Tribute to a Special Dad – Repost from 2013

Another Father’s Day is here. The sun shines. The birds chirp. The smell of barbecue wafts through the air. It’s a great day to celebrate fatherhood, to honor all those good men who have invested their love and energy into raising children, even those who did not contribute biologically but have loved and raised others […]

Survivor: An Inconvenient Label

Name Tag

Did you know June 7 is National Cancer Survivors Day? Being alive after cancer is worthy of a celebration any day. Just tread lightly when using “survivor” in a sentence. Anyone who’s been around Cancertown for any length of time knows “survivor” is rife with conflict for many, uh … survivors. You never know if and when a […]

The Imperfection of Misery

Sad-face

Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfect happiness is unrealizable, but there are few who pause to consider the antithesis: that perfect unhappiness is equally unattainable. –Primo Levi, If This Is A Man I read this quote today and it startled me. It certainly made me think. Most people understand that happiness is fleeting or […]

Five Year Survival…But Who’s Counting?

It’s right about the five-year mark for when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. While I’m grateful to be alive, I see no need to celebrate as if I’d hit a milestone. I know many have had recurrences within the five-year mark and, sadly, are not with us any longer. I just understand that I’m never out […]

Therapy Dogs

Chihuahua on beach

The short video below is about a therapy dog named Nala. We’ve all heard stories about therapy dogs, but this one really got my attention. The dog is let loose in a nursing home and intuitively knows who needs her and where to go. This brings back a wonderful memory from my chemo days. I was somewhere in the middle of treatment. I’d […]

Survivors and the Holocaust

Joy of liberation at Dachau

From the time I was diagnosed with cancer to almost five years later today, I have gained strength from reading about the Holocaust. I’d consider the horrific suffering of those who survived and think: If some could survive that, I can surely get through cancer. It’s not “nothing,” but cancer is minuscule, perhaps nothing, by comparison. As I looked at […]

Illness and Denial

Three monkeys

Even as your body betrays you, your mind denies it. –Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.  –Karl Marx I have a friend who I’ll refer to as “R.” He […]

Games We Play With Doctors

Alfred E. Neumann

My primary physician likes to paint. She’s not actually an artist, but she takes a stab with her paint-by-numbers kit. Her brush strokes stay meticulously within the lines. She chooses prescribed numbers because doctors love prescriptions. She can’t deviate from the numbers anyhow. They guide her. They’re safe. They’re proven. They’re what she knows. There […]

Of Life and Battles

flowers-in-tiburon

I’m deeply saddened to learn that Lisa Bonchek Adams passed away last night. Anyone who has read her blog knows of her beautiful prose, the love for her husband and children, and the honest no-sugar-coated way she chronicled the disease to which she ultimately succumbed. A lot of people in the cancer community detest the word “battle” when used […]

Lesley Gore and Me

lesley-gore-its-my-party-mercury

Lesley Gore died last Monday from lung cancer. No doubt, she made a big mark in music history. To this day, You Don’t Own Me is sung as an self-empowering anthem. But the song that evokes rich memories for me is It’s My Party. I was born in October of 1956. I grew up during the Vietnam War, Civil Rights […]

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