I am impressed how many people asked me today if I was cleared to go to Iceland–you’ve been paying attention and let’s face it–we all need a vacation. It has been a historically awful, long, no good, horrible winter  and working with and keeping it real with adolescents is hard, gritty work. Even the kids need a break –I listened to my advisory students grouse all week about the mountains of tests, papers and work they had before clearing out. This morning the kids came together in community, commiserated and then were off, scattered to different ends of the globe until we reconvene at 9:30 a week from Monday.

Back to ME! No, I haven’t heard yet. Now for the grim ruminations that have been bubbling around the edges. Yes, I am way less anxious now that treatment has commenced, sleeping better and needing to be talked off of the high wire less and less, in large part to my circles of support—YOU!!

So what’s bothering me? Another blogger, having finished initial treatment wrote:

“While in treatment, I had been surrounded by the world’s best army: my supportive family and friends and a brilliant medical team who had worked tirelessly to keep me alive. The goal had been to cure the cancer. Now that I had survived the “cut, poison, burn” of the disease, I no longer had the cavalry running after me. Suddenly, I found myself standing dazed and alone in the rubble, wondering what had happened and where everyone had gone.”

This resonates with me on so many levels. I woke up March 11 in a pile of rubble. This time my treatment team had shrunk to my elderly oncologist (who has only known me as “well” since he took over when my initial oncologist left to go into research and yes, we cried) and his NP. Gone is the cavalry, leaving me standing alone as a treatment failure. I feel like I have somehow pissed him off for not staying in remission. This is compounded by the very real and very sad realization that women with recurrence like me are not a priority. We are not curable anymore, wrecking their stats. Less than 7% of money donated to Breast Cancer Research is spent on us–dead women walking who are well beyond  their pink ribbon flying days. Too dark? Yup, I get it.

How it matters today is that the flipping lab and my doctor can’t seem to get their wires connected, if they even are trying, and my doctor is not all that concerned about my vacation plans and the  non-refundable money spent. I feel forgotten or somehow marginalized by the very person entrusted with my (our)  life. Screw It!! Tim and I have decided we are going to Iceland, with or without “permission”. We need a change of altitude and attitude and a long discussion about going to Dana Farber about a second opinion. Yup, I just said it. It’s out there now for speculation and consideration.

Sorry about the Friday night ranting, I’ll be better tomorrow, I promise. I am going to Iceland. I will be texting several of you from the airport for added measure.

Michelle don’t blow anything up. Shannon, hang in there. Bridget and Marissa–please be good in Ireland. Mary Romans–all my love.

Love to all of you who have shown up. Your support is everything.

My song this week: Ice Ice Baby, Vanilla Ice

Barb and the circus xoxo

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Written by barbigelow

Wife, mother, school psychologist, cat lover

7 comments

  1. Yippee! That’s whT I love about you. You aren’t going to let them decide for you if they don’t even care enough to let you know! I hope you two have the best vacation ever in the history of the world. I look forward to daily pics! ❌⭕️❌⭕️❤️💚💙💜💛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow Barbara. It was so nice to see you in the fall before the winter from hell and so much has gone on for you. Seeing I knew nothing much then, I now realize I can’t rely on you know who for updates. Either that or my memory has developed some issues. Hope you are enjoying your trip with Tim. I think the blogging is a great way to communicate and you’re obviously great at it, funny, real and informative. Writing this from Santa Monica, visiting my sister-in-law who faces similar challenges. Much good wishes and love to you and your family. Kathy Newman

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Women in recurrence are not a priority is such bs. I’ve never heard of that or thought of it but I see what you’re saying. I hate that you feel like that. Wish I could make you not feel that way. And Iam flipping glad you chose to go on the trip. Sometimes doctors forget their humanity and ddon’t care about money you spent…well gosh darn it we care so go on that vaca and enjoy life. Why spend it feeling like crap…someone once said live every day like it’s your last…and she was right.

    Like

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