Monday, November 18, 2013


I returned to my cooking class for survivors the other day nervously because I still had a cough 2 weeks after becoming ill. It is one thing to expose a newborn (and her parents) and an almost 90 year woman to this crud, it is even worse to expose immuno-compromised individuals on chemo. Checking various sources, the contagious period lasts as long as 5 days after the first symptoms appear so everyone should be OK. Plus I was not spewing anything.

Immediately Hope plopped down next to me. She is a Stage 4 breast cancer survivor who now has 8 month old twin girls. The last time I saw her, a few months before the birth (she used a surrogate), she had long flowing hair and looked fairly healthy. The other day, she was bald and yellowish and tired. The cancer has been in her bones, liver and brain. She refuses to listen to guesses on how much time she has left though her husband knows. For now, her new chemo seems to be working and she is very optimistic and cheerful. If all it took was a good attitude, she'd be cured. She is about Shanna's age and lives just a few miles from her.

I think of how tired strong healthy Josh and Julie are taking care of one baby and am amazed that Hope can take care of 2 while doing chemo. Her husband is often gone but her still working out-of-state relatives come in to help when he leaves. She is an amazing person. She proudly showed me photos of her peanuts, though she occasionally posts on Facebook. They look very much alike though they are from different eggs. One  is significantly bigger and more advanced than the other.

Another young mom was there. She was not a patient but her toddler son has been battling leukemia since he was 9 months old. He still needs a year of treatment. He has the kind that has a 90% survivor rate but still, how unfair for a little one to go through so much.

What people go through.

The storms came through last night wreaking havoc though our power was only gone for a minute. There was only a 75 minute window in which it was not raining so out I went for a bike ride. Just as I was putting the bike back into the garage, the deluge started.

Back to making photobooks as my living social deals are about to expire. I get these things thinking I have all the time in the world and then find myself frantically putting things together.

And tonight, I deal with this mess my hair has become.


Anonymous said...

So unfair and awful about cancer in anyone but especially babies, toddlers and children. What causes cancer in such a young population? I know my adult children weary of my emails alerting them of possible cancer causing agents.
I had that cold and cough in July-- the cough took its time leaving.
Next week I have a hair appointment with someone new for a cut. My hair has been a problem since it grew back after chemo.

Anonymous said...

You are such a strong lady Sue. I enjoy your writting so much!

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Thanks Terri


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