But it is a little bit funny.

rock and roll chicks

rock and roll chicks
this is me with spiked hair. It's growing in. Not the greatest picture of me, good one of Cindy but this blog is not all about her!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yankees suck

This is very sad to say but the Red Sox may not make the playoffs this year. It is particularly upsetting for me, as i don't know a whole lot about sports ( like what the fuck is a penalty for "holding" "offside") but I know baseball. And I have a friend who can get free tickets. So if the red sox just fade off into the sunset this year- and who can blame them with all those injuries, must be bad karma, but Jon Lester is a cancer survivor, that should negate the bad karma- well, whatever, i guess i will just have to root for my other favorite team, Whoever plays the with yankees. Is it John or Jon? Who knows or cares.

I suppose it should be enough that in my lifetime the Red Sox won the World Series twice. I was at one of those games. However, I would like the future to report that the Red Sox won the World Series 5-6 times in my life, preferably with me as their team psych nurse. Or whatever i become later in life.

I have more to say but however am too tired. This is unfortunate, because with my memory, I will probably forget it by tomorrow when I am more awake. Well, just pretend I said something profound and it all rhymed. XXXXXXX

Monday, August 30, 2010

random thoughts as I slip off to sleep.

I am now the expert at downloading apps that I knew I would be. I downloaded some reference for psychiatric disorders and found out that there is a name for doing poorly at math. Not dumb. A medical term, although it is not really a psych diagnosis but a kearning disability.

So I expect that since I have a cool new phone, more people will call me. There is no basis in reality for this belief, but nonetheless I did believe it. But I get the same number of phone calls I did before.

At work tonight, I noticed that there seem to be a number of patients who first had cancer, then developed a psych issue. Maybe it was always this way but I never noticed it before. So, does cancer cause mental illness, or are crazy people more likely to get cancer? I think the answer to both of those is no, and when i say crazy, I mean a much more politically correct medical term.

I am almost done with radiation. I get to take a day off this week to bring Laura back to school. Obviously my radiation doctor is fine with this as he, too, will be bringing his kid back to NYU on the same day. This year, Laura has an apartment with a roommate, rather than living in the dorms and I am quite excited to see it. My baby has her own apartment!!!! How poignant! But even more important, I now have a free place to stay in NYC.

Good weekend, tired, just got out of work. Stayed in NH last night and went to see "The girl who played with fire" swedish subtitles and all at the cutest movie theatre in the world. Tickets cost $5.00 per person, drinks were a dollar and you sit in this little room in what seems to be a converted schoolhouse or fire station. A nice perk of small town living. A less than nice one would have been the chickent that flew up on the table as we were having dinner. OK, we were eating chicken, probably this guy's cousin, but that is no reason for that behavior. Plus I don't think chickens are smart enough to know that we were consuming Uncle Joe or whoever. They are just mean and wanted to ruin our dinner. Chickens suck.

Back to school, almost September.....this is the time of year you hear that song "the boys of summer" all the time- by the eagles or the atari's depending on what radio station you listen to. I am never ready to say goodbye to summer, but this means I will be done with radiation and one step closer to being a healthy cancer-free chick with a nice set of knockers.

You know, my life is going pretty well if I do say so myself.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

playing chicken

This is so.funny. I am writing this on my phone because I downloaded an app! I guess it does not stand for appetizers. So. Neccesarily this will be short because this keyboard is about the right size for a baƙbie doll. And it randomly makes foreign letters. I am at my sisters house in new hampshire. Here is a quote from her. "Laura, watch that front door so the chickens don't go into the house." Although normal in many ways, Peggy has chickens living in her yard.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Tonight, hanging around with my daughter, Laura, we decided that having faced a crisis like getting diagnosed with cancer, my attitude sort of changed for the better. Like I don't worry about stupid stuff any more. Apparently at some point in my life i worried about money and my job(s) and what people would think of me. Not so much anymore. Although, frankly, I wouldn't have minded if i learned this new view of life from one of those self-help books and didn't really have to get cancer, but as those irritating people say, it is what it is.

So yeah, now i know what is important in life. And fortunately i was able to indulge in one of those important activities tonight- something i haven't done enough of lately- Drunk Shopping. Well, that is what I used to call it when I was younger and wilder, now it is really more like have two glasses of wine and then shop. Just pick a nice shopping area with a good restaurant and voila! Laura and I headed out to South SHore Plaza which now has a fancy addition for rich people which we did not go to, as this was drunk shopping, not drunk shoplifting. Since there is now one thing on the menu that Laura eats there, she agreed to go to Legal Seafoods, which I really like even though it is a chain and even though there is something politically incorrect about it that Denise told me about, but i conveniently forgot. It wasn't violating child labor laws, I know that. So we had a very nice dinner, I had some nice wine- not robust, though. I draw the line there- and got some good hairdressing tips from the spikey haired waiter who was very charming and then set out to buy stuff.

Luckily there was not a car dealers at this particular mall, but there was a cell phone store. A real one. I realized a while ago that the most committed relationship in my life right now is with Sprint. Every time I turn around, i am locked into another two year contract with them. I have been with Sprint significantly longer than I was married. Well, think about it, if youu got charged a $300.00 termination fee every time you broke up with a guy, you'd think twice, right? So anyway, I have had cell phone envy for a long time, but I was just against the constant upgrading of these electronic toys as a matter of principle. Principles that evaporated after a few glasses of wine that is.

When I upgraded to my last cell phone, it was a big deal to have a phone that took pictures. Also, that phone was pink and now, sorry to say this but i am really getting sick of pink, the official color of breast cancer. So I walked into that phone store and said upgrade me to the best phone you have. (under $100.00, after rebate) OK, the clerk said, what will you be using this phone for? Puzzled, i said, oh, to call people. But I needed more. I really wanted to be able to have a full keyboard swo that when I texted, every word would be properly spelled out, kind of like when I type in this blog. And then she asked, did i want to download apps? At this Laura looked at me skeptically so I immediately knew that she questioned my app-downloading ability and decided to prove her wrong. "Oh yes," I said. I plan to download a ton of apps. Great, she said, and recommended a phone that kind of looks like an i-phone, but not really. But it is black. And I can go online, download music, use it as a sort of GPS, my most hated modern convenience, and of course download apps.

Instantly, all my contacts and pictures were magically moved on to the new phone. I had a lot of names in there. Oddly, i have no idea who half of them are. Like under Jack, i have, Jack, Jack-other one, Jackie, Jacky, Jackie mom, Jackie work, and Jackie tattoo. And i still have my old bosses old number listed under that very vulgar C word. Not cancer, the other one. And my ex-husband's work number listed under Dr. Evil. Well, at least I know who they are. So I guess I had that phone for a number of years during which I managed to become casually aquainted with a large number of Jackies. And Daves! Dave dave, Dave boat and Dave car, to mention only a few. I am going on about this because mainly the only thing I can do with the phone is look at my contact list. The girl explained things to me, but even at my best I have the attention span of a dog on crack. And Laura graciously excused herself to go try on clothes at H and M so that I would still be buzzed when it came time to pay for them.

I am eager to start downloading apps, but unfortunately I don't know what the fuck they are. APPS. Must stand for something. Apples? Applications? Apprentices? Well laura has promised to explain all to me tomorrow. In the meantime, i will try to figure out how to turn on the ringer. it is permanently muted. But this phone will just have normal ring tones. Guess the rock and roll lyric rings are a kind of last year, or maybe decade. I am way too cool for them anymore. Although it was always good for a laugh at work when suddenly "Psycho killer, qu'est-ce c'est" would blast out of the nurses station of the psych unit. (a special ringer only for crazy people who called me.)

Soon I shall be so high tech that I will not be able to stand myself. Or not. All my friends my age have these fancy phones but they can never figure out how to do anything with them. But I am motivated. I have a long term goal now. I am going to download the shit out of a bunch of apps, and I am going to like it. people will be saying, Oh you want to download apps? Ask barbara about it. She is the expert on all that stuff. World famous blogger and now app downloader. Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Not that I consider myself a dog. My new hair is quite chic and complimented frequently by psych patients and gay men.

Relatives and relativity

Well, it's been a while since i wrote anything. Not writer's block, of course, but could it be possible that cancer just wasn't very funny this week? And i came to a daunting conclusion. A revelation, if you will. Cindy spent the week at the hospital with her daughter who fell on glass, got a terrible infection and needed surgery and mega-antibiotics. And Beverly is recovering from surgery all summer. And a nurse at work (a guy) is going to be out all summer because he has bladder cancer and has to get a whole new bladder made out of someother body parts, and something about they have to fill his body with TB bacteria, so his body will think he has tb. OMG, its not all about me!!!!!!!!!! Can that be true? People i am close to are going through way worse pain and inconvenience than me. Radiation IS a walk in the park for me, just have a sunburned un-boob, but I can see from the other patients at Radiation that it is not a walk in the park for everyone. A lot of the people are way sicker, just getting the radiation to prolong life, or make them more comfortable. So once again, I realize how lucky I am, although I never thought that this is something i would say having been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Of course I am less lucky than people without cancer, so if you were considering sending me an expensive gift or cash, do not change your mind because of what I said.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

How many cockroaches does it take to turn a light bulb?

Today at work joking with a friend, she said something like, "I can't wear my jacket (that I had Borrowed) now because it has cancer on it." A lot of the people i work with have senses of humor similar to (although not Quite as sick as) mine. I can see that we may have conversations on a regular basis that would upset or even horrify other people who don't know us. Erin makes fun of me because I had cancer and am still talking about it, I make fun of her because she is deaf (well she has a hearing loss in one ear, but whatever.) Also i am quite bad about making fun of another co-worker and friend who was so excited about her new grandchild. She was showing pictures to everyone and they were saying typical baby things, and I saaid, "Maria, that is kind of an ugly baby. You should try to pick up some overtime and start saving for plastic surgery. In reality, the three of us love each other and the baby is kind of cute. Maria is a former oncology nurse with a very sharp, sarcastic (in the good way) wit. She totally understands the concept of cancer jokes. And deaf jokes, too, I guess.

So Erin came up to me later and asked if it had bothered me that she calls me Cancer lady and makes jokes about it. Since i had just explained at length to everyone in the room that Erin was actually mentally retarded as well as deaf, it surprised me that she was wondering if SHE had offended ME. But someone else that I knew a little less well had said hey those cancer jokes might hurt her feelings. And though I was surprised, it does seem that a reasonable person could assume that someone would not enjoy being called cancerous, or retarded, etc. And somebody recently posted on my blog that she did not think cancer was funny, just that it sucked.

Of course, cancer is not funny. Of course, it sucks. I do not enjoy it. I would rather not have it, or rather not have had it if I don't have it anymore and am just being treated for it. But I can't ignore it. It does not ignore me. So I make fun of it. Because then i can take it less seriously and then I can deal with it. Turning cancer into a joke, and my experience with it into a funny (in a sick way) blog is one of my new COPING SKILLS! Yes, that it what it is. And you know what? It works. Pretty much, cancer is going to do whatever it's going to to do to me- or not do- regardless of whether I make jokes about it or I get offended by people making jokes about it. Sometimes, people treat me with kid gloves and really watch what they say around me. The other day, Laura wanted to get a haircut but before she mentioned it to me, she said "Will it bother you if I talk about hair?" How cute? Of course this is the same kid who, along with her sister, decided about three months ago that since there was no cancer left in my body after all the surgeries and chemo, I did not have cancer and was no longer allowed to be playing the cancer card. Well, with them at least. They don't have the power for me to not be able to use it with other people. But I use that cancer card less and less. I go to work and take care of patients, rather than being the patient someone else takes care of. New people I meet talk about my cool haircut- like in any scenario, I would have the balls to cut my hair to 1/2 inch all around- and the lst thing they would think of was that the "haircut" is really a hair-grow from a bald chemo head. I don't feel like i have cancer anymore. I feel happy, healthy, young active and really lucky to have what I have. Also I feel really really tired all of a sudden. It was a long day at work. Sometimes I am grateful that the "illness" I had was in my body not my mind. People understand that so much better. That will be a topic for later.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Friday when I went to radiation, the waiting room was full of trash magazines. That is all I have to report, as I am now going to help Cindy cook. If you hear of massive food poisonings in Southeastern Massachusetts, that would be me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

trend setter

Today at radiation, i was actually a minute early and had to spend time in the waiting room. The only magazines were like Time and Newsweek and Vogue. I immediately complained to the big shots there. When you are waiting for radiation, you do not want to read serious stuff about the economy. You want to read about Kim Kardashial's butt or the latest celebrity busted for drunk driving. So I demanded more trash magazines and you know what they said? You are absolutely right. I was assured that the room will be stocked with star, People, and whatever else there is. Suddenly it became clear to me what my new profession should be. I shall become a "cancer consultant." I will go around telling people how to treat patients with cancer, and make them pay me for it. Come on, it is no stupider than being a life coach. Also, it combines a lot of my skills- medical training, legal training and my biggest asset- the ability to shoot my mouth off about any subject at any time, regardless of whether I know what I am talking about. (It's a gift.....and a curse.) So in practice for my new carreer, i will from time to time post helpful information on this blog. The trash magazine is all you are getting tonight as I haven't thought of anything else.

Two good things I learned today: 1. My nails are pretty much chemo-free, and I can now get a french manicure. 2. and this is exciting. I heard a commercial for a new show on showtime called the big C. It is about cancer and from the bit I heard, where the woman is in a restaurant saying, "I just want the desserts and the alcohol," I am assuming it is a funny show about cancer. Funny cancer shows. Hopefully they will be the next big thing surpassing those STUPID vampire shows. So here I am, right on top of the latest trend. Funny blog about cancer, funny TV show about cancer.....I can see that it is only a matter of time before i attain my dream of my own reality show. As long as it doesn't really reflect the reality of my life, because really I am amusing for about 30 minutes a day and the other 23 1/2 hours are pretty damn boring. But I imagine all reality shows are fake, so I would be fine with a fake reality show. I wonder how much it would pay? I would, of course, only be interested in it for the art, but it's been a really long time since a pair of Manolo Blahniks have crossed my path.

Don't worry, i will remember all the little people when I am rich and famous.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Iam falling asleep soon. Tomorrow is an early day because I have reiki and on top of that, i now have to get up a half hour earlier than before to put on all that free make-up and get it right. I was going to start to transition to putting it on in the car but I only have two hands and what with talking on the phone and drinking coffee it is going to be hard to add a new task. Wish I was rich enough to have a chauffeur.

I am in an unbelievably good mood, love my job, my kids and my life. I think in a tiny way, having cancer makes me appreciate things more. Oh, did i say that before? The part of my brain that is so full of appreciating things apparently is sort of leaking out some memory. It's a fair trade.

Good night.

napping for fun and profit

The other day when I ws shopping with Laura instead of going to work, we ran around doing all sorts of things and then were both sort of tired around four in the afternoon. She was saying that in Italy, where he had just been with the rich side of her parethood, this was siesta time and everything closed and everyone took a nap. Wait a minute, isn't siesta a Spanish word? maybe she meant spain or maybe they called it something else or maybe the spanish and italian word are the same, that happens sometimes like with si or gracias. Anyway, why can't we adopt this custom? Americans are such type A assholes ( every single one of them, except me and my friends and readers of this blog, so as not to think I would generalize.) they would be afraid that they would miss a good stock trade, or lose business or miss General Hospital on TV if they napped. But however, they would probably be healthier happier and not as fat. And many republicans would convert to the other side. There are probably scientific studies that show that. I am just kind of pissed that it took me having to get cancer to realize what a great concept this is. Like in nursery school, they would always have nap time. Why did they not continue this idea through high school? Probably would have cut down on juvenile delinquency (is there even such a thing any more? In this state, a kid does something bad, they just try them as an adult, ah but that is the subject of another rant.) also and less drug use by kids. Probably they start using drugs because they are tired!

Simplistic, I know, but some of the greatest ideas are. I have often suggested to my bosses, when talking about new groups to do for psych patients, a napping group. I am sure that has nothing to do with my being encouraged to leave a couple of those jobs. Although I have had unenlightened bosses, that is for sure.

Now that I think of it, that is sort of what meditation is, a short nap in the middle of the day. I would just like to have it be a little longer. So here is an idea. Lets all go into work tomorrow and suggest an afternoon nap for all employees. I will see you guys later at the unemployment office. Unless you work for yourself, like Denise's husband.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


shit it did not work. The new posts are supposed to be on top of the rock and roll chicks picture. By the way I am much better looking in person.


I am trying to arrange the blog so that the Steven Tyler and Aerosmith pictures just go with the thing I am writing about them, but do not stay on the blog on the first page forever. I am not sure how to do it, so if I do it wrong, and anyone out there knows how to do it right, please let me know.

Not much to say today. I am still experimenting with my free make-up. I never quite got the hang of lipstick, but apparently it is important in looking beautiful so I am practicing. Someone at work said you could tell a person's personality by how they wear their lipstick. Probably one of those Cosmo articles. I think it pertains just to women because it would be easy to tell a guy's personalith from his lipstick. It would mean he was a transvestite. I am afraid that if anyone tried to figure out my personality from how I wear lipstick, I would come out retarded.

But I keep practicing. I should probably get my fashionable, stylish and beautiful friend from High School, Terri Ross, to help me with my attempt at glamor. Although I believe she is currently recovering from injuries she incurred saving a baby from a burning building. So I shall wait, at least until she is off the painkillers, as they might make her likely to paint my hair green.

Monday, August 16, 2010

defensive PS

I went to Girls latin School. I have a doctorate degree. I am smart. All those misspellings on my blog that I just cannot be bothered fixing are the fault of my computer. Oh, and the bad grammar as well, Ms grammar police- unless I am taking poetic license.

hair cures depression

Ok, here is a cute story involving cancer. Those of you who described my blog as poignant- you know who you are, Denise Murphy, will appreciate it. I finally mad it to one of thos look better feel better or whatever they are called groups. Actually I think I already look and feel better but free make-up was involved, so I went. Pretty good free make-up, too. So anyway, I was sitting next to an old lady, whose name was not barbara, however three other women by that name were in the (relatively small) class. Apparently, being named Barbara causes cancer. Anyway this non-Barbara woman was sort of depressed, and although I rarely make such observations, pretty funny looking. We talked because we both had newly-grown post-chemo hair, but she hated hers and wore an extremely unbecoming hat. She had donechemo around the same time as me but had some kind of cancer "down there" that she didn't really specify but she was still in pain from her surgery. When they were demonstrating make-up tips and scarves and wigs, she kept saying stuff like, "Oh, I would never wear that much make-up," "I never go anywhere where it matters how I look." I don't go out in public much because I don't have any hair." etc. You get the idea. Pretty miserable. Being full of positive energy myself, I did not say, well why the fuck are you here? Instead, I said stupid little positive things like, you have nice skin, maybe when you get all made up you will want to go out, your hair is growing in very nicely (that was sort of a partial lie but it was for a good cause.) She was minimally responsive.

So, at the end of the class the beauty people who ran it said, there are some free scarves and wigs if you want to try some on. Since I am already at one with nature with my minimalist hair-do- which is going to look even better with $400.00 worth of free make-up on my face, i did not take advantage of those particular freebies, maybe in part because I already have 6 wigs of variious colors hung on hooks in my closet. BUT......suddenly I looked up and saw an attractive middle aged woman with short brown hair smiling at her friend. I didn't recognize her at first until I realized it was Miss Misery with a free wig on. She was totally transformed! She even walked more upright instead of hunched over like a sick person. It was absolutely amazing. Somehow, she also looked about three sizes smaller and twenty years younger, because i guess when you carry yourself in a slouched over depressed way, you look, well, kind of dumpy, old and fat. But I feel like i witnessed a real miracle. Which of course proves my point that as long as you look pretty, nothing else matters. So having witnessed such a beautiful thing, my spirits were only slighly dampened when I turned on my phone and checked my voicemail to hear several messages saying, "Barbara, you are on the schedule for the 3-11 shift today, where are you?" OOPS! In my own defense, I make a copy of every month's schedule to keep with me because I know I am so spacey- I mean I have so much knowledge in my head sometimes things like when I am supposed to work slip out. Apparently I must have agreed to work a shift for someone else and forgot. Well they survived without my even having to use the cancer card hardly at all.

Also, Laura is back from Europe and she went to radiation with me and we hung out all afternoon, shopping for books and can you believe Ann Taylor Loft still had some of its sale items and I bought yet another couple of pairs of jeans for $4.88. My radiation buddies will be so impressed. Radiation, which I am more than half-way through with no problems. Wow, life is really good!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dream on....

I am so tired so this will be short. But I had to write about the J. Geils and Aerosmith concert tonight. Awesome. We had great seats and both bands were fantastic. I know I saw both of them like 30-35 years ago and they still sound the way they did then. And to see these 60-plus guys dancing around the stage and looking quite sexy if I do say so myself, was an inspiration to me. Clearly, old is the new young. I am exhausted because i stood up the whole time and sang and danced along with the bands. For the second half of the show, two clinically depressed guys were next to me, standing up with their arms folded, never clapping or smiling or anything. I think they may have been spies. And they were crowding my space, so of course I had to sing louder and dance around much more than I would have normally if I was not trying to annoy them.

I had such a good time. I felt like I was 20 again. I sang, danced, flirted, laughed and generally had a wonderful time with my two best friends and a new friend i just met tonight. Cindy found an old Aerosmith T shirt, so I wore that and my very fashionable ripped jeans, put some hair gel in my 1/2 inch spiked hair and if I do say so myself, looked quite like a rock and roller. If only Steven Tyler had asked meup to his hotel room after the concert, it would have been a perfect night! WellI had to save something for the next time.

You haven't lived until you've been at fenway park when it is filled with 40 and 50-somethings reliving their youth. And for their encore, they sang "Dream On," a hit from when I was in high school, I think- from the top of the green monster. Yeah, someone had moved a piano up there.

As the cat in the hat said, it is fun to have fun, but you have to know how. Oh and ps. When we got to the concert, I was so excited I took a picture of the stage and sent it to every friend in my phone. So if you got a picture that looked like- what? I don't know, a big blur? I have a shitty cell phone- anyway, that was me.

Good night.

Brazillian waxing philosophically

I have heard of people who survived cancer say that if they could go back in time and choose what would happen they would still have had cancer. Perhaps the people samples were on extremely heavy doses of drugs. I don't think I am one of those people. If I had a choice, I would have the easiest life possible- with servants, whom i would be very nice to. OOps, I mean to whom i would be very nice. I forgot Terri Ross reads my blog.

But I can see a tiny bit of their rationalization. Having cancer, even very curable stuff like me, changes things. Granted, I could get run over by a truck at any time but you don't have that in the back of your mind generally when you are perfectly healthy. When you are being treated for cancer (cause that's what i am, I no longer have it, I am being treated for it.) you are always in places - hospitals, radiation clinic, support groups (I imagine) where you are surrounded by a bunch of people with your illness and you know some of them ARE going to die. So you appreciate things in life that you may have taken for granted. When I took a lower- paying job, with fewer hours at a hospital close by, I immediately picked up a second job, further away, to use up all my excess time and make more money. I quit that job when i got diagnosed. Now I enjoy the extra day or two off, the fact that I don't have a horendous commute in Boston rush hour traffic, and that I work with people I really love. Downsizing the house makes it very easy to live on less money. And knowing that I had been diagnosed with something that can be fatal (to other people) I really think about what i want to do in life, what is important and what is not. My kids and my friends are important. As yet another old lady on facebook, I now keep in touch with people from high school (the ones who haven't died of old age yet, anyway) and other friends i haven't seen in a long time.

And of course there is Emily,my niece who died at 18 from leukemia. Before she got diagnosed- about a year or two before, actually, I sold my house in Sharon. This was when real estate was doing a little better than now. ANyway, I made a ton of money, some of which went to the house i am getting rid of (again, how great that I didn't put all of the money into it, as I would still be in the processof a short sale.) Anyway, i spent some of the money on a cottage at the beach for the summer to live in in between houses- renting one, I did not make that much money! And I took My daughter, Laura, My niece Emily, my friend Cindy and myself off on a European vacation. We called it, the shallow girl's tour of Europe. We did not go to a single museum, we had Eurrail passes which we sometimes used but were generally not smart enough or fluent in the language to figure out the train schedules, so half the time we rented a car. In our defense, let me say that that year there was a tremendous heat wave in Europe while we were there. Well at least in the parts we were in, so pretty much we went places with beaches- the french and italian riviera and barcelona and of course, shopping- paris and London. We managed to find the equivalent of TJ Maxx in all fancy foreign countries, we went for quality not quantity, there were no $5000. gucci bags for us. When Emily turned 16, we were in Paris. We went down to the hotel lobby for breakfast and toasted her birthday with mimosas and chocolate croissants. She and i will always share this memory, I mean how cool is that, celebrating your 16th birthday in Paris! I think my own kids had birthday cake from Shaws at home. And of course noone knew then that Emily would get sick and eventually die. I am just so thankful that that one time, I was smart (people may question the use of that word, but look how it turned out!) enough to not put every cent away into some sort of investment and use some for fun with people I love. I love meghan too and if you are reading this, for the thousandth time, we wanted you to go, would have worked around your work schedule, but that was the year you did not like me. well not a full year, but you were in that stage when you would rather be in sweaty connecticut with smelly horses than in Europe with me. I believe I have taken you on other vacations have I not?

Now what was my point? Oh right, having fun, being with people you care about, living in the moment with a little less worrying about what may or may not happen in the distant future. And going sky-diving. And riding on a motorcycle- as the passenger, not the driver, I may be crazy but not insane. And i want to go to Africa, maybe even as a nurse in one of those places they need nurses. Yeah, I know, Africa is a huge continent with thousands of different places, some that i should not go near, some that i should, etc. I will get a map and look at it before I plan an African trip. I may even google stuff.

And appreciate the small stuff. Like i am going to appreciate the hell out of my new C-cup boob when I get the reconstructive surgery. I now appreciate the little one I had before surgery. So all you girls out there, appreciate your boobs. And your hair. You will miss them when they are gone, however temporary it is. ANd stop saving your money for retirement and take your friends on trips instead. I always keep my passport in my pocketbook in case someone says, hey let's fly to Rome tonight. When you retire, you're going to be REALLY OLD,so you can probably just sit back in your trailer park and think you're in Rome.

OK, now I need to get going and focus on the truly important things in life, like getting a manicure and a pedicure. It is much more important to look good than have money in the bank. And by the way, I have not eaten a chocolate croissant since Emily died because it is just not the same.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I am all about rock and roll

Here is a website that is pretty helpful for people with, surviving, or helping someone who is dealing with cancer. For those of you who just read the blog because you are my friends and know everytime you click on an ad (and some of them are pretty wierd.) I get about 1/4 of a cent. I am not giving up my day job. I am tired but just wanted to announce that I am having an excellent weekend coming up none of which involves cancer. I am going to see Aerosmith and J. Geils (and you are OLD if you know who they are!) at Fenway park tomorrow. Then Sunday a big 40th wedding anniversary party. My gift will be a gift certificate from a divorce lawyer. In between all of this, it is supposed to be beautiful out, so I have invited myself to the houses of friends with pools. I think one of my cancer doctors might have said i should go swim in other people's pools and have them wait on me hand and foot. Yeah, I am pretty sure that is what he said.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


On thursdays they have free reiki-massage-acupressure- all that touchy-feely stuff I love. Apparently I am full of positive energy. I am thinking of charging people money to touch me. But that might not be good karma. After the reiki, I felt the best, healthiest and most upbeat I have felt recently. I know some pepople think it is blah-blah-blah, but I am certainly open-minded enough to believe that we certainly don't know everything there is to know, and that Western medicine isn't the only way to tackle an illness. Although I am not going to give up the doctors at Mass General. I actually took Reiki I when I worked at childrens. I got the certificate the same day I got admitted to the Federal Bar. I remember thinking that I was probably the only member of the federal bar certified in Reiki. But probably not. A lot of nurses become lawyers and a lot of nurses take reiki so there is probably some intersection there.

So I am kind of at one with nature,in harmony with the world and grounded. I walk outside in pretty places (in between shoe shopping.) and meditate when there is nothing good to read or on TV. Soon, I will be radiating such positive energy, kids and dogs will be following me down the street. Plus I'll be radiating real radiation, as well, so they had better not get too close.

I really believe in this alternative-complementary stuff and think it will help fight cancer along with the traditional medical treatments. And even if it doesn't, it sure is fun.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

twelve followers now

So I feel like i should be writing more intellectual things now, some pithy comments about health care from the point of view of a health care professional now in the role of patient. Sometimes I think about stuff like that, but it is really too boring to write on a blog that is principally set up for entertainment- primarily mine.

Basically, in some ways it is better to be the patient than the nurse, for example, patients can take drugs and nurses have to give them to them. In other ways, it is better to be the nurse, like for example, you are not the one with fucking cancer. So ther is my brilliant observation.

My last bit of exciting news is that i have found a resevoir between radiation and work where i can go and walk for the hour of down-time I have between the 2 places. Well, in case all the shopping malls are closed, anyway. Because i did like the idea of celebrating each day of radiation with a new pair of shoes. Although once again, I may have to pick up a second job to afford shoes. This is something I actually did in my pre-cancerous state.

Monday, August 9, 2010

friends in high places

My laptop had a virus but is better now. While it was being fixed, I tried to write on the blog a few times and actually succeeded once or twice, but it was a great struggle for me. To get to here on another computer, i had to remember passwords, which is really not part of my skill set- remembering things. There are about 6 or seven combinations of my kids names and numbers that I use depending on how much the particular web site yells at me for not using enough letters or numbers or in some sites, exclamation points! Bad enough that you have to have passwords to read or write things on line, then they tell you your regular password that you can remember because you use it all the time, isn't good enough for them. And of course you can't write down your password because someone could steal your identity. Well good luck for them if they tried. My financial identity, anyway. They would have to go get a couple of extra jobs to pay off my bills.

And if they stole my blogging identity i could blame them in the very rare cases when I write something stupid.

So anyway, i first have to say that as peoof that I hang around with cool people, i am going to try to add this link. hey did it! Although isn't it supposed to come out in a different color? Anyway if you read it, you will see that my friend, Erin, saved a guy from drowning. And not only that she has a great tan.

Surprised that I mention other people when usually it is all about me??? Well, I am. But reality is that the cancer treatment as of now is kind of a walk in the park. Or on the beach. Radiation only takes a few minutes a day; the bummer is that it is every weekday until September, but I realized that summers usually go by too fast for me. I love hot weather. People who complain about it should be shot or at least sent to Alaska. So either the summer, as usual, will go by fast for me and radiaiton will be over before i know it, or going to radiation daily will make the summer go by more slowly, which will be good for me because I love the weather. A clear win-win situation. And i really love the people at radiation. And when that is over, i will just have to wait until "fully healed"- I am fully healed, when people have heavy things to lift at work I do it, because i can. Course they yell at me afterwards, because at work, I still am sort of a cancer princess, even though I think any bit of cancer has to have gone yelling and screaming from me, especially now with my healthy red wine, green tea, only eating meat from happy chickens or cows, diet. I really kind of doubt any chickens are really happy- come on they are fucking chickens, so i sort of stay away from that. Luckily I can eat fish regardless of their state of mind. Depressed tuna? Go right ahead. Suicidal salmon? knock it back. And a glass of red wine at breakfast really makes the day go just a little better. Just kidding. They say red wine with meals, but I don't think they mean all of them.

So life is good. Cancer is on its way out. But I am sure I will still think of things to complain about on my blog.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I was so excited to have people in Sweden and Amsterdam reading this. Then I remembered my daughter is in Europe, so maybe it is just her. I didn't think she was going to Sweden, though. If she did, and she reads this, I would like a souvenier from Sweden because now I would like to go there because I read those Swedish mystery books.

OK, here is good breast cancer advice. Or advice for anyone whose boobs are under construction. Buy a strapless bra that your fake boob can fit into. It opens up a world of fashion possibilities. And looking good is the most important thing of course.

By the way of course I am glad that my daughter reads my blog wherever she is. Kids grow up so fast. One day they are running around the lake in Sharon, naked, and the next day they are off ot Europe. Oh maybe that was me being naked. I forget.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Am I a famous writer yet?

I am so excited to have 11 followers. I would have been happy with 10, an even number. So if I had some political platform, I could talk about it now, with all my followers. Sorry, Don't have one. Except that I hate republicans. Otherwise, I am not too into politics.

I am done with having cancer. My kids and my friend who is a doctor have said since I have no active cancer hanging around, I cannot act like I have cancer and need to have people be nice to me. Well that is true. But keep an eye on the blog, as things change so quickly I may need people to be nice to me ASAP.

Now I think I should have a mission to help people with worse cancer than me feel better. There was a woman ahead of me at radiation who was having a bad day. She looked worse than me. In fact, when I go to radiation, I feel like a beauty queen, because everyone else is : Old, Cancerous and Old. Not me.

I am old, cancerous and don't look like it. So far. So I guess I can't make people be nice to me by playing the cancer card. My hair is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. Soon I can dye it- reddish brown, like the kid I had to see at the adolescent unit tonight with head lice. Lucklily my hair is too short for that stuff. Funny that when they called my unit for a nurse to come over and check it out, everyone thought I would be the best one. Like I am an expert on head lice, because I worked at Children's Hospital.Or maybe because I have had kids who have had head lice at some point in their lives. Anyway, I am an expert at it now, my diagnosis was taken at face value. No bugs on me.

Now I know I have said this before, but fuck it is my blog and I can say whatever. I have been a psych nurse for over 20 years. I have worked with all kinds of people, some who have become famous, some who I have married, many more whom I have not done so. Anyway, I have to say that the people I work with at Mclean are absolutely the best, the smartest and the coolest people ever. I love this job, although it pays less than some other places I have worked.

Actually it pays a lot less than the Boston Hospitals. But it is worth it for me. I can now live on less money. I can do things that make me happy in my spare time. Like sky diving. I now have almost enough people to sign up for the discounted rate. Granted, I had the idea when I misinterpreted my condition and thought I might be dying soon- I am not- however, I thought what the fuck, I might as well start doing something fun that does not involve a lot of exercise, so here I am going sky diving. I have such a high chance of living more than five years ( per cancer stats) I might as well do that.

BTW, I meant to mention the Jillies website as, not whatever else I said. An excellent web site for people who love people with breast cancer to use, at least until I set my own up. Wow, this is the most I have ever written after dri9nking wine. I must immediately go to bed and read my book. I would be really interested in a book about the blacks in the south in the 1920's that is written by a blavk person as opposed to the millions of book I have read about that subject by whites. Not being rascist, just telling it like it is. So whatever.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The best thing ever happened today. I am at radiation, in my Jilli (google it, it is great to have if you are undergoing treatment or a great present if someone you know is. If I am the only person you know in treatment, sorry, I already have one but if you really want to give me a present I could use a red sports car.) and anyway the nurses and techs are talking about a sale at the Ann Taylor Loft in the shopping center next door. So I felt it my duty to check it out. I got: One really cute orange print silk dress, a light pink cotton blouse, a cute short skirt- blue or black or some color like that, a pair of white capris and a pair of Khaki colored skinny jeans. The grand total for all of this? $31.00 So walk don't run to the store nearest you, the sale is for a few more days.

Long day, what with radiation, shopping and work. I am off work tomorrow and will be going to my free makeup for cancer people class! Can life get any better? Also had a great weekend, went to some fancy restaurant in Hingham that one of those Wahlbergs own. Very pretty; then we left to tour the sleazier bars of the South Shore (none of which were particularly hopping on a Sunday night) and the highlight of the night was my getting the phone number of a 22 year old kid. No, not to date, I have children older than him. However, he has agreed to go sky-diving with me, which all my friends wimped out on doing. Now if I can only remember where I put the number.

All right, I need to go to bed now. My boob needs its beauty sleep.

steven tyler in a red sox shirt!!!

steven tyler in a red sox shirt!!!
not bad for an old guy