Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cancer and the questions people ask

What is the dumbest thing someone has said to you about Cancer?

You're so lucky.  You're going to get a free boob job!  (Yippee)

My friend is recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and they said her chemo will make her lose her hair.  How do I respond to that?  What should I say?

First let me tell you what not to do.  Don't ignore her.  Don't look at her like she is transparent.  Hair is not as important as we first think, but it is an extremely emotional point of your treatment.  Up to this point, you have felt okay and you look okay.  But when the hair comes out, you suddenly LOOK ill and it seems that everyone looks at you with pity.

DO comment on her scarves, hats, and wigs if she wears one.  When you are going through chemo, the loss of hair and all the aches and pains that assault you, it's easy to lose self confidence.  I was always fidgeting with my accessories.  Did they help me look better or did they draw attention to my lack of hair.

One great thing is to let your friend know she looks great.  I don't mean to be falsely positive.  But when you see them step out in public particularly those first weeks after the hair is gone...well it's scary.  You feel like everyone is paying attention but not in a good way.  Even your loved ones are concentrating on your head, like they are trying to see under your scarves and wigs.  So having someone tell me that my hat was spiffy, or my wig was realistic, or my scarf was made me feel less self conscious.  No one wants to feel like the elephant in the room.  So my hair is gone.  I may not plan to whip off my hat and show you, but to ignore my head, to avoid my eyes makes me feel more defective than I already think I am.

Did you learn anything from having cancer?

I finally learned that God loved me.  When I could do nothing to "serve" Him, He was still at my side.  I learned who my friends were.  I learned how I never want to be treated.  

Why do you refuse to call yourself a "survivor"?

To me, a survivor is someone who has won a war, who has completed a task.  It's like the battle is over and I can hang up my weapons.  But I feel like I'm still in battle.  I call myself a warrior, because I'm still fighting.  It's not enough to just be aware or alive...but I have to fight cancer and it's effects on me daily.  I take my meds and I'm diligent in paying attention to updates and advances in treatment.  I also have reached out to help other women going through listen to their fears and share what I experienced.  It helps to have someone else tell you what will be happening next or if it's as bad as we imagine.

My sister is going through chemo treatments.  I have called and asked to take her out to dinner.  I've invited her to go shopping with me.  I offered to bring her some crafts to do.  She won't let me DO anything for her.  Why won't she let me help?

Because she's exhausted.  You wanted to take her OUT to dinner.  She has to gather the energy to dress, to get out of the house, to deal with her head, to be pleasant AND to chew.  TAKE dinner to your sister and sit to chat while she eats.  She can do that.  She will be willing to have a visitor.

She's not likely going to go shopping.  Even on a good day, her ability to handle a day of shopping is going to be very unlikely.  Having experienced all this, I know how quickly you can go from "feeling okay" to "take me home right now."  We HATE being a inconvenience to other people.  So someone going through chemo is going to be acutely aware that if she gets miserable it's going to force you to change your plans.  She's not likely to go out even on a good day, unless you have a specific plan. If your sister has breast cancer, don't invite her to go bra shopping.  It's kind of a slap in the face.  Don't take someone with lung cancer to a smoke shop, or with ovarian cancer to a baby store.  EVEN if she's done having babies it's an in your face reminder of what she's losing.

I wrote elsewhere on things you can do for people when you want to reach out. 

Personally I enjoyed the occasional visit with my own sisters, or when they dropped off a dinner, or movies and books.  But you mention crafts.  Frankly, a craft sitting in front of us screams FINISH me!  And when we are too tired, it screams "Look at your lazy self, can't even glue Popsicle stick!  You are a wienie and a loser!"  Books and movies are okay because they don't scream UNFINISHED to everyone who walks into the home.

What is the worst thing you can say to a person with cancer?

Hmmm.  There was the lady who told me I was so lucky to have breast cancer.   She told me I'll get great boobs from it.  I'd like to show her my great boobs now.  The honest ugly truth is most people hear breast reconstruction and they mentally picture Pamela Anderson and other implant wonders.  But reconstructed breasts are "breast LIKE" but you don't really get a boob job in the traditional sense. They happen to sit on your chest wall but other than fitting in a bra and filling out the darts on your clothing - they don't look or feel like breasts.  They have no more sensation than the inside of your arm, and they have flat fronts.  Many women go into breast reconstruction believing they will look normal afterward.  Which usually means "what we used to look like".  The reality is...that doesn't happen.

Another bad...don't ask "How much time did they give ya?"

And if you HAVE fought cancer yourself, don't encroach on their experience by focusing on your treatment and response.  Giving advice on something that worked for you is great.  But I've had a few experiences where it felt like that other person was intent on telling me how much worse they were, that they experienced more than you did, and I wound up feeling like a wimp, and not encouraged at all.  A person in battle needs encouragement.  No criticism of any kind...keep your CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.  And Christians resist the urge to spiritualize every darned experience.  You do not have to defend God...this is a fallen world and bad things happen to wonderful people.  We don't need to hear about how God has a plan in this.  We don't need to hear about how He will be in this with us.  These are all true, but in your attempt to defend WHY this is happening, you are simply reminding us that for some reason WE are going through this and you are not.

What was the hardest thing you went through in your treatment regiment?

Radiation.  It was getting up 5 days a week and going into town to lie on a table that shot beams at you that burned, blistered and eventually split my skin.  It was excruciating pain and I went in daily to do it all over again.  The worst sunburn of your life over and over.  The fatigue it creates greatly overshadowed what chemo did.  Chemo was bad and would get better.  Radiation is easy to start with and gets harder every day.  The good thing was my skin recovered quickly afterward, even though I peeled like a snake for about 2 months.

A coworker shared that she has cancer.  Is it rude to ask what kind?

I don't think so.  But don't make extra comments like "Oh girl that's the bad kind."  OR "that's the good kind", or your aunt Silvia's "best friend's daughter had the same kind and she's dead now."  There's no good cancer, and we are desperate to hear about those who successful gettng through it.

How can I encourage a friend who recently found out she has cancer?

Anything you want.  A small gift, an invitation for lunch, offering yourself as a driver to the numerous appointments you have at the beginning.  But one important thing.  Let your friend set the pace.  If she doesn't want to talk about cancer then talk about something else.  I remember in those first weeks, everything was about cancer and telling people about your cancer.  One afternoon, I had to do something that had nothing to do with me.  It was a joy not to talk about cancer for once.

My brother's girlfriend is going through chemo.  We're meeting for lunch and I'm really scared I will say the wrong thing.
I would tell you to treat her just like you always have.  Don't avoid the "C" word.  Ask her how she is doing.  Compliment her appearance, focus on something...when we go out, we are a little insecure and we spent a LOT of time preparing.  We want to know that the effort was worth it.  Don't be afraid to compliment a wig, scarf, hat or bald head just because it's part of her treatment.  WE know we have cancer.  Your compliment or question isn't likely to cause us to run screaming from the room.  It's worse to be treated like the giant elephant that everyone knows is there, but no one will address.

What is one word you would use to describe your cancer treatment?

Pain.  Wretched.  Torture.  Torment.  How many one words do you want?

So you had breast cancer.  Did you opt to get the boob job?

I have reconstructed breasts, but it would be wrong to call it a boob job.  People equate boob jobs with the buxom image of strippers and playboy models.  Reconstructed breasts do NOT look that.  They can have weird shapes, they are flat and round...think "fluffy pancake".  They do not project like a normal breast, as they are NOT normal breasts.  Whether they are saline or silicone filled, whether they are sculpted from body fat - they do not contain the structure of a breast.  Don't get me wrong, plastic surgeons are creating masterpieces for some women.  It takes a LOT of surgery to do so.  There are years of surgery and recovery.  I have an acquaintance who has reached her "finished product" after 3 years of surgery.

What was the most annoying thing about having cancer?

I struggled with everyone's expectations.  Some told me I had to stay positive.  Others told me I HAD TO BEAT THIS.  Other's told me it was some kind of spiritual battle and I would receive some kind of extra blessing in accepting everything that happened.  It felt like everyone was telling me how I had to "do" cancer.  The wise word from my Dr. Joe Muscato was that there was no wrong way to "do" cancer.  There was no right way either.  You just get through however you can.  Everyone was projecting THEIR fears and perceptions upon me and I somehow had to find my way through them to "do" cancer the way that I felt I would survive.

What was the most HURTFUL thing about having cancer?

It was something that took me by surprise.  I had someone I considered to be as close as a sister, suddenly drop all communication with me.  No calls, no cards, no text messages.  She simply dropped out of my life.  At first I didn't even realize it when I found each day was so hard to face. Then one day I felt her absence acutely.  I sent her a message and still heard nothing.  I was extremely hurt.  Then I read this was not that unusual.  People who can't handle your cancer and they distance themselves from the reality of what you are going through.

So what happens then?  Well it damaged our relationship.  I think I got a Christmas card from her, and a text message about a surgery.  I answered her question kindly, but left it at that.  I didn't trust enough to share my struggle with her now.  Forgive her, I can do.  Trust her again and believe she will be there?  Not likely to happen without seeing some major commitment on her part.

Does anything good ever come from having cancer?
Perhaps that I learned I can do a lot more pain and fear than I ever knew.  I learned I was stronger than I ever knew.  I learned that the man I married was faithful, strong, gentle and dependable in ways I never thought to consider. During radiation, my future daughter in law stayed with me.  She cooked, cleaned, made me eat and helped me dress when things got bad.  During that time, she opened up to me and we bonded.  She was born in my heart.  That was something good and wonderful.   I learned that a great many people loved me.  But something good??  Not sure I can show you something GOOD.

How did you cope?

My sisters were very supportive.  My church was there with meals.  I would say that I had the most loving care from my husband.  Without him, I'm not sure I could have coped.  When the pain was so great, he held me in his arms, he sang to me and gave me strength.

Another factor was my faith.  Not that God delivered me from fact I spent a great deal of time quite angry with him for letting this happen.  My mother was dying from liver failure and I had planned to be there caring for her.  But I woke up each day, telling God I needed HIM to get me through that day.  And then on March 6, 2011 it was over.  I had gotten through the most difficult part of active treatment.  Now I had to redirect my focus on getting my life back, on finding out what I was capable of.

One dear friend gave me a framed print of the "Footprints" devotion.  I had people coming at me from all directions telling me how I had to "do" cancer.  They were interjecting their spiritual views upon me, spiritualizing the battle, telling me how I needed to write a Bible study while going through all of this.  Then this wonderful friend gave me this message that it was perfectly fine, and perfectly spiritual enough to rest upon God's shoulder and let him carry me through this.  THAT was how I coped, by doing nothing but let myself be carried through it by God's grace.

Do you love your new boobs?

 If your house burned down and you got a new one would you be SO excited?  No. You would be grateful to have a new home but something was lost along the way and that's what I finally realized about my implants.  I'm grateful that there is something that fills out a bra and makes me feel feminine where mastectomy bras and prosthesis did not.  Do I love them?  No.  Do I accept them and appreciate this chance?  Yes. 

What advice would you give a woman newly diagnosed?

That encompasses a lot a different information.  Assuming we are not talking about steps to take concerning her diagnosis, and looking at more general advice. I would say

1.  There is no right or wrong way to do cancer.

2.  Accept that you cannot control cancer, and then accept help from anyone who offers.

3.  You will be stunned by some of the acts of kindness from some people, and you will be hurt by the callousness of others.  Accept those acts of kindness, and then accept that some other people just can't handle cancer.  It's not you in this case, it's your disease and their lack of character.  Be prepared to be knocked to your knees by the thoughtfulness and generosity of different individuals.

4.  This is one of those unique opportunities to step outside the restrictions of your personality, upbringing or expectations.  Everyone will overlook and forgive any faux pas you commit against the fashion police, or standards of public conduct.  Skip down the mall, singing Show tunes will be forgiven because "you have cancer, poor thing".  Wear red and purple together, and they will forgive you because "you have cancer, poor thing" and whatever makes you feel better is fine.  Wear gaudy scarves and ugly pins and they will forgive you because, "you have cancer, poor thing."

5.  Try to find something in your battle that makes you feel, Scripture, prayer, even continuing to work if you can.

6.  Don't be afraid to admit that you need rest.  You can't do everything, but if you want to do something specific make a contingency plan and try it.

7.  You have to give up control of nearly everything.  You eat what stays down, not what is on your diet.  You can exercise, but you might not be running your 5k runs.  Your kids are going to need a lot of assistance, and you are going to accept that you can't be everything to everybody.  Some things are going to slide.  You will be thankful when someone reaches out to your kids.

8.  Love your oncologist.  If you don't trust him, then he is not your oncologist regardless of what everyone else says about him.  I was told that my oncologist AND my plastic surgeon were "solemn" and humorless.  I found that with ME, they were both funny, easy to laugh and serious cutups.  If you have a recommendation for a doctor who is skilled but has a questionable bedside manner, give the doctor a chance.  I found that doctors relate to patients, just like we relate to friends.  We laugh a riot with one friend, but we're a little reserved with another.  Doctors are people too.

9.  Don't under estimate what is happening to you.  Cancer changes everything and you might as well accept this.  Cancer treatment, chemo, the surgery, radiation if you must do it...all these things have lasting effects that will change your life.  Educate on those changes and learn to adapt.

10.  Find a support system...not just a care taker.  Find other people who have had cancer and they have survived the treatments.  Find out what helped them, what messed them up.  Find out what they did to cope.  What side effects were harder to deal with and how did they address it.  Find out how they came to make the decisions they made.  And girl, don't be unwilling to accept any offer they can give you.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Five Minute Friday: What mama did

Today’s your turn. What did your mama do that makes her your mama? Let’s unpack those memories today. Let’s trace our fingers along the lines of the unexpected. The ordinary beauty in a day of motherhood. The food or the laughing or the dancing or the story telling.
Where is your memory buried?
In just five minutes. Tell me all about what your mama did that made her yours….{and don’t forget to spend some time commenting on the post of the person who linked up just before you}

My mom.  There's a lot that many people would point to and tell her she did wrong.  She should have made a different decision.  She should have educated herself instead of relying on old wives tales and superstition.  She should have done this or that.  But all that is overshadowed by vivid memories that repeated on a daily basis.

The sun was barely shining when my sisters and I would come dragging out of our respective bedrooms.  We staggered down the hallways in our bed heads and pajamas, as we would head to the kitchen.  

There at the end of the hall where it it split into the living room and kitchen room, sat my momma.  The sunlight from the window enfolded her in it's warmth where she sat.  We shushed each other when we saw her sitting there, her worn green padded fake leather Living Bible open with her copy of "Come Ye Apart".  Momma was doing her morning devotions.  

Over the years she started every day there, with her Bible and God.  She wasn't perfect, but she taught a legacy that was instilled in our Love the Lord with all our hearts, soul and mind.  We in turn grew up and became mothers, and sadly I was not consistent to start my day as mom did.  But I pray that when my son looks back upon his child, he still sees a Godly mom.  I hope that my life is a testament to my mother's faithfulness.  I look back and I know this is what momma did right.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pink Ribbons ~ Insult to Injury

Pink Ribbons is a feature series I have started that is posted every Thursday.  I am a Pink Ribbon Warrior, having gone through the chemo, surgery, radiation, the year of waiting and recently stage 2 reconstruction...which I find is really the first of many little surgeries.  I am at a place in my life where I am willing to open my journal from that time and share with you my anger, fears, challenges and pain of finding out you have cancer.   This is me sharing with you from the other side of breast cancer.

These are not current events, events are from Sept. 2010

So I got a call this morning. The caller wanted to know if I would want to go shopping at the outlet mall. She and her step dd were looking for bras.  Okaaayyyyy.....I think not.

Talk about adding insult to injury.

She meant well but it NEVER occurred to her - the irony of asking someone who is getting a mastectomy to go bra shopping.

I have a lot of dizziness and light headedness today. I'm glad I'm seeing the doctor in the morning. You know how you feel when you get up suddenly...that little bit of faintness? Well this is like that but it doesn't clear up. I have to get up in stages.  I move slowly because I found if I turn a corner quickly...The head doesn't stop spinning. I feel like I'm living in a virtual Toms Twister.

People in the public...don't see me.  They look up, see that I'm wearing a hat with no hair showing.  Then they grimace and rush to look away.  I feel hideous to the public.  They have no clue how insecure I feel and how I feel that everyone can tell my head is bald under this hat.  Why can't they comment on my hat rather than dart their eyes away?

Everyone is yammering on about how I need to have a "positive outlook" but yet no one wants to look me in the eyes.  I WILL NOT to this to anyone when I am done with this and see someone else obviously going through chemo!

I hate the pity.  Kindness is one thing, but in public there's a tone that people take.  Oh you poor thing, bless your heart, and I want to SCREAM at them.  Don't pretend you care.

Don't get insulted when you call and ask me if I want to go out for ice cream.  I'm too tired.  It would be okay for you to come visit and BRING me ice cream.  But you don't understand how much effort it now takes me to put on real clothes.  I will wear my slouchies at home, but I'm not going public.  I don't care if you say I can, that it won't bother you.  You don't understand it's NOT about you!

Right now, It's about me!  

It's about my mental wellbeing!  

It's about not letting go of my Diva self...I need to be who I am.  Even if it means I can't get out and be social with you.

Please be understanding when I tell you that no, I can't handle you spending a long weekend with me.  I want to see you so bad, but I can't be a hostess right now.  If you had told me that you wanted to spend some time with me, and do whatever I needed help with...I might have accepted your offer.  But asking if we can "run around and have lunch"?  I can't do that right now and it hurts me to turn you down.

I love that you want to have dinner with me.  But I can't be around children this week...I'm at my lowest immune levels.  I would love for you to visit a few moments...make me a cup of tea.  But don't make me feel like a pig when I have to ask if you come, you have to leave your darling girls home.  I can't have a tea party with them right now.

Don't ask me to take off my hat and show you my head.  I don't care that it's just a bald head.  It hurts me.  It makes me feel self conscious.  It's private to me.  It's personal.  If I don't offer, then please don't ask.  I shouldn't have to defend my decision to keep my scalp under wraps.  And certainly stop turning this into a "spiritual" thing.  I am so sorry, but I am having serious trouble right now being spiritual about this.  Just because you thought your scalp was beautiful and God given doesn't mean I want to flaunt mine.  I am hurting and you hurt me more by your implication that I am not as godly as you because I can't "fully embrace" what I'm going through.  Where is your sensitivity?  Maybe just maybe, it just SUCKS to have to go through this trial!

Sometimes when you're having to fight the battle of your life, it's OKAY to be a little ANGRY about it!  OKAY?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Five Minute Friday ~ Bare

Got five minutes? Let’s write. Let’s write in shades of real and brave and unscripted.
Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right or not.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Go buck wild with encouragement for the five minuter who linked up before you.
Five Minute Friday

I don't participate in every FMF, but when I read the prompt I knew I had to.  The prompt today is BARE


I stand in front of Him, the Creator.  My sin, my shame, my most intimate regrets are laid between us.  Lying bare and seen by all between He and me.  In disgust I look away, unable to defend myself.  I am naked. I am ashamed.  I am hopeless for salvation from the sentence of eternity.  I shiver from fear, chill and my own disgust.

Wildly my eyes turn everywhere but to look at IT or to look at Him!  I turn away.

A gentle hand stays my flight and I turn to look.  A scarred and kind face with twinkling eyes passes His hand over my shame.  The blood drips from Him and onto the little hoard I have carried for decades.  As the red falls, it spreads.

It spreads until all the parts of my little hoard are covered.  They are unseen.  They are gone.  The way between He and me is now clear.  His scarred hand takes mine and leads me across the divide where HE opens HIS arms to enfold me, clothing my bareness in radiant white.

I am no longer bare.  His hands cup my face as He kisses my forehead and smiles his welcoming love.

My shame laid bare, is no more.  I am redeemed through grace. I am loved immensely.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pink Ribbons ~ Hair, Glorious Hair!

Pink Ribbons is a feature series I have started that is posted every Thursday.  I am a Pink Ribbon Warrior, having gone through the chemo, surgery, radiation, the year of waiting and recently stage 2 reconstruction...which I find is really the first of many little surgeries.  I am at a place in my life where I am willing to open my journal from that time and share with you my anger, fears, challenges and pain of finding out you have cancer.   This is me sharing with you from the other side of breast cancer.

These are not current events, events are from Sept. 2010

I cancelled my wig appointment yesterday. I had called and asked for a "ballpark" price range. I found out the ballpark STARTED at $300! Mr. R told me to disregard the price but I couldn't! I told him everyone I talk to hated wearing wigs. If I paid that much for one and hated it I'd feel pressure from within myself to wear it anyway. He told me to do what I felt so I cancelled it.

So I'm put-zing around the house today and the phone rings.  I answer and it's the American Cancer Society. 

They offered me a free wig and styling. (clapping) I had cancelled my appointment with the wig guy last night. I kept thinking...what if I hate wearing the wig? I have yet to meet someone who didn't and it didn't feel like a judicial use of funds to spend on something I might hate.  So I cancelled and told hubby maybe I will order one from my catalog. Or maybe I will just get more hats and a halo.  Halos are elastic bands with hair only attached.   They are made to wear with hats to give the illusion of having hair.

Yes, this is me wearing the above "halo" in blonde.

So the ACS explained my name had been submitted to them as a new breast cancer patient.  The asked questions about how my chemo went, and then told me about their free wig program.  They have a two time breast cancer survivor who used to instruct at a Beauty college locally. She donates her time to fit and style wigs for other breast cancer patients. Isn't that the coolest!

I have a 10 am appointment to get hair! I was horrified when I clipped my head. When you get down to my non dyed roots? I discovered I'm probably 75% glisteny silver haired. I hadn't bothered touching up...I mean why bother when your hair is bailing anyway.  Now it is sparse and with big blank spaces with a ratty bit gong here and there.  UGLY.

Maryland Crab
Hooray for the free wig!  Another great blessing, isn't it interesting you'd just cancelled the appointment.

I took a friend to help me choose my hair.  She's a close friend, and the first beside Mr. Rosey to see the mangy head.  I took a deep breath and just pulled off the hat.  It was rather like standing in the mall on a weight scale, yelling the results.  She didn't even react in horror as I expected.

I chose a Paula Young wig called Dance.  It nearly matched my own hair with just a tad more curl.  It's a little disconcerting.  I don't mind wearing it but it feels like it's moving around my head.  I feel like everyone can look at me and tell I'm wearing a wig.  I hope it will eventually feel more secure.

I showed her my favorite gift shop "Good and Perfect Gifts" Good and Perfect Gifts and then we had lunch.  I couldn't help but reach up and tug every so often to make sure the hair was sitting where it was supposed to be.  Which reminds me, when you see someone in a wig and it's alight askew, discretely whisper the fact to them.

It's more embarrassing to realize your wig has slid back AFTER you've spent the day in town.  It's rather like the time I had spent the day shopping and I stopped to visit my friend...the same one in fact.  She hugged me then as I turned to find a seat at her table when she burst out laughing and stopped me.  She reached out and pulled a clean *thank God!* pantyliner off the seat of my pants.  Yep, just like that...the horror of realizing you've been put-zing around down with your pantyliner exposed on the outside of your pants.  So help a sister with her hair.

Now I will model my new's a near match for my eyebrows which I still have....

While I do so, please sing the song from the musical Hair...|

 Gimme head with hair, Long beautiful hair, 
Shining, gleaming, Streaming, flaxen, waxen

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it!
 Long as God can grow it!
My hairrrrrrrrrrrr!

Paula Young hair catalog 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Plastic Insurrection

It's a problem I have suffered from for years.  I have tried multiple strategies and none have really successfully worked.

I take my life into my own hands when I enter my kitchen.  At my own risk, I open the door to the corner cabinet, and prepare to juggle, twist and capture falling objects while protecting my face and head.

Let's sum it up.

I hate plastic wear!

Yet today's homemaker just can't seem to find her way through life without the insidious little chemically formed protectors of the "the left overs."    Media hysteria tells me to toss ALL the plastic and only use glass.  But I challenge them to carry a lunch box of glass containers.  My beloved already complains about the weight of my lovingly crafted lunches...

I pore over self help manuals the size of a booster seat to somehow bring order to this giant mess.  When I see cabinets like ...

I feel and fight the urge to slap someone. (In the name of Jesus of course.)

Although I also note with fiendish delight that the containers in the above photo are NOT all EVENLY stacked.  A few of the towers are a little wonky...which makes me believe perhaps this cabinet owner is not TOTALLY obnoxious.

I read the suggestion to purchase the nifty containers that have lids that snap right onto the bottom.
"It will end the search for the illusive lids" that makes my life miserable.

My daughter in law received some as a wedding gift.  So after checking out hers...with the ingenious lids that click together on the bottom of the bowls...I was impressed.  I threw out my old containers.  

I'm proud to announce the lids do as they claim.  They all click together.  The bowls all snap to the lids.  They stack and sit together.  They did not advertise all the stacking and clicking allows HEAVIER containers to hurtle out of the cabinet to crash upon my head.  (I also found they leaked all over lunch bags.)  I maintain the best containers are the ones that came with ice cream prepacked as a bonus.  Many even come with handles!  

I still open that wretched cabinet with a flinch, ready to defend my face against the marauders of my homemaking peace of mind.  I have not found the answer to my quest...although my first answer would be "a bigger kitchen."  Truly, you would be amazed at my prowess of the small kitchen foray...

See those two walls behind my beloved?  That's my kitchen.  Those are my counters.  They are clean and empty because this photo was our pre-move inspection.  The counters now require a bulldozer.  *I'm frowning as I type that*   That corner cabinet to my husband's left is the source of these contrary contraptions.  That is all the kitchen I have.  Well we added a fridge to it.  And a work table.  And a steel shelving unit.

I have made this kitchen do things I thought impossible...Thanksgiving Dinner!  What I cannot make it do it keep plastic containers out of sight. Alas, I still continue my fruitless search for the best solution to my plastics dilemma as they plan their mutiny again cabinet containment.

If you have found ways to contain your plastics, please share for us who are still dodging!