April 27, 2007

Pumpkin has cancer too

When we rescued Pumpkin three years ago, he came with a bow in his hair -- and a lump the size of a golf ball on his left front leg. We had it removed and the vet confirmed it was a malignant sarcoma. Yes, both Pumpkin and I have cancer! However, this kind of sarcoma is not likely to spread, but it does return.

It came back almost exactly a year later; we had it removed again. Now, two years later, it's back yet once more. So yesterday Pumpkin had surgery again.

The vet says he can continue to remove the sarcoma should it recur again (as it most likely will). Some day, we will face the likelihood that there is no longer enough tissue remaining to support his leg, and then the answer will be amputation.

The vet also says dogs are born with thee legs and a spare. On Wednesday I saw a three-legged dog walking his person (literally -- the dog was leading). And when I picked Pumpkin up after yesterday's procedure, I met a dog who just had a leg amputated after being hit by a car.

Pumpkin will wear the bandage for 5-7 days. Can't get it wet, so he wears a "mediboot" when he goes outside.

April 26, 2007

She's not dead!

Just wanted to let you all know that I heard from my friend E. and she says (quoting Monty Python's Spamalot) "I'm not dead!" While she was in the hospital there was some confusion over what information got sent out to friends. Just goes to show how important it is to be clear when we communicate.

E. has the support of hospice care at home and continues to receive radiation for her tumor. I expect to visit with her late next week.

We will all die someday, and those of us with advanced cancer sooner than we expected, but I'm glad to report E. is still here.

April 23, 2007

Losing another friend?

It seems that my friend E. is dying of metastatic breast cancer. We have been close friends since we met at a Young Survival Coalition conference three years ago and traveled home together. We talked for 5+ hours on the plane without stopping!

In a way, E. has been something of a daughter (I'm ALMOST old enough to be her mother) and something of a sister. She just turned 30, is married with two very young children.

E. asked me a long time ago, "Will I live to see 30?" I told her of course she would! But now one tumor continues to grow without restraint, causes her pain, and it's probably a matter of weeks, maybe days.

Cancer sucks.

April 15, 2007

Sponsor me!

I am again raising funds for the Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure on June 16, 2007.

Click here to visit my personal page and pledge your support.

I've been a recipient of Komen funds in the past, and I believe in their mission -- to fund innovative outreach and awareness programs for medically under-served communities in Western Washington and national breast cancer research. Komen is one of the few cancer organizations that directly supports women living with cancer.

This year I am also coordinating a team. So if you want to walk with me, you can register for the event ($25 fee) and click on Join An Existing Team, then search for the Dancing With Cancer team. I'm doing the 1 mile walk -- the 5K is just a bit too much for my hips! The deadline for team registration is Friday, May 25th at 5 PM.

Whatever you can give will help. I will update this blog with my progress.

April 13, 2007

A matza recipe for you

In case you didn't eat enough matza this past week during Passover. B'tayavon!


1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 bag chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced or chopped toasted almonds

Completely cover a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil, dull side up.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place 4 whole matzot on foil. Break as needed to fit on pan.

Toast almonds in a dry skillet for 3-4 minutes or until light brown and fragrant.

Combine butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mixture will foam up the sides of the saucepan.

Pour mixture neatly over matzot. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle immediately with chocolate chips. When chips have softened, spread evenly with knife or spatula.

Scatter sliced or chopped almonds.

Chill 1 hour. Break into small pieces and store in refrigerator or freezer. Serves a big seder crowd! (This recipe halves easily to serve fewer people.)

Jill & Pumpkin 2006

Famous again

I am still riding the wave of fame generated by my People Magazine quote. Today there is a story about me in the JT News, Seattle's Jewish newspaper.

Passover has ended for another year. On Tuesday we went out to celebrate with a veritable chametz fest of pizza and beer. It only took me 3 hours to turn the kitchen back to normal and put away all the Passover pots, dishes etc. They're like good friends who come to visit once a year and turn your house upside down. You're excited to see them every year, then relieved to see them go away again.

April 02, 2007

Happy Passover!

To all those celebrating Passover, and to everyone else just because I have a good wish to share --

May we be liberated from the tyranny of cancer and it's treatments by the reality of a cure, speedily and in our time, amen.

Chag Pesach sameach vekasher.