Go Grey In May! My Story xo

May is Brain Tumor and Brain Cancer Awareness Month!  This is one of MY Ribbons that I wear proudly and I know it shocks many people when I casually say yeah I have a brain tumor or 2.  Which I always follow up with, I always dreamed of living with a foreign body ….. I just figured he’d be French, Italian, Irish, Portuguese, or the like.  LOL

Y’all must know by now my theory on life is that Laughter IS the Best Medicine.  Meghan Trainer can tell you it’s “All About That Bass,” but I say It’s All About That Laugh, bout that laugh, Positive Attitude”

I thought about how to start this next part and just kept coming back to …… Here’s My Story, to which has caused me to turn on youtube to watch the Brady Bunch intro.  haha But seriously folks, this is my story and that of Bambi that saved my life

In 1995 I was working at the Warner Bros. Studio Stores in Atlantic City, NJ, just downstairs from Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.  (the Raintree Forest Cafe is there now)  Assistant Manager, if you please, in charge of the backroom …. they did let me out on the floor too LOL.  In love with all the stuffed animals and Queen of Plush Mountain, think Elmyra from the “Tiny Tunes.”

September and we were moving the store around and doing inventory, long night and closing up the shop.  It was around 2am when I left and on the Atlantic City Expressway headed home.  Roads were quiet, hard to see and then just out of your worst nightmare ……… Deer In Headlights!

They say you should just go ahead and hit the darn animal, it’s usually more damage and problems when you swerve and they might be right about that.

However, I swerved, first to the right (and I wasn’t going that fast, yet) and down the side of the road I went. HOLY CRAP! Shaking my head and a bit freaked out I hit the gas to try to get back up the side and on the road and yeap, Suzie Lost Control of the car.

I ended up racing across the road to the center aisle to which my car did a lovely 180 turn on that now flattened grass and the tree helped me stop the car.  Thankfully, looks up to the sky, Not a single car was on the road during this nightmare.

My first car, a beautiful white VW Jetta, nice and heavy car and no there was no airbag then.  The seatbelt pulled tight and I would walk away with just a bruise from that seatbelt across my chest and a bit of a headache.  That’s what I thought is all I walked away with.

Then this nagging headache started, I’ve had them in the past here and there.  This one, well this was lasting for days at a time.  Trip home and to the Doctor in Sept., oh must be some stress let me do some manipulation and crack your neck.  Cool, and all gone.  Till October ……. same thing and Doc. same thing.  November, I’m seeing a trend and yes again that’s all the Doc did, but gave me some stronger pain pill.

~ Side note, with everyone I worked with being married with family I could only get either Thanksgiving or Christmas, I came home for Thanksgiving and will never forget because that was the last celebration I’d have with my Grandma. ~

Through Grandma’s illness, I tried to forget about my head, kinda hard to do that but there was important things and people to think about.  December’s trip the Doctor was much the same and the New Year came.  With 1996 brought a Blizzard and Grandma left us early January.  I will tell everyone and maintain for the rest of my life, that Millie left us so she could have a talking to God and shoo shoo me back in a little over a month.

With the loss of my Grandma and my birthday coming up, I was fed up with these headaches.  People would think get some rest it will go away …. NOT …. they only got worse when I would lay down.  A trip to the ER in the Atlantic City area, that doctor gave me a shot of some strong stuff, according to him.  That strong stuff did NOTHING for me.

~ Side note, love the movie, Kindergarten Cop, but got really sick of a couple of my friends telling me over and over ……. “It’s Not A Tumor”

Finally this trip to my Doctor and he’s going to do a Cat Scan, on my sinuses.  I told him that’s really nice but I want you to scan my entire head and neck.  Good thing too that I pushed because he would have treated me for a deviated septum and missed something much MUCH Bigger than that.

I didn’t get the call, it was left on mom and dad’s machine.  The call I got was from mom, trying to sound normal.  In the office at work, mom says to me, Suze you need to come home, Dr. L wants you to have another test.  My response, Mom it’s the yearly inventory and the other managers are off to the California conference so it’s all on me, can’t he wait.  Mom says no and finally she says, they found something.

MRI visit was an interesting experience,  a cross between what is going on and feeling like going into a torpedo tube.  Walking out of the room, there’s a whole hell of a lot of people looking at the screen.  I trip and then walk into the left wall (though I’m walking straight no turns) the one tech says, “Do you walk like that often?”  Me being me says nawww the wall jumped out.  Then I looked at all their faces and took 2 steps backwards and said, well actually lately I sure do.  He says, “well that would be expected, come have a look, you have a massive tumor growing in your head.”

Well to say mom and dad were upset would be the understatement of a lifetime.  Me, I had one good cry, can’t say I was shocked, maybe a bit surprised by the size of it.  Mad as hell for sure because you see because my Oncologist KNEW this could happen.  At least 1% of children treated the way I was for Leukemia got brain tumors.  All the times she focused on my weight, don’t get me started on why I HATE the words Obesity and Thyroid, I was complaining about headaches.  I told you above I had them often, I’d see her, once a month, then every 3 months then every 6 months …… since I was 9.  “How are you this month Suzanne?”  Well, I’ve had headaches, I fell and sprained this ankle, I fell and sprained that ankle, I’m all bruised from walking into doors.  “Ok well I’m concerned about your weight.”

I won’t say she missed it, ok never mind I WILL Say She Missed It.  The part that pisses me off the most, is that she never warned us. never told me this could happen, never said a word about what to look for.  I will never name her in public, but I did put her out of business.  She never answered this simple question.  1% of all patients? 1% of that hospitals patients or 1% of her patients had this happen.  To me those are 3 very different numbers.  I wrote papers afterwards and it was totally confirmed some years later by St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital that Children with Leukemia (treated the way I was) get Brain Tumors.

The size of mine gave me no choices to look things up, no choices to ask around, we literally opened up my healthcare provider book and picked a name.  That Doctor tells me when I ask (because of work and wanting to donate my own blood)  Not to wait longer than a month for surgery.  I wasn’t scared, upset and pissed yes, but scared no, because it hit me as I saw a vision of my Grandma that she was gonna make sure it was ok.

Surgery was set, Mommy, Daddy, Stephen, John and Kevin were all ready to be there for me.  My brother, John, took me to the movies the Saturday before to see, “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”  Little did I know that would be the last time I would hear anything music or movies or TV again in stereo.  It’s a great movie and yes no doubt about it when those questions are on Jeopardy or the radio, I’m the first to answer what year it was released, who starred in it, what’s the name of the symphony.

As I am here typing this, that surgery went as well as it could.  It was a Meningioma a slow growing tumor that was there for at least 5 years, probably longer.  It took up all the empty space you see in photos of the head and brain, back by the neck wrapped around my brain stem.  Yes, I lost my hearing in my left ear, but most people don’t even notice, just don’t try to talk to me too much in noisy restaurants.  My eye likes to close and my smile is a little uneven, but ask my mom and she’ll tell you all the actors, new anchors and performers whose mouths are a bit off.

Sure there’s been other side effects including a second and third bought with my Grey Matter.  But I’ve met so many tremendous people along the way and some …. HELLO GORGEOUS, Doctors.

Life is roller coaster, ups and downs and we must learn to live with them and through them.  No need to look into the Why this happened to me, the What If’s, those will drive you crazy.  Yes get mad if you want, yell now and them (not directly at someone, I like to just yell at the ceiling) a good cry now and then won’t hurt ya either but Laugh and Live and Love everyone around you as much as you can whenever you can.

May Is Brain Tumor / Brain Cancer Awareness Month, Our Color Is Grey …….. Show Your Support!  You Can Wear Grey, Dye Your Hair Grey, Put On A Grey Ribbon, Share My Story ….. go ahead I dare ya LOL  I thank you for your support and for reading today’s blog post.  In the words of Forest Gump, That’s All I have To Say About That.

This isn’t a Scare You story, It’s not a Warning Story, It’s not even a Bashing Story …….

This Is My Story xoxo

Go Grey In May

Who I Am …

When you start a blog, Flickr, Tumblr, Facebook or anything in ‘Social Media,’ they ask you to fill out your profile.  Since starting this blog I’ve been staring at that blank page that is “About You.”  Wondering what should I put here, what should I say.  Should it be short or long, funny or straight, how much of a glimpse into me should I let people have.  Someone that replied to one of my posts told me to just let go and be myself.

I am many things and when I let go ….. long winded LMAO  Instead of just leaving it as my “About Me” page, I’m posting it here today, for all to read.

Here’s A Song To Play While You Read All About Who Is Suzie LOL

I am Suzanne, I am Suzetta, I am many things but most seem to remember me for my giggles.  I work during the day with numbers and thank goodness for my fingers, calculators and computers to help me count correctly.

I’m a Survivor of Childhood Leukemia, Brain Tumors, Skin Cancer and Uterine Cancer and I AM Fearless!  I wear my colors proudly, Gold, Orange, Grey, Black and Peach.

I find Hope and Strength in those that surround me….. my family and friends.  I do my best to Advocate and Educate, to Help and Inform people about the American Cancer Society and Stand Up To Cancer.

I do my best to make everyone smile, I love the sound of laughter and it does help to make things better!  Please don’t get me wrong, I do know how to be serious and get things done.  I’ve just learned that Laughter is the best medicine.

I enjoy movies and tv shows that aren’t called “reality.”  You can find me quoting lines from various movies all the time, I can’t help it, can you?  I admit, we’re gonna need a bigger boat and NEVER forget the cannoli.  There’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Cat Ballou, The Great Escape, Jaws, The Godfather, The Quiet Man, The Magnificent Seven add in for fun Caddyshack, Clueless, Legally Blonde, Clue, The Goonies, Animal House, Stripes we’ve also got Indiana Jones, Silence of the Lambs, Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, The Matrix and so many more.

Yeah that looks like a lot of “guy movies” LOL.  I grew up in a very close family, 3 older brothers (Stephen, John, Kevin), Dad and Mom.  We LOVE to quote those movie lines, Dad and I are dangerous together and it drives Mom crazy hahaha.  I LOVE my family above everyone and everything else.  I miss them when we are apart and I carry them in my heart every moment of every day.  Those family members that have gone on to be my angels follow me and I can feel their love around me.  Grandma Millie, Aunt Kay, Cousin Jack, Aunt Betty, All the Byrnes and there are those that I never got to meet I do my best to make them all proud.  There is one special person that will always be ‘my friend,’ and his hand is forever on my shoulder, Msgr. Loreti.

Music moves me and there is a song for everything you are feeling.  Be it Glen Miller, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Dean Martin or maybe it’s Bon Jovi, U2, Cyndi Lauper, Wilson Phillips, ABBA, Def Leppard or maybe it’s Johnny Cash, Patsy Kline, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, Shania Twain, Martina McBride, Garth Brooks or maybe it’s Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Englebert, Michael Buble, The Carpenters ………… there IS a song for everything you feel and every experience in life.

I’m a big fan of art, museums and history.  I can get lost in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I was very lucky to visit Egypt and see all the places I’ve been dreaming of for many years.  I enjoy going to paint at our local gallery, Art & Soul Galleries, where my ‘sistas’ paint giggle and pour too xox

6 ½ years ago I found a new outlet for fun, friends, music, creativity on the internet, a Virtual World called, Second Life.  That’s where Suzetta Moonites was born and it is so much more than a game.

Second Life is where I laugh with my friends, explore some amazing buildings and artwork.  I’m able to attend a Live concert every hour of the day and many of these folks are singers in what we call RL (real life).  The sounds and music of my friend Bill Tigerpaw, a British fella who’s voice is lovely.  There’s also Hogan Bailey, Brett Hansom, MrMikie String, Elizabeth Wantanabe and many more.  Instrumental Musicians, Anj Gustavson, Torben Asp or Gootek, and if ya just wanna dance and sing along the DJ’s are in the house like my friends Shy (my BFF), Charity and Dione.

I joined SL for 3 reasons ~ 1) My friends were all into World of Warcraft and that was way to difficult for me to understand. 2) I saw an episode of CSI:New York and said that looks cool 3) I was on the American Cancer Society Website and saw they do a Relay For Life in Second Life

I landed in August of 2008 and I’ve really not looked back.  In SL I am a Singer, ok mostly they come to my shows to hear me tell corney jokes and laugh, doing their best to get me to laugh throughout a song.  I am a DJ, I told you I love music 🙂  I’m also a designer of clothing, SweetRed’s Designs.

I am a team captain of Rays Of Hope for the Relay for Life of SL.  They started the Relay in SL in 2005 and since then to the start of 2015 have raised 1.6 million U.S. Dollars.

We have teams like other Relays (158 teams so far this year), we hold a lot of fundraisers, we are Global as I Relay with friends in England, Germany, Holland, The Netherlands, Australia, Scotland, Canada, other parts of the United States and many more countries.  This is the ONLY Relay where you don’t have to walk a track, so patients going through their chemo can relay from their bed.  Oh, we are also ranked #17 in Relay For Life across the globe by the American Cancer Society.

I can be “long winded” when I’m passionate about something.  You will find me writing on my blog about my RL and SL, about Music, Art, History and Random things that tickle my fancy.  You’ll see stories about Snow and Daisies, Love and Dislike, My Friends and My Family.  You’ll learn much more about my cancer journey.  You will be a part of Relay For Life in No Time and perhaps come and explore Second Life with me.

I am Suzanne, Suzetta, Suzie, Daughter, Sister, Reds, SweetReds, Q, Mac, Loch, Sista, Gigz.  I am me and I look forward to reading your comments as you follow my journey and musings on Life.

Suzie in the Snow 2015Suzetta ROH Kickoff

1st Day Of Your New Year

Today’s the 1st day in our New Year.  I like to think we start off with a clean slate and that all we have is the future of 2015.  When we were younger we had a diary or a journal perhaps and now we have blogs, Facebook, Instagram and others social outlets.  Ways to put down our thoughts, what our day is like, photos of what’s happening, share with others our lives.

I like to think that when a new year begins, our ‘book’ begins filled with blank pages.  Pages that each day we are able to write down our experiences and/or photos, to share with others or to just keep private.  This blog is new for me and in this Year of 2015 I’ll be sharing with you my thoughts, photos, music, experiences from “real life” and my virtual world known as Second Life (I’ll get to that soon I promise)

Today, January 1st of 2015 was uneventful for me, just a relaxing day of Hope. Hope for so many things but most of all that I’ll be able to get back to work on Monday after these 8 weeks of recovery from surgery.  Surgery that I didn’t hesitate to have and that was a damn good thing too!  I Hope for my Family and Friends only the best things in life. I Hope for Love, I Hope For Peace……  I Hope

I look forward to sharing my story here and reading yours, seeing your photos in your social media outlet as our future becomes the present.  Tonight I give you a song I really like, “Unwritten,” by Natasha Bedingfield and remember that :

“No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten”

Write Your Story

Happy Christmas Eve!

You know how it goes, I had the day planned out and was going to post for you 3 times today.  However, as always, life has other plans for us, I can say that everyone is ok and hopefully we’ll stay that way.

It’s a foggy, rainy Christmas Eve here and you know for sure that Rudolph is leading Santa’s Sleigh tonight.  I still love that movie, I did the best I could to watch all the Holiday Specials this year.  Some of these movies add a bit of melancholy to watch the ones we loved as children, like Rudolph and The Year Without A Santa Clause.

rudolphYear Without A Santa Claus

Some are just a riot and you can’t resist them, the one liners to repeat and laugh, like Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.


Then there’s, It’s A Wonderful Life and Polar Express, yes I put them together because they carry such a wonderful message and find you at an Awe moment with a happy tear falling.


I sit here trying to think of what else to say and I’m at a loss, I think I’ll leave you for now with the following songs. I hope they bring you a smile and may Santa fly safely to your home.  Ho Ho Ho Happy Christmas Eve

Muppet Christmas Carol



santa sleigh