Thursday, February 3, 2011


I realize that my last blog was probably a bit of a downer, but that is the reality of living with cancer. You have down times and up times. If I only wrote about the good times, it would negate the impact of the disease on my life. It’s not all roses. It is not easy to tell yourself every day “live in the moment, enjoy each minutes, it is what it is!” It basically sucks and you make the best of it – recognizing that some days you just have to bitch, and that is okay.

Today I began to think I am in denial. You are probably thinking, no way. Yes, I know what this disease is about and I know the outcomes. When I feel good I really believe I can live a long(er) time. When I feel bad… well you already know about that. But it hit me today that I can deal with things in this capacity; however, when someone else infers I am doomed it really upsets me. This is what happened to set me (off) thinking.

I went in for my treatment, which went pretty much okay. We were there three hours, but the time went pretty fast. We chatted with my nurse and one of the other nurses and had some interesting conversations. The evil Physician’s Assistant (EPA) appeared on the infusion floor and stopped by to say hi and wreak her usually havoc on my day. She mentioned she speaks regularly with Dr. A, the new oncologist, and gets updates on my treatment. She said she knew I was on a new drug (didn’t ask me how it was going) and then I heard her say something like “well you know, this is the THIRD treatment plan you are on and we have to be creative. We are going through the available drugs… (while she was nodding her head from left to right with her right eyebrow lifted in a “you know what that means” sneer).

This occurred as I was enjoying a cup of Starbucks coffee which I haven’t had in a while (been teetotalling due to mouth and intestinal problems which have resolved since on new drugs) and munching on a fattening piece of iced-pound cake. I immediately felt like I was going to vomit. I promptly told EPA that it was nice talking with her and brought the conversation to a close. Although I have gotten over it, her comment bothered me for several hours. When my oncologist gets back, I am going to have to tell her I don’t want to see the EPA anymore. It has always been my philosophy to remove negative influences from ones environment – this is a major one.

So, does this mean I am in denial? Somewhat (and maybe that is a good thing??). I think what it means is I am not ready for anyone to say we can’t help you anymore. And I hope the one that gives me that news has the right amount of empathy and ability to follow it up with a how to plan.

We were fortunate to be given two gifts of bulbs over the holidays in little growing pots. One I failed to take a picture of. This photo is, alas, of the remaining one. They both provided many days of brightness during this gloomy winter. This acorn basket was given to us by Judy S, who also helped us with the planters. Soon we hope to see the bulbs burst that Jeannine planted in the planters when she was here in December.

PS: TD thinks I am being a little unjust in my description of the discussion with the EPA. Note, I said this is "what I heard". She has a tendancy to make comments like she is thinking outloud, with no real thought to how they sound or how they will be taken. Obviously, I take almost everything she says the wrong way!


Anonymous said...

How great to see the little basket blooming away! Thanks for the photo - I printed it out and showed the Gallery Shops buyers just how nice it looks (giving proper credit to the caretakers I might add!)They were thrilled to see its success. I am too - a shard of the promise of spring that we all need. Much love to you both. Thanks again. Judy S

Anonymous said...

Mary Please know you are and have always been my mentor. I have always admired your positive attitude. I love you and look to your blogs for insperation - don't let me down. If anyone can fight this - it is you!!! I miss you and want you to know how much I care for you.

jeannine said...

Hi Mary, I think you're just about the EPA and read your blog with a lot of understanding.You write in a very honest and clear way. wish you love, Jeannine

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary

Just came across your blog and have read all the way back to the start. You go girl!


Mary B said...

Hi Terry. I know a few Terrys(ies?) and wondered which one you are. Can you email me at

Thanks for your comment.