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…

Tick, Tick, Tick

Chapter One A handful of hours after our wedding, my husband got sick, like super-sick. As I was still a 27 year old bozo, I immediately called my mom. She was also sick. The calls kept coming in; many, many people were sick. By lunchtime, 5 of our friends and family, including my new husband,…

5 Years

5 years ago today I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer. It seems both a billion years ago and like yesterday. As time has passed some of the details have started to fade. I can’t remember the names of certain tests or drugs, the post-op rules or even the names of important players….

Disgrace

Any detectable level of the disease has been eradicated. That is what we are told when we are declared NED, or No Evidence of Disease after treatment. They don’t call it remission anymore because no one can say for sure that every last cancer cell was demolished so instead they say you are NED, which…

The Waiting Room

7:00am It is eerie to be the only person in a very large surgical waiting room. The only reason I am even allowed here is because the person I am waiting for is my 12 year old son. He has broken the same arm twice this year and is having surgery to place metal pins,…