This is a listing of posts with a short description for each, in chronological order starting with the earliest. Click on the link to navigate to each post.
My reasons for starting this blog.
Exercise, Eat Right and Get Cancer Anyway
I was doing everything “right” but even that didn’t protect me. With cancer, there are no guarantees.
So, I’m Still Alive. Now What?
When you have cancer, it consumes your attention. At some point, however, it’s time to move on.
What’s All This Then?
Explanation of my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
What Is Up With My Hair?
A light-hearted look at hair through my cancer journey.
WHY Did I Just Do That?
An odd dream and how it reflects my current reality.
Cancer As Divine Justice?
A provocative (and tongue-in-cheek) explanation for my cancer. Searching for a reason when there isn’t one.
Lifting My Spirits
The importance of exercise and coming full circle in my fitness.
When Deep Breaths Don’t Calm
A different and more effective approach to mindful breathing in times of extreme stress, for instance, before cancer surgery. Just sayin’.
Gratitude For Community
My thankfulness for the health practitioners who supported me through cancer treatment.
A Year With Tamoxifen
Not everyone has a horrible experience with tamoxifen! *raises hand*
The Problem With Pink
Pink ribbons have been effective for raising breast cancer awareness, but for a patient, all that pink can become a bit too much.
This Is Your Arm on Drugs, Part 1
A photo journey of my right biceps through chemotherapy.
This Is Your Arm on Drugs, Part 2
A description of the hits my strength and endurance took through cancer treatment.
Peace In Puzzle Pieces
The emotional comfort of putting together jigsaw puzzles, and photos of the ones I completed.
Memories of Blood, Sweat and Tears
My introduction to K-Pop through the haze of chemo.
I Didn’t Expect THAT: Chemo Port
Part of chemo treatment is getting a port implanted under your skin(!).
I Didn’t Expect THAT: Radiation Tattoos
Wait, I have to get tattooed for radiation treatment?
I Didn’t Expect THAT: Breast Changes
In my case, even after surgery, there was little indication that I’d had a tumor.
I Didn’t Expect THAT: No Body Odor
One of the surprising upsides of cancer treatment! I don’t stink!
I Didn’t Expect THAT: So.Many.Pills
For someone unaccustomed to taking medications, cancer treatment was a shock.
Addendum to So.Many.Pills
The fears of medication side effects.
I Didn’t Expect THAT: Surgical Glue
BEST INVENTION EVER!
As unlikely as it sounds, there are parts of chemo that I miss.
Survivor’s Guilt and “Noel”
Surviving cancer is both a relief and a guilt-ridden burden.
Cancer Patient vs. Cancer Survivor
Passing from the “knowns” of being a patient to the “unknowns” of survivorship.
Treating the Whole Patient
The emotional aspects of cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship must be addressed.
Invisible Effects: Chemo Brain
Frustrating cognitive effects of cancer and its treatment.
Invisible Effects: Helplessness
Drilling down into the emotional fallout from cancer’s cognitive effects.
Invisible Effects: Anxiety
Breast cancer and treatment have heightened my reaction to anxiety.
Addendum to Anxiety
Weight loss from anxiety-provoked nausea.
Invisible Effects: Bring On The Waterworks
I’m not crying, you’re crying. Okay, I’m crying and I don’t know why.
Invisible Effects: Body Image, Part 1
But I need breasts to feel like a woman!
Invisible Effects: Body Image, Part 2
Fear of weight gain from cancer treatment.
Invisible Effects: Body Image, Part 3
The difference between what I feared would happen to my body and what actually did.
Invisible Effects: Cancer Ain’t Cheap
Survive cancer but lose your house.
Invisible Effects: Libido, Where Art Thou?
Survive cancer but lose that lovin’ feelin’.
About That Boob Job…
Contrary to popular belief, breast cancer doesn’t necessarily mean a new rack.
Thoughts on Random Twinges
Random weird feelings in the body have me on high alert.
When Is A Haircut More Than A Haircut?
Regrowing hair and establishing a new self-identity.
The Long And Short Of It: Hair Through Chemo and Beyond, Part 1
A photo journey of my scalp through 2017.
The Long And Short Of It: Hair Through Chemo and Beyond, Part 2
The hairy photo journey continues through 2018.
Are We Stigmatizing Cancer Patients?
Recommendations for healthy living send a message that cancer is preventable through lifestyle changes, but it’s more complex than that.
In Honor of Thich Nhat Hanh
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is approaching the end of his life. His Plum Village Tradition of Buddhism has played an important role in my life.
Waiting To Say Goodbye
A friend and fellow cancer patient has entered hospice. I am in shock.
My friend was in hospice care for two days before passing away. I wasn’t ready for this.
A Final Word On Risk Factors
One last vent about getting breast cancer in the absence of risk factors – and then I’m done.
The anxiety associated with getting diagnostic scans. It a fact of life for a cancer survivor.
“Random Acts of Kindness” Day
February 17 is a good day to perform an act of kindness…and then continue every day from then on.