The Scan

Every three months, my calendar becomes filled with medical appointments. When you have cancer, they monitor you on a regular basis. It is both daunting and comforting. Yes, that sounds like a contradiction, but so is my life on most days. The procedures are carefully assigned a label. I understand. Whether we realize it or not, we all have emotional responses to words, the connotative meanings which come from our individual perceptions. A visit to the resident vampire’s chair for a draw, for example, was once universally called a “blood test,” but that implied a “right” answer, which induced performance anxiety. I’m a teacher. I know these things. So now, they call it “blood work.” Not sur

Listen to Your Body

“Listen to your body,” the doctor said, when I asked about going to the gym or returning to work. And I thought I had. My energy was better and I felt pretty good. But like a kid who hears the dismissal bell for recess, I ran as fast as I could back into the mainstream of life, opening my arms wide to embrace living once again. Normal somehow felt pretty darned special because, let’s face it, we tend to long for that which we have lost, and rejoice when it is returned to us. I was in a party frame of mind. When life or death no longer hangs in the balance, you can relax a bit. Things like growing hair and squeezing into your jeans start to matter. Because public places don’t feel quite as da

The Song in my Heart

There have been volumes written about the power of music, and so, as I sit to write this post, I wonder if I will be able to limit my thoughts to a few hundred words. Without question, music is among the most evocative experiences on this earthly plane, conjuring up memories or providing a temporary escape. It helps us to study and grow and laugh and love. In fact, because our human brains are wired to respond to the rhythms and melodies, it uniquely bonds us. Through music, we cross cultural and racial lines as we speak a universal language in notes, forming a powerful human connection, an undeniable commonality. Most of us can think of at least one tune that expresses the condition of our

Like Cinderella

I wonder if this is what Cinderella felt like? Perhaps. For although I am wearing no glass slippers or looking for Prince Charming, I do have my very own fairy godmother, a dear and generous friend who made sure that I was able to attend the ball. Tonight is the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance Gala, a swanky affair to raise money and awareness for the cause. Year before last, such an event wasn’t even on my radar; last year, I was in the chemo chair; this year is different. Very different. And I am as excited as a teenager, prepping for the prom. I chose my gown with the same care I might have used when shopping for a wedding dress. The occasion is special, one which I have anticipated for

Want to see my Driver's License?

I have a really good driver’s license photo. I am not bragging. Trust me: I was totally surprised when it came in the mail, especially given the circumstances under which it was taken. You see, when I was diagnosed a year and a half ago, I did the mental math and figured that right about the time I would need to renew it, I would be bald, nauseated, bloated, and two months into my chemotherapy treatments. It wasn’t exactly the image I wanted to carry around for the next six years, nor one that I wanted to remember if I lived to tell the tale. And so, I scrambled to make the ninety-day cut prior to the expiration date, applied a bit of makeup to the dark circles under my eyes and set out to f

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