April 30, 2009

Jill is still in the hospital

So we thought Jill might be released today, but the doctors felt there was still too much tenderness in her stomach to release her. Maybe tomorrow. She had a good if exhausting day because she had to change rooms to make way for the oncoming Swine Flu patients that are now appearing in Seattle. They closed two more schools today in the Seattle School district for a total of three now.

She is definitely up for visitors between 10AM and 4PM but she would kindly ask that you call first to check 778-8122. She had a decent evening but felt nauseous and threw up again, then felt better. Her diarrhea also is continuing. She is eating, but not very much and she is still taking IV fluids and a new med that her Infectious Disease doc recommended.

She is also a little bored (a good sign), maybe we will play Scrabble tomorrow night if she is still there.

Rik for Jill

April 29, 2009

Jill may be home Thursday!!

Jill is doing extremely well today as she continues reacting well to the therapy of antibiotics and antiviral drugs. She is now on a bigger selection of liquid diet, so she can eat a little more. She also is going to the bathroom some what more.

Today as she was getting out of bed to go to the bathroom she got all tangled up in the wires and cords and almost fell but only her just ordered lunch went flying to the floor in a zillion pieces! Well she had a good laugh and another shower of liquid food etc. She immediately had four helping people in her room helping her up and cleaning up her and the mess. So after they all cleaned up she ordered the same lunch again of yogurt and cream of wheat cereal, and the kitchen staff said I just sent that up an hour ago! So she explained the whole thing to them and laughed again. When the cream of wheat came up this time she lifted the cover and there it was with a little butter and salt and pepper under the covering. Just the way her dad used to make it for her when she was a little girl! So then she had a good cry and thought of her dad. Also very healthy and healing!

She is doing better each day and maybe tomorrow she might be allowed to come home where her three boys (two dogs and one husband) miss her dearly. Thank you for all the continued good wishes, prayers, thoughts and calls, and please understand if I do not answer everyone.

Rik for Jill

April 28, 2009

Good news--no surgery!!

It turns out no need for surgery (YEAH!!), as the doctors feel it is a really bad infection which should clear up with antibiotics and anti-viral meds. She has some color back and was hungry this morning. She is now clear for a liquid diet, jello, juice and soup. Thanks to all for the letters, calls, great positive thoughts and prayers. Unsure at this time how long she may be in the hospital still.

Rik for Jill

April 27, 2009

Jill is in the hospital

This is Jill's husband Rik, just wanting to let you know that Jill is in the hospital with a double pneumonia and an intestinal obstruction which will probably need to be removed by surgery tomorrow (?). She would really love to post but realistically she has no appetite and no energy and so has not been able to do so lately. I am thankful for all your good wishes and prayers for Jill at this time.

Rik
Jill's husband

April 24, 2009

Chemo #4 today

I haven't posted lately because I have spent most of the past few days lying on the sofa or the bed, moaning about my aching tummy. I though I could handle nausea and diarrhea, and the nausea seems to be tolerable with meds. But the diarrhea... Ugh. Even the OTC meds don't help with the belly gas and contractions. Not sure how I will continue for the next three weeks knowing this is how it will be.

But I got smart and decided I didn't feel safe driving myself anymore. Can you picture me doubled over with a belly cramp while on the highway? I don't think so! So friends are driving me to chemo each of these last three sessions.

Yesterday I was supposed to keep an appointment to be fitted for the outfit I'll wear in next week's GIlda's Club fashion show and fundraiser. At the last minute I decided I couldn't drive, so my dear friend G who had planned to meet me downtown picked me up. Karen Dannenberg of her eponymous shop treated up both with sympathy, worked quickly to find just the perfect outfit. The top is sleeveless green silk with a HUGE ruched and ruffled collar - stunning. She's matched black silk crepe pants that fit perfectly and a gorgeous necklace that I think costs more than the top and ants combined. I am sure it will be beautiful on me -- provided I feel well enough to go.

April 21, 2009

Quick post-chemo #3 update

This time I feel worse than after the past two. I can only imagine that will continue with each of the remaining three infusions in this cycle. I went to bed last night with a queasy tummy (took some zofran) -- that's the second time since Friday. Woke up with diarrhea and have no appetite or energy, so I think I will stay home and take it easy today. And this is "chemo-lite"...

Someone once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, I know in advance what the results will be but am still going back for more chemo. Maybe the definition of bravery is doing the same thing over and over even though you can predict the outcome.

April 19, 2009

Sunday post-chemo #3

I had a mostly good weekend until Saturday night. Friday was fine, came home and took my seems-to-be-usual two hour nap, then to friends for Shabbat dinner where I actually ate. On Saturday I went to shul as usual, felt fine and socialized for quite a while at kiddush after services. Took another long nap and then we joined G and her family for her 50th birthday dinner at Gaudi where again I had an appetite and enjoyed eating tapas and vegetarian paella.

But late Saturday night I began to feel a touch nauseated, so took some zofran before bed. Then I had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. I had one hot flash at 3 AM that kept me up until almost 4, when I finally gave in and took some ativan to help me sleep.

I slept until 10 this morning, could hardly get out of bed. After a cup of ginger tea and four crackers (quickly becoming my queasy-tummy breakfast of choice), I lay down for another nap and slept until 2 PM. Have been puttering on the computer ever since, ate a bagel with some ginger ale, and generally just don't feel well.

So I am doing my best to listen to my body, do what it tells me (eat light, sleep more) and hope that this too will pass.

April 17, 2009

Third chemo dose today

Everything went well at my third dose of 5-FU, although I was a bit bored. One friend came for a visit, and I chatted with the other woman receiving treatment, but four hours in the chemo chair is a LONG time. Came home and after a massive two hour nap I am feeling pretty well.

Thursday's diarrhea responded so well to the Imodium that I then got all plugged up!

It also seems I have had little appetite lately. Food still tastes good and my sense of smell is as acute as always. I'm just not interested in food. (Very unlike me.)

Last night to celebrate the end of Passover we went out for pizza and beer and I had two bites of Rik's salad, a cup of tomato soup and one slice of pizza (plus the crust of a second slice). I think I was worried about revving up the diarrhea. For breakfast today I had four crackers spread with cream cheese. I just wasn't hungry. And I am ALWAYS hungry for breakfast.

This must be why so many cancer patients on chemo lose weight. They lose interest in food, or the side effects prevent them from eating. I guess smaller, more frequent meals should be the rule for the future.

April 16, 2009

Another side effect

WARNING: If this is TMI (too much information) for you, then you aren't prepared to help me dance with cancer. I aim to tell it like it is on this blog, and reporting on side effects will probably be more frequent now that I am on chemo.

When I started the 5 FU I was told to expect the following side effects: mouth sores, nausea and diarrhea. (The frequent burping I've experienced seems to be my body's way of expressing nausea.) Well, evidently I have begun to develop some diarrhea issues. Or it would be diarrhea if it wasn't still Pesach and I wasn't still eating matza.

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse says:
Until diarrhea subsides, try to avoid caffeine, milk products, and foods that are greasy, high in fiber, or very sweet. These foods tend to aggravate diarrhea.

As you improve, you can add soft, bland foods to your diet, including bananas, plain rice, boiled potatoes, toast, crackers, cooked carrots, and baked chicken without the skin or fat.

WebMD says:
If you have a mild case of diarrhea, you can just let it run its course, or you can treat it with an over-the-counter medicine. Common brand names include Pepto-Bismol, Imodium A-D, and Kaopectate, which are available as liquids or tablets. Follow the instructions on the package.

In addition, you should drink at least six 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day. Choose fruit juice without pulp, broth, or soda (without caffeine). Chicken broth (without the fat), tea with honey, and sports drinks are also good choices. Instead of drinking liquids with your meals, drink liquids between meals. Drink small amounts of fluids frequently.

So I will continue to drink two quarts of water daily. Drink tea instead of my morning mocha. Pull the Imodium off the shelf. And I think I will start the BRAT (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast) diet tomorrow. Yum.

April 14, 2009

Unveiling the stone

On March 29 we unveiled the stone marking my father's grave. This ancient Jewish custom marks a transition point during the year of mourning for a parent.

My family chose this date for purely practical reasons: Rik was on spring break, so we could travel; my sister's family is going away later in the spring; and if we waited until June it would be too close to the anniversary of Dad's death. So we chose April.

On the east coast, April means spring. (Usually that's true in Seattle as well, but it's been remarkably cold and so still feels like winter here.) Daffodils are blooming. Trees are beginning to leaf out after a winter's rest. It was somehow both appropriate and incongruous to gather at the cemetery on a wet spring morning.

My rabbi had loaned copies of a pamphlet outlining the basics of an unveiling service. We read some psalms, I chanted El Maleh Rachamim (God full of compassion), we recited the mourners' kaddish. Then we removed the cloth, literally "unveiling" the grave stone.

As we each picked up a stone to place on his grave, I asked everyone to take a moment to say a few words about Dad. I'm so glad my mother took this opportunity to unburden herself of a bit of her grief. She told my dad that he'd be proud that she had picked up the pieces of her life and was taking care of things the way he'd want her to. Mom had had a rough few weeks, with their wedding anniversary in mid-March and the unveiling in early April.

I had brought two small stones from Seattle for Rik and I to place on Dad's grave. One was from the Pacific coast beach where we've spent the past few summers. And one was from our own yard. That way a bit of Seattle stays in New Jersey with Dad.

Although I didn't take a photo of the stone, it gives his names: in English, COHEN Sheldon C and in Hebrew, Shimon Shir ben Zalman HaKohen. The stone is bordered by sheaves of wheat.

In the center is a carving of birkat hakohanim, the priestly blessing. Being a Cohen was very important to my dad, and he taught me how to hold my fingers for the priestly blessing when I was very young.

And when we were finished at the cemetery, we went back to my sister's house to participate in the life-affirming Jewish ritual of eating. There were even a few onion cookies, with which we toasted Dad z"l, zichrono livracha, may his name be a blessing.

April 13, 2009

The REAL Origin of the Orange on the Seder Plate

Susannah Heschel wrote this in April 2001. She is the Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College.

In the early 1980s, the Hillel Foundation invited me to speak on a panel at Oberlin College. While on campus, I came across a Haggada that had been written by some Oberlin students to express feminist concerns. One ritual they devised was placing a crust of bread on the Seder plate, as a sign of solidarity with Jewish lesbians ("there's as much room for a lesbian in Judaism as there is for a crust of bread on the Seder plate").

At the next Passover, I placed an orange on our family's Seder plate. During the first part of the Seder, I asked everyone to take a segment of the orange, make the blessing over fruit, and eat it as a gesture of solidarity with Jewish lesbians and gay men, and others who are marginalized within the Jewish community (I mentioned widows in particular).

Bread on the Seder plate brings an end to Pesach - it renders everything chometz. And its symbolism suggests that being lesbian is being transgressive, violating Judaism. I felt that an orange was suggestive of something else: the fruitfulness for all Jews when lesbians and gay men are contributing and active members of Jewish life. In addition, each orange segment had a few seeds that had to be spit out - a gesture of spitting out, repudiating the homophobia that poisons too many Jews.

When lecturing, I often mentioned my custom as one of many new feminist rituals that had been developed in the last twenty years. Somehow, though, the typical patriarchal maneuver occurred: My idea of an orange and my intention of affirming lesbians and gay men were transformed. Now the story circulates that a MAN stood up after I lecture I delivered and said to me, in anger, that a woman belongs on the bimah as much as an orange on the Seder plate. My idea, a woman's words, are attributed to a man, and the affirmation of lesbians and gay men is simply erased. Isn't that precisely what's happened over the centuries to women's ideas?

Our Passover seder


We had a fantastic Passover seder last Thursday night. (At least Rik and I thought it was fantastic. We'll have to ask our guests for their feedback.)

We started with music. H brought his accordion and B a guitar. While waiting for the last couple to arrive, I gave R an impromptu waltz lesson.

Once we had all settled down at the table, there was much hoopla during the first part of the seder. We told jokes, sang parody songs, leaned on each other to drink. For karpas we added potatoes, carrots and guacamole and lemon juice to the standard parsley and salt water. I find this staves off growling stomachs so that we can go into greater depth in the haggadah (or at least sing more songs). B told the real story of the orange on the seder plate, as written by Susannah Heschel.

When we got to the ten plagues H took out the ginormous plastic grasshopper (the grossest plastic insect EVER) and I threw plastic and stuffed frogs everywhere. They landed in the water pitcher, in the charoses... The dogs got hold of a few and chewed them up.

Our menu, in case you were wondering:
Romaine lettuce and parsley
Carrots and guacamole
Boiled potatoes
Salt water and lemon juice
Yemenite and Ashkenazi charoses (dried fruit and cardamom AND apples and walnuts)
Freshly grated horseradish and the bottled stuff with beets
Wine and grape juice (including B's homemade dry rose)
Homemade gefilte fish, baked eggs, chopped liver
Green salad
Matza balls and vegetable soup (with vegan matza balls for the vegan)
BBQ turkey
Potatoes and celeriac
Roasted asparagus

And of course, dessert --
Chocolate almond mini cupcakes
Saffron almond brittle
Fresh pineapple
Chocolate covered dried fruit

H hid the afikomen under a piece of framed art hanging on a wall and A redeemed it for a bar of Pesadik chocolate (what else?). We concluded the seder with a Ladino grace after meals, counted the Omer, and sang even more songs, ending with Hatikvah, Israel's national anthem.

All in all, a most satisfying seder experience.

Monday after chemo #2

I feel amazingly well after the second dose except for an unfortunate tendency to burp frequently. Since I hardly ever burp, I noticed this right away and am attributing it to a chemo side effect.

I had a wonderful visit with G and R and we played Scrabble. That was a great way to pass a couple of hours. Then I came home and took a long nap. Sitting in the chemo chair is tiring!

On Saturday I rested up, took a nap right after breakfast, and slept until lunch. Then it was off to prep for the Dunava concert, which was terrific! My personal fan club was there (you know who you are, and thank you for coming!). The room would have been SRO, they had to bring in more chairs to accommodate the overflow crowd. I overheard one person say that they have been to all the performances in this setting and we are by far the best. Someone else said they've heard us here for several years and we get better and better. That's lovely feedback. Our guests this year were Ruze Dalmatinke playing the Croatian tamburitsa music I love. They were terrific! I danced several dances and we sang one number with them.

After everything ended,we had an impromptu gathering at our house. (I had forgotten to tell Rik I invited people over and the dinner dishes were still in the sink.) We got to talk over the performance, they ate up our Passover desserts and finished the last of the wine. Some of the Radost family came as well, so it was like old home week.

On Sunday I visited with a sick friend and watched a movie (Rodgers' and Hammerstein's "Carousel"), went to the grocery store, and crashed for another afternoon nap. Then I made Passover "not-mac-and-cheese" and a green salad for dinner. Pretty yummy, but it would be hard not to be with all that cheddar in it.

Really this chemo (5FU with leucovorin) has been remarkably tolerable. Now if it is effective as well I will be very happy.

April 10, 2009

"The Sound of Music" in Antwerp Station

Everyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE musical theatre. I saw this yesterday and had to share it with all of you. I was laughing and crying with joy!

Click here to see a video of "The Sound of Music" in Antwerp Station.

Back to chemo

Today is my second infusion of 5 FU. Although, in the spirit of Pesach, I feel enslaved by cancer, I am actually looking forward to sitting still for the first time in a couple of days. I've done a fair amount of cleaning and cooking lately!

More news after I return. And take a nap.

Dunava spring concert


Here's a last reminder about Dunava's spring concert, and a prayer that I'll be healthy enough to sing tomorrow night!

Saturday, April 11
Full Moon Concert Series
Shoreline Universalist Unitarian Church
14724 1st Ave NE, Shoreline, WA 98155
7:30 p.m.

Special Guest: Croatian dance music by Ruze Dalmatinke!

Tickets: $15 at the door

Liberation and cancer

At Pesach, the season when we remember our liberation from slavery to freedom, I still feel enslaved to cancer. My friend Josh expressed it so eloquently in his blog post:
Beginning Round 2 at this Sacred Moment

I quietly began my second cycle of Sutent yesterday when at 10:30 am I swallowed a small brown capsule. I thought how this little act is so full of symbolism of this season of Passover. Tomorrow night we’ll break off a small piece of matzah and take a bite, remembering our heritage, our slavery in the land of Egypt, and our freedom today.

For me I’ve become a slave to my cancer. For the next month I’ll take this pill and deprive myself of good health in order to kill the bad cells. And we were once slaves in Egypt. So too we deprive ourselves of chametz or leavened bread for the next week to remember the miracles G-d did for us then.

Even though I know a harsh battle awaits me, I feel blessed by a miracle. These past couple weeks have been good. I’ve seen the lesions on my scalp improve. Besides the visual clues of smaller scabs, it used to be that I’d wake up in the mornings with a pillow dotted with blood. It’s good to see the case rather clean these days. The tumor on my back, which we radiated, heals as well. Those tumors we can see at the subcutaneous level feel smaller in size and still look bruised and damaged. I believe it is cancerous cells dying instead of multiplying. Yes, I’m hopeful that this is the right medicine for me at the right time. And this miracle is not lost on me.

But we as humans do need reminding of the miracles of life. The Lord did great things for me. That I see today with a reprieve from my ailments, which I will not forget. So too did He do great things for the nation of Israel. That is something we recall each Pesach. For we are frail, forgetful creatures. We need to be reminded. This holiday reminds us that we all can say we are slaves to something and each of us can find ways to declare ourselves free.

In brushing up on this holiday, I reread the story of Passover as I try to do this time each year. Following the burning bush, G-d convinced Moses of his convictions and his ultimate power by having Moses put his hand to his bosom. Out came a diseased hand. G-d told Moses to put it back and his hand was healed. Two weeks ago my hand was covered in blisters; now it is free of blemishes.

When I sit at the Seder table tomorrow night I will share with my kids the story of Passover. I will tell them how G-d did great things for each of us. We will discuss what it means to be slaves versus having our freedom. I will even speak of my battle with cancer. And I will say how each day is a miracle.

No my battle is far from over and it’d be with haste if I declared any success in my fight. Tests and time will tell. And no I am not one to go overboard and preach new found revelations of health and hope to all of you. I will still wrestle with my own beliefs, which puts me in no position to tell you what to believe. That’s never been my style. I think each should come to their own theological conclusions.

Do I keep this same belief in G-d when the chips are down too? Will I feel so strongly when the cruel cards of illness appear and nothing makes sense in the abject suffering of my loved ones? I think so but I do allow myself room to investigate my thoughts. Yet at this point, over years of hardships, I must say my belief in good times as well as bad remains steadfast.

And so yes, even if my health deteriorated over this season, I still must say miracles abound. I see it each day in my kids and their rapid growth and knowledge; in my wife and her undying love; and in my family and friends and their strength and commitment. That I am alive to witness all of this, is a blessing in and of itself.

Lessons from the Seder table should be remembered throughout the year. We are taught to question, to look for meaning, and make our own symbols. We remember the bitter, hard work of our ancestors and know we were once strangers in a strange land. So we must welcome the stranger. We spill wine from our cups of joy to remember that G-d’s creatures suffered by His hands. (Even as I feel hope, I know other cancer patients suffer without any.) And finally, we pronounce our work not done – not until Elijah returns and we spend next year in Jerusalem. Thus we must remember to keep working for a better world.

April 09, 2009

Click to give free mammograms

This is the only "pink ribbon" thing I do -- it's fast and easy. I click every morning when I first sit down at my computer.
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With a simple, daily click of the pink "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button at The Breast Cancer Site, visitors help to provide free mammograms for women in need. Visitors pay nothing. Mammograms are provided by our charitable partners.

Please remember to click every day to fund free mammograms and give hope to women in need. Every click counts toward the goal of early detection, which allows for the best possible treatment options.

After the first seder

We went to a lovely vegetarian seder last night hosted by good friends. They had room at their table for more people, so in the spirit of the haggadah, asked "all who were hungry to come and eat." In practice, that meant three people from our synagogue who otherwise wouldn't have a place to go were able to attend seder.

My cousin tells a story about how when she was a child, she asked her mother who was coming to seder that year. Her mother replied, "I invited the strays." My cousin said, thinking they were a family she hadn't met, "The Strays? Do I know them?"

I'm looking forward to hosting our seder tonight. Even though I complain about all the cleaning and cooking, I get tremendous pleasure from hosting people at our table, and Passover is my favorite holiday. I love re-telling the story of the Exodus, singing the songs, and the stimulating talk it produces. Four cups of wine doesn't hurt either!

Last night's hosts used very small wine cups so that we could all fulfill the obligation to drink all four cups of wine. For the first time I was able to do so and felt as though I had truly completed the mitzvah.

Now on to the prep for tonight's festivities!

April 08, 2009

Blessing the sun

Once every 28 years, according to the rabbis, we get to bless the sun. This is a custom that most people will experience only once or twice in their lifetime. In overcast Seattle, the sun didn't come out until almost noon. I was running some last errands before the seder and saw the sun peek through the clouds, so I quickly said the blessing praising God for the work of creation.

Here is a short article from the Washington Post about a gathering at sunrise this morning at the Lincoln Memorial. Wish I'd thought to sing "Morning has broken" or "Here comes the sun!"

Liberation

Passover is the holiday of liberation. Oh how I'd like to be liberated from cancer! But I made a deal with my cancer when it came back that I would give it room in my body as long as it was quiet and well-behaved. If it acted up, I would bring out the big guns.

So this year on Pesach, I am praying for effective chemo with liberation from side effects.

Amen!

Still feeling good - on to Pesach!

I continued to feel good on Monday and Tuesday, although last night's choir dress rehearsal was very wearing. I'm just not used to standing for several hours!

Finally finished the Passover cleaning and am ready to start the cooking. Today's plan includes making the chopped liver and gefilte fish, and baking biscotti (otherwise known as mandelbrot) and trying a new recipe for Parisian-style macaroons.


I heard about them on Sunday's broadcast of The Splendid Table on NPR and they are totally kosher for Passover -- egg whites, ground almonds, sugar. Especially when filled with parve Israeli chocolate "butter" instead of cream and butter ganache.

I'm also seeing the naturopath today to get his take on how to be healthiest on chemo.

April 06, 2009

Monday morning after chemo

I had a surprisingly good weekend. After my post-chemo nap and a lovely Shabbat dinner at the G's, I felt the tiniest bit queasy Friday night. Zofran soon took care of that. I felt good enough to go to shul on Shabbat morning, and by the time we got to kiddush I was actually hungry and in a terrific mood. I am sure the Seattle sunshine helped.... On Sunday, I went to morning minyan followed by cleaning the fridge for Pesach, choir rehearsal, more cleaning, a quick walk with the dogs and dinner out. So far, I am doing more than so good!

However, every day around 2 PM I seem to hit a wall of fatigue. In the past six-plus years I haven't usually needed to nap in the afternoon, but have given in to this impulse every day so far.

I don't know if the fatigue is due to the chemo leaving my system, the fact that I am waking up a lot in the night with hot flashes, or just because. I slept restlessly again last night and expect to hit that wall again in time for a nap this afternoon.

Meanwhile, today has more cleaning on the schedule. I do like Passover, but the preparation gets harder every year.

April 03, 2009

First chemo in 10 years

I had my first chemo today. It took 5 hours! I was unprepared to spend quite that length of time in the chemo chair. This was partly because I had no idea how long it would take, and partly because I wanted to get my monthly zometa at the same time (why get stuck twice?).

After the zometa (30 minutes), the nurse gave me an anti-nausea med called zofran (30 minutes), then leucovorin
(1 hour), then 5 FU "push" (a few minutes) then more leucovorin (another hour plus). I just took another zofran now before bed as I am feeling a bit queasy.

Dr G has recommended vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 100 mg daily. It turns out this is available over the counter, not as a prescription med, and hence not covered by insurance. I have no idea how expensive it might be. The copay for the zofran tablets was $50. But it is supposed to prevent hand/foot syndrome, and because of my lymphedema I am anxious to avoid this at all costs.

I see the naturopath on Wednesday and am sure he will have other recommendations.

Rik bought some Immodium for me in case I develop diarrhea. And Dr G also recommended ativan for nausea etc.

All the information the nurse gave me came from ChemoCare.com, a program of the Scott Hamilton CARES initiative. It seems very comprehensive and geared to the patient, not too technical. I learned a lot that I had forgotten in the ten years since my first round of chemo.

5 FU starts today

I'm a little nervous about starting the first of the chemos. I have thought of chemo as the slippery slope --once I started on it, I would just continue to roll down the hill. Really, I've been fortunate to have 6+ years on other drugs. Now, however, I am apprehensive about what starting chemo means for my future living with cancer. I wonder and worry about how I will tolerate it, about what impact it will have on my life.

Today I tie myself to the short tether to the infusion room.

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I dance with cancer. Oy!