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


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 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 […]

Moving Forward

rain boots

I don’t know when it happened, but sometime within the last couple of months, I didn’t want to write about breast cancer anymore. I went from feeling on fire, a hot shot of espresso, to a milked-down latte. I thought, What the hell? What happened? I think I figured it out. I passed a milestone in […]

Memorial for Maxwell


You may have read my post about my friend Maxwell, who died from cancer last November. On Saturday, I went to a memorial for him attended by roughly 30 of his friends. A friend of mine accompanied me, but otherwise, I didn’t know the others in the room, nor did most of them know each other. We were brought […]

500 Dates by Mark Miller (A book review)


Let me say from the start that 500 Dates by Mark Miller has nothing to do with cancer. Its 55 essays explore the dating world of single adults with heart, humor and insight. But stay with me and I’m betting you’ll laugh. Out loud. And hard. That’s because Mark is a funny man. And I should know. I […]

Dad, Chemo and Me

January 7 was the anniversary of my father’s death 24 years ago. I suppose his death certificate cited cancer, lymphoma specifically, as the cause of death, but it seemed clear chemo was the real culprit. The doctors were optimistic they had successfully blasted the renegade cancer cells in his body. Two more chemos to go and he’d […]

Happy New Year 2015

SF New Year 2012

Out with the old and in with the new. May whatever didn’t work in 2014 find the transformation that makes it function better in the new year. May the rough edges be smooth. And if there’s fireworks, may they be the kind that’s pretty. Happy new year everyone. I wish you peace within and all good things. Love, Eileen Like […]

Strange Gifts Wrapped in Love

Pink Gift Box

Happy holidays and wishes for a healthy new year to everyone, however you choose to celebrate. This time of year is always a little strange for me because Christmas is not my custom or the religion into which I was born. Some say, “Oh, it’s just part of the overall culture.” Okay, but it’s not my […]

My Vacation from Cancer

White pizza with broccoli

I just got back from vacation to New York City and Philadelphia to visit family. I prefer to pack light when I travel, so I left cancer behind. I hardly gave cancer a thought. I barely thought of friends dying. And I definitely suffered amnesia when it came to an anti-cancer diet. I’ve been advised that my body is happiest without gluten […]

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