Wednesday, May 29, 2019


“In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.
How do you measure a year in a life?”

I made it another year with metastatic lung cancer.

The past 365 days have encompassed....

A Phase II clinical trial
Brain surgery
Brain radiation
Brain swelling
Months of steroids
An Expanded Access clinical trial
A Phase I/II clinical trial
Bone radiation
Countless MRIs, bones scans, PET scans, EKGs, echocardiograms, and blood tests.

It was a tough year.

The past 365 days have also encompassed...

A road trip to Minnesota
Celebrating my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary
Seeing my eldest enter his final year of elementary school
A family visit to the Holiday House
A dreamy family vacation to California
My 13th wedding anniversary
Girl Scout camp with my daughters
A fancy trip to New York
Countless family dinners, holidays, scraped knees, homework sheets, movies, and school pick ups.

Strolling through my notes from the past year left me marveling at the juxtaposition of the monumental with the mundane. Surgery appointments and swimming lessons, PET scans and play dates, bone rads and birthday parties.

Raising young kiddos while living with metastatic cancer - while incredibly difficult - is also what keeps me grounded in regular life when it feels like everything is spiraling out of control. Regardless of how I’m feeling physically or my fear-addled mental state, they still need dinner, and rides to activities, and baths, and snuggles, and help sounding out words, and have questions about how everything works, and need help finding their lost shoe, and and and.

So kiddos, when you are reading this one day, know how much your regular day-to-day stuff meant to me, and how it kept me sane (while sometimes driving me crazy). You made the ordinary extraordinary, and kept me going when it all felt like too much.

“The longer I can put up with this, the longer I get to stay with Jason and the kids.”

“This is the life I’m trying so hard to stick around for.”

Friday, May 17, 2019

Out, Damned Spot!

Clearly this cancer likes to keep me on my toes.

You may recall that I finally got some good news on my April brain scan, the first good news in a year or more. My May scan focused on my heart and bones. The heart looks just fine (yay!) but a spot appeared in my left shoulder blade.

Just when you think you can breathe easy for a bit.

It is a spot that was seen back in 2013, but that we thought was dead for all these years. I guess it wasn’t, or it is some sort of zombie cancer that is rearing its ugly head.

And I thought the pains in my shoulder were a pulled muscle from all my travel and camping fun!

The good news is that I can stay in the trial, and we are treating this spot like a single mutant clone and zapping it with targeted radiation. And I can do the radiation here in Michigan. All good things.

So on Monday I start three every-other-days of radiation. Not my first rodeo, as the nurse said, though my first time where I have to be aware of possible skin damage.

I’m going to assume the rads will take care of this Damned Spot, and that my newest magic drug will keep shrinking the cancer in my brain. May as well believe that until I hear otherwise.