The other shoe: the waste of worry

The other shoe: the waste of worry

I was talking to my hubby Mike today when the topic of “waiting for the other shoe to drop” came up. I looked up the phrase and learned it originated in the early 1900s about hearing someone drop a shoe at the door and waiting to hear the other shoe drop. Simple as that. Somehow we have turned it into “waiting for something bad to happen.” I realize how much of my life has been wasted waiting for the other shoe to drop. “Things are going well now, but I’m waiting for something bad to happen to ruin it.” I never trusted my life could stay great and I couldn’t appreciate it when it did because I was waiting for it to be taken away from me. I think a lot of people, unfortunately live that way. We can’t enjoy the...

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Keeping it real: You don’t always have to be strong

Keeping it real: You don’t always have to be strong

We’ve all been there. You’re in a social setting and someone asks you how you’re doing. “I’m fine; how are you?,” you automatically reply. You might chat a bit about your kids, work or the weather … maybe a vacation that’s approaching. Then you move on to the next person. I was at our spiritual center on Sunday after the service. Everyone was downstairs having coffee and snacks, chatting away. And I was  feeling lost. lonely and agitated, even after the very positive message our minister gave. I found my mind wandering during the whole service. Fear about my scans, anger about having to deal with cancer all the time, and worse of all, a feeling of helplessness. I looked in the mirror in the bathroom and thought I...

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Scan time once again

Scan time once again

I’ve been spending time trying to spread awareness about metastatic breast cancer this month. I feel like I’m boring and annoying people with it. But I still realize there is work to be done.  Some people do  not realize that I (and most everyone with stage IV cancer of any type) go through the ritual of regular scans. Yes, every three or four months, I lie in a scanner, trying not to itch or think about when my treatment stops working and  if this is the end of the line. I”ve lost count of how many scans I’ve received in almost seven years, but I think I deserve a Frequent PET Scan card. Perhaps they could give out free cups or coffee or a nice breakfast after all that fasting. A free movie while you’re waiting for the toxic,...

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Life, death and love: seeking light in the darkness

Life, death and love: seeking light in the darkness

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and staff- they comfort me.  – Psalm 23:4 I read this today in my Daily Word. The affirmation was “The peace of God comforts me.” I was crying out for comfort on Facebook the other day, saying I wish I had a Jewish mother to feed me matzoh ball soup. Seems like God is speaking out to me, letting me know She’s my Jewish mother. I’ve talked before about the deaths of friends to cancer. The past few weeks have been especially brutal. I learned that Peter Devereaux, a shining example of courage, kindness and love passed away. His story is one that I share in my upcoming book, Miracle Survivors. Sadly he will not get to see it published or his...

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Living with the uncertainty of cancer

Living with the uncertainty of cancer

One of the most surreal experiences of living with advanced cancer is that you go about living your life, knowing it all can explode – like the missiles in Israel – at any time. I see it happening all the time with friends on social media who announce scan results — “Not what I wanted to hear … the cancer has spread.” Probably most people wouldn’t even know what they’re going through if they see them. Many of us, like me, keep their hair and are not gaunt or pale. I remember my late friend Evan Mattingly saying, “Cancer must be making me better looking because people are always telling me how good I look!”  This has been my experience. I just compliment them back. I am so grateful that I am feeling...

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“That’s the thing about pain …”

“That’s the thing about pain …”

I sped through the book, The Fault in the Stars. and so did my daughter. Then we went to see the movie. I didn’t cry during the book; I just felt sad.  Add in some great acting, sentimental music and all the other trappings of a great movie, and I was a sobbing mess. I told myself they were cleansing tears, but they weren’t the kind that made me feel better. It reminded me about the mortality facing me as I look at my 15-year-old daughter: that powerlessness that perhaps I won’t be around to see her grow into a woman. Thank God for distractions like a nice walk with my husband and an evening of Netflix to put me back into my one-day-at-a-time state. A beautiful quote from the movie is when dreamboat Augustus Waters says, “That’s the...

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