and inspiring. Your friends are amazing because like attracts like;)

  5. Skye
    June 6, 2012 at 7:32 am (6 years ago)

    Ana, may I just say that you fucking rock?

    “You fucking rock.”

    Your vulnerability… sharing what’s REAL for you… it’s so human and so refreshing. It sucks ass that this is what you’re going through, but high five for going THROUGH it instead of sitting back, holding it in, never daring to express it to yourself or others (much less, the public internet audience). You’ve been taking huge steps in a positive direction not only to heal your own “head shit” but so many other people’s as well. Awesome.

    Thanks for being brave and bold enough to share this with us and stimulating thought within us to share as well. FUCK CANCER.

    My “cancer” has been self-sabotage. I learned as a child that if I could tear myself down first, my stepdad would be less powerful because he wouldn’t have as much leverage. Years after he has been out of my life, I’m noticing that I still engage in these behaviors and they’re very harmful to me. I’ve been in the process of putting my swords down and it’s been the most liberating journey of my life.

    • Belinda Smith
      June 6, 2012 at 9:08 pm (6 years ago)

      Isn’t is fascinating how when we put language to it, it somehow seems less mountainous. At least that’s true for me–bring it out into the light and then it seems smaller and more manageable. At least I can contain it somehow.

      You guys are extraordinarily fascinating women. This is our life. Let’s just big fat be who we want to be!

    • Ana Neff
      June 7, 2012 at 9:11 am (6 years ago)

      Beautiful Skye, I believe that self-sabotage is yours, because being the powerhouse you are, YOU are the only thing that could actually get in your way. Thank you for punting your self-sabotaging BS out of here, because the work you do with the kids you work with is so utterly important, and you are a bright star.

  6. Kellie Hill
    June 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm (6 years ago)

    You’re right, we do all have a “cancer”. Mine? Two heart attacks in four months at age 42. 100% blockage of the LAD (the widowmaker). Every mild chest and lung discomfort making me wonder if I should grab a nitro and head to the hospital. But it’s too damn easy to give in – I can’t, won’t let it win and overshadow my life. We’ve stared at morality and given it the middle finger!

    • Ana Neff
      June 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm (6 years ago)

      Kellie that must have been recent. Whoa! You never cease to amaze me. I am so proud of you for facing this courageously, although to be honest I can’t picture you facing it any other way.

      You’re one of the healthiest eaters I know, so I am guessing this was a shocker to you moreso than someone who doesn’t take care of themselves. I can only imagine the game-changer that must have been.

      I just watched “From Forks to Knives” which was amazing. It has such traceability that I’m sending a copy of the movie to a lot of people in my life.

      I’m thinking of you – wanting to get together soon and talk more about changing women’s lives towards more vitality and passion. And also share more of our journeys;)

      You’re such a badass!

  7. Jen Field
    June 6, 2012 at 10:28 pm (6 years ago)

    Hey girl HEY!

    I think it is pretty fantastic for you to share and be so vulnerable with this recent experience. Hell to the yeaahaw on letting that wash over you like the mighty Colorado River gahl!!!

    Cancer the insidious fuckah is definitely inside all of us. I really wonder some days WHY. I had to say goodbye to both my parents in less than 15 months. It sucks I tell ya.

    I have pain all the time, everywhere, somewhere. I wonder all the time if is something creepy inside me waiting to take me like it took them….then I tell it to fuck off I’m not DONE. And that my body KNOWS exactly what to do ( I was inspired to that by you BTW 😉 ) And then I down a mondo green drink.

    When I run the hills, when I’m at higher elevation, it is BRUTAL. So as badass as you are remember the mountain goats chill when they are climbing too. 🙂 Is it possible you had a little altitute sickness?

    Did you ever watch the movie Cool Runnings? Remember always that you are a Badass Mother Who don’t Take No Crap Out of Nobody! 🙂 If you are not familiar, look it up it’s priceless.


    • Ana Neff
      June 7, 2012 at 9:23 am (6 years ago)

      Jen, THANK YOU for your enthusiasm and genuine support. I can’t imagine how it must have been to have lost both your parents so quickly. Your inner glow must be evidence that while painful, you have grown exponentially from that experience. And indeed – your body knows EXACTLY what to do. And you know how to give it what it needs. I have said the same thing many times, “No matter how strong my fear right now, I KNOW that I am not done here,” and that inner knowing is even stronger. It makes me so happy that you have that knowing:)

      Our bodies are sacred, and hold our emotions in our cells, so I guess I should be surprised at the Honda that are released with the body being pushed. That’s one of the things I love about yoga. It helps me release – regularly – a lot of energy that no longer seves me.

      And yes, it is funny how I forge that things ARE harder at altitude and that I need to actually work up to getting back into that level of fitness. You can only be the off-the-couch queen for so long! I used to do back to back centuries on my bike off the couch. LOL. I had to take crotch breaks instead of rest breaks;)

  8. Laurel
    June 7, 2012 at 8:54 am (6 years ago)

    You made me think, Ana. Thank you.

    • Ana Neff
      June 7, 2012 at 9:24 am (6 years ago)

      Returning the favor for when you’ve done it for me, Laurel;)

  9. Henry
    June 24, 2012 at 4:29 am (6 years ago)

    chew it out actually is not a bad idea. In Peru they suck out pain and spit it out and for some people it works ))

    aggression helps to fight fear, but too much stress is bad for u


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