The Cancer 15

Name a woman who doesn’t have a complicated relationship with her body. I’ll wait. It all started when I was a chubby little girl. My dad referred to me, in his speech at my wedding, as a “cherubic” child. I remember listening to my pediatrician say that if my parents didn’t get me involved in…

Birthday

Today is my 42nd birthday. Important to know that historically, my birthday is my favorite holiday. I realize it hasn’t been nationally recognized, but I do consider my birthday a holiday, as I think everyone should. I really love the pomp and circumstance that I basically demand around my birthday. This started when I was…

Tax(ol) Day

‘Twas the night before new chemo and all through the house, I can’t think of a rhyme, cancer sucks. Tomorrow I start a new chemo called Taxol. Supposedly it is much more palatable than the chemo I was on before. The main side effects listed are distal neuropathy (permanent numbness in fingers and toes), exhaustion…

Corpus

I hope not to offend as I write about my body on Easter weekend. I get that there is a much bigger headliner for body stuff this time of year. I did attend 8 years of Catholic school, after all (consider me long lapsed at this point). The amalgamation of Easter and AC chemo #4…

Ativan-cements

As I have finished 3/4 of the extra-evil part of my chemo regime, I feel confident giving it a rating of 0 out of 5 stars and a solid 1/10. I am willing to give it a 1 instead of a zero because it is ostensibly ridding me of cancer which deserves a point. As…

Babes in Cancerland

I have been thinking about writing this post for a while now, but dreading it because the reality is too harsh. I think it is time to talk about my kids and how they are handling Greg & Co. We have three kids ages 13, 11 and 8. 7th, 6th and 2nd grade. I am…

Cancer’s Hottest Club

If we consider chemo-day day 1, then my last post was on day 4. On day 5, I was scheduled to have hydration therapy at 3pm. Hydration therapy is where you have your port accessed at the cancer center and they dump IV fluids into you to make you feel partly human. By 7:30am on…

Sleep Through This

Day 1: My friend Lesley took me to my first chemo. It took forever for the pre-party to finish. The pre-party consists of them accessing your port, waiting for blood results to make sure you are fit for chemo, then drips of 2 anti-nausea meds, a bag of roids and a bag of Ativan which…

And So It Begins

I found out around 4:30pm today, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, that I will start chemo on Thursday, March 3 at 8am. The chemo I will be getting is 4 cycles of Adriamycin & Cytoxan 2 weeks apart and then 12 weeks of weekly Taxol. Thats 20 weeks y’all. And that is if everything goes off…

’24’ Hours in a Day

We are scheduled to go to California for Spring Break March 18, but I just felt in my bones that I would need chemo and not be able to go. Because of that feeling, I had been thinking about booking a last minute trip to NYC over President’s Day Weekend. Joe couldn’t get out of…

The Healthiest Sick Person

I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly odd my life is right now. I have healed from 2 back-to-back surgeries really well and really quickly which I am going to attribute to the fact that I went into this ordeal physically strong. At my surgical follow-up appointment last week, my surgeon cleared me…

Oncotype

Okay, this post is mostly just for me, to try to organize my own thoughts. Very self-serving, but figured I would take you along for the ride. It is going to be confusing AF so buckle up. The next step in my odyssey is deciding if I would benefit from chemotherapy. This is a very…

Clean Margins

When my surgeon called to say that the surgical margins were clean she sounded so relieved. She admitted that she had been holding her breath. Same girl. I have started and re-started this sentence many times because it is hard to make anything in this cancery odyssey finite, but I should be done with cancer…

Twilight

I am the last surgery on the docket for my surgeon today. Fasting for the entire day is really a bummer. A hungry Grace is a cranky Grace. In bad timing news, I had some, eh em, stomach trouble the whole second half of the day yesterday. I either ate something that did not agree…

SCANS spelled backwards is SNACS

To clarify, scans for disease neither involve actual snacks nor do they qualify as what Gen Z would call snacks. I have had 4 scans for Greg & Co. in the last 4 weeks. In this post, I will be listing them from best to worst in listicle form. Everything described below is opinion. No…

When the Air Leaves the Room

This will be a two-part post. This part is being written on Monday, January 17 in the evening. Tomorrow I have a PET scan to see if my cancer has metastasized. The fact that I am even getting a PET scan is an ominous sign. It means there is a chance I have a terminal…

My Gregtopus Teacher

This title is a very deep cut. In order to understand it, you need to be aware of the 2020 BAFTA and Academy Award winning documentary, My Octopus Teacher, which is about a man who befriends a deep-sea octopus and of course, my tumor Cousin Greg. The title’s true meaning will become crystal clear a…

Fiesta Non Grata

Right now my sister and I were supposed to be on a plane headed to Cancun. I had booked us first class as a special treat (Jennie will be finding this out as she edits this post). We were going to celebrate her schmiftieth birthday. we were set to stay at this super bougie vegan…

Good at This

T minus 18 hours until Greg is sent to tumor heaven. I have been in quarantine in my bedroom for about 60 hours since my pre-op Covid test (which is negative!). Here is a short rundown of what I have been doing, with corresponding embarrassment levels 1-10; 1 being not embarrassing at all and 10…

The Gregercoaster

Setting the scene: ~You find out you have a Greg in your chest on December 22nd, but knew on the 16th that there was a strong possibility of cancer. Your breasts were last checked as clean on August 22 so Greg has appeared and/or grown big enough to be detected in 4 months. You do…

Twenty Twenty Two-mer

I have lost the ability to see things in terms of years. When you are cancery, or perhaps when you are walking through any difficult patch of life, time is not measured in long swaths. It is measured in, ‘bitch, am I going to make it through the next hour?!’ 2016 taught me many things,…

Greg

The flurry of tests, scans & appointments is in full swing. A few days ago my sister took me to the hospital for a CT scan from my pubic bone to my neck to look for distant metastases. This involved getting there 2 hours early to pick up ‘the drink.’ Over the course of the…

AGAIN

Christmas, 2021. At the age of 41, I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time (pause for hysterical laughter–she’s kidding right?) Two weeks ago, I saw my oncologist for a regular appointment. She did an exam, as she always does. She found a lump on my cancerous side. I had an ultrasound the…

Our Renaissance

In July there was an article in The New Yorker by Lawrence Wright about the new phenomenon of art and culture in Renaissance Italy. It arose from the ashes of the horrific ‘Black Death’ plague in the Middle Ages. Let me reiterate that– we needed THE PLAGUE to grow the artistic bounty of our pals…