When Positive Isn’t So Positive

How do you feel when someone admonishes you, “Be positive!” Discounted? Misunderstood? Brushed aside?  A recent article suggests positive isn’t always so positive. I agree. Receiving a cancer diagnosis is like a punch in the stomach from which you double over and stay splattered on the ground for days, maybe weeks, before you can even […]

Affirm Life

Card from Mary

I don’t remember when depression seeped in, but it definitely hit hard with the cessation of treatment. My friends assumed I was ready to pick up where I’d left off. In truth, body and soul bore the scars of trauma. To make matters worse, the grenade that cancer hurled at my body boomeranged and exploded […]

Bridge of Sighs

Picture 152

In my last post, I asked whether anyone knew where the photo on the header on my site was taken. No one knew, so here’s the big reveal. It’s the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy. In the spring of 2007, I had the opportunity to go to Italy. I took this photo hanging out […]

A Facelift for My Site

Like my Hat

My site got a facelift. Because sometimes a woman just needs a new look. Actually, this was more of a practical decision. I was happy with the appearance before, but I’d been told by a number of people that my site loaded slowly. It also had other limitations. I have plans for things I’d like […]

The Many Faces of Cancer

Last Chemo

Cancer definitely takes a swipe at our self-image, especially if you’ve lost your hair from chemo. Some people take the changes in stride. As one man said: I was bald before chemo so nothing changed! For most of us, it’s a different story.  I can remember being at the grocery store, wearing my hat, when […]

A Life on Hold

Before cancer, I had plans and aspirations, goals and dreams. Dreams don’t usually happen without a “one step in front of the other” effort. Those of you who are writers will be familiar with Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird, which I use as a blueprint not only for writing but for life. The crux […]

Ode to the Lost Nodes

The surgeon said he’d take just a few. The sentinel lymph nodes. But one set off the malignant alarm and before I awoke, he took the whole slew. I was glad to be alive, to have the cancer removed. But now? I miss my nodes. And I want ‘em back. Twenty-f—kin’-eight. Count ‘em if you […]

I am Not Cancer

I am not sick. I am Eileen. Eileen is my given name from birth. That label helps people to identify me and all that I am. Incidentally, I had breast cancer, but breast cancer is not me and I am not it. We had a relationship. It didn’t work out. We parted ways. I will […]


Cancer thuds like rocks hurled deep Ripples flow    I’M WOUNDED…      I’m wounded…         i’m wounded… The tale told A single-note gong Like shockwaves    I’M WOUNDED…      I’m wounded…         i’m wounded… Cried until the shrill sparrow’s call awakens a rising dulcet major chord That warbles    i’m […]

Why is healthcare like a writing desk?

While pre-existing conditions are no longer a legal basis to deny health coverage, all is far from being sweet and just in healthcare. I work in an office where the health plan is so deficient that many of the employees can’t afford to go to the doctor. While we’re insured, the effect is pretty much […]