Making Progress

I brought along my own beauty magazine this time. I am not sure if I just wanted to torture myself with images of lovely young women with their flowing locks of hair as my own continues to fall out in clumps or if it has just become my waiting room routine. But this time was different. As I sat down and began to browse the pages, another patient immediately began to chat with me. She was warm and friendly, with lovely blue eyes, the kind of person you somehow feel that you have known for years. I am always amazed when such moments present themselves. Kismet. Nice word. “Our doctor is great,” she commented. “I hope so. I have only seen him once, but I was impressed.” “Well, I can vouch for h

To Better See the Moon

There is a wonderful tale of a farmer who lived on a homestead that had been in his family for many generations. It was a beautiful place, the fields green and verdant, an orchard of trees that yielded the sweetest of fruit. But their greatest source of pride was a massive oak. It was a magnificent specimen, which provided cooling shade in the summer and was, according to family lore, at least a hundred years old. One day, as a particularly brutal thunderstorm passed through their land, a bolt of lightning struck the tree, splitting it in two. The family stood in disbelief, mourning the beautiful symbol of the legacy they shared. The decision was made to cut it down, carefully splitting and

The Beauty of a Good Day

Anything new and life-altering… a job, a home, a marriage… presents challenges, along with something we refer to as a “learning curve.” Managing a chronic disease is no different. So just as week one of fighting the beast has brought me some lessons, so has week two. Chemo came delivered from a single barrel shotgun instead of the double I got last week. I am learning that taxol, combined with carboplatin is pretty powerful stuff, a duo dose of poison that packs a whammy. But this week, on taxol only, along with a secret cocktail to eliminate dehydration and boost my low blood pressure, was a piece of cake by comparison. Yay! Will it always be that way? Beats me. I am still trying to figure

The Poison is the Cure

I have to admit that I was unprepared for chemo. I had no idea what to expect especially having been forewarned that everybody responds to it differently. I figured that rather than filling my mind with preconceived notions, it was best to wait and see what would happen with me. The whole process is rather daunting. They hang a bag emblazoned with a skull and crossbones on the IV rack as they prepare to pump the toxic chemicals into your body. And as you sit, tethered to the machine, you try to keep your mind occupied. I was lucky. I had a friend tag along on my first infusion. We chatted nonstop and the time went rather quickly. I have packed a bag with books and magazines and music for th

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