more medical woes

I received my biopsy results today and it wasn’t good, but I expected that when I got a call from the doctor’s office this morning telling me they needed to move up my follow up appointment from three weeks from now to right fucking now. 

Anyway…I may have cervical cancer, though what’s more likely is that I have highly worrisome precancerous cells that must be removed asap. So that’s happening on Friday morning. They’ll be taking a good chunk of my cervix as well. 

I’m trying not to freak out, because what’s the point? But…I’m tired. So fucking tired. Like why does my body hate me so fucking much? 


i carry your heart with me

There is not much of anything good to be said about cancer. I won’t get into all the bad things, because there are so many, and that isn’t what this post is about. I’ve always been the type of person who tries to find the good in everything, even something as shitty as cancer, because that is how I make it through each day. The silver lining of cancer for me has been the friendships I have forged with other cancer survivors. (I know survivor is one of those hotly debated words in the cancer community – and I don’t want to get into that now except to say that, to me, from the moment you find out you have cancer you are a survivor, because no matter how long you live after your diagnosis you are surviving that shit.)

After my diagnosis, I hit Tumblr and started looking for people with cancer. I desperately needed a support group of people who would understand what I was going through.  That’s how I met Greg. From the very beginning, he was a great supporter of mine. He would frequently send me messages checking in on me. He offered encouragement. He offered empathy and insight. He offered humor. He did all of this even when he was dealing with his own pain from the shitty side effects of his own treatment. 

Greg has been an inspiration to me from the day we met. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but he didn’t let that stop him from living the life he wanted to live. He traveled. He loved. He laughed. He took the most heartbreakingly beautiful photographs. He showed me that there is life and beauty after cancer. He inspired me to find the beauty in every day and to live my life to the fullest, right now, because right now is all we are guaranteed. Greg truly understood that every day is a gift. 

Our relationship wasn’t all about cancer, however. We also bonded over a mutual love of The Walking Dead, and I will miss our chats about the show. I very much looked forward to our conversations after a new show had aired. We liked to speculate about what would happen next. The Walking Dead just won’t be the same without you, man.

We talked about meeting up in Cape Cod and eating oysters. We never got to do it, and that is something I will always regret. However, only talking to him online does not in any way diminish my affection for him. I will always carry him in my heart. 

Rest in peace, dear friend.  I will miss you so very much. Unfortunately, my words are too imperfect to capture your essence, but my heart knows, and that is all that matters. Cancer may have taken your life, but it will never kill your spirit. 

happy fucking sunday

I woke up twice in the middle of the night and completely freaked out because I had no idea where I was.  I was in my own bed. It was so crazy.

Then this morning I woke up almost hyperventilating because of a dream nightmare in which I was told I had cervical cancer.

Oh and I feel like absolute shit on top of all that nonsense.

Sounds like a Xanax kind of morning.

i didn’t miss you

I had to visit the Siteman Cancer Center today for a follow-up with my oncologist. I hadn’t been there since August, and I was filled with dread (plus a touch of nausea) as I walked in the doors. Labs first.  Doctor second. It felt kind of weird to have a blood draw there without having a port, though I certainly didn’t miss the horrible taste and smell associated with flushing the port.

Good news:

My blood work is perfect. There are no signs of recurrence. My doc said we won’t be doing any scans unless the blood work indicates a problem.  I was a bit concerned about this at first, but he stated that regular blood work is a much more reliable indicator of a possible recurrence. If my blood work shows abnormalities, then we scan. 

He told me I can keep my Mirena IUD, even though my gyno wants it out.  He believes it isn’t doing any harm, and may be actually doing some good.

He’s pleased that I don’t have any significant Tamoxifen side effects. He felt my new boobs, which he says look great (haha), and gave me the all clear.

All of the nurses made a huge deal about how much they love my hair and claim that I should have short hair forever and ever.  Apparently I have a “pixie face.”

Bad news:

He changed his mind about Enbrel. He doesn’t want me on it unless the circumstances are dire.  Since I am still able to function normally most of the time, he wants me to suck it up.  He says taking it will most likely increase the risk of recurrence, though he cannot say by how much. This made me unhappy, but I get it. I really do.  I’m just disappointed because I’m so tired of being in pain EVERY SINGLE FUCKING DAY.

Overall, it was a good visit. I go back in three months.  All of them want to put me in permanent menopause, but I keep saying no, and will continue to refuse it. I did appreciate that he told me he understands, that he knows I’ve had a lot taken from me this last year, and he doesn’t blame me at all.



This article is sort of amazing. You should read it. Twice. Because I struggled with going from medical practitioner to patient, not unlike the author, and then I wrestled with the lack of evidence regarding my cancer, my future prognoses, the time I have… I still struggle with that. But this is so beautifully written, eloquent and direct without making you want to jump off a bridge just to get out of this cancer purgatory we all sit in at some point in time. It’s sort of a perfect description of how I feel, most days, at some point in my waking moments. “I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”

Again, this. 

If you have cancer, read this. If you know or love someone with cancer, read this. If you have no clue, read this…

How Long Have I Got Left?


My dog has cancer.

I found out today.  It’s a sarcoma on her hind leg, and it’s rather far reaching. The vet feels good about being able to get clean margins though, and so I have opted for surgery.  I drop her off tomorrow morning. Post-surgery she may need radiation, but they are hoping the surgery will be curative.  (Chemo is not an option for this type of tumor, though I told them I wouldn’t put her through chemo. Fuck that.) 

Gracie is (almost) 12 years old. Grant and I adopted her when we were living out in Los Angeles, right after we graduated from UCSB.  She is an AKC registered, black and tan, long-haired miniature dachshund.  She’s always been my dog.  She developed a preference for me on the second night we had her, and it’s just grown from there.  There was no question as to who was taking Gracie when Grant and I split up.  The other pets could have gone either way, but not Gracie girl. 

When the vet told me she had cancer, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I haven’t been the most patient or available pet owner the last year.  I’ve been dealing with my own issues.  I’m gone a lot.  But I love this dog, and I love remembering the time right after we first adopted her.  We used to take her on walks down a very busy street in LA, and people would stop their cars to remark upon her beauty.  We couldn’t go anywhere without someone talking about how beautiful and sweet she was.  

She still is. I’ll be on pins and needles all day tomorrow until I hear that she’s okay.  It’s kind of amazing that humans and dogs can develop such a deep bond.  I bitch about her sometimes, maybe even a lot, but I can’t imagine my life without this dog in it.