Heat and Dust

Hello from the circus! Finally was cleared to start my next cycle of chemo, Yay! Blood work later this week to see if I am doing okay enough to continue. Enough about that.

After a hectic 24th birthday celebration for Bridget combined with Mother’s Day I am pretty exhausted. The birthday girl was surrounded by friends, old and new, and people who clearly love her which makes me very happy and, for a bonus,  she loved the bike!

Bridget and I often argue in the week leading up to her birthday–her anxiety about being the center of attention and my anxiety about pleasing her creates a lot of friction! Two atoms collide and it’s powerful! Watch out!

Now for Mother’s Day–we jumped into a heat wave, wandering around Boston with my “under the weather”  daughter trying to remember where I stored my summer clothes when the other one moved back home……not a clue.

Decided to take today off for rest and quiet. I have been feeling lousy truthfully although the chest pain I had been having appears to have gone.  Tim has been pushing me for more down time. Ha! Anyone who knows me, knows that trying to get me to do anything is rough. However, the war of the pollen allergies, dust and heat won so I needed to put in an air conditioner, sleep and re-think things.

Magically, my former breast cancer surgeon who is now at Dana Farber had her office call me and Eureka! Off and running toward a second opinion next week. Spent the day calling, copying, faxing and e-mailing to make my records fly in the right direction and got motivated to update my medical binder which I lug around like a leg iron.

All of this rushing about made me reflect. I have been in denial about my cancer reoccurrence. I have buried my head in the sand, looked for every distraction and pretended it was an epic joke that the universe was playing out. How could this really be happening to me? I can talk about it, discuss it in-depth even, but I really haven’t slowed down enough to actually feel it. It has been a lot easier to think about and question the quality of care I have been receiving from my grumpy elderly doctor than to look at myself. To get unstuck. To move forward. To feel.

The call today came at the right moment if there ever is a right moment in the cancer universe. The woman on the other end of the receiver said “this is where you need to be, we don’t do anything but cancer and it’s a whole different ball game here.” I needed to hear that.  Its been lonely here in the dark, not feeling like a medical team was on the case, looking out for me.

Why is it so much harder this time? Last time around I was 13 years younger and did not yet have arthritis and spinal stenosis and menopause to get through. I had young kids that needed attention. My parents were still here and they were two more anchors to help me to get on with, and over it.  Even though I was told many times that my cancer was incurable I didn’t believe them. I felt good. I thought I beat the odds. I was going to be a bad ass  Melissa Ethridge , guitar blazing, kicking its butt. Turns out not so much. So yes, I am still here trying to learn how to accept and live with the unacceptable. I thank all of you for your support near and far. How could I do any of this without that?

Kelsey’s song: The love theme from Romeo and Juliet, “Kissing You” by Des’re


Barbara, Lady Bug, the RN and Birthday Bridget


  1. Hmmm Heat and Dust….1983 Harvard square cinema, didn’t we all hate it? Long and arduous as I recall, kind of like cancer? Glad the Dana Farber team called at the right time and hope they can help you to feel more attended to in the way you and Tim need. Bill and I have been in denial right along with you. You did seem pretty bad ass through the first treatment and over all these years in between but actually you’re only human. Nothing you did wrong just cancer doing its thing. Wish there was something We could do to help with all the difficult feelings. We’re thinking of you guys all the time…hope we can play this weekend! Lots of love

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love when people get my arcane movie references! Heat and Dust was so bad and Bill managed to avoid it by pretending to have grad school work to do! yeah right! I am saving this weekend for you guys!


  2. Thanks for the update Barb. I really enjoyed all the pics of Bridget’s 24th. Looks like a good time was had by all. Also, Dana Farber must have ESP! Great timing for you. At last you (and the rest of us) feel you will be getting the care you need. All our best inner selves are with you. Always. ❌⭕️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had lunch today with a friend of mine who is a breast cancer survivor recently. We sat and I spoke about you and I told her how I really about you and your family and the day I knew I did was when we first met. You came to joes and Bridget ordered a french martini which of course I tried and didn’t care for but now is a drink I have often. I told my friend that I saw the great person you are and was drawn in when I gave Bridget a hard time about her hr job she had and you pulled a 20 out of your purse and give it to me and said that’s for giving her a hard time. I’m not gonna lie…I am scared. This disease takes too many great people and I told my friend that I don’t get why it comes back and how it’s not fair and why does the world do this. I actually said why does God allow this but that’s another conversation we won’t get into (just trying to be honest is all.) I told her I’m scared I won’t see you again and that bothers me and I don’t know how to tell you that because I’m not supposed to say that. I’m supposed to be positive but I am positively scared and I want you to know that. I don’t want to not see you or your wonderful family again. I am staying positive of course. I leave a week from this Thursday for three weeks and I’m excited. I won’t forget when you said I should travel and you will be in my thoughts this whole trip. Hope my honesty didn’t scare you…but knowing you in the short time that I have…I think you can handle it! Thanks for allowing me to be honest!

    Much love

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Rats, I wanted to see you before the big trip.. Travel safely, see everything and have a ball! Let me know when you are back so I can hear all about it!!!!!!!


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