The Journey Begins

In June of this year (2018), I was diagnosed with breast cancer -- to be specific, invasive ductal carcinoma (stage 2, initially stage 1), hormone positive, Her2/neu negative [I've learned that these details are important to survivors and help us recognize one another and understand our respective journeys]. It was an absolute shock, coming after... Continue Reading →

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The Cancer Prom

Last night, I was invited by a friend to be their guest at a fundraising gala for the American Cancer Society, a lovely and generous gesture. I was worried about getting all dolled up for a black tie event. All of the gowns I had from my days as a fundraising executive seemed odd and... Continue Reading →

Chemo Curls

Yes, they have a name and they are called chemo curls. When I realized that my most recent Google searches involved products to straighten them, products to encourage hair growth, and statistics on how long it would be until my "normal" hair comes back, I figured it was time to write about it. My head... Continue Reading →

Watch Your Language

I've been thinking a lot lately about the words used to describe cancer, undergoing treatment, and its aftermath. While I have probably used all of these at one point or another, I find them all problematic in various ways. Here are a few thoughts on a few that hit me the wrong way or at... Continue Reading →

Fear

A few months ago, I joined an online writing group for cancer patients. Each week, the members of the group receive both a short and a long prompt to inspire that week's writing. This week, the topic was fear and I thought I'd share some of what I wrote here. Specifically, we were asked to... Continue Reading →

Six Months Or More

One of the things I did after I finished radiation was to enroll in a program of short-term, cancer-focused therapy through a cancer program in NYC. I realized that I might have some difficulty transitioning from daily treatment to life post-treatment, and it has proven to be a godsend. It's a half hour of phone... Continue Reading →

Facing Reality

It's a been a sobering week since I returned home from the hospital, with progress slow and recovery incremental. I have a bit more energy, am no longer taking four-hour naps, but I'm still coughing, and ready for my pajamas by 7 p.m. at night. And let's not talk about my lovely diet and the... Continue Reading →

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Let's chuck the "new normal" countdown, since things have been anything but normal. A brief recap -- get strep, treat with antibiotics, three days into the antibiotics, get flu, pass out, husband calls ambulance, get admitted, start bleeding, develop colitis from some combination of flu, antibiotics, and very low blood pressure, and in the hospital... Continue Reading →

Progress

New normal, day 51. It's hard to believe that I'm almost two months past radiation, and already marking my first month of the aromatase inhibitor (AI). Today I had my one-month check-in with the oncology nurse practitioner and it seems as if I'm tolerating the AI pretty well so far. Truth be told, I was... Continue Reading →

A Far Cry From Normal

New normal, day 45. I just returned from my first "big trip" to visit my daughter and her boyfriend in NYC and it hit me like a ton of bricks how far I am from anything even approximating normal, or at least from what was my "old normal." I used to travel to NYC with... Continue Reading →

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