- Midwest, USA
- May 20
- At the midpoint of the journey's life
I found myself lost in a dark forest
with no straight path I could see anywhere.
M.L. Rosenthal's translation of Dante's La Commedia Divina
Diagnosed with ovarian and bladder cancers, I received an entirely new subject for writing and a challenge to intensify the second half of my life.
MY RECENT POSTS
- Anniversary Month
February 08, 2014 09:18PM
- Another Year, Another Surgery
January 11, 2014 05:17PM
- One of the Lucky Ones
September 22, 2013 09:04PM
- Outsourcing the Fear
August 21, 2013 07:12PM
- The Single Woman's Great Fear
June 17, 2013 10:09AM
MY RECENT COMMENTS
- “Well said and helpful.
We bipeds just don't
March 03, 2014 08:38PM
- “Sweet--thanks, JMac! and
to you also!”
February 10, 2014 07:18PM
- “What a lovely blend of
words and photos! thank
February 08, 2014 09:26PM
- “Glad to hear this news.
You might think about
February 08, 2014 09:22PM
- “Prayers for you both.
Thank you for writing and
know and be a part
February 02, 2014 07:35PM
- MY LINKS
They were afraid of a serious reaction to the poison, something beyond gradual cell death and destruction of gut flora. So I duly reported the growing prickliness and numbness on my face, to which the nurse responded kindly, “Oh, honey, that’s just nerves.”
&n… Read full post »
Reporting in: It’s been more than a month since the last surgery, so I’m cleared to drive and return to work, though I suspect I still have some of the anesthesia roaming around my cells. I’m not back to eating as usual (that’s not a bad thing), and I… Read full post »
I’ve not posted for a while, because frankly sometimes I get tired of my own drama-trauma. About this time seven years ago, I began really worrying about the growth in my abdomen and the consequent pain, though it would be several months before surgery and then a confirmed diagnosis… Read full post »
In my youth, we called them “prayer warriors”—godly women and men known to spend time in prayer. Now, in a liturgical church, we say “Prayers are available at the healing station.” There’s a wooden icon of Madonna and Child that feels Renaissance in its style…
When I was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer, more than six years ago now, I did not expect to live much longer. The odds were stacked against me: stage IIIB, classified as late stage, harder to treat. One of my thoughts was that at least I would have time… Read full post »
“And just what was so wrong about her?” my friend asked with some anger after my mother, whom he’d met twice, died.
How can I explain that her smother love wasn’t for me? That what was wrong wi… Read full post »
For a week or more, I have been touchy and weepy and jittery and grumpy. In other words, I was facing another cancer check-up. The night before, I had medical nightmares; things went very wrong. I would like to think that cancer would leave me alone, but it does not,… Read full post »
This week I talked to a lawyer about the possibility of bringing a suit against my urologist for medical negligence. It’s a non-starter, partly because at least in my state, maybe nationally, there’s a one-year statute of limitations for malpractice. Unless I find out… Read full post »
Right now, Regency romance novels are getting me out of my own life. Any chick lit is good (and I do not mean by using that label to denigrate genre fiction), but the stories set in Regency England have the advantage of another time and place. Language differs too;… Read full post »
To call the bike pink would have been an insult. It was more the color Crayola called thistle, a purplish cast to the paint, not a boy’s bike, certainly, but not a sickly sweet girly bike, either. It came with training wheels, even at 24 inches. My parents would… Read full post »
“It’s best if you can just be still after the surgery,” an acquaintance counseled, when I asked for advice about how to deal with the impending removal of my left kidney.
This woman donated a kidney several years ago. To call us friends would be stretching it, but… Read full post »
I last went to Florida during late winter of 2008, after two cystoscopies that led to a diagnosis of Stage I, noninvasive bladder cancer. It was my second cancer, the less dangerous one to offset the scariness of Stage III ovarian cancer, for which I’d finished chemo… Read full post »
In Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, when the king unjustly accuses his wife, Hermione, of unfaithfulness and condemns her to prison, she asks,
Who is’t that goes with me? Beseech your Highness
My women may be with me, for you see
My plight requires it.… Read full post »
The month of October will be swathed in pink, as if for a national Christo installation. I am not opposed to fighting breast cancer, or any other kind of cancer. I just wonder if anyone knows that September is National Ovarian Cancer Month, or that our color is… Read full post »
“Sorry to crap in your Cheerios.”
No, this was not a glib apology I recall from a boy in junior high. This sentence fragment came from my urologist, an eternal boy who will be talking like this when he is seventy. He’s a sports nut, a gambler, a… Read full post »
“You do not feel well,” said one of the pharmacists as I slowly walked to the back of the drugstore clutching my scrip.
“You look like you’re walking the Green Mile,” another pharmacist offered.
If I’d felt better, I might have smiled for them, but walking was al… Read full post »
When a friend went through chemo several yars ago, I tried to be helpful. When I went through chemo myself, I apologized to her. I did not know, could not know, what it was like. So here’s a list for those of you who want to help, a… Read full post »
“I don’t need you to worry for me, ’cause I’m alright.
I don’t want you to tell me it’s time to come home.
I don’t care what you say anymore, this is my life.
Go ahead with your own life, leave me alone.”
Billy… Read full post »
Journal entry February 29, 2008
I think I’m depressed, possibly a phase of grieving, even though the biopsy says the bladder cancer is noninvasive. I’m facing (just a bit) the reality of what this second cancer means in terms of follow-up, circumscribing, the sense of a door closing on a… Read full post »
“And after the chemo ended, she lived happily ever—for six months.”
I determined that if I had less than five years to live, I was going to live them on my terms. I took a few vacation-celebrations with friends, ate a lot of celebratory meals, saw a dermatologist and got… Read full post »
I’m single because I am a church leftover, a cruel term tossed out by a thoughtless young man who probably was trying to be kind to me when he was explaining which Sunday School class I might want to attend as I visited his church. (Not the one for church leftovers.)/… Read full post »
On the first Saturday in June 2007, two weeks before my chemo port was to be removed, an intern from the hospital called. Compunet, the blood draw people, had called the hospital to report that my absolute neutrophil count was low, 1.4.
“But it’s my nadir count,” I… Read full post »
It was a lovely thing to wake up and know I was not facing chemo again—hopefully never, but at least not any time soon. The carboplatin was easier, but I was queasy the next morning.
My chemo nurse, Linda, and I considered crying when I left. I… Read full post »
During my week off between rounds five and six in May 2007, I meet with the audiologist as I’d agreed to do—anything to get rid of the high-pitched sirens. I sit in a sound booth, trying to concentrate, when all I really want to do is look around at… Read full post »
On the first Thursday in May 2007, near the end of my chemo treatments, I considered giving up. After taking my Compazine, I threw up, for no good reason. I wondered if vomiting was a psychosomatic response to thinking about my chemo session the next day. On/… Read full post »